Thursday, April 30, 2009

SexWorkers and QueerFemmes: Dressed like a hooker and loving every bit of it.

I've been worrying about feminists whose politics stop short when it comes to sex worker rights. When talking about sex work, I want to replace terms of victimization and moral judgement with efforts toward labour rights and pro-choice attitudes. Who's with me?

Lovely Lady A. brilliantly writes: "i think, on a basic level, both sex workers and queerfeemes are devalued b/c of their undesirable (or rather extremely desirable?) performances of femininity. words that come to mind are: slut, bitch, loose, immoral, immodest, scandalous--not the kind of femininity that is accepted (i.e. desirable--or rather extremely undesirable), such as nice blouses and skirts from the softer side of sears."

Reluctance to be identified as someone who “dresses like a hooker” underscores an anti-sexworker stance. Number 1: There ain’t anything wrong with hookers so, Number 2: There ain’t anything wrong with “looking like” one. Can we please stop defining sex work within puritanical, patriarchal discourses of morality?

Who decided that clothing is always a measure/representation/expression of sexuality in the first place? Maybe a short skirt is no more/less sexual than a veil or a "softer-side-of-sears blouse." Maybe it’s more about our baggage—the stuff we associate with these items and choices of clothing that’s the problem. Maybe there’s a function to a short skirt that involves something other than sex and if/where it’s intended to involve sex then three cheers for that too!

It’s from a place of queerfemmery that I feel a responsibility and desire to be a sexworker activist/ally and to acknowledge, voice, and take pride in my own participation and complicity in ranging aspects of sexwork. Sex work, to me, is a form of labour that--like many other kinds of work--makes visible the interconnectedness of gender, body, race, class, etc. politics, privileges, and oppressions. I see sex work as an enormous and important industry. I value the labour of sex workers. This is NOT about morality. To admonish sex workers in any way, including, of course, clothing choices, is to link arms with those who want to police and regulate "moral" codes for femininity.

Lastly (for now), my body labours for wages everyday in my work as a teacher (and sometimes I wear short skirts while earning my state dollars). I "use" my body to do this work and I get paid for its use. I even get health insurance and summers off. So why don't sex workers get to share the same benefits? Right, we're trapped in the puritanically-collared land of the "free."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Open-carry debates: How many more brain cells can we afford to lose?

Oh I've just fucking had it with this open-carry bullshit I keep hearing on public radio. I am ANTI-OPEN-CARRY. I wish gun owners had their own planet where they could hunt and kill among themselves. Participants in today's debates argued the following offensive points:

1) If we ban guns we should ban pit bull terriers also.
2) It's not an open-carry law that's the problem, it's that people react to seeing guns out in public that messes shit up. You see, if only people wouldn't call the cops and get worried every time they saw someone carrying a gun, there wouldn't be problem with open-carry.

Are you kidding me? Where am I? Who are we? How did guns become a fashion accessory? Or an animal-like companion? These arguments are so depressing I don't even want to fashion a smart response.

Well here's this:

And this:

And I'm calling it a day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Mander on Mandals

A big shout out to fashion spotter of the week, The Manderpants, who texted me from the airport at 7:47am with the first socks-and-sandals sighting of 2009.

Friends, this is an epidemic. Protect yourselves. Remember my words: Socks plus sandals equals scandals. Let's enjoy a scandals-free summer. Yes we can.