Sunday, May 2, 2010

History vs. Herstory: Who Frames The Issues, and Who Names the Truth about something neo-liberals and libertarians called the "Sex Wars"?

[image is from here]

Note in the image above WHICH gender appears to being warred against by the other. Note the race that is in charge and the race that is being threatened. There's no equal opportunity war here; nor is there in life outside of the theatre. But in advertising a theatrical production, misogyny and racism are fused to this idea of "sex wars", as well as what is termed "sexually charged". Why not call it like it is A White Man's War Against An Asian Woman? And why refer to racist-misogynist interpersonal terrorism as anything that can also mean "sexy"?

The issue is this:

Who defines "what went down"? Who gets to decide the central issues of something that happened? I maintain that framing up a discussion as "sex wars" already precluded understanding what the significant political issues are with regard to "The Dworkin-MacKinnon Anti-pornography Ordinance". As soon as you focus on the activities around how a law wasn't passed or was passed as something other than what the authors intended, you miss the context: racist capitalist patriarchy, and what such an ordinance would try and achieve by exposing, in court, utilising a law, something that WHM supremacist law and society exists to virulently and adamantly deny: that WHM supremacy exists and oppressively harms all women, men of color, and all non-het people in horrible ways that are usually not understood as systemic, or harm.

The White Right wanted to frame it up as some white radical feminists coming on board with them, in understanding what's dirty, bad, and obscene about pornography. The White Liberals-to-Leftists wanted to frame it up as some white radical feminists abandoning all feminist ethics to cozy up to racists, misogynists, and virulent homophobes to pass into law something that would allow State censorship of pornographic materials, whatever those are.

Meanwhile, Dworkin and MacKinnon, and the many supporters of their civil rights ordinance approach, including many women who were not white, viewed it as an approach that would be politically challenging to the White Het Male Supremacist Right and the White Het Male Supremacst Left--and white lesbians and gay men who wanted pornography unchallenged except outside of the courtroom.

The term "Sex Wars" implies a parity or a level playing field "between the sexes". Womanists and feminists have maintained, using reality as some pretty damning evidence, that this parity has not existed in contemporary times, in Western Civilisation. It has occurred in far more meaningful ways in some Indigenous societies. Currently, and for the last couple of hundred years hundred or more years in the U.S. and the UK, women have been engaged in defensive operations while under attack from men. Women have fought for things like the right to not be considered men's property and the right to vote, and the right to attend men's universities. Men's Rights Assholes seem to want to pretend none of that matters, and that someone, against all social evidence, the tides have turned against men.

In the societies I've known of and am most familiar with, which are white het male supremacist, het men rape women, not "women and men rape each other". Heterosexually, men fuck women: subject verb object, as MacKinnon has succinctly noted, not "women and men fuck each other, all as objects". Men objectify women and rape women and street harass women and workplace harass women, and beat the shit out of women in the home, and have laws and customs in place to dominate women in a multitude of ways, and it is ALL of that together that comprises a social system called patriarchy. The ideology supporting it is male supremacist, not female supremacist, and there's no matriarchy waiting in the wings as soon as the patriarchal papa dies.

White supremacy and male supremacy co-exist, are intertwined, and inform each other, supporting each other's power (white men's power) over women of color, men of color, and white women. There's no "sex  war" there. That's racism, folks. That's racist atrocity that includes the systematic rape of women of color by white men and men of color, and genocide. There's no genocide against white men being committed by white women, women of color, and men of color all working together, as leaders of corporations, institutions, religions, health care systems, federal governments, etc.

Heterosexism is woven into racist patriarchy in intricate and intimate ways. There's no lesbian and gay oppressive system targeting heterosexual with discrimination and violence, and the message, made into truth, that "your sexual identity and feelings is evil". There's no "sexuality wars", folks. There's het supported oppression of non-het people.

What delusional WHM want to do is pretend that white and heterosexual male supremacy doesn't exist, that het men don't have the power and privileges they have, and that "sex" can be seen as separate from all the institutions, systems, and structures that WHM rule in the West, and beyond.

Moving on...

