I chose radical feminism over my porn-using boyfriend and got my humanity back

porn use

He knew how much I wanted a daughter. He said he wanted one too. We had it all planned. He was ready to quit his job — something one cannot rebound from easily in his country — and move to the U.S. with me. I was going to go to school in Boston, and he was going to work for Amtrak there. We were going to marry in the Muir Woods in November.

That was all before I saw her.

Her face was contorted and wincing. I could have heard her voice with one quick tap, but I froze. She was the “star” of Korean Slut Gets Pounded By Huge White Cock.  I read it out loud in a quiet voice, almost too quiet to hear the tone of my own disbelief. He laughed nervously and said “no no no no no” and took back his phone, which he had given to me to Google something. I buried my face in my hands. He said he was sorry, but it was a defensive, fearful “sorry” — one of those “please don’t get mad at me” apologies.

I looked up and inhaled deeply. “I don’t understand how you can do that.”

He hesitated, then said, “It’s natural for men.”

I saw that response coming, but I did not retreat. “The women in those videos are being raped,” I said, my voice steady with disgust and anger.

The conversation went on. I don’t think he realized that with every weak line of defense he spewed, I became increasingly hurt.

I tried to be forgiving. I didn’t want to be difficult. He said he loved me, and I was grateful. I was so afraid of losing him that I told myself I needed to dismiss signs of a possible problem. When he admitted to having “man stuff” saved on his computer and cell phone, I laughed awkwardly. When he routinely turned down my invitations to hang out, I assumed I had demanded too much. When he said he didn’t enjoy having sex with me, I apologized for not doing what he wanted.

But seeing that video was a wake-up call. I knew I had to stand up for what was right, and I tried to help him stop. I sent him resources that I hoped would help him understand the negative effects of porn on users, their partners, and society. I said he wasn’t a bad person; he just had a bad habit. I said very plainly that it’s okay to jack off, but that the brain is the most powerful sex organ. I told him I believed in him, and above all, that I loved him.

“Give me a break,” he replied. He said that I didn’t understand, and later, that I sounded crazy.

The whole ordeal left me feeling devastated and nauseous. He clearly didn’t want to change his ways. I didn’t want to control him, though — I wanted him to realize why porn was bad, and then change on his own impetus. More than anything, I kept thinking about our future daughter. I couldn’t raise children, much less a girl, in a house where porn was consumed. I would not let any hands that sought out sexual assaults online at night hold my young daughter’s fingers walking to school in the morning.

When I left him two days later, he didn’t object. For one last time, he chose porn over me.

I missed him right away. I had trouble accepting that a man who was otherwise very kind regularly partook in the systematic filmed rapes of my fellow women. I cried for seven hours straight.

Once I could somewhat speak again, the first person I called was my mother, who mostly tried to calm me down upon a new wave of sobbing. The next calls I made were to hand-picked friends, each self-identified feminists. I expected them not only to sympathize, but also to reel in horror as I did. I wanted them to tell me that I made the right choice.

Sympathy I did receive. I got the standard lines: “I’m sorry,” “It’s okay to be upset right now,” “I know how much he meant to you.” However, the deeper understanding I’d hoped for around why I was so upset was surprisingly absent. When I posed the situation as an ethical dilemma, explaining why I wouldn’t tolerate his porn use, I was met with hums and awkward pauses.

The friends I called are good people. I want to stress that. They were caring and patient when I called them, and they tried their best to be helpful. Although their answers felt inadequate, I could not hold them at fault, for their responses were reflections of a much larger problem.

I blame a society that teaches women to tolerate all kinds of bullshit from men. We are taught to prioritize and strive for heterosexual love so much that the bar for men is almost at the floor. Many women dislike porn, but resignedly accept that their boyfriends use it. It is an embarrassing topic, discussed only in low voices, if at all, and only with one’s most trusted friends, lest an acquaintance write you off as prudish.

But porn is an insidious epidemic. The internet has made it easier to access and, correspondingly, more normalized than ever before. Discovering violent material on an older male’s computer (a brother or father, for example) is essentially considered a rite of passage now for pre-teen and teenage boys. It has become a common theme in comedies. After my aforementioned breakup, someone even said to me, “I don’t think you’re going to find any guy out there who doesn’t use it.”

Well, if all of the men I meet in the future believe they need porn to be satisfied, then to hell with them. Nobody is born with a penchant or need for porn — nope, not even males. It is neither natural nor healthy to find degradation arousing. These should not be controversial statements.

But a lot of people simply don’t question that. Challenging normalized injustices is scary and onerous. Once you realize there is a problem, you cannot snap your fingers and un-see it. We who challenge porn specifically challenge a core tenet of male supremacy: If males couldn’t subjugate females, what “opposite” class of people would they subjugate? Who could they control, objectify, and use? Is the answer “nobody”? Can we even imagine such a world? Sadly, it seems most of us can’t. Male-partnered women are, understandably, afraid of seeing their boyfriends and husbands as compliant in a system of abuse.

Social movements are a great source of stress and a surefire way to have less fun. If I had never read the works of Andrea Dworkin, Gail Dines, and other anti-pornography radical feminists, I might be happily married right now. But given the chance, I wouldn’t change a thing. I lost somebody I loved, but I gained something far more important.

Radical feminism gave me my humanity back.

I implore you to rediscover your own humanity as well. A profound kind of empathy lies dormant in you, buried under years of socialization.  Dig it out, if only for the girls and women who will come after you. Read. Think. React profoundly, unabashedly. Talk to other women, and feel for them. Fight: Do not be afraid to call out men’s crimes.

And to those of you who already see porn for what it is — a sinkhole of abuse, exploitation, and misogyny — today is a great day to stop tolerating it, even if it means leaving your boyfriend. There is no shame in demonstrating your humanity. Too much human dignity hangs in the balance.

Rose Meltzer is a graduate student based in Washington, D.C.

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  • Sue Mcleod

    Hear Hear. Great Article <3

  • susan federspiel

    I had the same issue, I basically told him that I couldn’t have it in my relationship, and he understood from the ethical standpoint. I felt understood and later on he said he actually feels better about himself by quitting..more women and men should stand up against this industry of indignity and abuse.

  • jcts57

    Thank you for this.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    I think many women have the same reaction when they discover boyfriends’ or husbands’ porn. I started shaking, I felt sick, I couldn’t breathe. My heart felt broken. I felt alone, unloved. I never really recovered even though the relationship continued for years after. My sexual desire for him was lessened. There’s a reason we have this instinctual reaction. This one of the goals of porn – suppressing genuine female sexuality. Porn is about as UNnatural as it gets. In what reality is it natural to watch your neighbors have sex? I find that weird and creepy, why should it be less so because it’s on film?

  • Cassandra

    Fantastic piece. I’m glad you left him!

  • This D.C. neighbor had several tears run down his cheeks as he finished your essay. All respect for your courage. And, yes, porn has become a public health menace.

  • melissa

    “It is neither natural nor healthy to find degradation arousing. These should not be controversial statements.”

    “But a lot of people simply don’t question that.Challenging normalized injustices is scary and onerous. Once you realize there is a problem, you cannot snap your fingers and un-see it.”

    This.What a shame that this is controversial and more people aren’t able to speak up about this.You’re right, there’s no unseeing it .This is why the idea of getting in a relationship deeply depresses and scares me.The idea that a man i care about is watching women getting brutally assaulted and dehumanized on film for his enjoyment, or that he fantasizes about being the source of such suffering, turns my stomach.I bet hats already the case with my “good guy”, liberal, “sex positive” male friends.But at-least i dont live with them or plan on having kids with them.I just can’t imagine going through that.

    We’ve opened a Pandoras box where anything short of actually murdering women is legitimized and condoned as a valid preference, that must never be questioned regardless of how obviously horrific and hateful it might be towards a group of people..And you’ll notice they’ll always deflect by saying “oh many women are into that too!”, “what about rape fantasies?? and 50 shades of grey??”, “but consenting adults!!”, “stop kink shaming! its just fantasy.”.

    A while back someone on a reddit sub, that was suppose to be for women(its clearly not), asked if they’d be cool with their significant other watching facial abuse porn. Guess how that went down…

    https://www.reddit.com/r/TwoXChromosomes/comments/3qpp3k/ladies_how_do_you_feel_about_facial_abuse_type/?st=isv3p2f6&sh=0439aa54

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      I knew I didn’t want to visit that subreddit…”intolerance towards another gender’s views”? What in the fuck?

      • radwonka

        “gender views” lmao that some deep depoliticization, you wouldnt think its about facial abuse.

    • lk

      The line you quoted jumped out to me as soon as I read this article: “It is neither natural nor healthy to find degradation arousing. These should not be controversial statements.”

      I hate when you talk about abuse-watching porn, sleeping with prostitutes, bdsm, pedophilia, etc-and people start taking about how natural it is. Just because something is natural doesn’t make it good; nor does it make it something that we should accept or encourage.

      And is there even legitimate scientific evidence that suggests that humans are biologically wired/predisposed to get pleasure from enjoying inflicting or observing the pain of other human beings?

      I really doubt it, but even if there was…so what?! Being an ethical human being should trump acting on some (allegedly) “natural” urge. Isnt that what separates humans from other kinds of animals…our ability to do more than just act on every urge we may have?

      I have no problem with pleasure or people enjoying things that make them feel good physically or mentally. But if your pleasure comes from hurting other people or watching other people being hurt..its not something you should just act on. With some effort, human beings can change their behavior and change their desires.

      I find it strange that getting pleasure is now the marker of something being right or wrong, good or bad.

      • melissa

        “Just because something is natural doesn’t make it good; nor does it make it something that we should accept or encourage.”

