you threw your toys out of the pram, Furrygirl.

My mum tells a story about how when I was breastfeeding I used to bite her sometimes. I'd be quietly suckling away, then nip- she would yelp and pull me away, and I'd beam, she'd sigh and let me suckle... and sometimes, I'd bite her again.

Yeah, I may've been a little sadist event then. But no one would've called what was going on sexual by any stretch of the imagination, right?

Last week Feminisnt blogger Furrygirl accused Madison Young, founder of Femina Potens and Feminist Porn Network, of being a borderline pedophile. She has since blogged about this on her personal blog, after her logic was widely shot down as "crazy talk". In her blog, she talks (again) about Madison breastfeeding in a "place people go to masturbate" I want to correct this mistaken idea very clearly. 

Madison did a performance at Sizzle wherein she breastfed (with two other women, all clothed) and talked about how moving breastfeeding was for her. They then talked about the Great Latch-On, a breastfeeding awareness day. Now, normally, Sizzle can have some erotic content- I've been a lingerie-clad figure model before, for example. But this particular one had that, and Maggie Mayhem talking about taking AZT in Africa, and the organizer from Slutwalk talking about rape, and Maxine Holloway talking about Hep C, and me talking about consent being sexy. Not exactly erotic, certainly not a space where people were being voyeuristic. No wanking. I've never seen wanking at Sizzle- it's more of a performance art space than anything else.

Then there's the image Furry keeps harping on about- a photo accompanying a piece about being a sexy mother, wherein Madison looks glamorous while breastfeeding. Furry is *just wrong* when she says that women don't make themselves look glamorous or sensual for breastfeeding photos (here here here here and here for a start), but then, she's not a breeder. Never mind the question- if it's about babies not being able to consent to being photographed while feeding, are sensual nude pregnancy photos ok? Once a sex worker always a sex worker- are you then banned from feeding your baby in public because you are a publicly sexual figure?

Is it just me, or does that sound pretty anti-sex worker for a woman who is starting a organization to support sex workers..?

What Furry likely *meant* to say was this: http://twitter.com/#!/furrygirl/status/102274806359146496
What she said, however...

I mean, I tried to get out of Furry what exactly she was saying:

But she just blocked me instead of answering my questions and continued this hysterical "omgomg feminist porn loves pedos! San Francisco is crazy! I'm the only sane one!" It was kind of nuts, and honestly I expected better from her.

She's continuing to suggest that Madison's twitterstream is basically a pornographic sexualized place. Considering Madison talks about a lot of things relating to her life, some of it sexual, some of it not, I think Furry is ignoring the context she keeps talking about being important. I mean, Furry has a photo of her without panties with her cat- does this make her into bestiality? Could someone into bestiality sexualize that image? Has her cat consented to the photo? I'd giggle if she says that it's different because the baby is human, considering she's vegan....

It was pretty angering, though. Partially because I have multiple friends in altsex who are parents. Partially because I may one day spawn a whelp of my own. And I still want to work in sex work, after I've had a child- who's to say I can't? I may one day similarly want to talk about balancing sex work and performance with being a parent. That may be a discussion that happens around other sex-positive people. That doesn't make me (or them) pedophiles.

With the multiple articles coming out about this issue, I want to correct something. No, Furry didn't say Madison was a pedo for breastfeeding in itself- she said Madison was a pedo for breastfeeding at Sizzle, an art event that discusses issues relating to sex and gender, which she continually says is a "sex event" when it just isn't. I was there. Furry was not, and has been ignoring people who try to tell her this. 

What Furry is also pointedly ignoring is that by using the word "pedo" publicly and in a sensationalist way, she is, in fact, both acting against sex worker rights (which she claims to care about) and putting Madison's child actively in danger

We still live in a world where sexual women (sex workers, porn stars, women who blog about sex) can and have had their children taken away for lesser accusations. I'm curious if Furry has thought about the potential consequences for her actions- does she truly believe that Madison is dangerous to the extent that her child being a ward of the state is a better option..? Has Furry ever talked to wards of the state? It's a pretty terrifying, lonely, and often violent place to be. Madison breastfeeding her baby while dressed as Marilyn Monroe- is that truly dangerous enough to take her baby away from her? 

Salon has had great op ed pieces on this and similar issues, as did One Hot Crumpet. The Advocate covered it as well, and Maggie Mayhem weighs in and hits a home run:
Calling a portrait that hung in the context of an art show about balancing the roles of sex work and motherhood pedophilia is not just a logical fallacy of equivocation, it’s outright dangerous. San Francisco offers a modicum of safety but the fact is that there are a lot of people chomping at the bit to remove children from parents that are part of alternative sexual minorities. It’s dangerous to create and spread blatant misinformation. A health, wellness, and awareness event is not an orgy. There is no giant conspiracy to uncover that the “mommy cult fetishists” are concealing. This event took place on a day organizing as many public breast feedings as possible. Madison Young did not invent this event for self-promotion, she participated in it and told other people about it. It was not inappropriate for her to create a safe and non-sexual venue for her participation and support of this pre-existing event. These choices do not amount to obtaining sexual gratification from her infant.

"If you seal yourself in the safe bubble of San Francisco, surrounded by adoring fans, then of course you're not going to care how you might be damaging the movement for acceptance of sex workers and porn," says Furry. But, as Madison said quite brilliantly, the only one sexualizing Madison's breastfeeding is Furry herself. And Furry knows she fucked up, I suspect, as she's not allowing comments on her blog.

I just find it fascinating and frustrating that FG doesn't realize that the person really really hurting the sex worker movement is, in fact, herself. And I'm disappointed. I think Furry sometimes says some brilliant shit. I wanted to support SWAAY. But I am really saddened that I can't anymore, because I'm a sex worker, and I may one day be a mother myself. Some of my friends are mothers in sex work. This is personal, and political, and I just can't let it go.

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