Porn Part 9: The Opposite of Dudishness Is Not Prudishness

26 Apr

Thanks to jetlag I’m up at 5 AM, which means I’ve got time to blog. I know — you’re all pumped. Here goes:

We all know what a prude is. I don’t need to quote the dictionary here because dictionaries are like assholes: everyone has one and they’re all pretty much the same (please, for the love of Long Duck Dong, let’s not anyone mention “goatse”).  A prude, as most people define the term, is someone who is opposed to fun based on some kind of religious conviction that has no basis in logic or in coolness. For example, a prude is a guy who doesn’t drink Pepsi because he’s been told not to by a church (a church that owns a large share of Pepsi Co., no less) started by some asshole in the 1800s who pretended god had given him the sequel to the Bible in order to convince people it was OK for him to have more than one wife. A prude is someone who doesn’t do the Roger Rabbit because her church said dancing is the first step on a road that leads to sacrificing babies to Satan. A prude is someone who thinks we should only have sex to create babies, that it ought to be done in only one (male-led, male-dominated, male-centered) way, that it ought not to result in pleasure (especially for the woman), and that we all ought to feel like singing a Morrissey song about how much we hate ourselves when it’s over. Because some religion says so.

Prudishness, which the prude likes to conflate with morality, is really just piety, however ill-conceived, ill-understood, and misdirected that piety might be at times. However, morality and piety are not, in fact, coterminous. Morality can and does exist among atheists, agnostics, and even a few religious types (well, as long as they don’t go to churches in which pastors baptize people in hot tubs). Morality doesn’t require outside enforcement because morality stems from the natural human tendency towards empathy and the natural human aversion to seeing blood and suffering.  It isn’t law or religion that keeps me from killing Joe Rogan, it’s that instinctive human morality that comes naturally to all save a few of us. (Mind you, I’m speaking of the most basic kind of morality, that which governs the most fundamental of human interactions. Stealing and related crimes are another matter and would require me to get into theories of mine on economic systems that I’ll need to leave to another post. And don’t bother telling me we’re becoming more and more callous towards each 0ther – I blame that on the fact that marketers have ever more control of our minds, of course.)

And here comes the ergo: moral objections to morally objectionable things do not of necessity result from prudishness. And hence another ergo: arguing that radical feminists are opposed to porn and prostitution out of some form of prudishness is a straw man extraordinaire. I mean, really, how many radical feminist fundamentalist Christians do you know? Prudes are proud of their continence, prudes love it when people take notice of the fact that they never do anything fun, prudes revel in abstemiousness for its own sake, and their reasoning usually rests either on nothing or on a prideful adherence to the anachronistic and untenable prescriptions for living laid down by dudes who lived during a time when people had never even heard of burritos or synthesizers. Prudes, basically, are dumbasses — and usually arrogant ones at that. So don’t call me one or I’ll take away your birthday.

We’ve dealt with prudishness. What’s dudishness? Well, I’m from California. Everyone is a dude to me. I use “dude” to get people’s attention; as an exclamation of surprise, irritation, shock, pain, or extreme anger; as a general way to refer to a male person; as a way to express incredulity. You get the point. But that’s not what dudishness is about. Dudishness is a special brand of male (and female – no gender exclusion at the ‘chine, man) behavior that might best be described as a striving to approximate a balance between the behavior of the character Buddy Griffith in Just One of the Guys and that of the average Eli Roth fan. Don’t get me wrong – I love Buddy Griffith more than life itself. He’s the funniest caricature of teenage boyhood I’ve ever seen, not to mention the ultimate 80s movie character, and his juvenile obsession with getting someone to touch his wiener, while it did lean hard on the total objectification of women, was at least slightly endearing. But that’s only cute in the movies, and it’s only funny when the only goal is sex in that relatively innocuous way that teenagers conceived of it in 1985 (and I do mean relatively – it was still dehumanizing, but it seems quaint in comparison with today’s youth’s idea of what sex is about).

Something’s changed.  Our culture has always hated women, but it’s manifested itself in much more obvious and – I’d say – sinister ways in the last decade or so. We all know about backlash theory: the more social gains women make, the more threatened men (especially those lower down on the social ladder) feel, and we’re seeing that express itself in more and more media in which women are punished simply for being women (and/or for having the audacity to be beautiful but unwilling to fuck any asshole that whistles at them, to enjoy sex, to assert themselves, to be happy, etc.). See porn, the new brand of overtly sexualized horror movies, and the general entertainment media, etc. if you really can’t figure out what I’m talking about, though I’m sure you can.

Well, that’s what dudishness is: a combination of a juvenile obsession with sex and overt misogyny. Some examples: the fascination with seeing some boobies in a Playboy that characterized male adolescence a few years ago has (d)evolved into an insatiable demand for footage of women having sex with dogs, women having their faces ejaculated upon, women performing fellatio after being on the receiving end of anal sex, etc. (I’d go on but I can already sense my WordPress ticker of disgusting search terms skyrocketing.) Men have gone from swiveling their heads to get a look at a retreating woman’s ass to routinely groping women on trains and drunkenly demanding in public places that women “show us your tits.” That’s dudishness. That’s the state of the world. And, apparently, the fact that that scares me makes me a prude according to some people.

Plttth. Give me a fucking break. Sorry, but the fact that I’m not turned on by the average Ludacris lyric doesn’t make me frigid, and fuck you if you think you have the right to tell me it does.

Some of you may remember an exchange that took place in one of my recent (OK, I know that when I’ve not posted anything of substance in a month I can’t exactly call it recent) posts’s comment sections between myself, a commenter named Sarah, and a few others. There was a serious misunderstanding going on in that exchange, as well as some clearly willful misrepresentation, and this post was inspired in part by that. Sarah took offense to my claiming that certain sex acts were degrading, and she thought I was calling her a slut for engaging in them. I wasn’t. I think people know that (and I think Sarah does too), but the topic still wants intelligent discussion.

You see, every time I bring up an objection to porn and to men’s increasing sense of entitlement to treat women like objects, women come over here to tell me I’m calling them sluts because I’ve got a problem with male behavior. Say what? I’ve addressed that specific issue before and won’t get into it again, but I am going to address these absurd and insulting (not to mention misogynistic) claims that I, and women like me, must be boring, selfish, sexless PRUDES because we take offense to the dehumanization of ourselves and our fellow women. And I’m going to do so without discussing my own private sex life, which, frankly, I’m tired of having to tell people is none of their fucking business. I don’t ask anyone to give me the details of their exploits, for fuck’s sake (though I still get plenty of unsolicited details — thanks).

There are several problems with the “you’re a prude!” approach when presented as an argument against my (or any other radfem’s) positions on porn and sex work. First, it makes the incorrect assumption that radical feminism is about telling people what they ought to desire. I’m pretty sure you could go through every word on this blog and not find a single instance of me telling people what they should like or not like (unless we’re talking about bands and TV shows — seriously, STOP watching Family Guy). I know we don’t grow up in vacuums free of the kind of social conditioning that creates desires that may not be politically correct or all that feminist. I don’t think anyone ought to be ashamed of those desires or their sources, but should rather just be aware of them and consider what they mean.  That does not translate into me telling people not to do something, all it is is my meager attempt to get a few of the nine (OK, maybe 500) or so people who read this here blog to think about the connections between sex, power, and the social structure we’re all stuck in.  A commenter on that post mentioned above had the following to say on just that, and I think it’s worth considering:

First, why do some women choose to take jobs as porn actresses? Why do they want to have sex for money rather than getting themselves off? Do you think a lack of options or a difficult economic situation factors into that very much? How do you think they feel about the fact that strangers and people they know alike can watch them having sex as long as they’re willing to pay? Do you think they maybe feel cheapened by it? Could they better express their sexual autonomy by reserving their sexuality for people that turn them on and treat them in ways that make them feel good, rather than by allowing their image to be mass produced to give others jack-off material? Do you think there are very many women who actually enjoy being in pornography? Do you think the patriarchy’s eroticization of treating women as objects has anything to do with that?

Do you think pornography expands our conceptions of human sexuality, or do you think it limits the potential range of it? Do you think that the only way to go outside the box in terms of human sexuality is kinkiness? What other forms of expression might there be? Do you think we might dream up more fulfilling means of keeping sex interesting if left to invent our own fantasies, rather than watching full-color explosions of what other people think our fantasies are? Do you think pornography alters our expectations of sex? Do you think that alteration is generally positive or negative? Realistic or unrealistic? Do you think missionary (or simple forms of mixing up sex, like changing positions and locales, but still ultimately remaining vanilla) are inherently boring, or is it only because we now expect sex to be crazy-exciting with lots of kinks (essentially, to be like pornography)? Do you think there are women for whom kinkiness is a burden more than a freedom? Do you think women ever feel pressured to perform a particular sexual act because it is regularly depicted in porn (and thus expected)?

Do you think there are any kinds of pornography which might show images which are harmful or which it might be better to choose not to view? Do you think porn depicting women in pain or coerced into sex acts is harmful (to men and women, to our conceptions of sexuality, to the way we relate sexually to each other, to what we consider erotic, etc.)? Do you think the majority of porn relies upon sexual stereotypes, unrealistic depictions of women’s sexuality, economic pressure applied to actresses, or any other unfeminist things? In light of the porn that is currently out there, do you believe the burden is upon feminists to prove that it is harmful, or on pornographers to prove that it’s acceptable? Do you think wanting to watch videos of other people having sex is a natural and healthy impulse? Do you think wanting to watch the kinds of standard porn videos that are out there is a natural and healthy impulse?

Why do you (or any woman) want to have your partner ejaculate on your (or any woman’s) face? Why does your partner (or any man) want to ejaculate on your (or any woman’s) face? Given the power relations that are culturally predominant, do you think domination or humiliation could have anything to do with it? If not, why else would it be sexy? Do you think this alternate explanation for why it is sexy is the reason most porn viewers find it sexy?

My point with all of these questions is, there’s a lot more to this issue than “all consenting adults! that means we’re all free to do whatever we want!” Well, duh. Obviously porn actresses who accept money for their services made a choice. Obviously women who allow men to ejaculate on their faces made a choice. We’re not saying to shame people who make those choices, and we’re not saying we should legally ban them. But it’s important to consider, why do people make these choices? We know that the culture we live in makes some assumptions about gender roles and sexuality. How does porn interact with those power relations? How do we make sex and sexuality empowering for all participants?

When we answer those questions, we try to see the whole context. We think that context includes uneven gender roles, and believe that patriarchal thinking warps mainstream expressions of sexuality like porn. As an alternative, we don’t see a world where everyone engages in every sexual act without analyzing it, but rather one in which we consider each other’s feelings and in which we occasionally step back to see whether what we think we want is really sexually good for us. We see a world where people probably don’t want to intentionally spray bodily fluids on other people’s faces (perhaps you disagree), and a world where people have their own satisfying personal fantasies and sex lives that pornography seems like a cheap substitute for real human sexuality.

You might come to different conclusions, but the rad fem critique is not meant to return to “NO! YOU CAN’T DO THAT! GOOD GIRLS DON’T DO THAT!” Rather, it is to move towards a future conception of sexuality that is more personal and more satisfying for all participants. Maybe there’s a way to incorporate face-shots into that world. (I personally think probably not, or at least not until both partners have seriously deconstructed power roles.) Maybe there’s a way to incorporate anal sex into that world. (I personally think probably.) In all honesty, that world probably looks different for all of us (for some people it may involve waiting for sex until marriage or at least love). It’s okay that those worlds all look different. But I promise, promise, promise that when we say that we don’t think a particular act meshes well with a positive sexuality, it is not a referendum on the people who choose that activity. It is not us scolding and saying no. It’s just us saying “Hey, I’m not comfortable with this, and here’s why I think you might want to think it over again too.”

Props to B for that. It’s a much more diplomatic (and hence probably more effective) way of explaining the difference between asking people to take the relationship between sex and power into consideration and slut-shaming (AKA prudishness) than I might have been able to muster.

There’s another problem with calling radfems prudes. Isn’t feminism about women’s freedom, sexual and otherwise? Does someone who knows exactly dick about my sex life telling me I do sex wrong fit that definition of feminism? That’s a negative, Ghost Rider. It’s presumptuous, pushy, judgemental, sexist, and exactly the kind of behavior sex-pozzers (wrongly) accuse me of when I discuss the relationship between power and sexuality as it relates to sex work. Hypocrisy isn’t cool, man.

And that leads me to the most serious problem with the prudishness/dudishness binary that sex-pozzers have tried to create in arguing with radical feminists. Tell me if I’m wrong, but I thought sex-positivism was all about freedom of sexual expression. Where’s the imagination? I don’t mean to sound like a hippie or anything, but John Lennon would really be disappointed in these sex-pozzers. They’re really not thinking outside the box (I could make so many stupid pun jokes there, but I won’t).  I take a very dim view of media, marketing, and the general sale of packaged lifestyles, and I think pornography and the objectification of women in the mainstream media has seriously limited our ability to imagine sexuality unalloyed with power. But it isn’t impossible, and that’s what I’m asking people to help me do. Do people really believe our only two options are to thoughtlessly join in the big porn party or to hate sex? Seriously? Come on.

