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Monthly Archives: April 2012

What is whoring?  Are all women whores?

I think the only time it isn’t whoring when a woman has sex with a man is when they both love each other mutually.  If a woman has sex with a man because she loves him, but he doesn’t love her, she’s whoring for his attention; if he loves her but she doesn’t love him, she’s whoring for whatever he’ll give her because of his love.*

That is to say, the only women who aren’t whores are women who have sex within a mutual-love relationship, celibate women, and women from whom sex is stolen.

Everyone knows it’s whoring if you take direct monetary payment from someone for sex.  Many people also admit that it’s whoring if a man buys a woman a meal and then he either expects sex afterward, or she feels obligated to give it, or if any sex happens that would not have happened if he didn’t feed her.  (For those who don’t think it’s whoring, where do you draw the line?  If a man buys me a $200 dinner and I sleep with him, is that whoring, if I wouldn’t have slept with him for $199?)

It’s whoring if I sleep with someone because he’ll give me a predetermined amount of cash money in-hand, but what if I sleep with him because he’ll give me a check that I can go cash later, after we have sex?  What if he just agrees to pay off my credit card bill?  What if he buys me designer shoes which I then pawn?  What if he buys me designer shoes and then I keep them and wear them?  What if the money I would have spent on those shoes instead goes to paying for my electricity bill or my cable or my car?  What if I was already able to pay all those things but I just kept the shoes because I liked them?

What if I sleep with a man because I know he’s rich and there’s a chance he’ll pay for my things if I make him like me enough?  What if I sleep with a man who is not rich, but is prominent in my academic field and I think that could lead to my meeting important people and getting a really great job?  What if I sleep with a man because he’s famous?  What if I sleep with a guy because he’s the coolest guy in my social circle?  Is that whoring?

What if I sleep with him because I think he’ll raise my social status, or what if I just sleep with him because it would be fun to hold the attention of the alpha for a few minutes?  What if I sleep with a man because he’ll invite me to the best party?  What if I give a man sex in exchange for keeping me entertained on a Saturday night?  What if I have sex with a guy just for some company?

A while ago I set up a dating profile where I advertised that if a guy could do me a few small favors I would willingly have sex with him.  Some of them ended up paying for my drinks and typical things like that, but others talked with me about job hunting or helped me with foreign language practice or showed me how to navigate legal or financial matters with which I was unfamiliar.  I don’t even think that the ones who talked with me about job hunting realized that that was the specific task I met up with them for–I think they just thought we were talking regular.  So, if they don’t realize I’m doing it, is it whoring?

I’m not saying that making $2000 in a week because you slept with ten people for $200 each is the same as going home with a guy because he gave you free tutoring or paid for your night out.  But I am saying that you can’t make a clear separation between all the different interactions I’ve just listed.

*I know the former definitely exists; I believe that the latter does exist also, mostly because I believe that all anomalies could possibly exist somewhere, but I think that what is often mistaken for man-to-woman unrequited love is usually just an immature young man’s inaccurate portrayal of his strong desire to have sex with someone who does not want to have sex with him.

I’ve always felt, from my own observations, that about 5-15% of men would do something sexually violent or harmful even if there were a strong chance of facing consequences, about a third would do something sexually harmful if there were a moderate chance of facing consequences, 60-75% would do it if there were a low chance of facing consequences, and nearly everyone takes part in things that have basically no consequences like making misogynistic comments or jokes, or taking pleasure in seeing women subjected to misogynistic or harmful statements or actions.*  Maybe about 5% of heterosexual men can actually claim to be genuinely non-misogynistic, to have no ill intentions toward women and to truly not enjoy hearing negative talk or negative ideas about women; I estimate that many of those have a low sex drive or don’t like sex that much, or, maybe, have been raised in an all-female environment so that they couldn’t imagine being so cruel to the people they’ve spent years humanizing (I’m not sure I’ve ever knowingly observed that kind of guy, though–I invite girls with male siblings or male significant others who are products of all-female households to share their observations).

