Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ginmar the Religious Fundamentalist

So, there was this really awesome woman who makes her living as a sex worker. She had a blog where she talked about her life, which consisted of a lot more than just her job. One day, on that blog, she mentioned the fact that she has had the rather painful experience of getting her nose broken. Of those four times, none of them were related to her job as a sex worker. However, one of these times was the result of being a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her (female) partner. Fortunately, her job as a sex worker provided her with the funds to escape from her abusive partner and, to me, that is a very good thing.

Fast forward to today. On a certain completely unrelated blog, someone decided to claim that the above awesome woman had her nose broken because she is a sex worker. Can you see the difference between the two versions? The person who experienced it expressed what happened to her. The other person--who has never even been in the same room as the woman--read about what happened to her and then claimed that this abuse was a result of being a sex worker.

Now, even without the names, I think it's pretty easy to see that there is something very wrong with a person who would blame a woman for being the victim of domestic violence. Now, what if this very same individual was a self-identified "radical feminist"? Would that make their "blame the victim" tactics any more excusable or would it add an extra layer of hypocrisy to the already unethical (and disgusting) behavior?

Now that you know the facts, you're ready to hear the details:

I love how the truth changes when it suits people...

You know, coming from a fundamentalist cult background as I do, when I read Ginmar's comments, I was more than a little taken aback by how what she said is the exact same argument they used to exert control over women's behavior:

If you're not engaging in behavior that supports the group's cause, then whatever negative thing that befalls you is the result of your disobedience to the rules for proper conduct. I just wanted to point that out.



Renegade Evolution said...

hugs :) thnx

Daisy said...

I was floored by her comments, when I read them. All I could do is say, hey, that simply isn't true.

Certain women noticeably suspend their feminism when it comes time to assign SLUT status to women they don't approve of...

Crys T said...

OMG, THANK YOU for posting this! I've been seeing veiled references to some "sex worker who's had her nose broken 4 times" and, as the author intended me to, assumed that this had happened as a consequence of the sex work.

You know, I do have serious objections to the "it's empowerful!" arguments, but deceptive tactics like Ginmar's and that whole racist episode of Heart's really, REALLY make me not want to put myself in their camp.

Trinity said...

Crys T, I'm not sure what you may or may not have read of Ren's blog before, but I think if you do you might find her comments about sex work being OR NOT BEING "empowering" a bit more nuanced than "It's empowerful!"

Honestly I think that's often a strawman. I do think the media talks like that and interviews some rather breezy people for some rather breezy pieces it calls "feminist," but I've rarely (hell, never) seen a sex worker, even a happy one like Ren, say that the job is always awesome in that kind of perky, "sparkly" tone people like Gin and others often impute to them.

Crys T said...

Trinity: I've never read Ren's blog at all. I was referring to some of the other people I've had the discussion with. Sorry for not clarifying that.

I wasn't trying to stir anything up, just wanting to thank Bint Alshamsa for pointing out a repellant piece of distortion & manipulation on Ginmar's part.

ginmar said...

If you're intellectually honest, you'll update based on recent events. I'll be really curious as to what you do.

bint alshamsa said...


If there's something going on in your life that you want me to write about, then feel free to tell me about it. Your opinion about what I would do given a particular set of conditions is rather silly since you don't know what I would do in ANY situation.

Since I mentioned you, I want you to feel absolutely free to respond to what I've written here. I'll almost certainly approve the comment. I have only removed about a handful of comments from My Private Casbah in the years since I started it. If you think what I have here is somehow intellectually dishonest, you're welcome to state why you feel that way.