Thursday, August 19, 2010

Pro-Porn Patriarchs, Pimps, and their Protectors' Logical Phallusy: They insist Radical Feminists are out-of-touch when speaking and writing about the pornogaphy industry: What will they say about THIS INTERVIEW with a Black woman director in the industry?

image of Gail Dines' new book's cover is from here
VB: How do I say this nicely? Most of the guys behind the camera don’t like women.

DX: Really? As in homosexuals or misogynist or…
VB: Both, all of the above. There’s a very famous porn star who does all big booty product now and probably out of 100 girls, 80 of us have a story about him attacking us behind closed doors. Physically, like ripping our clothes off. So no, when you have personalities like that, how on earth can it be good?

DX: How do these guys stay working with everything going on off camera?
VB: What do you mean?

DX: As far as attitudes and attacking actresses?
VB: The girls deal with it. It’s very unfortunate, but the girls… they deal with it. They’re just adjusted to being run over. The industry has expanded and grown into something so toxic. Whenever a girl tells me she wants to do porn, I will spend hours trying to talk her out of it.  --
Vanessa Blue, a director in the pornography industry [source: here]

This post begins with the cover of a new book, an important book, on how pornography--corporate industry pornography, is influencing and has invaded our sexual and social lives. The book is by a white feminist anti-pornography activist, Gail Dines, who has done extensive research and interviews, and has spoken with countless women and men of all colors inside and outside the pornography industry to arrive at her conclusions presented clearly in her new book.

When feminist books come out on the subject of pornography, and they aren't kind to the pimps and profiteers, the pimp-protecting public comes out to declare that the author is an academic and doesn't know what she's talking about. They claim she's out-of-touch, lost in an Ivory Tower, unwilling to get dirty by being on the streets where women who work know what's really going on. Women of all colors work everywhere that work happens: they are probably the only demographic about whom this can be said. From historically and currently caring for the children of wealthy white people, to working in their own homes, to working in every industry, in every corporation, and in every field of intellectual investigation, women of color, collectively, more than any other demographic, are fully aware of what is going on in the world and who benefits and who doesn't.

So what would happen if a Black woman director of her own "adult" films, who has worked in the pornography industry for years, speaks out about that very same industry that (a very few) white academic feminists critique as being thoroughly racist and misogynistic, run by white male supremacist woman-haters who profit at the expense of women's humanity? Does she get written off because she works in the industry?

All that follows my introduction is conversation happening on Byron Hurt's Facebook page. Thank you, Byron. For those of you who don't know, Byron Hurt made an excellent documentary looking into the misogyny inside what has become the hip hop industry, run by white men to most profit white men who benefit from promoting heterosexist, racist, and misogynistic stereotypes. For more on that film, Hip Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes, here: http://www.bhurt.com/beyondBeatsAndRhymes.php.

Byron has an active Facebook page and started a conversation by promoting Gail Dines' new book, pictured above. Enlarged text and text put in bold was done by me, to draw attention to the hypocrisy and dishonesty of what Anthony Springer. Below you will see, yet again, how easily and effortlessly men do not listen to feminist women or take what they say to heart. Men across race and class get defensive and what they are defending is their male privileges and entitlements to not listen to women or regard their speech, points of view, analysis, and insights as just as valuable as their own. I could hypothetically ask, "I wonder what Anthony would do with the information given to him about the pornography industry from a woman who works inside it." Except we get to know the answer. We can know what he was told, if not what he heard. But what was communicated directly to him and was written up by him is forgotten by the time he types up his remarks on Byron's page going after a radical feminist, a Black woman named Aganju Axe who is against the racist and misogynistic harm of the pornography industry.

And I'll close my introductory comments by noting there's a VERY similar conversation going on at Ms. Magazine online. I've posted most of the content that I present below to that website as well, and am not sure if they'll accept it. Here is the link: http://msmagazine.com/blog/blog/2010/08/06/porn-pleasure-or-profit-ms-interviews-gail-dines-part-iii/

*          *          *

Byron Hurt
In light of Montana Fishbourne's announcement that she's decided to become a porn star, here is insightful analysis from Gail Dines on race and porn, excerpted from Dines' new book, "Pornland." Gail Dines, a friend and colleague, has written extensively on the pornography industries' impact on men and women. Check ou...t Racy Sex, Sexy Racism: Porn from the Dark Side at http://www.scribd.com/doc/31889259/An-excerpt-from-Pornland-Racy-Sex-Sexy-Racism-Porn-from-the-Dark-Side. Her book, "Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality" is now available at www.amazon.com.


