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blue-voids:

Lynda Howitt - oil on canvas and board

(via kimberslay)

youdontlooklikeafeminist:

This comic is from robot hugs! Below is the text that was featured with the comic:

I had the amazing privilege to get some time to collaborate with Vex, a wickedly smart and wonderfully funny woman who worked as a dancer and escort in Canada from 2000 – 2008. Vex has asked that we don’t use her name or other identifying details.

This strip took me forever and I hope you all like it because I think my hand will probably fall off now.

Transcript below:

I used to live next to a strip club.

It was mostly unremarkable, apart from a few interactions…

Drunk Guy: hey….hey…isz this where the shtrippers live?

What I remember most was the things I’d hear people saying from the street below:

Guys:

“Those girls were fucking nasty, man”

“…ugliest strippers I ever saw… well, there was that one butterface”

“bunch of pathetic sluts, almost felt sorry for them”

This was so confusing.

RH:

Look, it’s 2am, you’ve clearly been there all night. You, you I see around, you visit this place at least semi-frequently. You’ve all invested time and money into this experience, what the hell do you get out of talking like this?

—-

Even more weird was the posturing, public nature of this performance. While there’s a lot of men who visit these clubs and end their night saying…

Guy:

That was a fun evening!

or maybe

Guy:

That kind of sucked. I don’t think I’ll go back.

——-

… what is the particular motivation behind the guys who react like this?:

Guy:

You can just tell they’re ALL riddled with herpes!

—–

A large part of it is clearly due to a social stigma against sex work and sex workers.

Woman:

Sweetheart, you can’t wear that, you look like a streetwalker.

—–

But you’d think that someone who frequents strip clubs would be less likely to hold those views…

Vex:

Not necessarily!

RH:

Former sex worker and strip dancer Vex! Do you have some insight into this?

Vex:

I sure do!

—-

Vex:

Disclaimer: These are my views on my experiences in sex work! They don’t represent all sex workers, but they are common in community of professionals I am part of!

The clubs and agencies I worked at were staffed by women and had men as clients, so that’s the dynamic that I’ll be talking about.

—–

Vex:

One of my favourite things about working in clubs was how it INVERTS the power dynamic of the male gaze! Men have to pay the price – literally! – of sexualizing women, and women are the ones who benefit!

Person:

Wait a minute. I thought sex work was disempowering to women.

Vex:

Look, I’m not really going to get into this, but to put it very simply, when a woman is CHOOSING to do sex work and her work environment respects her agency, her time, and her decisions, sex work is just a job. I never found it disempowering, but I DID find a lot of people tried to disempower me because of my work.

—–

Vex:

OK, what happens in a strip club is basically this:

Do you want me to treat you like you’re the most interesting man in the world?

Do you want me to show off my body for you?

Do you want to touch me?

Do you want me to flirt with you, to whisper dirty things to you?

Do you want to catcall me and objectify me?

Do you want me to be your sexual fantasy?

——

Guys:

YES!

Vex:

Awesome! I take cash.

——

Strip clubs are places where sexual desire is a transaction! Where men have to pay ME, and play by my rules, for the privilege of a service. And my service at its most basic level is catering to a sexual fantasy and validating male desire!

But it’s a performance, in a specific environment, for compensation. And when we’re not engaged in that environment anymore…

——

guy:

That was fun. Want to come home with me?

Vex:

Eh, no thanks.

——-

Outside of my work, and outside of the transaction we’ve negotiated, I don’t owe patrons anything.

In my experience, the reminder that the sexual fantasy isn’t real, that the women who perform availability aren’t ACTUALLY available, that we aren’t ACTUALLY clamouring to be sexualized by men, that we control when the fantasy starts and stops, and that our performance is just that, a performance that requires compensation…

…well, some men find that hard to swallow.

—–

Guy:

You won’t even have a drink with me unless I pay you.

Vex:

Honey, that’s literally my job.

Guy:

That makes me sad.

Vex:

Then you are seriously in the wrong club.

—-

What’s weird is that we don’t expect this from other service workers:

Our therapists provide a compassionate, safe, friendly environment for us to feel supported in, but we don’t expect them to do that for free elsewhere…

Therapist:

I’m friendly, but I’m not your friend. Our relationship is limited to a particular context and to roles that we both play.

—-

We don’t expect actors to stay in character off the stage.

Person:

Macbeth?? Why are you dressed like that???

—-

And most servers aren’t that invested in whether you enjoy your meal.

Server:

My unobtrusive politeness and helpfulness are part of what you expect from your restaurant experience, and I know my tip depends on it!

—–

So why is it so hard to understand these boundaries with sex workers?

Vex:

Because men are used to our sexual availability to be on THEIR terms, not ours!

So when we’re not available on their terms, they compensate by making sure that the world knows how they didn’t want us anyway.

A lot of women experience some form of this:

Online:

Hey, i like your profile, want to go out?

….Hello?

fuck you i was just trying to be nice you’re fucking ugly anyway

—–

guy:

Looking good, sweetheart! Smile!

Woman:

Fuck off.

Guy:

Yeah, screw you too, fatty.

—-

And so…:

Guy:

What a bunch of fucking whores, right?

—–

Some men feel a lot of resentment towards sex workers controlling their access to us, and they have anger towards us for requiring compensation for what they feel entitled to for free. They use our services, but they’re so bitter about it.

I feel that this resentment and anger is is the basis for a lot of the violence that sex workers experience at the hands of their clients.

—-

RH:

Wow, that sounds like it would really get to you.

Vex:

You know, the majority of my clients were really sweet and polite. I really loved my job.

Guy:

You were great!

Vex:

Every job has assholes, but most jobs don’t carry such a high risk of being harmed or killed by them. Male desire is what creates demand for our jobs, but male entitlement is what makes them dangerous.

—-

RH:

So what can we do?

Vex:

Please continue to support efforts to make sex work safer through legalization and increased workplace protections.

And if you’re going to visit strip clubs, that’s great! Just make sure you are respectful and polite to the women working there.

Remember, you’re buying an experience, not a person!

——

RH:

Well, thanks for taking the time to talk, Vex. This was great!

Vex:

My pleasure!

—-

Vex:

And seriously, guys, you’re not accomplishing anything by being such jerks. We seriously don’t care what you think.

Guys:

But that’s the whole problem!

RH

Sigh.

mydollyaviana:

disneyismyescape:

carry-on-until-its-gone:

wish-upon-the-disney-star:

This scene is SO important. Maleficent is with someone she trusts, someone she considers a friend. And then the next thing she knows, she wakes up in pain, bleeding, with her wings burned off. A huge part of her has been destroyed.

Rape is so prominent in our culture that it is in a Disney movie. Maybe not explicitly, but it is very clear what this scene represents and it is so sad.

I fucking cried my eyes out during this scene

AJ even confirmed that this is what this scene was a metaphor for (x) - just because i saw someone say today that this is not what this scene is about

'We were very conscious that it was a metaphor for rape': The actress explained how the scene in which her character has her wings ripped off her body while in a drug-induced sleep had to be something 'so violent and aggressive' that it would make her 'lose all sense of her maternity, her womanhood and her softness' 

when a man violates a woman, he cuts off her wings.

(Source: bbuchanann, via myuncreativeurl)

boo-bickells:

do you ever get attached to like one line or phrase from a song and it holds so much meaning to you but no one else understands how powerful those few words are to you

(via v-3num)

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