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Jun 07 2010

Science dudes declare porn good, support claim with Danish graphs, flawed reasoning

The extent to which dudes just don’t get it fucking blows my lobe.

While readin’ along over at the Scienceblogs, I encountered an essay entitled Just How Bad Is Porn, Anyway? Try to contain your surprise; it was authored by a dude.

Whenever I see a science dude begin to muse on the philosophic value of pornography, my lobe starts to tingle. What are the odds the guy can stop himself from making with the wink-wink/nudge-nudge? I immediately begin shuffling through my desk drawer for the blamehammer. It’s a foregone conclusion that I’ll be needing it in short order.

In the afore-referenced essay, Scienceblogger Jason G Goldman of The Thoughtful Animal, who files the piece under “Sexual Behavior and Mating,” takes it upon himself to summarize the findings of a few studies on the effects of pornography on human happiness. He does this in response to troubling news that an anti-porn group is convening in Boston to discuss an action plan for dismantling porn culture.

Weeeelll, it isn’t long before Goldman says

So clearly this is a complicated issue. What’s a responsible scientist to do? An experiment, of course. I know: I’ll watch a TON of porn, and then see if I become sexist or racist, or feel any more aggressive than baseline.

Hahaha! An experiment where you have to watch tons of porn! That’s a funny joke! It reminds me of real sexology experiments. Like the ones where subjects are naked and “invasive probes and electrodes” are inserted into their vaginas. Those researchers are, of course, totally objective professionals when it comes to getting grant money to make porn right in their own labs.

But back to Goldman and his objective overview of porn studies:

Let’s make a few things clear: I am not taking sides in the issue of whether or not pornography should be censored or restricted (but most forms of censorship make me very uncomfortable). This is meant to review some of the research that’s been conducted on whether or not there is a reliable causal relationship between pornography and various Bad Things. [boldface Goldman's]

Translation: “I totally think pornography should not be censored or restricted. Let’s look at some studies that don’t prove anything bad about porn.”

Goldman presents some Danish research showing that there are more Danes who love porn than Danes who don’t love porn, and some research showing that porn has a positive impact on sexual satisfaction with Croatian vanillas but not on that of kinky Croatians, and some American research showing that dudes who use a lot of porn aren’t necessarily all that violent, unless they were fucked up already.

You know, the usual. Pornography is “free speech.” Pornography is only harmful to the user when he is a deviant perv to begin with. Male aggression is associated with buttloads of porn use only in a select few previously-messed-up douchebags. ‘Normal’ porn consumers, i.e. ‘most’ men (fully 98% of all men, apparently, and 80% of all women), are happy, healthy, well-adjusted, and brimming with contentment. It’s the kook-and-psychopath minority out there who get all compulsive on your ass, or who act out all rapey, giving well-adjusted exploiters a bad name.

Goldman cites no research on the effects of pornography on the pornulated women themselves, or of porn culture on women’s status within the sexbot continuum.

In fact, he seems to suggest that there are but two possible stances on porn. You’re either for it, or you’re for banning it. He omits to consider other, more elegant schemes. Such as the solution we advocate here on Savage Death Island, wherein pornography is made, not illegal, but obsolete, via elimination of the sex class, which may be accomplished by feminist revolt. There is a difference between banning porn and eradicating the demand for porn, a delicate nuance that no dude ever seems able to contemplate. A life without porn is not to be borne! Any feminist who suggests otherwise is an irrational kook.

Like all men who claim to have a bunch of sex-poz feminist BFFs and who consider that access to porn is guaranteed under the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women, Goldman doesn’t appear to grasp that patriarchy — a social order predicated on the oppression of women as a sex class — is actually real, and that as such, ours is a culture of domination wherein the ‘art form’ known as pornography is the graphic representation of rape.

The comments on Goldman’s post, proceeding from enlightened science-minds, exhibit the usual unsophisticated grasp of women’s oppression.*

– Why all the fuss about porn? Anti-porn activists should redirect their anti-porn energy to fixing the BP oil leak.
– Porn is noble “sex work.”
– Sex work isn’t exploitation because women make a shit-ton of money doing it.
– Porn stars are famous, and famous is good.
– If porn is so bad, how do you explain Celebrity Porn Star X, who has her own production company and is rich?
– Porn is an important “safety valve” that allows everyman’s inner rapist to get off, no harm no foul, thus preventing real rapes.
– If we de-stigmatized “sex work,” we could keep porn available
– If we regulated prostitution, we could keep hookers available

These are all textbook patriarchy-denier dillies, to be sure (I look forward to reading the counter-arguments in the Blame-a-teria). However, my favorite comments in the series are by one cs shelton. Here is a mansplainer of the first water. How breathtakingly predictable, how automatically autocratic he is when he informs feminist commenter Skeptifem that she is “emotional” and therefore “doesn’t reflect reality or practicality or human rights or even feminism in a reasonable way.” What did Skeptifem say to incur this scolding?

Often pornography IS violence against women, so asking if porn causes that is a silly question. Normalizing that situation is horrible. Paying for a luxury item with such an immense human cost is deplorable. No porn is worth it, and I don’t think people should be free to buy something that causes the rape of women. What is crazy is that the rape of a woman can become speech if someone takes a picture. People act like the rape of women in porn isn’t enough, that it has to spread to other women for it to matter.

Yup, that Skeptifem sure is in denial about reality and human rights and feminism, there. Good thing old cs shelton, feminism expert and pornoisseur, is on hand to set her straight. But it gets even better. Dude goes on to categorically assert, based exclusively on his personal experience as a pornsick horndog teen, that “the paleolithic venus was NOT a goddess figure. She was a masturbation aid.”

He alludes, apparently, to the Venus of Willendorf, the XXX-rated statuette believed to have once adorned the dashboard of Fred Flintstone’s Rockmobile.

cs shelton, who lives furtively in his mom’s basement on Norman Rockwell Street in a TV version of 1953, goes on to make the astonishing assertion that “porn is barely tolerated in the USA.”

Whaaa?

But the best is yet to come. Behold cs shelton’s final arguments in support of the Pornography Preservationists of America. They are the old moldy classics.

– he is a feminist, so he is exempt from accusations of sexism
– anti-porn is the same as “sex negative”, and sex-negativity is a “subjugator of women”
– because the demand for porn is “so overpowering,” any attempt to eradicate it would be “insane” and also “BAD FOR WOMEN”
– his girlfriend likes porn

and, finally, I kid you not,

I invented porn with no outside influence (same as masturbation) when I was 11. I drew naked people. I figured out what felt good. It came to me naturally, and to trash porn as inherently evil or anti-woman is to say that a natural part of who I am sexually is bad and horrible. So no, I ain’t having it.

Oh dear; cs shelton’s reasoning is an unfortunate mis-application of a No. 1 Math Property, the dear old Transitive Property of Equality.** It works great when you’re talking conditionally about objective values represented by letters of the alphabet, but not so much when applied to questions of ethics, human oppression, and male entitlement. To wit:

Porn is who he is, and who he is is good, therefore porn is good.

Also, he personally and spontaneously created porn, and anything he crapped out at the age of 11 is natural and holy, therefore porn is natural and holy.

You can’t make this shit up.

Kill me now.

_________________
*Except for one or two comments like Zuska’s, who excellently remarks with a curled lip,

“Oh, porn is awesome. Soooooo empowerful! I’ll bet every d00d dreams of being the hot chick lying there on the floor/desk/couch/bed/whatever, waiting for the money shot to splatter all over one’s face. No?”

** Join me as I harken back to 4th grade: If a=b, and b=c, then a=c

Venus of Willendorf photo: Wikipedia. < http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/VenusWillendorf.jpg >

177 comments

4 pings

  1. PalMD

    The comments at Zuska’s place went form “i lurves porn” to explicitly violent in about 2 femtoseconds, and still the commenters who followed do not see the connections.

    As a d00d trying to learn to interpret the patriarchy’s affect on me and those I am around, this sort of thing still surprises me. I am a hopeless beginner Im afraid.

  2. annajcook

    It reminds me of real sexology experiments. Like the ones where subjects are naked and “invasive probes and electrodes” are inserted into their vaginas. Those researchers are, of course, totally objective professionals when it comes to getting grant money to make porn right in their own labs.

    I’m with you on most of this, in that it sounds like the “experiment” in this blog post you’re deconstructing it totally NOT one … but I just wanted to say, in defense of the work of sexologists in general, that a) according to Mary Roach’s book Bonk, at least, it’s not all that easy to get grant funding for the study of human sexuality, and b) studies of human sexuality may or may not be flawed and/or arousing, but they do give us tiny clues into the incredibly complex and wonderfully varied world of sex. Some sexologists may well be misogynists, but a number also come from profoundly feminist points of view. And at the very least their studies give us points of departure from which to talk about how little we actually do know, for sure, about how the human animal experiences pleasure.

  3. Scicurious

    First off, this is the first time I’ve been over here, and it’s GREAT!

    Secondly, I agree with Anna in that I believe that real, well-performed, insightful and useful studies of humans sexuality and the way humans experience sex is a very important area of study. It also gets in my grill that so little of studies into humans sexuality have focused on women. For example, did you know that no one has ever done a full sensitivity map of the vagina, while several have been performed on the penis. This is not just bad from a sexual sensitivity point of view, but could also be of medical important in detection of various kinds of cancer or other problems.

    Finally, I would like to point out that there is as much proof that the Venus was used as a masturbation aid as there is proof that correctly sized pieces of wood or stone were used as dildos, which is to say, none at all.

  4. Jill

    Some sexologists may well be misogynists, but a number also come from profoundly feminist points of view. And at the very least their studies give us points of departure from which to talk about how little we actually do know, for sure, about how the human animal experiences pleasure.

    Maybe, maybe. Nevertheless I remain unmoved by this romanticized mystification — it’s so “wondrous” and “complex” — to which sex is constantly subjected. Whatever bangs your box, of course, but to me orgasms lack the nuance and sophistication of other human pursuits (such as playing the autoharp, or reading to the sick) and so fall a bit short when you’re talking about high moral purpose.

  5. Kelsey B.

    But what about FEMINIST PORN?! Pornographer and feminist are not mutually exclusive categories! It’s like how vegetarians can eat free-range, cruelty-free beef! Their celebration of the paradigm of dominance and submission is, like, totally non-exploitative, I swear!

    On a more serious note, I am highly suspicious of the stat that claims 80% of women use porn. Visual representations of people having sex are a commodity made to accommodate the fantasies of dudes, with very few exceptions, regardless of how many funfeminists claim that plastic-engorged breasts and skin chemically tortured to the color of an apricot turn them on.

  6. chris

    To think that at 11, a boy hasn’t already been subjected to tens of thousands of sexualized female images on tv, cartoon, video games, even school where very young girls are often dressed provocatively, is naive.

    He didn’t “invent” anything, his mind spit back the imagery it had been fed since day one.

  7. Ashley

    I’m so sick of (dudes using) Danish people as the measuring stick of “healthy “progressive” European freedom. Yes, they can smoke do heroin and look at prostituted women in red-lit windows drunk on Guiness after smoking expensive hash in a cafe. Therefore they know everything there is to know about life? Durr.

  8. Jeff

    If porn and prostitution are so empowerfuling to women, why is it the least powerful women doing it? I don’t see a lot of Rhodes scholars on the corner.

    Porn is like any other capitalist industry, but it’s one that is built on and propagated by the underlying order (the primary contradiction, if you wanna get all Marxy about it) of society, the oppression of women. That it’s inherently exploitative goes without saying (to anyone who can open their fucking eyes), that it contributes to the feedback loop of oppression and misogyny is something that is so apparent it’s almost not worth arguing about.

