The conversation about abuse in porn needs to extend beyond harm on set

Two women have gone public about abuse they were subjected to on porn sets, but in order to ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen to any other woman, we need to talk about why we allow men to sexualize violence against women in the first place.

 

On Friday, a YouTube video posted by Nikki Hearts shows two female porn performers describing brutal abuse they were subjected to on a porn set. Both scenes took place this year and were directed by a man known as Just Dave for an unnamed site revealed later to be connected to FacialAbuse.com, a site known for its extremely violent, abusive content.

One of the women, Leigh Raven (Heart’s wife), explains that her friend, male performer Rico Strong, contacted her asking her to participate in a “kinda rough” scene that includes “rough blowjobs” and “light racial play.” Raven explains that she won’t do scenes that involve racism against “black talent or any races,” but agreed to this “racial play” because “it was directed at me, not them,” and was only to include “him calling me things like ‘my little saltine’ or ‘my little cracker.’”

The shoot itself took place on March 6, and as soon as it began, Rico and the production assistant start to say things like, “look at this bitch,” “she’s a smart white bitch,” “this white cracker cunt,” off-camera. Raven says she is already feeling uncomfortable at this point, when she hears Rico say the words “black payback,” before entering the scene and hitting her “very, very hard across the face.” She explains:

“It wasn’t a fake slap — it wasn’t a slap that we typically use in porn to make things look a little bit more intense than they actually are. It’s very painful and it definitely stunned me. I, you know, saw stars, so to speak.”

Raven was then forced into “a very, very rough blowjob” wherein, she says, “if I pulled back, I got punished” by being hit and called names. “I needed to have the dick down my throat at all times.” The director was frustrated that Raven wasn’t vomiting, as he wanted her to, from the blow job, so had her eat a bunch of apples and drink water to induce vomiting. She says:

“So I began to eat my apples, at this point covered in saliva, snot. I’m sitting on the edge of the couch, not really saying much, wanting this to really be over.”

Because the men on set were clearly annoyed and “aggravated” at having been there since morning, Raven felt pressured to finish the scene, so everyone could get paid. She was also in a warehouse alone, at night, with a group of men, and no car, should she need to escape.

She continued the scene, which involved Rico penetrating her throat to the point that she was choking. Raven pulled away in order to vomit, but was punished for pulling away, and beaten “vigorously” — “slapped in the face… slapped on my ass, my thighs, my inner thighs…” Because Raven is known for being “tough,” she says, the men kept saying “she can take it.”

Raven was then made to have intercourse in a position she had already said was painful for her (“reverse cowgirl”), told this was because “this white bitch needs to be doing the work because after all these years black men have been doing the work.” When Rico recognized that her legs were shaking, Raven explains, “he found it funny and he made me sit up higher, which made it hurt a lot more.” As a result, she had difficultly holding herself up, and was punished by being hit on her legs, head, and face.

Crying, Raven says at this point she was required to respond to everything Rico said with, “Yes, black daddy.” Rico then began to penetrate her in a way that was extremely painful for her, and though she tried to signal to him to stop, he wouldn’t. She says:

“I was squeezing his leg, his left thigh, I think, as hard as I could while pushing away and wincing in pain and tears coming down my face, and he would smack my hand away, say some sort of ‘dumb white bitch’ comment and how I needed to take the whole dick.”

Wanting to finish the scene, Raven had sex with Rico off-camera in order to keep him hard. While they were having sex, Rico grabbed her neck with both hands and began to choke her until she couldn’t breathe and almost went unconscious. While this was happening, he was whispering things in her ear that “get him off — to make him have an erection” which also “referred to the racial things that were happening on set that day.” When he is finally ready to do “the pop shot,” Rico ejaculates on Raven’s forehead, in order for the director to film her face, “covered in cum, covered in tears, snot, saliva, and vomit” for five minutes.

Apparently, it is common in porn for the performers to do “exit interviews” in order for the companies to avoid getting sued, wherein essentially the performers have to say they weren’t raped or abused or otherwise violated. In this case, Raven said she wasn’t raped when asked, and then was asked to kiss Rico for the viewers, I assume in order to convince those watching that everything is all good, and that Raven enjoyed the abuse she experienced. When she got home, she douched with iodine and bathed in hibiclens (chlorhexidine — a disinfectant and antiseptic), then cried hysterically, and took some Klonopin to go to sleep. Afterwards, she contacted the police and received a medical evaluation through a battered women’s center, and was told she had a vaginal tear and a bruised cervix.

Riley Nixon, the second performer who speaks out in the video, had a similar experience to Raven’s, in that the first thing Rico did when he entered the shot was to slap her “really hard.” She had been asked to wear a shirt with the word “feminist” on it, and throughout the shoot she was asked questions like, “What has feminism ever done for black people?” Nixon says she was punished when she tried to answer the questions, cut off, hit, and slapped.

I applaud these women for speaking out about their experiences in an industry that is unlikely to support them, and within which careers are already short-lived, even if you don’t go public about abuse that happens on set.

What is worth noting, beyond this, though, is that “parodying” real social issues or cultural trends is common in porn. Things like incest, gang rape, pedophilia, racism in every possible form, slavery, domestic abuse, and of course your run-of-the-mill violence and misogyny all are common themes in pornography. These themes are all defended as “just fantasy,” and therefore not harmful. Celebrity culture is similarly utilized, as everyone from pop stars to politicians are emulated in porn. “Tranny” porn has grown steadily in popularity in recent years. No arena is exempt.

This is precisely what makes the “it’s just fantasy” argument so baffling. The themes pornography plays off of are happening in real life, all the time, including the trend of lobbing misogyny and threats at feminists — particularly those labelled “white feminists.”

It has become increasingly acceptable (encouraged, even) for men to abuse women online who fail to adopt what they have determined are “correct” positions on things like gender identity, prostitution, pornography, and objectification, more broadly. Those who put forth a radical feminist analysis of these things are not only labelled “white feminists” (often, regardless of their actual race), but deemed acceptable targets for verbal abuse, threats of violence, and harassment. How utterly convenient that these trends are now being pornified to further shore up the violent fantasies men communicate to us in real life. And how utterly convenient that both progressives and the porn industry are in agreement about who is deserving of abuse.

