swerfs, OnlyFans, mh-, ranting to the void
I have this pattern of reading news sites when I'm mh-. Old gf diagnosed this as selfharm years ago, therapists agree she was right, I agree she was right, still find myself doing it.
Take this panic piece about young Latin American girls ‘coming closer to’ prostitution via OnlyFans.
The article beats on the same two emotional notes repeatedly:
1. That the girls are young girls who are girls and young. (Whatever problems OnlyFans may have do not matter for other genders and ages, we must think of the girls. Only.)
2. Is this prostitution?
For point 1, many cherries are picked of girls who wanted to do something else, but the something else wasn't open to them, so they were forced to resort to prostitution. A perfectly reasonable point that, as usual in swerfy discussion, completely fails to address the actual problem, viz. the forcing, obligation to have a job in a post-scarcity world, and instead blame the one job they found to be less terrible. ‘It only brings five dollars, but five dollars is a lot of money there’. They acknowledge the injustice of colonialism, yet they want to remove the source of dollars (if you can earn in dollars in my country your income has increased 50% in 1 year without you doing anything, do you have any idea how lucky we consider those of us who can get their hands on dollars??) instead of abolishing borders.
Yes selling your body for food – not just food, nice clothes, iPhones, whatever dignity one can buy in this broken world – is humiliating and traumatising. Know what’s the standard job for poor, young Latinas? Maid. House slave, look it up, watch ‘The Second Mother’ (2015) great film, 100% how it is. Where I come from everybody with a stable job has a maid washing their bathroom for peanuts, and the daughter of the maid who’s learning to be a maid comes extra cheap. Do you think it’s naïvete that many girls would, taken the choice, prefer selling masturbation clips to gringos to servitude? To a boss on a power trip shouting on their ears as they serve tables? Selling your body for basic necessities is humiliating. That’s not a description of prostitution, that’s a description of capitalism. Sex work goes best when you have a young healthy body, no career prospects and the older you get the harder it is, including finding work in the first place. Unlike being cleaning staff to American fast-food companies?
And then they get sexually abused anyway, because the daughter of the maid, really? Who will stand for poor Latinas? Selling pictures online is risky, many men will try to track you, but it’s about the least risky job I can think of in their condition. This is awful, but the solution is to remove this choice? See how well FOSTA-SESTA went, and that’s in the rich country, that’s in a patriarchy not tinged in our ruthless flavour of everyday violence.
Then there’s the youth thing. Gosh does ageism rile me up. Much of the article is about how the girls came to OnlyFans cause they were ‘talked into’ by their friends, unlike us rational middle-age adults who never jump into a job we hate because it was the last bad option and our personal contacts told us their experiences with it. Young people can’t be trusted to make life decisions, we have pressure them, coax them, ideally remove the options altogether; or they will destroy themselves, this is the gateway into live prostitution, the marijuana of whoring. Surely no young woman would be smart enough to know what she’s getting into, to understand the risks of meeting men IRL behind closed doors, right? Which young Latina has ever experienced what men in patriarchy do.
Which connects to the question interwoven throughout the article, as if it were a profound dilemma: Does this count as prostitution? Never stated out loud but between every line: Is your daughter an online whore? The meaningless of this purely linguistic question, the sterility of terminology, does not ever occur to the writer, because obviously being a whore is very bad because ew. Better invest in that apron instead, these days the trappings of servitude are coming back into fashion among insecure middle-class madames.
How to help those girls? Instead of blaming OnlyFans for the scary p-word, can we blame them for stealing surplus value, like all capitalists do? All OF offers is webhosting and a business face. Provide the girls with distributed, collaborative hosting? Most of OnlyFans profits are from the top 1% creators, what if the cut doesn’t apply uniformly to all girls and end up as yacht money for the owner class, but instead is a progressive cut that feeds back into business costs plus higher paybacks for small creators, in a cöoperative system? ‘It’s hard to setup online cooperatives legally’ – then change *those* laws, instead of trying to ban online sex work and thereby drive online sex workers into worse options, including street-based sex work?
Why do I even read these things >.>
Elilla’s personal server.