Category Archives: Pornography harms

QotD: “Jordan tells Greenfield of seeking greater wealth through extreme sex, which may have made her temporarily wealthier but didn’t make her happy”

There’s also the former porn star Kacey Jordan, who received $30,000 to attend a sex party at Charlie Sheen’s home. Jordan tells Greenfield of seeking greater wealth through extreme sex, which may have made her temporarily wealthier but didn’t make her happy. She made numerous suicide attempts, and ends the film [documentary Generation Wealth] in the same dead-end job she had before starting porn.

Generation wealth: how the modern world fell in love with money

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QotD: “Women should say goodbye to a sexist Left”

Part of New York’s radical press, the Rat combined left-wing politics with nudie covers and pornographic cartoons – directed, of course, by a male staff. In January 1970, a group of feminists ousted the editorial team and turned the paper over to their own concerns. This was where Robin Morgan first published her essay Goodbye to All That, a ferocious blast against the sexism of the left: “Goodbye to the male-dominated peace movement… Goodbye to the illusion of strength when you run hand in hand with your oppressors… Goodbye to Hip culture and the so-called Sexual Revolution.”

Morgan didn’t imagine that the men considered the Rat takeover significant. (“What the hell, let the chicks do an issue; maybe it’ll satisfy ’em for a while, it’s a good controversy, and it’ll maybe sell papers” runs an unoverheard conversation that I’m sure took place at some point last week,” she wrote.) But to the feminists, it mattered because Rat represented the “good guys who think they know what Women’s Lib, as they so chummily call it, is all about – who then proceed to degrade and destroy women by almost everything they say and do.” Rat stood for the political world where Stokely Carmichael could joke that “the only position for women” in activism “is prone”, and where Eldridge Cleaver could write about raping women as an “insurrectionary act” against the “white man’s law”. What Morgan took aim at in Goodbye to All That is what today I’d call ‘brocialism’ – a dismissive portmanteau of ‘bro’ and ‘socialism’ which describes the meeting place between left-wing ideology and virulent machismo.

Brocialism is the politics of the left that puts women last. Brocialism is when it just so happens, coincidentally, that the politicians who attract the most hatred for being ‘right-wing’ are also the female ones. Brocialism is saying we’ll get around to sex equality, but the revolution comes first.

Brocialism is sneering at middle-class women for hiring cleaners, but not at middle-class men who expect their wives to pick up their dirty boxers for free. Brocialism is the men who call themselves feminists, but seem to be more interested in telling women what they’re doing wrong than in giving up any of their own power. Brocialism is blaming the EU for depressing men’s wages – but not acknowledging that the EU has driven workers’ rights for women.

Brocialism is Owen Jones telling women who disagree with them that they’re on the “wrong side of history”. It’s Russell Brand offering a revolution in which women figure firstly as “your bird”. It’s the American Democrats who were so wedded to Sanders over Clinton that they ultimately helped to ensure that Trump won. It’s the men who sexually assaulted women in the Occupy camps, and the kangaroo rape trials of the Socialist Workers Party. It’s the abuse and death threats thrown by Corbyn supporters at female MPs deemed insufficiently loyal to the cause, such as Luciana Berger or Thangam Debbonaire. It’s Jeremy Corbyn wanting to overthrow capitalism, until it comes to women being prostituted, when he says that the only “civilised” option is a free market.

It’s also a tediously old phenomenon. When Mary Wollstonecraft published A Vindication of the Rights of Men in 1790, it was because she was wholly committed to revolution. She followed it with A Vindication of the Rights of Women in 1792 because she’d realised that revolution was a male-only affair. “Consider,” she pleaded, “whether, when men contend for their freedom, and to be allowed to judge for themselves, respecting their own happiness, it be not inconsistent and unjust to subjugate women.” It was not considered. As historian Rachel Hewitt explains, the woman question in the 18th century was fought mainly between the reactionary position that “a woman was the property of one man” and the radical belief that “she was the property of many”.

The same false choice persists. From the right, low-income women are coerced to remain chastely within the family (Iain Duncan Smith designed Universal Credit so that it would be paid to a single recipient in each household in order to “prevent family breakdown”, or, rather, stop women from leaving). From the left, the men at the top of the Labour Party propose full decriminalisation of prostitution – that is, not only ending the unjust criminalisation of women in prostitution, but also lifting all sanctions on the pimps and punters who exploit and endanger those women. For women, this means either having one master, or having several. There is no alternative here to subjugation.

Yet left-wing politics is supposed to offer alternatives. As the Scottish socialist Alasdair Gray wrote, it’s animated by a belief in possibility: “Our nations are not built instinctively by our bodies, like beehives; they are works of art, like ships, carpets and gardens. The possible shapes of them are endless.” Feminism shares that belief, which is why the movement’s key thinkers and activists have often (though not always) come from a radical or socialist background: because feminism is, ultimately, a radical project and a redistributive one. It is about claiming rights and recognition for labour: the unpaid domestic labour that’s worth 56% of GDP and of which women do 60% more than men; the labour of bearing and caring for children, without which there would be no people and no economy at all.

