February 26th, 2005

you are here

you'll have to take this vibrating dildo from my cold dead hands

Wichita is talking about sex. Nothing really new about that... wichita loves to talk about sex: pre-maritial sex, sex ed, birth control, gay sex, you get the picture. With all the sex talk in this town it's a wonder we can still make airplanes. Anyway this month the sex talk is about The Industry... a strip club opened up in Old Town (read: downtown district rejuvinated with city funding to be cool night club hot spot) and the council got their panties all in a wad over it. I guess topless dancing is illegal so they spray-paint their dancers or something? I don't know the issue, never been to the club (but I do frequent Old Town, yup).

So now there's all this talk about not only ridding the city of strip joints but all "adult" businesses... movie places, bookstores, and (God help us) those ever-popular "novelty" suppliers.

On the outside I've told my coworkers I'm 100% against this Holy new crusade, but on the inside I'm fairly conflicted. Our city leaders have said that these places are degrading to women, and on a couple points I have to agree. I mean, have you watched porn lately? It has potential to be cool but it's all so horrible... women are always in these submissive poses, acting happy when they get cum on their face. It's not just degrading, it's disturbing. Besides, I'm a feminist. I've read Dworkin, okay? Porn is bad. Now that I have the fundage I buy all my, um, novelties online so I don't have to go into these sleasy stores. I like Toys in Babeland, and Good for Her, The Smitten Kitten ("Put your pussy where your politics are!"). Pricilla's is creepy.

So that's why I'm happy to see the city council putting up a fight against the sex industry.

But here's why I'm unhappy: I hate the moral majority and their bullshit "family values" crusades. The people fighting these stores are the same ones who would probably tell me I shouldn't even be allowed to import a vibrator. I'm a libertarian for many reasons, but among them is the fact that the far right and their "let's protect our families by getting into EVERYBODY'S business!" make me puke. If you don't like ALL ANAL ON THE WESTERN FRONT, don't rent it.

Before the election, one of the steering committee members of my gay rights group gave me a wad of signs to hang up and a list of businesses who might be game. Most of them were coffee shops, bookstores, organic groceries, etc. Others were porn stores, and at first I was reluctant to tie ourselves with them, but when I went in and asked if the signs were okay they were cooler than any other business. The dude working an Excitement Video took down a crotch shot poster (quite vivid, I might add) that had been in an incredibly visible spot was like, "Yes, hang your 'VOTE NEXT TUESDAY' sign here!" It's like... they're my people! Freedom fighters! Everyone can own a gun, if you use your to kill someone, we'll punish YOU, not them. Everyone can buy porn, if you're inspired to become a serial rapist, we'll punish YOU. Hold people responsible! Quit trying to regulate out all crime before it happens! There's a reason Jesus was a carpenter, not a politician, we save the world by who we are, not who we throw in jail!

So the questions remain... is our hero one of those cop-out, pro-porn feminist? Or does she just put freedom and the pursuit of happiness (esp. if said happiness requires AAA batteries) above everything else? Is the sex industry bad for women? Is the anti-sex industry movement bad for EVERYTHING?

Big, crazy, millenium questions here people!