Buried Alive


Misogynistic Porn: Choice or Message? by pisaquaririse
February 16, 2008, 5:13 am
Filed under: Antibodies, gender pimps, rape extinction, WhatAboutMEEEE

(This post spirals off the last one.)

Okay, so here is the scene: you are in a porn debate-the usual characters ablaze- and someone says this:

“Yes, I agree there is misogynistic porn but not ALL of it is misogynistic.  I don’t agree with the stuff that’s abusive and exploitative…”

  (you gotta love the middle-grounders, usually showing up like omnipresent peace-keepers because they’ve found a way to be “nonextremists!”)

So here is what I need to know: is anyone else ever confused by this?   The “there’s good stuff and then there’s bad stuff” point (?).  And just try to getting out of them what actually constitutes the “bad stuff”:

“You know, that stuff that degrades women”

No, the question is” what acts, what scene, what scenarios–how do you *know* it is degrading to women?”

So the wishy-washer finally takes a stab (thinking of total-worst-thing-ever, the always-misogyinistic-porn-no-matter-how-you-slice-it): 

“Like, let’s say the guy pushed the girl down and beats her to a pulp and then calls her a whore and then holds her head down while he pushes a barbed dildo inside her mouth–while kicking her…then calls her a bitch…then he shoots her…”

(ummmm…??) ::::Silence::::: ensues as radfems momentarily accept the raised bar: now there are guns–even sex pozzes are a little surprised  (*note: someone somewhere, however, wants to know where they can find this remarkable wankage footage).  A few wan fence-jumpers comment “yeah, so not nice!”  (And for a split of a split-second we have this smokescreen of agreement–cue dream sequence: Radfems and sex pozzes dust off the old champange bottles…kumbai gets pushed on the 8 track…the smell of glory…

HA! jk!)

 Because hold on one minute! 

Long-time-lurker-Lucy-whose-about-to-make-her-first-comment-ever! just has to say something. You see, she’s been reading this thread, and she is a feminist too and she and her boyfriend did this very thing last night!  (She’s got the bullet wound to prove it!)  And you know what?

She *chooses* to do this.  She wakes up every morning as a free agent with no abuse history and all these options and she *chooses* this.  So now what beeetches??!

Welllllll “fuck!”  Nice while it lasted, right?

Because we can’t question this person and, invariably, this porn because there is now proof someone can *choose* this type of sexual exchange.  Aren’t we now diminishing this woman’s choice somehow?  Is it possible for a woman contribute to, or participate in, a misogynistic act that is simultaneously chosen *and* orgasmic (bc. thats.never.happened).

And you and I both know, it doesn’t matter how awful/unhealthy/misogynistic the porn sounds/seems we are talking about–there will *always* be someone to show up with their power play and choice mantras (talking about sex like it’s a fucking magic trick: Consent–now you see it, now you don’t! TaDa!) to defend it.  

 The point I am getting at is: What’s choice got to do with misogyny?  Seriously.  As far as I’m concerned the only porn I’m even willing to discuss is the stuff people have consented to/made a choice to do–anything else is rape/molestation footage and I’d prefer it be in the hands of the authorities.  Misogyny and choice are NOT trade-offs.  Misogyny is essentially a prejudice and can be be blatantly fricking obvious or as covert as a timid bigot. But it does not end or begin at choice. 

 So because I feel misogyny is more than just choice and that the two are not mutually exclusive it means I am saying misogynistic porn has to be determined from a *message* standpoint only.  We have to be willing to ask why people are doing what they are doing, what dynamic it relies on and how it got there in the first place.   It does NOT mean I am saying the actors have not exercised “choice” (fly fly away red-herring) But it *does mean* that I am, even indirectly, accusing a woman of engaging in a form of hate speech and, again indirectly, calling her choice a poor one. And shouldn’t I, all feminist-and-shiz, be so utterly blown-over that this woman made a *choice* that I cease discussion?

And my answer is no. 

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17 Comments so far
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Pisaquari, have I told you lately that I love you? 😀 This is great, you’ve just so neatly summed up exactly what always happens on so many threads when someone pops up talking about this “choice” that women make.

Having just recently disentangled myself from a thread like this on my own blog, and feeling a bit miserable about it because one of the popper-uppers took it upon herself to follow me to my new blog and carry on the argument there on a totally unrelated thread (how annoying, and just plain rude is that?!) – you have made me smile and made my day!!

And you’re right, just because a woman “chose” to be there (although I would question just how much free choice any woman has under patriarchy), doesn’t mean we all have to shut up about it because suddenly she’s right and the rest of us are wrong. “Choices” come in many guises, and I always think the “choice” to participate in any way in porn comes down to really no choice at all. It’s the men making the decisions, really, when it comes to porn.