Montana Fishburne: I'm A Role Model
www.huffingtonpost.com

Laurence Fishburne's budding porn star daughter Montana has taken to Twitter (via Dlisted) to call herself a role model for a future generation, to mock college degrees, to call the 'Jersey Shore' people trash and more. A few of her tweets from Thursday are photoshopped... together below, including "Ta...[the rest was cut off at Byron's Facebook page]
10 hours ago · Comment · LikeUnlike
Aganju Axe and Sarah Bryant like this.


Anthony SinSity Σ Springer
Interesting analysis. Unfortunately, it lacks any actual quotes from women who actually perform the work (unless my quick read missed something). Seems that'd be easier and a bit more conclusive than watching/reading descriptions and forming ones own conclusions. As one whose interviewed a handful of black porn stars, including some black female directors, I've never heard anybody say the industry doesn't have some racist elements. However, I think performer conclusions--which should have some weight in this discussion--deserve a fair hearing. But Dines never lets the facts get in the way of a good story.
9 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Suzy Wright
I believe that her tweets have been debunked and it is not really her. But thank you for bringing this up, Byron. :)
9 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Chei Dutch
GAIL DINES!!! I Luv her! She was my professor at Wheelock College in Boston!..I feel so special..But this girl is walkin down the path of self distruction. She is clearly brainwashed into thinking money and sex will lead her to happiness. These men and some women in the pron industry r explointin her and its sad how they r gettin them at such a yough age now. its Sick! I feel sad for her father bcas i know his is embarassed, concerned and angry.
8 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Aganju Axe
‎"But Dines never lets the facts get in the way of a good story."

And men, academics and porn users never let their agendas get in the way of their so-called facts either.

As if being a man, an academic and supporter of porn use makes someone... qualified to know the facts. As if women's oppression can be understood even with male privilege, porn use and so-called academic objectivity.

Porn doesn't just effect the so-called actresses or women doing the "work" as sex pozi academics call it. It affects all women who live in a pornified rape culture. That means that porn like MacDonald's porn is everywhere and you don't have a choice whether you will be exposed to it. When I worked as a public librarian I've learned that I can't tell some asshole looking at porn on a public library computer to stop whether or not I have to pass by his PC and look at that sick hateful crap! When pornographers and their sex pozi supports position porn as harmless and about women's empowerment that's exactly how other capitalist industries allow their far reaching influence to go unchecked!

So questioning/quoting women in the actual industry who have decided to make money doing what sex pozi academics conveniently call "work" is only one side, and it’s a side they are pressed to remind us of because it supports their unoriginal BS thesis that some porn is good, some porn is bad but how dare you imagine a world without men buying womenh for sex? Because I use it and/or that's how some women make their and/or because it's my Phd thesis.

That's like questioning rappers and asking them how they feel about the capitalist music industry. But the difference is while people want to position rappers dripping in diamonds and throwing dollars at strippers as exploited by the music industry, women in porn are forced to appear empowered by getting fucked on camera. But that's how Patriarchy works! Conveniently sexist logic. Cherry pick a few women to represent the sex industry and deflect away from THE FACT that those at the top of the food chain are still rich, white and male. If we did that with any of other industry bedsides the sex industry Leftists would see right through the white male capitalist smoke and mirrors! But not with porn! Thanks to sex pozi academics!

Porn is hate speech. But people do make their living off of peddling hate including people at which the hate is directed. Just look at hip hop. But whereas we are told not to listen to what black men say about their ice and power as rappers, porn actresses should be heard as the only truly objective voice on the industry. Why? Because it's their bread and butter so they defend it. Why? Because porn, like any industry that pollutes (cigarettes don't just affect smokers) doesn't want anyone who isn't gaining from it's success to be heard. That means women like me should shut up and listen to the experts: The academics (who've done their so-called objective research). The porn actresses (who collect a check). The guy jerking off to gang bang MILS at the public library (because all women really want to get gang banged! That's what porn tells us! Lies about women. The truth about men…ALL MEN. Even the ones in the Ivory Tower! A phallic symbol BTW!).

Porn is everywhere and porn wants to be sex just like MacDonald's wants to be food. It's nauseating that these sex pozi academics are defending a capitalist industry as having only a few racist and even sexist elements in order to boost their Phd thesis, defend their porn use and exercise their male privilege.
8 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 5 people


Emir Lewis wow that lyrical beatdown that Ms. Axe put on Mr. Springer was almost as bad as what Lauryn did to Clef...

6 hours ago · LikeUnlike



Anthony SinSity Σ Springer Is that what that was?
6 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Linda Jean Russom
Hi Byron! Our girl Shira wrote a great article on Jezebel via Ms. about the book. Check it out here: http://jezebel.com/5614102/is-pornography-sexy-racism
6 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Aganju Axe
Dr. Springer's response proves my point: He only listens women who tell him what he wants to hear.
6 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 person


Anthony SinSity Σ Springer Negative. You've already proven yourself incapable or uninterested in reasoned and sound debate. I'm not going to hijack Byron's page by going back and forth with you though.
6 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 person


Sarah Bryant
I don't feel that Ms. Axe is uninterested in reasoned & sound debate. That's exactly what she's offering. She simply disagrees w/ you. You need not be threatened by it. If she agreed w/ you, it wouldn't be a "debate".
6 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Aganju Axe
I already knew you'd say that Dr. Springer PhD. Men and academics, especially pro-porn men and academics like yourself are the sole arbiters of "sound and reasoned debate" on the issue of the sex industry. If you respond as if your life and... dignity is on the line when it comes to the influence of porn culture and it is because you're a woman and we are talking or should be talking about and keeping the focus on women's dignity and experience, ALL women's dignity and experience not just the ones you agree with Dr. Springer to reinforce your thesis then you are incapable of "sound and reasoned debate."

My bad. Maybe I should go back to school. Then I'd be on your level of intellectual rigor and objectivity. The Miseducation of Aganju Axe. LOL.
6 hours ago · LikeUnlike


Emir Lewis ‎@ Aganju - maybe if you were a performer commenting on how uplifting your "acting" experience was, that would count that as sound & reasoned???
6 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personAganju Axe likes this.

Aganju Axe ‎^^^Word up. No doubt.^^^
6 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Aganju Axe
Must be nice: Having a penis and a Phd? Male privilege AND academic authority on an area of study (the sex industry) that primarily oppresses women? It's like having a SWORD and a SHIELD to defend against any criticism by a woman you don't ...want to hear because it challenges your entitlements as a man.

Privilege is about being able to tune out any challenge to your entitlement. Being a male pro-porn scholar means you have the best of both worlds! Bravo @ such an awesome gig!
5 hours ago · LikeUnlike


Julian Real
To Anthony Springer - "As one whose interviewed a handful of black porn stars, including some black female directors, I've never heard anybody say the industry doesn't have some racist elements."

First, on racist-misogynist elements here. As... Pearl Cleage says, on matters of sexism and racism, it is for men/whites to maintain a posture of listening rather than a posture of defence. I recommend you reread Aganju's comments and analysis again, as it is damned sharp and on point, imo. And she's lived as a Black woman in this racist-misogynist society so soaked in pornography and other racist-misogynistic media that I believe you'd be wise to listen to her as much as you seem to listen to (if not fully hear) the women actors and directors you've interviewed in the pornography industry.

On the matter of racism and misogyny and the pornography industry:

Can you tell me what percentage of the 53 billion dollars annually earned by corporate pimps through the production and marketing of pornography is directed by Black women? I'll go out on a limb and say less than one thousandth of one percent. So whatever you heard from the people who you picked to speak to about a white male dominated globalised industry, doesn't speak much to the reality of most women in it. It'd be like you stating that you've interviewed some Black actors and directors in the non-pornographic film industry, and some reported to you that there's no much racism. So what? What does that have to do with all the racism that everyone else experiences?

Can you tell me you've seen one website or genre of industry/corporate-produced pornography--I'm not speaking here of some fringe site operated by Black women that is about as representative of the industry as Barack Obama is of the color of our presidents historically--that is neither overtly racist or overtly sexist? I'm not asking you to post it here, or to post it anywhere. I'm asking if you know of any. A simple yes or no will suffice: corporate-produced and mass-distributed pornography?

I know plenty of survivors of pornography and prostitution and you interviewing a few people tells me not a whole lot about them or their stories and experiences. That's what academics and social scientists call "anecdotal evidence". In this case it is being mediated through a man who has not been forthcoming in owning what his own levels of investment are in having visual access to images of exploited and raped women.

I know nothing about what you asked those people, how you asked it, and how free the women you spoke with were/are to really speak their minds. Do you get that trauma survivors don't just sit down for an interview and speak about the matters about which we hold the most shame and self-contempt? About which women of color have been told, repeatedly, ought to be a source of their shame and self-contempt? Do you know if they spoke the whole truth to you what the consequence to them might be? Do you know if they'd get beaten for saying anything negative to you? Do you know if word would get around in their circles to not hire them? If you say "I know they wouldn't be beaten for speaking the whole truth and I know there would be no negative economic impact to them", how do you know that?

As an ex-prostitute and close female friend of mine said: "Don't ask a girl or woman on the street [or in pornography] what she thinks of the business. Ask her twenty years after she's gotten out."

