Wednesday, June 22, 2005
What I think?
Well, for context, let’s flip that last quote around a bit, and see if we can get somewhere:
“The point of view that sex work exploits women hinges on the idea that MEN are stupid, helpless, feeble creatures who can’t be TRUSTED to make decisions for themselves. [Because] in reality, MEN are DUMB, WEAK, and POWERLESS people who NEED a bunch of nannies telling them to put on a CONDOM ‘for their own good.’”
Credible that way also?
For more context, let’s try another quote:
“A woman is raped every 6 minutes, upward of 45 percent of all women suffer rape or attempted rape at least once in a lifetime, 92 percent of all women suffer sexual assault or harassment at some time, and 4 out of 5 murdered women die at the hands of male killers, one-third to one-half of whom are their spouses. Women earn about 69 percent for comparable work, but most women can’t get comparable work (in 1986, 62 percent of all women who were working had jobs in occupations that were at least 70 percent female), and women get top pay for modeling, acting, turning game-show cards, homemaking for the rich, and street-walking in Manhattan. As of 1979, women did four times as much housework as men and still took most responsibility for child- rearing. U.S. teenage pregnancy is highest in the developed world while the multi-billion-dollar U.S. pornography industry evidences mind-staggering manufactured sexist perversion. Child-rearing and education relegate to young women the freedom to be “feminine” and to young men the freedom to be “manly.” Billion dollar diets mutilate millions of human psyches and hundreds of thousands of human bodies. Tens of millions of men and women suffer indignity, brutality, and even death for their homosexual preferences, and the elderly suffer isolated poverty while productive tasks they could do go undone.”
-- Michael Albert, as quoted in ‘Ressurect the R Word’
Care to flip that one around for us, Mickey?Posted by RT from Houston, TX on 06/22 at 06:40 AM
I’m not sure I understand your point. However, two quick replies:
First, just because I post someone’s comments here does not mean I automatically agree with every single word (I sincerely hope that doesn’t really need to be explained). Furry Girl sent me this in response to an interview request that didn’t work out. I found it provocative and wanted to share it. I don’t see how this can be construed as me (or Furry) downplaying rape, sexism, inequality, etc.
Secondly, since I can’t speak for her, I have asked FG if she’d like to reply.
MZPosted by Mickey Z. from Astoria on 06/22 at 10:11 AM
Shiny happy people making porn. lol ;)
Last night I read this passage in Orwell’s 1984,
“ There was a direct intimate connexion between chastity and political orthodoxy. For how could the fear, the hatred, and the lunatic credulity which the Party needed in its members be kept at the right pitch, except by bottling down some powerful instinct and using it as a driving force? The sex impulse was dangerous to the Party, and the Party had turned it to account.”
The cultural repression of our personal intimacy with sex is used as a manner of control and repression within society. I think it’s very important for everyone who needs to explore themselves to have the freedom and encouragement to do so safely. Keeping in mind that sex is a two edged sword it can bring you intimacy just as easily as driving it away. I think it should be more of an exploration of the self and/or a loved one and not just a drug like fix.
On a related note, I really, really don’t agree with everything this guy says, I think his paranoia blinds him to the reality of the individuals involved. but I think he makes some interesting points about the “sexual revolution”, “feminism” and the dissolution of the family unit.
http://www.savethemales.ca/Posted by Luna_C from Shellshocked in BC on 06/22 at 10:36 AM
check out the blog pinkofeministhellcat and scroll down to her june 16 post “can’t win for losing”. excellent read and very applicable here.
my first response personally to furry girl is: your public sharing of your relaxed, healthy, sexually unrepressed self is a direct result of feminism. you are feminism’s daughter—we don’t expect thanks but we do expect you to be honest and brave. we celebrate you! even as we continue to battle for safety and bodily integrity for women everywhere.
