April 9, 2014

"Maybe there’s a difference between a blowjob and a slice of pie — one that is occluded..."

"... when all types of service work are collapsed into one, a difference that today’s young left feminists don’t want to think about."

A sentence from Katha Pollitt's "Why Do So Many Leftists Want Sex Work to Be the New Normal?" that has it all. Blowjobs, pie, the word "occluded," an absurdly unnecessary and timidly stated observation that 2 things may — may! — be different, and daring lefty-on-lefty/feminist-on-feminist/old-on-young action.

40 comments:

CWJ said...

I admit that this is interesting in a kind of arms length sort of way. But it's dog bites woman.

What I do find interesting is that somehow sex trumps all, and has from time immemorial. No matter how often we posit men and women are two equivalent varieties of of the same human species, gender like water finds its own level.

Look I'm not defending this on some sort of this is how its supposed to be level. Rather, I'm saying we are all trying to reconstruct some sustainable set of gender norms after having thrown them into the blender over the last 100 years.

William Chadwick said...

I'll take either.

Big Mike said...

To acknowledge that sex work is exploitative—that it involves a particularly intimate form of male privilege ...

The writer has never heard of gigolos? Nor seen "Midnight Cowboy"?

Joe said...

Why are people paid to write such pointless articles?

Scott M said...

"They accept that sex is something women have and men get (do I hear “rape culture,” anyone?), that men are entitled to sex without attracting a partner, even to the limited extent of a pickup in a bar, much less pleasing or satisfying her."

I suppose that a customer expecting to get what he (or she) paid for is too much to ask. I want my dinner order as I ordered it with the various food the correct temperature. I'm civil, even friendly, with the service worker, but I'm not really concerned that they are enjoying themselves.

Likewise if I'm buying a service like, oh, I dunno...lawn care? Show up on time, do what I pay you for and give me the results you said you would. I don't really care if you enjoy doing the job.

To capitalistic?

Sam L. said...

I refuse this linkbait.

RecChief said...


To paraphrase Instapundit, if prostitution were legal and accepted socially, would men want to get married?

Big Mike said...

I'll take either

And then there's the movie "American Pie."

Ron said...

Ah, the occluded blowjob, a slice of pie, and a white wine spritzer...the evenings entertainment of choice of our New Mandarins....

Freeman Hunt said...

"if prostitution were legal and accepted socially, would men want to get married?"

Of course.

MB said...

What is the difference between a blow-job and a slice of pie?

$200?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

...that it involves a particularly intimate form of male privilege...

Wait a minute...

If it's a privilege of being a man, why do they keep expecting me to pay for it?

Matthew Sablan said...

Ever since the mid-90s, they haven't been anything scandalous.

jr565 said...

If sex work becomes the norm there should be no problem if guys objectify women sexually. Especially if they find out they give out sex for money. Then it's just haggling over price.

EDH said...

Can one of these newly empowered ladies of the night legally refuse to service a gay man?

jr565 said...

recchief wrote:
To paraphrase Instapundit, if prostitution were legal and accepted socially, would men want to get married?

Screw marriage, would men want to go on dates. The date is the cost the man pays to potentially get sex. OR the guy can pay up front and get the sex.If he's paying either way, then why not pay for the guaranteed sex, as opposed to the potential of it.

SOJO said...

This gives me nightmares of the case a few years back in which Germany [IIRC??] threatened to deny a young woman unemployment benefits because she wouldn't work in a zoned brothel. She had to be willing to accept "any type of work" and this was classified the same as working in a bar or restaurant, which she had done before.

It was a computer-driven, red tape error and they withdrew the request after protest and media backlash, but you can see the logic.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

But when feminists argue that sex work should be normalized,...they accept that sex is something women have and men get...

But maybe men would be better partners ... if sex for them ... meant finding someone who likes them enough to exchange pleasure for pleasure, intimacy for intimacy.


So Katha also sees sex as something that women have and men get. She just wants men to have to pay for it in a different way.

garage mahal said...

Jobs, rated:

5. Second
4. Snow
3. Inside
2. Rim
1. Blow

Bob Boyd said...

Maybe there's a difference between a Taser and a box of Girl Scout Cookies....

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2597222/What-happened-selling-chocolates-Bikini-clad-woman-gets-tasered-group-men-FOR-CHARITY.html?ito=video_player_click#comments

Fritz said...

(Some) Leftists seem to want all women to be hookers or make porn, but no men to partake in it.

SOJO said...

@Fritz @4:20 Hah.

YoungHegelian said...

@MB,

What is the difference between a blow-job and a slice of pie?

$200?


Good God, MB, are you fucking out of it, or what?

The difference is that nobody puts a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a blow job!

damikesc said...

The difference is that the woman won't normally spit out the pie.

David said...

"The difference is that nobody puts a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a blow job!"

Oh, I would bet against that. Nobody? Very doubtful.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

The joke from a sketch comedy show (Mr. Show or Reno 911! maybe?) was "a handjob is still a job!"

rhhardin said...

Patty Griffin Making Pies

Big Mike said...

@Hoodlum, here's what Kim Cattrall has to say about it.

Patrick said...

Loved that Patty Griffin song, rh.

Terry said...