        Yes, absolutely.Naturalistic Fallacy. One could argue rape, murder, violence are all natural, given its prevalence in the animal kingdom, but obviously that by no means makes those justified or excusable.The goal surely is to minimize suffer to the best of our abilities.Surely we can reject cruelty in society and hold ourselves to a minimum ethical standard.Surely having little tolerance for cruelty,hate, inequality, oppression isn’t too high of an expectation.Surely it would still be a pleasurable world with these things rejected in all forms.Why would we be embracing the very worst of the human condition instead of fostering and incentivizing the best?”Natural” is such a piss poor excuse to begin with.Nature never had monopoly on right or wrong.

    • radwonka

      Im scared to click on that link… like really…

      How come men can abuse women but we dont have the right to revenge? After all, there is nothing good or wrong, just people “using their agency”.

      • melissa

        *Sigh* even just maybe six years ago you wouldn’t get people openly defending facial abuse.I mean does it get lower than this?What next? Teach bdsm in schools? Oh wait actually, that’s precisely what libfems seems to want to go for next.Teaching bdsm apparently can prevent rape now. You can’t make this shit up folks…

        https://mic.com/articles/151964/should-we-teach-teens-about-bdsm-in-sex-ed#.SLggEYGIz

        Also prevent homophobia…

        https://www.rt.com/news/347530-germany-sex-education-homophobia/

        “Anal sex practices, sadomasochism and adult sex toys should become known
        to German pupils through “theatrical performance,” lectures or
        workshops, according to teaching materials promoted by a state-supported
        anti-homophobia project.”

        There’s no end to this madness. At this point i wouldn’t be shocked if boys walking their girlfriends on a leash at schools is just seen as perfectly fine “consenting” behavior and some expression of love and sexuality to these people.With 50 shades becoming almost a worldwide introduction to sadistic misogyny as romance and sex, with every liberal media(even many conservative media) relentlessly glorifying this crap, i shudder to think what the future is going to look like for women.A generation of young people growing up seeing cruelty, unequal power dynamic between genders both in and out of the bedroom,as perfectly normal if not desirable,trendy behavior.It terrifies me that not just millions of people, but “feminist” can’t see how this is antithesis to a world that values and is committed to equality, respect and compassion.

        Anyway, so what was it you were saying about revenge?:P

      • danna touma

        I don’t see why not either. Males can’t handle the slightest amount of disrespect and shoot each other up for doing so much as stepping on their shoes. But they treat us like human toilets and we can’t say nothing? FOH, that’s all I’ve got to say.

        • radwonka

          IKR? men kill each other, men abuse women, and yet *we*, women, are supposed to say nothing? and when we say something it is considered worse than actual VAW?

          people need to find better excuses rlly because they all sound like hypocrites (but then again, people are cowards nowadays, they cant even proudly defend their politics without playing the victims even though they arent even victims. Especially men: men will always talk about being “strong and without feelings”, but the moment women stop following their orders, men start crying and complaining. Pathetic).
          And considering how badly men treat women, revenge is just legitimate defense.

    • danna touma

      “This is why the idea of getting in a relationship deeply depresses and scares me.” Which is why it’s so relieving that women don’t HAVE to, not in most developed countries at least. I can honestly I’ve NEVER had the urge to be with a male. Not once. Not since I was 10 and reading up on women’s issues. I guess that’s what happens when your empathy for women surpasses your own need for companionship – and honestly, this ‘need’ isn’t all that nagging if you’ve got other things to do. At the end of the day, it’s all about risk assessment. Is being with a man worth the risk, if you weigh all your principles and ethics with your need for a warm body next to you at night.

  • therealcie

    This reminds me of the emotionally abusive loser that I was with in 1997. He made me watch really sick porn–we’re talking bestiality–with him. I had untreated bipolar disorder and my self-esteem was terrible. He also flaunted the fact that he was fooling around with other women, and would order me to do things such as kiss his feet. I put up with this abuse because I was afraid he would withdraw his “love” from me if I didn’t.
    I walked away for the sake of my son rather than for my own sake. I didn’t want him to be exposed to such monstrous things. I didn’t care about myself. My abuser could see that, and he enjoyed it because he was a sadist.
    We do not need “men” like this. Far better to be alone than to allow ourselves to be abused in such a fashion.
    Nobody “needs” pornography. It isn’t “natural” for men to “need” pornography.
    I fell for that line of crap too.
    Your future daughter deserves a real father, not a misogynist who believes that women are sex toys to be humiliated in the most demeaning ways for his pleasure.

    • radwonka

      I’m so sorry :/

      “I put up with this abuse because I was afraid he would withdraw his “love” from me if I didn’t. ”

      Yeah, men manipulate the feeling of love and the need of validation to do whatever they want to women. That’s how sociopaths work. That’s why this society needs to stop romanticizing relationships with men and stop teaching young girls that being objectified is the only way to have self confidence.

  • Sabine

    I have been thinking for some time now that if I ever get together with a man again I will ask him outright if he uses porn. If he does I’m outta there. Zero tolerance. There is no separating that part of somebody’s character. If they get off on seeing women violated, even if they “believe” it’s all playacting fantasy (which is still getting turned on by the portrayal of rape or incredibly violent “consensual” sex) and nothing to do with their relationship to females in general, I am gone. Never, ever again will I accept that the spectacle of women and girls being abused and degraded is a “natural” turn on for men. I do not want any level of intimacy with a man who jerks off to the subjugation of the female species. I am done.

    • radwonka

      “Never, ever again will I accept that the spectacle of women and girls being abused and degraded is a “natural” turn on for men. I do not want any level of intimacy with a man who jerks off to the subjugation of the female species. I am done.”

      Well said!

  • Rosh Li

    Thank you, u fabulous brave woman! There are men who don’t watch porn and you will find an amazing partner, I am sure of that. It is an epidemic and we need to join forces and start tackling the issues in our families and communities. We can’t let children grow in such sick society.

  • Polly MacDavid

    This is a very powerful piece & one I could identify with, although in ways quite different from what the author describes.

    Because of my age (56) & how I’ve lived (what I thought was cool feminism but now I realize was just carrying water for the patriarchy), I have witnessed the evolution of porn from still photos of women barely showing their breasts to the violent shit-storm we have now. & I have stopped having sex with men because of this. Men went from being interested in my orgasm, in my pleasure, to wanting to hit me, hurt me, call me bitch … everything always about them … their almighty hard-on. Porn teaches them that. Like the author of this essay, I regained my humanism when I found radical feminism.

    Our culture has changed radically in the last 40 years & porn is a big part of that change. How the radical Christians & the porn culture are working together to subjugate women is a subject that fascinates me & depresses me.

  • I am soooooo glad to see the article. Beautiful as it is powerful- in both message and honesty. Well written Rosie Meltzer. I sincerely hope that everyone who cares at all… about themselves as decent people, about others- especially girls and women, and about the world in which we all co-exist – is able to not only read this, but also fully internalise it as well. It’s so important. Thank you writing/publishing it.

  • Ra

    I am one of the few women it seems that actually enjoys watching porn with my significant other. It is not done on a regular basis but when we do use it, it’s fun and exciting for both of us. Porn is a job. Period. Just as stripping is. A man or woman is choosing to take up this career to make money for themselves. For some, even women, porn is empowering and can make them feel in control and more confident . It just depends on how you view sex. I feel confident in my body and my skills and don’t feel like my significant other is trying to hold me to some form of ‘expectation ‘. I’ve learned a lot about my own body as well as how to pleasure my significant other from porn. I definitely believe that using porn correctly and appropriately can be a positive but everyone is different. Very well written article can’t wait to debate with my female friends over dinner !

    • Amy Luna Manderino

      “It just depends on how you view sex.” I could not agree more. If you believe the rape culture sex slavery narrative of porn, then more “power” to ya!

    • Windrix

      Not sure if serious or just trolling.

      All porn is RAPE. Women getting paid for “allowing” bodies penetrated and used by men is not sex. Only rich white males that run the porn industry benefit from this.Not in a society where women are mandated to give men piv as regular sexual behavior, and where we are literally in captivity.
      Also just cause you “enjoy something” is not feminist analysis or viewpoint. It’s just saying the disassociative drugs you feel when watching the physical and spiritual VIOLENT degradation of other women with your partner, makes you feel “joy”. Maybe it’s cause bonding drugs epinephrine is released when viewing it (ew) to your partner which makes you feel better.

      But anyway, you sharing your perceived experience does not have anything to do with what is actually going on in porn or what it is, and is not supportive in benefiting the lives and well being of women. Or dismantle patriarchy at all.

      PS: if your real I hope you know that your partner does not want to have sex with just you, and watches porn because he would rather see the bodies of other women being degrading. He doesn’t respect you. And only wants you as his private property. That’s not love.

  • Pam Rubin

    wonderful

  • anne

    The problem is, I don’t trust any of them when say they don’t watch it. I don’t trust them, period.

    • radwonka

      Ditto.

  • Meghan Murphy

    When I told an acquaintance that I told all men I date (including my current boyfriend) that I would not accept porn use, early on, she looked shocked and told me that was the same as telling a man he wasn’t allowed to masturbate. As if men can’t masturbate without porn, first of all, but second, as if this made me some kind of controlling and cruel bitch. Like, if they want to use porn, that’s their own prerogative, but why would I date someone who insisted they had to watch it if I could choose not to? People set boundaries all the time about who they will and will not date — no drug addicts, no meat eaters, no drinkers, no non-drinkers, etc. Like, I wouldn’t date a cop or a man who worked on the oil fields either — why the fuck would I want to date someone who doesn’t understand or respect my ethics and values?

