Tuesday, September 12, 2006

 
From the Department of Too Much Information:

Sofie is chatting up a storm about the UK violent-porn ban.

And it's got me thinking.

Somewhere out there in the internet there's a picture or two of me doing things I sure wouldn't want on the front page of the New York Times. They're out there, just floating around in the web-o-sphere, waiting to land in someone's inbox or slither their way through someone's spam filter or NetNanny.

I'm not real comfortable with the thought of my sunny-side-up invading the sanctity of someone's happy home, but that's life, I guess. I mean, I should have thought of that before. I am also uncomfortable knowing that someone somewhere may be taking those photographs wildly out of context to further their own agendas.

Someone out there might be saying: "See? This girl in the picture? She really likes (sexual behavior that some might consider deviant). Why don't you like that? She's clearly enjoying it. What's wrong with you that you won't do that?"

And at that very same moment someone out there might be saying, about the very same picture: "See? This girl in the picture? She's obviously been coerced and forced and is in tremendous pain and - see? See how she's suffering? That's real! There's no way you can tell me she's not suffering. What's wrong with you that you don't see that?"

They say a picture's worth a thousand words. But it's what it doesn't say that makes us all so damn crazy. What was I thinking, just before that picture was taken? just as the shutter clicked? just after the flash faded?

(Who knows...probably something along the lines of "this corset is itchy...I'm hungry - what's for lunch?...I wonder if I could get these cuffs in purple...hey, watch the kidney shot, pal!")

Seriously - both interpretations have an element of truth to them. And both are wildly off-the-mark. Both at the same time.

And I want to say:

Hey! British Home Office! Don't ban me! Don't erase me!

Don't try to remove all evidence of my experience from the record of all human experiences.

Don't make it a crime to look at me!

Comments:
which of course is not to say that I think it's all about me.

I'm saying - the picture, any picture, is a frozen bit of time, removed from context.

Even if it looks "real", was "real", the reality leading up to the taking of the picture could have a hundred different meanings. There's no way to know for sure.

That famous Iwo Jima picture? Real guys. Real flag. Real dirt. Real war. Fake picture.

I wonder if the phrase "banned in the UK" will become a marketing ploy.
 
I mean, I'm not a unique snowflake. If I had this experience, it is likely that others have had it too.

I understand that many people are horribly mistreated, and that mistreatment is documented on film, and such mistreatment, in its reality and in its photographic evidence, is a crime against human dignity everywhere.

But there has to be a way to protect those victims without turning me (or others like me) into a criminal.

which, I fear, might be the ultimate result of this very well-intentioned law.
 
see, I would SO add "banned in the UK" to my list of monikers, should it ever happen...
 
Don't try to remove all evidence of my experience from the record of all human experiences.

Don't make it a crime to look at me!


A-freakin'-men!!
 
Aren't puritanical mores the road to ruination to begin with?

That's whats likely driving this ban on violent porn.

And that's not to suggest that violence is okay, but don't we owe to ourselves to not be deluded into thinking that violence doesn't happen? By banning that type of porn are we not sticking our heads in the sand?
 
tran - I assume all those arguments were made and defeated.

and really, how is it any business of those of us in the US anyway? maybe we have no room to talk.
 
::That famous Iwo Jima picture? Real guys. Real flag. Real dirt. Real war. Fake picture.::

love it!
 
I wonder how effective that ban can really be. Let's say they do institute it (or did they already?) How much of a dent is it going to make on the market that's interested in that particular kind of porn? It's a really easy thing to reproduce and distribute. Anytime there's a market there's a black market. There's a discount version and a high-end model of any product. I'm interested to see what the penalties are for getting caught. If it's speeding ticket caliber, forget it. People will still purchase en masse. But you have to hand it to the UK with their laws. They don't have a version of the Second Amendment, nor do they have even a quarter of the gun-related violence or illegal weapons traffic that we do. Maybe the porn law will be effective there. That's the practical angle. From the freedom of speech angle... it just doesn't sit with me.
 
"Anytime there's a market there's a black market."

well phrased.

I tell ya, this has me up nights, wondering about the details, the penalties, ways to protect the injured parties without slamming the gates shut on certain forms of sexual expression - which I fear will lead to the gates slamming shut on all forms of sexual expression.

because I care about the injured parties. I do.
 
b/l- as always, I live to serve ;)
 
Banned in the UK?

Production and distribution of pornographic images of certain sexual acts and sexual violence has *always* been illegal in the UK (well, at least since 1959). The proposed new law will make possession of "pornographic images of extreme sexual or life-threatening violence" an offence with a maximum sentence of three years for possession, or five for distribution of such material.

Kirsten -
"I wonder how effective that ban can really be. Let's say they do institute it (or did they already?) How much of a dent is it going to make on the market that's interested in that particular kind of porn? It's a really easy thing to reproduce and distribute.

It would be an almost impossible offence to police in any routine kind of way, I think. We do have a cyber-crimes unit over here but it's pitifully under-resourced. I'm not envisaging a huge increase in the 5.30am bang on the door or search warrants being issued willy-nilly to randomly inspect people's hard drives, though I do expect the occasional big swoop on people whose details appear on credit card lists.

trans - I don't think the UK public are sticking our heads in the sand. I don't think anyone believes that by making possession of this material illegal it's simply going to go away. There was a lot of support for the bill in this country because of the circumstances of Jane Longhurst's murder.

Some people might say it's an ill thoughout knee-jerk reaction; others might say we live in a nanny state. Vernon Coaker from the Home Office is quoted as saying "The vast majority of people find these forms of violent and extreme pornography deeply abhorrent" - and I think he's right.

Anyone else who's hard drive reveals that their predeliction for extremely violent pornography (blackmarket or otherwise) has influenced their crime may well have the offence of possessing such material added to their charge sheet. It's a message.

It's not about the context of the images. It's about their content. And I'm not for one moment saying that all people who like to see images of women subjected to extreme sexual violence are potential sexual murderers - just like not all sexual murderers use such imagery; just like not all people who drink and drive end up killing someone and not everyone killed on the roads is hit by a drunk driver.

antip - the gates will never slam shut on all forms of sexual expression - not in this country, at least. Us Brits would never sanction that. Yes, there's a puritanical element in our society as there is anywhere, I suppose, but by and large, we're an extremely tolerant people. But tolerance has limits and there is increasing unease over here.
 
"Anyone else who's hard drive reveals that their predeliction for extremely violent pornography (blackmarket or otherwise) has influenced their crime may well have the offence of possessing such material added to their charge sheet. It's a message."

And it's a terrible message. It suggests that this material is an active accomplice. It's the equivalent of blaming heavy metal for the acts of the kids in Columbine. While people with violent tendencies/pathologies may be attracted to violent things it does not MAKE them do anything. If they see it as an impetus or advocacy of violent behavior it's via their pre-existing psych issues. I mean, did the neighbor's dog MAKE David Horowitz kill those women in NY in 78? Or was it in his head? We're just a hell of a lot quicker to forgive a dog than a beaver, I guess. (Sorry, that was a dreadful joke.) I think really what it comes down to is the pants on/pants off hypocrisy. It's ok to beat a woman, shove a gun in her mouth, hack her up with a chain saw or visit any barbaric act you can think of as long as she's wearing pants. If Angelina Jolie does it, it's kosher. But if there's no pants...? Not only does this law violate the rights of the perfectly sane people who enjoy watching/making it, but it implies that porn as a medium is capable of influencing people beyond their reason. If it's accepted as law, then ban every film depicting it, including horror and action flicks.
 
I blame it all on Voltaire: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
 
hi Witchy - thanks for stopping by to clear things up as regards the law in the UK.

"pornographic images of extreme sexual or life-threatening violence"

I thought it read "pornographic images of extreme sexual or life-threatening violence or the appearance of extreme sexual or life threatening violence", or word to that effect.
 
"It's ok to beat a woman, shove a gun in her mouth, hack her up with a chain saw or visit any barbaric act you can think of as long as she's wearing pants."

No, actually, it's not. And (UK) feminists need to be fighting this 'woman as victim' entertainment, generally. But one thing at a time, huh?

"And it's a terrible message. It suggests that this material is an active accomplice. It's the equivalent of blaming heavy metal for the acts of the kids in Columbine." Heavy metal or death metal?

Sometimes, media material is an active accomplice. And why do horror/action flicks mostly have to depict women as near naked helpless victims anyway?

Porn, as a medium, is capable of affecting people beyond their reason - just as advertisments are. I suppose the UK government are simply making some kind of effort to counter the message delivered by extremely violent pornography.

It's about time someone did, after all.

""I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Haa Kirsten! I quoted that very same line in a post at Laurelin's blog a couple of days ago. But I qualified it by saying that I was young and idealistic when I seriously believed it. These days, that kind of liberalism just kills too many people.

antip - you're right - the wording is : "acts that appear to be life threatening or are likely to result in serious, disabling injury".

They consulted for 12 months so it's not like they've pulled this out of thin air. People have just had enough.
 
"And it's a terrible message. It suggests that this material is an active accomplice. It's the equivalent of blaming heavy metal for the acts of the kids in Columbine." Heavy metal or death metal?

where's Jean when you need her?
 
""I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Haa Kirsten! I quoted that very same line in a post at Laurelin's blog a couple of days ago. But I qualified it by saying that I was young and idealistic when I seriously believed it. These days, that kind of liberalism just kills too many people.

as Voltaire himself knew, I suppose.
 
jollies aren't worth a person's life, are they?

or maybe they are these days.

maybe i'm just old fashioned. but i hate the me me me to the exclusion of all else mentality that deems everyone else kind of 'expendable' in the persuit of individual... what?...i don't know. what would you call it?
 
civil liberties?
 
who's?
 
not jane longhurst's, that's for sure.
 
jollies.

let me think about this.
 
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
(the above was a hideous typo-moment)

TMI indeed,

But whatever, I don't want to know abut any lawbreaking, it’s part of my new legal initiative.

( It sucks that the Law is after you if you didn't hurt another person, though)

Ok, I'm not a fan of pornography...the idea that I'm being tricked into getting off to a nonhuman object is a creepy turn off, for me at least…I always see through it, like when you are watching TV and realize you are sitting down in a trance-like state watching something you don’t really want to watch …..

But forget me,

If porn floats your boat, whatever, who am I (or anyone else for that matter) to bust into your bedroom at 4:30AM with a puritan SWAT team?!?!?



Kristin,

word.




Witchy-woo,

"Porn, as a medium, is capable of affecting people beyond their reason - just as advertisements are. I suppose the UK government are simply making some kind of effort to counter the message delivered by extremely violent pornography .It's about time someone did, after all."

WHAT!!!!!!!!!

"not jane longhurst's"

GASP!

It's always one person or an isolated incident isn't it.

