“Owen Jones: It’s ‘political flaws’ that matter, not women’s lives”

Jones wasn’t yet born when Andrea Dworkin famously wrote, in Pornography:

The new pornography is left-wing; and the new pornography is a vast graveyard where the Left has gone to die. The Left cannot have its whores and its politics too.

I can’t imagine he’s read the book since, but that doesn’t mean he can expect us to forgive the fact that he is merely replicating the same misogyny leftist men have been getting away with for decades. We won’t.

We – feminists – we, too, are the left. And you cannot have your politics without us. Without women. We, too, matter in this world, no matter how much you tell one another we don’t. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t purport to seek equality, while ignoring and supporting our subordination.

Cindy Gladue’s killer, Brad Barton, was recently acquitted. He studied pornography. He used it as research and as inspiration, seeking out filmed torture of women — pornography. That’s what pornography is, Owen… “The graphic depiction of vile whores.” The kind of “whores” you would likely say “consented.” The ones Andrea Dworkin was talking about. The ones you think you can ignore because politics. “Whores” are not “politics.” The abuse of women is not “politics” – the women who are used in and out of pornography, killed as part of men’s sexual fantasies, treated as rag dolls in their gang bangs…

Who cares?

All men do it.

Pay attention to the real issues.

What does matter to you Owen? What is important enough to be worthy of your attention? Are dead women not “political” enough?

Gladue’s killer told the jury that he stabbed her in the vagina “consensually.” You know, just like how they do in pornography. Just like how they do to prostitutes. Those women “consented,” after all, did they not? Barton paid to torture and abuse Gladue, after all. Fair and square, hey Owen?

These are merely intellectual exercises to Jones and his comrades. “There are debates to be had about porn,” he says. You know, at parties. Around the dinner table. It’s so interesting for men to sit around debating our lives. And when the debate becomes too challenging, they throw our movement back in our faces.

“But she said it was ok!” they shriek. “She said I didn’t have to care,” they tell us, pointing across the room. “She told me I didn’t have to be accountable, and I really can’t be bothered, so I won’t.”

Meghan Murphy, at Feminist Current, full article here

I’m 23. Mine is the first generation to be exposed to online porn from a young age. We learnt what sex is from watching strangers on the internet, we don’t know anything else.

Here are some of the things that I have experienced…
– having my head shoved into his crotch, and held down while I sucked him off
– being told that my gag reflex was too strong, couldn’t I work on it?
– bullied into submitting to facials. I didn’t want to. He said (joking?) that he’d ejaculate on my face while I was asleep. He wasn’t joking – I woke up with him wanking over me.
– bullied into trying anal. It hurt so much I begged him to stop. He stopped, then complained that I was being too sensitive and it can’t be *that* bad, he continued to ask for it
– having my hair pulled
– constant requests for threesomes
– constant requests to let him film it

And on every single occasion, I felt guilty for not being a ‘cool girl’. I was letting him down. I was a prude.

THIS IS NOW NORMAL. Every single straight girl I know has had similar experiences. Every. Single. One. Some have experienced far worse. Some have given in, some have resisted, all have felt guilty and awkward for not being “liberated” enough, not giving him what he wants.

It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I discovered radical feminism, that I realised it was ok to say no. I’m lucky enough to be with a man who respects this and who understands. Even so, it was only recently that I decided I wasn’t going to swallow anymore. I’d never liked it, but always thought I was obliged. I told my boyfriend and he said that was totally fine, he was horrified to hear I hadn’t enjoyed it previously. Why would he think anything else? This is what sex is for the porn generation.

I’m a very privileged woman – I’m middle class, well educated, I come from a very supportive family – and yet I still struggled to muster up the confidence to say no. The men I have had sex with are now lawyers, doctors, management consultants – they’re powerful people, they have influence, and they still think that degrading their sexual partners is normal.

Porn has done this.

When you use your influence to tell thousands of your readers that all men watch porn, this is just what men are like, “why should we care?”, you’re perpetuating this. An entire generation of women have suffered because of porn, and we will all continue to suffer unless men change. This isn’t just an intellectual exercise for us. “Boys will be boys” is not going to change anything, nor will bleating “yeah but porn doesn’t *have* to be misogynistic”. Please start using your influence for good.

You say you’re a feminist ally? Prove it

In response to Owen Jones, Rosie Redstockings

(found via the comment thread of the Feminist Current post)

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One response

  1. Reblogged this on RaFeCaMe.

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