Feminist Current Sewel Article: Comments Restored

The Lord Sewel ‘scandal’ should be about misogyny, not drugs » Feminist Current.

For the record:

  1. His comment about the Asian women is deplorable and shows his true character much more than his tooting up. Interesting that the focus does seem to be all on his drug use and not on his horrid thoughts regarding the prostitutes and women in general.

  2. Yep. We haven’t been subjected to much coverage of this in Oz, but my first thought was, “He’s a john. He’s a rapist. I don’t care if he wants to rot his sinuses with cocaine. He’s a goddamned rapist.

    • If the women were not physically forced or threatened to accept money for sex then I would hardly call this rape. If you are going to change the definitIon of rape to whenever a woman accepts money, gifts, or a date in exchange for sex you would have to lock up half the male population.

      • Oh come on, the whole ‘Men buy sex by going on dates’ trope is so stupid. If you are in a relationship where you pay for dinner and a movie under the assumption that you are owed sex in return, you’re a creep – and if your ‘date’ has sex with you because she doesn’t feel safe saying no after what you bought her, you *are* a rapist.

        The guy is a goddamn politician, with serious wealth and political power on top of his general male privilege. There’s an obvious and undeniable power imbalance here. If you only understand coercion on terms of outright physical force, I guarantee that’s because you are privileged enough to not experience the myriad other ways white men like him exploit women through our economic, social, and sexual power.

      • And coercion doesn’t play a part in this? It can be subtle and not even overtly violent. A gun to her head and blood on her body is not necessary to call it rape.

        Money, as it happens, is an excellent means to coercion. If surviving for a little longer depends on how much money you have (and this is actually the case) then you are coerced. You are forced to find away to earn money which leads you to sacrificing your time, energy and, quite often, your dignity. Hence, the one giving you the money is in a position to coerce you.

        You may not ‘feel’ coerced but, then again, how many would readily admit that their ‘free will’ is not so free after all?

        “” If you are going to change the definitIon of rape to whenever a woman accepts money, gifts, or a date in exchange for sex you would have to lock up half the male population. “”

        As to this little gem: you presume that intercourse is a commodity that you can just give in exchange for something. Then you presume that the male is entitled to intercourse if he just gives her some money or “gifts”. And then, finally, you presume that the definition of rape is being constantly changed so as to confuse you and others. You are just not informed well enough.

      • @Deist99: Shut up. You – and every other dickhead who holds your opinion – needs to be branded so that women can avoid you when you’re walking down the street.

        Following comment not published:
        The problem with the attitude demonstrated here is that when debating anything more complex than for example the proposition that “ad hominem attacks are never effective as they only reveal that the argument has already been lost “, it is almost certain that there is at least some truth in the views of your opponent.If we share a belief in the existence of some kind of truth, however complex, multifaceted and however many nuanced perspectives it must encompass, then we can surely also agree that we hope to move closer to that truth rather than further away.  For this reason we must conclude that avoiding the opinions of those who have somehow managed to look at the same world but understood it in a very different way amounts to a form of self-sabotage and is therefore foolish.
      • “If the women were not physically forced or threatened to accept money for sex then I would hardly call this rape.”

        Agreed. Feminists have a very broad concept of what counts as “coercion.” A woman is not coerced into prostitution because she can make more money doing that than working at a low paying job.

        • Actually, it’s narrow: women are people, not things. If it seems broad to you, it’s because men’s definition of sex is so broad, it includes the objectification, commodification, purchase and rape of girls and women.

      • “If you are going to change the definition of rape to whenever a woman accepts money, gifts, or a date in exchange for sex you would have to lock up half the male population.”

        Welcome to rape culture. Welcome to “friendzone”. Welcome to misogynistic losers who think they’re owed sex because they spent money for it.

        • “Welcome to rape culture.”

          Yes, Priscila, they do the work of defining it for us. By warning us that the problem with male entitlement to female bodies is too pervasive and normalized, so woven into the fabric of daily life and its heterosexual rituals, that practical solutions are unworkable. You know: “Whatcha gonna do, lock us all up — right along with the type of rapists who DON’T offer gifts or money? We are the class of people with the money and the power to make the rules, so count your blessings that we don’t use blunt physical force like the really bad men do. Silly women, ha ha!”