I’m stoked that there are women out there who are trying to expand the parameters of what sex is about, to decouple sex and male domination, to reclaim female sexuality from the swirling abyss of misogynistic porn, to illustrate the ways in which sexuality and social inequality intersect. Why can’t we talk some more about them, and about ways to do those things, than about whether letting men ejaculate on our faces is cool? I’m honestly tired of that conversation. I’ve written nine-plus posts now on this subject, and I think it’s clear that I see porn as a force that damages women’s lives, that I believe it’s anti-woman propaganda, and that I believe that anyone who has read the series and disagrees is in serious denial. I’m no longer interested in arguing about whether porn is or is not detrimental to women, because its negative effects on women’s lives, women’s safety, and human sexuality in general couldn’t be plainer, and because the counterarguments are all too tautological and simplistic for me to entertain any further.

But as to prudishness, when we allow men to re-enact scenes from anti-woman propaganda on us, we aren’t being loving partners, we’re allowing ourselves to be debased. When we do things we don’t enjoy out of fear that our men will look elsewhere for someone who will, we’re capitulating to terr’rism. When we don’t do those things, we aren’t being prudes, we aren’t being selfish, we aren’t being cold, we aren’t on the road to crew cuts and combat boots (not that there’s anything wrong with those), we’re respecting ourselves as women and as human beings. Anyone coming here and telling me and my readers that we’re bad lovers, that men find us undesirable, and that we’re slut-shaming them for participating in such behaviors just because we question the basis of the forces behind the desire to participate in them is an asshole and an agent of patriarchy. Patriarchy has us convinced that our chief worth lies in our desirability to men, and its greatest tool for keeping us in line is threatening us with erasure. That any woman would abet that is beyond me and is honestly vastly more frightening to me than the similar comments I get from men (which I completely expect to receive).

In that same comment thread I referred to above, Sarah also asked me repeatedly (being, as she is, the head of the Department of Redundancy Department) if I think that there is such a thing as an inherently degrading sex act. That’ll be the subject of Porn Part 10. You didn’t think this series was ever going to end, did you?

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92 Responses to “Porn Part 9: The Opposite of Dudishness Is Not Prudishness”

  1. Alderson Warm-Fork January 6, 2009 at 4:26 PM #

    “moral objections to morally objectionable things do not of necessity result from prudishness…prudes revel in abstemiousness for its own sake”

    Can I emphatically agree, as someone who has been told that there’s a contradiction between me being a vegan and me not giving a damn if my food is full of msg, chemical flavourings, or delicious, delicious salt?

    I sometimes think the contrast between prudishness and dudishness, in relation to sex, lines up with a contrast between individual and collective ownership of women. Prudes, in relation to sex, have ‘their’ women and want to restrict access, to stop anyone else having sex, even if that means keeping people locked inside in stifling clothes. Dudes, in relation to sex, feel like all women are ‘theirs’ and freely available to be harassed, groped, or leered at.

    Also, while someone whose body is collectively owned by many people has more freedom, since none of them can exert as much individual control, they’re also more prone to violence – just as a third-world country has more freedom of action when there are multiple rival imperialists than when there’s just one, but is also more prone to being torn apart in a proxy war.

    I talk about this in more detail here: http://directionlessbones.wordpress.com/2009/01/02/stages-of-patriarchy-analogies-of-feminism-and-marxism/

  2. RenegadeEvolution January 6, 2009 at 5:54 PM #

    Begrudgingly admits I’m glad to see you back…

    And for the record, I don’t think you’re a prude. I think we have some very different ideas on sex, but nah, I don’t think you’re a prude…do whatever the way you like- that’s my theory.

    There are a lot of interesting points in this post, but I still think an overriding problem in assuming there is some sort of univeral sense of what is “good sex for women”, and I guess from listening to and reading and talking to a lot of different women of all sorts that simply isn’t the case. I think the best thing that women could do for themselves is encourage one another to stand up and say what they like and want and what they don’t like and don’t want, even if from woman to woman that is vastly different. People having whatever kind of sex they like? I think that would be very cool.

    • Nine Deuce January 6, 2009 at 7:14 PM #

      I’m never going to say this or that kind of sex is good or bad for women, but I would like to ask people where the desire for certain acts stems from. And, unfortunately, that often seems to lead to a pretty uncool place.

  3. RenegadeEvolution January 6, 2009 at 8:19 PM #

    ND: Well, sometimes people are pretty uncool, with uncool moments and urges and sides to them. We’re not all happiness and shiny light and stuff. Not a lot of people anyway. Humans often have a huge dose of “uncool” in them. And most folk I know who have some “uncool desires”, well, yes, they’ve looked and pondered and examined, yet still like what they like. At which point, it’s become a huge double edged sword sort of thing…you can do what other people think you should do and possibly be miserable, or do your thing (with other consenting adults) and realize other folk won’t like it, but enjoy yourself. Shrug. Not in the business of telling other folk what to do with their bodies, and no, you aren’t either (I utterly get that), but there is a point where one has to say “i’ve examined, and I still am gonna do act X”… and nah, it may not be feminist in the least, but I think people should do what makes them happy in the sex department (with other consenting adults, of course).

    • Nine Deuce January 6, 2009 at 10:25 PM #

      Ren – I don’t disagree at all. I think that’s an apt description of how thoughtful adults deal with the results of patriarchal sexual conditioning. I think my aim is more at those who might not be so thoughtful, and at those who might be confused about what some of the choices they’re presented with mean. You know, I’m sure, that I’m all about recruiting radfems to take over the world.

  4. Medbh January 6, 2009 at 10:13 PM #

    The “sex pos” stance always struck me as turning women into lap cats of the patriarchy.
    Excellent post!

  5. RenegadeEvolution January 6, 2009 at 11:12 PM #

    Bah, you just got back from vacation, it will take you at least another week to plot the ultimate plan for world domination.

  6. Gayle January 7, 2009 at 12:00 AM #

    The porn industry relies on Victorian attitudes about sex. The kick of porn is the shock of it so as people become more and more desensitized, they require more shocking porn. And we all know who gets to be the sexy-fun victim of progressively more violent, vicious and degrading porn, now don’t we? Hint: Whoever is playing the woman in that particular video/ film (though not always an actual woman).

    Anyway, in this sense porn itself is prudish. If we had a healthier attitude about sexuality, the porn industry would be in very bad shape.

    On that happy note: Happy New Year, Nine! Hope your cold or flu–or whatever it was– is long gone and things are looking up for 2009!

  7. Jesse January 7, 2009 at 1:50 AM #

    The real dichotomy is between sexual repression and sexual liberation, i think.

    Whether one is participating in porn or religiosity, both are sexually-repressed; in fact I’d go so far as to venture that much of the fear-based distortion of sex that manifest in porn are a result of various religious and social repression constructs in the first place. They aren’t opposite ends of the scale, but just different sides of a repression coin. And they both sit on the opposite end of the relevant continuum scale.

    To extrapolate a bit further, I think that in that continuum of repression to liberation is equatable with an immature to mature scale too. Both porn consumption and denial of sexuality are indicative of a sexually-arrested development.

    We are i think, as a species, still very much in a burgeoning and juvenile state. Emotional, psychological and sexual maturity is scarce.

  8. Peridot January 7, 2009 at 2:09 AM #

    You wrote: “I don’t think anyone ought to be ashamed of those desires or their sources, but should rather just be aware of them and consider what they mean.”

    This is how I feel as a working escort and pro domme and I try to convey this on my blog. I am not terribly ashamed of being a prostitute because it’s a SEX job, but I’m not exactly proud of it either, and that’s because I am aware of the shitty social conditions that make prostitution possible, which include the sexist values that men place on women. Unfortunately to some of my readers, pointing out such things means that I must have “issues” with my sexuality.

  9. Itxaro January 7, 2009 at 2:10 AM #

    I’m so glad you’re back!

    RenEv: I think that the argument that “some women CHOOSE this” is ultimately a red herring. It’s like the nature-nurture arguments; we can’t prove it one way or another. What we do know is that women are often pushed into this type of role, whether they want it or not, and that enforcement of this as a single model of sexuality and what everyone “should be like” is stupid. I know I was profoundly unhappy, having drunk the good pornified koolaid, as a teenager– and it took me finding the radfem community to realize that I’m NOT alone and I CAN have sex how I want.

    I agree. I think people having sex however they truly want is a goddamn amazing thing, and I’m so glad I’ve managed to find a way to have it the way I want it, with people who love and appreciate me for who I am and not for what my sexuality resembles (or doesn’t). I just would really like models of silly, open, honest, tender, gross, awkward, and ultimately exceedingly intimate sex to be out there, and accepted as awesome, so girls don’t grow up thinking you can only have sex in a way that doesn’t necessarily fit them and conflating ‘sexual’ with ‘sexy’.

    For the record, I didn’t even come from a conservative background– I’m from a very liberal family and I went to a fairly liberal school. But somehow the dudified culture at my school had me buying garter belts at age 16 in the hope that someone would find me sexy so that I could finally be worth something.

    Anyhow, back to the post.

    9-2: I LOVE THIS POST AND THANK YOU.
    I get really confused looks when I tell people that I’m very sexually liberal (with graphic examples, that I won’t repeat here) after saying that I extremely dislike pornography and would not date someone who used pornography. I mean, like, masturbation can happen without pornography? And sex doesn’t need to involve power? And sometimes who’s on top is just… uh… who’s on top, not who has control? Gee, who’da thunk?

    I just love the conflation of sexual liberation with being more open about classic sex roles. You’re just playing up the “whore” in the virgin/whore dichotomy, not forging any new ideas.

  10. JRN January 7, 2009 at 3:27 AM #

    I don’t know, Nine Deuce–Morrissey’s always seemed to have a pretty high opinion of himself to me. I think the pathos in his music comes less from hating himself and more from feeling cast out and unappreciated by the crude, thoughtless world we live in–i.e. from the failure of the rest of the world to see how great he is.

  11. Dan January 7, 2009 at 4:35 AM #

    Porn hurts men as well, or at least it does in my opinion. Porn is taking over our preconceptions of sex and relationships, and ultimately destroying both. And let’s face it, this is bad for both genders, cause if we men learn to be aggressors, and to treat women as objects then they’ll never be able to have healthy respectful relationships, and that blows, for everyone.

  12. isme January 7, 2009 at 8:58 AM #

    Well, avoiding accusations of “slut shaming” is always going to be awkward. I mean, you mention that there are various aspects of porn that you find degrading and wrong (personally I find descriptions involving things like “till they cry” or “punished” to be more disturbing) and that there are people influenced by this and choose to do it in their own lives. It’s not terribly surprising then if people interpret that to mean that those that do are doing something you think is wrong, and that they are therefore wrong to do it. But I think it’d be best to wait and see what you sat in part 10.

    Oh…as for pornography becoming ever more extreme to satisfy a jaded audience, as many have said, should we then welcome the increase of various unusual fetishes? Furries, for example, are very strange, but not neccesarily degrading (at least mainstream furries). As an aside, one can hope that the advent of furries will get rid of (or at least take some of the sting out of) those stupid animal related insults like bitch and cougar and so on.

  13. Jenn January 7, 2009 at 11:17 AM #

    I take a very dim view of media, marketing, and the general sale of packaged lifestyles, and I think pornography and the objectification of women in the mainstream media has seriously limited our ability to imagine sexuality unalloyed with power.

    A-fucking-men. The weirdest and scariest thing about Radical Feminism is that I have to face up the the fact that I have no idea what the hell I would be into in the kink and sex departments if it wasn’t for all the bogus social programming I was subjected to in the past and present—and probably the future. I mean, our entire definition of sex revolves around the theory that it’s dirty and that a woman’s worth is encompassed by her simultaneous chastity and ability to produce boners. What the fuck would sex look like after a revolution? I mean, would splattering body fluids all over someone be a fun and titillating activity if it didn’t mean anything bad?

    I’ve come to realize that humans are like the stupidest things ever when it comes to boning—because of our culture. There’s so many conflicting messages that our brains just turn to mush. Then we conflate arousal with morality (it turns me on, therefore it is good… no, it’s bad… but bad is good… oh fuck it, let’s fuck) and turn probably the most uncomplicated human activity ever into this whole cultural charade of stupidity. If omniscient aliens ever visited this planet and didn’t immediately think that we were dumb as rocks; as soon as they saw how we fuck they’d vaporise the planet and do us all a favor.

    Sex, because of all this bogus crap, is just either an exercise in letting the social programming take over, or a mental triathlon in which you’re trying to do one thing while the brainwashed bits of your brain tell you to ask him to call you a slut and spank you harder. It’s exhausting. We’ve literally all failed as a species because we’ve let the one thing that ensures the success of the species become an exercise in violence, bullshit and scripts. The station that tells you what color of sweater is in this season has just as much as a say in your sex life as you do.