While it is absolutely unacceptable to abuse women on porn sets, as Rico did, it is similarly unacceptable that the porn industry is peddling these “fantasies” in the first place. While consenting to the violence, misogyny, or racism may be important to individual performers, we cannot stop there in our analysis. When the industry is creating porn specifically to show women being punished, women in pain from various sex positions or from being throat-fucked, women crying and vomiting from blow jobs, and women being demeaned verbally, in explicitly misogynist ways, it doesn’t only matter what is happening on set. It also matters that men around the world are masturbating to these scenes, these ideas, these words, and these images.

In a statement, the Free Speech Coalition (FSC), a lobby group for the porn industry, said:

“We have been shocked and outraged hearing accounts of performers who say they have suffered abuse, consent violations, deception and assault on the Just Dave set. A performer’s control over their own body is an inviolable principle of this industry. Violating consent is not only unethical, it’s criminal.

Sex workers do not give up their right to consent when they enter a set or sign a contract.

We are in contact with Leigh Raven and are working to support her and other performers in whatever comes next.”

Lest their attempt at hitting all key liberal talking points confuse you, the primary purpose of the FSC is to fight any laws that might restrict the content, imagery, or themes allowed in pornography, indeed defending the misogyny, racism, and violence we see in porn as “free speech” (even going so far as to fight laws against “virtual child porn”). Their purported concern for women and protecting women from abuse is merely performative and their claimed interest in protecting “workers rights” exists in sharp contrast to their goal of ensuring the industry can continue to make billions, without limitation.

Leigh Raven and Riley Nixon bravely spoke out because they say they “don’t want any of this to happen to any other girl.” I hope all those good liberals who agree that this kind of abuse is wrong will extend that concern to women and girls who don’t work in porn as well to those who do.

Our conversation cannot simply be about what each individual wants and prefers. When it comes to pornography, we have to address what’s happening to women on camera, as well as off, and why it is that the kind of abuse Raven and Nixon experienced is sexualized and sold to men as masturbation fodder at all.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • oneclickboedicea

    This was rape. Porn is the erotisation of terrorism.

  • Elara

    The porn industry pisses me off to no end. It doesn’t give a flying fuck about the women it harms. This ever-growing ugly monster we can’t avoid no matter how hard we try, because in one way or another, it finds us.

    One thing about this video which got me confused is when Heart says she was afraid this day would come, that something like this would happen to her wife, and then seconds later she says “in an industry I trust”. How can you trust an industry you are afraid will treat (abuse) its performers in the most brutal ways? How’s that empowerment and choice like turd wavers like to call it? How is this not coercion and abuse?

    • Liz

      “turd wavers” lol good one!

      yeah I noticed that comment in the video too. I imagine the sense of betrayal must really mess with you. I mean here is an industry that spouts “empowerment, freedom of speech, liberation, authentic sexuality” out of one side of its mouth as it’s eating you alive with the other side. Plus they both thought the male performer was a friend.

      So now she has evidence she can’t run away from that this industry is sh*t. I concluded it’s probably difficult to integrate the truth of what happened to her wife into a history of believing the industry’s lies and it had only been 2 days.

      I also noticed it sounded like industry pressures have been eroding their boundaries for some time…she mentioned an initial plan to stick with women-only scenes, then agreeing to more and more kinds of scenes.

      • Elara

        Haha, wish I could take credit for that one!

        More often than not there’s a Freudian slip. One minute it’s “I enjoy rough sex with men that involves slapping, choking, name-calling” etc and suddenly there’s the “we’re always faking it”. Not always so sure who they are trying to convince that porn is so great. Those critical of it? Themselves? Both?

        The industry is always seeking to push boundaries to meet the demands of the consumers. More violence, more humiliation. Who’s at the receiving end of that violence? The women of course. You have the right to refuse the things you do not feel comfortable doing, but that involves being yelled at and immediately replaced because there’s always another girl in need of that money who can be there in 30 minutes. I’ve read about women who’ve gotten paid less and less for girlgirl/“softer” stuff in order to make them agree to more hardcore scenes, like anal and gangbang for which they get paid more.

        People want to be lied to and this fucked up industry will happily oblige while pushing one woman after the other into their meat grinder.

      • Jani

        Yes, indeed. That’s how the porn industry operates. There’s a lot of coercion, bullying and withholding payment unless the performer does what she didn’t agree to in the first place. And then perform the exit script — or they don’t get paid. Evil fuckers. I hate pornographers.

    • Wren

      “How can you trust an industry you are afraid will treat (abuse) its performers in the most brutal ways?”

      These young women have been duped. Sometimes it’s not one experience that snaps you out of it, but an accumulation of several and then somehow your perspective eventually shifts, hopefully sooner rather than later. Think of it the same way that a woman doesn’t usually leave an abusive man the first time he beats her, or the second, or the third, but eventually.

  • Liz

    Meghan thank you so much for writing about this.

    “I applaud these women for speaking out about their experiences in an industry that is unlikely to support them, and within which careers are already short-lived, even if you don’t go public about abuse that happens on set.”

    Yes. I guess they will be punished and ostracized and driven out of the industry for exposing their abuse and rape. These women did something good for all women by exposing what happened to them and even more amazing exactly how it was done. Brave women.

    Already the male performer who abused and raped them has been comparing their accusations to Emmett Till’s lynching on his Twitter account.

  • Robert Gonzalez

    I can’t begin to explain how infuriated I am about this and about porn in general. I remember as a teen coming across porn videos that looked like an actual filmed rape, despite it being produced by a well-known company (don’t remember the name anymore). I remember that the actress’ body language came across as genuinely afraid and shocked about what was going on. I felt that you would have to be a sociopath to not empathize with her. There were periods of time where she was being choked so hard that she actually passed out. Now that I’m older I can’t help but wonder just how much of porn is actually filmed rape. I remember these “exit interviews” being a part of these especially hardcore scenes and now I see that it’s essentially a coerced scene where the actress denies that any real violence or rape was involved. Nice asshole way to protect their asses from litigation.

    All of this, as you say, for “masturbation fodder.” What a fucked up industry.

  • Simone Firestone

    What sheer brutality and madness only pathologic creeps can enjoy! I can’t help not to think of Kim Wall who suffered horribly under Sadist Murderer Junk Submarine Owner Peter Madsen! Andrea Dworkin and Catharine Mackinnon already wisely said this before: that women in pornography are the first victims of pornography and that the pornographers, the porn consumers, and the society protecting pornography are the ones responsible. As radical feminists, we must not stop in boycotting this pernicious industry that not only epitomises misogyny but also engenders women’s second-class standing.