  3. Good point about the misogyny. But a Hell of a lot of seriously immoral things go on in the illegal drugs trade, all the way from production through distribution to consumption, with a lot of innocent people’s lives ruined and many of them women. Not least the same organisations involved in drug trafficking engage in the trafficking of sex workers as well, so I’m not sure how you can so easily dismiss the drugs side of this issue, or dissociate the two industries.

    • I think the way the drug industry works is a big huge problem, I just don’t think that using drugs, in and of themselves, is immoral. I do think that paying to have sex with another human being, in and of itself, is immoral (or unethical, is another way of putting it).

      • So even if a woman freely chooses to exchange sex for money it is still immoral to you? in your view is sex before marriage immoral? Is what Hugh Hefner does with his girlfriends immoral? And if something is immoral does that mean it should be illegal?

        • How is it a “free” exchange if she’s having sex with the man because she needs the money to survive? And YES, absolutely what Hugh Hefner does with his “girlfriends” is “immoral” — also exploitative and abusive. http://verilymag.com/2015/08/porn-industry-playboy-mansion-sex-trafficking-belle-knox-rashida-jones-holly-madison

          • I doubt Madison needed the money to survive. She made a cost benefit analysis and decided what she could get as a “girlfriend”‘of Hefner was worth the “cost” of sleeping with him. Now she is rich. She could have probably gone to college and had a nice middle class life but she wanted more and so she made that choice.

            Just like pro football players who make the choice to play football knowing all the health problems that accompany this.

            People make these cost benefit analysis all the time when it comes to jobs. You seem to believe that there is no women out there that would freely choose to exchange her sexual services for money. That when women do this they suffer some sort of physchological damage no matter what. And yet men can sleep around with as many women they want and it causes no damage?

            • Then why don’t YOU go prostitute yourself?

              Then why aren’t more prostituted men? If it’s all so free-choicey and consensual and you can make loads of money easily and blahblahblah.

              [burning with anger and disgust]

              • Your comment is awaiting moderation.Priscila,

                “[burning with anger and disgust]”

                Is the reason why you chose to describe your current emotional state meant to be interpreted as a request that readers excuse the lack of any detectable reason, content or even thought process in your comment?

              • There is no demand for straight male prostitutes. If there were I might, in my younger days, have done it. Prostitution is like any other business transaction and is influenced by the market. There are a lot of men who want sex and are willing to pay for it. Not so much with women.

                Now why is this? I think it is a result of biology and culture. For the most part men are willing to have sex just to have sex. Women not so much. Most women want to have some sort of relationship with the person they want to have sex with.

                I think looking at the homosexual community can be very insightful because I believe that men and women have evolved both in cooperation and competition with each other.

                So what do gay men do without the influence of women? They have sex a lot. Near where I live there is a city park where every couple of months they arrest men having sex with each other. The first time I saw this in the paper I decided to research this and found it is very common among men that have sex with men to engage in this kind of activity. In the lesbian community it is unheard of.

                Now straight men would also engage in this activity if they could find women that would do so, but straight women don’t do this. Something I heard years ago is basically true for men and women. When it comes to sex men just need a place and women need a reason.

                • It’s because men think of women as things that exist to please them and as less-than-human. It’s because of systems of power. It’s because men get off on their male power and on degrading women. Women have not been taught that sexual access to other human beings is their right. In any case, the solution to prostitution is not to teach women to treat men in the same way men treat women.

                  • “the solution to prostitution is not to teach women to treat men in the same way men treat women.”

                    Yes, and also because it wouldn’t work. Women don’t have the privilege and the power to treat men the same way they treat us, even if we wanted to.

                    • Right-o

                    • @Priscila

                      “Women don’t have the privilege and the power to treat men the same way they treat us [..]”

                      Not unless women, and only women, are legally allowed to carry and use cattle-prods.

                      Just sayin’… 😉

                      I’m joking but not really…

                      There are many places around the world where even maze or pepper spray are banned, nevermind guns.
                      Oh, and in many countries as well, you are required to take out a license before training on any type of martial arts or self defense. If anything were to happen, where you kicked some attacker’s ass with your kung-fu, if you’re licensed, that will work instantly against your self-defense case because it’s considered as an unfair advantage, and your skills are classed as a weapon.

                      In other words; you may be free to learn martial arts, but you’re not allowed to use them even in an emergency situation when you need them the most.

            • I’d like a full cost-benefit analysis of the consequences of listening to pompous blowhards with a misogynist bent. Because in my estimation the costs are high and the benefits nil (if you factor in health effects).

              • Ha! According my calculations, your cost-benefit estimation is accurate.

