Friday, July 31, 2009

Without Class Analysis You Are Not Getting the Full Picture

Annie Oakley asserts that she has been a feminist since she knew the meaning of the term, and this feminism infuses all of her work; she has always been a feminist sex worker, and she defies anyone to challenge that. Further, her relationship to sex work incorporates a capitalist critique that is often overlooked or undertheorized even from within feminism. She reminds me that “In a capitalist system, ALL work is economic coercion.” From there, she explored ways of making sex work less oppressively exploitative for sex workers, and then critiqued the proliferation of pro-pleasure language that too often enters feminist debates about sex work. Sex work is just that, “work” and sex workers do not work for their pleasure, they work for the pay. When the feminist debate surrounding sex work is characterized as a polarity between censorship and pleasure, it cannot accurately account for sex workers’ experiences of the sex industry. There is more “work” in sex work than many feminists recognize, and a capitalist analysis might be more beneficial than one of pleasure.

Feminist Review: The Sex Workers’ Art Show: Abbey Pub, 3/1/2007

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