Comment by Debs

Hilariously written post.

I agree with you. I don’t know how ALL feminism in general got so silenced by “choice”.

Comment by Mary Tracy9

There is something wonky about the comments on this thread. The comment, listed in the sidebar, by c does not show up in the thread.

Your post is a perfect example of one of the techniques successfully used to silence women for the past three hundred years.
Thank you for exposing it.

Comment by thebewilderness

Hey Debs, I’ve been following your own empornfullment scuffle and of course they are never pretty. I didn’t know this person had the nerve to trek the convo through your bloggular conversion (I guess you deleted that comment?).
The love is very much mutual. (congrats on ya new digs!)

“how ALL feminism in general got so silenced by “choice”.”

Starts with a P…
5 guesses. 😛

“There is something wonky about the comments on this thread. The comment, listed in the sidebar, by c does not show up in the thread”

Thank You! I am confused 50% of the time on this thing!! Sometimes I have to moderate the comments and then other times it just approves them for me. It doesn’t make any sense. Who is “c”?
It also re-formats my blog posts after I have written them. I will look up more tonight…
And you’re welcome!

Comment by pisaquaririse

(I guess you deleted that comment?).

Certainly did. I deleted so many comments from that thread I’m surprised it still makes any sense!

Comment by Debs

I love you, Pisaquairise. You say everything so well and make it all so clear.

I’m sick of this ‘choice’ bullshit. It merely serves to hide the violence of men towards women.
This is why the pornsick leftist ‘pro-feminist’ men get so aggressive and cowardly when we point it out. It threatens their pleasures, their perceived rights to women’s bodies. If they were feminist in any way they’d just shut the fuck up- ‘pro-feminists’ are meant to listen, not to abuse.

I think my comment has now gone rather OT just now… forgive me, I’m full of anger at the moment!

Laurelin
xxx

Comment by Laurelin

Actully I’d say you were rather *on* Laurelin. And fergooness sakes! Don’t hold back your anger here–not when every where else requires your silence.

Goddess-speed our anger! 🙂

Comment by pisaquaririse

Holy schiezen that post kicked arse.
Thankyou for that! How refreshing!

Comment by Lara

Welcome Lara!

“schiezen”

Sounds tasty and German.

Comment by pisaquaririse

But I really, really like it when my boyfriend spits in my face. And I love it when my boss stares at my boobs, or when strangers grab my ass on the train. It just means they really like me! It’s you feminists, with all your anti-harassment propaganda that are oppressing me! If only you’d learn how to be sexy like me, you’d learn to like all this stuff you call “abuse” and “harassment.”

Comment by xochitl

That is what really underlies it all, isn’t it? When self-esteem is based upon attractiveness to men, any critique of male sexual behaviour is seen as a swipe against those whose self-esteen requires it. It takes a long time to purge the ‘must-be-sexy’ requirement part of one’s self-esteem, as I know from bitter experience. As women gain approval from being sexually attractive and putting up with/ enjoying male dominant behaviour, it is easier to just accept those pitiful rewards than to question it.

the automatic blanking of radfem views on beauty culture and harmful sexual practices by supposed feminists really irritates me. yes, it’s hard, and can be very painful to contemplate, but it is intellectually dishonest not to do so. Likewise, I feel do straight feminists (myself included) are all too ready to react with anger and disingenuous hurt feelings when lesbian feminists question hetrosexuality, and point to the rewards one gains for being heterosexual. It is hard to listen to, but we must do so. Just because it gives our heteronormative worldview a bit of a shake, because we are automatically hurt by it, is no excuse for ignoring these issues.

Did that make sense, or was I waffling?

Comment by Laurelin

“It takes a long time to purge the ‘must-be-sexy’ requirement part of one’s self-esteem, as I know from bitter experience.”

Ooops, the tyranny of bad wording. I didn’t mean to suggest that I have succesfully shaken off all remnants of must-be-sexy- I am nowhere fucking near that point. It’s an uphill stuggle, but ultimately good for the health.

Comment by Laurelin

“It’s you feminists, with all your anti-harassment propaganda that are oppressing me!”

It’s terrible xochitl! Radfeminazi’s don’t even like it when I *play like rape*–what next? Anti-*death*? Just WHOOOO do they think they are??