        • “freely chooses”


    • I, too was disappointed with the logic fail in the above article. While, yes, the perception of women matters in terms of human interaction and female self-image (not to mention the little discussed detail that women are more likely to physically ‘get off’ when both respected as well as impressed with good looks and a sense of responsibility to evolutionarily help with child-rearing) drug use to the extent of being harmful to others (particularly children if one is a parent) can lead to consequences of social concern, including manslaughter.

    • That’s true but I don’t think the media is critiquing his use of drugs because of how violent and terrible the drug trade is. It’s just because it’s against the law? Maybe a good media would have pointed out this larger link to how use of drugs supports these harms too innocent people as well as pointing out that racism and sexism.

      • Yeah.

  4. “The real “scandal” here is that the media and public take drug-use more seriously than human rights violations. There is no way we will move forward as a society, towards an equitable world, so long as we talk about prostitution as a joke or a private matter.”

    Why did you overlook the most egregious and arguably the only violation of human rights in this case: the fact that an individual faces criminal prosecution for the non-violent, private, elective activity of taking a drug?

    • What part of this post implied to you that I felt individual drug use should be criminalized? I would have thought I implied the opposite? That said, I don’t agree that criminalizing individual drug use is “the most egregious and arguably the only violation of human rights in this case.” Clearly.

      • You misunderstand me Meghan, nothing in your post made me think that you were in favour of prohibition; you simply show the same indifference towards this violation as you accuse others of holding towards the behaviour that offends you.

        • Are we seriously going to have to explain AGAIN the difference between drugs and human beings?

    • Are you sure you are on the right blog or site? Aren’t there many sites that invite ranting about the ‘persecution of recreational drug users’. This is a site about feminism. One of the tenets of 2nd wave feminism being that the personal is political.

      “… whole thing is a private matter”

      The idea that a man’s sexual needs require servicing by women (lots of alternatives, I believe) falls into the ‘personal is political’ category.

      Frankly, I find men to be more of the ‘pearl-clutching’ type given their need to hide their behaviour from their families. And have their families be the repositories of secrets that are being kept for the benefit of men (in the family) exclusively. The only people I know who wear pearls are conservative politicians (Allison Redford in AB comes to mind). Perhaps referring to such men as ‘poker up ass’ types (who need to act out like frat boys) is more acceptable, more masculine.

      The fact that he is a former labour MP just supports my belief that men who describe themselves as progressives rarely are. If they described themselves as libertarians I would be able to accept their self-attribution.

      I would argue that taking drugs (including legal recreational drugs) is not a neutral act, for example, smoking cigarettes indoors or in the car when your partner or child has been diagnosed with asthma. Just plain pathological (especially if you vehemently deny health effects of second-hand smoke (SHS)).

      There are countries and states that are considering labeling that kind of exposure of children to SHS (by parents/guardians) as child abuse. However, only after the parent/guardian has repeatedly refused smoking cessation aids, counseling or education.http://www.annfammed.org/content/13/2/103

      Treating children like chattel or as lesser beings is as bad as treating women in a similar fashion.

      There is no one size fits all re: drug use. Despite your assertion that the only person the recreational drug user hurts is him or herself, this is not borne out by reality. You could drive drunk or high and crash into someone else.

    • dwpandme: While taking drugs in a vacuum – that is, if you were to grow, produce, and consume your own drugs – is not immoral, prosecution for drug use is not even close to being “the most egregious and arguably the only violation of human rights” here. Clearly you do not view women as human. The entire “sex” industry is based upon the horrible abuse, exploitation, and discarding of women. THAT is a human rights violation.

      Yes, yes – I know all about the HAWT white women who put themselves through Columbia Law School charging wealthy, attractive, kind, white men hundreds of dollars to fuck them in the missionary position. But they are not the norm. And even though these mythical women appear to be making a “choice,” the fact is that if these men were not paying, the women would not be having sex with them.

      But I digress. The drug industry, too, requires torture, coercion, and violence to be lucrative. However, turning women into human garbage so men can have orgasms is the worst human rights violation I can think of.

  5. Regarding Deist99’s comment: Precisely.

  6. Interesting how society views the correct course of action in an illicit marketplace – whether to vilify and penalize the supplier or the purchaser of said illegal goods or services.

    We already have the Nordic System that penalizes purchasers of sexual services while indemnifying individual sellers.
    Now we need a system for illegal drugs based on the same premise. Penalize purchasers and turn a blind eye to sellers.

