Kat: You are not my leader

16 Oct

We have a problem. Being feminist in Britain now means you’re anti-sex work and anti-porn. The sex-negative feminists (heirs of the 1970’s radical feminists) have hijacked these debates and the word “feminism” itself. Women (and men) are afraid to call themselves feminists if they don’t share these ideas. They may feel, as I did, that because they are okay with sex work or pornography that they are not feminists.

This creates a vicious circle: when only anti-sex work, anti-pornography women call themselves ‘feminists’, they create a sex-negative public image of feminism. And so when the media portrays feminists and feminism, it is forced to portray sex-negative anti-porn women, because that’s the pool it has to choose from. So now Kat Banyard, founder of UK Feminista and ally of Object (an anti-sex work, anti-porn NGO aiming to make sex work a crime) is “Britain’s leading young feminist” according to The Guardian. This title implies that all feminists share her beliefs. But as we know, many feminists do not agree. Some feminists are sex workers or work in the sex industry. Some do not want to ban pornography or sex work. Yet others feel that different issues are more important and more to blame for gender inequality.

Yet, can we blame the Guardian? With only antis labelling themselves feminist, who else could they choose? If it wasn’t Banyard, it would be another with exactly the same views. Sex-positive public figures such as Dr Brooke Magnanti could never be labelled as our leading young feminist, because they reject the label of ‘feminist’.

Many sex-positive bloggers and sex activists already call themselves feminists or gender-equalists ‘in their heads’ but not publically.

So, this is a call to all sex-positive people – female, male, trans, genderqueer, whatever: CALL YOURSELF A FEMINIST! Then strippers, models, women who watch porn and sex workers can no longer be stigmatised or subjected to laws that harm them in the name of ‘feminism’, because it’ll be obvious that many feminists are against these measures. Showing publically that you are a feminist could be as simple as putting the word “feminist” in your Twitter, Facebook or blog/site profiles, or creating social media groups about sex-positive feminism, or social media groups to encourage others to adopt the label. As my lecturer said,” if you believe women should be equal to men then you are a feminist” – so millions of people are feminists but don’t accept the label because they associate feminism with people like Banyard.

Eventually, prominent feminists won’t only be sex-negative, we will have sex-positive prominent feminists! More famous people will adopt the label of feminist, and stigmatising all models/lapdancers/sexworkers as ‘slaves’, and women who like porn as ‘brainwashed’, -or even trying to criminalise prostitution in Scotland -will no longer be done in the name of feminism.

IIf all sex-positives call ourselves feminists, we remind everyone that Object, SCASE and the ever-lingering voice of 1970’s radfem Andrea Dworkin do not speak for us. And Banyard is not our leader.

Please RT, reblog etc or spread the word in your own words 🙂

Thanks, ‘Lika


Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Feminism, Media


Tags: , , , , , ,

8 responses to “Kat: You are not my leader

  1. Cassie

    October 16, 2012 at 8:37 am

    Sex positive feminist checking in. You make some very valid points here. I will reblog.

  2. Cassie

    October 16, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Reblogged this on Cassie Being Cassie and commented:
    An excellent post and a call to all of us who are truly feminist and truly sex positive to make our voices heard.

  3. jemima101

    October 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    You saw the rant, and made great comments ( but I am seriously wondering about the usefulness of using the term feminist. Maybe we should decide it is a club that needs to wither and put something more useful in its place?

    (byw did you see the DO’s response to your fab film review?)

    • Kalika Gold: VirginWhore

      October 19, 2012 at 2:21 am

      That’s a very good point and with the vast majority of both genders being feminist to some degree, as a distinction it has lost some meaning. However it does have political clout, as it’s hard to refuse or reject something promoted in the name of feminism. I was thinking that if sex-positive feminists “come out” as feminist, it would create a kind of ‘not in my name’ thing as people would realise that not all feminists are opposed to porn/sex work/modelling. So the radfems’ policies would be easier to reject. In a post-sexnegative society the concept of feminism being abandoned altogether is a viable idea, I would think; likewise when women are truly equal in every way feminism won’t be needed.

      Yeah, I’d missed it but I found it when I read your comment, and reblogged 🙂

      • jemima101

        October 19, 2012 at 7:51 am

        That really is the heart of my current feelings of conflict. If sex positive women do not speak out , as you say, not in my name, then no one will challenge radfems. I have to say I was feeling particually negative when I suggested we just leave feminism to wither and die, I am still not at the place of believing our voices will be heard, however perhaps we do need to try.


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