Monday, January 01, 2007

Why I speak out

(aka why using our voices is one of our most powerful weapons)

A few weeks ago I got this comment buried in the thread to an (unrelated) post. I feel it needs to be brought out, because though it was very hard for me to publish this on the internet as I am barely anonymous on this blog.

I have been viewing pornography about two or three times a week for the last 2.5 years or so (until the beginning of this month), and your blog post, "Fear of white panties" (which I first saw at the anti-porn resources at has just been added to the growing list of reasons why I am absolutely determined to stop once and for all.

At the beginning of this month some things happened in my life which finally made me wake up and realize that I could not continue to lead this double life of trying to respect women in person, and then turning around and using pornography when no one was looking.

I've been writing some reflections on why it's so important for me to stop (so that I can pull them out when and if I'm tempted to relapse) and in part of it, I talked about how I wished that I could apologize to each and every woman that I used the way I did, for taking advantage of their lack of self-respect and/or desperation, for looking at them as objects instead of people to be loved and respected as equals. Thus, this e-mail.

Obviously, I'm not sure whether you were personally one of the many young women that I have used and abused in this manner over the last few years. If you were, then I'm doubly sorry for taking advantage of your desperation, and for looking at you as anything less than a human being.

I hope that my words have helped you in some way, however small, to heal from your experience. I feel like this is the least that I can do. It's not really possible for me to actually contact every woman that I used this way, but at least it's a start, I think.


Speaking out gives us a voice, makes us that much more human, and makes people able to relate to us as human beings. I had a similar experience with my friend George. He never understood that women were hurt and taken advantage of in using porn. He believed the myths that One Angry Girl has posted at her website, but talking to me, even though it took awhile for me to speak out about my own brush with porn, made him realise that real women, women like me, were harmed by porn. He stopped looking at it, and not only that, but he started reading Dworkin. Whoever commented that analysis is not good enough, my own analysis of the situation and therefore that which sparked me to speak out has changed at least 2 people's lives. To me, that's making a difference, and that's being a radical feminist.


v said...

agreed. im a full believer in Question Everything, so thinking things through is important to me. it's that or simply accept the way things are, which i cant do. real changes require thought, they dont just 'happen' from nowhere.

incurable hippie said...

Wow. That's amazing and I'm so proud you felt able to speak out.

This has changed not only those two people's lives, but all the women they were ab/using before that, and all those they hopefully won't ab/use in the future.

That is indeed being a radical feminist.

spotted elephant said...

That is definitely what radical feminism is about.

Laurelin said...

Brilliant, LC. Thanks for sharing :) It's refreshing to be reminded of the benefits of feminist analysis.