    • Jani

      Porn has been implicated in many crimes against women and girls. Sexualised violence is a sinister force that normalises sex crimes in the minds of the viewers — incest, false imprisonment, abduction, torture, the grooming and sexual abuse of minors. I was not surprised to learn that the killer of Kim Wall had a stash of torture videos. I have always hated porn. I hate it even more now. I cannot be in a relationship with anyone who engages with this shit.

  • Virginia Howard

    Jeezuz that’s awful. And the horror continues with these scenes circulating forever…

    • Liz

      Good point. I suppose these scenes will be sold and it will be like moths to a flame because of, not in spite of, the real story.

  • melissa

    The fact that the only thing being seen to some as wrong with this type of abhorrent, psychotic, barbaric misogynistic behavior is that the consent wasn’t perfect, and that it wasn’t “done properly” is fucking mind boggling. It should be obvious to anyone with half a brain-cell that no criteria of “consent” is capable of rendering this type of vile, appalling misogyny directed at women as something ok or defensible. Fucking insanity. I wonder how much more dark exactly it has to get for the Jezebel types to ever comprehend or address this directly and honestly? Because lets face it, with more and more advancement in technology(you only have to look at “deep fakes”, the face swapping app that dudes are using to put faces of random women into these degrading porn vids, as well as VR porn), its only about to get darker, only going to keep blurring the lines between “fantasy” and reality. How much more saturated does a society have to be with images of glorified, eroticized violent dehumanization of women, incest, gang rape, child abuse etc before we can honestly say there’s something a bit wrong with this picture, whether consensual or not?

    • Alienigena

      Why would white women be the stand-in for white men? Why is it OK to brutalise them in porn?

      “Raven says she is already feeling uncomfortable at this point, when she hears Rico say the words “black payback,” before entering the scene and hitting her “very, very hard across the face.””

      If anyone attacks me physically, I will not hold back in defending myself and bringing anything that can possibly help me to the table. Men like to portray themselves as honourable, especially in the context of fights between men, but they are not. Not a one of them fights fair in any realm when they are dealing with women. Women are often referred to as hair pullers, biters and scratchers. So, what, men use these tactics as well. If you find that you need to hair pull, eye gouge, groin kick or punch, do it. I repeat men are not honourable people, they will use any dirty trick they can to ensure their own success and the humiliation of others, particularly women.

      • shy virago

        So well said!

  • susannunes

    If you hit, choke, and slap another person, it is assault, a crime. It is NOT legal regardless of the context in which it happens.

  • Wren

    This is a great article and these women are so brave!! I hope they get out, but I know that they still may need time.

    What they went through was terrible, but it isn’t even the worst that porn actresses experience. Gail Dines has described the average length of an actress’s time in porn as spanning only a few months. I’m certain that one anal prolapse film (yes this is a thing, don’t look it up) is the end of a woman’s health and well-being for life.

    Men of all ethnicities spend hours and hours every week, maybe everyday, watching these sexual class-warfare videos. How different are they than the propaganda Nazis used to brainwash the German public about Jews? Why should we trust any of them?

    • Rachael

      Ha! I used a nazi analogy above for a different aspect of porn before I read this. Thinking about it more, the parallels are uncanny: extreme torture, gaslighting etc. The sex industry is one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) crimes against humanity and yet it has been completely normalised. It’s chilling.

  • Lara

    TW for sexual violence.

    I came across something online a few weeks ago that bothered me so deeply. I cant remember how I found it (I dont watch porn, obviously) but there is a male performer who apparently smashes an egg over the head of women at the end of his scenes. Obviously, this has no sexual purpose, and is done for the express reason of being humiliating and degrading- full stop. What was worse is these “scenes” are filmed with random women he finds on the LA subway- women who are, obviously, so desperate that they will agree to have sex with a stranger. Meaning, often homeless women, women who have no recourse, women who probably have no idea that he intends to distribute it as a porn. Before the scene, and this is part of the appeal, he offers them a “stack” of cash, which is a bunch of ones bookended by two $20 bills- the fact that these beyond desperate women are being tricked financially is majorly featured in the appeal. The point is to watch these already desperate women, as they undergo a variety of degradations, from the financial to the sexual and finally to them having egg drip down their faces as he laughs, while he’s still inside of them.

    The level of sickness in the poor industry and its consumers is something so far beyond what normal human beings can even comprehend or would ever hope to encounter in a lifetime on this planet. The fact that so many men consume these videos enough to make them popular should strike fear in the heart of women everywhere, and be considered as the public health crisis it is.

    • Goddess_of_Dischord

      That is so sick, why tf is this guy not arrested?? It is sad how normalized watching porn and commodifying women are to the point where if you say anything against it you’re a “prude”

  • Jani

    Violence, sexualised abuse and rape is rife in the porn industry. Coercion into performing sex acts that were not in the initial agreement more so. Payment is withheld until all scenes are filmed, including those that the performer has been pressurised into doing. Frequently women, particularly those who are very young and inexperienced, aren’t even paid the amount they were promised. One woman I know was given fake ID to say she was 18 when in fact she was only 16. She witnessed another girl who looked about 13 (also given a fake ID) in tears as she was being raped, and another 16 year old being anally raped. Once you research how the porn industry operates, it’s far from “ethical”. We all know how the movie industry operates and how sexual abuse, assault and rape, not to the mention threats and psychological terror that are used to protect the men responsible. Do people really believe that the porn industry is going to be fair and ethical, and one big happy party? Is the porn industry going to be exempt from the misogyny that is rife in every other realm from aid agencies to the tech industry? It’s not. It’s far, far worse.

    • Rachael

      I don’t get the whole “ethical” porn argument at all. I’ve found it tends to be used by those who want to use porn but feel guilty about it. Slapping that “ethical” label on alleviates that moral quandary in their minds (and they still get to feel “empowered”, “free”, “liberal”, “woke”). When you dig a bit deeper, most of them can’t even define what they mean by “ethical” porn. Most of the people I’ve spoken to who use that argument say it’s ethical because women are the directors/producers. Which is about as stupid as saying Auschwitz was ethical because fellow prisoners were appointed as guards of each sleeping quarter to keep the others in check.

      In short, it’s a complete lack of understanding of human sociology.

      • Jani

        No I don’t get it either. And WTF is “feminist” porn? It’s just another marketing slogan. The one that gets me is “woman-friendly” porn as a euphemism for less violent, which begs the question of just how violent the rest of it is.

  • SkyLark Phillips

    This is torture. It’s disgusting and it has to stop.