    • radwonka

      “as if this made me some kind of controlling and cruel bitch.”

      It’s very interesting that women should do everything to please the D, VAW is sacralised because men “enjoy it” but women shouldn’t even oppose it. In fact, we shouldn’t even think about it and just let men degrade women. Like WTF? There is something wrong with people, banalization really makes people blind.

      • danna touma

        I’m relieved that there are women that are as downright confused by this as I am. I feel like we’re living in the Twilight Zone. The longest-suffering oppressed group in the WORLD is not allowed to oppose our own treatment? Like, we’re not allowed to even speak about, let alone criticize the oppressor, like all other groups do? AND women are gagging us right along along with men with their fists held high? To this day I still have the same reaction – I am FLOORED. What the hell is going on, I don’t know.

  • mysticserpent007

    I don’t blame them in the least; have no reason to. They never talked about it much, so I don’t know what it was really like for them. They don’t do it now; they’ve moved on to other careers. They seem to be doing well.

    Some feminists – and other people – I knew disapproved of women working as exotic dancers and/or other sex-industry related jobs, but I don’t have that attitude and never did. If you need to make a living, and working as an exotic dancer is the only job you can get at that time, who am I to judge if you take it? We all need to put food on the table.

  • Amy Luna Manderino

    The night before our wedding, my ex-husband’s friends took him out for 10 lap dances at a strip joint. I was crushed. Not because I am anti-sex, but because he would choose to spend the night before partnering with me for life participating in an industry that normalizes women’s sex slavery. After we divorced, I learned that he was sharing violent and degrading fantasies with women online. Imagine a black person in 1830 partnering with a white person who believed African slavery was ok. That’s the same as a women partnering with a man who thinks sex slavery is ok today. While I am sad that I live in a time in which men and women are conditioned to accept women’s sexual dehumanization as “natural,” I make no mistake…the problem is not ME and no life is worth living with a partner who does not recognize your basic humanity. I’m not surprised you did not get support from your female friends. I’ve watched my friends turn a blind eye to their husbands’ behavior for years. I can tell you, I would choose my life over theirs, any day of the week. But it is sad that women have to choose the lesser of two evils. You are not crazy. You are the sane one and you have my support.

    • radwonka

      Thank you for sharing your story and your powerful words Amy.

  • Fantastic article! Thank you.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Well, whether or not it is ideal, it likely was very painful and traumatic for her…

    What is the point of berating a woman for having feelings and being honest about them? I have also felt devastated and hurt and traumatized by breakups. I have no interest in pretending that’s not true, even if I wish it weren’t so.

  • Melanie

    Who cares if you enjoy it? I contracted a serious disease doing prostitution that I had for almost 30 years. I found out only last week that I’m finally cured after doing two medical treatments, one of them a very difficult, 6 month long chemotherapy. These treatments took years out of my life and have left me exhausted. I was also diagnosed with complex PTSD and had to do treatment for that as well. The sex industry is largely unregulated, unethical and often criminal. It can impact every single aspect of a woman’s life for years down the track – personal relationships, family relationships, employment and economic security, physical and mental health. Is that justified just because you enjoy watching it?

    • Wren

      OMG!! That’s great news about your health!! YAAAYYY!!!! I hope you do something wonderful for yourself to celebrate. I’ve learned that every step in healing from our shared history needs to be celebrated!!!!

      I’m having a little party in my head for you 🙂

      • Melanie

        Thanks Wren. I’ve been having a party in my head since I found out too! It feels so surreal. It still hasn’t sunk in yet. I’ve had Hepatitis C since I was 17 years old. Only a few people in my life know that I had the disease and that I was on treatment because of the stigma, so I don’t have many people to celebrate with. So I really appreciate your thoughts. 🙂 I had to wait three months for the results but I had a feeling I was cured because the awful fatigue that I used to feel just wasn’t there anymore. I was very lucky not to get serious liver damage, so I’m just going to focus on my health and taking care of myself now.

        I still suffer from trauma symptoms, but I feel more positive now that I have my health back and my life is no longer in limbo doing medical treatments and worrying if I’m going to get sicker or die.The disease starts to progress very quickly for women of my age and especially with the genotype I had, so I was getting scared. I’m so relieved. I feel like maybe I can put a full stop on that part of my life now and start to move on.The disease was a constant reminder, always in the back of my mind. I just wish people would understand that while they’re having their moment of fun, this industry is impacting the women and men in it for years down the track in so many ways.

        • Wren

          That’s just absolutely fantastic!! I know that it’s much easier to deal with trauma when you’re physically strong.

          I don’t have any communicable diseases (I am soooo lucky) but I have struggled with physical symptoms of abuse for all my life. Only in the last couple of years after having a stable home, some good counseling, and major lifestyle changes (a job I love, being VERY picky about who I spend time with, venting at Feminist Current…) have I been able to psychologically process what happened to me, and slowly, very slowly, the physical pain that’s gripped my body is starting to release. I guess I never knew what it was like to stand up straight, take a full breath, feel my body relax, FEEL MY REAL FEELINGS before. The dissociation that prostitution requires takes years, or decades in my case, to dissolve.

          But I’m not dead. You’re not dead. None of us writing here are dead.
          And let’s face it, that’s what they really want – to use us as cum-buckets and then pray we die so their evil is never revealed.

          Well guess what fuckers….
          WE’RE ALIVE

  • Melanie

    What do you mean when you say the people in pornography are not real people?

  • Kendall Turtle

    Does a woman liking porn stop women in porn from being raped? No. Who cares if you like something dehumanizing and objectifying, just because you’re female doesn’t mean you are right.

  • ElleMarie

    Beautiful and heartfelt. Thank you.

  • boredcatlady

    Grew up with a father who didn’t bother to hide his pornography addiction, as young as I can remember it was everywhere. Now it literally turns my stomach, literally…but I’ve always felt like that was my hangup, my problem. But the sexual violence and humiliation inherent in all the porn I’ve ever seen IS worth being hung up about! Pornography dehumanizes women. Period. I’m still figuring out how I think we should fix it, tho. I’m wary of radical feminism, I don’t know… Anyway, thanks for the conversation

    • radwonka

      “I’m wary of radical feminism, I don’t know.”

      Well talking about VAW is a radfem thing and I don’t know if there are other ideologies who talk about socialization and the impact of propaganda like radfeminism does…

  • Wren

    “just because it’s been normalized doesn’t mean that it’s okay”
    That’s exactly it. It’s such a simple, clean concept. Once upon a time slavery was normal, raping wives was normal, burning gay people was normal, imprisoning people in debt was normal. And like those periods in history, there will be a time when people look back to The Porn Era and be ashamed of humanity.

  • Wren

    I hope you find another way to make money. Once you’re in, even web-cam low exposure stuff, you might have trouble ever getting out. You might think you can take the psychological abuse of it, but you will suffer for it the rest of your life. Don’t believe these women you “know who enjoy it”. They aren’t telling you (or themselves) the truth.

    Also, that’s not voyeurism if they like being watched, that’s exhibitionism. And if they’re not getting paid, they’re not in porn. They’re just into weird sex. The fact that you seem confused on these points makes me think you are very, very young. Please do more research before you sign any contracts, or whatever you intend to do. If it sounds like you’re gonna make a shit load of money and life will be glamorous and grand, then you’re being lied to. I’m not preaching out of inexperience; I was prostituted and have known many other women in the industry. Many write here on this blog.

    I don’t know, maybe you’re just a troll or whatever, but I have to say all this or I wonder if I should have.
    Good luck.

  • Wren

    “NOOOOOOOO”
    Indeed.

  • pjwhite

    Great article. And your boyfriend was not “otherwise very kind”. It sounds as if he was a withholding prick long before you caught him with the porn. He was awful. A kind man would have listened to you and respected what you had to say. You dodged a bullet. Any man worth having will value your feelings over porn. Now that your eyes have been opened, you will be able to see more clearly when another man comes along (and one will – they always do. They are not rare). Take care of yourself and stay strong. It gets better.

  • radwonka

    Doesn’t change the fact that porn producers rely a lot on culture and poverty to groom women. And the movies, well, it’s still abuse: the pain is real. The tears, the blood, the violence, everything. The “big dicks hurt women” is the most common theme, it is present in literally every video (and I don’t even talk about objectification and racism). And ya’ll have nothing better to do than banalizing that? Because yeah, men who love that ARE shit.

    Just as the author said, ya’ll don’t know what empahy is.

  • Wire Bead

    Very interesting, and rings true. Thanks.

  • radwonka

    Why are you blaming her?

    Painful experiences shouldnt be taboo. If we want less painful experiences, then we should encourage women to express their feelings, they shouldn’t feel guilty because their bf are trash. You can’t change men. But we can talk about how they use our feelings and emotions to abuse us and shit on us. Women have human feelings, men don’t have any basically.

