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Jan 26 2007

And now, the good news

Perhaps you’ll recall the LA Times story from last summer wherein journalist Claire Hoffman recounts the physical and verbal abuse she endured while interviewing repulsive “Girls Gone Wild” slimebag pornographer Joe Francis. Hoffman’s story begins thusly:

“Joe Francis [...] has my face pressed against the hood of a car, my arms twisted hard behind my back. He’s pushing himself against me, shouting: ‘This is what they did to me in Panama City!’”

If your constitution is sound, read the whole thing for colorful background information on Francis and his roving band of camera-wielding rapist minions here.

So what’s the good news, you ask? Blamer Liz Ladd of Bloomington Indiana has, with the help of other community activists, actually succeeded in shutting down a Girls Gone Wild event in her town. Here is her report, received via email this morning at Twisty HQ :

Hi Twisty,

A week or so ago, I noticed that Girls Gone Wild, the problems I have with which I’m sure you can surmise, was coming to my town. I didn’t suppose that I could shut the event down altogether, but I thought I could at least warn some people that the folks they’d be taking off their clothes for were rapists. So I started raising awareness in my own little way: started a facebook page and a myspace group, handed out small flyers letting people know about the rape allegations, labor issues of making porn this way, and such. Lo and behold, there were other forces at work, and better activists than me succeeded in getting the whole shebang CANCELED by, in a genius move, threatening to acquire the video taped the night of the event and show it at the board meeting at which the bar’s liquor license would be up for renewal. No manager wants to go to the trouble of making sure that everything stays legal that night, and he summarily did the “right thing” and canceled the event. ANYONE can do this in any town, no? I’ve switched over my facebook and myspace pages to telling people about this strategy.

Read a student newspaper account of Liz’s triumph here.

Here is Liz’s ‘Fuck Girls Gone Wild’ MySpace page, here’s the Facebook edition, and here’s a Livejournal entry with a sample email petition and a list of upcoming Girls Gone Wild tour dates that are crying out for intervention.

This, young onions, is what blaming is all about. Can we get a hell yeah.

37 comments

1 ping

  1. Sarahnade

    Had to de-lurk to say that this news fills me with the warmest of warm fuzzies.

    Consider this my hell yeah!

  2. Liz

    Twisty, you’re too kind. One minor detail: I am a resident of Bloomington, Indiana, which is so similar to Bloomington, Illinois, that I occasionally fill out my own return address incorrectly.

  3. whyme63

    Hell Yeah, Liz! Way to hold to use accountablility to advantage. This isn’t just blaming, this is taking to task.

  4. Twisty

    “I am a resident of Bloomington, Indiana”

    Fixed. I am, of course, an ass.

  5. vera

    Inspiring! Thank you, Liz.

  6. Pony

    I’m happy to report that when GGW came to my area of Canada it was a non-event. The bus they chartered was falling down dilapitated, painted or should I say plastered in a revolting thick coat of blobby pink paint that had dried while still running down the sides of the bus, with a hand lettered white pressboard sign attached to its roof. It was parked on the industrial side of the tracks near a default-for-type used car lot. Apparently almost no-one showed up. Lest this comfort you, the local tits R Us bar does something similar but Joe unbranded damn near every weekend. One weekend it was a special night for graduating nurses to show their assets.

    Here’s a hell yeah for Liz, and for the people who threatened to take the GGW video to council. Brilliant move.

  7. Victoria Marinelli

    Hot weasels!

    Joe Francis truly haunts my nightmares. Probably, this would happen to me less often if I stopped falling asleep during the final segments of The Daily Show. I hate that Comedy Central gets so many of its middle-of-the-night advertising dollars from the GGW infomercials.

  8. SusanM

    Francis is getting his ass handed to him in court, too:

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-girls23jan23,1,2036137.story

    All quite excellent. Great job, Liz!

  9. B. Dagger Lee

    That’s Ur-Blaming! That’s Cockblocking!

    yrs, BDL

  10. Jess2

    Hell yeah! Now I can go forth happily into my weekend :-)

  11. ding

    hell yeah!
    (but dammit – this is what i get for not being regular with patriarchy blaming. they’re coming to chicago tomorrow! i’m too late!)

