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Pre-2008 Posts

Hot Cherry Pies: Pornography and Justice for Women

The porn industry is the epitome of capitalist greed. It is a ‘service’ industry, ninety percent of which markets women to men. Yet, most of the liberal men I know staunchly defend their right to use pornography despite their supposed commitment to social justice. They defend pornography despite that the fact that in the most popular pornography women’s humiliation is glorified. We are depicted as enjoying rape, being fucked by strangers, and performing oral sex on large groups of men until they cover our faces with semen. A glance around a typical porn shop will tell you that’s a description of mainstream porn.

Read the whole excellent article at Adonis Mirror, by way of Aradhana.




12 thoughts on “Hot Cherry Pies: Pornography and Justice for Women

  1. I agree that porn, just like Vegas, is another form of exploitation; however, as a liberal male who advocates for those being abused, it is difficult for me to justify the end of the porn industry. My liberal fear is that someone will end my freedom of thought, action, and speech since a trend has already started. Make no mistake about this matter, I hate the porn industry; I have seen what it can do to both men and women. I have also found myself tempted by it, just like placing odds on a football game.

    Posted by Edward Carson | December 6, 2006, 6:47 pm
  2. That’s a poor use of “just like” there. Maybe from your perspective as a temptee ,or whatever, they’re the same, but not in any other way. Same with the Just Like Vegas analogy. Yeah, capitalism is crappy all over the place, but women are used by the sex industry in a way that does not mirror other “liberal male” complaints.


    Also, I’m not exactly how you could up and decide to end the porn industry by yourself, and thus have to worry about the so-called chilling effects of your own actions. You have to admit that smarter and more resourceful people than you (or any of us here) have taken it on without that kind of success, so it’s more than a little bit silly for you to jump headlong into that slippery slope argument, as if you can see that from where we’re standing right now.

    Finally, the sex industry takes a lot more speech away from women than it gives them (or a selected few PR representatives like Susan Block or her younger Ivy League clones); it already impinges on their freedom in a way that it does not impinge upon ours. It’s also more than a little bit silly to present that argument: that infringing upon the sovereignty of pornography would hurt your own, when you already have more than those whom pornography victimizes. That’s kind of selfish. OK, a whole lot of selfish.

    And Heart, it hurts that people have to point out articles *there* for you. 😛 Kidding! Wish you had more free time!

    Posted by rich | December 6, 2006, 7:24 pm
  3. Yeah, rich, you and me both! :/

    As part of some attempt at saving time, I have changed my moderation so that if someone’s post has been approved once, they can post without being moderated from that time on. However, sometimes I might want to approve a post but still moderate that person in the future, which is a problem. I’m saying all this to say that I’m going to paste a recent comment onto the latest Britney spears thread — it’s about whether porn is about woman-hating, and I wanted to invite you and anybody else to respond, because I won’t be able to give it much time today. I’m not going to approve it though for reasons which as you’ll see are obvious.

    Well, anyway. Good work over at Adonis Mirror!


    Posted by womensspace | December 6, 2006, 7:38 pm
  4. I read this article, and I found it fascinating, agreeing with lots of it. I have had a lot of trouble coming to terms (not that I have managed, but I have reduced how upset it makes me) with pornography. I hate the industry as it is, and agree that just because a woman takes it over does not make it better, just suggesting that idea is something I find sexist. Part of my feminism is that I want to be considered a human being, an individual, and that my gender should not label me as being a certain way. If I took over the porn industry, I would not want someone to think that was okay because I am a woman. I am powerful enough to subvert human decency just as much as a man.

    However, I would like to assert that although the porn industry as it is is crammed full of moral abominations, I don’t think that pornography as a concept is morally wrong. If an individual in their right mind wants to show themselves in a sexual light to others, then they should be allowed to form a consenting exchange of desires with someone who wants to use it. If this was the only way in which porn operated, I see no problem, and I think it would also mean that much more respectful and acceptable porn being made. I think that perhaps it is the very fact that is an industry that is the problem, once you have money as a motivator, people’s desires become not the only thing that matters, and coercion becomes one of the many problems. The other main problem that springs to mind is that everything is sacrificed for the desires, no matter how whimsical and abhorrent, of the consumer because of the drive for profit. It seems to me that the porn industry is capitalism at its worst.

    I agree with the idea that it is dangerous to associate sexual gratification with a lack of caring for the other individuals involved. Whilst I don’t think that rape is an obvious follow on from porn, I do think that regular use of porn dissociates sex and consent, which is a very dangerous aspect of the way things are. That is what frightens me most about porn as a concept, beyond the industry.

    By the way I am a temptee, despite my moral repulsion and gender.

    Think I might read some Simone de Beauvoir and Judith Jarvis Thomson and then write a post about it tomorrow. Sorry for going on.

    Posted by euny | December 6, 2006, 8:33 pm
  5. You end it by removing the demand. How do you remove the demand?

    Publicize the fact that it makes men REALLY BAD LAYS. The chit chat alone they pick up and think is hot. I remember the first time I was having sex and had a guy start yakking like that at me. I was young and didn’t know how to tell him to shut up, it hurts their egos you know, and it pulled me right out of the fun. It just sounds so stupid.

    They also have no idea what an orgasm really looks like. As Richard Pryor once said (probably paraphrased in my memory) “If she ain’t asleep you ain’t done yet.”

