Celebgate: Why aren’t we talking about pornography?

The beginning of this month saw the mass theft and unapproved release of many female celebrities’ private nude photos in what has been obnoxiously labelled Celebgate. Now, as of last Saturday, a second post has gone up on various sites around the Internet with even more stolen images. The newest post adds Aubrey Plaza, Avril Lavigne, Kim Kardashian, and others to a growing list of victimized women.

The FBI claims to be on the case and looking for suspects, but thankfully men the world over have decided to lend a helping hand in finding out who is truly responsible: Women, of course.

The three most common reactions from men seem to be 1) masturbation, 2) arrogant, self-righteous condemnation, or 3) masturbation followed by/occurring alongside arrogant, self-righteous condemnation. (Misogynists are nothing if not multitaskers.) The dude chorus calls out, “Come on, what did you expect?” And when the women involved respond, “Basic decency? Privacy? Human rights?” they respond with a sarcastic emoji or maybe a rape threat.

Of course, the victim-blaming bullshit factor here is incredibly high; men grilling women on exactly why they had the nerve to assume we wouldn’t violate them is disgusting. But throughout the last three weeks of watching men discuss Celebgate, I’ve found myself wanting to ask the exact same question to pro-feminist men and the entire culture of the Left at large: Come on, what did you expect?

The intentional, targeted assault on women’s dignity through the sharing of stolen nude photographs isn’t some bizarre hobby pursued by the depraved. It’s just a slightly different expression of the desires that drive men as a class to consume billions of dollars’ worth of regular ol’ pornography every year.

Men download a blurry selfie of naked Jennifer Lawrence for the exact same reason they download Black Teen Punishment 5 – because for a lot of us, arousal has way more to do with domination, violation, and degradation then it does with anything that could be easily recognized as actual sex. And when eroticism becomes defined by humiliation and control, tearing down a woman’s dignity does the trick just as well as tearing up her body; masturbating to a woman’s photo against her will is just the physical domination of pornography applied to the emotional realm.

I’ve repeatedly heard people online say that Celebgate isn’t about sex, but violence and abuse. What they fail to realize, of course, is that the two are inseparable in a sexuality constructed by pornography.

Despite this seemingly obvious fact, in the last two weeks I’ve seen no less than a half-dozen folks on the general Left attempt to prove their feminist credentials by recommending that men avoid Celebgate photos and instead pleasure themselves with “consenting” women online. A few even expressed some kind of bewilderment regarding men’s motivations. After all, why look at a boring old nude photo of Hillary Duff when you could watch all sorts of painful, body-punishing sex acts played out against women who really want it? Aren’t you a feminist, dude??

No man can see a female celebrity’s illegally obtained photographs posted online and enthusiastically click the download button, tissues in hand, without first being trained in a very specific sexualized disregard for women’s boundaries – an eroticism where the thrill doesn’t come despite the knowledge that the women involved is horrified and ashamed, but because of it. And while this eroticism has been around for thousands of years, pornography has allowed men and boys to be indoctrinated into it in a way that we’ve never seen before.

The struggle against a pornographic culture is central to the dismantling of men’s weaponized sexuality. And yet pro-feminist men (and just about anyone else discussing the issue) are still hesitant to make any kind of connection between men watching sexual abuse on the internet and men, you know, perpetuating sexual abuse on the internet.

The greatest offense comes when I see women press pro-feminists and ask us why we largely refuse to condemn pornography or at the very least consider the link between porn culture and sexual violence. The most common response? “Well, some women like pornography and I don’t want to speak out of turn.”

Sigh. The male pro-feminist movement might not be great at stopping rape, but I will say one thing: It is great at creating ideal models of allyship that just happen to maintain our access to unrestricted orgasms.

Stealing a female celebrity’s private photos and uploading them online is a uniquely disgusting example of the lengths men will go to express their hate for women, but no one can possibly understand the motivation and desire of the Celebgate hackers without first confronting the way pornography makes contempt sexy and cruelty a thrill.

Until we as a culture — and especially as men — develop the bravery to name the source of the violent and abusive sexuality that defines male eroticism, we can expect to see violation after violation occur online. And when we do, we might feign confusion – but somewhere in the back of our minds, we’ll open up our collective Internet histories and ask…Well, what did we expect?

Jonah Mix is an American activist focused on developing effective male solidarity movements to combat pornography, prostitution, and other forms of sexual violence. He tweets @JonahPMix.

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  • derrington

    What fails me completely is how male culture demands women and children view men as a group as decent until proven otherwise when they insist on acting without basic humanity towards women and children as people themselves. In the UK we have had sexist attacks on children and women revealed on an industrial scale recently, Rotherham, Saville, Oxford, Derby … the list just keeps growing with provable collusion from both police and government institutions such as social services enabling child rapists by turning on the victims. And yet sexual media and its inherent disregard for responsible portrayal of groups of people, which in the UK is a legal requirement of national media, seems to slip by unnoticed by male legislators. When trying to discuss this promotion of violence against women and children in the sexual media as cool rather than cruel and dangerous, male journalists and quite a few female ones, stand the laws and truths we know about media and its contribution to public attitudes and behaviour on their head. Lads mags in particular state the cruel and malicious way they portray women as hormonal, crazy bitches is ironic and has no effect on their readers understanding of women, whilst at the same time stating in their media packs to advertisers that readers follow their recommendations as to how to be a man/what to buy/what to wear/what to think by the letter. Until this total lie about pornography and its impact on our human rights and safety in the world can be torn down by men and women acting together, then we will continue with the status quo of women and children having only paper rights rather than real ones and the hand wringing by governments over stopping violence against women and children by men nothing more than crocodile tears …

    • lizor

      “male culture demands women and children view men as a group as decent until proven otherwise”

      Yes, AND simultaneously insisting, as the author points out, that women are utter fools for expecting NOT to be violated and to receive decent treatment from men – that in this foolish trust of men who cannot control their impulse to violate and degrade, women are ultimately responsible.

      That is the twisted logic of pornographic culture as you describe.

  • Ellesar

    Absolutely. Porn opens the door, gives permission for this, for prude shaming, for pressurising girls and women into sex acts we would not initiate, for the rape of ‘slutty’ girls/ women, intoxicated girls/ women etc etc etc.

  • Tüften

    Why are you giving a “male feminist/ally” a platform about this topic when women have been saying exactly the same thing shortly after celebrity nudes were leaked? Is this really the best we can expect from a feminist website? Besides, he is a man, he should speak up in male spaces where is voice would be needed!

    • Meghan Murphy

      Lisa/Tüften — Thanks for your perspective. To be clear, I don’t ‘hire’ people. If people submit posts that are suitable, in terms of content/writing, for the site, I publish them. We don’t have the funds to pay people and I don’t seek out writers to write for the site mostly for that reason (I don’t feel comfortable asking people to write for free — also, I’m pretty strapped for time, trying to make a living and whatnot, and seeking out/editing other people’s work is a very big/time-consuming job). This is why the vast majority of the content here is is produced by me.

      I also have published a number of other pieces by men on this site and will continue to do so if the pieces are well-written/argued. If a woman had pitched/submitted this piece, I would have published it, for sure. If we had the money, I would certainly pay women to write this kind of stuff. But I’m not against having men write/publish here every once in a while.

  • Lisa Dennings

    Meghan Murphy, Jonah Mix/Huff Yupp’s presence makes women’s spaces unsafe.
    There are thousands of women writing brilliantly about feminism out there on the internet, and you let a man reproduce their work, turning it into a bad copy and then make a profit out of this?
    Please replace this man. Hire a woman instead.

    • Personally, I think Meghan does an outstanding job of curating and moderating this site. For me it is an oasis of woman-centred critical analysis. As I see it, Meghan tackles some of the biggest, baddest issues in feminism, without allowing the comments section to spiral into vitriolic, misogynistic SJW-one-upsmanship. I really don’t know how Meghan does it, but I’m certainly glad she continues to do so.

      Lisa, if you have a site or a blog (or know of one) which does all of the above, and simultaneously meets your standards of a safe space for women, I’d be genuinely interested to know about it. Truly and sincerely.

    • The Real Cie

      Nothing he said made me feel unsafe. The majority of contributors here are women. He was respectful, and what he is saying is correct. Truth is truth.

  • whitemale

    Some women have pointed out issues with Mix’s attitude/activities, and they deserve consideration. As for the content of the piece, I feel Mix could have done more to name and examine the individual “male allies” (there are plenty of them) who publicly denounced the privacy violations without making any connection to male sexuality

    • CBG

      That’s a pretty lovely little vague slander there, whitemale. Seems like you’d rather talk about inside baseball than the actual problem being discussed in the article. Typical.

      • Meghan Murphy

        As per the comment policy, I am requesting that we stick to talking about the content of the article at hand. If you have concerns unrelated to the content at hand, please feel free and encouraged to email me privately. I’m always happy to chat. Thanks.

  • Henke

    Splendid post!

    Its about time, it should have happened yesterday, that we all dare to name a big contributor to a growing problem of male sexuality… pornography.
    This industry that teaches men, now as young as 13 according to studies, that sex consists of a ‘fucker’ and a ‘fuckee’ and that sex is about domination and subordination. Males on top, females at the bottom with a few tiny sidetracks for example gay porn, in which most often is shown is still acts of a ‘fucker’ and a ‘fuckee’.
    Pornography teaches that if you are male, boundaries are there to be broken for your own self pleasure (and of course that females enjoys it) and I have no doubt that this plays a huge role that drives a huge percentage of us males, to not only masturbate too, but to download pictures that were illegaly obtained like in this “celebgate” and spread them as well.

    Porn industry has no place in a society that calls itself equal.

  • Drake

    I’m confused is he against Porn or for it?…

    Baffled.

  • C

    Hey Meghan, I thought it was already a default position among the radical feminist community that male “allies” like Huff Yupp/Jonah Mix need to make the spaces they have access to (i.e. male-dominated spaces) pro-woman instead of asserting their novel presence as men in rf space that is populated by females building solidarity with one another. I didn’t think this article said anything new and I didn’t see anything worded in a better or more coherent way than it already has been on your site and on facebook/tumblr. I’m not trying to be uptight, I just think the reasons why men seek to publish in female-populated spaces as ‘allies’ over seeking to get space in male-dominated spaces is for advertisement of their “ally status”. I have seen this enough times to feel suspicious. Their motivations could very well be to be a male that females can bond to, a male “who just understands them”, and maybe get a little more than friendship out of at least one female who contacts them.
    I’m just writing here, whether you publish it or not, to say I just wish you hadn’t given Jonah the platform. I’m too shy to write to you on facebook because when I look up to you and want to be your friend. I’ll go back to my homework now.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I don’t feel the article was speaking to women, I felt it was speaking to other men… If I felt Jonah was explaining something he perceived as ‘novel’ to women/feminists, I wouldn’t have published…

      I have no problem with men writing critically about masculinity/other men’s behaviour and, to be clear, I don’t see Feminist Current as a only a radfem space/women’s space… I think I’ve said this lots of times before and don’t mean it as an affront to the radical feminist community who I love/value very much, but I don’t identify as a radical feminist. I identify as a feminist and a socialist. I don’t feel as though I am part of the online radical feminist community. I just have never really fit in there and have felt totally attacked and bullied on so many occasions that I just kinda stay out of it now…

      Maybe I’m just going to piss everyone off even more in saying that (making it all the more difficult for me to meet the deadline I have today, but have not managed to meet on account of being yelled at by the internet for something I still don’t really understand…) but there you go.

      If a bunch of people want to write off my entire site/body of work because I published this post (which I think was well-argued and well-written, for the record), well, go ahead. But I think that’s pretty ridiculous and unnecessarily bullheaded. (This comment is not directed at you, necessarily, C, but rather at those who’ve left comments here and emailed me demanding I remove this post lest they stop reading the site…)

      • C.K. Egbert

        Speaking as someone who does identify as a radical feminist, even if we build feminist community here the radical feminist community is not presupposed. Therefore it is going to have a different approach than a radical feminist space. I’m in no way denying the importance of radical feminist blogs: they are invaluable for education, analysis, consciousness-raising, and solidarity. But I see this blog more as a bridge between the broader world of internet “feminism”/popular culture and feminist analysis (hope that doesn’t come off as an insult, I’m just explaining my perception of the blog).

        Sorry you’ve felt attacked, Meghan, that’s too bad. I hope that isn’t the reason you don’t identify as a radical feminist, because you have contributed a lot to the discussion via your blogs and podcasts (this last podcast was so educational for me).

        • Meghan Murphy

          Thanks C.K. I agree with you. I also see this as a bridge of sorts… I’m glad you see it this way as well — that’s what I’ve tried to create here.

          Part of the reason I don’t identify as a radical feminist is because I feel that what I’m doing is simply “feminism” — not necessarily “radical” — but also because I think I’m perceived as too “soft on men,” because I’m hetero, I have a lot of male friends, I wear makeup, have long hair, use beauty products, etc… Not that I am not critical of all of that or that I think others should simply accept those practices… But I’m not about to give up my eyeliner or my male friends (or dating men) anytime soon…

          Also, while I support woman-only spaces, I don’t personally only want to organize with women and am happy to work with men too.

          I guess sometimes I feel like I can’t really be myself in radfem spaces (online, in particular). I just don’t feel like I fit. I feel too weak or conformist or something. I have been bullied and attacked from all sorts of ends of the feminist internet — from the liberals to the radicals. Now I mostly just prefer to keep my distance from feminist spaces online…

          All that said, radical feminist ideology is what my feminism is rooted in and radical feminists are the ones I’ve learned the most from. It’s what I’ve found to make the most sense and be the most solid, analysis-wise. They are my sisters, even though I’ve had negative experiences with some and despite the fact that I don’t technically identify as a radical feminist.

          • I’m very grateful to you for the way you run this blog (and for the fact that you do so out of passion entwined with a sense of responsibility to the wider community, NOT because you get paid for it). I come here to find perspectives and analysis I have not considered before (like your recent interview with Julie Bindel) and I appreciate that we hear from men on women’s issues from time to time. I get a picture of the broader discourse by reading this blog (and it has become an almost- daily practice/treat).

            I felt quite outraged to see people presume to dictate how you manage this space – and clearly without having determined how you define your feminism, what your site policies are and whether or not you solicit contributions for a fee, even though all of that information is readily available to anyone who takes a couple of minutes to check on it. The commands to you to act in a certain way are preposterous and are way out of line.

            I’ll say it again: you amaze and inspire me Meghan. Thank you for you deep honesty, your intellectual rigour and your herculean patience with people who should know better.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Thanks lizor <3

          • “I have been bullied and attacked from all sorts of ends of the feminist internet — from the liberals to the radicals.”

            That’s awful! 🙁

          • Meghan Murphy

            Yeeeah it sucks…

          • The Real Cie

            I’m kind of in the same category. It makes me sad. Women shouldn’t be attacking each other.
            I may be misunderstanding radical feminism, but as the mother of a son whom I love very much and whom I’ve raised to have respect for women, I don’t think I could go along with the agenda that at least some radical feminists seem to have that men and women can never really work together to achieve positive change. I’m okay with working with men to achieve change, so long as they do not derail the issues that are important to women and make it about themselves.

          • EEU

            I think that’s the main problem within radical feminism. On the one hand we have radical feminists like Gail Dines who have men in their lives and who want to engage with them, on the other hand we have the “fuck men, we need to get away from them” radical feminism. Both sides have a point and good reasons to do the feminism that they do.

          • martin dufresne

            If I may offer a personal sentiment, I feel that radical feminists are getting a bad rap from some folks here, based on fanciful extrapolation of how these feminists are deemed to hate men whenever they make points about structural sexism or criticize a man’s contribution.
            Personally, I have been working with radical feminists for decades and respecting those who would rather only work with women. I see no reason to slight either group: there is no lack of work to tackle and of communities to do it with.
            Some women have made points I agree with about the weight of a man’s voice in feminist space. Indeed, Jonah – who has not been “hired” BTW – seems to have taken their and my advice to heart. He wrote on his FB page, on Sept. 24: “…with that published I wanna make a bit of an announcement – I’m really going to refocus myself. I’ve gotten too comfortable just making statements about feminism in general and I think it’s not particularly appropriate. From now on, I am going to try my hardest to focus on men and men only, on pornography, prostitution, gender bullshit, and all of that. Writing to reach out to men, to challenge men, and to condemn men. I think I have a gift with words but there’s no value in preaching to the choir, only in using those words to advance pro-feminist views amongst dudes. Onward!”
            I for one would like to see this exchange come to rest or focus on the subject at hand, i.e. men’s continuing enthrallment with pornography – even in “progressive” circles -, rather than on aspersions about each of our alleged agendas?

        • Donkey Skin

          I agree completely, CK. This is such a valuable space Meghan has created – the best feminist blog on the internet, hands down.

          I’m kind of crushed to hear that some radical feminists have been attacking Meghan for publishing this piece. You have the right to hate it, you have the right to oppose Jonah Mix personally or the idea of men in feminist spaces in general, but you do not have the right to dictate what Meghan does in the space that she created through thousands of hours of unpaid work. It’s disheartening that some feminists would be willing to trash a brilliant feminist and dismiss all her work on behalf of women simply because they disagree with something she’s done/published.

          It’s actually, I have to say, somewhat objectifying, in that there is often this sense in radical feminism – or indeed any radical political movement – that someone becomes ‘worthless’ or a traitor the moment they do something that is perceived as less than perfect. We need to keep valuing the common ground we have and letting other women be human, which means realising we shouldn’t stomp all over them for one perceived misstep (which often is nothing more than ‘doing something differently to the way I would have done it’).

          • Henke

            Just want to share my ten cents regarding this

            “there is often this sense in radical feminism – or indeed any radical political movement – that someone becomes ‘worthless’ or a traitor the moment they do something that is perceived as less than perfect.”

            When it comes to radical movements, there is the danger that it attracts people that can become fundamentalist in their approach towards others. While I don’t see this as a huge problem it is of course sad that such voices, most often coming from among us men, ruins a lot of the ground breaking work that radicalism is doing and I think it scares people away rather than bring them in.
            Hands down radicalism in all forms; radical feminism, radical environmentalism and so on, works more or less in a tandem in their critique against the dominant culture and should be embraced by more people than it does.
            With the risk of sounding like a commercial I want to say it is really the best kind of theories out there and so complete in their analysis that simply other forms of political or ideological theories seldom get, not saying other forms of political movements are worthless but there is this amazing layer of analysis that radicalism offers that I have yet to come across in other movements.

            However the word radical has been demonized for so long now, radicals are seen as people who are crazy terrorists that hates democracy and wants to murder everyone. It is portrayed as people who behaves irrationally and psychotic which of course is very, very far from the actual truth about radicals but this belief is widely spread in mainstream society and I think because of this it so happens that it can attract some pretty angry people to these groups who indeed live up to the stereotype image.
            I was myself sceptical and for many years I refused to participate in radical meetings and so on because I thought it would just be anger and violent rhetoric because that was the experience I first had when I came in contact with radicals the first time.
            How wrong I was though when I finally took the step.

            And to sum this up I think radical feminist theory should stand at the centre of all radical movements, however nowadays it is painfully obvious that this is not the case in all movements that calls themselves radical. Which makes me question their credibility as radicals at all. To label yourself a radical and to be one is not always one and the same, just as feminism, as I’ve been taught, never is ‘whatever I say it is’ so goes with radicalism. It is not just ‘whatever I say/think it is’.

      • Missfit

        ‘I have no problem with men writing critically about masculinity/other men’s behaviour’

        Nope. And I have no problem with you publishing it. I always find it interesting. And it’s not as if male writers take a huge space on this site.

        Also, the writer is described as an ‘activist focused on developing effective male solidarity movements to combat pornography, prostitution, and other forms of sexual violence’. Hopefully, he is doing so and address these issues to male audiences. That does not prevent from submitting this article to this site (which is also read by some men I believe). If bridges can be built between feminists and men working for similar goals, I’m all for it (as long as they don’t dominate feminist spaces).

        I’m sure there are women who wrote something about this ‘celebgate’ and our pornographic culture but Meghan publish what is submitted to her, as she said. And for me, it was the first piece I read which adressed this subject (I simply don’t have time to read everything that gets published on feminist websites and feministcurrent is my no. 1 reference). Of course these connections are not something new, but everytime an event like this happens, we reaffirm this connection and articulate it. I don’t see a problem that it is coming from a man this time. And it is so rare that I see a man’s perspective that is not defending of pornography(not that they deserve a cookie for it, just that I can appreciate that).

        • Speaking of allies, has anyone listened to Derrick Jenson’s interview with Sheila Jeffreys over on PRN/Resistance radio – posted September 21st?

          It’s so important, I think, to allow people like Jeffries the extended time to explain complex analysis that tends to be reduced and dismissed. I’m grateful to Jensen for his part in bringing her ideas forward.

          Just wanting to give a heads up on a very good piece that also happens to be an example of a man contributing to the struggle. I always approach allies with caution, but sometimes I find what feels like sincerity there and that gives me hope.

          • Henke

            I listened to it the other day. Very good interview and I must say queer Theory is one strange theory.

      • ozzie

        I’m someone who identifies as a radical feminist as well, and I think it’s extremely unfair to you and totally out of line that some people have labelled this blog a women-only radical space without your consent or without you previously ever stating that that’s what this was. People are seriously mad at you for failing to uphold a standard you never agreed to uphold? There’s a few tumblr bloggers trying to mobilize their followers into attacking you for this which is insane because 1)I’ve seen them quote/reblog men (even this author) on countless occasions, and 2) you’re actually involved in consequential irl activism whereas they reblog gifs all day and call it feminist praxis.

        • Claire

          I’m gonna skip over your address to Meghan because I just want to comment on your framing of tumblr bloggers for a quick sec (just ‘cause I find it interesting that you took the time to comment on the inadequacies of tumblr bloggers in an effort to delegitimise criticisms they might have about Jonah’s article being published here, while you reserved no such criticism for the above article or its author). As someone who is also a radical feminist, I’m just curious: is a man writing a boring essay on pornography and submitting it to a feminist website with a majority-female audience what you consider to be “consequential” activism? See, I’m just wondering if you reserve the same criticism for men who wish to be seen as doing something to help women (when they’re actually just parading there “feminist” cred in front of an audience of women) as you do for the female tumblr bloggers who “reblog gifs all day and call it feminist praxis”? I don’t think anyone denies the fact that a woman sitting on her laptop reblogging gifs all day does nothing to advance feminism (and please point me towards someone who has ever claimed otherwise), though women like yourself seem awfully keen on denying (or remaining silent about) the fact that a man regurgitating women’s words back to us does nothing for women either, except patronise and divide us. It’s just mighty odd that a man writing an article for mainly women to read is perfectly lovely in your mind, no comment necessary, but women writing their thoughts on tumblr (if they switched platforms, wrote the exact same words on wordpress like Jonah does, would you take them seriously then?) is framed as “reblogging gifs all day” and is worthy of your scorn and the scorn of the (thus far) 23 people who have liked your comment.

          • ozzie

            To clarify, I completely agree with you in that men can be allies and amplify women’s voices but have no business leading us or directing us or regurgitating our theories back to us–that’s why I didn’t even bother reading this piece. What I take issue with and absolutely won’t stand for is the tumblr bloggers (and you know who I’m talking about) that tried to galvanize their followers into harassing MM till this post was removed. That’s ugly, petty, toxic, and absolutely unacceptable. I can’t stress this enough: you do not force ideals on other women and then punish them for their perceived shortcomings. This blog has never been a women-only or radfem space. If any of the people who are complaining about this were regular readers/commenters, they would know that this site has featured pieces and interviews by many radical allies including John Stoltenberg, Robert Jensen, Jackson Katz, etc, in addition to having several male commenters that have been faithful readers and supporters pretty much since FC’s inception.

          • Claire

            Thanks for the clarification, although I really do not know who you’re talking about here, and I am not being deliberately obtuse when I say that. I saw one tumblr user calling for her followers to bring Jonah Mix’s past behaviour to Meghan’s attention, and asking her followers to let their feelings about Meghan’s decision to publish this man’s article be known. At no point did I see this tumblr user (or any others) call for her followers to harass Meghan. In fact, to my knowledge, the tumblr user was an admirer of Meghan’s before this whole thing happened.
            Although I and many other women believe that blogs with a feminist focus should not be platforms for men to speak about feminism, the main issue many tumblr users had with this piece in particular being published here was that it was written by a man who has a history of very poor behaviour (manfeminists.tumblr.com/tagged/jonah-mix), and so many women were disappointed that Meghan did not take this into consideration.
            If there was indeed a tumblr user who was attempting to harass or have others harass Meghan, please feel free to identify this person because I agree that bullying is unacceptable. I don’t consider a woman calling for other women to express their feelings about a boundary-breaching man having his article published on a feminist website to be harassment, though.
            Also, for the record, the fact that other men’s articles have been published here before and that Meghan never stated that this would be a women’s only space doesn’t actually preclude female readers from occasionally commenting on and objecting to the male presence here. What’s wrong with reader feedback? I think it’s perfectly acceptable for women to ask questions such as, “Why are men being given these platforms and what do these men get out of being given these platforms?” Jonah Mix’s article was perhaps a gateway for those questions to be asked.

          • ozzie

            Thank you for you response–I feel like we’re more on the same page now that I’ve clarified I don’t object to women questioning men and their motives (ie male ” radical feminist” John Soltenberg now spends his time writing CP and accusing Dworkin of being a ‘biological supremacist’). But I absolutely do object to bullying (people actually hunted down the author’s OkCupid page and personal facebook page and were being extremely invasive about his sexual orientation etc; people were also mocking MM for saying she couldn’t spend any more time on this because she had deadlines to meet which is cruel as hell to all the women trying to use their writing to make ends meet). There’s also a few tumblr radfems (evilfeminist, yoursocialconstructsareshowing) who personally vouch for the author, know him irl, and say he’s heavily involved in activism and I don’t appreciate people policing their personal interactions with men or insinuating they’re brainwashed nigel clingers because they dare reblog the writing of a friend on their own personal blogs.

          • Somebody

            i find it hard to believe we’re all on the same page about this whole thing. i feel like you saying such is a convenient way of saying that anybody who has publicly objected to mix’s article as opposed to keeping their concerns private have gone “too far” in some sense and, because you are “on our side”, so to speak, your criticisms could only come from an angle we share, as opposed to just fundamentally disagreeing with what we think or just not really caring about the issue at all. “You’re right, but stop” will go further than “you’re wrong, so stop”, and it works very nicely in a way where now it looks like both sides of the debate think these select women, whom you have labelled as petty tumblr feminists of no real use to feminism, need to be quiet, and not just because you’re all “brainwashed nigel clingers” as you say. i mean, it’s very easy to temporarily position yourself on one side of a debate when it suits in order to speak “woman to woman” about how you definitely agree, but ultimately think women should keep our comments where nobody can see them, and then go back to being more concerned about all of the nasty tumblrinas and how downright offensive it is that some of them would dare assume feminist spaces are by default female only, as opposed to, you know. being concerned about what you supposedly agree with us on (until somebody responds to you, that is). It all just feels very disingenuous to me.

            Another thing, I think it’s ridiculous to accuse women who don’t want Mix to be given any more platforms of “bullying” him by “hunting down” his personal facebook page, when some of them are actually friends with him on facebook? in addition to that, radical feminists on tumblr were first put off by this man because he refused to clarify his sex on his (multiple) tumblrs (he’s been on tumblr too, does this make him a tumblrina? or just the women?) and had a very big habit of separating himself when talking about men (e.g. “them” instead of “we”) which led a lot of them to believe he was female. It was eventually found out he was male, and a lot of women were angry that they’d felt misled and had been engaging with a man about things men should not be critiquing, and he left without a word. He did this multiple times under different names, even after being apparently “sorry” on every occasion. Months later, his own personal female friends had started quoting him on tumblr under the name of “Huff Yupp”, which was an even newer alias. Some women found out who exactly “huff yupp” was and were unhappy that they’d been reblogging quotes from what they thought was a woman, again. It was actually yoursocialconstructsareshowing who TOLD the women who took issue with him that it was their own fault because they could have just googled his “very public” facebook. So once again, making the women who aren’t already friends with him out to be crazed barbarians who are bullying the poor man into submission for knowing of his “private” facebook is more than ridiculous. This is also probably why you have seen all the hysterical tumblrinas complaining about him now reblogging his quotes in the past. It’s a little hard to keep track of all his aliases, and now that some women do, they’re out of line. Funny how that works. It’s also just interesting that you went from defending Meghan to defending Mix in 0.03 seconds. We might be “on the same page” about bullying wrt Meghan, but we certainly aren’t when it comes to Mix.

            And one last thing, nobody is “forcing ideals” on people. I still haven’t seen the posts on tumblr you claim are telling women to harass meghan personally into making this into a female only space, but i have seen a few telling them to comment to let meghan and other women know about the authors racist and misogynistic behaviors before they think too highly of him. Is this really forcing standards on women? No, but the issue here is that I had heard from a few women that their comments including evidence of said behavior were denied as being irrelevant to the content at hand, which initially didn’t bother me since meghan had restated she had a comment policy, which is fair, but i can’t help but question now why so many other comments that don’t directly relate to celebgate were passed while ones that said anymore than just “why are men here? i thought this was female only?” or with clear evidence of why some women do not want Mix specifically being published weren’t approved. I do not doubt Meghan when she says some women have said they’ll discredit her and her site entirely for this one thing, and I have sympathised with her on that, but coming from somebody who has spoken “woman to woman” with her in private and let her know I’m willing to detail the situation to her, to brush off any criticism of this article and it’s author or any women with an issue as just a bunch of petty and ugly tumblrinas who just want to stir up drama and get their own way for no real reason is absolutely pathetic and exactly why I am not buying your claim that we are on the same page.

          • Meghan Murphy

            For the record, I’ve also tried to engage with the initial person who commented about Mix, privately, over email, and those efforts have been ignored… According to her, I have all this “evidence” of his supposed “sexism, racism, and transphobia” but all I have is the same tumblr link everyone else does which, frankly, tells me little-to-nothing. I’ve asked Kaitlin how she would like me to resolve this issue so that she felt heard and respected and, again, no response. I’m happy to hear the details from you, privately, as honestly, I’m still lost on why my publishing this one post means my commitment to feminism and my work should be completely dismissed and worthy of public derision (but not worthy of a private conversation?). Does my decision to publish this post really constitute supporting “an abusive man over the women I claim to be working for?” I’m just not getting it, I’m sorry. I published the post because it was well-argued and well-written. Period. I had no real idea who the author was previous to publication. I’m wary of jumping onto internet bandwagons about who is evil and who is good because it happens to me constantly. I appreciate that one person gave me the respect of actually responding to my response, over email (it takes time for me to respond to everyone privately, for the record…) — really, I do — but the other few women who demanded I take the post down, threatened to stop supporting me and my work, revoke my sisterhood card, etc., did not. I also fail to understand why so many feminists continue to hold other feminists accountable for male behaviour and am getting kind of sick of it.

          • Somebody

            I made it 100% clear I was more than happy to offer to clarify any details you weren’t sure on, privately via email, about Mix, right before I had also apologised for the way in which you claimed several people had been treating you – neither of these things were ingenuine remarks. I didn’t receive any response so I assumed you weren’t interested and that really was fine by me. I knew beforehand that you don’t remove articles, and I had previously clarified I just wanted you to be aware of Mix specifically in future as opposed to having some sort of debate about whether or not feminists should be on side with males. You acknowledged this, so I left it as is. I understand you were busy at the time, but it just feels off that I’m only now being taken up on that offer after you’ve published a response that gives the impression absolutely nobody has been willing to detail things to you and asking me why I think you should be harassed for posting something from Mix. I’ve made it clear, publicly and privately, multiple times that I do not agree with the reaction you received and that I had been willing since the day this article was published to share more with you, if you were interested. Yet you didn’t seem to be interested up until right now, and I find your response to me fairly strange as my comment to ozzie was not in some way defending people’s decision to write you off, but rather in regards to the fact that I think her efforts to assure Claire that they’re on the “same side” seemed very disingenuous for the reasons I originally stated. My issue was also the fact that she went from defending you, which again, I had made clear to you AND her I was not okay with, to defending Mix by blatantly exaggerating things and making out that all of these drama queens had been stalking him and treating him unfairly for things as simple as knowing his public Facebook URL when in reality half of them are already friends with him there.

            This was the point of my comment, so I’m not sure why you seem to be taking it as support for women to harass you, and I am genuinely curious as to whether or not you’re truly interested in details about Mix or whether this is some kind of way to tell me I either a) provide something more than what other women have as a justification for something I have repeatedly clarified that I am against, or b) to be quiet.

            Lastly – some things I am kind of sick of myself are womens discomfort or issues with men being routinely cast off as “internet bandwagons” or tacky attempts at causing drama by ugly little bratty tumblrinas who, unlike these men clearly, have nothing to offer feminism. I had just assumed that most feminists, radical or not, were not usually ones to always give the man the benefit of the doubt first and to brush woman off as hysterical bullies who are just trying to drag a poor innocent man’s name through the mud just for fun or because we’re too angry or something.

            Anyway, I will respond to your email soon.

          • Meghan Murphy

            I actually responded to you yesterday, privately (via email) saying basically what I’ve said here — that I still don’t get the situation and, sure, please feel free to explain further… Anyway, my response wasn’t really directed at you so much as it was directed at the situation and, more specifically, the individual who initiated all of this.

            “but it just feels off that I’m only now being taken up on that offer after you’ve published a response that gives the impression absolutely nobody has been willing to detail things to you and asking me why I think you should be harassed for posting something from Mix.” — Sorry should have been more clear that I was talking about Kaitlin… Who didn’t respond to either of the emails I sent her… I thought I mentioned that… Only one person actually responded to my email (you).

            Regarding ‘internet bandwagons’ — try being on the other end of one while people attempt to destroy your career, sanity, and credibility consistently, for like four years or so. I bet your perspective would change.

            I don’t think any of you are ‘bratty tumblrinas’ — I honestly don’t really have any real idea what goes on on tumblr. Certainly I wouldn’t brush any of you off as ‘hysterical bullies’. I just don’t think the reaction to me has been reasonable or justifiable (your reaction excluded, because you were perfectly kind and reasonable and compassionate and I appreciate that).

            All that aside, I’ll apologize for being curt in my response. I’m under an extreme amount of stress at the moment due to some personal issues that I can’t go into here. I just don’t have the emotional energy (or time) to offer much more than I am right now. Sorry.

          • bella_cose

            No one is saying you aren’t allowed your opinion on this matter. Several women have been vocal in expressing the same concerns you are, but many more disagree with those concerns in this specific instance, and instead of respecting Meghan Murphy’s stance, you all keep pushing. It’s like you’re spoiling for a fight and you don’t care who it’s with.

          • ozzie

            First of all, I have absolutely nothing to gain from lying to another anonymous internet commenter to trick them into thinking we’re on the same page if we’re not–so when I say I mostly agree with you but not with how you’re handling this, believe me. How do you explain the fact that I, someone who isn’t even on tumblr and only occasionally check out a few blogs knew of the fact that huff yupp/scm was a man but people who’ve been on the site daily for years claim they had no idea?
            And don’t put words in my mouth. I never called any of you hysterical–I was just pointing out the extreme toxicity and hive mind quality of that community that no one will actually admit, address, or own up to. Just off the top of my head (and again, I’m a casual reader, so if anyone has any other examples to add feel free), I’ve seen people torment a trans woman who said she had permanent brain injury from trafficking, interrogate a physically disabled woc on her sexual orientation (essentially trying to out her when this could put her in a lot of danger), call a trafficking survivor a mooch and a liar when she asked for donations because she was living in poverty, call someone a ”w*tback”, ”tr*nny”, and ”w*ore”, screech at woc who’ve experienced violent military occupation about how they’re oppressive ”shitlords” and ”just like men” because they don’t have enough sympathy for the class status of the soldiers trying to kill them, mock the speech/writing style of a woc, threaten a prostituted woman that they’ll be sure to remember that she acted ”uppity” next time they vote on something that impacts her life, etc. I’m mentioning this because all of these have either involved 1) concerted mobilization and attack with little or no dissent or questioning as to whether any of the vitriol is rational or warranted or 2) bullying carried out by only one or two individuals that others are happy to turn a blind eye to–and I saw elements of this in people’s treatment of MM and FCs commenters so I spoke up. That’s it.
            FYI, in a hilarious/patheric turn of events, one of the ‘radfem’ bloggers who was most vocal about JM’S piece directed her readers to follow her male ”best friend” whose blog is like 40% creepy nudes of young women–like he’ll literally have a post where a woc talks about racial fetishization under white supremacy next to nudes of woc. But we’re the spineless nigel clingers apparently.

          • Somebody

            Well, had you of actually read my response directed to you, you’d know why some women weren’t aware. But you’re right – while you have no reason to lie to strangers on the internet, most women on tumblr who had reblogged quotes by him were probably actually very aware of the hundreds of internet handles Mix goes through and one day just pretended they didn’t so they could have some reason to talk ill of him for fun or something. I have absolutely no idea what you are trying to get at.

            Also, I’m not involved in tumblr radical feminist communities either because I don’t like the people there for similar reasons that you’ve stated. I decided to stop associating with those people quite a while ago after I was spat at for ‘smear campaigning’ because I had the audacity to point out the ugliness that went on there. If you wanted to talk about the disregard and animosity for victims of trafficking and abuse, lesbiphobia, racism, I’m more than happy too because I have a lot of examples myself. I just don’t really think any of these things are entirely comparable with the way some women found a white male feminists public facebook page after they were specifically instructed to.

            Like, I could see where you’re coming from if you really were only trying to talk about/comfort Meghan wrt the response she got. I will agree every time that she has been wronged in this. But that conversation only lasted so long before you started rushing to Mix’s defense over things as ridiculous as people knowing what his facebook is. Like, I’m sorry, but I just can’t compare women having racist and misogynistic slurs thrown at them to some women not wanting a man with a questionable history being published. It’s also just strange how quickly you’re willing to paint any woman, tumblr user or not, out to be part of the angry hivemind that is tumblr who should never be listened to the minute she openly speaks about her discomfort with Mix. Are you sure this is only just about trying to comfort Meghan?

            In addition to that – I would also just hope that a man who insists on inserting himself in almost every feminist circle on the internet, despite how many women he knows don’t want him there, would be more than welcoming to criticisms from real feminists. Most of us would appreciate it if you didn’t continuously try to undermine us no matter where we’re from every chance you get. I’m sure a fully grown man can handle being questioned for once in his life, and I don’t think acting as though he’s being as hard done by as Meghan has been is really honest. Which is exactly why I took issue with your comments in the first place – you can speak about the way tumblr radfem communities handle themselves and relate it to how Meghan was treated, but it’s ridiculous to try to apply it to some male feminist who women inside and out of that community have legitimate concerns with.

            Anyway, I’m sorry you feel upset over this, but nobody actually said you were a “spineless nigel clinger”. Those words were your own. Just to remind you though, we’ve both agreed that the reaction Meghan received was unacceptable and we also even apparently agree on the fact that a man shouldn’t be addressing other men to an audience largely made up of women. But if you still insist on positioning yourself as a victim of accusations of nigeling, so be it. This is not my issue or anybody elses, and this will be my last response to you since I feel like nothing I’m saying is even being read.

          • bella_cose

            I looked at your link, and I’m still not sure what his past questionable behavior is. Honestly, it just sounded like a vendetta against him. Like the fact that he’s male automatically puts a target on him. I get that some women aren’t ok with anything a man says about feminism, but some women are ok with men saying some things.

            I’m not sure why so many feminists spend their time targeting individuals whose perceived transgressions are minor, rather than the system that creates the individuals. I know we’re all pissed, but I feel like a lot of feminists are just looking for easy targets, man or woman, to unleash their anger on.

          • andeväsen

            Low-hanging fruit. Many people in many organisations take this approach, not just within feminism.

          • ozzie

            And I should add, any detractors should have contacted MM woman to woman and tried to address their concerns respectfully because launching tumblrina blitzkriegs on all the problematics until they do what you say is really ugly activism.
            Again, this is coming from someone who agrees with you in principle.

      • Ash

        I’m very happy to see men challenging pornography – they are, after all, the group of people creating the biggest demand for porn. We need more men to step back and consider their choices. I am happy Meghan hosted Jonah Mix.

        • Claire

          It’s easy for men to “challenge pornography” in front of an audience of women on an already feminist website. It’s a pity none of the men who create the biggest demand for pornography will ever see this (as derivative as it is), because the author chose not to use his male voice in anti-feminist spaces where it could have actually had an impact on something other than women’s opinions of him as an “ally”.

          • I agree with you on principle, but what anti-feminist space would have entries against pornography, unless it was Christian woman-hating? I just don’t see this as a realistic alternative.

          • martin dufresne

            It’s not because you can’t see it that it can’t happen, Francois. Not all anti-feminist space is explicitly so. Indeed, most Web media, forums and communities (disscussion lists) – along with male-stream media – are not feminist but could be pushed to run profeminist men’s opinions and challenges – if only because they come from men, alas.

  • Claire

    I have a few comments about the above article.

    I want to start with its title, “Why aren’t we talking about pornography?” This is a terribly confusing title, because we (women) are already talking about pornography. We’ve been talking about it for a long time. We talked about it before “celebgate”, we talked about it during “celebgate”, and we will go on talking about long after “celebgate” until it’s no longer a Thing. Very odd title.

    “But throughout the last three weeks of watching men discuss Celebgate, I’ve found myself wanting to ask the exact same question to pro-feminist men and the entire culture of the Left at large: Come on, what did you expect?” – Again, I’m utterly confused. It would have made sense if the author had attempted to actually ask this question of his fellow ‘pro-feminist’ men before writing this article. Perhaps a few quotes could have been included – that way at least the women reading this article on this feminist women’s website could read something that isn’t so…familiar, shall we say.

    “Men download a blurry selfie of naked Jennifer Lawrence” – I find myself wondering how the author knows what state that photo was in? I have read many articles on “celebgate” and yet saw no photos or descriptions that would lead me to believe that they were blurry. Am I out of the loop? Is this common knowledge? Just wondering, is all.

    “I’ve repeatedly heard people online say that Celebgate isn’t about sex, but violence and abuse. What they fail to realize, of course, is that the two are inseparable in a sexuality constructed by pornography.” – Elaboration here would have been helpful. See, as a reader, I’d like to know if the “people” who “fail to realize” what the author realizes include some women? If not, for purposes of clarity the term “men” rather than “people” could have been used. If the author includes women on the list of people who “fail to realize” what he realizes, I find myself wondering who these women are and if these women are indeed feminists (for I have seen many feminists repeat some iteration of “sexual assault is not about sex – it’s about power’” many times). I also find myself wondering, then, if the author considers himself the best person to point out these women’s “failings”? Just curious, is all. I also think that the author could have referenced the work of the women he obviously drew from when he stated that sex, violence and abuse “are inseparable in a sexuality constructed by pornography.” Some women, the author’s readers will be delighted to know, do not “fail to realize.”

    I very much wish that the author went into more detail when he talked about those “folks” who “expressed some kind of bewilderment regarding men’s motivations. After all, why look at a boring old nude photo of Hillary Duff when you could watch all sorts of painful, body-punishing sex acts played out against women who really want it? Aren’t you a feminist, dude??” See, as a reader I just find myself consistently wanting to know more. For example, I’d like to know who these “folks” are (just a few representative examples would have been nice), and I’d especially like to know if any of the “folks” expressing “bewilderment” and encouraging men to substitute celebrity “nudes” with pornography were women? Perhaps they identified as “sex-positive”? The reason I feel this information is relevant to the article is because, well, as a reader, I like to know exactly who the author is criticising. I find that I can form a better overall picture of the article and the author’s intentions when the author is clear about not only their argument but also about those whom they consider to be their opponents. See, as a reader of the above article, I am left to assume that the author meant “sex-positive women” (most of whom are incredibly young) when he said “folks”, and this leads me to believe that the author thinks it is his place to comment on the misguided beliefs of young women raised in a world that hates and encourages them to appease both men and their sexual needs. See, this lack of clarity allows my little imagination to run wild, and pretty soon the overall picture of the article in my mind is going to be that it was written by some self-aggrandising, self-promoting man who thinks he’s better than most of the world’s women who “fail to realize” what he realises due to having been raised as women in a woman-hating world and who form deeply troubling views because of this. See, clarity is a necessity.

    Finally, the author mentions a need for us all to “develop the bravery to name the source of the violent and abusive sexuality that defines male eroticism”, which leaves me wondering if he has ever read any feminist works? Blogs? Listened to feminists talking? We have absolutely named pornography as a source of eroticised male violence against women. Perhaps the reason many do not know this is because they do not listen to women, and the few men who claim to support us and to share in our knowledge would rather write and publish their own articles on feminist websites to be read by the women who taught them everything they wrote about in their article, instead of going out into men’s spaces and demanding that they listen to the women who have been naming pornography as an enemy to women for a long, long time now.

    • Nix

      You’ve summed up my feelings on this article perfectly. There are a lot of women on here going “WTF!?” and being dismissed, and you have managed to put a lot of our concerns into clear, succinct words that perhaps the responsible parties will actually listen to. The creep factor is off the charts here and I’m horrified at the blasé attitude shown in the responses defending this piece.

    • Riddler

      ” See, as a reader of the above article, I am left to assume that the author meant “sex-positive women” (most of whom are incredibly young) when he said “folks”, and this leads me to believe that the author thinks it is his place to comment on the misguided beliefs of young women raised in a world that hates and encourages them to appease both men and their sexual needs. ”

      See, the thing is, I completely understand this. The author is a white guy with privilege.

      But I do want to point out, that as a 17 y/o WoC who has argued with countless fairly privileged sex-poz white women online as to why this stuff is harmful, I do think that we shouldn’t shy away from criticising those types (as women). Mind you, this isn’t to undermine solidarity and maybe I’m in the wrong. But the fact of the matter is, while society does encourage them to behave that way, it’s still pretty hurtful how far they’ll go with their privilege at the expense of coloured women who are prostituted/abused/pornified. Take for example, sex tourism in SE Asia and Africa, or Aboriginal women’s over-representation in the sex trade in Canada. When understanding these things, seeing these people argue for sex-positivism hurts on a somewhat personal level, y’know?

      (A book that I liked was Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy, on the topic of internalised misogyny where other women throw girls and women like us under the bus. )

      A lot of them don’t actually care about throwing their sisters under the bus if they can make some money, as well. :/
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kristin_M._Davis

      Like this NYC libertarian. ^

      The demand is the most painful thing of all, don’t get me wrong. But the fact that people who should be helping are perpetuating it stings, too.

      That being said, tbqh I actually agree with Meghan Murphy and how she handled it. I’ve been following her blog for a while and I think the system of people submitting articles and her approving it, having it all be non-profit is a very genuine system.

      And like someone above mentioned, this blog can be used as a bridge and whatnot to explain lots of things to close friends, and to possibly make them curious about more feminist concepts. Say, you share this on facebook and someone close to you will dig deeper and like the arguments being said.
      Perhaps it’ll help a disillusioned young girl cope with society, as well. MM says that it’s a bit like her own blog where she puts out stuff that people submit, that she likes.

      From my perspective, when I see people with privilege genuinely criticising their privileges rather than getting defensive, honestly, it’s really refreshing.
      Whether it be Meghan Murphy or Gail Dines, white women, talking about the effects of racism, or Robert Jensen talking about racism and sexism.

      Granted, I agree completely on appropriate spaces but FC never struck me as that kind of site but more as a bridge, as others have mentioned. I like reading blogs like bonerkilling (or some of the other on Meghan’s blogroll) for sites like that.

      With FC I’ve convinced 2 close male friends to give up porn and see the reality of it all, with both male and female-written pieces from here.

      • Riddler

        https://www.facebook.com/stoppornculture/posts/796344030411199
        https://www.facebook.com/ENDSexploitation

        This ended up shared on some of my favourite pages, including Dines’

        😀

      • Claire

        “I do think that we shouldn’t shy away from criticising those types (as women).” – I completely agree. My problem is that it’s not the place of a white male to criticise these women and their politics. It’s completely inappropriate for men to enter into these conversations at all. I don’t have any issue with women criticising the harmful beliefs and practices of other women, though.

        “Mind you, this isn’t to undermine solidarity and maybe I’m in the wrong.” – No, you’re not in the wrong at all. “Solidarity” is not an excuse for some women to step on the necks of others and expect no one to say ‘boo’ about it.

      • lizor

        Thanks for this thoughtful comment Riddler.

        In case you are not familiar with it, Nine Deuce over at rageagainstthemanchine has an excellent porn series that I understand has penetrated the wall of denial of a lot of people, both male and female. The links are in the right hand column of the front page of the blog.

        http://rageagainstthemanchine.com

  • martin dufresne

    Hi Jonah,
    See, I tried to warn ya, and you became impatient with me.
    A sad offshoot of this is that you are having the effect of setting up women against women over men (a sort of reverse Bechdel test), whereas they possibly would not have been had you simply hyperlinked to a similar analyses by women.
    It seems to me, however, that there are excellent suggestions in these comments about the kind of factual information you could be reporting from the male community, as a dissident/informer.
    I hope you’ll do that.

  • Skylar

    Meghan, thank you for publishing this and JM thanks for writing it. It’s not easy, because inevitably you will come under attack, which in this case I do NOT think is fair or legit. I think it is utterly refreshing to have men publicly criticizing pornography no matter how you slice it. Um, do you know how rare that is?? If ya’ll critics on this thread are familiar with the critical mass theory…we need to have critical mass to reach a tipping point (CHANGE), and well…mathematically it’s not going to happen unless men are on board. Most of us know and agree that socialization is why so many men are violent and misogynistic, right? So part of socialization is men telling other men this behavior is fucking whack, and leading by example. Let’s face it, as awesome and smart as us feminists are, well, boys/men aren’t modeling our behavior are they? To shame and criticize the presence of a male, anti-porn feminist seems, I dunno, a little cult-ish and kind of like shooting the movement in the foot. Cuz isn’t the point to eventually not be stuck preaching to the choir, but converting people so they can be allies and be preachers too (to use a crappy religion metaphor)? There are feminist women-only spaces out there, and for good reason, but this isn’t one of them. This article was written to men and to the culture at large, which keeps turning a blind eye on one of the most destructive forces of our time – pornography – because male orgasm is ruling the planet. Jonah is calling that out. What is the problem here? Seriously shouldn’t we be taking on the real enemy instead of attacking people who are working for the same things we are?? Who has the time?

    PS – Most if not all feminist writers can be accused of recycling what some other feminist has said before. WHO CARES!?!? I think that is what constitutes a cohesive movement, don’t you? I wouldn’t be doing it right if I wasn’t recycling some of Dworkins’ work or Dines’ work…or other’s work – I think they want it that way. Seriously, if I have to worry every time I write an article that I’m gonna get some weak lazy criticism about how “it’s been said before,” then I’m not going to want to write or share my voice and the information – once again silenced (doh!). Do we want to limit this information, keep it in a little repository for those of us who already eat breathe and sleep it? The more voices in the more places = a movement = critical mass = tipping point. ROOF TOPS PEOPLE! (Not just SOME people)

    • Claire

      ” Most if not all feminist writers can be accused of recycling what some other feminist has said before. WHO CARES!?!?” – This is true of feminists, of course. Jonah Mix is not a feminist. He is a man. There’s a difference between women building on/drawing from each other’s words/ideas and adding to discussions that occur within feminism (a movement for *women*), and men simply regurgitating what women/feminists say back to us as if it’s news. Women’s words and ideas are not for men to rip off and pass off as their own. They are by and for women. If men want to do something useful to help us out, they can leave feminism and feminist spaces (both physical and intellectual) alone and focus their energy on galvanising their fellow men (through protest or by directing them to feminist works by women) to stop committing violence against women/watching porn/etc.

    • C

      “So part of socialization is men telling other men this behavior is fucking whack, and leading by example.”

      If you have read any of the critical comments, they have contained explanation that Feminist Current has a predominantly female viewership. It is easy, as a man, to address a piece to men and then have very, very few men read it or comment or, you know, change their behaviour. It the job of men who allegedly want to do work for women (for its own sake and not for the sake of laying down some panty-dropping pro-feminist proclamations) to take what they have learned from women consciousness raising about their experience and transmit it to men who refuse to be reached by female writers because they are female. That is literally the only job for men — to reach where females and their writing alone can’t. They should be working toward there no longer being a need for this mediative work to begin with – men should be able to read the writing by females and be moved directly from that vocalization of experience. I have just shown why there isn’t a need for secondhand writing on a female-read feminist journalism site.
      Now, the claim that you might be having more trouble with is the one according to which males should not occupy more of female-read feminist space than necessary because male allies who are very vocal and get lots of (especially young) females’ attention in pro-feminist spaces are in the perfect position to pursue their own (potentially predatory) self-interest at the expense of the interests of women (especially young women) as a class. They are in a position to criticize young “sex-positive” liberal feminist women as a group, for example, before criticizing their own past and present of misogyny and shortage of “bravery” to address the world of men and their violent ethics. Men do not belong in positions of leadership in feminist movements. Their experience is not the sort they have to come to voice over and consciousness-raise for women’s audience. We know, from figures such as Hugo Schwyzer, that these men are wholly unqualified to be first responders to women (I see this journalism as being a form of first response) who are just becoming critical of woman-hating and woman-exploiting people and industries and who *pine* for an authoritative man on the subject to tell them it’s okay to think that…
      Feminist sites who have a primarily female viewership should not invoke (esp. young) male “writers” (who are intentionally or not looking for sexual access to women) who demonstrate an interest in being lauded as The All-Seeing Perfect Pro-Feminist Male by women over being criticized by men in their spaces as being “emasculated” (here seen by satisfaction in being published in FC over non-feminist news sites).

      • bella_cose

        First, this blog rarely has male contributors, so I don’t think it’s giving up space for a woman’s voice to a man. As Meghan has already stated, she didn’t intend for this to be a woman only space, so either the readers respect that, or they can go find a blog that’s for women only. Seems pretty simple to me. Second, and I know a lot of feminists hate hearing this, and I hate that it’s true, but it’s already been demonstrated that most men will not listen to women. Most men do not respect women as they respect other men. The only way to get through to men, at least at first, is by using other men, feminist allied men, to drive the feminist message home. Then, maybe, men will be able to see how fucked up porn, prostitution, and pretty much all of our culture is.

        • C

          Did you literally not read my comment? Female viewership. He is seeking an audience of women, not a majority viewership of men. Why is he not fighting extremely hard to get heard on men’s sites (and giving tangible credit to the women’s consciousness raising/writing which was the only possible source he could have gotten his knowledge/vocabulary from) where the majority viewership is beyond a shadow of a doubt men? Because he doesn’t want to work that hard! If it is so much easier for men to get a pro-woman message to other men (which is the reason you apparently support his writing), why is this message not with them? If this article is not going to reach more men than would the same (though likely better) article written by a woman, shouldn’t you lose your reason to support his getting female attention? It really seems like the real reason he is getting support is for the novelty of The Male “”””Feminist””””, to ‘spice up’ the ‘echo chamber’ that many commenters apparently think comprises a female-populated space, and ultimately, because many women want to hear of men they could fantasize about.

          Does it surprise anyone that Jonah is happy about that? That he is so cheerful about it that he doesn’t mind continuing to be the centre of our disagreements or the reason for some dissolution of a sense of solidarity between women?
          This is not a good enough article to champion as the proof that men’s experience of being members of the oppressor sex caste can add insight to the struggle to end sex hierarchy. I mean this. I think that some exist, and that they should still not be posted on anything other than a site with majority male readership. But a man saying ‘men should stop watching porn’ is not phenomenology of being male and being a member of the oppressor sex caste… It will not speak to males any more specially than if the author’s name had been “Joanne”.

          • bella_cose

            I wasn’t actually talking about this article specifically. My comment was aimed towards a perception that many feminists have that we don’t need male allies to assist in reaching men who are not so enlightened. Personally, I thought this article was light on substance, but I don’t find it offensive that it was written by a man, and I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect Jonah Mix to trot out his feminist credentials every time he writes something.

            Also, does anyone know for a fact that he doesn’t write about feminist issues for a male audience ever, or do any kind of activism? I’d be interested to know.

          • Claire

            Even if I were to accept that women desperately need men’s help in order to achieve liberation from men and male supremacy, how is a man publishing an article in an already feminist space with a mostly female readership “reaching men” in any way?

          • bella_cose

            Maybe some people who follow this blog Will share it with male friends, significant others, brothers, sons, etc. Maybe the message coming from a man makes it less threatening, and it plants seeds in their minds. Also, there are some men who follow this blog as well, and not all of them are totally on board with feminism. Perhaps this is the post that makes it click for them.

            I just don’t agree that having a man contribute to a feminist blog is a problem in and of itself. Jonah Mix is not taking over and pushing an agenda that is not line with FC, so I don’t see what the problem is. While I think women should take the lead in feminism, I don’t think collaboration between men and women is impossible, or necessarily detrimental.

  • corvid

    This “Celebgate” phenomenon is remarkable for being completely unremarkable when you consider that this shit has been happening to prostituted women for ages. It’s only when it happens to women who are not prostituted that it makes media headlines. Women who have been involved in the porn/prostitution industry are all to familiar with men’s perception that they are public property and exist to be used.

  • I don’t take issue with the fact that a man has written this article, but I do take issue with some of its content. Take this sentence here for example.

    “…arousal has way more to do with domination, violation, and degradation then it does with anything that could be easily recognized as actual sex.”

    I definitely agree that pornography is full of domination, violation and degradation, but I fail to see how it doesn’t count as “actual sex”. It is happening in real life to real woman, it can’t get any more “actual”. This kind of language plays into the notion that pornography is “just fantasy”. It definitely isn’t just a fantasy to the women used in it and sadly, nowadays it is often not a “fantasy” to women outside of pornography either. It’s something they are expected to conform to. We need to recognise that pornography has a huge influence on people’s notions of what “actual” sex should be like.

    This sort of language strikes me as a capitulation to “sex positivity”, the notion that all consensual sex is the best thing ever and should not be subject to political critique. In reality, not all sex is great. Not all “actual” sex is great. Some “real sex” (whatever that means) is physically and emotionally harmful to women and promotes the domination of some people over others. The contrast should not be between “real” sex and “fake” sex, but between egalitarian sex and anti-egalitarian sex. We can’t settle for liberal ideals like “realness” or “consensuality” (which is not even a word, but liberals think it is), we need to demand that sex be free from power dynamics.

    I also take issue with the way in which this article (and similar ones) treat the creation of sexualised naked photos of women as normal. Men who share naked photos of women should definitely be condemned, but so should the men who encourage the creation of these photos in the first place and that includes the men in charge of the pornography industry and every other industry that tells women that their value is depend on them being causers of sexual arousal.

    • “I fail to see how it doesn’t count as “actual sex”. It is happening in real life to real woman, it can’t get any more “actual”. This kind of language plays into the notion that pornography is “just fantasy”. ”

      I read in the language a differentiation between sex and rape, not that the writer was categorizing what happens to women on porn sets as not an “actual event” that actually did happen. Based on my experiences of rape and coerced “sex”, I have no problem with putting those in a category outside of something signified by the words “actual sex”. And of course in a culture as disembodied as ours, language fails miserably in representing our bodily experiences of physical actions we gather under the name “sex”.

      I think your point about normalizing so-called “sexy” photos is excellent. I would love to see a deeper examination of the dynamics at play when women participate in this. Is it always coercive? I tend to think so, but have not really given it the consideration it deserves.

      • Further to my point about the word “sex” – I feel that to call what Johns purchase “sex” is also a misnomer.

        • Riddler

          I love this comment.

          It isn’t simply “sex”, to me, but exploitation, commodification, and paid-for rape on a mass scale.

          • martin dufresne

            The Third World War will be fought with dictionaries…

          • Loofert

            “You care too much about words,” the man communicates to women using words; “they are just words!” Indeed, words are just words, the implication their variability in definitions and ideas don’t matter being ironic.

          • martin dufresne

            I wasn’t being ironic and I don’t think women “care too much”; the Internet has changed debate and political thought in major ways and all-important wars are constantly being waged internationally with words such as “austerity”, “terrorist”, “TERF”, etc…

          • Loofert

            So what did your comment mean if not that women care too much about wording? You were to my understanding unintentionally ironic.

          • I took your comment to be straightforward, Martin.

          • martin dufresne

            Yes. I do mean that people will be, wrightly or wrongly, killing each other over words, concepts, identities, interpretations. “Fighting words” as the law goes. But I agree znd apologize that my comment was too elliptical and could be read as irony and a putdown of speakers.

          • Loofert

            Genuinely so what? I didn’t, how is it relevant you did; do you feel the need to affirm/approve men over the questioning voices of other women in feminist spaces?

          • bella_cose

            Are we in grammar school? Do we have to pick sides, or relinquish the right to be feminists? Is supporting a man if you agree with him automatically anti-woman? Maybe instead of her responding with an affirmation to him you would have preferred she respond to you? Or is that only if she were supporting you?

            If your problem is with the other commenter, perhaps you should direct your antagonism towards him.

          • Genuinely, Loofert, martin is someone I have conversed with here before and I wanted him to know what I understood his meaning to be when he replied to my comment.

            But yeah, I really really really really need to affirm and approve all men who comment here and everywhere ALL the time.

            But of course only if it’s Ok with you. Please please PLEASE approve of my comments here. It’s super duper important to me what you think.