    • BenEsler

      This comment leads me to imagine you’ve almost certainly had truly terrible experiences with men, and I’m obviously in no position whatsoever to comment on that, other than to express my total sympathy. So I’m not attempting to discredit or in any way comment on your experiences or the men you’ve known. However, if I may, and in as much as I’m capable of generalizing about my own gender and upbringing, I do interpret the problem somewhat differently to this. In my anecdotal experience, it’s not that misogynistic males don’t have feelings. Feelings are fundamental to their issues. It’s that they have deeply repressed cognitive dissonance about the meaning and nature of those feelings, and have no tools for either expressing or resolving them in a healthy, productive way. They’ve been raised and socialized absorbing narratives about themselves and about gender that are completely contradictory, and emotionally catastrophic, and it has crippled them. They have been:

      Taught that they are in some sense fundamentally better than women, while at the same time being taught that women are better than them.
      Taught that women possess none of the attributes of traditional masculinity (competence, rationality, fortitude, courage), yet taught that women are the gatekeepers to their validation as males (which seems an injustice, when that validation is denied).
      Taught not to develop certain emotional aptitudes and virtues, because they are shamefully feminine, but taught these same attributes are abundant in women, in whom they are desirable and admirable, but also to be condescended to paternalistically. Meanwhile, taught that anger, competitiveness, aggression and hostility are admirable, masculine traits.
      Taught that idealized women are essentially demure, innocent and non sexual, until seduced by a man who, having *acquired* her consent (typically by broaching her boundaries, as opposed to consent being offered reciprocally), awakens her latent sexuality. Taught this is a desirable outcome, but also that it shames and corrupts the woman, who was “pure” but has now ceased to be so, and as such is no longer desirable.
      Taught that as men they are supposed to have a shallow, selfish interest in sex, and that anything less is an embarrassment. This is an obvious example of what amounts to a kind of ‘terror management’ intended to protect them from shameful emotional vulnerability.
      Taught that if they fulfill certain criteria they are entitled to women’s affections, while experiencing the (possibly constant) reality of painful, invalidating rejection in contradiction to “the rules”.

      It’s a toxic brew, and a recipe for deep seated denial, repression and powerful feelings of shame, which they inevitably compensate for by creating strategies to prevent them from having to engage with their emotions at all. They absorb all this stuff when they’re only boys, from parents and teachers and brothers and sisters and friends and the media… and now they’re getting it in porn too, which they are watching before they’ve even entered puberty, soaking up destructive narratives about sexuality that are completely divorced from anything resembling reciprocity, intimacy or mental health, hardwiring themselves to be aroused by sexual violence and domination, and misleading them as to the nature of female sexuality and desire.

      I don’t believe we can explain this stuff in a gender essentialist way. It’s not that men don’t feel things strongly, and it’s not they can’t be changed. It’s that they’re being changed, very early in their development, by having a bunch of really bad, contradictory ideas foisted upon them, only to have all their emotional tools taken away so they can’t deal with the fallout. The unfeeling, emotionless male is, in my view, a reaction formation, concealing vast psychological damage underneath.

      As I said, anecdotal musings, but acquired during years at a decidedly macho all boy’s school, so not for nuthin’. 🙂

  • radwonka

    “Your comment points to what is largely at the root of the problem, in my experience: your ex husband’s *friends* took him out for lap dances, the day before your wedding. Think about that. It’s not something he did alone. They did it together, as a ritual. Men are socialized to think of the degradation of women as a form of male bonding, and I’m sorry to say, in this instance, the women giving the lap dances were not the primary target of that degradation: you were. It was the day before your wedding, and this was a way to cheapen that symbolic event, and undermine the threat it represented to their safespace: the male friendship group.”

    Exactly, men have always described their relationships as “boring”, their gf as “annoying”, and their mariage as “a pain in the ass”. The sex industry is a punishment against their partners (and women as a whole) who dont want to become their sex slaves. It’s a reminder that even if some women won’t perform misogynistic fantaisies, men still have enough institutional power to force other women to do it. And this in front of other women to showcase their power.

  • radwonka

    What then? What’s the question exactly? Does enjoying it as a woman change the gendered abuse? Well, no.

  • radwonka

    Ah you probably scared her, the word “brainwashing” scares people, even if they can’t deny themselves that porn is cultural and relies on the eroticization and abuse of women.

    Just the question, “what if I enjoy it?” seems so selfish. It’s like a “gottcha”. Women talk about their pain, and there you have other people not giving a fuck à la “I LIKE IT. End of debate”. smh.

  • radwonka

    “the porn industry is “humorous””

    It makes me think about youtubers, or should I say “gamers” or whatever they call themselves for playing games and/or doing stupid videos, who spend their time mentioning porn, or playing pornified games. The way they always talk about it is creepy and says a lot about the boys who watch them. They’re really proud to watch abuse and make it seem as if it’s a good joke. Brotherhood at its finest.

  • radwonka

    “But it can never be used to be violent or abusive to your partner. ”

    What about all these men who force their partner to watch it and then force them to perform what they’ve seen? And What about the women in those videos?

  • radwonka

    Men are really toxic aren’t they…

    • Fanny

      This one was definitively a big big asshole. Also told to my face that he had sex with prostitutes in Thailand, then get uspet and called me prude cause I was shocked. Totally toxic indeed.

      • radwonka

        Im so sorry :/
        I hope he dies painfully.

      • lk

        “Also told me to my face that he had sex with prostitutes in Thailand, then get upset and called me prude cause I was shocked. ”

        Why did he even tell you that? Like, what was the purpose?

        I guess visiting prostitutes is just a normal part of a man’s life, we’re just supposed to smile when someone tells us they used one!

        I work at an alternative high school where we serve students who are about to age of the public school system…one of the students turned 21 right before graduation and he was telling me that his brother took him to Vegas..so he was talking about the casinos and shows and the hotels and then he just casually mentioned that his brother bought him a prostitute as part of the celebration.

        I literally did not know what to say. I was just shocked that he would tell me that like it was just some normal part of a b-day celebration, like telling me about the kind of cake they had.

        • Wren

          Believe it or not, that COULD have been a cry for help, or a window of opportunity. Like “I’m gonna blurt this out cause I need someone to tell me it’s wrong.” I could be wrong, though, but I have found that when someone else, particularly someone of influence (like a big brother) buys a guy a prostitute, he doesn’t know what to do, what to feel. He MAY have been confused and if he respects you, he may have been asking for a little help.

          Again, I can’t be certain of this, but if you ever get a chance to ask him, you could ask him how he felt about the experience. Read the body language. Again, just a suggestion.

    • danna touma

      It’s amazing the kind of foul putrid group we women go into labor and expel out of our bodies. Not to mention diaper, potty-train and raise. Talk about birthing your oppressor.

  • radwonka

    Damn what a disgusting piece of shit. But I’m not surprised at all. It’s a man after all…
    Im glad that you did find the strength to leave him.

  • radwonka

    Powerful article. You deserve more than this sociopath Rose. Wish you the best xx

  • lk

    “I think porn can be a tool.”

    What can porn be a tool for?

  • rosearan

    As a general response to the responses to my post, which seems to have gone over like a lead balloon, what I’m trying to say (however badly) is that women are enculturated to invest an enormous amount of emotional energy in their romantic/marriage relationships, but men are not. When relationships and marriages break up, women are conditioned to believe that their enormous emotional investment is a sacred jewel that was betrayed, corrupted and contaminated.

    Men, on the other hand, who have not been conditioned to see their love for a woman as sacred, just tend to write off a relationship/marriage break-up as something that just didn’t work out. I’ve lost count of the number of men I’ve seen just move straight on to another relationship with indecent haste, whether it be after a 6-month long affair or a 35-year marriage, while the woman spends years trying to process her feelings.

    I exaggerate and generalise to make a point.

    I myself have gone through hell in recent years after the break-up of an almost 30-year marriage. My husband drove me into bankruptcy. Yet, from feedback I’ve received from family and friends, he puts the marriage breakup down to ‘lack of intimacy’ and ‘too much anger’. The reasons for the lack of intimacy and anger – i.e. that he destroyed our financial security and life savings – are apparently lost on him. All he seemed to see was that I could no longer meet his sexual needs and that my anger over his financial irresponsibility had disturbed his peaceful life.

    Of course, the author has every right to express her feelings about her profound sense of betrayal about her boyfriend’s addiction to porn (I also found out that my husband had been frequently using dating and porn sites while we were still married), but I also have the right to question why women need to canonise their love for a man who has betrayed them, when the man has overwhelmingly shown how unworthy he was of that love.

    It’s enculturated female masochism, which is as insidious and self-destructive as men’s enculturated narcissism.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Oh yes totally.

      I think this could be connected to the way that women are taught to see everything about them as flawed, to go out of their way to look for flaws in themselves, and spend their lives trying to fix their supposed flaws. Men do not do this, generally.

      This is to say that I have the feeling many women spend days and months and years processing their breakups, trying to figure out what went wrong, trying to fix and address the flaws in them that supposedly lead them to either pick the wrong man or to ruin their relationships.

      All that said, there is also the fact that it is very hurtful to be treated as unimportant or as a piece of garbage — to invest all this time and energy into relationships only for our male partners, who supposedly love us, to behave like callous, selfish assholes.

      While I think your assessment is correct, I think we also have to be understanding of the real pain women go through in breakups, when men hurt them, etc. I don’t think, for example, that the author overstated her rejection of this man as ‘being so painful’ — I just think she was being honest about her feelings.

      I do think you are right that we’d be better off if we didn’t invest so much in heterosexual relationships to begin with and, after breakups, were able to simply move on without beating ourselves up. But in my experience, sometimes that involves forcing ourselves *not* to get overly emotionally attached to men, which can feel unnatural for some women. Despite the fact that I’ve rejected codependent relationships with men (despite the fact that this is apparently what they all want), because I prefer not to prioritize relationships with men over my own life, my own work, my own friends, etc., and that, yes, this likely has and will continued to allow me to bounce back from breakups more easily than I was able to when I was younger, I also know that I would still feel a great deal of sadness and hurt if me and my partner broke up… I’m just being honest.

      There is also the fact that men are cut off from their emotions and learn not to think about their feelings or behaviour too much. I’m not sure that’s a *good* thing that women should be aiming towards. In terms of protecting ourselves from hurt, it makes sense, but ideally it is men that would change, and become more considerate, caring people, not that women would change and become more callous and cut off, in order to behave more ‘like men’ in relationships.

