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it doesn’t necessarily mean that prostitutes would be jailed for providing their services, but that there is a legal basis to enrol them in the programmes.

That makes sense, if these programs are about keeping them safe from bad pimps/johns and helping them exit sex work when they’re ready.

Hey, thanks so much for publishing this article and taking the time to write detailed responses! I need to read more about the topic, maybe the Parenti book mentioned in the proletarianfeminist article.


You write that sex work sells the body, and not just the labor-power. But that’s exactly what looks like fetishism to me. The performer sells their labor-power for a definite period of time to film a movie. After that, the porn company does not own their body and cannot film a second movie with them unless it buys more of their labor-power. Only the patriarchy regards the performer’s body as sold and degraded. The patriarchy says that the performer is now in a lower caste and unsuitable for other work, that their body is essentially “sold” but to the whole industry as in the Salon article I linked.

I read your proletarianfeminist article. I agree with most of the 7 suggestions at the end, including decriminalization and de-stigmatization of sex workers. Glorifying johns is liberal consumer activism. Glorifying pimps is bourgeois class warfare against workers. Socialists should not do either.

But I can’t get behind total abolition. She quotes a Canadian group saying that “we must reject the idea that prostitution could be a solution or a social safety net for proletarian women; instead we should fight for creating real opportunities–employment, education, etc.” But why not both keep it as a safety net and create real opportunities? Rather than getting rid of safety nets, seat belts, etc, shouldn’t we try to avoid needing them but still have them?

The author herself used sex work to provide housing and medical care for herself and her family. Would she have been better off if sex work had been abolished before she could buy her mother’s cancer medicine?

Her answer would probably be that if we provided housing and health care, then sex work would not have been necessary. I agree. If we were capable of providing housing and health care to everyone, and if as a result sex work completely disappeared on its own, without our having to abolish it, I’d be totally fine with that.

But what if we can’t? What if our ability to provide the necessities is imperfect or takes a long time in the lower stage of socialism? In case we can’t, shouldn’t we at least leave the safety net in place?


I love discussing this stuff with intelligent comrades! It makes me scrutinize my own position more thoroughly.

The problem with porn (and many other industries today) is that it is itself a result of commodification, and could not exist – at least in my view – without the commodification and objectification of the human body.

There is an important distinction here between the commodification of labor-power (of a proletarian) and the commodification of the laborer themselves (enslavement). I searched for an example of the commodification of the laborer in porn and found this article. A performer tried to leave pornography to become a surgical tech but was not allowed to graduate. She tried two other careers with the same result:

Hurt but still undeterred, Gauge went to criminal justice school, then to makeup artist school. When she applied for jobs, she’d be passed over in favor of someone with less experience and training… After eight years of this treatment, at the age of 33 she decided to return to the porn industry…

This seems to be what you have in mind. But on closer inspection, her career was destroyed not by porn (the commodity or the industry) but by a set of social relations, patriarchy. The patriarchy treats sex workers as an inferior caste of people who are not allowed to leave that industry. Blaming the commodity instead of the social relation sounds to me like commodity fetishism.

IMO the comparison to drugs is flawed for the same reason. Drugs literally, materially destroy the body by causing organ failure. Porn “destroys” the body of performers only within patriarchal social relations which devalue sex workers and decree that they’re not allowed to leave pornography.

The important question is how much of the fight against patriarchy has to happen before socialism can be achieved, rather than afterwards. In Marx’s time the fight against slavery had to come before the fight against capitalism, because a worker could not join the proletariat (sell their labor-power as a commodity) if they themselves were a commodity. If Marx’s words about white supremacist slavery also make sense for the patriarchy, then labor cannot emancipate itself in the male body while it is branded in the female body. The enemy today is not porn (the commodity or the industry) any more than the enemy in Marx’s day was cotton. The enemy is the set of social relations treating one set of workers as a separate and inferior caste outside of the proletariat.

W.E.B. Du Bois wrote that Black laborers ended slavery in the US by escaping the plantations by the hundreds of thousands in what amounted to a general strike: “the black worker won the war by a general strike which transferred his labor from the Confederate planter to the Northern invader, in whose army lines workers began to be organized as a new labor force.” They did not end agriculture in the US, they ended the particular set of social relations excluding them from the proletariat. Isn’t the answer the same for sex workers?


r/unpopularopinion “DAE POC are the real racists???” [+9098324, 666x gilded]



“Worker charged 250 pounds rent for dirty patch of grass. Capitalists rejoice.”

Fixed it for them.


I don’t understand the opposition to porn in general, as opposed to the commodity production of porn. Socialism is against commodity production, not labor and the production of use values.

At one point you compare porn addiction to gaming addiction. Games are also produced as commodities and are designed to be addictive for profit. So is the answer to ban game production? Or is it to provide health care for all addictions, and to replace commodity production of games by something more intelligent and democratic?

To be honest, I seriously do not believe that there are enough people who wish to record themselves in action and upload it for the world to see to still qualify pornography as an industry, and thus warrant the existence of dedicated media (websites, magazines, TV channels, etc.)

There are two trends pointing in the opposite direction. Taboos against porn are eroding, making it more socially acceptable. Advances to the means of communication (the internet, smartphones) mean that a video that might have been seen by a thousand people in a single city 50 years ago can now be seen by millions all over the world.

This is first and foremost poverty allievation, because poverty is what drives people to prostitution.

I’m all for poverty alleviation. If that reduces the number of porn performers globally to 0, because nobody wants to do the work, that’s fine with me. Nobody should have to do sex work. But if like 1000 people or 10,000 still want to make porn, and they can entertain billions, that’s also fine with me.


Would we still be able to up/down vote without JS?


Thanks for posting! I hadn’t heard of this.

From the IMDB page:

Gross US & Canada $342,218

Opening weekend US & Canada $105,768 Nov 21, 2021

Gross worldwide $902,541,161

lol US mad


Tibet is different. I have no problems saying Tibet was invaded if you don’t want me to say it was liberated.

IIRC Tibet was part of China in the late Qing dynasty at the beginning of the 20th century. After nearly 40 years of world wars, civil war, and fascist occupation, it fell to Mao to put the country back together again. Tibet was part of that.


What a tremendous achievement by China! The rona wasn’t even a blip on the graph.


I’m guessing this is paid marketing by Amazon.


This is great news!


“The reds MURDERED that fly! Quick add it to the Black Book of Communism!”


Once the smoke clears, anarchists invite the US military to build a new base because it worked so well in Rojava. But there is one condition. Every cop and soldier must now wear a pin which reads “we are totally not a state you guys.”


US next year: We DiDn’T kIlL hIm He HaD a PrEeXiStInG cOnDiTiOn!!!11



448 Nazi Germany (I’m politically left white)

FTFY


“In this matrix we obey the laws of thermodynamics!”