  12. Johanna

    Delurks to say HURRAH!

  13. Pony

    Ok. Good. For a start, but not enough. This was sexual assault, many times over. Can you picture what would happen if he hadn’t paid probably twice the amount of the fine to his lawyers?

  14. kate

    It would be so nice to hear him meet resistance at every stop, to hear him bankrupted by the cost of defending himself in court and a reduction in the sale and production of the videos.

  15. Joanna

    Inspirational!

  16. Rei

    Way to go, Liz. You’re my hero this weekend.

  17. Niki

    This is great news!

    However, I won’t rest until Joe Francis is in jail and his minions (i.e. the ‘Guys With Cameras’ who lurk around dance clubs/parties/bars waiting to assault drunk chicks) are being similarly dealt with. Which, unfortunately, means I ain’t getting no sleep anytime soon.

    Thanks for the uplifting news, though! It demonstrates that there are many more women out there who *want* to make changes but may be too cowed to speak out, who can gain courage and strength from someone willing to put their foot out first in order to trip the Patriarchy. Serious w00t.

  18. Rei

    Yikes! According to the livejournal, it’s coming to Chicago tomorrow. If only it was a week ago.

    I can’t seem to figure out where the Chicago event is. That’s probably because I’m scared to look at the official GGW site. There’s the visual trauma, and the fear that it will enbotulate my computer. Any braver blamers?

  19. Sara

    Rock on, Liz!

  20. yankee transplant

    Hell yeah! Liz rocks!

  21. Matt

    The Chicago event is at the charmingly-named “Hogs & Honey’s” at 9:00 am (!). Exercise for the reader: Is there any context in which that name can be considered grammatical?

    I’ll come back for my thanks later, after I’ve plucked the neon MySpace shrapnel out of my eyes.

    You can see if the bus is going to hit your town by going here:

    http://www.myspace.com/girlsgonewild

    …which entices:
    “Fellas, I know you would like to see GGW roll into your town! Show us the way us the way to the parties and the hotties will follow.”

    woo!

  22. roamaround

    Liz Ladd is my hero! Fabulous work! As for the “Hogs and Honeys” (ick!) Chicago event, I’m sure the activist left here will be out in droves protesting, just as they show up faithfully to counter-protest the anti-choice demos….not.

    Sorry for the feeble attempt at sarcasm, but I’m at a loss. One brave woman can do a lot, but it helps to have a critical mass and experienced activists, as Liz found out. Is it totally hopeless to try to get the left to do anything about women’s oppression?

  23. mearl

    woot woot woot! Liz rocks harder than JOURNEY, man!

  24. Rei

    Thanks Matt, you are a good soldier.

    9am? That HAS to be a typo. I can’t get up that early on a Saturday to go to the gym, let alone be filmed by serial rapists.

    However, Hogs and Honeys is close to my gym, so I can at least see if the time is wrong when I go to my 11:30 class. Any Chicago blamers want to meet for fortifying lattes? My skin is crawling in anticipation.

    I’m not in the target filming demographic (five years too old, twenty pounds too fat, and I’ve had real orgasms), but the prospect of being around those people scares me. I’m not sure my rage is stronger than my fear.

  25. RGM

    Fantastic work, Liz, you’ve done something that is inspirational to many.

    I’d be more than a smidge happy to see that asshole in jail.

  26. arse poetica

    Heyull yeah! Rock on, Liz!

  27. beaner

    They’re descending on my hubby’s hometown next. Glad I caught this post in time to suss out the Texas liquor laws and whip up some support among the locals. I will let you know how it goes. Liz, thanks for the inspiration, and Twisty, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  28. Twisty

    By all means keep us posted, beaner. Anxious blamers await your report.

  29. robin andrea

    This is such good news, really the very best of the day. I agree with the previous commenter about how really horrible it is to watch The Colbert Report and have that sleazy, anti-woman shit on the screen. Maybe a few emails to the producers of that show could spin a few heads. Congrats to the Liz for great activism!