It is about taking away from men the unjust power they assert over women, and giving women authority over themselves. It is difficult to articulate just how transformative that would be. The sex-class system is so entrenched that people still clutch at the belief – despite all evidence – that something in our essential nature makes women domesticated and decorative, and men bold and competitive.

In The Dialectic of Sex, Shulamith Firestone described how “so profound a change cannot be easily fit into traditional categories of thought… not because these categories do not apply but because they are not big enough: radical feminism bursts though them. If there were another word more all-embracing than revolution we would use it.”

And this is why the left has ultimately so often failed to give feminism a home: because, whatever their position on the left-right spectrum, too many men have been and still are unwilling to surrender the dominance they have over women. Feminism has always stood against right-wing chauvinism, but frustration with the macho left has helped to form much of the women’s movement’s most important theory and activism.

Sarah Ditum, continue reading here

QotD: “Peter Stringfellow normalised sleaze – that’s nothing to celebrate”

Peter Stringfellow exploited women’s objectified bodies for profit, as though they were cuts of meat hanging in a butcher’s shop, and while it would be unseemly to rejoice in his death I do not mourn him, either. He was a pimp. The feminist writer Julie Bindel recalled that she called him a pimp to his face during a radio debate and that he went “berserk” and “demanded she apologise”. I find the prissiness of this astonishing: that this unsavoury sleaze could demean and degrade women so openly for so many years and then be upset to be called on it.

But that’s the thing: the “calling out”, as it’s called today, is considered rude. For some people, alerting them to their prejudices and/or exploitative practices is somehow seen as bad manners. I have no doubt that I will be in for a whole world of internet abuse for writing this piece. If I don’t get at least one rape threat it will be a miracle. There is a certain kind of man who loathes feminists who refuse to silently and passively accept a culture in which young women are paid to take their clothes off for male entertainment. When Suzanne Moore called Hugh Hefner a pimp, he threatened to sue. And yet somehow we’re the snowflakes.

Like Hefner and Paul Raymond, Stringfellow normalised sleaze. He took a sexually repressed society and began to turn it into a pornified one. I grew up in the “post-feminist” 1990s, the peak of laddism, when the corporate sex industry was such a standard part of capitalist consumption that if you challenged it, you were immediately dismissed as a hairy bra-burner with no sense of humour. Women were expected to laugh along when men boasted about getting wrecked and ending up in Stringfellows or Spearmint Rhino. There the foulness was packaged in hard, glossy surroundings; the sleaze was wrapped in shiny. But visit the kind of joint where all you had to do was pop a quid in a pint glass and you would see the industry for what it was.

It all paved the way for the dominance of pornography, for the conduct described by so many women as part of #MeToo and “grabbing them by the pussy”. The objectification rife in strip clubs bled into lads’ mags, a more contemporary version of the old man on the bus pretending to juggle teenage girls’ breasts. It made itself known in the boys at university who thought a grope was a greeting. The idea of consent workshops was mocked, but the lines had become so blurred they were necessary. Feminism was decades old but we were still being treated like meat. Even in this age of #MeToo, it’s still rarely heard just quite how disgusting young women find being drooled over by pervy older men, which happens to us from puberty onwards.

And as Moore wrote last year, part of Hefner’s Playboy mythology was “the idea that women do this sort of thing willingly”. But we all know that for the majority of women in the sex industry, it’s not so much a choice as a way of surviving. A stripper I spoke to once told me that the entire time that she was dancing for male gratification, she would repeat the mantra “fuck you, fuck you, fuck you” in her head. It was her way of coping. And yet, we continue to be told how innocent it all was, how liberating for women. As with Hefner’s death, the accolades and the RIPs come in from men, the pally anecdotes about his “sense of humour”. We hear the eulogising on the Today programme and by ex-lad male journalists who don’t realise how it makes them sound. So for the avoidance of all doubt, before I log off social media for a week: I see you, we see you. You’re disgusting, too. And that stripper’s mantra? She’s not the only one making use of it.

Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Raffaëla Anderson and the French Porno Industry

Raffaëla Anderson, whose ethnic background is partly Arab, is a former pornography performer, who has now become a non-fiction writer and occasionally an actress in mainstream French productions.

The French pornography industry is just as violent as the American one. There is also a Gonzo genre over there, with films containing extreme sexual practices which seem painful to the women who experience them.

After leaving the pornography business, Raffaëla Anderson wrote a book entitled Hard (2001), describing her experience in that industry and decrying its abuses. Raffaëla stayed four years in the porno industry. Her last appearance in an explicit film was in Virginie Despentes’ controversial (unusual porn) French film “Baise-Moi” (2000), which was distributed internationally.

