The triumph of the pornographers

Hugh Hefner (C) poses with Playboy Bunnies (Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Playboy)
Hugh Hefner (C) poses with Playboy Bunnies (Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Playboy)

The triumph of the pornographers is a victory of power over justice, cruelty over empathy, and profits over human rights. I could make that statement about Walmart or McDonalds and progressives would eagerly agree. We all understand that Walmart destroys local economies, a relentless impoverishing of communities across the US that is now almost complete. It also depends on near-slave conditions for workers in China to produce the mountains of cheap crap that Walmart sells. And ultimately the endless growth model of capitalism is destroying the world. Nobody on the left claims that the cheap crap that Walmart produces equals freedom. Nobody defends Walmart by saying that the workers, American or Chinese, want to work there. Leftists understand that people do what they have to for survival, that any job is better than no job, and that minimum wage and no benefits are cause for a revolution, not a defense of those very conditions. Likewise McDonalds. No one defends what McDonalds does to animals, to the earth, to workers, to human health and human community by pointing out that the people standing over the boiling grease consented to sweat all day or that hog farmers voluntarily signed contracts that barely return a living. The issue does not turn on consent, but on the social impacts of injustice and hierarchy, on how corporations are essentially weapons of mass destruction. Focusing on the moment of individual choice will get us nowhere.

The problem is the material conditions that make going blind in a silicon chip factory in Taiwan the best option for some people. Those people are living beings. Leftists lay claim to human rights as our bedrock and our north star: we know that that Taiwanese woman is not different from us in any way that matters, and if going blind for pennies and no bathroom breaks was our best option, we would be in grim circumstances.

And the woman enduring two penises shoved up her anus? This is not an exaggeration or “focusing on the worst,” as feminists are often accused of doing. “Double-anal” is now standard fare in gonzo porn, the porn made possible by the Internet, the porn with no pretense of a plot, the porn that men overwhelmingly prefer. That woman, just like the woman assembling computers, is likely to suffer permanent physical damage. In fact, the average woman in gonzo porn can only last three months before her body gives out, so punishing are the required sex acts. Anyone with a conscience instead of a hard-on would know that just by looking. If you spend a few minutes looking at it — not masturbating to it, but actually looking at it — you may have to agree with Robert Jensen that pornography is “what the end of the world looks like”:

“By that I don’t mean that pornography is going to bring about the end of the world; I don’t have apocalyptic delusions. Nor do I mean that of all the social problems we face, pornography is the most threatening. Instead, I want to suggest that if we have the courage to look honestly at contemporary pornography, we get a glimpse — in a very visceral, powerful fashion — of the consequences of the oppressive systems in which we live. Pornography is what the end will look like if we don’t reverse the pathological course that we are on in this patriarchal, white-supremacist, predatory corporate-capitalist society… Imagine a world in which empathy, compassion, and solidarity — the things that make decent human society possible — are finally and completely overwhelmed by a self-centered, emotionally detached pleasure-seeking. Imagine those values playing out in a society structured by multiple hierarchies in which a domination/subordination dynamic shapes most relationships and interaction… [E]very year my sense of despair deepens over the direction in which pornography and our pornographic culture is heading. That despair is rooted not in the reality that lots of people can be cruel, or that some number of them knowingly take pleasure in that cruelty. Humans have always had to deal with that aspect of our psychology. But what happens when people can no longer see the cruelty, when the pleasure in cruelty has been so normalized that it is rendered invisible to so many? And what happens when for some considerable part of the male population of our society, that cruelty becomes a routine part of sexuality, defining the most intimate parts of our lives?”

All leftists need to do is connect the dots, the same way we do in every other instance of oppression. The material conditions that men as a class create (the word is patriarchy) mean that in the US battering is the most commonly committed violent crime: that’s men beating up women. Men rape one in three women and sexually abuse one in four girls before the age of 14. The number one perpetrator of childhood sexual abuse is called “Dad.” Andrea Dworkin, one of the bravest women of all time, understood that this was systematic, not personal. She saw that rape, battering, incest, prostitution, and reproductive exploitation all worked together to create a “barricade of sexual terrorism” inside which all women are forced to live. Our job as feminists and members of a culture of resistance is not to learn to eroticize those acts; our task is to bring that wall down.

In fact, the right and left together make a cozy little world that entombs women in conditions of subservience and violence. Critiquing male supremacist sexuality will bring charges of being a censor and a right-wing anti-fun prude. But seen from the perspective of women, the right and the left create a seamless hegemony.

Gail Dines writes, “When I critique McDonalds, no one calls me anti-food.” People understand that what is being critiqued is a set of unjust social relations — with economic, political, and ideological components — that create more of the same. McDonalds does not produce generic food. It manufactures an industrial capitalist product for profit. The pornographers are no different. The pornographers have built a $100 billion a year industry, selling not just sex as a commodity, which would be horrible enough for our collective humanity, but sexual cruelty. This is the deep heart of patriarchy, the place where leftists fear to tread: male supremacy takes acts of oppression and turns them into sex. Could there be a more powerful reward than orgasm?

And since it feels so visceral, such practices are defended (in the rare instance that a feminist is able to demand a defense) as “natural.” Even when wrapped in racism, many on the left refuse to see the oppression in pornography. Little Latina Sluts or Pimp My Black Teen provoke not outrage, but sexual pleasure for the men consuming such material. A sexuality based on eroticizing dehumanization, domination, and hierarchy will gravitate to other hierarchies, and find a wealth of material in racism. What it will never do is build an egalitarian world of care and respect, the world that the left claims to want.

On a global scale, the naked female body — too thin to bear live young and often too young as well — is for sale everywhere, as the defining image of the age, and as a brutal reality: women and girls are now the number one product for sale on the global black market. Indeed, there are entire countries balancing their budgets on the sale of women. Is slavery a human rights abuse or a sexual thrill? Of what use is a social change movement that can’t decide?

We need to stake our claim as the people who care about freedom, not the freedom to abuse, exploit, and dehumanize, but freedom from being demeaned and violated, and from a cultural celebration of that violation.

