Monday, January 4, 2010

What if we had a reasonably good conversation about pornography's harm but pretended there were no women being abused in the industry? Naomi Wolf succeeds in accomplishing this mission with plenty of help from New York Magazine, Ariel Levy, and MEN






















  • I cannot agree more with this article. I was in a relationship for 2 years with a man who was addicted to pornography. I am a very outgoing, sexual (but not promiscuous), and independent woman. However, after being subjected to constant rejection and coming in second to pornography, it did nothing short of crush my spirit. I would beg to say that the lowest point in my years on this earth were those two.
    Women cannot compete with the digital and surgically enhanced sex machines on the internet, open twenty-four hours for your convenience.
    Pornography will always be around, but should never become a "staple" in our society, or in our personal lives.
    By discokitteh on 08/09/2008 at 6:52pm

































  • Oh well, men are less excited for the real thing, and now women have less power and feel deprived. I can remember being the sexually frustrated, nerdy kid in school that the hot girls gleefully teased and cruelly tormented with no compassion or remorse. Porn on the internet has been a godsend for me in weakening the power that females abused. Women get no sympathy from me, and between porn and my girlfriend, my sexual needs are well satisfied. Other women are now judged mainly on their abilities, character and personality (as men are), and that is a good thing.
    By lveric on 08/12/2008 at 2:08am

































  • You haven't said anything about the mainstream porn industry basically being an extension of patriarchy. How it institutionalises a fringe, imbalanced view of sexuality (crude male fantasies), and now dictates universal sexual behaviour. One would imagine that bright, young university students would be able to see through that but it is clear that the noose of patriarchy is as everpresent in the 'liberal' modernity as in the not-so-liberal past.
    By Boharh on 08/13/2008 at 5:27am








































  • I cannot agree more with this article. I was in a relationship for 2 years with a man who was addicted to pornography. I am a very outgoing, sexual (but not promiscuous), and independent woman. However, after being subjected to constant rejection and coming in second to pornography, it did nothing short of crush my spirit. I would beg to say that the lowest point in my years on this earth were those two.
    Women cannot compete with the digital and surgically enhanced sex machines on the internet, open twenty-four hours for your convenience.
    Pornography will always be around, but should never become a "staple" in our society, or in our personal lives.
    By discokitteh on 08/09/2008 at 6:52pm

































  • Oh well, men are less excited for the real thing, and now women have less power and feel deprived. I can remember being the sexually frustrated, nerdy kid in school that the hot girls gleefully teased and cruelly tormented with no compassion or remorse. Porn on the internet has been a godsend for me in weakening the power that females abused. Women get no sympathy from me, and between porn and my girlfriend, my sexual needs are well satisfied. Other women are now judged mainly on their abilities, character and personality (as men are), and that is a good thing.
    By lveric on 08/12/2008 at 2:08am

































  • You haven't said anything about the mainstream porn industry basically being an extension of patriarchy. How it institutionalises a fringe, imbalanced view of sexuality (crude male fantasies), and now dictates universal sexual behaviour. One would imagine that bright, young university students would be able to see through that but it is clear that the noose of patriarchy is as everpresent in the 'liberal' modernity as in the not-so-liberal past.
    By Boharh on 08/13/2008 at 5:27am








































  • I cannot agree more with this article. I was in a relationship for 2 years with a man who was addicted to pornography. I am a very outgoing, sexual (but not promiscuous), and independent woman. However, after being subjected to constant rejection and coming in second to pornography, it did nothing short of crush my spirit. I would beg to say that the lowest point in my years on this earth were those two.
    Women cannot compete with the digital and surgically enhanced sex machines on the internet, open twenty-four hours for your convenience.
    Pornography will always be around, but should never become a "staple" in our society, or in our personal lives.
    By discokitteh on 08/09/2008 at 6:52pm

