In 2003, Director Emmanuelle Schick Garcia made a documentary on the French pornography business. Entitled “La Petite Morte,” the documentary included interviews with Raffaëla Anderson, who related being abused as a child, along with the ongoing exploitation and suffering which take place in the porno industry.

In 2006, Raffaëla wrote her second book Tendre Violence (“Tender Violence”, in English) a narration of her childhood with her Muslim family in Gagny, in the suburb of Paris. In this book, she reported that, from the age of 5 years old until her teenage years, she had suffered a form of sexual abuse (“bad touching”) by her alcoholic uncle. She also reported physical abuse: during her childhood and teenage girlhood, she had been beaten up by her father and brothers. She had also been brought up in a family environment in which sexuality was a taboo subject, and, at age 18, she decided to enter the French porno industry.

Her first book Hard ( “Hard” means “Hardcore” in French slang), that she had written in 2001, described her experience in the French porno industry. In it, Raffaëla Anderson explains that, as a teenager, she had an admiration for Dutch porn actress Zara Whites, whom she was seeing on TV. Raffaëla was seeing a participation in the porno industry as a good way to earn money easily to be able to flee her abusive familial environment, and acquire a desired autonomy. However, she did not expect the difficult and abusive situation she was going to find herself in, inside of that industry. She was taking drugs and drinking alcohol to be able to cope with the “job”. She explained how she gradually became disgusted by men and discovered her homosexuality. While walking in the streets once, she got raped by two men who recognized her as a porn actress. She reported it to the police. In the documentary “La Petite Morte”, Raffaëla explained how the prosecutor and Judge in her case dismissed the rape with the attitude: “You’re an actress in pornographic films, so you can’t complain.” Her rapists would not go to jail, since the French justice system concluded it was her fault.

In her book Hard, Raffaëla also gave the readers an insightful look into her experience as a porn performer. Indeed, her testimony is explicit. Here are a few excerpts:

“I’ve got to be on the set [again] on Sunday […] I’m crying. I don’t want to get fucked anymore. Only the thought of it hurts me. I want to take back what I gave years ago: me, my crotch, my dignity. I’ve only got a small part of my brain left, I want to keep it. I’m crying […] I can’t take it anymore, I’m in pain each time, I can’t put up with it any more.”
— Raffaëla Anderson, in Hard, published by Grasset (Paris) [TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH].

“The Big Boss asks me for the usual double penetration: one at the front, one at the back […] The Boss asks us just one minute in this position. I’m feeling kinda stunned. I know that I’m not gonna be able to take it. It’s inevitable, I’m fainting. Nobody notices, the Boss says to me that it’s super, he thanks me. It’s also at this moment that I regain consciousness. I hear: “Let’s get to the cum shot…”
— Raffaëla Anderson, in Hard, published by Grasset (Paris) [TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH].

“In the morning, you get up, you stick for the nth time the enema syringe up your ass and you clean the inside. You repeat this [process] until it’s clean. That alone, that hurts. […] After this, you find yourself on a set and you suck, you bend over. They call you a bitch in the name of arousal, and what else? Nothing is worth such a suffering. Not even the money you’re making.”
— Raffaëla Anderson, in Hard, published by Grasset (Paris) [TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH].

“I’ve got a scene to make in a swimming pool under water. There are electric wires everywhere, apparently it’s dangerous. […] They cover the pool for I don’t know what reason. I’m under water, and nobody’s there to rescue me. These assholes refuse to remove the wires. If I stay under the water, I drown, if I get out, it’s electrocution. […] After hesitating for a moment, I’m going back up to the surface […]. Off camera [someone says]: “We’re doing it again”. I could have died and all they’ve got to say is “We’re doing it again”. […] They’re crazy in this industry, you can die, and all that matters for them is the scene that has to be done.”
— Raffaëla Anderson, in Hard, published by Grasset (Paris) [TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH].

Raffaëla also wrote about the sexual exploitation of women and the human suffering she has witnessed in the porno industry, including the case of Eastern European women, who are trafficked into the French porno industry (these women are poor and forced to “work” to pay their pimps):

“I consider those scenes [of double and triple penetration] as real “hardcore” […]. Other girls had to do worse. Starting with double vaginal penetration, double anal penetration, then both at the same time. Imagine four guys, North-South, East-West, and the girl on doggie-style, barely able to breathe, during a two-minute close-up, the minimal time required […]. I’ve seen those girls [from Eastern Europe] suffering and crying […]. Imagine a girl with no experience, not speaking the [same] language, far away from her home, sleeping at a hotel or on the set. She’s got to do a double penetration, a vaginal fisting, along with an anal fisting, sometimes both at the same time, a hand up her ass, sometimes two. At the end, you’ve got a girl in tears who’s pissing blood because of lesions, and who generally shits herself because noboby explained to her that she needed to have an enema.[…] After the scene which they are not allowed to interrupt, and anyway nobody listens to them, the girls get two hours to rest. They get back on the set […]. The director and the producer encourage those practices […] because the consumer asks for them.”
— Raffaëla Anderson, in Hard, published by Grasset (Paris) [TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH].

