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dimanche 26 février 2012
Sex resistance in heterosexual arrangements
Manifesto of the Southern Women’s Writing Collective
DANS LA MEME RUBRIQUE
Burkini Is a Feminist Issue Too
The notion that it’s ok for disabled men to pay for sex is rooted in misogyny and ableism
Egyptian doctor living in Zurich produces educational videos about health and sexuality for the Arab world
Amnesty International and Prostitution : Not in Our Name !
Open letter to rabble.ca - Support Meghan Murphy suffered a misogynist campaign by the sex industry lobby
"Insectual - The Secret of the Black Butterfly", by Barbara Sala
Canada’s New Sex Trade Law
Sharia Law, Apostasy and Secularism
“Harm reduction” is not enough to appropriately analyze prostitution
True Progressives Encourage Women’s Equality, Not Their Prostitution
Sexual mutilations outside Africa : new report and new denial except the Iraqi case
FGM slowing down ? The UN asserts it, the Indonesian case contradicts it
Prostitution, STRASS and the senator - When opacity becomes relevant
Is equating prostitution and rape ‘intolerable violence’ ? Really ?
Obama, Madonna and us
After Ontario Courts rule on Bedford : a rant
Comparing Sex Buyers and Non-Sex Buyers July 2011 (Boston)
Abolitionists of the prostitution system : who we are, what we want !
Women Living Under Muslim Laws Statement on Libya
Prostitution is a Threat to Humanity
Prostitution - Call for Australia’s prostitution laws to be tightened
Violence - An Open Letter from Black Women to SlutWalk Organizers
Nothing that is sexual can be considered criminal : hidden sexual violence in the DSK case
The Truth about Global Sex Slavery – A Book by Lydia Cacho
Why reproductive rights and prostitution are not the same thing : A response to one decriminalization argument
Prostitution - The abolitionist project within the conference Women’s Worlds 2011
Montreal - The Turcotte jury got it wrong
Reasons I Will Not Go On the Slutwalk
International Sex Industries and their Accomplices Hamper the Autonomy of All Women
Ten Critical Reasons for getting rid of Harper’s Conservatives
Real solidarity with prostituted women is in the fight for abolition of prostitution
Decriminalize prostituted persons and criminalize those who exploit them (‘johns’ and pimps)
Polygamy in Canada Should Remain Illegal
My fears of the push for indoors prostitution
We cannot be satisfied with the simple harm-reduction model
The Native Women’s Association of Canada is Worried About Himel’s Judgement on Prostitution
Ontario Court Decision Abandons Aboriginal Women and Women of Colour to Pimps
Response to the VPD review in the cases of the Pickton Murders
Speech - The effects of globalization of political Islam on Women’s Rights, the question with polygamy, the Niqab and Honour Killing
Quebec Forges Enlightened Trail on Burkas
Breast Cancer a Disease, No a Marketing Opportunity
The International Campaign To Closedown Iranian Embassies
Violation of rights in Iran, a window from my experience to a broader picture
"Sex worker" ? Never met one !
The One Million Signatures Campaign has been awarded the prestigious Global Women’s Rights Award from the Feminist Majority Foundation
Prostitution - Feminist Perspectives, a book
Prostitution : Violating the Human Rights of Poor Women
More than 1 000 american historians call for equity in the stimulus package in open letter to Obama
Order of Canada Awarded to Dr. Morgentaler - Acts of intimidation should not rule Canada
Femaid report on Afghanistan, May 2008
Time for Quebecers to be more open : Bouchard-Taylor report
Canadian Bar Association supports strengthening equality in the Quebec Charter
Zero Tolerance for Johns : How the Government of Sweden Would Respond to Spitzer
Politicians are responsible for toxic, misogynist environment facing girls
Spitzer - The Myth of the Victimless Crime
Goodbye To All That (#2)
The freedom to never prostitute oneself
NO legalized brothels for the Olympics 2010 - Aboriginal women’s Action Network statement on prostitution
CLES says NO to the violence of prostitution
Does Porn Make the Man ?
A Trip Into the Absurd
Mothers File International Complaint Against United States
Prostitutes are victims, not criminals
Anthology of Québec Women’s Plays in English Translation, Volume I (1966-1986)
The Concertation des luttes contre l’exploitation sexuelle (CLES) intervene during the upcoming provincial election
Prostitution - Three Women and a Debate
Men Favour the Apolitical Discourse on Prostitution
The Whole Truth Must be Told : Sylviane’s testimony on her experience of prostitution
Democracy and Religious Obligations : an Impasse ?
What is liberation ? Feminism past, present and future
Books by Andrea Dworkin
Globalization, Militarism and Sex Trafficking
Muslim Groups Denounce the Cultural Relativism of a Certain Left
Canadian Muslim leader alleges her veil views sparked vandalism
Prostitution : CATW’S Post-World Cup Statement
NOW to denounce so-called parental alienation
Prostitution : for an Abolitionist Bill
The dimensions of trafficking for purposes of prostitution
"Charm is a Guise ; Batterers Belong in Jail, Expert Says"
Interview with Catherine MacKinnon : Are Women Human ?
