I don’t watch Mad Men. I’ve never been a fan and I figure that I don’t have the time or energy to try to pick it up now. But you didn’t have to watch the show on Sunday to find out that Christina Hendricks‘ character Joan decided to sleep with a client in exchange for partnership in the firm. (You don’t even have to watch the show to debate about it, as Ashley proved wonderfully.) She prostituted herself out for profit and power.
Now, lots of amazing women who I thoroughly respect and enjoy have been calling this a feminist move. Joan used her sexuality to get ahead. It was her body, her choice and she did what’s right for her. But I continue to balk at all these arguments, because while I consider myself a very strong feminist, I have a serious problem with prostitution. In fact, if we’re being honest here, I have a problem with most forms of this whole “women profiting from their sexuality” thing.
Yes, I consider myself a feminist and I am completely uncomfortable with strip clubs, porn and prostitution. How funny is it that I’m a little embarrassed to admit this?
Let me explain, I don’t want to enforce my opinions on anyone else. I’m not saying that someone else who wants to strip or trade money for sex shouldn’t be able to. I don’t agree with people who want to enforce their morals on others. As long as we’re talking about consenting adults who are making their own choice, it’s really not my business to get involved.
That being said, by labeling prostitution as an act of feminism, does this put me on the opposite side of feminists? Am I somehow oppressing women because I don’t believe that selling sex for money (or power) is a good thing? I’m honestly conflicted about this.
Here’s my problem with selling sex. For me, sex is a private act between two people that love each other. I know, it’s an antiquated and probably unrealistic worldview. But it’s also one that I treasure. I don’t like the idea of sleeping with someone who I don’t actually feel an emotional connection to. I realize that other people don’t have a problem with that. I know that both men and women can enjoy sex without being in a committed relationship. I just can’t do it.