Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Prostitue Is Someone Who Will Love You No Matter Who You Are...Or What You Look Like

In an interesting twists of twists, sex workers are proclaiming that Anita Sarkeesian's Tropes vs. Women videos, particularly the segment involving prostitutes, are not helping in the fight against real-world violence. In fact, they claim that the videos contribute to the objectification and stigma of being in a sex oriented job. So says Reason.com and former sex worker, now author, Maggie McNeil.

Much of the concern is around the terms Sarkeesian uses when describing the digital characters. Sex workers are labeled as "prostitutes," which McNeil says devalues the men and women of the trade into commodities. By being a "worker" it's looked upon as a job. Where as the word "prostitute" has negative connotation in a number of cultures. The logic is people are more likely to be aggressive and abusive if you're labeled as a "prostitute." But if you're a "sex worker" that sounds like you have a real job.

I dummed down the language, but that's how it reads in the article on Reason.

But there are just as many sex workers that agree with Sarkeesian's position. N'jaila Rhee, adult web model, is also a gamer. Many of the things Sarkeesian has pointed out with her web series resonated with Rhee, but that the true concern is how "Feminism 101" Sarkeesian's points are. The issue Rhee and others have is not about the use of the word prostitute, but how simple Sarkeesian is making her stance. Now I would argue this is to help with public consumption, because most people in the U.S. never learn about feminism outside of the 19th Amendment in the Constitution giving women the right to vote.

The piece is Safe for Work and worth the read. Though it is interesting to see how a number of other groups outside of the #GamerGate hashtag are rallying against Sarkeesian. While I appreciate the effort and what she is trying to accomplish, I don't agree with her on a lot of points. Some of it feels like it's grasping at straws and other times it's almost like "tell me what we can do to fix this?" Because that's the bigger problem. No one has a solution and we're all looking for a way to resolve it.

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