No time to post this morning, so I thought to mildly amuse by publishing a selection of reject-pile comments from the post I wrote yesterday. These were all authored, if you can believe it, by people who did not read the Guidelines for Commenters!
Yesterday’s little fillip of blaming rapture, you may recall, concerned an essay written by Scienceblogger Jason G Goldman in which he summarized, without “taking sides,” some studies on pornography. According to Goldman, the studies found that porn’s effects on its consumers isn’t really so bad.
That’s right. Dudes have actually conducted studies that show how oppressors don’t really seem to suffer too much from consuming the “product” (Goldman’s term for the graphic representation of women’s subjugation) of their oppression. No way, really? Privilege is totally awesome? Who knew?
Combining my analysis of the tone of Goldman’s essay (if it walks like an endorsement and talks like an endorsement …)* with the fact that he’d cherry-picked only “porn is pretty benign” studies, I concluded that this was yet another blob of misogynist science-prattle demonstrating the distressing degree of obliviousness that even educated men present when it comes to the meaning of ordinary patriarchy, men’s role in the oppression hierarchy, and their deficit of empathy with the oppressed classes. I also took the opportunity to openly mock one of Goldman’s commenters, a dick who exemplifies total dickness with his stated conviction that, because he likes consuming the graphic representation of rapes, there simply cannot be anything wrong with porn.
Meanwhile, other bloggers agreed. Goldman has since cracked under pressure and removed the post, which is too bad, since many of us have put an effort into making an example of it, pointing at it and laughing, focusing the rage of an angry mob upon it, etc. Goldman has since suggested, here and at Zuska’s (and maybe elsewhere, but how should I know; what am I, Google?), that his post was just an off-the-cuff little tiptoe down Sexology Lane, that he was completely unaware that pornography is a “divisive issue,” that he never intended to offend anyone, and he’s sorry.
“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.”
Imagine inhabiting a universe where you are oblivious to the fact that pornography is controversial! Wait, is that it, up there? There, in the clouds! If I squint through my bile-colored trifocals, I think I can glimpse that happy world’s champagne waterslides and gumdrop toadstools and rainbow tacos and rape-free society! Scotty, beam me up! What’s that? It’s dudes-only? Blarg!
By the way, this blogger (who you can tell has been reading PZ Myers, because she uses the word “woo,” and also because she links to PZ Myers) thinks that, because I outed the deeply embedded antifeminist mores demonstrated by a dudely science blogger, that I am anti-science! Me! And after all I just went through to try to sell a skeptical faction of the Blametariat on the superior number one-ness of the scientific method! Some days it just doesn’t pay to turn off the Ab-Fab DVDs and get out of bed.
Anyway, I promised deleted comments, and deliver them I shall. And yes, I realize that when you publish deleted comments, they aren’t technically deleted anymore. So, without further ado, check out these psychotic remarks from “James,” some self-styled science-knob inquisitor:
I’m curious about this sentence: “There is a difference between banning porn and eradicating the demand for porn, a delicate nuance that no dude ever seems able to contemplate.” I assume you’re working from an assumption that the desire to see porn in men is largely, if not completely, fabricated by society? So then your objective would be weaning males of porn or the desire for visual sexual stimulation, which is a very invasive course of action regarding a group you don’t belong to. Obviously predicated on the idea that porn is entirely negative towards women, even when representing acts of consensual sex.
So I suppose my ultimate questions would be: what evidence you have that porn is negative? How you would design future double blind studies (longitudinal if you wish) that could demonstrate whether porn was ultimately good, bad, or neutral?
I fly into transports over the notion that redesigning the social order so that males no longer frolick unchecked in a culture of rape is “a very invasive course of action regarding a group you don’t belong to.” Like porn exists in a vacuum. Dude is oblivious that rape culture depends on the oppression of the group I do belong to. And then he demands scientific proof that oppression is bad! God, is there anything sexier than a domineering science-knob? I’ve got your longitudinal study right here, douchebag!
I had to chuck out this next comment from “Pearl” for its tragic antifeminist naivete.
Ok, Let me just say that as a woman, I love porn. It helps me get off. And I’m not going to lie, I don’t see it as an exploitation of women. I respect that most women have an opinion, and I’m not any authority to have much of one. All I’m saying is that you can’t tell a person that their opinion is wrong.
If a woman tells a man that his opinion is wrong she’s a feminist. If a man tells a woman that her opinion is wrong, he’s sexist. See the hypocrisy there? If we’re going to play the blame game here, I will openly say that feminists fucked it up for women. I love that we should be equal to men, but god damnit, I love a man who opens doors for me and pays for dinner. In fact, sometimes I expect it. Mr. Goldman here is simply stating a point. I don’t have the expertise to squash or agree with his argument. So women, Love y’all but get off your high horses. You are constantly bitching about how men are sexist, but what about you? You are also pretty fucking sexist.
I know I’m probably going to get bitched out and yelled at for having an opinion, but honestly I’m only stating an opinion. I think being overly feminist can also repress. Just keep it in mind ladies.
Newsflash, ladies! It is no longer permissible to tell a person that their opinion is wrong! I guess the Internet will be shutting down now.
Here’s an oldie but goodie:
Good luck finding a man.
Right back atcha, heteronormative moron dick!
Let us close with a sentiment popular among fucking douchebags, fetchingly and incomprehensibly encased in gratuitious ellipses.
… Well, I see we have the crazy feminist who thinks all men are evil over here, best to disregard…
This shit just writes itself.
Well, hold the fort, crazy feminist sexist ladies! I’ll be back soon with more No. 1 Science Information!
UPDATE: In an interesting gambit, Goldman has put his post back up, but it is not the original; this version is, he says, “stripped of speculation and editorializing” and begins with a soul-searching intro in which the author reflects on whether “the effects of a product can be separated from the question of the ethics of whether or not that product should be made in the first place.”
Referring to the spoils of human oppression as a “product” is a remarkable manifestation of patriarchotoxicity, and sorely chomps the chaps of all of us here at Savage Death Island.
* Q: Hey Twisty, what’s up with the ellipsis?
A: Trailing off into ‘silence’ — i.e. leaving the end of the sentence up to the reader’s imagination — is called aposiopesis, and may be indicated legitimately by an ellipsis. Like any rhetorical device, the use of aposiopesis is restricted to professionals who are trained in its judicious and sparing application.