Graphic from Radical Women
I attempted to participate in a thread over at Women's Space/Margins, only to have my comments censored. Heart does not tolerate any dissent from any feminists at her site. (Instead of "women's space"--perhaps it should be called "women who agree with Heart's space.") Thus, I will continue here.
Heart, at Margins, writes:
This is the first of a series of posts I plan to do illustrating the intentions of, and reasons for, pornography.To assume that all pornographers have the same intentions and reasons, is a little silly, doncha think?
If you mean analyze the sexism and misogyny in porn, that's something else again. Interestingly, I saw none of this in your post, just a blanket condemnation of all porn as "rape"--which any 14-year-old kid with internet access knows is simply not accurate.
I get thousands and thousands of spam comments day in, day out, almost all of them advertisements for porn. Right now there are something like 4,000-plus ”comments” — links to pornography, primarily – in my spam queue. Most of it is as vile as can be imagined."Vile"--meaning what, exactly? Vile is in the eye of the beholder. Do you mean violent? Say that, then, and be specific. Or is all porn "vile" to you, as I suspect? In which case, you are not in a place to discern which porn is "vile" and which is not.
I’m tired of talking to pro-pornography, pro-prostitution people, male or female, about pornography. I think I’m done with doing that.When have you had any comprehensive discussion of this kind? I have seen no discussion. TALKING TO, as in, you expect to preach like the fundamentalist you are, and have everyone LISTEN? As you should know, that leads nowhere. People do not appreciate or learn from preaching; they learn from interactive discussion. And this is something I have NEVER seen you engage in.
I am a radical feminist, profoundly skeptical of porn and prostitution, and you even censor me. Therefore, I doubt you've been able to have any kind of civil political discussion with people who are diametrically opposed to you, including women who are currently employed as sex workers.
Thus, when you say "pro-pornography, pro-prostitution"--you actually mean the women employed in these businesses. You have placed yourself above them, and have no interest in discussing the reality of their lives and reasons for their employment with THEM. You prefer to talk over their head, as a preacher discusses the sinners that must be converted.
Their opinion, and whether they WANT to be converted, is of no concern to you.
Discussions with those who are vested in this stuff — who make a living by way of it, who use it all the time, who sell it, who perform in it — remind me of discussions I used to have in my old world with religious fundamentalists who could not be separated from their ideological fixations, obsessions and dogmas by love, money, cogent debate, force, or any combination of the above.Funny you should say this, since I think you sound exactly like a fundie preacher, and IT'S NO ACCIDENT THE FUNDIES ALL AGREE WITH YOU 100% ABOUT THIS ISSUE.
The fundamentalists are too good to talk to the whores, and you are too. Like them, you simply believe you are smarter and morally superior to the women who actually do this work, and you don't have any reason to listen to anything THEY tell you. When they tell you what THEY believe would make their lives easier, you don't care. You know better than they do. You consider yourself superior in every way.
Otherwise, why not listen? Why not dialog? Why not grant these women the respect you grant the women on your site?
They stood ready to defend their beliefs — and that’s about it."Beliefs" are not tantamount to challenging someone's livelihood/job and ability to earn a living. You are the one who counsels sex workers that they should stop earning money this way, yet you propose no solutions for them. And that's about it.
They were pretty much incapable of even considering the possibility that they might have missed something, might not be seeing something, let alone that they might be wrong.FTR, I think sex work sounds terrible. I would not want to do it, or have my daughter do it. I would also not want to pick grapes or soybeans out in the fields, or work on an assembly line, as my father did. However, I do want the migrant workers and factory employees to have rights and unionization, whether I think they are exploited or not--in fact, PRIMARILY and PRECISELY for this reason--to prevent FURTHER exploitation.
Do you in fact agree that workers need unions and rights? Why are you making an exception for WOMEN, in this case? Why have you bought into the MALE definition of sex work as SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS rather than a business transaction?
It's men who fantasize about the sex-work-scenarios being "real"--surely you realize they are not? They are part of the job, just as a car salesman laughs at our dumb jokes in hopes we will buy one of his cars. But you seem to have a totally different standard for judging women's work, in this instance, and what has historically been men's work. Men's work is respected by you, and women's is not, unless it's sewing, childcare, knitting or canning fruit.