    We suck, don’t we?

  14. isme January 7, 2009 at 2:16 PM #

    “The weirdest and scariest thing about Radical Feminism is that I have to face up the the fact that I have no idea what the hell I would be into in the kink and sex departments if it wasn’t for all the bogus social programming I was subjected to in the past and present—and probably the future. ”

    Well, is that not true of everything?

    We believe that women are equal to men, not because they are, but because we have been brought up to believe such. If we lived 500 years ago, we would believe that women are inferior to men, not because they are, but because we would be brought up to believe such. And if that thought is disturbing, it would be equally so from the point of view from the hypothetical you of 500 years ago.

    Regarding subjective things like culture, the right way for things to be is simply the way I desire them to be. Any other viewpoints are wrong simply because they differ from mine. You, of course, will differ, claiming that the right way for things to be is the way you desire them to be. But you are wrong, of course, because I say so. And I say so, in part, because of the world I have grown up in.

  15. anonymous January 8, 2009 at 1:11 AM #

    Nine Deuce, I really want to thank you for what you’re doing here. I’m someone who simply can’t get off without BDSM, which is a real strain for me since I happen to be a feminist. Other BDSM’ers all seem to be going around insisting that since it gets them off, there can’t possibly be anything negative about it, and it’s offensive to even suggest that we explore if it’s problematic.

    This has caused me an awful lot of inner struggle and pain and I’m pretty desperate to find others out there who are willing to deconstruct it, especially to acknowledge that it’s highly unlikely we’d have such fetishes in an equal society.

  16. crankosaur January 8, 2009 at 1:53 AM #

    “I don’t think anyone ought to be ashamed of those desires or their sources, but should rather just be aware of them and consider what they mean.”

    Such a simple request, and yet, so likely to make people’s heads explode.

  17. Odium January 8, 2009 at 3:42 AM #

    @ Jenn: Yes, yes we are. May the nuclear rain wash away all traces of our existence before we’ve scarred the aforementioned aliens’ brains for life.

    I confess to having a bit of a thing for quite a few of the less savoury activities listed in these blogs (which may have been why I’ve railed so, erm, zealously against them…). My way of correcting this, in addition to appeasing my general queasiness towards sexuality in general, has been to keep it all hidden in a padlocked cellar in my brain. I fear it may end in madness, but for now no-one else is getting hurt…

  18. bonobobabe January 8, 2009 at 2:47 PM #

    If omniscient aliens ever visited this planet and didn’t immediately think that we were dumb as rocks; as soon as they saw how we fuck they’d vaporise the planet and do us all a favor.

    Love this comment. :-)

  19. Alderson Warm-Fork January 8, 2009 at 3:44 PM #

    “If omniscient aliens ever visited this planet…”

    See, I’ve always suspected they’d think “Jesus Christ, how did chickens become so successful? And what the hell kind of society do they have, where they breed in such vast numbers, live so close together, and then die so soon. Is it some sort of bizarre religion of sacrifice?

    And why do these funny primates expend so much energy helping the chickens to multiply?”

  20. RenegadeEvolution January 10, 2009 at 6:56 AM #

    “I agree. I think people having sex however they truly want is a goddamn amazing thing, and I’m so glad I’ve managed to find a way to have it the way I want it, with people who love and appreciate me for who I am and not for what my sexuality resembles (or doesn’t). I just would really like models of silly, open, honest, tender, gross, awkward, and ultimately exceedingly intimate sex to be out there, and accepted as awesome, so girls don’t grow up thinking you can only have sex in a way that doesn’t necessarily fit them and conflating ’sexual’ with ’sexy’. ”

    I could not agree more, actually. For real, I could not agree more…which is why I am all about women talking about what they like and don’t like and am all for women encouraging other women to do the same thing. But, I do think a lot of us like very different things, and while examing the why of that is fine, the judging needs to be left on the side of the road.

    Itxaro: Um, where did I mention choice? Are some women pushed into the pornified role and hate it? Yep. Do some other women find it a natural fit? Yep. What I want is for women to say what they want and help other women do the same. I want women to explore, to make their own opinions, to enjoy having sex and doing things they enjoy…that is what I am for, and the choice I would like to see women make.

  21. Zelda January 10, 2009 at 6:08 PM #

    Nine Deuce, I love your Porn Series; It’s very well written and inspires much food for thought.

    My only beef with your series is that you seem to be spending too much time placating the misogynist Pro-Sex feminists. It seems that every time you expose another heinous aspect of porn, you add a disclaimer somewhat apologizing to Pro-Sex feminists if they are offended and assuring them that it is okay to think as they do.

    You should just accept that whatever you write, there will be some twit on the uber-right of the porn sphere who will be offended and nitpick your words. People who dissect the definition of every word you use need to learn to vocalize their arguments using logic.

  22. Katie January 13, 2009 at 9:53 PM #

    I’m more than happy to concede that you’re not a prude if you don’t want a guy to do something with you that you find demeaning. No one should ever engage in any sexual activity if they’re not into it, and if they feel like either they or their partner(s) are disrespecting them(selves) by engaging in a certain activity. All the same, I think that if you say that if I engage in a certain sexual activity, I’m promoting an unequal and damaging power dialectic, what you are doing is not very different from those who mistakenly call you a prude. It attempts to conflate action with motive. You differ from prudes in your reasons from abstaining from certain kinds of sex, and you want people to understand that your reasons are different. The same goes for me and another girl who might engage in certain sexual acts — while she might do it because she wants to be appealing to other men and engage in THEIR fantasy, I’m doing it because I get off on it. Our actions might be the same, but the reasons are not, and therefore, the power dynamic is not the same either.

    Beyond that, I feel your argument ignores that power play is a part of sexual fantasy, regardless of gender or gender dynamics. If two women engage in an act that, had a heterosexual couple engaged in the same thing you would have argued it was “anti-woman,” is it still anti-woman? Does it mean that these women are still complicit in an unequal and damaging power dialectic? Or is this kind of power play simply part of human desire? These are questions we can’t really answer because we have never lived in a world without porn or patriarchy. In my opinion, though, to attribute ALL to porn and none to nature is to play in a child’s paddling pool of oversimplification. To condemn a specific sexual act as across the board “dehumanizing” or “anti-woman” is to pretend that pornography is the root of all fantasy. It is not.

    There is much to criticize in the porn industry — particularly the manipulation and exploitation of young, poor, and uneducated women who have been made to feel there is nothing to be valued or desired in themselves except for their bodies. However, I think your argument about porn oversimplifies both the cause and the effect of porn. While I’m also sick of having the conversation of whether it’s okay to let someone cum on my face, this is the only conversation you are going to get as long as you refuse to converse with women who engage in those kinds of sexual activities in a way that respects and appreciates their desires and sexual agency. Despite the fact that you say you aren’t telling women they shouldn’t engage in certain activities, you are telling them that by engaging in certain activities they are engaging in that which is offensive, insulting and demeaning to their bodies and their persons, which is a judgment — and nobody wants to engage in a conversation with someone who is judging them. Maybe you’re not thinking “slut,” but you are thinking, “little idiot who is allowing herself to be used by men,” and to be honest, I’d rather be a slut. At least a slut is treated as an agent of her own sexuality, not as a perpetual victim.

  23. Stuart January 14, 2009 at 7:06 PM #

    With regards to what Katie has said, feminism to me is neither about blaming individuals for their particular sexual desires or denouncing them as stupid or ignorant, but about asking us to question where they might come from and whether or not they are truly fulfilling for us (and for those we may act them out with) both physically and mentally. Noone can say with 100% certainty that if it wasn’t for porn noone would ever want to engage in a certain act but what can’t be denied is that it does influence how we think and behave sexually – which is very much a negative thing in my view because the fact is that porn as it exists now is highly misogynistic and male dominant and has got nothing to do with the feelings and physical and emotional needs of real women.

  24. Caitlin February 5, 2009 at 7:28 AM #

    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I used to be friends with a rather large crowd of sex-positive folks. I really liked the beliefs that they espoused about the individual’s freedom to choose what worked for them in their sex lives. And then I found out that the freedom only applied to having sex, not abstaining.

    I chose to be celibate for a period of time. I made the decision because I was unhappy with the decisions I was making at the time and wanted to take some time to figure out what *I* wanted from the whole deal. I don’t feel I should have to explain anything beyond “I don’t want to”, but I still feel a fair amount of pressure to explain that I’m not a prude.

    I didn’t make a huge announcement with fanfare or anything, but when the situation arose I would explain that I wasn’t going there for a while. Oops! Between being being shamed for being sex-negative and repressed, having people blatantly disregard my requests *not* to be fondled and having one person try to trick, manipulate and/or coerce me into sex, because it would be “good for me”, I ended up having to leave that social group.

    They have a very open, non-judgemental attitude about sex– as long as you’re having it.

  25. harmony July 29, 2009 at 11:25 AM #

    i just finished reading this (so far) 9 part series. i’m already anti-porn, so it’s not like i had to be convinced of that. but you got me thinking in new ways about some things that i’ve been struggling with for ages, but especially lately.

    like, that it’s really fucked up of me to care 100 times more about how attractive partners find me than i care about whether i experience pleasure with them.

    and other things, too.

    anyways… reading this blog has lifted me out of feeling shame and self-loathing about my appearance and got me feeling righteously pissed off and with intermitent laughter as a bonus. in general, this blog is where i read when i need a feminist pickmeup, and i recently recommended it to a friend whose going through a rough time and in need of similar medicine.

  26. anewpairofeyes October 14, 2009 at 5:13 AM #

    I personally consider sexual magnetism to be a form of power.

    As female sexuality can literally be mind-numbing to males, I wouldn’t frame its usage for economic ends purely as an example of female victim-hood.

    From an economic standpoint, if a girl were to amass a large amount of material resources through selling her sexuality, the person being exploited would be the one giving up their resources, and the exploiter would be the one gaining them.

    The men at the top of the porn pyramid ARE indeed exploiting the models that they use, but there is still a layer of this in which the females selling their sex are exploiting the male porn consumers at the bottom of this pyramid.

    I am a masculinist in the sense that I feel for the benefit of both genders, we need to deconstruct old gender identities related to old modes of production, and flesh out NEW gender identities in order to adapt to NEW techno/economic realities.

    I see that you understand men are harmed by masculine stereotypes as well as women, and I think there is good sense in the idea that men should organize to heal from these wounds, and that there are parts of the process that men must deal with in absence of female perspectives. Just as some feminists would prefer if men sit out on certain parts of the female gender stereotype deconstruction process.

    There are many lonely, ugly men with poor social skills that turn to porn and prostitutes as their only hope for sexual release.

    Buy into it or not, but it seems that the verdict is in from medical science that men need sexual stimulation to be happy and healthy.

    I posit that the more men have tangible reason to believe they will be rewarded with sex if they stay away from porn consumption, the less porn men will consume. Basic premises behind behavioral conditioning there, nothing sophisticated.

    I also posit that the more men learn about sex FROM women rather than FROM porn, the more realistic your average man’s desires will become.

    I sure know that I would drop porn in a heart beat to have the company of a real woman.

    • Nine Deuce October 14, 2009 at 5:26 AM #

      Let me get this straight, if we want men to stop using and exploiting women, we have to promise to fuck them? No thanks. You’re giving me a false dilemma. As long as you use porn, why would you deserve the company of a woman? You’re telling women that you think they’re less human than you are by using porn. Not such an attractive trait in a dude. You need to stop using it first, not use it as a bargaining chip.

      Men do not need sexual stimulation to be happy and healthy, they just think they do because they’ve been given access to it by a culture that thinks women are here to be used by men for sex or as sex objects.

      And let me break out my tiny violin for the exploited male porn consumer. The only people exploiting porn consumers are porn producers. Not the women you’re jerking off to, the producers who are exploiting them and are duping you.

  27. anewpairofeyes December 1, 2009 at 12:41 AM #

    Nine Deuce,

    First let me say thank you for responding. I know this is your blog, and that I am promoting a perspective that runs very contrary to the one that you’ve expressed.

    It may be the case that men don’t need stimulation from others to be healthy and happy. But they DO need sexual stimulation.

    If the seminal vesicles aren’t regularly drained, it leads to an extremely uncomfortable condition. Just because you’ve never experienced it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

    I do think that men need to be touched, need to be hugged and loved. Especially since the male body does not produce oxytocin in the same way that the female body does.

    We need the opposite sex to help us produce it. And it just so happens that oxytocin is a hormone indicated in the suppression of testosterone.

    If not from conscientious women, where do you expect men to learn the needs and desires of women?

    I think that the best education in sex that I ever got was from contact with a woman who was very proactive in training me and giving me instruction about how to touch her and how to treat her properly.

