Enough, who is being silenced?

So, I seems I might be uninvited to the forum at William and Mary. Why? Because apparently, Sam Berg, who has been booked as a panelist longer than I and is traveling further than I, is uncomfortable with me being there. Apparently, once upon a time I said I wanted to push her in front of a truck.

Ah yes, well all know of what Sam speaks, no? She speaks of this post, made by me, in a moment of anger…a post which has been “reframed by radical feminist thinking” to stand as “Ren hates all rad fems and wants to push them to die violently”, yet, never mentioned Sam at all. Never mind that three of the women mentioned in it: Laura, Andrea & Faith were radical or radical leaning feminists, never mind that several of the other women mentioned were WoC bloggers putting up with some really vile racist asshatery at the time, never mind that several of the women mentioned were putting up with some really vile sexism and misogyny at the time, never mind that at least one of the women mentioned, an atheist, was putting up with some really vile godbaggery at the time, and never mind that I have repeatedly explained this before and apologized profusely for making the statement, time and time again…oh yeah, and never mind I got threatened with outing and the publishing of parts of my legal name and unedited photos of myself at a time before I had started posting such things myself-by a radical feminist…oh, and never mind that to the best of my recollection, in all the situations that prompted my angry and ill-advised response, Sam wasn’t participating…I want to push her in front of a truck. So she doesn’t want me at William and Mary.

Which, if I might for a moment… I am the only person on the panel who is currently a sex worker. I am the only person on the panel who does pornography (the main subject). I could, oh, you know, be an interesting person with an interesting perspective to have there.

Oh, and should I mention when the Genderberg Forums, yes, the private super secret ones, where showing up in google-cache where the masses could view them a few weeks back I was the one who wrote to Sam and alerted her of this fact??? I wasn’t going to say as much, but I think now is the perfect time to mention it.

Maybe I should mention that, oh, within the last week I managed to team up, sort of, with a radical feminist in order to put some pressure on a “business man” who was marketing hateful, vile t-shirts?

Maybe I should mention that when lies were told about me on Genderberg, once requested, I removed the statements from the private forums of the site from my blog?

Maybe, even though I make porn and support the right to do that, I’m not a monster. Yeah, Sam and I have some history…but I’m not Lex Luthor here.

And for a moment, let us look at this realistically…I have no desire to do anything but debate Sam Berg. I have enough faith in my arguments that I am pretty sure they are all I will need, but consider this for a moment…I’m a 5’2”, 100 pound woman on allergy medication, who would be sitting in a chair, in a room full of people, on a college campus, with security present, who has to work- both porn and stripping- the next day, and would be driving 3 hours, with current gas prices, to get there. Hardly the perfect time for any sort of mayhem…and Sam could probably kick my skinny ass.

All I want at this point is a chance to speak my side, in a forum. I want the chance to FINALLY get to be a sex worker/porn whore who gets to speak for herself, rather than having anyone and everyone do it for me, or over me, or around me. And now, I may not get that chance…in part, because I made a really, really, really stupid statement in anger. But I don’t think, realistically, that is the entire reason.

I think there are others. I think Jill and I together are formidable when it comes to defending our stances. I think some folk don’t like to be challenged by those they are supposedly speaking for. I think there is a fear there, and it has nothing to do with trucks. I think some people, claim to love women and say they deserve to be heard might be lying a little bit when they say that. I also think maybe a little word called revenge might be floating around in their heads.

I want to be on this panel. Sam, I swear on everything sane or holy I intend to do nothing other than debate. It’s right there, in print, for the world to see, my promise, vow, oath, whatever, that debate is all I intend to do…maybe smirk a lot. But if you get your way and I’m not…you know, I can still, legally, be there in the room. In the audience. I don’t think, legally, you could have me barred from the event or the campus. So yes, I would be there anyway. What I am saying here is I won’t be silenced.

Not again, not now, not anymore. If you have faith in your stance and your arguments, you won’t try and silence me.

I am also encouraging allies and other sex workers to write to the event staff for this, if they feel so motivated, and say why they think I should be on this panel. Because I suspect some of them really think I should.