This is what may be the end (famous last words) of my speaking out on a blog about ethics and new technologies. Kyle has been a good moderator, fair and not prone to being so incredibly annoying as perhaps I am, or at least one other person is. Veronica has come and we have battled--not, I have battled against her, for no good reason, and I've apologised and she has accepted it. We could be friends. I like her and misread her, misunderstood her in the context of what we were discussing.

What we all were discussing, Kyle, Veronica, and myself, was a bit off the original post's topic, thanks to me. ;) For the background and the earlier portions of this conversation, please see *here*.

To recap, a WHM named Russell, whose comments open the discussion, whose presence is not again experienced--he never showed up to defend his own speech--because he doesn't have to because he's a WHM with cred, makes some snarky comment about how Andrea Dworkin was working with the White Right in North Amerikkka to get legislation passed that would allow the State--the government--to ban or censor or remove pornnography, pluck it from shops and steal it from under daddy's nightstand.

There are several myths about Andrea Dworkin and this is among them. As with most myths, grains of truth get coated again and again until that grain is not seen and there is only the glossy glow of what surrounds it. These pearls of propaganda have a function, which is the function of most propaganda: to portray some part of reality in such a way, to cast it in such a light, that we will come to distrust any other view, and find any other view to be wrong, a lie, and unacceptable because we the people of these United States care about few things, but dammit, we care about the truth!

The myth is of the (always white) radical feminist censor of pornography, or the (always white) radical feminist who is working with very powerful people, legislators and such, to make something called censorship impact privileged white het men's lives, and some lives of marginalised queer folks, in such a way as to harm both populations by depriving them of images of trafficked or "only" exploited people.

I do think pornography has had different functions in the lives of, for example, gay men and het men, or, rather, gay teen males and het teen males. That's another discussion for another time. For now the issue is what sorts of freedom is worth fighting for, if you identify as profeminist or feminist, and fighting to make sure pornography isn't censored isn't high on my list, primarily for this reason: there's no chance in hell it's going to happen!

But people who love their porn are very nervous about someone, however disempowered structurally, taking all their images and videos away. And this is the myth of what Dworkin and MacKinnon tried to do. We can note, already, that what some people may have tried to do becomes far more important than what white liberals and conservatives DO.

I get into this a bit more in my "debate' with "Iamcuriousblue". A bit about him. He's a troll, a pro-sexxxism, pro-pornography "libertarian" troll. All his posts, no matter where you go, exist to blast radical feminists and promote something I term, sexxxual freedom--whatever the hell that is. For those who wish to protect what pimps make, is about as profeminist to me as arguing for statute of limitations laws for survivors of sexual assault.

Here we go... (this is the last part of the conversation linked to above).

Posted by Iamcuriousblue  on  05/01  at  03:39 AM

Once again, Julian Real pops in from the sky to defend the holy cause of anti-porn radical feminism. Unfortunately, he makes several points that are in need of correction.

1) Collaboration between radical feminists and the religious right:

Actually, the collaboration between the religious right and radical feminists on a range of sexual issues is well-documented and spans from the anti-porn movement of the 1980s to the current prostitution "abolitionist" movement.

The book "The New Politics of Pornography" documents how Catherine MacKinnon worked closely with religious right leaders to pass the Indianapolis ordinance and then turned around and made every effort to hide this and keep the right-wing activists behind the scenes.

The book "Freeing God's Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights" (a book *sympathetic* to prostitution abolitionism) details the alliance between feminists like Laura Lederer and Equality Now, on one hand, and social conservatives like Michael Horowitz and the Hudson Institute to push what came to be called the "global gag order" around prostitution. I also refer to articles by Jack Shafer in Slate and Debbie Nathan in The Nation further discussing the "abolitionist" alliance:

2) The Dworkin/MacKinnon Ordinance.

The idea that the Dworkin/MacKinnon Ordinance was not a form of censorship, but simply about "holding pimps accountable". Actually, the ordinance contained language expressly defining a wide range of sexually explicit images and allowed lawsuits against such to be taken out by practically anyone "in the name of all women". That this in practice would entail de facto censorship of a wide range of materials and simply displaced the mechanism of censorship from criminal to civil law is obvious, and was recognized as such by the courts in Booksellers v Hudnut.