stacyPosted by stacy from on 06/22 at 12:54 PM
A couple of things in response:
First, I think her very first quote makes her point more than clear: that she has absolutely no problem with being just another whore in the capitalist gang-bang… And trust me, I am all for sexual freedom, but to support an industry that buys and sells women for profit sort of compromises that freedom, at least I think. Thus, the problem has less to do with women and sex per se, or that men are sexist pigs, but rather a culture that reinforces sexual stereotypes and behaviors, and glorifies it all in order to make a buck. Then I think one needs to account for the other “costs” of sex for women in society: the rape, pregnancy, etc. that I touched on in the follow-up quote. So, I think it therefore becomes a question of how our society’s institutions relate to the porn industry as we know it today, and whether or not we support it. Personally, I don’t, but that’s just me..
Second, I didn’t mean to imply that you agree with every single word she said; sorry if you read it that way (and sorry for my outburst also)... I just think she is taking a giant step backward for women’s rights and sexual freedom by supporting the porn industry. And if she owns that site, and also does films, then she is both a pimp AND a whore (and apparently proud of it to)...
And I’d love to hear her respond to this exchange—that would be great.Posted by RT from Houston, TX on 06/22 at 01:47 PM
well put, Stacy. Also, I must say it is difficult to see how her point of view applies to children forced to sell themselves throughout the world due to poverty.
Many if not most people (women and men) in the porn industry were sexually abused as children, an event that skews the healthiness of their sexuality. They ain’t doing it to express their freedom of choice, that’s for sure.
So, I would say furry girl was lucky to grow up in an environment that allowed her to develop these opinions, right, wrong, idiotic or otherwise.Posted by James from Puerto Rico on 06/22 at 01:49 PM
Good topic, Mickey. Yes, it is provocative. My view is very much in the minority...Here it is. The Feminist Movement has had many negative consequences for women and children. As an advocte for children, I sat in many courtrooms and heard judges say that children did not need the financial support of fathers “Now that the the feminists had brought about equality”. The result is that approx. 37 million children now live in poverty.That is just one of many negative impacts. ALSO, the implication that men and women are the same defies biology and logic. ALSO, the Feminist Movement has been a boon doggle for corporations, giving them an almost doubled pool of available workers, which is one reason that wages have fallen. ALSO, It devalued and trivialized motherhood, and yes, homemaking is now a sigmatized career. If the feminists really wanted to help women, they would address some of these issues but they are almost totally silent when it comes to child support or supporting the choice of stay-at-home mothers. This problem is fixable. For starters, all income should be considered family income so that Social Security and pension plans would cover mothers who stay home to care, nurture and/or home school children. ALSO, maybe women in the labor force should be paid more for the same job, since the burden of supporting the family falls upon many women. ALSO, Think about the prejudice against single mothers. There is very little crticism of the fathers. You would think that the children were all the result of Immaculate Conceptions.Posted by rosemarie jackowski from on 06/22 at 01:55 PM
Rosemarie, I don’t think that’s the fault of feminist movement itself. The consequences came from people making decisions along the way. As you said, some it’s the commodification of feminism, some of it is people being content to gain a measure of control over procreation—and then think this levels the playing field—and some is just the plain old fashioned bad behavior of spoiled brat males with a bit of power sticking it to people who don’t.
It bothers me that people will self-identify, but then think the identification is a susbsitute for walking the walk.
Regarding porn itself, some is erotic art and most is a terribly boring commodity. I do not think it feeds into violence against women. Some of the violence comes from scapegoating. Some from cowardice. There’s nothing emotionally self-indulgent cowards like better than taking out resentments on people who are physically weaker.Posted by Harry from on 06/22 at 03:24 PM
Harry, I do think that the Women’s Lib movement is responsible for some of the harm that has come to children....economic harm and also the harm that comes to children who have NO parent in the home because the Mother has to work to earn all of the money. Violence toward women is also a problem. I think that you are right when you you talk about people who take out their resentments on those who are weaker. Bullying exists at all levels of our society. It is tragic to see it happening to children in school and that is one reason that I no longer teach.Posted by rosemarie jackowski from on 06/22 at 05:28 PM
I was hoping FG would weigh in but the discussion is moving along fine without her. Thanks everyone. I wish I could say more but I’m swamped today. I’ll try to add my two cents ASAP.Posted by Mickey Z. from Astoria on 06/22 at 05:42 PM
Mmmmm, just two throw some more stuff in the fire, how does one square someone who keeps insisting they are an amateur, and yet charges over $200 for a years subscription?