    If men are to NOT learn how to treat women well from women, and they are to NOT learn to treat women well from pornography, where do you expect such learning to be accomplished?

    One of my very dear friends spent years learning behavioral conditioning techniques through working with animals, but many of the same techniques also apply to humans.

    Her boyfriend is an Iraqi vet and I think she’s done a very good job of making her boundaries and her desires very clear.

    You may find that sex is SUCH a powerful motivator for men that most are willing to change their behaviors in very significant ways to ensure their ability to receive it.

    You seemed to have skipped over the point that I made in the beginning of my post; I see sexual magnetism AS a type of power.

    Like it or not, many women do get ahead in the world with their looks. You may not wish to accept this fact, but if it is the case; couldn’t it be used for good rather than evil?

    Just as aside note, when I am in a relationship I don’t watch porn.

    Why on earth would I want to.

    But as males and their arousal tends to be largely visual (whereas I’ve noticed that women tend to get their erotic fix from romance novels and other erotic writings) I don’t think its fair that you would impose an intentional dehumanizing on behalf of the male.

    Whether it is the case that the male is satisfying a real need or a perceived need; coming solely from an angle that males need to be deprived of what they think they need is not as likely to get you the same results as seeing the humanity of males, and recognizing that just like females, they are products of their enviornment.

  28. Immir April 10, 2010 at 7:06 AM #

    I have always resented the notion that not being into porn meant that you weren’t into sex. How does I hate the degradation of women translate into “I am against pleasure” or “I hate men”?

  29. FelixtheCat October 20, 2010 at 4:04 PM #

    I know I’m a little late to this conversation, but I have to say my piece.

    I am a feminist. I also enjoy porn. These two aren’t incompatible.

    I know the porn you’re talking about. The one’s you find in stores that are invariably named something like “Cunt surfers”, “Drunken hussies 3″, or something equally demeaning. The kind that pretend to have some kind of (CORNY AS SHIT) back story, which is usually meant to appeal to some odd fetish. These disgust me to my very core. To see a woman treated like that makes me sick.

    But sometimes porn is just a video of two adults who want to have sex with each other having sex with each other.

    And is it really so damaging to see this? Before the concept of privacy was invented (yes, there was a time) humans would watch each other having sex all the time.

    It doesn’t do well to make sex something shameful and unnatural. To me, what’s bad about commercial porn is that someone is being abused, not that two people are having sex.

    Of course, this is just like, my opinion man.

  30. Fede October 21, 2010 at 9:48 AM #

    FelixtheCat,

    I call strawman argument. Ain’t nobody here said anything even vaguely resembling “The problem is watching people have sex”. No one. And we sure as HELL aren’t saying that sex should be shameful. Quite the opposite.

    You said that, “sometimes porn is just a video of two adults who want to have sex with each other having sex with each other” – I say: well hell baby, if you can get me THAT kind of porn, bring it on! I have never in my life seen a porn such as you have described here, but I surely wouldn’t mind! :)

    • Candy February 22, 2013 at 1:56 AM #

      Look up Erika Lust- Cabaret Desire. I thought the sex scenes were tasteful and quite sexy. You might not like one of the BDSM-esque scenes with a woman in a catsuit who ravages a man in a chair but otherwise.

  31. Rian October 21, 2010 at 11:08 AM #

    I am a feminist. I also enjoy porn. These two aren’t incompatible.

    So, if you enjoy something, there can’t be anything wrong with it? What an interesting, if hardly unique, philosophy.

    But sometimes porn is just a video of two adults who want to have sex with each other having sex with each other.

    And is it really so damaging to see this?

    The question is why. Why do they film it, and why do you want to see it? What do you get out of it? What do they get out of it? Porn doesn’t exist in a vacuum, and neither does the pleasure that anyone gets from it.

    Before the concept of privacy was invented (yes, there was a time) humans would watch each other having sex all the time.

    I wasn’t there, and I assume you weren’t, either, which makes it very difficult to know what people did, thought and felt in ye olden days. However, with other animals I’ve seen, the animals who are about while two of their kind are having sex don’t seem the least bit riveted by the sight.

    It doesn’t do well to make sex something shameful and unnatural.

    I agree, but who is making sex shameful and unnatural? The people who are interested in discussing porn in the context of the society from which it comes or the people who can’t see naked people and/or people having sex without gawping at them?

  32. FelixtheCat October 21, 2010 at 4:41 PM #

    @Fede: I’m not trying to use any form of underhanded argument.

    I’m sure no one here thinks of sex as a bad thing. What I was saying is that if the act being depicted is not negative then there should be no negative effects from watching said act. Pornography is by definition a depiction of sex. Sex isn’t bad so porn isn’t necessarily bad.

    What is bad are depictions of twisted and demeaning actions. This isn’t necessary to porn, it’s just the popular trend. To condemn all porn would be like condemning all music because popular music is terrible. Which it is.

    But there’s also good music, which is mostly ignored and neglected.

    As for an example, I wish I could oblige, but I’m sure Nine Deus wouldn’t like me linking to porn on her site. I’ll just say you can often find it under “user-submitted” on video porn sites. (’nuff said)

    @Rian: I wasn’t saying it’s not wrong because I like it. It was meant as an opening statement rather than a proof.

    Why do they film it? I guess some people get off on the idea of other people watching them. If it makes them happy and doesn’t hurt them, why should I complain?

    As for why I want to see it, that all has to do with male sexuality. Men, as you may have heard, are visually wired. That’s why you hear about men who want the light on while makin’ love. That’s why men watch porn. Visual stuff is arousing. This isn’t true for all males, but for a majority.

    Personally, I don’t understand female sexuality at all. I’m not sure what get’s a girl off (which may explain why I’m so chronically single). I don’t know what girls want. It’s a mystery to me. What I do understand is that watching porn feels good. Once again, it makes me happy and doesn’t hurt anyone, so why complain?

    And yes, many (but not all) animals experience arousal by watching others of their species have sex. One I can name is the bonobo who live in female-centric societies. For the bonobo, like humans, sex is not only a reproductive act. It serves as a way to cement alliances and other relationships, as well as for recreational purposes.

    It should also be noted that the bonobo is not aggressive. They also seem to be largely bisexual. Bonobos are pretty awesome.

    I just want to say, as one of the hippiest kids around (at least around here) it’s painful to see ANYONE hurt or demeaned. I not only would never, but COULD NEVER get off on seeing something like that.

  33. isme October 22, 2010 at 2:00 AM #

    “What is bad are depictions of twisted and demeaning actions. This isn’t necessary to porn, it’s just the popular trend. To condemn all porn would be like condemning all music because popular music is terrible. Which it is.”

    Weeeellll…assuming for sake of argument that it is true that not all porn is bad, you’d agree that the overwhelming majority of it is, yes?

    In which case, porn which isn’t harmful is an exception, and often not worth being too concerned with (especially given how mentioning a single exception to any generalisation made by a feminist is undeniable proof that feminism is wrong).

  34. jk October 22, 2010 at 8:45 AM #

    I just loooove the evopsych “men are more visual” argument.
    I’d like to know how this relates to studies of how women are better than men at reading facial expressions and picking out colours.

    And if I didn’t hate it so much I’d link FelixtheCat to some hardcore yaoi to show an example of what the ladies like.

  35. joy October 22, 2010 at 9:58 AM #

    Oh, Felix is a dude. That explains it.

    Also, man, I am such a hippie it’s stupid. Loving other people and not wanting to see them hurt is part of why I hate porn.

    I’m not patient enough to explain what is wrong with the “male sexuality”/”female sexuality” part of his argument, nor the “males is teh visuaaaaaalll!!!!” shit either.

  36. Rian October 22, 2010 at 10:44 AM #

    Yay, my very own mansplanation!

    If it makes them happy and doesn’t hurt them, why should I complain?

    Hmm, maybe because the social structures that form our ideas of happiness confer unequal privilege based on sex, race, class, etc.?

    Men, as you may have heard, are visually wired.

    Really? Do they take s-video cables or RGB?

    Personally, I don’t understand female sexuality at all

    Did you check the reverse side of the instructions for how to wire a man?

    And yes, many (but not all) animals experience arousal by watching others of their species have sex

    Well, obviously, I will trust your vague assertion over my own knowledge and years of experience. Chy’or not.

    One I can name is the bonobo who live in female-centric societies.

    I know about the bonobo. Your description of their behavior and society amounts to caricature.

  37. GraceMargaret October 22, 2010 at 4:10 PM #

    IF we lived in a world were women had equal pay, equal job opportunities
    and this existed long enough for women to have the financial security and freedom that went along with that and they didn’t, out of desperation, have to trade on what many men think is the only thing women are ‘good for’,
    and if we lived in a world were physical coercion wasn’t a real threat to women, then I could see how men and women could make consensual erotic films for entertainment.

    We don’t live in that world. We don’t live in anything close to that world.

    FelixTheCat, have you ever wondered how these films are made, even the ones where women aren’t physically abused on camera? Do you think economic coercion such as using drug addicts or homeless women in these films is a form of abuse?

  38. Hecate October 22, 2010 at 4:14 PM #

    As usual GraceMargaret, you are spot-on. It has always confounded me that men see a woman selling the only thing she owns as ‘empowering entertainment.’ I think that if men really understood the dynamics that power oppression, they’d actually be useful in affecting social change. But as it stands at present, they have rendered themselves completely useless by whining like little boys that Mommy wants to take their ‘fun’ away. And the ones who aren’t whining are those who are too privileged and entitled to care about the average woman’s lot in life, even if it is their own mother.

  39. FelixtheCat October 23, 2010 at 10:32 AM #

    Maybe I’m wrong. I don’t know, it’s not as if I ever looked at that much live action porn in the first place.

    And please don’t try to tell me that erotic literature is bad in some way, because I don’t think my heart could take it.

    To clear a few things up so we can go back to being friends: no matter what you think, I am not arguing against feminism. I believe entirely in not only equality between men and women, but between everyone.

    I know what it’s like to be oppressed. Yeah, I might be a white male, but I missed the mark on one issue. I’m bisexual and I get a hell of a lot shit for it. Not only from straight men (who almost inevitably will think I’m trying to turn them into a “fag”) but gay men as well (who think I’m “cheating” by playing for both teams, or I’m lying because I don’t want the stigma of being gay). Not to mention the fundies.

    You know how every woman is a sex object on TV? Well, every bisexual is a monstrous lunatic. It tends to make me a little more sympathetic towards rights groups.

    What I was saying, in a mixed-up and self-defensive way, is that you will never stop all men from looking at porn. It’s the same thing we’ve learned from marijuana laws. The big “no” never works.

    If you want to change what people are doing you have to give them an alternative. What that alternative could be? No clue.

    It might also help to go after the source. Namely the porn industry.

    When I said men were “visually-wired”, I meant SEXUALLY. Most men get aroused through vision. (I’m entirely aware that women are better on-average when it comes to color and facial recognition).

  40. Noah October 23, 2010 at 3:41 PM #

    Hecate said;

    “As usual GraceMargaret, you are spot-on. It has always confounded me that men see a woman selling the only thing she owns as ‘empowering entertainment.’ I think that if men really understood the dynamics that power oppression, they’d actually be useful in affecting social change. But as it stands at present, they have rendered themselves completely useless by whining like little boys that Mommy wants to take their ‘fun’ away. And the ones who aren’t whining are those who are too privileged and entitled to care about the average woman’s lot in life, even if it is their own mother.”

    You know, for all the language that is analyzed to construct an argument that women are thought of much more lowly than males, it totally fascinates me that you would use “whiny little boy” as an insult… a phrase that smacks both of sexism AND ageism.

    Isn’t the cool thing to encourage men to be emotional and vulnerable… I wonder if a lack of sympathy has anything to do with a lack of allies.

    Regardless of right or wrong in this situation, lets take a look back at the pragmatics.

    Something about the way that men view themselves(be it biological, cultural, or otherwise) makes it difficult for them to base their self esteem off of their own intrinsic value. Often, having a girlfriend (or further down the scale of being civilized, “getting pussy”) is the little win that many men use to get a feeling of being valid, of being acceptable, of being a worthwhile human being.

    It is not uncommon for men to kill themselves when they loose their mates, actually it is WAY more common for men to kill themselves than it is for women. I think something like 400% more likely as far as America is concerned. Thats another conversation entirely though; why, if life is so peachy for men, they are so eager to get off this ride.

    At any rate, you and I SHOULD hopefully understand that intimacy is a human need. Any disagreement here?

    Often times, the most difficult transition that soldiers have upon coming back to civilian life is a loss of intimacy. The brotherhood of being in a platoon is often a degree of trust and sharing that doesn’t often exist anywhere else for males in their day to day lives.

    To me, it seems that a reliance on porn or on ‘getting laid’ to bolster a sense of self worth is a symptom of a problem that is far greater.

    I imagine that it would be a generally accepted analysis of this community that the underlying problem is a near conspiratorial desire on the part of men to hurt females out of a deep seated hatred. Personally, I don’t think this view leaves feminists very many options to move forward.

