Porn Part 4: Half of the Big Picture

16 Apr

Apparently I should have written these next few posts first, since there are people out there who can’t handle discussions of the fact that a lot of women are uncomfortable with porn without getting all Diablo Cody on me and whining about how I’ve ignored the fact that there are different kinds of porn and the fact that there are women who like porn. Don’t get your tattoos in a bunch, I’ll get to both of those issues. But first, I’d like to discuss some of the larger cultural, social, and (to a lesser extent) political issues that revolve around the consumption of porn, which I hope will help clarify my position for those who think I’m just some kind of anti-sex prude who wants to piss on their porn parade (and for those who know that, despite the fact that I do love to piss on a porn parade, I’m not an anti-sex prude).

First, I suppose I need to explain what kind of porn I’m talking about here. I am aware that there are as many kinds of porn as there are novelty t-shirts with Will Ferrell movie quotes on them, but the vast majority of porn depicts men doing things to women, women who aren’t actually gay doing things to each other for the benefit of a presumed male onlooker, and women doing things to men in situations in which it is abundantly clear that the woman doing the things to the man is doing so at his behest. I’m not going to talk about real lesbian porn or gay porn in this post because I’ll most likely touch on that in the sixth one. I’m going to talk about the vast majority of porn in this post, because that’s what most people are doing when they use a general term, referring to the general character of the things that fall under that rubric.

The defense of their porn use that most men half-assedly trot out in arguments amounts to a self-imposed short-sightedness and a self-constructed world of very shaky delusions about the purported “harmlessness” of their actions. I am about to produce some facts and analysis that I expect should ruin the porn experience for any dude who is even remotely thoughtful and honest with himself, so I warn you, if you want to be able to continue half-believing yourself when you tell yourself you aren’t causing anyone any harm when you use porn (free or not), don’t read on.

Robert Jensen, who you should all get down with immediately, once described a porn video in which a young woman dressed as a cheerleader was spat upon, ejaculated upon, and called horrible names while performing oral sex on a group of men standing around her in a circle, all while she pretended to be enthusiastic about the experience because that was her “job.” Jensen noticed something at the end of the scene that most other viewers probably didn’t: the girl was visibly traumatized, to the point that she had to hide her face from the camera, but then raised her head and continued to smile and pretend she enjoyed being treated like a… a what? I’ve been sitting here trying to come up with a simile for several minutes, and I’ve just realized that there is no such thing on Earth that is conceived of in the same way that a woman in porn is. Toilet paper doesn’t work because men don’t lust after toilet paper. Same with garbage. There’s no other object that is both desired and hated in the way women in porn are. The woman in porn is an object that allows her body and spirit to be used and abused by men and pretends to like it, she is an object that men both desire and revile, but whatever she is, she is NOT a human being that has feelings or the right to be treated with dignity, and she certainly isn’t a human being who is equal in any way to a man. I know that not all porn is quite so heinous as this, but this is hardly an unrepresentative example, and there is a lot out there that is much, much worse.

Men often tell me that they can make a distinction between porn and real women, but I find that a little hard to believe. I would like any dude who uses porn who reads this to do me a favor and think about something: what exactly is the difference between the woman you date, or work with, or know from school, and the woman you last jerked off to? What is it that separates these two “kinds” of women? Is it that one will allow herself to be treated like garbage and one won’t? Is it that one likes to “get fucked” and the other doesn’t? Is it that one is nothing but something to be used and tossed away and the other one is worth treating better than that? Do you conceive of either of them as people you can relate to? Can you understand what it’s like to be either of them?

I am of the firm belief that most men, when they think about what goes on in women’s minds, assume that it is vastly different from what goes on in their own, that they conceive of women as an alien species that is impossible to understand. You hear about it in hackneyed jokes about how inscrutable the female mind is and how simple the male mind is, in stupid talk-show discussions of how the sexes relate to each other, basically just about everywhere you turn. Women, according to men like these, are irrational, mysterious, and impossible to deal with, but they paradoxically can be reduced to a few simple and undesirable characteristics: materialistic, fickle, unreasonable, etc. Women are complicated in the sense that they are alien, but they are simple when it comes to human characteristics. The point of all this is, a lot of men do not see women as human beings like themselves. They would classify them as homo sapiens, but they do not seem to see women as similar enough to themselves to relate to on an emotional level. Starting from such a position, all they can do is divide women into classes based on their own desires for female behavior.

Men are just as affected by our bizarre cultural expectations and prescriptions for female sexuality as women are. Two millenniums’ worth of Judeo-Christian bullshit about the dual nature of woman has left some strange legacies behind. We’re stuck in a strange tornado of expectations; we’ve all absorbed the message that a “good” woman is chaste, demure, and pure, but men still want to have sex with women. That leads to some serious cognitive dissonance. Natural desires + repressive expectations = hostility and fear about those desires, which gets misplaced onto the object of those desires. So women who do what they are expected to are prized but also denigrated as prudes, and those who don’t are prized as objects of desire but also reviled and devalued for their transgressions. If men were able to identify with women as human beings with complex desires and motivations like themselves, it wouldn’t be possible for this dichotomy to continue. It wouldn’t be possible for women to be divided into the two rigid categories of whore or wife material.

That wasn’t a digression. It’s this cultural Madonna/whore complex that allows men to assume that they aren’t hurting anyone when they use porn and that they can differentiate between porn and real life. They can assume that some women are “just whores” (shrug). Some will argue that the women they see enthusiastically participating in demeaning sex acts are just into that sort of thing and, while they can’t understand it, they aren’t going to argue with her right to engage in it for money. (Let’s call that attitude opportunistic pornographic libertarian syndrome.) It’s this sort of willful refusal to look beyond appearances and this sort of willful refusal to consider the broader context in which women make the choice to participate in porn that allows men to use porn with a somewhat clear conscience. Men who use porn, if they think about it honestly, MUST admit that they do not see the women in porn as human beings possessing the same measure of humanity that they themselves possess, or else they would not be capable of dismissing the apparent strangeness of someone allowing themselves to be treated like a piece of trash with a shrug and a claim of bewilderment.

There are women who participate in porn willingly. I am not a fool, I know that some women do decide that’s what they want to do and do it. Some of them even think they’re empowering themselves by making such a decision (see the sixth post for more on that one). Despite the few over-publicized women in porn who run around telling people they’re in the business they’re in because they “love sex,” I find it hard to believe that men don’t know that the vast majority of women in porn got there by accident, and that that accident usually takes place at the end of a long road of drug addiction and physical and emotional abuse. There is no way to get at the real numbers on something like this, but a HUGE proportion of women in porn admit to having been sexually abused as children and/or having been raped. An even larger proportion of women in porn, some estimates put it at 75% or more, have serious drug problems that led them to porn in search of money and access to drugs. And then what happens when they get there? Porn producers are legendary for physically, sexually, and emotionally abusing the women that work for them. The culture of the industry is such that the women are seen as disposable; once they’ve been in too many films, once they stop looking “barely legal,” once they get sick or too strung out, they’re tossed out like garbage, which is interesting, considering the fact that it’s often the producers that got them addicted to drugs or got them into a situation that would make them sick in the first place. The porn industry is completely unregulated, as can be seen from the frequent outbreaks of HIV among porn actors that could have been prevented had the industry been required to test its “actors” or (gasp!) have them use condoms. Women are routinely abused and have no recourse to legal protections because they’re in an industry in which rape and sexual abuse are impossible to prove. And because they’ve supposedly “chosen” the whore role in our society, how much credence do you think the authorities attach to their complaints when they do make them? Sure, there is some “choice” involved in these women’s participation in pornography, but the options are pretty fucked up, and the potential for force and coercion is ever-present. Any man who uses porn and claims that he isn’t hurting anyone because the women in porn “choose” to be there is at best deluded and at worst lying outright. In any case, he needs to confront the fact that he’s probably masturbated on several occasions to women in such straits that they would allow themselves to be mistreated and pretend to be enthusiastic about it, or to women who were being forced to do things they didn’t want to do.

I’ve had some commenters tell me that they only like porn in which the woman looks like she’s into what’s being done to her. That’s so easy to counter it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Women in porn (foreign porn or niche American porn notwithstanding) are expected to act like they like what’s being done to them or what they’re being asked to do to someone else. It’s their job (see the example above). Who wants to confront the fact that the woman might be doing anything but having a fucking party? If she wasn’t enthusiastic, the men jerking off to her would have to confront all the issues I’ve just been talking about, and what kills a boner quicker than feeling guilty? If the woman looks like she’s into it, a man can suspend his disbelief in the idea that a woman would enjoy being spat on and slapped and called a whore long enough to jack off to images of just that. Or, to be less extreme (!), he can delude himself into believing that a woman enjoys being used like a set of holes rather than treated like a human being with her own sexuality long enough to get off.

There’s one more thing I must say on this topic that should really bum your party out if you’re into porn. The porn industry is fucking lousy with producers who not only don’t work too hard to make sure their “actors” are of age, but who actively seek underage girls as they know it will increase the revenue they can extract from the kinds of assholes who are obsessed with virgins and young girls. Chances are, if you use a lot of porn, you’ve participated in the rape of a minor by proxy, especially if you’ve ever done a search with the word “young” in it. There are also more than a few producers who don’t think it objectionable to employ women who are “working off” the costs of their transport to the US by engaging in forced sex work. That’s right, sex trafficking victims often end up doing porn. Surprise, surprise. Next time you men who are into porn read a story about women being tricked into a scheme in which they’re told they’ll be coming to the US or to Europe to work in a factory, only to arrive and be told they’ll be working in porn or in a massage parlor brothel, remember that you’ve probably jerked off to images of one of them being raped, especially if you’re into Asian porn (but there are plenty of other women in this situation from Eastern Europe and elsewhere). Choice? These women are in a foreign country with no legal protection and are at the mercy of the people who keep them in captivity and force them to do sex work by threatening their lives and their families. And guess what? They’re told that they won’t be making any money toward paying off what they “owe” if they don’t act like they like it.

