The new pornography industry is held, by leftist males, to be inherently radical. Sex is claimed by the Left as a leftist phenomenon; the trade in women is most of sex. The politics of liberation are claimed as indigenous to the Left by the Left; central to the politics of liberation is the mass-marketing of material that depicts women being used as whores. The pimps of pornography are hailed by leftists as saviors and savants…
On the Left, the sexually liberated woman is the woman of pornography. Free male sexuality wants, has a right to, produces, and consumes pornography because pornography is pleasure. Leftist sensibility promotes and protects pornography because pornography is freedom.
Andrea Dworkin, Pornography: Men Possessing Women
Liberals have a hard-on for pornography, prostitution, and most other forms of sexual exploitation of women. At the same time, they claim that they “love women” (much like those abusers who come on TV to say that they actually “love women”), while enacting policies that exploit women. Liberal feminists are not much better, although they are more likely to be against rape, if the rape happens to a “good person.”
They don’t like it when you throw this in their face, because part of the joy of being a liberal is to believe you’re smarter and more radical than everyone else. If you’re an actual radical, you’re just spoiling their fun.
[Liberals] feel that the subordination of human beings is wrong. They believe that massive corporations do not have the right to exploit people in the name of global capitalism… unless those corporations are part of the pornography industry.
Leftist sensibility promotes and protects pornography because pornography is freedom… Capitalism is not wicked or cruel when the commodity is the whore; profit is not wicked or cruel when the alienated worker is a female piece of meat; corporate bloodsucking is not wicked or cruel when the corporations in question, organized crime syndicates, sell cunt; racism is not wicked or cruel when the black cunt or yellow cunt or red cunt or Hispanic cunt or Jewish cunt has her legs splayed for any man’s pleasure; poverty is not wicked or cruel when it is the poverty of dispossessed women who have only themselves to sell; violence by the powerful against the powerless is not wicked or cruel when it is called sex; slavery is not wicked or cruel when it is sexual slavery; torture is not wicked or cruel when the tormented are women, whores, cunts. The new pornography is left-wing; and the new pornography is a vast graveyard where the Left has gone to die.
To liberals, pornography is a non-issue, as it’s just another part of our inalienable freedom of speech. Anyone who has problems with pornography has a psychological problem, not an intellectual disagreement; either they are sissies (for men) or future spinsters (for women). And of course anyone who opposes pornography is labeled as backwards, because they are “progressives” and everyone who opposes them is backwards by definition.
Christians are against pornography too: not because they support women, but because they seek total control over human sexuality for their faggot agenda. Therefore associating radfem with Christianity is particularly absurd, because Christianity is founded on, and has survived because of, women-hatred. It’s probably not too much of an exaggeration to say that Christianity would be moribund everywhere, not just in Europe, if it did not push woman-hatred (and by extension hatred of anything seen as womanizing, such as male homosexuality) as a major part of its agenda.
Libertarianism comes from the same classical tradition as liberalism, and both engender similar attitudes towards pornography. Libertarian “individualist feminist” Wendy McElroy participates in this confusion:
There is great irony in radical feminists aligning with their two greatest ideological enemies: conservatives and the patriarchal state. They now appeal to this state as a protector. There is a sadness to the irony: it has been state regulation, not free speech, that has oppressed women.
McElroy thinks that because radfems superficially agree with conservatives on one point, albeit for completely opposite reasons, that must mean that radfems are rabid statists who appeal to the State for their salvation. This is as idiotic as saying that atheists must be Christians since both agree that murder is wrong, and that this must mean that atheists are turning to God and his Church (whichever one is the right one, I guess) to punish murderers. The only “irony” here is that McElroy pretends to be a feminist while claiming that the depiction of women getting verbally and physically abused is liberatory (???).
Let me repeat the facts so I am quite understood on this subject: radfem are against pornography because they are pro-women, conservatives are against pornography because they want to control sexuality, especially female sexuality. Radfem justify themselves by appealing to fundamental social values such as preventing exploitation and harm, conservatives justify themselves by appealing to misogynistic religious myths. Radfem arguments are value-based, conservatives’ arguments are faith-based. Radfem do not claim to be allies of conservatives, because they are not.
This is connected to the bizarre belief that radfem are anti-sex, again because of the association with conservatives, who actually are anti-sex. As I’ve quoted before, radical feminists are no more anti-sex for wanting to abolish pornography than opponents of McDonalds are anti-food for wanting to abolish McDonalds. Sure, at its very best and most honest, pornography does have something to tell us about sexuality, but it is only a tiny sliver of what sexuality is all about.