Sincerely- Ren

13 Responses

  1. Go Ren! The panel would not have much sense to it if it didn’t have opposing viewpoints. I do think it’s interesting how a feminist is trying to control everything, including another woman. But then, I think you’ve made that point plenty of times.

    XX

  2. They are playing to censor Ren. Where was the radical feminist concern when one of their members threatened me with death if I spoke in Charlottesville, VA? There weren’t. Their public position was that the threats were imagined by me. Even though VAASA and the Charlottesville Police Dept were convinced enough by them to provide police protection for me because they were that serious.

    The radical feminists certainly were not concerned about my safety. Which didn’t stop me from doing the gig or ask for other speakers to be removed.

    That being said. Sam is at no risk of violence. This is a public auditorium, with campus security present, Ren is representing a legal 501c3 and a corporation in an official capacity. There is zero threat of violence against people opposed to SWOP-East’s positions at this event.

    This effort to censor Ren is abysmal.

  3. I can’t see a possibility of you being banned from the facility. This is a public building and a public event. There is no court order prohibiting you from attending or any type of restraining order in place. I’m not a legal expert and not literate in Virgina law but know from other states it is very difficult to ban someone from a public building without very sufficient grounds. And there is significant risk of legal action for wrongfully doing so.

    If they require you to be in a straight jacket and leg irons, then they can get them for me too. We stand together.

  4. We got banned from the whole entire UC Berkeley campus after being assaulted. The police are on their side.

  5. Good news of late: Ren just announced at her blog that she will be debating at W&M after all. Sam Berg decided to drop out herself, having failed her attempt to influence the debate sponsors to ban Ren.

    She’s now claiming that her backing out was the “professional” thing to do. Yeah, right. Real professionals own their words and are willing to defend their positions against anybody, anywhere. By first trying to censor Ren then dropping out when she couldn’t control the debate, Sam only shows herself to be the ultimate chickenhawk; big, bad and bold behind a firewall; but when exposed to real sunshine, she flies away like a bat out of hell.

    But…I’m sure that some of Sam’s groupies will probably be there to give Ren plenty hell, and to protest the “biased” and “rigged” debate. No matter….just go out there and be professional, Ren….and kick some ass.

    Anthony

  6. This is absolutely jaw dropping. Ren and I both represent and are speaking as members of SWOP East, a legal 501c3 non profit. One which takes the concept of conducting ourselves as professional activists very seriously. There was never, and is not any threat of violence from any SWOP East member. SWOP East presentations have a reputation for being professional quality, respectful, civil and accepting of diverse opinions with the intent of bringing awareness of social ills for the purposes of constructive social justice.

    I just did a presentation at William & Mary College last month which followed with a live radio show which could be listened to at any time as it was open to the audience and organizers and both participated. Had SWOP East not represented ourselves well in the previous event it is extremely unlikely the William and Mary organizers would have invited us back.

    I have no doubt the organizers of this event did everything humanly possible to meet the concerns and requests of parties opposing SWOP East’s position and respect greatly the time they took to ensure fairness was represented.

    We at SWOP East take great pride in our professionalism, our willingness and desire for civil discourse. We look forward to a constructive, respectful discussion.

  7. Larry Flint and Jerry Farwell needed each other.

  8. So is it just going to be John Foubert up there representing the opposing side?

  9. No my understanding is he withdrew too. There will be another speaker from that side.

  10. If they truly believed in their argument, then why leave the entire panel to the “evil” sex workers? Now you and Ren control the entire discourse and can brainwash everyone into supporting sex workers! They made it so easy for you!

    XX

  11. Amanda,

    You forget I am always being told by the likes of Andrea Lavigne, Gregor, the guy who thought I had Stockholm Syndrome, others variations of the message to call off my army of infiltrators, co-opters of feminism etc, Maybe they were worried they would be mind controlled by Ren or I into some dubious form of evil?

    I don’t know why my explanation of being a Cylon and that my parents being Mao and Stalin isn’t believable. All the rest always is.

  12. I wrote my response and support on my blog. I will be listening.

    http://calliesimms.net/2008/04/21/when-silence-isnt-golden/

  13. It might be for the best. Maybe the new speaker will have a smarter argument than “the Sex Workers’ Art Show causes violence against women because it has nudity.”

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