There is a term for that: 'pretextual collective punishment’. or 'pretextual prohibition'.

Are you using Jane's memory as an alleged reason for oppressing and dominating others?

If so,

I say this:

Look, If an individual is mentally off, It is unreasonable to expect the rest of society to pad the walls, sorry, I'm not giving up my freedoms as to accommodate that individual’s insanity/stupidity/weakness.

Frankly, The very idea of accommodating defects severe enough to produce a person who can’t control himself or herself in the face of outside stimuli is anti-evolutionary, akin to begging for a new dark age…to force the advanced class to wait for the retard to finish the assignment before moving on.

The desire to solve the problems of a few mental weaklings by punishing everyone else claims to be collectivist and altruistic, but in reality it is oppressive and selfish is so far it unjustly disadvantages the sane, law abiding and un-susceptible majority for the alleged reason of making society safe from an unstable minority…
 
Clampett:

"the idea that I'm being tricked into getting off to a nonhuman object is a creepy turn off"

nonhuman object? please do expound...
 
"Are you using Jane's memory as an alleged reason for oppressing and dominating others?

No, I don't think that's what's happening. Undoubtedly Jane Longhurst's murder was something of a catalyst but the proposed legislation isn't framed around oppression of the majority.

The consultation lasted for twelve months and everyone had the opportunity to make their views known. The proposed legislation is the outcome of that consultation.

I don't think the "sane, law abiding and un-susceptible majority" regard themselves as being "punished" in the slightest.

Do you have consultations in the US? We have all sorts in the UK - local, regional and national. It seems to work.
 
Consultation?

we have senate panels, long-ass congressional hearings, federal commissions generating great steaming piles of paper. is that what you mean?
 
I'm not sure!

Over here consultations take place in a variety of ways depending on the issue.

Sometimes there's a kind of travelling roadshow where people can attend meetings and workshops to discuss the issue and make their feelings known. Other times people are invited to make a written submission in response to a consultation document that explains the issue and puts it in context etc.

Anyone can respond and their views are included in the decision making process.

The consultation about possession of extremely violent pornography was a national consultation and so everyone in the country had the opportunity to make their feelings known.
 
see, over here most senate committees and hearings and crap like that do NOT focus on a) solving problems or b) the will of the people or c) anything even remotely relevant, but instead revolve around individual politicians trying to make their careers (or break the careers of others).
 
If it were really a choice between people getting off and, you know, people genuinely being hurt, well, that's one thing.

certainly i understand concern about how the pictures and videos are actually made; i.e. the people actually -in- them.

but we are talking for the most part, i think, or at least also, about -imagery.-

as i was talking about earlier: consider: horror movies.

The fact that people have sex in these pictures and videos; the fact that people are meant to actually masturbate to them as opposed to just going to a darkened theatre and pant excitedly over their popcorn as the chainsaw cuts into the young girl, the fact that the biochemistry being intentionally aroused is the kind that brings blood to the naughty bits as opposed to the ones that brings tears to the ducts, giggles to the guts or simple adrenaline coursing through the veins--

--, well, w-w, we've, or rather, i've, talked about this in other contexts; whether and why it's "pathetic" (or something or that sort) to "need" such material at all, never mind the current discussion about ultra-violent porn.

Anything else is okay; just not wanking. Not THAT kind of "jollies."

Why is that, do you suppose?
 
so, you're saying, witchy, that regardless of whether the violence in the porn was real or just looked real, exposure to it led someone to kill Jane Longhurst; and the British People feel strongly that if her killer was not exposed to such material he might not have killed her.

So it looks like yeah, The People have spoken.

what results are the Home Office looking for down the road?
 
The desire to solve the problems of a few mental weaklings by punishing everyone else claims to be collectivist and altruistic, but in reality it is oppressive and selfish is so far it unjustly disadvantages the sane,

Ayn Rand, call your office...
 
imagery vs reality...

(i cannot BELIEVE i am about to do this...call it being up for roughly 32 hours with no sleep)

rougher edged porn...you see a gal getting yanked around by her hair? she is really getting yanked around by her hair (unless she has some form of stunt training, which allows her to LOOK like she is being yanked around, but in reality, she is doing all the work...same as a stunt person does). You see a gal getting slapped around, she is really getting slapped around (the art of the stage-slap? Not so widely practiced in porn, best as I know). You see a gal getting screwed really hard, in any hole, flogged, whatever, she really is...

this I do know.

however, I am still of the mind in most pro-made porn, she has agreed to this. Shoot, when a gal signs on with an agent, she fills out a check list of things she is and is not willing to do (bondage, oral, dp, gangbangs, girl on girl, blah blah blah) and that list goes with her everywhere. she can change or modify that list(at least here in the states) and she is paid for the acts she performs...in short, she is a professional, using a contract...and generally both the woman and her agent know what she is getting into when she arrives on a set.

So, yes, it can be real violence. It can be faked violence. But there are conditions and contracts in place to protect both her and the film maker...

and some women actually, well, you know, don't mind that kind of thing.
 
Is it really just about the jollies?

(If that looks true, I'd say my "team" has a bit of an image problem...)

I think the "jollies" analysis leaves out a recognition of the (slender thread of) altruism running through the non-anti-porn argument.

That is, I am willing to take the chance of possibly compromising my potential safety in order to ensure that everyone has a chance to express themselves, even if it means that disgusting filthy evil sex perverts, who might take images wildly out of context and actually try to hurt someone in a fit of life-imitates-art, have as much opportunity to express themselves as I (good, sweet, virtuous I) do. Because if I let THEM, the disgusting filthy evil sex perverts, talk about (or look at pictures of) disgusting filthy evil sex perversions, THEY might hurt me, or my loved ones.

BUT I'm reminded of Ben Franklin (?) who said "those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither." (or words to that effect, please correct as needed.)

I can't speak for the entire spectrum of pro-porn, non-anti-porn, sex-"pos" thought, but I can say that I myself worry that once we get in the habit of limiting the expression of the bad evil pervert's jollies, it gets easier to limit the expression of other people's jollies, and eventually just admitting you have jollies (that you might like to get, from time to time) makes you a bad evil pervert in the eyes of The Law.

first they came for the trades unionists, etc.

I don't know if that made any sense - I'm just thinking out loud.

Does the Home Office think that the increased penalties for ultraviolent porn will decrease the number of sex crimes?

Does anyone check back after, like, five years or so to see what effect the initiative has?
 
AP:

"I myself worry that once we get in the habit of limiting the expression of the bad evil pervert's jollies, it gets easier to limit the expression of other people's jollies, and eventually just admitting you have jollies (that you might like to get, from time to time) makes you a bad evil pervert in the eyes of The Law"

scares the crap outta me too...
 
and eventually just admitting you have jollies (that you might like to get, from time to time) makes you a bad evil pervert in the eyes of The Law.

I guess this is where I seem selfish.

because, I got me some jollies, that I like to get from time to time.

And I don't know anyone who doesn't. I don't know anyone who's body-mind is a completely jollies-free zone.

It's true - today, right this minute, the average person is not harmed in the least by the violent porn ban, because, well, the jollies of the average person just don't swing that way.

But down the road, if the legal definitions of "violent" and "pornography" change, who's to say that what were once perfectly acceptable jollies, your own jollies, won't become criminal jollies?
 
AP:

oh no, this is where *I* seem selfish...

my jollies run a bit towads the rough stuff already on many occasions. I make a living off of the whole "jolly" factor. I am a BIG fan of jollies in general...

A world where jollies are highly regulated? I am unemployed, broke, and bored outta my mind...
 
I'm gonna keep harping on this:

if it IS about the imagery and it doesn't matter whether it's "real" (i.e. no one REALLY got raped or killed), then I still want to know: why single out porn? why not go after such movies as say "Hostel?"

not that i'm saying such things should be banned, vile as i find 'em; just, well, it's a question.
 
"so, you're saying, witchy, that regardless of whether the violence in the porn was real or just looked real, exposure to it led someone to kill Jane Longhurst; and the British People feel strongly that if her killer was not exposed to such material he might not have killed her."

Yes, essentially. I think the Home Office are hoping that extremely violent pornography will not be implicated in the sexual murder of another person in this country. Failing that, Vernon Coaker again: " "By banning the possession of such material the government is sending out a strong message - that it is totally unacceptable and those who access it will be held to account."

bd - I don't think it's about wanking at all. As I said upthread away, the British are a pretty tolerant and accepting people, on the whole - up to a point. There is wall to wall wank material for those who are so inclined and no-one bats an eyelid. I'm not sure if you're implying that we're a nation of prudes - are you?
 
WW:

Nation of Prudes? Heh, hardly, I have been to the UK a few times, you folks KNOW how to have a good time
 
Heh, RE - I've always thought so too.
 
>I'm not sure if you're implying that we're a nation of prudes - are you?

Nope. What I am saying is: if it truly is about the IMAGERY, then why single out porn, as opposed to, you know, J-horror, or vile misogynistic films like "Hostel?" Or do you not actually get those over there?

I could talk for a while about the ways in which the MPAA ratings system works...
 
Nope. What I am saying is: if it truly is about the IMAGERY, then why single out porn, as opposed to, you know, J-horror, or vile misogynistic films like "Hostel?" Or do you not actually get those over there?

That's what I've been wondering too, BD.

It has always baffled me that depictions of violence (assault, shootings, murder, etc. ad nauseum) are perfectly alright in movies for the masses and primetime TV. No one bats an eye. But... full-frontal nudity?? Dirty words?? SEX??? It's national outrage! I was so embarrassed at the way so many people acted when the whole "Janet Jackson's boob" thing happened. I mean, seriously. It's a nipple, people! A part of the body! Everyone has them!! And people were running around, wringing their hands about, "What will the children think??" Well, what will the children think when they play Grand Theft Auto? I mean, I'm just saying...

Ugh. Sorry for the rant here... this issue just really gets my blood boiling sometimes.
 
'cause the thing is, over -here,- sure, we probably have the same access to the sort of porn you're talking about, did one care to go and hunt it up on the Internets;

but shit like "Hostel," you couldn't get on the damn subway without big advert posters for it staring you in the face.

playing at your local cinema, I -think- maybe even rated R? certainly i think more kids, more -people- saw that thing than have ever been exposed to the sort of porn you're talking about.

for more details on this flick, read:

http://www.pajiba.com/hostel.htm

but I mean: that's just one example.

and yeah, horror often gets the same sorts of people who come after not only porn but violent video games on its ass;

and as with the other genres (video games, porn too), i

1) can't stand that particular crap either

2) am uncomfortable with the notion of censorship simply because people find the -images- disturbing; yeah, that would tend to fall under "free speech;" although i also accept that there is such a thing as let's say inflammatory, inciting speech

3) am particularly unhappy that the entire genre gets disdained, much less the cries of "away with it all!", because both horror and porn, they act as a kind of, mm, filter? basin? for the shadowy underbilge of our collective...stuff. Sociopolitically and even existentially.

and sometimes people work with it in a way that really just simply mindlessly reflects the most reactionary, nasty shit.

but in a way i think even this is sometimes something of a service, sometimes, you know, as in: well, there it is, plain as day.

and then, too, other people work within the genres in completely different ways, subversive, artistic , profound, even (well, haven't yet seen porn i'd call "profound." read erotica, occasionally, yes); and still, it all gets treated as, as either Aquinas or St. Augustine (I think Aquinas) said about prostitution:

"the sewer in the palace."