    Of course dudes love pulling a Not My Nigel argument over it, and saying “well MY favorite porn at such and such site (they always make sure to actually give you the dot-com address too, as if we wanted it) is run BY the women, so it’s not as bad as…” yadda yadda yadda. Yawn.

  9. Ashley

    oh, and rilly cs shelton? because there’s no socialization that occurs before eleven years of age. We all start learning about culture at 12, before which we wander around inventing shit like eating, breathing, and talking and everything that we do is completely spontaneous.

  10. yttik

    Alas, this is why I prefer to hold up women’s intuition, which is actually a rational scientific tool of reasoning, over dude science any day. That doesn’t mean science is bad, it means that woman’s intuition is often far superior.

    If porn is so harmless then I guess so are lawn jockeys, people appearing in black face, Nazi posters portraying Jews, and other assorted violent or dehumanizing racist imagery. In fact, we can now toss out the entire body of research into brainwashing and advertising, because people’s perceptions and how they value others are not the least bit influenced by these kind of stereotypes.

  11. Ames

    Go say it to the scienceblogger dudes, Jeff, you’re just mansplainin’ to the converted over here and contributing nothing of value to this advanced-blamer milieu.

  12. Jason G. Goldman

    My comment seems to have gotten caught up in moderation. Maybe it’s too long. Here’s the main point:

    When I say “I am not taking sides in the issue of whether or not pornography should be censored or restricted.” This is EXACTLY what I mean. Not that I don’t have my own opinions, just that I don’t think this is the proper venue for me to be discussing them.

    Moreover, this is a BLOG. This is not peer-reviewed research. Posts get sent out, often, without even a spell-check. I have no duty to review an entire corpus of literature, as I might in a peer-reviewed scientific paper. In this case, I found 3 papers that I thought were interesting and accessible. Nowhere did I claim to have done ANYTHING other than describing and explaining those 3 papers. I make it clear – on every post – what should be consider as my own speculation, and what can reasonably by inferred or understood from the paper in question. That those on the pro-porn side of this issue take it and run with it and use it irresponsibly – I don’t think I’m culpable for that. (Indeed, I’ve commented on a few of those websites saying that they’re mis-using this post, or at best mis-interpreting it.) This post asked a question about how the CONSUMPTION of pornography – as a PRODUCT – impacts on the greater population. It specifically did NOT address anything about the PRODUCTION of pornography. As I’ve said, I think both questions are important to consider.

  13. Jane Q Public

    How many sex studies is dude nation going to churn out in the name of science? Jesus. Enough already. We get it. Dudes like to fuck. They like boobies. They like looking at pictures of fucking and boobies and booby fucking. I just think that if it’s so natural for guys to want this and porn is the harmless extension of their natural desires, then why are they always trying to justify it?

  14. Alexa

    ‘men are more visual, they need porn.’

    Bollocks. They need it to feed the oppression of women.

    I hate how ‘free speech’ is used to silence the most undebatable research and arguments. That phrase has no meaning or value. It’s ridiculous and is used in every rebuttal to complaints against sexism. ‘free speech’ is starting to sound more like an insult every time it’s used.

    Sexist scientists get to use whatever laughable logic they like — it’s a social norm for it to be accepted.

  15. XtinaS

    Alas, this is why I prefer to hold up women’s intuition, which is actually a rational scientific tool of reasoning, over dude science any day. That doesn’t mean science is bad, it means that woman’s intuition is often far superior.

    That’s a conflation of “science” and “dude science”, even leaving aside the part where I don’t know what “woman’s intuition” means.

  16. Alexa

    Whereas woman-friendly research has to be rigorously scientific. Feminist research has to achieve an even higher standard of falsifiability, one that’s impossible because of the endless complaints about bias, and ‘questionable research methods. Even though the studies might have much bigger samples, and more reliability.

    Science is challenged depending on how women friendly it is. This, my intuition tells me, I can be sure of. In a society that hates women, science is easily moulded to the point of being invented (evopsych).

  17. Vera

    I’m going to get myself an autoharp!

  18. Lizard

    @Alexa

    Is there woman-friendly research on this topic with meaningful sample sizes and reliability? I ask because this does seem like a really hard topic to find a good research design on (when it comes to studying the effect on male consumers, anyway), because of how hard it is to find men who don’t watch it, and because those who don’t watch it are likely going to differ in a lot of ways other which are hard to measure. It seems like having people increase porn-watching – or abstain from it – might yield some interesting results, but it won’t get at what we’re the most interested in in terms of “effect on the viewer” – which would be, what’s the cumulative effect of this stuff over years/decades/a lifetime?

  19. EmilyBites

    I’m with you Alexa. Free speech my hairy arse.

    The next guy to tell me that ‘porn is free speech’ is likely to get some speech from my foot to his nuts, for free.
    See why that made no sense? Physical or sexual violence against another person is not FREE SPEECH. I understand that speech in this context means expression, but videotaping rapes and selling them to other men who like to watch rapes is not an expression of anything. It is actual harm done to actual living women, that happens to have been videtaped. Widely distributing a recording of your crimes does not negate them.

    A man can’t gag, strike, humiliate, abuse, rape and physically punish a woman legally (ok…he can’t nominally), but if he records it and calls it ‘porn’ suddenly he can. What’s the difference?

  20. CassieC

    I am not going to help turn this thread into another women-intuitive-science-bad thread. We had those last week, seriously.

    I am just chiming in to say that my love of Jill is now rivaled by my love of Zuska, for the sheer genius of that one comment. Kinda sums it up nicely, doesn’t it?

    Also, what Ashley said.

  21. wiggles

    There was a study recently that exchanging in mere sexist jokes causes men to be more hostile and dismissive towards women. This guy’s “research” is bunk.

  22. Ashley

    My other thing is, even if porn only begets the behaviors displayed in porn itself, that’s still bad enough.

  23. Princess Rot

    I notice our mansplainer failed to realise that, by the age he supposedly “invented” porn, he had been soaking in patriarchy and rape culture for eleven fucking years. He’s not trying to say the notion that female bodies equals sex and sex equals objectification came out of nowhere, is he?

    Oh, shit, he is. Forgive my misguided hope that a dude realises his subjective opinion is not an objective, universal reality, and that he did not grow up in a vacuum.

  24. Notorious Ph.D.

    …dudes who use a lot of porn aren’t necessarily all that violent, unless they were fucked up already.

    Do any of these dudes live in a patriarchal society? If so, then the fuck-uppage is a foregone conclusion.

  25. allhellsloose

    “I immediately begin to shuffle through my desk drawer for the blamehammer.”

    Is the best phrase I’ve read on a blog, newspaper, anything, ever. Brilliant.

    Regarding the paleolithic venus, isn’t this also true of Sheela Na Gigs? The theories surrounding the Sheelas range from (yawn) sex tool, a religious symbol against lust (wtf?), both thought up by ahem, dudes; to a pagan/celtic celebration of the glory of women to pagan fertility symbols to ‘aid’ birth (my personal fav) and this final contribution, was made by a woman.

  26. JetGirl

    Ashley, drugs aren’t legal in Denmark. Prostitution is legal, but brothels aren’t, so there is no Red Light District as such in Copenhagen. I believe you’re thinking of the Dutch, and Amsterdam, not the Danes and Denmark. Also, heroin is not legal in the Netherlands.

  27. Hector B.

    Having seen some porn, I propose we see how many penises cs shelton’s various body orifices can hold.

    “Erotic” happens in the mind. Porn is like watching a piston in a cylinder. If it wasn’t disgusting all that it would be is boring.

  28. EmilyBites

    I despise the freedom of speech porn gang. Since when are women’s bodies ‘speech’? Paying someone to negate the issue of consent, raping them and filming it to show to other lowlifes does not speech make. It’s (nominally) illegal to rape or abuse someone – but not if you film it? Then it’s sacrosanct?

  29. Hector B.

    It’s (nominally) illegal to rape or abuse someone – but not if you film it? Then it’s sacrosanct?

    If you get paid to have sex you’re a prostitute, unless you do it in front of a camera — then you’re an actor.

  30. Jill

    Jason Goldman:

    My comment seems to have gotten caught up in moderation. Maybe it’s too long. Here’s the main point:

    When I say “I am not taking sides in the issue of whether or not pornography should be censored or restricted.” This is EXACTLY what I mean. Not that I don’t have my own opinions, just that I don’t think this is the proper venue for me to be discussing them. [...] This post asked a question about how the CONSUMPTION of pornography – as a PRODUCT – impacts on the greater population. It specifically did NOT address anything about the PRODUCTION of pornography. As I’ve said, I think both questions are important to consider.

    Well, whereas it was your purpose to write a dispassionate article about a few studies looking into the (generally pleasing, as it turns out) effects of human oppression on the oppressor, it is the duty of the Internet Feminist to read between lines and ferret out meanings, symbols, and code words of any published works on such subjects as fall within the purview patriarchy-blaming. Thus, whenever a science-dude, such as yourself, writes about porn, my secretary Phil pokes me with a stick and off I go, perceiving and discerning and identifying subtle nanoparticles of acculturated misogyny with my X-Ray Vision Obstreperal Lobe. Today when I sniffed the wind, I caught a familiar whiff, beat my chest with my fists, and announced how much I love the smell of male privilege in the morning. What is to you just a harmless bit of sexology-surfing is a can of worms to a spinster aunt.

    Thank you for synopsizing your essay. I grasp that you weren’t looking for a big ideological imbroglio, and that you claim not to have taken sides. Fortunately, where you omit to supply feminist analysis, I’ve stepped in! I provide this service free of charge. No need to thank me!

  31. Triste

    Since Mr. Goldman is apparently reading these comments: Jason, the issue here is that your entire point, inasmuch as you have a point, seems to be essentially based on the idea that your average dude has as much regard for women as women actually deserve. So basically, your studies show that the consumption of pornography doesn’t make average dudes into fringe psychotic dudes – they remain entrenched in their average dudeliness, and therefore are a-okay.

    The problem with this is that the idea that the average dude thinks of women in general as being in any way equal or deserving of the same amount of respect as a man is a total fucking lie. The fact that most men are not serial rapists lurking in the bushes waiting to jump the next five year old who comes by does not make the dudely status quo* okay. Seeing as how you have a penis, this may come as a shock to you much in the way, say, white plantation owners were totally stunned to hear that, man, black people actually don’t like being enslaved.

    Of course, at this point your reaction is likely something along the lines of: hey now, women haven’t been treated like kitchen-dwelling sex toys for at least almost a generation now! Fortunately, reasonable people know that the class of oppressors doesn’t get to decide when they’ve done enough to stop oppressin’ – the oppressed class does, and then only when they have reached a point where they are free to say “hey, you know guys, I think we might still be oppressed over here” without a flock of hysterical oppressors swooping down to shriek about how much better they’re doing now.

    * For examples of this status quo, just read the blog. This shit is everywhere.

  32. Lizard

    @EmilyBites

    For the most part, the legal distinction for those acts is not filming, it’s a legal (not rad-fem) notion of whether meaningful consent has been given. But: if the people doing those acts did them off-camera, not in exchange for money, they would still be legal. If they did them off-camera, in exchange for money, without certain types of sexual contact (local laws may vary), they would also be legal. Sex for money may change legal status when filmed, but hitting someone or humiliating them, as far as I know, does not.