I don’t want to ban anything because it doesn’t work. I just want to inform consumers about the impact of their choices (and hope they give a shit — har har), which is the only real way to effect change. You can keep using porn if you want to, but you can’t keep pretending to believe that there’s no harm being done when you create demand in an industry with practices like that. Basically, if a man, knowing all of this, continues to use porn, he’s tacitly admitting that he cares more about his own wanking than he does about the human rights of the women he’s wanking to. Let’s all just be honest.

Mind you, throughout this entire post I’m making the incorrect generalization that all men who use porn want to believe that there is no one being hurt in the making. But I won’t discuss rape and torture porn or snuff films, despite the growth in their popularity, lest I lose my mind.

To be continued…


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112 Responses to “Porn Part 4: Half of the Big Picture”

  1. J April 17, 2008 at 2:23 PM #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU.

  2. Nine Deuce April 18, 2008 at 1:44 PM #

    You’re welcome four times. I’ve been meaning to write this since I started this blog.

  3. Genevieve April 19, 2008 at 3:35 PM #

    Pretty much anything addressing the virgin/whore dichotomy is fine with me…
    good work.

  4. L April 19, 2008 at 4:23 PM #

    This is an excellent piece. Thank you for writing it, and the rest of this series (I’m moving backwards through it, so I haven’t read much yet). What disturbs me the most is sex-pos feminists, mostly women, who make the exact same arguments as the dudes in your post in support of porn and against people like you and me. I can’t figure it out, but it also tells me that we are, without a doubt, in a really, really fucked up society when women are clinging to, defending, and getting off on images of their own oppression. Porn has created (or reified) a class of abusers and a class of victims, and it has instilled in the victims the biggest, farthest reaching case of Stockholm Syndrome the US has seen in decades.

  5. Anonymous April 26, 2008 at 12:11 AM #

    What about the porn where women dominate men?

  6. Nine Deuce April 26, 2008 at 12:16 AM #

    In most of that porn the dynamic is still that the woman is performing for the man, doing his bidding, even if his bidding is that she dominate him.

    • Liselotte May 2, 2009 at 12:29 AM #

      You know what: in my experience, actually it is quite often the dominant (no matter what gender) more or less doing the sub’s (no matter what gender) bidding to put it that way.
      This is, however, admittedly rarely seen in porn though.
      Whatever, I don’t understand your idea that male subs enjoy it and the dommes are doing their bidding, while female subs are only conditioned to do the male doms bidding and only believe they enjoy it.
      Someone here (or was that another blog) once quoted Dworkins something along the lines of: “In our culture, it’s a wonder that not all are into BDSM” or something. And basically, this is what I want you to ask: If our society truly conditioned BDSM, then why is such a little minority into it? Homosexuality is a minority too but it is against our cultural norms. BDSM is a minority but you claim it’s actually conforming with our norms- how can that be (as long as it’s not genetic anyway)?

  7. Ryan April 26, 2008 at 12:49 AM #

    You seem to forgot, with exceptions, most of the women in regular, legal porn choosed to do it, for whatever reasons. Porn, prostitution, etc. has been around far longer than you dumb corked ass realizes. Men look at porn because humans are not suppose to be with the same mate for the rest of their lives. By the way, this blog has proven you intellect belongs somewhere with the boring, fake suburban mommies, that have nothing to show for their lives.

  8. Nine Deuce April 26, 2008 at 12:55 AM #

    I addressed the issue of choice in this post, which you clearly either didn’t read or are too dumb to understand, judging by your ability to construct a sentence. Read the 6th post if you want to (try to) understand why women choose to be in porn. What, exactly, does this blog prove about my intellect and what I have to show for my life, aside from the fact that I have a vastly superior understanding of the world in comparison to yours? What exactly do you have to show for your life, besides an IQ somewhere in the 80s and a ridiculously rudimentary understanding of biology, human nature, and the difference between “you” and “your”?

  9. L April 26, 2008 at 12:57 AM #

    Obviously someone can’t be bothered to read. Fucking pedantic assholes abound.

  10. Nine Deuce April 26, 2008 at 1:06 AM #

    Yeah, if he even can read.

  11. Obbop April 26, 2008 at 4:00 AM #

    I do not believe that there is one female in 10,000 that can truly understand a male and the converse is also true.

    Do not worry, females. I made what is the logical choice for me, based upon decades of personal experience and observing the horrors other males underwent when interacting with females.

    I refuse to allow females to enter my life. They may not enter my home. My car is banned to them. Even if I were to see a female trudging alongside the road during a blizzard, ready to succumb to the cold, the threat of a false accusation for some crime occuring only within the female’s mind would keep me away.

    Oh yeah, I would call the authorities on the phone but that’s it!!!!

    See, girls, look how safe you are from me!!!! I will do all I can to be as far away from your gender at all times. Call it self-preservation if you want.

    I even avoid LOOKING at females so as not to harm their tender psyches!!! Sure don’t want some dizzy dame proclaiming “That man was staring at me!!!!! He scares me!!!!!!”

    How can a male prove he wasn’t staring, or even not looking!!!?

    I hear and read of an increasing number of males adopting my life style. Female-free.

    Keep away from me females. You are unwanted and unwelcomed in my life.

  12. Xtal April 26, 2008 at 5:44 AM #

    And yet here you are commenting toward, interacting with, females! Obbop, you remind me of a boy on a playground who pulls a girl’s ponytail and then runs away.

  13. L April 26, 2008 at 5:55 AM #

    Really, though: if only there were more dudes like Obbop in the world (who were serious about their “fear of” women and/or who really saw that they were unable to avoid harming women without avoiding them altogether), we “females” could maybe get something done for a damn change.

  14. Anonymous April 27, 2008 at 2:41 AM #

    Do you mean as in the man paying the woman to do it?

  15. Nine Deuce April 27, 2008 at 3:05 AM #

    Anonymous – No, I mean that in a lot of the porn where women are dominating men, the clear understanding is that the man is the one who is really in control. He is allowing her to dominate him because that’s what excites him, and the male audience. It’s the same with professional dominatrices – they are being paid to act out a fantasy for a man. He isn’t actually being dominated, but paying someone to pretend to dominate him, hence, he is still in control.

  16. Veronica Normand April 28, 2008 at 10:00 AM #

    Thank you so much

  17. Holly April 30, 2008 at 4:50 AM #

    This post is fucking fantastic! Thank you for writing this.

  18. Nine Deuce April 30, 2008 at 5:03 AM #

    Holly – Thanks!

  19. Catherine Martell May 1, 2008 at 9:30 PM #

    Fantastic series, Nine Deuce. Especially this one. Your clear, elegant writing is an inspiration, and I am amazed by the the exceptionally tolerant way you deal with some of your asshat troll commenters.

    Hopefully I’m not one of those. Just a fan. Brava!

  20. Emma May 1, 2008 at 10:48 PM #

    Thank you very much for writing this. Reading this post has clarrified for me a lot of the feelings I’ve been having about porn that I haven’t been able to put words to.

  21. Nayo May 4, 2008 at 1:52 AM #

    I’m relieved I found your website and your views on the porn industry verbalized in a most intellectual intelligent manner. It gives me hope that other women are not supporting the idea(reality) of some of the women in our society as being so disposable and under valued. I’ve gotten into so many arguments with both sexes about why there’s “something wrong with porn” but the deeper more disturbing truth seems to elude many porn lovers.
    Thank you for having a voice that speaks to my heart, mind and soul.

  22. Nine Deuce May 4, 2008 at 2:04 AM #

    Thank you, Nayo. That was a really great compliment.

  23. Cait May 9, 2008 at 1:17 AM #

    I love your posts Deuce, I just stumbled across them today and cant stop reading them, I agree with absolutely everything you say. Before I didn’t really know how to articulate to boyfriend’s and such why the porn they watched bothered me. Now I can actually talk to them about it without them telling me, I’m just a stupid girl who doesn’t understand. And the whole “right” to watch porn. Fuck that! I’m glad you brought that up too cause that’s always bothered me. But I’ve got a question, can you explain why you think women don’t need to watch porn but men feel they do? Thanks your amazing!

  24. Nine Deuce May 9, 2008 at 1:25 AM #

    I just think in our society women’s bodies are commodified and seen as items for men’s use and consumption, and the opposite isn’t true, so women don’t tend to get into porn for the most part.

  25. Maggie May 11, 2008 at 1:11 AM #

    I can’t understand why men who find your blog so annoying read it.

  26. LucyLu May 20, 2008 at 5:03 PM #

    Really, really spot on post. I couldn’t agree more with the points you made. It’s nice to know there’s other women against the acceptability of porn in youth/mainstream culture.

    THANK YOU

  27. Aaron Boyden June 13, 2008 at 12:41 AM #

    I would be one of those who would claim to possess an ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality. I would also note that I’d make another distinction you slide over in your discussion; I not only distinguish porn from reality, I distinguish the characters porn actresses play from who those women are in reality. I don’t know the latter (for the most part; I do know a couple of women who’ve done some nude modeling; one of them also played “cannibal lesbian #1″ in a low-budget zombie movie), and I think of them pretty much the way I think of anybody I don’t know (unless I do know them, in which case obviously what I think of them is based on my experience interacting with them in reality). I identify them with their porn characters about as much as I identify the governor of California with a murderous robot (actually, probably less; I guess the categories of “murderous robot” and “Republican” do have a tiny bit in common).

  28. Nine Deuce June 13, 2008 at 12:51 AM #

    Aaron – Can you honestly claim, then, that you can use porn and that it does not affect the way you look at women? That it has no impact on the way you approach and think about women’s issues?

  29. Aaron Boyden June 13, 2008 at 2:12 AM #

    “No impact” would be a pretty big claim. I do not have a fully developed aesthetic theory, supported by extensive psychological studies of the impact of fictional representations on people in every conceivable circumstance. Of course, you ask about my case, not the case of men in general, but I also don’t have infallible introspective awareness; I need some psychological theory to understand myself.

    Still, at the theoretical level I am quite certain that the interaction between any sort of artistic/fictional/fantasy representation and reality is very complicated, so much so that even what seems most obvious cannot be taken for granted, as the potential for unnoticed confounding factors is virtually limitless. And on the personal level, I’d say that your descriptions of how men who consume porn view the women in porn ring utterly false to me when I think about my own porn use.