          • Loofert

            You two are expert at taking offense when questioned and evading answering in favour of using belittling rhetoric! Very mature! I said genuinely so you knew I was not taking offense but instead, genuinely did not get your point in dropping that you understood Martin after I had stated I didn’t, that I interpreted his comment as snide based on his name, its length, and the “…”. Obviously you’re beloved regulars so I’ll leave the teen-like “um no it’s fetch we’re fetch” attitudes to you and be off from the circle back to actual feminism. Yes, actual feminism is a thing, and I’m glad you don’t care about my female-experienced opinion but prefer to affirm your guy friend’s in an unnecessary symbolism of silencing (I’m sure he read your pat on the back and felt validated over me), because it ~affirms~ that. My point is not that I interpreted him correctly, but that maybe his one-liner seemed: a) unnecessary and passive (until confirmation otherwise); or b) “martin dufresne pitches in to tell you he agrees so people know martin dufresne agrees”. Don’t bother telling me he takes thumbs ups the same way females might nor that b is not the end result as well as questioning leading to a grand case of mansplaining about how the Internet has changed political debate. “I wasn’t being ironic” would have sufficed!

      • “I read in the language a differentiation between sex and rape, not that the writer was categorizing what happens to women on porn sets as not an “actual event” that actually did happen.”

        When I hear people talk about the distinction between pornogrpahy and “actual sex” they’re often looking at it from the pornography watcher’s point of view. For the watcher, the sex is not real, it is happening on a computer screen and it is therefore different to the “real sex” they engage in, but for the performers it definitely is real.

        “Based on my experiences of rape and coerced “sex”, I have no problem with putting those in a category outside of something signified by the words “actual sex”.”

        I apologise if anything I said sounded like an attempt to trivialise rape. I understand how the idea that what goes on in pornography is “just sex” is used to downplay the abuse that women suffer within it.

        I was not attempting to suggest that rape or the kind of aggressive, degrading sex that goes in pornography are “just sex” or “simply sex” as Riddler put it. I think those things can be summed up as “sex + abuse”. The point I was trying to make is that sex can be abusive, even when it is consensual, not everything “sexy” or sex-related is good. Liberals want us to believe that nothing which is “sex” can be bad and I think that excluding rape, prostitution and other abusive types of sex (e.g. BDSM) from the category of “real sex” reinforces that kind of thinking. We also have to challenge the way in which sex acts that don’t involve enough domination and degradation are excluded from the category of “real sex”.

        The way I see it sex can be morally good or bad depending on how its done. Excluding harmful sex from the category of “real sex” makes it difficult to promote the idea that sex should be criticised just like every other gendered thing (films, books, television shows, toys, etc.) an idea which is think is essential to anti-pornography, anti-BDSM feminism.

        “I would love to see a deeper examination of the dynamics at play when women participate in this. Is it always coercive?”

        I am not in a position to judge whether it is always coercive, but I do feel that women are pressured into it by the culture. I do believe that it is always harmful to encourage a women to create highly sexualised pictures of herself, because it encourages her to think that her sense of worth comes from her physical appearance and in my view harmful things are morally wrong, even if there is no coercion involved.

        • lizor

          Independent Radical – I agree with everything you say in this comment and I did not for a moment think that you were trivializing rape. At all.

          My main point – and I think you and I are in agreement here – is that the fact of the generalized meaning of the signifier “sex” makes it very easy for liberals to enshrine it in some untouchable realm. It’s simultaneously overly general and overly reductive. Like if someone forces his penis or some other body part of object into my body, very few people will question him naming it “sex”, even if it also gets called “rape”. I would prefer language that does not put this experience into the same category as the experience I seek out with my partner. It also makes it harder to comprehend a person’s specific meaning when they use it. It’s like the word “nature”, a signifier with a multitude of meanings that easily beleaguers conversation and debate because it functions as a generalizable category where one can toss stuff to avoid scrutiny or a smoke screen to hide behind.

          I’m not saying any of this to argue with anything that you have said. I mean it in the spirit of: “Yes! And…” 🙂

          • I understand what you are saying and I never interpretted any of it as all that antagonistic. A distinction does need to be drawn between different sexually arousing activities. The distinction I would draw would be between egalitarian sexual activites and anti-egalitarian sexual activities. I think the term “sex” is useful term for describing activities, good or bad (politically speaking), that people do to experience sexual arousal. I recognise that it is very general term, but general terms are useful, which is there are so many of them in the English language (e.g. thing, stuff, object, action, behaviour, event, etc.)

  • corvid

    “The intentional, targeted assault on women’s dignity through the sharing of stolen nude photographs isn’t some bizarre hobby pursued by the depraved. It’s just a slightly different expression of the desires that drive men as a class to consume billions of dollars’ worth of regular ol’ pornography every year.”

    It isn’t “slightly different.” It’s the same thing!! Men don’t know anything about the women in pornography and they don’t have any insight into what they are actually experiencing. Despite men’s cooing about “consent” they’ve made it extremely obvious that they don’t care.

    “…pro-feminist men (and just about anyone else discussing the issue) are still hesitant to make any kind of connection between men watching sexual abuse on the internet and men, you know, perpetuating sexual abuse on the internet.”

    What a bunch of incredibly dense morons men are not to realize that consuming porn equals an entrenched porn industry, equals ever-increasing demand for women to submit to more painful and humiliating acts in front of a camera, equals the exploitation of women. Billions of men, all wanting their very own unique special porn. Where the fuck do they think it comes from!?!

    • Mar Iguana

      “Think” may be the operative word here, corvid. In studies conducted by psychologists it was shown that almost 70% of men and 25% of women would rather give themselves electric shocks than think: http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2014/07/people-would-rather-be-electrically-shocked-left-alone-their-thoughts

      Incredibly dense morons indeed.

      • ptittle

        Thanks for that link! Reminds me of someone (Russell? Einstein? vonnegut?) who said something like “People would rather die than think. And in fact, many of them do.”

    • Riddler

      “What a bunch of incredibly dense morons men are not to realize that consuming porn equals an entrenched porn industry, equals ever-increasing demand for women to submit to more painful and humiliating acts in front of a camera, equals the exploitation of women. Billions of men, all wanting their very own unique special porn. Where the fuck do they think it comes from!?!”

      Agree with you and Iguana.

      The whole “hurr it’s just fantasy” talk.

      I even had a guy argue with me about how porn is okay as long as it doesn’t physically harm anyone (!).

      That comment was so horrible, on so many levels. The fact of the matter is, it is inherently physically harmful.
      And as if mental harm means nothing?

      Ohh, it’s a totally legitimate business if it’s just psychological trauma…*rolls eyes*

  • Beth

    Disappointed that a lot of these comments are just complaints about the sex of the author. These issues aren’t women’s issues, they’re everyone’s issue – and unless we work together with men it won’t be fixed. I for one welcome women AND men who want to support human equality. Please stop griping about who wrote it and who wrote it best – that only slows progress.

    • Riddler

      Yes!
      AFter all, women are people, too.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkjW9PZBRfk

    • NitroGirl

      Some of these comments border on Nigeling the shit out of this guy when he is A) A Male B) A Male you don’t even have a relationship with C) Has been said to have been toxic to women who are not White and being misogynist. Creating the Walls of Defense around allies out of desperation,admiration,or whatever, alienate the women by being dismissive and borderline misogynist about these women’s concerns. And to just jump on the Believe Him,some women are just hysterical/haters train,and even show some kind of appalled attitude over a woman dismissing men’s Feminist work (as if the same hasn’t been done to women since forever,and who do you think TAUGHT him Feminism? OTHER WOMEN.),just shows where the overall loyalty,compassion,and consideration for women begin and end for many people (some of which are women,SADLY.) ; right after men start agreeing with you. Women are disposable after you get men to join in Feminism, they are cherubic little angels who are above critique (but female Pop Stars and Libfems are up for grabs, you know,other women are ok to criticize and question. Not men.). This is textbook Libfem nonsense going on in here. Textbook of the highest order.

      What the hell kind of display of Feminism is it when when women defend a man they don’t even know and dismiss women with concerns about his motivation and attitude towards other women ? As much as some people on this site like to admonish and critique Libfems and their Feminism, some of the bullshit I’m reading here is not a far cry from it. It’s absolutely disgusting how many women find other women disposable and the cause for their own inequality when they won’t eat the stale Feminist ideas any man throws at them, absolutely disgusting how all these untouchable male allies are birthed by women willing to give them leeway based on his gender,but readily dismiss women as only having a sex based issue with certain male authors being published. I thought Feminism was about deconstructing gender roles,but I’m seeing this dynamic played out time after time where allies get a halo and women get horns,even though their concerns are valid,even when Feminism (should be at least) is about prioritizing women. No man’s regurgitated words created by women are worth alienating other women over,especially if they have a questionable history (Hugo Schwyzer,anyone?). Not a single one of them deserves to take precedence over women’s concerns and feelings. That’s not Feminism. That’s being comfortable in a very tired ass gender role that women are unfortunately socialized into behaving. That needs to be critiqued,examined,not uplifted and passed off as Feminism. Nope. Not today. Not now. Not ever.

      This is my last comment here.

      • Meghan Murphy

        “It’s absolutely disgusting how many women find other women disposable and the cause for their own inequality when they won’t eat the stale Feminist ideas any man throws at them, absolutely disgusting how all these untouchable male allies are birthed by women willing to give them leeway based on his gender,but readily dismiss women as only having a sex based issue with certain male authors being published.”

        Wow. Is this really what you think I or any of the commenters are doing here?? Do you really think we are all so fucking stupid and naive that we just fall for/give cookies to any man who throws feminism our way?? That we’re uncritical of supposed male allies??? PLEASE. Can we have some fucking credit?? Can we take the history of the conversations had and articles published on this site into consideration?

        I’m getting pretty fucking sick of being insulted and condescended to by women who claim to be feminist. I’m doing my fucking best here and it isn’t easy. I have put an incredible amount of work into this site and into the conversations that have happened and continue to happen here over the years (as have many, many commenters…) for little reward and to be so easily dismissed and rejected and accused of ‘Nigeling’ by women who are supposed to be my sisters fucking sucks. I have given up a lot, including anything resembling financial security. I am public and therefore targeted and attacked on the regular — by EVERYONE — misogynists, liberal feminists, queers, radical feminists, leftists, conservatives — everybody. I know I sound pretty wah-wah right now, but the truth is that is is extremely stressful, exhausting and time-consuming doing this.