  33. sargassosea

    Just how the fuck are you supposed to have a product to consume without the PRODUCTION of said product?

    And, yeah, just what IS the magical number of rapes that you’re okay with in order for you to consume your product again?

  34. humanbein

    EmilyBites has done a great job – perhaps intuitively, since feminism is more like common sense that I find self evident, once the scales have fallen from the old ocular orbs – summarizing the brilliance of MacKinnon’s Only Words. Her legal mind brilliantly dissects the idea of porn as freedom of speech and reaches the same conclusion. Porn is not speech.

    Dudes have a hard time seeing that their addiction to porn is anything but positive and fun, yet they still hide the stash in shame. I assume they are ashamed because they know that any woman who finds out about the degradation that gets them off will recoil in horror. Porn hasn’t been naked girls in Playboy magazines since the 1970s, and keeps getting more and more overtly degrading. Dudes must know, no matter how well they suppress the thought, that porn is incredibly degrading, and must have noticed, that the degradation is a representation of rape.

    Men justify rape in the most horrifying way possible: They insist that women get off on it. To insult a woman by attacking and raping her is one horror in a whirlpool of horrors, but to get off on it because the woman enjoys this happening to her is so subhuman that men can’t possibly face the actual logic of it in their own minds on any conscious level.

    Porn, and porn culture, which is out culture, is pure misogyny. There’s no way around it. Women participate in it because they are surrounded by it and there is no alternative other than total feminist revolt, and how many women, even feminists, can even imagine what that would be like, much less aspire to it?

  35. Helen Huntingdon

    This post asked a question about how the CONSUMPTION of pornography – as a PRODUCT – impacts on the greater population. It specifically did NOT address anything about the PRODUCTION of pornography.

    Huh. So according to Jason, one could have a discussion of the consumption of dried baby flakes as a product and how happyfinegood it is for people to consume them because that’s entirely separate from the fact that they are produced by feeding live babies into a meat grinder.

    Good one, dood. You totally convinced us of the solidity of your process of rational inquiry.

  36. Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D.

    “in terms of ‘effect on the viewer’ – which would be, what’s the cumulative effect of this stuff over years/decades/a lifetime?”

    In my limited experience (I’m a clinician, not a researcher) at the very least, even so-called “soft” porn serves to brainwash future patriarchs from adolescence on up about what women like and want (to conform, of course, to what men want). Access to porn is not just guaranteed under the Global Accords Governing Fair Use of Women; as the graphic representation of the Accords it is required training for males growing up in the Pat.

    They are all exposed to it from kidhood on, and by the time they get old enough to be with a real woman, they are, so to speak, full of it. At that point, confronted with reality (“Dude, that’s gross, hurts, bores, demeans, whatever”) male consumers of porn don’t question their own perceptions. They assume there’s something wrong with their partner as in, “But she [porn star]likes it!”

    The obvious response, “Duh, she’s a sex worker and an actress. She’s paid to act like she likes it. Get it?” falls on deaf ears. The women doing the confronting may well wind up thinking there is indeed something wrong with them, because, after all, “She likes it.”

  37. Eronarn

    I have a lot less problem with the initial blog post than I have with this response to it from a Famous Sex Blogger From The Internet:

    http://www.tinynibbles.com/blogarchives/2010/06/scienceblogs-takes-a-very-serious-global-look-at-studies-about-porn-and-violence-against-women.html

    Not discussing pornography in terms of production, effects in society that go beyond individual consumption, etc. are, of course, problems in the many ways discussed above. But the author of the initial post is correct that he framed this as a casual blog post – whereas the linked post describes it as a “very serious global look” at pornography and uses it to support some gimmicky pro-porn… thing.

    I found out about it in the first place via Twitter, FWIW:

    violetblue: just read new serious scientific examination on studies about porn and violence against women. essential reading> http://vb.ly/2a49 @JizLee
    2 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

    violetblue: @ScienceBlogs your great article on porn http://vb.ly/2a49 helps balance the discussion with reason http://ourpornourselves.org/ #proporn
    2 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

    violetblue: here’s my reaction to @ScienceBlogs porn and sexual violence article and why antiporn pundits’ credibility is now broken: http://vb.ly/2a4a
    2 days ago from web · Reply · View Tweet

    You hear that? Your credibility is broken. BROKEN.

  38. Jill

    My credibility has been broken since 1947. I now fight the powah with sarcasm.

  39. Jason G. Goldman

    Here’s a copy of a comment I made today, on this post: http://scienceblogs.com/whitecoatunderground/2010/06/porn_isnt_violence_and_if_you.php

    I haven’t yet – anywhere – stated what my opinions are, until now: I think that any normalization of the objectification of women or violence against women – even if the women portrayed are doing so ostensibly consensually – is not okay.

    I, further, thought that it was reasonable to ask questions about the effects of a certain product, separately from the whether or not that product should be made in the first place. And I thought I could do so objectively. But, as Pal says, perhaps that is naive.

    This is an incredibly divisive issue, for many reasons, and I unwittingly walked into a major battlefield without, as Pal says, the proper flashlight. And in doing so, I (unintentionally) offended a handful of people I care about, as well as many others, and for that, I apologize.

  40. Mortisha

    It is truly incomprehensible sometimes how seemingly otherwise intelligent human beings can be so crushingly blind to the freakin’ obvious.

    Would it help if the victims of pornography where all identified by a colour class?
    So they REALLY stand out from the tediously monotonous patriarchal landscape where women blend in with chairs, cars, burgers and other consumables?

    Yes the spiky neon green people are the only ones we pornulate.

    Maybe our great scientific observers would then be inspired to postulate on WHY spiky neon green people are treated so appalling.
    Or WHY they so are prepared to fight to the death to defend their right to pornulate spiky neon green people.

    Oh Shit, I know you are right Jill, but the idealist in me still tries to deny it.
    Men hate us. They always have.

  41. Gayle

    I’m sorry to hear about your credibility, Jill. I hear icing the area can help. Best wishes and a speedy recovery to you!

    So what I’ve gleaned from reading Jason’s response to you is that he is being totally neutral and non judgmental while cherry picking porn positive Danish studies to prove his non point that you totally shouldn’t judge him for in any way ’cause it’s just a blog post for crying out loud and he is NOT taking sides!

    And by “sides” I mean the nice, normal, freedom loving, “pro-sex” men who frequent his blog and the anti-sex, pro censorship prudes here who would ban everything from Maxim to Pretty Woman if they had half a chance!

    Broken, indeed!

  42. Gayle

    Oh Dear, I posted my earlier comment only to find Jason has offered a follow up.

    “I think that any normalization of the objectification of women or violence against women – even if the women portrayed are doing so ostensibly consensually – is not okay.”

    I agree.

  43. ew_nc

    80% of women use porn? I hate erroneous statistics. I can only assume that by use, they mean they are forced to watch it with their boyfriends in order to prove their sex positive-ness. I guarantee you that statistic was reached by asking women if they’ve ever seen porn. Never in my life have I known a woman to seek out porn to get her through a lonely Saturday night.
    And Jason? Shut up with the mansplaining already.

  44. Ashley

    I am embarrassed I just mixed those two up. However, I feel that people do hold Denmark as an example of the ideal society, and also that Amsterdam is oversold..

    I am still embarrassed.

  45. Jim

    You know, guys know perfectly well that harm of pornography. That’s why they defend it to the death. It keeps them dominate over women. Of course they get it. That’s the problem.

  46. yttik

    “I, further, thought that it was reasonable to ask questions about the effects of a certain product, separately from the whether or not that product should be made in the first place.”

    Jason, what you are suggesting is a bit like claiming you can discuss slavery as if it were an issue completely separate from the “product.” No, see that’s the whole point, slaves are not a product and neither are women. Pornography is not a product separate from women and women are not a product available for consumption.

    I read a BBC article that lamented the fact that more research had not been done on the impact of pornography. Apparently there is funding available and a desire to do research, but there is this problem within science where it is unethical to conduct experiments on people that could be harmful to them. What they were saying was that we’d like to be able to prove the dangers of pornography, but just in doing the research, we’re likely to create sexually aggressive men who think it’s okay to harm women.

  47. Pantsuit Sally

    But you guys! cs shelton drew some dirty pictures when he was a kid and no one got hurt; therefore, porn involving actual women is not problematic in any way! If only your biased, emotional ladybrains could understand the objective, infallible boner logic…

  48. Triste

    On the issue of women consuming porn: perhaps this is just my overactive libido talking, but I for one both consume and produce a fucking metric boatload of porn – specifically that of the written variety. As in, no actual humans were harmed in the making of this porn. Do keep that in mind that not all porn is of the “videotape a woman being degraded” variety.

    Unless you don’t consider written erotica porn, in which case… uh, I don’t know. That counts as porn, doesn’t it?

  49. ivyleaves

    I guess Jason took down the blog, I’m getting an error when I link to it, but I can see his other entries. I think it’s probably best that I missed the comments section anyway.

  50. Jason G. Goldman

    I did take down the post. I understand a little more about these issues after today (at least, i’d like to believe that i have started to), and decided that it was better to not have that particular piece of writing (nor the comments made on it) available to the world, any longer than it already has been. Not that its removal will change anything, in the grander scheme of things, of course.

  51. joy

    The comments on Zuska’s blog actually disturbed and frightened me. Especially after she announced that she was recusing herself from the conversation.

    It was once said that “When a man says no, it’s the end of the conversation. When a woman says no, it’s the beginning of negotiations.”

    This proves that. Well, if you replace “negotiations” with “gendered insults, more pornsick deluded bullshit, and open aggression.”

    If people can’t even respect a person-who-happens-to-be-female’s decision to END a CONVERSATION (forgive the all-caps, Jill, but this is really confounding and frightening) on the INTERNET — then how can they expect us to believe that they care about consent in something they obviously cherish as much as they do porn?

  52. roesmoker

    Gee, looks like ScienceKnob aka Jason G. Goldman has taken down his post. Guess it wasn’t as objective and harmlessly “scientific” as he thought. Somebody call the waaaambulance. I am sorry to miss Zuska’s comment & blog though, anybody got a link?

    humanbein I almost always agree with your comments, but I have one correction to this one. Dworkin, Firestone and others have said it is *because* men subconsciously know how incredibly degrading porn and pornulated society is to women that they need so much to believe, and try to make women believe, that women want it and like it. Because if they had to admit women don’t like it*, they’d have to stop doing it. Or stop considering themselves as humans, which they’re not quite ready to give up yet.

    *understatement of year

  53. jael

    On the freedom of speech thing. Yeah, it confounds me how *that country* defines it how it does. The difference between freedom of speech and freedom of action seems rather blurred to me. The right to make pornography is not the right to say ones piece; it’s a right to make a consumable product at great cost to others (the freedom to make money, however glorious, is not a freedom of speech. Nor is it absolute. Contrary to popular belief). The freedom to consume pornography gives rise to no discourse, what speech is there? It’s the freedom to masturbate to a degradation of choice, not much else.

    The law, pretty much everywhere, puts action firmly in the realm of “able to be regulated”. Porn as speech is an act of extraordinary intellectual gymnastics, to my mind.

    While I see why it’s in there, I got to tell you, coming from a place where there is no such right at all – it’s not the dictatorial hell you might imagine it to be. The courts are quite willing to find a right to say what needs to be said (political communication is recognised as necessary to the democracy! ye ha!). And there is none of this garbage about any right to a) spew hate b) make hate c) live hate dressed up as something noble and glorious.

