Those Poor Baby Seals

Suki — 03/2010
Whether it involves baby seals or women, men seem to have a proclivity to hurting and killing those who are more vulnerable. Suki looks at the seal shame of Canada and the academic repression of women's suffering.

MARCH IS THE CRUELEST MONTH. The baby seals in Canada are about to be clubbed to death and skinned alive. features PETA's latest video of the atrocity. One sealer clubs a baby with a hooked shaft while another baby seal tries desperately to crawl away. The slaughter of the innocent and the helpless.

March always fills me with deep depression for another reason. At universities in the USA, it's the month when they celebrate 'Womyn's Herstory' and put on all their Vagina Monologues performances and there are lots of talks by sociologists and women's studies people about the 'empowerment' of what is essentially a helpless being. Basically, the celebrations are a lot of women getting together and lying to themselves that women have some importance and safety and protection in the world. We have none. Neither do we have a 'herstory.'

Particularly distressing to me are the academics from sociology and women's studies and anthropology who 'study' the 'sex worker' and then, during the March celebrations, give all sorts of completely clueless lectures about this 'intimate economic consensual sexual transaction,' or whatever new phrase they have come up with for the 'paid rape' that is prostitution.

I meet all these feminist academic types who think they are strong and empowered. One told me she could not watch the scene in Eastern Promises where the Viggo Mortensen character fucks the 14-year-old sex slave. "I can't watch things like that." Yet this woman thinks she is empowered in some way? Just take her and put her in one of the 'submissions camps' in the Balkans where the adolescent Slavic girls are broken for the 'sex trade' ('rape trade') and she will never use that 'empowerment' word again. Empowered? After her breaking, this academic will not even be able to lift a hand in her defense, so completely will her spirit be erased. After being spread naked, on your knees, in front of a room full of men who are cheering on the one who is currently raping your insides out — and then another will mount you, and another — well, are you still 'empowered'? Will you be able to give yet another speech on the 'intimate transactional nature of sex work' after such a breaking in a 'submissions camp'?

Take any privileged clueless 'empowered' 'liberated' academic woman and break her the way the Slavic girls are broken — dozens of rapes a day; naked, public humiliation; beatings — the girl crying till no tears will ever come again since she will be too dead to ever feel again — take the sociologists and anthropologists and women's studies types who think they are 'empowered' and break them like this…. Will they ever be able to even speak again, let alone utter that word 'empowerment'?

How can a sociologist actually 'study' the drugged eight-year-olds in the Bombay brothels — girls already so ripped apart inside they will never be whole again. How can you 'study' these extremes of sexual suffering?

Academic women give lectures and publish books and dress neatly in hard, narrow little grey suits and go off to lunches in the fancy hotels where they have their scholarly conferences about the 'intimate, transactional nature of global sex work,' and other such meaningless words. Meanwhile, tremendous sexual suffering is visited on other girls, perhaps in those very hotels — where trafficked girls may be brought in for 'clients.'

March, the Month They Club the Baby Seals.

March is really a dreadful month.