I have previously discussed the issue of human sacrifice and the question, which I think is fundamental if we’re going to discuss any policy (or lack of policy) which involves harming people in some tangible way, of how much harm is deemed acceptable in the name of that policy (or lack of policy).
People balk at quantifying this harm, and for an obvious reason: doing so means they lose the moral high ground. If a person comes out and says, yes I am perfectly fine with up to 3000 innocent people dying or getting beaten up in order to uphold my policy (whether it’s an anti-abortion policy or the death penalty or greater police powers or whatever), that makes them look like persecutors. No one is going to support someone who just comes out and says they don’t mind that innocent people die as a result of their beliefs.
So the cost has to remain implicit and silent. In this they must follow the motto: “the only good victim is a silent victim.” So you see, for example, the “sex workers lobby,” which is led by pimps and which devotes itself to (amongst other things) silencing the voices of ex-prostituted women.
If you can’t do that, then the next step is to demonize the victims. So you get the police talking about black men hulking up, pinning any crime they can on them, and so on. Generally speaking, defending existing policies is easy to do because anyone who goes against them is by definition a criminal, and we scapegoat criminals.
And if that doesn’t work either, then you can always blame the victim. One way to do that is to use the rhetoric of “agency” and “choice,” which I’ve talked about many times before. You can use New Age talk to argue that victims attracted their misfortune because of karma, negative energy, or, if you’re more of a Christian bent, sin.
I’m sure some people may reply, what about cases where a policy can cause harm but where inaction can also cause harm? Prisons cause an incredible amount of harm, but they may also prevent harm from being committed. In such cases, yes, there may be some room for discussion (although I am still very much anti-prisons).
But that’s not the situation in most cases under debate, where we discuss policies which, when brought about, cause additional harm which would not otherwise exist.
The legality of pornography and prostitution are two good examples of that. No harm comes about from making the demand side of prostitution illegal. In fact, doing so eliminates a lot of the harm that already existed. The production of pornography also entails a great deal of harm which would not exist otherwise, both for the actresses and for women in general. Maintaining legality, therefore, entails a great deal of harm, mostly against women.
People may object to the statement that no harm comes from making the demand for pornography or prostitution illegal. When I say harm, in the context of the “magic number,” I am referring mostly to physical harm: how many people may die, fall ill, receive injuries, and so on. No one’s going to die or receive injury from not having access to pornography or prostitution (“blue balls” myth notwithstanding).
There’s also no harm done from a political standpoint. I’ve already debunked the myth that pornography falls under “free speech” rights. Prostitution advocates do not even try to argue for the rights of johns, preferring to exploit the prostituted women themselves as their political motivation; but since feminists are against johns, not prostituted women, this is just irrelevant. The harm to prostituted women is overwhelmingly more important than some men’s hurt feelings.
I challenged people to give me their number in the case of abortion, and I have, understandably, not gotten any answer (except for people who are already pro-abortion, in which case the answer is a proud zero). So I don’t expect answers to the following questions either. But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth asking.
1. What is the maximum number of rapes in the production of pornography that you are okay with?
We know women are raped in the production of pornography: they are raped when they are coerced to perform acts they do not wish to perform (all the way from threats of firing to being held at gunpoint, as in the famous case of Linda Lovelace), they are raped when they are “underage performers,” they are raped when they are prostituted women used for pornographic purposes (half of prostituted women report having been used for pornography).
It will not do for someone to reply that the industry needs to be cleaned up, but that there’s nothing wrong with pornography as such. By its very nature, which is the exploitation of women for increasingly violent depictions of sex, pornography cannot be produced without some amount of rape. Any “rape-proof pornographic industry” would not look anything like what we have today; we probably would not even recognize it as pornography.
Women are hurt making all porn, at all levels and types of porn. Sex slaves and children have been found in every single genre of porn, from mainstream Penthouse all the way down to foreign snuff films. Women and children have been exploited at every single level of porn. When one consumes porn one fuels a market that does hurt women and children, at every single level. There are no exceptions to this rule. Sure, not every woman in a given photo is a slave or a child, but they do exist and they have been uncovered almost universally in every manufacturer of mainstream porn…
Traci Lords starred in 77 full length movies before she reached 18. Seventy-seven movies. Seventy-fucking-seven. She was a child of 15. A freshman in High-School. MILLIONS of men, around the world, masturbated to this child, to this little girl being raped by 3 or 4 men. Millions of men and women alike got off to images of a 15 year old girl.
