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Archive for the ‘Pro-porners’ Category

I had been keeping some posts I have been writing inside of this blog lately, before releasing them. . . when I will be ready. . .

I’d like to say that before I’d started this blog I didn’t expect things to be as they are. It is not that my speech is not free; it is that almost every time I speak out I get hits (people trashing me online). Not that I care much about that part: I know who I am; I know that I am not who they think I am. It is very sad though that, nowadays, contemporary malestream ‘feminism’ is now pretty much about promoting values that suit the status quo, without ever seriously challenging the system.

If you check out the “top 30 feminist blogs,” you will find on the list some people who have become extremely famous at trashing other women, especially radical feminists. It is true that I have noticed that, in a patriarchy, a woman gets some sort of popularity whenever her writing is, not only rife with patriarchal thinking, but also is about slandering other women (who dare challenge male supremacy), including slamming some radical women who have been victims of rape or prostitution. A male patriarchist gets off on watching a female patriarchist stalk, attack, slam and slander another woman, especially a rad fem; it means that he can rest comfortably: his *precious* patriarchy is being well-maintained. This actually hardly differs from the ( so much wider) malestream contemporary woman-hating in the mass-media and in everyday society — especially when you see/hear women hating or abusing other women.

Whenever a woman upholds misogyny, she gains some sort of a status. This, of course, does not change the fact that she is a member of an oppressed gender class which most men regard as inferior. But throwing hatred at or demeaning other women gives her some sort of popularity, at least in the short term.

Double standards apply: Once, not so long ago I was criticized for telling the truth: that rape can take different forms and that, because male sexual exploitation of women exists in a continuum, it is worth paying attention to ALL sorts of sexual abuse, not just the most egregious ones. Contrary to what some folks claimed, I was NOT misrepresenting the word “rape”; I was merely elaborating on the different dimensions of sexual exploitation. Yet, please do not forget that when it is men who really use the word “rape” casually, as in the ‘fun’ of a videogame, or as in the language of their BDSM ‘games’, or as in sexist jokes or fantasies, hardly anybody notices, let alone call them out on their misogyny. “It is merely a fantasy, it doesn’t hurt anybody,” “It’s just fun” or any other similar garbage the patriarchists would have us believe. Well, in real life, these “fantasies” and “fun” actually hurt other people and rape is not funny; rape harms women!

Andrea Dworkin was misrepresented and demonized. In the words of John Berger, she was “perhaps the most misrepresented writer in the Western world.”. . .

Because of her subject, because of the substance of her ideas. . . Andrea Dworkin faced especially naked misogyny: “woman hating,” which is the title of her first book. How she was treated is how women are treated who tell the truth about male power without compromise or apology. It is why few do.

— Catharine MacKinnon, “Who Was Afraid of Andrea Dworkin?,” New York Times, April 16, 2005.

Moreover, as reported on Heart’s blog lately:

“Linkfluence” is invited, you know, the company that offered us the “Top 30 Feminist Blogs”. Linkfluence’s goal is to “make finding influential communities and following their conversations easier for the greatest benefit of corporations, consultancies or survey institutes.” Just what we need! An organization working to make our feminist conversations most beneficial to corporations! As references, Linkfluence lists multinationals Nestle, Nike and Roche, among others. So I suppose we should not be surprised that among the “Top 30″ are pimps, procurers and those who blog for them, anti-feminists and misogynists. All of that notwithstanding, when companies like this create lists like this, the naive and trusting as well as the anti-feminist and capitalist are going to LINK to them which is what the real goal is. The goal is not to carefully study the influence of feminist bloggers. The goal is to rank blogs according to how dogged they are in linking — who cares WHY they are linking; perhaps they are linking in order to repeatedly launch attacks on feminists, as is very true of several on the “Top 30 list”, and which is always a good way to drive up hits and linkage; blogosphere attacks on women are such good times – because that way companies like Linkfluence and Fem 2.0 garner maximum linkage to themselves and therefore they begin to gain exposure and to influence in heretofore untapped markets.

[Thank you very much, Heart, for the amazing work you put in this wonderful piece and the other one. (I am kinda sad that Heart will not be blogging the same way anymore).]

Often, when I blog, I get some people in comments (which I block) who are stubborn enough to try to shove malestream values down my throat, like “women choose to enjoy torture,” “prostitution is a wonderfully ‘feminist’ thing,” etc, etc and other similar propaganda, blah-the-fucking-blah. . . I am not surprised. It is hard to be open-minded to radical feminism when you live in a patriarchy. You constantly get malestream beliefs reminded to you. They keep controlling you. I used to feel that way. But some people really need to understand that I have been fed malestream values, I have heard them, my whole life; I hear them everyday, which is why I’d rather protect my blog, and whoever comes here with friendly intentions, from the same ol’ patriarchal porn/prostitution/rape apologies I hear every single fucking day.

The language of “choice” and “agency” from the ‘sex work’ standpoint perfectly suits the economic politics of neo-liberalism. Spokeswomen for Coalition Against Trafficking in Women have previously explained that pro-prostitution advocates have organizations that take money from the sex industry (e.g. source: Mediawatch audio podcast). I disagree with the pro-prostitution position which unfairly accuses us of not listening to women who say they love their ‘sex work’ job. It’s not that we’re not listening to them; it’s just that we happen to have understood some simple facts. Women are not valued for their talent or intelligence in this patriarchal society, but for their bodies or how ‘good’ they are as “sex-objects” who service men, hence obviously we understand that some women, more than others, will conform to this patriarchal plasticized ideal of ‘how we should be’ and they will promote the ‘sex’ industry. But we have been informed about the ongoing abuse of other women. And we have concluded that the prostitution industry is inextricably linked to this abuse and there are simply no acceptable losses, as Biting beaver once explained. Therefore, our priority must be to understand what prostitution really is: an appalling abuse of women’s rights to their own bodies and self-determination.

The worst thing is that people who harass rad fems online probably know that our little feminist community is at the margin of patriarchal society. Patriarchists’ views are mainstream; but that does not seem to be enough for them: they need to persistently attempt to silence the few dissenting voices, the few heretics. We, radical feminists, are heretics, mainly because we despise this whole culture and all its diverse forms of misogyny and we will not agree with views that purport that most women or all women enjoy being degraded in every possible ways. Female psychology is a lot more complex than this and women have restricted autonomy within the boundaries of patriarchy.

Lately, I seriously thought about blogging ‘Comments Off’ (with just leaving the survivor thread open for survivor to speak out) as I’d read about the fact that there may be some advantages in doing so. But I changed my mind: I might now use some of those hostile comments sent to me (before deleting them) as a way of observing the raw aggressiveness in supporters of porn & online stalkers to prove my point on the negative effects of pornography.

One thing is for sure: the people who persistently stalk me online will never make me regret to have created this blog. I have full control over my blog and I fully enjoy the luxury of having my right to push the ‘reject’ button whenever someone comes here with totally unfriendly intention and merely a goal of trying to pick up a fight in comments. I will release more and prospective comments will be thoroughly moderated as well as monitored. I will recognize people who are not genuinely interested in radical feminists views and who are merely trying to pick a fight. . .

Comments are closed on this post in order to (at least, temporarily) avoid online harassment. People who are friendly readers of my blog can always check out my Contact Page.

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According to some Human Rights Watch headlines last month:

Soaring rates of rape and violence against women

2008-12-19 07:56:53

More Accurate Methodology Shows Urgent Need for Preventive
Action

(New York, December 18, 2008) — A new government report showing huge increases in the incidences of domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault over a two-year period in the United States deserves immediate attention from lawmakers and the incoming administration, Human Rights Watch said today. The statistics show a 42-percent increase in reported domestic violence and a 25-percent increase in the reported incidence of rape and sexual assault.


The National Crime Victimization Survey, based on projections from a national sample survey, says that at least 248,300 individuals were raped or sexually assaulted in 2007, up from 190,600 in 2005, the last year the survey was conducted. The study surveyed 73,600 individuals in 41,500 households. Among all violent crimes, domestic violence, rape, and sexual assault showed the largest increases. Except for simple assault, which increased by 3 percent, the incidence of every other crime surveyed decreased.