This is the moral bankruptcy of a culture built on violation and its underlying entitlement. It’s a slight variation on the Romantics, substituting sexual desire for emotion as the unmediated, natural, and privileged state. The sexual version is a direct inheritance of the Bohemians, who reveled in public displays of “transgression, excess, sexual outrage.” Much of this ethic can be traced back to the Marquis de Sade, torturer of women and children. Yet he has been claimed as inspiration and foundation by writers such as “Baudelaire, Flaubert, Swinburne, Lautréamont, Dostoevski, Cocteau, and Apollinaire” as well as Camus and Barthes. Wrote Camus, “Two centuries ahead of time… Sade extolled totalitarian societies in the name of unbridled freedom.” Sade also presents an early formulation of Nietzsche’s will to power. His ethic ultimately provides “the erotic roots of fascism.”

Once more, it is time to choose. The warnings are out there, and it’s time to listen. College students have 40 per cent less empathy than they did twenty years ago. If the left wants to mount a true resistance, a resistance against the power that breaks hearts and bones, rivers and species, it will have to hear — and, finally, know — this one brave sentence from poet Adrienne Rich: “Without tenderness, we are in hell.”

Lierre Keith is a writer, radical feminist, and food activist. She is the author of two novels, as well as The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability. She lives in Humboldt County, California.

This essay is excerpted from Chapter 4, “Culture of Resistance,” of Deep Green Resistance.

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  • Misanthropia

    They might have won the battle but they haven’t won the war

    • pjwhite

      No they have not. This is an updated version of the slave trade, which was also romanticized by white Western men. We will not give up until slavery is abolished in ALL its forms!!!

  • This is an excellent essay. I thought it sounded familiar, and then I realized it’s an excerpt from Deep Green Resistance, a fantastic book! Thank you for this! ♥

  • will

    Thank you so much for reminding us again of the excellent analysis and activism from Lierre Keith and DGR. Their work is a beacon of hope in a sea of mounting despair (speaking for myself, anyway).

    A couple of thoughts on this excellent essay:

    “Is slavery a human rights abuse or a sexual thrill?”

    Well put. And I would say that slavery is not only repackaged as sexual titillation, it is also being successfully sold to girls and women as the True Female Sexuality. The fact that so many young women claim that performing familiar pornographic acts is their “sexual expression” is truly poisonous.

    “It’s a slight variation on the Romantics, substituting sexual desire for emotion as the unmediated, natural, and privileged state.”

    Yes. I think, too, that we need to begin to differentiate between sexual desire and sexual arousal. Sexual arousal can be triggered in the absence of desire. It can even be triggered in the presence of disgust. For women I’d go so far as to say that disgust can become part and parcel of arousal. I find that fewer people can differentiate between the two and mistake arousal for a sense of desire for another person. For the kids growing up on porn and acting on arousal alone, I think it’s possible that they could become so wired to this narrow and impoverished if not abusive and damaging action, they might never know what it is to feel desire, let alone love expressed as desire, for another human being. This has negative repercussions for, not only health and safety of females and mental health of both males and females, but for community cohesion and for the possibility of collective action.

  • bestcomradeNA

    Great article. I do worry at some point that sexuality will be synonymous with displays of debauchery and brutality for consumption, and face-fucking, facials, and anal will exorcise tenderness and compassion.

    I truly don’t believe that the majority of women when they become aware of their own sexuality could actually desire such, cruelty and mockery. It has to be indoctrinated through ideologies which are ultimately demonic(as a Christian, I can’t help but to use theological language) and against love, life and community.

    Viewing a human being as something that can be used and tossed away, especially for sexual satisfaction, will ultimately lead us from having “I – Thou” relationships to “I – It” relationships. The hypersexuality and pornification of love and human relations in the media and our society will probably not cause the actual end of the world as Jensen noted, but who would want to live in a world where that is the norm?

  • Cassandra

    Powerful stuff, Ms. Keith. I hope someday sooner rather than later that “the left” will hear it (and act on it), because male violence against females in the form prostitution and pornography are indeed a form of slavery and a global human rights crisis.

  • There are all different kinds of porn. You can find almost anything. The vast majority of straight men have no desire to see two penises rub against each other as they squeeze into the same orifice. So the double anal stuff mentioned here really is focusing on some of the worst and most extreme things. Plus the women in the porn industry are both treated better than the male talent and also paid more. And more and more of the directors, producers, and other off-camera jobs are being filled by ladies.

    Porn in general is about fantasy and taboos (which is where the racial stuff mostly comes from). It’s about emotional, physical, and sexual release. It doesn’t make people less empathetic and it doesn’t have anything to do with patriarchy or inequality.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Women in porn are not ‘treated better’ by any standards. (Comparing how women are treated in porn to how men are treated is purposeless, in any case.) Women are chewed up and spit out by the porn industry — forced to do ever extreme acts to stay employed, ageing out after only a few years. Many don’t even last that long:

      • I think it’s very similar to professional athletes. Only a small percentage will be superstars and even those who make it big will almost always have short careers (with a few notable exceptions here and there). The performers (male and female) who work in the porn industry would benefit from unionizing. That would provide greater protections and guarantee a higher level of compensation for those at the bottom of the industry. The talent would also be able to pool their resources and fund programs with collective benefit for their small professional community. They should also be encouraged to save their money and consult with a financial adviser to plan for ways to put their earnings to work for them after their (most likely) brief porn careers end. Even though the performers are both male and female the majority are women so this could be a feminist project of sorts.

        • Meghan Murphy

          You are incredibly naive.

          • I don’t think so. I know a lot more about the business of sports than porn and I have seen the way players associations have shifted the balance of power between management and the athletes. Not only that but the community that the athletes have built up over the last several decades is very impressive. They really do look after each other and give the new guys coming into the business guidance. And even the guys at the bottom (people whose names no one will know in 5 years) have real protections and much higher salaries than they would otherwise. There is a move now to bring this same model to college sports.

          • Meghan Murphy

            It’s very clear that you know more about sports than you do about the reality of the porn industry.

          • Point taken 🙂 Still, I think there’s some value in what I’m proposing. It’s a better approach than attacking the porn industry and stigmatizing the performers. Porn is huge. It’s everywhere nowadays. Working to empower the performers would seem more likely to produce positive results than trying to push against the ocean.

          • Meghan Murphy

            There is no redeeming the porn industry. It is based on degradation and exploitation — that’s why it exists. It is not an “empowering” industry, period.

          • Rachel

            Yes exactly. Even seemingly “soft porn” which is barely even recognised as porn anymore (for example pictures of women naked or nearly naked) is still damaging. It’s still encouraging men to view and consume women as objects. We still feel the effects of that. So people can want a reform all they want in Porn land, but it’s impossible, like you said.