Raffaëla Anderson’s realistic account of porn performing and the French porno industry is not the only one. Even Ovidie, a former porn actress who has now become porn director and who is one of the loudest defenders of pornography in France, admits such things as:

“I was very sick. I had a fever and I was vomiting. It was horrible. And nobody went to get me an aspirin […]. I felt humiliated, just a hole for the camera. I was only a product.”
— Ovidie, in Porno Manifesto, published by Flammarion (Paris), quoted in Michela Marzano, Malaise dans la sexualité: Le piège de la pornographie, published by JC Lattès (Paris) [TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH].

“There are things which are very violent and leave scars.”
— Ovidie, interviewed by Michela Marzano, quoted in Michela Marzano, La Pornographie ou l’Epuisement du Désir, published by Buchet-Chastel (Paris) [TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH].

Another French porn performer, Coralie Trinh Thi, explained:
“At the beginning of my career in XXX, I was completely traumatized when I was seeing a girl on the brink of tears during the making of a movie, especially during the scenes of double penetration […]. Actually, in hardcore scenes, they are more suffering than they’re coming.”
— Coralie Trinh Thi, Source: lesfuries.chez-alice.fr/prostitution.htm [accessed on 06/01/07] [TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH].

Porn perfomer Karen Lancaume, who Appeared in the film “Baise-moi” with Raffaëla Anderson, commited suicide in 2005, by overdosing on barbiturates. Karen was injured by her experience in pornography and she denounced the selfish attitude of the people in that industry. Interviewed by the French newspaper Libération, Karen said:
“A double penetration, followed by the cum shot. I was covered in sperm, drenched; I was also cold, and nobody handed me a towel. Once you’ve done the scene, you’re not worth anything anymore.”
— Karen Lancaume, Source: fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_Lancaume [accessed on 06/01/07] [TRANSLATED FROM FRENCH].

Interviewed by Radio Canada, filmmaker Emmanuelle Schick Garcia, who made a documentary (on the French pornography industry) called “La Petite Morte” (2003 — see www. lapetitemorte.com/about.htm), said:
“I think Raffaëla [Anderson] describes the [pornographic] world very honestly for what it really is, there are moments of happiness, especially for a girl who never had any friends in her life, or love from her family, and found it in this world. Not real love like we know it, but love as it would be recognized by someone who felt abandoned and alone. Then there’s the other side, where for a victim of incest and rape like Raffaëla, pornography becomes a reconstruction of the abuse she’s lived all her life. And for a lot of girls in that world, […] love is like how they’re treated in pornography. It’s someone who tells you how you should have sex. It’s having someone tell you, you’re going to do this scene, like this, with this person. And it’s exactly what they’re accustomed to, because growing up they never got to choose… So, for me, when pornographers say, it’s fun or that the girls like what they’re doing, I see it as lies. Because I learned everything to the contrary. I spoke with many girls in that world and often, I would say about 85% of those girls were victims of sexual or physical abuse growing up.”
— Emmanuelle Schick Garcia, Source: lapetitemorte.com/article58.htm [accessed on 06/01/07] [INTERVIEW WAS ALREADY TRANSLATED TO ENGLISH]

Interviewed by IFQ, Shick Garcia also said:
“There are very heart breaking and horrible things about the pornographic world. But, most of those things happened to actresses and actors long before they arrived in the pornography world. The pornography industry is just a place where a lot of victims relive their abuse, where they can continue to destroy themselves like their abusers destroyed them. That’s what is the most disturbing to me. The incest, rapes, child abuse and neglect that become the springboard for a lot of participants to enter the industry. People in the industry will tell you this isn’t true, but I learned everything to the contrary. This excuse makes it easier to go to work, that’s all.”
— Emmanuelle Schick Garcia, Source: independentfilmquarterly.com/ifq/interviews/petite.htm [accessed on 06/01/07] [INTERVIEW WAS ALREADY TRANSLATED TO ENGLISH]

When asked about the title of her documentary (“La Petite Morte”), Shick Garcia replied:
“It refers to the female orgasm, because in porno films they want you to believe that a woman is always having an orgasm, which isn’t true, and there’s also the depressing aspect of the name, with death, there’s just something inside a lot of those girls that seems dead. To me, it’s just a really sad world.”
— Emmanuelle Schick Garcia, Source: lapetitemorte.com/article58.htm [accessed on 06/01/07] [INTERVIEW WAS ALREADY TRANSLATED TO ENGLISH]

From the (archived) Against Pornography website

QotD: “Dying should not be a side effect of ‘sex'”

Who was Francisca Marquinez? What we can garner from the evidence is that she was choked to death in October 2015. Beyond that, we know little about who she was.