  • Jani

    Excessive?! It’s worrying how normalised this has become. I once heard a radio discussion/Q&A where a “sex positive” woman started going off on one, yelling about how no one was going to tell her that “consensual violence” was wrong. It stuck in my mind because it was the first time I’d heard the phrase “consensual violence”. I remember thinking, once women start to ‘consent’ to sexualised violence and abuse, then how are women going to be able to report violent rape and violent sexual assault if the defence is “it was consensual violence”? Violent porn has become mainstream and it has changed the sexual expectations of young guys who have been ‘educated’ (or brainwashed) by porn, that they expect to be able to gag and slap a woman during sex. So now it’s reduced to a question of whether it’s “excessive” or not, rather than it being an act of violence to begin with.

  • corvid

    Brilliantly argued, Meghan.

    What these men fail to anticipate is that, when they torture women and destroy our capacity for trust in men, one by one, they create radfems. It brought my mind to these words from the Kubark Counterintelligence Interrogation [Torture] handbook:
    “Direct physical brutality creates only resentment, and further defiance….. Interrogatees who have withstood pain are more difficult to handle by other methods. The effect has been not to repress the subject but to restore his confidence and maturity.”

    • Rachael

      Totally. We are a product of our society (radfems), created through need.

      • Germaine

        If I wasn’t a radical feminist, I became one every single day.

  • Meghan Murphy

    All that language comes from leftist and liberal men, as far as I can tell… It’s offering (further) excuse for men to degrade and denigrate women. It is, as you say, *exactly* how progressive men talk to radical feminists online.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I know… I think about this a lot to. Whose stomach isn’t turned by watching this? What is WRONG with people?? I just cannot relate even a little bit.

  • Meghan Murphy

    For sure. I think it’s pretty well documented that these men’s abuse starts early through abusing animals. I really think society needs to take that kind of thing waaaay more seriously. Boys who harm animals, I think, are too often written off as confused or just playing… “Boys will be boys,” etc. I remember a boy-child smacking my dog with a stick one day as we were just walking by (she is a chihuahua… ie. very small) and my dog shrieked. It was very strange. We were really just walking by, minding our own business, and he went out of his way to smack her. The father did nothing at all, and I was livid, and said something like, “You don’t hit animals,” sternly. But god, what that boy and all the boys like him will become terrifies me. Imagine if we actually paid attention to the ways boys are socialized towards violence at an early age?

  • Meghan Murphy

    I also found it weird that she kept saying how much she loved rough sex (you know, when ‘done right’)… But if she is a lesbian, I assume she *doesn’t* really ‘love’ any kind of sex with men… Never mind ‘rough sex’?

  • Meghan Murphy

    I was talking to someone recently who told me that, having encountered many republicans in her life, what she learned was that a lot of people who vote republican and consider themselves republican do so because their families are republicans and it’s just kind of like a family tradition. Like they never even considered whether or not their beliefs actually were in line with republican views. I do of course think people who voted for Trump are responsible for.. voting for Trump (ie. supporting/bolstering abhorrent policies/views), but it’s more complicated than those women just all being evil bigots. (Or men, for that matter.) People who know more about this than I have have written on this extensively, so I’m not going to pretend I can do this issue justice, but there are lots of issues at play here: resentment and bitterness towards those they believe to be the ‘liberal elite’, working class white men feeling left behind, anger at ‘PC culture’, that old American fear that someone will take away their guns and land (i.e. individual right to do whatever they want on *their* property), longstanding bullshit propaganda about what ‘communism’ is, propaganda around terrorism, etc etc etc. American culture and media is fucked. And yeah, lots of people who voted for Trump are plain old racists. But many more probably voted for him in ‘defiance’, to stick their tongue out at ‘liberals’, out of misplaced anger at a system that failed them, etc.

    Of course lots of rich white people supported Trump. Rich white people generally are in large part responsible for voting for right wing parties, obviously because they want to keep their money and the system that made them rich. But it isn’t *only* about that. And I bet that if you talked to some Trump supporters in person (I have), you’d find their ideas incredibly misguided and confused, but not necessarily that they are evil or hateful.

    I thought this article was useful/revealing, also:

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/6-reasons-trumps-rise-that-no-one-talks-about/

    • Wren

      Yes this is all true. Frustrated people were duped by Trump (well, frustrated AND very stupid, unless they were just rich). A lot of this is just a divide-and-conquer tactic that the Republican party has used for years to garner support for an agenda that is really only benefiting the elite. People who voted for Trump don’t understand the long sordid history of Reaganomics and the loss of the American Dream. Fear-mongering and resentment had a lot to do with traditionally Republican voters overlooking Trump’s inadequacies.

      However, the liberal abandonment of Clinton is totally due to misogyny, and may have had a much bigger impact on the election than we will ever know. Men of all colors absolutely denounced her, as you know. This should not have happened, but it did because non-Republican men hate women just as much, and maybe more, as you’ve explained in this article.

      I have never voted Republican, but I must admit if in a future election I had to choose between a reasonably intelligent Republican or a Democrat that endorsed the dissolution of Title IX or women’s only spaces, or who vocally supported porn and prostitution, I would probably vote Republican. Crazy but true.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yes to all of this.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’ve found it almost impossible specifically to reach WOMEN who watch porn, oddly. Men I speak to often already feel guilty and ashamed about their porn consumption, so will kind of capitulate when you talk to them about it. But women who consume porn do so confidently, with the belief that they are consuming porn because they are sexually liberated, it’s ‘their choice’, and that those who challenge them or don’t use porn, like them, are repressed prudes.

    It’s veeeeery frustrating. And I have yet to find a way to get through to these women.

    • Rachael

      Yup. Every time I raise it in a mainstream forum I get all of these “special awakened” women shouting about how porn is amazing and if you’re not into it then you’re a prude.

  • Wren

    What about the men who are consumers of this kind of violent porn? Are they psychopaths?
    (imo, they are psychopaths in the making because, unfortunately, it is everyday men that watch this shit, not some Ted Bundy/serial killer types)

  • Wren

    “The women who agree to perform in porn and spew the nonsense that it is empowering for women are complicit with rape and the sexual abuse of children.”

    I don’t think this is a fair statement. Most women who are in the sex industry in any form are liable to defend it because they are not yet ready to acknowledge the nightmare they are in. This is the same for any relationship dynamic that is abusive. Remember, these are women who more than likely have been abused repeatedly in their lives and don’t know anything else. Additionally, a woman may not have the actual liberty to criticize or leave the industry at will, depending on her situation. Many women are literally trapped, drugged, and imprisoned through physical barriers or threats of retaliation. The porn industry is not much different than brothels, after all.