    I also had a friend who watched “Jesus is Magic” Sarah Silverman’s comedy and said she has a piece in there that has stopped him from being able to watch porn ever again. It’s at the top of my netflix queue right now.

    Posted by AFM | December 6, 2006, 9:30 pm
  6. Yes I thought Aradhana’s article was excellent.

    *applause* to Rich. I am surprised that my screams weren’t audiable around the globe reading the first comment in this thread.

    The old ‘slippery slope’ argument. Boloney.
    If that is your logic, then child pornography should be legal??? Because ‘if’ child pornography is banned, who knows where it will end! Of course child pornography is illegal.

    Regulation is required for any ‘industry’ that does, or has the potential to do harm. Pharmaceuticals are regulated. Child pornography is illegal. So too should pornography be subject to control – but at the moment there is effectively NO control, and harm is being done on a daily basis. This is unacceptable.

    All people are subject to restrictions for the good of society as a whole. I accept that I am not allowed to go around killing or injuring people, I accept that I am not allowed to get drunk and drive a car, I accept I am not allowed to rob a bank.

    Get over it.

    Heart, good move on the moderation settings – much easier on the moderator! For dubious comments, just paste the content into your own comment, that way they aren’t approved.

    Posted by stormcloud | December 6, 2006, 9:37 pm
  7. I think the first poster(Edward Carson) is right to fear that banning pornography will be used as a cover to regulate free speech for political and/or mind control reasons. This unfortunate fact does not alter the fact that pornography is hate speech and should be covered under the existing laws. Our preceived loss of liberty by censureship does not alter womens ACTUAL loss of liberty by the existence of porn. Women are already less free, fearful of their freedoms, etc. as a consequence of activities like porn. This is exactly what we fear will happen if there is regulation of speech by banning porn.
    Like minded progressives/liberals should work together to maintain the freedoms we have and to secure the freedoms that some don’t have. I think this fear that porn regulation will be used as a cover for other motivated Big Brother monitoring of us is real. I also think it is used by the patriarchy to divide feminists from their rightful allies.

    Posted by peonista | December 7, 2006, 2:28 pm
  8. Okay, so since some of you find my contention to be silly vis-a-vis the slippery slope trajectory, I think we should take a reality break and really discuss the matter. I will be the first to say that my academic training focuses more on the historical impact and the dynamic shift of gender relationships; however, one should focus on the root of the problem. The industry will continue to be a player as long as the dynamics of the family unit remains unstable. Fathers (note: I am not one) take little interest in their young girls thus leaving them to be exploited by males at their school. Young girls are left looking for something to fill a void, but are not sure what they are looking for. Young women have been trained to be abused sexually by their own family members. We can bitch and promulgate academic arguments for days about institutional inequalities and abuse, but nothing will change unless families take on the duty of training young girls to be queens — and to be treated as such. There will always be a drug dealer as long as there are drug users. It is always best to start with the user. If I had a daughter, I would teach her that sex is good and pure; we make it into something else. It is not a dirty word; it is something we desire and enjoy, but on our terms.

    Posted by Edward Carson | December 8, 2006, 12:41 am
  9. Say wut?

    [quote] Young women have been trained to be abused sexually by their own family members. []

    Are you fer real???? TRAINED? what kinda training does one recieve for this? What does this training sound like? “Honey, one day your uncle bill is gonna wanna fuck you up the ass, make sure you bend over – it’s your duty”. Or does it sound more like “Honey, you know – it’s a shame really, but men get hard looking at you – and they can’t help themselves – so don’t bother protesting when uncle bill rapes you, it’s going to happen anyways”….I’ve only heard of women cry/self-loathe/be miserable/recieve therapy/take drugs/quite school when they were sexually abused – maybe you have a point there eddie, training would make it easier right? Cause men don’t have any responsibility right?

    Or is it that YOUNG men and ALL MEN are TRAINED that they are entitled to punani in unlimited supplies? Talk about the root of the problem eh?

    [quote]If I had a daughter, I would teach her that sex is good and pure[]

    Oh yeah – are you gonna be teaching the little boys that she’s not a whore? Or is all the attention going to be on the women as always?

    You know women know sex is good, women know they deserve sex, but they also know that when they explicitly state their desires for it – they are deemed “sluts”.

    It’s the lil boys that need the changing Eddie…. haven’t you learned anything at women’s space yet? tsk tsk tsk…

    Rich, “it hurts that I’m referred to as ‘PEOPLE’!” :p

    Posted by AradhanaD | December 8, 2006, 5:28 am
  10. PS Eddie, I resent that you assume only ‘male’ family heads (aka father knows best) are actually needed in a a household.

    One minute you talk about restructuring a family unit, the next you are going back to hetersexual assumptions about child-rearng and family structures.

    So if I had two mommies eddie, would I still feel the empty void of a man in my life? Or if I had two daddies? or if i lived with gramma and my ma who’s a widow?

    make up your mind, destabilizing family structures or heteronormativity….

    Posted by AradhanaD | December 8, 2006, 5:32 am
  11. True; I agree Aradhana; I am wrong here and you are correct. Poor construction on my part. I am really not that narrow minded. Good comment.

    Posted by Edward Carson | December 8, 2006, 7:29 am
  12. Well, I’m glad I didn’t offend you – I was a little worried I might have been too strong with wording! 🙂

    Posted by AradhanaD | December 8, 2006, 8:21 pm

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