The overwhelming theme of the messages I found through the online condolences book her family set up for her tell the story of a kind and caring woman. Marquinez was “a fun, outgoing and genuine person with positive energy.” She had an “infectious laugh and a beautiful spirit.” She worked for many years in the Human Resources sector and liked to dance merengue and salsa. Her niece Carla says her aunt was “a woman whose happiness shone through.” Yet no news outlet discussed the 60-year-old woman’s personality or life. The media was far more interested in talking about her murderer’s penis.

Marquinez was murdered by her boyfriend, 65-year-old Richard Henry Patterson, in Margate, Florida. Patterson was charged with second-degree murder in October 2015, but was found not guilty in May 2017. The ruling happened almost a year ago and yet there is still far more information available online about Patterson’s genitals than about the woman whose life he took.

The attorney for the accused argued that Marquinez had “accidentally” choked on Patterson’s penis during consensual oral sex. But in all likelihood, this murder was far more gruesome and far less titillating than it was portrayed. The case was referred to in the media as the “penis defense murder trial.” Instead of referring to an “asphyxiation defense” or the “suffocation defense,” the Sun Sentinel called it an “oral-sex defense,” thereby providing legitimacy to an implausible claim.

For Patterson’s defense to be plausible, Marquinez would have had to not realize her death was imminent. Associate Broward Medical Examiner Iouri Boiko, who conducted Marquinez’ autopsy, said that although it was not possible to confirm a cause of death due to the decomposition of the body when it was found by police, it is impossible for it to have been an accidental oral sex scenario. Marquinez would have had to remain absolutely passive while her airways were blocked for more than 30 seconds, until she lost consciousness. In reality, Boiko says, she would have kicked, bitten, or done something else to prevent the blocking of her airway, he explained in court. “It’s the normal reaction.” Even after those fatal 30 seconds, Patterson would have had to keep his erect penis blocking the throat of the unconscious woman for two to three minutes. Only then, after this ongoing blockage of her airway, would Marquinez have finally died.

Patterson waited several days before informing anyone of Marquinez’ death, allowing time for her body to decompose beyond the point where an autopsy could reveal causes of death. Eventually, he called his ex-girlfriend (not the police or an ambulance). During the trial, the jury was presented with a recording in which his ex-girlfriend asked, “Were you arguing?” Patterson replied, “Holly, it doesn’t matter what happened. I’m not telling you what happened because you don’t need to know. Period.” He texted his daughter, saying, “Your dad did something really bad last night,” and that he was “so, so sorry.” He also told his ex and daughter, “I choked Francisca (not, “she choked”). Because Patterson didn’t contact the police, it was his ex-girlfriend who decided to contact a lawyer to defend him in the inevitable trial that would ensue. All reasonable evidence incriminating Patterson was considered less relevant than the star of the trial: his penis.

Due to Patterson’s claim that the size of his penis was a factor in Marquinez’ death, he asked the court to view it as evidence. Assistant state attorney Peter Sapak considered this, asking: “Do we do it in the back? Do we do it in open court? How is the defendant going to be erect when the jury views it? Because a flaccid penis, whether it be a picture or the jury actually seeing it, is completely irrelevant. It needs to be erect.” Patterson’s defense said they were willing to provide a picture of his clients penis next to a tape measure and a frontal picture of Patterson’s naked body.

Patterson’s penis — not the fact that he killed a woman — was the big news story. The media framed the case in a way that would ensure the public read it as funny and titillating. “Massive penis man who claimed his girlfriend choked to death during oral sex is dramatically found NOT GUILTY of murder,” read one headline. Another read, “Murder suspect tries big-penis defense — and it might work.” This narrative — that a woman had consented to her own death — was believed by the media because it confirmed what we’re constantly told: that women enjoy and seek out the violence perpetrated against us, that sex and violence are interchangeable, and that no femicide is so cruel or harrowing that it is above being considered “consensual sex.”

To imagine that Francisca Marquinez likely fought for her life, as a man — someone she once loved — used his penis as a murder weapon is heartbreaking. Those 30 seconds when she was aware that she was going to die must have been terrifying. Why would a jury acquit a man of such a gruesome femicide? The answer to this question lies in porn culture.

[…]

“The last thing these two adults did together was oral sex. He thought that’s how she died,” Patterson’s lawyer said during the trial. “The humiliation of having to tell people was just too much for him.” In other words, a man who, during his trial, focused on trying to show his genitals to a jury, and used his alleged “big penis” as a defense against a murder charge, wanted this jury to believe he was too shy to call an ambulance or the police while Marquinez lay dying. And they believed him.