    Certainly women who are the pimps and producers hold more accountability, but in essence you are saying that any young woman who gets sucked into porn is responsible for the societal damage. I hope that is not what you mean to say.

    • Rachael

      This. There are many documented cases where the women are pro-porn/prostitution whilst in the industry and once they’ve escaped have become very vocal about being against it – and they explain why. Generally it’s because they had to feel positive towards it to get through their experiences with some semblance of sanity.

  • Wren

    This is the big bad truth.

  • Wren

    “It takes years, decades to come out of the trauma and into clarity about what has been done to you and how you’ve been manipulated and used. And that’s if you’re lucky. And by then nobody cares.”

    I agree 100% with this statement.
    *Except that I care and I know you do, too 🙂

    • Melanie

      Thanks Wren. It feels like feminists are the only ones who care or get it sometimes. Feminist Current is like a little corner of sanity and hope. Many thanks to Meghan and all the writers here.

      • Meghan Murphy

        <3

  • Can’tUnseeIt

    I couldn’t finish watching the interview…it made me sick to watch this girl describing her “work” in a way that made it seem no different than if she was describing her free agent contract details to work at the neighborhood 7 Eleven store. What I kept thinking is that under patriarchy women have been hated on for so long that the first lesson we learn is self-loathing and the second lesson is how to best assist in the normalizing of that hatred. I find this entire subject deeply traumatizing.

  • Alienigena

    “The ways they must abuse people of color, in particular women of color, is ghastly.”

    There was a recent news story about the horrific treatment female corrections officers (i.e. prison guards) received at Edmonton Institution (a federal prison) in Canada (city I live in) and the description of the kinds of things that were done to these women almost made me gag. These descriptions include waterboarding female co-workers, stalking these women offsite, following them in the workplace with exposed penises, dipping their penises in the women’s drinks. So you have to wonder how these male officers and other staff (e.g. warden and assistant wardens, supervisors, etc) treated prisoners. If you want to be sickened read the transcripts describing what these women went through. I assume some of them are white (one was an immigrant from Serbia).

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/prison-guards-correctional-service-of-canada-waterboarding-1.4571728

  • Wren

    You really think that women who are messed up in porn and the producers of such porn are equally condemnable?? How can someone *choose* to be brainwashed? You have no sympathy for these women who spoke out?? You don’t believe there is ANY coercion involved when women enter the sex industry?

  • Simone Firestone

    I wholeheartedly agree with you. You’re correct. My brain went on a whirl after reading the harrowing account above and consequently commented in a fraught state. I highly value each and every wise comment coming from my radical feminist family here at FC. For the sake of pellucidity and plain truth, I edited out some parts of my original statement, deleting the phrase ‘only pathologic creeps can enjoy’ in cognisance of pornography’s normalisation and legitimacy in our society as well as changing the word ‘industry’ to ‘worldwide criminal enterprise’ which is aptly appropriate esp. since pornography is organised and is a combination of these egregious criminal activities committed against women and female children forced into pornography : rape, serious physical injuries, terrorism, sexual exploitation, trafficking, and murder.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Hmm the working class has been thoroughly dicked around by capitalism, and particularly dicked around in America.

    Yes, white working class people are equally as capable of racism and misogyny as anyone, and should be accountable for that. But it’s weird to take class out of your analysis of oppression. Capitalism is an INCREDIBLY harmful system.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Thanks for your support, Rich.

  • Rachael

    I agree. I’ve found one or two non-religious men who got it before I even raised it with them (my partner is one) but I’ve found they tend to be on the spectrum. The only other guys willing to engage with me on this have been religious.

  • Rachael

    It’s one of the hardest lessons a woman has to learn, I think.

  • Rachael

    I’m dealing with the same. My responses are so hardwired that I have a difficult time accepting loving sex from my partner. He cares about my pleasure, and his is tied up with mine. It’s very new to me even after four years, and I’m still trying to figure out how to enjoy it.

  • Liz

    they are adults that our culture started grooming at about 4 or 5 years old to learn that the most important thing a woman can be is desirable. Our culture says this is what women are for. And many were groomed even more specifically by rape, including in childhood. It takes a long time to realize this grooming has happened to you and that it’s not your fault. Everything is invested in making sure we never come to understand this. There is no escape. This is what I believe.

    Also, I believe that as long as ANY women are abused and exploited in this way, ALL women are only some number of paychecks away from having it happen to them too.

  • Meghan Murphy

    (Chihuahuas are sooo sweet)

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh I see. (I think?) Like, you mean to say that the white working class (those who would vote for Trump, in any case) feel *they* specifically have been abandoned and exclude people of colour from that perspective?

    • Tinfoil the Hat

      YES! Sorry I didn’t make that clear. That’s exactly how it is.

      • Meghan Murphy

        I see. I mean, I think you are right…. I do, though, still have some sympathy for these folks. They’ve really been manipulated, lied to, and duped. Made promises that weren’t fulfilled, etc.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yes definitely…

  • Jani

    How sickening that they can brag about “destroying” a young life.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh thank you so much for being here, Tinfoil! I’m so grateful for all the conversations you (and others) have/facilitate here.

  • Jani

    It’s very easy for a young teen to fall into, fuelled by the fantasy that it’s a glamorous world and maybe they’ll be famous and living the life of a movie star — because they have no experience of adult life never mind the reality of the porn industry. There’s so much porn flavoured Kool Aid out there that it’s actually quite difficult to find a well-informed critical opinion. Some are definitely not making an informed decision at all.

  • Jani

    I know!!!! Who makes up this shit??!!!

  • Jani

    Yeah, they said Sarah Baartman, the African woman put on display as the Hottentot Venus, had so-called “agency”. Really??!!! That kind of stupidity is dangerous.

  • Liz

    I see your point and agree that porn contains filmed and photographed criminal offenses. I would say it’s full of obvious human rights and civil rights violations. At the same time, I think porn is an industry. It is legal, beyond that it is incredible how cunningly pornographers use the law to protect themselves, their product, and their ability to continue (annoyingly so in my opinion). It is normalized and legitimized…you could say our culture is saturated with it. I don’t know if human misery disqualifies it as an industry. For example, I think arms and munitions manufacturing also produces human misery as a business model, for-profit prisons too. They are industries rife with criminal violations, still industries. Maybe I need to learn more about criminal syndicates though, heh.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Yeah exactly. “Industry” does not mean = “good thing” or “legit.” Most industries are unethical and exploitative, as far as I’m concerned. The oil industry, beauty industry, meat industry, etc etc.

