My post about the repulsive anti-sex worker aspects of the Pastafarian Canon stimulated a lot of conversation on Facebook, a lot of it disappointingly clueless. When confronted with the criticisms, a lot of FSM fans just shrugged and pulled out the infamous “It’s just satire” defense. That kinda pisses me off; not only because it’s dismissive of my point, or because it’s intellectually lazy, but it also shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what satire is, and why it’s such a vital tool in speaking truth to power.
Sophie Hirschfeld has written a better reply to those complaints than I ever could. The chief difference between us here is that she’s a sex worker; I’m not. Her skin is quite literally on the line in this issue. When I write about sex workers or whorephobia, it’s because I have friends in sex work whom I want to support and help, but in the end, I’m not the one at risk. Because Sophie has to think about these things every day, she’s able to take some of the points that I was trying to make and talk about them with a clarity and eloquence that I can’t. These paragraphs are vital to understanding why the stripper factories are a problem, and not just a bunch of uptight assholes trying to ruin everyone’s fun: