Misogyny and porn culture are SO FUCKING IRONIC, say hipsters. Also, fuck hipsters

Though I occasionally find a good article in Vice, mostly I just find really terrible writing and misogyny/efforts at popularizing pornography. I mean, I like reading about drugs as much as the next person, but I just can’t stomach the constant objectification and glorification of porn (because I’m too fucking uptight or stupid to ‘get’ how objectification is actually artsy and ok if hipsters are doing it).

The magazine has really nailed the whole ‘irony masks racism and sexism‘ thing. It’s also spawned a whole faction of idiot hipsters who think that their writing is deep because it makes no sense. It’s the emperor has no clothes redux. NOBODY SAY ANYTHING JUST SMILE AND NOD AND PAT YOUR BUDDIES ON THE BACK BECAUSE THEY HAVE ALL THE RIGHT HIPSTER CONNECTIONS AND HAVE NEVER WRITTEN ANYTHING BEFORE AND DON’T ACTUALLY HAVE ANYTHING INTERESTING TO SAY BUT TODAY THEY DECIDED THEY WERE A WRITER AND HAHA DOES ANYONE HERE REALLY KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON HAHA NO BUT WHATEVER HA THAT CAPTION DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE.

ANYWAY.

Bad writing aside (yeah whatever, people in glass houses, yada yada), I’m getting fucking sick of the whole misogyny disguised as irony thing.

Earlier this week I saw these photos (scroll down to the bottom) posted from a local hipster night that I’ve actually attended on many occasions. It’s awkward to say so publicly because Vancouver is a small place and because friends of friends etc, but seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you people?

It’s one thing to put up your party photos in your outfits trying to impress one another. It’s absolutely another thing to put up images of girls who are clearly fucked up and wasted spreading their legs for the camera. Did you ask their permission ONCE SOBER whether or not they minded having these images posted publicly? Because if it were me I would fucking mind. Acting like a trashy idiot whilst drunk is par for the course. We ALL do it. Ok, so I do it. But once actions become imagery, said images could possibly be construed as porny and it’s not your GOD GIVEN RIGHT because you know how to work a fucking camera to post this shit on the internet.

And even if those women did give permission, in sobriety, for you to post their crotch/boob shots online, these images, whether or not you think they’re hip or ironic or funny or whatever, are fucking porny.

But I digress. The initial reason for this post was actually to address Jezebel’s new sex advice columnist, Karley Sciortino, who’s blog, Slutever got her a show at Vice under the same name.

In her inaugural column at Jezebel, Sciortino addresses facials and something called “pussy whipping” (Which I didn’t know was a thing either. APPARENTLY it’s “when someone hits your vagina with a whip”. Good to know, good to know.). And whatever, do what you want I guess. But for someone who is a) writing a sex advice column, so like, one would assume we would have thoughts and opinions on things and issues relating to sex, and b) writing a sex advice column for a feminist-ish site, responding to the issue of pussy whipping by saying:

In my mind, asking my view on pussy-whipping, or facials, is equivalent to asking, “What are your views on can openers?” These are all just things that exist in the world, and we don’t need to take a stance on them. There are certain matters that deserve careful consideration (i.e. casting an actress to play yourself in the movie version of your life); some casual jizz on your face isn’t one of them.

Um, what? Pussy whipping is the same as can openers? HAVING OPINIONS AND THOUGHTS ABOUT THINGS IS SO STUPID YOU GUYS.

She goes on:

People — women in particular — really need to get over the “is this degrading?” thing. If you have to stop and think about whether something is degrading or not, then it probably isn’t. I understand there are complex emotions involved in sex, so everything isn’t always black and white, but I also think that sometimes girls’ brains become so clouded by bullshit “feminist” ideals — “thou shall not be treated like an object,” “thou shall always be offended by men’s pervy remarks” (as if we are not equally adept at dismissing them, and dishing them out) — that we spoil our own fun.

Ok so no. Women do NOT in ANY WAY need to get over the “‘is this degrading?’ thing.” They do not need to stop thinking about things and questioning things like objectification and misogynist comments AKA SEXISM IN ACTION. That isn’t to say that you can’t like what you like or do what you want in the bedroom, but to suggest that thinking about and questioning our behaviour and sexuality is a stupid waste of time because, I don’t know, IT’S ALL SO IRONIC AND WE’RE SO BLAZÉ AND APATHETIC ABOUT EVERYTHING BECAUSE THINKING ABOUT THINGS AND CARING ABOUT STUFF IS SO LAME, is the worst, most thoughtless, boring-ass “advice” I’ve ever heard.

And then there’s the dig at feminism. That one really takes the cake: “Sometimes girls’ brains become so clouded by bullshit “feminist” ideals…” Really? REALLY??? Our brains are clouded by oh-so-powerful feminism? That’s like saying our brains are clouded by thoughts. “Oh y’all are just thinking to much. Let patriarchy take care of this for you.”

When the response to perfectly valid questions about whether or not a sexual act may or may not be degrading (and no, that doesn’t mean it is black and white – there can be BOTH nuance and critical thought for people who are ok with using tools such as critical thinking — BUT EW GROSS THAT’S FEMINISM ISN’T IT??) is “don’t worry your pretty little head about that”, that pretty much means that we’re supposed to let patriarchy do the thinking for us.

So what have we learned from this sex advice column, folks? Caring about and thinking about things JUST ISN’T COOL. And whatever, that’s fine for Vice. We expect that from them. We expect casual misogyny because giving a fuck isn’t a thing that the cool kids do – but for a site like Jezebel, which sort of aims to provide feminism-lite style commentary on issues and events, to hire a sex advice columnist who tells women to stop thinking so much and then slags feminism for brainwashing us into using our powers of critical thought is total bullshit.

Time to start caring about shit, hipsters. You look like a bunch of assholes. LIKE YOU CARE.

 

Meghan Murphy

Meghan Murphy

Meghan Murphy, founder and editor of Feminist Current, is a freelance writer and journalist. She completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog. Follow her @meghanemurphy

  • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

    I think a light just went on in my head. Funfems implicitly believe that sex and feminism are “non-overlapping magisteria” (like how Gould believes that religion and science are “non-overlapping magisteria,” where one cannot in any way inform our thoughts about the other) and that feminist principles evaporate on contact with genitals. “Women should not be objectified” is all fine and good… unless it gets in the way of your orgasm.

    What is the causal relation? Do they reject feminist principles on prostitution, pornography and sexual relations BECAUSE of their premise that sex and feminism are non-overlapping, or the reverse? I’m not sure.

  • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

    okay, THANK YOU…thank you so much for this. It really needed to be said and you said it all perfectly.

  • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

    Here is what I posted in reply to that entry:

    “So, “lie down and just enjoy it” is what you’re advocating, then?”

    • Meghan Murphy

      Exactly. GET OVER ALL YOUR THINKING. FUCK.

      • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

        That’s exactly what my wife said when I told her about it… it’s a form of thought-stopping… nothing more.

        Also, she was pointing out, if this theory is correct, then how can there be such a thing as rape? Rape is an application of feminist principles to sex. But she says that is bad. So…

        …?

  • MR.A

    This article just further confirms by prejudice that pretentious hipsterism is the dead-end of western culture. Tattooed barbie dolls and cardiganed misogynists scoffing condescendingly at people who intellectualise too much. UGH!!!!!!

    If facile and ironic nihilism is the best young and so-called “creative” types can come up with, we are all indeed totally fucked.

    • http://screaming-banshee.net Leah L.

      “Tattooed barbie dolls and cardiganned misogynists”

      — Really? Dudes get an accurate adjective paired with the observed embarrassingly bad sense of fashion. Chicks are reduced to customized inanimate objects, specifically toys.

      It’s almost like sexism is in the fucking water.

  • Oyedo

    Why must liberal feminist websites host sex advice columns like this one and the awful “Professor Foxy” at Feministing?

    Libfems sure offer a lot of prescriptive, didactic sex advice in between accusing radfems of being “the sex police” who can’t refrain from explaining to women what they should and shouldn’t do sexually.

    • chili

      There are awesome ideas in feminism and terrible ideas that come from schools of feminism too.

      One idea I personally like is that if you are a woman who likes something, even if that traditionally might be considered ‘degrading’, then you have the right to do it, as a free and consenting adult. An adult who can think and reason and who has power over her own body. If you like to have your pussy whipped, good on you. Having it whipped is therefore a feminist act, because you are claiming your right to free and empowered sexuality. Being afraid that something you like sexually is degrading or disempowering, is in itself a disempowering thought process. Being somewhat familiar with her writing, I kind of think that’s what Karley meant… But expressed poorly.

      And: I do feel at times that I have been shamed by other women in the name of ‘feminism’; for being skinny, or, ironically, for having issues with my weight (apparently the only thing a feminist can do is to LOVE.EACH.AND.EVERY.PART.OF.HER.BODY.NO.MATTER.WHAT, but not fit in too much with heteronormative stereotypes TOO much or else…). For liking sex. For wearing short skirts. For being flirty. For being smart but still liking fashion. For having certain fantasies. For wishing my chest was bigger. For having non-committed sex.

      Some of those thoughts and actions I’m proud of, some I am frustrated by, but they are a part of MY experience and being disliked for them feels pretty painful.

      I get so sick of women who think that other women being ‘slutty’ is the reason why women are being oppressed. I don’t think pant suits are actually the answer to our problems as women.

      And when I see that some starlet has gotten her tits out on the cover of maxim, or whichever mens’ magazine, I don’t automatically hate her for buying into the patriarchy.

      I see her actions as the end result of a societal process which it will take years to change and overcome.

      If you don’t want girls to objectify themselves… Instead of criticising them, teach your sons and brothers and fathers and husbands to want other things. If you want to live in a world where womens’ minds are respected as much as their bodies are given attention, then continue to respect and understand even those women who use objectification and sex to get what they want. Marginalising them and excluding them from feminist discourse actually ENFORCES patriarchy as much as their initial actions did.

      Also: can we please have a nuanced argument about how some offshoots of feminism, or perhaps, how some supposedly feminist ideals, can be used to further oppress, judge and aggress against women?

      I don’t find it surprising that women like Karley Scortino disparge feminism. Because feminism isn’t perfect. So people are allowed not to like it. Are allowed to have been burnt by it, or disturbed, and sometimes even bullied by it.

      If we want to call ourselves feminists, we need to remember that. Because I, for one, DO call myself a feminist, and have been told at times that I’m not good enough for feminism. Which is a pretty powerful deterrent. Let’s talk about that.

      • Meghan Murphy

        You’re new to this, aren’t you. So, here’s the thing: just because you’re a feminist, and you like something, doesn’t make that something feminist. Sure, you have the ‘right’ to do it; but that doesn’t negate critique or mean that it is simply ‘ok’. I mean, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person because you’re turned on by oppression, it makes you a human in an oppressive society — but that doesn’t mean ‘don’t question it’. Further reading: http://feministcurrent.com/7578/just-because-you-like-it-doesnt-make-it-feminist/

      • lizor

        “If you like to have your pussy whipped, good on you. Having it whipped is therefore a feminist act…”

        Nope. It’s a sex act, not a feminist act.

        If you like having your pussy whipped and actively pursue partners who will do this to/for you and it gets you off, then you are getting yourself off. That’s all. Please don’t delude yourself that in so doing you are making the world better for me or any other women.

        • Candy

          ““If you like to have your pussy whipped, good on you. Having it whipped is therefore a feminist act…”

          HA, what! So I suppose dying my hair purple is a feminist act. I suppose liking to grow my own food and go hiking is feminist (ecofeminist!). I feel amazing knowing my morning routine has the feminist-stamp-of-approval. Every time I have sex, I thank feminism for empowering me to be able to do what women have being doing since the beginning of time. Feminism has made it easier for me to get out of bed in the morning, something I now enjoy because thank you, feminism!

          • Meghan Murphy

            I love pizza! Eating pizza is a feminist act!

          • pisaquari

            Does this work in the reverse?

            Like if I DON’T like something does that make it un-feminist?

          • Meghan Murphy

            People who don’t move to the back of the bus are UN-FEMINIST.

          • Me

            More likely that makes you a man-hater 😉

  • SL

    I can’t logically figure out what this columnist’s assumptions about what leads one to ponder if whether something particular is degrading or not. I can only take a stab that she thinks degradation is a personal feeling and one red flag to alert one to nondegrading acts if one is worried is if they have to ask.

    Not that she’s really thought about it (which would be consistant), but what does she precisely think catalyzes such a question? What would it say or mean about any woman who asks it if one followed this feminist-sexpert’s assumption through? The immediate and possible implications about women that come to mind are rather alarming (women are: pious, self-righteous, up-tight, frigid, man-hating, inclined to victimize themselve, not confident, sexually niave, etc).

    The take home message is if your boyfriend is asking, and you don’t have a logical reason to make him have to compromise his sexual desires, then it’s not degrading. Who knew it could be so easy not to be sexually degraded!? Haven’t I just been so silly to question men’s intentions and pattern to dominate women!? A man’s desire to ejaculate on my face is just a fantasy and I should be flattered that he wants to do it on my face and not someone else’s!? Gosh, I wish I had known because I was just dying for it, but I was too worried and uptight it wasn’t okay for respectable women, nonslutty women to do!

    Obviously, degrading things happen all the time that women stay understandably unsure about. For example, oh, um…I don’t know…rape! I wonder what if her conclusion on that question would be, “If you have to think about it, it probably isn’t.”

    The absolute lack of consideration of the cultural messages about gender and sex and its implications on both men and women on the part of these fun-fems is flabbergasting. How can they acknowledge the beliefs and attitudes that lead to victim blaming and slut shaming but never consider where they come from? What do they believe they are actually fighting for–to end all shame women have about being degraded and oppressed? What exactly do they think the patriarchy runs on–men refusal to acknowledge that treating women like sluts is okay? Do they honestly think that liberating women means women don’t worry about being used or objectified? That autonomy is being called a slut because they’re making it cool? That if we just find a way to like it then we can strike a win-win. Or is it if we just act like it doesn’t exist we’ll stop the flow of men’s source of feelings of power rendering the patriarchy dead? I just don’t understand how anyone who gave any measure of philosophical or critical thought could actually conclude with this brand of so-called feminism.

    But it doesn’t matter what I think or feel about it, this shit is being read by so many people and it seems many young women’s first encounter with feminism is through this dribble. This pseudo-feminism have sold women for something more palatable to the patriarchy. It’s dangerous and invalidating to the honest experiences of real girls and women. Its answer to end the violence and oppression of women is to make it normal and fashionable as to render it invisible.

    • chili

      Seriously. WTF.

      Please read some of Karley Sciortino’s writing.

      The question her readers are often asking is: IF I LIKE IT (AS A FEMALE), IS IT STILL INHERENTLY DEGRADING.

      See, some young women feel guilty about actually LIKING things that might be construed as degrading.

      These women DO WORRY about being objectified. Karley tries to reassure them that it’s totes ok to like ANYTHING. If you like rape fantasies, and the KEY word here is FANTASIES, then that’s ACTUALLY OK.

      It’s not ok to actively support language that validates rape and male rape fantasies in a public arena – let’s be clear about that!

      BUT it IS OK to do anything that consenting adults enjoy doing together.

      Scatalogical stuff? Gross in my book, but ok.
      Dressing like a hooker? Ok. Beating your partner in a way that turns them on and is safe? Ok.

      We do live in a culture that sometimes accidentally invalidates what two consenting adults might like to do behind closed doors.

      Karley, in her vapid-sounding way, actually addresses some of that in her occasionally misogynistic, occasionally feminist way.

      And I think that is at least partially positive.

      • Meghan Murphy

        EVERYTHING’S OK! WHEEEEE! What a relief it must be to live such a simplistic existence.

      • lizor

        “some young women feel guilty about actually LIKING things that might be construed as degrading.”

        And maybe others feel confused about liking things that might be construed as degrading. Because navigating pleasure in a culture that fetishized domination and degradation of women, that disseminates that ideology via porn/advertising/hollywood, etc is confusing. Having contradictory feelings about pleasure through degradation is evidence of an active critical intelligence and maybe even a sense of self-respect, not a simple matter of being oppressed by some “bad” parts of feminism.

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solipsism

      • pisaquari

        chili, have you any idea how many women historically disagreed with (didn’t LIKE) the 19th amendment or birth control or sexual harassment office policies? Or have LIKED victim-blaming culture, being beaten by their Christian husbands on Sundays, being relegated to menial jobs because of their “inferior brains.” Am I supposed to stfu about the Bible’s misogyny because there are some jesus-loving women roaming about?? Come on. You’re entire foundation of freedom – whether you want to admit to it or not – was built by women who did not stop their political analysis at “but some women like!”

      • Candy

        “See, some young women feel guilty about actually LIKING things that might be construed as degrading.”

        While degrading is somewhat subjective (there are people out there who honestly consider oral sex to be degrading), there are women who will intentionally seek what could not be construed as anything but degrading.

        While I believe there are psychological reasons (which may or may not be influenced by patriarchy) someone would seek to be degraded, these reasons are hardly positive. I actually used to follow Karley’s blog and found it fascinating, but I don’t believe for a second those women who want to be spit on, punched in the face, have worthless whore written on their body, and choked until they cry are mentally stable/don’t have underlying conflicts. Because why wouldn’t they? And let’s talk about why men (or anyone) would get off to treating a woman like this. And don’t say dominance, because you can be dominant without degradation. I dare say the answer to that, as well as why porn marketed as “brutal painful anal girl crying” is in existence, certainly stems from a perceived lack of power (thus gaining it temporarily through sex) and low empathy.

        Someone who treats someone like this in a non-sexual context would be called a bully and a douchebag. Why is sex such a “sacred,” separatist arena that someone who wants to treat someone like that sexually is oh, just “kinky.”

        The sad truth is humans are cruel and sadistic in varying degrees by nature. Some people harness these feelings better than others. Wanting to degrade another human being is not justified because someone likes it, because by that logic anything that someone likes is automatically justified as a positive act. If I, in a state of depression, can convince my boyfriend to berate me for having cut myself as another method of self-harm, what really differentiates that from the sexual act? Because some self-harmers do enjoy it, because it’s how they emotionally regulate. The feeling of psychological relief is immense, but transient- one who does not know how to manage emotions without self-destruction will always be at unease.

  • umlolidunno

    Co-signed. Thanks so much for writing this. That idiotic article really pissed me off. If this is the advice we young women get, we’re no better off than our grandmothers who were taught to “lie back and think of England”. Mass rape, man. It’s so edgy and evolved.

    I wasn’t surprised though; it seems to me that a majority of ‘sex advice’ columnists and ‘sex therapists’ usually have some stake in projecting an image of themselves that is ultimately about being sexually permissive, and prioritise courting male approval over giving woman-centric thought to sexual practices. You’d think their job was to help everyone implement the porn-du-jour.

  • pisaquari

    Clouded by feminism:

    • Meghan Murphy

      For real.

  • possum

    It’s depressing, this whole be a porn star for your boyfriend or your a bad woman. Glad I’m not young and I’m glad I’m not into men.
    If some woman came out with an article about how women like sex best when they’re menstruating/bleeding (true, in my experience) and that men should be totally ok with giving head to menstruating/bleeding women, because, duh, that’s the way women are, get over it and men who aren’t ok with that are silly prude dudes who should expect to be dumped-people would dismiss that as crazy talk.

    • Ms. Ahjoineest

      You listen to far too much Brotha Lynch Hung for your own good.

    • lizor

      I am more than a bit fed up with a hipster culture that essentially charges that if I am NOT into being sexually degraded, then I am definitely sexually repressed. If I were to start conversations about gender oppression by stating for the record that I am really into being whipped and called a dirty whore, then my feminist ideas would have a whole lot more cred with chili and the gang.

  • rbm

    This article speaks to the whole “but what about my sacred right to have orgasms” thing:

    How Orgasm Politics Has Hijacked the Women’s Movement, by Sheila Jeffreys

    http://www.nostatusquo.com/ACLU/Porn/orgasmpol.html

    • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

      love that piece by Jeffreys, so to-the-point.

  • Hypatia

    How very odd that none of the hipster photos you linked to contain any porny images of men in various states of undress. Must be a coincidence.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Funny, eh?

    • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

      Yeah, I don’t see any scrotum parties taking place.

    • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

      the first picture is of a man with his shirt off. i’ll take photos of scrotums next time, horndog.

      • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

        Yes, I’m a major horndog for hipster balls. You got me.

        • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

          i posted scrotums for you, enjoy.

          • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

            there’s absolutely no way i would take a gander at your scroto-shots, in fact, i’m quite entertained that you actually went took such photographs…but am i surprised?

  • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

    Hello,

    My name is Sydney Gregoire, and I shoot for the photo blog you linked to. In fact, I shot that set. In fact, that’s my crotch an ass on there as well. And here’s the kicker, I’m a fucking feminist.

    In a blogosphere where feminists are regularly regarded as women who WRITE IN ALL CAPS and come off as screaming bitches who are always PMS’ing, I chose a different route in the way of empowerment. It’s called owning your shit.

    Today I was involved in a wonderful thread with a daft young man who said when women dress like sluts they should be considered sluts. This was received with much approval from people with the same ignorant point of view. Bored and tired of hearing arguments like this, much like I am right now, I decided to rebuttal.

    I dress slutty. My tits are all over the internet. The viewpoint that these men are trying to put on women such as myself is that we do this in order to get things from THEM. Ownership over the way ones sexual expression is objectification. Your oppressive view on how women should act and present themselves is just further promoting this problem.

    We like tits, we like partying, and when we party tits come out. It’s not for the boys, it’s not for anyone. We’re just messy fucking slags, so leave us alone, stop giving a fuck, and go make a picket sign for some other shit you 90’s power woman you.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I know, right? Feminists with their fucking bitching and their fucking periods.

      I dress just as ‘slutty’ as the next girl. Whatever the fuck that means. I don’t give a fuck how you dress or how act when you party. I do it too. But, like I said in the post, once the actions become imagery, they take on a different meaning. Consider the messages you’re relaying through your work. Also consider reading the post before responding.

      This isn’t a criticism of the women in the photos or of their behaviour. It’s of the images- posted publicly, online. And of porn culture, which has become so normalized that we incorporate it into our daily lives and our work. As another commenter pointed out, you aren’t seeing dudes in these kinds of photos.

      This hipster/Vice/American Apparel/Terry Richardson-style faux/soft-core porn shit is so fucking old and it’s so fucking misogynist. I don’t care if you and all your friends are doing it.

    • http://screaming-banshee.net Leah L.

      “We.”

      Who’s we? “Me and my friends” – or, your friends – you, the sockpuppet? Spokesperson? “We” – did the collective you secede from the Union – or at least The Rest Of Us? Sounds like your choices are have friends and play along and pretend like this is as fun for you as it is for them, or try to assert your dignity, end up in a fight that demonstrates that the people around have a really deep-seated antipathy, even latent hostility toward people like you – and thus, probably you, and lose by virtue of volume anyway.

      90’s woman power shit? It’s neat, how little you seem to know about what you’re talking about. And how remarkably few feminist blogs you seem to have read. (At least, radical blogs.)

      Come off as screaming bitches? Maybe quit projecting. Rational, measured arguments calling out privilege, power and oppression are almost always get the full PeeWee-Herman.

      Oh, also? “Bitch.” Stop and think about that word, how it’s used. When it’s said to a man, it’s to shame him into acting like a man (and stop debasing himself by acting like a woman) rising back up to his expected behavior and position as a male. When it’s said to a woman, it’s to cast judgement and castigate her for being assertive, aggressive, confident, unyielding – for being uppity, acting like a man, to shame her back into her place – to act like a woman.

      You dress slutty? Pop quiz: what is slutty? “Sexually provacative?” To whom? Not yourself – if it was just you, nobody would care – to people around you. Except, women are seen – men see. So, men. You dress to be sexually provocative – to men. And the implication of sexually available, of course. Knowing that that’s impossibly subjective (see: Taliban) – at what point does what you’re wearing have anything to do with you? At no point is its actual impact on you a factor – how it makes you feel – not how does it make you feel to make him / them feel. It’s all about somebody other than you.

      Oh, whee. That sounds like a blast. Incidentally, you don’t appear to be having nearly as much fun as they are. (For some reason, I’m reminded of women’s mags – sex “help” articles that tell us that Some Women can feel sexually gratified by their partner’s orgasm, despite not orgasming. Can you imagine a dude saying that? Yeah, me neither. Anyway, digress.)

      Because your situation doesn’t reinforce their ideas and beliefs and behaviors toward other women, no – most importantly, your choosey choices happen in a bubble. A bubble where we have happy feel-good titty fun parties that we love so much.

      Cool.

      • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

        Wasn’t having happy feel-good titty fun parties always the goal?

        • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

          Happy titty parties seem to align more with patriarchal values. Inducing boners and calling it liberation is just insulting.

        • copleycat

          Wow that’s about the most succinct expression of an infantile impulse I’ve ever heard.

        • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

          Whose goal?

    • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

      Yes, us crazy bitches are all on the rag! We’re just insecure about our “sexual expression” (what the fuck does that even mean?) and need to crash on “tit” parties (breast parties?) gotta love the misogynistic porno talk, btw…

    • Abano

      “It’s called owning your shit.”

      It looks more like showing your shitter in the photo above.

      • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

        zinnnng. you’re fun i like you.

    • Dee

      I like how all of you like to paint themselves as feminists by showing off your tits and ass. What an interesting stance on feminism. Are the Playboy Playmates now considered feminists? What about Kim Kardashian? If they didn’t care so freaking much, they wouldn’t be freaking out. Does porn become feminist when people have asymmetrical haircuts? Is that the distinction? What exactly is the distinction between sexual liberation and sexual objectification, Sydney? If you were so secure in your own skin, you wouldn’t be reacting so angrily.

      So, because a woman is behind the lens and because the women are “owning their bodies,” this is a feminist portrayal? You are horny so you express it confidently. Is that it?

      What this says to me is that all of you have internalized the patriarchal views innate in our society to the extent that you open your legs when you see a camera lens. Nudity does not translate into objectification; however, by posing you become an object. At some point sexual objectification became “sexual liberation.” I think something was lost in translation. It is sad to me that all of these young girls see a camera lens and take their shirts off. No matter what justification you have, on film you become a sexual object. It says to me that we have internalized the patriarchal currents in our society to the extent that men no longer have to objectify us; instead, we do it for them.”

      • Dawn

        Well said Dee, unfortunate but true. I believe we have indeed internalized the ‘patriarchal currents’ whether we want to admit it or not, I mean how can any of us fully avoid the bombardment of it all while growing up. I consider myself a feminist (pro equality) and would love to proclaim that I am above and beyond this, but I too am human and fall short from time to time.
        As a photographer AND as someone who’s intimate photos have shown up on the web, I too agree with Meghan Murphy’s comment about actions becoming imagery. Most of us are free to express ourselves and ‘let loose’ as we like, but posting such loaded photos without any explanation or information is only going to leave others to assume that these women are being objectified.
        Hopefully the women and men in these photos gave you the go ahead to post these shots…

    • Dee

      Kate Upton really owns her shit here: http://vimeo.com/41393068

      So does Paris: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paris-Hilton-1-Night-DVD/dp/B000ADFWR8

      I think it was a really feminist move, personally, when Kim partnered with the porn company to profit from Ray J’s golden shower on her. http://www.pornhub.com/view_video.php?viewkey=2125162372

    • http://www.localjoke.ca Tanya Crail

      girls just wanna have fun

  • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

    I am also curious on what constitutes “dressing like a slut”

  • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

    A few things I will point out, as I’m sure no matter how seriously I take this argument I will never get through to you ladies.

    The very first photo in the set is a couple of boys who I found attractive and made one of them take off their shirt. Sexxxxy. If it would be “feminist” for me to continue this form of male exploitation I will promise you to get more of it in the next set.

    Why are you giving the nipple so much power? One of my favorite feminists of all time was Linda Meyers, a woman who grew up in my hometown. She walked around topless all over the neighbourhood. Biked topless. Shopped at London Drugs topless. Good lord she had nasty boobs too. She fought in court for years for the right to expose her chest just like a man would. That was one of the clearest cases of gender-equality i had ever seen in my own life.

    So how about next week, when i shoot photos of all the beautiful hipsters at Glory Days, I make sure to match male nudity to the female nudity. Certainly we can all agree that is the socially acceptable way to go about things?

    • Meghan Murphy

      You will never get through to us! With your two comments! How will we ever learn what real feminism is if we won’t even listen!

      This isn’t about nudity. This isn’t about evening out objectification (in any case, you can’t just switch out woman for man and have it mean the same thing in front of the male gaze).

      How about instead of getting defensive you try to actually understand the critique? It might make for a more productive discussion.

      • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

        To be honest, I don’t know why I would even be concerned about the male gaze when the females are the ones slut-shaming.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Oh GAWD. Please let’s not start with the ‘slut-shaming’ crap. I DON’T GIVE A FUCK WHAT YOU WEAR OR WHO YOU FUCK OR HOW YOU ACT AT PARTIES. Is it possible for us to have an actual conversation about what was actually said in the post or are we going to go around in circles: “STOP HATING MY BOOBS” / “I DON’T HATE YOUR BOOBS”. It seems like a waste of time.

          • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

            Alright, then tell me why I don’t have the right to be “porny”. Why would you assume that since we’re “fucked up” we don’t really give our consent to the nudity? Why are you shaming us for being horny people?

          • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

            It’s not about you. Get over it.

          • Meghan Murphy

            And yeah, like Francois said – this isn’t about you. Stop making it about you. I know it seems personal because you took the photos, but the critique is very clearly NOT about what individual women do. By making it about what you/individual women do, you’re making it impossible to have a real/productive conversation which is maybe what you want? I don’t know. Maybe not.

            Nobody hates boobs, nobody hates sex, nobody hates ‘sluts’, and nobody hates women.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Who’s shaming who for being ‘horny people’? What are you talking about?

            You have the right to do whatever you want. As I said earlier, this is about a larger critique of this trend of normalizing/mainstreaming pornographic imagery. I’m sure you know what I mean – the American Apparel/Vice/Terry Richardson-style soft-core porn I mentioned earlier.

            It obviously isn’t just the few photos you included from last week’s Glory Days.

            That said, I do think we should think about the messages these kinds of images send. That is – the way that women’s bodies are objectified and sexualized. I said this already, but actions take on different meaning once they become images. For example, two people having sex isn’t pornography, it’s sex. Once someone takes a photo (depending on how the photo is taken) and makes the photo publicly accessible, the action becomes pornography.

            Not all sexual imagery equals pornography, of course, but the ‘porny’ aspect of the photos you took is in the objectified/sexualized body parts. And of course it’s all done in that kind of Vice-style/soft-core porny way.

          • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

            Alright, I think I can be done with this discussion now.

            Thanks for this by the way, I just got a job for tomorrow night based on the attention you have given my homemade porn. Your kindness won’t go unrewarded though. I’m going to make sure i get some serious dick pics for you guys, because obviously this whole thing is about men receiving equal sexual objectification.

            Make sure to check http://www.lindsaysdiet.com on Sunday for all the schlong, wang and chodes you’re begging for.

          • Meghan Murphy

            “Obviously this whole thing is about men receiving equal sexual objectification.” Reading comprehension ftw.

            What’s that? Porny pays? Who knew!

          • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

            win-win i kno

          • Meh

            Wow, I’m getting in on this discussion really late, but I must say that I’m really enjoying it.

            Gotta love folks like Sydney! Really trolly/smartarsy, but also really stupid. So sex pozzy! So empowerment! So asymmetrical haircut + butthole pic chic!

          • Dawn

            you have missed the boat on this one…

          • Meh

            “schlong, wang and chodes you’re begging for.”

            How come you talk so much about peen, Sydney? OOOH, I KNOW! Cuz you’re obsessed with getting men’s attention – and that’s why you take pics of your boobiez!

            It’s all about da menz (and you actually know that but you’re pretending it’s not). It’s FUNNY AS HELL.

          • Colette

            I like how all of you like to paint themselves as feminists by showing off your tits and ass. What an interesting stance on feminism. Are the Playboy Playmates now considered feminists? What about Kim Kardashian? If they didn’t care so freaking much, they wouldn’t be freaking out. Does porn become feminist when people have asymmetrical haircuts? Is that the distinction? What exactly is the distinction between sexual liberation and sexual objectification? If you were so secure in your own skin, you wouldn’t be reacting so angrily.

            So, because a woman is behind the lens and because the women are “owning their bodies,” this is a feminist portrayal? You are horny so you express it confidently. Is that it?

            What this says to me is that all of you have internalized the patriarchal views innate in our society to the extent that you open your legs when you see a camera lens. Nudity does not translate into objectification; however, by posing you become an object. At some point sexual objectification became “sexual liberation.” I think something was lost in translation. It is sad to me that all of these young girls see a camera lens and take their shirts off. No matter what justification you have, on film you become a sexual object. It says to me that we have internalized the patriarchal currents in our society to the extent that men no longer have to objectify us; instead, we do it for them.”

    • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

      I’m not sure how you reduced the profound issue of the connection between feminism and sex to someone’s boobs, but that’s a pretty amazing feat.

      “You ladies”? LOL.

    • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

      srsly though, “ladies” ??

      holy loaded classist, sexist term…i am guffawing until my sides ache.

  • MarieL

    First, in all honesty the author of this article probably would have had more luck coming off as a legitimate writer if they didn’t give into the urge of writing all in caps lock and adding in snide sarcastic brackets every few sentences. Really, it’s hard to take anyone seriously when what you are reading comes off as someone screaming at the internet at random intervals.
    Furthermore, I think the point that was trying to be made by the photographer is that these photos weren’t taken and posted without consent, and this is a regular occurrence. And that they have every right to post them as consenting adults. Also, aren’t you being just as judgmental, more or less suggesting that just because these women have their breasts or crotches showing that it makes them “trashy idiots”. Also, while I understand that women’s chests are sexualized by society I did see bared male chests in those photos as well, whereas only one woman bared part of her chest (though it does show up in more photos). As a feminist I wear what I want and I don’t care whether or not someone thinks it is ‘sexually promiscuous’ or not. If I want to show my breasts I do. If I want to cover my skin I do. That’s not for someone else to decide for me by shaming me.

    I understand the knee-jerk reaction to ‘porny’ images and your concern for the consent of the people involved in the photos. That is totally legitimate. But this feels to be like it turned more into a ‘that girl is posing slutty, get her!’ fest. I’m sure these women are fully aware of their bodies and it is their choice to pose and show in photos what they please. You don’t have to like the photos, but I think it’s awfully hypocritical to shame them for taking control of their bodies just because it’s not in a way you approve of. Once given the info that consent was involved, it shouldn’t have been an issue.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I’m glad to hear everyone consented in sobriety. The ‘trashy idiots’ comment, which I also applied to myself, was not a judgment. Rather a comment on how we act when we are wasted. Which isn’t always how we want to be perceived by the public.

      This isn’t about what individual women do. Nor is it a critique of female bodies. It’s about porny images. Which are trendy now. It certainly isn’t a ‘knee-jerk reaction’ – this is what I do. This isn’t something that just occurred to me as I was perusing the internet.

      Stop making this about individuals and personal attacks on individual women. It isn’t. It’s about messages and representation and imagery and the male gaze.

      This is a larger issue — i.e. not just about a few photos. This is part of a larger trend. Individualizing and personalizing doesn’t accurately represent the argument. It’s just a ‘knee-jerk reaction’ to feeling criticized.

  • Nikki

    I’m with Sydney on this one. I understand if the original author was under the impression these women might not like to have their photos up, and that one of the photos is a little more sexually explicit than the others, mostly because of the male in the photo, but nothing is being shown that isn’t shown on a beach any day of the summer. And if the author was actually interested to find out, they could have contacted the website to know about their release information.

    To be a feminist, I think you have to allow women to be feminine and strong or not strong in their own ways, in their own rights. To use an argument about how men see women and that is why women dress provocatively or why they shouldn’t, is a little bit of a step backwards in time. I have large breasts, and something that is entirely non-cleavage-y on a smaller-breasted woman looks pretty provocative on me, but if I want to wear it, I do. I’m not walking out the door begging for male attention, I’m WALKING OUT THE DOOR. In my body, in my town, the way I want to.

    I feel I have the right to own my sexuality in my everyday existance. To be feminists, we don’t have to be asexual. We can appreciate our beautiful forms, we can flaunt what we believe to be beautiful because it is our right, and we don’t have to do it for anyone else. Other women don’t have the right to tell me what or what not to wear or how or how not to act, and I hope that if photos of me were to appear that I would have the strength to defend them as well.

    • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

      No, the article was not about your breasts either. ‘ts not about you.

      Meghan, you really need an abbreviation… INAY. INAY. INAY.

      INAY!

      • Nikki

        Francois, it kind of is about all of us. It’s about women in photos. My error was in not replying to the comment about dressing “slutty” – it made more sense as a response. My point was more in reaction to another comment than to the article, other than the fact that women have the right to do what they want. I do get that the article was talking about how hipsters have kind of made this nouveau-soft-core-porn thing into a genre of photography, but if they are all consenting adults, I am not sure I see the problem. It’s kind of the difference between how people choose to see art or porn sometimes. The line can be a bit blurry.

      • Nikki

        Also, Francois, you entirely missed the point of my comment, which is about owning your bodies and sexuality, and allowing other women to do so. It wasn’t really about my breasts, although thank you for bringing to my attention the fact that if I mention breasts, human brains seems to be unable to process anything else that came before or after. LOL

        • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

          You don’t “own your body,” you ARE your body. “Owning your body” is a contradictory and nonsensical term, unless you’re using it as a metaphor for something.

          And if it’s not about your breasts, then why did you talk about them so much? We get it, you have big breasts, you feel targeted by the evil radscum for having big breasts (INAY!), etc etc. Don’t act all innocent…

          • Nikki

            Sorry, Lil F, I live in a small town and work in an older environment so vancouver lingo doesn’t really reach me very quickly, I honestly don’t know what the word “radscum” means. Anyways, I appreciate the lesson in the use of the verb “own”. It is true that I did not purchase my body. I apologize for confusing you. 😉

          • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

            No, you are the one who is confused. You don’t own yourself in any way, shape or form. Heck, you don’t even control 99% of what happens in your own body. Stop propagating dualism under the guise of liberation.

          • Nikki

            Since I am pregnant with my first child, I realize that I am in control of pretty much NOTHING that happens in my own body. I have never taken women’s studies, so I have to say I don’t understand what you are saying. I really have no idea what your last comment meant. I am a human woman, who believes in the rights of women to be equal to any other human being. I believe that makes me a feminist. I am sorry if my ignorance of certain theories you learned in school means you have to talk down to me, but it would be nice if you could make sense to a regular everyday person.
            I am a fairly moderate person, and I am really amazed at the way you are attacking me. And I know you are going to say INAY, which is really nice, except you ARE making this about me, which is perhaps how you manage to get away with being so superior. When you attack and basically take away a person’s right to defend themselves, you close the conversation to any kind of open learning experience.
            As I stated before, while erroneously using the term “own” about human bodies, I believe that women have a right to portray themselves in the way they want, that we have the right to be sexual creatures if we want to be, and that by attacking other women’s views and feelings on feminism, we are only closing more women off to the idea of open discussion, thereby creating more negative views in the general person towards the idea of “feminism”.
            I believe I have said all I need to say, as I am finding this whole comments section to be a bit enraging. While in a normal situation, I would love this “discussion”, unfortunately, while being pregnant, I need to keep my stress levels low. Which means removing myself from your toxic presence. I was hoping that perhaps someone else may join the discussion, but as it is only you and I, my darling dear, I’m Audi. I understand that you are angry, but without open discussion, nothing is going to be gained by anyone.

          • SJR

            That was awesome.
            http://alturl.com/oi4qy

          • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

            “I am a human woman, who believes in the rights of women to be equal to any other human being. I believe that makes me a feminist.”

            Uh… no. Feminism is based on the identification and rejection of the Patriarchy in all its institutional forms. Wanting women to be equal to men makes you a decent human being, but that’s not feminism. You don’t get to brag that you’re not a horrible person.

          • Alex

            that is most certainly incorrect. feminism is about the rejection of the male? i beg to differ. by saying that aren’t you making it about the “male” once again?

          • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

            Do you not understand that women can support the Patriarchy as well as men? Look, this is not a Feminism 101 blog. I’m not going to do your homework for you. If I had to figure this stuff out, you should do it too.

          • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

            I love Western tendency for the mind/body split, the mind “owns” the body – the body is a separate entity. It also applies a private property perspective to human bodies. Very interesting…

          • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

            Exactly! You got it. It also has to do with free will and the notion that we are “in control” of our actions.

    • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

      Uhh…

      “To be a feminist, I think you have to allow women to be feminine and strong or not strong in their own ways, in their own rights.”

      That would be easy if everything that has been socially constructed to be “feminine” and “strong” were established in a vacuum in some, post-patriarchy land.

    • copleycat

      ” I hope that if photos of me were to appear that I would have the strength to defend them as well”

      Something doesn’t sound right there. Why would you have to defend them? Why is this supposed right of an new omnipresent voyeur trumping everyone else’s rights while going unquestioned and unnoticed?

  • Nikki

    That being said, the author’s indignant reaction to the referenced article is pretty much exactly how I reacted too. The viewpoints were vapid and really strange to see written on a website like Jezebel. I feel like she maybe was trying to get across the point of owning your sexuality and that the idea of an act being degrading in and of itself is sort of a social construct; that you should be happy and comfortable to use your body for your own pleasure in any way you like without shame, but Hoowhee… It really missed the mark.

    Anyways. Just wanted the original author to know I wasn’t necessarily attacking her writing or her viewpoint, just the comments in response to Sydney were a bit woman-on-woman attacking, which I believe is such a huge downfall in feminist culture. :(

    • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

      If we “owned” our sexuality, why do millions of women get raped? If we “own” shit as women, why do we need feminism?

      • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

        Doncha know, feminism isn’t needed any more! We live in a society of equals now! Never mind the actual facts…

  • Christiana

    Quite frankly, I had to stop looking at Lindsays Diet because I am so fucking tired of seeing your tits and crotch shots. Terry Richardson should be shot for making this style of photography popular.

    • Donna

      Yes! Who is this Lindsay chick anyway? Why can’t all the children just learn to keep their clothes on? This is all fun now but are they still going to be doing this in their 30’s?

      • mika

        Pretty sure Lindsay is in her 30s. As am I. No points, just saying.
        While I understand both sides of this argument, lumping a certain kind of behaviour into the vast trope of hipsterism is just an example of lazy debate skills. It’s so boring.

      • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com/photosfortynine/photosfortynine.html Lindsay

        Hi, I’m Lindsay

        Event photographer by night and sometimes day, doula by day and sometimes night. I have three photographers who work with me on events for lindsaysdiet.com. We are hired to photograph events by promoters or event planners, I also shoot private parties, weddings, premiers, ceremonies and the like. I’m 31 years old and if you’d like to read more on how lindsaysdiet started – see this: http://lindsayelliott.com/lindsaysdiet/

        Cheers,
        Lindsay

        • Donna

          I will be sure to keep you in mind when I am looking for a wedding photographer. I don’t think I know any other wedding photographers with tits/ass/crotch shots on their portfolio. Very classy. A 31 year old hipster party photographer? Really? You learn something new everyday.

          • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com/photosfortynine/photosfortynine.html Lindsay

            I know a few, but that’s beside the point. You sound like a lovely woman yourself Donna, keep on learning.

          • Tara H.

            I think if anyone needs to be learning something it’s the 31 year old who runs around clubs taking photos of drunk 20 year olds.

          • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

            Yeah, there’s something really exploitative, voyeuristic male-gaze inspired about club photography — I pity the 21 year olds who will have photos like this plastered all over the net for the rest of their lives. Good luck with that!

          • Alex

            This girl is a perfect example of the pathetic hipster culture in vancouver. The thing is they feel that theyre being “artistic” and “creative” but don’t realize that not only is what they do completely uninteresting to anyone outside of their lame circle of enlightened friends. Its really sad, to think that these people spend their time going to irrelevant parties and uploading photos of people getting drunk. Time to grow up and get a life.

        • Doug

          Based on all of these sets of photos, I wouldn’t choose you as a wedding photographer. Not because I’m offended, just because I look for an artistic sensibility in potential photographers. That set really doesn’t have it.

          • http://www.lindsayelliott.com Lindsay

            Hi Doug,

            You’re welcome to preview a few photos from the last wedding I shot here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.318112474963594.73126.131916420249868&type=3

            I would love to hear your opinion on my artistic sensibilities after you view them.

            Cheers,
            Lindsay

          • Jennifer

            Hi Lindsay,

            Do you have anything to actually say or are you going to just keep spamming the comments section trying to prove you’re doing something artistic and worthwhile? No one cares about your shitty wedding photos. Get an actual opinion or go away.

            Love,

            Jennifer

          • Meghan Murphy

            Lindsay. Again – this isn’t about you. It isn’t about your site. It’s about a larger cultural trend. I understand you are taking this personally because I linked to a few photos on your site as an example of the trend but really, it’s not like this is the first time these arguments have been made. The link to your site was a blip in the post and yet you all are making it out to be all about some kind of attack on you/Sydney/your site. It isn’t. I could have linked to a million other photos like this. These were just the ones I happened to see most recently.

          • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

            But everything is “me” “me” “me” – even feminism, apparently is just about individual feelings and tastes. Gawwd, get with the program Meghan!

        • Dee

          As the owner of your company and the Lindsay of Lindsay’s Diet, you’d think that you would be more conscious of its image and the fact that the company’s image is associated with your own image. I would think that, as a 31 year old trying to branch into work as a doula and into event photography, that you would’ve moved beyond this Terry Richardson style/1970s pornographic view of young women’s bodies.

        • Katherine

          Honestly, I used to enjoy looking at the Lindsay’s Diet photos. It used to showcase a number of young people having fun & enjoying their nights out. Now…there’s a darker, debaucherous element to the latest photos. It showcases inebriated women who do not appear in control of their own bodies. By showing women’s body parts only, they appear interchangeable. By cutting out their faces and by focusing on certain body parts, their identities are deemed irrelevant they are reduced to sexual objects in the lens of the camera. To compound that, by showing women in positions with their legs spread or bent over, they are portrayed as sexually available. It is clear that they are responding to the male gaze pervasive in modern society and responding as sexual objects seeking approval, if conscious of it or not.

          From Ms Magazine…

          “In a culture with widespread sexual objectification, women (especially) tend to view themselves as objects of desire for others. This internalized sexual objectification has been linked to problems with mental health…Women of all ethnicities internalize objectification, as do men to a far lesser extent.

          Beyond the internal effects, sexually objectified women are dehumanized by others and seen as less competent and less worthy of empathy by both men and women.

          Furthermore, exposure to images of sexually objectified women causes male viewers to be more tolerant of sexual harassment and rape myths. Add to this the countless hours that some girls/women spend primping to garner heterosexual male attention, and the erasure of middle-aged and elderly women who have little value in a society that places women’s primary value on their sexualized bodies.

          Theorists [PDF] have contributed to understanding the harm of objectification culture by pointing out the difference between sexy and sexual. If one thinks of the subject/object dichotomy that dominates Western culture, subjects act and objects are acted upon. Subjects are sexual, while objects are sexy.

          Pop culture sells women and girls a hurtful fiction that their value lies in how sexy they appear to others; they learn at a very young age that their sexuality is for others. At the same time, sexuality is stigmatized in women but encouraged in men. We learn that men want and women want-to-be-wanted. The yardstick for women’s value (sexiness) automatically puts them in a subordinate societal position, regardless of how well they otherwise measure up.”

          In short, it is irrelevant whether or not the women consent to posing provocatively or whether or not they consider themselves sexual objects there for the approval of the male gaze. The problem is that the inherent misogyny in our society has resulted in a gaze/lens object dichotomy. Whether or not they are conscious of their desire to appear as sexually desirable for the gaze that exists in our society. By cutting out their faces, in the photo, the women are reduced to sexual objects. It is irrelevant what their own feelings or the photographer’s feelings are on the matter. The result is that this is how they are portrayed for the judgment/approval/fetishism of the male gaze innate in society.

          • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

            Hello, I would like to again point out I am the one who shoots ‘private parts’. Lindsay and the other two girls shoot in their own style and their work should not be associated with mine. Lindsay is a wonderful agent who supports whatever work I put out. Her wedding photos are absolutely beautiful and intimate.
            If “INAY” is in affect, do not make it about her and her work please.

            Assuming that these women don’t have control over themselves and their bodies is really disrespectful. Someone please answer me this question.

            Why is it that if we choose to be sexually vulgar we’re doing it FOR the male gaze?

          • Tracy

            Sweetie the site is called “Lindsay’s diet” not “Sydney’s diet” so it’s very much about her. It’s great you all want to stick up for her but maybe she should be the one with an actual opinion since it’s her site and whether or not she takes the actual photos is irrelevant. They’re on her site. It’s her brand. She’s endorsing this.

            Most of your “questions” are answered in the comments section here. What is “sexy vulgar” and who is it for? If its yourself, you probably don’t need to be doing it on the Internet for everyone to see. You’d avoid ending up on websites like this arguing over things you know nothing about.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Emulating pornographic imagery = doing it for the male gaze. I’m sure it isn’t always something conscious, it’s how we are socialized, as women, in a patriarchal/porn culture. I don’t wear makeup ‘for myself’. Posting public photos of crotch shots are not ‘for yourself’ or they wouldn’t be posted publicly on the internet. You need to try to step away from this ‘stop attacking my sexuality’ argument if you want to actually understand the arguments being made here and participate in a productive conversation. This isn’t an attack on women and women’s sexuality. Posting boob shots online has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with female sexuality and everything do to with performing for the male gaze. And again, that isn’t a dig at the women doing it – this is what we’ve learned is ‘sexy’ in our culture. We learn that ‘sexuality’ = performance. I wrote a little more about that idea here: http://feministcurrent.com/5859/facials-feminism-performance-on-fking-men-in-a-patriarchy/

            I’ve also written extensively about porn and the male gaze elsewhere on this blog: http://feministcurrent.com/tag/pornography/

          • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

            Because normative sexuality as we know it today in Western society IS developed from the male gaze, from the purely male perspective that showcases women as a series of parts that serve sexual functions. We cannot somehow “detach” ourselves from patriarchy whenever we feel fit then say it’s “feminist” because we “choose” to do it. That’s an easy way to go about it, but it’s devoid of critical thought or a recognition of the material realities that women live with day in and day out.

            The perfect book I could suggest for anyone in this thread is “Female Chauvinist Pigs” by Ariel Levy. Seriously, check that shit out.

          • Meh

            “Why is it that if we choose to be sexually vulgar we’re doing it FOR the male gaze?”

            … BAAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!!!

            This is just way too easy.

  • Melissa Skowron

    This article attempted to paint a feminist cultural landscape with some very broad strokes. First Vice then to a random ‘Hipster’ photo website, and then to an advice column at Jezebel. I think this could have been broken down into three seperate articles but instead was mashed together for…whatever reason.
    ‘Clearly fucked up.’ You can tell that from the picture and nothing else? Very presumptuous. Pictures don’t lie, its science. Sloppy.
    I AM EXPRESSING MY ANGER AND HEIGHTEN EMOTION THROUGH CAPS-SHOUTING. VERY SLOPPY.
    Perhaps you should have contacted Lindsay or Syndney to ask them who the women were in the photos? That kind of eye -rolling snap judgement is a form of slut-shaming, and degrades the woman in the photo by assuming that any woman with any sense of sexual agency would be caught dead showing her vagina to a camera. Sloppity slop slop sloppy.
    ‘Porny’. No more words left, must make shit up. Sloppy.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I totally agree. It was a messy, ranty, post. Definitely sloppy. But if you can’t differentiate between a snap-judgement and a feminist analysis/critique that’s been developed over about thirty years then I’d say you’re the one who’s making the ‘snap-judgements’.

      • Melissa Skowron

        You’ve developed the ability to know exactly what is going on in a random photo over about thirty years?

        • Meghan Murphy

          Objectification isn’t random. This isn’t about what was going on, it’s about the imagery. Representation. History. Context.

          • Melissa Skowron

            Yeah, that context part would have been really handy when you were writing this post.

          • Meghan Murphy

            The context of patriarchy? I think I included that context…

          • Melissa Skowron

            But it wasn’t, you made your point based on the fact that you wanted to make sure that these girls had expressed their permission to have those images posted (which they did). You also said that even if they did, in your opinion the images looked ‘porny’. You didn’t put patriachy as the contextual background for your conclusion they were all, as you made very clear, your personal opinion.

            If you wanted to communicate that you were relating these images and all the other hand-fisted points you were making back to a specific display of patriarchy I suggest not making up funny words so we know what the hell you are talking about.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Sexism? Misogyny? Real words/real meaning? Denote context of patriarchy?

          • Melissa Skowron

            How is something that looks ‘porny’, in your opinion, denoting a context of patriarchy?
            You did not answer that question. You made the assumption that if something looks ‘porny’ it is objectifying and wrong, and your reader would agree with you. When really, there is still a (nausiating) raging debat over whether pornography or pornography images are sexist/misogynistic/objectifying.

          • Meghan Murphy

            My audience is an audience largely comprised of feminists, who have an understanding of the ways in which pornography objectifies and sexualizes women. I’m not going to explain the 101s of that argument over and over again in every post because it would be irritating to my regular readers.

          • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

            “girls”

            these folks are hilarious.

          • Donna

            The fact these girls give permission to post photos like this is even more nauseating and desperate.

    • copleycat

      “…and heighten emotion…” it should be “heightened”, since you’ve decided to nit-pick and complain about “sloppy” grammar and style. And pictures do lie, quite well in fact.

  • pisaquari

    Sydney, if you’re still listening/reading, I would like to take you up on your offer to “match” the porny images (who doesn’t LOVE watching stickly male figures writhe their way out of size zero jeans and baby tees –God is good to women, amirite?).

    Just make sure you find a guy who is pretty fucking toasted b/c otherwise you might have to do more coaxing/convincing, or he may ask for you to reciprocate in return (but, hey, why not—you’re an able-bodied, white woman with enough disposable income to drink in your spare time, take high def photos with a nice camera and prettify a photoblog—the world is your oyster)

    And also make sure he is willing to maybe let you stick your finger nail in his anus or something like that. Close-ups only, plz.

    But then maybe just make sure the pose look like the same ones commonly forced upon men—you know all those poses which look impossibly hard, poses which men come out in the news for saying they didn’t want to do/it caused them pain/they are traumatized/they are dying. Images which have systematically been used on men time and again to keep them under our womanly thumbs! Make it kindasorta like those.

    But you should also make sure the images he is a part of in no way subvert the gendered hierarchy in which he is placed. Make sure his outfit, body posture, gestures and facial expressions match the gendered mandates of his time but are also adorned by the markers of his race and class status.

    But ALSO, make sure first his sex has endured thousands of years of rape and pillage and, in fact, is enduring that very thing today! This will make the image more titillating.

    And then make sure first his sex is commonly held responsible for all those cases of rape and pillage–make sure every person on the planet thinks men just LOVE getting drunk and having well-filed nails shoved into their anuses– should the whole *drunkeness* thing be problematized. He’d have a seriously shitty time getting a fair trial!!HAHAHA.

    But then don’t be a slacker and forget to post these images in a virtual hub (ohh, idk, internet?) known for using images not altogether consensual (it will be HIS job to show up online, all pissed off when some *buzzkill* shows CONCERN for his possible non-consent. People are such wieners, srsly).

    I know it’s a lot and all but I believe in you. /yougogrrl

    • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

      Shall i link you to a gay porn site?

      • Aims

        That’s seriously your answer?

    • Dawn

      Pisaquari, whomever you are, I like you. Thank you for that colorful retort. I think I am now ready to part with this dialog.

    • NitroGirl

      I don’t think she resembles so many thoughts liberal dudebros have. “Here’s a couple of dick pictures, now shut up you feminazis!There! Equality! Now stfu!”. They don’t seem to understand that the idea that a man CAN condescend to a woman’s level of being subordinate as a sex class is PRIVILEGE.And even then, it doesn’t erase the gawddamned patriarchy that chokeholds women into all kinds of oppressive bull. Even then-THAT IS STILL NOT SEX/GENDER BASED EQUALITY BECAUSE THE PATRIARCHY IS STILL FUCKING THERE.
      HISTORY.MEANS.STUFF.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Exactly, playing around with oppression like it’s a joke is something that can be done only with a certain level of privilege – i.e. there is no real risk of actual objectification/subordination/loss of power.

  • Jackie

    I’ve randomly stumbled across this blog/article and I really sort of wish I hadn’t. One thing that I have noticed from EVERYONE who has posted a response is that everyone judges and believes that they are the one who is right. Most people who have posted here aren’t actually willing to have a proper conversation and there is very little evidence that most people aren’t even trying to understand the other person’s viewpoint… they’re just trying to be right or to prove they’re more intellectual than the others. There is a great deal of focussing in on one word such as the use of own (vs. are, which I was really actually quite disgusted that this was even an arguing point given that everyone knew exactly what Nikki was trying to say yet for some reason, it started on an unnecessary belittling trail of responses), boobs, tits, breasts, slutty, porny, etc.

    I understand that everyone has a right to think the way they want to but at least grant others that very same right without becoming, quite frankly, a bitch. Dissect that word if you feel the need to and shame me like all the others with varying viewpoints from yours. That is the very impression now that I have of feminists.

    I used to have the impression that feminism was all about standing proud and equal to men. Now, I am quite ashamed to have considered myself a feminist before discovering this site. Unless I think exactly like you, I am less than you. Who’d want to be a part of that?

    One poster brought up the history of women and the issue of rape and pillaging throughout thousands of years as a point to why men will never be as objectified as women have been. There’s a lot of truth in this, but really, this poster has entirely missed the point that Sydney was making, just because it didn’t fit in with her own views. If you guys aren’t willing to have an open discussion amongst our own sex without all the shaming and sarcasm, how can you expect to make true progress?

    Women have come such a long way. You likely believe women need to make much more progress as well which is probably also true. The thing that makes me sad though is that it seems the realization as to just how far women have come is overlooked or forgotten. The past is all too often dwelled on and it seems to cloud the current situation right in front of us. I’m not saying forget about the past because it’s over and done with but bringing it up when it is clearly history, seems to be a futile effort. You can not change it. You can only focus on what you want to change from this point forward. Even more important, here in North America, we women have it pretty easy and I don’t think we really have a lot to complain about in the grand scheme of things. Could it be better? Of course it could be. It just helps to retain a little bit of perspective.

    Anyway… after reading all of the comments and the attacking (even if you say just INAY to someone defending her actions in response to a previous post about her behaviour), I am quite frankly never going to associate myself with the feminist category again. Am I proud to be a woman? YES. Do I believe in equality? YES. Feminist? No. Thanks for the wake up call.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Oh nooooooooooo! The feminists ruined feminism!

    • Jennifer

      “Randomly stumbled”? Or saw on a whiny facebook post by Lindsay or Sydney? Considering you’re not going to consider yourself a feminist based upon some comments you didn’t like on a feminist blog makes it pretty clear you were never much of a feminist to begin with but thanks for coming out.

      • Meghan Murphy

        “I was a feminist until I realized feminists were such bitches” = classic trolling. Some seriously transparent bullshit.

        • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

          Well put Jackie, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

          I too am retracting from the feminists. I believe in having my own personal freedom to do and act how I please and have the courage to defend myself when being treated in an demeaning manner. Funny how you can tell me over and over about the patriarchy but have a huge superiority complex while doing so.

          • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

            Just curious, do you think the same thing about the patriarchal politicians who take away women’s rights? Do they also have the “personal freedom” (what does that even mean? freedom is inherently a relation to other people, a social concept) to do and act how they please?

          • Mandy

            So you aren’t considering yourself a feminist either because of this comment thread? Ok. I don’t think the people disagreeing with you have a superiority complex, they just feel passionately about something important and know what they’re talking about. You do neither.

            It’s really sad how much you don’t get it but judging from your most recent set of photos, you’ve been thinking about this. Keep thinking because you have along way to go. Also keep taking photos because you aren’t very good at that either.

          • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

            You know you’re a feminist when you are “retreating from feminists” because they call you out on acting like a misogynist.

          • Aims

            Before people complain about feminists shouldn’t criticise other women, unfortunately, it’s privileged white women like Sydney Gregoire – who buy into all this “I’m so free, look at how empowered I am, I’m putting my crotch in your face, I’m so courageous and OUT THERE I imitate the mainstream porn which already saturates our society” – who patriarchal men throw in your face to undermine feminism. I think we need to criticise them.

            People here aren’t superior, they are passionate and earnest, often distressed by the state of the world, something Sydney and her ilk are apparently way to cool for.

          • copleycat

            Aims, I think you’ve hit on something important here. There are emotions that come along with being dedicated to a political struggle. These include really uncool emotions like despair and doubt that you have to work through but work is uncool too, which is why there’s not much by way of pithy political thought coming from the hipster camp. Instead as was cited in the sex-advice column above there are actually blatant demands that people (women in particular) should stop all that pesky, uncool thinking.

          • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

            Still no reply to my question? Hello?

    • CaoCao

      No, *I’M* a real random passerby here- I’ve read this whole thing up until this point, and objectively, the OP gave every opportunity for those two idiots who take drunken girly pics for cash to actually have a rational, thinking conversation.
      She pointed out that this website, was one of countless and just happened to be posted as an example. It wasn’t a personal, nor a calculated attack. If they wished to truly discuss it, exchange thoughts, they were welcome to~ but all the two women did was; 1. Get butthurt. 2. Spam sarcastic links to crummy photography ads.

      Either that, or the posts here were too advanced in grammar, ideas, and terminology for them and they were incapable of truly grasping what was said.
      They take pics of trashed, young women in provocative positions to make money. They can slap a big “I R Feminist cuz my I luv my boobies!11” all over it~ but, they aren’t fooling anyone.
      Again, as many other commenters have pointed out ( and were systematically ignored) , the problem doesn’t lie in women enjoying their sexuality.
      The people of these types of website, men or women, are exploiting and objectifying women for money, and they don’t want to stop making money. Sex sells.
      But you will never convince *anyone* it’s anything but the same ‘ol shit; objectifying women-> sell to men ( whether it be per month, in website hits w/e) -> cash.

      ( I realize this was a month ago.. and that proves I am a *real* random passerby XD )

    • copleycat

      ” Even more important, here in North America, we women have it pretty easy and I don’t think we really have a lot to complain about in the grand scheme of things.”
      WTF?

  • marv

    The idea that their personal choices and identities are socially constructed is outrageous to libertarians. To them every individual is a distinct whole who has vast inner potential for freedom and self-realization if no one curtails their activities. We are born free but society inhibits our desires and yearnings through conservative mores and traditions. Liberals think you can change the world – spread life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – by individuals changing their minds one person at a time through education. In these respects liberalism is idealist, naturalist, voluntarist and fragmented. It does not see that the institutions of society are male fabricated whether they are liberal (e.g., pornography and the economy) or conservative (e.g., religion and the government). Male desire and power have built the world as we know it. Consequently there is no such thing as individuality divorced from socially structured life, no pure unconstructed choice. Therefore male social institutions must be analyzed to determine how they affect the social groups (e.g., women) and individuals within them and how these organizations must be remade so that there can be real equality and freedom for all. This is what radical feminism does so well and uniquely.

    • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

      I think this is a really great comment that you posted there, which very much relates to the topic of determinism I’ve been going into lately. I do think you’re right that liberals have this bizarre belief in free will which leads them to voluntaryism and to reject systemic analysis. Liberals are also big believers in self-ownership (which is no surprise, since it originates in classical liberalism), which is reflected in the “my body my choice!” rhetoric of funfems to support male-supremacist institutions like pornography and prostitution.

      • marv

        Thank you Francois. It is nearly impossible to convince people who think they are free that they are unfree, as many of the remarks on this blog indicate. It demonstrates how liberalism (and conservatism) have captured our minds and bodies. You could call these ideologies the “thoughtless police” as they prohibit genuine emancipatory thinking. One of the many reasons monarchial rule, feudalism and slavery lasted so many centuries was that the underlings believed in them too (bearing in mind various forms of slavery still exist). These institutions were naturalized as well as coerced. Capitalism and prostitution are great examples as well of present day slavery. Sex liberals collapse the category of biological sex into culturally manufactured gender in a very nonsensical way. Frankly, it is quite embarrassing to hear people defend their positions when they have no grasp of reality and political analysis whatsoever. But what is much worse is that they are a counter revolutionary force.

        • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

          Thanks marv. I’ve actually identified three concepts – self-ownership, free will and relativism – which constitute a worldview which I call the “little god.” Basically that we can self-generate our own decisions, our morality, etc.

          I think this is very relevant to feminism (and is why I pointed out an instance of self-ownership earlier) because funfems implicitly support the “little god” view of human beings and use it to ignore the victimization and exploitation of women all over the world. If we are “little gods,” then everything bad that happens to us is our own fault, and there’s really no such thing as a victim, especially since the concept is entirely relative anyway (so we see a lot of victim/oppressor reversals: women are responsible for being raped, workers are responsible for being exploited, women are responsible for pornography, etc).

          • marv

            That makes a lot of sense Francois. Well done. This coincides with what Meghan said about these people expecting “accolades” for their opinions not honest appraisal. They want to be venerated as gods of liberty not challenged as mere mortals.

    • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

      well fucking said Marv.

  • Jackie

    I’m curious as to why my post, which wasn’t for one side or the other, is still awaiting moderation and yet others who submitted after I did were approved without issue. I think you sort of just proved one of the points I was making. Kudos!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Totally. You’re just too smart for comment approval. Relax, girl – I was sleeping. Get over yourself.

      • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

        Geeze Meghan, you should always be at the beck and call of people who explicitly reject your worldview! Don’t you know anything?
        (of course, they’ll happily reject your comments on their own blogs, but you should just take it in stride I guess…)

        • Danielle M

          ok.

          I am scared right now for fear of attack… because after reading this entire thread i feel like i am going to have a panic attack as a result of the constant back and forth between the two sides with little progress and consideration…but as someone who doesn’t really know where they stand in this argument, and maybe isn’t confidently familiar with the feminist theory that is being employed as a context for this argument…i don’t think this argument is getting anywhere, i think those who are defending the “porny” side are easier to sympathize with just because they lay out their point of views without being offensive to the other side, they address their comments to their best ability and offer their opinion and personal experience.

          I am not a good writer or communicator… i haven’t had the privilege to study english or feminism…so as a layman, and as a human being, reading comments by Francois Tremblay and Meghan Murphy in particular reminds me of being bullied as a kid. Every comment that someone may make in defense of the photographs, the photographer, the point of view that they may have there seems to be a malicious and dismissive comment from the feminist current camp.

          For example I feel like Francois may criticize me on my grammar instead of considering what i’ve said. I think the only reason the porny side had a free pass at the author with the comment about writing like a drunk person is because she criticized “bad writing” by “idiot hipsters” .

          Hopefully some more articulate individuals from either camp can help me out with his one, and hopefully I don’t get bullied.

          • Meghan Murphy

            You’re kidding, right? The only ones who keep making this personal are the ones who seem to think that taking photos of their tits is somehow about their personal expression of sexuality. They aren’t making any arguments (aside from Nikki, who does seem to be trying to have an honest discussion). I called myself an idiot and noted that the writing in the post was less than articulate. I can make fun of myself – stop taking yourselves so seriously. This whole thread is ridiculous. This isn’t about Lindsay or her site. It’s about a larger cultural trend. Why are you so obsessed with defending the photos or the photographer? Because you want to make this personal instead of political. And so we keep going around in circles. And, yep, when I feel like I’m repeating myself over and over again I tend to lose patience. Get over trying to defend your friends and try to hear the arguments being made. That would probably help you get past the fear of being ‘bullied’.

          • Danielle M

            wow.
            yikes.

            ok, those are not my friends.
            i am not a “hipster”
            i have 5 friends and one of them is my sister and also my dog.
            i am a completely impartial observer, that is the point.
            that i don’t know you, and i don’t know these people but the way you are interacting with them is isn’t appropriate. ok. that’s what i was saying.
            sorry.

            could you point out something in my comment that might specify the “obsession” i have with defending the photographers and the photographs?

            you’re just prooving my point, and I didn’t have to say anything.
            i’m being honest that I don’t have a point of view and that all i’m saying is that this is a difficult conversation to enter.

            i should have known better.

            If you were not making it personal, then what is the point of using a local example for a societal issue that is perfectly exemplified in examples like terry richardson and vice magazine which probably have more influence than a local party.

            It’s easy for me to visualize you in my face doing quotation marks around “fear”
            you’re a bully.

            You are lumping me in with everyone who defended the photographs when that’s not what i’m doing at all. You say I am obsessed when I haven’t shown any obsession with defending them, i’ve only said that you can make a strong point without being catty.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Seriously? Cry me a river. Do you have any clue the names I’ve been called? The threats I get? The ACTUAL harassment I am subjected to here? On a regular basis? And you’re choked because people aren’t being polite enough? Is this your first time on the internet? What you don’t realize is that we have ALL heard these stupid, 101 comments a MILLION times before. NO ONE is bringing anything new to the table. It’s just the same old thing, over and over again. It’s boring and it’s annoying.

            Why would I make yet another critique of Vice/Terry Richardson? It’s been done. The reason for linking for these particular photos is to show the way that porn culture seeps into to real life. These photos emulate Vice/Terry Richardson’s style and those photos emulate porn. There are clearly other women in Vancouver who are equally as bothered by these images, based on the comments and messages I’ve received as a result of this post, and are just too scared to say anything. As we’ve witnessed, these people are absolutely unwilling to hear critique or engage in any self-critique. One link and people are freaking out. It’s almost as though they are used to being only getting accolades…You’d think this would have come up once or twice before.

            Anyway, whatever. Feminists are so mean blah blah blah.

          • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

            you are so cute and lovely.

          • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

            that was to Danielle.

            Can I just point out that the girls crotch was simulating smoking a cigarette? It was for gigglez, not very Terry.

          • Meghan Murphy

            FYI I’m not posting any more of your or Lindsay’s link spam. Feel free to comment but don’t just post links to your site over and over again. Thanks.

          • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

            pussy

          • Meghan Murphy

            Wow, Sydney. Feminism is really going to be lost without you.

            IN CASE ANYONE WANTS TO LOOK AT MORE PHOTOS OF BOOBS THEY’RE ON THAT WEBSITE LINKED TO IN THE POST, K?

          • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

            You didn’t even look at it Meg.
            Don’t all caps lock yell at me about posting boobs.
            That’s slander.

            Look Meg. I made it for you.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Get a dictionary, Sydney.

          • http://www.lindsaysdiet.com Sydney Gregoire

            how will i know if i’m doing feminism right if i don’t get your viewpoints on my exploited male/empowered female set. How does it make you feel?

          • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

            “you are so cute and lovely.”

            and you are so condescending and misogynistic

          • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

            Notice the series of “I” statements.

            No one cares how many friends you have, what White consumerist subculture you identify yourself with, feminism is beyond YOU and your own personal choices believe it or not.

          • copleycat

            “…without being catty”
            I feel like you’re bullying cats.

          • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

            I think you are confusing me with someone else. I never criticized anyone’s grammar.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I don’t believe anyone here criticized anyone’s grammar…

          • Danielle M

            Francois, What i meant was making something unimportant to the discussion a point for criticism.

            I gave my opinion and things that are not important to my argument are given more importance than the simple message i have.

            I haven’t said anything that would present the idea that i think feminists are mean. Both replies i’ve posted have been reduced to a motive that isn’t mine. First that I am obsessed with defending the photographs, and secondly that I think feminists are mean.

            I agree with a lot of what you’ve said, but I think the way you’re handling every opinion besides your own is the reason no discussion is to be had.

            Sorry I’ve made you mad I was trying to help because I would really like to see this develop into a conversation. I get that you’re tired of the same old it’s my body and my sexuality don’t tell me how to express myself, I know that’s not what you’re trying to communicate, but I don’t think your answer to naive comments should be hateful. That’s how it’s coming off to me.

            love from baby huey

          • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

            All we’ve been saying so far is that “it’s not about you” (because people always take systemic criticism personally) and I’ve been saying that self-ownership is a liberal conceit. Now you’re calling us bullies. Honestly, it just seems to me like you’re trying to dramatize this thread so you can trivialize our arguments. No one here has been hateful on either side. I don’t even consider your recent personal attacks to be hateful, frankly they are just silly. But Meghan, on the other hand, gets hatred all the time on this blog so she should rightfully rip you a new one. Like she said, your stuff is all rehashed, it’s boring and annoying. That’s all.

          • Lela

            Thanks for writing this, Meghan. Your consistent calling-out of porn industry BS, and skillful handling of the vicious trolling that results, is as always sorely needed. I can see that you’ve already been treated to nothing but derails and guilt-trips here, typical.
            How ludicrous that women’s problems are, according to the article you cite, thinking thoughts and having feelings. Now where have we heard this before? Lobotomy, anyone?
            The sad thing is, Vice and other publications like it fall into the hands of young girls (speaking from personal experience here) who genuinely have no other entry point into feminism. Sex industry philosophy and advertising have integrated seamlessly into many media outlets, and we grow up believing that sex = sex industry. It has taken me most of my life so far to disentangle the threads in my own mind. Porn culture, assisted by “advice columnists,” seems to groom us for sexual servitude and makes it impossible for us to maintain an honest, individual and peaceful sexuality. “Sex positivity” has been pushing far past its supposed mandate for years, and is a complete mis-nomer and a vehicle for porn industry supremacy. It implants the idea that objectification = sexuality, that fetishism trumps women’s physical and psychological health and safety, and that critical analysis of sexual content is taboo.
            I had my own moment with hipster culture. I’m not sure whether it was Vice, American Apparel, Richard Kern, or one too many horrifying Harmony Korine films, but I came to the realization that hipsters are just the same old misogynists.

  • Todd

    Is there some reason you removed my post?

    • Meghan Murphy

      It didn’t say anything relevant, specific, or productive. Try again.

  • ds

    thanks for writing this. i enjoyed your rant and have shared similar thoughts and feelings at times. I came across this posting as someone on FB as it showed up in my news feed. i thought the author may be interested in the comments:

    Samuel Meyer Real classy. Spread eagle shots of drunk chicks, great thing to have on a photographer’s portfolio.
    11 hours ago · Like

    Leigh Christie also, while we’re at it: Greg Ipp, Edo Van Breemen, Danielle Hall, Glenys Johnson, Rob Cunningham… hmm… trying to think of more smart people who have strong opinions…
    11 hours ago · Like

    Michelle Siobhan Reid There might be a cogent point in their about how, exactly, porn could be exploitative, but she isn’t making it by yelling “PORNY EQUAL BAD” in all caps. Also I like the part where she negatively value judges consensual sex acts. And the premise of her article is “putting photos of drunk people with their tits out is ipso facto bad” which is negated by all the people who are like “I personally don’t give a shit if there are photos of me drunk with my tits out,” who are numerous, I’m sure.
    6 hours ago · Like · 1

    Jesse Savath Well even though my old friend wrote this rant my opinion is torn. Because I don’t really like her article, but I do think that we have become too relaxed with porn in society. Porn is an incredibly negative aspect of life and we seem to forget that because of how the industry has made us feel with it all. It has become so incredibly common place that these girls see nothing wrong with being objectified. It’s interesting to think about because you could say it is directly related to the direction of porn itself. One of my favourite writers, Chris Hedges speaks on this in Empire Of Illusions. One of the points he brings up is how porn is constantly being taken to the next level and it makes people think that this is what we want in real life.
    On the other side of the coin I am an appreciator of art and I think that you could say that this was a form of artistic expression…the only problem is that these girl’s were wasted and just wanting to be lewd for the sake of it, not because they thought they were making a statement. So who is the artist here?
    One other thing I want to say is fucking give it up with labelling people hipsters. That is done and has been for years. People have always liked to party and will continue to do so for the rest of eternity. These are party shots from a party club night. What they have to do with dressing a certain way or having a relaxed opinion about drinking and partying doesn’t fully put them in this genre.
    5 hours ago · Edited · Like · 3

    Jesse Savath I could’ve kept it super tight and refined, but it’s Facebook and I’m in a hurry to get to work.
    5 hours ago · Like · 1

    Erica Lapadat-Janzen There were also at least two cock shots that were censored off this batch of photos. I vote for equal rights exploitation, just sayin’.
    5 hours ago · Like · 1

    Matthew Allan I do wish that rather than blaming porn, the article spent more time holding stupid girls accountable for doing stupid things. Video games don’t kill kids, and porn doesn’t make girls show off their vaginas at shows. It’s brutally opinionated article that villifies and sensationalizes rather than tackles the roots…
    3 hours ago · Edited · Like · 1

    Andrew Willis I have yet to read the article, but I will say this preemptively – If my daughters ever turned out the way I have seen a majority of the women out there, I would fucking beat the living Christ into them.
    3 hours ago · Like · 2

    Tenny Risette I agree with the article. Misogyny doesn’t exist in a vacuum like a can opener, and these dangerous ‘I don’t give a fuck’ sentiments contribute to our victim-blaming culture (see Andrew Willis’s comment above – joke or not, and even the comment previous to that). While I have no idea if the women in these specific photos want their photos up there or not, I do know that when we stop thinking critically about social issues like porn and misogyny we are at most in danger of oppressing people with beliefs that supposedly “don’t matter”
    3 hours ago · Edited · Like · 2

    Greg Ipp Anyone who hates pornography that much needs to take a step back, do some research, and understand the nature of the beast. All the author does is make a crass, vitriolic attempt to be divisive in a way that is – ironically – very similar to what Vice does. Meghan Murphy just got trolled hard. This has less to do with women vs. men, and more to do with personal responsibility and the choices we all make as adults. Then again, I think I may just like sex a lot more than the author.
    2 hours ago · Like · 1

    Greg Ipp To wit, anyone who writes an article about hipsters is out of touch with the pop culture they are railing against. You can basically ignore everything they say after the headline.
    2 hours ago · Like · 2

    Andrew Willis I just say lets burn 360 Glen and all of its occupants down. The world is better off with those… degenerates.
    2 hours ago · Like · 1

    Ali T Bruce the article is poorly written yes, and i don’t give a fuck what vice writes, they’re doing their thing, but hearing that woman from vice talk about how women are “spoiling fun” by asking “is this degrading” is ridiculous, cloud you brains with feminist ideals if you want at least theres literature to read on the subject and not just rail coke off of.
    2 hours ago · Like · 1

    Erica Lapadat-Janzen Forgive me of I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure the woman who does slutever for vice is playing a character making fun of sex advice columnists.
    2 hours ago via mobile · Like · 2

    Greg Ipp The point of articles like that in Vice is to spark exactly this kind of conversation. They think long and hard about exactly how agitated people will get when they read them. I suggest grains of salt. They help.
    2 hours ago via mobile · Like · 2

    Samuel Meyer I’ve been watching too much porn lately. Time for a breather.
    2 hours ago · Like · 1

    Ali T Bruce role play writing aint ta be fucked wif.
    about an hour ago · Like · 2

    • Meghan Murphy

      Hey my buddies!

    • Meghan Murphy

      What I find most funny about the reaction to this post is how obsessed some of these people are with themselves. The threads on Facebook all end up coming back to either arguments about the term ‘hipster’ (the only people who seem to get all up in arms about this term are the ‘hipsters’ themselves), ‘the scene’, what ‘real art’ is and whether or not their friends are doing it. NONE of them seem to have any understanding or interest in talking about why women’s bodies are objectified in this way, how porn culture has impacted our behaviour, WHY women in particular feel that their ‘sexual expression’ is about performing for the male gaze and posing for the camera.

      For people who’ve clearly never considered feminism before or have a completely warped, individualist, faux-empowerment understanding of the movement that can only be developed by individuals who are super privileged, completely self-absorbed, and don’t have any concept of what is going on in the rest of the world/ what has taken place with regard to women’s rights over the past 100-odd years, they sure do like to talk about how ‘uninformed’ I am about the movement (which, if we listen to these twits, isn’t a movement at all, but rather is purely about their ‘right’ to photograph each others boobs).

      • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

        You’re so duuuumb, Meghan! You don’t understand how empowering it is to have people photograph your boobs (well, neither do I, to be fair). Because you see, men are really slaves to your boobs and you can make them do whatever you want. You can have the power if you’re only willing to show men your boobs! Look at strippers and prostitutes, they are the most empowered women of all (!). It would be so obvious to you if you weren’t a dogmatic radscum… :)

  • Ines

    Hi Meghan,
    First, I would like to mention that you are a poor writer who relies on a hostile rant to deliver a lukewarm message. Your “piece” has made me question the credibility of this entire website based on the juvenile caps locked paragraphs and accusatory statements.

    Now, using feminist theory to analyze our world is important, necessary even. However, there is a fine line between attacking and analyzing. If this is something you would like to pursue, I would consider your tone so that your audience can take you seriously rather than some scorned and raging radical feminist.

    By no means do I think Sydney’s photos are empowering, because in my opinion, it’s an equally weak argument that they somehow exude female empowerment. That said, it’s wrong to say that women can’t expose their bodies in their raw and natural form. The photos are of Sydney and her friends and certainly have given her permission to post their skin and her own to the photo website.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I DISAGREE. THIS BLOG POST IS CLEARLY AN EXAMPLE OF MY VERY BEST WRITING EVER. ANYONE WHO CAN’T SEE THAT IS OBVIOUSLY PMS’ING OR NEEDS TO GET LAID OR IS UGLY OR SOMETHING.

      • http://francoistremblay.wordpress.com/ Francois Tremblay

        Don’t you know that women who express emotions are automatically disqualified from being good writers? Yessssss. It’s okay for men though.

        • Meghan Murphy

          I’M TOO ANGRY AND HAVE TOO MANY OVARIES FOR WRITING.

          • http://bonerkilling.blogspot.ca BK

            Obviously anyone accusing you of being a “bad writer” hasn’t read anything on your blog. Also, women shouldn’t have to apologize for being angry and showing it in their writing.

    • Grackle

      The “tone” argument? Are you for freaking real?

    • copleycat

      “The photos are of Sydney and her friends and certainly have given her permission to post their skin and her own to the photo website.”

      Perhaps you meant to write, “…and certainly they have given…”
      you know since you start off your comment criticizing Meghan’s writing.

  • Missfit

    People who say they reject feminism because it interferes with their individual choice do not understand feminism. Feminism goes way beyond your personal choice. Feminism examines how choices are made, framed within a patriarchal society. Why are certain ‘choices’ overwhelmingly made by women and not men? How come certain ‘choices’ have come to monopolize the discourse on sexuality? Why are certain ‘choices’ validated and promoted more than others? How do they serve capitalistic and patriarchal society?

    As a woman, I did not choose to be confronted daily with images of women’s sexualized bodies being objectified and commoditized in every way possible; from popular culture to advertizing (is there still a difference?). There is a clear imbalance on how women and men’s bodies are being portrayed/used in our society. The images/messages we receive do not reflect the variety of possible choices and fail to present a diverse view of women’s sexuality. How does this affect how women see themselves, relate to their sexuality and negotiate their relationships with men? We can not avoid to address those issues because certain women’s choices happen to conform to the patriarchal ideal.

    If women have to ask themselves if a sex act is degrading, it is because (along with certain acts specifically designed to be degrading) a lot of sex acts are portrayed as being degrading for women in pornography (the main discourse on sex nowadays) with the help of derogatory language, view points, painful positioning, etc. Asking yourself if an act makes you uncomfortable and why (and if so, is it even pleasurable and why are you doing it?) are important questions not to be shun away.

    • Lela

      Exactly, MissFit! It has always troubled me that arguments about the supposed consent of objectified women are brought out in an attempt to invalidate feminist arguments. As you suggest, the bulk of individual women, and women as a group, do not choose to be represented in this way or to have these images rule in the public arena, and yet these images DO end up representing us. They are very much our concern.

  • Missfit

    OMG, poor Meghan having to deal with ‘consent’ and ‘choice’ arguments, accusation of being a bitchy raging radical feminist, being asked to tone down… as if we did not hear it all before…

    Still, anyone accusing Meghan of attacking individual women is clearly missing the point.

    As for me, I want to say that I am a proud raging radical feminist. You’re welcome.

  • http://ericalapadat-janzen.com Erica Lapadat-Janzen

    Yes, I am commenting on this post because I live in Vancouver and saw this on my facebook feed. I am also going to attempt to address the post and not the clusterfuck that is the comments section.

    1. Hipsters: I am reallyreally bored of people who prop themselves up by criticizing the undefinable group of people that makes up the culture of hipsterdom. Please define who and what you mean. Are you talking about people that read Vice? Are you talking about people that go to the biltmore? You admittedly partake in both those activities. Are you a hipster?

    2. Party photos: whether drunk or sober, people perform for the camera. Decisions you make when you are drunk are still your decisions. The people in the images all seem very aware that they are having their pictures taken ( as was I when i had my picture taken last Saturday licking a pair of fake plastic breasts). Are people responsible for how they represent themselves or should someone go through the documentation and remove representations that may not be entirely politically correct?

    3. Nudity: I am confused by what you consider to be “porny” nudity, and what is “regular” nudity. I’m interested in normalizing desexualized female toplessness, I’m not at all interested in talking down to people and calling them “trashy idiots” because I don’t agree with how they are acting. Are you considering the men that take off their shirts “trashy idiots” or is it just the panty flashing women?

    4. Slutever: I am pretty sure Slutever is a parody making fun of sex and the city and other sex columists. As a satire I don’t take it seriously.

    • Meghan Murphy

      1) ‘Hipster’ is a largely undefinable group (aside from some broad characteristics: privileged, mostly white, affluent, live in the Western world, 20-30ish, tries to co-opt a working class lifestyle without actually being working class.. whatever) if you try to make it about individuals (Is that a hipster? Is that one? Are you a hipster? Why?) because no one is going to call themselves one. I don’t really care to get into an argument about defining what a ‘hipster’ is because it’s boring and has been done a million times. The lines are blurry, but I actually feel like people generally know what I’m talking about (whether or not they admit to it) both when I reference ‘hipsters’ as a group as well as when I reference that kind of style of photography that came from Vice/Terry Richardson. If I try to get into definitions I guarantee this thread is going to derail into definitions of what a ‘hipster’ is and I would prefer to avoid that because it isn’t relevant to the larger phenomenon. That said, the fact that the response from so many people who got super defensive about this post was: ‘We just like to party and we don’t give a fuck!’ ‘We do what we want, fuck you!’ etc. and have also tried very hard to pretend that there is absolutely no context for this kind of imagery and for their behaviour kind of points to something I was getting at in the post – that is this whole not caring about things like social movements and ideas like hierarchy/power/oppression as well as being super self-absorbed in general. Is that a quality we could assign to ‘hipsters’? I guess…I’m sure saying that will piss of a whole bunch of hipsters who also think there’s no such thing as a ‘hipster’. See? Boring. Annoying. Derail. Neverending argument. Obviously being privileged and self-absorbed aren’t qualities that are limited to ‘hipsters’. Nor are all ‘hipsters’ vapid and unwilling to engage in self-critique/critical thinking. I don’t know, what do you want me to say? People who hang out at The Narrow? Something about ironic clothes? People who care more about being seen and where they’re being seen and what they’re seen wearing and who they’re seen with than what they’re doing? I don’t know, seems like a trap…

      2) This isn’t about ‘party photos’ – it’s about emulating pornographic imagery, the male gaze, and the sexualization and objectification of female body parts. Sure, they’re ‘self-aware’ – so what? The idea that ‘objectifying yourself’ is somehow empowering or negates the objectification is bunk. This isn’t about individuals, it’s about a larger context – i.e. we live in a patriarchy/porn culture that objectifies and sexualizes women’s bodies and teaches women and girls that their only value is in being able to attract male attention and that we should always be performing for the male gaze.

      3) I referred to myself as a trashy idiot — meaning, we all act crazy when we’re fucked up.

      4) This is the exact point I make in this post. Trying to brush off misogyny as ‘satire’ or irony or whatever is a bullshit cover for sexism. What Slutever wrote in her ‘advice column’ may well have been partially satirical but the digs at feminism were real. You can’t just perpetuate things like racism and misogyny and then be like OH JUST KIDDING HAHA.

      There is a larger context to all of our behaviour. We don’t live in isolation.

    • Lela

      Again, this debate is not about individual behaviour for its own sake, but the way in which it contributes to a media environment where women, a vulnerable group of people, are presented as perpetually sexually available. Such objectification fuels an atmosphere of male sexual entitlement, which has real physical and psychological consequences for real women, and women *as a class*, every day.

  • No Sugarcoating

    Honestly, it was people like Sydney that made me brush off feminism when I was younger.

  • Rye

    Women exposing their bodies is empowerment? Sure, an attractive woman may profit from it, but lets ask why. Consider the following facts:

    1. More than the majority of leading political, military and business positions are occupied by men.
    2. Men tend to control access to resources, and manage their distribution.
    3. Men tend to reward women who best fit their concept of beauty, perform domestic labor, and do what they want sexually.

    Under this system, beautiful women will profit by satisfying the right men. However, she only profits by playing along with a rigged system that rewards women who give men access to their bodies. Also consider the many ways that women are punished when they defy these expectations. Empowerment is not being rewarded by the master for being useful to him. The only empowered party here is the master himself.

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  • David

    God Damn… I thought Vice was trying to get awareness to invisibility out there like Homeless people living in sewers, the growing drug addictions in Russia, cannibal generals in liberia, and other humanitarian issues that go unnoticed. I hate hypocrites, I think they are lower than worm shit. You can’t go and talk about the injustice “over there” while dismissing the issues we have in our own backyard. This is such bullshit.

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