Woke boys should put up or shut up

A researcher from the Council of Disobedient Women held a focus group meeting with a bunch of woke lads and woke-adjacent folks about prostitution.

Well, it’s more that I wandered into a lefty discussion forum and asked them to read ‘Sex Work – why we aren’t buying it‘.

“Anti-working class propaganda” was the edict within 5 seconds of posting the link.

A strong whiff of 1950s authoritarian manhood lingered in the air. His was supposed to be the final word but there are always contending alphas in a troop. Sure enough, they sauntered in for a look.

Most were very confident that there was no difference between prostitution and working at a burger joint. A couple of women who joined the discussion were less sure but they all opposed the Nordic model, because they said it moved the work into the ‘Shadows’.

I ask, if the Nordic model is so bad for sex workers why does it not show up in statistics? The general murder rate in Sweden is 1.08 per 100k population. In the Netherlands it is 0.5 per 100k population. (UN stats on murder rates, 2019) Since the Nordic model was introduced in Sweden in 1999 no prostitutes have been murdered. In contrast, since legalisation of prostitution in the Netherlands in 2000, there have been 127 prostitutes murdered while at work, despite that country having a lower overall murder rate than Sweden. The numbers tell a story.

No, they would not believe those figures could be at all indicative of anything. Nor did they think the work was particularly dangerous. They were very worried however about prostitutes working in the ‘Shadows’. More worried about that than the number of women getting murdered.

What safety gear would you suggest to make sex work as safe as possible I ask? If I asked this question about a timber worker I am sure they would have some ideas. What were their ideas for safety in sex work?

Deafening silence.

Well, not quite silence, but a long rant about it being impossible to be specific about safety gear.

It’s tricky isn’t it when you have to work in the nude. So I move on and ask, why do some men choose to buy women’s bodies?

A ridiculous question. No reason given, however, for this response from them.
Your objections must be moralistic, prudishness, misguided, ignorant.
Must be a SWERF, a TERF.
It seems the little lady has a bad case of ‘Internalised Patriarchy’ according to the man who had declared the article anti-working class propaganda.

With the exception of one feminist bystander, not one person stepped forward to agree that the sex is not consensual, it cannot be consensual because it is unwanted. The transaction is the use of a body in exchange for money.

If someone wants to sell their body in an environment in which they feel safe (as some people ACTUALLY WANT TO DO) – why shouldn’t they be able? How is this different from any other form of employment? Why do people buy junk food? Why do people buy comic books? Why do people buy anything? That’s an absurd question to ask, they said.

Now we get to the essence, in the lads’ minds the woman in prostitution is a thing to buy.

No, they protest, that’s not what was meant. It is a service that is bought.

No, I don’t think it is a service that is being sold, I think the punter is buying access to someone’s body. Why is a young female sold for more than an older one? Why is a young inexperienced prostitute worth more than an older more experienced woman? The law of value is not operating as it usually does.

Again we return to the notion of women being purchased to service the sexual needs of men.

They protest that price is fickle, particularly with services – pop stars for example. It could be an indication of misogynistic attitudes, sure, but if it obliterates the law of value then heaps of other industries do as well.

This is not analogous as most artists don’t make a living, while some make fortunes. So the price of labour power may well average out and the law of value may operate in the arts. Most sex workers do not end up wealthy, but the key difference with many jobs is that the prostitutes command a higher price when young. This is about misogyny.

No, they keep insisting that sex work is not any more or less exploitative than any other form of work.

So are they willing to walk the talk?

Most were silent. One was keen to be a gigolo.

There’s always one isn’t there!  (Although I remain skeptical he really was keen to be screwed in any available and every available orifice by some greasy old businessman, as prostituted women are.  I suspect he was fantasising about being kept by a wealthy older woman in her plush apartment.  A whole other thing: male fantasy rather than the reality of prostitution for the vast majority of prostituted women.)

It was a ‘No’ from the chap with the externalised patriarchy patter. He had no interest in doing it, he also could not get involved in it due to family matters and he had “body image issues” holding him back!

What is it about woke guys always making out they are a victim? Body image issues have not stopped millions of women being used and abused by punters so that seemed a rather feeble excuse to me. And don’t a lot of prostitutes have “family matters” to attend to? Then I try to jolly him along with my opinion that he’s cute looking and still young enough to fetch a good price. It might help you with your body image to get pummelled up the arse and in the throat by strangers, I helpfully suggest.

“You don’t even know what I look like, that’s a disgusting comment on your part. Why are you being so creepy?”

