Category Archives: There’s no such thing as ‘feminist porn’ (or, ‘what about queer/gay/alt/’ethical’ porn?’)

Kitty Stryker thinks women should die for saying ‘no’ to men

Previous posts here, here, and here.

H/t to Appropriately Inappropriate for her reblog of the tweet.

Kitty Stryker is a phoney and a fake radical who has co-opted the language of radical feminism, and shills for the sex industry while providing a fig-leaf for the BDSM ‘community’.

On twitter a few days ago, she said “I swear to god I wish we could just put the TERFs and Nazis on a goddamn boat together and send them into the sea.”

When someone else added “or we could put them in concentration camps? Maybe before they went into ovens? Lol” Stryker merely complained that that was “in bad taste”.

kitty-stryker_concentration-camps

Sryker has changed her twitter handle to “Punch Nazis”, and added a later tweet about ‘terfs’ drowning, so it’s clear she has no problem with violence against women, when they are women she disagrees with politically.

kitty-stryker_concentration-camps-02

This isn’t the first time Stryker has demonstrated that she sees women she doesn’t like as not fully human, in this tweet I screen capped a while back, we can see her wondering if radical feminists are actually real people, the ‘kill all terfs’ rhetoric follows on easily.

KS tweet 04

Stryker is also an intellectual coward, who ran away from conversations on this blog she wasn’t winning, and now won’t even engage, but she does keep an eye on me, as she tweeted about my previous post more than once.

Here’s a clue for you Stryker, ‘terfs’ don’t exist, there are no ‘terf’ organisations, there are no ‘terf’ leaders, there are no women calling themselves ‘terfs’ except ironically, it’s a term trans activists made up in order to intimidate women into unquestioning silence and obedience.

Stryker also likes lying about the Nordic (Abolitionist) Model, claiming that it made it easier for the police to arrest her – tell me Stryker, how does decriminalising ‘sex workers’ make it easier for the police to arrest them?

She’s doing this still, implying that under the Nordic Model, the police are more dangerous to ‘sex workers’, deliberately and cynically obscuring the fact that the Nordic Model means decriminalising the prostitute her (or him) self.

[EDIT 19/Feb/17: If decriminalising ‘sex workers’ under the Nordic Model doesn’t make the police ‘safe’, then how will decriminalising the whole of the sex industry make the police ‘safe’?]

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The first loyalty of sex industry advocates is to the sex industry itself, always.

QotD: “How Orgasm Politics Has Hijacked the Women’s Movement”

How Orgasm Politics Has Hijacked the Women’s Movement, by Sheila Jeffreys

In the late 1960s and early ’70s, it was widely believed that the sexual revolution, by freeing up sexual energy, would make everyone free. I remember Maurice Girodias, whose Olympia Press in Paris published Story of O, saying that the solution to repressive political regimes was to post pornography through every letterbox. Better orgasms, proclaimed Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich, would create the revolution. In those heady days, many feminists believed that the sexual revolution was intimately linked to women’s liberation, and they wrote about how powerful orgasms would bring women power.

Dell Williams is quoted in Ms. as having set up a sex shop in 1974 with precisely this idea, to sell sex toys to women: “I wanted to turn women into powerful sexual beings…. I had a vision that orgasmic women could transform the world.”

Ever since the ’60s, sexologists, sexual liberals, and sex-industry entrepreneurs have sought to discuss sex as if it were entirely separate from sexual violence and had no connection with the oppression of women. Feminist theorists and anti-violence activists, meanwhile, have learned to look at sex politically. We have seen that male ownership of women’s bodies, sexually and reproductively, provides the very foundation of male supremacy, and that oppression in and through sexuality differentiates the oppression of women from that of other groups.

If we are to have any chance of liberating women from the fear and reality of sexual abuse, feminist discussion of sexuality must integrate all that we can understand about sexual violence into the way we think about sex. But these days feminist conferences have separate workshops, in different parts of the building, on how to increase sexual “pleasure” and on how to survive sexual violence — as if these phenomena could be put into separate boxes. Women calling themselves feminists now argue that prostitution can be good for women, to express their “sexuality” and make empowering life choices. Others promote the practices and products of the sex industry to women to make a profit, in the form of lesbian striptease and the paraphernalia of sadomasochism. There are now whole areas of the women’s, lesbian, and gay communities where any critical analysis of sexual practice is treated as sacrilege, stigmatized as “political correctness.” Freedom is represented as the achievement of bigger and better orgasms by any means possible, including slave auctions, use of prostituted women and men, and forms of permanent physical damage such as branding. Traditional forms of male-supremacist sexuality based on dominance and submission and the exploitation and objectification of a slave class of women are being celebrated for their arousing and “transgressive” possibilities.