  • Oh well, men are less excited for the real thing, and now women have less power and feel deprived. I can remember being the sexually frustrated, nerdy kid in school that the hot girls gleefully teased and cruelly tormented with no compassion or remorse. Porn on the internet has been a godsend for me in weakening the power that females abused. Women get no sympathy from me, and between porn and my girlfriend, my sexual needs are well satisfied. Other women are now judged mainly on their abilities, character and personality (as men are), and that is a good thing.
    By lveric on 08/12/2008 at 2:08am

































  • You haven't said anything about the mainstream porn industry basically being an extension of patriarchy. How it institutionalises a fringe, imbalanced view of sexuality (crude male fantasies), and now dictates universal sexual behaviour. One would imagine that bright, young university students would be able to see through that but it is clear that the noose of patriarchy is as everpresent in the 'liberal' modernity as in the not-so-liberal past.
    By Boharh on 08/13/2008 at 5:27am























  •  [images of Naomi Wolf, Ariel Levy, and some well-tailored U.S. men are from here, here, and here.]

    What do those people and the people quoted below have in common? Read on...

    "I cannot agree more with this article. I was in a relationship for 2 years with a man who was addicted to pornography. I am a very outgoing, sexual (but not promiscuous), and independent woman. However, after being subjected to constant rejection and coming in second to pornography, it did nothing short of crush my spirit. I would beg to say that the lowest point in my years on this earth were those two.
    Women cannot compete with the digital and surgically enhanced sex machines on the internet, open twenty-four hours for your convenience.
    Pornography will always be around, but should never become a "staple" in our society, or in our personal lives."
    *     *     *
    "Oh well, men are less excited for the real thing, and now women have less power and feel deprived. I can remember being the sexually frustrated, nerdy kid in school that the hot girls gleefully teased and cruelly tormented with no compassion or remorse. Porn on the internet has been a godsend for me in weakening the power that females abused. Women get no sympathy from me, and between porn and my girlfriend, my sexual needs are well satisfied. Other women are now judged mainly on their abilities, character and personality (as men are), and that is a good thing."
     *     *     *
    "You haven't said anything about the mainstream porn industry basically being an extension of patriarchy. How it institutionalises a fringe, imbalanced view of sexuality (crude male fantasies), and now dictates universal sexual behaviour. One would imagine that bright, young university students would be able to see through that but it is clear that the noose of patriarchy is as everpresent in the 'liberal' modernity as in the not-so-liberal past."
    *     *     *
    "I am a socially inept male in my thirties, skinny, out-of-shape and balding. The few partners that I had in my younger days when I was fitter and better looking were in the extremely low tier of physical and social attractiveness…. In other words, they were the extremely unattractive, obese sort with some psychological issues. What could I have done? … They were the only girls that would have me, and I had both sexual and emotional needs! These brief relationships were completely unfulfilling, if not altogether disturbing and psychologically defeating. The older I got, the more porn I watched and the less inclined I have become to subject myself to rejection or a dysfunctional relationship. Naturally, porn became my only sexual outlet. The moral is that some men need porn for sexual release so that they could get through the day without staring at their attractive coworkers or getting an erection when a miniskirt clad secretary bends over to add paper to the copy machine. Some would call porn a service to suffering humanity, but apparently, Ms Wolfe is not very humane. Instead, she is more interested in, for example, that some office vamp will be denied the satisfaction of making the single nerdy guys in her workplace squirm as she struts down in unprofessional attire, turning to have a laugh at their expense with her

















  • I can only speak from my experience. I have masturbated since I was about five. I don't know how I learned; I just remember I found this way to make me and my pee-pee (as a five year old) feel really, really good, and I've continued to use masturbation to feel good. I'm 53 so in the sixties as a boy I occasionally got exposed to a few pictures or magazines with suggestive pictures and text - True Detective, Playboy, etc. I have always been deathly afraid of rejection, failure and frustration. Dating, sex and relationships are at the apex of those fears. I have so conditioned myself to get sexually excited through a continuous stream of images, movies and fantasy, some of it far more intense, varied and sometimes dark than a normal sexual experience and now when I get together with a woman for sex I find an initial arousal, then a decline and if I'm going to maintain an erection and climax I must, must resort to fantasy and that fantasy takes me away from any real and connected experience with this woman. I think/feel it (the need to fantasize) as so dysfunctional and unsatisfying in the real experience that I more and more and more just use Porn, Fantasy and Masturbation to get the high and orgasm that I can no longer get with another. Like any addict deadened to real life through the use of some substance or behavior, I've deadened myself to real sex through the use of P-F-M. I'm not a clinical case study, but in just a short time our culture has advanced to such an extent that we are bombarded by images, lifestyles, marketing, technology, etc. that, I wonder, our brains have not evolved to cope with. The message I read certainly resonates with me.