[T]he arguments of pro-sex industry advocates and proponents have a common theme: the industry springs from a liberal mindset and frees women and men, sexually, politically, and spiritually. Part of this logic is that sexuality — particularly women’s sexuality — has been oppressed historically and that the sex industry offers women and men the liberating possibility of unbridled sexual expression. This logic ignores the fact that the use of women in prostitution as well as other forms of sexual commodification has existed for as least as long as there has been an historical record. Thus, if sexual commodification were freeing, then sexual oppression would be uncommon or, more likely, exist only as some curious historical fact. This logic also ignores the reality that the sex industry thrives where the political, social, and religious milieu is fundamentally conservative. It thrives where beliefs about women and children and their roles are the most traditional…
Sherry Lee Short, Not For Sale, p309
To a radfem ally, the liberal pro-pornography agenda is exemplified by the Sinfest comic I posted at the beginning of this entry: pseudo-feminist misogyny on the cutting edge of bigotry.
I say cutting edge because, in order to have your form of bigotry accepted nowadays, you can’t come out and say you hate this or that group of people any more. Instead, you have to put a positive spin to it. You’re not racist, you just love your own race. You’re not anti-poor, you just prefer people who make the “right choices” in life. You’re not anti-immigration, you’re just concerned about brown people “stealing jobs” from legal citizens. You’re not a sexist, you’re just concerned about fulfilling men’s needs.
Liberals get a hard-on for the terms “empowerment” and “agency.” Like all good voluntaryists (a category which includes liberals, on social issues at least), they demand that we analyze people’s actions in a vacuum, detached from any context. Sure, if you ignore everything that happens before and after the consumption of pornography, as well as ignoring its role in the commodification and molding of sexuality, then you have plunged yourself into a position of sufficient denial to be able to come to the conclusion that there’s nothing wrong with pornography (imagine a liberal trying to argue that people choose to become homeless- and yet that’s exactly what they are doing with pornography and prostitution).
It also helps to buy into the porno-fied account that the mass media presents of the production of pornography, which tells us that pornography is a job like any other, and perhaps even more fun than other jobs, and that porn actresses are acting entirely consensually.
Of course, liberals have spread the myth that we live in a time of gender equality, and anyone who believes that will never be able to understand the exploitation of women on such a massive scale. Because of this pretend gender equality, they believe that anything that happens to a woman is her own fault.
It is disingenuous to talk about pornography without talking about prostitution: half (49%) of prostitutes report having been made to participate in pornographic videos (Prostitution and Trafficking in Nine Countries, Farley, Cotton et al). It’s hard to say how much of this hits the pornography market, but all that means is that any user of pornography may or may not be watching women in the process of being raped. Given how violent pornography can get, how could you even tell the difference?
Pornography is also heavily involved in prostitution, for the same reason that pornography is heavily involved in people’s sexuality: men imitate and emulate what they see in pornography. Half (47%) of prostitutes report being upset by johns or pimps trying to reproduce pornographic acts. Pornography tells men what they can or should do to women.
The division between pornography and prostitution (let alone the spurious division between trafficking and prostitution) is an ultimately arbitrary one. Their legal distinction is that producing pornography does not serve the purpose of arousing the actors or the director (hah!) and that producing pornography is a form of protected speech, like any other movie. As I already discussed, I support the free speech defense in the case of individuals expressing themselves, but not in the case of corporations, since corporations are not actually people (legal myths notwithstanding) and do not have the “right” to control what we believe.
Pornography is an extension of prostitution and both partake of the same principles, and people who believe there is a significant difference are deluding themselves into accepting that pornography is okay while prostitution is not, just like the old white men of the Supreme Court did.
Although liberals do not share the faith in the free market that Libertarians and conservatives have, they still believe in its principles. So it’s also relevant to point out that pornography and prostitution, with their commodification of sexuality, are perfectly inscribed within free market logic. Pornography and prostitution share all the properties of other markets, such as hierarchies, competition, money exchanges, their own internal logic, and so on. Indeed, as SuperFreakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner opine:
But for elite prostitutes like Allie, the circumstances are completely different: high wages, flexible hours and relatively little risk of violence or arrest. So the real puzzle isn’t why someone like Allie becomes a prostitute, but rather why more women don’t choose this career.
To which a reply might be, why isn’t Levitt sucking dick for a living instead of being a mere economist? He’d be contributing a lot more to society as a dick-sucker than as an economist, anyway.
But to be fair to our two morons, it’s not hard to understand why they’d come to such a conclusion, since they see a job as an entity that exists in a vacuum. It’s really the only way to make sense of such blatant stupidity.