What is wrong with what I said. Is that not what customers purchase when they buy sex?  I mean, for several hours, he and other ‘lads’ have insisted sex work is just another form of work.

To sum up their argument: “Can I have a big mac and fries and a large coke please” is the same as “I am going to fuck you so hard you’ll be screaming you dirty little whore”. But when it comes to doing the work themselves their attitudes show they were just recycling the double standards, male chauvinism and moral hypocrisy of the most backward men of two generations ago.


  1. I’m glad the researcher didn’t have to organise and pay these awful men for the focus group. And the lad who mansplained to the researcher that she was ‘internalising patriarchy’ by questioning one of the most oppressive forms of ‘work’ inflicted on women throughout the history of class societies that is absolutely precious. Sounds like he was outright advocating patriarchy and blissfully unself-aware.

    I was bemused too by his limp reasons for not undertaking this ‘work’ himself. I mean he wouldn’t see work in a burger joint as below him, so why be so outraged when a woman suggests that he do the work he is so in favour of women doing? Talk about the old male double standard.

    It’s also interesting to see how wedded they are to capitalist ideology, like the “choice” argument that became a big thing when neoliberalism reared its head. Right at the heart of contemporary capitalist market ideology is the “choice” argument. It’s all about the “choice” and prostitution is just all about “choice” – well at least for women, because these creepy guys don’t want a bar of it for themselves as a job.

    Not long ago, British trans person Miranda Yardley noted how so many young left males these days are the ideological offspring of neoliberalism. (Actually, I think Miranda called them “the pampered brat offspring of neo-liberalism”.) In any case, they certainly embrace and regurgitate its key themes, like bogus “choice” ideology. Internalised market ideology anyone? They really should fuck off to some market-fanatic political movement where their ideas would fit in very comfortably, from the nonsense about choice to the misogyny of the most degraded forms of commodification of women.

    Like Graham Linehan – co-creator and co-writer of ‘Father Ted’, ‘Black Books’ and ‘The IT Crowd’ – asked last year: “What is wrong with young left-wing men these days?”

    Indeed. They sound like Hugh Heffner in the 1950s.

    In the 1960s there was a new left which emphasised the notion of Liberation. Now we have a bunch of young (largely male) leftists, or pseudo-leftists, who emphasise ‘choice’ and ‘identity’, the ultimate reflection of capitalist commodification. And reification.



  2. It’s very complex. I was brought up with classical music as a high aim in my life, too good to be paid for. The composer Brahms was special for me. I found later he had worked as a pianist in unseemly conditions and been maltreated. He seemed to then dissociate sex from his great love Clara Schumann. Just that some people may rise above abuse in a fashion.

  3. So, one of the woke boys thought the article on “sex work” was “anti-working class propaganda”. Can we assume that if he had been about in Victorian times he would have dismissed left-wing attacks on the use of children as chimney sweeps and factory hands as “anti-working class propaganda”? This woke boy spouts petty-bourgeois ideology, shot through with misogyny.

    While he might want the daughters of the working class to be available for sex for money, workers have other ambitions for their daughters. (I say daughters because the discussion is about the prostituting of women.) I’ll remind my daughters to keep away from him and his mates and their awful attitudes towards women.

    Where *do* these woke lads and their backward attitudes towards women and jobs for women come from? How have they come to so embody the attitudes of capital and patriarchy? And then think they are ‘left-wing’?

    • Susanne K, they may have gone to school and been friends of some of these people, and trying to allow them some sort of dignity. Surely we need to improve social conditions so mothers can pay for their children to have music dancing and art lessons?

  4. So good thank you. So well put!
    If I meet another of these ”woke boys” telling me that they know a lot if ”sex worker” and that it is empowering for tjhem… Come on now…. I’m going to be able to get my point across more clearly and directly…

  5. I think some of those woke boys arguing for women’s ”freedom of choice”, the ones that benefit them only, even if they have not actually paid to violate a women themselves yet are daydream of having women do anything they want to them really, to be at their slave, that they would just have to pay some cash and boom, women would do/submit to everything on the man’s term while faking it is also what they want ultimately?… So immature, violent, gross, narcissistic…They must resent women’s true freedom : standards of who they truly want to have sex with. I’m thinking here, because I don’t understand… I talked with one of those leftish woke boys recently, who seemed relatively ‘nice’ before that prostitution talk we had… He said to me that ”some women sex worker have goddess-like energy, seems like something ancient….sacred to him”…. What the fuck? What is that, where does it comes from?… No empathy for women and such disconnect from our reality in lot’s of man.

    I loved they other comments as well, so helpful.

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