The sugar daddy and the gold digger. We see this relationship everywhere. In the media, in our towns, and even in our social circles. What’s interesting these days is college girls pimping themselves to pay for tuition or for some, a glamarous lifestyle. I go back and forth with this one for the very same reasons as prostitution. Are these girls making informed, conscious decisions? Probably. Is it wrong for someone to use their body for expensive bags or trips? Are clothing models wrong? No. It’s not a matter of what’s right and what’s not. Fuck morals. It’s a matter of the power dynamics of these relationships. What you do does not define you but it’s certainly a part of who you are. How many women have had sex or hook-ups they didn’t want out of a feeling of obligation? Imagine that amplified and riskier when you have thousands of dollars at stake. Is a trip to paris worth it in the grand scheme of things? I don’t blame girls for wanting a sugar daddy. College is expensive and the media portrays call girls as living glamarous lives. Maybe for some. But for many it ends not only with bruised integrity but violently.
Feminism isn’t only about me or even women, but it involves everyone on the planet. In India there is a nasty rape crisis occuring in Uttar Pradesh(India’s most populous state). There has been an increase, not only in rape but brutally violent rape. You can read the entire story here. The article doesn’t hit the problem on the head. Rape is not the problem. Rape is the tool. The problem that these girls face is not that they don’t have indoor plumbing. Poverty isn’t the issue. Poverty is the result of the patriarchal society we live in. The author points out that many of these girls are Dalit girls, formerly known as “untouchables”. Not only is this a gender issue but a class issue, like many gender problems we face.
These women are being raped because they aren’t valued. It’s not only the police that need to be more responsive but society as a whole. The glimmer of hope in this article is that officers will take reports more seriously now. The same police force that is responsible for two rapes? We need a complete overhaul of how we refer to one another and a mutual respect for each other, regardless of gender.
So recently there has been discussion about Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Leader or asshole. As history tells us you can clearly be both. In fact, I’m more impressed to see leaders who aren’t assholes but I digress. Anyway, for those unaware, some are saying that Stanton was more concerned about women like herself. Educated, protestant, white women. What really surprises me about this little uproar is that people seem surprised.
Stanton is damn important and her flaws as a human being, a woman, do not diminish her achievements. In one’s own life today, especially among third wave feminists, our experiences are based on our own lives. Often our rather privileged lives. For we women fighting for say, reproductive rights, do we always have all women on the globe on our minds, or ourselves and those like us.
I think this discussion won’t really change most people’s opinions on Stanton but it should force us to think about where our sympatheties really lie. We women navigating tumblr need to always keep in mind the women who aren’t busy tweeting about their problems and fight for a restructuring of global society.
You’ve heard it before. The Virgin, Whore dichotomy. It’s old, nothing new. Some say you see what you want to see. How can you not see the sexism in the grocery aisle, in blockbuster films. Today we see more women giving into raunch culture. If we all take part in this culture, isn’t this equality? Afterall, don’t they make porn for women? This is missing the point. Listen to this talk from Rachel Cohen at the 2011 Socialism conference.