      Anyway, very long story short, my primary point was that I didn’t think it was fair to blame or try to make the author feel bad about her pain, despite the fact that I generally do agree with your arguments/assessment.

  • Cassandra

    Men who use porn *are* shit.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Porn *is* a male thing. The fact that women also internalize the male gaze and learn that their own degradation and objectification is ‘sexy’ is nothing new or surprising. Feminists have discussed this reality for eons.

    • mail_turtle

      Aren’t you also saying that men *learn* to view the degradation of women as sexy? In that case, why do you only criticize men for watching it? It’s a mixed message to say that men should stop watching porn, but women are not to blame so they don’t.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Because most porn is made by and for men. Women who watch are kind of collateral in the whole thing — complicit in a way in their own subordination. At the same time, I do, of course, criticize women who promote the porn industry. Like, all the time.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh my god! When I was about 18 or 19 (I think?) I was over at a FEMALE friends’ house and she put on the video (there was also a bunch of dudes there) and everyone surrounded the computer to watch and laugh. I peeked in, saw what they were all looking at (briefly) and immediately left the room. It was so disturbing and has stuck with me ever since. How people could laugh and be so unaffected by this kind of stuff baffles me. I have a few of these moments burned into my brain — group watching porn or pornified videos, wherein women are degraded or tortured, while everyone laughs and is entertained. The stuff that traumatizes me is apparently all in good fun for most. Depressing.

    • Yu Hu

      “When I was about 18 or 19 (I think?) I was over at a FEMALE friends’ house and she put on the video…”

      Meghan, are you sure you were 18 or 19 when you saw them watching “Two Girls One Cup”, and that was the video they were watching? You’ve mentioned in previous pieces how old you are, and the infamous “Two Girls One Cup” video was released in 2007, when you couldn’t have been any younger than 26.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Maybe I’m thinking of a different one? The one I saw was certainly along the same… theme… so I assumed it was the same one. Either way, I watched some that showed something similar when I was like 19 and it traumatized me for life.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I think people are afraid of radical feminism because the term is perceived and smeared as ‘extreme,’ when, in reality, radical feminism *is* feminism. Everything that is not radical feminism is not feminism — it’s just liberalism or queer theory. This is why I often don’t refer to myself as a radical feminist, but simply as a feminist. Radical feminist analysis is the only analysis that addressed patriarchy, at its root, rather than simply trying to dance around it, ‘queer’ it, make the best of a bad situation, in other words.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I will be very honest with you and admit that I struggled with this as well. But I think that, at the end of the day, I couldn’t participate in the mass delusion that was being pushed on me and everyone else, and the way that it was eroding feminist analysis for the sake of respecting the personal feelings of a few individuals.

    I do believe that people with gender dysphoria suffer a great deal and also believe they deserve respect and rights, but that respect and those rights shouldn’t mean that women are erased, that biology is erased, that the root and reality of patriarchy is erased, and that women should sit down and shut up — denying their own oppression under patriarchy because some people want to force the entire world to engage with and cater to their narcissism, mental illness, personal feelings, and delusions. I honestly understand that this may sound ‘mean’ or ‘offensive’ and I did struggle with this issue for a long time before coming to the conclusion that, regardless of feelings, politics and the feminist movement cannot base its analysis and work on the personal feelings of people who are not women, but men with gender dysphoria or on the preferred identities of women who believe that opting out of femininity literally makes them men.

    Obviously this is a dangerous this to say out loud, but I’m no longer interested in remaining silent about all this out of fear. I think most people see much of the discourse around trans as offensive or ridiculous, but know that they can’t say so. Many others, I think, go along with it in an effort to be kind, open-minded, and inclusive, because they have been pressured to believe this is the most progressive thing to do. Others simply have taken an anti-radical feminist position on trans because they know they will get cookies that way and can feign moral superiority.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to be cruel to trans people in order to push back against popular discourse around trans. And I want trans people to be safe from male violence as well, of course. I want them to have safe spaces to go to the bathroom, change, exist, seek health care, etc. But this becomes a challenge when ‘cruelty’ is perceived simply as stating biological facts and when male violence is erased in favour of the imagined ‘violence’ of radical feminists who understand how gender works and how it connects to biology. This also becomes a challenge when the *only* option for ‘safe space’ is said to be infringing on the hard fought for safe space women have created for themselves.

  • radwonka

    Radfeminism is not anti trans, it is provgender abolitionism. 😉

  • Morag999

    “Unfortunately in our culture, the way it is now, sex is rape and rape is sex.”

    And sex is universally good. Therefore, almost any terrible, abusive, unethical, exploitative thing one person can do to another will acquire a certain level of immunity to criticism, so long as it falls under the “sex” heading.

  • Bleeps

    “So how do we get me to care? How can we make it a choice between life or death FOR MEN?”

    I don’t know that that will ever happen, honestly. I keep thinking, though, why haven’t more women done what gay men have and moved to certain areas en-masse to live free from men, or at least somewhat protected, with their own “kind”? Gay men have done this with West Hollywood and Fire Island among other areas. Why haven’t women self-secluded together? It wouldn’t stop men from trying to harass and rape, etc. but at least the men would stand out more. I knew single moms growing up who ended up living in the same apartment complexes and it always felt much safer, having a community of women living near each other.

  • Bleeps

    “Also all the awful rape porn etc that you all are taking about, its not anything against women and does not mean that men hate women.. WOMEN ALSO CONSUME THIS TYPE OF PORN..”

    This only makes sense if what you’re saying is that the “bad” porn features as many men being tortured, raped, humiliated, etc. as women. That isn’t the case. Just because women also watch porn where women are treated badly doesn’t change the misogyny. Jewish people collecting Nazi paraphernalia doesn’t mean the Nazis didn’t hate Jews.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes, same. It took me some time to really get my head around this issue and to form a real critique that I understood and felt comfortable with.

  • radwonka

    Yeah the whole thing makes me feel depressed too ://
    They groom little girls into eroticized violence and dont see any problem with that. Thats why I dont believe it when they say it is just “an adult game”. Why grooming young girls if its something just adult do? Why forcing young girls to please men and like socialized roles? Its predatory and pedophilic af :/
    Who could have known that learned roles could be so destructive? As you said the left and the right love gendered roles, its so obvious that they both want to oppress women. And yeah, feminists who protect these norms are the worst, I still hope that we will have a better movement soon, but right now the culture is so toxic that even saying that culture influences people is seen as being “paternalising” or “not respecting choices” or “totalitarian” smh. A real incoherent mess. People dont even want to discuss. And even when they do they only use insults and degrading concepts. “Open minded and sex positive” my arse lmao.

  • Morag999

    “Can you expand on this? What do you mean? Like, men posing as feminists, or saying the right things to get a woman’s trust, or… ”

    Ben, I can’t answer for Wren, but I think I have an inkling what she means.

    Here’s one example. You know those classes some men are mandated to attend when they’ve been charged with “domestic” assault? Many years back, I heard feminists — wish I could quote directly, but I’ve since forgotten the source — refer to these classes, and indeed any kind of counselling, especially couples therapy, as “finishing school” for men who abuse women.

    The point being that these men do not batter by accident, or due to a lack of understanding about their own, and others’ feelings. The idea that abusive men will “do better” with their partners/families if they “know better” only seems to teach them better ways to stay in control. Control, under the cover of a self-aware, therapeutic or feminist language, which they’ll adopt to legitimize their tactics.

    Sure, some may stop hitting or punching walls, because that gets them into trouble, but they’ll move on to more covert and insidious means of keeping their female partners in line.

    You mentioned that this sounds sociopathic (“antisocial” is what they officially say now?) and no doubt many violent men could get the diagnosis. But, many would not meet the criteria. They are “normal” men, average joes. Look at how many liberal, everyday men get behind queer/libfem causes which degrade and harm girls and women: porn, prostitution, transgenderism, BDSM, etc. And they adopt a feminist-sounding language to protect their own male interests and benefits, by framing in terms of women’s feelings, needs, desires, expression, freedom, rights, choices, agency, etc.

    These ordinary men, standing up for porn, are not sexist by mistake. It’s kind of like one big “finishing school” out there! And they’ve glommed onto it deliberately so that they can present themselves as self-aware, enlightened and sensitive to women’s humanity. This is, actually, how seduction works. Both individually, and en masse.

    • BenEsler

      That’s very troubling. I’m definitely aware of the fact that men and sexist institutions frequently appropriate the language of feminist empowerment to cover their asses, and to encourage women to go along with things they otherwise might not, but I suppose I had presumed this was reflective of a lack of self awareness, and not the opposite. In other words, that the invocation of feminist principles and vocabulary so as to serve obviously exploitative imperatives is a learned behaviour that is opportunistic and facile and ridiculous, but not always entirely conscious; that it is even in some cases essentially “sincere” and the product of a lack of understanding, in much the same way that many of the supposedly feminist arguments made by women in support of prostitution, et al, are presumably made sincerely, however wrong they are. To think of this kind of thing as an entirely conscious, willful subversion of women’s best interests by people who truly understand the terrain (as opposed to just mimicking the language) is next level, but I know I tend to have a bit of a ‘just world’ blindspot some of the time. It’s hard to imagine that someone could have the level of understanding required to care, and yet to not.

      • Wren

        Please read Lundy Bancroft and Melissa Farley. Like now.

    • Wren

      “This is, actually, how seduction works.”

      Yes, thank you a thousand times.

  • Wendy Lev

    As a lesbian, I do not want a partner to watch porn either. If I was hetero or bi, I wouldnt want a male partner to watch porn, I fully understand women dont trust any man. Porn is violence against women. If you get off on that, especially men, somethings wrong with you and you need help and resocialisation.