Because part of doing that work requires such intense levels of dissociation and denial about the impact of the trauma, physically and psychically, that she may not be able to give you a very complete answer while she's doing the work. In exactly the same way that anyone in any traumatic environment who is required, economically or interpersonally--such as by a pimp, to be there, will not be able to tell you the whole truth of their experience. That you assume otherwise about women in prostitution-pornography only tells me you are going to hear what you want to hear and not factor in what those women won't tell you directly. And that those silences may be saying more than what they express in words to you. And if you think they're being "completely honest" with you, how would you possibly know that? Through what means of apprehension? I'm not calling any woman you've spoken to a liar. I'm saying you're in no position to tell me when someone is able to tell you the whole truth about an industry that profits off of rape and pays women more to be serially sexually assaulted, or, at the very least, grossly exploited, in front of a camera than to do anything else in society.

Now, given that we're talking about a globalised political and economic phenomenon which necessarily involves trafficked and enslaved children and women, what case are you making for the industry's existence as something that might only be a little bit racist? Given that most females who are in either/both begin at age fourteen-- in the West, what are you saying about the health and welfare of and for those in it? Given that 1.3 million South Asian Indian children alone are enslaved and being used/abused by men, many from the West, and that one in three Indigenous North American women is raped in her lifetime, and that population of raped and sexually exploited people is disproportionately poor and homeless, and/or pimped and procured, what are you here to say about how unracist and non-misogynistic and non-classist the pornography industry is?

And might it likely be the case that Gail Dines, who has been speaking with women about this, women in and out of these industries, for decades, might know a good deal more about who is harmed and how and why, than do you?

For more see here:
http://www.apneaap.org/



and
http://www.awanbc.ca/

From the second website, above, a statement, by women of color who have escaped systems of sexist/racist/classist exploitation and abuse. I'll close with their words and will ask you, Anthony, what do you have to say to them about how your position on this matter helps achieve for them meaningful justice and freedom from rape and other gross sexual assault? And what do you have to say to the women and girls in India, whose bodies are being pimped, procured, trafficked, and enslaved, and photographed and distributed to male "consumers" right this minute? You want to make a case to me that those phenomena are unrelated? I welcome hearing you try to do so. I'd argue that to be humane, as a man, is to be fully accountable to Aganju, to the girls and women working in Apne Aap, and to the women of AWAN-Canada, and to every other woman who is negatively impacted by pornography and other systems of racist-sexist harm and exploitation. Here's a portion of their statement. Please let me know what you think and feel about this. (See next comment.)
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 person


Julian Real

Aboriginal Women's Statement on Legal Prostitution, Canada

We, the Aboriginal Women's Action Network, speak especially in the interests of the most vulnerable women - street prostitutes, of which a significant number are young Aboriginal wom...en and girls. We have a long, multi-generational history of colonization, marginalization, and displacement from our Homelands, and rampant abuses that has forced many of our sisters into prostitution. Aboriginal women are often either forced into prostitution, trafficked into prostitution or are facing that possibility. Given that the average age at which girls enter prostitution is fourteen, the majority with a history of unspeakable abuses, we are also speaking out for the Aboriginal children who are targeted by johns and pimps. Aboriginal girls are hunted down and prostituted, and the perpetrators go uncharged with child sexual assault and child rape. These predators, pervasive in our society, roam with impunity in our streets and take advantage of those Aboriginal children with the least protection. While we are speaking out for the women in the downtown eastside of Vancouver, we include women from First Nations Reserves, and other Aboriginal communities, most of whom have few resources and limited choices. We include them because AWAN members also originate from those communities, and AWAN members interact regularly with Native women from these communities.

The Aboriginal Women's Action Network opposes the legalization of prostitution, and any state regulation of prostitution that entrenches Aboriginal women and children in the so-called "sex trade." We hold that legalizing prostitution in Vancouver will not make it safer for those prostituted, but will merely increase their numbers. Contrary to current media coverage of the issue, the available evidence suggests that it would in fact be harmful, would expand prostitution and would promote trafficking, and would only serve to make prostitution safer and more profitable for the men who exploit and harm prostituted women and children. Although many well-meaning people think that decriminalization simply means protecting prostituted women from arrest, it also refers, dangerously, to the decriminalization of johns and pimps. In this way prostitution is normalized, johns multiply, and pimps and traffickers become legitimated entrepreneurs. Say "No" to this lack of concern for marginalized women and children, who in this industry are expected to serve simply as objects of consumption! The Aboriginal Women's Action Network opposes the legalization of brothels for the 2010 Olympics. We refuse to be commodities in the so-called "sex industry" or offer up our sisters and daughters to be used as disposable objects for sex tourists.

