Wednesday, February 22, 2006

How can you defend porn?

When faced with stories like this? Can you honestly sit there and throw away all the women hurt by pornography and sex work so you can kiss the ass of the patriarchy? Don't give me the "but I'm a feminist too" bullshit. It happened to her because she's a woman, no other reason. If you can't see her and see the misogyny rampant in an industry that makes it's money by exploiting women?

Seriously:
"On the video it is clear that Lori is not happy. Entner berates her until she calls him an asshole. At one point, he directs Lori to bark like a dog, and later, with Donnie in her mouth, to squeal like a pig. Lori, afraid she would end up doing all this for free, grudgingly agrees. Donnie chuckles and trades high fives with Sanchez."
"What's more, Ox Ideas wrote out a check to Donnie for the entire $1200. Unbeknownst to Lori, Donnie was himself in serious debt. So it isn't surprising that he would take advantage of the situation and exploit his former lover. He had already pimped her out and now it was time to collect. He cashed the check and vanished."
"Mike McKay found Lori's plight all too familiar."
Yep porn is victim free and you should be cheerleading it so that men don't mistake you for a hairy legged prude with sexual hangups because she doesn't acquiesce to men's dehumanisation of women. Sure, fine, go flame away at me, but when you defend porn make sure you know what you're defending. (Note: It's not women's right to be human, it's men's "right" to exploit women.)

30 comments:

Laura said...

How completely fucking awful, yet it's exactly what I expected. Why can't people make the fucking link between this horrendous abuse and exploitation and the porn they watch from the comfort of their homes? In fact, I'll answer that myself - because if they did they'd have to give it up, and then their penises would fall off / no one would want to shag them any more.

Yet more reason why 'sex postive' means 'I like to fuck over women just to prove how fucking cool and hot I am'.

ANGRY ANGRY ANGRY

Kim said...

I sat there reading the link with my lip curled in disgust saying "ugh" and "ew" and "no."

Anonymous said...

Speechless. Disgust. Horror. Anger.

laurelin said...

Why can't people make the fucking link between this horrendous abuse and exploitation and the porn they watch from the comfort of their homes?
It seems so completely fucking obvious to me, and I really don't get the 'feminists' who claim it's all harmless. They must be ignoring all the facts that are staring them right in the face.

That article you linked should make everyone very clear on what pornography is all about. That poor woman, I just can't imagine what she was put through.

Biting Beaver said...

You're right, absolutely right.

I've done many posts about porn (in fact, I'm planning on making next week 'porn week' over at The Den, of course, I'm pouring over research, studies etc. once more so there's no promise I'll meet my self-imposed deadline)here's one of them.

And, just in case you don't want to read through the entire post here's a few snippetts.

"I got the shit kicked out of me. I was told before the video - and they said this very proudly, mind you - that in this line most of the girls start crying because they're hurting so bad . . . I couldn't breathe. I was being hit and choked. I was really upset, and they didn't stop. They kept filming. You can hear me say, 'Turn the fucking camera off,' and they kept going."

--Regan Starr, on the filming of Rough Sex 2.
Quoted in Martin Amis' "A Rough Trade"


There's some unwritten law or agenda out here in Pornoland that … if we tell the truth about what's really going on here, the fan will get turned off

-Ona Zee, ex-porn performer


There's tons more quotes, studies, statistics and so on but they remain unnoticed in the tyrade of "Empowerment" and "Free speech" that is screamed from the rooftops.

The truth of the matter is that, IMO, porn is hate speech. No if's, and's or but's about it.

Excellent post and damnit, that article makes me frigging angry.

Txfeminist said...

That's so incredibly sad and awful.

I stand by the belief that given good choices and good opportunities no one would ever get into doing porn. Lori's situation is all too common. Stuck between a rock and a hard place with nothing but hard choices to make.

As I've stated before - self labeled "pro-porn feminists" simply use the feminist label to say "it feels good to me and i like it therefore it's feminism." How is that empowering women the world over? How is that to the betterment of all women? It's just selfishness.

lost clown said...

If you can give me one good reason I'll considere changing my mind, but as I see it, there aren't any.

Pro-porn feminist is an oxymoron. (I refuse to call it sex-pos b/c that AIN'T sex)

Violet said...

LC, are you Lost Clown here but Burrow other places? I keep wanting to call you Burrow but get confused.

I despise porn. This story makes me sick. But what, exactly, do you think should be done? If you're thinking of a legal remedy, what exactly should be illegal?

the nut said...