Unless sanctioned by the Church, in other words.
I always find it perplexing, the way the pro-porn side invokes the spectre of fundamentalism in its arguments or diatribes or propaganda. My experience is, if there are fundamentalists in this debate, they are on the pro-porn side.As I said, I agree with you that the business is nasty and exploitative to women. I agree it perpetrates misogyny. What I don't agree with is how you want to judge and punish women for their own oppression, therefore blaming the victim. You want to deny them all rights, reinforce their marginal legal status and you approve of the system that legally penalizes them.
You won't even listen to a radical feminist who disagrees with you, like me.
Umm, you can easily see why the "spectre of fundamentalism" is invoked, since you agree with the fundamentalists 100% about throwing hookers in the pokey? Don't you?
Aren't you the one who agrees with the fundamentalists that these women do not deserve Social Security benefits, Worker's comp, retirement, health insurance, and the other valuable rights gained by collective bargaining?
Aren't you the one who thinks these women aren't good enough to qualify for these rights, yet you are?
How is that different from a fundamentalist?
The 11 words at the top of the page tell us what pornography is about. It is about men forcing their bodies inside of and onto the bodies of women.So, the women being paid for this, are in all cases being forced? No.
Again, you prove by this statement that you do not listen to the words of sex workers. You proudly and arrogantly ignore what THEY SAY, and you place yourself above them. You know more than they do, like a good Church elder.
It is about men forcing women to do things they do not want to do.Even when they are paid and willingly want to enter this business?
Especially, the words communicate the interest men have in watching women being raped.It isn't actual rape, Heart. It's a fantasy story about rape, that some men enjoy. (There are also porn-fantasies involving the rape of men by women and other men, you realize?) Sex workers make money off of men's fantasies; that is in large part what sex work involves. But their fantasies are not real. Why are you endorsing male definitions of porn as "reality"?
We all know a woman is depicted in the film those 11 words advertise, but she is a dehumanized woman. She has no name; she is a generic “blonde,” a generic “whore.”Umm, you mean as in your previous paragraph: "those who are vested in this stuff — who make a living by way of it, who use it all the time, who sell it, who perform in it"--I see no names in that sentence, either. You invoke a generic sex worker, a generic whore.
If I am mistaken, how about you name some names of actual women? Or do you even know the names of any real-life sex workers you claim to care so much about?
Didn't think so.
The understanding and agreement between the maker and advertiser and the consumer of pornography is that nobody cares about the names, identities or lives of “blondes” or “whores” or any other woman being raped by men in pornography and nobody wants to know any of that.And when these sex workers attempt dialog and actually try to comment on your site, you won't allow it. You won't even allow a feminist who disagrees with you, on your site...you don't want to know any of that, either, since it contradicts your world-view.
The agreement is that the porn consumer should be free to order up a constellation of body parts and the pornographer should stand ready to provide them.Where is this "agreement" you speak of?
The agreement is the pornographer will provide images of rape and violence which humiliate and degrade already-dehumanized women whose names we do not know.Again, where is this "agreement" you speak of? Certainly, you HAVE seen soft-core porn with kisses, hugs and fervent I-love-you's interspersed with copulation? Why are you saying here that all porn is about humiliation, when anyone can turn on cable TV and see otherwise?
Do you think these disingenuous statements help your argument? How?
The agreement, especially, is that this will be sexually titillating and exciting to the consumer.Again, where is this "agreement"? What are you talking about?
This is what real men want to see: “blondes” and “whores” being raped. Available for cash, at the click of a link.Really? Because I have never seen you do this even once. Gotta link to a real discussion? You are a very influential feminist, and I have found many of your discussions all over the web; I have seen you fulminate, proclaim, preach, huff-and-puff-and-blow-the-house-down, but never DISCUSS in good faith.
Comments, as always will be moderated. Men and women may comment, so long as they are anti-pornography. At some point, as anti-pornography activists, we are going to have to work to provide some sort of public counterbalance to the weight of the pornographic garbage passing for “discussion” and “debate” which we, and millions of others, find suffocating and deadly.
In fact, this whole post of yours strikes me as one long MASTURBATORY exercise for you--proving that everyone has various ways of getting off, and this is yours, isn't it?