        I am really amazed at how willing some people are to dismiss and reject on a dime. It’s disappointing. Can we not just assume that we are all just doing the fucking best we can and that we aren’t always going to be perfect? That we are ALL very busy and have our own shit going on?? That we’re all learning?? Fuck. We’re human here. Remember??

        You try this gig. See how long you last. Seriously.

        Stop insulting and attacking other women. We’re trying to work together and we are ALL just doing our best.

        • NitroGirl

          From what I’ve seen, I haven’t seen many trying to understand just WHY these women were upset, and that’s what bothered me for the past couple of posts, just assumed they were just being messy. These women who posted their concerns,in my honest opinion, were attacked, and no one really cared enough to at least acknowledge that and say “Hey, let’s all relax and see what this is about.”. No, they’re bored Tumblr chicks out to blacklist the latest “problematic”.

          Some of these posts -did- quasi-Nigel ol’ dude, I posted right underneath one of them to give an example, “being dismissed just because he is a male” (which isn’t as horrifying as people in the world make it out to be?? though not worth commenting over imo—I just ignore them, though that’s not exactly what happened in the first place.) is one of the common themes in the comments. I don’t expect anyone to be a mind reader,or be knowledgeable on what other men do when they aren’t in their presence, but the fact that women weren’t even given the benefit of the doubt on this is what gave me pause. No one said “Hmm,well let me find out what’s grinding their gears before I pass judgment.”, just dismissed it,then passed judgment?? Do I think it should have been handled differently? Yes,perhaps a private email. Do I think all the responses on everyone’s part should have been handled a differently? Yes. I’m saying in general, that women shouldn’t be treated like this for having problems with certain men,and maybe it’s just not on some “radfem separatist”,”get out men” stuff ,maybe the guy in question has been toxic to women,just…find out and ask around and not jump the gun and make snippy remarks towards the women and their concerns (which allows the male to be off the hook,hell he ain’t respond since),because they’ve upset the owner of the blog.

          That being said , I am absolutely not attacking you, Meghan Murphy. I said SOME of the comments here. I don’t even think you are responsible for what you don’t know,or anyone knows, which is why I’m not even mad that you published it. My perspective is *different*, obviously, but I don’t think I am attacking women at all. A good portion of my comment was meant to give out an example , a warning of how sour things can quickly turn if we start alienating women and their concern with “Male Feminists” or “allies”. I have been saying the same things I have said about mainstream Feminism in the same way since the past forever, and everyone (including people here who see me post) seemed to very well like my posts….until now? My desire is not to diminish your current and past work. This is one of the few Feminist sites where there is some type of middle ground,not an echo chamber for Popular Feminism , and you have posted very considerate,intelligent,invoking,inspiring things here.

          That is great, and I do think it’s fair to understand that you are not a radical feminist, therefore others shouldn’t project their politics onto you,but for many who aren’t vocalized in this issue,that’s not the issue with his presence on this blog. I for one am the same way, and I don’t have a problem with sites like yours (as it’s labeled by its participants, a “bridge between the feminisms”) allowing males to post articles or comments. And no,you aren’t whining or anything else about talking about abused received on many fronts as a Feminist,it’s very much ok to talk about that, those people shouldn’t have attacked you. All in all, I am sorry that you are facing some personal stress(as you have stated in an earlier comment) and hope things get better for you soon,and did not intend on causing further grief upon you during taxing times. I will not post in this thread again after this post.

          • Meghan Murphy

            Ok thanks for your clarification, NitroGirl. Obviously I’m feeling a bit defensive over this whole thing… I’m certainly open to knowing more with regard to the situation, but the link provided really doesn’t tell us much and the comments I didn’t post seemed like vague attacks on the author that didn’t actually explain in any specific way what warranted demands to have the post removed (which feels like a pretty drastic response, to me… and linked back to the tumblr account as ‘evidence’) or they were personal and baseless attacks on me and my feminism, which I didn’t feel were really productive or helpful at all…

            I also will admit that I feel frustrated by the term ‘nigeling’ and feel like it’s kind of insulting to women… Like any time we defend a man or say, like hey, he’s ok or whatever, we’re just naive handmaidens…

            In any case, thanks again for your response and I apologize for snapping at you. I don’t always know how best to handle these kinds of situations and end up feeling stressed out and overwhelmed by them.

          • Nitrogirl replied beneath a short comment from someone who is not a regular commenter here and her post reads as if it is targeted to a number of the people posting here.

            “Some of these comments border on Nigeling the shit out of this guy…”

            “Creating the Walls of Defense around allies out of desperation,admiration,or whatever, alienate the women by being dismissive and borderline misogynist…”

            “…who do you think TAUGHT him Feminism? OTHER WOMEN…”

            “some of the bullshit I’m reading here is not a far cry from [libfeminism]. It’s absolutely disgusting how many women find other women disposable and the cause for their own inequality when they won’t eat the stale Feminist ideas any man throws at them…”

            And so on.

            Then she finishes by saying she will not comment anymore (one can only assume she won’t lower herself to do so as there are so many pseudo-feminist shitheads commenting here). It was way out of line.

            Seriously Nitrogirl, if you have a problem with a specific commenter, reply to that person. (off course this is moot now because you are done with us cheerleaders of the patriarchy).

            Again, Meghan, I am amazed at your willingness to reach out when you were clearly in the right in everything you said in your response. You are awesome. And telling Nitrogirl where to go with that attack she wrote was perfectly reasonable in this context.

          • bella_cose

            I agree. Nitrogirl was out of line with her attacks, and incredibly insulting and dismissive to pretty much everyone commenting here. Meghan was more than reasonable in how she responded.

  • martin dufresne

    Indeêndent Radical wrote:
    “When I hear people talk about the distinction between pornography and “actual sex” they’re often looking at it from the pornography watcher’s point of view. For the watcher, the sex is not real, it is happening on a computer screen and it is therefore different to the “real sex” they engage in, but for the performers it definitely is real.”
    I think it is also real for most watchers since they masturbate to it, which is real sex too.

    It seems to me that the characterization of “rape or the kind of aggressive, degrading sex that goes in pornography” as “sex + abuse” seems to leave out that, in patriarchy, abuse is intricately *part of* heterosexual sex* (and its derived forms), especially for those so inclined and those brought in line.
    ___
    As MacKinnon summarized it: “Man fucks woman: subject verb object.”

    • male

      I am still confused as to why rape isn’t characterized as a form of masturbation rather than a form of sex ( http://labels-kill.blogspot.com/2014/08/why-is-rape-often-called-non-consensual.html ). Doesn’t it make more sense? Men get off to porn in which women are used by the men to get off. The “sex” in porn is read as degrading because it’s obviously just masturbation.

      • Mar Iguana

        Considering men’s rich “fantasy” life, I wonder if any kind of sex they have isn’t masturbatory.

  • Matt

    All I can say is that dignity isn’t a virtue of social change. Adversity is problematic, but security and privacy of this kind isn’t convenient, it’s almost like sexual journalism. And whether a tautological discourse (“consume” versus sense, digest, process, or study). Vulgar opinion isn’t technically idealism, it’s cant overgeneralization. The work remains to be seen I guess, sexual courage in one form or another, since Hedges’ neofeudalism and dignity and privacy based transparency isn’t entirely consistent.

  • The author of this feminist piece is coming under great scrutiny because he is a man. And I think that’s great! Men should be held to a higher standard when they talk about feminism. And I include myself in that statement.

    People attacking Meghan Murphy for her editorial decisions, on the other hand, is pretty awful. So she posted an article by a man. Not the greatest decision, fine, but so what? Should we knock her out and put her on the funeral pyre? Come on. Thanks to the Internet, most of us manage some form of content nowadays, and haven’t we all made some mistakes? Does that mean we’re all unworthy?

    • andeväsen

      It would be a mistake if this were an a priori woman only space. It’s not. You’re here, a number of other men are, and this is not the first article on Feminist Current authored by a man.

      With respect to this article, Meghan Murphy has not made a mistake or made a “not the greatest” decision. The article and its authorship is consistent with the previous content of this repository.

    • One of the main problems with this piece is that it is titled “Why aren’t we talking about pornography?” Who is this “we”? I agree that an exorbitant amount of men aren’t talking about pornography in a critical way, but as far as I know, radical feminists have been shouting out on this one since the 60s. It’s just that society at large doesn’t give a fuck, and we (men) give even less fucks.

      And I’m also extremely curious to know wherein lies Jonah’s actual (original) contribution. Which part of his text is something that a radical feminist hasn’t already expressed in a far more insightful, eloquent and original way at some point?

      • bella_cose

        I took the “we” to mean mainstream culture/media. Even mainstream liberal feminists won’t touch the pornography issue, except to defend porn. It’s become so ubiquitous, it’s invisible.

        I’ve always thought porn was fucked up. When I was 6 or 7 years old, my mother’s boyfriend started getting a magazine delivered, but it was covered in brown paper. He didn’t live with us, and I used to grab the mail. Sensing something unusual about this magazine, I opened it, and was very disturbed to find it was Playboy. All I knew is that it was wrong for this man to be looking at that magazine, especially if he was dating my mother. I threw that magazine out, and each one that arrived after that, in a neighbor’s garbage. My mother’s boyfriend never figured out what happened to his subscription.

        I don’t think I ever told anyone that before. Looking at the pictures in that magazine, at such a young age, gave me a horrible feeling of powerlessness.

        • @bella_cose,
          thank you for the reply and for you story. I think you did the right thing. In fact, I remember a girl from my old school, who OPENLY burned several Playboy issues/porn magazines on the school yard because her then-boyfriend somehow screwed her over. Suffice it to say, she got into a lot of trouble and she didn’t get a lot of support (even from girls/women). Her courage was inspiring.

          Now as far as Jonas is concerned: I stand by what I said. He has proven that he is rather obnoxious on different places. His piece is not in any way original and would have been much more interesting if it was written by a radical feminist.

      • Well, I think that any originality in anything is at best marginal. We all build on each other.

  • Jen

    Hey – I love this website, and I liked this post a lot. Thanks for posting. 🙂

  • John

    It’s hard to comprehend why someone would have an issue with a man writing an article on this site other than it’s pure sexism. Those who had taken up issue are straight up sexist. There’s no denying it. I appreciate freedom of speech and all but those who made such ignorant comments need to understand that not only are they making themselves look bad but they are also making Meghan Murphy look bad which is unacceptable considering she devotes her time and energy to create a forum like this.