    Certainly on most feminist issues apart from porn I’m pretty far left. Further, for what it’s worth, I’m old enough that when I was in my teens and early 20s, there wasn’t this web thing, so I had much less exposure to porn than I do now. However, my increasing exposure to porn seems to correlate with a leftward drift in my attitude toward feminist issues. I used to have a libertarian “as long as there aren’t laws explicitly discriminating against women, things will eventually sort themselves out” attitude, while I’m now much more inclined to think that in many cases more aggressive measures are needed to counteract problems of sexism. I’m certainly not going to claim that porn was the cause of that shift, but it doesn’t seem to have pushed the other way or to have prevented it, so I’m inclined to think it isn’t one of the problems which needs aggressive measures.

    So what is going on when I view porn? Well, it’s complicated. And it isn’t always the same thing in the cases of different kinds of porn. But for me at least it’s definitely an escapist genre of entertainment, and escapism of course has to be unrealistic, and recognized to be unrealistic, to work the way it does. Escapist fictional worlds in general aren’t even the sort of thing one would want to have be real (most of them would be pretty dull). Perhaps I’m unusual among consumers of pornography in taking it that way, but if so, it’s surprising that the pornography that gets produced is often blatantly, self-consciously unrealistic in just the ways I want it to be unrealistic.

    Of course, maybe escapism is inherently bad, but since I’m also a fan of cheesy science fiction, silly action comedies, and as mentioned previously occasional low-budget horror, I’d prefer not to believe that either.

  30. Nine Deuce June 13, 2008 at 3:00 AM #

    I don’t see how you can think that porn isn’t a pressing feminist issue. Porn is a pressing feminist issue because it is anti-woman propaganda, pure and simple. It reduces women to a set of holes and completely erases their humanity and their sexuality (porn is about men’s sexuality, not women’s). Mainstream porn has always degraded and objectified women and taught men that women are to be used as objects, but now it carries the added message that women are vile trash. (See the name-calling, ejaculating onto faces, and choking that are ever more common in mainstream porn.) I fail to see how that is not a feminist issue, how it is not a feminist issue that a huge proportion of men are tying orgasm to seeing women humiliated and dehumanized.

    I also don’t see the connection between porn use and a leftward drift in your thinking about feminism. They might have coincided, but I don’t see how they could be related.

    There are untold numbers of studies that show that the average man who uses porn sees a drastic reduction in his ability to empathize with women. I don’t doubt that there exist a few men — maybe you’re one of them — who think that doesn’t apply to them. I ask you, then, if you can honestly say that you are 100% sure you’ve never used porn in which someone was being abused. And if you do want to make that claim, how do you know? If you can’t make the claim with certainty, then how can you say that your desire to use porn hasn’t negatively affected your ability to take women’s humanity to be equal to your own?

  31. Aaron Boyden June 13, 2008 at 4:52 AM #

    Could you provide the links to the studies? I just don’t think porn works the way you think it does. Art generally abstracts and simplifies what it represents, in order to emphasize particular features; I think porn is frequently doing no more than that when you think it is propagandizing a particular view of women.

    There is an ancient tradition of misogyny which is based on the equation women=sex=evil. Hard-core misogynists have often been extreme prudes, and conversely. Pornography is generally pro-sex, but the association between sex and evil is very strong, and has a great influence on what people find sexy. So lots of people are turned on by some fairly disturbing things. But in pornography the “evil” is all fake, it’s all about sex, and sex is good (according to pornography). So while it is problematic that pornography certainly does little to break the women=sex part of the ancient equation, I think it is a misinterpretation of most porn to read it as endorsing the sex=evil part, and so of course it’s also a misinterpretation to read it as endorsing the women=evil part.

    I haven’t addressed the issue of coerced performers, and that’s one which concerns me greatly. Of course, I’m sure I have viewed porn in which the performers were coerced. I’m also sure I wear clothing made in sweatshops, and I definitely eat cheeseburgers made from cows that were horribly mistreated, cows whose feed came from land that could have produced food that would have helped vast numbers of starving people. I’m not happy about any of these things, and I recognize the lameness of saying that merely changing my own behavior wouldn’t make any real difference (and, lame though I recognize it to be, I keep buying my clothing at mainstream shops and eating cheeseburgers).

    However, it does seem to me that the greatest obstacle to eliminating this sort of coercion is the stigmatization of sex workers, the idea that whores can’t be raped. And it doesn’t seem to me that making loud pronouncements about how all sex work is utterly, irredeemably degrading is at all helpful in this respect, since it tends to blur the distinction between voluntary and involuntary participation in the sex industry, as well as exaggerating how different sex workers are from other people.

  32. Nine Deuce June 13, 2008 at 4:14 PM #

    I’m not here to tell you how porn operates on your psyche, but it is a simple fact that pornography is a graphic representation of the fact that women are seen as less than human in our society, that women are adjuncts to men, if that. It’s also a fact that pornography, especially as it seeps into mainstream culture, affects women’s chances for reaching equality.

    https://againstpornography.org/socialsciencestudies.html
    https://againstpornography.org/sexualviolencestats.html
    http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/freelance/pornographyirishexaminer.htm

    Before you make the claim that these studies and this article have an agenda, think about what the agenda might be behind arguments against them: on the part of porn producers, money, and on the part of men, selfishness and lack of concern for the impact of their actions. What might the anti-porn agenda be about? It isn’t prudishness, it isn’t jealousy or insecurity, and it isn’t some equation of sex and evil. It’s the disgust people feel when they see someone’s humanity being disregarded, when they see someone being submitted to humiliating and disrespectful treatment for money. That women are paid to allow themselves to be treated like subhumans is a serious fucking problem. If you don’t see it as an expression of, and a factor in, a misogynistic society, you’re willfully blind.

    Your argument that porn is pro-sex is faulty. I agree that in western culture the equation of women with temptation and sex and thus evil has led to a lot of the misogyny in our culture, but porn is an expression of that, not a rebuttal to it. In porn, women lose the power they supposedly have over men, the power to decide whether they will allow sex to occur. The women in porn are punished for the “prudishness” of other women. They are used, abused, and denigrated. There is no affection, no care, no respect. There’s not even any sense that the performers are attracted to each other. Sex in porn is a commodity, something that the ones with means buy from the people who have to sell it to survive (whether survival consists of having enough money to live — almost all porn actresses are relatively poor, so don’t bring up the three that have made some money — or making an ill-conceived attempt to get desperately needed attention through allowing oneself to be objectified and exploited).

    Porn, instead of being pro-sex, is pro-sex-as-a-tool-of-power. If you can find me a single example of mainstream porn in which an obvious power differential is absent, I’ll give you $1000. It doesn’t exist. Mainstream porn has NOTHING to do with women’s sexuality. Women in mainstream porn are objects, and their sexuality is presented as consisting solely of serving male sexuality (and a fairly cheap and shallow representation of male sexuality, at that).

    Sex in porn is honestly pretty lame. No matter what the people are wearing, no matter what they are saying, no matter what they are doing, they are acting out the same scenario over and over: female humanity being subordinated to male desire. That may very well be one way to conceive of and “do” sex, but it’s certainly not the only, and definitely not the most desirable or interesting, way. But that’s all we see. So I would not say that porn is “pro-sex.” I’d say it’s anti-sex. It’s anti-sex in that it severely limits the ways in which sexuality can be expressed. Outside of a commodified exchange of power, sex doesn’t exist in porn.

    The greatest obstacle to limiting coercion is the lack of regulation in the industry and the lack of ethics on the part of the consumer. I do not wish to stigmatize sex workers, but nor do I believe that we ought to be looking up to them as seems to be the trend these days. I’m not concerned with blurring the distinction between voluntary and involuntary participation in sex work, because there really isn’t such a thing as voluntary participation. If women’s choices weren’t so limited by how far we have left to go in the struggle for equality, they wouldn’t need to turn to allowing their bodies to be exploited for money. I know that there are plenty of women who have bought into the idea that objectifying themselves is a source of pride and power, but the fact that they fail to see just how limited women’s sources of power and prestige are in our society doesn’t mean that the reality isn’t there. I’ve never once exaggerated how they are different from other people, nor have I claimed that they can’t be raped. They are raped, constantly, and if we actually cared about that fact, we wouldn’t support the industry that does it to them.

    Finally, while I understand the sweatshop/cheeseburger argument, it’s not really a good one. When you buy clothes from a sweatshop, you are not looking at a picture of the person who made your jeans suffering. When you eat a cheeseburger, you are not looking at a photo of a cow being slaughtered. When you look at porn, however, you are looking directly at a human being who is being exploited. If you have the capacity to turn off your sense of empathy long enough to have a wank, congratulations. I don’t, and I wish men weren’t so selfish, didn’t feel so entitled to the use of women’s bodies, that they could do so. Our culture is absolutely saturated with images of women’s bodies being used for various purposes, so I understand where a lot of that entitlement comes from, but I still argue that men, if they really want to be able to claim to be thoughtful human beings, ought to feel pity, not titillation, when they see a woman being degraded.

  33. Aaron Boyden June 13, 2008 at 6:48 PM #

    Thank you for the links. Well, thanks for the first one, anyway, the other two didn’t seem to have much useful material. On the second link particularly, yes, violence against women is a huge problem. It’s also one we know how to deal with. Give women more economic, political, and social power, and violence against women declines. That’s something studies have actually shown clearly, in contrast to the murk of the pornography research. Thus, I’m heartily in favor of measures aimed at giving women more power (an area where I’m sure our agreement is complete).

    Anyway, back to pornography, and the material referenced in that first link of yours. One interesting thing I did turn up was Addison, Koss and Malamuth from 2001, a paper called “Pornography and Sexual Aggression: Are There Reliable Effects and Can We Understand Them?” Malamuth was one of the major sources for that first link of yours. I don’t know if the full text of this paper is available without access to the PsycINFO database. Anyway, they concluded that “the current findings do suggest that for the majority of American men, pornography exposure (even at the highest levels assessed here) is not associated with high levels of sexual aggression” (though their abstract is, for some reason, considerably more sensationalistic).