Yep to the YepYep Laurelin. I’ve been brainstorming a second anti-sexy post that more specifically addresses sexy as a means to construct our self-esteem. You’ve hit on a lot of the main points.
And of course it won’t make people *feel happy*–especially if sexy is how someone largely *feels happy*. (No one wants to admit they are pawns–so we get accused of being anti-happy/oppressive people. Blahblahblah)

Comment by pisaquaririse

I found this blog through Renegade Evolution, and I posted this comment on her blog, too… figured I should post it here, since I am replying to you. Sincere apologies for crossposting:

My thoughts on this–

So here is what I need to know: is anyone else ever confused by this? The “there’s good stuff and then there’s bad stuff” point (?). And just try to getting out of them what actually constitutes the “bad stuff”:

“You know, that stuff that degrades women”

No, the question is” what acts, what scene, what scenarios–how do you *know* it is degrading to women?”

For me, “degrading to women” always referred to something that appeared (or was presented as) non-consensual or painful. Simple fucking, sucking, consensual SM, blah, I don’t really see the big deal. I once saw a rather amusing 50-cent beaver-loop (as they were then called–these were shown in booths in dingy places in big cities until the advent of the net) titled DIANE’S DUNGEON, for instance, which was not too believable, much less offensive. I saw a porn movie about a woman seducing the UPS man, etc. I can’t get too worked up about that kind of thing, which isn’t much more than modeling-with-blow-jobs-added.

When I’ve seen movies that really did look like rape, I’ve been alarmed. I’m thinking of one in particular, and a couple in which the girls looked way too young for my comfort. These girls didn’t look like accomplished actresses–they were scared and seemed to be experiencing pain, and someone filmed it. To me, this is a main reason why we need to support actual performers, and ferret out that kind of underground stuff. The early anti-porn slideshows mixed underground stuff (underage Mexican runaways, looked to be about 13 or 14, hardly any boobs yet) with “real” porn, made by experienced porn producers and performers. It all got mixed up in certain naive feminists’ minds as indistinguishable, as indeed, it was presented as all part of the same Evil Industry.

Of course, if they had sought out actual sex workers to talk to about these slideshows, they could have told them that.

Comment by Daisy

Welcome Daisy! (I believe the post RenEv used of mine– and what you commented to on her site–was not this post. Reference note).

“For me, “degrading to women” always referred to something that appeared (or was presented as) non-consensual or painful.”

-I would agree with this.
-In using the examples you listed I am confused about this one: “consensual SM”
SM is sort of general but wouldn’t you say still a power play that messes with the *appearance* of equality/egalitarian sex. Even if everyone is all smiles. Perhaps that does not bother you?

“To me, this is a main reason why we need to support actual performers, and ferret out that kind of underground stuff.”
“…with “real” porn, made by experienced porn producers and performers.”

I am not against the safety and protection of performers (even if I don’t like their industry).

Here is a question I have using your last passage: are you under the impression that “real” sex workers (by “real” I’m assuming you mean those who actually consented ot the job) never consent/chose to be in porn/sex work that does not *appear* consensual?

Comment by pisaquaririse

“For me, “degrading to women” always referred to something that appeared (or was presented as) non-consensual or painful. ”

Daisy,
Reality is not dependent upon your perception of it. Or, to put it another way, your ability to judge another persons consent, or lack of same, as well as their pain, is questionable at best. Although your assumption that you can do so does seem to provide for your comfort.
There are dictionaries, on line and irl, where you can discover that that word, degrade, does not mean what you think it means.

Comment by thebewilderness

This is an excellent post. I really appreciate it. Wow, nice stuff! I’m SO SICK of trying to discuss something on a radical feminist blog (say, like porn or BDSM or something) and having people say stuff like “well, I’m a feminist, and I LIKE being whipped, so you are just being such a judgmental feminist, thinking you are holier-than-thou” If I like being whipped, and it turns me on, then how DARE you judge me????!!!!!!!!”

Crap. So sick of it, sheesh! At this point I really can’t keep a grip on my rage. It’s like if, in every single conversation about rape, some feminist pipes in to say “well, during MY rape I experienced arousal, so not ALL rape is bad.” HUH? WTF? What does that have to do with rape?

God I’m sick to death of it. People getting sooo defensive. Guess what? When I get defensive, that means there is something I don’t want to look at! Like when older and more awesome radfems say stuff about hetero sex that makes me go “gahhh!” Instead of “proving them wrong” or telling them “wahhh, stop judging me!” – I realize that my defensiveness means I need to LISTEN to them, even though it’s painful. I don’t know why this is so hard.

All I know is that I’m sick to death of arguing with other feminists about porn and S/M and stuff that is so clearly and obviously all about power/oppression/women-hating and other f’d up stuff.

I don’t know if this made much sense, but what you wrote made a LOT of sense and I thank you for writing it!

Comment by buggle




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