Tragically, this is not the first time that a jury has found it plausible for women to “consent” to being murdered in the name of sex.

In 2015, a 49-year-old man said that his 91-year-old neighbour had suffocated during a “sex game” in Porto, Portugal. His semen was found on her body and it was revealed in the autopsy that the woman had died from asphyxia. The woman’s body had “extensive genital injuries,” but the local newspaper called the woman’s death “a tragic accident.”

In 2011, Cindy Gladue, an Indigenous mother of three daughters, was murdered by a john who stabbed her in her vaginal canal, leaving a perforation that was more than 11 centimeters long. She did not die immediately. Gladue was placed in a bathtub where she bled to death after hours of agony. Her murderer, Bradley Barton, was found not guilty of first-degree murder in a trial wherein Gladue’s disjointed pelvis was physically shown to the jury. The jury preferred to believe that the fact she was a prostituted woman somehow justified her death and that being stabbed in the vagina could be “an accident” following “consensual sex.”

During the trial, it was revealed that Barton’s search history included pornography that sexualized violence against women. The judge described finding pornography depicting “gaping vaginas and extreme penetration and torture,” but this evidence was not permitted in court because it was obtained unlawfully by the police. During trial, Barton’s defense argued that even though Gladue must have gone through “an awful final hour of her life,” the jury should not let that gruesome factor “poison” them against Barton. The jury agreed.

Raquel Rosario Sanchez, full article here

Playboy given an ‘LGBT’ award


Sianushka

This appears to be entirely real (the website hasn’t been updated with the winners yet, but Playboy is listed in the nominations):

Look at those corporate sponsors and try to tell me trans women are more marginalised than lesbians and radical feminists!

Sex isn’t a commodity! Except when it is!

It’s amusing to watch liberal feminists and sex industry advocates tie themselves into semantic knots, because they want to, at the same time, condemn ‘incel’ rhetoric, while still supporting the sex industry. Meghan Murphy at Feminist Current has, of course, got there first with a first class radical feminist analysis:

This week, the liberal feminist internet exploded into bewildered anger over a column by Ross Douthat in The New York Times, which pointed out the obvious: that in a world that has placed an incredible amount of value on sex, that has glorified capitalism and turned almost everything into a sellable product, and that has told people (men, in particular) that sex is an inalienable right, inevitably we will arrive in a world that commodifies sex, and seeks to find a way to offer sex to anyone that wants it. I’m stretching his argument to add my own analysis, of course, but essentially this is the point he made: this is the world we live in — the world we created.

Liberal feminism let out an immediate and unified shriek at having to contend with the fact that their purported hatred for incels (which describes a group of men who are “involuntarily celibate”) and other men who communicate their anger at having not been offered the thing porn culture told them they were entitled to (sex with hot, young, porny women) did not mesh with their efforts to normalize and legalize men’s access to women’s bodies in the sex trade.

Jaclyn Friedman, author of Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All and co-editor (with Jessica Valenti) of Yes Means Yes: Visions of Sexual Power and a World Without Rape, tweeted: “CAN PEOPLE JUST STOP FUCKING SAYING THE PHRASE ‘REDISTRIBUTION OF SEX’ LIKE IT IS AN ACTUAL THING. Sex is not a commodity. Women are not a commodity. Sex workers are not a commodity. Sex is an ACTIVITY. You can’t ‘redistribute’ sex any more than you can ‘redistribute’ dancing.”

Despite Friedman’s usually effective use of Caps Lock, her argument doesn’t follow. Particularly because she is one of those who advocates to legalize and normalize the purchase of sex, meaning that indeed she believes men should have the right to access women’s bodies and should have the right to sex, anytime they wish, so long as they can pay and so long as a woman needs the money.

The sex industry literally commodifies sex and women. This is what a commodity is: a service or product that can be exchanged, bought, or sold on the market. Even if you choose to believe sex is a “service” just like physiotherapy or a manicure, if you are paying, it is a commodity. If you are going to argue that sex is not a commodity and to present it as such is Not A Good Thing, you are going to have to admit that radical feminists have been right all along, and that turning women and sex into things to be bought and sold is indeed a dangerous thing.

Similarly, Laurie Penny, who also advocates for the legalization of pimps, johns, and brothels, insisted that “Sexual redistribution’ isn’t a thing. The reason for this is that sex is not a commodity but a relation between human beings,” adding, “(Which is also, sometimes, a service performed for money.)”

While Douthat’s column may well have been convoluted, and while he was unclear about what his own perspective is on what is sadly an inevitable reality (he later clarified on Twitter that he feels this approach is “bad”), those who responded angrily at the notion of a “redistribution of sex” laid bare their own hypocrisy, which is arguably worse than writing an unnecessarily complex column with too long sentences (I am guilty of this today, as well, and am sorry) and coming off as a bit pompous as a result. If you read the piece about four times over, you’ll start to get the gist.