Well, 1) you -do- need a sewer of -some- sort; but 2) if you really want to transform the whole corrupt palatial system you can't just keep pointing at the sewer and going, "ew! shit! flush it, make it go away!"

...because that's what you're SUPPOSED to do, see; that is ALSO a part of how the system maintains itself.
 
and, you know, I get that this, what you're talking about, is more -extreme,- in its misogyny;

but at the same time i'd be more inclined to support you know the boycotting, put-it-on-the-top-shelf, whatever it was wrt the "lad's mags" thing;

because, unlike this sort of porn, which is already considered pretty damn near monstruous by most people, THAT shit is considered "normal." and way more people are gonna see it and not even blink.

and, too, more to the point: okay, seriously? it is now okay to JAIL people or otherwise punish because of IMAGERY they put forth.

-not- what they have done to the actual performers; that would be abuse, sure; if that's what that really is, throw the book at 'em.

no: IMAGERY.

and you know, i don't normally care for "slippery slope" arguments, but in this case...
 
>Anyone else who's hard drive reveals that their predeliction for extremely violent pornography (blackmarket or otherwise) has influenced their crime may well have the offence of possessing such material added to their charge sheet. It's a message.>

Message to whom and for what purpose?

Jeez, isn't the crime itself enough?
 
...yeah. This whole -punitive- drive, you know, which i do draw a distinct if fuzzy line between it and -justice-, is, well, honestly, w-w, it bothers me. I don't see it as particularly "radical," tbh, that. or, more to the point, terrifically helpful in the long run.

I mean, first of all, okay, -which- -sexual- acts that have been on the books since 1959 are now gonna be sporadically enforced? I am assuming you do -not- mean rape, here, since rape as we know is a crime, not a sexual act as such?

and the fact that you are seemingly okay with this, of people going to JAIL for this--

--well, i'll wait till i find out what that act/those acts are; but, ehm, yeah, problem. I am having.

you do know that in both the UK and the U.S., such laws have been, always are, far more likely to be used as weapons against gay folks than het ones? even for far less serious "offenses?"

also see: sodomy laws, U.S., which were only just -finally- struck down by SCOTUS (and frankly even that was a rather pleasant surprise), when was it, '02? '03?

and it's so, like, okay: person is found possessing "violent" porn, which we still don't know what it means or how it was made.

person is sent to JAIL, where person EXPERIENCES such violent sexual acts, perhaps?

then person is released back into society, and...

remind me. What is it that we have accomplished, here, again?
 
Binky - dig the sewer metaphor.
 
http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Crim/2005/52.html

for those of y'all who are interested in more details of the case which inspired the new law.

warning - text totally not worksafe, and I wonder if it's even legal to view in the UK if the ban extends to text.

But through the magic of the interweb, we can take a look at the case for ourselves, all us armchair (and some of us real) lawyers.

I have to wonder if this whole punish-people-for-having-pictures thing is just sort of lazy police work.

consider this: If a picture actually depicts actual real-world non-faked non-consensual harm coming to a person, is that not evidence of a crime? if the cops confiscate the picture and then use it to chase down the bad guy (stupid bad guy for leaving evidence of his crime around for people to find!), then that's great. punish the picture-haver for impeding prosecution, rock on.

but I get the sense that the individual doing the viewing will get punished just for viewing (just for being a pervert), and the real crime will just sort of be lost to history.

Witchy - it's cool that The People have spoken and all - but I wonder, if this ban does NOT reduce sex crimes, and does NOT make the UK a safer place, but instead results in otherwise-innocent people being hauled away in irons and (perhaps more importantly) creating a paperwork nightmare, do The People get a chance to modify the law?

I think people feel helpless and powerless and afraid when something like Jane Longhurst's death happens, and of course nobody wants to feel helpless and powerless and afraid when they think something that awful could happen to themselves or their loved ones. so we - you know - can't just stand there! do something!

even if that something isn't really the most effective thing, or has some unsettling side effects of its own.
 
Nope. What I am saying is: if it truly is about the IMAGERY, then why single out porn, as opposed to, you know, J-horror, or vile misogynistic films like "Hostel?" Or do you not actually get those over there?

The reason those things aren't as high a priority is because the general public isn't as purely concerned with the "misogynist" and "violent" parts as supporters of the change in the law would like to believe.
 
further, I am also moved to comment that maybe the UK's non-perv population don't really fully grok the persistence and cleverness of the average pervert in subverting the law as written.

And further-further, there are some who would mention that there are issues more pressing to the British authorities, like the tendency to use information given under torture, and I'm not sure that Ireland thing was ever settled...but it's probably none of our business anyway...
 
>The reason those things aren't as high a priority is because the general public isn't as purely concerned with the "misogynist" and "violent" parts as supporters of the change in the law would like to believe.>

Hello.

Oh and yes. Images of torture: bad. Real actual torture: okey-dokey!

because, you see, those are BAD GUYS, or something.

and that's what it's all about, isn't it? there are good guys (or women) and bad guys; and the bad ones get punished, punished, and punished some more, and, wellll...that's what we need, and that's ALL we need.

sigh.
 
Wow! What a lot to respond to. I'll do my best but if I miss something and you want my two penn'orth, remind me.

Antip "Does the Home Office think that the increased penalties for ultraviolent porn will decrease the number of sex crimes?

Does anyone check back after, like, five years or so to see what effect the initiative has?
"

I think that's part of the thinking - a decrease in the number of sex crimes where extremely violent pornography is implicated. And, yes, I anticipate that the whole thing will be monitored in all kinds of ways by all kinds of agencies - including the police and the Home Office.

"But down the road, if the legal definitions of "violent" and "pornography" change, who's to say that what were once perfectly acceptable jollies, your own jollies, won't become criminal jollies?

I think that's a huge big 'if' - particularly in this country where we seem to be rather more moderate and less excitable in all things apart from football. Yes, we have our extremist contingent but they're very much on the periphery - we don't have anything like your Right Wing Christian lobby, for example.

bd - "why single out porn, as opposed to, you know, J-horror, or vile misogynistic films like "Hostel?" Or do you not actually get those over there?

I'm not a huge movie buff but I haven't heard of them so maybe we don't. But, if they are here and showing in public, they'll have been classified by the BBFC (British Board of Film Censors) and anything illegal will have been cut. I suppose the Government then feels they've been dealt with appropriately and in accordance with the law.

I take your point, though. There are all kinds of media that use the vilest misogyny to rake in the quids.

"'cause the thing is, over -here,- sure, we probably have the same access to the sort of porn you're talking about, did one care to go and hunt it up on the Internets;"

It was the internets that prompted the proposed law. It's always been illegal (since 1959) to produce or distribute extremely violent pornography over here and, before the internets, those wanting to buy/sell such material had to, mostly, take their chances with the stuff not being seized by HM Customs and Excise. Possession wasn't an offence because - if the law was supposed to work (which, of course, it was otherwise what's the point of having it) then no-one would possess extreme material.
The proposed law is an attempt to curb its entry into this country via the internet which doesn't need a middle-man to deliver the product to the consumer. So they're planning to make possession an offence to tackle it that way.

"but at the same time i'd be more inclined to support you know the boycotting, put-it-on-the-top-shelf, whatever it was wrt the "lad's mags" thing;"

Yes, that's also being looked at by Government. Clare Curtis Thomas MP introduced a ten minute rule bill in the House of Commons in June (I think) and, rather than the bill bombing, as so many ten minute rule bills do, it's scheduled for a second hearing next month.
That initiative, too, was sparked by public disgruntlement at the fact that "THAT shit is considered "normal." and way more people are gonna see it and not even blink."

"and, too, more to the point: okay, seriously? it is now okay to JAIL people or otherwise punish because of IMAGERY they put forth."

It's always been an offence to produce or distribute extremely violent pornography in this country - well, since 1959 at least. The proposed new offence is that of possession of such imagery.

"Message to whom and for what purpose?"

In the words of Vernon Coaker (Home Office bod)- "By banning the possession of such material the government is sending out a strong message - that it is totally unacceptable and those who access it will be held to account."

"I mean, first of all, okay, -which- -sexual- acts that have been on the books since 1959 are now gonna be sporadically enforced?"

As I understand it; necrophilia, bestiality and "acts that appear to be life threatening or are likely to result in serious, disabling injury".


amber - " I was so embarrassed at the way so many people acted when the whole "Janet Jackson's boob" thing happened. I mean, seriously. It's a nipple, people! A part of the body! Everyone has them!!

Yes, I can understand your embarrassment - the reaction to that incident in the US did seem a bit OTT and rather hypocritical. Women in showbiz always seem to be falling out of their frocks here - it ensures they get their pic in the papers and it's kind of accepted as routine. I think the only way there'd be any kind of OMG reaction would be if it happened in front of the queen but, even then, I can't see her OMG-ing about it herself - it'd be the hypocritical press (depending on who it was that had fallen out of her frock, of course).

""What will the children think??" Well, what will the children think when they play Grand Theft Auto?" My feelings exactly. But video games are classified here too and I guess the thinking is that parents will abide by the guidelines and only allow their children to play age appropriate games. Yeah, right.

antip - "it's cool that The People have spoken and all - but I wonder, if this ban does NOT reduce sex crimes, and does NOT make the UK a safer place, but instead results in otherwise-innocent people being hauled away in irons and (perhaps more importantly) creating a paperwork nightmare, do The People get a chance to modify the law?

They'll only get hauled away if they're in possession of extremely violent pornography as defined by the Act - specific wording of which isn't available yet as it's still only a proposal. If there's no evidence the Crown Prosection Service can't justify taking any action.
What usually happens with laws that are unenforcable is that they just get kind of overlooked so, if this one proves to be a waste of time it won't be used.

"there are some who would mention that there are issues more pressing to the British authorities, like the tendency to use information given under torture"

I know. I know there's a lot wrong with this country and I'm not assuming a defensive stance here - just hoping to shed some light, really.

Apologies for the raging length of this comment antip - I'm feeling quite tired now :)
 
I'm curious to see how "extremely violent pornography" is defined when even porn is hard to put a finger on. John Cameron Mitchell (of Hedwig fame) made a new movie (Shortbus) with a sex scene in which the actors actually have sex. Is it porn?
 