A harm-reduction model that claims to help prostituted women by moving them indoors to legal brothels, not only would not reduce the harm to them, but would disguise the real issues. There is no evidence that indoor prostitution is safer for the women involved. Rather, it is just as violent and traumatic. Prostitution is inherently violent, merely an extension of the violence that most prostituted women experience as children. We should aim not merely to reduce this harm, as if it is a necessary evil and/or inescapable, but strive to eliminate it altogether. Those promoting prostitution rarely address class, race, or ethnicity as factors that make women even more vulnerable. A treatise can be written about Aboriginal women's vulnerability based on race, socio-economic status and gender but suffice it to say that we are very over-represented in street-level prostitution. There may even be a class bias behind the belief that street prostitution is far worse than indoor forms. It is not the street per se or the laws for that matter, which are the source of the problem, but prostitution itself which depends on a sub-class of women or a degraded caste to be exploited. A major factor contributing to the absence of attention given to the women who have gone missing women in Vancouver is the lack of police response, and the insidious societal belief that these women were not worthy of protection, a message that is explicitly conveyed to the johns, giving them the go-ahead to act toward these women with impunity. If we want to protect the most vulnerable women, we could start by decriminalizing prostituted women, not the men who harm them. Although it is not mentioned in the local news, the Swedish model of dealing with prostitution provides an example we should seriously consider. It criminalizes only the buying of sex, not the selling, targeting the customer, pimp, procurer, and trafficker, rather than the prostituted woman, and provides an array of social services to aid women to leave prostitution. Given that the vast majority of prostituted women wish to leave prostitution, we should focus on finding ways to help them to do that rather than entrenching them further into prostitution by legalizing and institutionalizing it. Here in Vancouver, if we are to help those most in need, young Aboriginal women, it would help to think more long-term, to focus on healing and prevention. Let's not get tricked into a supposed fix which is not even a band-aid, but only deepens the wounds.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike · 1 person


Anthony SinSity Σ Springer ‎@ Sarah,
Ms. Axe and I have already had this conversation. My statement comes from some experience speaking with her in the past. No more and no less. I don't mind debate, I welcome it. I stand by my statement and she knows why.
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Marion I. Lipshutz
Why would a woman who has more opportunities than most (even considering the reality of ongoing U.S. racism) do this? I'm not a psychologist, but I think there are lots of psychological issues here.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Marion I. Lipshutz I'm either going to get Gail Dine's book when it's in paperback or on my Kindle. Very important issue and I'm glad that the book blurb that I saw implies that she is not advocating censorship, but rather critique and analysis, because I don't think censorship would work or even get to the roots of the problem.
3 hours ago · LikeUnlike

Aganju Axe
Of course you stand by your statement. Like most sexist males you are in awe of yourself and fancy your views original, objective and rigorous. Combine male ego, gender entitlement and academic authority and you really are The Man! This pas...t conversation

You refer to involved me telling you your views on porn were same shit different smell and textbook sex pozi BS and you acting like a typical sexist male about it because you "don't like labels". In Dr. Springer's mind he told me something brand new. Me calling it repackaged BS Id heard before meant I wasn't really listening or couldn't be getting it. Dr. Springer said he doesn't like labels. He claims he is not sex pozi although he makes the same arguments they do. He is not pro-porn. He just goes after any feminist that is anti-porn. His rigorous analysis? "Some porn is good, some is bad. The end." Wow. Now cant you see why I couldn't wrap my silly lil'feminist head around such unmatched intellectual genius? So original and compelling. If I wasn't impressed I must not be of sound mind. If I called it like I see it couldn't possibly because you were wrong. Never that. I know you don't like labels Dr Springer. People who get labeled SPOT ON usually don't.
2 hours ago · LikeUnlike


Julian Real
This same conversation is happening over at Ms. Magazine, with the pro-pornographer/pimp defenders in full gear.

Aganju, if Anthony cared enough about women to listen carefully to what you have been saying to him about himself, without defe...nding his ego, he might grow as a human being. The choice is his. He doesn't like labels except when he gets to use them: typical sexist male entitlement showing. If he doesn't want labels like "sexist male" it would do him a whole lot of good to start listening to you and other women who call him out on his sexism.