  54. janna

    Jason,

    I’m glad Twisty’s post made you think. But perhaps instead of taking down the post, writing a follow-up of what you’ve learned since you posted it in the first place and your reasons for rethinking your original post would be more productive? Especially since it seems that a lot of the people who read your post had never considered the subject in these terms before, either.

  55. roesmoker

    Sorry I hadn’t refreshed the page and so didn’t see Jason’s responses. I take back my mockery – you caught on pretty quick to what your post was really saying, and for not needing several cluesticks to the head, I commend you. Too bad Andrew G on that other dude’s blog is not as willing to reexamine his beliefs.

  56. Carolyn

    You know what’s really annoying? Calling some dude on his misogyny and having him say ‘hey, well, I was just saying shit, I didn’t really mean anything by it.’ This happened to me once when I wrote to the author about this:

    http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pbio.0040019

    His reply was essentially ‘well, it’s not peer reviewed research, it was just opinion, I can’t really be required to support it and you can’t really criticise me for it.’ If that’s the case, what was it doing in a scientific journal? And why bother to publish it at all, if it’s just some random dopey idea you had the other day? That was Lawrence Summers’ response, too, when called on his misogynist remarks–’hey, I was just saying stupid shit to be provocative, I didn’t really mean anything.’ Well you know what? Just, as Jill would say, shut your piehole unless you actually have something useful and original to say.

  57. EmilyBites

    Yttik you make a fascinating point- what if studies were funded onto, say, the psychological and physical effects of porn ON PORN “actors” of the female variety? This would involve hiring research participants and paying them to take as many dicks in their orifices as possible, being choked with a dick and called a filthy whore. And they would get paid for it of course, and sign waivers, so obviously they would have consented! What do you mean it might do them irreparable harm? It’s what porn stars do all the time and they love their work, in fact it’s just like any other job!
    Ok enough snark. I’m sure you see where I’m coming from. Doods often don’t even try to deny the harm to pornulated women, but they see those women as separate from “real” people, so suddenly it’s ok to do things to them that you would never be allowed to do in lab, because YOU WILL HURT THEM.

  58. j

    About the 80% of women consumes pornography number. I wonder how porn is defined here. The type of “erotic material” I see women talk about/consume on the web is the following:

    Written erotica (As Triste pointed out)
    Slash fanfiction (this is huge)
    Independent adult comics/manga
    Pics of male actors/models, nude or not
    Gay (male) porn

    The amount of women that I’ve encountered who say the like to watch your average straight porn can be counted on the fingers of one of my hands. All of the things above is a way to get away from the ordinary hetero porn scenario where the focus is on the woman -we’re talking straight women here who wants to see men- and how the woman is often hurt and degraded.
    It’s pretty telling how even the most sex-pos of women generally avoid “porn”, as in the man-prongs-woman stuff that is generally what is thought of as porn.

  59. Comrade PhysioProf

    Speaking of the autoharp, Jill, how about gracing us with some of your stylings?

  60. Interested

    Out of interest, what is your stance on gay porn? You know, two guys doing it.

  61. tinfoil hattie

    Because if they had to admit women don’t like it*, they’d have to stop doing it.

    I disagree. They like watching it because it degrades and harms women, and women don’t like it. Else porn would be full of women doing things that delight us sexually, none of which would include being choked by phalluses, receiving ejaculate on the face, being anally raped, or any of the other myriad “harmless” porn activities the dudes so frantically defend.

    Just look at the comments to zuska’s post (if that’s still up). Zuska said: enough, I’m recusing myself, this is triggering, I thought I could handle it and I couldn’t.

    The response was roughly: you’re a big baby, you’re too emotional, what do you mean you changed your mind (sound familiar, anyone?), you’re not a scientist – basically, FUCK you and what you just said. The abuse is over when we dudes say it’s over.

    Zuska was guilty of blogging while female. The dudes responding to her post ate it up. That they don’t even understand what “triggered” means, or that they know and don’t care, just shows us once again how much women hate us.

  62. tinfoil hattie

    OMG I meant “how much men hate women!” Yeesh. Then I wanted to change it to “how much men hate us,” becuase I am one of “us.”

    Sorry!

  63. Helen Huntingdon

    Way to take the coward’s way out, Jason. Kind of like giving your wife a black eye, then saying you didn’t mean it *that* way, then pretending it didn’t happen because she wore a hat until the bruise faded, isn’t it?

    Oh, I’m sorry, actively dealing with the horrific comments one by one, taking them on, deciding a response to each (including deletion), taking the heat for the response to each, and generally dealing with the consequences of your actions in an adult manner is actual work, isn’t it? Leaving the post up with original wording intact, but adding what you now think is wrong with it would just be too inconvenient. Sweeping the facts of what you published and what that says about you under the rug is just such a stellar example of scientific discourse, isn’t it?

  64. Ann Oakley

    “You can’t make this shit up.

    I hear ya’, Twisty. Reminded me of my Art Dept Chair…I (former professor) reported a sexually harrassing environment in the department. He was arguing that on-campus porn is harmless and “students see this kind of stuff all them time”. I argued contra, citing Andrea Dworkin.

    Obtaining his personal notes about our meeting, I found on his notes, in minisculy scrawled caps:

    “ANDREA DWORKIN – SHE’S READING THIS!”

    Anyone with a good, feminist, anti-discrimination employment lawyer…pls pass contact info to Twisty (hoping she will be so kind as to pass it on to me…)

  65. roesmoker

    tinfoil hattie – Absolutely agree that the reality is men like these things because women hate it, but they claim that women like all these things. Unless I am giving them too much credit and they know they’re lying. I go back and forth, sometimes I know and feel how much they hate us, other times I want to believe that some of them would stop if the other horndogs would just come out and say “yes, women don’t like it and that’s what makes it so hawt”.

  66. Cyberwulf

    Producing written/drawn porn doesn’t hurt anyone, but that doesn’t mean it’s problem-free. Fucked up ideas about sex and gender roles can be propagated through any medium. Bodice-rippers wherein the little lady must be forced into letting down her barriers spring to mind. So does Japanese gay porn, which often depicts the pronger as a forceful, dominating brute and the receiver as a blushing virgin who cries as his anus lubricates itself.

  67. roesmoker

    Also? I forgot that expecting or hoping men will ever willingly give up the patriarchy and all its privileges is useless. That’s why immediate feminist revolution is the only way to overthrow it.

  68. Jeff

    Here’s a really good article about the pressure of pornographers to provide more and more “extreme” (and thus degrading and harmful) porn to its increasingly bored audience.

    http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~rjensen/freelance/boredom.htm

  69. Ann Oakley

    Not looking for this I found it anyway:

    Serial Killer Ted Bundy Blamed Pornography for His Rape and Murderous Behavior

  70. Ann Oakley

    hmmm…link did not publish:

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/222008/serial_killer_ted_bundy_blamed_pornography.html

  71. sargassosea

    Helen’s right, Jason.

  72. joy

    “The abuse is over when we dudes say it’s over.”

    tinfoil hattie, I thought the same thing. It was truly fright-inducing, a perfect microcosm illustrating exactly (to the letter!) what the antiporn women were saying.

    And the dudely dudes and pro-porn women (“excuse me, it IS your job to do MY research, ahem!”) just could not see that, which leads me to despair as well for hope through anything other than immediate feminist revolt.

  73. humanbein

    Thanks, roesmoker. The seething hatred and inhumanity that suffuses porn and turns men into subhuman monsters makes me incoherent with anger sometimes. I just don’t understand why people with penises don’t want to fight against this physical and spiritual addiction with every resource they can.

  74. humanbein

    Jeff’s link is to an article by Robert Jenson, who has written so extensively about the porn industry that I find it frightening. Second wave feminists warned us that the porn industry would come to this back in the 1970s and people just laughed.

    As Jenson has discovered, videos depicting explicit rape have become normal in porn. Even gang rape has become unworthy of any special hotness for the bored Little Lord Fauntleroys twirling their slackening appendages. I remember the good old days when a man could honestly defend porn as being not at all like rape when confronted with a stack of girly magazines by an irate woman.

    If gang rape can be a quotidian scenario in porn, how long until children, animals and murder become the new lows to meet the insatiable desires of the masturbating consumer? This is why I am ardently pro-censorship of porn. Driving this sick shit as far underground as we can is the only way to stem the tide. It’s a patriarchal solution, but I blame the patriarchy for it being the only realistic near-term solution.

  75. rl

    I just love all of the armchair psychoanalysis here. It works beautifully; anyone who disagrees with you about any of the facts automatically has been warped by the patriarchy with depraved motives (but not the people who agree with you, of course, they all emerged with their capacity to perceive the truth unscathed somehow), and therefore there’s no way you could ever be wrong about anything! Very nice rhetorical tactic.

  76. Jezebella

    It’s kind of funny that Jeff sauntered into a den of radical feminists to tell us about Robert Jensen, who of course *none of us* have ever heard of before! Thanks for the Fresh Manly Wisdom, Jeff.

  77. Jason G. Goldman

    I had taken down the post while deciding what to do with it. I’ve decided to re-publish it, stripped of all speculation and editorializing, so all that is left are descriptions and explanations of the studies that were conducted. Also left intact are all of the original comments, though no new comments can be added.

  78. yttik

    “..how long until children, animals and murder become the new lows to meet the insatiable desires of the masturbating consumer?”

    We are already there.

  79. Jane Q. Public

    Dear rl,

    I find your armchair psychoanalysis of armchair psychoanalysis to be lacking.

    Yours truly,

    Jane

  80. joy

    Also, fellow ladies, some of whom are also gay and/or queer –

    Didn’t you love the reminder that the default gay human is a gay -man-?
    e.g., “gay porn — two guys doin’ it.”

    I guess we’re going to have to hand in our Gay Cards. Again.

    /sarcasm

  81. wiggles

    @roesmoker – They just say women like it as an unthinking knee-jerk defense. They don’t actually bother to concern themselves with what women think or how they’re affected. They know porn’s degrading, and that’s what gets them off. And at that point they stop thinking.

  82. Ames

    The word for a gay woman is “lesbian.” When someone uses the term “gay” to describe both men and women, it helps to erase the female and conflates women’s experiences with men’s. One of the few linguistic acknowledgements that women exist and are separate and different from men should be preserved. It’s LGBT for a reason and should remain so. “Queer” has the exact same effect, by the way.

  83. joy

    True, Ames, and I apologize.

    I call myself “queer” because there isn’t really a term for what I “am” (identify as, whatever), because there’s no way I’m hetero, “lesbian” doesn’t exactly cut it, and “bisexual” is a limiting term (in my opinion).
    But you’re right, it’s a language failure, and also “queer” becomes a catchall term that people don’t know the meaning for, and use interchangeably with “gay” (“gay” to them meaning, of course, “homosexual”, because as you pointed out, lesbians “don’t exist”).

    Blame lies with the patriarchy here.

  84. Summerspeaker

    I forgot that expecting or hoping men will ever willingly give up the patriarchy and all its privileges is useless. That’s why immediate feminist revolution is the only way to overthrow it.

    Indeed. Over hundred years ago, feminist anarchist Voltairine de Cleyre wrote: “As a class I have nothing to hope from men. No tyrant ever renounced his tyranny until he had to. If history teaches us anything it teaches this.”

  85. Toxidant

    Summerspeaker, you have summarized beautifully what I have been saying for years. Men aren’t giving up their power. No matter how “educated” and “enlightened” they are. It just ain’t happening. After millenia of the same shit, I fail to see how people remain optimistic.

