A Tale of Two Academics
Blogger David Friedman flits along to a seminar to hear economics professor Todd D Kendall present a paper. The paper is called “Pornography, Rape, and the Internet.” Friedman reports back that the paper purports, among other unlikely novelties, to support the hypothesis that teenage boys ‘benefit’ from internet porn. This benefit seems to accrue in the shape of less jail time for rape, those lucky boys. Friedman appears to be under the impression that if you ask Todd D Kendall — whose gift to Western civilization was to analyze data concerning internet porn availability and rape arrests in specific locations — he’d tell you that increased access to internet porn decreases the number of rape complaints where the perps are between the ages of 15 and 19. Surmises Kendall, cheap and ubiquitous internet porn keeps the nation’s young ne’er-do-wells smacking off in front of their computers where they belong, rather than running the backstreets smacking bitches around.
Kendall’s paper is long and tedious and full of wobbly ‘facts’, and life is short, but before I cried uncle I did notice that he sees fit to include a paragraph wherein he wisely declines to actually endorse internet porn, since it (the porn) might have “other deleterious effects besides rape, both on the consumer and on society.”
Geeze, Todd, ya think?
Would it be very tiresome of me to complain once again that I am (a) less than devastated by the ‘deleterious effects’ on the bleary-eyed internet porn ‘consumer’, and (b) dumbstruck by the urgency with which dudes yearn to perpetuate the legitimization of porn? The latter is a goal toward which an enormous branch of patriarchal ‘scholarship’, word, and deed is devoted, since it can be accomplished only when culture manages to fully dehumanize women.
Dehumanizing women may seem to us like a walk in the park, since none of us is alive who has ever met a fully actualized female human, but in actuality it is no mean feat. In fact, maintaining women’s status as the sex class requires round-the-clock surveillance, brutality, and male honky legislation, because the truth is, the case for women’s actual humanity is pretty iron-clad to even the partially enlightened mind, and every now and then one of us breaks away from the Stepford pack and shakes a humorless hairy frigid fist in support of that truth*.
One of the greasiest stains on this chicks-are-bots agenda is the tendency to gloss over the fact that the women in these porn flicks actually exist, and that they’re actually getting fucked. And by “fucked” I mean fucked. Take the second of today’s entrants from the Study Institute, Todd L Kendall, Ph.D. Todd L Kendall, Ph.D professes economics at Clemson. He has authored another paper on ‘misbehaving’ celebrity basketball stars, so I assume he enjoys men’s basketball (arguably not one of human endeavor’s less misogynist professions). Social policy that might mitigate women’s oppression is not Kendall’s field. One can expect his approach to our topic to be coolly academic, and it is: his concerns are the economics of internet porn, how demand for it drives the development of the internet to ever more dizzying heights of jizzed-out glory, how interesting are its ramifications on criminal behavior.
Where Kendall’s mind is a kind of pornonuclear winter, our first representative, the aforementioned David Friedman, appears to live in a red satin wonderland — or at least to be wholly unacquainted with the physical mechanics of videography — when he calls porn “imaginary sex.” I guess he thinks the women in those videos are chimerical illusions made of faerie duste and Astroglide, and the directors are snuggled up in bed dreaming onto videotape with tube socks on their dicks.
Porn’s relationship to rape is chicken-or-the-egg stuff, an asinine, pointless question. Because rape is rape, whether it’s on your computer or in your low-ego-emissions Jetta sedan.
* Don’t nobody like to see that fist. For instance, the honky male liberals smack the fist back down, telling us to shave it, or that we’re just not getting the joke, or that they’ll get around to abortion rights just as soon as they take care of A, B, and C, or that we’re just not in touch with their — I mean our — sexuality.