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Archive for the ‘Anti-Porn’ Category

. . . is now up on Genderberg.

Kudos to Sam Berg who did a great job gathering all the writings that were selected together for this carnival. It includes essays & articles by feminists of the radical kind, activists, advocates, articulate folks, as well as analyses of popular culture.

Enjoy this new carnival, readers!

p.s. Genderberg is a forum that only allows registered members to comment there, even though the carnival post (linked above) is still visible online to everyone. So, if you would really like to comment on this carnival but you are not a member of G’berg, you can always comment here instead.

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I found this on Allecto’s blog:

sheila_jeffreys

I love all Sheila Jeffreys‘ books, especially The Lesbian Heresy. I am so glad she is speaking out on the suffering of millions of prostituted womyn and girls in her latest book on the sexploitation industries. Sheila is our sister!

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. . . is now up at Pisaquari’s place, Buried Alive.

It includes many interviews (herstories) of radical feminists:

Amy’s,

Demonista’s,

Allecto’s,

My Own,

Sam Berg’s,

Bonobobabe’s,

Amananta’s,

Julia’s, and

Jenn’s.

It also includes links to excellent writings by other radical feminists, e.g. Nine Deuce (of Rage Against the Man-chine), Rebecca (of Rmott62), Amananta (of Screaming into the Void) and Marcella Chester (of Abyss2Hope), etc. And more!

Please check out all the great content of this new carnival here. Pisaquari did a wonderful job. Congratulation for all the hard work and thank you so much!

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Also, please check out this new anti-rape myths campaign:

This is Not an Invitation to Rape Me.

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ETA (10/31/2008): Tonight, it is Samhain.

From Sharkbait’s blog:

Now, please take a moment to consider all the women who have been, will be and are being, persecuted as Witches around the world.

In Sisterhood and Solidarity,

SharkBait.

Please check out this post.

It is Witches’ Eve tonight. And misogyny continues.

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It’s been a long time since the last time I blogged. Been busy dealing with some very urgent and important real life problems that needed sorted out. . .

A few things I would like to bring up:

— In September, the Eighteenth Carnival of Radical Feminists, exploring a radical feminist understanding of hierarchy and class, was up at Witchy’s place. There will be the Nineteenth Carnival of Radical Feminists up at Pisaquari’s place, Buried Alive.

— The Stop Porn Culture Slideshow is back online! Please read my post I Blame The Porno-iarchy for a good introduction to it.

— A new website is up (from an email I received):

Our Voices Matter (OVM) is a new, grassroots, online project being launched to bring to the forefront the voices of individuals who have been harmed by prostitution, pornography, and/or trafficking. OVM seeks to provide a safe space for survivors to give voice to how prostitution, pornography, and trafficking have impacted their lives.

Our Voices Matter aims to shatter silences, create healing, raise awareness and incite action. OVM seeks to gather the pain, hurt, abuse, and horrors of survivors into a loud, overwhelming, and hopeful outcry that can and will be heard. OVM is an assertion that women and children matter; that the quest for a day when women and children are not bought and sold is worth fighting for; and that real social change is imperative to actualizing this goal.

Our Voices Matter
seeks your involvement:

* Share your testimony. We welcome written, audio, and video testimony as well as art, poetry, and other creative mediums. Testimony can be shared anonymously or with a pseudonym. All communications are confidential.

* Spread the word. Please circulate this link to individuals and groups that may be interested in taking part. Please post the available flier in your community or at your local rape crisis center, battered women’s shelter or other community space for women.

You can also share your story anonymously (or by using a nickname) here on my blog if you’ve been harmed, affected by pornography or harmed in the sex industry. Survivors of pornography and prostitution, let your voices be heard. Your stories matter.

— A new film, by Chyng Sun & Miguel Picker, The Price of Pleasure: Pornography, Sexuality & Relationships is now available from the Media Education Foundation website.

— Also, from Melissa Farley of Prostitution Research & Education:

. . . Despite the illogical attempt of some to distinguish prostitution from trafficking, trafficking is simply the global form of prostitution. Sex trafficking may occur within or across international borders, thus women may be either domestically or internationally trafficked or both. Young women are trafficked for sexual use from the countryside to the city, from one part of town to another, and across international borders to wherever there are men who will buy them.

Prostitution is widely socially tolerated, with the buyers socially invisible. Even today, many mistakenly assume that prostitution is sex, rather than sexual violence, and a vocational choice, rather than a human rights abuse. Although clinicians are beginning to recognize the overwhelming physical violence in prostitution, its internal ravages are still not well understood. There has been far more clinical attention paid to sexually transmitted diseases among those prostituted than to their depressions, lethal suicidality, mood disorders, anxiety disorders (including post-traumatic stress disorder) dissociative disorders, substance abuse, and traumatic brain injury. Regardless of its legal status or its physical location, prostitution is extremely dangerous for women. Homicide is a frequent cause of death.