Let me be clear that when I say consequences, I mean legal and other policy consequences (like getting fired from a job), but I also mean social consequences.  Because rampant sexual assault would do serious harm to the female half of society, even men have a biological interest in preventing it, in order to preserve the order and reasonable success of their community.  Maybe my guy friends would shun a member of our crew if he turned out to have an attitude of sexual entitlement to the females in the group, but that doesn’t mean that these guys wouldn’t themselves do something sexually unwelcome–it just means that they recognize that upheaval will tear the whole group apart (which has the underlying threat of possibly denying them stable mating and reproduction opportunities).

The following statistic proves my estimates; although it’s hard to extrapolate the number of perpetrators from the number of victims, it becomes clear from reading the article and its links (like this one) that at least a significant minority of men in a military environment commit sexual assault, and nearly all think it’s laughable and entertaining:

The department of veterans affairs…released an independent study estimating that one in three women had experience of military sexual trauma while on active service. That is double the rate for civilians, which is one in six, according to the US department of justice.

I have never been in the military.  But, I do know that it makes sense that the rate of sexual assault in an environment that has virtually no consequences for sexual assault would be indicative of the actual number of assaults that men wish to commit in civilian life, but do not, because of possible consequences.

The lesson here is that they mean to harm you and people who tell you otherwise are either living in a fantasy world, or are lying because they don’t feel like dealing with you and your need to be treated as an equal party in sexual relationships.

The solution is whoring.  Make sex transactional in every instance that you possibly can.  Instead of waiting for people to take your safety seriously–which nearly everyone concludes is extremely difficult to do, and I personally conclude will probably never happen, considering how many failed solutions humans have made–instead, raise your status in society by providing a sexual counterpart for every bit of capital and livelihood a man has.  Once women have an equal amount of wealth and social capital** they will have enough clout in society to turn all sex in to a contract and prosecute people who violate the contract, or who think they can take it without making a contract in the first place.

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*Whether or not a person will end up committing a certain act is a combination of how much he wants to do that thing and how worthwhile the risks are; my own gut feeling is that, if there were no consequences at all, about 1/5 of men would regularly seek very violent and/or emotionally disturbing sex, and nearly all of the rest of them would seek moderately harmful or unpleasant sex.

I personally conclude that there is currently a moderate consequence environment in the place I live (civilian mid-Atlantic metropolitan region suburbs): along with the biological impulse not to harm one’s community, there is some chance of the type of half-ass stigma-within-peer-group that I mention above, and there is a small chance of legal consequence, however since sex crime sentences are severe (they involve jail time, rather than just a fine or requirement of monetary retribution, and might have some life-long consequences like a permanent record), even this low chance acts as a decent deterrent.  (See: my experience living in a low-consequence environment, in a so-called conservative foreign country, in which I experienced street harassment nearly every day; believing that cat-calls are merely that and not an implication of more sinister intentions feels a lot like believing rape is about power only, as if sexual things can be separated from sex itself.)

**Credit Catherine Hakim for the term.

Some days my pieces of evidence will be stronger than on other days, but that’s the point of this project–it is not only assault and direct violence that make informal whoring the right way of life, but it’s also the emotionally harmful and upsetting things, the unrealized threats, the impediments to life and success, the dumbing down, the dismissal, and, as demonstrated by today’s example, the rampant grossness that women are forced to deal with because of male sexuality.  This grossness is harmful not only because it is public, general, and unintentional (because men consider it so normal for women to accept their sexuality that the behavior is automatic and second-nature), and not only because it is personal and intentionally targeted at each respective man’s respective female partners (or acquaintances), but because it is both of those things at the same time and is therefore unavoidable.

Today my co-worker went out to her car in the parking lot, and found that someone had thrown a used condom on top of her car and left it sitting there.

I’m not trying to say that someone did this to be sexually aggressive–in fact I do not think that’s why they did it.  I think the offender either feels* it is so normal for men to throw their sexuality around that he didn’t even consider it a problem, or he did know it was a problem but thought it would be funny (maybe precisely because he knew it was a problem).

It is doubly dangerous because people deny it’s the truth, even though it is everywhere.  The negative parts of male sexuality are acknowledged for exactly as long as it benefits men, or pleases or amuses the individual male perpetrating it, and at the exact moment that it would benefit women to acknowledge that men love to act this way, it stops being a real thing in the world.  I don’t mean to say that once someone acknowledges that this kind of thing is disgusting, that the offending party (or, possibly, any male present during the conversation acknowledging it) retracts and apologizes (either fakely or genuinely)–what I mean to say is that once it would do a woman some good to admit that this type of behavior is very real, people stop admitting that it exists at all.