    Drug USERS create the demand for drugs – they are the PROBLEM. The people selling are merely responding to a market force of supply/demand. People who are selling drugs due to poverty could be considered marginalized (due to poverty, or race, or lack of education) and could actually be considered to be exploited by those who supply the money to purchase drugs. (That’s a turn-the-drug-war-on-it’s-head viewpoint for many, I would think…)

    So long as we hand drug users a “poor addict victim card” and target only the supply, the “War On Drugs ™” will only cost billions of more dollars and cost tens of thousands of more lives.

    • “Drug USERS create the demand for drugs – they are the PROBLEM. The people selling are merely responding to a market force of supply/demand.”

      Except that the American government basically planted crack in the ghettos…

    • I agree with you that a consistent law prohibiting all drugs would be better than what we have now. And it would clearly be the case that nicotine, cannabis, amphetamines, alcohol, opiates, caffeine, cocaine, methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ketamine and all the variations that exist would not be produced in any great quantity if demand was effectively crushed. I would have some respect for a consistent law such as that. I wasn’t meaning to turn this into an argument regarding the pros and cons of prohibition however, I was simply pointing out that there was a clear violation of human rights that deserves to be recognized as such.

      • No, you were trying to change the subject to one YOU personally care about, on a feminist blog, in a discussion about the horror known as “sex work.”

        But thanks for playing.

    • true. Please don’t forget that children under the age of one do not have the enzymes to metabolize cocaine, therefore, when they inhale it or ingest it via crawling around a crack smoke saturated home or after touching a table where it was snorted, that child will experience a negative physiological impact. That impact can range in severity and kind from cognitive deficits to survivable seizure to seizure leading to death. Many SIDS cases are now thought to have been caused by inhaling certain types of smoke in the home, because the autopsies are now able to include this type of drug testing in infant cadavers.

      I’m never loyal to a political platform. I am always loyal to the condition of life…including the voiceless forms, like children. So, where conflict is perceived between a child’s interests and those of adults…guess what….life trumps freedom to indulge in my book of ethics. This is also why I think the lives and dignity of people who work in all menial jobs, including, but not limited to the types that inspire degrading mockery, I see an social ethical problem that can lead all the way to a lesser concern for legal rights necessary to improve one’s political voice and actual survival.

      • Yes it is a constant concern when children get to that age when they are able to move around independently, open cupboards and fiddle with electrical sockets but are still unable to understand any notion of why something might be a danger to them. Terrible accidents do happen of course, and one way to ensure absolute safety would, I agree, just to prohibit the sale of and other potentially deadly cleaning materials, marbles, peanuts and anything that might cause them to choke, weedkillers, scissors, needles, drawing pins, all drugs and medicines as well as the alcohol, and coffee that would already be illegal etc etc.

        Maybe this has been tried already somewhere? It sounds a little like the Amish, or even early humans before the invention of the needle around 50,000 or so years ago. If it has it would be interesting to see a cost benefit study done on such a society.

        • Sorry a couple of typos. Should have read:

          “… one way to ensure absolute safety would, I agree, just be to prohibit the sale of disinfectant and other potentially deadly cleaning materials…”

  7. There has got to be a more accurate term for this phenomenon than “paying for sex”. The vast majority of consumers of “sex work” (including prostitution, strip clubs, pornography, etc.) are engaging in status-driven rather than utility-driven consumption. As Carole Pateman wrote,

    The story of the sexual contract reveals that the patriarchal construction of the difference between masculinity and femininity is the political difference between freedom and subjection, and that sexual mastery is the major means through which men affirm their manhood. When a man enters into the prostitution contract, he is not interested in sexually indifferent, disembodied services; he contracts to buy sexual use of awoman for a given period. Why else are men willing to enter the market and pay for “hand relief”?

    “Sex work” is more about social relations than about the almighty orgasm, and our language should reflect that.

    • Yes you’re absolutely correct, it’s social relations much more than sex itself. It’s often about relationships. Many men go to sex workers because they fall in love with them, even men who pay webcam models frequently do so for this reason.

      • I don’t think that men are “falling in love” with women in the sex industry. What they’re “in love” with is the idea that there is a disposable group of women out there who are paid to tolerate their bullshit/pretend to feel sorry for them.

        All men who pay for “sexual services” are self-entitled, egocentric, VIOLENT narcissists. And they know they are.

      • No, men are not in love with sex workers. They are in love with themselves, and they use sex workers to reassure themselves that they are as wonderful as they think themselves to be.