    Framing the problem more in terms of sharing a planet with a bunch of brothers whose hearts are withering under the weight of their outdated social roles… it seems to me that if men were better educated about their needs for intimacy and if they were better able to form social groups that bring about said intimacy without it being in the context of warefare….

    I’m not saying it will make porn disappear. Actually, I doubt you can make a depiction of ANYTHING disappear without a censorship of such a deep level that any gain would be entirely un-worth the loss.

    But I’m saying that pointing out the transgressions of males against females is not quite as productive as identifying the unfulfilled needs that fuel male suicide, male destructiveness, male lack of social engagement.

    I know many men who aren’t that interested in porn, and most often it has to do with the fact that there was someone in their life at some point who touched their heart and opened them up to connecting in the real world, rather than in the fantasy world that porn provides as shelter from a harsh reality.

    If porn is escapism, you have to honor the fact that there is something tearing men apart in their core that they have a genuine need to escape from.

  41. Fede October 23, 2010 at 6:14 PM #

    It’s not about being fucking visual, Felix. It’s about whether or not you are turned on by the degradation of another human being.

  42. Fede October 23, 2010 at 6:52 PM #

    To be pro-porn IS to be against feminism, sweetpea. Porn is anti-woman, in case you hadn’t noticed. As for whether or not your heart can take that, who cares? And before you say anything, I do realise that approximately the entire male population cares, but they don’t count here.

    You get shit for being bi? Well, in THAT case, of course you can do no wrong in a feminist forum. God, are you depressing.

  43. anewpairofeyes October 24, 2010 at 1:15 AM #

    Fede,

    What if I were to admit that I am turned on by your degradation of Felix?

    But I joke, actually I find it most often unproductive and slightly distasteful for anybody to verbally denigrate anybody else. Not a moral statement there, just an expression of my personal tastes, take it or leave it.

    But is it ONLY the humiliation and degradation of women that porn provides?

    I somehow think you may be missing the empirical evidence that would be necessary to discount the possibility that men watch porn out of sheer curiosity of the female form, out of admiration of female beauty, as a poor replacement for intimacy that a man may be missing, or any other number of possible explanations for the phenomena.

    I would venture to say that the reason why different men watch porn is as different as, well, each individual man.

    Unless we are going to go on to say that all men are all the same, which teeters close to the trap of gender essentialism and stereotyping.

    With that being said, I certainly agree that there is some sinister and negative stuff that permeates MUCH of the porn world.

    Much, mind you, but not all. There is actually ‘feminist’ porn believe it or not. The idea is that the girls are well compensated, they only do stuff that they find enjoyable, they work with a crew that treats them with respect, and they are encouraged to be themselves and express the sexual side of their being… I personally think that porn per se is not an oppression of women, but rather it is the context of consumerism that makes depictions of ANYTHING AT ALL exploitative given the structure of capitialism which is to, well exploit anything and everything.

    And to think that somehow men are free from exploitation within this system would be rather ignorant.

  44. Hecate October 24, 2010 at 2:21 AM #

    Well Noah, that was certainly a very whiny, gassy, long-winded and pointless post. Shame they don’t make a kind of digital Gas-X for these boards. Sheesh.

  45. GraceMargaret October 24, 2010 at 2:39 AM #

    anewpairofeyes,

    “Whiny little boy” is a way of saying someone is behaving in a childish manner. Trying to make it ‘sexist': fail.

    You wrote:
    “Often times, the most difficult transition that soldiers have upon coming back to civilian life is a loss of intimacy. The brotherhood of being in a platoon is often a degree of trust and sharing that doesn’t often exist anywhere else for males in their day to day lives.”

    That’s sad, yes. However, female soldiers also have to deal with the fact that their enemies are not just the ‘other side’, but their own brothers in arms.

    “In Camp Arifjan, no one can hear you scream.”

    [i](CBS News) According to recent GAO survey, a female soldier is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than die by enemy fire in Iraq. David Martin reports on this startling increase.

    For a soldier, the wounds of war can be felt long after a tour of duty ends, CBS News national security correspondent David Martin reports, and not all of them are inflicted by the enemy. Tuesday, researchers reported that an alarming number of female soldiers have sought treatment for sexual assault committed by fellow soldiers.

    A Veterans Administration study found that one in seven female veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan seeking medical care from the VA suffered sexual trauma – everything from harassment to rape.

    Medical records of 125,000 war veterans, both men and women, showed 15 percent of the women reported sexual trauma. That works out to nearly 2,600 veterans.

    And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, since the study covered only a fraction of the 870,000 veterans who have fought – and none still on active duty.

    “I do feel that it is much higher than that, and if they could get the records of all the women that have returned that had been sexually assaulted, those afraid to come in, they would find that it’s a lot higher,” said Wanda Story.

    Story, who was raped twice during her military service 20 years ago, now heads the United Female Veterans of America.

    She says the military has done a lot to improve the climate for women, but war makes it worse.

    “They’re out there, they’re away from their families, they’re away from their girlfriends, you know, their wives,” she said. “They see an opportunity.”

    A recent survey by the Government Accountability Office of just 13 military bases found 103 servicemembers who say they’ve been sexually assaulted in the previous 12 months. Numbers like that produced this jaw-dropping statement by Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif.:

    “Women serving in the military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than to be killed by enemy fire in Iraq,” Harman said.

    And women who suffer sexual trauma are more likely to develop medical and mental problems. Studies show it ranks high – or higher – than combat as a cause of post-traumatic stress disorder.[i/]

    The Enemy Within: US Female Soldiers Raped

    Appalling new evidence reveals that female soldiers serving in Iraq made fatal decisions in their attempts to avoid rape.

    In a startling revelation, the former commander of Abu Ghraib prison testified that Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, former senior U.S. military commander in Iraq, gave orders to cover up the cause of death for some female American soldiers serving in Iraq.

    Last week, Col. Janis Karpinski told a panel of judges at the Commission of Inquiry for Crimes against Humanity Committed by the Bush Administration in New York that several women had died of dehydration because they refused to drink liquids late in the day. They were afraid of being assaulted or even raped by male soldiers if they had to use the women’s latrine after dark.

    The latrine for female soldiers at Camp Victory wasn’t located near their barracks, so they had to go outside if they needed to use the bathroom. “There were no lights near any of their facilities, so women were doubly easy targets in the dark of the night,” Karpinski told retired U.S. Army Col. David Hackworth in a September 2004 interview.

    It was there that male soldiers assaulted and raped women soldiers. So the women took matters into their own hands. They didn’t drink in the late afternoon so they wouldn’t have to urinate at night. They didn’t get raped. But some died of dehydration in the desert heat, Karpinski said.

    Female troops serving in the Iraq war are reporting an insidious enemy in their own camps: fellow American soldiers who sexually assault them.

    At least 37 female service members have sought sexual-trauma counseling and other assistance from civilian rape crisis organizations after returning from war duty in Iraq, Kuwait and other overseas stations, The Denver Post has learned. The women, ranging from enlisted soldiers to officers, have reported poor medical treatment, lack of counseling and incomplete criminal investigations by military officials. Some say they were threatened with punishment after reporting assaults….

    Many of the victims are women of high rank. Several are officers. Most were stationed in Kuwait, a common launching point for troops occupying Iraq.

    Among the most disturbing trends, say the victim advocates, is a disregard for the women’s safety and medical treatment following an assault. Women are being left in the same units as their accused attackers and are not receiving sexual-trauma counseling.

    The stories are shocking in their simplicity and brutality: A female military recruit is pinned down at knifepoint and raped repeatedly in her own barracks. Her attackers hid their faces but she identified them by their uniforms; they were her fellow soldiers. During a routine gynecological exam, a female soldier is attacked and raped by her military physician. Yet another young soldier, still adapting to life in a war zone, is raped by her commanding officer. Afraid for her standing in her unit, she feels she has nowhere to turn.

    These are true stories, and, sadly, not isolated incidents. Women serving in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq. – LATimes.com, Alternet.com

  46. isme October 24, 2010 at 6:30 AM #

    “And to think that somehow men are free from exploitation within this system would be rather ignorant.”

    Really?

    Then how come every single male person ever to discuss porn on feminist blogs hasn’t mentioned this as a way to derail discussion about how women are harmed by porn?

    Why then aren’t scuh places swamped with mansplainers repeating ad nauseam the same tired lines because they feel upset that the feminists are discussing feminism instead of telling them how wonderful they are?

  47. FelixtheCat October 24, 2010 at 10:28 AM #

    FOR GOD’S SAKE.

    I apologized. I admitted I might be wrong. I explained why I was a feminist. In all reality, I’m here to support your cause.

    I disagreed on one issue. Not even entirely disagreed. I suggested that the representation of porn as a whole might apply to most porn, but not all. Is it all or none? am I either “with you or against you”. Because that is bullshit on the highest level.

    I never personally attacked your character. I was called names and ridiculed, just because I didn’t agree. And then I apologized and tried to explain myself.

    What more do you want? Should I cut off my goddamn penis? Would that make you happy?

  48. FelixtheCat October 24, 2010 at 10:30 AM #

    @anewpairofeyes: I’m happy to see that there’s someone here who understands what I’m saying. Thank you.

  49. anewpairofeyes October 24, 2010 at 1:00 PM #

    ““And to think that somehow men are free from exploitation within this system would be rather ignorant.”

    Really?

    Then how come every single male person ever to discuss porn on feminist blogs hasn’t mentioned this as a way to derail discussion about how women are harmed by porn?

    Why then aren’t scuh places swamped with mansplainers repeating ad nauseam the same tired lines because they feel upset that the feminists are discussing feminism instead of telling them how wonderful they are?”

    Isme,

    There is a question in Nine-Deuce’s OP that she shared from a previous poster that I would like to focus on for a sec:

    “How do we make sex and sexuality empowering for all participants?”

    I reject the notion that your average male porn consumer is living the highlife, and that their addiction to pornography symbolizes some kind of attainment of personal power over others. People with genuine personal power wouldn’t necessarily need porn, because they could clench the real thing rather than just a depiction of it. The power that men have in porn over women is a fantasy.

    I mentioned elsewhere that a lack of allies might result from a lack of sympathy. And I chose that word OVER compassion and OVER empathy, because of its specific meaning. To feel TOGETHER. Or in other words, to recognize that we are in the same boat.

    Sure, pornography might be a cause of female suffering. But I think something that was briefly touched on in the OP but what many people in this community are overlooking is that the flip side of the coin is that it is a symptom of male suffering.

    Women don’t exist in a vacuum, and if you keep women’s suffering in focus and completely reject the inclusion of mens suffering from the picture, I think you will miss the interconnection in which a possible solution lies.

  50. anewpairofeyes October 24, 2010 at 1:23 PM #

    GraceMargaret said:

    ““Whiny little boy” is a way of saying someone is behaving in a childish manner. Trying to make it ‘sexist’: fail.”

    My point is that some group is being belittled with an insult for expressing frustration. Period. The fact that the insult chosen hits on age and gender… well, I suppose it would be more clear if I called you all whiny little girls in response to these critiques of the porn industry. Which, for the record, is something that I wouldn’t do. As I agreed before, there is definitely some vileness going on within the porn industry, even if depictions of sex in and of themselves are something that, in theory, could be beneficial.

    I know things aren’t good for women in the military. Actually, you may remember about a case that happened a couple years ago where a girl was raped IN AMERICA in a barracks (i’m thinking FT. Lewis but I’d need to look it up) and when she ran screaming naked from the barracks she got arrested by the military police.

    They charged her as a sex offender, and offered her attackers immunity if they would testify against her, and she was convicted…. Fucked up…. Don’t get me wrong I’m not blind to that.

    It is my personal opinion that it would do us some good to draft a generation of females into the military. For a number of reasons; 1) to have the numbers of women in the military high enough so that a reform for their sake would be forced by volume alone 2) to give women on the whole a basis for sympathy and empathy so they can understand how the burden of soldiering has crippled men emotionally FOR GENERATIONS as far back as human history goes.

    Id imagine that if every girl in this country had a woman in their life that was forced by the government to engage in warfare and who came back a jibbering violent wreck, that many social trends would transform rather quickly. And many false assumptions of what is INHERENT to men would be undermined.

    But again, this vileness in the military does not occur in a vaccum that is completely independent of male suffering…. Is being disposable, angry and poor something that comes to mind when you hear the word power?

  51. Rian October 24, 2010 at 2:13 PM #

    @anewpairofeyes
    I somehow think you may be missing the empirical evidence that would be necessary to discount the possibility that men watch porn out of sheer curiosity

    I accept that spectacle is part of the appeal of porn, but this would seem to be more true of extreme or “sinister and negative” porn than nicey-nice, happy porn. But, as I said, that’s only PART of the appeal.

    of the female form

    How many female forms do you have to see before you get a fairly good idea of what it looks like? If it’s more than five, you might want to get your memory checked. And shouldn’t you have the same curiosity about the male form?

    out of admiration of MANUFACTURED female beauty

    There. Fixed that for ya.

    as a poor replacement for intimacy that a man may be missing

    You have an odd concept of intimacy.