As for internal logic, pornographic businesses, like all other businesses, pursue profit, and in order to pursue profit they must appeal to what sells, and what sells depends on what consumers have been conditioned to buy. This may seem obvious, but many people believe that there can be such a thing as “feminist porn.” Actually, even seemingly women-friendly pornographic producers know that they can only sell pornography by exploiting women.
Heretosexual pornography (around 90% of total) is based on the exploitation of women for men’s benefit. Virtually all top-selling pornography (more than 88%) is violent in nature. Given this, what could “feminist porn” consist of? The “Feminist Porn Awards” for 2012 give us a nice selection, including a movie described as such:
rough sex, double penetration, anal sex, pussy eating, blow jobs, strap ons, finger banging, squirting, POV, masturbation, doggy style
No foreplay, no bullshit, just hard core fucking with some of the most vicious bitches in the biz!
Another tries to be original by making women dominant instead of men. Yet another claims that it will “change the way you view adult film – forever,” and it’s basically a succession of fucking with the man on top. Does any of this sound “feminist” to you?
This image is from the movie that will change how you view adult films forever:
Now you see, this is clearly feminist because she’s not on her knees. Women love giving blowjobs as long as they can lie down while doing it. I’m learning so much from feminist porn (incidentally, in case you’re wondering, I got the picture from the movie’s web site, I didn’t watch the damn thing- if I want to see this stuff I can just go on any web site ever).
Look, I know I am being glib about this. I am not going to watch these movies so I can’t make an educated statement about their content. I’m sure these movies contain few or no scenes with violence or verbal abuse (well, I hope they don’t, anyway). Rather, this goes to the issue of what “feminism” means.
“Feminism” does not mean “believing that women shouldn’t be treated like shit.” That’s called “being a decent human being,” not “being a feminist.” To be a feminist entails a lot more beyond that; it entails wanting the elimination of gender roles, wanting to end the exploitation of women, and recognizing Patriarchy in our daily lives. A pornographic movie that doesn’t treat women like shit is not a “feminist porn,” it’s just a movie that was made by decent human beings. That’s nice, but not feminist. Calling anyone or anything “feminist” because they exhibit the most basic human decency is profoundly insulting to, well, pretty much everyone, including feminists.
Likewise, you wouldn’t call someone a “communist” because they believe workers should be treated like human beings. Again, that’s nice, but not communist. Communism, like feminism, designates a framework used to understand how human societies work. If you don’t agree with that framework, then you’re not a feminist or a communist, no matter how nice you are or how much you believe you “deserve” the label or how hard you believe in imposing your feminist/communist self-identification on others (“well, I call myself a feminist and you have no business telling me what I am or am not!”).
Pornography based on the premise that gender roles are bad would never survive on the market. You can deny this all you want but that’s just a plain fact. And feminists have no interest or incentive in making pornography for themselves because they oppose it on principle. So how would such “feminist porn” come to exist?
Pornography objectifies women as sexual objects to be used by men. It creates in the viewer’s mind the unconscious or conscious impulse to look at women as sexual objects. It makes honest and open relationships with other people more and more difficult. It leads to agreement with the objectification already in progress all around us in our supposedly class-less societies. It leads to people retreating into fantasy lives because they cannot confront their real lives. For men especially, the idea of a world where women exist solely to cater to men’s needs is seductive.
When a liberal man becomes a regular user or pornography, I assume that some kind of compartmentalisation takes place. Liberals pride themselves on their compassion and fair play, but these qualities are the exact opposite of those cultivated by pornography. He must deal with this discrepancy somehow, either by rejecting pornography (which in any patriarchal culture is unlikely) or by rejecting the idea that pornography is exploitative.
Because liberals and conservatives have a stranglehold on our culture, this agreement echoes throughout the mainstream media, the narratives we use, the margins of discourse, and so on. It becomes another part of the Patriarchy. But because liberals cannot see the Patriarchy, they cannot see the forest for the trees. Pornography cannot harm society because our society is class-less and genders are equal, you see. So it becomes this vicious circle of ignorance: the harms of pornography make it impossible to see the harms of pornography. It’s like how stupidity makes it harder for people to realize they’re stupid.
(Note: By targeting liberals in this entry, I am not implying that Anarchists are much better. Even though Anarchist organization demands gender equality in decision-making, which is an improvement over liberals, many Anarchists are anti-feminist and support some form of pornography. It is probably the case that most men will act like entitled assholes no matter what political ideology they follow.)