Prostitution is an institution akin to slavery, one so intrinsically discriminatory and abusive that it cannot be fixed–only abolished. At the same time, its root causes must be eradicated as well: sex inequality, racism and colonialism, poverty, prostitution tourism, and economic development that destroys traditional ways of living. The conditions that make genuine consent possible are absent from prostitution: physical safety, equal power with johns and pimps, and real alternatives. It is a cruel lie to suggest that decriminalization or legalization will protect anyone in prostitution. Until it is understood that prostitution and trafficking can appear voluntary but are not in reality free choices made from a range of options, it will be difficult to garner adequate support to assist those who wish to escape but have no other choices. Enforcement of international agreements challenging trafficking and prostitution can aid in this effort as can laws challenging men’s purchase of sex.

It is important to address men’s demand for prostitution. Acceptance of prostitution is one of a cluster of harmful attitudes that encourage and justify violence against women. Violent behaviors against women have been associated with attitudes that promote men’s beliefs that they are entitled to sexual access to women, that they are superior to women and that they are licensed as sexual aggressors. Those concerned with human rights must address the social invisibility of prostitution, the massive denial regarding its harms, its normalization as an inevitable social evil, and the failure to educate students in the mental health and public health professions. Trafficking and prostitution can only exist in an atmosphere of public, professional and academic indifference.

— from the article Human Trafficking and Prostitution.

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And, finally. . . for my little return to the blogosphere, let’s chill out a little and put some music on!

Here is Neneh Cherry, one of my favorite (female) singers, in the video of Woman:


Lyrics of
Woman:

You gotta be fortunate
You gotta be lucky now

I was just sitting here

Thinking good and bad

But I’m the kinda woman

That was built to last

They tried erasing me

But they couldn’t wipe out my past

To save my child

I’d rather go hungry

I got all of Ethiopia

Inside of me

And my blood flows

Through every man

In this godless land

That delivered me

I’ve cried so many tears even the blind can see

Chorus:
This is a woman’s world.

This is my world.

This is a woman’s world

For this man’s girl.

There ain’t a woman in this world,

Not a woman or a little girl,

That can’t deliver love

In a man’s world.

I’ve born and I’ve bread.
I’ve cleaned and I’ve fed.

And for my healing wits

I’ve been called a witch.

I’ve crackled in the fire

And been called a liar.

I’ve died so many times

I’m only just coming to life.

Chorus

My blood flows
Through every man and every child

In this godless land

That delivered me

I cried so many tears even the blind can see

Chorus

[Please note: I do not agree with every lyrics in the song, just some bits and pieces I can relate to.]

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. . . is now up at the Spinning Spinsters’. Enjoy!

And I still blame the porno-iarchy. . . and the patriarchy!

ETA (08/22/2008)= I just read this today: Radical feminist Jenn has done a wonderful job with her critique of a pro-“feminist porn” article. Go read it!

And thanks a lot, Laurelin, for your support. 🙂

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The Fourth Carnival Against Pornography and Prostitution is now up at The Burning Times. Have a good reading time!

Also, I found this via Allecto who got it thanks to Demonista: please sign this petition to ask Rogers Communications (a Canadian-based corporation that is the largest provider of cable to Canadians) to stop selling misogynistic and racist pornography.

“Pornography tells lies about women. Pornography tells the truth about men.”
— John Stoltenberg, pro-feminist writer.

“At the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence, serving Linn and Benton counties, most women we work with say their abusers are heavily into pornography.”
Mary Zelinka, assistant executive director of a Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence in Oregon.

“When people deplore sexism and racism but make allowances for their proliferations in pornography, pornography has achieved its aim: the creation of acceptance for materials that publicly practise and advertise the hatred and domination of women of colour. Pornography perpetrates racism through the sexualization and fetishisation of racist stereotypes.”
— Joyce Wu, in her article Not a Fantasy: Racial Hatred and Misogyny in Pornography.

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The Swedish law that prosecutes johns and pimps (while decriminalizing prostituting women) has been such a great success that a city council in another country, Scotland, sees this law as a fair way of fighting the atrocious sexual slavery that is called prostitution. Some excerpts from the Scottish Daily Record:

GROUNDBREAKING laws that have almost wiped out prostitution in Sweden could be introduced in Scotland.

The Swedes stopped punishing the prostitutes – and instead criminalised the men who buy sex. […]

[Glasgow City Council deputy leader] Coleman said: “There’s no doubt it has worked in Sweden and there’s no reason why it can’t work here too.

“There can be no question that prostitution is exploitative and abusive of the women involved.

“Name one other situation where we would put up with endemic violence, abuse, disease, drug addiction, alcoholism, mental health problems, fear and trauma as a way to earn cash?

