Sunday, March 19, 2006

Fear of white panties

SO ok, it's not that I think that they're going to eat my brains when I'm not looking, and it's not because they're white, a colour that is the worst colour IMHO. No. it's because the only time that I have worn white panties since before I was a teenager was for a photo shoot. For porn.

So I better get this out of the way before I continue. If you troll, you will be deleted, or possibly berated by my commenters. I'm ok with that, so take your trolly ass comments and go somewhere else. This is very personal and I would appreciate it if you went elsewhere. Thank you. Also this may be triggering for anyone who has found themselves in this situation. It sure as hell triggered me.

As I sit here watching the Brier (men's curling tournament: dorky I know) I can't help but think about just how many people out there have seen the evidence of my desperation (hunger). Desperate for money (for food) and sold down the river by women I trusted. Now I'm not saying that I am a moron and do whatever someone tells me to do, what I am saying is that women who I respected, who were older then me, more experienced then me, and in every way I could see amazing feminists sold me on the idea that it was an ok thing to do for money. (Obviously I had not been introduced to what I later have learned is "radical feminism.") Sure a regular job could be better, but I needed money and quick, and they had all done it. It would be over in no time. Easiest $400 I ever made. Yes you read that last figure right. (That price alone is degrading especially given the amont of money that they made off of my humiliation.) I traumatised myself for $400, but then again I had no money and no food and I couldn't find work in Austin (I was living out of my van and didn't have a phone number at the time). I shoved it into a box in the darkest corner of my mind. I almost didn't finish at the time-he offered to give me all the film back because it was so hard, but I was hungry. Looking back I know what I would have done, but desperation makes you do desperate things.

So I got triggered (which thankfully is happening less and less as time passes and I progress in my therapy) in the oddest of circumstances. Even though I recognised immediately why I was getting the panic attack feeling that sometimes accompanies my PTSD I didn't want to believe it. That and I was in the middle of a store which is not exactly the ideal place to have a panic attack. It was the fact that I needed knickers and here I was face to face with white ones for the first time since that day.

Breathe. Just breathe.

It was horribly uncomfortable at the time. As I sit here it all comes rushing back to me, in fragments. When teh photographer asshole with the gorgeously huge house thought that discussing what kind of labia he and his friend liked. He apparently liked mine. At the time I couldn't understand how that would possibly something that it would be to discuss. I must say I've learned since then. Also part of the (one sided) conversation was how his friend likes labia that looks like a little girls. Oh great. I'm nauseous just thinking about it, but I need you to know how horrible it is to actually be there. It's not sexy, it's not fun and I'm not being prudish for saying that. Not only are you selling your body, but you can't (as I tried to do) pretend that it's just like any other work situation. That I was not the one being exploited, that I was somehow weaseling easy money out of them, though I know that they made 20x that at least). The guy doing it and every person thereafter sees you as a thing, and object that is there for their pleasure. I was not a person to him. I am not a person to whoever has seen those pictures. I am a dirty slut/whore/schoolgirl that wants it. Oh yeah, I want to be degraded and used. Even with that distant look in my eye I want it. I am a thing to be used and discarded. Part of selling of a person as an object is selling that I want to be treated that way, that I want them to dehumanise me, because we have to make the woman hating freaks feel special.

The Schoolgirl

The shoot was of course horrific and cliched. I had to dress in white knickers (oh how nice, he let me keep them. I think I threw them out the window in his nice suburban neighbourhood, but I know I got rid of them right away), a plaid skirt and a white button down shirt. It bugged me because of how cliched it was, but also the way in which it was done. For the removal of clothes I was supposed to look elsewhere, be distracted. Act like this is what I do alone in my room, perform for men (who aren't supposed to be there). It was voyeuristic, but in a way that disturbed me more then the others. Not only was I supposed to be pretending to be the innocent schoolgirl gone naughty (*puke*), because obviously deep down we're all sluts who just can't get enough of male attention and approval. Even the ones who glare at you or look completely and utterly unhappy to be there. If *you* got that girl (thing) alone then you could make her want it, after all she's just a slut. We all are. I was supposed to do it in such a way that showed complete detachment, not even what is usually there which is a facade of connection. When the pictures were developed I was to be a totally detached object. Not to mention the whole sexualisation of under age girls which I am not going to get into as I trust my dear readers know about it all ready.

That's where my fear of white knickers comes from. I needed to get that out, and will spend another post theorising and discussing the path which led me there, and which ultimately led me here, to my strict anti-pornstitution stance. But this drained me. I know it's good to talk, I needed this out there so that another young woman who is unsure can get a look at what it's really like, what they really want you to do. You are an object to them, one that they can exploit for money. There's no positive way to spin this, as there is lots of corroborating evidence that supports me, but as I have learned sometimes you have to tell the personal in order for someone to believe your political (and I believe that they are the same thing.) Although I can imagine the porn apologists trying to spin this into something other then it is, but how about for once we call a spade a spade. Because I'm right here and I'll keep screaming until porn goes away. You can't spin me. This is my experience in all it's horribleness. You can't spin it.

(look for Pt II in the next weekish)


Anonymous said...

Dear Burrow, here is a bunch of hugs for you. You are wonderful for sharing your personal experiences. I think the ugly side of the porn industry needs to be told more often so the people who think that the women want it see how sick they are.

Anonymous said...

hugs for you, Burrow.

That is an incredibly brave post, and I'm sure it took a lot out of you when you wrote it. But I for one will be eternally grateful that you did, because it is only with the real experiences of real women that the radfem theory of pornography will be taken seriously.
Other women may read your account and be saved from porn themselves.
Well done, sweetie pie. xxx

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you went through that, LC, I can't imagine what that must have been like. Well done for telling your story- it's so important that we listen to survivors. As Andrea said, you may well have saved other women from porn, and made it that bit easier for other survivors to speak out.

love ya, Burrow. xxx

lost clown said...

