Just a quick note today, really. I’ve been seeing this article posted around in prohibitionist spaces for the last couple of days, and I have to say – I’m genuinely surprised. The headline is, “Is Porn Darling Kink.com Ripping Off Its Webcam Girls?”, and the article details how, “Maxine Holloway, a local artist, activist, and adult performer, is alleging that she was fired from KinkLive last month when she tried to organize her fellow performers in opposition to changes in the payment policy that would eliminate minimum payments for each shift in favor of a commission-only plan. The new plan, according to Holloway and her supporters, would amount to a drastic reduction in wages for most of KinkLive’s performers.”
Takings are down, and Kink.com is looking at reducing costs (presumably while safeguarding profit) by cutting worker’s wages. So far, so familiar. But, I mean – so familiar. Don’t we call this ‘capitalism’? Don’t get me wrong: what Kink.com are up to looks disgraceful. But I’m genuinely surprised that prohibitionists think that this somehow supports their argument, given that the performers interviewed in the piece are clearly not tragic, agency-free victims: the whole point of the article is that they are fighting back against unfair working conditions.
Yes, unfair working conditions exist, but do these feminists think that the existence of workfare in Tesco means that both the sale and purchase of groceries is intrinsically exploitative and should be outlawed? What I’m getting from this article is that Kink.com is a capitalist employer like any other – with employees who are assertive, unafraid, and even somewhat committed to the success of the company. (‘At the same time, [activist and employee] Aorta is not unsympathetic to the financial woes of KinkLive. “It’s my goal to see a compromise between the models and Kink.com in which everyone’s making money, KinkLive is able to continue operating, and they treat us with respect. I would love to keep working with them …”‘)
As I say, I am genuinely surprised. How does an article (legitimately) critical of fractious industrial relations at Kink.com somehow fit into an analysis whereby all sex work is always already “commercial sexual exploitation”? You’d think they’d see the inconsistency. It’s as if the prohibitionist world-view has room for only two categories, “good (yay)” and “bad (boo)”, and because this article is critical, it must mean “bad (boo)”. Well, the world needs a more finely textured analysis than that – which is, yes, I know, a frankly amazing statement to have to make to anyone who has graduated from middle school. Ideology can do funny things to people, apparently.
… I probably shouldn’t even bother to point this stuff out, but y’know. Sometimes the attraction of shooting fish in a barrel becomes overwhelming. Now to go for a run.