    They also seem to be aware of the studies, such as the one by Milton Diamond, which have shown a correlation between increased use of pornography and a decline in sexual violence, and do not mention any flaws in the studies (I couldn’t find any criticism of Diamond’s study, in fact).

    So much for the studies. I don’t know if it’s likely to do any good to keep insisting that pornography doesn’t always or even usually mean what you think it does; I’m pretty sure I have more experience as a pornography viewer than you do, but you apparently consider my testimony pretty worthless. And you certainly don’t make it easy when, for example, you apparently take the fact that most pornography presents women as enthusiastically consenting as in no way constituting evidence against your thesis that pornography presents consent as irrelevant.

    Still, I’ll try again, noting first that your interpretations seem wildly implausible to me when I think of most of the porn I view. I’ll focus on one example to again emphasize how I think you’re ignoring often much more plausible (and much less offensive) interpretations. You have mentioned the verbal abuse of the female performers present in some pornography. I’ve tried to stay away from making distinctions between different kinds of pornography, because I am not interested in mounting a defense of only the pornography I happen to like, but I will note that I personally find that sort of a thing a big turn-off. I guess I’m pretty strange in that respect; it seems that “talking dirty,” which seems to involve lots of accusations of sluthood at minimum, is quite popular among heterosexual couples generally, not just in porn. Still, it’s not something I’m into myself.

    However, my theory about those who are into it is that it connects with the appeal of the forbidden and the sexiness of transgressing social norms. Indifference to social norms, indeed enthusiasm for defying them, is appealing, and in the context of sexual “dirty talk” I expect that the purpose of the verbal “abuse” is to present the target as such a transgressor; that is, calling someone you’re having sex with a “dirty slut” means something quite different than calling them that under other circumstances, and something not at all negative. At least, that’d be my best guess; again, I don’t do this sort of thing myself, so I can only guess in this case. But it usually doesn’t seem to be intended as an insult in such contexts.

    Of course, only a person can transgress against social norms, so I suppose you’ll say that pornography could not be intentionally presenting women as such transgressors in order to make them more appealing, since it doesn’t view women as people. Again, my view would be that the presentation of women fits this pattern too well for me to believe that it’s not the case that a lot of porn is trying to do precisely that.

  34. Nine Deuce June 13, 2008 at 7:06 PM #

    How myopic. The fact that one of tens of studies says porn doesn’t increase sexual violence among “most men” doesn’t mean that it doesn’t do so among the most dangerous of men, and it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t lessen the sense of empathy in most men. It doesn’t address the fact that porn changes men’s attitudes toward women, whether they realize it or not, as many of these other studies (which you have produced no rebuttal to) do. Whether porn causes sexual aggression may still be up for debate in the minds of a few holdouts (about as much climate change is), the fact that it changes men’s attitudes toward women and their status as human beings is not.

    You’re right, you probably do have more experience as a porn viewer than I do. So how does that make you more of an expert on its effects? The effects of porn on the way men view women are subtle and multifaceted. I’ll ask you again, do you really believe that seeing women used as objects has no effect on the way you deal with and perceive women in daily life? I doubt that’s possible. If you saw them as fully human, you would not be able to justify to yourself masturbating to their exploitation.

    Women’s enthusiasm in porn is a part of their job. They are paid to be enthusiastic. Sex in porn is not done for pleasure, it’s done for money. Do you claim prostitutes are having sex with johns for kicks? It’s the same thing.

    As to where the excitement in “dirty talk” (pretty euphemistic, since the women aren’t calling the men filthy pigs) derives from, it’s more complicated. It’s not a matter of transgressing boundaries or norms to call someone a slut in bed when the norm is that a woman engaging in sex for pleasure is deemed a slut in our culture. What that amounts to is our society’s double standard being brought into bedrooms by men and being internalized by women and turned into a part of their sexuality. When sex is defined by men (it is), and when men have mixed up sex and power to the extent that they have, it isn’t a shock that heterosexual women, who have been trained to mold their sexuality to that of men, would internalize patriarchal sexual values.

    I completely disagree with you that giving women more power decreases misogyny. In fact, I think the evidence of the last few years has shown that it tends to increase misogyny. I think the reason we are seeing porn and mainstream culture become more and more degrading to women is that men feel threatened by the gains women have made socially, politically, and economically.

    And anyway, feminism isn’t just a struggle to get dudes to do us women a favor and bestow some social power upon us, it’s about examining the entirety of the power structure in our society and deciding what is and isn’t just, moral, and reasonable. That means that men need to be honest about the privileges that attach to being born with a penis and realize that they are not entitled to any of those privileges, including the privilege to use women’s bodies for their own sexual gratification.

  35. Aaron Boyden June 14, 2008 at 4:07 AM #

    The first paper I mentioned was a meta-study of all the relevant literature over the previous couple of decades, co-authored by one of those who had been most active in claiming strong links. It was thus a little more relevant than just “one study out of tens.” I confess I didn’t provide links to all the debate I could find about the various studies, since the meta-study covered a lot of that ground and seemed to conclude that not a whole lot had been proven.

    Of course, the second study I cited didn’t find no effect, it found a negative correlation, which can’t help but suggest that there’s something deeply wrong with your interpretations. If everything else was as you say, the Diamond study’s results would be quite astonishing. It’s also a real-world result, unlike the lab studies you attach so much significance to, and more recent than the lab studies you attach so much significance to.

    I certainly don’t recall ever suggesting that sex in porn was done for pleasure. Obviously, it’s acting. I was arguing against your notion that the pornography represented the women’s pleasure as irrelevant, not any claim that pornographers considered the actual pleasure of performers irrelevant; employers generally consider the pleasure of their employees irrelevant, and employees generally have no problem with this as long as they get paid. I didn’t think that was the issue. Do you think movies which aren’t pornographic represent their characters as non-people, since they also use actors who are paid to behave as they do rather than presenting their real feelings?

    I certainly agree that things are very complicated. I think your analysis ignores that far more often than mine. I would certainly say that transgression is a complicated concept, and that there are more and less acceptable varieties of transgression and that sometimes the encouraged varieties of transgression end up to amount to reinforcement of the system. But that’s not what you say; you say there is no transgression. That is an absurd oversimplification. (BTW, I call it “dirty talk” because that’s what it’s usually called; I didn’t intend to be euphemistic, just to be as clear as possible by using everyday terminology).

    I am impressed by your commitment to your thesis; you say porn has increased while women have gained more power, so since porn is anti-women, it must be backlash. Apparently there’s no possibility whatsoever that you might instead be exaggerating the anti-women significance of porn.

    However, I didn’t actually say that increasing power for women decreased misogyny; I don’t recall that from the studies I’ve seen (and, alas, I can’t dredge them up). What I can recall is that increased power for women is correlated with just about everything good in a society that we have statistics to measure, and I’m pretty sure I can recall reduced violence against women being one of the statistics found to be correlated with women having more power (which is what I claimed). Since misogyny as such is not easily measured, I believe it is not one of the things which has turned up in the studies of easily measured things that correlate with power for women.

    I naturally agree with your final paragraph, apart from your implication that I’ve said anything to suggest I didn’t agree with it.

  36. Nine Deuce June 14, 2008 at 4:14 AM #

    It isn’t possible to exaggerate the anti-woman significance of porn. If you think I’m oversimplifying, read the whole of my series on the subject. If that’s still too simple, read Robert Jensen, Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, etc.

    I’m committed to my thesis not because I’m emotionally invested in it, I’m committed to it because it’s logically and ethically the only sound one. I appreciate your willingness to think about and discuss the issues, but I will not entertain the idea that porn is anything other than what it is, anti-woman propaganda.

  37. Aaron Boyden June 14, 2008 at 3:31 PM #

    I have read the rest of your series, and the authors you mentioned. I still think there’s considerable oversimplification and error in the position.

    I guess in the course of our discussion you asked again, after I thought I’d answered, whether I can say for certain that porn hasn’t affected how I think of and treat women. So evidently I didn’t answer that adequately. I do not experience or interpret porn the way you say everybody does, so I can say confidently that I do not transfer the sort of interpretation you talk about from porn to real women (I would have to have it in the first place to transfer it). That’s still a qualified answer, of course, but hopefully it’s clearer than what I gave before.

    I should also say that while I view my own contact with porn as mostly harmless, I don’t think everybody’s experience is the same. However, I do think that between book X of Republic and chapter 2 of On Liberty, it is the latter which has the overwhelmingly stronger case. At the risk of coming across as some sort of fanatic, I’m not quite certain you’d have enough here to overcome it even if you weren’t making all the mistakes I think you are (and I’d vigorously reject the complaint that I’m wrong to put abstract principles ahead of real life; Mill’s[1] arguments are all about real life).

    [1] Or perhaps I should say Harriet Taylor’s, depending on how seriously we should take Mill’s claims that she collaborated on most of his works and contributed especially greatly to On Liberty. Most scholars seem to take him at his word, and some think he may have understated her influence.

  38. Anon y mouse June 16, 2008 at 10:51 AM #

    At the the risk of being a completely wasted comment, and joining into an ongoing debate with no relevant information, doesn’t your “I appreciate your willingness to think about and discuss the issues, but I will not entertain the idea that porn is anything other than what it is, anti-woman propaganda.” statement all but contradict your How Not to Get Banned statement, “I’ll engage in discussion with all comers, but I won’t argue in circles with people who are not arguing in good faith, i.e. people who begin arguing knowing that they’ll never change their opinion regardless of what the facts say.”? I mean, if you’d like us males to be open to change our opinions, not that I’m bringing my personal opinions into this debate that is raging, shouldn’t you hold yourself to the same standard? I should think that a respect on the intellectual level should give this Aaron guy a chance, regardless of his somewhat opposing stance.

    As to the article itself, I agree with just about everything that you’ve said- and to be frank, you may have changed certain habits of mine by bringing these thoughts to my mind. So in a way, thank you, and at the same time, I’d like to throw a dammit at you. Because I guess every man is the same, or damn similar, right?