I saw this documentary "Not a Love Story" that was made in 1985 I think. The images from that damned thing burned my retinas for weeks. I really hate pron after that. All of it.

(btw, I found the PETA info on their position to kill all pits. It's in the form of an open letter.)

lost clown said...

Yes I am both. Call me whichever, it doesn't matter.

lost clown said...

Violet: I'm unsure what exactly that would look like, although the Dworkin/MacKinnon civil rights law is a great place to start.

This was a minirant actually aimed at all the 'feminists' who support porn. I'm sick to death of arguing with people who are supposed to stand up for women over something that thoroughly degrades and dehumanises us. I hate haate hate it, so I guess if we could get feminists to stop defending porn, that would be a great place to start.

the nut said...

(Sorry to post off topic again, but CA wants to ban pits statewide which would be bad for the rest of the US since CA usually sets precedent for the rest of us.)

Don't Let's Start said...

Eeek. I think this is rather telling:

"Some things are necessities like food, water, shelter, TiVo, and porn."

Riiiiight. But that porn is not just a want, not even just a given, but a necessity of life is an attitude I'm sure must be becoming more and more common.

Frankly I can't see how anyone can defend the porn industry after reading stories like this.

Andrea said...

Not only am I pissed off that 'feminists' support this shit in the name of freedom (and how free was Lori?) but I'm also sick that they try and silence us and our criticisms of porn with their specious arguments about our sex lives.
Seems like the only ones interested in regulating the sex lives of others are the ones screaming about sexual liberty.

They aren't feminists, I only wish they had the guts to say so.

existsnomore said...

I read the article, and god in fucking hell, this really hurts. How can anyone defend something so horrible?

Txfeminist said...

Violet makes a good point:

"If you're thinking of a legal remedy, what exactly should be illegal?"

Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to this. To ban all pornography would clearly backfire. We need to be extremely careful in limiting freedoms of choice, because that's a two-sided coin, every single time, much as I hate to say it in this context.

Some restrictions have been made in the sex industry (AIDs testing, etc), but perhaps further checks and balances need to be enacted to protect its workers from exploitation and cruelty.

I tend to think of pornography as a symptom of the patriarchal disease. Eradicate the disease at the root, and the symptoms will dissapear. Perhaps it's Pie-in-the-Sky for me to think that.

That's not to say that people wouldn't still get off watching sexual content. But in in an egalitarian society, I like to think that perhaps it would not look anything like what we see today.

Then again, Europe is much more egalitarian than the US, and they still have dozens and dozens of sex workers, a hideous sex slave trade, and so on, and so forth.

I think that the most important thing we as feminists can do is provide the criticism of pornography and continue to shine a bright light on its worst attributes. Be an irritant. Be a thorn in the paw of the patriarchal lion. Make yourself heard so that the public can have an opportunity to question and discuss.

To me, that is an end in itself.

Anonymous said...

As a man I am constantly laughed at when I take a stand against porn. It's not as if I don't find watching people having sex to be hot - I surely do. It's just the sad shit that leads people into porn AND the way it dehumanizes sexuality.

My argument is always that it should be illegal to pay people to have sex on film. That way all legal porn would only involve truly willing participants.

For the life of me I can't understand why we as a society say prostitution is illegal - but pay people to have sex on film and all of a sudden it's different. Anybody with me on this - I rarely find people who side with me on that argument.

mg

lost clown said...

I think a lot of us believe, scratch that, *know* that pornstitution is all related. (Hence the name pornstitution) so I think you'll have a lot of allies for that idea. (At least among my readership)

jack (aka angrybrownbutch) said...

I think there's a difference between not condemning all porn and supporting all porn. I guess I'm what you might call a "pro-porn 'feminist'", derisive quotation marks included. But I certainly don't support the horrible exploitation and abuse described here.

lost clown said...

SHow me porn that doesn't contain exploitation and abuse then. Oh wait....

jack (aka angrybrownbutch) said...

I have a feeling that you'd condemn any title that I offered up. But I actually haven't watched tons of porn, at least not tons that I remember the name of. What I have watched has primarily been either gay male porn or women-produced queer porn like "Hard Love" and "How to Fuck in High Heels," so I'll give that as an example.

But anyhow... from this conversation and the one on BDSM, I think that your feminism is just very, very different from my feminism (though I'm guessing you'd just say that my feminism isn't actually feminism at all.)

lost clown said...

