Monthly Archives: May, 2009

Quote of the Day: Body Image

Another from PostSecret.

Also, from this Women’s eNews article:

Labiaplasty was once the domain of sex workers, nude entertainers, nude models, swimsuit models and the occasional woman who needed her labia reduced for medical reasons such as infection or pain. Not anymore. Doctors have reported that women from every walk of life and from ages 15 to 75 are having labia and cosmetic vaginal surgery.

Many doctors who perform the surgeries say while there are some women who opt for the surgery because they are unhappy or their labia has caused them physical discomfort, the bulk of the women getting this surgery are ultimately being pressured by men who want them to conform to a idea of beauty most often seen in the porn industry. Doctors say these women request the procedure because they are afraid of having “old looking” vaginas. Doctors Loftus and Young say feedback from male partners is the number one reason women request the surgery.

“The most common reason we hear is that they have had a negative comment made by a male sexual partner. Women are made to feel that they are not perfect the way they are and often it’s the partner that sets this off,” Loftus said.

“My feeling is that women who aren’t sex workers are getting this kind of thing because there’s pressure from someone who’s telling them they’re not perfect,” Young said. ‘There’s often pressure from a man who tells them they need it,” adding “I assume that their standards for labial beauty were set by a combination of the porn industry, sex-oriented magazines and the Internet.”

Commodification quote of the day

In creating their site “profile”, the young inevitably aim for maximum appeal, self-advertisement. They are under great pressure to be “marketing characters” (as the social psychologist Erich Fromm put it), seeing themselves and others as commodities. Using personality and looks, they aim to increase their value and to raise it by association with other high-value commodity-persons. There are high- and low-status networks to be linked into, creating winners and losers.

Oliver James, here.

Sheila is our Sister


Read the background to this at Gorgon Poisons.

Cath Elliott on the IUSW

Douglas Fox, pimp and professional windbag for the IUSW is at it again, although this time on a rather obscure pro-porny blog, rather than CiF.

Cath Elliott blogs about it effectively here (and gives our sister organisation, Autonomous Radical Feminists, a mention).

As Cath points out, and it’s important to keep on pointing out, the IUSW is not a legitimate union; it is a lobby group for the sex industry. There is a real and significant difference between front-line workers and middle management (who both have the same employers) being allowed to join the same union, and workers and bosses and members of the public with vested interests being allowed to join the same ‘union’.

What’s interesting to note, from one of Cath’s comments, is how discussion of IUSW membership/campaigning seems to be part of the ‘services’ being purchased by some johns now, as a precursor to the real ‘business’. I guess this particular speciality won’t be listed on the ‘menu’ any time soon, as it might shatter the johns’ illusions.

Also good to note that Douglas is no longer referring to himself as an ‘Amnesty activist’ (although he’s still calling himself a ‘human rights activist’). He was only ever a member of Amnesty International, he paid his three quid a month like thousands of other people in the UK, he was not employed by Amnesty, he did not speak on behalf of Amnesty, and Amnesty did not indorse his opinions in any way. It was thoroughly dishonest the way he was trying to cash in on their good name and reputation.

70th Carnival Against Sexual Violence

Up here.

EDIT: I missed linking to the 69th Carnival Against Sexual Violence, which is up here.

Quote of the Day, Archaeology Edition

That’s not science; it’s circular, self-serving propaganda. This little figurine from Hohle Fels, for example, is going to be used as “proof” that pornography is ancient and natural. I guarantee it. Having been interpreted by pornsick male archaeologists as pornography because that’s all they know, the statuette will now be trotted out by every ev psycho and male supremacist on the planet as “proof” that pornography is eternal, that male dominance is how it’s supposed to be, and that feminists are crazy so shut the fuck up. Look for it in Steven Pinker’s next book.

From Violet Socks

Quote of the Day

It’s become increasingly acceptable to be an apologist for porn in this country. Right and Left-wing libertarians make common cause with an entire slew of tawdry interest groups – from lads’ mags to lingerie salespeople – to promote the idea that such material is only “adult entertainment”. Of course, the group who are most interested in porn being consumed are those who seek to profit from it, and as the Timney case exposes, this includes all the providers of cable television – when it comes to porn, Richard Branson is no virgin, and nor is Rupert Murdoch.

Of course, there’s nothing innocuous about pornography, and with a flick of a button you can access material in your own home that quite clearly involves the exploitation of vulnerable women – and men. I know this because like most men I’ve taken a look. I’m not proud of it, but nor do I believe in pretending to complacent ignorance. Let’s face the facts: the commercial imperative has, in the past 20 years, swelled the trickle of top-shelf mags and dodgy VHS tapes into a raging torrent of grisly filth.

I don’t believe that I’m a joyless puritan because I think this wrong. Pornography is definitely distinct from the erotic, and the criterion remains the same as it was at the time of the Chatterley trial: the erotic has an artistic merit that makes it something more than a mere stimulus, while the pornographic is nothing but that. The erotic involves men and women at an emotional level; the pornographic renders them nothing but purveyors and consumers of commodified sex.

Will Self, Porn in the home – it’s the nation’s dirty secret