Last updated on: 1/18/2008 | Author: ProCon.org

S.M. Berg Biography

Title:
Co-Founder of the Sexual Health Activist Group (SHAG)
Position:
Con to the question "Should Prostitution Be Legal?"
Reasoning:

“When men, media, madams, and other moneymakers muse with a nudge-nudge, wink-wink about ‘the workers of the sex’ it’s not remarkable or difficult to understand from a beneficiary point of view. The issue I’d like to raise here is how almost all mainstream feminist writers and commentators have remained silent regarding the lives of the world’s estimated 35 million prostituted women, most of them brownskinned girls from the global South sold and coerced into literal sexual slavery.

Globalization, racism and sexism have combined to make 2005 the first year that the market for female bodies enslaved more people than African slavery did 150 years ago. Instead of railing against the increasing exploitation of females internationally, mainstream American feminists have mostly chosen to ignore the severe and tragic harms of prostitution. Why the wall of silence regarding men’s legitimized sense of entitlement to demand sex anytime, any way they want it, from mostly minority and poverty-stricken women?

…S.M.Berg is not afraid to choose prostituted women over prostitute-using men, and is a big fan of the Swedish model – decriminalizing prostitutes but not pimps and johns….

Widespread sexual violence against women is caused by the continued acceptance of men’s sense of entitlement to sex from women. That’s what the very word ‘sexism’ means, being discriminated against and objectified because of sex, being made into objects for men to sexually (ab)use without regard to women’s humanity. Men who rape believe that men have a right to use women’s bodies any time, any way, however they want. Sexual harassment at work and on the street stems from a culture that accepts men’s right to define and control female sexuality.Anti-choice forces believe they can deny women abortions by dint of the sexual use of a woman’s body by an impregnating man….

…Rejecting prostitution is consistent with the feminist belief that men do not have a right to control women’s sexuality ever, but too many feminist women still can’t say so while standing tall and without apologizing for believing it.”

“Hey, Progressives! Cathouse Got Your Tongue?,” Portland Alliance, July 2006

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
  Organizations/VIPs/Others
Individuals and organizations that do not fit into the other star categories.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Co-Founder, Antiporn Activist Network (APAN), 2004-present
  • Co-Founder, Sexual Health Activist Group (SHAG), 2002-present
  • Freelance writer
  • Activist
Education:
  • None found
Other:
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. Should Prostitution Be Legal?