        • Exactly. Men are “in love with” anything that boosts their egos and doesn’t challenge them. They want women who aren’t full human beings, that’s why they watch porn and pay women to stroke their egos/let them feel like “men.”

          • Have you spoken to any sex workers about this? One of the most popular requests that men make to cam girls is to be humiliated. SPH is a very common request for example. I’m not necessarily saying you are incorrect but how is that consistent with your categorical statements?

            Are we just using different definitions for things like humiliation, egotistical, violent, exploit, reassure, mastery, subjection, narcissist, status, manhood etc? If so this is very worrying and I shall make careful use of the dictionary from now on. Since I don’t seem to encounter the same problem with basic vocabulary being misunderstood in general, I might venture to suggest that you may benefit from satisfying yourself that your chosen language accurately reflects the concepts you are trying to express.


            “I might venture to suggest that you may benefit from satisfying yourself that your chosen language accurately reflects the concepts you are trying to express.”

            Why don’t you venture up your own arse and try to find your brain?

            Women don’t exist to be fucked by men. I know that you/the men you know feel very entitled to fuck women – but you’re not. And women don’t want to fuck you. They just want your money.

            Don’t feel too sad though 😦 Maybe if you were more intelligent/more attractive/less creepy, women might like you. Unfortunately, though, those were not the cards you were dealt. Take care and stop being rapey xox

            dwpandmeAugust 8th, 2015 at 4:10 pmnoneComment author #269863 on The Lord Sewel ‘scandal’ should be about misogyny, not drugs by Feminist Current

            Your comment is awaiting moderation.“Why don’t you venture up your own arse and try to find your brain?”

            You actually made me laugh. I really didn’t think you had any sense of humour. That’s changed my opinion of you massively. I’m going to re-read all your posts to see if there are any decent points you might have made. (I started doing a smiley face thing here without thinking then I remembered that I’m responding to someone who hates an entire gender so deleted it. Don’t you think that’s a shame ? :`(

          • Oh dear…
            …you did attract the attention of the fedora-wearing-type with this one, didn’t you Meg? 😉

            If they only knew how pathetic they look to us…

            …if only *sigh*

      • You have officially outed yourself as “creepy.”

        You think men “fall in love” with women they pay for “sex”? You think they are in love with women on webcams? Creepy. Normal, healthy men fall in love with people with whom they can have an intimate, equal relationship.

        • Since I have had some limited experience as a sex worker I have spoken to others in the industry and the claims I make regarding some of the male clientele of sex workers, which you may note were never categorical, are founded not on assumptions or ideology but on what I have some confidence in believing to be based on factual accounts.

          • dwpandme said: “Since I have had some limited experience as a sex worker I have spoken to others in the industry and the claims I make regarding some of the male clientele of sex workers, which you may note [..]”

            For the love of Vishnu, shut the fuck up!

            1- [chances are] you’re not a woman 2- since you’re not a woman, also chances are you’re not a prostitute either, 3- [wild guess of mine] you’re a male MRA trolling this site.


            ….go the f*ck away!

            • Published 10th Aug.Your guess that I am male is correct. It’s not something I attempt to hide. I’m certainly not an MRA though. I don’t consider men to be oppressed by women in general whereas I can see clearly that throughout history women have been dismissed, treated with disrespect, and oppressed by society in general and often by men in particular. I don’t think that in modern Western societies women are generally oppressed however, although I can understand some of the indignation at what is perceived to be an assumed and unthinking position of privilege.

              I do think that much of the sentiment I’ve seen expressed on this site is potentially massively damaging to the cause of those women who are oppressed and it’s clear that it is made by those who have no concern whatever that this is the case. My motivation in commenting is at times simply to engage as there is some interesting and valid discussion. Where I feel it’s detrimental to the cause that it professes to support, I try to point out the errors and inconsistency in the argument in the hope that this might help dispel any misconceptions before they become widespread and cause serious harm. I don’t believe that amounts to trolling in the mind of a rational human being.

  8. Watching bits and pieces of the Sewel bullshit has been interesting. He interacts with the prostituted women as if they genuinely give a shit about him/his opinions. He’s your typical wealthy, deluded old fart.

    All men who rape women and justify their behaviour with money have this sort of attitude. They believe that even their sour breath is worth praise.

    Just a question about the Nordic Model (which is brilliant, btw): if a rapist is caught trying to rent a woman’s orifices, does this get counted on his criminal record? Because it should. These men are sex offenders and should be labelled as such.