Anthony, the capacity to listen non-defensively is yours. What will you do with it? Continue spinning inside your close-minded male supremacist logic system, or break through and really hear and respect Aganju? Including here, publicly. I await your replies.
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike ·


Julian Real
To Marion - Gail doesn't promote censorship and in fact has people look at pornography so that they really know what the content is. What the content is, is this: sexxxualised racism and misogyny. "Industrial strength sex" as Gail puts it. ...And when has a globalised corporate entity earning billions annually ever shown one bit of concern for people over profits? What makes anyone thing the pornography industry would be the first? Particularly when it makes the psychic and emotional degradation of women into foreplay and the physical and sexual assault of women into a hot commodity that is orgasmic for consumers?
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike ·

Aganju Axe
Thanks for trying to reach Dr. Springer Julian but he has already and predictably blocked me. Welcoming debate my black azz. LOL. The only sound Dr. Springer wants to here is praise and awe at his views on porn which is really no voice of dissent at all. In other words, like the porn he supports Anthony Springer likes to see women gagged unless they consent to the greatness of his PhD, Pretty Huge....EGO!
about an hour ago · LikeUnlike


Julian Real
To Aganju, Byron, and everyone else reading this thread:

I want to repost part of what Anthony says above, and link that with what Anthony and a woman who calls herself Vanessa Blue says below, and note the disconnect.

Anthony's writing, from above:
As one whose interviewed a handful of black porn stars, including some black female directors, I've never heard anybody say the industry doesn't have some racist elements. However, I think performer conclusions--which should have some weight in this discussion--deserve a fair hearing.

I just found what follows from Anthony Springer online. It's an interview Anthony conducted. The story it tells is of a woman who knows everything anyone knows who has been dealing with the pornography industry and is honest, about exactly how dangerous it is for all women and how thoroughly soaked in misogyny it is, because the men who run it are woman-haters.

She speaks very clearly and repeatedly of various deep levels of the racism that is a foundational and ever-present aspect of the industry. How he concludes from listening to her that there are, sometimes, "some racist elements" in the industry is beyond me. She sure doesn't put it that way!

She also got incestuously dangerous advice from her grandfather on what to do with her life. She notes that she grew up watching porn. I'd ask her from what age? Because every child I know who was exposed to industry pornography at an early age has had their sexuality and sense of self harmed by the experience.

I am impressed by Vanessa Blue's capacity to endure, to leave environments that are overtly hostile to her, and how she has forged her own place, learning as she goes what she needs to know to have more control over her life. I wish she had had more options earlier on, wasn't exposed to pornography when young, didn't have a grandfather who loved pornography, and that displaced and disenfranchised women weren't sexually and economically coerced, by pimps, to accept abuse because the money is good. We may note the pimp always makes more than any woman performer or trafficked [and/or enslaved] person does.

From this website:
http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/interviews/id.999/title.vanessa-blue-my-blue-heaven-part-1

Interviews > Vanessa Blue: My Blue Heaven Part 1

by Anthony Springer Jr

posted January 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM CST | 0 comments

Anthony Springer wrote:

The adult entertainment industry is America’s nearly $100 billion dollar a year dirty little secret. Each year, established stars and novices earn their pay checks entertaining our most intimate fantasies and carnal desires. While the industry can be kind to guys who consistently perform—and perform well—the starlets that make the industry so profitable often end up battered, bruised and out of work faster than you can say “one minute man.”

In spite of all that, there are some ladies that have aspirations that go beyond performing in front of the camera. This is where Vanessa Blue comes in. After becoming fed up with the misogyny of the industry, she took matters into her own hands and began directing movies and building websites, namely her exclusive homepage [...].

Ms. Blue sat down with DX to talk about her grandparents influence on her career, why she discourages girls from getting into the game and how the industry isn’t as safe as many may think.

HipHopDX: Tell me a little about life before the industry.
Vanessa Blue: Life before the industry, wow. There was none. [Laughs] Life before the industry I was a regular girl. I was a dancer and I went to school to be an emergency medical te...chnician. From dancing, I met a girl named Persephone who became a very famous dominatrix and glamor model and she introduced me to fetish modeling. From there, I met another girl in the same club by the name of Kitten and she and I became very close. She creatively suggested that I try porn.

DX: What was your reaction at first?
VB: No. My reaction was no. I like doing fetish work, I was never really looking to do anything more than that. But one girl-girl scene I figured wouldn’t hurt anything and then came [director and producer] Ed Powers. Ed Powers was offering us a crazy amount of money. I did my research and I was like, “Alright, he’s never put a sista on the box cover in sixty series.” He’s never put one.

DX: Wow.
VB: So I hoped [that] he’s racist enough that he won’t put us on the cover… I was wrong. So we did the scene and he put us on the cover. After that, I figured I might as well finish what I started.

DX: How many movies followed?
VB: After that I did about 16 scenes. I didn’t like the way things were going, I didn’t like the way people were talking to me, I didn’t like the business… and I quit. I moved away to Nebraska for a few years. I danced at the only nudie bar in the whole state and I was the only black girl, so I did well. I stayed there for a few years and my grandparents kept talking to talking to me about it like, “What are you going to do with your life, you’re not really gonna sit here while people make money off your naked ass are you? You’re not gonna strip, this isn’t the end, don’t stop here.”

