@helix Thanks so much for sharing! I don't know if this is helpful, but I want to offer my perspective, as someone who works with commercially sexually exploited children (teen girls and older children who were coerced into sex work)/someone who dearly loves and is very close to current sex workers, strippers, pro-dommes and phone sex talkers who do their work willingly and who largely enjoy what they do very much/someone who is currently dating and has dated lovely, sensitive, caring, self-reflective feminist men who have paid for sex in the past. Sex work is complicated- some people are forced into it and it live through terrible trauma, some people love the shit out of their work (I know significantly more sex workers who like their work than I know people who enjoy their work in food service), and some people approach the work pragmatically and see it as a means to an end but they neither like it or dislike the actual work any more or less than a bored tax accountant might. I don't dare speak for all sex workers, especially since I've never been one myself, but what I hear as a common experience amongst sex workers is the stigma they face in their work and the violence (psychological as well as physical) that they are subject to based on that stigma. I would hazard a guess that part of that stigma arises from the idea that the work that they do is often held in our minds apart from all other kids of work- whether it's from peeps who are scandalized by sex outside of marriage and love or people who think that the fact that there might be some unequal power relations in sex work transactions are somehow different than the millions of other unequal power transactions we participate in on a daily basis in other ways (buying sweatshop clothes/eating food harvested by undocumented migrants subject to terrible working conditions/paying a nanny to watch our bad-ass kids which means she isn't at home getting to be with her own children even though she really wants to be etc etc etc) I've really learned a lot about this from the writings of Laura Agustin, who has researched extensively about women who engage in sex work transnationally. I'd also check out the ideas of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence for very nuanced discussion of sex work as well.
So I humbly offer this perspective- definitely rooted in the idea of ethics as mentioned by someone else above: Your partner was lonely, and he paid someone to perform a service for him. My partner wasn't lonely, he was curious, and he thought the sex worker was beautiful and she invited him back to her room so he went. What matters the most is not what service it was, but HOW everyone participated in the transaction. Did he respect the sex workers' boundaries? Did he clearly communicate what he expected beforehand and listen as the sex worker explained her expectations as well? If there was no communication, how does he feel about that? What's behind that silence in this scenario? Do they believe that people who engage in this work are somehow less than those of us who have not? Why or why not? The answers to those (and many more) questions are what makes the people we love who've paid for sex who they are, NOT the very fact that they've paid for sex. Assuming otherwise goes down a slippery slope of ignoring sex workers' agency, autonomy and right to decide what to do with their own bodies and be respected and SAFE as they go about their work.
Okay, rant over. ;) Thanks for reading.
@frigwiggin Or other election-themed cartoons! "Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos."
I voted! Took 40 minutes because the poll worker gave one guy two of the same pages so everything had to come to a screeching halt for a few minutes.
Also last week I made my Girl Scouts (15 years old) research a woman running for federal office, and we had a great conversation about how you research a candidate, how you determine if they're a party ideologue or actually care about their constituency, what kinds of leadership skills they exhibited - I am so excited for them to vote in 2016 and they are so excited about civics, I love them.
I voted! I had to drive two hours out to my tiny super-conservative hometown outside of the city I live in to do it, but I did! Even though my tiny vote will be lost like a drop in a bucket, but whatever, I did my civic duty!
And my work pays for time spent voting! And it's my birthday woo! And I'm planning to spend tonight making a huge pot of soup while watching the election results! Here's hoping...
Dropped off our ballots on Saturday. Two votes for Obama/Biden and to approve same sex marriage in WA state! So nervous and excited for the results!
I went as a liberal feminist environmentalist.
"This word inflation is a gigantic cultural problem, and its implications are enormous."
IT'S OKAY, I'VE GOT THIS, I AM A LINGUIST.
But that's the thing, it's not hurting anything! It's totally not! It's seriously not hurting ANYTHING. It's been going on since the dawn of language and we're all still cool.
And my professional opinion is that language is fun and we should all keep playing with it.