Monthly Archives: December, 2011

QotD: “There is no greater issue at stake than the liberation of women from patriarchal oppression”

From this I Blame the Patriarchy post Spinster aunt can’t shut the fuck up all of a sudden

The liberation of women from patriarchal oppression is more important than a man’s right to 24-hour access to poontang. It’s more important than a woman’s right to the performance of sexy empowering femininity. It’s more important than a scholarly analysis of a canonical work. It’s more important than censorship.

Censorship has meant this and that and the other thing over the years. The government won’t let you burn flags. The authorities herd you and your “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” protest sign into a “free speech” zone when Dubya shows up at a rally. The secret police throw you in prison for writing unflattering stuff about your totalitarian government. Your library uses content-control software. The TV network bleeps out your (or Gordon Ramsay’s) F-bombs. The self-censoring Internet feminist uses the word F-bomb instead of the word fuck for no reason.

In the context of Internet feminist discourse, however, censorship seems to be something only feminist dissidents do, probably because we hate freedom! Censorship means “the practice of feminists voicing dissenting opinions on the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women.”

According to this interpretation, we Nazi feminists, with our intolerable idea that the fetishization of women’s oppression violates all women, are to be harassed, shouted down, and condemned by the liberal dudes found swinging from every rafter of the Internet, in an effort to suppress our dissent. Why? Apparently because saying “Lolita sucks” is tantamount to demanding a book-burning. Of a beloved, transgressive monument to lyric dudeliness.

Ironically, dudely suppression of feminist dissent is itself censorship, the very -ship that these free speech-lovin’ dudes purport to be against. Censorship is apparently bad only when it threatens to undermine DudeNation’s death-grip on its own sceptre of passion.

“Keeping our sisters safe: Political recommendations”

From EVE (formerly Exploited Voices now Educating), “a non-governmental, non-profit organization composed of former sex-industry women dedicated to naming prostitution violence against women and seeing its abolition through political action, advocacy, and awareness raising that focuses on ending the demand for paid sexual access to women and children’s bodies.”

EVE believes in order to keep our sisters safe and to encourage healthy and positive sexual relations that allow our women to live with dignity and as equals the following MUST happen:

• Criminalization of the male demand for paid sex, pimping, trafficking and procuring.
De-criminalization of the prostituted.

• We must NOT open brothels and move the abuse indoors. This would be a gift to pimps and traffickers to have a safe space to house the sold.

• Prostituted women must have immediate access to women only detox & long term recovery beds.

• A country as rich in resources as Canada must offer guaranteed liveable income for women and their children, as well as others.

• Offer resources that allow women to keep their children rather than condemning women for doing their best by apprehending the children and giving resources to others to raise women’s children.

• Men must not be allowed to avoid court involvement by offering them john school, anger management classes etc. instead of court. Programs must be offered in conjunction with court involvement and oversight.

• The issue of violence against women must be dealt with and taken seriously by law enforcement, prosecution and on a governmental level.

• Acknowledge the inherent gendering, racism, classism, and colonialism and keep it in the conversation every time prostitution is discussed.

• Women exiting prostitution must be offered long term, consistent services and counselling needed to heal from the trauma of their abuse.

Found via Boner Killer

QotD: MRA Marmoset

I have just discovered the tumblr MRA Marmoset!

Hey, everybody. Allow me to introduce you to this happy little fella, the Men’s Rights Activist Marmoset. His hobbies include trolling on feminist blogs, spouting logical fallacies and doing nothing that even remotely resembles activism.

Choosing just one is impossible, so here are some of my favorites:

Found via man boobz (also good for some MRA related laughs).

Pornograhy is what the end of the world looks like


This blog post contains plot spoilers for the Black Mirror episode 15 Million Merits.

Pornography is what the end of the world looks like

This is what Robert Jensen wrote in a Ms. article linked to for a quote of the day a little while back. He elaborated on that with the following:

By that I don’t mean that pornography is going to bring about the end of the world, nor do I mean that of all the social problems we face, pornography is the most threatening. Instead, I mean that pornography encourages men to abandon empathy, and a world without empathy is a world without hope.