*I say “feels” because it isn’t even a deliberate thought; even naming it here makes it seem like it’s more conscious than it is.

Today at work I was walking back from the bathroom, and since it would be weird to say hello to everyone in the office every single time I pass by their desk, I walked by in silence and didn’t look at anyone in particular.  I could feel it coming before he even opened his mouth:

“You know a smile goes a long way around here.”

I have only ever heard men say this, and I have only ever heard them say it to women.  I have heard one account of a woman saying it to a male acquaintance of mine, but even then that’s just a person saying it to a person; when it’s a man saying it, it’s a man saying it to a woman.  Even when it’s a woman saying it, she has lost if she does not get the smile; when a man says it, he has won either way, because part of the fun is acting like the smile is yours to begin with and is being withheld from you, and part of the fun is knowing that you grossed out and upset at least one woman that day.  Even if a woman does get the smile, both she and the man win because she gets the interaction (or whatever else it is that she wanted; this is a person-want, a regular want, not a specific woman-want) and he gets a chance at sex.  But if a man succeeds in getting the smile, only he wins.

I wasn’t smiling and I wasn’t not-smiling and so was everyone else in the office.  We all had on a regular facial expression, a neutral expression, and that is what I had on too.  Wouldn’t it be strange if I walked around with a smile on my face all the time while I was in the office?  Smile creeps never acknowledge that if I had been smiling before they decided to call me out, it actually would have been really weird, because I would have been smiling at nothing.  I guess that’s part of their angle–they catch me at a moment when they know I won’t be smiling, because there’s nothing in particular to smile about, so they know they have a very good chance of being able to obligate me into something.

I’m not saying that every single guy who does this is doing it in a creepy way.  There are definitely some men who do it because they think they’re funny, in a non-sexual way, and because they’re so used to acting like the world owes them entertainment, and because they’re so used to not being wary of people of the opposite sex with whom they are not familiar, that the expectation of pleasantness (not just politeness, but specific happiness directed at them) and of entertainment comes naturally.  This expectation in itself is dangerous, and is enough of a reason to do all-whoring, all the time.

But there are also people who knowingly use it to smile-rape, to take something from you that you otherwise would not have given them.

I am lucky in that I don’t work in the service industry; service industry girls absolutely do have to tolerate this kind of thing at work, whereas for me it is not part of my job description and if they want to make it part of my job then they had better give me official notice (and then I would tell them that if I’m going to be obligated to smile at men I don’t know or like, I better be getting paid, like, ten times more than I am now).  The worst part of this is the possible implied physical threat (is there one, and if so, what is it, and is it always there or only sometimes? this is a topic for another post), but I’m actually here to cover two other points about smile-creeps.

The first is that they can use your lack of smiling at them to accuse you at future points of having a bad attitude, in the case of a place of employment or at a school (where you are a subordinate), or of having ill-intent in the case of a social situation (where you are equals with the other participants, but can still be vilified).  In fact I was afraid of that earlier today, that if an issue ever arose between me and another employee, this man–who is a higher-up in the office–would use a supposed “attitude problem” to tarnish my image.  I am lucky in that I could deal with getting fired from this job, but for a lot of other women it isn’t that easy.  I nearly smiled back at him, but then I remembered that I’m not planning to stay at this job long-term anyway and if I lost it it wouldn’t matter.

The second point is that, when they can (and they really can), men will use something as wholesome and genuine as smiling to try to one-up you and make you give them something.  I could see it on this guy from the beginning that he was like this, but until now the only proof I had was a joke he made about a local murder (he made a comment that women shouldn’t piss off their partners so much), but that of course was passed off as humor and since the murder was so close to us and our office had to deal with it, I accepted it as a lame but true attempt at a joke, which no one including the joke-teller could actually have found funny in earnest since the murder was so close to home and so serious to us.  But now I know that my instincts were right.

Men will always acts like this; unless women commit to all whoring and only whoring, all-whoring-all-the-time, transactional sex in everything we do, we will continue to lose out and be taken advantage of in exactly all the ways I have just listed.