    I would venture to say that the reason why different men watch porn is as different as, well, each individual man.

    But each individual man may not be very different.

    I personally think that porn per se is not an oppression of women, but rather it is the context of consumerism that makes depictions of ANYTHING AT ALL exploitative given the structure of capitialism which is to, well exploit anything and everything.

    And lucky for consumer capitalism that we adopt its values.

    And to think that somehow men are free from exploitation within this system would be rather ignorant.

    (a) No one has argued that. (b) Two wrongs don’t make a right.

  52. Rian October 24, 2010 at 2:17 PM #

    @FelixtheCat
    I was called names

    What names were you called? I scanned the comments, but all I saw were “dude” and “sweetpea”. Are you complaining about those or did I miss something?

    and ridiculed

    My response was sarcastic because yours was condescending.

    just because I didn’t agree

    No. All you’ve done is present factoids to explain to us dimwits How the World Works. I have challenged the veracity of some of your claims and tried to put the others in context, which you have ignored. When neither I nor anyone else bowed to your wisdom, you interpreted it as a personal attack against you. Well, whatever. I have no more to say to you.

  53. isme October 24, 2010 at 2:33 PM #

    “What more do you want? Should I cut off my goddamn penis? Would that make you happy?”

    Possibly you might want to think about why a man coming to a feminist blog and telling the ladies there that they’re wrong about an important feminist issue and that the mainstream patriarcjal viewpoint is closer to the truth, using the same arguments as ever other male who has come here to do so, is so aggravating.

    Acting upset and expecting people to care about your hurt feelings also isn’t likely to go down well.

  54. FelixtheCat October 24, 2010 at 3:36 PM #

    I didn’t mean to sound demeaning. If I did it’s entirely on accident. I see where you might have gotten an aggressive or offensive message, but it wasn’t on purpose.

    I’m trying to be as civil as I can, and I’m failing in many respects. I just don’t understand all this hostility I’m getting. Maybe I touched on a sensitive issue. I’m sorry if I did, I admit that I know very little about the feminist cause and various related issues.

    Also, I wasn’t saying you were wrong. I was trying to point out that there may be exceptions.

    I agree that much commercial porn casts women in a degrading light. I agree with Nine Deus that such porn is anti-woman propaganda that should never be shown to ANYONE.

    I just don’t agree that all porn is that way.

    But I’m willing to be swayed, if you can bring up evidence compelling enough. I’m not all that bad of a guy, just give me a chance alright?

  55. GraceMargaret October 24, 2010 at 3:54 PM #

    “What more do you want? Should I cut off my goddamn penis? Would that make you happy?”

    Is this a joke, did anyone suggest such a thing? Strawman argument, anyone?

    anewpairofeyes:

    “to give women on the whole a basis for sympathy and empathy so they can understand how the burden of soldiering has crippled men emotionally FOR GENERATIONS as far back as human history goes” “Id imagine that if every girl in this country had a woman in their life that was forced by the government to engage in warfare and who came back a jibbering violent wreck, that many social trends would transform rather quickly”

    Are FUCKING KIDDING me??? How many women civilians have been raped, tortured by soldiers from both sides of a conflict. What about their pain, their crippled emotions FOR GENERATIONS as far back as human history goes??

    And how many women have been victims of domestic violence/torture/rape in times of ‘peace’ FOR GENERATIONS as far back as human history goes?

    Out of my five closest female friends, all have been raped, sexually molested by a trusted family friend or adult, or have been physically beaten, some more than once. All before the age of 25. All suffer from some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
    FUCK YOU.

  56. anewpairofeyes October 24, 2010 at 4:24 PM #

    Damn, i attempted to do some formating to keep the dialogue more clear, and I apologize for the tangled mess that I created instead.

  57. anewpairofeyes October 24, 2010 at 4:29 PM #

    Nine Deuce, not trying to flood the discussion with more of me than it takes to put my points out there. I attempted to send this before, but really messed up on the formatting. If you could please keep this version and delete the more sloppy version?

    @Rian;

    “I accept that spectacle is part of the appeal of porn, but this would seem to be more true of extreme or “sinister and negative” porn than nicey-nice, happy porn. But, as I said, that’s only PART of the appeal.”

    -Well, there we go, at least 1 concession away from the monolithic view of porn that it is all intentionally bad humiliation of all women and nothing else.

    “How many female forms do you have to see before you get a fairly good idea of what it looks like? If it’s more than five, you might want to get your memory checked. And shouldn’t you have the same curiosity about the male form?”

    -Don’t you mean OUGHT? I mean, this is a nit picky speech and debate kid thing, but I’m not sure if you are speaking of some ethical proscription by asking “shoudn’t you have the same curiosity?” Why would I have the same curiosity? I see the male form every morning when I look in a mirror, or look down.

    That being said, I actually DO have an intense appreciation of the form of males other than myself. I like checking guys out because I find them to be beautiful. Though I find that they are often (but not always) less flattered by my interest than ladies tend to be.

    Is it problematic that anybody’s good looks being displayed should bring me pleasure?

    And would you say that we can forgo the examination of the subtlety of each individual person in favor of reducing all women to basically five types?

    “out of admiration of MANUFACTURED female beauty”

    -You don’t know that across the board. Is there not an entire genre of porn that appeals to the taste of those like myself who find airbrushing and plastic surgery disgusting?

    -as a poor replacement for intimacy that a man may be missing

    “You have an odd concept of intimacy.”

    -I said POOR replacement. Its like when someone turns to drugs to find comfort when what they need is someone who cares. I’m not equating porn with intimacy, I’m just suggesting that some men may use porn because they think that sexual stimulation is their need when really if you look down to the core of basic human motivations it is actually intimacy that they would best be served in finding.

    -I would venture to say that the reason why different men watch porn is as different as, well, each individual man.

    “But each individual man may not be very different.”<<

    -But each woman is a snowflake? Yes, there are differences and samenesses and I can find both amongst men taken as a general group. But I think reducing the motivation to watch porn to ONLY an impulse to debase and humiliate others is missing something that is much more nuanced.

    -I personally think that porn per se is not an oppression of women, but rather it is the context of consumerism that makes depictions of ANYTHING AT ALL exploitative given the structure of capitialism which is to, well exploit anything and everything.

    "And lucky for consumer capitalism that we adopt its values.

    Yes, you are correct in stating that women in general tend to be our best and most dedicated consumers. They tend to carry the greatest muscle in terms of spending power, as far as America is concerned.

    -And to think that somehow men are free from exploitation within this system would be rather ignorant.

    "(a) No one has argued that. (b) Two wrongs don’t make a right.

    -Sure, nobody explicitly stated that men are not exploited. They have stated that men are too privileged to have any frame of reference for empathizing with oppression, they have taken a hostile tone towards men who have expressed a frustration of being abused, they have took out the worlds smallest violin to illustrate an udder indifference to the role that male exploitation plays in the perpetuation of female exploitation.

    I never said two wrongs make a right. I just think it is absent in this picture that from an absolutely technical frame of reference, the relationship between men, their dollars, and pornography is a classic example of exploitation. I mean exploitation in more of a dry textbook sense where the negative moralistic connotation is stripped from the definition, but where someone is trying to make money turn into more money by taking resources from somewhere else.

    Its not that nobody has tried to get a bunch of females to be suckers on the consumer end of the porn industry.

    For some reason it just so happens that women tend to consume written porn on the whole rather than visual porn. I will refrain from venturing a guess as to how this came to be.

    • Nine Deuce October 24, 2010 at 5:06 PM #

      ANPE – Please explain your screen name. It can’t possibly be as presumptuous as it sounds, can it?

  58. anewpairofeyes October 24, 2010 at 5:30 PM #

    Nine Deuce,

    Thanks for asking.

    Actually, at one period in my life I was a much more dysfunctional person than I am today, plagued by self destructive tendencies and fearful that I was born at the crumbling dead end of humanity.

    It seemed to me that not a single thing of what I thought or believed helped me in any way to live a fulfilling and satisfying life.

    I basically declared one day that I would take another look, and try to prove myself wrong.

    I keep the name, because ALWAYS ALWAYS new information crosses my path that makes some of my pet assumptions invalid.

    • Nine Deuce October 24, 2010 at 5:39 PM #

      OK. At first I was worried that it meant something like, “I’m bringing a new pair of eyes to this issue to let you all know what you’re missing.”

  59. Fede October 24, 2010 at 5:33 PM #

    Felix, you are acting whiny. You have got some nerve insinuating that anyone here met you with the kind of hostility that would warrant a “Would it make you happy if I cut off my goddamn penis?” ! Jeesus in a jetpack! Talk about overreacting.

    It has been pointed out to you that it is unlikely to be a good idea coming to a feminist blog and defending porn as one of the first things you do. Makes you look like an arse, see? Doesn’t mean you ARE an arse, just that your behaviour in this instance makes you look like one.

    No woman needs a man to tell her that there may be exceptions to the rule that pornography demeans her entire sex. We are aware of such exceptions, exceedingly rare as they are, because many of us have been looking for them all our lives.

    You, sweetpea, have come to a feminist forum admittedly not knowing much about feminism, and proceeded to try to correct the people here who were analysing pornography when you were still in diapers, and you wonder why we get annoyed with you?

  60. anewpairofeyes October 24, 2010 at 6:36 PM #

    “Are FUCKING KIDDING me??? How many women civilians have been raped, tortured by soldiers from both sides of a conflict.”

    At least as many as the women who have been captured by the opposing armies while the male civilians were set to the side, tortured, then slaughtered because they were seen as superfluous

    “What about their pain, their crippled emotions FOR GENERATIONS as far back as human history goes??”

    Its pretty tragic. Would you say that women, as a whole, are behaving in a way that suggests that they are LESS emotionally adept then men?

    Or conversely, do you see any major evidence that suggests that, on the whole, men are quite emotionally stable and together, and that their feelings are being integrated in a productive way that improves society?

    It is my personal perception that women are actually doing a little better job of this, but I am open to being swayed on the matter.

    “And how many women have been victims of domestic violence/torture/rape in times of ‘peace’ FOR GENERATIONS as far back as human history goes?”

    Well, there is plenty of evidence that seems to suggest that women are just as likely to engage in domestic violence against males as males are against females.

    And maybe a little more so if you include instances of women recruiting the help of other men to hurt men.

    Of course, we can’t entirely rely on statistics, there are reasons why both men and women would choose to hide the bad things that have happened to them.

    I could see why, for example, I may be reluctant to cry in front of a girlfriend after all the times I’ve been dumped for being “overly sensitive” and “not manly enough”

    Its just that when women get hurt, people notice, and when men attack women, they seem to leave more of a mark.

    “Out of my five closest female friends, all have been raped, sexually molested by a trusted family friend or adult, or have been physically beaten, some more than once. All before the age of 25. All suffer from some form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
    FUCK YOU.”

    Lets ingnore the statistis for a second, the statistics that I PERSONALLY am something like 20 times more likely than you to be a victim of violence.

    So how should I react, could I call you a whiny woman, or would you be telling me these things because you hope for someone to witness your pain empathetically?

    What if I told you that I saw my father nearly drink himself to death and try to kill himself a number of times or if I explained in gory detail the meat hanging off his finger as he took a steak knife and attempted to cut off his trigger finger during one of the many flashbacks that he has suffered after his experience of being drafted?

    Would that get a, “oh, you must be human too?” response?

    Or does that also deserve another “worlds smallest violin?”

    I have had a number of friends who were beaten and molested as well, I have 2 friends who have permanent scars left on their body from violent altrications with girlfriends, one has knife wounds and the other has cigarette burns.

    I have PERSONALLY been raped by a woman.

    I’m not putting this out there for pity. And I doubt you really would enjoy it if I were to say, “oh poor, pitiful weak woman! IT sucks that you were so weak and vulnerable and defenseless, we ought to take up a collection plate for you weak little things!”

    No, I don’t think you would like that.

    My point, which seems to fall on deaf ears, is that LIFE IN GENERAL is suffering.

    Women, Men, Transgenered alike, millionares, destitute, Americans, Nigerians, Laotians, Cambodians, Debutantes, ghetto superstars, and so on.

    The decision to turn your back on this truth, as I see it, is the decision to blind your eyes to the potential of there being SOME KIND of soft core in the center where others can be reached and transformed.

    So I say “no thanks” on the fuck you, but I wouldn’t mind keeping the line open for conversation, except for perhaps with an understanding that I am not an impenetrable, unfeeling wall that is oblivious to all the suffering you and your friends have been through based off of notions about this ‘privilege’ that I am supposed to have but never seem to be able to cash in on.