  • Wendy Lev

    One thing the mainstreaming of porn did, was make visible the misogyny on this planet. No wonder so many women hate porn and dont trust men. I grew up when porn, and a male watching it, was deemed odd and unhealthy, wish we could go back there.

  • Wren

    It is very kind of you to give such a thoughtful response. And I apologize upfront for how long my next post is. Nobody is obligated to read it.

    First, let me address what I meant by male “self-awareness.”
    Men go to therapy sometimes. Sometimes they are court ordained if they have DV charges, other times they go because they have “problems” that they SAY they want to fix, for example, they say they are sex-addicts when they are really just fucked-up-asshole-punters. Then they go to therapy so they can learn the nomenclature and jargon and use it against their partners (Lundy Bancroft talks about this A LOT and recommends that abusers who are still with partners NEVER go to therapy). And then these stupid motherfucker “sex addicts” get this idea that they have a “disease” and look for sucker women who will help them (like me).

    For example, I’m gonna use a recent personal experience cause I’m feelin’ it. I went on two dates last weekend with a man who made me feel FASCINATING. He was charming, a doctor, and newly single. First date was a smash, but I had the feeling he might be closeted gay, so I thought of him as harmless (my BFF told me she thinks this is part of his shtick). So here comes date two. Now, people here may judge me but some of you may actually understand. He was charming again, but this time he told me that he had “sexual compulsivity” that he developed because his wife was cold and distant (yeah, he said that). But now he’s getting help and going to counseling yada yada. Somehow, he lured me in. I look back and think HOW??? He was soooo smooth, soooo confident, yet sooooo wounded that I kept talking to him. Finally, I said he could come to my house for a bit cause I wanted to fool around a little and cause I knew he’d never see me again if I didn’t and I was confused. I didn’t really want to have sex. I even kept saying “can’t we talk more????” so the motherfucker knew it too. But it didn’t matter.

    I was on some kind of auto-pilot and couldn’t say no. Somehow he KNEW I couldn’t say no. Maybe he knew that I wouldn’t because it wasn’t worth the risk that he would out right rape me. He made me feel that I must really want it too or why would I have let him come over? Part of me wanted sex because I’m straight and I want men, but I DIDN’T WANT IT WITH HIM BUT I COULDN’T SAY NO BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW HOW (unless I find the man thoroughly disgusting). But once I like them on any level, even a tad, I just don’t know how. It is my blind spot.

    But he was brutal and he used me. He kept saying “this is healthy sex” even though I expressed doubt during the act. He just read me like a large print kindergarden book. I realized that he frequents prostitutes and thinks of himself as a “good john.” I just tried to get it over with as soon as I could using the skills of my prior trade. After I felt sick, confused, used, and tender towards myself as everything I’d ever experienced flooding through my body and blood once again.

    The next day, I was hysterical talked at length with my BFF and she told me how many men lured her in with charm and feigned “self-awareness” and brought the same fate to her. It happens to ALL WOMEN at some point. These are the real predators. They are the ones that know how to play us. The ones who are so clever they don’t need to use drugs or force. He doesn’t have to. He’s smart. He’s a doctor. A fucking pediatrician.

    I am not a stupid woman, but I cannot always overcome my programming. I won’t hate myself for it ever again, even when I repeat the same mistakes I made 20 years ago. He is the monster, not me.

    NOTHING WILL STOP THESE MEN. EDUCATION HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. I don’t care WHY anymore. You can think on it all you want.

    What will stop it??? What is TRULY EDUCATIVE???

    Why don’t we all speed on the road??? Because it’s wrong?? Come on, we all speed even though it may cause a horrible accident. We only slow down when we see THE COP CAR TUCKED BEHIND THE TREES.

    The consequences teach us the behavior. Society says some things are okay and some things aren’t Why give children rules if you don’t enlist consequences? They will learn that they can get away with it long before they understand why it may be wrong.

    Violence against women and children is functionally legal and encouraged. Why would you outlaw violence when the mainstay of male entertainment is filmed rape? Why would you show children entertainment that depicts stealing as fun and harmless unless you wanted them to steal?? But a candy bar isn’t a sentient creature so it’s hardly a fair comparison, right??

    Ask men (as many studies have, like by Melissa Farley) what will stop men from paying to rape a woman: Jail time, fines and sex offender registration. Rape is unpunished, buying sex is unpunished, filmed prostitution is unpunished, beating women is unpunished. I don’t care what the laws actually SAY if they are never enacted.

    Men will stop when they are afraid. If they law never helps, HOW CAN WE MAKE THEM FEAR US???

    • Fanny

      I feel really sorry for you. This guy was a fucking sociopath, no doubt. You have no reason to be ashamed. I also knew a guy like this few years ago. He tried to force me on the first night. Yet I fell in love with him. I was confused and fascinated. We only saw each other 6 or 7 times, and he was totally abusive each time. But still it took me 2 years to stop being obsessed with him. 2 FUCKING YEARS.

      I’m sure this guy raped a lot of women and will continue. I’m sure he’ll never go to jail. As you say, men have nothing to be afraid of.

      • Wren

        Ugh, I’m glad you didn’t get sucked in for longer. It’s like Will said, it’s hypnotic. These are the skilled sexual vampires.

        You’re right, they will never go to jail. But they can go to the top of my “hope he dies a horrible violent death” list.

  • Cassandra

    “Because even the orgasms of “progressive” men are more important than viewing women as human beings.”

    This is patriarchy in a nutshell. This is the root: Male control of female bodies and lives on the axis of sex/sexual access and reproduction.

    Radical feminism (the only feminism that is feminism) NAMES IT and seeks to liberate women from it, and that makes most men REALLY angry.

  • Wren

    Don’t worry, I’m okay. I mean I was a mess for about a week, but somehow I was able to process it and talk about it. I could never do that before. The sad part is that this is not an isolated incident in my life, nor in any woman’s. Trust me, the fire’s burning bright.
    xoxo

    • will

      <3

  • Wren

    EXACTLY

  • Alienigena

    Completely agree. Why should we forgive males in our lives who were abusive (and still have the potential to be abusive)? So tired of people making excusing for men and saying it is how they are raised. We all have to overcome our programming to a greater or lesser degree and of course our upbringings. My father was abusive to me growing up, my siblings and my mother were all made to feel that we had to tiptoe around him so as not to ‘set him off’. And he still (in his eighties) has a hair trigger temper, he literally is in the kitchen swearing to himself, for no apparent reason. It is not cute, except if you are a card carrying male apologist. I can’t imagine an older woman getting acceptance and indulgence for being difficult and seeming to swear (under her breath) at all and sundry. Like war criminals abusive males, including male parents, don’t deserve to end their days unchallenged. It is not my job to care about the upbringing of men or to oversee their entitlement to be unpleasant, abusive and judgemental. As Ms. Murphy pointed out in another post, women are not men’s mommies.

    • radwonka

      I’m so sorry. I’ve met many men like that too and also had people telling me that I “should be gentle otherwise he’ll be really angry”. That I “should understand” them. Etc. As if it is my fault if men are violent. It’s just like victim blaming: people claim that women “should” change first (meaning that we should become more submissive), before men start being decent human beings (lol). And that’s the most pro abuse argument Ive ever seen. And I dont believe they can change anyway, and even if they could, I just dont care. They’re abusive, they need to rot in prison or somehwere and never come back. Im not here to give abusive people a second chance. It’s like forgetting that there were victims who suffered and need justice.
      It reminds me of people who say that pedophiles need “therapy to become nice and respected”, like lmao, why do people care so much about abusive people?
      Thats why I always use the concept of socialization carefully, because I know people use this concept to do victim blaming and/or infantalize violent men.

      ” abusive males, including male parents, don’t deserve to end their days unchallenged. It is not my job to care about the upbringing of men or to oversee their entitlement to be unpleasant, abusive and judgemental. As Ms. Murphy pointed out in another post, women are not men’s mommies.”

      Exactly!

  • Meghan Murphy

    What you are ‘attracted to’ is socialized. Just because a person ‘likes’ something (porn, in this case), doesn’t make that thing ‘good,’ ‘healthy’, ethical, or otherwise uncritiqueable.

    • jinna

      I’m copying this comment from another article. I grew up very sheltered and didn’t not know what sex was until 19 years old when I first had sex. Before that age I masterbated regularly to images in my head like..being in a crowd that was moving, being in a car crash where I couldn’t not see the driver, being hunted in forest, being lost, i’m a black girl so I also masterbated to hiding from kkk members… all things that dealt with fear and loss of control. I had no idea what sex was, I had no idea what I was doing or why, all I knew was that it felt good and I had never seen porn. When I got older, discovered sex and then porn I quickly got to the porn that I like.. bdsm.. porn where women (ME) are in scary situations, where I am forced to submit, where I have no control. This is what gets me off. Just because this is not what gets you off does not mean that society taught me to hate myself. By the way I am not the conventional girly girl… I dont shave ANYWHERE, I have NEVER worn make up, never worn heels, dont care about how I dress or look and I’m pretty much a naturalist but I have BIOLOGICAL sexual needs that revolve around submission and power play in sexual situations and it is insulting that you would seek to shame me for that just because you dont have the same desires. You are not representative of the entire female population. — sorry if the comment dont fit, i just wanted to give reason why i think it is not socialized.

  • Kendall Turtle

    There’s no reason to talk about female sexuality in a negative way (the only time men mention female sexuality is to say how awful it is of us to not have sex when they want to), it isn’t based on dominating another sex and humiliating them.