  • girlfriends."
    *     *     *
    "I can only speak from my experience. I have masturbated since I was about five. I don't know how I learned; I just remember I found this way to make me and my pee-pee (as a five year old) feel really, really good, and I've continued to use masturbation to feel good. I'm 53 so in the sixties as a boy I occasionally got exposed to a few pictures or magazines with suggestive pictures and text - True Detective, Playboy, etc. I have always been deathly afraid of rejection, failure and frustration. Dating, sex and relationships are at the apex of those fears. I have so conditioned myself to get sexually excited through a continuous stream of images, movies and fantasy, some of it far more intense, varied and sometimes dark than a normal sexual experience and now when I get together with a woman for sex I find an initial arousal, then a decline and if I'm going to maintain an erection and climax I must, must resort to fantasy and that fantasy takes me away from any real and connected experience with this woman. I think/feel it (the need to fantasize) as so dysfunctional and unsatisfying in the real experience that I more and more and more just use Porn, Fantasy and Masturbation to get the high and orgasm that I can no longer get with another. Like any addict deadened to real life through the use of some substance or behavior, I've deadened myself to real sex through the use of P-F-M. I'm not a clinical case study, but in just a short time our culture has advanced to such an extent that we are bombarded by images, lifestyles, marketing, technology, etc. that, I wonder, our brains have not evolved to cope with. The message I read certainly resonates with me."

















  • I can only speak from my experience. I have masturbated since I was about five. I don't know how I learned; I just remember I found this way to make me and my pee-pee (as a five year old) feel really, really good, and I've continued to use masturbation to feel good. I'm 53 so in the sixties as a boy I occasionally got exposed to a few pictures or magazines with suggestive pictures and text - True Detective, Playboy, etc. I have always been deathly afraid of rejection, failure and frustration. Dating, sex and relationships are at the apex of those fears. I have so conditioned myself to get sexually excited through a continuous stream of images, movies and fantasy, some of it far more intense, varied and sometimes dark than a normal sexual experience and now when I get together with a woman for sex I find an initial arousal, then a decline and if I'm going to maintain an erection and climax I must, must resort to fantasy and that fantasy takes me away from any real and connected experience with this woman. I think/feel it (the need to fantasize) as so dysfunctional and unsatisfying in the real experience that I more and more and more just use Porn, Fantasy and Masturbation to get the high and orgasm that I can no longer get with another. Like any addict deadened to real life through the use of some substance or behavior, I've deadened myself to real sex through the use of P-F-M. I'm not a clinical case study, but in just a short time our culture has advanced to such an extent that we are bombarded by images, lifestyles, marketing, technology, etc. that, I wonder, our brains have not evolved to cope with. The message I read certainly resonates with me.










  • Ariel Levy and Naomi Wolf, two U.S. very class-privileged white heterosexual Jewish women who want to be liked by pornographers, procurers, and men in general, need to distance themselves from someone Naomi once--openly--admired and looked to for wisdom: Andrea Dworkin. (Ariel never really did regard Andrea as much more than a poor wounded soul who could write well.) Never mind that now.

    Naomi Wolf (born 1962) and Ariel Levy (born 1974), have been immersed in the very tiny yet magnified world of privileged white women's reality, where we don't really have to notice that poor women, women of color, and women around the world, not just white middle class U.S. women, are used and abused as sexxx-things by men of all colors.

    "Pay no attention to the women in front of the camera", is the message. "They aren't real. They don't exist." The images of them are harmful to straight men, yes. And to white class privileged U.S. heterosexual women too. You can read all about it.

