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Pre-2008 Posts

Amp-Gate Epilogue

So, I just typed the words “Amptoons Sale” into Google. The Amptoons Review page, “Honest Reviews of Movies, Retailers, Products, and Websites, where all the misogynist, racist, lesbophobic hardcore BangBros, XXX, porn reviews are, came up as result number 11.

No matter which way anyone spins it, and the spin-meistering on the part of some is danged impressive, that is a sellout par excellence. Search for Amptoons, learn about “MILF” and teen porn and hot ethnic babes getting down and dirty. Go to Alas, see feminists defending this. Nice.

In the desperate scramble to redeem this act, some came up with the idea that this might actually be a good thing, because people who end up on this Reviews page clicking on porn links may actually end up reading about feminism. It doesn’t work that way; if you’ll take a look, there is no link to Alas on the Reviews page (although, of course, there is a link to the Reviews page from Alas.)




25 thoughts on “Amp-Gate Epilogue

  1. Here’s another gem of an idea from Barry:

    Barry/Amp says, “Although I know this doesn’t excuse my past errors, in response to this thread I’m planning to donate one-tenth of the money from the sale of amptoons to charities that help women. Hopefully this will provide some feeling of closure or balance to feminists who are distressed by having linked to “Alas” during the period since the sale.”

    Then a supporter of Amp’s Porn says, “ya know, the campaign to end fistula sounds like a good idea. Maybe this will remove some pains in the ass ya know 😉

    Posted by uppitybiscuit | October 13, 2006, 12:20 pm
  2. That is a good ploy isn’t it, try to buy back the harm done.

    Was this ‘fistula’ person making a joke about women who suffer with anal/vaginal fistulae after juvenile or unassisted childbirth or was it a genuine suggestion? I sincerely hope it was the latter.

    Posted by sparkle*matrix | October 13, 2006, 12:41 pm
  3. The teen site bothered me greatly. But as bad as it is, I think it probably links eventually to younger and younger girls. Recently a school kid surfing for homework help found depictions of gang rape. It was reported but the web host gave the usual disclaimer: they can’t be responsible blah. Well and maybe they have money problems, too.

    Posted by Pony | October 13, 2006, 1:10 pm
  4. Re: Fistula
    Forgot to add, also incurred after rape with broken bottle et al

    Posted by sparklematrix | October 13, 2006, 1:40 pm
  5. Amp is off my reading list. This is sick, sick, sick.

    Posted by Kali | October 13, 2006, 1:59 pm
  6. One tenth? Color me … cynical.

    Anyway, IMO, the women who contributed to increasing the value of Barry’s blog under shady circumstances could have a legal action against Barry for unjust enrichment.

    So one-tenth? I’m not at all impressed considering that he built amptoon’s sale value on the backs of women who got NOTHING of that increased value they contributed to. And considering that the money he took is blood money from pornographers and he doesn’t seem to think *that’s* an issue. Fuck him. The women who made amptoons valuable enough to sell, the women on whose backs Barry made a profit (including the prostituted women in the porn being sold off amptoons), deserve a fuckload more than one tenth.

    Posted by Char | October 13, 2006, 3:20 pm
  7. Yeah. There’s a guy over there right now saying, “Oh, poor Barry, when I heard how hard he had it…” But he didn’t have it hard. He had it fine. Down the line, he was worried it would be tight. Then the guy says, “It’s luxury and privilege to suggest he shouldn’t have sold out!” (In so many words.) No, it isn’t. Do you bother to READ what women write about this? No, you do not. Because if you did, you would see that when women are in that situation, they deal with it, without selling out. That women have been and continue to be in that situation for their whole lives– and they never sell out. Brilliant — GREAT — women writers, poets, artists, by the thousands, probably millions, have died penniless. I have an article on my main page about Kate Millett. About 10 years ago she was destitute. She couldn’t get her CLASSIC, Sexual Politics reprinted because the 20-something editors she approached said the book was “out of date”, even though she’d been solicited by one of them for a chapter of the book for an anthology. She had been running a Christmas tree farm but was getting on in years, couldn’t make it any more. She couldn’t get hired or published ANY where. Finally, because a couple of feminist women were able to get her story out there, Sexual Politics did get reprinted, she got a job teaching at some university on the East Coast, she kept her farm, which is an artist’s colony. But– she probably could have used her amazing writing skills and credentials to write porn, eh? To write trash? That would have probably gotten her a quick buck.