Danish cartoons - Doing away with the Enlightenment ?
It’s happening next door : from incestuous girls to alienating mothers
Green Light for Pimps and Johns
Buying Sex is not a Sport
Prostitution is Violence Against Women
The Ideal Site for the Crime
Tell me, what does "gender" really mean ?
Gunilla Ekberg : « The best thing we can do for our sisters is to support them to get out of prostitution »
Interview with Catharine A. MacKinnon : « They haven’t crushed me yet. »
Decriminalizing prostitution, a magnet for pimps and johns
Declaration on Religious Arbitration in Family Law
Prostitution : Towards a Canadian policy of abolition
Prostitution inseparable of violence against women
The need for a public debate on prostitution and its social consequences
Prostitution of First Nations Women in Canada
270 000 $ granted to Stella for a four days event on sex work
IN MEMORIAM : Andrea Dworkin or The passion for justice
Decriminalizing prostitution will not improve the security of prostituted women
Dworkin - Taking Back the Night
Backlash and Whiplash : A Critique of Statistics Canada’s 1999 General Social Survey on Victimization
Helping the prostituted women or promoting prostitution ?
The Need for a Public Debate on Prostitution and its Social Consequences
The legalization of prostitution and its impact on trafficking in women and children
Prostitution Links, Women’s Justice Center
"If you don’t take a job as a prostitute, we can stop your benefits"
Sweden Treating Prostitution as Violence Against Women
Forced marriage as crime
Why Women Must Get out of Men’s Laps
International Campaing Against Shari’a Court in Canada
Decriminalize prostituted women, not prostitution
Canada Contributes to the Sexual Trafficking of Women for Purposes of Prostitution
Fathers’ Rights Groups in Australia and their Engagement with Issues in Family Law
Women Rage Against ’Rape’ in Northeast India
Sexual domination in uniform : an american value
Tribunals Will Marginalize Canadian Muslin Women and Increase Privatization of Family Law
The sexual sadism of our culture, in peace and in war
Queer theory and violence against women
The Legalisation of Prostitution : A failed social experiment
Globalization and the Sex Trade : Trafficking and the Commodification of Women and Children
Will Paternal Paranoia Triumph ?
Ode to Survivors
Court confirms any woman’s human right to organize with peers
Program produces motherless kids
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN Labour Organization (ILO) Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part One)
Legitimating Prostitution as Sex Work : UN International Labour Organization Calls for Recognition of the Sex Industry (Part Two)
Elisabeth Badinter distorts feminism the better to fight it
Prostitution : Rights of Women or Right to Women ?
The "Stolen Feminism" Hoax : Anti-Feminist Attack Based on Error-Filled Anecdotes
Hormone Replacement Therapy, the "Magic Bullet" Ricochets
For the sake of the children : the law, domestic violence and children contact in England
Friendships between women good for health
Children of divorce need our protection
Divorce Bill’s flaws inadvertently aid abusers
Problem isn’t little boys, it’s little minds
A report from Status of Women Canada about the discursive denial of gender inequalities
Ten Reasons for Not Legalizing Prostitution
Poem for Peace
Peace Rally Speech of a 12 year old American Girl
Good clone, bad clone ?
Canadian Women’s Health Network
So hard to say goodbye
Read out in New York City, on April 1987, at a conference entitled “The sexual Liberals and the Attack on Feminism”.
In contrast to the pro-sex movement, we are calling ourselves Women Against Sex (WAS). For some of us, that has been a long time coming… This analysis has evolved from our work as radical feminists in the anti-pornography movement. We take seriously the statistics on harm to women. Women are hurt by sex acts in sexuality. The evidence is staggering. Specifically, our analysis reflects the realization that pornography is sex. We are offering a theory which describes the practice of sexuality at the level of class interaction and conflict, that is, at the political level. We wish to emphasize that both in the shortened presentation and in our handout “WAS speaks out”, we’re not attempting to describe or re-describe the lived sexual experiences of all women. (We realize that these experiences are lived out in various ways, ranging from the joyful to the humiliating to the murderous) ; that we believe that political reality connects up with each individual woman’s political and personal experience and psychology. We do not believe that there is any static formula that need be captures this connection. We offer to the radical feminist community one analysis of a practice : sexuality, which we believe is the root cause of women’s political subordination.
The practice of sexuality is everything that makes socially possible the having of sex, that is, our practice of sexuality is everything that makes sex acts socially happen and socially real. The practice includes gender roles : the social femaleness and maleness. These roles function to make sex acts seem natural and inevitable even though they are neither. Sex acts are central to the practice of sexuality. Sex acts are those acts that men as a gender class have constructed as genitally arousing or satisfying.