Given the proven fact that any pornography that a person watches carries with it the risk of being the product of rape or coerced sex, what is an acceptable number of rapes? One can also ask, what is the acceptable level of risk? These questions are equivalent: a certain level of risk translates into a certain number of actual rapes.
2. Where should we draw the line of “acceptable violence” against porn actresses and women in general?
Since most popular pornography depicts violence against women, we must assume that people who support the pornography industry also support violence against women. The question then becomes, how much violence is too much violence?
Violence in pornography is escalating. And this violence in pornography translates into violence in the outside world. Men want to reproduce pornographic violence on the women they have sex with.
I’m 23. Mine is the first generation to be exposed to online porn from a young age. We learnt what sex is from watching strangers on the internet, we don’t know anything else.
Here are some of the things that I have experienced…
– having my head shoved into his crotch, and held down while I sucked him off
– being told that my gag reflex was too strong, couldn’t I work on it?
– bullied into submitting to facials. I didn’t want to. He said (joking?) that he’d ejaculate on my face while I was asleep. He wasn’t joking – I woke up with him wanking over me.
– bullied into trying anal. It hurt so much I begged him to stop. He stopped, then complained that I was being too sensitive and it can’t be *that* bad, he continued to ask for it…
THIS IS NOW NORMAL. Every single straight girl I know has had similar experiences. Every. Single. One. Some have experienced far worse. Some have given in, some have resisted, all have felt guilty and awkward for not being “liberated” enough, not giving him what he wants.
Pornographic violence translates into real life violence against women, especially prostituted women. When does this violence become “too much” violence? Or is any level of violence acceptable?
In a similar vein, Independent Radical talks about the “rape line”:
Liberals spend a great deal of time debating the exact location of the “rape line” (they made an entire documentary devoted to it.) They ask questions like “exactly how drunk does a women have to be before a man who has sex with her can be deemed guilty of rape?” or “how enthusiastic should her consent sound before it could really be considered consent?”. They fail to recognise that such questions would not even come up if our culture did not push the view that sex is an act of conquest and encourage men to mix drunkenness with sex or pursue sex acts which their female “targets” were likely to find horrific and degrading.
Where is the magic line when pornographic violence becomes “too much”? This question must be answered reasonably, if the pro-pornography side is to have any credibility at all. If their answer is “no violence is too much,” then we must be talking to brainwashed, pornsick fanatics. Normal people will only admit to so much violence.
3. What is the maximum number of raped and murdered prostituted women that you are okay with?
Making prostitution legal, or keeping the current system, entails support for the widespread rapes, murders and PTSD that are inflicted on prostituted women. So the question becomes, how much of this suffering is acceptable to maintain the institution of prostitution?
The standard answer from prostitution advocates is to move the exploitation indoors, to hide the abuse, keep it off the streets. But that’s what abusers do, they keep their actions out of the public eye. Hiding abuse does not counter it, quite the opposite.
The legalization model has proven a failure: it attracts human trafficking and greatly boosts street prostitution (despite the insistent claims that it would move everything “indoors”). Furthermore, the Nordic model has proven itself in reducing violence against prostituted women and giving them some amount of control, which they cannot have in our current system where they are deemed criminal and have no rights.
These are inconvenient truths that advocates cannot address, for obvious reasons. They cannot simply come out and admit that they support policies which entail unnecessary rapes and murders. They also cannot associate themselves with human trafficking, which is why they waste so much breath arguing the bizarre proposition that prostitution and human trafficking are vastly different things.
4. Where should we draw the line of “acceptable violence” against prostituted women?
If prostitution must exist, as its advocates contend, then some women will always be more vulnerable, seen as social inferiors, and seen as legitimate targets of violence. So how much violence is too much violence against prostituted women? How many murders of prostituted women are an acceptable tradeoff for the continued existence of this institution?
If you’re a supporter of pornography or prostitution and wish to give your personal answers to these questions, then post them in the comments. I’d like to hear from you, because anyone who has the courage to do this exercise deserves, I think, a fair hearing. I think you are an absolutely disgusting human being, but at least you have the courage of your convictions.