An Immodest Proposal
Guest blogger Dr. Abigail Bray wrote this several years ago. It’s well worth republishing here.
I think it is agreed by all parties that whoever could find a fair, cheap and easy method of making poor girls useful members of the economy, would deserve so well of the public, as to have her statue erected as preserver of the nation. To this end, I propose a method inspired by Milton Friedman. Let us recognise that the influence of Friedman’s deregulation thesis on third way social engineering is so profound that we can now say that the Chicago School of economics is the pinnacle of right-minded left wing practice. For example, George Papandreou, the president of Socialist International, is currently deregulating the Greek economy. While some might call him an undertaker, a cannibal, and a pimp, we in the progressive Left know such hysterical accusations come from wowsers.
What a tragedy for humanity that Milton Friedman did not follow up his Capitalism and Freedom (1962) with Capitalism and Sexual Freedom.
Thankfully, however, deregulation produces a sexually liberated market place. We now enjoy the seductive interpellations of a self-regulated corporate culture that promotes incessant sex industry style fucking: from children’s films and baby wear to real estate and shampoo adverts, everything is bubbling with the promise of sexual excitement. At the local brothel, young women sell their bodies to all kinds of men for different and diverse sexual practices. Or I can stroll into an adult.com chain shop and buy magazines showing women laughing with delight, as they are hogtied and given a vigorous triple penetration. Or at the deli near the local high school I can buy magazines full of smiling barely legal teens captioned ‘Cum on my braces!’. With a tap of my varnished nail, my PC ejaculates a load of porn—bestiality, incest, gonzo, BDSM, Lolita. Newspapers are full of adverts for self-reliant individual female sex workers.
Yet we have not gone far enough. We are in the infancy of our sexual freedom as a nation and it is the responsibility of the Left to see to it that progress is made. The sex industry should be free of any state control and the Left, in the interests of liberty, equality and fraternity, should embrace a range of laissez-faire policies immediately.
I say to you: it is time the Left stood shoulder to shoulder with the sex industry and said ‘yes we can!’
More needs to be done so that those who are at risk from welfare dependency can chose to become self-reliant consumers.
I am talking, of course, of those poor girls who come from sexually and physically violent homes, intermittently attend financially irresponsible state schools, only to spend their lives drifting miserably through the expanding secondary labour market. These girls often end up on sole parent benefits with numerous children to feed. It is time the Left encouraged these poor girls to embrace the choice of a self-empowering life in the sex industry.
Can the Left argue with any credibility that sex work shouldn’t be promoted as a viable career option for these unfortunate girls? Recently I heard that one girl had finished high school and was earning $3 an hour in a cafe. If sex work were de-stigmatised to be a job like any other, she could be earning $150 an hour. Instead of labouring for years in dead-end jobs, with the burden of debt on her young shoulders, she could be paying those university fees, saving for that $200,000 or so she will need as a deposit on a modest home.
Here are merely some of the socio-economic benefits of a deregulated sex industry.
- The sex industry builds social cohesion by providing a healthy outlet for male sexual needs of all kinds. In the interests of public health and safety it is vital that the Left defend the right of the sex industry to fully penetrate the private and public sphere. Let us face facts. Although decades of scientific feminist research argue that the sex industry practices and promotes violent woman hating, circumstantial evidence suggests feminists make these claims because they are man-haters.
- We must offer brothels the choice to corporatize their business. By gentrifying the sex industry we enhance the social status of sex work.
- Within working-class areas pornography corporations should be approached as industry partners in state sex education projects. Brothel owners and pimps might select students for job training in year 10. Already groomed for such work by the sex industry’s colonisation of their life worlds, this opportunity to professionalize their knowledge will be eagerly embraced by poor girls.
- Student unions could actively place girls within the sex industry formalising an already growing trend for poor students. The sex industry will support the higher education sector by increasing retention rates for the poor that in turn will lead to increased corporate/university profits.
- Australia should be marketed internationally to sex tourists. Currently many Australian men go to places like Cambodia for unregulated sex industry business—it is time we reversed the trend.
- The unemployed, the homeless, the entire standing reserve of at-risk and vulnerable girls should undergo training in various aspects of sex work and be thoughtfully placed in the industry. There will be no need for exit paths—rather old workers of 30 will be offered promotion to pimp.
- Female run pornography companies and sex industry venues would enhance gender equality.
- Much research has been done on the negative impact of our image-obsessed culture. Yet here too is where the sex industry can help us. As Marx wrote: ‘I am ugly but I can buy the most beautiful woman. Which means to say that I am not ugly, for the effect of ugliness, its repelling power, is destroyed by money [Marx, Early Writings, Penguin. 1975, p. 377]. Surely then, the sex industry, which offers attractive girls to ugly men for money, will enhance men’s self-esteem which will in turn radiate outwards as a benevolence towards others, such as women, perhaps.
As the sex industry requires lithe bodies, many girls will be motivated to halt their descent into obesity in the interests of personal profit. Thus the sex industry will address the epidemic of youth obesity in Australia. Other issues facing disadvantaged girls, such as mental illness, rural suicide rates, social isolation, drug use, and anti-social behaviour will be eradicated by the therapeutic and financial benefits of belonging to the sex industry community. Cyber bullying through sexting will no longer have social purchase once society teaches the young to embrace pro-sex industry identities. The words ‘whore’, ‘ho’ and ‘pimp’, already terms of endearment among the young, will be further accepted as compliments.
This sincerely felt proposal should merit the originator a Humanist of the Year award, not to mention substantial research funding from the sex industry. Might I remind readers that it is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day? Although the communist wowser Clara Zetkin instigated this day we have now reached a moment in history where we can more accurately see that economics never lies.
(With apologies to Dr. Jonathan Swift)
Dr. Abigail Bray is a research fellow at the Social Justice Research Centre at Edith Cowan University. She has published widely in leading international academic journals on anorexia, child sexual abuse, moral panics, and child pornography. She is the editor of Big Porn Inc: Exposing the Harms of the Global Pornography Industry (2012), Hélène Cixous: Writing and Sexual Difference (2004), and Body Talk: A Power Guide for Girls (2005) with Elizabeth Reid Boyd. Dr. Bray was an inaugural inductee into the Western Australian Women’s Hall of Fame in 2011.