  30. Sylvanite

    “Hogs and Honey’s”? Please, please, please let that be a reference to Harley Davidson motorcycles. I’m at work, and don’t exactly want to try to go to the places that would allow me to find out. I can hear my computer shouting “Access Denied!” already. Of course, I would thank my computer network’s WebMarshall for protecting my delicate, innocent eyes, I’m sure. Yeesh!

  31. PS

    Question: how did the blamer above find out what bar GGW was planning to hit? Having the name of the city is critical but having the name of the bar is important, too.

    Regarding GGW ads on tv – I don’t watch much TV but last summer was staying at a friend’s house for a month. He watches a lot of TV and I watched some while staying there. One night I stayed up late watching by myself and the GGW ads kept coming on. It literally made me cry, I just sobbed, at the whole wretched process and the pornified culture. So it’s helpful to my heart to see resistance. To complain to Comedy Central about their advertisements, go here:

    http://www.comedycentral.com/help/questionsCC.jhtml

  32. nap

    Heyo. Delurking for a fat huzzah!

    Also to tell (hopefully short) tale regarding GGW’s utter flop of a visit to Montgomery, Alabama kinda late last year. I meant to make a page about how we fuxxed with their program, what worked, what didn’t, but alas…I lag. Unlike our current anti-GGW heroine!

    We found out the local cool gay bar was going to be hosting the bus. So a whole bunch of us called and let them know that as much as we like the establishment, we’d never patronize it again. They didn’t care and proceeded with plans.

    An emissary met with the owners (two middle-aged men) where they said all kinds of truly hateful things about women (which their lesbian clientele should know all about). They are gay, misogynist rednecks. They didn’t care about our protests and proceeded with plans.

    A local nonprofit agency that spent a lot of money at their restaurant (one door down from the bar) sent a message that they would not be frequenting the place anymore. So say goodbye to a lot of money. …Proceeding with plans…

    Calls were made to the police department warning of our concerns and the problems law enforcement had previously encountered with these hideous, foul, fuxheads. A physical investigation of the premises resulted in a temporary hold on their liquor license because the owners had two separate establishments on one license. They had to bust a hole through their very pretty wall. …and Proceeded with plans…

    Ok. This isn’t short. I’ll summarize and close.

    We protested outside, handing out VERY EXCELLENT fliers that we’d be happy to share. Don’t tape them to the parking meters even though it looks like a good idea. (ahem) It makes the cops mad at you, and you want them mad at the jerks in the bus.

    Hardly anyone showed up. No one wanted to get on the bus but two people who didn’t really fit the bill for what the GGW dudes were after. It pretty much had to be a bust for all.

    The bar has lost out on tons of customers and revenue. They’ve even tried to send emails saying “please come back” but no apology and fuck them anyway. So if you come to Montgomery, AL – don’t go to Noble’s or the Olive Room.

    More to say but this is too long. Sorry y’all. Hope you find something worthwhile here. I hate GGW and all they’re about. Fuck ‘em up.

  33. Rei

    Dear PS-

    Jan 31 2007 9:00P Denton, TX @ Rockin Rodeo
    Jan 31 2007 9:00P Dover, DE @ The Ice lounge
    Feb 1 2007 9:00P Waterbury, CT @ Jennifer’s
    Feb 2 2007 9:00P New Haven, CT @ R Bar
    Feb 3 2007 9:00P Hot Springs, AR @ Boogie’s
    Feb 7 2007 9:00P Ontario, OH @ The Whiskey Ranch
    Feb 8 2007 9:00P Elyria, Oh @ The Whiskey Ranch
    Feb 10 2007 9:00P Nanuet, NY @ Liquid Ice Nightclub
    Feb 16 2007 9:00A New Orleans, LA @ Papa Joe’s
    Feb 16 2007 9:00P Lincoln, NE @ Playmakers
    Feb 17 2007 9:00P New Orleans, LA @ Papa Joe’s
    Feb 20 2007 9:00P Mobile, AL @ Seven

    The webpage that lists these dates is myspace /girlsgonewild

    Special Joe Francis appearances (for the ambitious blamer with a grudge) are 1/31/07 in Denton TX at the Rockin Rodeo, 2/1 at Purgatory in Dallas, TX, and 2/2 at The Other Side in Tulsa, OK. Times not specified.