A powerful illustration of this maxim can be found in yesterday’s Black Mirror episode 15 Million Merits. It depicts a future distopia where the main form of work is generating energy through peddling stationary bicycles (there is an even more wretched underclass that is humiliated, vilified, and relegated to cleaning jobs: the fat, but that’s a different post for a different blog). Cycling earns credits/currency (the ‘merits’ of the title), and 15 million merits is the price of a ticket onto the talent show ‘Hot Shots’, which offers the only possibility of a way out.

The main plot is a love story, between a man, Bing, who has 15 million merits, and the woman, Abi, he gifts a ‘Hot Shots’ entry ticket to. But what I want to concentrate on is the depiction of pornography in the program.

During the Challenging Porn Culture conference in London on the 3rd December, one of the speakers quoted Susanne Kappeler’s The Pornography of Representation:

The pornographer himself is more honest and astute about pornography than the cultural experts engaged in defending it.

There are only two groups of people in this world who seem to think that pornography is just a recording of people having sex – those who’ve never seen any porn, and the ‘sexperts’ and sex industry advocates defending it as harmless or even beneficial.

The pornographers themselves, in describing their porn and what makes it sell, are far more honest, with titles such as ‘Meat Holes’ and ‘Service Animals’ and descriptions in trade publications such as:

[A] misogynistic gem that will appeal to men who have survived the social castrating of their gender.

15 Million Merits was also brutally honest and aware of what pornography is like now, how it affects the status of women, and how it acts as an opiate to its users. It was reminiscent of another distopia, Orwell’s 1984, in which pornography was distributed to the working classes (who thought they were dealing in contraband), in order to keep them docile.

In 15 Million Merits, people where constantly surrounded by screens, which, like the most up-to-date games systems, responded to body movements and hand signals. Adverts were screened constantly, and it cost merits to skip or mute an add. Adverts for pornography were constantly screened (to male characters at least), meaning they were economically penalised for refusing to view porn, and then, once hooked, needed to earn in order to pay for more porn.

The type of porn advertised was always and only gonzo porn, a brand called ‘Wraith Babes’:

The hottest girls in the nastiest situations.

One of the judges on Hot Shots was the pornographer-in-chief himself, Wraith, and when Abi came on, he demanded that she show him her breasts (all contestants were given a doped drink beforehand to make them more compliant). She refused, and was allowed to sing. She was told that while she was a great singer, she wasn’t exceptional, and because she was beautiful, men wouldn’t be listening to her and women would hate her. Instead she was offered a role as a ‘Wraith Babe’, and told that it was the only way out and better than peddling, and that she was arrogant for refusing (the audience started chanting “do it!”).

She agreed, and was later seen, in a porn add, dressed like a little girl, saying, unconvincingly, how she loved her new life because she was ‘treated well’ and got to wear nice clothes. Later we see her with bleached hair and heavy, smudged, make-up.

Obviously, this being ‘terrestrial’ British TV, they were never going to be that explicit about what was done to her, but all the trappings of gonzo porn where there: the adult woman made to look like a little girl, the smudged make-up implying she had been crying or attacked, the emphasis on ‘innocence’, and humiliation as she was forced to say she liked it. She was shown looking up passively at Wraith as he roughly pushed his thumb in and out of her mouth (about as explicit as they can depict).

This culture of cruelty is also reflected in the non-pornographic entertainment, where the obese and unfit are humiliated in idiotic game shows, and are the animated targets of shoot-’em-up games.

Towards the end of the program, Bing buys his own ticket to get on Hot Shots, and uses his spot in front of the judges to rail at them and the audience, saying that people can only stomach fakeness, that the only real thing they can stomach is “real pain, real viciousness … show us something real and free and beautiful … it would break us, we’re too numb for it.” He said they had turned Abi into an “ugly joke”; to him she was something real and authentic and beautiful.