          • Wren

            WOW!! This is so illuminating. I never thought about it this way!! And I’m sure this is complete news to all the readers here!!! I CHANGE MY MIND COMPLETELY.

            Not. We’ve all heard this same shit over and over. You get no credit for creativity nor intelligence and you know nothing.

          • Cassandra

            He should go on TV and talk this shit! So much wow and empowerfulness.

          • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

            Or Jezebel. I feel it would go over well there.

          • marv

            I marvel if you type your inspirations with one hand on dicky or use him to key the words directly. I realize you are a self-important man whose busy with 24/7 care for the little gem so I don’t want you to be burdened to reply. After all it has to be exhausting to look after him full time, then putting him to sleep with a fresh diaper every night only to have him wake you screaming for a hole to fuck. Dickies can be self-involved that way. Hopefully he will grow down instead of up.

          • Mar Iguana

            HA. Great marveling there, Marv. It’s the Patrice and The Prehensile Penis Show. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

        • Kendall Turtle

          How are they at all like a professional athlete? You do know that to be a porn star all you have to do is be an 18 year old somewhat attractive woman right? It isn’t the same at all.

          Porn enables men to buy access to women’s bodies just like prostitution, neither challenges male entitlement to our bodies.

          • Karen Eisen

            the fact that some white women in porn (or prostitution) make a lot of money has nothing to do with it. we don’t defend domestic violence because Elizabeth Taylor was a battered wife. However, the fact that some women make a great deal of money (like Pamela Anderson) does suggest that it’s not totally economic. I think it’s rooted in the person having been traumatized as a child or teenager. People think porn and prostitution are totally economic – they aren’t. They existed in the socialist countries. Drugs really have more to do with it than economics, and childhood traumas.

          • Bleeps

            Pamela Anderson spoke out about having been gang-raped as a teenager, I think it was last year.

    • Cassandra

      Boring MRA is boring.

      • I might be boring but I’m not an MRA (I had to look that up) and I don’t think my comments would give a fair-minded reader that impression.

        • radwonka

          Nah you sound like a basic MRA

        • Cassandra

          Anybody who knows what an MRA is knows you are one, whether or not you know what it means.

    • Hannah

      Yawn. Come back when you’ve done a lot more reading.

    • radwonka

      1) “different” is too evasive: violent porn is the most watched and searched, the rest is irrevelant compared to violent porn
      2) sexual abuse, facial abuse, gang bang, choking, puking, slapping, etc are not “taboos”, it is what men think women deserve.
      3) if u think it has nothing to do with culture, then you are saying that men were born sadistic assholes. Well, why not, but, it doesnt change the fact that porn is gendered, there isnt a market that promotes such abuse against men. And essentialist arguments are outdated and downplays the impact of culture.

      This is feministcurrent, your arguments sound repetitive and many articles debunked them already. You choose to compare sexual violence to another thing. Which is a circular reasoning , weakass relativism (like its very coward to not admit properly that you and your bros treat women like shit) and rape apologism (if another exploitation is OK then sexual abuse becomes also OK by relativist standard).

      Feminists on the other hand are against violence and condemn sexual violence.

      so yeah, fuck off

      • This article says, “gonzo porn, the porn made possible by the Internet, the porn with no pretense of a plot, the porn that men overwhelmingly prefer”. That part is definitely accurate. Anyone with an internet connection can easily learn this with just a few minutes spent researching the subject. But it’s not true that gonzo = violent. It’s just a style or genre:

        And when you say, “violent porn is the most watched and searched” that’s just false. Again, anyone with internet access can easily discover which porn sites are the most popular and see that they are not about violence or abuse. They’re mostly about exaggerated or unusually large body parts (big breasts, big butts, big penises) , sex in places that are not generally thought of as appropriate (the office, outdoors), and sex between people who differ from each other in some way or have some relationship which makes that sex taboo (interracial, some form of adultery or cheating).

        You really can find almost anything. Including women dominating or abusing men. You’re painting an inaccurate picture. Once again, anyone can easily verify this for themselves.

        I regularly pay for the services of sex workers. There is no violence involved.

        • Meghan Murphy

          You have a very limited (self-serving) idea of what entails ‘abuse.’

          Tell us, Patrice, what are the top searches on porn sites?

    • Hierophant2

      Seeing women get brutalized and coerced doesn’t make people less empathetic. Got it.

      • I’m not a fan of seeing people brutalized. I can’t imagine it does anything good for people who marinate in that. But there is plenty of what I think of as ‘torture porn’ in regular entertainment media. Shows about serial killers and all sorts of disturbing things. And often with real character development that only makes the violence and abuse more searing. I don’t like watching that stuff. It makes me feel awful. And I know for a fact that a lot of that trash is very popular with women. Not all women, of course. But a lot.

        • Meghan Murphy

          That’s why we call it ‘porn CULTURE.’ Pornification is not limited to literal porn.

        • melissa

          “Porn in general is about fantasy and taboos”

          Taboos around dehumanization of different groups of people based on gender/race dont need normalization or eroticization.

          “It’s about emotional, physical, and sexual release.”

          Its about eroticizing women being emotionally,physically and sexually abused/degraded/humiliated.

          “But there is plenty of what I think of as ‘torture porn’ in regular
          entertainment media. ”

          Agree, we should be conscious of those as well. Like the needless game of thrones rape scenes for three main leading ladies for instance, or dis-proportionally using sexualized violence as a plot devise,character arc or back story for female super heroes or leads.

          “Shows about serial killers and all sorts of
          disturbing things. And often with real character development that only
          makes the violence and abuse more searing.”

          Shows about serial killings dont actually involve people being brutalized or murdered.Porn does involve women actually being brutalized, degraded and dehumanized.This is pure and simple sadistic misogyny(and sometimes racial hate as well). People generally have empathetic, compassionate, humane reactions to heroes suffering in a movie or TV show. That is not the case for women suffering in pornos. Mistreating of women in porn isn’t there to appall, frighten ,gross us out,to make us cry or empathize with whats happening to characters in a story, its there to titillate, to celebrate, to normalize and legitimize wanking to sadistic misogyny as a “preference”.Stop with the false equivalencies.

        • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

          Funny, there’s zero character development in porn. Perhaps to make the brutalization more palatable?

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      Where are you getting that the vast majority of straight men don’t watch double anal? Is this anecdotal?

