This is our truth, tell us yours
If you have never come across the Left Behind series, I would not recommend seeking them out. A strange combination of anti semitism, end times theology and sci fi they turn the apocalypse into a low budget disaster movie, with giant bugs. I read them because I was intrigued by end times theology. I know its without biblical justification, but I wanted to see how those who follow it viewed the world.
One of the things that struck me was how pain and suffering in order to reach the desired new Earth was seen as perfectly acceptable. There are whole sermons printed in the book on Gods love, but the action is around how many people can be tortured and killed by God. This is justified by the argument (if that’s not giving it too much of a respectable name) that the pain of bad people is necessary so that the good can be saved.
This idea that some can acceptably sacrificed in order to build a utopia is sadly not limited to the writers of execrable science fiction. It is sadly the position of mainstream feminism in the UK today. It is the position of journalists who represent feminist thought, organisers of marches, attendees of conferences. Like the Christian end timers they see some people so tainted by sin that they can never be accepted. Their sinners are sex workers, women whose lives must be filled with pain and torment in order that the feminist new world can be built. (Unsure if they demand giant bugs too).
Earlier I wrote about how tired I was of organisations like Reclaim the Night seeing us as the price worth paying in the building of their feminist world. A world which does not see consent as primary, but which instead judges a woman’s worth by the social acceptability of the sex she is having. A world straight out of the Handmaidens tale. I also recently wrote my submission to Jean Urquarts decriminalization proposal. These two things are linked, and not just chronologically. Its not enough to say antis are uniformed about the harms of the Swedish Model, or that they mean well. The information is out there, its so easily accessible that I could write a 2000 word essay with 24 footnotes referencing a large number of academic papers, and I am neither an academic or researcher. Organisations like RTN are not ignoring or unaware of the evidence, they simply think the harms to sex workers are supportable because sex workers are acceptable collateral damage. Just as end timers believe that millions will die to bring the second coming closer, so swerfs believe the rape and murder of sex workers is somehow acceptable if it builds a feminist utopia.
Carter and I once created a dystopia based on a quite formal view of BDSM. Or as formal as we ever get. It was a place where laws dictated who could be pierced and collared, and transgressors could be sentenced to a week in the glory holes. Anyone reading could have guessed very easily our kinks and paraphilias. Here is the thing though, we were both very aware that our fantasy was simply that, an invented place which was fun and hot to explore.
When you invest your utopia with a reality, with the belief it could and should be created you turn your back on the world we actually inhabit. The Christian Church has used this over the centuries to excuse everything from slavery to child abuse. Accept your suffering in the here and now because after death you will enter into a realm of perfection. Feminism does no different when it ignores harm in order to promulgate a fantasy.
Does this mean we should not fight to change things, just give up and accept things as they are? Of course not, but it is important to understand why we want things to change. Are we seeking to improve the world for people who actually exist, or, like those Christians who support the bombing of syria, are we willing to countenance actual harm for mythical benefits?