Douthat doesn’t advocate for a dehumanized and commodified “redistribution of sex,” he just says this is what liberals like Penny and Friedman have fought for and won. Douthat writes:

“… As offensive or utopian the redistribution of sex might sound, the idea is entirely responsive to the logic of late-modern sexual life, and its pursuit would be entirely characteristic of a recurring pattern in liberal societies”

He also rightly points out that our understanding of sex and sexual liberation has been very much shaped by Hugh Hefner — meaning that we have adopted a social value that says men should have access to a wide variety of young, sexualized, one-dimensional women who are always “up for it.”

I suspect part of the problem, beyond their inability to think their way out of a paper bag, is that Douthat called out the zealous efforts of these liberals and leftists to “transform prostitution into legalized and regulated ‘sex work,’” thereby encouraging nouveau-porn technologies like sex robots and the broader notion that men have a right to sex. And beyond that, they did so without “formally debating the idea of a right to sex” or, I’d argue, listening to the masses of feminists who have, over decades, been pointing out that if you want actual sexual liberation for women, you can’t achieve it while simultaneously commodifying sex and saying that it’s acceptable for some women to be treated as sex objects, so long as they are compensated.

Friedman told Vice that “she finds it ‘profoundly appalling’ that The New York Times’ opinion pages would legitimize incel culture under the guise of a debate,” making it clear that she (whether intentionally or unintentionally) missed the point entirely. In fact, it is Friedman and her gaggle of desperate-to-be-cool liberal cronies who focused their careers on trying to legitimize exactly the mindset incels have internalized, and who then lashed out in anger (too-often violently) at the discovery that their fantasy was just that.

I wonder what they thought the end result of fighting for a porn industry and sex trade would be? That men would think, “Gosh, the best way to build relationships with women is through respect and by getting to know them as the humans they clearly are”? Or, rather, would they come to the conclusion that women’s bodies are things that exist to be fucked, and that at any given moment, they should be able to get off, in whatever way they like, regardless of how the woman on the other side of their laptop screen feels about it?

Douthat writes:

“I expect the logic of commerce and technology will be consciously harnessed, as already in pornography, to address the unhappiness of incels, be they angry and dangerous or simply depressed and despairing.”

When you argue that a sex trade must exist in order to serve the “lonely,” “anti-social,” or “sexually unfulfilled,” you shouldn’t be surprised when that world appears in front of you. And certainly you shouldn’t be surprised when men accept your arguments and run with them.

QotD: “I keep reading the Fae tweet and keep wondering what exactly domestic violence “gone right” would be. Presumably when the woman complies before the man has murdered her?”

I keep reading the Fae tweet and keep wondering what exactly domestic violence “gone right” would be. Presumably when the woman complies before the man has murdered her?

Sarah Ditum

Peddling of falsehood wrapped up as knowledge (actually most men who commit intimate partner femicide make a decision to kill) and the minimising of the impact of domestic violence & abuse for those who live with it let alone those who have been killed, a new low for Jane Fae

Karen Ingala Smith


Goody Escalator Phobia

‘Better Programming’

Today’s Sinfest

QotD: “The Peter Madsen Guilty Verdict Leaves Lingering Questions and Pain”

Last week, when the Danish amateur engineer Peter Madsen was found guilty of the premeditated killing, sexual assault, and dismemberment of the Swedish journalist Kim Wall, his life sentence marked the close of the most macabre crime investigation in recent Scandinavian history.

[…]

The state prosecutor, Jakob Buch-Jepsen, in his closing remarks, argued that some of the “most damning” evidence against Madsen came from the death porn found by police on his hard drives. But, although Madsen’s deep involvement in hardcore sex films and snuff movies—as a consumer and, allegedly, as an actor and a would-be producer and director—played a key role in his conviction, the Madsen verdict has yet to open a wider conversation: the most disturbing reaches of a global industry in which Denmark once played the role of pioneer.

From the perspective of the Internet age, with PornHub downloads and the dark Net catering to all extremes of taste, the early days of legalized porn seem more like a hundred years ago than fifty. Porn wasn’t invented in Denmark, but, in the late sixties, the tiny Nordic nation was the first to legitimize it. When, in October, 1969, the world’s first porn fair, Sex 69, opened its doors in Copenhagen, the atmosphere was one of excitement and celebration. Special buses made the trip from Germany, charter flights arrived from Tunisia and Egypt, and American tourists eschewed the art galleries of southern Europe in favor of the new, sensational pleasures of the north. Held in K. B. Hallen, a vast, modernist sports hall designed by Hans Hansen in the Bauhaus tradition, the four-day event featured stripteases, live sex shows, and stalls selling porn magazines and sex toys. The Danish artist and provocateur Jens Jørgen Thorsen, in his opening speech, claimed Sex 69 as a victory for freedom of expression. Despite the fact that ninety per cent of the event’s fifty thousand visitors were male, there were no significant protests from Danish feminists: at the time, many perceived the legalization of porn as the triumphant, liberating end to generations of sexual repression and taboo.

