I am for the legalization of women selling their bodies for sex
I am against making buying women’s bodies for sex legal
only 10% of people arrested for prostitution are actually johns. they are the most silent and unnoticed criminal scum bags in this debate about legalization or legitimization. once again, the sex industry is about the women, not the men who are “buying” women.
johns are the ones who are raping women, beating women, killing women, using women, torturing women, dehumanizing women
as a marxist, I am for a just society where women do not need to sell their bodies to feed their families or themselves, to pay rent, to stay out of jail etc
as a marxist, I am for a just society where men view women as equal partners in life and as dignified, sovereign human beings
as a marxist, I am against all forms of violence against female sex workers. however, I am also against violence against all women under patriarchy. the sex industry is violence against all women, not just women engaged in sex work. it markets women (all women) as meat and as orifices, as your male violent fantasy to fuck on demand so long as you pay her (or even not, as so often happens when males do not pay). this adds to the most sinister lie: that women are commodities and attainable in a market, which is theoretically everywhere. men believe they can own women, that women have a price, that you can steal women or trade women or break women as if they are merchandise.
I was walking down the street this evening and saw a man following a woman who was wearing a dress and high heels and walking quickly. she was almost in tears, confused and afraid. he was following her, panting, wallet out: how much baby? how much? she’s saying, no no no. he’s following her: do you think you’re too good for me? fuck you bitch. tell me how much. perhaps this woman was a sex worker, perhaps she is just a woman walking down the street. but the violent, hostile, entitled attitude from the man was a pure result of a society that treats women as pieces of meat that can be bought, that can be yours, but most importantly, as pieces of meat, not fully human. of course this is an attitude that needs to be changed. of course this cannot be done by legitimizing, condoning, or even legalizing his hostile, violent, entitled attitude that tells him he can buy women.
Anti-prostitution from a Marxist perspective. Very interesting.
Prostitution is NOT “selling their bodies” nor is it people “buying” those bodies. Sex work is the selling of sex, it’s the selling of a service, it’s the selling of a relationship, it’s the selling of an experience. The sex worker always and forever maintains and retains hir body. The people who use sex work are not purchasing bodies, they do not gain or control or own another person’s body. They might sometimes violate those people and their bodies, they might rape, mutilate, and destroy those people and their bodies but they damn sure aren’t “buying” them and separating sex workers as people from their bodies is a pretty fucked up thing to do. Everyone NEEDS to STOP spreading this bullshit about sex workers “selling their bodies,” it’s a completely hateful, erasing, disrespectful, objectifying, misogynistic, and fucked up thing to say. You’re not helping anything when you say shit like that. In fact, you’re treating the sex workers the same way you’re accusing the johns of treating them. You’re part of the problem when you say shit like that.
The thing about competition is that there has to be losers. You can’t have competition without losers just like you can’t have competition without winners. That’s how competition works. And sometimes that’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with having winners and losers in sports. There’s nothing wrong with having winners and losers when it comes to achievement type things like writing the best paper, reading the most books, or creating the best solution to a problem.
But there’s a lot wrong with having a competitive system set up for society as a whole. In a competitive economy there has to be winners and losers. That means that in order for there to be rich there has to be poor. That means that poor people aren’t just lazy, worthless, drains on the system. Poor people exist precisely because of they system, they allow the system to work. The system needs poor people in order to survive, in order to keep on churning out rich people.
In a competitive educational system there also has to be winners and losers. That means some schools and educators will be the best the world has ever seen and some schools and educators will be so atrociously terrible that it’s a crime against humanity that they even exist at all. That’s how competition works. You can’t have one without the other; it’s literally impossible to have winners without losers in a competition. The system requires those losers or it can’t have the winners.
We need to stop lying, to each other and ourselves, about what competition really does. Social competition doesn’t spur people to greatness, it simply creates winners on the backs of the losers. It’s simply not possible for everyone to be a winner in a competitive economy or a competitive educational system, it’s only possible for some people, industries, and schools to be exceptional and for some to be sub par. So let’s be honest about that. Let’s stop blaming the individual people who end up poor or who end up forced into shitty schools where they have no opportunity to obtain a legitimate, quality education because it is literally not their fault. The system needs them, the system creates them, the system manufactures them just as surely as the system manufactures every success story there is.