Posted by Julian Real  on  05/01  at  12:40 PM

And @ iamcuriousblue,

Why don't you inform your audience here about the political work of these radical feminists: Florynce Kennedy, Audre Lorde, Alice Walker, June Jordan, Barbara Smith, Pat Parker, Patricia Hill Collins, Pearl Cleage, Patricia Williams, Andrea Smith, the women of INCITE!, Yanar Mohammed, Ruchira Gupta, Malalai Joya.

THEY'RE all Radical Feminists. Ever heard of THEM? Who did they work with to accomplish their radical feminist goals, hmmm?

Hey, this is YOUR cause, not mine... here's I'll quote you (don't you hate that!):

"1) Collaboration between radical feminists and the religious right:"

Why don't you mention ANY of the radical feminists above? Oh, because you only think there ARE three radical feminists, who are all white. Gotcha. Or, well, please do explain.

Where do you stand on capitalism, NAFTA, the WTO, Third World poverty, the IMF, and "free trade" vs. fair trade? Where do you stand on Indigenous Rights?

My position is clear on such things, and yes, I defend the work of Andrea Dworkin from trolls like you. And, in case it isn't abundantly clear, I don't work with either white conservatives, white liberals, or white libertarians. So what camp am I in, huh?

Posted by Iamcuriousblue  on  05/01  at  01:28 PM

Julian, I could hardly give a damn about your particular fringe, authoritarian ultra-left ideology. (Which really does resemble an authoritarian right, even fascist ideology more than you'd care to recognize.)

So, my point is somehow invalidated because I mentioned several prominent radical feminists who actually had influence on legislation rather than your pet fave radical theorists? If that point even began to make sense, I'd actually address it.

"Where do you stand on capitalism, NAFTA, the WTO, Third World poverty, the IMF, and "free trade" vs. fair trade? Where do you stand on Indigenous Rights?"

And this is relevant to the discussion how?

All I have to say about it is that I don't come from a perspective of a Marxist-Leninist/Radical Feminist/Whatever-the-hell-else-sounds-radical clusterfuck of an ideology, unlike some people. And if you were capable of getting your head out of your ideology for 2 seconds, you'd note that most other people in the real world don't either and that screaming more-radical-than-thou rhetoric at people doesn't exactly make your case any stronger.

"So what camp am I in, huh?"

A world of your own, from what I've seen.

Posted by Julian Real  on  05/01  at  02:39 PM

@ Iamcuriousblue,

You link to two blogs on your own, neither having anything at all to do with human rights or ethics.

You are a well-known pro-porn troll.

You live in such a tiny little universe, your own, that you don't realise that, for example, Marxism is well-known and well-practiced throughout South and Central America. You'd know that Leftist ideologies have fueled revolutions that have set people from from the myopic, insensitive, callous people like you, who lead nations with no regard for human rights at all.

All you exist online to do is to promote pornography and the sex you want to engage in.

Go at it.

But don't proclaim yourself to be knowledgeable about what most people around the world are doing. Most radical feminists are Asian, after all.

And you never mention them.

You seem to have a bit of trouble identifying my political stance, because I think the white male supremacist conservatives and the white male supremacist liberals, and the whiteboys on the Left, aren't all that different from one another, from the point of view of ecocide and Indigenous Rights. So why pretend you know what you're talking about?

And what happened to you to make "fighting feminists" your "Cause"?

Seems a mighty petty agenda to me, given that "feminists" are fighting for human rights.

And good job of not answering any questions that might further reveal you to be the selfish, self-centered, virulently antifeminist "libertarian leftist" man you are.

Posted by Julian Real  on  05/01  at  03:04 PM

A revised comment, posted earlier but it never made it to the public:

@Iamcuriousblue and everyone else,

1. The "collaboration" between the "radical feminists" and liberals is also well documented. The Right wing wants to strengthen the status quo in many oppressive ways. The liberals decry this as "wrong" but have no agenda to oppose it substantively. Their ethics are not substantively different than those of the white conservatives. But for you, it's important to pretend that liberals and conservatives are substantively politically different, so that you can attempt to malign "radical feminism", as if "radical feminism" ever was only "one thing" with and "one perspective" and "one agenda", with one group of activists who all worked together and had dinner together and shared dish duties.