Yeah, that's what I'm wondering as well.

Necrophilia or bestiality, well, yes, that's rather hard to defend isn't it.

although...

eh. was gonna go into some sort of philosophical speculation wrt "consent" and dead folks and taboos and why's it worse to fuck animals than eat 'em, but you know: my heart's really not in it. i mean, really not.
 
anyway am really looking forward to Shortbus; it's been talked about for seems like forever! years, surely.
 
...well, this is interesting. from volusunga, via vociferate, now this:

http://www.volsunga.co.uk/?p=25

I don’t have much time to post today but check out this link to the Lillith Project’s submission to the government’s consultation on violent pornography. It’s just quite shocked me (my bold).

As already discussed, Lilith believe that the list of restricted pornographic material should be expanded from the proposed list to also include:

Any material which has scenes of sexual violence, not just those which are deemed to be showing ’serious’ sexual violence
Any material which shows women’s bodies being abused in any way
Any material which is hostile to women by showing them in passive roles in sexual activity or being dominated
Any material which features naked women for the sole purpose of sexual gratification (and therefore not, for example, for educational or anatomical purposes)
Lilith do not believe that there is any justification for being in possession of such material.

***

And so it begins...

"Naked women for the sole purpose of sexual gratification," eh?

as Andrea at Vociferate notes, that's some "Lilith," there.

https://vociferate.wordpress.com/2006/09/14/musings/
 
note that naked men are apparently still okay;

which would mean, what: straight women and gay men who are so inclined can objectify to their little hearts' content; but the filthy straight men can go hang, and the lesbians, well...damn, why can't you be satisfied with soulful mutual eye-gazing and intimate processing to the gentle sound of whale noises like the rest of us?

No, wait, that's "pathetic," right? Lesbian -lust-. Women displaying themselves deliberately; women gazing upon other women, lustfully. We don't do such things, we women. Or, well, we damn well shouldn't. Filthy, naughty, BAD.

fuck that noise.
 
"Any material which has scenes of sexual violence, not just those which are deemed to be showing ’serious’ sexual violence
Any material which shows women’s bodies being abused in any way
Any material which is hostile to women by showing them in passive roles in sexual activity or being dominated
Any material which features naked women for the sole purpose of sexual gratification (and therefore not, for example, for educational or anatomical purposes)
Lilith do not believe that there is any justification for being in possession of such material."

FUCK THAT, no, seriously, fuck that, no kiss no lube no reach around! I am done. I am done with these fucking people dictating what an adult can find erotic. I am done with them deciding what themes of dominance or submission are okay. I am done with these pretentious crusading people telling me and other women like me that we cannot decide for ourselves and need to be saved from the big bad patriarchy and ourselves and that we have NO right to be spending time naked on our knees for fun or profit or in front of a camera. You want to help people who need and want it, go for it, but for fucksake, quit telling the rest of us how we can and cannot display, expolit or use our own bodies.

What's next? A ban on underwire bras because they are painful and uncomfortable for women?

Grrrrrrrsonofaun-namedgoat
 
actually, -that- (ban on underwire bras) i could maybe get behind...i hate the fucking things with a fiery cold passion.
 
BD:

Then don't wear one! (smirk)
 
AP:

i have spent the last hour or so over in Sofie's blog...amazing stuff!
 
I should really link her.

but RE, they are EVOL, are underwire bras. they are full of inherent BADNESS. I can't stand them; I'm Every Woman; therefore, they are BAD FOR WOMEN. how dare you try to silence me? I SAID they AREN'T GOOD. Do you doubt my experience?? Huh?huh???
 
BD:

Yes, we shall burn them at once! Down with the wire!!! (hell, my tits are fake, I don't need a freakin' underwire...)

Sports bras are where its at, everyone knows that anyway...

and i think i shall be adding sofie to the blogroll as well, but only after she consents, of course.
 
Witchy-woo,

Fair enough...although we disagree, you argue your position reasonably considering our ideological divide of value judgements makes it impossible to come to a reasonable conclusion here, So I'll just leave it at that.

Antiprincess,

ayn rand?!?!

heh. I've been called worse.

please expand...


Renegade Evolution... I was alluding to porn, which, (no matter what Hugh Heffner wants men to think) is really a bunch of 0's and 1's, a piece of paper, or a video designed to fill the pockets of the pornographer while encouraging sexual and emotional sadism.

It's not human...It isn't warm, doesn't have a heartbeat, doesn't have feelings, doesn't cuddle, doesn't orgasm, Doesn't care about me, I don't care about it....and furthermore encourages me to view women as defacto Chattel. It's like My ex-girlfriend from Jr year of high school, Katie (who I refer to as THAT woman, but she wasn't that bad, the analogy is not to be taken literally)
 
Antiprincess,

ayn rand?!?!

heh. I've been called worse.

please expand...


she was important. no doubt. and I think, crazy-ass rape scenes notwithstanding, she had a lot to say about intellect trumping gender.

which had its appeal to me once upon a time.
 
clampett;

'Renegade Evolution... I was alluding to porn, which, (no matter what Hugh Heffner wants men to think) is really a bunch of 0's and 1's, a piece of paper, or a video designed to fill the pockets of the pornographer while encouraging sexual and emotional sadism.

It's not human...It isn't warm, doesn't have a heartbeat, doesn't have feelings, doesn't cuddle, doesn't orgasm, Doesn't care about me, I don't care about it....and furthermore encourages me to view women as defacto Chattel...'

hummm...(opens mouth to say something, finger up in an "oh, wait" like gesture, decides against it, remains silent...)
 
It's not human...It isn't warm, doesn't have a heartbeat, doesn't have feelings, doesn't cuddle, doesn't orgasm, Doesn't care about me, I don't care about it....and furthermore encourages me to view women as defacto Chattel. It's like My ex-girlfriend from Jr year of high school, Katie (who I refer to as THAT woman, but she wasn't that bad, the analogy is not to be taken literally)

well, I'd say that the very fact that you are able to articulate "hey, this photograph seems to want to encourage me to see women as 'chattel'; how stupid/wrong/pointless/abusive to women/damaging to the human race! ew!" tells me that you are not swayed by such images and driven to commit violent sex crimes - therefore proving that such material does not necessarily turn otherwise sane fellows into dangerous psychopornbots as a matter of course, assuming you are not unique among men.

and groovy as you are, I don't think you're unique.
 
Clampett... I find your comments about porn disturbing.

Certainly some porn is emotionally detached. Some porn is downright lame. But you cannot paint all porn, everywhere with that brush.

It also sends up a big red flag for me in that your comments seem to remove the humanity from the actual human beings performing in porn.
 
It's a photograph or a video; of course you can't cuddle it.

Likewise, you can't eat an episode of Iron Chef; you can't actually be held and comforted by the people in a tearjerker movie; and you can't pet the puppies and kittens on Animal Planet. Such is the distancing quality of celluloid. Such is the nature of this our modern woild.

And if you go looking to the pictures for that kind of intimacy, then, sure, you're gonna be disappointed.

That's not what they're there for, however. And the ability to cry at a weepie does not, or should not mean that one is unable to have those emotions about one's own real life; to go out and find someone to hold.

If you can't do that, well...that is a problem that goes beyond the porn or even the medium itself. Much as yes, the medium, even as say these here Internets, do allow for a certain...distancing.

But there's no movie -or- ideology that will force you to turn off the machine, leave your damn apartment and go out and get some touch. Give some touch. Connect with your body and the earth again.

signed,

Voice of Experience;

and no, not talking about porn here either.
 
It also sends up a big red flag for me in that your comments seem to remove the humanity from the actual human beings performing in porn.

now that is interesting.

I wonder if anyone has gone so far as to assert that the act of being photographed while participating in sexual acts by definition removes the humanity from the human.

My abusive ex had a porn habit (no different than any other habit, really, or so I observed). I found myself wondering sometimes - is that someone's mom? someone's sister? daughter? wife? someone's dad or brother or son or husband? well, clearly, the individual had to be related to someone at some point in hir life...and even so, so what? people fuck. all sorts of people fuck.

what is it about the picture of people fucking, or getting ready to fuck, or looking like they want to fuck, that makes us all so nervous?
 
Likewise, you can't eat an episode of Iron Chef;

oh, but would that we could!
 
what is it about the picture of people fucking, or getting ready to fuck, or looking like they want to fuck, that makes us all so nervous?

That's what I'd like to know.
 
"your comments seem to remove the humanity from the actual human beings performing in porn."

That's what I was going to say, but didn't. The people in porn ARE humans, no matter how degrading and dehumanizing and ojectifying the acts are, the actors are human...and all too many people, of all ideaologies and opinions on the matter seem to forget that...

Then I thought perhaps Clampett merely meant he prefered REAL, touchable human company in his presence to porn...which is entirely possible...

But all things considered, the initial wording threw me off...I mean, I would LIKE to think that just because I get photographed naked/fucking that people can still recognize me as human...(though holding out that hope gets harder and harder)...
 
" Likewise, you can't eat an episode of Iron Chef;

oh, but would that we could! "

Be careful what you wish for. There was one episode a while back of the American one where they had to make everything with some part of a crab. A crab "gateau" for dessert? Hmm...
 
does the shell count, Mandos?

'cuz you could wash it out real good and use it as a little dish for something, you know, not gross.
 
I wuz gonna say: clearly, someone is either being reckless in their wishing or has not seen the infamous fish ice cream episodes...
 
The shell counted, yes. So the gateau had a crabshell decoration almost like a hat. I think the major sin of the gateau was that it was boring.

Oh, and I remember this American iron chef being hosted by Wm. Shatner.

Still, I remember a Japanese iron chef where they had to use cod in everything including the dessert. Now cod hath no shell. And the contestants used the meat in the dessert. That's Japan, mind you, so the tastes are different, but the judges still found both dessert entries gross. And they were vicious about the criticism.
 
nothing will top the FISH ICE CREAM, though.

of which there have been a number of manifestations.

right now what i remember most vividly was not actual fish in the ice cream (they do do that as well, yes, FISH ICE CREAM. i really can't say this too many times) but chocolate ice cream...topped with fried eel.

I'm not sure, but i think that was one of the rare instances where one of the judges dropped the usual diplomatic thing and said something like, "this is really disgusting."
 
( i am of course speaking of the Japanese one here)
 
The thing of it is, back to the porn/pictures business: people fantasize over people in media all the time. Even pornographically, and it doesn't have to be an actual porn star. Ever seen fanfic? Ever seen "real person" fanfic?

