I always know that whenever an article or a post mentions “Eastern-European women” some offensive and annoying crap is about to follow. Here is an example. A post at Feministe is discussing some porn site that, apparently, enjoys a lot of popularity:
Obviously this isn’t a one-way exploitation street – it’s not just Western men (or just men generally) who are consuming internet porn, and it’s not just Southeast Asian and Eastern European women who are in porn. But Western men do account for a disproportionate amount of online porn consumption. And they’re consuming porn that is produced at bargain-basement prices by women who have significantly less financial autonomy than many American and Western European women.
Don’t you just like it how every woman who is not American or Western European has to be poor, miserable, starving and exploited? Nobody, of course, is even trying to provide any data that would support the assertion that Eastern European women have less financial autonomy than “many American women.” I know that I, as an Eastern European woman, have a lot less financial autonomy in the US than I had at home. Does the author of the article even know that Eastern European women of my country get educated for free, get free medical care, and very very rarely carry insane amounts of student loans, car loans, mortgages, etc.?
And what’s with lumping the millions of Eastern European women into one huge, amorphous category? All that Eastern European women from different countries share is that they live in the same huge geographical region. Their level of financial autonomy varies widely from country to country and even from one area of the same country to another.
The reasons why Eastern European women go into porn and sex work in huge numbers are a lot more complex than this blanket assertion that they do it to avoid starvation. Women in my culture are very strong, powerful, domineering and assertive in ways that, believe me, “many American and Western European women” would be well served to learn and imitate. I understand that it’s very convenient to imagine us all as pathetic, silent little victims and burst out in passionate rants on our behalf.
But, honestly, we really don’t need it.