Meanwhile, those concerned that freely available porn would lead to more sex crimes were soon assuaged: the Danish criminologist Berl Kutchinsky, in his 1970 report for the U.S. President’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, “Pornography and Sex Crimes in Denmark,” demonstrated how the legalization of porn had actually led to a decrease in child molestation, voyeurism, and minor sexual offenses, though rape figures stayed the same. In 1971, Sweden followed Denmark’s lead in legalizing porn, and soon the porn industry in these countries was booming, leading to a conception—still held among baby boomers—of Denmark and Sweden as “sexy countries,” though neither has been a large-scale porn producer in decades.

It’s always disappointing when mainstream journalists don’t do their research properly, Kutchinski has rejected his conclusion that porn was harmless, as reported in Transforming a Rape Culture:

But the industry had its dark side, even in the early days. Child porn was not criminalized in Denmark until as late as 1980, and the industry’s second wave included films depicting violence against women, such as Jørgen Hallum’s “Englene” (“Angels”), from 1973: in one scene, bikers storm a confirmation service, crucify the priest, and rape young girls in front of the altar. The burgeoning women’s movement became uneasy; what feminists had initially perceived as empowering was beginning to look very much like the opposite. In a 1978 anthology, “Back in the Sixties,” the leading Danish feminist Bente Hansen reflected on the “pioneer” era of porn: “We had second thoughts about this so-called liberation. What exactly had been liberated and who reaped all the benefits?”

[…]

For many of the health professionals who were observing Madsen’s trial, the submarines carried clear Freudian symbolism. “For Madsen, the submarine is like a womb, a place of regression, where he can withdraw and protect himself against the world of failures and betrayals,” Bo Møhl, a professor of clinical psychology at Aalborg University, said. “He’s in another element, in which he is omnipotent. He can breathe underwater. All his needs are satisfied.”

Madsen liked to take women out in his submarines—and his fame gave him plenty to choose from. His pattern, the court learned, was to have a regular girlfriend (and later, at the time of Wall’s murder, a wife) and seek out “crazy ladies” on the side. Former lovers and friends told of how he would sometimes appear at fetish parties in a naval uniform and cap, scouting for women with whom to experiment sexually. He began to stage his fantasies, seeking out porn stars and, according to one witness, acting in two porn films, one shot in Denmark and the other in Germany. He loaned two submarines to the producers of “Thunderpussy,” a porn film from 2007 about a woman running amok with a libido-unleashing drug. Most significant, he had also—as far back as 2010, but possibly long before—been downloading videos of women being tortured and killed.

The prosecution argued that Madsen may have been actively planning to shoot his own snuff video when he invited Wall to visit his submarine on August 10th: on July 26th, he’d carried out Internet searches for “executions” and “dismemberment,” and, on August 4th, he exchanged texts with a friend and former lover who had asked him to “scare” her, writing that he would take out his utility knife and check out her jugular, and that he wanted to tie her up and “impale her on a roasting spit.” The night before he murdered Wall, he ran Internet searches for “beheading,” “girl,” and “agony.”

Some of the videos and animations of the torture and beheadings of women that the police found on Madsen’s hard drives were shown during the trial, including footage of what were purportedly Mexican-cartel members slitting a woman’s throat. It is not illegal to download death porn in Denmark, or to have it on your computer, so Madsen was not breaking any law. Wall’s parents, the public, and the press were not subjected to the screen images of what the police believe is a real snuff movie, but the judges watched them with the audio on. The sounds of a tortured woman’s cries turned the austere, neoclassical courtroom into a death chamber for several minutes, reducing some to tears. When the presiding judge called for a recess, and then asked the prosecutor to spare the court any further evidence from Madsen’s hard drives, the relief in the courtroom was palpable.

In Denmark, a life sentence averages sixteen to seventeen years, but Madsen can theoretically be released on parole after twelve years. His defense lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, says Madsen is appealing his sentence to the Eastern High Court, but, because a mental assessment by the Danish Medico-Legal Council has deemed Madsen a narcissistic psychopath who poses a “severe threat to others,” he will remain in prison until the judgment. Madsen, who spent much of his adult life building womblike capsules, will now inhabit another closed environment: a cell.

If, as the prosecution suggested during the trial, Madsen’s intention was to make a snuff movie starring Kim Wall, then she is, for now, the most high-profile victim of a sick genre. As long as there are humans such as Madsen with deadly fantasies, innocent people will be tortured, mutilated, and murdered, and there will be a tiny, repulsive corner of the porn world dedicated to serving their needs.

Anne Mette Lundtofte, in The New Yorker