    Last year sometime, a many-times published, awesome lesbian author sent out the alarm that her bank accounts had been frozen, her water and lights were turned off, she’s disabled, can’t work, had been sued for medical bills. She probably could have started pumping out trash, too, to make a buck. She didn’t.

    But Amp DID. He did because he could. One reason he could was, he was a man, had access to male privilege, built a site on the backs of women, just like char says. One reason he did was, he could get away with it and still have feminist women defending it.

    The women above, if they’d done this? That would be absolutely it. Every shred of credibility they had with the people who mattered to them would be gone. The thing is, they wouldn’t have done it, and didn’t do it, and not because of “privilege” and fricking “luxury” and entitled. Because they had integrity and they cared about women.


    Posted by womensspace | October 13, 2006, 4:04 pm
  8. The reversals are interesting. There’s a guy over there now suggesting that Amp’s “financial problems” were the kicker for him. I mean, it’s “luxury” and “entitlement” to suggest Amp should have, like, dealt with his own financial problems in a little different manner. Like, say, the rest of us do.

    Do any of these people even THINK about all of the many, thousands, probably millions of women (and men, for that matter) who have found themselves penniless and never sold out, even though they could? I have an article about Kate Millett on my Women’s Space site (at the very bottom of the main page) describing the situation she was in, destitute, couldn’t get a job, couldn’t get her classic texts reprinted, even though they were used in college courses all over the country. Finally because feminist women publicized her situation, she was able to get a job teaching in a university back East, kept her farm which is an artist’s retreat for women artists, Sexual Politics was reprinted. Does anybody think she would have even, for one moment, considered writing trash to pay the bills? Porn? She could have. Flying which she wrote in 1972 or so was hot as hell. She’d have definitely been able to write garbage, pay her bills and justify what she did because she ran a retreat for women artists and it was all about that.

    A year ago a many-times-published lesbian feminist had had her bank accounts frozen, lights turned off, was being evicted, was disabled, had been sued for unpaid medical bills. Did she write garbage to make ends meet? Or otherwise sell out? No– she asked for help. I don’t even know if she got the help she needed, I just know she didn’t sell out.

    There really ARE people who don’t have a price. Not any price. There are people who do not sell out. And amidst all this handwringing over Ampersand’s non-existent financial crisis (maybe having trouble down the line does not a crisis make), that point needs to be made. The world is NEVER going to change, not EVER, if all the people who say they want it to change have a price, and can be bought.


    Posted by womensspace | October 13, 2006, 4:17 pm
  9. Soopermouse left that comment about fistulas. Sure seemed to be mocking women with fistulas to me.

    Posted by spotted elephant | October 13, 2006, 4:18 pm
  10. It sounds like she’s mocking the feminists who have criticised Ampersand at the expense of women with fistulas.

    Posted by delphyne | October 13, 2006, 4:41 pm
  11. I wonder how many of the posters defending Ampersand’s actions have gone to the reviews page to search seriously search for porn. There are obviously quite a few porn users on Alas so the reviews page would be an opportunity for them. Has Ampersand himself has made use of the porn links? As Luckynkl says elsewhere he admitted to being a porn user at Ms.

    The funny thing is if you ask porn users that question they call it an invasion of their privacy, although they have absolutely no compuction about invading the sexual privacy of the women they use.