“The only logical way we can stop the damage suffered by this group of vulnerable women is to cut off the demand for buying sex.” […]

In Sweden, 1650 men have been convicted for buying sex. They faced up to six months in jail but all were fined Stockholm Detective Inspector Jonas Trolle, who is part of the delegation, says indoor prostitution is every bit as harmful to the women.

He said: “You need at least five customers a day for it to be profitable.

“One case I was involved in, the woman took 17 customers one evening and she was not able to walk from the flat afterwards. Is this a question of free will, when you can’t even walk?” […]

In 2006, researchers found Swedish men were least likely of about 30 nationalities to use prostitutes as they considered it unacceptable.

Another phenomenon has been a dramatic fall in sex trafficking. It has fallen to just 200 women, while neighbouring Finland sees 15,000 a year brought across its borders. […]

Now former prostitutes are treated as victims and helped to find a way out of the trade through retraining and counselling….

Also, it is wonderful to see a radical feminist (like Melissa Farley) being published in the NY Times. It is so so so rare when a radical feminist gets to be published in a major newspaper nowadays. From Melissa Farley and Victor Malarek’s excellent op-ed article The Myth of the Victimless Crime:

[…] Whose theory is it that prostitution is victimless? It’s the men who buy prostitutes who spew the myths that women choose prostitution, that they get rich, that it’s glamorous and that it turns women on.

But most women in prostitution, including those working for escort services, have been sexually abused as children, studies show. Incest sets young women up for prostitution — by letting them know what they’re worth and what’s expected of them. Other forces that channel women into escort prostitution are economic hardship and racism. […]

Whether the woman is in a hotel room or on a side street in someone’s car, whether she’s trafficked from New York to Washington or from Mexico to Florida or from the city to the suburbs, the experience of being prostituted causes her immense psychological and physical harm. And it all starts with the buyer.

Pro-radical feminist man Richard Leader, of Adonis Mirror, has recently written a compelling piece, She will not be Forgotten, on Ruth Christenson, a woman to whom the sexism of pornography has shattered her life:

[…] Perhaps Ruth Christenson is still remembered in quiet vigils in Minneapolis. I hope so. She sure as hell isn’t remembered anywhere else.

Perhaps that’s for the best. If Ruth Christenson were remembered today, she’d be remembered not as a hero — or even as a martyr — but as a crazy woman. A tragic figure, no doubt, but the tragedy would be considered hers to bear alone.

Even people calling themselves feminists, no shortage of men in that number these days, would believe Christenson did what she did out of selfish, personal desperation: an inability to cope with private horrors that have little to do with what the “common woman” experiences. Hormones and brain chemistry. To them, that can be the only reason why she took such a terrible and final action.

Not because sexism shatters women’s lives. […]

Who would be willing to remember the bravery of Ruth Christenson in a world where even anti-pornography activists are ready to shed the word “feminist” from their organizations in exchange for better funding? […]

If female bravery of that kind could be celebrated, it would mean that women suffer under patriarchy in the here and now, even surrounded by good men….

And Debs, at The Burning Times, posted an article about a porn report that shows that men still represent the majority of pornography consumers:

“Of the pornography consumers interviewed for The Porn Report, 17 per cent were women and 82 per cent were male…”

Debs also wrote:

All porn is violence against women. The existence of any type of porn is a symptom of a world in which women are seen as commodities, and where violence against women is at epidemic proportions. […]

For the man, porn is just a normal part of his everyday life, and the women he encounters in his everyday life could easily appear in the porn he watches. It is easier for him that way; he does not have to do any work. The ‘normal’ women in his porn are the checkout operator and the traffic warden he sees when out and about – the women in his porn are every-woman. Women make a separation for the sake of their own sanity – there are real women, and there are the women in porn. Men make no such distinction – the women in porn are all women everywhere. […]

I think a far more likely reason for women’s [slightly] increased use of porn is a sort of “if you can’t beat them, join them” attitude. Women have resigned themselves to the fact that porn is increasingly prevalent in society; it’s impossible to escape, so they just play along, because to do otherwise (ie, fight it) is to be seen as ‘anti-sex’, a prude, frigid, or any number of other meaningless insults. […]

Studies like this, as I’m sure they don’t intend to, do not progress the fight against porn, nor set it back. They just observe….

Finally, I’d like to link to the Carnival Against Pornography and Prostitution’s Homepage. There has already been three editions of that Carnival that have been posted so far and some of my writings have been selected a few times for it. The older editions are linked on the top of the sidebar (on the right) of that Carnival blog.

I would like to let my readers know (as you’ve probably noticed) that I blog intermittently. It is because I need to have enough time to write articles. I’m often busy with work and studies. However, I’m planning on writing more. Don’t worry, I ain’t going away. There is no way anyone could silence me. I will not be silenced. So please stay tuned and check on my place now and again.

In Sisterhood,

M.H.

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