Well, the pornography is in the letterboxes, and the machinery for more and more powerful orgasms is readily available through the good offices of the international sex industry. And in the name of women’s liberation, many feminists today are promoting sexual practices that — far from revolutionizing and transforming the world — are deeply implicated in the practices of the brothel and of pornography.

How could this have happened? How could the women’s revolution have become so completely short-circuited? I suggest that there are four reasons.

Continue reading here

(I posted this back in 2012, but I think it could do with a re-read)

QotD: “What Happens when Women are at the Helm?”

Abstract

Pornography is a lucrative business. Increasingly, women have participated in both its production, direction, and consumption. This study investigated how the content in popular pornographic videos created by female directors differs from that of their male counterparts. We conducted a quantitative analysis of 122 randomly selected scenes from 44 top-renting adult videos in 2005 (half male- and half female-directed). Findings revealed that all films shared similar depictions: Verbal and physical aggression was common, women were the primary targets of aggression, and negative responses to aggression were extremely rare. Compared to male-directed films, female-directed films were significantly more likely to portray women-only scenes and sexual acts. Even when controlling for main characters’ gender, female-directed films showed significantly more female perpetrators aggressing against female targets and significantly more depictions of women as perpetrators of aggression. We highlight the importance of economic forces, rather than director gender, in dictating the content of popular pornography.

A Comparison of Male and Female Directors in Popular Pornography: What Happens when Women are at the Helm?

Psychology of Women Quarterly 32(3):312 – 325 · August 2008

But what about gay porn?

disturbing gay rape porn real

disturbing gay rape porn real

QotD: “Female pornographer wins right to reinstate sadomasochism website”

I have covered already how the recent UK porn regulations are not ‘anti-woman’, and the acts it bans not ‘feminist’. Pandora Blake is not a ‘feminist pornographer’ she is a female pornographer, selfish-individualism while female is not feminism.

This is barely a victory for ‘free speech’, it proves nothing about porn being ‘speech’. Ofcom didn’t actually rule on whether or not the site’s contents counted as ‘harmful material’, just whether it was the type of site that fell under the regulations. It’s about a regulatory body acting outside of it’s remit, it’s a technical victory only.

A [female] pornographer has hailed a victory for freedom of expression after she won her appeal against an order that had forced her to take down a sadomasochism fetish website

Pandora Blake, from London, said she believed she was targeted by the Authority for Television on Demand (Atvod) watchdog because she spoke out publicly against rules on porn deemed “harmful to minors”.

Now, after Ofcom ruled that Blake’s website, dreamsofspanking.com, did not fall under Atvod’s remit, she is free to reinstate its content. “Now I’ve won my appeal I feel vindicated,” she said. “The war against intrusive and oppressive state censorship isn’t over but this decision is a landmark victory for [porn], diversity and freedom of expression.”

“If you look at [Atvod’s] archive, the sites they were ruling against, a lot of them were run by women,” Blake said. “It did really feel like they were upholding a kind of patriarchal sexuality.”

Atvod, a quango which regulated video-on-demand websites, was stripped of its powers earlier this year. It had been widely criticised for acting against sites outside its remit and, after new rules were introduced in 2014 banning some sex acts in pornography, free speech campaigners also said it disproportionately acted against websites run by women.

Blake had been among those who spoke out publicly against the Audio Visual Media Services regulations (AVMS), which in 2014 banned the depiction of sex acts that were judged morally damaging or life-threatening, including face-sitting, female ejaculation and spanking that leaves marks. She appeared in panel discussions on Newsnight and Women’s Hour opposing the new rules.

She says she was placed under investigation by Atvod soon after. In August 2015, after a five-month inquiry, she was forced to censor her website, which Atvod ruled had breached rules in three areas: a failure to pay regulatory fees, a lack of effective age controls to restrict access to over-18s, and the broadcast of harmful material.

Atvod’s investigation into her work had been traumatic, Blake said. “Making porn was part of an act of self-acceptance for me, to say I’m not ashamed and to reach out to other people who share the same sort of fantasies,” she said. “As a result, the films that I was making did show very honestly the sort of play that I enjoy in real life, it does include quite heavy impact with things like belts and canes – always consensual, but it does leave welts and bruises that might take a few days to heal.”

In a ruling published on Monday, Ofcom decided in favour of dreamsofspanking.com. A spokesperson said: “Ofcom found that the site was not a video-on-demand service and therefore it was not subject to regulation. When regulated video-on-demand services break our rules, we take robust action to protect children.”