    • That’s one way of looking at it but the problem is that if you are claiming he is deluded in believing the women care about his opinions you are also implying that he is interacting with them as humans with intelligence and understanding in which case you must conclude that he is not perceiving them to be sexual objects.

      Unfortunately, by saying that he is deluded you are assuming the women are not his equal and that they are false, not interested in what he might be saying because presumably not his intellectual equal and only playing a dumb role for the money.

      If anyone is perpetuating the objectification and stereotyping of sex workers and women in general it would appear to be those who share your prejudices, certainly not his.

      • Um. They AREN’T his equal. He is in a position of power — socially and financially. And they are playing a role. That’s what women in the sex industry do. Ask them.

        • “Um. They AREN’T his equal. He is in a position of power — socially and financially. And they are playing a role. That’s what women in the sex industry do. Ask them.”

          Without knowing any more about them there’s no reason to suppose they have any less or more of those qualities by which we all measure the value of others: Depth of character, charisma, intelligence, wit, compassion, competence, wisdom, perception, resilience, humility, sincerity, honesty. The fact that he was paying them for a service does not mean he is superior or in a position of power any more that the fact that they were accepting his money puts them in a position of power over him.

          That the service they were providing was of a sexual nature indicates that he did, I’m sure, objectify them in order to derive sexual pleasure from the experience. On the whole that is the the way male mind becomes excited, it is a very visual process and requires the male as subject consciously to behold the sexual object and this induces arousal in the male. It is not as dependent on the physical presence of the sexual partner as it is for females and is altogether a more abstract concept than is usual for females. This in itself is neither good nor bad, virtuous nor sinful, it is just one of the many differences between men and women that represents the best solution that natural selection found to get us to the point we are at now.

          The reason some women are offended by this description of male sexuality is because for some reason they imagine that objectification necessarily eclipses every other quality and aspect of the sexual object in the male mind. This may be simply because they have recognised that it doesn’t depend on the presence of those other aspects in order to function, albeit in a somewhat inferior capacity. The truth, which seems so difficult for many to grasp, is simply that in objectifying another the male is no more denying there humanity than interacting with someone on an intellectual level is denying their sexuality.

      • dwpandme,

        In my mind’s eye I imagine you pursing your lips and twirling your pearl necklace with the fingers of one hand as you say “If anyone is perpetuating the objectification and stereotyping of sex workers and women in general it would appear to be those who share your prejudices, certainly not his.” Do you ask people to call you Dr. Evil? Do you have a hairless cat? Do you have a desire to indoctrinate people and take over the world?

        Why should women be flattered if men solicit their opinions? I knew someone who used chess as a kind of foreplay. As if to say, I admire your intelligence, can’t you see? But intelligence is really secondary to people like Sewel, the ability to dictate the circumstances of the sexual interaction are really what attracts him to sex workers. Because the customer is always right, are they not? If sex work is such a great career choice why don’t men get into it. As marketers know you can always create demand (to some extent), just ask the porn industry. A job description that asks me to be insincere (pretend to experience pleasure), to pander to potentially violent clients, etc. is going to be a hard sell.

        I would say that you are in the pro-sexism, pro-gaslighting, pro-mindf*ck camp. Ah, I have met your kind many a time.

        • “Why should women be flattered if men solicit their opinions?Why should women be flattered if men solicit their opinions?”

          Absolutely no reason at all unless they respect the man who is soliciting their opinion. I’m not sure why you’re asking me this however as I don’t believe I suggested they should be.

          “But intelligence is really secondary to people like Sewel, the ability to dictate the circumstances of the sexual interaction are really what attracts him to sex workers.”

          This may be true. We have no reason to speculate either that it is the case or not without knowing more about the man. The only point I was making is that if he is deluding himself that the women care for his opinion it is clear he regards them as more than just sex objects and evidently of some intelligence. That intelligence is secondary to him is certainly plausible but in this we can only make deductions concerning the way he perceives them, not the way they or anyone else perceives them.

          No one is claiming sex work to be a great career choice. It’s considered to be the best choice by the sex worker at the time of making it assuming that it is a choice and they are not coerced in violation of their human rights. There’s no reason to think that is the case in this instance however, and if there were then it wouldn’t be about sex work but slavery and people trafficking which is another matter entirely.

