12 Comments

  1. Civilized Riot Grrrl

    Believe me Ian I’m far from middle class, and am saddened that you missed the point of my piece

  2. Hm. I’ve only managed to scan that article from the Guardian (in Ian’s comment there). I agree with the writer that focusing on single-issue campaigns by organisations is a flawed approach.  (Then again, if an organisation is to operate effectively, it may need to address a range of issues one-by-one in order to create awareness with the public.)

    I don’t agree, though, that this is a feminist (< --oops!) middle-class issue, and that sex work is somehow not violence against women. I think that view (if that's the one I picked up from the article) is deeply misguided.

    I think Riot Grrl’s article is excellent – you’re not the first one to realise the subtleties of violence against women, and the varying degrees of how it manifests along that spectrum of violence. It’s just that it’s shocking when that realisation dawns.

    Ian makes a good point, though – there are some good organisations working in Ireland at the moment. From more recent groupings like Seomra Spraoi, to the National Women’s Council of Ireland, and so many more. I suppose it depends on your particular view of their aims in deciding on who to support.

    Are you involved in any groups yourself, RG? (I confess, I myself am not!)

     

  3. Civilized Riot Grrrl

    Thanks for the feedback Click,
    No groups at the moment to be honest, like I said I usually shy away from that stuff (until now) as it can turn into an argument if you aren’t careful. I might have a look at some though, see what they’re like and what kind of views they hold.
    As for the article in the Guardian, I felt it didn’t actually have that much to do with my piece as I wasn’t merely targeting sex workers/strippers/poledancers etc. as the only examples of sexism. I used them as the example because I found the article compelling, and I didn’t want to drown my point amidst a number of examples. My point is that sexism is still rife in this world, not just with strip clubs etc but in music, in martial arts, in our own lives also.
    I was walking and speaking to a girl I know once, and a group of lads started to follow her and decided to start barking at her and whooping and shouting “hey sexy” at high volume. That’s quite an obvious example of objectification, and she felt that it was sexist toward her and rude, and in some cases one would consider that harassment. Since when was it okay to shout at a woman about her appearance and follow her down a street making noises?

    As far as my idea about sexism etc goes, I think step one would be closing down all strip clubs/lap-dancing clubs as being planned in Iceland, but not just the ones that men go to, as I know there are “special clubs” women can go to and whoop and shout at men to take their clothes off. Sexism works both ways, and I am not a fan of it whichever way it is expressed.
    Once again, I appreciate the feedback.
    CRG
     
     

  4. Gooner

    I have this discussion with one of the women I work with all the time.  She used to be a lap dancer and sees it as an expression of female empowerment but I just can’t agree.
    As long as nothing is forced underground then I think Iceland have set a good standard to follow

  5. Jesus, Gooner. I have to wonder what has happened in.. the world.. and in history.. where a woman thinks that lap-dancing is her empowerment. Bloody hell.

    What Uncle Tommery is this?

  6. Gooner

    I know what you mean click here but she has a very strong view on this and we have gone around and around many times.
    She feels that official places are safer for the women (which I agree with to a point) but also that the dancers are the ones in charge and that they take advantage of the men (this we “discuss” over and over)

  7. God, I feel sorry for you, Gooner. That logic is so warped!

    My question is (and I’m sure you’ve been through this again and again) is how she could possibly be in charge of being demeaned and degraded? That she feels official venues are safer, is simply preferring the lesser of two evils, as far as I can see.

    She needs to ask herself (and maybe she already has) what kind of thinking comes to the conclusion that a woman is “in charge” and “taking advantage” when she is basically presenting herself as a dehumanised thing, there to be fucked by any- and everyone.

     

  8. Ian

    RG
    Firstly – forgive me I was not suggesting that you are a middle class women who just wants to ban poledancing etc, I was just providing that link as sort of a different viewpoint on the issue, your anlaysis is very interesting and I’m reminded of a woman that I know who shamelessly used flirtation and a low cut top to get somewhere.  Personally I think Johanna Sigurðardóttir is an amazing woman and was very impressed by her determination to do something like that
    There is a lot of deep issues ingrained in Irish Society regarding the place of women – Our Constitution, Our Political Culture, the rejection by a lot of younger women of feminism
    If this is something that you would like to learn more about there are some groups that it might be worthwhile joining
     
     

  9. CRG

    I understand Ian, I apologise if I came off too defensive in my reply to you. I gave the article a look and I followed up on a suggested link within the article you supplied, it showed some interesting viewpoints from different people on the whole thing.
    As for the woman you know that uses the flirtation and physical sexual hints, it’s a sad fact but many of us are led to believe that a bat of the eyelashes and a flicker of cleavage will get us further than if we just be ourselves. But I suppose that whole “Should a woman use her sexuality to get what she wants” is a whole other argument and is more of a subjective thing than anything.
    I appreciate everyone’s feedback on this and I’d love to hear some of your ideas on the topic as it seems to be a bit of head-turner of late.
    I’ll also give some of those groups a nosy, might be quite the eye-opener.
     
    Regards,
     
    CRG

  10. I’m really enjoying this discussion and thanks CRG for starting it here; also to everyone else for talking about this multi-dimensional, emotive and yet basic issue. As Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir said ““It is not acceptable that women or people in general are a product to be sold.”
    Some groups y’all might want to consider are RAG, LashBack and the Feminist Open Forum.
    Please keep the awareness, thought and direct-action-provoking articles coming!

  11. [...] “I read the whole article and took in what it said, and realized, we, as women, have lost so much respect for ourselves in so many ways that we don’t even notice it. I’m not saying every single woman has, but many of us have decided to go along with the over-the-top objectification of women and just fob-off filthy comments with a tired wave of the hand.” (Gaelick.com) [...]

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