(source)

QotD: “What these responses have in common is that they’re derails”

When feminists critique pornography for its effect on women, its defenders cry “what about gay porn”? When feminists critique kink in terms of men getting off on hurting women, defenders cry “but female doms and same-sex couples!” What these responses have in common is that they’re derails. By focusing on the narrowness of the inquiry, by complaining about terminology, defenders are ignoring (or perhaps intentionally deflecting attention from) the core of the criticism: that women and girls are being harmed. We’re trying to talk about harm being done to women, and you want to complain that we failed to mention the times when they’re not? “Not all porn” and “not all kink” are exactly the same as “not all men”: an attempt to shift the conversation onto the people who aren’t being hurt so we can’t talk about the ones who are.

Official Weatherwax

QotD: “When it comes to buying access to other people’s bodies, experience shows that it’s a buyer’s market: those with the economic power set the terms”

Sometimes I wish I was better at maths, because there’s a diagram I really want to draw. Here are the two axes – up the side, need for item or service; across the bottom, responsibility for obtaining that item or service ethically. As your need for something increases, the ethical burden on how you obtain it diminishes.

This model would be useful for conceptualising the morality of, say, stealing a loaf because your child was hungry. Squatting in an empty house because you are homeless. Buying a battery chicken because it’s the only way you can afford to eat any meat.

Stranded on the wrong side of the line would be conflict diamonds, fur coats and setting yourself up as a bloodthirsty dictator in order to afford a gold toilet. In all of these cases, the need is non-existent, so the ethical obligations can never be met.

Where I find my imaginary graph most useful, however, is in deciding how to feel about services involving human – often female – bodies. This helpfully refocuses the question on to those with the economic power in any given situation, whereas too often (even among feminists), it is the conduct of the seller that’s under scrutiny.

Take sex work. It’s a term of abuse now­adays to say that a feminist is “sex-worker exclusionary”. It’s more interesting to ask, though, if buying sex is compatible with feminism. In the unbearable formulation of a million op-eds: Can You Be A Feminist And A Punter?

I would argue that it’s difficult, and that any moral imperative is on the buyer not to shop around to find the migrant sex worker or street prostitute with the lowest price, but instead to ensure that whoever they are paying for sex isn’t being coerced (physically or financially) into acts they would rather not perform.

The same goes for porn. I shudder to think of the number of guys who piously lecture me about feminism’s lack of attention to issues of class, then go home to get off on watching freelance workers with poor employment protection and terrible long-term career prospects carry out potentially dangerous physical labour. And most of them refuse even to pay for it.

Anyone on the left who pretends to care about ethics shouldn’t watch porn if they don’t know how it’s made. A few years ago, I spent an instructive few months reading porn actresses’ memoirs and learned – surprise! – that an industry run by older men and relying on a turnover of young women in need of quick cash is prone to extreme abuse.

[…]

The problem is that there is no pressure for the industry to be ethical, because sex, which is deemed to be a private matter, is involved. That is exactly the wrong way round; it should be particularly ethical because sex is involved.

Naturally, this puts a heavy burden on consumers. Until recently, progressives used to congratulate themselves for watching scenes featuring Stoya and James Deen, a couple in real life as well as on screen. And then, two months ago, Stoya accused Deen of raping her. (He denies those allegations, as well as accusations made by others in the industry.) It turns out if you want to watch ethical porn you have to work quite hard. But so what? You won’t die without it.

The latest point I’ve added mentally to my graph is surrogacy. On 5 March, an organisation called Families Through Surrogacy will be holding a conference in London. A news report in the lead-up to the event contained alarming language, speaking balefully of couples being “driven” to seek surrogates abroad to “commission a child”. This seems an oddly entitled way to refer to the use of someone else’s body.

Every year, up to 2,000 surrogate babies are born on behalf of British couples, 95 per cent of them to mothers ­overseas. That is because currently, in Britain, surrogacy is permitted only as a non-commercial relationship. This is firmly the way it should stay; informal agreements might be more difficult where a personal arrangement becomes messy, but surrogacy should be seen as a gift, not a service with a monetary value.

The rise of commercial surrogacy has led to women in developing countries such as India being encouraged to sign legally binding contracts that turn them into walking incubators. (The Sensible Surrogacy website offers women in Ukraine for $47,570 and those in Cambodia for $42,500; a “host” in the US will cost double that.) As women in the West leave childbearing until later in life – and struggle to conceive as a result – and as diminishing homophobia frees more gay men to have children, the demand for babies is sure to increase. And so there will be louder calls for the ban on commercial surrogacy to be overturned.

That is something the left should resist. When it comes to bodies, experience shows that it’s a buyer’s market: those with the economic power set the terms. I only wish I could capture that truth on a graph, too.