And that's the whole reason I posted because I know somewhere out there is another woman like me who's on the fence and who's feminist friends are going 'c'mon, it's ok' which it patently IS NOT.

Thanks for all the support.

spotted elephant said...

It is really wonderful that you're speaking out. Like the others have said, your experience matters, and gives the lie to the porn supporters.

ms. jared said...

i admire your bravery for sharing your story and i hope it makes a difference to those who are still "on the fence" about the issue. i'm sorry you had to go through what you did but hopefully your story will help others.

xoxo, jared

Anonymous said...

women who I respected, who were older then me, more experienced then me, and in every way I could see amazing feminists sold me on the idea that it was an ok thing to do for money.

Sometimes I'm so glad I learned my feminism in the early 70s.

Bless your heart, Burrow. Hugs.

manxome said...

Hugs, Burrow. You made it through the post, and I hope that gets you one step closer to your goal just as it encourages others to move forward, too.

This is my experience in all it's horribleness. You can't spin it.

Damn right. Your story is the reality. Thank you for telling it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what I would do if it wasn't for bloggers like you LC. In this world it is so easy to feel one is drowning in the popular notion that sex positive is truly positive, right and good. Stories like yours simply cannot be argued against. Porn has hurt me, it has hurt you and it continues to hurt many many many more. And feminists argue in favor of it??? I might just have to find a new term for myself...perhaps radical feminism is not clear enough.

Thank you for this post. It sickens and encourages me at the same time. You are wonderful.

Dubhe said...

Burrow, due to the nature of this article, I felt that I should ask your explicit permission before linking to it from The Den.

I am in awe of the courage it took to post this. Thank you very, very much for speaking out. You are very strong, and very brave.


lost clown said...

Thank you, and yes you can link to it, as long as everyone will help me on troll patrol (I may turn on moderation if it gets bad).

It's easier now that it's out and I want it out here to show people how fucked the industry is. Go ahead and link, I want to stop as many women as possible from making the same mistakes I did.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm impressed and saddned by your experience. Saddned by how this is out there and affected you, impressed that your able to articulate yourself so well.

(hug) because that's what I can offer.

lost clown said...

I use that analogy a lot. "But it's not the same thing." Bullshit.

Unknown said...

I am so moved to read this post now. I feel like I can catch a glimpse of your horror from your words, and it feels devastating.

I am also so glad that you were able to post this. You will probably never know how helpful it is to so many women.

Wishing for a fraction of your bravery.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through this. And you are so brave to be able to put this up. I hope it has helped in some way. Not just helped you, but also anyone else who may face this situation some day.

lost clown said...

I can only hope that this has hoped others in that situation, and that gives me a great deal of hope and happiness.

Unknown said...

You're very inspiring! I'm a 15 year old girl and this is the second post of yours I've read and I'm going to keep reading. Thank you!

Arella said...

Wow... I almost didn't want to read this whole thing but I did... I don't know what to say other than that I understand, I love you and appreciate your experience, and maybe at some point I will be able to tell my story too. You've definitely touched me. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry, and applaud your bravery.

Cassandra said...

I think its a shame that a strong, powerful woman like yourself was taken advantage of by those older women you looked up too. Under your circumstances I'm sure they made it seem like something totally natural and made it appeal to you. I',m glad you posted this and I'm sorry you had to experience something like this. I feel for you. When I was twelve I hung around some other girls who convinced me that I should have sex with a boy so he'd like me. Stupid move on my part to listen, but at the same time, you trust the words of those who you look up to. I'm sorry that these women had to turn out to be top-notch biitches, but I guess its a big eff you to them now that they see your recovering from it and still standing tall. kudos to you girl!

TheBatgirl said...

Thank you for bravely sharing your experience with us. Let me tell you a little bit about mine. And you can feel free to share this with your readers. I was not in porn, not paid for it anyway. The experiences I have had repeatedly are with the men who watch porn. Shocking I know. I was shocked too, every time, though I really shouldn't be because our culture is so disgustingly saturated with the over sexualization and objectification of women.

I haven't had very many serious relationships in my lifetime. Maybe a handful. All of them have had issues directly caused from pornography, including my currently failing marriage.

My first relationship ever had a fascination with young girls. He had me act like a young girl, though I was quite young myself at the time(17) and he older. He made me watch pornography with him with women also pretending to be very young, some even actual child pornography. He cheated on me with his 14 year old cousin.

My relationship immediately following that one was with a photography student. He liked to photograph the female form. As an artist I could appreciate his eye for beauty. I could not appreciate his eye for photographing me in compromising positions after he anally raped me.

Several therapy sessions and 2 stints in rehab later I found a wonderful man who was very kind beyond words. I still care for him deeply. He could not preform in the bedroom. He could only get off to porn. After playing second fiddle to images on a screen for years, I left completely unsatisfied physically a man who would have otherwise been perfect for me in every way.

I got carried away with the drugs again, and when I settled down I found my husband. Years of pornography have left him emotionally vacant. Throughout my incredibly complicated pregnancy that nearly killed myself and my child I spent most of my nights in bed alone while he was in the bathroom watching smut of every possible kind. After having a nervous breakdown and physically assaulting him because I had had enough, he walked out on myself and our permanently physically and mentally disabled child leaving us with less than nothing, including diapers.

That was 9 months ago. He has since himself had a nervous breakdown, sought counseling, and seen the light on the evils of pornography. But it has damaged our relationship immensely, and it's a very slow wound to heal. But that's how pornography can ruin men. All of them apparently. And then women are ruined by those men.