My grandparents are big into watching porn. My grandfather’s always talking about how much it made and what products sell and [he said] if you know so much, you’re a nerd already, you love computers, why don’t you go back and see what else you can do. Doesn’t mean you have to f**k but just go back and see what you can do. I came back and was roommates with Kitten for a while and I got back into the business again. I did maybe 50 scenes and I quit, again and I moved away to Las Vegas

When I don’t like a situation, I get out of it. I don’t wait for shit to get better, I go. So I came here and danced for a while at Cheetah’s until 9/11. Right after 9/11, there was no work. Literally, there was no work, nothing was happening. So I said, “Okay, I have a little bit of money saved up, just a little, and I’m gonna buy all the books I want cause I know I want a website, I know I’m a nerd.” There’s books on anything I want to know, I’m going to buy all the books I think I need. I’m going to lock myself in the house and I’m going to do nothing until I figure out how to build a website." I locked myself in the house for about three weeks, I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I was really wild… but I figured it out.

DX: Going back a minute, you mentioned before that there were things happening on the set that you didn’t like, what was going on?
VB: I didn’t like the way the owners of the company would talk to you. Everybody in California believes there’s a certain body image that a woman needs to display in order to be viable or be on a box cover. We know now with all of today’s niches, that’s not true. Back then every thing was about being skinny, being lighter, not being so dark, not being so ghetto. Being a black girl, if you don’t have the immediate connections when you walk in, you’ll be relegated to ghetto product. You’ll never get out of it because you won’t know how to get out of it. You’ll get half your rate, you’ll get crappy work, you’ll get crappy sets. No one will care about anything. Literally, it’s a situation where there’s a mattress in the corner. The director comes in, tells the camera guy what to shoot, how many positions, and the director leaves the room. He goes out and smokes a blunt or talks on the phone or whatever he’s doing and the camera man is left to run the scene. How on earth can anybody care?

I didn’t like it. I said, “Okay, a monkey could direct better than half the people I see and they’re making more than me and I’m the one giving up my body.”

DX: Doing all the work
VB: Right. If I get sick and catch HIV, there’s nothing on the back end for me, nobody here is going to take care of me. So with that, I quit [laughs] and I said I’m not coming back unless it’s the way I want it.

[...]

DX: What made you want to get into directing movies?
VB: I always wanted to, from the first movie I ever saw. There was so much lacking and I love sex but if somebody’s literally counting down minutes when you screw to make you change positions, that’s not sex, it’s all mechanical.

I grew up watching porn. My favorite older actress is Georgina Spelvin. Everybody’s like Vanessa Del Rio, I’m like “unh uh”. This crazy white woman who looks like she’s channeling the devil when she f**ks and the only woman by comparison to this day who works, f**ks and is as hot and brings as much passion is Monique. An unsung hero… shero, who never gets the praise she deserves. But when you watch her perform it looks like she’s channeling the devil.


DX: It looks more realistic.
VB: Yeah. She’s really into what’s happening and I know that, you feel it. And you don’t feel that in today’s porn.

DX: Why do you think that is?
VB: How do I say this nicely? Most of the guys behind the camera don’t like women.

DX: Really? As in homosexuals or misogynist or…
VB: Both, all of the above. There’s a very famous porn star who does all big booty product now and probably out of 100 girls, 80 of us have a story about him attacking us behind closed doors. Physically, like ripping our clothes off. So no, when you have personalities like that, how on earth can it be good?

DX: How do these guys stay working with everything going on off camera?
VB: What do you mean?

DX: As far as attitudes and attacking actresses?
VB: The girls deal with it. It’s very unfortunate, but the girls… they deal with it. They’re just adjusted to being run over. The industry has expanded and grown into something so toxic. Whenever a girl tells me she wants to do porn, I will spend hours trying to talk her out of it.

DX: Why?
VB: Because it’s not what you think it is. Everybody comes in thinking Jenna [Jameson]. Jenna’s not who you think she is. Its like, how do you say you love Magic Johnson when you’ve never met him? You love an image. All you love is an image. He could be the greatest jerk you ever met in your life. And I guess once I got to California it was so many stars I looked up to, so many black celebrities and I met those cats at the club and they were like [in mock man voice] “What’s up biiiiit**? You trying to f**k? You wanna f**k me and my boys?” I’m like, “Oh my God I used to love you!” The girls get very disillusioned once they get here. But once you get here you can’t say no to the money, so you’ll take the abuse for the check.
24 minutes ago · LikeUnlike ·

5 comments:

JENNIFER DREW said...