If anything I'd venture that being an A-list movie star is more damaging in some ways than being a (voluntary, savvy, able to manage her own career to some degree) porn actor or fetish model. It's one thing to take some pics in order to be someone's fantasy wank, then throw on your jeans and sweatshirt and go about the rest of your life. It's something else to have to be "on" 24/7. Which is more objectifying: to be a part-time sex fantasy, or a fulltime god? Because that's what we actually ask of our celebrities, you know. It's no wonder so many of them lose their shit, even putting aside that frankly a lot of them weren't all that together to begin with, and, as with so many who seek the limelight, were really after the one thing that they were -least- likely to get from it (goodbye, Norma Jean)
 
Likewise, you can't eat an episode of Iron Chef; you can't actually be held and comforted by the people in a tearjerker movie; and you can't pet the puppies and kittens on Animal Planet. Such is the distancing quality of celluloid. Such is the nature of this our modern woild.

Yeah, that comment creeped me the fuck out. Hello? Creative representations of reality? Art? Literature? This is a collection of 1s and 0s, okay?

So is this.
 
This one, rather.
 
"That's what I was going to say, but didn't. The people in porn ARE humans, no matter how degrading and dehumanizing and ojectifying the acts are, the actors are human...and all too many people, of all ide[a]ologies and opinions on the matter seem to forget that...

And that's the crux of the radfem argument if ever I heard it. One thing radfems neverforget is people's humanity.

Sorry if it doesn't fit here.

And the (goodbye Norma Jean) comment bd? Shit. You are so right.

"people fantasize over people in media all the time. Even pornographically, and it doesn't have to be an actual porn star."

Do you not think the media have some kind of responsibility here?

Accepting you're a feminist, ok?

Do you not think that the media play a huge role in conditioning young women to conform to patriarchal standards of looks and sexual behaviour? And would you agree that "want to - for me" is very, very often confused with "want to because "they'll think I'm....[whatever]"?

I'm sorry, bd, if you feel I've put you on the spot. It's just that time and time over I've read you affirming men's right to make women of all ages/classes/races wank fodder but this is the first time I've ever heard you question that right. Sorry, too, if I've misread you.

WW
 
>Accepting you're a feminist, ok?


Thank you.

Well--before going further into that, ww, let me just note: I did not say -men.- I said -people-.

As in, women wank, too.

Really. Quite a bit. And over some rather, well, unexpected people, situations, acts, and things, if you ever read fanfic (for example).

So, yeah, media plays a part, sure:

but it's not as simple as "monkey see, monkey do."

If that were true, there would be no such thing as a fetish; there would be no diversity in sexual proclivities at all.

iow: Sexist and relentless assiness of the mass media notwithstanding, i still give a bit more credit for human imagination, i think, than you're doing here, w-w. With all due respect.
 
Wow, this is a good discussion.

ok, to clarify:

The actors in porn are human; I never said otherwise, I stated that the MEDIUM of pornography as experienced by the wanker is nonhuman.

I understand my initial choice of wording was poor, and might have sent the misimpression of dehumanizing sex workers.

Antiprincess. You wrote: “what is it about the picture of people fucking, or getting ready to fuck, or looking like they want to fuck, that makes us all so nervous?”

I can’t speak for others, but nothing makes me nervous about them; rather, I recognize Porn as an inferior substitute for sexual intimacy.

My aversion is of the ‘Why go out for hamburgers when I have Steak’ type, it isn’t the ‘those those images are dirty’ type.

Piny, amber RE, and belladame.

There's nothing wrong with those images as long as they were produced with the consent of the humans involved. If they float your boat, that's ok with me, as I said before in other words:

I or anyone else would be fascistically trampling over another’s agency by trying to stop them from enjoying an activity that doesn’t harm another’s life, liberty and/or property, for any reason, moral or otherwise.

But, Porn simply doesn’t float my boat.

RE somehow overcame my poor writing by understanding this:

"Clampett merely meant he preferred REAL, touchable human company in his presence to porn”,

that’s that.

Politically speaking, the conditions necessitating pornography are the individual's sexual desire+ a lack of a human route of fulfilling that desire, a condition that could be described as an exploitation of Marx's 'alienation’ or in other words:

an avaricious manipulation of loneliness.

Also, as belladame so eloquently pointed out, Porn is ‘celluloid’, Porn isn’t the people involved in the porn, it’s their picture/video.

Can you HONESTLY say you prefer porn to sex ,or that you prefer a sex worker to a loving relationship?

I can’t and don’t.


That's my opinion, feel free to be disturbed and wave fed flags at me all you like if my value judgments are conflict with yours. But on the same token, don’t expect me to be swayed by omnipresent moralism, which brings me to WW’s final comment.

With all due repect, WW, you have been reading too much Schiller.

If indeed, media messages are as powerful as you claim and play a “huge role in conditioning young women to conform to patriarchal standards of looks and sexual behaviour” then how exactly do you explain your rejection of those behaviors and standards?

Piny,

BFP’s page is indeed a collection of 1’s and zero’s but, that has no bearing on the subject of porn as an inferior substitute for humans’ need and desire for sexual intimacy.

That considered, why does the idea of pornography is an inferior substitute for sex ‘creep you the fuck out’?
 
BFP’s page is indeed a collection of 1’s and zero’s but, that has no bearing on the subject of porn as an inferior substitute for humans’ need and desire for sexual intimacy.

That considered, why does the idea of pornography is an inferior substitute for sex ‘creep you the fuck out’?


Actually, I was referring to the video she linked--you know, the stylized performance of grief, loss, brutality, and transcendance, by people who were not survivors, in front of tens of thousands of total strangers at a sporting event? The one that radicalized a young woman who was watching it on television from thousands of miles away? Apparently, she was actually being turned away from real passionate interest in the real lives of other human beings.

It creeps me the fuck out that you think that this sort of distance somehow makes the responsive human emotion not merely frivolous but perverse and damaging, given the countless times each person experiences the world symbolically or secondhand. I can visit Italy, and I can look at a John Singer Sargent sketchbook. The former would satisfy my desire for travel and adventure in a very deep way. The latter is a bunch of marks made on paper by someone who died long before I was born, depicting landscapes that no longer exist--and depicting them inaccurately. That doesn't make the sketchbook useless, and it doesn't make the act of viewing it an emotional dead end. There's no reason it'll ever prevent me from seeing the place itself, or from having my own experience of it.
 
"Clampett merely meant he preferred REAL, touchable human company in his presence to porn”,

that’s that.


But it's not. You're trying to argue not merely that you prefer, but that your preference is for something objectively better such that the "inferior substitute" is effectively worthless.
 
Piny,

"Actually, I was referring to the video she linked"

yeah, you are trying to change the subject.

Porn is effectivly worthless TO ME. As I said before I cannot speak for others.

But in the future, I'd prefer that you refrain from disrespecting my agency.

Although, If you can get the same experience from a vicarious interaction, count yourself as a lucky individual.

Touch is my strongest sense, I act accordingly.

I cannot get the same experience vicariously, hence I feel sexual intimacy within a loving relationship is better than wanking to porn.
 
-shrug- Okay, then. Horses for courses.

For me it's really not an either-or, any more than breaking bread/eating lovely delicious food with excellent people (we missed you, antip! next time) is mutually incompatible with sometimes just cramming a fast food burger in my gob with a book of "food porn" (MFK Fisher, say) propped up in front of me to make the experience more palatable.

or, for that matter: sometimes i just eat the burger.

and sometimes I just wank.

Woman's gotta do what a woman's gotta do...
 
but yeah, sure: obviously the lovely birthday dinner, full of not only much better food but a rather soul-lifting experience of good conversation and mutual warmth and whatever that transcendent thing is that sometimes happens from breaking bread with other people, is more profoundly satisfying than the burger.

but the cheeseburger/fries/Coke is far more readily available, I'm hungry, and while it's really not so hot if I make a steady diet out of it, (both aesthetically and health-wise), sometimes it can be quite satisfying in a greasy, salty, sheer belly-filling sort of way.

especially right before my period;

which come to think of it, is a good time for greasy salty wanking as well.

sometimes you really just don't feel up for anything more ambitious or profound...
 
...and yes, one could express concerns about the inhumane conditions that were required to make the fast food meal, and one would be quite right to do so. both the animals and the people working the whole miserable industry, from slaughterhouse to dead-end counter job.

i am not particularly proud of my indulgence here.

and I expect if I were to post the above on a Pete Singer board, or even something like, "look, I don't eat -that- crap, but I do enjoy a nice piece of organic chicken once in a while, and I do drink milk; I try to be responsible about it, but I'm an animal, animals eat meat, and even if i didn't i do need more protein than I can get from beans/rice and tofu," I'd get a lot more screaming about the animal food than I would about the porn; although, interestingly, the kinds of angry-shaming lectures ("you're so selfish. Selfish selfish SELFISH. Clearly you just feel guilty") and the eye-raising about how everyone picks on the teeny tiny minority of responsible vegans--or as I saw it last time I wandered over to a Singer board--was, well, strangely familiar, in tune if not words.
 
...but anyway, I could've posted the above analogy with I don't know organic potato chips, and I will bet you a smallish amount of money that if I went to the right places SOMEONE out there--I don't know, raw-foodist? fruitarian primitivist?--would be right in there to inform me that well no one really NEEDS that kind of crap, really, it just all seems rather pathetic to them, this shameless indulging of the baser appetites.

Purity. Purity purity purity. Takes a lot of different forms.

and you realize that ultimately it's very rarely -just- about the genuine concern for other living creatures, point o' fact.

at least not when it takes forms like -that- it's not.
 
WW

'And that's the crux of the radfem argument if ever I heard it. One thing radfems neverforget is people's humanity'...

but that is NOT true, I have personally been treated like subhuman shit by a few radfems, right here, in this blogtopia, because I do not hate what I do for a living...

riddle me that...
 
"people fantasize over people in media all the time. Even pornographically, and it doesn't have to be an actual porn star."

Do you not think the media have some kind of responsibility here?


[shrug]

No, not really. Because, people are going to fantasize. No matter what. That's all there is to it. PEOPLE ARE SEXUAL BEINGS. No matter how much some would like to deny it, or regulate it, or keep it under wraps. that's the truth of the matter. Sexual fantasy is NOT a bad thing. It's a healthy thing!

I don't need celebrities, the media, etc. to fantasize about sex. I do it no matter what!

The only thing that can be said of the media is that sometimes they embrace/"play up" the sexual representation of people. Sometimes. And sometimes they do the opposite.
 
Can you HONESTLY say you prefer porn to sex ,or that you prefer a sex worker to a loving relationship?


Well, I just don't see why it has to be either/or. But then, I never do well with black-and-white
 
As per "sex worker:" it is, or can be, sort of the equivalent of asking "but don't you prefer having good friends to talk to instead of paying some shrink?"

or even more apropos I suppose,

"Why pay some stranger to give you a sports massage when I can rub your back right here at home for free?"

