Cherry Smiley – In Support of Meghan Murphy
Feminist Current | May 15, 2015 | http://bit.ly/1B2jft9
On May 1st, a number of Canadian pro-sex work groups released an open letter to rabble.ca. The letter demanded that rabble, “end [its] association with [Meghan Murphy] as editor and columnist” on the basis of her views concerning the sex industry, her long-standing criticisms of popular culture and the objectification/pornification of women and girls, and her supposed racism.
Meghan Murphy is not the problem. Patriarchy, capitalism, colonialism, and racism are the problem, and Meghan is being vilified for simply stating this truth. The open letter stated that Meghan’s material dehumanizes and disrespects women with different experiences and perspectives than hers. In reality, it is the men who engage in the sex industry as pimps, johns, pornography users, and sex industry supporters who dehumanize and disrespect all women and girls, and Meghan’s writing has revealed this truth. When we really begin to rattle cages and challenge the status quo, the patriarchy comes out swinging, both figuratively and literally. Make no mistake — the backlash against feminists can, does, and has killed women and girls who dare to speak up and truly challenge the systems that oppress all women and girls.
My Grandmother and Grandfather have always taught me to treat others with respect, to be brave, and to speak up for what’s right. Being respectful does not mean agreeing with everyone all the time. Being respectful can mean stating a difference of opinion. Being respectful can mean opening a dialogue with others on tough issues. Being respectful means speaking up when we see an injustice. Being respectful means being critical of patriarchal systems and billion dollar industries that cause so much damage to all women and girls, and to Aboriginal women and girls in particular.