    • Wren

      I think it is important to call it the sex industry since it implies that an intimate act has been commodified and that this is a result of rampant capitalization. I also think that if we don’t make this distinction, then it lends credence to Larry Flynt’s old adage “it’s just sex”, and we all know that it isn’t just sex. It’s the industrialization of sex, and it should be criticized as both a form of industrial exploitation and sexual abuse, and therefore an inherent violation of human dignity.

      Many liberals freely criticize capitalism but defend the sex industry and this is obviously hypocritical, and pointing this contradiction out has worked to turn some minds. However, when I feel that I am in the presence of a sympathetic mind, I often refer to the sex industry as commercial rape, but people have to warm up to this idea.

      These are just my thoughts.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Agree.

      • Goddess_of_Dischord

        I don’t understand how liberals don’t see sex work as commercial rape…they say a woman “chose” that profession but my question is…how can anyone consent to sex if that is their job? Like I think it’s a known fact that no one would sleep with just anyone esp girls with guys as bad sex can hurt, but as a prostitute you can’t really pick and choose who you are having sex with if you need the money and this is your means of living…so if there is no choosing there is no consent and this type of sex is RAPE…just the fact that there is money involve means it is rape cuz the woman would otherwise not be having sex with this man. Anyways, thank you for your thoughts Wren, I always love your comments.

        • corvid

          Yes. Men and women across the political spectrum, even so many well-meaning people, are really unwilling to take the logic by which we recognize rape, and apply it to prostitution. It’s generally accepted that “work” means sometimes doing things we don’t want to do in order to make money. Name me one job on Earth that doesn’t include doing something we would rather not do at some point. Sex we don’t want is sexual assault or rape. Therefore if we’re going to accept the premise that sex can and should be “work”, it seems to me that this is an implicit acceptance of rape and sexual assault.

  • Cassandra

    I guess I didn’t think of it that way. I see what you mean.

  • Simone Firestone

    Oh, no, not at all. Even if you were, I would gladly welcome it bec. it will instruct and improve me. I love to read each and every insightful comments here at FC’ I guess every rad fem commentator is my favourite. But may I just say you are one of my most favourites. Thank you, sister!

    Let’s continue the fight against the patriarchy!

  • Germaine

    Nobody may treat a woman like that !!!
    Even when she is stupid or when it is her own choice. Or when she is brainwashed or coerced or loves being a slave.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I don’t believe any woman ‘loves being a slave’… I think women do convince themselves they enjoy it, sometimes…

  • Topazthecat

    Jezebel has always been a fake ”feminist” site.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I mean, there are a million more industries we could add to this list, yeah… Modelling, advertising…

  • Can’tUnseeIt

    “A man cannot punch and kick a women until she loves him or respects him.”
    No they can’t, however, I don’t believe men are looking for love or respect from women–at least not the men who watch or make this endless violent parade of pixilated pussies. They get off on the fear they instill in women. And they want obedience and then despise you even more if you comply. It’s about power and destruction. And I agree they have only dropped the pretense of seeking something other than this. And it doesn’t take much for the pretense to fall away these days…all we have to do is speak up and call them on their hatred, name their sadistic abuse, or simply refuse to believe their lies and all the “Mr. Nice Guys” rise up into a cloud of collective rage and what about me-ism. They’re pitiful, creepy and very dangerous. Too bad they have so much real power in so many areas of life.

  • Can’tUnseeIt

    “This material appeals to all manner of men.” I agree.

  • Topazthecat

    And as I’ve said many times and many places before,it’s so mind boggling and incomprehensible that men are born from and nurtured by *women* the very people they hate for *no rational* reasons for 1000’s of years,imagine if Jews gave birth to and nurtured Nazis,and Black people gave birth to and nurtured white racist Ku Klux Klan members,and then were expected to and often did have ”romantic” relationships with them,except they can’t and don’t and it’s only unique to women.

  • Topazthecat

    Well a whole society and the majority of it’s members can be sick,like in the Nazi society,mommies and daddies,teachers,lawyers,and doctors etc were Nazis,and most respectable citizens owned black people as slaves and even hung them to death which was legal,Thomas Jefferson owned black slaves as did some other men who wrote the US constitution,and many of them owned women too.So it was the whole societies that were sick not just individuals and it’s the same exact thing with the sick woman-hating,pornographic male dominated society too.

  • Topazthecat

    Actually it was radical feminist Robin Morgan who first said this quote in 1974.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robin_Morgan

  • Topazthecat

    That reminds me that in the Fall of 1990 when I first spoke to Rhea at the sadly former feminist anti-pornography organization,The Women’s Alliance Against Pornography Education Project she told me that she knew of a young guy who wanted to be a politician and he said he loved women giving him oral sex because it made him feel superior to women,and Rhea said now what kind of leader is he going to become?

  • Topazthecat

    Well back in 2004 there were people who compared the Abu-Grahib torture and degrading treatment of the prisoners to pornography.

  • Bleeps3

    A very small percentage of white women are real-life images of (genuinely) empowered womanhood; and patriarchy has decided the best way to defeat that image and erase the mere concept of powerful women from the collective consciousness (because if a girl sees that when she’s little, she’s always going to be uppity in some way), is to delegitimize these women, using a favorite method of American conservatives: neurolinguistic programming — basically repeating a phrase over and over, especially one that has emotional pull to it, until people are invested in a new resentment or fear. White feminism.*

    And so now we have a situation where people believe that white women, any and all, regardless of context, are responsible for patriarchy. They are the real masters behind the scenes pulling the strings. And so in a moment where women are recognizing their common experiences, and their shared desire to fight this system, the distract, divide and conquer tactic of using the evil white bitch as the scapegoat has caught on spectacularly.

    *There is most definitely real white feminism, as has been discussed on this site, and I in no way mean to discount that.

    • Wren

      This is an excellent explanation. I’m saving it to my ‘good posts’ folder.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Oh my god! This is actually one of my ongoing, daily fears… Every time I walk my dog I worry that some violent man will come along and kick her. It’s odd because I’ve never seen this happen before, and couldn’t tell you where the fear came from, other than, I suppose, that good old fashioned fear of male violence.