    • Nine Deuce October 24, 2010 at 6:42 PM #

      Dude, if you’re unwilling to acknowledge (or are incapable of recognizing) male privilege, you need to go do a little more learnin’ before you continue to comment here. We don’t put scare quotes around privilege around here because we know it’s actually real. You may get to waltz around not recognizing it as it seems natural to you, but those of us whose lives it infringes upon don’t have to pretend we don’t see it.

  61. anewpairofeyes October 24, 2010 at 6:55 PM #

    Nine Deuce,

    I’ve got an excuse note, you see.

    Its not that I am FULLY ignorant of male privilege.

    Its just that my parents were unable to afford the type of education that upper middle class white women often tell me that I need in order to understand how much better my life is than theirs.

    No, I’m not denying that there is a social class of men out there who’ve got some fancy stuff. I’m just saying that there is a flip side.

    You know, men are way more likely to make the personal decision to work a job that they abhor? In general, most women tend to pick work that they find personally fulfilling. Men are also way more likely to work themselves literally to death.

    You don’t see any privilege involved in NOT being the bread winner? NO tie in to this privilege and LOWER suicide rates?

    I think if any privilege is being ignored here it would be the privilege that females have.

    And if you can’t think of 1 reason why its great to be a woman….

    • Nine Deuce October 24, 2010 at 7:18 PM #

      http://melancholicfeminista.blogspot.com/2006/06/male-privilege-checklist.html. And with that, you’re banned until you can show that you’ve got at least a basic understanding of what is being discussed here.

      • Nine Deuce October 24, 2010 at 7:26 PM #

        That also goes for Felix. You two are sapping too much energy with your “what about the men” bullshit and I’m tired of it. If you think men aren’t being given enough time and space to discuss their issues, you’re out of your mind. 99.999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% of books, websites, bits of entertainment, etc. are dedicated to men and their concerns. Feel free to put your two cents in in one of those outlets and leave us with one of, like, nine spaces in which we can focus on women’s concerns (and I mean actual women’s concerns, not bullshit concerns like how to better fulfill male fantasies, which is what characterizes almost all media aimed at women).

        And really, you both sound like crybabies. “Poor us, we’re so put upon by feminists and their refusal to admit that it’s really men who have it the worst.” Gah. Felix, you’re a fucking passive aggressive brat who can’t deal with the idea that someone’s asking you to empathize with women and understand how porn looks to us (even though you expect us to empathize with yoiur view and care more about how porn looks to you than how it directly negatively affects our lives) without wailing that we all want you to cut your dick off. ANPE, you’re a self-absorbed boor who has stumbled into a discussion way over your head thinking you’re going to school a bunch of people with far more knowledge and experience with these issues than yourself by making ill-conceived “what about the men” arguments. SNORE.

        A few points:

        If you’re so concerned with wage slavery and how it affects men, why don’t you go read a fucking book and figure out how uncompensated labor prevents women from ever exercising agency and independence? If you think the “choice” not to work for a living comes without any negative consequences, go read some studies on how the perception that women “choose” to work affects the salaries they end up receiving. You know, because if the employer can make the claim that the woman’s income is supplemental to her husband’s (whether she has one or not), he can pay her less and keep his labor costs down.

        And this war nonsense? Men start wars, men send other men into wars, and men participating in wars victimize women. Take it up with the men who start the wars, don’t bitch to me about it. You’re goddamn right I don’t have to go to war, and there’s no fucking way I would, because I’m not a violent, stupid asshole. You can choose to go to jail instead of going to war, you know.

        Men commit suicide more often than women do because men have created the concept of masculinity as a way to differentiate themselves from a class of people they wish to dominate, a class of people called women. Men made the stupid mistake of assigning the free expression of emotion to the feminine and thus disallowing expression of emotion by men. Bottled up emotions tend to lead to the feelings of despair that often precede suicide, I get it. But again, take that up with alpha-male assholes who call other men pussies for not pretending they have no feelings.

        I’m a radical feminist. I oppose gender roles. I’m not the committee you need to be petitioning to put an end to whatever grievances you think men face.

        And if you truly think men have it worse than women, you’re most definitely in the wrong place.

  62. GraceMargaret October 25, 2010 at 4:33 PM #

    “Well, there is plenty of evidence that seems to suggest that women are just as likely to engage in domestic violence against males as males are against females.”

    What a crock. “Plenty of evidence” eh? Classic MRA BS.

    A woman who tries to defend herself, she’s accused of “domestic violence”. I know, my brother severely beat me up. When I did call the police, against my family’s wishes, the Sheriff said he’d take us both in for DV because I was talking back to him (my brother) and not being the proper passive victim and letting him talk shit about me. I didn’t hit him, he had no injuries. Still, I would have been arrested for domestic violence for having *my* head bashed in by him.

    Are you afraid to go to work, school, go out in public, walk to your car, walk to your mailbox and get your mail for fear of sexual assault?

    “It is my personal perception that women are actually doing a little better job of this, but I am open to being swayed on the matter.”

    Doing a better job of what? My best friend killed herself two years ago. She was molested as a kid, then was raped by her then current boyfriend before killing herself. She didn’t handle it ‘well’. I’ve considered it, being in constant pain physically as the result of being beaten by my brother, and having my mother saying it was my fault for getting him ‘angry’.

    Women live in a constant war zone, even in so-called times of peace. Look at how people react to a woman who is raped: She was ‘asking’ for it, she must be a ‘slut’, what was she doing at his house/apartment/that club/not at home like a good little girl? What did she expect?

    She expected to be free to go about her life, she expected the men in her life (most women are assualted my a trusted friend/aquaintance/boyfriend/husband) to treat her like a human being with the right to actually control what happens to her own person. She assumed she wasn’t living in a war zone.

    “Men are also way more likely to work themselves literally to death.”

    Right, women just sit at home lounging around, eating bon-bons and watching soap operas all day. The shit work women do, cleaning toilets, bathrooms, scrubing floors, breathing in toxic cleaning chemicals, cleaning up after screaming children, getting no benefits (the government doesn’t consider keeping a home and children together ‘real work’)….God, why am I bothering, I know you won’t really pay attention to anything I write. I’m just a woman.

  63. Fede October 25, 2010 at 7:09 PM #

    “God, why am I bothering, I know you won’t really pay attention to anything I write. I’m just a woman.”

    Yeah, Grace, he is not likely to be paying attention. But I just want to remind you and everyone here – not because anyone is unaware of it, but because sometimes I personally feel the need to repeat it – that when all is said and done, it doesn’t matter if these men pay attention or not.

    Grace, though they may not have had much impact on Prince Privilege up there, your words have deeply moved me and strengthened my resolve to combat the incessant brainwashing to which we are all exposed. People around you – even the ones closest to you – have abused and been disloyal to you, but you have shown great strength in not letting them infringe on your belief in yourself. You know you did not deserve what your brother did to you. You held out against a tidal wave of brainwashing and are an example to all of us.

    Women are the ones who need to believe in feminism. Women are the ones who can put an end to patriarchy if enough of us get together. Feminism is ours. The struggle against patriarchy is ours because we are its fundamental target.

    If a man wants to support our cause, he’s more than welcome, provided he does not expect cookies, a pat on the back, or blowjobs for basic human decency. If a man feels that he, too, suffers under patriarchy, he should not whine to us about it but instead be guided by that insight to oppose patriarchy along with us.

    But we don’t need a single man on this planet to accept feminism. We only need each other.

    I pledge myself to hold out against the bodysnatchers. Feminists can help each other to never go to sleep.

  64. joy October 25, 2010 at 8:10 PM #

    I haven’t commented on here since the chad invasion because teh doodcomments make me want to kill myself.

    “Women have it better” my ass. Can’t we have just one fucking space to ourselves?

    Don’t cut your dicks off, unless you really want to. (I postulate that it wouldn’t be so bad, really. There’s not a single man I know who wields his for good.)

    Just shut the fuck up. For a fucking change. Thanks.

  65. skeptifem October 26, 2010 at 5:11 AM #

    “What more do you want? Should I cut off my goddamn penis? Would that make you happy?”

    hahaha! Holy shit, that made my morning.

  66. Aileen Wuornos January 23, 2011 at 10:31 PM #

    Hey Nine, mind if I use this article in a zine? You can be anon or be credited as Rage against the Manchine or Nine Deuce or anonymous or whateves.

  67. Aileen Wuornos January 23, 2011 at 11:37 PM #

    Thanks :)

    I’ve credited you as Nine Deuce, can e-mail you a copy (it’s still only like, a draft atm, but I’ve never done this before and I’m still stoked)

  68. Hecate February 14, 2011 at 10:37 AM #

    Thank you, ND, for continuing this brilliant series :) I haven’t seen anything like it out there, at least of late. You’re a voice of sanity in a world that has ceased being grateful for everything that was accomplished by feminists of yore. Now it appears all we have are twenty-something bimbettes in stilettos, proselytizing to us that there has never been a dark side to sexuality or the male exploitation of such. What a sad world we women now inhabit. It’s fragmented, disempowered and hopelessly clueless. Older women like myself are seen as the ones who want to rain of the parades of said bimbettes, instead of elders to be respected.

    As to the whole ‘prude’ argument, I have to say, I wish I had been more of one when I was younger. Not the type of repressed prude you were describing, God forbid! I’m no nun or saint. I just wish the message had been driven home to me, long before I attended college, that the majority of men really are stupid beasts who only want to get into a gal’s pants, and then leave as quickly as possible. If I’d known that, I would have dedicated a lot more time to refining myself as a person, and considerably less dating smelly, horny, loutish lads. After all, they had had their precious porn! What did they need me for?

    No, we don’t have to turn our daughters into ‘prudes,’ but we do have to make sure they understand what they’re worth, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Not just a piece of dead meat that stuffs itself into itty, bitty unmentionables just to gain male acceptance.

    I have the gift now of being a much more balanced, and dare I say ‘clued in’ person than I’ve ever been before. And that in spite of almost no adult guidance as a young one. I hope I have a chance in the future to mentor a young lady and clue her in to her real potential, because after all, a woman needs a man like a fish needs industrial waste… And if you ask me, it’s men who are the new ‘ball and chain,’ as they seem to have next to nothing to offer now that women are financially independent for the most part.

  69. Jane February 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM #

    I got to VENT, but in truth, the VENT is what I feel every day, and I’ve held back, from saying it public,

    but fuck it, here goes…couple of weeks ago, I had yet another run in with a sorry rape apologetic leftist dumb ass woman [bear with me] who because it was an atheist forum, trashing religion, discussing Harris’s ‘oh dick man’s evolutionary psychology trash rape is Natural Right of ugh ugh crap, she bringing up how advanced Cuba is [she obviously didn't know I was long time die hard Marxist and know the whole pro-porn pro-raping child bullshit so RAMPANT in the materialist far left, as I was a fucking COMMUNIST for years, arrrgh],

    and sure enough, when I bring up the lists of misogynist porn-rape abuses to women under atheism which in my book, a misogynist is a misogynist, be they bishop or scientific professor asswipe, rape is rape, glorification of male violence is just that…glorification of male violence. Anyhow, so of course, I got censured, called a nutcase because you know goddamnit any Woman that DARE says rape is wrong or that raping a child/or coercing sex from child is wrong or that she doesn’t believe MEN ARE THAT FUCKING SPECIAL

    why She’s a Nutcase!

    Anyhow, so, I guess I’m snapping because more and more, I am growing tired of attempting any rational discourse with men, with misogynists, atheists or religious or frog kissers,

    and I find myself fantasying about taking them ALL, cutting off their penis slowly [like fucking slow ass torture], ripping their skin off like the scene in Buffy the Vampire Slayer,

    and then impaling them, religious by the non-religious, oh yea…rapist by rapist, porn jerks to porn jerks

    and putting them on public display, with a BIG sign on top of them,

    KING OF MISOGYNISTS, TAKE YOUR PICK…

    and of course, I ponder this, then deal with the horrible sadness that IF I was to Ever say this, I would be thought, ‘oh my gosh, she’s crazy’,

    but HOW many men, when they rape women, how many Women when they watch violent porn of rapes, tell those SORRY PIECES OF SHIT VERMIN EXCUSES OF AIR WASTE

    THAT THEY ARE CRAZY?

    I am Fed up, with societies, humanity that sees nothing wrong with rape, with sexual torture, of child, woman

    but who, if a woman says, she’s had enough, and wants REVENGE, FUCK TALKING

    is crazy….