  86. iGuest

    “Dude goes on to categorically assert, based exclusively on his personal experience as a pornsick horndog teen, that ‘the paleolithic venus was NOT a goddess figure. She was a masturbation aid.’”

    Yes. Of course. That’s because the world revolves around his penis. The sun and moon rise and set on the all-important inches of skin between his legs. I’ll never forget a male friend telling me that women have breasts because men like them. Can such a self-absorbed mindset ever see the world clearly? To honestly believe that female anatomy exists because men fantasized it into being is utterly delusional. And, yet, they persist in trying to convince us that we are the crazy ones. Thank chaos for the oasis of sanity offered here.

  87. Wigmy

    How exactly is it physically possible that all porn is the active depiction of the rape of women, I can agree with you in the case of “main stream” porn, but what about all of the amateur porn out their, much of it filmed and posted without the hand of a man. Their is also gay porn (Man+Man) and Femdom where either the woman is the one in control or their isn’t a woman at all. Their is and increasing number of female porn directors, many of which specifically make M+F porn for women.

    Their have been many abuses of the porn industry, but it is a big industry and it is changing and getting better. Their are also people who get obsessed with porn some of which have been “inspired” by Porn to do terrible things, but I think that speaks more to how potentially terrible people can be than a magical corrupting power of porn.

  88. Hector B.

    So, mainstream porn is the factory farming of porn, all feedlots and manure lagoons, ending with a bullet to the brain, while there are all sorts of free-range porn, where the calves willingly kill themselves to bring pleasure to their diners.

  89. Jill

    @Hector B: ha!

    You know, there is a reason that I have written, right there in the sidebar, that this blog is for advanced patriarchy blamers. Anyone who denies that we are all subject to an oppressive social order predicated on the superiority of males and that nothing may exist outside this social order, or who cannot differentiate between “there” and “their,” is not qualified to comment here.

  90. wiggles

    but what about all of the amateur porn out their

    A lot of the amateur stuff is unabashedly rape. It’s easy to find gonzo movies featuring girls in rohypnol comas. Do guys think this is a secret? Because it’s not.

  91. nails

    I didn’t go back to the thread after my comment because I knew what was coming.

    I am still freaked the hell out that no one gives a shit about Linda Lovelace. I mean, she had her story corroborated by people who knew her… and I can still buy an anniversary edition of “Deepthroat”. I knew that my emotional state or unfeminism was going to be the focus of follow up comments so I left. The extent that these men make it clear that they don’t give two fucks about rape infuriates me.

    I mean, if I got some kind of alert that I was contributing to rape (like I did when I read porn critique, back when I was into porn) I wanted to NOT DO THAT ANYMORE, rather than make a point of the alert makers character. I think all those hours of porn forced any remaining humanity out of the thoughtful animal.

  92. m Andrea

    Jason seems to be doing the right thing, which is quite commendable. Thank you.

    Also, the argument many pro-porn advocates are using is “cigarettes don’t kill everyone and cigarettes make some people feel good so cigarettes have a positive benefit!”

    The assumption is that 100% of all users must be harmed by an activity in order for that activity to be considered even neutral. One assumes they require 110% of all users to be harmed in order for that activity to be considered negative.

  93. Alexa

    I’m so up for this immediate feminist revolt. My theory is you only live once. IMO radfems need to lead it. I read about a non- radical feminist writer who said something along the lines, ‘what we need are the openly angry feminists – that’s what we seem to be missing’

  94. Summerspeaker

    Toxidant: Like Firestone, de Cleyre’s hope lay “in creating rebellion in the breasts of women.” She died young without seeing that dream fulfilled, of course, but the future remains open. This post serves as an example of how feminist social pressure can affect male behavior. That’s encouraging. History does give us examples of tyrants compelled to renounce their privilege.

  95. agasaya

    Jason, thank you for making me think this through.

    1.You are a student of animal behavior and cognition. You wandered off your reservation and found out just how psychology is not a pure science as it removes issues of ‘mindset’ driving culture when reduced to individual acts/habits. Drilling in the arctic may be a dispassionate verb to you but it reveals a mindset among its advocates of runaway consumption harming society as a whole.

    2.Pornography is derived from Greek and means to write about prostitutes. By definition, equating a person whose body has been purchased by another for use has to have a negative effect upon both individuals being able to have/retain a mindset of regard for equality between the sexes.

    \3.Replace the term inferring gender of the sexual object (usually a woman in porn) with a term referring to race (usually a person of color). See what that does to your theory of dispassionate observation of ‘product’. Woman are a different race than men under patriarchy. I find porn to be racist. Racism makes the dominant feel empowered. Porn may lead to an orgasm. Both have reinforcing properties to the individual. Neither benefits society. Racist acts are illegal. I’m just sayin’.

  96. mearl

    “Glugga-mugga,”
    Said Jason Goldman;
    “Argha-barga, google-gapple!”

    But you couldn’t understand him
    ‘Cause his mouth was full of apple*.

    *Apple = weak logic, crap research, and shite stats.

    Last week I saw one of those ridiculous Covergirl or Maybelline commercials on TV. This particular one made the statement “80 per cent of women want longer, fuller lashes.” Seriously. They surveyed every woman on the planet, and 80 per cent sit around wishing for longer, fuller lashes. It’s a FACT.

  97. mearl

    I don’t know who the hell Jeff is, but MUST we shit on every guy who comments? Female commenters provide links or info, show support, and don’t immediately get shot down. I didn’t see anything horrible, terrible, pompous or mansplainy about Jeff’s comments. Just sayin’.

  98. Vicky

    Well, I sometimes refer to my sexuality as gay,and I am a lesbian. No prob with that IMHO.
    But I understand (I reckon).

  99. Jezebella

    Actually, mearl, I see plenty of dude commenters not getting shit upon for commenting. Maybe you should pay closer attention.

  100. Jill

    I say, shit on everybody for commenting! That way, in case some godawful offensive comment or heinous world-order-crushing typo gets past my discerning eye, it’ll be covered!

  101. Falsum

    A lot f the arguments against porn seem to rest on the assertion that porn is rape. I think that this assertion is in itself degrading. Porn actresses consent to their role iFAA far more rigorous way than anybody consents to regular sex of the unfilmed variety. They sign legally binding contracts before being filmed. To say that these women are being raped is to invalidate their choice to consent in this circumstance.

    The commenters here seem to think that there are circumstances (to be decided by radical feminist bloggers) where women cannot meaningfully consent. This deprives women, who might be quite happy being in porn, of agency. To categorically assert that no woman enjoys doing porn is equally insulting because it suggests that every single woman has sexual values identical to yours. The whole thing reeks of imperialism: radical feminists thinking that they can make better decisions about womens’ bodies than the women who own said bodies. How is that any better than pateiarchy?

  102. RKMK

    Porn actresses consent to their role iFAA far more rigorous way than anybody consents to regular sex of the unfilmed variety. They sign legally binding contracts before being filmed. To say that these women are being raped is to invalidate their choice to consent in this circumstance.

    You mean, women like Linda Lovelace? And please provide evidence that 100% of women in pornography signed their legally binding contracts free of coercion (physical, economic, or otherwise.)

    What’s that, you can’t possibly provide this data due to the nature of the industry? THEN I DISMISS YOU AND EVERYTHING YOU SAY AS UNOBJECTIVE BIASED CONJECTURE, GOOD DAY SIR.

  103. Falsum

    I never said that all pornography is morally justifiable, only that some is. I realize that coercion is sometimes employed, an you are right to identify that as reprehensible. But to say that every single woman (or man, for that matter) who agrees to do porn is being coerced is a sweeping and patronizing generalization. Feminists should be working to make the industry safer and more consensual, rather than dreaming about its total elimination.

  104. RKMK

    I never said that all pornography is morally justifiable, only that some is.

    No, you rationalized your sexual inclinations/activities because you don’t want to think you’re a bad person, and/or be judged a bad person, even by anonymous folk on the internet. That’s something you need to take up with your therapist, friend; leave the rest of us alone.

  105. AlienNumber

    Watching the last 5 minutes of the Lakers vs Celtics game last night I suddenly remembered that America was watching and cheering for that rapist Kobe Bryant. Quick reading on wikipedia revealed that without a doubt he is a rapist -he himself acknowledged in the statement he made after the criminal suit against him was dropped. More quick reading also revealed that during the rape he did something quite peculiar. Well, to me it was peculiar. So there he was, raping this woman, and then he all of a sudden politely asks her if he can “cum on [her] face.” Hey, would you like a black eye with this beating? Hey, would you mind if I squashed your tiny toe while stepping on your foot? Sugar with your tea?

    I couldn’t comprehend why someone would suddenly get all polite about asking something so vile in the midst of an already so vile and degrading and violent act. Wherefrom this sudden appearance of good manners?

    Then I remembered Bryant is a dude living in and benefiting from porn culture. That much for porn having benign effects on the “consumers of the product.” It just teaches them how to be even more vile.

    p.s. Falsum, you are stupid.

  106. Kenzie

    “Feminists should be working to make the industry safer and more consensual, rather than dreaming about its total elimination.”

    Oh goodie! FINALLY, there’s a manifesto for feminists! We don’t have to sit around idly braiding our armpit hair of a Saturday night, we can make the porn industry safer and more consensual! Personally, I’m just so pleased.

  107. Jezebella

    Indeed Kenzie, clearly what we were all waiting for was for a dude to come tell us silly feminists what we should be doing. Such a helpful dude. Rilly.

  108. Comrade Svilova

    Great! An assignment from a dude for women to go clean up the mess created by dudes! Like that never happened ever before.

  109. nails

    Signing a contract of sexual consent isn’t more rigorous, it is just more binding. It means they can’t go back on it without legal consequences. So there is a threat on the end of changing your mind. If anything, that is less consensual than non contracted sex. Not to mention that you coerce at the signing and then not have to continue doing so after that.

  110. Falsum

    And there it is. Rather than responding to what I have to say, you simply discount it based on an assumption that I have a Y chromosome. It’s also interesting that you assume that all feminists are women.

    Of course you’re right. I don’t get to tell you what to do with your little branch of the feminist movement. What I can tell you without presumption is the consequences of different possible actions. Accordingly, I will re-state the offending comment as a series of conditionals, free of normative content.

    If you fight to abolish pornography then you will lose, because people will object to your assertion that you know what is best for all women. Your movement will be reduced to impotent ranting-precisely the kind of feminism that the patriarchy likes to see.

    If, on the other hand, you acknowledge the reality of pornography, and focus your energies on correcting the injustices found therein without imposing your sexual mores on others, then you will make the world a better place for women. Your movement my still involve ranting, but it will be far from impotent.

    Of course, this feminist will be choosing option two, and would encourage you to do the same. But if you want to embrace irrelevance rather than cooperate with dudes, that is your perogative.

  111. nails

    I gave you a polite and reasoned response, and was ignored.

    Enjoy your persecution complex.

  112. Falsum

    Sorry Nails. I must have been typing my post when you posted yours. You make a good point. Perhaps a sensible remedy would be to allow such contracts to be easily nullified in the event of a woman changing her mind. Another option might be to have a mandatory waiting period between the filming of the video, and the signing of the contract which allows it to be distributed.

    I’m not a lawyer, so there may well be flaws with these ideas. My point is that it is better to focus on eliminating the specific abuses that make pornography a bad thing, rather than trying to eradicate it entirely.

    And no, I don’t have a persecution complex. I realize that I am priveliged. Why would a man with a persecution complex self-identify as a feminist?