  34. No Thanks

    Last I knew people who were accused were, also presumed innocent. I can’t understand how you can proclaim how terrible it is that an “innocent” woman has been found guilty, yet constantly talk about someone who has, as of yet not gone through the whole legal process, guilty. It seems to me that a double standard exists, whenever a man is accused he is instantly guilty, but a woman is obviously innocent of every charge that could possibly befall her. Really, I love the smell of hypocrisy, in the morning or at any time really.

  35. Vera Venom

    “It seems to me that a double standard exists, whenever a man is accused he is instantly guilty, but a woman is obviously innocent of every charge that could possibly befall her”

    It seems to me that an actual double standard exists, whenever a man is accused of rape he’s instantly innocent, but a woman who presses the rape charges is obviously “crying rape” and guilty of every charge of sexual indecency that could possibly be invented.

    You know what smell I don’t love -the stench of dudely rape apologetics.

  36. Rosie

    Ha ha hah…that sleazy fuck has finally gotten his comeuppance. Wah, poor Joey is having anxiety attacks in prison. I’m laughing with delight.

    “He can’t sleep. He hasn’t eaten properly. He’s prone to anxiety attacks. I know if it was me, I’d be cold and frustrated. Joe has been breaking down, and Joe Francis does not break down. He came back to his cell from a (lawyer) visit (this past week) and was told that he wouldn’t get his Xanax (anti-anxiety) pill because he’d missed the medication cart that day. He went into a full-blown anxiety attack.”

    - Aaron Dyer, the laywer for embattled Girls Gone Wild creator Joe Francis, who has been held in a Florida jail without bond since April 10th

  37. Rosie

    Twisty, it looks like poor Joe is whining that he’s being “mistreated” in prison! Waaaaah! Good old schadenfreude. Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving specimen.

    http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h1HOAlj12Nb-LMpcMyku9Cl63ITwD8T3EBF00

    11/23/3007
    CHICKASHA, Okla. (AP) — The millionaire producer of the “Girls Gone Wild” video series has accused guards of abusing him during his brief stay at an Oklahoma jail, a newspaper reported Friday.

    Guards at the Grady County Law Enforcement Center denied Joe Francis food and blankets and threatened to strap him naked to a chair for 48 hours, Francis’ attorneys alleged last month in court papers seeking his release on bail in a Florida case, The Oklahoman reported.

    Francis, 34, was held at the jail from May 17 to June 4 while being moved from a Florida jail to a federal facility in Reno, Nev., where he is awaiting trial next year on a tax evasion charge.

    Grady County officials denied the accusations, telling the newspaper that guards never threatened to strap Francis to a chair, that Francis had an extra blanket he shouldn’t have had confiscated and that his transfer was delayed because his family had somehow found out when he was to have been moved, creating a potential security risk.

    “Mr. Francis was treated like every inmate that comes through the Grady County Law Enforcement Center,” jail administrator Shane Wyatt told the newspaper.

    Francis’ attorneys declined a request from the newspaper to discuss the allegations.

    Francis has made millions of dollars with the “Girls Gone Wild” videos, which feature young women in sexually provocative situations.

    He has been in jail since April, when he was cited for contempt after yelling at attorneys during mediation in a federal lawsuit brought by women who were underage when his production company filmed them in 2003.

    That lawsuit has since been settled, but Francis’ bond was revoked on criminal charges related to the 2003 filming when he was charged with having contraband — $700 and prescription anti-anxiety medication — in the Bay County jail.

    Federal officials then extradited him to Nevada to face tax evasion charges.

  1. Sexploiters Gone JailedWatch ‘07: Give’em Enough Rope Dept. at I Blame The Patriarchy

    [...] Readers will claw through the jungles of time, back to last January, when blamer Liz Ladd was victorious in her efforts to keep Francis and his traveling band of junior rapists out of her town. ________________________ * Note, in the Perez Hilton link, the use of the word “pussy’’ as an insult. Misogyny is so edgy. [...]

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