As you can note in many places, radical feminisms have not been alligned with either the white Right or the white Left, overall. That's partly because most radical feminists are women of color, who are not at all benefitted by white male supremacist ideologies.

You consider it "ideological" of me to name dominant U.S. ideologies. Curious.

You see, the assumption you're trying to make, which is, if one searches out your comments across the internet, is that radical feminists were REALLY Republican right-wingers who are anti-sex and anti-porn, and because you are ardently pro-porn you see radical feminists as "the enemy" rather than the pimps and traffickers who produce sexual abuse for your visual pleasure.

This is verifiable:
Andrea Dworkin's dozen books critique EVERY institution the Right holds dear to its racist, misogynistic, pro-capitalist, pro-war, wealthy little heart. You haven't explained how this could be so, if she was so "pro-state" and "pro-right wing". Have you read her book "Right-wing Women" where she analyses what the Right and Left each offer women that doesn't constitute human rights for women?

You don't note how U.S. radical feminists have worked with "the Left" on matters of protesting U.S. wars in Central America and Asia. You don't factor in how U.S. radical feminists have had to work with liberals on most issues in this country, including on the level of city councils and state law. Rape services, battered women's shelters, anti-poverty efforts: none of these are right-wing agenda items, and radical feminists have worked alongside liberals on all of them. How do you explain that, given your allegations?

Why do you fail to note that liberals have worked much more closely with the Right-wing on political, economic, and social issues, than radical feminists ever have.

Right-wing men, along with liberal men, want 24/7 access to pornography as well as physical access to women in systems of prostitution. The Right are just better at pretending they're "moral" while committing all manner of atrocity, including by being sex tourists, promoting on-going warfare and pretending the poor are the population most receiving "welfare" and "benefits". I think what we've all learned in the last year and a half about the financial industry shows exactly who is and who is not taking in millions of dollars in "benefits".

Laura Lederer. Are you aware that "radical feminists" have distanced themselves from her quite a bit since she revealed herself to be Right wing?

2. You appear to want to expose truth about a proposed ordinance that never became a functioning law in the U.S. Why aren't you more concerned with pro-trafficking and pro-exploitation laws, pro-genocide and pro-war laws and policies actively and currently co-supported and crafted by liberals and the Right-wing, that result in the death of millions of people worldwide?

I am puzzled by your agenda. Please explain it.

Posted by Iamcuriousblue  on  05/01  at  03:53 PM

Well, who am I to argue further in light of such an exposition of your pure revolutionary awesomeness? Yeah, Julian, you're just so noble, such an altruist, so looking out for the good of the world's oppressed, I am absolutely awestruck.

Sorry for my "trolling". I'll let you get on with your enlightening the world about the path to true liberation.

Julian's reply:

Here's the information readily available about Iamcuriousblue. I think this shows what his range of interests are: science, "free speech", pornography, movies about misogynists, hallucinogenics, and Susie Bright, open source sex, and someone who identifies as "Feminist Wh*re". 

Human and civil rights don't appear to be concerns or even interests of his.

What follows is from *here*.


    * Age: 43
    * Gender: Male

    * Industry: Science
    * Occupation: Biotechnician
About Me

"Consort of Sex Pozzes" Biotech student wasting time blogging about porn, sex, culture, left libertarianism, and all sorts of other matters totally unrelated to my studies.

Interests [include]

    * free speech
    * sexual politics
    * hallucinogens

Favorite Movies [include]

    * Lady From Shanghai
    * Taxi Driver
    * Boogie Nights
    * Punch-Drunk Love
    * Matador
    * The Unbearable Lightness of Being
    * Dead Ringers
    * Clockwork Orange
    * Crumb

Favorite Books

    * The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
    * Susie Bright
    * photo manuals
    * biology journals
    * Robert Crumb
    * Chris Ware
    * Daniel Clowes
    * Stephen Jay Gould

My Blogs
Team Members
Blogs I Follow
Blue Blood Magazine Gothic Punk Deathrock Fandom News Photos Forum
Border Thinking on Migration, Culture, Economy and Sex
Feminist Whore
Greta Christina's Blog
Porn Perspectives
Sex In The Public Square - Comments
Susie Bright's Journal
The Blowfish Blog
violet blue ® :: open source sex