Then, considering what is being uncovered everyday, by neurologists, etc. as to how males and females may be hard wired or chemically controlled naturally, and putting aside the power politics that happens between humans coincidentally or otherwise, is there ever a situation where a female may be exploiting a male, sexually?Posted by Peter (the other) from California on 06/23 at 12:31 AM
there’s all different kinds of porn. the pictures on furry girl’s site seem lovely and celebratory. i can get into that. but there’s other porn that really *does* seem to be all about violence and degrading people. i don’t need to point out links; we’ve all seen it. if a feminist, or anybody else, finds that sort of porno distasteful, i’m not going to try to convince her that she’s repressed. because that’s not about repression—it’s about recoiling in the face of violence.
everybody from catherine mackinnon to this woman in her opening statement seems to treat porn like it’s one big category. photos of naked people making out and enjoying themselves are lumped in with photos of people who appear to be performing sex acts in pain, or against their will. this is not just in straight porn—there is plenty of gay porn that’s degrading and violent, too.
so i think porn is, like every other form of cultural production, case-specific. it’s on the viewer to tease out the ideology suggested by each representation. some of those ideologies are going to be odious, and i don’t think it’s very nice for furry girl to suggest that people who are troubled by violent representations are out-of-it prudes who want to hinder womens’ self-expression. cute glasses, though!Posted by tris mccall from jersey city, new jersey on 06/23 at 09:19 AM
Andrea Dworkin says:
“Pornography is used in rape - to plan it, to execute it, to choreograph it, to engender the excitement to commit the act.”
(as quoted today on Democracy Now!)
See: ‘Gloria Steinem Remembers Feminist Writer and Activist Andrea Dworkin’ : http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/23/1358234Posted by RT from Houston on 06/23 at 09:58 AM
I agree with Tris. Like most words, “porn” and “feminism” can mean different things to different people. It’s like when people want to debate “liberal” vs. “conservative” with me but I can’t because I don’t agree with their definitions of those terms.
If you click on the links at Furry’s site, you’ll find many, many others like her (male and female) creating such “porn.” Could they be at the vanguard of a new genre that can usurp the violence and degradation? I think it’s safe to say that some kind of “porn” will always be around...so why not this kind?Posted by Mickey Z. from Astoria on 06/23 at 10:23 AM
“Pornography is used in rape - to plan it, to execute it, to choreograph it, to engender the excitement to commit the act.”
RT, I’m sure that happens. People who are going to harm others often base their actions on something they’ve read or seen. I don’t think eliminating porn would do anything to prevent harm, however. Some of the most violent societies forbid it and the prohibition has done nothing to eliminate or lessen brutal treatment of women. Brutes can find justification or inspiration for what they plan to do anyway in anything.Posted by Harry from on 06/23 at 10:27 AM
There is new scientific data about brain development in infants and children. The environment plays a major role. A culture that is so extremely sexualized, such as this one, has a dramatic and life-long influence. As adults, we have a responsibility to create a child-friendly culture. No, I am not a prude but I am a mother, a grandmother, and a child advocate.Posted by rosemarie from on 06/23 at 02:29 PM
There’s a marvelous book review by Laura Kipnis in the latest (June) Harper’s Magazine. The book reviewed is a rather dull history of marriage, but Kipnis’s review has some mindbending insights on the role of modern feminism. Will make good terminal/inflight reading, Mickey ;)Posted by sk from on 06/23 at 10:21 PM
Thanks for the tip, SK.Posted by Mickey Z. from Astoria on 06/24 at 05:26 AM