      Porn has nothing to do with patriarchy…lol.

  • bestcomradeNA

    I agree with you, comrade. If I may, I’d like to suggest that what you are saying is that lust(turning someone into an object for gratification, sexual or otherwise) is wrong, which I completely agree with. People can lust under any political or economic system but what we can do is try to create communities that encourage other types of behavior and moral character. Having a socialist revolution could lead to such communities by improving material conditions and would, I hope, lead to the abolition of sex trafficking and sex as a commodity but, ultimately, people need to have revolutions in their minds and hearts.

    • Rachel

      Hm. I don’t believe lust is purely physical though. The porn industry is creating a lust based on females bodies. Lust is tied to the commodification of women’s bodies. I don’t think it’s that lust is being turned into porn, it’s the other way around.

  • radwonka

    I would add that the natural analogy, essentialism, implies that humans cant control and cant think about their desire, that it is their desire that controls them. It makes men free from any kind of responsability basically. You would think that men who love to claim that they are smarter than anyone on earth, wouldnt need to use such a pathetic excuse to justify violence ha. It shows that they have no real arguments.

    • Rachel

      That’s true, whether these desires are created by mass media porn culture, or they are “natural”, really they don’t have any well thought argument or excuse. They like to flip flop between mouth frothing under sexed monsters and the most highly intelligent species on Earth, depending on their motivations. You’re right, they can’t have it both ways!

  • Kendall Turtle

    Entitlement does not mean you get it for free, it just means you have the ability to do it, whether legally or a just claim. Men have the legal ability (or justified claim) to buy women’s bodies regardless of if the woman is truly attracted to them or desire them. Pornography is just filmed prostitution so that men don’t have to leave their house to exploit women.

    People who play in sports work their whole lives to become professional athletes, no one is invading their body or forcing them to perform a certain way for their pleasure. That just isn’t the case for women in prostitution or pornography.

  • coquelicot

    I’m in total agreement with the article (as usual), but I think this part might be misleading:
    “Much of this ethic can be traced back to the Marquis de Sade, torturer of women and children. Yet he has been claimed as inspiration and foundation by writers such as “Baudelaire, Flaubert, Swinburne, Lautréamont, Dostoevski, Cocteau, and Apollinaire” as well as Camus and Barthes.”

    I’m a huge fan of Dostoevskij’s work so I was especially taken aback by the aforementioned quotation. I tried to look into it more, but everything I’ve found via Google establishes that Dostoevskij was disturbed/repulsed by the Marquis de Sade’s work. As a voracious reader, he had read his work and even kept it on hand but not because he agreed with it. Rather, he seemed to understand the depravity depicted, but he did not revel in it. Dostoevskij believed every man was capable of evil, and he saw de Sade as debauched – a perfect representation of that potential evil overtaking morality. Of course, Dostoevskij’s solution was God, and he and I part ways there, but the manner in which both authors discuss sadism and political and social problems is verrrrrrrry different – at least as far as I am aware. I truly hope that Dostoevskij didn’t have some secret bromance with de Sade, but I do value truth, so someone set me straight!

    • Reffael Fishzon

      Well, I’m was very happy to read Dostoyevsky was against de Sade, if he were, from your paragraph. I don’t know if this is true, though.
      This ‘mistake’ seems to be derived from Dworkin. When discussing the Marquis in a book of hers (I think Pornography), she mentioned Dostoyevsky among other writers who were influenced by Sade. This might lead you on a trail.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Ok, so what I was getting at was the ‘teen’ category. Do you not think that pedophillic fantasies, incest fantasies, ‘raping the babysitter’ fantasies, etc., constitute ‘abuse’? Even if they aren’t literally violent?

    In any case, do you not think it’s damaging that ‘lesbian’ sex is presented as something FOR MEN?!?

    Beyond that, gangbangs and facial abuse are extremely common in porn.

    There is literal violence in porn and then not-so-literal violence — the imagery messaging remains harmful to women, though. Objectification harms women. Literally. Even when the individual woman in question is not literally being beaten up.

  • Meghan Murphy

    But the women aren’t having a good time.

    • They’re performers. They’re playing a part. I’m not saying they (the males and the females) are always actually having a good time. I’m saying that when they are portrayed as having a good time, portrayed as having sexual encounters that are pleasurable for everyone involved (which is the case with the most popular porn) that’s fundamentally different from scenes of one person torturing another against his or her will. You don’t think so?

      • Meghan Murphy

        No. Teaching men that women enjoy being degraded and abused is harmful.

      • Weaselina

        How do you feel knowing that most of the women in porn are not there by their own choosing, and in fact have been forced into it?

        How do you feel knowing the stories of what happens to women if they do not act as if they enjoy the abuse (what you are calling sex)?

        Women tell stories of horrifying things done to them if they do not put on a show with a smile.

        We are experiencing an epidemic, and it needs to be ended by arresting the johns, the pimps, the traffickers, all of them.

        We currently barely even sentence rapists. No one is protecting women and children from men’s torture and abuse.

        • I’m not an advocate for the porn industry. I think there is way too much time, money, and other resources wasted on porn (especially by young men). I think that industry needs real reform and I think parents need to be serious about reducing the influence of porn in their children’s lives. I also think the performers would benefit from unionization in the ways I’ve tried to describe in my comments here. I’m just disagreeing with the inaccuracy, fear mongering, demonization of men, and the victim narrative being pushed by some here. And I don’t think it’s realistic to argue for the elimination or outlawing of porn. It’s not going away.

  • Bleeps

    “When I enjoy a woman’s body…”

    You have no idea why that statement gives me the dry-heaves, I’m sure (and I don’t want to explain Feminism 101 here) but it’s one of those STAY. THE. HELL. AWAY. red-flag signals.


  • Kendall Turtle

    Dude, I used to regularly watch pornography and you are completely deluding yourself. I was on all types of mainstream porn sites and even “nonviolent” porn had women being pushed around, controlled, violent and degrading language thrown at them while they all pretended to “like it” this is NOT a good message to society. Especially when boys as young as 11 years old are regularly exposed to it.

    Geez, stop lying about what is “mainstream” we’ve all seen it, we don’t live under rocks. You can’t mislead us.

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      When men claim “lots of women are totally into gangbangs” as a defense of participating in a gang rape, because they saw women in porn “enjoying” gangbangs and thought that was real, we have a problem.