We don’t live in a world where we all either succeed or fail together. We live in a world where it is necessary that some people must fail just so some people will have the chance to succeed. It’s the system that’s the problem, not the people, so stop blaming them and start actually working on the problem. A lack of competition in the educational system, for instance, where all schools are required to be equally wonderful or equally awful could actually provide the necessary motivation we need as a society to create schools, educators, curricula, and methodologies that actually benefit everybody in the best way possible. Imagine how phenomenal this country could be if all schools either failed or succeeded together? And imagine if rather than blaming all the poor people for their poverty we simply owned up to the fact that they must exist in order for anyone to succeed, that the system of economic competition so many people in this country cherish necessarily creates them and their poverty. In such a world we might be far more willing and able to not only respect those people for their sacrifices but to give them the resources they need to live (adequate food, housing, health care, child care, etc). After all, nothing can exist without them. Poor people are necessary to the functioning of the American economy. Without them there can be no winners, no wealth, no success.
- Less than 2% of human illnesses (1.16%) are ever seen in animals. Over 98% never affect animals.
- According to the former scientific executive of Huntingdon Life Sciences, animal tests and human results agree “5%-25% of the time.”
- Among the hundreds of techniques available instead of animal experiments, cell culture toxicology methods give accuracy rates of 80-85%
- 92% of drugs passed by animal tests immediately fail when first tried on humans because they’re useless, dangerous or both.
- The two most common illnesses in the Western world are lung cancer from smoking and heart disease. Neither can be reproduced in lab animals.
- A 2004 survey of doctors in the UK showed that 83% wanted a independent scientific evaluation of whether animal experiments had relevance to human patients. Less than 1 in 4 (21%) had more confidence in animal tests than in non-animal methods.
- Rats are 37% effective in identifying what causes cancer to humans – less use than guessing. The experimenters said: “we would have been better off to have tossed a coin.”
- Rodents are the animals almost always used in cancer research. They never get carcinomas, the human form of cancer, which affects membranes (eg lung cancer). Their sarcomas affect bone and connective tissue: the two are completely different.
- The results from animal tests are routinely altered radically by diet, light, noise, temperature, lab staff and bedding. Bedding differences caused cancer rates of over 90% and almost zero in the same strain of mice at different labs.
- Sex differences among lab animals can cause contradictory results. This does not correspond with humans.
- 75% of side effects identified in animals never occur.
- Over half of side effects cannot be detected in lab animals.
- Vioxx was shown to protect the heart of mice, dogs, monkeys and other lab animals. It was linked to heart attacks and strokes in up to 139,000 humans.
- Genetically modified animals are not like humans. The mdx mouse is supposed to have muscular dystrophy, but the muscles regenerate with no treatment.
- GM animal the CF- mouse never gets fluid infections in the lungs – the cause of death for 95% of human cystic fibrosis patients.
- In America, 106,000 deaths a year are attributed to reactions to medical drugs.
- Each year 2.1 million Americans are hospitalised by medical treatment.
- In the UK an estimated 70,000 people are killed or severely disabled every year by unexpected reactions to drugs. All these drugs have passed animal tests.
- In the UKs House Of Lords questions have been asked regarding why unexpected reactions to drugs (which passed animal tests) kill more people than cancer.
- A German doctors’ congress concluded that 6% of fatal illnesses and 25% of organic illness are caused by medicines. All have been animal tested.
- According to a thorough study, 88% of stillbirths are caused by drugs which passed animal tests.
- 61% of birth defects were found to have the same cause.
- 70% of drugs which cause human birth defects are safe in pregnant monkeys.
- 78% of foetus-damaging chemicals can be detected by one non-animal test.
- Thousands of safe products cause birth defects in lab animals – including water, several vitamins, vegetable oils, oxygen and drinking waters. Of more than 1000 substances dangerous in lab animals, over 97% are safe in humans.
- One of the most common lifesaving operation (for ectopic pregnancies) was delayed 40 years by vivisection.
- The great Dr Hadwen noted “had animal experiments been relied upon…humanity would have been robbed of this great blessing of anaesthesia.”
- Aspirin fails animal tests, as do digitalis (heart drug), cancer drugs, insulin (which causes animal birth defects), penicillin and other safe medicines. They would be banned if vivisection were believed.
- Blood transfusions were delayed 200 years by animal studies.
- The polio vaccine was delayed 40 years by monkey tests.
