Friday, May 26, 2006

It seems like the pornography issue is the Maginot Line of feminism - none can cross it without getting slaughtered, and nobody ultimately can declare victory as long as one more person attempts to cross it.

It divides us like nothing else does.

yes, US. I'm still in with the US and I'm not going away. I may not agree with some of y'all on this issue, but I concur fully on many others, and I respect each and every one of you.

It disturbs me that even attempting to discuss it civilly and rationally descends almost immediately into chaos, with all sides forgetting that real people are on the back end of these blogs in every case, with real experiences and real feelings.

"but there are real women being hurt by pornography EVERY DAY!" you may well point out. True. Even I, obtuse as I am, cannot overlook the fact that there is an ever-increasing body of media documenting extremely non-consensual sexual activity.

But some real women hurting each other, in the process of discussing the plight of other real women, does not help anybody. It may make you look big in front of your friends, it may feel good to express your righteous indignation, sure, but those women whom we're all so concerned about are still suffering.

There's got to be a way to hammer this out without pounding on each other.

This may not be what the average antiporn feminist is actually saying to me, the average consensually-kinky feminist, but this is what I hear:

"but if YOU PEOPLE would just get over this selfish obsession with your stupid little orgasms and REALIZE the REALITY of PORNOGRAPHY (which is not free speech anyway) and how it HURTS WOMEN, then you could get on board and everything would be fine."

Trust me, antiporn feminist, you don't want someone on your side who has been bullied and belittled into agreeing with you. People who are beaten into submission don't make good supporters over the long term. They make good echo chambers, good receptacles of your vitriol, good amen corners; but not because of their deep abiding love for women, simply because they don't want to be seen as selfish and obsessed. You don't want someone on your side just because they don't want to piss you off and risk humiliation.

Consider that if that kind of badgering and humiliating worked, we wouldn't still be hammering this out twenty five years on.


Ok - I can't prove to you, antiporn feminist, that I'm not a man. I can't stop you from thinking I'm at best a sick selfish non-feminist fraudulent male-apologist recapitulator of the patriarchy. If that's how you really feel, nothing I can say or do will convince you otherwise.

I can, however, work to stop sex trafficking. I can acknowledge the damage done by exploitive conditions and work to stop it. I can do that without sacrificing my own sick selfish orgasm, without compromising my committment to the ideas of personal consent and free expression.

how will I do that? I don't know yet. if you, antiporn feminist, have some ideas that you'd like to share without making me feel like a monster, that would be great. if you can't do it without the heapin' helpin' of shame, well, so be it. I guess I can't stop you.

I can do that, and you, antiporn feminist, don't have to change your opinion of me at all.

Just know you're not going to make me go away.

You got it, sister.
antip, I want to link directly to this post; does this Blogger template not automatically show the permalinks?
oh heck (blush).

I gotta say, it feels good to be agreed-with. It happens so rarely...

as pleasant as it feels, I do wish someone out there would talk to me about it with the goal of coming to some sort of common ground, and not with the goal of making me regret opening my mouth.
I've had some issues with that blogger template thing not showing the permalinks. it's because I don't know what I'm doing.

you may link as you like - you don't have to ask permission - unfortunately actually making the technology work with and not against the goal of linkage may be another thing entirely.
It might be this particular template.

Have you gone in there and fucked around at all, by the way? There should be a how-to guide if you go back to the blogger homepage. It's actually not that hard to do shit with the links and so on. It should also tell you whether there's a difference between this template and the others.

I'm getting a bit fed up with blogger myself, tell the truth, especially the frequent shutdowns. not quite ready to make the leap to a more sophisticated host, though.
I will have to do some blog maintenance this weekend.

thanks for linking to me.

I feel all famous-n-shit.
Love it! You said everything so perfectly.
Btw (sorry for double commenting) - to link to the specific post, click the little pound sign in the bottom left corner of each post.
thanks, Amber!

you can post as many times as you like...just look at belledame... ;)
Sorry to be another person agreeing wholeheartedly with your post here.
foibey - have you (or anyone else, for that matter) given any thought to what if anything can be done to bridge the gap?

I've noticed a goodly sprinkling of your comments here and there. Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation.
btw, antip: if you've got an lj account, you might be interested in joining this community:

"feminist sex"
Is it OK to put this post in the Feminist Carnival on the 21st?
who, me?
feminist carnival?
you're shitting me.

I mean, sure! (don't let me get all Sally Field on ya...)

but I'm not sure others would agree with your choices and you might get grief from folks.
I doubt that. And if they do--fuck 'em.
well, I just wouldn't want to reflect badly on B/L.
if you've come here from the carnival and want to comment, please by all means go for it. I would love to talk more about this.
It disturbs me that even attempting to discuss it civilly and rationally descends almost immediately into chaos

I think I have the same feeling that you do -- I wish we could put aside our differences regarding these hot-button issues and work together towards profound change. However, putting anti-porn activists' words in all caps to make it look like they're shouting at you doesn't seem like a very good way to invite civil and rational discussion, IMHO.
Hi, singoutmoe! I'm very glad you stopped by to comment.

To be perfectly fair, I should point out that no antiporn feminist has even whispered those exact words to me. There's not even a direct quote to put in caps-to-signify-yelling. It's just a general impression I get no matter what is actually said in words.

one could protest that "no one is saying that!" but it's what I hear.

The point is I feel yelled-at, and I don't feel like I deserve to be yelled at.

Even worse than feeling yelled-at is feeling like The Sisterhood think I'm a dirty pervert and don't respect me. That's way worse than the yelling, and far more damaging to any bridge-building efforts.
There's no way someone can call me a man, even in lowercase letters, and not hurt me by it.
I guess I'd just like to see an invitation for conversation and unity from either side that didn't include an attack or ugly characterization. I think women on both sides of the issue feel 'yelled at', and that's not helping anyone!


I guess it really doesn't matter who started it. but if enough of us want to end it, maybe we can make some progress.
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