  • Bleeps

    It’s a continuum. The more extreme stuff can only exist in an industry that treats women as subhuman — that thinks of women as a collection of orifices/body parts to stick things in, that calls women sluts (tame), that teaches that women exist for men to look at and orgasm to, that women have no right to boundaries or to live free of men’s ‘desires’. An industry that didn’t think of women as pieces of shit to be used wouldn’t/couldn’t allow (what you believe is) the supposed fringe stuff. The tamer ways men treat women like consumables in porn, treat them like fuck-meat for them to do what they want with, gives permission for the worst of the worst to exist.

  • Meghan Murphy

    If porn exists, kids are going to see it. In any case, porn remains harmful even when the consumer is an adult. It’s part of our world and it shapes our world — even for those who DON’T watch porn. It isn’t *only* about the consumer, it’s about the way pornography impacts culture, the way we understand sex and sexuality, and the way men see and relate to women.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I usually give ’em a chance for a while before I lose patience and send them away. I know it’s tedious — sometimes I think it may be useful to be open on the site about the kind of mindframe we’re up against, if that makes sense.

    • Wren

      I know. I guess I see it as a matter of theory versus practice. If they were just talking out their ass (theory) I can handle it. But if they are an admitted connoisseur of paid rape, then I know that they are just here for titillation. They will not be “educated” and are here simply to terrorize more women.

    • Rachel

      I agree seeing it sometimes just reminds me what we are up against, and usually if anything, confirms whatever the article they’re commenting on says about society, men, porn etc.

      • radwonka

        True, anytime I think “maybe a minority of men isn’t turned on by abuse” or “maybe some men can be useful”, I just need to read these kind of misogynistic comments to remind myself that all of them lack empathy. All of them.

        • Rachel

          Yep! I guess it’s a matter of turning that…anger, disgust, feeling disheartened, into something useful (in my case anyway). Sad that we don’t have to look far to be proved wrong about our positive hope for men.

  • Kendall Turtle

    Yes unrealistic expectations, like women constantly being available for male consumption, that they loooove being calling degrading names, slapped around, choked, no doesn’t really mean no, push the boundaries, etcetc. With the end result being…. Rape culture! Where men feel entitled to women’s bodies.

  • Karen Eisen

    NAC once told me: Pamela Anderson is choosing to be exploited in pornography– but we are against the prostitution in Russia. This is assuming it’s entirely economic. It’s not. Prostitution has existed in the socialist countries, though they had less of a drug problem. There was a study on white middle class women in Ontario who were involved in prostitution (either part time or full time). It found that almost 100 percent of the time, drugs were involved. I actually think drugs play a bigger role than economics in this problem.
    No one defends domestic violence because Elizabeth Taylor was a battered wife. it’s not okay, just because a few white wealthy women are victims. Yet, it’s suddenly okay because some Hollywood stars are affected by pornography (or high class prostitution).
    I remember when Anna Nicole Smith died via suicide. A man who owned the franchise to a fast-food restaurant – he was a middle-aged “immigrant” man – said: At last, she is at peace. It was a very sad life. This man, who wasn’t politically correct and didn’t have post-graduate degrees, had compassion. It taught me that having compassion is more important than a specific label. I learnt a great deal that day.

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      That’s very interesting about the drugs among middle class white women in prostitution. I wonder though if both the drug use and the prostitution are symptoms of another cause, such as childhood abuse.

    • Wren

      Good points. Drugs are very connected to prostitution, but they are used to cope with the violence and degradation and usually weren’t a causal factor for entering the skin trade. Most people I knew did not start because of addiction but financial hardship.

  • Karen Eisen

    i agree with this comment

  • Karen Eisen

    not so sure / prostitution and pornography existed in the socialist countries…../ it’s really part of the patriarchal structure, not part of the economic structure

    • Independent Radical

      Just because prostitution and pornography exist does not mean they exist to the same degree. They were illegal which prevented them from becoming the powerful cultural forces that they became in the West. If pornography is not legalised (remember legal pornography was originally used in the 1950s to further consumerism, Gail Dines has spoken about this at length), it doesn’t grow into a powerful capitalist industry and takes over mainstream culture and forces everyone else into line. Making pornography illegal may not be an effective policy in the modern West, but Soviet Union did the right thing by keeping it illegal.
      Less pornography and prostitution is always better than no pornography and prostitution. Liberals love to chant “pornography has always existed”, but we must not fall for the liberal trap of thinking that anything that doesn’t eliminate pornography completely is worthless. Prostitution exists in countries that have implemented the Nordic model, but the amount of it has gone down. Therefore the model is worthwhile. The absence of a capitalistic motivation for pornography production in the Soviet Union probably prevented it from being legalised and consuming the culture like it has in the West (and in Eastern European countries after the fall of the Soviet Union).
      I think that the economic structure (capitalism) creates the patriarchal structure (gender). Capitalism requires conquest, which requires dominating behaviours (masculinity), which in turn demands subordination from another group (femininity). Simply put, hierarchical systems create more hierarchical systems. I think the economic and political structure of our society is the overall structure that our society is organised around and gender (along with other culture norms) exists within it. Gender is pretty much synonymous with patriarchy in my mind. Anything that reproduces gender reproduces patriarchy and corporations are most responsible for reproducing gender (parents, while they also imposed gender onto children, are typically obeying the recommendations of corporations producing gendered products).
      In a true socialist society (the Soviet Union and similar countries practiced state socialism, which isn’t capitalism in my view, but is distinct from the socialism I favour) the people would democratically decide what to produce. We could then collectively decide not to produce anything that encouraged masculinity or femininity (including, of course, pornography) and instead produce products that encouraged people to be decent human beings regardless of their biological sex. For me, it’s a matter of tactics, not a matter of favouring one identity group over another. Capitalism needs gender to exist and will not allow its abolition (think of all the industries that would either have to radically change or go out of existence to create a world truly free from gender. Destroy capitalism and the path to abolishing patriarchy is opened up, though radical feminist activism is still needed to convince the masses to take that path.
      Call me a socialist feminist (though most of them would hate me for agreeing with radical feminist positions), call me a radical feminist (though I am also a revolutionary socialist who believes that the working class should be united against the ruling class, though not if this means that working women have to tolerate male misogyny), I don’t care. I think both movements are ultimately necessary. If you think you can end patriarchy (not mitigate, end, there are many ways to do that and I support such policies so long as they don’t involve accommodation to capitalism) without a socialist revolution please tell me how.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    You do think you’re entitled my dear, and you don’t even know it. Food and shelter are basic human rights we’d all agree we’re entitled to, yet they must be paid for. Funny that! Your refusal to entertain the possibility that women often end up in the sex industry due to coercion and abuse, and therefore aren’t “willingly” giving their bodies to you, speaks to your feelings of entitlement. But you know what, I think you *do* know exactly what is going on, or else you wouldn’t be here on a feminist website, trying to get us to tell you it’s ok.