I found the following in this Al-Jazeera English article; it was not the main point of the article, but I’m using it to demonstrate that these sorts of things arise all the time and are in everything.  These ideas are unavoidable; they should be expected, and should be dealt with as something expected.

I know that this discusses policy from a long time ago, but should I really have to feel lucky that I am not subject to this?  If it’s your right, you shouldn’t have feel lucky, you shouldn’t have to beg and you shouldn’t have to thank anyone.  That anyone would dismiss this as something irrelevant from a long time ago says that they have a narrow-minded and egotistical belief that their generation is different from all other generations, and that they do not see reflections of this same thought lurking in their peers (author Corey Robin points out how similar this sounds to current rhetoric on consent); the situation is tenuous at best.  Instead of pretending like things have changed so I can boost the ego of my male peers about how generous they are for not stealing from me, I will acknowledge this reality and continue to work with it in the best way I know how: whoring.

“Until 1980, for example, it was legal in every state in the union for a husband to rape his wife. The justification for this dates back to a 1736 treatise by English jurist Matthew Hale. When a woman marries, Hale argued, she implicitly agrees to give “up herself in this kind [sexually] unto her husband”.1 Hers is a tacit, if unknowing, consent “which she cannot retract” for the duration of their union. Having once said yes, she can never say no.

As late as 1957 – during the era of the Warren Court – a standard legal treatise could state, “A man does not commit rape by having sexual intercourse with his lawful wife, even if he does so by force and against her will”. If a woman (or man) tried to write into the marriage contract a requirement that express consent had to be given in order for sex to proceed, judges were bound by common law to ignore or override it.2

Implicit consent was a structural feature of the contract that neither party could alter. With the exit option of divorce not widely available3 until the second half of the twentieth century, the marriage contract doomed women to be the sexual servants of their husbands.”

1.  I agree that if a woman enters into a sexual relationship with a man, especially one that is expected to be monogamous, it is part of her responsibility to give him sex, or else let him go to another woman (temporarily, or permanently through divorce).  But if a wife has not freely consented to her marriage contract this responsibility does not stand.  People readily ignore this need for true consent in order to obligate women into being poorly-compensated whores.  Marriage contracts that require sex can only be validated by the existence of divorce, the possibility of short-term agreements, and the option to stay single.

2.  If prostitution were legal (decriminalized), people could write these types of contracts and they would have to be recognized as all contracts are.

3.  See 1.

This is the first in my series of justifications for informal whoring that I will be posting on this blog.

I may try to take it for a hundred days or a year or some other semi-arbitrary number–however long it takes me to either (a) prove my point beyond my own doubt, and beyond the doubt of like-minded peers (if I get any readers), or, (b) realize that I need to re-work my philosophy.  How long does it take someone to justify a life philosophy?  I’m sure I will end up proving my hypothesis–there are many examples of why transactional sex is the correct method, and I see and hear them practically every day, and even when I don’t, I think about things that have happened to me in the past that prove that it is not only the best way to deal with a bad situation but in fact is the only thing bestowed upon women by nature that may allow them to hold equal status with men in society (and, really, in their personal lives, too).  If you believe that the genders are different but equal to each other, then the strategy of always-and-only transactional sex should make sense.

Let’s start off with a simple one: this story that was going around a week or two ago about the modeling agent that sexually harassed his employees.  It is illustrative of my point because it shows that

(a) men will take advantage of women when they can,

(b) men will use social conventions like necessary business meetings between employees and employers and the supposed respect that is owed to authority (during those meetings and in general) to get sex that otherwise would not be given to them, and

(c) most importantly, women who try to make up for this type of treatment by making a living off of their sexuality will be duly screwed over unless they come to a complete consciousness of their sexuality as a commodity and only give it away when they are receiving their pay up-front (the article notes that the girls “have yet to see a dime of their earnings”).

Part of the reason that this is a simple example, though, is that it deals with concrete things like employment and money and sexual currency (or “erotic capital,” as Catherine Hakim calls it), and doesn’t get into any of the icky and truly disheartening thoughts and beliefs behind it.  We will deal with those things in future updates.