Ideally, one -also- has friends, yes. But 1) sometimes people go to the professional precisely because they are hurting and having difficulty with the relationships 2) even among people who DO have perfectly good relationships, sometimes one might go to a professional because it is a DIFFERENT need, which requires a DIFFERENT transaction.

and yes, it's still (ideally) an intimate transaction, whatever form of "helping arts" that comes in.

It's just a different form of intimacy.

There are many kinds of intimacy; many kinds of sex; many kinds of relationships; many different needs and desires.

part of what makes the wide wide world such an interesting place.
 
back to the above sub-thread for a sec:

and the thing is, too, well, a couple things.

To clarify or elaborate on my constant* refrain of "well, women wank, too," I am a tad sensitive toward attempts (as I see it) of shaming me for it, especially in the light of my nasty little desires are aimed toward other women. Talk of "objectification" in such contexts, even recognizing that yes, this is coming from a different place than the sorts of homophobic crap I have been exposed to all my life, well...it treads a rather fine line for me. Specifically, w-w, (others, too, sure, but I am thinking here of a specific earlier conversation) when it comes in the context of, well, it's kind of, what was it? "pathetic" to...what? Look at pictures? Read stories? Fantasize while touching oneself Down There? about women in particular? Ever -think- about sex without having an actual loving intimate partner to do Deep Meaningful Intimate things with behind a discreetly closed door?

I mean, I could talk for a while about how, well, particularly unfair this is, even on top of my issues with "bad! dirty! or at least, snicker, point"

...as I perceive it; you ought to know this; even when they aren't actually spoken, as I know you, w-w, have not done, but others in these giant intrablog flamewars HAVE, in almost so many words: "slut! whore! dyke! pervert! freak!"

...but, you see, as we have been trying to say for a while, antip, me, some others: it's often real hard to make a distinction between "educational" and "prurient," for one thing. Which ties back in to the Lilith posting here, btw. Besides everything else: where do you draw the line? ...Well, I am tangenting here; I could write another whole post on that.

...And frankly, yes, some of us have an easier time finding that intimate loving partner to connect with than others. For a whole bunch of reasons. Homophobia, internalized as well as external, among them.

But that's not the only thing either, which leads me to my next point.

See, I realize that it'd be all too easy to really try to turn this into a guilt-trip about how much harder a time I have had it as a lesbian, wrt finding my sexuality; after all, that is something that good lefties and feminists are likely to understand, even if they can't really connect to the rest of it. And it would feel good, and vindicating; and, well, yes, I happen to believe there is some truth to it.

But at the same time, I am with Carol Queen in observing, finally: you know what, it's not just queer folks or women, either. It's everybody.

The whole system is screwed up; it affects everyone. In all kinds of ways; and yes, our millenia-old (yes, PATRIARCHAL, this is if nothing is) inheritance of "ew, icky, nasty, dirty, shameful bad; don't look don't touch don't think, no one wants to see THAT; keep it behind closed doors at least; etc," is a part--not all, but an important part-- of that fucked-uppedness.

and, as the saying goes, Patriarchy Hurts Men Too.

even straight ones, sure.

So, w-w, I do get rather annoyed when you say

>time and time over I've read you affirming men's right to make women of all ages/classes/races wank fodder

...because if that's what you've been reading all this time, it is, yes, a rather gross misunderstanding of where I personally, at least, am coming from in all this. Why would I -primarily- care about MEN'S right to "make women wank fodder?" Why must it ALWAYS come back to that transaction? Why would I, personally, care about men at all?

You know, and I am not calling anyone a "homophobe" here, just to be absolutely clear.
But there -is- this term called "heterocentric." Just a data point. Not saying this by way of "feel bad about this!" either (again, tempting as that might be).

But since we are talking about -radical- feminism, we -are- talking about, what is the phrase? examining our shit? looking at all the roots of our individual and collective everything? That might be something for a lot of people to look at, this, yes, heterocentricity. Just putting it out there.

...And yet, and yet. Too. At this point, at the same time.

I gotta expand it and say that, much as it's tempting to say, as Violet Socks or someone, a lot of people do, well, okay, I get that queer folk and kinky folk are coming from a different place wrt porn and so forth, fact of the matter is, mainstream het porn is on the whole pretty damaging, to women especially

...well. In a way I still wouldn't argue with that, in that I see that what is -out- there is, yup, kind of fucked, or at best, imo, pretty creaky and tiresome. with maybe a handful of exceptions, but percentage-wise that probably puts it right in the same numeric ballpark as indie lesbian porn.

But sure: lot of nasty, sexist, crap out there. I can't argue with that. And I am certainly willing to listen when people talk about its -making- being abusive; i.e. exploitation, even coercion of the performers. I do not think that this happens as universally as some people seem to believe; at the same time, sure, I can see that it happens, and, yep, that is a serious problem.

So, I -also- don't think it is particularly fair to label me "pro-porn," if the connotation is that I am unequivocally "yay everything!" I am not.

But back to the point I was trying to make here:

I think what makes me uncomfortable, and I gotta say I do see a lot of this from you in particular, w-w, although you're hardly alone in this, is this, well, rather punitive, shaming attitude toward...well, yes, people who "use" porn, and other things;

but what it comes out as an awful -lot,- given your other beliefs ("Class Women" "you all sound like a bunch of MEN talking") is,

"DIRTY MEN! BAD MEN!! BAD DIRTY PENIS!!"

...I'm sorry. It does. And I will believe you if and when (as I am anticipating) you come back all indignant, as you have before, saying I just don't get it at ALL, you have a male partner, you have sons, it's not the men, it's the Patriarchy.

Well, okay,

but in that case--if it really IS the System and not the people, then I gotta tell you: some of the ways in which you are talking doesn't really make that clear at all.

And particularly when it comes to sex.

And branching out here, as it really wasn't my intention to put you on the spot either, w-w, like I say, you're hardly alone in this and for that matter neither are radical feminists, but okay, just for one second: the TF BJ thing. "Funk-filled bratwurst?" "throbbing gristle." "It's fucking gross." Seriously. Why is this okay? Yeah all right, people aren't gonna DIE from that sort of mockery, and maybe in fact sometimes you do just need to vent sometimes. It's certainly one perspective on sex. On men. I wouldn't try to claim that some people haven't -earned- it. And will refrain from observing that probably in a lot of cases virulent misogyny, pussy-phobia, etc. comes from somewhere personal as well as Patriarchal as well. It is what it is, is all. Fine.

But my problem, that I am having, is that in this okay worldview? whatever it is that I keep seeing; that it is okay to RELENTLESSLY push this kind of, well, shaming talk. Both joking and not. BAD men. BAD desires. BAD for wanking. BAD.

and I take it that this is seen as some sort of counter to the endless outpouring of BAD women. BAD for leading the mens on. BAD.

...you know.

I see that. I've indulged in that. What I am saying here though is: from where I am sitting it's not working out real well.

For a whole bunch of reasons.

But right now, focusing on: if you MUST shame men, and you DO believe that rape (for example) is NOT about sex, but about misused power; then why for god's sake keep harping endlessly on the sex part? Why shame men for wanting blowjobs? For getting horny? For god forbid having "funk-filled" penii? Shame them for being abusive assholes, sure. Shame them for being entitled pricks, sure. But for heaven's sake: leave the sexual shaming BE already.

Because, among other reasons: that TOO is part of the patriarchal legacy. Yes it IS. Little boys being strapped into hideous contraptions and beaten for masturbating. Grown men still believing that they are bad dirty shameful for having BODIES. That is ripp'd straight from the Patriarchy, and I use the word advisedly: some of the narrower, dingier interpretations of Christianity in particular.

The thing about keeping the rule of the Fathers, see, is that, among other things, it is rilly rilly important that the menfolk don't waste their seed on frivolous shit like pleasure for its own sake. And yeah, the women get the brunt of the policing here, too. But -the men aren't off the hook-, they STILL aren't even to this day (over-the-counter porn and strip clubs are really quite quite recent phenomena, you realize);

and you see, besides this being perhaps unfair to the men? -This impacts the women, too.-

Because the -other- thing about the System is, shame, especially shame, is a -great- tool for all budding authoritarians, and that sure as shit includes Patriarchs.

Withhold/reward. Create the shame and then offer the "cure."

You, men, are Bad Dirty Filthy for wanting sex with that woman. Bad! Bad sex! Bad Adam! BAD!

Okay, feeling bad enough yet? Now here's the good news: it's not your fault. It's that WOMAN'S fault. SHE made you dirty. Keep her in line! And keep it in your pants.

Ah but so now what? Well? If you want to attack the -root- of the problem, as I see it: you don't keep going BAD MEN BAD SEX BAD BAD. That is a simple reversal: now okay, Eve is innocent: ADAM is guilty. BAD ADAM!

..and yes, it's a wonderful relief, and there is probably more truth to that than the reverse; but, if you REALLY want to get of the root of the problem, you don't STOP there.

You point back to the authoritarian fuckers who made this set-up in the first place. Hey, maybe the woman isn't bad for being sexual, for having a body, for having desires, for wanking, for wanting; -and maybe the man isn't bad for those things either.-

Because you see if you can let up on that part, you might have a bit more room to focus on the parts that are TRULY bad:

Abuse. Exploitation. Oppression.

And from where I sit there are far more useful and effective ways to talk about -those- than focusing relentlessly on sports corsets and blowjobs and even pornstitution per se;

but this post is already quite long enough.
 
...anyway, short summary, and to take it a bit away from the pornpornporn thing for a sec:

Yeah, I do get irritated at accusations of all I care about is making Men happy, or whatever it is. Irritating because, well...are you actually reading what I'm saying? Like, at all?

Yah, I'd say I have quite a bit of personal investment in the well-being of women in particular, for a number of reasons. Not really interested in proving my creds here again, just: dude. You don't like being misrepresented, you personally or radical feminism in general. Okay. Took that on board. Made some adjustments in the way I think and talk. Read some more stuff. Reconsidered a few things. Point taken.

And now I am telling you:

I don't like it either. Being misrepresented, being unheard. And that is a pretty gross misrepresentation of -me.- I won't even get into all of "sex positive" whatever; it should be obvious by now that it isn't a monolith; but, y'know, I repeat my earlier observation that it is at least as possible for a radical feminist to go read Amber Hollibaugh or Gayle Rubin as it is for me to read Andrea Dworkin or Mary Daly. and in both cases, probably a good idea. (which reminds me: i keep meaning to get back to "Beyond God The Father," among about 500,000 other unfinished books).

But what this boils down to, I think, and yes it does go beyond pornpornpornsexsexsex, is: I don't believe in Class Man and Class Woman. Or at any rate; it's more complicated than that, and that if one -really- wants to get to the root of things, really wants to look at The System, one is gonna have to keep on digging.

and consider:

yeah, it's "goodbye Norma Jean;"

but it's also "goodbye James Dean."