    Consuming pornography harms women outside the pornography industry. As for the women most egregiously harmed, by pimps directly, well, let's not focus on them. (They're not real, you see.) Andrea Dworkin refused to distance herself from any women. She understood that the deplorable conditions that affect the most disenfranchised and marginalised women need and ought to be the central focus of feminist activism. Otherwise, well, the feminism is racist and classist as hell. She called this out in 1974. But it's over thirty-five years later, and so we can pretend she never said it. (Read the introduction to Woman Hating, to know what I'm referring to.)

    Too bad, this need for distancing. Because their work has been valuable to many women and men, bridging gaps in consciousness between the anti-feminists, the non-feminists, liberal feminists, and profeminists, and the other privileged boys who get that something is wrong with pornography.

    Now if only Ariel, Naomi, and men across the whiteboy political spectrum would just come right out and condemn pornographers, pimps, and procurers of women as commiters of an atrocity against women INSIDE the industries and systems of use and abuse. Nope, none of 'em will be quoting Ruchira Gupta's work any time soon. And the reason is classism, whiteeurocentrism, and racism, along with internalised anti-Semitism and internalised misogyny, and a very legitimate fear of what corporate pornographers do to women who speak out against them.

    But why engage with, report on, and organise with the work of women outside the U.S. who don't have race privilege? My answer is because that's most women.

    See "Over Her Dead Body: How Ariel Levy Smears the Ashes of Andrea Dworkin" for more on Ariel Levy's anti-radical feminism and misogyny against Andrea Dworkin.

    1 comment:

    JENNIFER DREW said...

    So according to Naomi Wolfe the only thing wrong with pornography is that it supposedly dampens down heterosexual men's sexual desire for real women. Other than that, pornography is fine.

    Naomi Wolfe is indeed white and privileged but this does not protect her from the anger and rage male pornographers and their allies will direct at her if she so much as dares to mention pornography is all about maintaining men's pseudo beliefs in their 'right' of unlimited sexual access to any woman or child.

    Fear of upsetting powerful white male pornographers and their powerful white middle-class male allies is why Wolfe did not even consider writing about how white male power is maintained over all women. But how this power operates varies according to race, class, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

    Instead Wolfe promotes the myth that the images pornography peddles are simply 'female fantasy figures' not real women. But filmed pornography cannot exist unless there are 'real women' filmed being subjected to male sadistic sexual violence or else depicted as sexually insatiable and actively desiring any sexual act the male/males inflict on them.

    Pornography claims that all women are not human but just men's sexual service stations, as well as promoting the misogynistic myth that all or at least, most women desire nothing more than to sexually service men in whatever way, shape or form the male desires.

    Instead Wolfe depoliticises pornography and once again the focus is 'on the men' who apparently suffer because having viewed or continuing to view pornography this renders them incapable of relating heterosexually to real women. But in what way do heterosexual men as a group wish to relate to heterosexual women? As dominators and controllers of women's sexualities and bodies perhaps? Because our patriarchal society is all about male control and domination over women as a group and especially the social construction of male sexuality which claims that male sexual domination and control is innate and hence cannot be changed. Pornography too promotes these misogynistic claims but the only difference is in porn women are depicted as sexualised robots not real diverse women. So when men seek out 'real women' they are disconcerted and even angry that these 'real women' are not like the pornified images pornographers promote as 'fantasy figures.' Men who consume pornography want not only women they meet outside of pornographic representations to be the same as the pornified images but also to slavishly cater to the man's sexual demands/expectations and have no independent desires/wishes/ambitions whatsoever. It is not sufficient that men are supposedly entitled to have unlimited sexual access to women and girls, but that the women and girls they desire to sexually own and possess must also put aside any independent aspirations/desires etc.

    But there Wolfe cannot analyse how pornography is all about men's hated and contempt for women, neither must she even mention the numerous documented evidence of the harms and abuses male pornographers inflict on the women involved in the production of pornography suffer - because the women being filmed are never 'real women' instead they are apparently men's sadistic sexualised fantasies. I wish.