  39. Nine Deuce June 16, 2008 at 3:59 PM #

    I am not contradicting my comment policy because I have already heard every argument this guy is making and I think he’s willfully ignoring a lot of things. If he had actually proved anything to me, I’d have considered changing my mind, but I’ve been thinking about this stuff for 10+ years and I’ve yet to hear an argument from a pro-porn person that I haven’t anticipated.

    No, I don’t think every man is the same. If I did, I wouldn’t write this blog. But I do because I have hope.

    Thanks for reading and commenting.

  40. Screaming Lemur July 20, 2008 at 6:47 PM #

    Well, crap. I’m a feminist who enjoys sex and hasn’t really been sure about her stand on porn up til now. But after reading this, I really truly don’t think I could stand to watch porn again. Now I get why feminists as a whole don’t like porn, why it’s considered bad. I really hadn’t thought about all these issues put together (which me makes me feel less than brilliant. Now I guess I just have to link this to my partner to explain why, because I was never able to articulate it on my own.
    Question: What would be your opinion on hentai?

  41. Nine Deuce July 20, 2008 at 7:35 PM #

    On hentai – I’m a little concerned that people are getting excited by watching cartoons. I mean, part of what I have to say here often revolves around how warped our cultural ideas of sex have become. With the spread of porn into the mainstream, men are becoming more and more attracted to less and less realistic images of women. Cartoons take that even further. How about we just get excited by real people, when we’re with them, rather than images of people we don’t know and don’t have any sort of human bond with?

  42. Screaming Lemur July 20, 2008 at 10:19 PM #

    Hmmm. I was thinking that since no actual women are harmed (as in live porn), it wasn’t as bad. But it is, because people still see “cartoon” women as representations of women, especially when they’re so porntastic. I can tell the difference between cartoon women and real women, but they’re still all women. (If any of this sounds incoherent, I apologize).

  43. Nine Deuce July 20, 2008 at 10:37 PM #

    And not only that, but hentai is often even more depraved than even the worst live action porn, because it can be.

  44. m Andrea July 30, 2008 at 2:40 PM #

    “Men who use porn, if they think about it honestly, MUST admit that they do not see the women in porn as human beings possessing the same measure of humanity that they themselves possess, or else they would not be capable of dismissing the apparent strangeness of someone allowing themselves to be treated like a piece of trash with a shrug and a claim of bewilderment.”

    Consider this stolen. thank you.

    See, the odd thing to me is that you appear to assume that the people who disagree with you can partake of a rational discussion to some effect. And while it is true that these folks can display a reasonable facimile of the porn issue in a coherent manner, nothing ever seems to actually, yanna, change their behavior. Instead, they just find a new excuse for doing the same old woman-abusing crap.

    Which is why I’ve written them off as hopeless. Talk is cheap. But ask them to walk that newfound conscious right out the strip club door past the 12 year old prostitute, and see what happens.

    Incidently, I love you. Thorry! That is bad thing, actually, since I tend to run off certain kinds of visitors without even trying — you know, the kind of man who just plays at being reasonable and insists calling out his behavior hurts his fweelings.

    Perhaps I’ll just start a thread at my place and respond to all the idiots here, there.

  45. m Andrea July 30, 2008 at 3:56 PM #

    Okay, this part:

    “That leads to some serious cognitive dissonance. Natural desires + repressive expectations = hostility and fear about those desires, which gets misplaced onto the object of those desires. So women who do what they are expected to are prized but also denigrated as prudes, and those who don’t are prized as objects of desire but also reviled and devalued for their transgressions. If men were able to identify with women as human beings with complex desires and motivations like themselves, it wouldn’t be possible for this dichotomy to continue. It wouldn’t be possible for women to be divided into the two rigid categories of whore or wife material.”

    That paragraph does seem to provide some evidence that men do compartmentalize certain concepts quite strongly. But remember the other thread — I believe it was called “where are all the sex-poz dudes at? an invitation” and everyone was insisting that no, men don’t compartmentalize more than women.

    I’m just wondering how someone can reconcile these two contrasting ideas. Because it is not large numbers of women who are actively promoting the madonna/whore thing, and neither does an example come to mind where women have a corresponding dichotomy to that degree about anything else.

    (Also, my previous comment was assuming I’d find the same apologists in this thread as the other; after scanning the comments I stand corrected.)

  46. Nine Deuce July 30, 2008 at 4:28 PM #

    I think men claim they can compartmentalize because they can, to a degree. But that’s not a good thing. Being able compartmentalize means you’ve got a virgin-whore complex. I don’t think it’s innate (which is what those tossers were arguing), but rather cultural.

    They hadn’t found me yet when I wrote this, hence the dearth of bullshit comments.

    As to their ability to discuss things, I never expected the dudes who showed up for The Great Sex-Positive Challenge! (TM) to be willing to confront/change their assumptions. It was sort of an exercise on my part. I’ve got a better understanding of some people I had no contact with until very recently.

    This post was more aimed at the random dude who isn’t really engaged in this argument but uses porn casually. And, honestly, I’ve gotten some encouraging responses to this and parts three and six from a lot of people. My blog was never intended to become a feminist circle jerk/cage fight, but rather to win over converts. I need to get back on track.

    Welcome! I really like your blog, and I’m glad to see you here! And not to worry about offending the disingenuous dudes. You won’t be lonely in that endeavor here.

  47. m Andrea July 30, 2008 at 7:26 PM #

    “My blog was never intended to become a feminist circle jerk/cage fight, but rather to win over converts. I need to get back on track.”

    You might be able to influence the fence sitters, which is why people like me running them off would be a bad thing. I’ll practice deep breathing and just address the issue.

    Which, you know, neurobiologists have found differences in brain structure… lol Someone suggested that the differences might stem from practice, rather than being born that way; I thought that was a good point.

    I’m trying to convert people to the dark side, and I have cookies.

  48. Azundris August 4, 2008 at 5:59 PM #

    As for that Diamond bit … («correlation between increased use of pornography and a decline in sexual violence») — am I the only one that looks like a threat to (“Nice little vagina you have there … would be a shame if anything were to happen to it …”)? As in, “rape and abuse WILL happen, so helping us channel it into groups/classes you’re not a member of is in your own best interest, woman”?

  49. gare August 12, 2008 at 4:16 PM #

    I dont feel like I’m among a giant gathering o the Christians here, let alone Southern Baptists like moi. .. but.. I was at a so baptist mens conference this past weekend and found myself in a ‘purity’ mens workshop against porn! And they said some of the same things Deuce Nine, if thats her real fake name, has been saying – and gare is on board with it, even though I still see my own teenager yawn at anything on the internet thats easy. The girls he goes to school with kick nuts (twig and berries) quickly (self esteem problems? not in our local high school sweeties.. its slang!)_ if the boys .. well you know, try to take advantage of them, and if they don’t, they got gun toting families. And thats just the grandparents … . Im telling you around my small Tenn town, the girls and guys got it together (usually by 17) – anyway, the so baptists.. we believe in Christ.. I dont care if you do or you dont personally, if you dont believe in God you’ll be happy after you die wont ya, either there won’t be a god, or if there is he wont talk to you anyway, so either way YER all good aint ya).. but around here we believe in net filters to keep kids out of porn .. we believe in mens workshops to call this stuff out.. we believe in Project Recovery, where admitted adult porn and sex addicts can try to recover. Without going into the theories of demeaningness and esteem and all that – this is just good upbringing! Every woman I ever knew blew porn away with a single wink, so I caint .. caint.. see the problem

    gare, further afield than you might think!

  50. Tia September 6, 2008 at 12:34 PM #

    Wow. Just wow. Brilliant!

  51. Sarah September 21, 2008 at 6:45 AM #

    I appreciate your discussion on the Madonna/whore complex, it is something I find interesting in most discussions.
    My problem with porn is not it being anti-woman, although most porn is, my main problem is a lot of who gets into it, and the drug use and abuse that is prevalent within the industry and those that are a part of the industry. I don’t seem to have nearly as much of a problem with pornography as you do though, and I will leave that to differences in opinion.
    My other problem with porn is I find it boring, but that is another story I suppose now isn’t it?
    I have been reading random entries from your blog tonight, and I stumble on it sometimes, I enjoy it, kudos

  52. Brian Murphy January 27, 2009 at 10:52 PM #

    I am a man and in my opinion women themselves now or days are the bigest enemy to themselves.Often i am the one that is bothered by the light women show themselves today and instead of most other women doing something or saying something they go right on the bandwagon.Look at web sites like my space 8 out of every 10 womens profiles are filled with porno style photos and these women are not even getting paid for this.Then i would want to bring up this is what younger women look up to and thats a scary though in itself.No one can give a possitive answer as to why this is but it is and morality is out the window.Thats one mans feelings toward this.

    • Nine Deuce January 28, 2009 at 1:24 AM #

      There is an answer as to why. Young women have internalized the message they’ve gotten from advertising, television, porn, and from men that what is most important about them is how sexually attractive they are to men. This is how young women get attention in today’s society, because today’s society values women as sex objects first, as human beings second (if at all).

  53. miked. April 20, 2009 at 3:16 AM #

    I have bounced around (meaning reading out of order not skimming) all of your posts regarding porn, and have seen a documentary against porn. It wasn’t until you made the case against it quite personal for me that I have come to realize how huge of an impact I have had by consuming and not critically thinking about the institution.

    Before I was too ashamed to explore the questions regarding why I would stop the porn video before the dude ejaculates in a womans face or why I found porn in which women gag and cry over a dick being shoved down their throats (which are both unfortunately practically a mainstream practice in porn now). I never asked myself the question of what the difference was between the “whores/sluts” and women in my life nor had I even stopped to consider what it meant for there not to be a male equivalent term as detrimental as those mentioned.

    After reading all of these posts I can’t help but wonder how I could ever go back to porn, one of the many previously unacknowledged acts of oppression I took part in against humans around me, especially women, behind them men and myself, through my own stunted imagination. You have opened my eyes to a world of suffering and burden that privilege has blinded me to. I can’t thank you enough.

    -Mike

  54. miked. April 20, 2009 at 5:39 AM #

    Totally not kidding in the least. I feel so humbled and hungry to learn and I’ve been staying up super late to read this.