Say goodbye to Hollywood.

Goodbye celebrities, living out and being killed by an imposed godhood they aren't equipped for, so that they can fill the void we don't even acknowledge that we have.

Goodbye American Dream. Goodbye "Western Civ." Goodbye meaningful work or even decent-paying jobs. Goodbye family. Goodbye community. Goodbye structure. Goodbye security. Goodbye faith. Goodbye environment. Very possibly goodbye human species.

Goodbye, as Robin Morgan once said in a completely different context, to all that.

Unless...we can be, well, radical about this.

Look at the root. Look at the system.

Well, then let's do it.

Starting with this acknowledgement: we HAVE come a long way, baby, with the digging, with the enlightenments, with the revelations, with the neceessary changes;

and at the same time:

We haven't even begun.
 
if you MUST shame men, and you DO believe that rape (for example) is NOT about sex,

I think that some radfems would disagree with you here. It's about power, but power in relation to sex. Sex is a crucial component of it.
 
Clampett's perspective on this interests me a great deal. So I'm willing to be sympathetic to radical feminism up to a point, but the matter of vicarious pleasure is one that confuses me a great deal.

Alright, so, I'm willing to assume for the sake of argument that The Real Thing is far superior. But it sounds like you're arguing that we should dispense with sexual imagery, etc, BECAUSE of the superiority of The Real Thing. Why this would follow is one source of confusion to me.

But worse, let's look at our enlightened utopia in which we've dispensed with vicarious sexuality/sexual representations. For this utopia of Real Sexuality to work, all of the people in it would have to have the same level of desire and the same opportunity for sexual relations with others. OR those with lower opportunities would have to be completely indifferent to this fact.

I gather that some radical feminists believe the latter. It's all of a piece, I think, with what is apparently Sheila Jeffreys' position of transgender issues, at least what I see from her online writing. TG/TSs want more (or something else) out of their sexual identity than the hand that nature has dealt them. To people like Jeffreys, this is a sign that their souls have been corrupted by patriarchy and that they have been forced to suffer the concept of desire that does not match their Selves. In the Republic of Enlightenment, it wouldn't matter what your sexual situation was---your sexual desire would be orthogonal to your embodied self.

In the same way, the desire for vicarious sexuality through imagery, troublesome as it may be under capitalism (exploitation, etc.), is even more troublesome as it is a sign that patriarchy makes us uncomfortable with what we've got. In the Republic of Enlightenment, sexuality would just *happen*, and if it didn't happen, we wouldn't miss it. That we miss it is and replace it with consumer products is the fruit of patriarchy.

It's very hard not to read Twisty Faster and not come to the conclusion that this is what she believes, since she's very clear on her belief that sexual desire is separable from our perception. How she believes this while posting delicious food pictures all the time is the circle I have the most difficulty squaring when I read her.
 
>I think that some radfems would disagree with you here. It's about power, but power in relation to sex. Sex is a crucial component of it.

Well, sure; otherwise I wouldn't be needing to make this argument. What I am saying is: as I have observed this over the last x months: this approach? Not helping. Not working. Not the way people have been going about it, at -least.-
 
>How she believes this while posting delicious food pictures all the time is the circle I have the most difficulty squaring when I read her.>

Well, I wrote on the food/sex thing at some length a couple times.

More briefly: I suppose one might just go Occam's Razor and suggest that

1) because TF is subject to the same "but sex is DIFFERENT" training we all get along with the rest of the cultural baggage, "radical" claims of having unpacked all that shit already notwithstanding

2) even more OR: because Twisty herself likes soup and doesn't like blowjobs. QED.
 
(Clampett is not a radical feminist, I don't believe.

which if anything i think strengthens my argument that in fact this sexual whatever-it-is in radical feminism is NOT as near the root of the problem as some people seem to think it is; that this, too, is part of the patriarchal baggage that we ought to be unpacking, that it is just plain in the air; and that it is for some people a big ol' blind spot).
 
yeah, you are trying to change the subject.

No, I'm not.

Porn is effectivly worthless TO ME. As I said before I cannot speak for others.

You did, though. Or was "Can you honestly say..." not rhetorical?

But in the future, I'd prefer that you refrain from disrespecting my agency.

What are you talking about?

Although, If you can get the same experience from a vicarious interaction, count yourself as a lucky individual.

See, that's the problem: you're placing them on a spectrum of less-more (i.e. hamburger-steak) rather than seeing them as different things with different potential worth.

Touch is my strongest sense, I act accordingly.

I cannot get the same experience vicariously, hence I feel sexual intimacy within a loving relationship is better than wanking to porn.


Again: the one does not preclude the other. That's fine, but your preferences are personal and not based on any objective worth.

And can you honestly say you've never enjoyed a fantasy, or fantasized while in a loving relationship?
 
>Republic of Enlightenment

haw! can i take this to mean you agree that it's Plato there after all?
 
> I feel sexual intimacy within a loving relationship is better than wanking to porn.

This is one of those places where the whole "I statement" thing gets tricksy, I think.

in this instance I suspect what piny is objecting to is

"sexual intimacy within a loving relationship is better than wanking to porn."

because, even placing "I feel" in front of it doesn't keep it from coming off as universalizing.

"In my opinion, abortion is murder."

...it's still an overarching declarative and doesn't change the substance much.

In contrast, when you say this:

"Touch is my strongest sense, I act accordingly.

I cannot get the same experience vicariously,..."

then to me that reads more like owning your own perspective. So okay.

But what's also getting to people, as you can probably read by now--it's becoming a bit of a pile-on, I admit--but, so okay: is the tacit assumption that people who like porn or frequent sex workers (which is apparently inexplicable to you, so fine) must therefore PREFER it to, or at least find it interchangeable with, sexual intimacy within a longterm relationship.

So I won't beat it into the ground by reiterating, "not so!" anymore;

just, you see the problem here.
 
"just, you see the problem here."

Perhaps...I don't, which might be one element producing my views here.

I was judging Porn as a masturbatory aid v. sex on a simplistic scale of 1-10 in terms of the ammount of sexual gratification I recieve from those activities...which becomes highly problematic indeed if you read deeper beause at that point, a deeper analysis would, indeed, reveal authoritan views of sexuality and a scoffing/shaming attitude towards masurbation as a consequence of that authoritarianism...furthermore being propagandistic by schrading under a simplistic analysis of porn...so I'll go deeper, considering the confusion I created.

I DO have a scoffing/shaming attitude towards masturbation which is more or less calculated and driven by a solution of lust & Ambition..but that's for me, I don't apply that towards others.

I don't judge others on my scale, Perhaps they get more pleasure from masturbation, see that there is a time/place for every range of sexuality, have a different experience than I, some other reason.

But, I'm a highly ambitous capitalist bastard with a tendency to overcome obstacles through innovation, and furthermore I'm shameless....unless I can calculate shame as a method of driving ambition/maintaining the fruits of my ambition.

SO, again, I see that people have a whole range of attitudes and views that I respect by witholding judgement on them EXCEPT on the issue of violating another's life liberty or property. I judge those behaviors without hesitation and rather icily...other behaviors, to each his/her own.
 
>
I DO have a scoffing/shaming attitude towards masturbation which is more or less calculated and driven by a solution of lust & Ambition.>


*blink*

Um. Say wha? Is this one of those "conserve my precious bodily fluids" deals? Just taking a stab; otherwise, dude, I got nothin'. I get that you're saying it's personal; I just, well, don't really understand what you mean here.
 
Nah,

Again, it's a hamburger v. steak deal, although here it's more like a stale saltine cracker v. steak.
 
To avoid being totally crude,

I don't like going into a gunfight without ammunition, if you get my drift.

Ever heard the phrase, don't piss your potential up the wall... It has other applications.
 
So, it -is- the precious bodily fluids thing, essentially, as it were.

I mean, not to be crude either--well, fuck yes, I -am- crude, goddamit--but it's like, what, Balzac complaining that he'd lost two books or something after a good hard fuck? He thought spillin' his seed meant lost creativity, you see. Used to be a much more common belief. Curious.
 
or, well, something, I don't know.

Clampett. Friend. I...yeah. See, and admittedly male anatomy is not -really- my special-ity, but uhm. As far as -I- know, from a number of sources. It kind of doesn't really run out, yeah?
 
...How did you reach this, um, conclusion, philosophy, whatever you'd like to call it, can I ask?
 
Hey, there's nothing wrong with crudeness If you like it, but after all, this post is from the department of TMI, so I'll quench your curiosity.

I buy into Balzac's theory....kind of, but not with intellect.

I notice a difference ejaculatory volume and mass/the pleasure of the sexual experience in general that is related to the time between my orgasms.

The intensity of my orgasm/s and my sex drive in general are factors related with the time between each ejaculation, so I can't waste that energy on wanking at the expense of the quality of sex I enjoy with my girlfriend, that would be reckless on my part in so far it would make sex less pleasurable for both of us.

But, say if she is out of town/not fucking me for some other reason, I would probably step up the wankery as to avoid cheating out of sheer horniness.

But outside the relationship, I'd probably keep the distance for at least 2 days just so that the orgasm is powerful....unless I was having trouble going to sleep or just got really horny.

But, the theory you discribe might have something going for it, If I were in a scheduled fight wouldn't have sex or wank for about a week beforehand, b/c There is also a causality between the time between ejaculations and the intensity of my agressiveness, at least for me.
 
bd –

thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts upthread – I’m assuming your comment was meant for me in no small part as you mention me once or twice. :)

Strangely, there is much that we agree on.

I absolutely agree that the whole system is screwed up and that the notion that sex=bad=guilt=shame is one of the foundations of our patriarchal inheritance that maintains the status quo. There exists a patriarchal sexual ‘hierarchy’ of gender and practice that is built on un-freedom for all and policed by the shame factor.

That sexual ‘hierarchy’ was built into the patriarchal blue-print as one of the prime controllers of human behaviour – it had to be, I guess, as sex is one of the prime human drivers. The goal posts may have shifted back and forth a bit through time but the shame factor has always been present in one way or another as a means of social control; wherever one sits in that ‘hierarchy’.

I agree that patriarchy hurts men too. It’s bad for everyone. And one of the themes of radical feminist analysis is that of the improvement in quality of life for everyone – not only women. If (when?) the harms caused to everyone by all the un-freedoms imposed by patriarchy and capitalism become more widely opposed and its social and personal toxicity exposed and acknowledged then we might see a backlash against it and a move towards meaningful freedom for everyone.

