REAL for women is a grass-roots campaigning group that focuses on challenging Australian culture to evolve, so that it reflects the value of our female citizens as equal human beings.
“What prostitution does in a society of male dominance is that it establishes a social bottom beneath which there is no bottom. It is the bottom. Prostituted women are all on the bottom. And all men are above it. They may not be above it much but even men who are prostituted are above the bottom that is set by prostituted women and girls.
Every man in this society benefits from the fact that women are prostituted whether or not every man uses a woman in prostitution. This should not have to be said but it has to be said: prostitution comes from male dominance, not from female nature. It is a political reality that exists because one group of people has and maintains power over another group of people. I underline that because I want to say to you that male domination is cruel. I want to say to you that male domination must be destroyed. Male domination needs to be ended, not simply reformed, not made a little nicer, and not made a little nicer for some women.
We need to look at the role of men–really look at it, study it, understand it–in keeping women poor, in keeping women homeless, in keeping girls raped, which is to say, in creating prostitutes, a population of women who will be used in prostitution. We need to look at the role of men in romanticizing prostitution, in making its cost to women culturally invisible, in using the power of this society, the economic power, the cultural power, the social power, to create silence, to create silence among those who have been hurt, the silence of the women who have been used. We need to look at the role of men in creating a hatred of women, in creating prejudice against women, in using the culture to support, promote, advocate, celebrate aggression against women.
We need to look at the role of men in creating a political idea of freedom that only they can actually have. Isn’t that funny? What is freedom? Two thousand years of discourse and somehow it manages to leave us out. It is an amazingly
self-serving monologue that they have had going here.
We need to look at the role of men in creating political systems that subordinate women; and that means that we have to look at the role of men in creating prostitution, in protecting prostitution–how law enforcement does it, how journalism does it, how lawyers do it. We need to know the ways in which all those men use prostitutes and in doing so destroy the human dignity of the women.
The cure to this problem is political. That means taking power away from men. This is real stuff; it is serious stuff. They have too much of it. They do not use it right. They are bullies. They do not have a right to what they have; and that means it has to be taken away from them. We have to take the power that they have to use us away from them. We have to take the power that they have to hurt us away from them. We have to take their money away from them. They have too much of it. Any man who has enough money to spend degrading a woman’s life in prostitution has too much money. He does not need what he’s got in his pocket. But there is a woman who does.
We need to take away their social dominance–over us. We live in a tyranny of liars and hypocrites and sadists. Now, it will cost you to fight them. They have to be taken off of women, do you understand me? They need to be lifted up and off. What is intractable about prostitution is male dominance. And it is male dominance that has to be ended so that women will not be prostituted.
You, you–you have to weaken and destroy every institution that is part of how men rule over women. And don’t ask if you should. The question is how, not if. How? Do one thing, rather than spend your lives debating if you should do this or if you should do that and do they really deserve it and is it really fair? Fair? Is it really fair? Darlings, we could get the machine guns out tonight. Fair? We break our own hearts with these questions. Is it fair? Don’t respect their laws. No. Don’t respect their laws.
* His-story. Men Defining Rape: A history. Mother Jones.