  • Christina_Puck

    Ugh, that picture of Hefner with those women makes me sick to my stomach. How anyone can look at it and see sexual empowerment is beyond me. I look at it, as a mainstream culturally acceptable form of “sexiness” and feel humiliation as a female. And utter despair that so many people think of stuff like that as the “natural” expression of female sexuality. Playboy, porn, sex work, 50 Shades, all of this garbage is what males are taught our sexuality “really is”. I feel so so sad for girls growing up today, who are going to have to inherit this pornified world. My friends niece is 11, and I honestly feel like crying when I think about her growing up with this idea of sexuality.

  • Rachel

    You’re just confirming what the porn industry does to people. “Interested in women’s bodies”. Men can quite literally not see past this, and cannot comprehend that sex has a lot more to do than liking a woman’s body. Sex has become “women’s bodies” and this is part of the problem, even taking out the violence. Men have been primed to see women as pieces of meat. Body parts. For their “enjoyment”. There’s a difference between finding someone attractive looking (which I might add, is entirely shaped by politics and the media anyway. People seem to think they have their own tastes in attractiveness but the more they’re exposed to media, the more their “tastes” mimics those forced upon us in the media), and a difference in between attracted to someone. Sexual attraction to someone isn’t supposed to be based purely on someone’s appearance. But men cannot go past this, because they’ve been force fed the idea that hot women = sex. And being in the obvious position of power there, they like to defend it with their “natural urges”. Women’s bodies and nakedness is not inherently sexual. Natural perhaps. Not sexual. They’ve been sexualised. Big difference which most can’t comprehend.

    Now regarding the top porn searches – fetishising different women, even if not obviously violent, is still violent. It’s Turning them into an object of consumption. Men cannot compartmentalise as much as they seem to think. Porn encourages them to see women and girls as fuck toys (whether or not they do touch). We know the creepy stares. We know the creepy comments. It’s damaging. The more men do this, the more women (I hope) will start pulling away and getting away from men. That is not pure sexuality, it’s pure sexualisation.

  • Gaiauchis

    Morons like you are always here talking shit. Gosh, how i wish i could smack your head against the ground.

  • Meghan Murphy

    We — FEMINISTS — have been having this dialogue for YEARS. It is incredibly ignorant to assume that you are somehow challenging anyone here with your boring, cliched, already-debunked-many-times comments.

  • Meghan Murphy

    John Mayer is gross and boring af so yes. And ‘liking women’s bodies’ is not necessarily the same as objectifying women’s bodies. (Though most men who claim to ‘love women’s bodies’ are, in fact, objectifying women.)

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes, you are just a very special man — like all the other very special men — who aren’t at all impacted by culture or media. Women are just impressionable dum-dums, rite?

    • I don’t think you’re dumb. And I imagine it would be enjoyable to discover more about just how special you are. I’d love the chance to continue this discussion over a nice meal some time. If your work brings you to the New York City area we should get together.

      • Meghan Murphy


  • Wren

    Hey Will, thanks for asking this question. There’s not really a short answer, and much of what I experienced at the time I didn’t understand until years later, so I didn’t always take mental note of things. But here comes my ramble:

    My experience combined with research and reading I’ve done really makes me think that the “middle class” prostitute is a myth, or at most a negligible statistic. I had a middle class background, but abuse and abandonment leading to psychological and physical exhaustion led me to prostitution. And I think that’s pretty universal. For women who may “choose” to enter prostitution, it’s sort of a “can’t beat, join ’em” or “I give up, fuck it all, might as well make money off this shit” mentality. So these are women and men who are already greatly dissociated from abuse and may not need drugs to function in prostitution. This was my case, as I never used anything when working.

    I was lucky because I didn’t have to work on the streets since I’m white and didn’t have track marks and looked very, very young. I could work in mid-level brothels. There is a brutal race and class hierarchy in prostitution, of course. But most of my friends were junkies and were prostituted from a very young age. They didn’t have pimps and several were lesbians. However, there were many women in the brothels that had “boyfriends” but I didn’t understand the signs at the time. Sometimes women came and went in groups quickly and were probably being trafficked around California and Nevada.

    I think that any woman who is ONLY motivated by money will certainly have to use drugs to cope if she is lacking a background of abuse. I really don’t think I ever encountered that since I’ve hardly known any woman in or out of prostitution who hasn’t been raped or molested. My point is that I just didn’t see any woman in prostitution who hadn’t been previously and substantially abused. But they didn’t all confide to each other, and I probably would have told you that I hadn’t been abused either. Denial is part and parcel to dissociation. Even these self-proclaimed “middle class” prostitutes with “agency” will eventually admit to having been horribly abused, hopeless, or heart broken by their family. The ones that I met who said they were the “happy hooker” were extremely rare but very disturbed. They’re as messed up as a slave who said he loved his master and should never be taken seriously to sanction an institution built on violence and abuse.

    To every man who’s interested in buying rape, every woman is a whore. There’s no escaping it. If any young person is lacking either family support or financial resources, then they are vulnerable. If they are lacking both, then they are constantly told by propositioning men and porn culture that they should do it and often finally give in.

    • will

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write that, Wren. I have often wondered about this effigy of the “empowered middle-class sex worker” and wondered if there really are any trauma-free, uncoerced women agreeing to this so-called work.

      I really appreciate you sharing your experience. You add enormously to the clarity and weight of this conversation. Speaking truth in a sea of lies can be alienating and exhausting, but please remember that your words are incredibly valuable. You make a difference. 🙂

      • Wren

        Thank you for the supportive words. I do really need them and you are precisely right – it is exhausting, but in the last year I have truly started to believe MYSELF, and that has made all difference.

        • will

          Big hug to you, Wren. Your strength will continue grow thanks to your incredible courage.

  • bestcomradeNA

    Sorry for the belated response, will.