    This is kinda like how I’ve felt after reading Vegan Freak. I can’t believe what I’ve done without realizing it and now know what I am capable of if my own actions aren’t held accountable for. I know there is so much more to learn and explore and I’m so stoked that your blog has gotten me on the right path.

  55. Ed May 9, 2009 at 4:36 PM #

    Intelligently written, very passionate. I see your commitment to change what you see is wrong, appreciate it. I accept you sharing this with me. There are too many industries right now founded solely on the defamation of human rights, and this one is no different from any of them. Keep up the good work, and best wishes.

  56. Val August 13, 2009 at 3:39 AM #

    Hello –
    I love all of your posts on porn. One thing though, I don’t think porn is the cause of men seeing women as less than human. I think porn is a bi-product of that. I’ve read that men go to strip clubs to get away from women, not to get near them. Some men don’t like women to have personalities or free will to begin with. The Bot wish, as it were. That wish is what feeds the porn industry. They are just capitalizing on what a lot of men want in the first place.
    It’s not justified, of course.
    And most men are shockingly ignorant about what the porn industry is really like behind the scenes.
    I went to the Pink Cross website and was very educated. I’ll NEVER watch porn again. Not that I did much before.
    And even though I disagree with your cause and affect portion in regards to porn, I agree that education and discussions are wonderful.

    Thank you and keep up the great work!

  57. Liselotte August 14, 2009 at 4:20 PM #

    I’m rather of the opinion that sexism is affecting everything in a sexist society. Movies, music, style.
    In it’s definition by itself, porn is the explicit depiction of people having sex. Nothing more. Nothing sexist by itself. But in a sexist society, of course, porn is sexist with only very few niches that differ.
    But the same goes for regular movies- nearly all of them show stereotypes and subtle woman hating, with only very few niches that differ. Feminist movies? A handful.

  58. Venomous Woe October 6, 2009 at 3:29 AM #

    Hello, Nine-Deuce. I’m a newcomer to your site, a male newcomer to be precise, and I have something to say.

    …I’m ashamed of my gender.

    Really, your posts hit home for me. Especially this one. I started looking at porn only a year or two ago, and thanks to this article, I’m seriously considering making those my last.

    Now I’m not saying that I’m not angry at your posts. I am angry. Quite angry. I’m angry for having to grapple with the truth about myself; angry that you have wounded me with such scathing hate and fury. I’m not saying that I haven’t considered “revenge” attempts either. I have, and they still linger in the back of my mind.

    But I must thank you for your honesty.

  59. Taybeh Chaser November 16, 2009 at 9:31 PM #

    Venomous Woe–Great that Nine Deuce has helped you confront something unsavory about your behavior and motivated you to change. It is understandable that you feel anger, but the anger should not be directed at the messenger. Further, your talk of “revenge” and of having been “wounded” is just a little over-the-top hostile and borderline threatening.

    (Well aware that this is an old post. Just reading through the series for the first time now, after recently discovering this blog. Better late than never, huh?)

    • Nine Deuce November 16, 2009 at 11:47 PM #

      Yeah, what the fuck was that bit about revenge? What’s he going to do? Viciously analyze my taste in header images?

  60. Imaginary November 30, 2009 at 6:35 AM #

    I’m a girl who used to watch porn. I started when I was 12 or so and stopped a few months later. I hated it and it made me sick and hate myself, but I kept watching it precisely for that. I guess that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. Is this partly why there are so many “sex-pos” “feminists” out there?

  61. isme November 30, 2009 at 9:49 AM #

    Partly, yes, but if you were to say it is a large part, the internet would collapse over the weight of arguing it would cause.

  62. Tehanu January 16, 2010 at 4:24 PM #

    Your article is amazing. I really value your insight.

  63. Immir March 2, 2010 at 3:02 PM #

    Wow, this site is great. Nine Deuce, you are a stunning writer. I’m coming back for sure…

    @ some of the comments posted- why is it guys defend their point based on what effect porn has on men only? Ever thought about what harm it is doing to women? Even IF porn had no effect on guys- it harms women & it’s a big fucking problem that we have to fight against, end of story.

    ALSO this is the first time I’ve ever seen comments from males that weren’t completely opposing. Shocked… shocked and feeling hopeful :)

  64. Saurs April 13, 2010 at 11:59 AM #

    I’ve had some commenters tell me that they only like porn in which the woman looks like she’s into what’s being done to her… Who wants to confront the fact that the woman might be doing anything but having a fucking party? If she wasn’t enthusiastic, the men jerking off to her would have to confront all the issues I’ve just been talking about, and what kills a boner quicker than feeling guilty? If the woman looks like she’s into it, a man can suspend his disbelief in the idea that a woman would enjoy being spat on and slapped and called a whore long enough to jack off to images of just that.

    This is such an excellent point that it must be reiterated.

    I’m forever getting stuck in circular discussions with dudes who insist that they only watch pornography in which women appear fully enthusiastic and engaged in intercourse, while also claiming that torture porn is about “the fantasy” of degradation, humiliation, and pain; that those other dudes, comrades of Nice Guys Into Porn, who enjoy torture porn don’t really think the women are being abused, but merely that they’re acting out abuse for the benefit of the viewer. That the Nice Guys think that a boner being enhanced by a woman screaming and being physically mauled is morally defensible is bad enough. That they actually seem to believe that torture porn fans revel in “the fantasy” and the “fiction” of their favorite pr0n seems willfully naive (or just wildly disingenuous) to me.

    When I explain to them my simple thesis — dudes who like torture porn like it because they think its real and because they get off on the pain depicted — they act bewildered. Even if the films are advertised that way, they argue, no viewer actually takes it seriously! It’s just fiction!

    I tend to send such dudes over to a particular website I’ve seen mentioned before in pro-porn / anti-porn radfem discussions. I won’t link to it, but it involves the “taming” of “barely-legal” “teens” and their “initiation” into pornography via incredibly brutal sexual abuse. There’s a section on the guest part of the website that features member reviews of the videos available for purchase, and they’re so telling that I’m going to quote a few below. (huge trigger warning) As most of content is incredibly nauseating, I’ll summarize the main themes for people who don’t want to read it: members advise the directors that the actors should beat the women more often, that the actors should be rougher with the women so that the women don’t look happy or comfortable, that the actors should “skip” vaginal sex because the women seem to enjoy it too much, and that the women who appear haughty or proud need to be treated twice as rough. All the comments basically congratulate the actors for making women cry, reveling in how “cool” and macho the dudes are for being violent, and encouraging the directors to make the torture look more real and more pronounced. It’s really sick shit.

    Sandra is left in no doubt that these cocks are seriously FAT, so it’s a pleasure to see them throw her into doggy position (with a few well-deserved slaps :D) and the guy to line up his cock and give it a good hard push to go sliding right up her asshole. We can then sit back and enjoy as the bitch looks pretty uncomfortable while the guy has a fun time!

    Love Stella’s look, the “blond bikini” look is sexy as hell. By the end of the scene, the guys have fucked her in every hole and left her on the floor with a faceful of cum. It’s always good to see a couple of dudes taking turns on a whore’s asshole, they can see who can go the hardest, and if it’s painful for the bitch…… who the fuck cares? Stella’s left with a sore ass and the guys are ready for the next slut!

    My favourite position is the doggy anal, the guy pumping her asshole “hits the spot” nicely, the big cock is clearly uncomfortable and too much for her! We can see from her face that he is ripping her shitter up and she wishes it was all over, but “boys will be boys”and they carry on having butt-fucking fun!

    This is one of the best 2 girl scenes, the girls are treated like total fuck pigs and they really have no fun while the guys are really enjoying themselves! They look totally fucked and beaten at the end, it would be fun to see the guys kicking back and congratulating each other on a job well done while they make the girls swap their cum, then they tell these whores to fuck off! Funny shit!

    One of the greatest things is seeing a tiny cute teen take on 2 guys who are much bigger and stronger than her, we need to see them smack her around more before and during the fucking (and even after!)

    “When she’s talking a big uncomfortable cock up her butt, that’s when they should pull her up by the hair, the director says “go for it, dude” and BAM! She gets to see how hard they smack their bitches around!

    I’d like to see more doggy anal, with the camera on Annie’s face so we can see the discomfort on her pretty face as the dude pounds it in deeper and harder, and we can see him laughing and talking shit with the other guy and the director! Then the other guy could take over and buttfuck this dumb cunt until the tears roll down her face…… then fuck her twice as hard!

    Sandra has that “certain look” that just makes me want to see a whole football team power slam her in the ass with over sized cocks non stop. -cos that is what I want to see: the look on her face when she has had more than enough in the ass -until her bitchy facade all gone while big cocks brutally hammer it up her bitchy ass.

    All in all Carla is damn sexy – but it is really a shame that she is fucked so much in her pussy – instead of giving her the RIGHT treatment of cock in the ass all the time – skipping even the DP – having her take every cock thrust up her asshole the way she naturally should.

    “To me it is just kind of odd to include vaginal fucking in a scene that features ANAL – I don’t see the point at all.
    If the girl goes anal then make it anal all the way is what I say. All the girls that only do vaginal porn videos should get out of the way and stick to just modeling.

    “The final end is quite good with Carla in doggy on the sofa (her knees on the floor would have been a lot better) getting slammed good and hard in the ass while the stud is stepping on her head – my favorite ! -SPOT ON THE WAY IT SHOULD BE! – Unfortunately more DP follows and the look on Carla’s face changes from looking cock hammered to pleased – and that is just another bummer.

  65. Fede September 28, 2010 at 4:16 AM #

    “Hi I’m a man who loves porn AND totally respect women, and you really haven’t convinced me that water is wet. Where are the studies?

    Degradation can be all in good fun!

    War is peace!”

    Fuck, how pathetic.

  66. Fede September 28, 2010 at 4:41 AM #

    If the ever so sensitive Mr. Boyden would like to inspect just how wet that water really is, he should read Sauers’ comment.

    Any guy who insists he doesn’t see why porn is necessarily anti-woman is either lying or stupid. Which is it, dumpling?

