In yesterday’s post, I made a deliberate point of saying that I wasn’t going to go into detail about specific steps for Feministe and other sites to improve their relationships with sex work communities. As I said, there’s already enough non-sex workers talking about what sex workers need. But I think that reading Olive Seraphim’s “How to Be a Feminist Ally to Sex Workers” would be a good first step for the Feministe staff. The excerpt below seems particularly germane. And like most good things, it doesn’t apply only to sex workers, or feminists.
Acknowledge how feminism actively pushes sex workers out of feminist spaces
A non-sex worker said to me the other day something feminists have been saying to women they’re trying to silence for years; but your analysis isn’t nuanced! (Insert whatever excuse to ignore our perspective you like, as there are many feminists like to use against us and this is but one example). Of course, this is actually code for; I don’t like what you’re saying so I’d rather shut you out of the conversation completely by getting an academic who has no experience with what you’re saying to word things in such a way that you can’t understand them while complicating the issue into a philosophical argument so we don’t need to address the real life shit you have to deal with on a daily basis. Feminism needs to stop being academic to the exclusion of everyone else, especially if you take privilege theory seriously and realize that those with intersecting identities may well have had less access to education than your privileged ass.