- 30 HIV vaccines, 33 spinal cord damage drugs, and over 700 treatments for stroke have been developed in animals. None work in humans.
- Despite many Nobel prizes going to vivisectors, only 45% agree that animal experiments are crucial.
- The Director of Research Defence Society, (which serves only to defend vivisection) was asked if medical progress could have been achieved without animal use. His written reply was “I am sure it could be.”
I have no problem with working to stop animal testing, but this stuff doesn’t exist in a vacuum and discussing it like it does doesn’t help anything.
For starters I honestly don’t even think animal testing is a problem in and of itself, I think an overall lack of compassion and respect within the medical industrial complex combined with an overall lack of respect for all life instead of just the lives a few people consider valuable and important is the problem. If we actually lived in a world where compassion and respect were not only valued but considered the most significant aspects of all actions and decisions and where non-human animals were seen as peers instead of tools and where all humans were all seen as equally valuable instead of the hatefully misogynistic and white supremacist world we live in now where certain people are considered less valuable or less human than others I think there’d be far fewer issues within the world of medical testing as a whole.
Beyond that the issues within the medical industrial complex as a whole need to be addressed, just dealing with animal testing atrocities won’t fix anything, won’t change anything, won’t make life better for anyone. If we’re not testing on non-human animals then we’re testing on humans. If we’re testing on humans what humans are we testing on? Are we testing indiscriminately in everyone considering that all of us benefit both directly and indirectly from any and all medical advances? Or are we testing on the “undesirables” of society - poor people who need the money handed out for studies and therefore are willing to compromise their safety for it, prisoners who have no rights and are believed by many to deserve no rights, the elderly and infirm who are considered to be unimportant and burdensome - people who will never have any opportunity to benefit from the treatments that are being developed at the cost of their lives? And what are we doing the research and testing for? Are we pumping billions upon billions into solving problems than can turn huge profits and only in ways that can and will turn huge profits for drug companies and doctors while literally ignoring anything that’s not profitable because it’s considered less valuable regardless of any other benefits or needs? Are we creating treatments that can only be utilized by the incredibly wealthy and powerful or are we actually creating options that will benefit everyone? And where do these treatments come from? Do they come from imperialist practices that destroy and appropriate other cultures and other nations as though those people don’t matter and don’t have/deserve rights?
These issues are all interconnected. If you’re only looking at one thing then you’re missing everything else and you’re absolutely helping to perpetuate all those other problems with your myopic nonsense.
I’ve spent a lot of time unemployed during this shitty recession and I’ve spent ALL of it underemployed looking for something better. During the times I was unemployed I applied for, on average, 3-5 jobs a day. A day. My longest stretch of unemployment was 3 months. That means I applied for something like 300+ jobs before I found
permanent employment someone willing to hire me and it’s still a job that I’m woefully overqualified for and woefully underpaid for the work required/expected of me. And throughout that entire stretch of unemployment I heard shit from my parents like “when are you going to get serious about looking for a job?!” As though it was seriously 100% my fault and I just wasn’t doing enough and if I was just “more serious” I’d have no problem finding something which, of course, everyone who’s actually lived through this shit knows isn’t true but they’re drinking the kool-aid like it’s water and believing that’s exactly how it is so they treat me like shit. They’re still doing it. I recently lost one of my two jobs and the other day my dad said “this is really important, get a job!” as though somehow I didn’t realize that or just wasn’t taking things seriously and him being a dick to me will fix everything because the problem is really just that I’m some spoiled brat who needs some “tough love” to turn it all around. As though I somehow just want to keep living in abject poverty getting paid $240 a week for the entire rest of my life until I die in my 30s from an abscessed tooth since I can’t afford dental care let alone basic medical care. Because it’s easier to blame the people who are suffering under an oppressive system than it is for them to actually open their eyes and recognize not only how broken everything is but also how much they benefit from and contribute to that system which is directly causing so much misery. That way they can sleep at night and look at themselves in the mirror in the morning without qualms while the rest of us are forced to live with the consequences of their willful ignorance and broken logic.
As debates about raising taxes on the rich and/or cutting social programs continue, Gretchen Morgenson at the New York Times has offered a summary of a study of the realities of executive compensation of the companies in the Standard and Poor’s Top 500 stock index. It’s revealing. You can read it here.
