So today was May Day,
that glorious holiday where we celebrate the fact that we are workers and share common interests around the globe. The day we forget our petty differences and show solidarity with our brothers and sisters here and in other lands fighting desperately to survive under the desperation of global capitalism and the exploitation of their labor.
So its a happy day, steeped in tradition, radical, hopeful, optimistic, beautiful in what it means.
But I’m angry because I bought a pamphlet being sold by the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) that is titled “Men, Sexism and the Class Struggle”, and oh maaaaan does it leave much to be desired.
So it seems upon opening this document that its meant to be addressing men on issues of sexism and educating them on how to be sensitive to sexism. It however doesn’t do that at all, it just reinforces white dude’s propensity to mansplain feminism to women and to make excuses for pornography and gay male misogyny.
So the pamphlet isn’t properly written by any one person, its a collection of random shit pulled out from all over the place, even contradicting in places. In one excerpt written clearly by a woman, it states:
“When we walk down the street men touch us up, whistle at us or rape us because they think of our bodies as being there for their pleasure. Porn, telly books, ads all encourage them, telling them what they want to hear – that theres nothing more than a woman enjoys than being seen as a sex object – when she says no, she really means yes”.
Well that sounds PRETTY FUCKING RIGHT ON, amirite? Oh but whats this garbage a few pages later in an article titled “Pornography for an equal society”?
“Interest in alternative forms of sexuality, such as bondage, fetishism, and s+m seems to be on the increase these days. As well as being safer forms of sex than traditional penetrative sex, they seem to offer more equality.”
Nothing says equality quite like violence, domination, pain and humiliation. Oh and no, these aren’t “alternative” forms of sexuality, this is patriarchal sexuality taken to its logical conclusion, to its extreme end. This is just taking it one step further, it doesn’t transcend any of the shit that goes along with average heterosexual PIV sex.
“It cannot be assumed that there is no place for pornography in a female’s erotic life.”
It certainly can be assumed, as pornography is used against women’s bodies, as it is assaultive to be confronted with, as it dehumanizes us. Yes, it definitely can be assumed that there is no place for pornography in a woman’s erotic life. That meaning, a healthy, loving, equal, erotic life.
“So the main arguments used by feminists against pornography are that it encourages men to view women as passive sex objects, and that the women are exploited by having to work in the sex industry supplying pornography for men. Whilst these points are true in 99% of cases, the situation could be changed. Rather than ban pornography though, would it not be better, and more equal to create new sources of erotic images that cater to the tastes of both men and women?”
Hold the fuck up, did I just read that? So even though in 99% of cases, pornography is exploitative and encourages men to view women as sexual objects that they can project anything they want on to, we should just take the time and effort to create pornographic material ALONGSIDE the sexist shit that men use so that WOMEN can get in on all the fun. I mean you know, for a pamphlet that has a charming cartoon of a well-off feminist harpie abusing her maid like the bourgeois bitch she is, they certainly lack a certain class consciousness when it comes to the morality of working class women also participating in the exploitation of other women.
You know, its every girl’s dream to get off to the degradation of other women (and ultimately ourselves).
I’m angry. A pamphlet intended to teach men about sexism and their role in perpetuating it, basically is teaching men that they make better feminists than women. That they can dismiss what non-working class women have to say about their experiences of sexism as women because you know, sisterhood is impossible across class divides with women and you know, women are just in competition with one another anyway. You can’t trust your sisters like you can trust those good ol wobbly boys, they’ll really have your back if one of them rapes you. For sure.
I guess ultimately I’m just offended. Why is it acceptable for a group like the IWW to put out a pamphlet of random contradictory shit that doesn’t in any way provide a clear analysis of what their working class sisters experience and what all women hold in common? Why are they telling men that its acceptable for them to continue to use pornography and us women just need to start making our own, you know with our massive amounts of spare money to buy cameras, lighting, actual time to write scripts and narratives full of happy go lucky equality and consent for breast flogging.
Oh wait, if pornography is produced by women, they’re probably going to be bourgeois and have the money to pay women to perform in it. And we can’t trust women who have money as we already learned from the harpie cartoon.
I get it. They don’t actually give a flying fuck about thinking what they put out there and what they stand for, especially in regards to women’s issues. Those are secondary, remember?