I once read a memoir of the First World War by an American pilot in the LaFayette Escadrille. He said that enlisted men used prostitutes as companions. For officers it was trickier. Most had girlfriends who were'actresses', and this was socially acceptable, even though most of the officers knew that the 'actresses' made more money from being kept by various men than they made from 'acting'.
Hooking may pay, but it is not work. How could you write the terms of a legal contract of performing a job for pay that would hold up (har!) in court?

KenK said...

Sex work only works as employment if you have customers. I wouldnt pay much to have sex with Pollitt. I have popaid to read her stuff.

Zach said...

Why do so many leftists want sex work to be the new normal?

If I had to guess:

1) The major threat to feminism at the moment isn't a competing "ism," but rather the propensity of women to drop out or never sign on. (Or parrot the words without any real conviction.)

2) A major reason women drop out is the desire for conventional or traditional relationships. They either see a direct conflict with feminism, or just find that it isn't speaking to their interests.

2a) Because of this, there is a big intellectual market for the Feminist Take on the Relationship Question. This splits on the usual liberal/radical divide:
-the liberals want basically the traditional relationship model, but reformed to be more egalitarian or otherwise friendly to women
-the radicals want something else entirely. They see traditionally male patterns of sexual behavior as better or more advantageous than female patterns. Basically, they want to let women sleep around without social stigma.

3) If you want to let women sleep around without social stigma, moral condemnation of prostitution becomes very tricky. You can condemn the male side of the equation, but that's kind of ducking the question -- and besides, prostitution has never been about the johns. You're more or less required to hold up the prostitutes as the vanguards of the revolution, just for the sake of internal consistency.

The political problem with all of this is that it doesn't hold together unless, at some level, young women *want* to live in the Brave New World of sex positive feminism. You can write all the journal articles you want, but if little girls want to grow up to be mommies married to daddys, the next generation won't show up to read them.

harkin said...

Thanks for making me think of a joke I havent heard since high school.....

Q: What's good on pie but not on pussy?

A: Crust.

sykes.1 said...

As to Pollitt as a sex worker, you need to look around. The average prostitute looks more like Katha than Elizabeth Shue, and many are barely pubescent.

But that's our future. The utterly corrupt and lunatic SCOTUS will eventually extended the penumbra of privacy to include prostitution (hopefully for adults only) and polygamy (take that feminazis). I believe bestiality will remain off the table, except perhaps with a religious exemption for some groups.

Saint Croix said...

To acknowledge that sex work is exploitative—that it involves a particularly intimate form of male privilege ...

Ugh, what horseshit.

You can't imagine the fight I had with my computer that kept wanting to auto correct to horses hit. No, horseshit! Horseshit! I want to say horseshit and I will say horses hit! Steaming hot horses hit!

You stupid computer. It's frickin' 2001 over here. I am going to end this post on a giant baby, so there.

Saint Croix said...

All sex stigma comes from our history of infanticide. We don't want the babies and we kill them. This is why prostitution is illegal and nobody wants to be a whore. It's why fuck is a bad word. You can't understand any of our attitudes about sex while you are undergoing this massive feminist project of refusing to think about babies.

Ralph Hyatt said...

"But maybe men would be better partners, in bed and out of it, if they couldn’t purchase that fantasy, if sex for them, as for women, meant finding someone who likes them enough to exchange pleasure for pleasure, intimacy for intimacy."

To many young feminists the sentiments behind this quote are beyond Victorian. They are antediluvian.

From what I read on the intertubes, sex is (or should be) regarded as trivial. Gratification for a physical urge no different than eating when you are hungry.

While at the same time the people who proclaim it is trivial also seem to feel that it is the most important part of their lives. The most avid foodies do not spend a fraction of the time and energy on their interest as the sexually liberated spend on theirs.

And then there is the whole "rape culture" thing.

Modern, "liberated" attitudes towards sex are schizophrenic.

I think they sense that the sentiments expressed in the quote above are correct, but understanding the implications, that casual sex and pornography are not empowering, they must reject them.

And regarding legalizing "sex work" in order to empower women, I would suggest reading the following.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2341203/How-legalising-prostitution-turned-Germany-Europe-s-biggest-brothel-swamped-Eastern-European-prostitutes.html

Ralph Hyatt said...

" I believe bestiality will remain off the table, except perhaps with a religious exemption for some groups."

Don't bet on it.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2352779/Bestiality-brothels-spreading-Germany-campaigner-claims-abusers-sex-animals-lifestyle-choice.html

LarsPorsena said...

Terry said...
I once read a memoir of the First World War by an American pilot in the LaFayette Escadrille. He said that enlisted men used prostitutes as companions. For officers it was trickier. Most had girlfriends who were'actresses', and this was socially acceptable, even though most of the officers knew that the 'actresses' made more money from being kept by various men than they made from 'acting'.
Hooking may pay, but it is not work. How could you write the terms of a legal contract of performing a job for pay that would hold up (har!) in court?

4/9/14, 9:43 PM

Yeah, right. The enlisted men would get the 'clap' but officers would get 'non-specific uretheritis'.

tim in vermont said...

"But maybe men would be better partners, in bed and out of it, if they couldn’t purchase that fantasy, if sex for them, as for women, meant finding someone who likes them enough to exchange pleasure for pleasure, intimacy for intimacy. The current way of seeing sex work is all about liberty—but what about equality?"

So the real purpose is to maintain power over men? Power they claim they don't have?