Thank you Julian for focusing on this issue, because I too have read pseudo feminist Sharon Tarrant's 'interview' with Gail Dines online in the pseudo feminist magazine MS. Tarrant's interview portrays Dines as a stereotypical mythical feminist prude. How dare Dines claim she knows racism and misogyny is commonplace within the male-created and male-dominated porn industry.

After all Dines hasn't interviewed every single woman of colour who works in porn and this in itself supposedly means Dines is not an authority on porn. So who is? Why it those men who produce and sell porn, the male academics who make a good living by promoting porn as 'harmless entertainment,' the women too who think that by pandering to pornographers they will somehow obtain a tiny piece of WHM's privileges and power.

Aganju Axe is correct and because she speaks the truth about the rampant, mundane misogyny and virulent male hatred and male contempt for women within the porn industry - Aganju must be lying.

So say the men who are terrified someone will take their daily dose of porn away from them and tell them 'no more porn for you.' That is why so much money and effort is used to justify the unjustifiable - that women and girls exist solely to be men's dehumanised sexual service stations.

And no pornography is not' fantasy.' It is filmed prostitution and it is filmed acts of innumerable Johns subjecting women of all colours and ethnicities to whatever sadistic sexual torture these Johns and the male pimp camera men devise.

In other words pornography is filmed male hated and male contempt for women of all colours and races. Women in the porn producers and male consumers' minds are all dehumanised creatures whose only "value" (sic) lies in being subjected to whatever sadistic sexual torture these men can create.

Human rights? Wrong the phrase should be Men's Human Rights because women have not even achieved recognition by men that they are human beings not men's dehumanised sexual service stations.

Julian Real said...

Thank you so much, Jennifer!!!

It's a total outrage, really. How women aren't allowed to be experts on anything at all. But they can't have it ALL ways--if they say the industry isn't misogynistically (and otherwise) racist, then how do we explain a Black woman INSIDE the industry stating that she'd try and talk any girl or woman out of entering it because of all the racist/misogynistic abuses?

I hope you'll visit Shira Tarrant's blog, because she's got up a NEW post titled "Is Porn Racist?"

I'm not sure which marginalised women she believes she's empowering by taking the stands she does. But I've known her from a profeminist list I was on for about one week until I realised how steeped in liberalism it was. They were still wrestling with this issue: are men oppressed too (by gender)?! I high-tailed it out of there fast.

Here's the link:
http://shiratarrant.com/?p=1312

JENNIFER DREW said...

Apologies for referring to Shira Tarrant as 'Sharon Tarrant.' However, despite my miswriting Tarrant's first name I do believe Ms. Tarrant is liberal through and through.

I've no doubt Tarrant would claim the fact a black woman who works inside the porn industry and therefore knows first-hand what the women-hating pornographers do to the female actresses, is just one woman's individual experience and/or view.

I guarantee that if 100 black
women who work in this industry were all to agree that the porn producers/directors/cameramen are all women-haters and racists this would not be considered as 'fact' but dismissed as just a small number of women's views.

Only the great white male (sic) is granted the 'right' of deciding what is and is not 'truth' and that means porn is not filmed prostitution - it is 'fantasy.' Mainstream porn does not normalise and/or promote men's hated and contempt for women 'it is just edgy and transgressive.'

Shira Tarrant is yet another woman who is pandering to the pornographers and that is why she has written this article claiming that porn is not 'racist' I believe Ms. Tarrant is hoping to gain 'brownie points' from the white men but herstory tells us time and again WHM will never grant a smidgen of their power to women. No instead they will exploit women such as Tarrant.

News flash - pornography has always been both women-hating and racist because white male supremacy tells us that only the great white male (sic) is human and only the great white male has rights.

Of course men are oppressed by 'gender.' Why? Because there is this system which oppresses men and women equally. It is called 'gender' which conveniently hides which group continues to hold real power.

But what is never asked is where and how this 'system' arose or who benefits from this 'system.'

No one asks why should this system called 'gender' have been created in the first place. Why even have this system given men and women suffer equally.

It is a mystery - no it is not - the answer is white male supremacy, but that would mean holding men responsible and that would 'upset men's feelings' so instead we'll call it 'gender' and that way men's feelings won't be hurt!

Anthony said...

Interesting what a Google search turns up. I appreciate the appropriation of my work. However, if you're going to cite someone, sharing a link to their site would be the courteous thing to do (as well as posting both parts of my Q & A with Ms. Blue).

Julian Real said...

The link is now up, Anthony.

That was an oversight, and I'm glad the whole interview is now linked to.

And, your comments aren't welcome here, except for noting a request to link to something I post of yours.