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Same destination, different routes

melal's picture

Sex work is always a hot topic in feminist studies. Some women insist that exotic dancing and other sex work is inherently degrading. Others find it a liberating expression of free choice and sexual independence. Julia Query, the narrator and one of the main characters in the documentary, after a while, just found it boring.  In other words, it was a job. Live Nude Girls Unite displays, its share of exposed flesh, but at heart it's a movie about work for me. I guess that’s why I really couldn’t tell I like it or not, because it is a ‘real’ documentary for me. It made me believe that whatever you wear or don't wear when you're doing it, is still work. Without excessive political posturing, the film dismantles stereotypes about women who work in the sex industry and makes its powerful feminist argument in an unpretentious way.

Interestingly enough, it seems to me that Half the Sky does the opposite thing. The authors discuss about the important role that the women working in Chinese factories play in boosting Chinese economics and accelerating world trade. However, these women seldom get media’s attention; neither have they had any idea about their own power as a group. For most Chinese people, women working on the assembly lines are so common that there is nothing can be related to feminism. It is very interesting for me that both Half the Sky and Live Nude Girls Unite show female’s power, but in two very different ways. One of them tries to make people believe how common a ‘special’ career is, and the other, instead, try to convince people how special a ‘common’ career is.


bluebox's picture

Sex work vs. Sex at work

I think there's a difference between sex work and using your sexuality to get ahead in the workplace, when the workplace has nothing to do with sex. In theory, it's a successful way to blackmail or get a promotion or whatnot, but it's a different category from being paid specifically for sex work.  I think in society it's more accepted to sleep with your boss for a promotion than to sleep with anyone for money, even though they might amount to the same thing. Society might judge that one is using what she has to get ahead, and the other is resorting to base means to make ends meet. I think the feminist idea would be that if women want to be equals to men in the workplace, they should act like men in the workplace.

On another note, if a woman uses sex to gain money, is it better for her to do it as a job, sex only, separate from the rest of her life? Or in the case of a golddigger, for example, would it be better to play the part in full, not just providing sex but also a relationship?

epeck's picture

Your comment made me think

Your comment made me think about women who might use their sexuality to get ahead at work.  On one hand, if sexuality can be used to make money, this should be fine.  However, something seems different about it, maybe just because it's a social taboo.  Is there something different about using sexuality or sex to advance at work when the work does not involve anything sexual, or is it the same?  I feel like most "feminists" would say that using sexuality in the workplace goes against modern feminism, but if sex work is okay, why would this form of expressing sexuality not be?