  • Meghan Murphy

    You left essentially this same comment on another post, which I responded to, so apologies for the repetition in my response, but: do you speak to oil workers before determining whether or not the oil industry is harmful? I mean, you could defend literally any industry/practice on this basis. But industries are not necessarily ‘good’ or defensible because workers needs jobs… That is a right wing argument used to manipulate working class people into supporting practices that harm the planet and don’t actually lift working class people out of the working class, anyway, but instead keeps them exploitable.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah, as far as I can tell, ‘non-vanilla’ sex refers to porny practices or BDSM… Shaming women who don’t engage in those practices by labeling them ‘vanilla’ (i.e. boring prudes) is a pretty good trick!

  • Simone Firestone

    Sister, surely, that would be great irl. Despite being a newbie here around November of last year, I immediately felt at home with all of you. I feel more: safe, happy, inspired, thirsty for knowledge, and at peace here at FC with fellow radical feminists enough to create a new account subscribed to nothing else but FC and its many fabulous commentators. Thank you so much to Ms. Murphy, thank you so much to all of you for all the fabulous and fearless work that you do in the name of feminism. At the end of the month, I’ll be a guest speaker at an important public event in commemoration of women’s month. In light of this, I want to say thank you for the inspiration. Each and every one of you will be specially thought of as I begin to draft my short speech and as I say my speech.

  • Wren

    “There is concentration camp themed porn…it is most used by men of Jewish heritage.
    What the actual fuck???

  • Hanakai

    I have trouble thinking of pornography as an industry. Although porn make money for the pornographers and exploiters, it differs significantly from any legal industry in many ways, porn and prostitution being inextricably and inexorably linked and being illegal or only quasi-legal. Porn also differs from legal industries in hiring and firing, employment practices and terms and conditions of employment. Come on, in normal employment people are not risking getting infected with HIV through unprotected sex and bodily fluid exchanges, or risking anal prolapse, or getting assaulted and battered. Porn is a different beast all together. Essentially it is a criminal enterprise, whether it is legal in a particular jurisdiction or not.

    Today my thought is to refer to it as a criminal enterprise, or as the sex trade. Just like the horror of the human in African people was labelled the slave trade, this trade in women and child as porn and prostitution objects is the sex trade, or even more accurately perhaps, the sex slave trade.

    Turd Wavers and some might argue that pornography is a sex-positive empowerment of women and freeing of female sexuality and that volitional participants are hardly slaves. But I would say that an adult women who volunteers her body in porn and prostitution is a slave in her mind, a slave to the patriarchal order and mindset, a slave to delusions and illusions. One thinks of Goethe’s admonition: “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely think they are free.”

    Those who free their minds see how participating in porn and prostitution corrodes the heart and soul; damages the body; spreads physical, infectious and mental diseases & disorders; perpetuates patriarchal power and the rape and abuse of women and children; and perpetuates the normalization of prostitution and pornography, neither of which exists in sexually healthy cultures or mindsets.

    Porn hurts women and children. And it corrupts the hearts of men. It should not exist.

    • Can’tUnseeIt

      “…or even more accurately perhaps, the sex slave trade.” “It should not exist.”
      Exactly, and describing it in the language of ordinary commerce using terms like “work” or “industry” just serves to normalize it making it more palatable when it is anything but. And I would add quotes around “volunteers her body.” Before you can volunteer something you must actually be in full possession of it, and I think history clearly shows the fact that women have been fighting for ownership of our own bodies (and minds) since time immemorial under a system that denies us these basic rights at every turn.

  • acommentator

    True. There were a lot of things that went into it.

  • acommentator

    In the U.S. the tobacco industry kind of stands alone, IMO. There is nothing else quite like it. The government is so dependent upon the money (derived from high taxes on the product and settlement agreements with the companies) it gets from tobacco sales that the industry amounts to a government protected monopoly. The system is set up to make it impossible for new companies to undercut the prices of the existing companies and to wring every cent it can from people (generally in the lower income brackets) who are addicted to the stuff and find it hard to quit.

    Looked at this way, it is a ruthless system to extract resources from the poor and near poor. Take something that many people are addicted to, and tax the hell out of it. Works very well.

  • Meghan Murphy

    The UK women are at least very organized and able to connect in real life regularly… (And of course are incredibly smart and courageous…)

  • Rachael

    Yep, I think I’m getting wheee you’re coming from. Which is why individual parents are stuck between a rock and a hard place, regardless of their intentions. It’s society as a whole that needs to do away with gender.

  • Meghan Murphy

    <3

  • Meghan Murphy

    I am lucky to know many radical feminists irl, but I am nonetheless jealous of what the UK women have going on…

  • Meghan Murphy

    The thing I worry about with this kind of language, though, is that I think it doesn’t work on people who don’t already have a feminist analysis of the sex trade. To them, I think it can read as sensationalizing, and people shut down when they feel like they are being manipulated via exaggerated language… I mean, *I* know what you mean, but I think when we’re thinking about/talking about language, we need to think about talking to a broad audience… I think the ‘industry’ part is useful because it points to the commodification — the treating women as things to be bought, sold, and used.

    • Wren

      You are completely correct. I have experiential evidence that it does not work to try and convince people of the damages of prostitution and porn by using this heightened (although accurate) language.This immediately shuts people down and turns into a confrontation about the African slave trade and people have a lot of (justifiable) feelings about it. They will accuse you of a false equivalency. Or if you describe the industry as the rape trade they will not believe you and you will lose your audience. People really believe that prostitution and porn are inevitable, albeit distasteful, part of modern life, and anything that might challenge the falsities they’ve been fed their entire lives must be done in a way that doesn’t make them freak out. Caring and thoughtful people have a notion that it’s all bullocks, but they still need to be convinced. Everyone has been programmed and deprogramming is probably more art than science.

      I think saying sex ‘work’ is a mollifying and misleading term because it doesn’t indicate the enormity of the structural forces behind the industry. I also don’t particularly like sex ‘trade’ for the same reason and because some of it is prostitution, some is porn, strip clubs, web cam stuff, BDSM, etc. It really is an industry that has tentacles everywhere, and some are legal in some places, illegal in others, etc. so I think trade is not broad enough.

      Like I said, I call it the sex industry when talking about it generally. When describing it to friends or talking about my personal experience, I use stronger language. I don’t feel like my experience is invalidated when anyone uses industry to describe it. Others may feel differently, but I completely agree with you.

      • Meghan Murphy

        Yes exactly.

      • corvid

        Exited women like yourself, Wren, should always have the last word on how we structure our activism and use language. Thank you so much for your invaluable contributions to this site and to this discussion.

        • Wren

          Thanks, but I don’t mean to shut down the conversation at all. I think it’s a good conversation and I see the reasoning on both sides!