These things, authenticity, beauty, genuine feeling (beyond pain and humiliation) are the antithesis of pornography. The distopia depicted in 15 Million Merits used pornography to keep it’s population numb and compliant and addicted, which is the role pornography currently has in our atomised consumer age.

15 Million Merits is currently available to watch on-line on 4OD here.

“What do lads’ mags and rapists have in common?”

“Go and smash her on a park bench.” Are these the words of a sex offender or those printed in one of the UK’s leading lads’ mags? Given the phrasing chosen by former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys earlier this year, you might not find it hard to believe that this is in fact a direct quote from a mid-shelf publication. But a group of men and women participating in a study at Middlesex University found it difficult to differentiate between statements given by convicted rapists and the way lads’ mags routinely describe women.

“In a group study, we distributed quotes on bits of card to 20 men and women and asked them to rank how degrading they were to women, then we revealed some were from rapists and some were from lads’ mags, and asked them to attribute those quotes to either group,” explained Dr Miranda Horvath, a senior lecturer in forensic psychology at Middlesex University who specialises in researching sexual violence. “The group guessed correctly 50% of the time. They clearly had considerable difficulty making quick decisions about where these quotes came from.”

Quotes were taken from The Rapist Files: Interviews With Convicted Rapists by Sussman & Bordwell and four titles: Zoo, Nuts, Loaded and FHM. In an additonal study by the same researchers, a group of 92 men aged 18-46 were asked to participate in a similar exercise, but were also asked to say which of the quotes they identified with. The results revealed that overall, more of the men agreed with the rapists, only changing their minds when the source of the quote was revealed.

When I asked Dr Horvath to go through some of the quotes used in the study, what shocked me was that the language used by the lads’ mags seemed much more repulsive than that offered up by the sex offenders to justify their crimes. Here’s one of the samples from a magazine given to participants of the study: “A girl may like anal sex because it makes her feel incredibly naughty and she likes feeling like a dirty slut. If this is the case, you can try all sorts of humiliating acts to help live out her filthy fantasy.” Here’s a convicted rapist discussing his crime: “There’s a certain way you can tell that a girl wants to have sex . . . The way they dress, they flaunt themselves.”

Full article, What do lads’ mags and rapists have in common? here.

Muff March against ‘designer vaginas’!

“Keep your mitts off our muffs!” “I love my vagina!” “You’ve put my chuff in a huff!” These are some of the slogans of the Muff March taking place along London’s Harley Street Saturday morning. Its aim? To raise awareness of the increase in gynaecological cosmetic surgery – both on the NHS and in private clinics. The march, which has more than 300 supporters on Facebook, is organised by campaigning group UK Feminista and performance artists The Muffia, who dress up in nude bodysuits decorated with lavish pubic hair.

At its most modest, the Muff March is against the pornography-influenced obsession with removing pubic hair. But it’s also about protesting against the sort of surgery that makes you cross your legs. Typical procedures on offer include labiaplasty (trimming or removing the labia) and vaginal rejuvenation (tightening – usually referred to by “designer vagina”).

Some experts suggest this is a new form of body dysmorphic disorder. Others see it as a depressing but logical extension of the pornification of our culture. As it becomes more acceptable for young people to watch porn (where a “standardised” genital appearance is encouraged and many of the women have no pubic hair), so young women having their first sexual experiences are being measuring – and measuring themselves – against this weird porn “norm”. As one woman who has sought surgery says: “I browsed through one of my brother’s Playboys to see what the girls looked like. Some seemed to have very small or almost no labia.” In a world where not even your labia can ever be pretty enough, it’s time to fight back. Forward march, muffs!

Full article here.

QotD: .xxx

From: How will .xxx affect online porn?

So .xxx isn’t going to get all the pornographers presently filling every nook and cranny of .com, .org, .net and so on to up sticks and head to .xxx. It almost certainly won’t make the web a cleaner place. But it should make a tidy sum for ICM Registry as worried brand-holders buy the corresponding domains in order to stop their names being besmirched by association. Already 100,000 businesses have signed up. So, and have all gone. Still, good news: and are available. Don’t delay.