Sex acts are those acts whose shown social meaning produce male arousal. Historically these acts have included : rape, marital rape, foot-binding, fellatio, intercourse, autoeroticism, forced sex, child rape, incest, battery, anal intercourse, use and production of pornography, pimping and other use of prostitutes, cunnilingus, sexual harassment, torture, mutilation, and murder.
For women, these acts have sometimes been sought out in love and through desire and sometimes avoided and resisted in perhaps a nascent awareness of their anti-women political function. The material arena for adult women’s orientation to sexuality in general and sex acts in particular has usually been heterosexual. Our focus in this paper is on women in such heterosexual arrangements.
We believe the practice of sexuality is entirely socially constructed by the power of men as a gender class. We do not believe that it is either a curse of biology or a gift from God. Neither do we believe that it is joint gender project of men and women.
We believe the practice to be animated by an eroticized dynamic of male dominance and female submission. What makes the practice live and breathe, what sparks its social life is class hierarchy, or social top-bottomism.
We believe that the concomitant goal or, more properly, the function of the practice is the subordination of women.
We believe that this dynamic of male dominance and female submission and this concomitant function of subordinating women identify this practice at the political level. Thus in our analysis, any act informed by a practice which do not have this dynamic and this function and that is to say, any act informed by a practice which do not subordinate women would literally not be a sex act, but something else. More succinctly, if it doesn’t subordinate women, it’s not sex.
Not acquiescing to male-constructed needs might be called sex avoidance. Women learn to recognize even the subtle signs of male desire and enough have learned how to avoid becoming available to it to make mention of “headaches” a male joke. So women DO have headaches and dress and undress in closets, deliberately gain or lose weight, become alcoholic, develop other drug dependencies, carefully orchestrate schedules and attempt to shut down all communications that might hint of intimacy.
Women’s historical sex avoidance can, with feminist consciousness, become an act of sex resistance. The sex resister understands her act as a political one : her goal is not only personal integrity for herself but political freedom for all women. She resists on three fronts : she resists all male-constructed sexual needs, she resists the misnaming of her act as prudery and she especially resists the patriarchy’s attempt to make its work of subordinating women easier by consensually constructing her desire in its own oppressive image. A good example of the patriarchy’s successful attempt to reach within women, to fuck/construct us from the inside out is given in this letter to Ann Landers :
A letter that appeared in your column a few days ago could have been written by me : same number of children, married same number of years and, alas, same problem. To outsiders we appeared to have the perfect marriage : it was ideal. Except when it came to sex. I avoided it when I could, and tolerated it when I had to. Then the inevitable happened. Some little tramp in Tom’s office threw herself at him. The day he told me I didn’t have to be bothered with sex any longer because he had a good substitute, I nearly died. I went to my doctor and asked him for help. He recommended that I psyche myself out and suggested two books that, ten years ago, would have been banned as hard-core pornography. Well Ann, his advice saved my marriage. I decided to be the aggressor, something I had never done before. Then I put into practice what I had read in those books. My husband was amazed and so was I. For the first time, I enjoyed sex. We have developed a marvelous bedroom relationship, and the tramp is nowhere in sight. I now know I was frigid because I was ignorant and puritanical, but all that is over now and I am happier today than I have been in my entire life. Please print this letter if you think this will help someone else.
This was first out in 1974 ; it was just reprinted in February of ’87. The letter and the response never question the practice of sexuality and the way in which the practice precludes the wife’s rightful options.
The initial autonomous choice of this woman was one of sex avoidance but that choice was not perceived as valid. She made her second choice under the threat of losing her husband. She was taught to desire male-constructed sexual pleasure. The normalcy of such coercion of desire makes the claim that our sexuality is our own, untrue. As long as the price of not choosing sex is what it presently is for any woman, sex is in fact compulsory for all women.
Sex is compulsory for all women because the price of not choosing it is social worthlessness and exclusion. There is no esteemed social place or neutral place for the women who will not put out to someone at some time in some way.
By male design, the relationships that ground our social self, sense of self and self-worth are a package deal, with love, security, emotional support and sex all going together. Your value as a piece of ass becomes clear when you stop being that piece.
The sex resister understands that beneath the label of sexual incompatibility, beneath that mystification is the truth of the political equation : woman equals her capacity as cunt.
The sex resister refuses to accept the package deal of male desire. She demands the right not to follow the cultural precept that says : “Put out or get out.”
A sex resister must have the right to keep all those non-sexual, non-subordinating aspects of her relationship that do have value for her.
Sex resistance has been misnamed and ridiculed as prudery, virginity and sexual incompatibility.
Sex resistance has a historical claim to feminist authenticity. It is what many women have done when demonstrating our claims to integrity, to self-possession of our own lives and bodies.
It makes speech of women’s silent refusal to validate and valorize male-constructed desire. By performing the political act of sex resistance, the power imbalance is challenged and the practice of sexuality is exposed.
We believe that acts of sex resistance can be part of the process of transition that will dismantle the practice of sexuality.
On Sisyphe, February 23, 2012
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