  67. kristina September 28, 2010 at 3:23 PM #

    Fede…it can’t be both??? ;P

  68. Fede September 29, 2010 at 5:09 PM #

    kristina – you’re right! I totally overlooked that option! ;D

  69. M. November 12, 2010 at 9:23 AM #

    @ Saurs

    SICK! I hate the world, I really do.

    Dammit, I’m buying my own island to get away from this shit.

  70. Johnny November 18, 2010 at 1:02 AM #

    I agree with you regarding the anti-porn argument, porn is definitely sordid and abhorrent, but I do hope that you’re not under the impression that all guys are into this sickness. I found myself nodding in agreement with a lot of what you said but then some parts started to verge on misandry, slightly.

    • Nine Deuce November 18, 2010 at 1:08 AM #

      That’s because I hate men, slightly.

  71. Johnny November 18, 2010 at 5:48 AM #

    “That’s because I hate men, slightly.”

    You have just lost all credibility. One minute you’re arguing against sexism then you defend it…no, you’e full of it. I can’t take you seriously now.

    This is a big problem; how am I suppose to air my opinions about why I dislike porn if I just get met with misandry? It’s discouraging (because I’m male).

    If you generalize either gender (or any demographic) you’re NOT pro-equality, no matter what you say. That’s how closed-minded bigots look at the world.

    • Nine Deuce November 18, 2010 at 10:50 AM #

      If you had to grow up female, you’d hate men a bit too. If you don’t know the difference between hate coupled with the power to oppress and hatred of the oppressor by the oppressed, this may not be the blog for you.

  72. joy November 18, 2010 at 12:33 PM #

    Oooo nooooo, ND. You just lost alll your credibility!!

  73. Johnny November 18, 2010 at 1:07 PM #

    No, just…no. What you said there sounds like it came straight from Robin Morgan’s mouth.

    You can hate your “oppressors” but you can’t hate an entire sex. I can’t take you seriously if you generalize an entire sex as “oppressors”. Tell me, when was the last time I oppressed a poor little woman? When do I get a chance to flex all these privileges and powers that come with being male? Here I thought that I was a nobody trying to mind my own business but it turns out that I’m an oppressor!

    If you put the burden of blame onto innocent men then you’re completely irrational. You have no actual point; one minute you want equality but you’re also telling me you’re a staunch defender of sexism? If sexism against men is okay then why is sexism against women bad? What are you even arguing for? What is your point?

    • Nine Deuce November 18, 2010 at 1:25 PM #

      Johnny, thank you for not using porn (though why I’m thanking you for displaying basic human decency I do not know). However, if you don’t understand why we say “men” when 99.9999999999999999% of men use porn, I’m a bit concerned for you. What makes you think I’d be worried about sounding like Robin Morgan?

  74. Fede November 18, 2010 at 1:18 PM #

    Johnny, would you call the slave who hates plantation owners bigoted? Get a grip. Guess who just lost all credibility in MY book.

  75. teh_steve January 21, 2011 at 6:53 AM #

    ND. I find myself agreeing with everything you say when it comes to pornography and the way that women are generally subjugated.

    However, I agree when I say you can’t hate an entire sex.

    There’s a line between the active asshole, the ignorant idiot, and then the guy that understands what women have to go through and subsequently try to work against that.

    I personally hope I fall in the last category, but there’s a lot of gender inequality that we almost don’t think about. Even out language tends to be negative towards women.

    “Bitch, slag, cunt, whore, pussy” compared to “bastard, cock, dickhead” nothing nearly as bad with a guy, and often (in its own way) quite powerful. Penis is power vagina is weakness and disease, tends to be the stereotype.

  76. isme January 21, 2011 at 4:50 PM #

    ““Bitch, slag, cunt, whore, pussy” compared to “bastard, cock, dickhead” nothing nearly as bad with a guy, and often (in its own way) quite powerful. Penis is power vagina is weakness and disease, tends to be the stereotype.”

    You’ll note that “bitch” is an insult used against men. In that case, to mean a weak a powerless man, whereas when it’s used against women it means an overly strong and assertive one. Says alot about who’s on top.

  77. Fede January 22, 2011 at 8:30 AM #

    Good point, isme. I hadn’t even thought of that distinction between the use of ‘bitch’ against men and women respectively. But it’s bang on.

  78. Bluecat January 22, 2011 at 4:56 PM #

    You’ll note that “bitch” is an insult used against men. In that case, to mean a weak a powerless man, whereas when it’s used against women it means an overly strong and assertive one. Says alot about who’s on top.

    I’ve noticed this recent trend, using “bitch” to insult men because it bothers them more than any other epithet (eww, girl cooties!). And usually it’s a woman hurling the b-word…this crazy little paradox really drives home how deeply ingrained misogyny is in our culture. How can a woman not realize that she’s optimizing the pain verbally inflicted on a man by feminizing the insult?! Same with calling a guy a pussy. I mean, come on. I like to say in these instances: Ok, I get why you want to insult him, but why are you insulting yourself?

  79. isme January 23, 2011 at 2:14 AM #

    “Ok, I get why you want to insult him, but why are you insulting yourself?”

    The answer I’ve received was that it’s the only sort of insults men respond to. I suppose using “gay” as an insult works much the same way, it’s an attack on their masculinity.

  80. Jessica March 29, 2011 at 2:27 PM #

    This is Beautiful and so refreshingly sane.
    Thank You

  81. Kelly April 19, 2011 at 6:36 PM #

    I read those comments from Saurs and it’s clear that these men/boys are acting out revenge fantasies. They hate women and feel the need to watch them victimized while taking glee in it (I imagine those bastard foaming at the mouth). They may be angry at individual women who they percieve (granduer and entitlement are a deadly cocktail) to have ‘wronged’ them or even just slighted and have transfered their (unwarranted) anger at all women. In their distorted phyches women are interchangable. The resentment at girl at the bar who gave you the flip, is misplaced towards the one on screen taking it up the ass. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t know the women up on screen and she couldn’t possibly have done anything to incite this vitriol (besides existing) all that matters to him is what she represents.

     They talked about the girl having a ‘bitchy’ demeanour which I think means that she is not behaving as a subordinate she’s not trying to accomadate men, she isn’t being rude the fact she is acting like her own person (like anyone) is ‘bitchy’ and ‘bitches’ (i.e. any woman who doesn’t do everything men want not matter how unreasonable) needs to be taken down to the lowest notch and how do misogynists do that? With degrading, humiliating, upleasurable and painful sex with multiple men for the pleasure and profit of sick fucks. These sadistic bastards get pleasure knowing these women are in intense pain and are traumatised by it in fact it’s the main attraction they know it does internal damage and they revel in it because they are socipaths. 

    Misogynistic homosociality is like fuel to the fire, its obvious how much hatred they have for women but I doubt if confronted alone face to face they could defend themselves. They need support from men of similar mindsets to voice themselves and anonymonity to protect themselves, they are pathetic. 

    If you ever encounter these kind of men in real life assuming it’s safe to do so ask them, preferably with witnesses why they think it’s appropriate to say and do such things. Ask them why they hate women, keep asking why they hate women if he keeps trying to distract you. If he says he love women tell him that if he loves women why does he treat women poorly and refer to women in callous, offensive ways. (I doubt women are the ‘fuckpigs’) Also point out the difference between being attracted to womens bodies and caring about women in general. I’d love to see the reaction, these men don’t like when women assert themselves let alone confront them.  

    Oh and Johnny when ND (and most women) says she hates men she means ‘men like these’ as in misogynist sub-humans use a little discretion regarding context in future. Unlike the kind of hateful bastards Saurs quoted we hate the attitudes, behaviours and injustices of most men and the patriachal culture that perpetuates and normalizes it. We don’t hate men because they won’t have sex with us in fact we tend to hate most because among other things they want to sex with us in cruel, degrading and painful ways then laugh at us on the Internet. If you can’t differentiate between hatred borne of entitlement and hatred borne of injustice and abuse you severely lack in cognitive skills.      

  82. Kelly April 19, 2011 at 6:55 PM #

    I read those comments from Saurs and it’s clear that these men/boys are acting out revenge fantasies. They hate women and feel the need to watch them victimized while taking glee in it (I imagine those bastard foaming at the mouth). They may be angry at individual women who they percieve (granduer and entitlement are a deadly cocktail) to have ‘wronged’ them or even just slighted and have transfered their (unwarranted) anger at all women. In their distorted phyches women are interchangable. The resentment at girl at the bar who gave you the flip, is misplaced towards the one on screen taking it up the ass. It doesn’t matter that he doesn’t know the women up on screen and she couldn’t possibly have done anything to incite this vitriol (besides existing) all that matters to him is what she represents.

     They talked about the girl having a ‘bitchy’ demeanour which I think means that she is not behaving as a subordinate she’s not trying to accomadate men, she isn’t being rude the fact she is acting like her own person (like anyone) is ‘bitchy’ and ‘bitches’ (i.e. any woman who doesn’t do everything men want not matter how unreasonable) needs to be taken down to the lowest notch and how do misogynists do that? With degrading, humiliating, upleasurable and painful sex with multiple men for the pleasure and profit of sick fucks. These sadistic bastards get pleasure knowing these women are in intense pain and are traumatised by it in fact it’s the main attraction they know it does internal damage and they revel in it because they are socipaths.  Cont..

  83. Kelly April 19, 2011 at 7:12 PM #

    Misogynistic homosociality is like fuel to the fire, its obvious how much hatred they have for women but I doubt if confronted alone face to face they could defend themselves. They need support from men of similar mindsets to voice themselves and anonymonity to protect themselves, they are pathetic. 

    If you ever encounter these kind of men in real life assuming it’s safe to do so ask them, preferably with witnesses why they think it’s appropriate to say and do such things. Ask them why they hate women, keep asking why they hate women if he keeps trying to distract you. If he says he love women tell him that if he loves women why does he treat women poorly and refer to women in callous, offensive ways. (I doubt women are the ‘fuckpigs’) Also point out the difference between being attracted to womens bodies and caring about women in general. I’d love to see the reaction, these men don’t like when women assert themselves let alone confront them.  