      • “Unfortunately, by saying that he is deluded you are assuming the women are not his equal and that they are false, not interested in what he might be saying because presumably not his intellectual equal and only playing a dumb role for the money.”

        Oh, please. So, if a woman has to pretend to be interested in what a man is saying — if she has to play a role in order to prop up his fragile little ego (because, after all, that’s what he’s paying her for) — it must be because she isn’t his intellectual equal. That makes no sense. But it makes sense to you because your conclusion relies on this premise:

        woman is uninterested in a man’s opinion = woman is dumb

        This is the logic of a man who is deluding himself — as you are, dwpandme. Thanks, though, for supporting Meh’s point by providing an illustration of male supremacist delusion in action.

        • Yes that was was poor reasoning on my part. Thank you for pointing that out. By saying he is deluded, the only implication (other than his those concerning his perception of the situation) is that they don’t care what his opinions are. You are correct that this implies nothing about their intelligence, only their ability to play a role.

          I would avoid making statements such as that however as it’s purely speculative and in my opinion (which may be of no interest to you)of limited value.

          • I smell troll-breath…


        News just in: Radfems objectify women, rapey/perverty/creepy/deluded old MALE farts don’t.

        The world just exploded.

        Also – to address your other bullshart point: You’re stupid. And the way I’ve come to conclude that is: Sewel couldn’t give a rats fucking arse what these women think. All he wants is someone to nod and affirm his bullshit views.

        Stop being stupid (please).

        Following comment not published 
        So Meh, I just want to check what I understand your argument to be.  I’m a little anxious that I may have suffered some improbable spontaneous internal reconfiguration that has replaced my cerebral cortex with a turnip.
        1 meh claims Sewel is deluded
        2 dwpandme demonstrates that this implies something in direct conflict with some of Meh’s values to which she’s probably rather attached
        3 For the first time in her life, Meh experiences cognitive dissonance, an unpleasant yet essential precursor of conceptual thinking. Unfortunately, instead of having her first intelligent thought since she learned how to scream,   Meh experiences massive cognitive failure, possibly due to disuse, and decides that dwpandme is stupid.  Her proof of this is that she’s now changed her mind and thinks Sewel wasn’t deluded after all.
        Is that about right?
  9. “It was reported as a drug scandal: “Lord Sewel caught doing cocaine!” Who cares, I thought.”

    It does matter though; he’s on a legislative job which inevitably does carry considerable moral/ethic responsibilities.
    Do I want a male – clearly misogynist – John + coke-head legislating on matters such as abortion? Hell no, I freakin’ don’t! :/

    Years ago, I was planning to become a firefighter. Right off the bat, on the job application itself they explained to the applicant that you won’t be allowed to drink alcohol (let alone do drugs) ever, including when you’re off duty. Then they informed you that they did regular, random testings for drugs&alcohol. A positive result would lead to an instant dismissal.
    In other words; you’re fired with no right to appeal.

    I was looking forward to this career-choice but in the end I decided not to apply. I enjoy my drink and I wasn’t 100% confident I was gonna be able to totally give it up.

    I would imagine other jobs with high responsibilities have similar teetotaler drug-free rules too like; police, doctors, pilots, search and rescue crews, etc. (or… at least I hope so)

    If a firefighter is not allowed [no-doubt for sound reasons] to let his/her hair down with a glass of wine after a long shift, I don’t see why a government official – like this degenerate old git – should be allowed to do recreational drugs and do it at the tax payer’s expense.

    I too don’t care if people do drugs; provided they do it on their own free time and at their own expense.
    But for dog sake, don’t go into politics or any other job where the fate of many might be in your hands, that’s the issue!

    Non of the above is meant to suggest that the buying of prostitutes is the lesser matter in this sordid little story. It is not, and it is the main issue! But as ever: you already covered that brilliantly well on this piece, Meghan. (In fact; the minute this news broke out, I was looking forward to a RadFem article covering it; the right way. If you know what I mean…)

    I find the ongoing comparison of prostituted women to drugs and the almost complete lack of concern about the actual human women involved in this story to be enormously offensive. I wonder, if buying sex were illegal, would we treat it with the same concern we do “using drugs,” [..]”

    And that’s the core of the problem. Prostitute-buying is largely ‘legal’ or condoned, while drug-use remains largely illegal in most places.
    Hell! Not wearing a seatbelt is illegal even thought it harms no-one apart from the person him/herself not wearing the seatbelt.

    Criminalizing damaging or potentially damaging habits/substances serves as both; a source of revenue (as in: fines, sin-taxes) and as a psychological-reinforcer to the population that the State can and will rule over their lives.

