portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article commentary portland metro

alternative media | gender & sexuality | neighborhood news

female uncle toms

conservatives want women to be private property, liberals want women to be public propoerty, feminists don't want women to be property at all
This commentary is inspired by yet another dumbfuck Portlander telling me Mary's strip club is owned by women. It's not.

The first time I encountered this incredulous piece of crap many moons ago, I decided to call and ask. I'm a former psych researcher, so I knew couldn't just come out and say, "Who owns your strip club?" so instead I said, "Someone told me Frank Faillace (of Dante's) owned Mary's but I didn't think that was true so could you tell me who the owner really is?"

The woman's voice on the phone laughed and said, "Oh no, not him! Roy Vetter."

Roy isn't a woman's name last I checked.

I want to say to all the gullible buttheads who repeat the incorrect information that Mary's is owned by a woman when it is really owned by Roy Vetter, "You're wrong, but anyway what's your point?"

Well, honestly, first I want to call them uncritical, myth-spreading idiots without two common sense brain cells to rub together. After that, "What's your point?"

What are people really saying when they buy the lie that strip clubs owned by women are somehow better or less sexist than man-owned strip clubs? Do they think women are naturally superior to men? What a wacky reversal to suggest women pimping other women is better than men doing it. After all, one of the main accusations made by morons against feminism is that it claims women are superior to men. Turns out it's really fools hemorrhaging money out of their pockets to see boobies who think women are inherently superior to men and mamasans are benevolent she-pimps.

I wonder if these people have black friends too, cause I hear people with black friends can't be racist.

Some people stupidly think finding a few sisters to back up their sexism means the opinions of all other women are moot. I mean, Mary's must be pro-woman cause Roy Vetter's female family members say so from the bottom of their feminist hearts about the family business that's their bread and butter, right?

And remember, just because a 16-year-old troubled teen druggie named Courtney Love was illegally selling her ass to losers at Mary's doesn't mean they're exploiting underage druggies nowadays, because everyone knows that would never happen in a Portland strip club despite the police files of arrests made and fines issued. Former Exotica editor Jim Goad blames manipulative 16-year-old whores with fake Ids for getting Portland's strip club owners in trouble. So should you.

Let's start a new factually incorrect rumor now that the "Mary's strip club is women-owned" has been debunked. How about, "I hear all the women who show gash for cash at Mary's are working on their PhDs in Women's Studies at PSU"?

Spread it around among all those black friends of yours, whitey.

Not a gender issue 19.Jul.2005 20:58


The sex industry is exploitative, period - no matter who owns the club. Exploitation of the human body is not an issue of gender - it's an issue of selling the human form to paying customers.

... 19.Jul.2005 22:00


Rast, it is an issue of gender because it relates to the most basic ideology of gender. When applied to men who are performing for other men, they are being "feminized" (they are engaging in behavior that is seen as a woman's role, which is a large contributer to homophobia). And although I think that when men are performing for women (which is much less common) that they are being objectified, the implications of the power imbalance are absent.

Radfem spreading the "all sex-workers are dumb" myth 20.Jul.2005 06:42


"How about, "I hear all the women who show gash for cash at Mary's are working on their PhDs in Women's Studies at PSU"

I'm a Mexican-American woman selling my arse to get a degree in Engineering. How bout you Radfem? Or do you just spend all your time spewing hate against other women?

We'll never know for sure, will we? 20.Jul.2005 22:41


i gotta big time doubt that a mexican-american calls her butt an arse! and we're all from missouri so you know what that means.

We know for sure that you would rather believe all sex-workers are dumb 21.Jul.2005 06:10


Well if you must know I'm a mexican-american borne australian but *you* were talking about race not nationality. And I have no idea what "that" means.

A rose is a rose is a rose 21.Jul.2005 08:50


This is a POWER issue. It applies to both men and women working in the sex industry. The kind of genetalia on display is less important than the fact that the human body is being treated as a sexual commodity.

Exploitation is exploitation.

Also, while many dancers are bright people working toward a degree, I'd like to know how many of them intend to write that experience into their resumes.

Exploitation is exploitation - work is work. 21.Jul.2005 09:25


rast, you are right that there are both male and female workers and clients. But while I wouldn't write "sex-worker" (btw I'm not a dancer but a prostitute) as experience on my resume, I wouldn't write "sales assistant" or "cleaner" or "fruit picker" either (all jobs I've done) when applying for an engineering job. If I was applying for other work within or relevant to the sex-industry I would. Social stigma doesn't actually make something bad - people still have to hide being gay in many places remember...

Sex-work does not involve turning your body into a commodity any more than any other work does. How is giving someone a hand-job "selling" your body any more than giving them a back massage? How is dancing naked "selling" your body any more than dancing clothed?

The sex-industry is exploitation but no more than any other industry. It is only more violent than other industries where it is illegal. The best way to help people in the sex-industry is to support their right for safe, legal work-places and their right to organise just like any other workers. And if there are real options availiable for education and jobs then only people who really want to be sex-workers will be sex-workers (and in my experience there are more of them than you'd think).

Hey Sam! 22.Jul.2005 17:37


get the stick outta there lady. telling folks what to do w/ their bods is messed. get off your highhorse.

hey t-ball 25.Jul.2005 08:15


This is my first comment on this thread and I don't know who rast and wondering are. Not that you're rational enough to comprehend I'm far from the only person who understands the gendered power that goes into men demanding women be prostitutes. Like how 9 out of 10 prostituted people want out of prostitution immediately but you don't want to believe it, it's the truth.