I don't condone anything that expoits ANYONE especially women. I have been asked about all sorts of different porn (this isn't a new development, well relatively new compared to how long I've been a feminist) and I have not found anything that has been mutual and nonexploitave. I used to believe what you do (or what I think you believe based on your comments here) and I have seen how that was still leaving women out in the cold and that supporting it was not conducive to a radical overhaul of dominance and hierarchy. I changed my tune (and if you like I have been working for awhile on a post about exactly these things-my former support of the sex industry and BDSM and my very real and personal experiences within it. (i.e. those that made me change my tune.) For a very good (and up) post on the subject I suggest you check out this post at I'm Not a Feminist, But.

jack (aka angrybrownbutch) said...

I don't understand how you're defining exploitation. If the people in the porn I mentioned participated willingly and happily, enjoyed their experience, etc - how is it that you can decide for them that it was not a mutual and nonexploitative experience? If I got my sex-positive friends together and made a porn video, would that be exploitative?

I'm not arguing that most porn is not exploitative. Most mainstream porn probably is. Most mainstream anything is sexist, racist, classist, etc. That doesn't mean that the medium itself can't be reclaimed and reshaped in a positive way.

Or do you think that the pure act of portraying and distributing sex on film is sexist and exploitative?

I am not trying to deny your personal experiences with the sex industry, BDSM, etc, nor am I trying to deny the pervasive problems therein. But it does seem like you're trying to deny the thoroughly positive experiences of many, many other people.

lost clown said...

Here's how I think about it: IF (and that's a big IF) it is about mutuality, respect, and is non-exploitave I call it erotica.

SOme may say semantics, but I fel that it's an important distinction that needs to be made. That being said, the examples that what people have shown me and claimed that they fit into my definition of erotica did not fit into it. I would say 99% of what people think of as erotica is not, but that does leave that 1% that actually is. (As i said I have yet to see this 1%, but my friends and I have made videos that are about mutuality and are nonexploitave and I do believe that other people do this, so I do believe that real feministic erotica is out there.)

I don't know the titles you put down, but I hope you understand better why I am not going to jump on the "it's ok because it's queer, etc" because I have seen just as bad things coming out of that sphere. And I will never call porn ok because of the reason above. To me porn is about power and exploitation, and erotica is about mutuality and respect.

lost clown said...

also seen here is a godd reason why I shouldn't comment in the middle of the night. I could have been so much clearer so much earlier.

jack (aka angrybrownbutch) said...

I also don't buy the "it's okay because it's queer" bit. Believe me, I have seen plenty of queers and queer communities do some amazingly homophobic, sexist, transphobic, racist and classist crap, and I know that we cannot separate ourselves from the society in which we live.

However, when it comes to stuff surrounding sexuality, I do tend to trust queer communities, especially women and trans communities, to handle things better more often than heterosexual and heteronormative communities, just like I trust people of color to piss me off waaaaaay less about racial issues than white folks. It's something about being on the wrong side of the power scheme in our society that makes people a little more likely to examine what they're doing and come to smart conclusions. Not invariably so, but often so.

I don't make much of a political distinction between porn and erotica. To me, I've always seen "erotica" as being a term that people apply to stuff they deem classier, more artistic, or more intellectual than straight-up porn. Like, erotica means better writing or filmmaking practices or something, rather than better politics. Erotica vs. porn seems like a distancing technique, saying "well, this is better than that dirty business, because it's erotica."

lost clown said...

But we need a term to pull out the 1% from the 99%. I am perfectly ok to use erotica as that term, and I believe that that language was also used in the Civil Rights Anti-Porn ordinance so it is not a term that only I know the rad fem definition to. That also makes it a good word to use as there are many who all ready use that definition of erotica and we don't have to come up with a new word. Porn, to me and by it's very etymology/definition is degrading and exploitave. I will never use that term in a positive way.

Mike said...

I didn't realise how bad the porn industry really was, I suppose I must be a bit simple. You've opened my eyes.

lost clown said...

It's not something they want you to think about. All those *actual* people that get used, abused, and spit out. That's why (some) feminists scream so loud about it. That should not be happening to anyone. Glad I can do my part.

LB said...

Okay, fine, so this is a bad story. Still don't see why the whole genre is wrong, why I'm a bad person if I look at and jerk of to even a freakin DRAWING of, say, a seductive looking woman in lingerie. Because that's what most anti-porns feminists seem to suggest. And this is the equililent of showing all the most distubing scenes from Grand Theft Auto, or Mortal Kombat and then saying "and that's why you shouldn't play Pac-Man.

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