Helen Lewis

QotD: “The Pornography of Representation”

The fantasy of porn is not fully depicted, it is not identical with the ‘content’ of representation, it is to be completed by the active subject, the viewer-hero of the representation.

The pleasure is more fully realizable under the sole control of the subject, through the total objectification of the ‘object’

Kappeler, S. 1986, “Subjects, Objects and Equal Opportunities”, The Pornography of Representation, Polity Press, Cambridge, pp.48-60 (digital edition)

Found at The Colour of Pomegranates

QotD: “I think there’s a couple of problems or issues with ‘feminist porn’ and various reasons why it doesn’t live up to what it promises”

In the 60s, 70s and 80s the trend in the feminist movement was that it was largely anti-pornography, it was critical of pornography for various reasons…And starting in the 80s, 90s and basically since then the trend in the feminist movement has been more liberal, more accepting of pornography, sometimes even going to the extent of promoting pornography or being pro-porn. So ‘feminist porn’, as far as I’m aware, is a recent development and what it is, is that it is currently a niche within pornography where it’s directed usually by women who consider themselves feminists. It’s more oriented towards female pleasure, it typically has a female consumer in mind whereas mainstream pornography tends to have a male consumer in mind. There’s allegedly more emphasis on real pleasure, breaking down traditional gender roles, non-traditional sexuality, so more experimentation, more ‘female-friendly’ sexuality, if you will. And the reason why I put it in quotes is because I actually don’t think it delivers what it promises.

I think there’s a couple of problems or issues with ‘feminist porn’ and various reasons why it doesn’t live up to what it promises. One of the issues that I had when I was researching this was that I found that many of the people who call themselves feminist pornographers have ties with and often work within the mainstream industry, which is extremely exploitative, extremely abusive, [and] extremely sexist. So when I found that out that was already ringing bells in my mind or setting off red flags.

One of the other issues is that this very promising talk about breaking down gender roles and showing non-traditional sexuality, which means more ‘female-friendly’ sexuality and made with a female consumer in mind, [and] some of it may genuinely be made with a female consumer in mind but I don’t think that it is as new and subversive and edgy as it’s made out to be. Some of the titles that I have seen have been things like: ‘Submissive Slut’ or ‘Babes in Bondage 4’, things that you would really find in the mainstream industry, things that are frankly very sexist, very traditional, very male-dominated. I don’t see what’s new or radical about it.

And I don’t see a lot of people asking some of the more radical questions, like: What are the kinds of people that get into porn? Why do they get into it? What’s their background? Is it really just something that they do because they want to explore sexuality or is it because they don’t have other options? And if it’s that [the latter] then why don’t they have other options? And why are most of these people female?

And I don’t see a lot of people who are involved with this asking questions like: Does sex need to be a commodity? Does it need to be something that can be bought and sold on a market? Is buying sex from somebody else really something that we have a right to? Or is it just something that we’ve grown used to and something that we feel entitled to because of this male-dominated society that says certain things about sex?

There’s just various ways in which I don’t think feminist porn lives up to the promises that it makes.

Maya S

(found at Pomeranian Privilege)

QotD: “Porn industry groups cut ties to star James Deen amid sexual assault claims”

There has been plenty of radical feminist commentary on the whole James Deen thing already, but I would like to get my tuppence worth out there before I start quoting other people.

The whole thing shows up what a fraud the idea of ‘feminist porn’ or the idea that the sex industry can be ’empowering’ for women really is.

Deen’s porn performer victims were all supposedly ’empowered’ women in an industry that was supposed to be ‘centered’ around them, but none of them felt able to speak up on their own at the time.

This epitomises the difference between liberal ‘feminism’ and radical feminism; to be radical means to go to the root of the problem, liberal ‘feminists’ only want to mess around at the edges, which is why they were so keen to uncritically embrace Deen in the first place, even thought he has always been sketchy, and worked for BDSM company kink.com, which has a long history of abusive behaviour.

Now, Deen has been dropped by lib-fem media, and ‘progressive’ porn companies, the ‘bad apple’ has been cast out, and liberal pro-porn ‘feminists’ will pat themselves on the back and everything will carry on exactly the same as before, with no acknowledgement that there is anything fundamentally wrong with the status quo.

He has been called the Tom Cruise of porn: a performer who parlayed boy-next-door good looks into unlikely fame and success.

For almost a decade, James Deen – the onscreen name for Bryan Sevilla – has been a de facto ambassador for the adult entertainment industry, a global star feted as a compelling advocate for a controversial part of Hollywood. He appealed to young women; he supported breast cancer charities; he was even hailed as a feminist.