Before offering a take on Morgenson’s points, it is perhaps worth reminding ourselves that finance companies—the folks who invented the over leveraged house of cards that collapsed starting in 2007—have been restored to vast profitability on the backs of US taxpayer loans. It is also worth reminding ourselves that industry in general—not just the finance system—justifies its compensation practices on the grounds that they are essential to recruiting and keeping talented executives.
- Total compensation for companies in the S&P 500 increased 13.9% in 2010; 2591 executives at 483 companies (all records were available for) made $14.3 billion. That is approximately the GDP of Tajikistan, a country with 7 million people. [PP: That’s about $5.5m per executive.]
- 158 companies paid more to their executives than they did to their accounting firms for audits.
- 32 companies paid more to their executives than they paid in cash taxes.
- 179 companies raised executive compensation even as average stock value fell 2008-10.
- At 24 companies, cash compensation exceeded 2% of the company’s net incomes from continuing operations. The most notable case was the healthcare company Allergan Inc., whose top executives received 50% of the company’s continuing operations earnings.
- Median executive pay was 5.3% of the company’s budget for research and development. Over the past 4 years, the electronics manufacturer Jabil Circuits, averaged executive compensation that was 57.2% of its R&D budget.
- 11 companies paid their executives an average of 1% or more of their market capitalization. The mutual fund company, the Janus Group, averaged almost 2% of its market capitalization; its stocks were flat in 2010 and have fallen 30% in 2011.
- The shareholders at only 34 companies, or 2% of the total, have rejected their executive compensation plans.
But remember, it’s the Unions that are a drain on productivity.
I remember when Ben and Jerry’s tried the whole compassionate/responsible business model thing years ago (in the 90’s I think?). They said that their CEO would never make more than 7x the salary of their lowest paid employee. If we assume that their lowest paid employee made minimum wage such a salary is really not that big when compared with other CEOs even though 7x is a large ratio. They tried it and they went through an inordinate amount of CEOs in a brief period of time because, apparently, in a capitalist society those with the best abilities want the best pay so the only people willing to work for the comparatively low salary Ben and Jerry’s was offering were people who were really not good enough to hold a CEO position. They ended up having to forgo the whole 7x thing and raise the salary of their CEO position in order to get people worth having and that was pretty much the end of it. But it shouldn’t have been.
If they as a company noted that they needed to raise the salary of their CEO in order to get good workers why didn’t they also raise the minimum salary of those at the bottom? The same logic should (in theory) hold true for those at the top and the bottom so you’re more likely to get better entry-level workers if you pay them more just as you’re more likely to get better executive workers if you pay them more. Imagine if they kept the ratio and then paid their entry level employees 1/7 of whatever their CEO was making. That’s a helluva revolutionary concept and I seriously doubt there’s an issue of Ben and Jerry’s being able to afford to pay the money (it’s more a question of do they want to cut into their profits that much). And I’d even accept a lesser ratio. We could go with 10:1 instead of 7:1 and still be in a reasonable range. If the minimum salary for employees is $15/hr then the maximum salary could be over $300,000/year which is actually in the range for executive positions right now (I think).
But, sadly, at the end of the day this is really not an issue for most corporations because they can get away with paying their lower level employees next to nothing. Low level workers don’t have bargaining power all by themselves and must accept whatever terms the boss is willing to allow because having a poorly paying job is better than having no job at all. Meanwhile, an executive with plenty of money already backing hir can negotiate because there’s no fear of not having a job, of not having enough money to pay for the basic needs that could otherwise have to be forfeited without the work.
I have this problem at my job right now. I make $10/hour* for legitimately skilled labor (I’m a music teacher for kids between the ages of 1 and 3). I know damn well that my time, experience, skills and abilities (not to mention the training and education that went into making me qualified for such a position) are worth a helluva lot more than $10/hour but I’d already been looking for a “real” job (something in my field, something other than retail or waitressing, etc) for 6 months when I found this one and I was up against 6 other equally qualified people during the application/interview process. I had absolutely no room to negotiate something better because I needed this job with it’s shitty pay more than I needed the basic respect of being paid what I’m worth for my time and efforts.
But capitalism works, right? Because an employer who doesn’t treat hir employees well won’t have employees because they’ll just quit and go work for the competition, right? Hrm, then I wonder how this situation became a reality for myself and millions of others like me …
*For the record the owner of the place I work for makes about $2000/week off of my labor while paying me less than $100/week for it.