    I am Fed up, with Women who will fight wars for MEN KNOWING DAMN WELL THOSE SAME FUCKING MEN ARE RAPING OTHER GIRLS, WOMEN AND EVEN THEM

    yet DARE any woman talk of organizing a WOMAN’S ARMY TO GO AFTER THE MALE VIOLENCE/MEN AND TAKE MATTERS IN THEIR OWN HANDS…

    it’s FINE for women to DIE for State, it’s FINE for women to DIE for Race, it’s FINE for women to DIE for God/god/gawd, it’s FINE for women to DIE for de Revolution, it’s FINE for women to DIE as ‘experiments’ for de Science, it’s FINE for women to DIE as entertainment

    so that men can cum

    god I am so sick, so fed up, of MALE CULTURE

    so today I VENT

    I want to Burn down porn houses, with the MEN still in them…

    maybe even Film them, for the entertainment of WOMEN,

    because you see, like the atheist rape is man’s natural right jackass said,

    I’m Crazy,

    lucky for him, I am held back by laws and some tiny bit of humanity left inside me,

    but I swear…if shit keeps increasing like it is,

    don’t know how long I’ll be able to hold on…

    no I won’t go on any violent spree, this is Just a VENT, but may they know…thinking,
    when more Women begin to think this way,

    THEY BETTER FUCKING RUN…BECAUSE THEIR DAY

    IS

    COMING….when Women Awaken, their DAY is COMING.

    Love,

    Jane

  70. Hecate February 14, 2011 at 6:07 PM #

    Yes Jane that scene of Willow getting her badass witch on has to be one of the best in Buffy :D

    I too am taking the unforgiving stance towards men for the havoc they’ve wreaked time and again and being equally unapologetic about it. And I have to confess, if the authorities ever saw the revenge fantasies in my mind, I’d get the electric chair for sure. And hell, I’ve got some creative ones!

    I’m just trying my best to stay sane. The revenge fantasies help a lot. But I also like to leave men out of my equation altogether, by peacefully contemplating nature, writing, drawing, etc. Hopefully that will work to keep me from losing my mind and keeping things in perspective. It has worked for the most part, except when some rapist catcalls me as I walk to the art store.

  71. isme February 14, 2011 at 8:16 PM #

    “Anyhow, so of course, I got censured, called a nutcase because you know goddamnit any Woman that DARE says rape is wrong or that raping a child/or coercing sex from child is wrong or that she doesn’t believe MEN ARE THAT FUCKING SPECIAL”

    I sympathise. At times like this I like to tell myself that it’s part of an increasing backlash, that supporters of the patriarchy find themselves increasingly threatened, which implies that progress is being made against it. It sometimes provides some comfort.

    • Justin April 6, 2013 at 3:20 PM #

      That’s a good point. The more we see the misogynistic men types feeling threatened by female advancements the more likely we can conclude that progress is happening. This is fear they have. Many men, but not all, fear female power. Those who fear it are going to escalate the evil actions discussed above.

      But it does show that feminism is moving forward. It is interesting to me that women finally were allowed to vote in the US after a generation that grew up on the Victorian era (where supposedly porn would never have been tolerated). Any thoughts on that?…….

      In any event, this generation of men are growing up seeing violent images, porn and video games glorifying male violence. Men are taught that sexual gratification is a “right” or entitlement” -and that needs to change. Men need to learn self control. With so much violence in the entertainment industry, I am concerned what this cause the future to be like.

      What can be done? It’s hard, but here are some ideas: (1) Limit the porn and video game industry as much as possible, (2) education – very important factor in teaching men to grow up to become good decent husbands who respect women and put women and children first. I still believe in a female lead society'; a man’s life purpose will be better suited if he is educated and understands women’s issues. I’m reminded of the quote: “Think education is expensive, try ignorance.” (3) teach boys and men about historically important women. We all learned about Amelia Earhart, but education needs to go more in depth about great women of the past. (4) Increase punishments for men who hurt women. (5) Enhance dialogue between male and female feminists to get the movement moving faster, and finally (6) get more media attention to women’s issues. The power of the press should not be underestimated.

  72. Miss Andrist February 15, 2011 at 12:31 AM #

    @Jane:

    Amen.

    Every single one of them who is guilty of rape by collusion should be drug into the street and shot.

    Not as a matter of punishment. No, we’re not concerned with punishment. This is about risk management. Once we have eliminated the most dangerous threats from our society, leaving those of us who don’t hurt anybody to live our lives without fear of becoming victims and victims finally afforded the safety to begin healing, we will do just that.

    “In the end, it is not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends that we remember.”

    -Miss Andrist
    Lover of Men

  73. lizor February 15, 2011 at 7:40 AM #

    ” I find myself fantasying about taking them ALL, cutting off their penis slowly [like fucking slow ass torture], ripping their skin off like the scene in Buffy the Vampire Slayer,

    and then impaling them, religious by the non-religious, oh yea…rapist by rapist, porn jerks to porn jerks

    and putting them on public display, with a BIG sign on top of them,

    KING OF MISOGYNISTS, TAKE YOUR PICK…”

    I lose sleep on these very same fantasies. What is perplexing to me is that this never ever actually happens, as obviously reasonable as it is. How much torture and humiliation will we women take before we push back in kind? Are we all passive victims filing off to be used and discarded, like the depressing film Never Let Me Go, where people’s bodies are used until they are used up entirely, and no one kicks back at all?

  74. Jane February 15, 2011 at 9:33 AM #

    Well today is a ‘tiny’ bit better, I met my new ‘god’ LOL, after a long argument [in the universe of my imagination] with uh, Jesus,

    and the issue of the Glory of Light at the expense of the vast darkness, via the pain of Women,

    He said to me “why you know it’s about the Cross”,

    and I thought for a moment, and thought, and replied,

    “you know, you are right, it IS about the Cross, and I see billions and billions of women and girls bleeding out, from the beginning of societies world over, why, that’s IT,

    ‘WESUS’, WES as in Women, US as in US women, yes the sacrifice and atonement and life giving for all women, through WESUS,

    so, doing better today, Praise Wesus, and I’m thinking, creating a Pink Cross [like the ones at Juarez] with Green Ivy around them,

    for this new, Religion,

    so yea, feeling a lot better today, because Now, Now I am going to write a whole Holy Book, all about WESUS,

    for all of us Sisters!

    Daughters of WESUS

    Love,

    Jane

  75. Jane February 15, 2011 at 9:55 AM #

    the idea for Wesus [in addition] came from the J in Jesus, J as in Jack, Jack before the Queen/King, Jack as in the house that jack built [brothels, sex torture palaces for kings and queens, etc], J comes before K, king,

    but from Rome [where women slaves were crucified every day as well as gang raped with impunity, be they Jewish or Persian or Egyptian or Asian, etc., under the empire of Holy, er I mean Rome]

    to the crime and punishment [Dostoevsky would have Really had a platform to work with that made Russia look tame under Czarist rule] of ancient societies [way before Judaism though where Judaism got their so called 'women laws'] of Hittites, etc., [women and children punished for every wrong move of man, for de 'king' since well, couldn't punish de man because they'd lose 'irrigation labor' and 'hard labor' so men were of course, SPARED from violence on the backs of women and children, same in all of Mesopotamia, today it's transferred over to Porn]

    this I found too was reason for the OT and ancient laws that said to kill women who crushed testicles, yea guess the women got fed up with rape [in house rape was always death to woman only in field rapes maybe, she didn't get mutilated as an 'adulterous' though highly unlikely So they passed a law keeping those evil women in place through death if she fought back, how Nice of them eh]

    see http://books.google.com/books?id=ONkJ_Rj1SS8C&pg=PA178&lpg=PA178&dq=WOMEN+HITTITE+CULTURE&source=bl&ots=Zb2-GJMCOA&sig=uVcHrziAvyeTs2gGSoOMLvH2FrI&hl=en&ei=17hYTdqtFYrCsAPJm4SfDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBgQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=WOMEN%20HITTITE%20CULTURE&f=false

    interesting what you can find when you research criminal law of ancients Anyhow,

    the psychology of ‘punishment’ that Should be metered out to Men for their ill behavior has always in society, through clever manipulative means, been Transferred over into savagery, particularly through religious backed legal systems, since women were the foundation of slavery and it was already ritualized as THE means to mass terrorize slaves/feudal serfs into subjugation,

    therefore protecting the labor while monitoring the ‘labor producer’ which is why governments, liberal or not, shift labor maternal policies depending on the Need for labor or need to dismiss labor [purge population], using violence as the means,

    against women. Porn is a tool of the legal Ancient to Roman inspired terrorism of violence, utilized to purge unnecessary wombs when labor production is needed to decrease [or when workers from other regions will work for less] OR when labor is needed and maternal wombs are in demand, Porn is the psychological equivalent of Crucifixions,

    the ends are the same…this is Why it’s such a protected institution [not simply an industry], PORN is an Institution of the STATE.

    This is also why social engineers [not specifically religions, atheist scientists/cloning borg Eugenics geneticists] also heavily rely on the use of PORN and RAPE as ‘natural evolutionary state of man’ as THE means,
    to

    purge those They deem, undesirable to MAN’s, not women’s, but MAN’s ‘mind gawd’ progress,

    it does not matter to them, HOW many bodies of girls and women are hanging on the glossy pages of Golgotha, until the vultures devour the rotted flesh of the female corpse,

    as it works to instill Terror and ‘willing compliance to some’ of both the womb as well as any male worker who dare defy the State ordered system,

    or either religion-labor Empire of Caesar or the Bridge-Canal labor Empire of Caesar, the sons of Romulus, the merges of ancient Empires,

    of Kings,

    the house that Jack built…

    always, with a temple for the obedient male slaves, to pay tribute to the ‘goddess’ in idols and lot payments, for the perk of ability to rape sex slaves at will, with total impunity,

    while the kinds and queens roll the dice, deciding, who gets to live

    and who dies, for the next lot of land, to be developed on…WESUS is the revolution, of solidar

    In solidarity,

    Jane

  76. Jane February 15, 2011 at 9:57 AM #

    “and who dies, for the next lot of land, to be developed on…WESUS is the revolution, of solidarc” that should be [hit the enter too soon] solidarity, formed both by those revolting against the blood soaked system,

    who paid with their lives, simply because they would

    NOT

    BOW

    TO

    CAESAR.

    [it's an allegory]

    Jane

  77. ashley January 27, 2013 at 4:02 AM #

    i read some of sarah’s comments on the other thread and i sympathize with some of what she has to say. i also dont oppose porn….. just the Porn Industry. neither me or my boyfriend have any moral problem with each other seeing other people having sex so thats not an issue. the issue is just the misogynistic, violent, and exploitative nature of the industry. so we do watch porn but just small time sites with amateur couples who like recording themselves and putting it on the internet cuz they think its sexy, and we think watching others having sex is sexy, at least when its only done just for fun and for free and respectful of the woman’s sexuality as well as the man’s. none of this the-porn-is-done-when-the-guy-gets-off-we-dont-even-know-if-the-woman-ever-did bullshit like in Porn. the woman’s pleasure matters too.

    as for “facials” and such…. well, thats a tough one. its very true that in our society relationships between men and women are also between oppressor and oppressed. all heterosexual sex acts are deeply degrading, not just facials. if its doggy style, he’s fucking me like i am a dog. if it’s missionary style, he is using the traditionally patriarchal domination position. if i’m on top, i’m in a position that is while seemingly female-centric it is from most male’s POV objectification as they like it due to the boob show and the fact i am doing all the work. if i give a blow job, its all about his pleasure, not mine. i don’t view any heterosexual sex acts as non-degrading, every single one inherently is. i dont feel that facials are any more degrading than most other heterosexual sex acts.

    but as a straight woman who may love teh ladiez but just not in *that* way… i still need to express my sexuality as happily as i can in our fucked up culture. if i say no to sex with a man because all the choices have degrading subtexts, then i will go mad. its true that a guy who gives a facial is at least partially doing so because some of the pleasure comes from the idea of domination… but i do not believe those same feelings of domination that he finds arousing while giving facials are absent when he is getting a blow job, having sex from behind, having sex on top, or anything else heterosexual, because all of those things have clear domination-submissiveness overtones. i definitely know that i am always aware that i am doing something coded as submissive when i have sex. so i accept that he probably also can’t help but have corresponding feelings of being dominant, because he lives in a partiarchal culture that narrates sex that way, and those feelings probably also play a part in his arousal, but i also demand that our sexual relationship be one of love and respect and courtesy. one where he knows that while he may have some dominant feelings while having sex, he has no desire to literally dominate me, and he seeks my pleasure as well as his, and he gets his enjoyment from my equal enjoyment. so like sarah, i dont mind facials in our sex life, not like her because she doesnt see any degrading aspects to it, but because in an egalitarian relationship we do our best to keep patriarchy from ruining sex as best as we can, and since we love and trust each other i know any feelings of domination he has during it doesn’t mean he wants me to be or feel degraded, anymore than he wants me to be or feel degraded by any other heterosexual act we do.

    • Justin April 6, 2013 at 10:36 AM #

      If one says that “heterosexual acts are inherently dominant/submissive or degrading” than that could be like saying that nature itself is endorsing it to be that way. To me that is a potential concern.

      What are the consequences of that view?

  78. LA Baby October 12, 2013 at 3:27 AM #

    This is so spot on, but I seriously doubt the sex+ crowd will open their minds to it.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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