“He’s accessible and represents the democratisation of our culture,” said the writer Bret Easton Ellis in 2012, explaining why he cast Deen in a mainstream film, The Canyons. “He’s not some hot-blooded, super-tanned caveman pumping it – he’s a cute boy you could have gone to college with.”

On Monday, that image lay in tatters after three female former co-stars – Stoya, Tori Lux and Ashley Fires – publicly accused the 29-year-old of sexual assault.

He emphatically denied the allegations, but in the court of public opinion it made little difference: overnight, he had become a pariah.

As social media erupted, demanding his prosecution, industry players swiftly dropped a star who had been garlanded with multiple “porn Oscar” awards.

The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee said Deen had resigned as chairman of its board because the allegations represented a conflict between him and other members. “The APAC Board wants to state unequivocally that we stand with performers and other sex workers who are victims of any sort of sexual assault,” the group said in a statement.

The film company Kink.com said in a statement: “Effective immediately, Kink.com will cease all ties with James Deen, both as a performer and a producer.”

The women’s entertainment and lifestyle site The Frisky dropped Deen’s sex advice column, saying it was not going to to await proof and that it “believed women”.

With the spectre of possible further allegations, the porn industry seemed to be facing its own Bill Cosby moment: a prominent, influential star suddenly cast as a predator.

It remained unclear if the accusations would lead to a criminal investigation or charges.

Stoya, 29, a porn performer and writer who used to date Deen, initiated the furore on Saturday with a tweet:

Stoya

She followed up with another tweet: “James Deen held me down and fucked me while I said no, stop, used my safeword. I just can’t nod and smile when people bring him up anymore.”

The tweets prompted supportive hashtags, #solidaritywithstoya, #standwithstoya, and debate about the challenge sex workers can face in reporting sex crimes to police.

Deen responded on Sunday via Twitter, denying any wrongdoing in a series of tweets: “There have been some egregious claims made against me on social media. I want to assure my friends, fans and colleagues that these allegations are both false and defamatory. I respect women and I know and respect limits both professionally and privately.”

On Monday, two other former co-stars made separate allegations. In a personal account published in the Daily Beast, Lux said Deen assaulted her in 2011 after she had finished filming with another performer on the set of a film.

“I hadn’t even had time to dress myself when he said, with a smirk on his face, ‘Tori Lux, would you like to sniff my testicles?’”

She said he grabbed her by the throat, shoved her onto a mattress and slapped her five or six times. “He proceeded to straddle my chest, pinning down my arms with his knees. Then, he raised his hand high above his head, swinging it down and hitting me in the face and head with an open palm … Disoriented and nursing a sore jaw, I stood up – but before I could collect myself, he grabbed me by my hair and shoved me to my knees, forcing my face into his crotch several times.”

Fires told the Daily Beast in the same article that Deen almost raped her after she stepped out of a shower at a studio, pushing her against a sink and pressing himself against her before eventually heeding her protests.

Deen and Stoya did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Guardian on Monday.

The allegations polarised commenters on social media, with some lauding the three women for speaking out, and others querying their veracity, motives and timing.

In contrast to trade organisations, which rushed to sever ties with Deen, some individuals in the porn industry said he should not be convicted on social media.

Dan Leal, a veteran actor and producer, said: “I believe in the American judicial system. If there is any truth to the allegations, that is the best and proper way to handle them. Twitter is a social network.”

Whether or not the allegations lead to a criminal investigation, a big question mark now hangs over Deen’s career.

Born in Los Angeles to parents who were both engineers, Deen started working in porn in 2004, at the age of 18. Within a few years, he was winning awards, a devoted female following and mainstream media attention.

ABC’s flagship news programme Nightline featured him as “porn’s boy next door” in 2012. The magazine GOOD described him as the only option for women “interested in watching a young, heterosexual, nonrepulsive man engage in sex”.

As his fame spread around the world, he pledged to donate 50% of the sales from his website to breast cancer charities and talked of creating a porn app.

Deen’s casting opposite Lindsay Lohan in The Canyons, a film noir directed by Paul Schrader, the screenwriter of Taxi Driver, underlined his potential for crossover success, though critics panned the film.

In a 2012 interview with the Observer, he came across as an everyman, albeit a highly sexed one. “I don’t go to parties, get drunk and take cocaine. I’m just kinda … normal-ish.”

In other interviews, he said his frequent scenes involving rough sex were acting – fantasy role-playing. At times, however, he has also joked about sexual assault. In 2011 he tweeted: “Things I’ve learned … It’s not rape if you yell surprise and if you put enough bbq sauce on anything it will taste OK.”

(source)