I wish I didn't have to say this, but please don't go all, "You think all sex workers are irrational!" as experience has shown you're likely to.

Hey Sammie 26.Jul.2005 07:47


9 out of 10 fast-food workers want out... But the difference is nobody is trying to arrest them, calling those who choose to work in the industry or defend the right of others to do so "uncle toms".

Even if you are right and only 1 in 10 would continue doing sex-work (actually the figures I have seen show that in Australia 1/4 would not change jobs even if offered a similarly very high-paying and flexible-hours job)... Then the right of those 10% should be respected. And untill you provide the jobs and security needed by the rest all you can achieve with anti-prostitution rhetoric and laws is to make their lives harder by taking away their best option or making working conditions even more difficult.

dignity 28.Jul.2005 18:23


I have never wanted prostitutes arrested, prostitution is not the same as serving cheap food, and the stated wishes of 90% of the world's prostitutes is what drives my position because I believe in democracy and women's right to justice over capitalism's right to make a small minority of people a lot of money off the backs of the majority.

Where is YOUR dignity? 30.Jul.2005 06:58


There is no dignity in repression. There is no dignity in telling other people what to do with their bodies. There is no dignity in lying (like claiming that you speak for 90% of the world). Women who love their bodies don't care what other women do with theirs.

The comodification of women's body is leading to a decreminalization of rape 06.Aug.2005 07:56


First I want to say prostitution harm the women and men in prostitution, it is sexual abuse and part of violence against women.
But that is not my point now. I want also to stress the implication of the legalization of prostitution (ans all the "sex work" discourse around it):

if one can buy sex, one can stole it.
if one can buy sex, the woman's bodies become a comodity.
Now I want to stress that the comodification of women's body is leading to a decreminalization of rape:

if one can buy sex, rape is no long a crime but just a robbery
(eventually with violence, like so many robberies).

The implication is that rape should no longer be considered as a crime but as a simple robbery, the criminalization of rape should therefore be mild.

Peaple that refuse to aknowledge the harm of prostitution are not only silencing the victims of prostitution, but are also silencing the harm of rape.
That is why the fight against prostitution do not only concern prostitution survivors and incest survivors or poor women threatened by prostitution; The fight against prostitution concern every woman, because evey woman can be raped.
When the sex industry and the "sex work" movement say prostitution is work, it also means rape is just a robbery. Women should realise it and have more solidarity for those abused in prostitution and fight against it, and they should also realise that every woman can be prostituted. That's also why, prostitution, like rape, is a feminist issue.
PS 1: I apologize for the bad english
PS 2: see  http://www.catwinternational.org and  http://www.prostitutionresearch.com and  http://sisyphe.org/article.php3?id_article=175 about rape and prostitution.

evidence to support sty's observation 15.Nov.2005 09:57


sty is right when saying:

"I want to stress that the comodification of women's body is leading to a decreminalization of rape. If one can buy sex, rape is no long a crime but just a robbery (eventually with violence, like so many robberies). When the sex industry and the 'sex work' movement say prostitution is work, it also means rape is just a robbery."

From a recent case in Kansas where mentally ill people were sexually abused and raped but no charges of sex crimes were brought against them, only economic crimes:


WICHITA -- Prosecutors said Thursday that a Newton couple operated a "house of horrors kept financially afloat by fraud" in which they enslaved mentally ill residents and forced them to work naked and engage in sexual acts, while billing the government and their families for the therapy.

Arlan Kaufman, 69, and his wife, Linda, 62, are being tried in U.S. District Court on more than 30 federal charges -- including health care fraud, Medicare fraud, forced labor and holding clients in involuntary servitude -- related to the treatment of residents at the Kaufman House Residential Treatment Center.

Federal prosecutors contend the Kaufmans controlled the lives of mentally ill residents, including deciding who could wear clothes. They are accused of forcing residents to masturbate, fondle each other and shave each other's genitals -- or as Justice Department civil rights attorney Kristy Parker put it in closing arguments, making the mentally ill into "uncompensated actors in a never-ending pornographic show."

The Kaufmans are accused of crimes dating to as early as 1984. The servitude counts arise from manual labor the residents did at the Kaufmans' farm and from their part in the videos."

Did you see that? Did you see raped metally ill people called "unpaid sex workers" instead of rape victims, and did you see that these rapist pornographers were not brought up on any rape or sexual assault charges?

sty is 100% right that calling prostitution "work" leads to rape being considered a minor property time, human bodies being considered for their economic value more than their inherent priceless worth.

There is no such thing as rape anymore. There are "uncompensated porn actors" and "child sex workers" instead of raped mentally ill people and raped children. This is what pornography and prostitition reduce human beings to. If you can pay $75 dollars for sex than rape becomes a $75 crime rapists can pay to the court and go about their misdemeanor-causing ways.

Prostitution: the official sexuality of patriarchal capitalism.

rape is a hate crime 21.May.2006 02:01

varying opinion

Frankly, I think there's a difference between prostitution and paid companionship/courtesan services. But there may not be so much difference between marriage/concubinage and prostitution at least in areas where both are licensed.

However I *do* think rape should be elevated to the status of hate crime against women.

I'd be interested in hearing others' thoughts.