  113. Saphire

    Falsum, you are the charicature of a feminism 101 joke, so I’d stop. You don’t get to tell us how to do feminism – the No.1 rule.

    Porn is based on the degradation of women. It’s a medium, sold by men to other men, which represents women and men, and the story of sex. So it’s not just sex. It touches dangerous territory. It has the opportunity to control, exploit. The free speech of the internet and home videos is not always ‘good speech’ if we are living in any socially responsible society.

    The rape acts are not the only problem (though of course the incluion of suggestive rape in most porn is a serious problem) – in a patriarchy any industry based on selling sex videos thrives on each video being more degrading to women than the last. It’s the degradation. Show me a porn video that isn’t degrading to women, I’ll show you a million to your 1 that degrades women to the point of rape suggestions.

    We’re also radical feminists at a site called ‘I blame the Patriarchy’. This means we want to abolish porn entirely, we see porn = patriarchy. And sometimes a place to ‘rant impotently’ without interruption has more use than flying to Iraq, fighting *more important things* ya know? I say that, for as we can barely rant without death threats, then I think uninterrupted ranting is not what the patriarchy wants at all. Thus, is a good thing.

    P.s. this site is for advanced blamers. If you find yourself trying to hopelessly understand, or are going against the grain – then do some reading and come back, or accept we don’t need your weighty opinions.

  114. Jezebella

    It is not the abuses that make porn a bad thing. It’s the PORN that makes porn a bad thing. There is no “good” porn. Have you even read the FAQ here??

  115. Falsum

    I was disputing that very claim, Jezebella. It’s all in my first post, but I can briefly summarize it with a question that sounds more confrontational than intended. Who are you to dictate what other women can consent to?

  116. phio gistic

    Wanting to live in a world where porn is superfluous, where the “best” choice for some women isn’t being sexually abused on film, where men -don’t- enjoy orgasming to movies of women being hurt, does not equal “demanding censorship” or even “trying to eradicate it entirely.” Why do some people believe that when we talk about wishing to live in such a world, we magically acquire the power to Destroy All Porn and must be forced to STFU? If you don’t want to us evolve into a world where porn is irrelevant, isn’t it on you to sell us on why porn should be kept around? Tell us what purpose is served by the increasing violence and demeaning acts? Tell us why you enjoy getting off on movies of women getting hurt? Explain how the logical extrapolation of these trends don’t lead to ever more extreme violence? You can say “not my nigelporn,” but why is the most common, mainstream, get-it-at-your-corner-video-store, two clicks away on google, porn filled with violence and overt hatred?

  117. Cara

    If you fight to abolish pornography then you will lose, because people will object to your assertion that you know what is best for all women. Your movement will be reduced to impotent ranting-precisely the kind of feminism that the patriarchy likes to see.

    Concern troll is concerned.

    Pffft.

    I don’t care about abolishing pornography, Skeezix. Most of us just want to change the world so that porn won’t exist in its current form (where men feel entitled to use women to get off and fantasize about degrading those who won’t go along). That’s what’s meant by eliminating porn culture.

    Again, it’s not anti-sex, it’s anti-rape. Under the current system, no woman can freely consent to any of this stuff because we’re already assumed to be in a permanent state of availability, us being objects and our sexuality belonging to whoever consumes us, not to ourselves. That’s not ME doing that, Chowderhead, that was the default system in place long before any of us were born and it’s not any fucking different now.

    Therefore, any porn that uses women’s images is automatically explotative of them because it can’t be produced in a vacuum.

    Men, however, can choose not to buy the shit, if they care, which most don’t. They just want to hang on to their right to treat women like consumables instead of people.

  118. Cara

    You can say “not my nigelporn,” but why is the most common, mainstream, get-it-at-your-corner-video-store, two clicks away on google, porn filled with violence and overt hatred?

    Exactly.

    See, this is what I don’t get. Men are superior, right? Brilliant, imaginative, all the geniuses on earth that matter are men, they’re so much better than women. *eyeroll* Why the hell do they neeeeeed pictures of us to get off? Can’t they do it better with their own minds?

    It seems like an awful lot of work, all this defending of their wank material. What’s so marvelous about it? Why not just quit using it, so they can get on with the wanking instead of having panels and doing research to prove how innocuous it is?

  119. Falsum

    Cara, by your logic, nobody can freely consent to anything. I agree that our choices are strongly influenced by the culture we are brought up in, but then couldn’t you se a man’s choice to consume pornography in the exact same light as a woman’s choice to be in it? Why, in that case, is one a victim and the other a victimizer?

    Yes, there are women who are horribly victimized by the porn industry, but there are also women who are quite happy to be involved with it. Some feminists find it empowering. Not everybody so values their sexuality that they consider it degrading to market it. Clearly you do, and that’s fine, but what right do you have to impose that view on others?

    Just because women are perceived by some to be constantly available does not mean that they actually are. Many of the women who choose to do porn are perfectly capable of saying “no” to undesired roles. Attention should be focused on the ones who aren’t. To say that no porn star can consent to their work is extremely patronizing.

  120. Jezebella

    Y’all, is there some sort of Concern Troll Manual that has been published and handed out to porn-sick weasels everywhere? I have yet to see an original argument from one, in lo, these many years of dealing with internetian porn-sick weasels.

  121. m Andrea

    Fulsum, please see my comment, which I clarified so you can understand:

    The argument many pro-porn advocates are using is “Only some people are harmed and THEY DON’T MATTER” Only some lives are utterly destroyed, only half of humanity is harmed, only half of humanity is harmed indirectly, therefore porn is beneficial TO THE ONLY HUMANS WHO COUNT.

    This is not a logical argument which is used for any legitimate activity. When an activity can only be justified by denying the existence of harm, or when an activity can only be justified by minimizing gross harm because the victims to not matter, the debate is over. The abusers have lost their right to be considered human.

  122. Falsum

    I don’t really see how I’m a troll. I’ve been fairly polite, and even constructive. When you accuse porn viewers of being complicity in rape, you can expect to be questione about it. I also don’t feel particularly sick or weasel-like.

    Perhaps you see the same arguments over and over again because you never provide a satisfactory reply. Your claim that you know what’s best for other women requires justification.

  123. m Andrea

    You have forfeited your own humanity. No one took it away from you. You relinquished it all by yourself, through your own actions. You alone are willing to dehumanize half the worlds population merely for a brief moment of sadistic glee.

  124. Rachel

    “There is not a multiplicity of feminist stances on pornography, nor even just two, and . There is only one. I can’t emphasize this strongly enough. Any stance favourable to pornography, or even neutral, is anti-feminist because it is anti-woman, and inhuman because it reduces to the penis and not only condones but glorifies violations of human rights, and either no one notices or this dehumanisation is defended as . If there were not a word for it already, feminism would have had to invent one to name that misogynist ideology which dehumanises everyone, and which permeates every facet of male supremacist culture. So, yes, the of the tabloid press are pornographic, along with a great deal of literature and art and most of advertising and anything else to the extent that it shows contempt for the humanity of women by purveying women as nothing but objects for male consumption.”

    “On Pornography” by Denise Thompson

  125. Falsum

    Andrea, I challeng you to find any practice anywhere that does not have at least a few victims. Just because something causes harm doesn’t mean it should end. I’m not endorsing the status quo-porn has altogether too many victims as things currently are. But there are people, some of him are women, who benefit from porn, and so I think it is more productive to focus on helping those victims, rather than trying to eliminate an entire industry.

    Consider alcohol. Certainly the production, distribution and consumption of liquor claims a lot of victims. But the answer is not to ban liquor. As we discovered on the 1920s, that only makes the problem worse. I think the situation is similar with porn.

  126. Falsum

    How exactly have I sadistically dehumanized anyone? Sex is a pretty human thing, and I fail to see how that is made any different when a camera gets involved.

  127. Rachel

    There were some characters in my previous post that caused several words to disappear. The quote should’ve read as follows:

    “There is not a multiplicity of feminist stances on pornography, nor even just two, for and against. There is only one. I can’t emphasize this strongly enough. Any stance favourable to pornography, or even neutral, is anti-feminist because it is anti-woman, and inhuman because it reduces humanity to the penis and not only condones but glorifies violations of human rights, and either no one notices or this dehumanisation is defended as free speech. If there were not a word for it already, feminism would have had to invent one to name that misogynist ideology which dehumanises everyone, and which permeates every facet of male supremacist culture. So, yes, the page threes of the tabloid press are pornographic, along with a great deal of literature and art and most of advertising and anything else to the extent that it shows contempt for the humanity of women by purveying women as nothing but objects for male consumption.”

    “On Pornography” by Denise Thompson

  128. SKM

    Andrea, I challeng [sic] you to find any practice anywhere that does not have at least a few victims. Just because something causes harm doesn’t mean it should end.

    How exactly have I sadistically dehumanized anyone? Sex is a pretty human thing, and I fail to see how that is made any different when a camera gets involved.

    What the Sam Hill is going on in here?

    Feminist Hulk Smash!

  129. RKMK

    Falsum, do your effing homework before yammering on so. All of it would be good for you, but especially:

    Her 1993 book, Only Words, proselytised for this view, opposing the US constitution’s first amendment interpretation of pornography as protected speech. MacKinnon rather considered it hate speech, one that she and Dworkin defined as “the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures or words”, but also one with real power – notably, to cause the rape and murder of women.

    It’s a contentious view but if it were true, why not censor pornography? “Our approach is not to ban, but to offer a civil remedy to people who can prove they were harmed – rather than empowering the police and putting people in jail, which doesn’t do any good anyway. Pornographers keep their businesses going in jail.”

    This has been MacKinnon’s feminist approach to porn for a quarter of a century: the victims of porn need to be empowered by law to seek remedies for harm they suffered, existing male-framed laws being inadequate to the challenge.

    and

    “Pornographers have even more control of the public space than they did before. And popular culture is increasingly adapting itself to the fact that more and more people are pornography consumers. So everything in culture has to change to respond to that or it won’t succeed – it’s the way capitalism works.”

    She sounds like a nay-sayer on the fringes of capitalism’s degrading free-for-all. It is a departure from her usual posture: the marginalised voice of reason. “You are ever more the turn in the punch bowl when you say what it takes to make it, which is abuse and violation of women and children and some men. You’re raining on their parade when you point out that the people around them are being treated in ever more misogynistic ways, including violent ones. People don’t want to hear it because they’re having too good a time.”

  130. Hermionemone

    Here’s an idea: don’t ban porn, regulate it.

    Henceforth, all sexually explicit material that may legally be sold, must be approved by the Positive Images for Healthy Sex Editorial Review Board. Pictures of happy people of various (legal) ages and many diverse body types running in slow motion through fields of flowers, rolling in actual hay, consensually kissing and nuzzling and caressing (but NO GRABBING OR HURTING) will be approved. All material that depicts violence or coercion (feigned or actual) will be excised.

    Oh, that’s not interesting enough for you? You want to buy something more “traditional”? You must be one of those antisocial porn-addled recidivists. Off to the reeducation centre with you!

    That plan really has no chance of working, though. There’s no way to de-escalate the violence in porn back to something more healthy, less inherently rape-centric, barring a halt-clearall-reset-reboot of the entire consumer base.

  131. Falsum

    I am familiar with the writigs of both Catherine Mackinnon and Andrea Dworkin. I find them unconvincing. A woman who is subjected to violence at the hands of a man shouldn’t be blaming pornography, she should be blaming the violent man.

    In fact, economic studies of pornography have shown that it is a substitutable good for rape. That is to say, as porn consumption goes up, rape goes down. Empirical research supports the “safety valve” argument.

