So I received this message this morning:
“What I don’t really get is feminism and panty selling which seem to be at odds with each other (in my mind at least). I’m intrigued as to what your take on that is?”
The reason this question came my way is that I have described myself as a feminist on my profile and so that sparked the curiosity of this buyer.
It’s such a great question that I want to respond to it here.
Before we begin, this is my response and my opinion. I don’t speak on behalf of other feminists, other panty sellers or other sex workers.
I guess the first question ought to be, well, why wouldn’t it be feminist of me to sell panties?
Probably most would say because it’s because I’m selling for the sexual gratification of men.
Or because I’m selling my body in some way and that women are more than just their bodies. Some feminists would probably say I’m not a feminist because I’m resorting to using my sexuality to sell.
But I think there’s an inherent misogyny in the actual question itself. That’s not a criticisim of the person who asks, merely an observation.
Because there’s this assumption that panty sellers and panty selling exists and functions purely for the pleasure of men, and us poor panty sellers are not receiving any benefits or reward from engaging in this work.
Or that we’re in some way hard done by to find ourselves in this predicament.
There may unfortunately be truth in that for some sellers.
But here’s my predicament.
I’m highly educated. To Masters level. Twice.
I have enough money that I don’t have to do this work.
Sure, when I started, financial gain was my sole interest. But things have changed. And yet I continue to sell.
I choose to do it.
And choice is the key here.
What is a feminist?
A feminist believes in equality of rights for both sexes.
And that right includes what I choose to do for work, pleasure and everything in between.
My body, my choice.
That is feminism.
It doesn’t matter to me who derives pleasure from my body. The fact that I have the choice with what I do or charge for it by its very nature IS a right that I get to enjoy. As a feminist.
Regardless of what circumstances surround a woman’s choice to become an adult entertainer, she has the right to feel empowered by the work. If she was a victim of circumstance or forced into this work, that would be where you’d be right to question me around whether I worked in a feminist-positive industry.
But what about the men? They’re getting off on you women! They’re treating you like sex-objects and you’re doing nothing to emancipate women or have us women valued for our meaningful contribution to society…
Those tend to be the calls of the SWERFS. Sex Work Exclusionary Radical Feminists. Those are the feminists that would rather leave sex workers out in the cold, because they don’t ‘fit in’ to this radical feminist ideal.
That’s not me. That’s not my vibe.
Sex work is work.
All women have the right to engage in it or not.
It doesn’t mean that you aren’t a feminist.
Because if you aren’t a feminist you don’t believe in equality. End of.
If anything, saying that women can’t or shouldn’t do this kind of work is the exact OPPOSITE of feminism.
Panty selling for me is an empowered choice. It’s a choice that most women make for whatever reason they deem fit or necessary. The number one reason a woman goes in to this work, is not for the sexual gratification of men. It’s for the money. Whether men derive pleasure or not is not the sole concern of the seller.
You can be a feminist and still be happy to receive attention and financial reward from men. Being a feminist does not mean that I can’t enjoy my sexuality and how I choose to express it or how I make money from it.
Feminism is women from all walks of life making their own choices without judgement. And that is precisely what is going on here.
Panty sellers are not being forced to sell panties (I hope not anyway).
That is feminism.
Panty sellers are running their businesses and making money irrespective of who benefits and who pays.
That is feminism.
Like I said, as a seller you may even disagree with me and that’s your choice.
That too, is feminism.