Harlots Parlour

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PROUD TO BE CALLED A WHORE….Ms MACKAY

I have eventually got around to responding to this comment by Finn MacKay in regard to abuse of sex workers and allies at a reclaim the night march in 2009.
http://www.thefword.org.uk/features/2009/12/im_going_to_use
I think her comments, her behaviour and the behaviour of other so called feminists on the reclaim the night march tell us so much about those who have appropriated the title of feminists or rather radical feminists.


“Calling someone a ‘whore’ is completely unacceptable. Which is why it is such a shame that IUSW insist on carrying placards that refer to women in prostitution as ‘whores’ as if that insult can be reclaimed, see for example the article by the pimp Douglas Fox on ‘Feminism and whores’ currently on the IUSW website. The IUSW are concerned with protecting pimps and punters rather than women, I can’t understand why anyone would want to march with them.”

The above is a statement from Finn MacKay referencing the abuse given to women sex workers and allies who dared to walk in what is claimed to be a woman only and woman friendly environment called reclaim the night. Sex workers being abused by would be rescuers is something we have come to expect. If we do not submit to the victim status the “good” women who claim to care often feel obliged to dismiss us with at the very least verbal abuse. I am a male whore and I am proud to be called a whore and if I am to be abused by being called a pimp that also is fine. Name calling is a sign of weakness; it is a sign of the school yard bully.
Finn MacKay like many of her colleagues is a bully not only by her adoption of name calling to silence and dismiss her opponents but through the ideology that she promulgates that deliberately abuses the negative experiences of some with in the sex industry to justify calls for dangerous legislation. Claiming to care for the victims of trafficking is easy politicking but using their suffering to justify calls for legislation that will endanger innocent women and men through the criminalisation of their labour is callous and manipulative. Is she any different from the traffickers who abuse the vulnerable for profit when she abuses the vulnerable for political and ideological ambition?

Finn MacKay heads the London feminist coalition and along with others who share her ideology has appropriated feminism. The heritage that the feminist movement once shared with others who struggled for human rights is being corrupted. The battle against the stifling injustices of patriarchy was once a shared experience among men and women, straight and gay, prostitute and housewife. We are all now betrayal. Finn MacKay and those others who campaign so relentlessly against sex workers and against women and men who makes choices they disapprove of are restructuring the patriarchal autocracy in their own image and are betraying us all. It is no surprise that so many young women shun the term feminist when Finn MacKay and Julie Bindel and others have turned that once proud idealism into a negative expression of judicial and social oppression.

Anyone who has read the works of the feminist writer Angela Carter will remember her wonderful, dark exploration of female sexuality. Women were depicted as sexual manipulative predators, as whores, and also as compassionate and sensual human beings. Her work caught a moment in time when women were exploring new freedoms that allowed them to be sexually complex. It was a time of experimentation certainly but also a time when women were after centuries of denial at last proud to be sexual creatures with all the multilayered complexity that comes with being human. She wrote for a generation that remembered that the last cliterodectomies was performed on women in the fifties who were thought to be promiscuous or perhaps too sexually responsive. The Magdalene homes were still in existence where girls and women were incarcerated often for life for being bad girls, for showing signs of sexual interest or independence. Other women were incarcerated in asylums for being sexual in a society that dismissed any idea of a women being other than sexually passive. Now the same ideas that allowed this abuse toward women is re appearing in the context of a new ideology that confuses women who use sex for financial reward as victims or as collaborators to male exploitation. Once more the sexual woman is to be controlled as dangerous to the safe controlled model of femininity remodelled for a radical feminist agenda.
Radicalism as expressed by its exponents such as Finn MacKay has corrupted the idealism and hopes expressed in feminism into a simplistic and absolutist dogma to provide easy digestible answers to complex moral and social issues. Idealism has been murdered by ambition and what is left is being corrupted by power. An emerging rescue industry to deal with a very real issue of trafficking in human beings for exploitation has been infiltrated. Radical feminists have high jacked and corrupted this very real issue of abuse by confusing sex work with objectification, and misogyny. It is part of our job as sex worker activists to reclaim feminism and to reunite with the struggle for sexual liberation not only in the bedroom and the board room but of the mind.
And so Finn MacKay calling me a pimp and failing to understand the reason why I and other sex workers are proud to be called whores reflects so much about your confusion. Whore is a word with a rich heritage. Ishtar the great mother was the whore and the compassionate Goddess and she was also the great destroyer. If whore was a title good enough for the great mother then it is good enough for me.

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This entry was posted on 19 January, 2010 by in Uncategorized.
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