Spanish version here.
Prostitution is a triangle, stable but under tension. The triangle is the most stable two-dimensional geometric shape (due to its simplicity) that maintains tension (since it is made up of different elements): without tension, it would be a circumference.
The three sides of the prostitution triangle are sex workers, clients, and the third party; or, said in more direct language, whores, johns, and the pimp.
Each of the parties needs the other two and, at the same time, opposes them.
Whores are women as a whole since we are all whores, potentially or in actuality, by virtue of our dignity as human beings, of our right to freely decide about our lives and our bodies. But those who are part of the triangle are only active whores.
Johns are the set of the men, since all are johns, in potential or in actuality, for the same reason that the women are whores. But only active johns are part of the triangle.
The pimp is the State. The third part is the element that creates the conditions of prostitution. The patriarchal, capitalist, racist, and colonialist State exercises its violence by condemning to hunger those who do not have money. Money is the soulless soul of the capitalist State. The State conditions with its laws the freedom of men and women for the only purpose that their nature allows: to earn money.
The freedom of men and women is, ultimately, their sexual freedom. The coercion of sexual freedom of men and women is exercised by the State through the institution of marriage. Marriage is the nucleus of the capitalist State, where the relations of oppression and exploitation that are essential to it are reproduced and perpetuated. Marriage is the fundamental institution of the patriarchal, capitalist, racist, and colonialist State (1) (2) (3).
The State is the apparatus of the State. The State apparatus is made up of men and women. Men and women who support with all their strength the expiring and dying institution of marriage.
Women as part of the patriarchal State apparatus? Yes: hegemonic, radical, and abolitionist feminist women.
Radical and abolitionist patriarchal hegemonic feminism defends with all its strength the infantilization of women, our genetic limitation to decide on our lives and our bodies. Hegemonic feminism defends with all its strength the institution of marriage, that enormous “concentration camp” (to use its terminology) where day by day we see how “the worst violence against women” is carried out: murder.
Hegemonic and abolitionist radical feminism, as a member of the pimp State, has a unique objective: to earn money. In the first place, from the State budget, but, lastly, from the sexual exploitation of men in marriage. Abolitionist, patriarchal, and hegemonic feminists compete as wives with prostitutes for men’s money.
Prostitutes, sex workers, whores are the base of the triangle. Over them, over their oppression, the whole State pimp machine rises. The bitch stigma is the foundation of the business. Without stigma, without denial by the “democratic” State to women (in general) and to sex workers (in particular) of our fundamental rights —of our dignity— labor exploitation would not be possible; nor the violence on violence suffered by whores; nor its degradation to the minority of age.
The third side, that of the johns, is passive. He is the one who puts the money. It is the true “victim” of “sexual exploitation”. But, since they are men, they have the generic alliance of the pimp State that, in exchange for their money, offers them women without rights, lets them participate in its institutional violence.
Can sex workers free themselves from oppression, regain their human, democratic, fundamental, constitutional rights?
Only if they unite.
The division of sex workers, the competition between them, is what perpetuates the oppression exerted on them by the exploiting pimp State and its protected johns.
Only the perception of what unites them as a differentiated element from what separates them will allow their united action to recover their rights. Only when they are between the sword and the wall, the sword of individualism and the wall of hunger, will they unite, organize and occupy their position, which is none other than the vanguard in the fight for women’s liberation.
1.- “For feminist criticism, modern marriage is a patriarchal institution based on the sexual division of labor; the appropriation of the reproductive, sexual, autonomy and domestic work capacity of women; the bond between sexuality and reproduction; the idea of complementarity of the sexes, understood as natural and unalterable, and compulsory heterosexuality. ”
Marriage: a changing political institution
María José Machado Arévalo
April 7, 2019
El Telégrafo Newspaper
2.- “Regarding marriage itself, there are many things to say, has it not been for centuries the most brutal, silent and daily form of oppression for thousands of women, that is, their slavery?”
Rosa M. Posa Guinea, Former Project Consultant for LAC Institute, IGLHRC
3.- “The institution of marriage is both old and ubiquitous. Yet, little work has been done by economists on why this social institution exists and why throughout history it has been intimately linked to fertility. We explain the institution of marriage as a societal consensus on the need to curb cuckoldry for the purpose of paternity certainty and biparental investment in offspring. By raising the costs of mating to individuals, marriage reduces cheating in society, a source of mating market failure, and makes paternity more certain. Men, in consequence, invest more in their putative offspring, a fact that also benefits mothers. ”
The institution of marriage
Dirk Bethmann and Michael Kvasnicka
Journal of Population Economics
Vol. 24, No. 3 (July 2011), pp. 1005-1032