    I’m a “non-Marxist” socialist to quote Cornel West, if that makes my position as a Christian and a socialist more intelligible. I certainly agree with Marx’s critique of capitalism(from what I have read and absorbed) though I am not a materialist. From my point of view, Marx is just more thoroughly and systematically attacking what the Old Testament prophets and the early church and saints had been condemning for centuries.

    Your criticisms of Christianity are understandable(especially with what is construed as “Christian” in the US and in the media) but I’m not sure I can totally agree with them. It would be somewhat difficult to attempt to address your points succinctly(I am certainly no theologian, historian or even well read) here but I would just say at least this:

    The cultural baggage of the ancient Near East is inherent in The Bible(definitely in the Old Testament) and the people who wrote it would obviously be under the weight of history while simultaneously condemning many of those cultural practices. I would certainly not say Christianity has a contempt for women(again, we can not escape the fact of the low status of women in general during this era.) There are so many revered female figures in The Bible, the early church and plenty of female saints, Mary(called the Mother of Mercy, Mother of God, etc.) is highly venerated by Christians(maybe not as strongly by protestants) and there are plenty of female clergy. A majority of the problems with “institutional” Christianity started to arise with the merger of the Christian faith with the Roman Empire as it adopted the power, decadence and militarism that it had once so strongly been against.

    I realize this can’t comprehensively answer your inquiries but I hope you accept what I wrote in good faith and understand that Christianity is very big with a long past and its quite hard to summarize the entire history of the Church.

    • will

      Thanks. Of course I am not expecting you to “summarize the entire history of the [Christian] church” and I am well aware that it is a massive institution with a variety of interpretations and translations of its foundational texts. This is patently obvious.

      However, the veneration of the Benevolent Mother and a few female saints is pretty thin gruel in the face of institutionalized male authority by way of embedded authority of the Father and the male-centred hierarchy of virtually all of the local and regional churches.

      I am well acquainted with a number of “progressive” interpretations of christian imagery, texts and doctrines, however I find them to be uncomfortably reaching. I grew up in a small community where the many christian churches played a constructive social role as well as a powerful role in regulating sex hierarchy. At a root level the Abrahamic faiths preserve the subjection of women to male authority and this is contempt, including the ideological reification of the passive nurturing Mom. Ultimately, Christianity is not compatible with women’s emancipation.

      • bestcomradeNA

        I’m sorry you have had bad experiences with churches and Christianity in general. I can imagine the experience of growing up, especially as women do, in that environment could end up being pretty oppressive at times. Though I am a man, I grew up steeped in Southern Baptist culture(my father is actually a pastor though he definitely doesn’t exemplify the worst elements of Southern Baptist stereotypes and is extremely compassionate and merciful) and I can certainly understand how bad the “religious-right” ideology is and, in my belief, how contra-Christianity it can be.

        We might just have to agree to disagree about this, though I appreciate your thoughtful remarks and criticisms and not just “bashing” Christianity. I would just suggest there is a real difference between “prophetic” Christianity and “Constantinian” Christianity.

        Maybe we can flesh this out at another time as I don’t want to hijack this thread, especially being new to commenting here lol.

        • will

          I don’t want to hijack the thread either, but you have misunderstood me. I had a positive experience with the role of the church in my early years. It served as a hub for mobilizing the community and it was a gathering place for people to come together collectively in a relative state of humility*. I think that’s a good thing.

          My objection is based in a rational interpretation of the texts. In the most simple terms, Abrahamic texts all describe a paternal authority figure that is the all-powerful creator of life. That’s patriarchy and that’s a foundation for hierarchy and abuse. History has played out in accordance. It applies to all of the Abrahamic faiths. My study and understanding delves much deeper than that, but ultimately, religious faith in a male deity is not consonant with a struggle for equality. The best Christianity, Judaism or Islam can produce is benevolent sexism. So yes, we’ll agree to disagree.

          *My early experience of the church was mitigated by other regulating environmental and cultural factors which served to regulate attempts at abuse of power.

          • bestcomradeNA

            It seems I did misunderstand you in that regard and I’m sorry for that.

        • marv

          I affirm will’s outlook. Further we don’t need to examine the history of the churches (although it helps) to know that the gospels themselves are male supremacist. Christ was condescending and sexist towards the women he knew. Take a close look at this passage as one of numerous examples:

          Luke 10:38-42 New International Version (NIV)

          At the Home of Martha and Mary

          38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

          41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

          Notice in the text Mary is sitting at the man god’s feet as a subordinate, listening compliantly to every word that falls from his lips. Meanwhile Martha is very anxious about feeding her LORD properly while feeling resentful to her sister for being lax and unhelpful. The mere presence of Jesus is divisive to the sisters who chides Martha for not being a better listener to him (the man) like Mary.

          The whole notion of a male saviour is patriarchal thereby irreconcilable with women’s liberation. Reading respect for women’s equality into the bible is retrospective hermeneutics that imposes an interpretation onto its messages that wasn’t intended by the authors. It’s fantasy.

    • marv

      I affirm will’s outlook. Further we don’t need to examine the history of the churches (although it helps) to know that the gospels themselves are male supremacist. Jesus was condescending and sexist towards the women he knew. Take a close look at this passage as one of numerous examples:

      Luke 10:38-42 New International Version (NIV)

      At the Home of Martha and Mary

      38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

      41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one.[a] Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

      Notice in the text Mary is sitting at the man god’s feet as a subordinate, listening compliantly to every word that falls from his lips. Meanwhile Martha is very anxious about feeding the LORD properly while feeling resentful to her sister for being lax and unhelpful. The mere presence of Jesus is divisive to the women who chides Martha for not being a better listener to him (the man) like Mary.

      The whole notion of a male saviour is patriarchal and irreconciliable with women’s liberation. Reading feminism into the bible is retrospective hermeneutics that Imposes an interpretation onto its words that wasn’t intended by the authors. It’s fantasy.

