Culture

What 2 Retired Whores Can Teach Slut-Walk Feminists

A story about two old Jewish ladies is making the rounds in the Jewish press, but not for the reasons you may think. Sure, they’re bubbes. They’re children of a Holocaust survivor to boot. But the real reason they’re attracting so much attention is that they happen to be retired professional whores.

Dutch twins Louise and Martine Fokkens (probably not their real last name, since “Fokken” is a Dutch term for “old whore”) have become international celebrities since the 2011 release of their biographical documentary Meet the Fokkens. Women’s magazines like Cosmo picked up on their story shortly after the film’s release, publishing quick little details like:

Louise and Martine (mothers of four and three respectively) became prostitutes before the age of 20 in order to escape violent relationships.

It’s an interpretation that, at best, qualifies as a half-truth. Louise was forced into the sex trade by an abusive husband. Martine, however, became a prostitute out of spite:

Martine followed her sister into the trade, working first as a cleaning lady at brothels before she began turning tricks herself. “I was angry at how everybody around us shunned Louise,” Martine said. “I did it out of spite, really.”

Both women eventually divorced their husbands, whom they now describe as “a couple of pimps.” But they continued working in the district “because that had become our lives,” Louise said.

“Our life in the business became a source of pride, a sport of sorts,” Louise added.

In retrospect, both women say they regret becoming prostitutes.

Reading their story, one can’t help but wonder if mainstream feminist advocates for slut walks and “Yes Means Yes” legislation would condemn the pair for regretting the life they chose. After all, their body, their choice, right? They took control of their bad marriages, divorced the husbands they referred to as “pimps” and chose, fully of their own volition, to remain in the sex trade after their exes were fully out of the picture. Martine and Louise, it would seem, are the originators of the Slut Walk.

According to the precepts of contemporary feminism, the Fokkens’ choice should be anything but regretted. In fact these women should be praised, not only for choosing to approach sexuality as a point-based sport (according to the Cosmo-reported tally, they had 355,000 men between them), but for resisting ageism in the profession as well:

“The working girls used to be Dutch, now they’re all foreign,” she said. “The clients used to be local, now they’re tourists. And there used to be older girls. But now if you dare be [there] over 25, they stand in front of your window and make fun like you’re some sort of freak.”

But not every element of their story matches the feminist narrative. Louise has four children, Martine, 3. Abortion is not mentioned in any reports, and as far as why the women retired from the sex trade:

…the two have given up the life, complaining that the government takes most of their pay now. Just like the rest of us. “There is no point working just for tax.”

They’re also giving negative reviews to government intervention in Amsterdam’s sex trade:

They believe the “golden years” of prostitution in Amsterdam came long before its legalization in 2000, a development Martine said “has not improved prostitutes’ lives.”

Apparently, it takes more than witty candor and the willingness to strut in a mini-skirt, bare-breasts flying, in order to be a true slut. You need to have a mother’s heart and a capitalist’s ethos. And the disparities between slut-walk feminism and the prostitute’s life don’t end there.

Renegade feminist Camille Paglia’s bold statements in favor of the sex trade may make you cringe, but have no doubt her opinions on sex and sexuality are grounded in a thorough study of human culture and psychology. This is perhaps why she is at such odds with the slut-walk feminist crowd. Slut-walk feminists demand permission to expose their bodies in a sexual manner without male reaction. The demand implies male power over female sexuality when, as Paglia argues, the very opposite appears to be the natural case:

“The prostitute is not, as feminists claim, the victim of men but rather their conqueror, an outlaw who controls the sexual channel between nature and culture.”

The feminist line is, strippers and topless dancers are degraded, subordinated, and enslaved; they are victims, turned into objects by the display of their anatomy. But women are far from being victims — women rule; they are in total control … the feminist analysis of prostitution says that men are using money as power over women. I’d say, yes, that’s all that men have. The money is a confession of weakness. They have to buy women’s attention. It’s not a sign of power; it’s a sign of weakness.

Women have an innate authority over men in the sexual realm. Slut-walk feminists, teethed on the false notions of the all-consuming “patriarchy,” have relegated authority over their sexuality to the state. In doing so, these feminists believe the most they can do is caterwaul for legal protection any time a man glances in their general direction. Theirs is the aberration of a woman’s intrinsic sexual power.

Compare what Paglia writes:

Straight men who visit prostitutes are valiantly striving to keep sex free from emotion, duty, family–in other words, from society, religion, and procreative Mother Nature.

to the experience of the Fokkens sisters:

“The business taught us to get along with everybody, and I do mean everybody,” said Louise Fokkens, who retired in 2010 because of arthritis.

“Everybody” included priests, imams and rabbis, said the twins, who wore matching outfits during an interview last week at a Red Light District cafe.

“One of my Turkish clients shouted about Allah” at the moment of climax, Martine recalls.

“And we both had nice, shy yeshiva boys over more than once,” Louise added. “They’re very introverted.”

Contrary to contemporary feminist claptrap that simultaneously demands and condemns socially engineered female authority, Paglia explains what the Fokkens exemplify: A woman’s sexual authority is intuitive. She neither needs nor requires permission from the state to exhibit her sexuality. The idea that female sexuality is dependent upon the state’s protection for its very survival is nothing more than the result of “rape culture,” a myth predicated on fear and faulty statistics. That’s not to say, however, that human sexuality doesn’t require a healthy context in which to function.
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Paglia, who rails against feminism’s social engineering ethos, observes:

Feminists who think they can abolish the sex trade are in a state of massive delusion. Only a ruthless, fascist regime of vast scale could eradicate the rogue sex impulse that is indistinguishable from the life force. Simply in the Western world, pagan sexuality has survived 2000 years of Judaeo-Christian persecution and is hardly going to be defeated by a few feminists whacking at it with their brooms.

In truth it is “persecution” insomuch as Biblical precepts were designed to counteract the negative outcomes of pagan attitudes towards sex through emotional and intellectual contextualization. Consider that in Torah:

…sex is not considered shameful, sinful or obscene. Sex is not thought of as a necessary evil for the sole purpose of procreation. Although sexual desire comes from the yetzer ra (the evil impulse), it is no more evil than hunger or thirst, which also come from the yetzer ra. Like hunger, thirst or other basic instincts, sexual desire must be controlled and channeled, satisfied at the proper time, place and manner. But when sexual desire is satisfied between a husband and wife at the proper time, out of mutual love and desire, sex is a mitzvah.

Why do the Fokkens regret their careers as prostitutes? One answer surfaces when they discuss their Judaism: “…we felt inadequate ourselves.” The word “Torah” comes from the Hebrew root “yarah,” which translates to both “direction” and “hitting the mark.” In choosing the life of prostitutes the Fokkens missed the mark and veered off course. And perhaps that is the most powerful lesson they can teach slut-walk feminists: Outside of a Biblical context, human sexuality is dangerously, horribly misdirected.