  132. William Nelson

    Is it possible that the problem is not so much with porn as with the human sex drive itself? It’s good at producing babies but it’s not clearly “good” in many other ways. All major religions have viewed it with extreme suspicion, and perhaps there is a reason beyond prudery.

  133. AlienNumber

    Falsum says:

    “Consider alcohol. Certainly the production, distribution and consumption of liquor claims a lot of victims. But the answer is not to ban liquor. As we discovered on the 1920s, that only makes the problem worse. I think the situation is similar with porn.”

    Translation: I, Falsum, believe women aren’t people, but just a thing to be used by men, who are people. Men have no self-control and also an addiction to the rape of the women and to the filming and distribution of this rape. It will only make the situation worse to try to ban the use of the thing.

    It’s actually a thinly veiled threat.

  134. Falsum

    Hermionemone: Most people are capable of distinguishing fact from fiction. Porn isn’t the only depiction of violence in our society. There us no reason to think that James Bond movies lead to real world gunfights.

  135. RKMK

    Falsum, NB: The douchebags behind Freakonomics do not actually qualify as “economic studies.”

  136. Falsum

    While I love freakonomics and take exception to the labelling of Steven Levitt as a douchebag, that’s not where those studies came from. These studies were presented in a university course, taught by a female economist, on the economics of sex and love.

  137. RKMK

    Oh, really? Which professor? What university? Have they published on the topic? Can you otherwise source your claims?

  138. Cyberwulf

    Falsum, you’re making me laugh out loud, but it’s a laugh of anger. After all your other bullshit arguments about how porn is empowering and if anyone says it isn’t, they’re infantilising women, you suggest that porn actually stops men from raping women.

    First, correlation does not equal causation. Second, there’s a vast difference between the actual number of rapes and the number of rapes reported to the authorities. Third, if men need to look at images of women being degraded and objectified to keep them from raping women, men should be locked up to keep the rest of us safe from their uncontrollable hatred.

    And fourth, if porn stops rape, doesn’t it follow that kiddie pr0n would stop child molestation? Yet very few testerical porn-defenders would defend that particular brand of porn.

  139. AlienNumber

    Yep, threat:

    Falsum says: “In fact, economic studies of pornography have shown that it is a substitutable good for rape. That is to say, as porn consumption goes up, rape goes down. Empirical research supports the “safety valve” argument.”

    Which is to say: Falsum will rape women more if his supply of pornography goes down. The rape will either happen in the movies he watches or he will have to do it himself, but rape will not disappear, not as long as he’s around.

    Also, apparently rape is a good, like pornography is a good. Good for the GDP too.

  140. PalMD

    I humbly submit that the legal status of porn is less relevant, as some have pointed out. Signing some ferkackte contract of consent? Really? What would such a contract do?

    It would allow the pornographer to use the legal system to punish his victim further. It is essentially a slave contract. It’s idiotic.

    And as to the whole, “find me an industry where a few folks don’t get themselves hurt….”

    Really? How is this tu quoque idiocy even relevant?

  141. Alexa

    Falsum is being ripped to shreds. But then it’s not his gender that exists as the recepticle of hatred in porn. Why is he still talking here? To second RKMK, do your homework before you class yourself as an ‘advanced blamer’ and claim to have read the guidelines. If you disagre with andrea dworkin, then doubt this is the place for you!
    I consider those women raped and attacked as a result of porn/ object culture more – before I’d ever consider those women getting a cookie from the patriarchy partaking in porn.
    Let’s be honest falsum. Porn isn’t sex, it’s wank fodder. Ask yourself what you’re honestly defending. Would a loss of wank fodder be so great a loss to humanity :( Or is there that demeaning aspect you like? Women have their right to ‘want’ to be demeaned.

    This is a radfem blog for advanced blamers, falsum.

  142. Falsum

    RKMK: Dalhousie University ECON 2214: The economic of sex and Love. Professor Marina Adshade. I apologize, but I don’t have my notes on me, so I can’t cite the exact studies.

    Cyberwulf:

    Correlation does not equal causation, but you can infer causation if you have a reasonable mechanism for a consistent correlation. At any rate, it’s better than nothing. Nothing is precisely what exists in the way of empirical evidence suggesting that porn leads to rape.

    While not all rapes are reported, it is reasonable to suggest that the number of rapes and the number of reported rapes are correlated. If the nver of reported rapes increases, you can bet that the number of actual rapes does the same.

    Third, there is nothing wrong with the production and consumption of an image. It’s a fiction. Furthermore, the image is often not violent. You seem to be talking about an extremely small niche marke which depicts sexualized violence directed at both men and women. Most mainstream porn is just poorly acted scenes which unrealistically turn into sex. Many men (and women for that matter) find themselves sexually frustrated by an inability to obtain consensual sex. They can release this frustration either by simulating consensual sex (porn and mastrbation) or by engaging in nonconsensual sex (rape). Why would you want to demonize them for taking the first option?

    Fourth, kiddie porn is illegal because children cannot meaningfully consent. Grown women can meaningfully consent. Porn stars’ consent is not invalidated by your (probably unwanted) complaints on their behalf. Sorry.

    Aliennumber: While your post wasn’t strictly a godwin, calling somebody a rapist has to be right ip there with calling somebody a Nazi. Stay classy.

  143. Falsum

    Being outnumbered is not the same as being ripped to shreds. I will concede defeat if one of you can come up with a single good reason for the claim that you can dictate what other grown women can meaningfully consent to.

    At any rate, I don’t particularly care. I entered this thread in the hopes of getting some kind of diologue on an issue that interests me, but instead I was called a rapist. To be honest, I find you just as dogmatic and irrational as conservative Christians, who also want to force their sexual morals on others. I, along with the rest of educated society, will continue to ignore people like you in favour of a more sensible brand of feminism that is interested in helping women, rather than hating men.

    Enjoy your irrelevance.

  144. Cyberwulf

    Falsum, you may not be a rapist, but you clearly don’t give a fuck about rape, or indeed anything except making sure you have lots of naked pictures to look at when you mash your shrivelled dick. Nobody NEEDS pornography to masturbate, and I don’t see why women should have to suffer because men have no imaginations.

  145. SKM

    “correlation is not causation, but hey, it’s better than nothing!” is not how statistics works, and it’s not how thinking works.

    To reiterate: what the Sam Hill is going on in here? Dr. Psmith must have biffed off for a taco or a rainwater collection device malfunction emergency or some such. Still, falsum’s fallacies underscore Jill’s post on raw data–folks abandon reason when you dare question their porn.

  146. RKMK

    Flounce, pathetic little man, flounce! Enjoy your consumption of rape byproduct!

  147. otoc

    “Meaningful consent” is whatever Dude Nation decides it is, and don’t you ladies forget it!

  148. AlienNumber

    Well, are you a rapist, Falsum? I’m not convinced you’re not. You seem to genuinely believe that rape is an option (which definitely makes you a potential rapist).

    Just read your own words–
    “Many men (and women for that matter) find themselves sexually frustrated by an inability to obtain consensual sex. They can release this frustration either by simulating consensual sex (porn and mastrbation) or by engaging in nonconsensual sex (rape).”

    Must be nice to be able to choose:
    “a) to rape or b) not to rape; a1) to watch rape and jerk off to it or a2) not to watch rape but instead ab)to rape or not to rape.” Your whole algorithm is idiotic and reeks of entitlement to sexual gratification, whatever it takes. Do you see now why it’s not so far-fetched to think of you as rapist? You sure portray yourself as one.

    p.s. pornography is the graphic representation of rape.

  149. Alexa

    He told us how we should DO feminism! what a pathetic little prick.

    You were outnumbered and outwitted. I’ve heard better arguments from the pope.

    We’re not being ignored, jill just doesn’t publish all the demented comments like yours. I’d rather talk to a wall and get it right then talk to thousands about compromise with the oppressor. I don’t think I want to compromise about porn. I do this for human moral reasons not because I’m a religious fundamentalist.

  150. Alexa

    He doesn’t have a single argument to work with. It’s just a randomer producing a set of rather poor comments, with his balls in a twist. Newsflash Falsum, you can still beat one off to dehumanised women. You can still even rape as you want to! It’s sort of legal thanks in part to this harmless porn and its representation of women ‘wanting it’.

  151. CrowMeris

    Falsum, you offer a false dichotomy: “They can release this frustration either by simulating consensual sex (porn and mastrbation) or by engaging in nonconsensual sex (rape).”
    Frustration is a by-product of existence; as children we throw temper-tantrums; as adults we learn self-control – or at least we should. Your premise exempts men from self-control. Either we allow porn with all of its attending oppressiveness, or women are subject to rape because men are denied their wank fodder.

    Nonsensical bullshit. Men rape women because they want to rape women.

  152. Dr. Sarah Tonin

    Falsum began by saying:

    The commenters here seem to think that there are circumstances (to be decided by radical feminist bloggers) where women cannot meaningfully consent.

    ——

    Quite right. The “circumstances” in question constitute PATRIARCHY. Under patriarchy, no woman can meaningfully consent, because all women are part of the sex class.

    I assure you that this was not “decided by radical feminist bloggers.” Were RFBs in a position to *decide* anything, I reckon the world would look pretty different.

    All of your points are irrelevant, given that they proceed from an assumption that radfems do not share.

  153. Hedgepig

    “I will concede defeat if one of you can come up with a single good reason for the claim that you can dictate what other grown women can meaningfully consent to.”

    Falsum, we don’t claim that we can dictate what other grown women can meaningfully consent to. Our claim is that the patriarchal system dictates what all females can meaningfully consent to, and that is nothing. Meaningful consent requires a condition of freedom, or at least a condition of not being a member of a caste that is dominated by another caste.
    As radical feminists, we tend to believe that destroying the underlying system is the only way to create conditions under which female humans can meaningfully consent. It sounds as if you identify as a liberal feminist, as they tend to believe that making reforms within the existing system is the way to go.
    Your warning to us that our extreme views will make our movement impotent is amusing, because many of us, myself included, were liberal feminists before becoming radicalised, and we came to the conclusion that reforms are ultimately useless because the system will find a way to subvert those reforms to serve the interests of the dominant caste.
    I apologise to our hostess with the mostess for engaging with someone who has either not read the Guidelines for Commenters or is ignoring them, but something about your arguments made me want to reiterate some of the reasons why I abandoned liberal feminism in favour of radical.

  154. Hedgepig

    Dr.Sarah – snap!

  155. Jill

    Everyone is invited to ignore Falsum. I approved his original comment in error. I think we can all agree that his remarks do not enbiggen the discourse, given that they are antifeminist in nature, and as such do not belong on this blog.

  156. m Andrea

    I will concede defeat if one of you can come up with a single good reason for the claim that you can dictate what other grown women can meaningfully consent to.

    How convenient that you alone claim the right to dictate under what conditions “meaningful consent” is defined. How convenient that you claim final right of approval over someone else’s definition. Do you allow other people this same right, lest we add hypocrisy to your list of accumulated flaws?

    While no one is entitled to dictate other people’s behavior, it is possible to prove their behavior inappropriate and harmful. As someone so astutely observed, porn cannot be produced or consumed without the presence of a dehumanized commodity. Ergo: harm.

    But you want someone to prove they have the right to dictate “meaningful consent” so okay let’s go there. My definition of meaningful consent is consent without the presence of socialized brainwashing since birth. My right to dictate global policy rests upon the same right which you claim for yourself to dictate global policy. Ergo: impasse.