    Posted by delphyne | October 13, 2006, 6:08 pm
  12. I agree, Heart, the fact of his selling out is unequivocal; not that you’d think so from all the gushing support he’s receiving.

    Ampersand: “most porn, like most mass media, seems sexist and harmful to me.”

    Ampersand: “I’m not saying what I did was great. It wasn’t. It was a compromise”

    Ampersand: “It’s a bad thing, disturbing to me, and understandably disturbing (or much worse than disturbing) to my anti-porn readers.”

    Ampersand: “At one point I walked away entirely, because he wouldn’t agree to have no porn links at all. Then a couple of weeks passed, a tenant told me that they might be losing their job, and he emailed out of the blue with a higher offer, and I decided I could live with the compromise.”

    Dictionary: “Sellout: a person who compromises his or her personal values, integrity, talent, or the like, for money or personal advancement.”

    As to those who support the guy, I agree with them insofar as that we all “sell out” in various ways to various degrees. My personal agreement ends with the claim that everyone should therefore cry a river of tears for him and excuse something that is clearly antithetical to even his definition of pro-feminism.

    Well, I guess I should revise that. If he could sign off on this slight revision of his weak-sauce rationalization, I guess it isn’t antithetical:

    “My views on Bang Bros: I’m not terribly pro-Bang Bros; Bang Bros, like most mass media, seems sexist and harmful to me. The arguments that Bang Bros prevents rape or is in some way tremendously beneficial to society strike me as not at all supported by the evidence. On the other hand, I’m also not especially anti-Bang Bros, in that I don’t see Bang Bros as being particularly separate from or different than regular mass media, either in how sexist and racist it is, or in the harm it does. I’m convinced that there are other problems far, far more pressing than Bang Bros, and I think what I’ve written about over the years reflects that. If Bang Bros and porn like it (that is, particularly and overtly sexist pornography, featuring racial slurs and depicting cruelty and humiliation of women disappeared from the face of the Earth tomorrow, I think that sexism, misogyny, and the wage gap would continue uninterrupted.”

    If he can’t sign off on that, he’s lying his ass off. If he can, then I’m sure that if his daughter or sister were regular “victims” (their term) in Bang Bros videos he’d be no more disturbed than if they were television stars. In that case, he’s just a sick individual.

    Sure, we all sell out in one way or another; and inasmuch as those actions cause others to feel betrayed, reject our rationalizations, dress us down, or drop us like a rock, we deserve it. Because we sold out and we knew it. Boo-hoo, choices have consequences.

    Posted by John | October 13, 2006, 6:11 pm
  13. i can’t believe all this… disgusting behavior on amp’s part, imho.

    Posted by JustMe | October 13, 2006, 7:40 pm
  14. You do what’s is right because it’s right. And yeah it often hurts you. You do it because you know, not because you have a phalanx of sycophants to tell you what you want to hear: Yea AMP what else could you do bro?

    Posted by Pony | October 13, 2006, 8:16 pm
  15. A pox be upon them all.

    Posted by Branjor | October 13, 2006, 9:57 pm
  16. “Yea AMP what else could you do bro?”

    He could have gone off and starred in a couple of porn movies himself. Seen how he felt getting cum on his face or being dragged into the Bang Bros bus. I hear a number of women in financial straits have to take that option.

    Posted by delphyne | October 13, 2006, 11:37 pm
  17. Now – now – Delphyne these women *choose* to do this for a living, and if they have no *choice* then tough shit! Say the misogynist that is. Women’s bodies=money and as a MAN I could not possibly sell my ass.
    Fuck, I am fuming…

    Posted by sparklematrix | October 14, 2006, 12:24 am
  18. Have been reading through all of the comments on Amp selling that domain and I have to ask one question. What would the response have been if a “pro-porn” (not my term but one I have seen thrown around lately) female feminist blogger had done the same thing. Would everyone make such a big fuss?
    Does it somehow change the dynamics if it had been a womens decision and not a mans? And if that is the case, then we haven’t made any progress and never will with that line of thinking.