  • Melanie

    Most of the women in the sex industry are there because they’ve been physically or economically coerced or forced. Women generally don’t do it for fun. Also, men talk about female sexuality in disparaging and shaming tones all the time. Pornography is a large part of that. Shaming and humiliating women and their sexuality is a staple of the industry. Women who have been in the sex industry are also shamed and experience stigma for that, often for the rest of their lives. And they’re shamed for the physical and mental illnesses and diseases that they develop as a result of being in this industry. Ask anyone who has chronic mental illness, HIV or Hepatitis C about shaming and stigma, for example. So why should anyone care if you feel shamed? You should feel shame if you’re complicit in such an unethical, exploitative and damaging practice. Pornography has nothing to do with connection and respect.

  • Meghan Murphy

    What is this “male game” you speak of?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Problem is, your personal experience does not change the reality of the larger system.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You aren’t getting it. Whether or not some individual women enjoy porn is irrelevant.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Define their gender as you wish, I’ll stick to ‘person.'”

    You colour blind too?

  • Bleeps

    You’re shaming shaming, and that’s shaming to me as someone who uses shame to shame people for things they should be ashamed of, such as the general pathetic and disgusting state of masculinity. I feel shamed by you. 🙁

  • Meghan Murphy

    No one has asked you to “repress” your sexuality. Feminists argue that we think critically about what individuals and society understands to be “sex” and “sexuality.” They also challenge the notion that things like porn, BDSM, and more generally, the sexual objectification of women is harmless or “natural.”

    You may still have sex however you like. Why not try to hear and consider the arguments feminists are making before stomping your foot and screaming, “YOU’RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME”?

    All that said, you are right — our understanding of sex and sexuality have been shaped by men and are, therefore, male-centered. Men have long dictated what is ‘sexy’ and what ‘sex’ should look like. This is effectively repressive, as it makes women’s bodies and sexualities ‘for men’ rather than being for themselves. Radical feminist push back against this, though, so I’m not sure how you can claim we are participating.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Well, so far you have made some very compelling points. Really challenged our manly perspective here. #grateful

  • Meghan Murphy

    Because what individuals ‘like’ doesn’t mean squat, in terms of our analysis. Individuals ‘like’ all sorts of stupid and horrible things! Rape, for example, torturing animals… Also profit — they really ‘like’ that… What else… Oh! People really seem to ‘like’ pretending their choices and preferences exist inside a little bubble and ignoring the way said choices and preferences might affect other people.

    Who cares what people like? We’re looking at the bigger picture here. What one ‘likes’ cannot dictate politics.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Honestly, if you keep that up, I am going to stop approving your comments. They are tiresome and nonsensical enough without this added ‘ew’ factor.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Do you also see ‘people not race’?

    • Nicole Pimont

      What? Are you serious? -_-

      Of course I see some phenotypes (I’m not blind), I don’t get the “race” thing in biology field when talking about human beings but that’s another matter.

      Again, do I see people before seing someone with blue eyes? Well I hope I do and I hope everybody does…

      I may be wrong but I think almost everybody here is from the US, aren’t you?
      This may be the reason why we do not seem to get each other, we do not share the same cultural background (I mean I’m in my twenties and those years spent in Europe somehow determined who I am now, I’d share some different stories/references if I had spent those in America or in the U.S. I suppose).

      • Meghan Murphy

        I’m making fun of you. You are like the people who say they ‘can’t see race’, and believe this makes them somehow progressive/anti-racist. Get it?

        And no. I am Canadian. This is a Canadian website. We have many American readers and some American contributors. We also have many readers from Europe and Australia. There are *lots* of radical feminists in both places — the UK especially.

  • Melanie

    Your sexuality has nothing to do with pornography. Pornography and prostitution on the other hand do repress and damage the sexuality of other people by causing them to become sick, injured, traumatized or with disease. It’s not about you and your personal life.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Who cares? We’re talking about the porn industry and men’s porn consumption — like the actual porn they watch and jack off to. I doubt anyone gives a fuck if you film yourself and then watch it later.

  • marv

    Why does sexuality for you and men have to be a publicly watched experience to not be repressed? Why are money, the camera and the audience so central to sexual fulfillment? Could it be more than a coincidence that men love what you are saying?

  • Kidd Rox

    Thank you for this. My “sex addict” partner abused me emotionally and financially for years. His BDSM community rejected me as a vanilla pearl clutching prude because I wanted the monogamous mutually beneficial and respectful relationship I deserve. The feminists in the group were especially difficult gas lighters. They told me BDSM is not abuse and the problem was me because hey my partner was the one who suddenly wanted to be the “sub” and cast me in the male-gaze role of dominatrix. I drew the line when he tried to involve other people and have another female dom teach me to “do it properly”. I had so called “life coaches” and even a LCSW tell me that it was “natural” and that I should just embrace my submissive, or sadistic, or “switch” nature. It took years of work to get to a place of self love and acceptance. To realize that I deserved love and respect. I am still doing the work. I did find, in my brief experience with “the lifestyle” that the grooming of emotionally vulnerable persons–persons using the “scenes” to deal with all kinds of past trauma was rampant. I don’t know what the solution is. I only knew I had to get out. Harming another person or being harmed for sexual gratification felt like the complete opposite of the love and respect, the empathy and compassion of my true self.

  • jinna

    that’s food for thought.. i doubt I was but could be. are you suggesting that most people attracted to bdsm were? or does my case look like that for another reason?

  • Morag999

    Brilliant comment, Lavender.

    “Taking into account everything we know about male behaviour, how can we possibly tell women it’s all ok, they just need to be open to more men? What?!”

    Yes. Telling heterosexual women that Mr. Right is out there, somewhere, is (whether intentional or not) gaslighting. And it can put women, whose wounds are still raw from their relationships with men, in harm’s way by encouraging them to to make themselves even more vulnerable by being trusting (because learning to trust people is “healthy,” right?).

    Also, some “good guys” have a thing for a recently wounded woman. They know just what to say and do to put her at ease.

  • Meghan Murphy

    People read your comments, it’s just that they don’t agree with you. “Ethical porn” will not redeem the porn industry. 1) That’s not how capitalism works, 2) Men don’t produce or watch “ethical porn.”

    How on earth will the existence of so-called “ethical porn” combat the multi-billion dollar porn industry that is producing endless degrading, violent, racist, misogynist porn for men?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Pretty much all men love to hear that porn liberates “women’s sexualities”and other such nonsense.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I am unsure as to how your response is in response to what I’ve just said? Also, I don’t know you, so how on earth am I to speak to all the various things that have shaped your sexuality over your lifetime?

    Feminist critiques with regard to sexuality do not function on an individual to individual basis, they look at society and systems of power and patterns more broadly.

    • jinna

      yes but i have an individual experience that suggest the critique is wrong so unless someone can give me suggestions as to what happened in my past I cant agree with you all. a theory should be able to explain individual cases even if based on group data… unless the explanation is that I am unique and just a weirdo

  • Meghan Murphy

    It’s not *really* ‘up to individuals’ though… All of the choices we make are impacted by the world we live in and the ‘choices’ available to us and pushed on us.

    • jinna

      that i agree with. All of the choices we make are impacted by the world we live in and the ‘choices’ available to us and pushed on us. those “choices” still reflect what would make the individuals happy though. i agree we dont have freedom of choice… that doesnt change the fact that i trust that whatever people do they do because it makes them happier than the alternative.

  • Kendall Turtle

    My cousin just started having severe seizures because she was abused as a child and didn’t remember and then the memories were triggered and have sent her body and mind spiraling out of control >_<

  • Morag999

    “I mean, why wouldn’t sex be associated with happy fun things, like balloons floating into the sky or something? Why would it be innately, biologically associated with things that are usually disorienting or that give a feeling of anxiety and fear?”

    I don’t think it’s innate, as if submissive or masochistic sexuality were just another type of “orientation.” But I believe a biological (if that’s the right word) connection can be made (and also unmade). Because fear and anxiety are states of emotional arousal which involve chemical changes in the body/brain, this can easily — accidentally or incidentally or purposefully — involve sexual arousal and orgasm as well. You know: those “endorphin rushes” we hear about when people are facing injury or death, a way for the mind to feel better, to escape, dissociate from extreme discomfort or danger.

    Once that connection is made between danger and a certain kind of arousal, especially sexual arousal, it’s not surprising that a particularly sensitive person might seek out that stress-relief pleasure again and again and keep it associated with bad situations, as if the bad situations themselves were the “magic” rather than the person’s natural ability, per se, to have a pleasurable sexual response to any number of scenarios, including feeling safe, at ease, in good company with another attractive person.

    I think it’s fairly well-established that arousal states — such as fear, grief, aggression, desire — can resemble one another? This doesn’t make abuse “natural” — to the contrary. I think gender socialization helps “glue” together the bad with good. But it certainly gives abusers tools to work with.

    Many abused women are captor-bonded to men (a certain man in their life, or an idea of men/women as depicted in pornography and romance), and this often involves the “wiring” up of her sexual responses to a man who controls and hurts her. Or, think about those studies which show that abused children are grossly over-represented in pornography and prostitution.

    I think women need to explore and talk about this more in order to unsnare ourselves, sisters, daughters from our socially constructed responses that might feel “natural” because our very biology has, in certain respects, been hijacked by abusive men and institutions.

    I think Andrea Dworkin talked about this in one of her books. How women have to find and dig out their own masochism, their own interest and attraction to, for example, violent and degrading pornography, and not give in to the big lie that submissiveness is native to our sex.

    • danna touma

      The way Amazonian women had sex with males supports this. Submissiveness is learned behavior. It depends on the social climate that women grow up in.