    • corvid

      True. There is so much denial around the nature of prostitution that using broader language is necessary. The words “prostitution” and “pornography” are the most direct but they don’t capture the industrial scale at which girls and women are being treated as resources to be exploited.

  • Bleeps3

    I sometimes think the analogy to factory-farming and junk or fast-food can get through to a few people who otherwise don’t want to hear anything negative about “sex work”.

    It’s the rape-farming* of women and children, served up as slop for men to consume. It’s beyond f-d up that to get a lot of people to feel empathy for the rape-slaves of the world you have to compare it to the ways that we treat animals raised for food, but I’ve seen it work.

    *can’t say rape of course, have to pretend rape is sex

  • Elara

    Thank you! Yes, same. So many articulated commenters in here, yourself included.

  • acommentator

    I recently heard “Cross Eyed Mary” (the Jethro Tull tune) and it struck me that it had a somewhat similar message to the one you mention here. The idea of a teen aged hooker who charges rich men lots of money and, for the poor men, “does it for a song”. She is presented as a robin hood type figure.

    And Ian Anderson does often have a “industrialization is bad, the bucolic countryside is good” kind of vibe to his songs, which again is not far different from the view you describe. “Farm on the Freeway”, “Songs from the Wood”, etc.

    Of course, when I first heard it back in the 70s I did not think of this at all, though I did think the lyrics were odd.

  • FierceMild

    Thank you, Wren, for offering your perspective on this. It must be hard to go over and over horrible experiences like this. You are brave, honest, intelligent, and caring I admire you.

  • Melanie

    Adults can be groomed, manipulated, coerced, taken advantage of, exploited in all kinds of situations, especially if they already have a vulnerability such as youth, mental illness, addiction, trauma, poverty or desperation. It seems that women in particular are denied their humanity in this regard and are expected to be invulnerable, ’empowered’ walking automatons expressing our free ‘agency’ and ‘choice’ at all times. This makes it easy to shift the blame onto us and ignore the criminal traffickers, pimps and abusive men and their choices.

  • Melanie

    When you say ‘daddy issues’ what you mean is that they’ve been emotionally, physically or sexually abused by their fathers. The term ‘daddy issues’ minimizes that and makes it sound like the problem is within the victim, which it is not.

    • HR

      yes, you are correct, that does minimize incest and rape. i shouldn’t have used that term.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I honestly don’t see the point of porn at all. Why is porn something we need in society, anyway?

  • Meghan Murphy

    I think this notion of ‘people will always want it’ is not a strong argument and defeatist… People say the same thing about prostitution. I think if we are going to defend a media form or industry, we should be able to do so. Why do we need porn in the first place? Why is it necessary or valuable?

    Beyond that, I’m not necessarily opposed to images depicting sexuality or nudity, and I believe there are ways to depict sexuality and nudity that don’t amount to objectification and pornography. We pretend as if porn is salvageable, but why does it need to be salvaged? We know what porn is. It’s ok to reject it, as feminists or simply as ethical people.

  • Meghan Murphy

    It wouldn’t be porn?

  • -Jane Don’t-

    Men can be so Fucking vile.

  • Joe

    One problem. There is a video of her agreeing to get slapped and called the names before the scene. That is literally consent. In the video the director also stated that any time she feels uncomfortable just say cut, stop, or don’t and they will immediately stop.

    • Morag999

      Coercing a woman to verbally agree to men degrading, sexually abusing, and beating her makes these male crimes even more sadistic.

  • Meghan Murphy

    If you’re not a creep, there are plenty of ‘sex parties’ that take great care to keep things safe where you can watch other couples having sex, who want to be watched having sex. What porn users want is control, and, clearly to watch women being objectified and degraded. They don’t want to just watch real life people having real life sex, who are having genuine pleasure and genuinely enjoy being watched sometimes, by non-misogynist non-creeps.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Agree!

  • Meghan Murphy

    I’ve never been and never would go — I have zero interest in watching other people have sex. But I have friends who have been, so have asked them many a detail, out of curiosity.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I think your skepticism is totally warranted. I’m skeptical of the idea that women can escape the male gaze, but glad that some women are feeling like they can explore their sexualities safely.

  • Goddess_of_Dischord

    While I disagree with a lot of what the American government does and believe the US still needs reform 1) it is still better here than in a lot of other countries esp countries run by dictators 2) if I move that may help me but it doesn’t help the rest of the people in the country, instead its’ better to fight for change. While life in America is def not perfect (where is it though?) at least I was able to get an education and a job. Also my family and friends are here. We do also have WIC, welfare and food stamps it’s not like there is no social support for the poor. People want guns because they like to hunt and want to be able to protect themselves. Have we had a lot of shootings? yes unfortunately but I’d say the majority of Americans want guns for their own protection. I live in NJ with strict gun laws and you know who has the guns? Policeman of course and all the criminals and gang members

    • la scapigliata

      Thank you for this insight. I agree that there are countries that are even worse than the US, but there are many that are much better (in terms of social support, education, healthcare, safety, infrastructure etc).. The gun thing looks to me like a vicious cycle. The only way to break it would be to do what UK and Australia have done, and that’s to really confiscate all the weapons. From everyone. And leave shooting clubs and ranges, strict laws regarding ownership, only hunting weapons might be held off premises in special circumstances, no carrying of firearms and police not being armed either. I know this sounds impossible and all sorts of insane to Americans, but in all other Western democracies it’s working just fine, and they have incomparably smaller rates of gun crime. But I’m starting to realise that most Americans actually want the country they have, so I suppose it makes sense. My issue is that the hightened violence and desensitisation to it that occurs in the US due to gun worship, coupled with imperial reach, is damaging the rest of the world. We don’t want American violence, but it is imposed on us. In that sense, there’s culpability that needs to be explored. Imo.

  • Goddess_of_Dischord

    Yes the liberal men go around saying women have the ‘right’ to degrade themselves and call it feminist when they consume these kinds of things. We get called out for “judging women’s sexuality” *rolls eyes*

  • Goddess_of_Dischord

    I say this all the time: many women are misogynist too

    • Robert Lindsay

      Thank you.

      • Goddess_of_Dischord

        Honestly I’ve heard some of the most disgusting things come from women. Women love to slut shame other women and tell them how to act if they want to ‘keep their man.’ Women are also complicit and even join men in the sexualization/objectification of other women.

  • Meghan Murphy

    So if we don’t need it, why not get rid of it?