Weekly Round Up and Open Thread

// 6 December 2010

Welcome to this week’s Weekly Round Up and Open Thread!

Support service for LGBT asylum seekers set up in Scotland

Season 1 of Vag Magazine wraps up – the cupcakes!

The Other F-Word: The Disappearance of Feminism from Our Fiction

Erasure of women in the games industry

Taking the Buffy idea to the next level?

Forty years after the first Disability Discrimination Act was introduced, disabled people still face discrimination

Boss in Norway requires menstruating employees to wear red bracelets.

The vagina dialogues

The Liberal Democrats’ Latest U-Turn: Equal Pay

5 reasons why sex worker’s rights matter for all of us

Is this a joke? Or is it real? I have no idea, but it’s ‘Vulva Original: Scent of a Vagina’

Hedy Lamarr was an actor, a star and an inventor. Slightly annoying headline, interesting story

Anarchism vs. feminism?

Where Are the Women in Chanukah?

Sexting teens being prosecuted for making child pornography

Education for Choice desperately seeking funds

Internet jokester strikes again

And if you are bored of the X Factor and want to show it here’s the way The twitter feed is also worth a look.

As always feel free to post anything that has caught your eye or you think other feminists need to know about.

Comments From You

George // Posted 7 December 2010 at 10:31 am

Oh Jesus H. Christmas Tree, that Vulva Original website just scared the hell out of me! A cartoon nose with a hard-on? Sniffing bicycle seats? “smellmeand.com”? ARGH GET ME OUT OF HERE.

maggie // Posted 7 December 2010 at 2:18 pm

Thanks for the link to the sex workers rights. Having read it, I still feel uncomfortable with the rights issue as it seems I’m somehow legitimising the trafficking of women or those who are forced into prostitution.

Why should tax payers fund this (bills of rights are expensive as is the policing of those rights) so that men can get what is deemed their ‘legal right’ to have sex on demand?

I know my views are controversial but I’m just fed up cowtowing to the bloody patriarchy.

Shinila Bakar // Posted 7 December 2010 at 11:01 pm


It’s very feminist to not want to legalise the purchasing of women. It’s not something I like debating to be honest, no matter how feminist i’m told I’m not for wanting prostitution to remain illegal . It just feels warped to be shouting along with the ’empowerfulising’ liberals/ i.e. patriarchy.

I feel the feminists trying to legalise prostitution should at least acknowledge the dodgy legal purchasing of people they’re campaigning for – but they often don’t, they more or less shout feminists down.

I say don’t let any liberals intimidate you into feeling you’re unfeminist for not singing along with the song of the patriarchy wrapped up in feminist language. Typical liberals usually have women’s rights last on the agenda for a patriarchal reason. Their aim of legalising prostitution is no different.

Sometimes just because a plane is flying out of formation doesn’t mean it’s not on the right course. don’t listen to the liberals/ freedom of choice/ empowerfulising campaigners on their soapboxes. If you feel something doesn’t sit right, there’s probably a reason for that.

Julie // Posted 8 December 2010 at 12:23 am

I am against criminalising of sex workers, and against the harassment of them by the police and by punters. Rape against sex workers should be treated as rape. I am for the decriminalisation of the sex industry.

I do have a problem with the idea of legalising sex work. As I do not believe it is a job like any other. The very act of a man buying a woman to have sex with reinforces and compounds women’s oppression. It reinforces the notion that women are objects for men to consume. To illustrate my point just look at the double standard if women have many sexual partners, women are allowed to be sexy i.e. passive, but face disapproval if they are sexual and want to act upon their desires. I do not want to see the sex industry advertised on television, or on billboards, or in jobcentres, where unemployed women could be pressurised into taking these jobs.

Denny // Posted 8 December 2010 at 12:47 pm

Julie, Shinila, Maggie, I totally agree with your interesting comments.

I too want sex workers to be safe, and not be criminalised. But even with all the safeguards and rights anyone can dream up, that will still be a horrible, dangerous way to earn money. (Okay, yes, that’s just my opinion, other people may not see it as horrible) And the legalised right to purchase another human being as any other commodity just sticks in my craw.

I think real empowerment would be empowering girls and women so they can have real choices, real alternatives and don’t have to become sex workers in the first place, if they don’t want to.

Shinila Bakar // Posted 8 December 2010 at 5:09 pm

Eloquent post Julie. If only every person for decriminilising the industry also spoke of the obvious problems with legalising this purchase of women.

“I do not want to see the sex industry advertised on television, or on billboards, or in jobcentres, where unemployed women could be pressurised into taking these jobs.”

It’s kind of like this more or less goes hand in hand with the legalising of prostitution. There are loads of ways to protect sex workers – e.g. decriminilising sex workers entirely, criminilising the punters, without making the purchasing of women legal.

polly // Posted 8 December 2010 at 10:19 pm

It’s probably worth clarifiying that selling sex is legal in England and Wales – as long as you’re over the age of consent. What isn’t legal are various associated activities, but selling sex itself is perfectly legal.

Shinila Bakar // Posted 9 December 2010 at 5:51 pm

Polly, prostitution itself isn’t technically legal, it’s not legally condoned by the state. albeit unless you’re poor and on the streets the police ignore it.

Let’s not forget that prostitution in any form is pay per rape. Do we consider consent as the woman choosing who she has sex with? Should women be allowed to scrap consent to earn money (aka prostitution, pay per rape)?

Rape shouldn’t be legalised or condoned by the state, and i think our current law says the law doesn’t condone it. But it doesn’t intervene. No matter who its protecting to legalise it, you have to see it as what it is – condoned pay per rape. Just understand the system to see it’s not liberating at all for women who partake the work under whichever circumstances. I won’t accept debate around rape. Whether a woman permits rape to earn money. Liberals hate women as much as the most stringent right wing idiots, putting them last on every agenda.

It makes me angry to hear liberals talk about prostitution as liberating – it’s pay per rape. Let’s make torture legal so we protect the people who volunteer to get tortured. Makes sense no?

Can we start seeing the forest in spite of the trees?

Julie // Posted 10 December 2010 at 12:30 am

Shinila, thank you for the complimenting my post

It always makes me roll my eyes, when I hear some people argue that sex work is ‘liberating’. If a customer is paying a woman for sex than the deal is: He pays her, she performs a service on him/for him and he goes home. Her sexual pleasure does not come into it. She is there as a commodity. And to be honest whether a woman actually gets sexual pleasure doing sex work (I expect very few of them do) is incidental. Sexual liberation is about having sex because you want to, not because you are financially compelled. A woman cannot be giving free and equal consent to have sex if the other person is renting her body by the hour.

I think the voices critical of sex work in the media are getting louder, which is extremely welcome.

One thing I would be careful of though, is the idea of criminalising punters. I am against criminalising punters because that will make conditions more dangerous for female sex workers. If punters are scared of being arrested they will go kerbcrawling in even more remote, badly lit areas. The women will follow them as they will be desperate to earn some money.

saranga // Posted 12 December 2010 at 12:23 pm

oh thank you so much for linking to vulva original! I’ver just been laughing my head off for 10 minutes about that, it’t hilarious! and then i watched the movie!

bwa ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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