    Oh and Johnny when ND (and most women) says she hates men she means ‘men like these’ as in misogynist sub-humans use a little discretion regarding context in future. Unlike the kind of hateful bastards Saurs quoted we hate the attitudes, behaviours and injustices of most men and the patriachal culture that perpetuates and normalizes it. We don’t hate men because they won’t have sex with us in fact we tend to hate most because among other things they want to sex with us in cruel, degrading and painful ways then laugh at us.

    If you can’t differentiate between hatred borne of entitlement and hatred borne of injustice and abuse you severely lack in cognitive skills. I don’t speak for all women but I feel that most womens ‘hatred’ is more comtempt we don’t revel in random men being victimised because we like seeing men in pain or humilated simply for being male (like many misogynists do of
    women) but we do enjoy seeing particular kinds men (cruel, callous, sociopathic, entitled, abusive, rapists, pedophiles, murderers I could go on but you get the point) get rightfully punished. Not because they are male (even though the fact they did is influenced by it) but because that’s justice.       

  84. isme April 21, 2011 at 12:14 AM #

    “If you ever encounter these kind of men in real life assuming it’s safe to do so ask them, preferably with witnesses why they think it’s appropriate to say and do such things. Ask them why they hate women, keep asking why they hate women if he keeps trying to distract you. If he says he love women tell him that if he loves women why does he treat women poorly and refer to women in callous, offensive ways. (I doubt women are the ‘fuckpigs’) Also point out the difference between being attracted to womens bodies and caring about women in general. I’d love to see the reaction, these men don’t like when women assert themselves let alone confront them.”

    Ah, but they don’t hate women, of course.

    Well, they say so, and they are always right, being men and all.

    Though often they might seem like reasonable people you could have an intelligent conversation with using actual facts and logic, pointing out to a habitual porn user that they have issues with women is roughly as effective as banging your head against a wall.

    If someone doesn’t want to know the truth, it’s almost impossible for you to enlighten them.

  85. Marti September 12, 2011 at 9:04 PM #

    Thanks for writing this and the many other porn related posts you have put on here. I discovered my husbands online porn use that he had been hiding from me for years. I’m ashamed and disgusted in him- not to mention what other things came out once I found it.
    I had him sit down at the computer and read your posts as well as some Robert Jensen articles. He ended up crying and was finally able to see what was wrong with his porn use, not that I was just being an ‘insecure wife’ like he tried to push it off as (he knew it was wrong, or why go to such lengths to hide it from me?).
    Porn use and sex related ‘problems’ have ruined our marriage and family.

  86. jane September 21, 2011 at 8:11 PM #

    Thank you Nine Deuce, for your brilliant writing. I am really impressed with this post and have sent it to my young adult sons hoping to enlighten them, and hopefully ruin porn for them (if they use it).
    You’re the bomb!

  87. Hecate September 26, 2011 at 10:48 AM #

    Another clueless article re: prostitution from Alternet:

    http://www.alternet.org/story/152523/what%27s_wrong_with_ashton_kutcher%27s_campaign_against_sex_work_plenty._/#disqus_thread

    Can you gals spot all the effed-up assumptions in this piece? The only thing I can agree on here is that Ashton is an idiot. Other than that, the author is an epic fail concerning the real battle women have always faced, which is unequal pay in regular work, which then makes the slide into selling the only thing they own that much easier. Why do all arguments regarding prostitution insist on this argument of ‘choice?!’ I still agree with radical feminists, that men have an interest in keeping women out of the corner office, so there will always be a pool of sex slaves available to service them. That’s the elephant in the room that no one ever discusses, and it puts me at great odds with Liberals. I love ND’s post on Bill Maher in that regard…

    One thing you can always count on – unless there are feminists in the room, there will always be a bunch of miserable cowards on hand to justify the subjugation of the prostituted woman.

  88. Sugarpuss September 26, 2011 at 10:59 PM #

    @Hecate: Some of the comments are worse than the actual article. LibDudes pretending to give a shit about women’s “choices”, when it’s so blatantly obvious that all they care about is their dicks (which should be cut off and shoved down their throats, btw).

    Some foolish cockhead mentioned “sex-hating feminists”; that made me chuckle. Men are the ones who hate sex, as they have slowly turned it into something dirty & degrading. In fact, I am convinced that few men have ever even engaged in legitimate sexual contact; using a woman’s body as a masturbation device is not real sex. The typical male approaches the act with all the passion & enthusiasm of a mid-day restroom visit. Dump & flush. Women are the toilets of men… especially prostituted women.

    I don’t really have an opinion on Kutcher, one way or the other. It seems that he has drawn the ire of the sex-poz DudeBro club, so that’s always a good thing. Hope he’s servicing Demi well. :D

  89. lizor September 27, 2011 at 6:28 AM #

    ” Sex workers know that what creates demand for the sex trade is not men “enslaving” us for sex, but the exigencies of survival.”

    So the exigencies of survival have no relation to enslavement? And you’ll hear this argument from people who will, in the next breath, trot out the “we are all prostitutes under capitalism” trope. It’s maddening.

  90. lizor September 27, 2011 at 6:54 AM #

    A commenter on that thread posted this link to an excellent article by MacKinnon:

    http://harvardcrcl.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/MacKinnon.pdf

  91. Hecate September 27, 2011 at 11:50 AM #

    Exactly right, Sugarpuss and lizor. That site is beyond frustrating, because though they do post some good anti-corporate articles, they are willfully ignorant as to how the whole system not only ties in with oppression of women, but is more than likely based on it. Ah, ignorant bliss. It could be a much stronger site for the voices of women and minorities to finally be heard, but has failed miserably in my opinion.

    Well, we’ve got this blog and each other for our sanity, thank goodness :)

  92. lizor September 28, 2011 at 6:44 AM #

    Sugarpuss, your take on men and sex is bang on the money, if you’ll pardon the terminology. And Hecate, I agree totally re: Alternet. I have spent more time there challenging articles than I have reading stuff I’d like to share.

    The author identifies herself as one of the prostitutes she is “defending” against those “outsiders” who have no experience with the sex trade. I looked her up and it seems she ran a webcam for a short time. I would imagine this was less about the sort of “employment freedom of choice” we keep hearing about and more a means to give herself some cred as a writer and ultimately to feed narcissistic impulses.

    I really should not be thinking about this crap before breakfast. It’s hard on the digestion.

  93. Raina October 21, 2011 at 7:28 AM #

    Thank you. I know this is an old article, but I’ve been reading through your writings and feeling comforted by them. Safety in numbers and whatnot. And indeed, they enhance my own understanding of the issues, because you write clearly, eloquently, and logically.

    Culturally we are, in essence, groomed to become porn stars in the bedroom and the Virgin Mary outside of it. How our ideas of sexuality as we grow up can be and often are warped by the flawed and misogynistic way women’s sexuality is presented in the media. We are expected to behave in self-degrading ways, to orgasm on command to satisfy the ego of our partners, and to pander to and protect the precious ideals of men who think porn is an accurate representation of what women want and enjoy. I have been with men who really think I’m going to derive gratification from being sexually and emotionally degraded as long as they do. And it’s sickening to be confronted with that, and to realise it’s widespread: the degradation of women is acceptable as long as you can ignore it long enough to get off.

  94. Raina October 21, 2011 at 7:31 AM #

    I actually meant to post my comment on Part 6, which I have in the tab next to Part 4. Sorry!

  95. easttom84 January 11, 2012 at 5:45 PM #

    Nine Deuce

    I’m a dude and I agree with every word you’ve written in this post (I also took a shot every time you said madonna/whore complex and I think I have alcohol poisoning).

    Seriously though, you’re right, and all men know deep down that porn is degrading to women, but they push it out of their minds in the same way that a person constantly eating junk food tries not to think about heart disease.

    I’ve been trying to quit porn for a long time now, and it’s very difficult, so knowing is only half the battle, really.

    good stuff, now I gotta go read the rest

  96. Traveler March 27, 2012 at 12:31 AM #

    Wow, ND. I’m so pleased to see you are making a difference in the world.

    One comment I’d like to make as I was reading your post, in reference to this:

    “… once they’ve been in too many films, once they stop looking ‘barely legal,’ once they get sick or too strung out, they’re tossed out like garbage…”

    It’s been my observation based on limited excursions through Internet porn offerings that — if a female porn worker ages out of one genre (or gets sick, or “too strung out,” or starts to look too used up) — a whole new genre pops up to serve the likes of consumers who have now acquired a taste for that particular stripe, which merely gives him/them a “new different more bigger better” edge to ejaculate to.

    Porn addiction (a reality that “easttom84″ just alluded to above, in his comment that he’s “been trying to quit porn for a long time now, and it’s very difficult, so knowing is only half the battle, really”) has the power to turn any variation of a female (grandma porn, stepmom porn, st-patrick-day-parade porn) into a new high for the viewer.

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    [...] that they are in fact, talking about a woman. Yay, not even a walking cunt, shit on legs. I guess Nine Deuce sums it up fairly well when she writes: I’ve just realized that there is no such thing on Earth [...]

  6. Rage Against the Manchine’s Series on Pornography « AntiPorn101 - February 14, 2011

    [...] Porn Part Four: Half of the Big Picture [...]

  7. An Open Letter to Bang-on Custom T-Shirts « Rage Against the Man-chine - December 7, 2012

    [...] the problem. Let’s say — as might most dudes who are invested in believing that women enjoy being sexually abused so half-wit men like those who design your t-shirts can jack off more [...]

  8. Things That Bother Me « Female Gazing - January 31, 2013

    [...] - Porn Part 4: Half of the Big Picture « Rage Against the Man-chine (via discosherpa) [...]

  9. Porn Stars With And Without Their Makeup | Female Gazing - March 22, 2013

    [...] - Porn Part 4: Half of the Big Picture « Rage Against the Man-chine [...]

  10. OMG CENSORSHIP | Exiled Stardust - June 19, 2013

    […] won’t listen to the truth that p%rn harms women, that it harms men, that it harms children, that it is hate speech, that raping, or even pretending to rape, women is not artistic expression […]

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