    Which means reasonable people seek authentic criteria instead of listening to a dominating control freak who clearly doesn’t care about the half of humanity whom he has already dehumanized — I suggest HARM is a much more reasonable criteria. Ergo: bye.

  157. Ames

    Falsum got 14 or so comments worth of his attempt at dominating this discussion (and got away with “diologue”!!) and that many and more comments in reply. Are you happy, mearl, we’re letting the man have his say.

  158. Azundris

    Why does that old “porn prevents rape” adage always give me a visual of a beleaguered building with the blokes outside yelling, “Pick some and send ‘em out! Or we’ll come inside and do the picking, and you’ll like that even less!”?

  159. agasaya

    Women consent to rape all the time. It’s called marriage. Not all marriages involve abuse but many do in the world at large. That doesn’t require the abolition of marriage but its redefinition in terms of ownership of the woman.

    In porn, males own women in both imagery (the fiction) and by contract (the reality). There is no real consent when one’s survival depends upon being ‘available’ in return for food, shelter and a position in society (marriage) or in return for a paycheck (porn). That’s not a choice but a concession.

    The goal isn’t to improve porn but to make it irrelevant to women as a means of earning a living. Like marriage. It sure ain’t a hobby and I don’t know any little girl who dreams of prostitution and porn as a career. They do dream of relationships with men who would view them as partners but porn kinda alters those attitudes and the numbers of males who would make a halfway decent nigel.

  160. Shelby

    @Cyberwulf

    “if men need to look at images of women being degraded and objectified to keep them from raping women, men should be locked up to keep the rest of us safe”

    And that there Cyberwulf should be the bottom line of this whole thread. Falsum and his ilk will never be able to see this issue for what it is because men lack the ability to empathise. Men can only see as far as how any issue directly affects them. They are not only short sighted, but they have tunnel vision and they wear side blinkers. It is futile to ever argue with these wholly self serving and deranged individuals. The sooner we lock the fuckers up, the better.

  161. Rice

    “At any rate, I don’t particularly care. I entered this thread in the hopes of getting some kind of diologue on an issue that interests me, but instead I was called a rapist.”

    Sorry for ignoring the call to ignore, but these people need to just stop. Stop it. Why don’t people read the guidelines? “Some kind of dialogue”! As if no one has made one logical argument, when there have been concise reiterations of the radfem stance, acclaimed authors cited and extremely valid points put forward by a number of commenters.

    You claim to care for a woman’s right to ‘consent’ to being filmed performing increasingly degrading acts for your wanking benefit, while at the same time dismiss the rights of the multitude of women who are coerced, beaten, and sold into this industry.

    The dialogue you’re looking for is for us to put this aside and agree with you that “not all porn is bad, therefore me and my mates aren’t bad people for watching this somehow discernable consensual porn that exists in a vaccum from the wider evil porn industry.”

    Agh, I’ll stop now.

  162. mearl

    Jeez, has it not sunk IN yet? What every individual chooses to do has absolutely nothing to do with the individual’s surrounding culture. Even when the number of individuals doing the same thing reaches into the millions and creates a strictly regulated, legally recognised, socially-sanctioned billion-dollar industry, NONE of it has any effect on anything outside the individual (or group of individuals’) actions. Demographics is a bullshit notion, along with statistics. Marketing is a useless industry because people are not influenced by what they see, hear, learn and experience from others. Everything one CHOOSES to do is chosen and done in a vacuum, and has no effect on anyone else. Porn has nothing to do with misogyny: that’s why heterosexual men EVERYWHERE are lining up to have THEIR orifices reamed out and their faces bashed in for the viewing pleasure of other people. Porn addiction is a myth. Porn is so diverse that the script of a typical porno can NOT be rattled off by anyone familiar with the industry. Porn has nothing to do with economics, either: women would be doing it WHETHER WE GOT PAID OR NOT. The supply of sex workers is NOT comprised of women at the bottom of the global economic pyramid. No, siree. Sex work is just a big old circus of fun times.

    I am an individualist! Hear me roar!

  163. Amananta

    On “agency” and “consent” in porn:

    http://www.justice.gov/criminal/ceos/trafficking.html

    “Those who profit from victimizing children and adults in the sex trade are only one half of the problem. The other half are those who patronize this exploitive industry.”

    That’s from the radical feminist organization of the US Justice department.

    In short, you have no way of knowing if that image you are happily wanking away to is an enslaved, drugged, abused child or not.

    Now talk to me about “agency” and “choice”.

  164. Summerspeaker

    That feministhulk page is brilliant and hilarious. Thus something good came out of the Falsum debate.

    Why does that old “porn prevents rape” adage always give me a visual of a beleaguered building with the blokes outside yelling, “Pick some and send ‘em out! Or we’ll come inside and do the picking, and you’ll like that even less!”?

    Yeah, that’s a similar dynamic. It’s like how women often feel they must consent to sex with men or have it forced on them. Como siempre, IBTP.

  165. June Franco

    Jeez! Women! Whaddayagonnado!

  166. ivyleaves

    Falsum has a very apt name, False sum.

  167. Cara

    Why, in that case, is one a victim and the other a victimizer?

    Because he’s sitting in his Barcalounger fapping and she’s being hurt.

    HTH.

  168. wiggles

    A woman who is subjected to violence at the hands of a man shouldn’t be blaming pornography, she should be blaming the violent man.

    Each and every single incidence of male violence against women is an isolated one.

  169. wiggles

    @Amananta

    In short, you have no way of knowing if that image you are happily wanking away to is an enslaved, drugged, abused child or not.

    Remember Traci Lords? She’s just lucky somebody found her.

  170. Alexa

    He should defo change his name to Fosdick.

  171. Alexa

    That would be way more apt, ivyleaves.

  172. Guanyin8

    can you please, please write on this?!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/08/health/08hormone.html

    I just read it and it reminded me of your post. It looks like they found that increased levels of testosterone inhibit the ability to trust, and from there they came to the conclusion that women are sexually complicated. Please, please help.

  173. SarahS

    Call me a conformist if you like.

    Falsum brought his opinions to the forum in a polite manner. He tried very hard to answer questions directed at him with further information, and he backed up his claims more than most.

    He was met with hostility and rudeness. The few polite and insightful counter-arguments were outnumbered by unequivocally stating he was a rapist to impolite comments about his “shrivled dick”. The bulk of your arguments were of the same vein as his: “I’m right until you prove me wrong.” Someone who gave women a slight nod of concession has probably been sent running to the patriarical side.

    I agree when he says you are arguing yourself into impotence. The “if I yell louder then I win the debate” approach does not facilitate positive discourse.

    Stating that the site is reserved for only hardcore anti-patriarchy femensists draws strong comparison to the difference between a Muslim and a Jihadist.

    As a two time Afghanistan veteran I feel quite empowered and I, personally, will continue WORKING towards a future where women and men are equal, instead of just standing in a corner screaming.

    Ridicule or censor me all you want, by saying my opinion is any less valid than your own you are no better than the dudes you love to hate so much.

    Sarah-out.

  174. Jill

    Ridicule [...] me all you want

    OK, if you say so!

    I have not deleted SarahS’s dear-god-what-about-the-men! comment because it is an example of one of my favorite species: the ‘you should be nicer to dudes or they will be “sent running to the patriarchal side”‘ argument.

    Tell me, SarahS, do you believe men who drop by Savage Death Island expect me to entertain’em with hula girls and a roast suckling pig? And unless I, who am suddenly the official Woman Ambassador to the Internet, shower them with diplomacy, these dudes will have no choice but to conclude that women totally deserve to be oppressed? In other words, patriarchy is the feminists’ fault?

    Priceless.

    More hyberbolic delights: I am “standing in a corner screaming” (why would I do a thing like that? Are there no couches? No pitchers of margs? Am I in a Yoko Ono play?); comparing me (or the “femensists”) to a Jihadist (presumably the kind with guns and bombs); I ‘love to hate’ men; and by not choosing to publish her comment I would be “censoring” SarahS.

    This one’s a weener!

  175. agasaya

    A female veteran of Afghanistan doesn’t understand the issue?

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/04/06/afghanistan.law/

    Our service people are sworn to protect and defend our Constitution. Presumably, we are in Afghanistan to remove outlaws who attacked us here at home and allow Afghans to live by their constitution (reducing the threat of an extremist government to ourselves).

    The above law about women was passed in violation of the ‘equal rights’ granted the people of Afghanistan in their 1964 version of the constitution (see

    http://www.cic.nyu.edu/peacebuilding/oldpdfs/E22Womens%20RightsFullVersionNawabi.pdf )

    to one segment of the male population for political balm. Men can override laws anytime they wish for political or religious expediency. When the two are equivalent, laws cannot be changed since they are no longer of the people but designed by a higher power. Currently, equal rights for women are a state, not a federally, defined matter as are marriage contracts (hence the invalidation of DOMA). Women lack national validation as equals although we can protect and defend our nation. On that basis, the right to vote was decreased from 21 to 18 in a constitutional amendment (1971).

    There is no defense for pornography as a concept because it exploits (primarily, but not solely) females and children. Girls are consigned to the status of ‘legal’ or ‘not legal’ under the philosophy of porn or “When can I have them without being jailed or feeling guilty for panting after children?” Or have to high-tail it over to Asia to enjoy them? Slavery today is a practice based in sex instead of labor as in past centuries and even more prevalent.

    http://video.nytimes.com/video/2006/12/18/opinion/1194817092163/heartbreak-and-hope.html

    Consent to a life defined by sexual accessibility to the minds and bodies of males is not the same as meaningful consent in that the decision is life affirming and healthy. Consent to a form of ‘death’ isn’t what feminism is about nor does it require reinforcement of those who argue it from that point of view. It’s like arguing for a lower age to buy cigarettes. Whatever the matter of legal privilege involved, it’s going to hurt you and no amount of discussion will alter that fact. Use of cigarettes remains subject to restrictions for the protection of non-smokers and kids; and it’s okay to disapprove of tobacco. So, since the use of women for porn remains legal, like cigarettes, there’s nothing a porn-loving male needs to complain about, is there? Those who have lung cancer and those who have been sexually oppressed are not likely to politely reply to any insistence they be forced to ‘inhale’ the second hand fumes from Camels or porn.

  176. nails

    Sarah S-Riiiiight. The war in Afghanistan means equality for women. You know, the ones that are still alive, unless their children or husbands get killed and their lives are ruined that way. There is lifelong injury and PTSD to consider, too. Our GI’s rape women in every war, including this one. Or hey, maybe when bush started this war despite the projected starvation rate he just knew better than most folks that starving to death is really liberating for women. What a joke.

    Not to mention that our government supported the especially woman oppressing faction of the previous war in Afghanistan in order to screw with godless commies and give Russia “their Vietnam”. This was post-vietnam, our officials knew that attempting to do this would mean ruining the country and destroying infrastructure. People were greatful for the taliban because they needed some kind of order after the invasion by russia. Any help we manage to give is making up for the mess that our country contributed to back then. We armed and trained those crazy people and now are using the fact that they are armed&crazy as a reason to kill more innocent people there.

  177. Fliss

    Ok ‘Sarah S’, as you asked: You’re a brain- dead conformist. You probably share a single brain cell with Falsum. You stupidly expect everyone to conform to a ‘nicey nice’ submissive feminism.

    ‘Someone who gave women a slight nod of concession has probably been sent running to the patriarical side.’

    Boo-hoo. Why do people have such a hard time with this being a blog that doesn’t give a shit what men think?

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