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Pre-2008 Posts

Ampgate Reprise: The Good, the Funny, the… Real

Angry and Queer’s post excerpted below, Turned Out to be a Unicorn After All, is, I think, really good:

Because Ampersand was the author of the Male Privilege Checklist, this situation is dripping with irony.

Feminism will never be a profitable enterprise. When you’re a feminist, unfortunately you lose friends and you lose money because the deck is stacked against you. So it is no surprise that Ampersand faced financial difficulty.

But this was a Moment of Truth, a moment when you take stock of your situation and realize that some kind of sacrifice or compromise is needed, and what you decide to do reveals volumes about your actual views and priorities. The moment of truth is particularly important for a male feminist, because it’s the moment when other feminists learn whether or not a man has truly grokked everything he’s seen, heard, read, written, and said.

..Too many male feminists fail at the moment of truth. I did too when i was still male-identified, and it was a long time before i came to understand how and why. What it comes down to is unwillingness to give up privilege when you have the chance to benefit from it. In Ampersand’s case, his privilege as a man is the ability to overlook the harm pornography does to women. In my case, the privilege that tripped me up was the unspoken assumption men have that they can walk into a feminist discussion and turn the topic away from women and onto men.

Every “failed unicorn sighting” hurts the movement, because we want to believe that men can change. It is a good thing for men to listen to feminists and demonstrate that they understand what they are hearing. But if feminists are also cautious around men, it’s because there are so few men who in the end actually stand by what they profess to believe and give up their privilege when faced with a real ethical dilemma.

Antiprincess’s blog name, I Shame the Matriarchy, and her post, make me smile:

…but if I did, I’d probably not link to porn. Despite the fact that I think material of a sexual nature is mostly a good thing, both in theory and in practice, I have to be sensitive to the fact that some of my readers may not dig it, and to the fact that at least one of my readers is a minor child, and, well, ultimately, why borrow trouble? I mean, I never know whose delinquency I might be contributing to or whose tender sensibilities I might be grinding into paste. So, in the interest of good taste and enlightened self-interest, I’d probably not link to porn.

of course, if I had a blogroll, I’d probably link to somebody. and I betcha that somebody would link to somebody, who might just possibly link to somebody who links to something that others may find objectionable – hell, that I may find objectionable.

we could all play Six Degrees of Nina Hartley.


And then there’s this:

Bitch/Lab: I just think ppl are so crazy to think that they should tell someone to turn down cash money for principles like that.

(Thanks to Daran at Creative Destruction for compiling the gigantic set of links.)




14 thoughts on “Ampgate Reprise: The Good, the Funny, the… Real

  1. Heart, thanks for highlighting A&Q’s post.
    Not so sure I can thank you for highlighting the words of a Handmaiden of the Patriarchy…*ponders and winks*

    Posted by stormcloud | October 14, 2006, 3:44 pm
  2. Yeah, really, stormcloud. Maybe that was just bait so everybody would come in and gasp appropriately. No fun to gasp alone. 😛



    Posted by womensspace | October 14, 2006, 3:54 pm
  3. Heart, perhaps you are one of those “un fun” feminists we keep hearing about *gasps* *whispers* The so-called “Feminist Police”?

    Posted by stormcloud | October 14, 2006, 4:03 pm
  4. Damn straight, so to speak :P, stormcloud, I am not the fun kind of feminist, except when I am. 🙂


    Posted by womensspace | October 14, 2006, 4:36 pm
  5. Me too!
    “not the fun kind of feminist, except when I am.”

    Posted by stormcloud | October 14, 2006, 5:17 pm
  6. Antiprincess had a good point. It seems to me that even most feminists who think porn is a-ok would think twice about doing what Ampersand did, mostly because they are aware that this is a subject of disagreement in the feminist community, and it is just too insensitive to disregard one’s sister’s opinions so much as to turn their clicks into unwilling and unwitting support for something they detest.

    Posted by angryandqueer | October 14, 2006, 8:37 pm
  7. I doubt that:

    1rst: look at how “let’s not divide women” has habitually been used, especially at Alas. Tekanji might have pulled her posts, but when she did post, the way she structured the argument was “let’s just agree to disagree and all shut up about the porn.” That might work if one side wasn’t *already* victorious before the argument began: porn is here, and it’s everywhere. Now commentators are saying “let’s not let the porn divide us: everyone lets keep the great feminist community alive by… posting at Alas.”

    2nd: most feminists who think porn is a-ok don’t have the links, rep, and mindshare to even get offered the deal that Barry did, so the question is moot, anyway.

    Hell, Susan Block (a Counter-Punch columnist and phone-sex “therapy” pimp) “sold out” by doing commercials for those Extenze penis enlargement pills: she had liberal guys calling her a “rapist” in progressive magazines, all kinds of nasty stuff.

    Barry’s had it pretty easy so far, even *here*, compared to the stuff that happens to women who sell out.

    Posted by Rich | October 15, 2006, 12:19 am
  8. Rich, I did not say that we should “shut up about porn”! I said that we should stop focusing our attacks on each other and instead refocus them on the porn industry. There’s common ground that we can work on together and whatever isn’t common ground can be addressed without thumbing our noses at the “opposing” feminist side.

    And, for the record, I wouldn’t say that I think porn is “a-okay” but I am not against it. What I am against are things like misogyny and racism. And, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no arguing that the porn linked doesn’t fall under those categories (not to mention several other -isms).

    Posted by tekanji | October 15, 2006, 12:55 am
  9. That Bitch|Lab comment is outrageous. Turn down cash money for principles,
    decent people do that every day! It’s garden-variety integrity. And no, I am not talking about the individual who steals, or prostitutes herself, for the sake of the rent. I am talking, as should be obvious given the context here, about selling other people out.

    Posted by profacero | October 15, 2006, 2:18 am
  10. Heh. B.Lab shows her true colors there. If the money’s good, why not sell out your ideals?

    Posted by Amananta | October 15, 2006, 2:42 am
  11. B/L has ideals? I thought she had price tags.

    Posted by ginmar | October 15, 2006, 5:56 pm
  12. I would not have sold anything for porn. Porn is not good for the plight of women.

    Posted by Chasingmoksha | October 21, 2006, 6:24 am


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

  2. Pingback: The SmackDog Chronicles » Blog Archive » The “Alas, a Porn Portal” Controversy: A Bibliography - October 18, 2006

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