    Posted by Rachel | October 16, 2006, 6:27 pm
  19. I would respond the same against betrayal from a sister. Although, as Heart has done here in another thread, I would be mindful of the fact that she speaks from the perspective of a second class citizen.

    As do you.

    “Such a fuss”? I think you’ve made a very telling word choice.

    Posted by Pony | October 16, 2006, 7:49 pm
  20. Hey, Rachel, I think my answer to your question is here on this blog, in the post entitled “Et tu, Amanda?” I took Amanda Marcotte and Pam Spaulding to task there for their *response* to something they had no control over, you know? Meaning Playboy’s endorsement.

    But what I would have to say to a woman about a betrayal similar to Amp’s would be different from what I had to say to Amp. It would also be informed by her specific circumstances, i.e., if she were disabled, a single mom, had nobody in the world to go to, to ask for help, to rely on, these things would have to factor in. One thing that bothered me a lot about what Amp did was, I don’t see the crisis there. There was no crisis. There was just fear of a crisis down the road. It would have been bad enough had Amp done what he did if there *were* a crisis, i.e., he was a single dad, he was disabled, he was caring for his mom or his dad or other family members, he had nobody to turn to. But given that there was no real crisis, that made things much worse. I went poking around on the internet last night and found the blog of Amp’s cartooning roommate who had been hired to do artwork but had problems getting paid. On that blog, the roommate joked about blogging about “refusing to get a real job”.  He also blogged about Amp paying his way to a conference in… July. After Amp had cashed in. Additionally, he said he did finally get paid in April– at least two months before Amp sold out and that particular “crisis” was over.  I’m not going to link to the housemate’s blog because it starts to be too much personal information about not only Amp but the people he lives with and it feels wrong. But if someone wants the link and I know you to be a decent person, I’ll send it to you if you e-mail me.

    Sending your struggling artist housemate to a conference across the country is a generous thing to do. Carrying your struggling artist housemate while he creates art and refuses to get a real job is also imo a generous thing to do. I’m all for supporting struggling artists. Just not with the money pornographers gave you for selling out the work of feminists, who supported you in good faith. That is a horse of a different color.

    Well, anyway. If a woman similarly situated with Amp, sharing a house with a bunch of roommates, no kids to support, not a single mom, able-bodied, and only *worried* about coming up short down the line, not coming up short right then, sold out to a pornographer? You bet. I’d call her out. As I’d expect to be called out for pulling any kind of similar stunt.

    I have to agree that characterizing the responses to this sellout as “such a fuss” is pretty telling.


    Posted by womensspace | October 16, 2006, 9:01 pm
  21. I’m thinking that my wording may not have been correct if you both think that I have in any way made up my mind on this situation. I am really just trying to understand where everyone is coming from and so far it looks to me like there are “two” groups forming from this.
    One being the “pro-porn” faction of feminist and the “anti-porn” faction. What I don’t understand is how both groups or should I say certain posters in both groups seem to think that their idea of feminism is somehow better then the other.
    I for one feel that there is a need for both. I also think that as women we need to realize that there are going to be times when we all don’t collectively agree on a situation, but it is how we handle these disagreements that tells the real story.

    Posted by Rachel | October 17, 2006, 1:04 pm
  22. Isn’t that grand of Barry Deutsch. Of course, when his buddies at Bang Bros want to make money off of “shemales,” well, treating them like waste is absolutely fine in that context.

    Posted by Rich | July 23, 2007, 5:37 pm
  23. Yeah. Littoral Mermaid rocks, though! 🙂

    Posted by womensspace | July 23, 2007, 6:33 pm


  1. Pingback: Alas, an Eruption « Creative Destruction - October 14, 2006

  2. Pingback: I wake up to the smell of straw « Littoral Mermaid - July 23, 2007

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