  • Rachel

    Sorry to hear that people ask you about it often. Honestly, I wish I could say it’ll stop, but I can’t say with confidence that it will. I’m at the age now where other people are starting to really stress out that I’m not living with my partner, nor do I have plans for marriage or babies. And I think it really does stress them out! But it’s exactly like you just mentioned, I don’t know of any of the top of my head where there wasn’t something sexist going on. Most women have either just turned a blind eye because being alone is scarier, or they’re in denial thinking their man isn’t like that or just using the “boys will be boys” excuse. I think you’re being smart, not being desperate for a relationship! I just think of all the things I would’ve done with my life if I hadn’t spent the last 15 years trying to get along with men who ultimately didn’t want to give up their sexist power. I guess that’s part of the reason though, get to women when they’re young so they don’t have the power to stand up to themselves and are at their most vulnerable, and ensure they waste a huge chunk of their lives, if not all of it, worrying about pleasing men, therefore keeping them
    Out of powerful positions. You’re so right about what could happen if all women banded together and realised they were worth more- ah that could cause some amazing disruption! I wonder if you’re way of living is having an effect on people though, the fact they bring up about you not being in a relationship, but then open up to you about their own issues in relationships… Maybe deep down they know you’re onto something smart.

  • DeColonise

    this spreads around the western world sadly.
    What happens in the US usually comes to the rest of their colonies, I mean western nations, in a few years.

  • Independent Radical

    That’s a more efficient way to put it, haha.

  • deezigns

    I have to say in my experience it is nearly always men who argue that they “are friends with” or “know” women who chose to sell themselves and are happy and empowered doing so – usually in an attempt to justify their use of porn/prostitutes. As a female surrounded by white privileged males I constantly am able to point out how their privileged has led to casual disregard for their instances of sexism or racism and they can usually see and concede such. With pornography I don’t even know where to start. It is pervasive as you pointed out to the point of complete social acceptance and to decry it as abusive means you are somehow the one without empathy, the one creating shame, the one being abusive to not allow these women their choice and the men their use of what please them in orgasm.

    As a Tumblr/Twitter user I am seeing a large segment of women now normalizing degradation and humiliation as kink and if you say you’re disturbed by images of women who have been beaten, had their lips tattooed with the word “slut” or “cumdumpster”, and been written on in permanent markers with the words “whore” or “please rape me” then you are kink shaming them. I honestly find it hard to know where to begin even having a discussion when these usually young – 25 or less years – women saying it’s a fantasy or it’s their kink and I should just shut up because I’m shaming them. Inherently I know that’s incorrect but am not sure where to start in trying to voice why it’s wrong in simple terms. If it’s sexism or racism I know several places to send someone to get a start on an education if they want one. With the topic of anti-pornography/prostitution it seems there is almost an unstated ban on even talking about it becasue “everyone” knows it’s okay and fun and empowering and I’m either a psycho religious nut or a femi-nazi for even bringing it up.

    I thought of a question I’d like to ask. I know many women, myself included who write what would be basically porn on the internet. Porn that is primarily consumed by other women and gay men. I’ve been told that I have no leg to stand on about porn as long as I do this. I believe that may be correct although there is much written meta about it being a safe environment for women and other marginalized persons to explore sexuality and and an environment where the primary consumer can also use the porn to work through sexual abuse situations and finally it is argued that this particular type of porn allows the user – especially women who are reading m/m porn to get a sense of what it’s like to be the power player in a sexual relationship and/or to experience sexual intimacy as a partnership where power play is not a factor at all. I’m curious what your position is on this kind of porn and is it as harmful to women as one where women are actually used to fulfill male sexual fantasies.

    • Wren

      Do you WRITE pornographic stories or film them using real human beings? Personally, I am not completely against erotic material or nudity, but I am against filmed rape.

      I also don’t think that using porn to work through abuse is a valid method of healing in any way; it is a damaging and destructive myth which supports the normalization of “kink” that you state you are against.
      Maybe you need to sort some stuff out.

  • Guy

    I write this as a man, a sometime sex worker, (not all sex workers are women!), and someone who has been involved in the industry in many different roles over the last 30 years. I was in a studio, helping out on both ends of the camera, with a feminist woman director today.The idea that somehow pornography and sex work is uniquely and especially degrading is fatuous and ingenuous. All work can be that, and the answer is to listen to the people actually in the industry, instead or moralising ‘in vacuo’. We need to extend the same kind of protections for sex work and sex workers as should be extended to all other kinds of work, instead of branding it as morally bad and reprehensible. A good example is the decriminalisation in New Zealand. Prohibition will never work, and taking measures without knowing what you’re dealing with will only result in oppressing those involved at the sharp end even worse. Beware the results of unintended consequences!

    • will

      What a dishonest reflection of this article. No one criticizing the sex industry here takes the position that selling sex is morally bad. What is immoral and reprehensible is deliberately traumatizing someone in order to manipulate them and profit from them. It is also morally reprehensible to obfuscate and diminish the critique of these criminal acts and to [mis]represent the naming of grooming activities as a denial of female desire or as sexual repression. The industry you promote is entirely dependent on sexual repression in the consumer to secure its massive profits.

      It is also dishonest to describe the critique levelled by numerous persons who have formally been subject to pimps and johns, who are now speaking the truth about their experience as “moralizing ‘in vacua'”. Your position is pure projection. You silence sex industry survivors by screaming about being silenced and you project your capitalist, patriarchal conformity onto the people who are actually shaking the status quo with their battle for the human right of all persons to not be raped, to not be sold, to not be psychologically abused for the entertainment and profit of others.

    • Wren

      Helping out on both ends of the camera??? Really now?? So you’re a porn star??
      In my neck of the woods, we call you a paid rapist.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Unless I missed something (did I?), the only person lumping erotica and porn together is you…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Congratulations! You win first prize for Comment Most Void of Any Actual Content or Discernible Argument.

  • Alice

    Oh, so YOU were not raped then.

  • oneclickboedicea

    I bet you see the words bitch, slut whore up there though. Hate speech is well known to be connected to hate acts, which is why it is banned in the UK at least, apart from when used against women. It seems that men simply cannot make the connection that pornography and domestic violence speak in the same words. 1/2 million hate attacks in UK homes against women and girls is still treated as isolated incidents by the government, whereas if the groups on the receiving end of this level of violence were men of one category or another, there would be an outcry. Who says we don’t need feminism any more?

  • Jane Gaddin

    I agree with the premise of this article. Sadly though, some of the comparisons do not hold true. Many people do defend economic slavery, factory animal farms, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s, etc. I hear many people defend these institutions as useful and necessary for the people abused by them, and the for the people who benefit from them. I hear it said all the time that people in low wages either are or should be happy for their jobs and that they are there by choice. And I hear many defend corporate industrial food. Sadly, a world without tenderness is at hand.