    Prostitution on the other hand; reinforces the notion that women are second class citizens, subordinates to men.

    Anything that fortifies the class hierarchical system, they will legalize – or outlaw – according to what best serves and upholds the hierarchy, not the rights of the individual. Human rights don’t even enter their equation either, despite any lip-service they may pay to it.

    Lastly; any “comparison of prostituted women to drugs” is beyond contemptible and whoever does it: should be called-out, condemned, blamed&shamed and brought to heel.

    It’s clearly yet another method to de-humanize women to compare us to a thing, an inanimate, non-sentient substance.

    Just look at the VICE police division and what they specialize in: mainly drugs and prostitution. Worse still; they are the ones who treat the prostituted women as if they were the ‘vice’ itself, but not the Johns.

  10. Yes! Spot on! He should be removed from his political position due to an open display of hostility towards Asian women. For racism and sexism!

    Is it wrong to pay a woman for sex if she is able to independently support herself without her income from prostitution?

    Is it less wrong than paying to have sex with a woman who needs to prostitute herself to survive?

    Is it rape?

    I ask because I can’t find any go-to radical feminist such as Gail Dines, Catherine Mackinnon, or Kathleen Barry discuss the morality of paying to have sex with a woman who is privileged with many choices. And it’s not as though they deny such women exist, they just don’t seem to talk about it.

    • Sounds like you’re looking for a feminist blessing. This isn’t the place to find it.

    • If you’re sincerely worried about what is right, wrong, or “less wrong,” you could always go fuck yourself. Then you can be 100% sure you have harmed no woman.

    • “[..] discuss the morality of paying to have sex with a woman who is privileged with many choices. And it’s not as though they deny such women exist, they just don’t seem to talk about it.”

      And why, exactly, they should talk about that?

      Corny as this may sound: “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” corny or not; it’s non the less true in its spirit.
      Now go and apply that principle to anything and everything.

      While the privileged happy-hooker may exist, it is by no means, in any shape-way-or-form the norm.

      Feminist are concerned with the plight of the many [< that is: the plight of 50 plus percent of the population of this planet], why would they waste precious time and limited resources into analyzing something that happens rarely, if at all.
      What purpose would that serve?

      Radical Feminism (or radical anything) seeks to strike at the root of a problem, its purpose it’s not to ponder endlessly on outliers that lead to nowhere but only confirm we knew all along:exceptions are not the rule!

      As far as I’m concerned; analyzing the rare occurrence of the ‘happy-hooker’ is a job for psychologists to dissect. Not Feminists.

    • Your comment is awaiting moderation.This is an interesting question, that is, what are the set of beliefs that would cause a person to feel unable to approach that question, not the question itself.

      I’m beginning to think the cause of so much vitriol and polarization in the debate around feminist issues is that there is a tendency to make assumptions concerning the motivations and psychological factors behind the behaviour in question. Due to the lack of real insight into the interior life of those on the other side of the perceived power divide, this inevitably gives rise to indignation and defensiveness, which in turn leads to movement away from, rather than towards, common ground and hence becomes regressive.

      The only way to make progress towards a solution, other than total elimination of another gender, would require some effort being made to see the world through the eyes of the ideological enemy. This of course applies equally to other highly sensitised fault lines dividing ideological positions that occupy diminishing areas of common ground: Israel vs Palesine, pro life vs pro choice, conservative Christian vs Islamic Fundamentalist, hard left socialist vs libertarian right, conservative traditionalist vs liberal rights activist.

      To those on the outside the curious thing is that the more remote the opposing positions become in their professed objectives, the more they tend to resemble each other in behaviour and, ultimately, the nature of the resolution they find themselves moving towards. This apparently absurd irrational craving for self-sabotage isn’t inevitable and there are many instances where a unanimous effort to resist the tilting landscape has arrested the slide toward further escalation.

      Now I’m going to have a stab at this and see if I can momentarily find and empathetically sourced notion of why this might be so objectionable a question to some as to render engagement with it impossible. My guess, which I acknowledge may in itself cause offence to some who hold strong views in the debate, is that it might be likened to asking whether it’s morally less problematic to throw acid in the face of someone who is ugly than someone who is beautiful.

      • Your comment is awaiting moderation.I do hope that the moderators resist the urge to toss that comment onto the troll pile along with a few of my other not-intentionally-inflammatory-remarks.

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