And, yes, there is a long way to go before any of that happens. The system is screwed up but it’s also very powerful and human beings, essentially, are reluctant, even fearful, to embrace change – particularly when the current ideology appears to be 'working' and there are no post-change guarantees for them. But, yes, the system needs to be exposed, challenged and held to account. We agree.

And you’re right; I am coming back (but without indignation) to say that “it’s not the men, it’s the patriarchy” and I’m sorry if I don’t always make that clear. But, at the same time, not all men are blameless. Yes, ok, men are kind of ‘set-up’ by the same patriarchal institutions that abuse them and at the same time enable them to maintain their privilege without qualms and, when they knowingly collude – when they relish that privilege – I do hold them accountable for that. Sons and lovers included.

I do not believe men are shameful for masturbating or for wanting or having consensual sex. Nor do I believe women are shameful for masturbating or wanting or having consensual sex. I agree with you that the parts that are TRULY bad are: abuse, exploitation and oppression – the work of the patriarchy in conjunction with capitalism.

And that seems to be where we part company because, from where I sit, mainstream pornography* represents the antithesis of the concept of personal or sexual freedom. I believe there might even be an argument that posits pornography as the modern day replacement for the sexual un-freedoms imposed by our pious forefathers – a different cell in the same prison, if you like; the view from the bars might have changed but the sentence remains the same. For all of us. And, no, that might not be near enough to the root of the problem but it’s part of the problem, nonetheless.

But I’m not a feminist academic. I’m much more hands on and I focus on themes of violence against women because that’s what I understand and know about. Personally, I can’t not call out men (generic) for their acceptance, albeit silent, of rape culture, of the commodification of women’s bodies, of the unwritten rules around intimate partner violence, of the lives of women and girls being worth less. This is what I work with. This is what I know. This is what I write about, mainly. And, yes, I know not all men are silent and not all men are accepting of this. But the majority do seem to be.

But even so, I don’t think anyone should stop writing about it – even if, as you say, “it’s not working out real well”. It makes men feel badly? They have their own shit to deal with; their own historical guilt and shame? Yes, I don’t doubt that they do. And I think it’d be a huge step forward in the whole “getting to the root of it all” if men (generic) would start examining the harms of patriarchy to themselves and the rest of humanity on the same scale that women do and the part they, as individuals, play in that.

And I want to apologise to you, bd. I am guilty of having mis-interpreted your thinking in some ways. As I think you’ve probably mis-interpreted mine on occasion, too. The internet is a strange medium in that, while one develops one’s voice (particularly when blogging), a secondary “shorthand” develops and can be easily misunderstood. If I were writing an essay on my thoughts about patriarchy, pornography and the abuse, exploitation and oppression of women I would be far more specific in my arguments. As, I guess, would you.


*any reference to pornography = mainstream pornography
 
*any reference to pornography = mainstream pornography

Aha!

This clarification is good.

Maybe this is where some of the disconnect in communication has been?

I have issues with most mainstream porn. Frankly, I think most of it sucks. For the most part I find it either boring, or demeaning to women. -And let me clarify that last bit. What I mean is that a lot of it seems to be the same old, same old... with the emphasis on the woman/womeb having something done to them by the man/men.

Just because I don't like it, though, doesn't mean I don't believe that it's possible to make mainstream porn without exploitation. I know it's possible, and that it happens all the time. I know people who are involved in the production of porn (on both sides of the camera), mainstream and otherwise. Most of it is just work.

I also think that porn, in and of itself - that is, material that's intended to cause sexual arousal and wankery - is not a bad thing. In fact, I think it's a good thing, because I think sexuality and the expression thereof is good.

Notice I said I think most mainstream porn sucks, AND I think the idea of porn is NOT a bad thing. These two statements are not mutually exclusive.

There is porn out there that doesn't suck. There are people out there making amazing, awesome, mainstream-bucking porn. There is porn that doesn't exploit anyone, that doesn't demean anyone, and is downright hot. It's in the minority, but it exists. And the people (and by and large they are women) who create it, act in it, promote it, etc. should be encouraged. They're creating a revolution of sorts, after all. There's nothing wrong with wantign to watch people have sex - it's hot! unfortunately a lot of the material out there right now is lame, but these people are working to change that.
 
>And I want to apologise to you, bd. I am guilty of having mis-interpreted your thinking in some ways.

Thank you, I appreciate this.

And you know, I don't totally disagree wrt much if not all mainstream porn being: same shit, different package. At the same time: I think it's important to really look at why the package is a bit different from some of the earlier forms. I think there are a number of reasons, not all of them necessarily...grim? even if the product itself may be. That's a bit abstract; i need to come back to that one.

or, well, this, more simply and more basically: I think the Virgin/Whore deal is HUGE. I think that, sure, call it patriarchal, same as you could say for oh let's say homophobia;

but there are, mmmm, also ways in which, homophobia can and should be considered in somewhat separate...mm, frames of reference. Overlapping, but not synonymous. If that makes sense.

and, well, BL will really hate these terms, but: erotophobia? and even, whorephobia? I think these are legit concepts, also, even, and...

...sorry. you know, I just realized: I have been writing a LOT lately and am probably getting overtired, so will stop here for now before it gets more confusing.

just leaving it here as a kind of bookmark to come back to, see if I can find the thread again at some later point.

anyway: thanks. Again. I appreciate it.
 
oh, and: I do see where you're coming from, wrt the work that you do, and I admire it very much.

I was going to say something about my own experiences & particularly that of friends, wrt various forms of counselling, but that'll have to go on hold.
 
sigh, still waiting for WW to address that whole "crux of rad fem argument" thing....
 
"'And that's the crux of the radfem argument if ever I heard it. One thing radfems neverforget is people's humanity'...

but that is NOT true, I have personally been treated like subhuman shit by a few radfems, right here, in this blogtopia, because I do not hate what I do for a living...

riddle me that...
"

I'm really sorry that that's happened to you RE, but I'm not sure I can explain the words of others - however they identify.

All I know is that I have never come across a radfem text that blames or shames sex workers themselves for what they do because to do so would be to turn radfem analysis on its head. Quite apart from being wholly unacceptable, an attack of that kind simply doesn't fit with radical feminist thought at all.
 
"oh, and: I do see where you're coming from, wrt the work that you do, and I admire it very much."

Thanks, bd.
 
WW:

See, it confuses me a great deal as well. I mean, I am obviously not a radical feminist, nor do I want to be...hell, i can see WHY i send a great many feminists of many varieties right over the edge...I can seem to get along okay with (of the Rad Fem contingent) you and Spotted Elephant rather well, even whilst NOT agreeing with you...but others...not so much. Not at all actually. They cannot seem to wrap their minds a round a person who is in sex work and does not hate it...so they attack. Perplexes me on occasion, all things considered.
 
I think, you know...well. Zealotry. Cuts across all ideologies and creeds. and also a lot of peoples' personal stuff in this general area is SO tender that, yeah, i think "reason" tends to go out the window for a lot of folks. they see it all as abuse; they maybe relate back to their own abusive experiences; and, well, you can SAY you have a very different experience, but, well, nature of the beast, some people just aren't ever gonna hear.

or, well, in a lot of cases. that part i do get, actually.

Less charming to me is when people (I have a few in mind, no one posting here), well, one, I may or may not know where THEY'RE coming from wrt all this; but at the same time they take it upon themselves to be all up in everyone's very personal business.

and, and: some people: just, radical feminist label or no, talk in language that, well, bothers me; I don't even mean just misogynistic, although, it's often that, too; I mean: just really really explicit and graphic talk about the things they claim to be so passionately against, i mean, CONSTANTLY. like, i see language from some anti folk that I don't even see from most enthusiastically pro-porn (as in, REALLY pro-porn) people that i know; not the more evolved ones, anyway. or, well, it's like they go out of their way to find the most shocking and outlandish and horrific stuff they can, and they just...keeep...talking about it...and, of course it's all done in the most *repulsive* sort of way because they find it all so you know DISGUSTING as well as dangerous and cruel;

and, well...yeah. i do wonder, i have to say, about people who do this, sometimes...
 
All I know is that I have never come across a radfem text that blames or shames sex workers themselves for what they do because to do so would be to turn radfem analysis on its head.

That might be what the texts say. But that is not how I've observed the actual people behaving. And I tend to put more stock in people's behavior, rather than words on a page.
 
May I just mention to you guys that I am very impressed with the fact that this thread, long and sprawling as it is, has not turned into a complete bloodbath.

I mean, not that it's a total lovefest, but it's good to see actual exchange of ideas instead of the usual exchange of insults.

well done, all-a-y'all.

I mean, not that y'all really need to care about my approval or anything. It's just good to see.
 
AP:

"no feminists or other performers were harmed in the making of this thread"

heh.
 
"That might be what the texts say. But that is not how I've observed the actual people behaving. And I tend to put more stock in people's behavior, rather than words on a page."

You and me, both, Amber (taking blogging/commenting as behaviour rather than words on a page). I tend to take as I find, too.

Can I ask...(excluding men here, sorry.)

Do you (female commentators here) think of your feminism as a journey or do you think you've arrived?

Just a question. I'd be interested to have your input but I might well post about it without them.
 
Do you (female commentators here) think of your feminism as a journey or do you think you've arrived?

Interesting question... never seen it posed in this way.

Basically, I think of my feminism as part of who I am. It's part of my identity. If I were asked to come up with a list of self-descriptors, "feminist" would be in there. It's an integral part of who I am as a person; therefore I would say it's an integral part of my life. And I've always been one of those "life's a journey, not a destination" types, so, by extension then I guess I would have to say it's more of a journey.

However, I don't feel that's a complete answer... it's not nuanced enough. I'll have to think about this and write about it more when I have more time.
 
Interesting question. I'd call it a journey, although I wouldn't limit "it" to feminism. One of my guiding principles I guess is that you never truly "arrive" in this lifetime; which is not in fact a bad thing. Life -is- the journey. starting to wax all Joseph Campbell here, but yeah. i believe that.
 
..which is not to say that I don't think there can be, you know, stopping points for periods of time, or apparent ones anyway. It's not a smooth linear journey, i wouldn't say.
 
"can't be"
 
WW:

Journey, definately. There is always more, about everything, to know, learn, experience, discuss, add and subtract. I tend to think theory, feminist or otherwise, is a fluid thing, subject to change via thought, experience, the experiences of others, reaction, law, and discussion...how can one say they have truly arrived at something that is always in motion?
 
Thanks for your responses - they've helped to focus my thinking.

It is interesting, isn't it, to consider how, as RE puts it " theory, feminist or otherwise, is a fluid thing, subject to change via thought, experience, the experiences of others, reaction, law, and discussion..."

And that fluidity is difficult to capture and illustrate with words - or maybe I'm simply not skilled enough - I don't know!
 
journey-er, here.
 
Looking forward to seeing what you write about this, WW.

I may do a blog post about it, too.
 
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