      “Or, think about those studies which show that abused children are grossly over-represented in pornography and prostitution.” — This is a HUGE point. People overlook it because it runs counter to their belief (read: hope) that girls subject themselves to humiliation, pain and degradation willingly; they’d rather believe that than admit that sexual molestation/abuse by males is a common occurrence for many. It’s rampant and incessant for the trafficked and prostituted and both industries are linked to pornography. Once housebroken, submission becomes all those women know. Yet, it’s considered a ‘choice’ and women are told not to question why or what would lead women to ‘choose’ to be abused. Meanwhile anarchic males that shoot up schools, even if they come from decent homes like the Columbine shooters, are immediately pitied and society is blamed for their actions.

  • BenEsler

    I only just saw this response! My apologies, and thank you so much!

  • oneclickboedicea

    So you are more concerned about being shamed for paying to watch sexist abuse than you are worried in partaking in abusing another human being. Hmmm , what will you come out with next? ‘Just because im a psychopath doesnt make me a bad person?’

  • oneclickboedicea

    If you join in the promotion of rape and woman hating sexual scenes or ones where hate speech such as calling the female cunt bitch whore or similar, then you alex are part of rape culture.

  • oneclickboedicea

    God, how many hours have i spent in therapy with a therapist asking me what was it in me that allowed me to put up with this behaviour in a man. Took me a while to work out this was what id been taught as a child from the bible and all the people round me, that women from eve onwards are shit. Thankfully i found andrea dworkin and my inner voice found a friend!

  • danna touma

    “If a man talked about female sexuality in the same tone” Um no, you can’t reverse the sexes here. And it’s laughable you used the words ‘confrontational and shaming’ because it’s so typical. Normally whenever women try to defend themselves against male sexual violence, we’re asked to shut our mouths continue to let you abuse us. Lie down and think of England, am I right? Very unoriginal suggestion and it won’t work here; we see right through you. You claim there are ‘positive sides’ to sex work? Positive sides for who and at what cost? Males benefit the most, women benefit little to none. Trauma isn’t worth the pay, as many will tell you. This isn’t a fast food joint, this is males using your body as a trash-can. And then again you finish with telling women not to shame. Trust me, shaming is the least we can do and far less than males deserve for what they’ve done and continue to do to us. Your case is dismissed.

  • danna touma

    Typical response. I bet you lose your mind over racism against MOC though (speaking as a WOC here). Males do, because it’s done against other males. Women are considered the scum of the scum of the earth so who gives a rip what happens to them, right? Many women are abused and they see it as a job – you just described the problem that you don’t see. It’s shouldn’t have to be a job to get spat on and torn apart on camera. It’s inhumane. Even animals being prepared for slaughter aren’t treated this horrifically before disposal. This is evil in its purest form, period point blank.

  • danna touma

    There is a type of porn called Ghetto Gaggers. It’s unspeakable and it’s done to women of many races but the things they do to black women are bordering something else. Latina Abuse is another one. But the former, I’m shocked it’s allowed. It’s full-blown rape, even the pimps of these women are standing by. It’s mostly ex-convicts doing the raping but the pimps get in on the action too.

    • mysticserpent007

      Dreadful. I’m shocked too; to put it mildly.

  • danna touma

    “If someone thinks a woman working in porn industry is either brainwashed or groomed to enjoy the so-called exploitation” You apply that logic to people addicted to self-harming and cutting too? What about people with thoughts of suicide – do they have the sovereign right to die or should we stop them? What about sex addicts that take no precautions whatsoever and end up in a variety of dangerous situations, possibly with HIV?

    Anyway, we live in a highly misogynistic world. We’re shaped by our experiences. Women are broken like mules as girls to be submissive, then grow up surrounded by films and music that describe us in states of degradation and humiliation, at the mercy of males. It’s a slow form of house-breaking of women – never criticized unspoken of, subliminal, the elephant of the room. Brainwashing and grooming aren’t good ENOUGH terms to describe the extent of the psychological warfare that’s been systematically conducted against the female sex. This idea of ‘women stop throwing stones at women’ is not only an inaccurate description, it’s a warped perspective of the entire situation. But then again, women are often unknowingly men’s foot-soldiers when it comes to misogyny. We are all affected by conditioning.

    (I come from a highly male-identified community, race-wise. The extent to which women adopt male thinking and behavior towards other women is astounding. They worship at the altar of their own submission because the community has socialized them to be this way, esp. their mothers, sadly. This type of woman is referred to as a mammy and sister-soldier by the few that manage to separate from the community. The brainwashing of women regarding sexual behavior or conforming to misogynistic pornography standards is not surprising to me because I’ve seen how low women can stoop and how rabidly they will attack women who do so much as criticize the male sex).

  • danna touma

    These same people are about a second away from using the biology argument to further men’s pedophillic urges, claiming it’s normal to desire 12 year old girls and marrying them should be allowed. I’m telling you, there is nothing you can’t defend using biology. From theft to murder to public defecation. RedPillers often uses evolutionary biology as a shield as well. Women using biology and their ‘natural desire to submit’ (or something) to defend their own degradation is not surprising.

  • danna touma

    “Porn use is epidemic and the ones made to suffer will pretend it is empowering for them to make it because it has been normalized by brainwashing and grooming. ” It’s a coping mechanism. To see not just pornography but life in general for what it is would send most women into an existential crisis. Very few women can handle it. That’s how bad the situation is. Not just in the West but globally. It’s shocking when you realize the state women live in. I read a book once that described women’s condition as a permanent state of Stockholm Syndrome, from the cradle to the grave – where we do anything we can to survive. So is it so outlandish to believe that women won’t try to find ways to believe that ‘it’s not so bad’ and train themselves to enjoy the pain and degradation (male rape victims in prisons do this all the time – they claim the raping hurts at first but that they found ways to perceive it differently, enjoy it).

    The other option for women, choosing to raise your head while they have a boot on your neck (+ introspection and critical thought), is the reason anti-depressants were invented. Reality becomes all you see, you recognize what’s been done and what is happening. Most women, just to preserve their sanity, would rather decorate their prison and make their time on earth a little less saddening and you’re damn right they’ll frame their situation ANY way they have to. If they have to scream how much they love submission they’ll do that. To believe pornography is anything but horrific is the only way some women can live. Otherwise you open Pandora’s box. On a side note, it also gives them some sort of control to be pro-pornography, as if to say, “See, you can ejaculate on my face, choke me, gang-rape me on film, but you still can’t break me because I like it.”

  • danna touma

    “I agree.” No you don’t. You’re not playing anybody for a fool here. You think they haven’t dealt with porn apologists before? LMAO. And ‘porn as a tool’, you know what, just gtfoh. Disgusting.

  • danna touma

    Radical feminism is the solution to a radical problem, that’s my motto. Misogyny is the oldest (root) form of oppression.

  • danna touma

    Exactly. It’s not that males don’t REALIZE the harm that’s being done to women in pornography, it’s that they genuinely don’t CARE. I can’t emphasize that enough. They actively search out violent pornography, even extremely brutal cartoon pornography because what’s done to real women just isn’t violent enough for them. Even in video games, literature and music – they express their inner desires and vent how much they detest you. Like, they’ve been spelling out for y’all but the message isn’t getting through. Males are literally telling women in blinding neon-lights that “yes, we KNOW we’re humiliating and degrading you and that you don’t like that we do it, that’s the whole point”. That’s WHY they produce and use material like that. Men get off on the distress and the suffering of women, it’s not just about sexual release. There is a saying that women don’t realize how much men hate them. They REALLY don’t and it’s scary that they don’t. I’ve always said that women’s fatal flaw is optimism (close second is excessive compassion for everyone but the self). They want to believe there is good in everyone – one womanist I know said that it is because women create humanity and have enormous trouble accepting that we create evil such an evil enemy against us (Creator’s guilt, maybe).

  • Look, it’s just not that simple. It’s just as humiliating for me to make capitalists their money, do you not think we hate them? Maybe porn is always going to be porn, and maybe the workers are exploited, but it is from our economic system not gender.

    Making a principled stance ignores that for some sex workers, their is no other option financially. Nothing else pays as well, that they also have the talent or ability to do for money… and being that this is indeed capitalism, no matter what they get paid for they are being exploited as workers.

    We’re each forced to sell ourselves on the market, some sell their minds… because the market finds that their most valuable attribute. Some people sell their bodies, once again though it’s the same thing, you’re being exploited. Moralizing doesn’t change this, you’re waging a counter-revolution on humanity, and not a revolution against the inherently exploitive material structures.

    ” How symbolic that they need to see brainless macho during pointless intercourse with dehumanized woman to be excited. ”

    C’mon that’s not fair, a man that doesn’t “conquer” doesn’t get ladies excited, you know in your guts this to be the truth. Our society didn’t teach us to get turned on, it just commodifies our sexuality, and exploits our desires… again this is capitalism were talking about, so not really surprising.

  • Rita

    This, right here, is the real reason why women allow all of the male perpetuated nonsense. We believe that through compliance we will somehow acquire love – seen by women as an emotional connection, caring for one another, supporting each other “for better and for worse.” But I think what women need to realise is men DON’T WANT THAT and very few can offer that. Men see relationships these days as vehicles of (chiefly) sexual convenience. Women try so hard to cater to men the fear of losing the emotional connection and heterosexual love that was never on the table in the first place! The sooner we realise that men don’t want or intend to ever give us what we want (perhaps 90% are even incapable of doing so) the sooner we can start to trully look out for our interests.

  • marv

    Point taken. ‘Radical’ is a misunderstood term by mainstream people. They don’t recognize it to mean knowing the deep truth of our social political troubles and putting forward transformative solutions. Extremism has to do with reckless behaviour which people mistakenly call radical. Sometimes words wrongly evolve.

    Glad for your radical happiness.