“The numbers in this survey show an alarmingly high rate of sexual violence in this country,” said Sarah Tofte, researcher for the US Program at Human Rights Watch. “This should serve as a wake-up call that more must be done to address the problem in the US.”


The projected number of violent crimes committed by intimate partners against women increased from 389,100 in 2005 to 554,260 in the 2007 report. By comparison, the number of violent crimes against men by intimate partners went down.

Now, first of all, this is very upsetting, disheartening, worrying and yet not surprising, considering the fact that we live everyday in a woman-hating, male-supremacist culture. And this is real grim…

Second, porn apologists can carry on with their “cathartic effect” propaganda; it has not been proven to be true. These figures remind me of how much pornified culture and rape culture are one and the same thing, especially considering that the pornography industry makes $13 million in the US alone every year, remember? Which means there is a huge amount of male demand for an industry that relies on beliefs that “women enjoy being hurt, being demeaned,” etc and thus that endlessly perpetuates female suffering for the sadistic pleasure of its males consumers and, often, yes, rapists.

Pornographic culture relentlessly invades malestream media with its fragmentations of women into body parts, its portrayal of female humans as “worthless sex-objects that ‘ask for it’ or that deserve what happens to them”, and its glamorization of sexual violence, etc; see, for example, this YouTube video for a NOW campaign.

Finally, can women really feel safe with the vast majority of men in a patriarchy, i.e. the ones who were born in male privilege and who were taught to benefit from masculine socialization and domination?…

You know, I watched “The Accused” again on new year’s eve. It’s a film (with Jodie Foster) that was made in 1988. It is an amazing movie that highlighted a topic that is usually so rare in Hollywood. I hadn’t seen it in years. Watching it again made me cry over a simple fact: the very real, cruel and sinister attitudes that encourage, condone and attempt to justify rape have not changed one bit in 21 years (unless they actually have gotten worse). I was observing the woman-hating and victim-blaming that many of the men in that movie were praising through sentences such as “she was begging for it,” “it’s her fault,” “she put on a sex show,” or “she wasn’t even raped,” etc. And I remember thinking “That is all very real. That’s very much similar attitudes to so many men’s who live in a patriarchal pornified culture,” and I couldn’t stop crying, especially during the rape scene. These things are not just fiction. Rape keeps happening, in real life, thousands and thousands of times everyday. All the underpinning behaviors that support sexual violence and the root causes of rape haven’t changed. Not one bit. If they have, they have merely gotten worse…

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See this? Yeah, that’s a broken record. I chose this image for this post because I sincerely believe that all the pro-porners, pro-prostitutionists, pro-sexploitation folks, pro-hate speech & pro-“sex work” activists (or whatever you rad fems wanna call them) sound like a fucking broken record with all their “same old shit” reactionary arguments that do nothing whatsoever to help women as a class, arguments that, on the contrary, bolster the patriarchal anti-woman status quo. Thus, I have decided to write a a list of the porn apologists’ bullshit arguments.

I know these are all parts of the same broken record we hear every day; I know that some people (especially some men) are so stupid and stubborn in defending such a widespread violation of women’s bodies in order to maintain their own selfish sexual pleasure, I know all this. I also know that the pro-pornstitution folks are not only folks we meet online. The pro-porners we meet online are so easy to avoid or dismiss when we want to ignore them (thank fuck for that) while the pro-porners we meet offline are most often our co-workers, classmates, friends, even sometimes partners and so on. These offline people who defend porn aren’t so easy to avoid and, more or less often, we find ourselves in a conversation on pornography with them at some point.

It usually happens like this: They suddenly bring up pornography or prostitution for whatever reason, as part of a “joke” that we don’t find funny at all (but rather sad — as we do know that there’s a terrible sexual slavery going on out there and people keep on denying it) or simply because they’ve been influenced by pornified pop culture. Then we feel like we cannot tolerate these pro-porn arguments any longer so we start informing them on what we know about the sexual slavery industry. But, unfortunately, we’re feeling so upset that we just stop talking. There is just so much to say and we don’t know where to start. And, on top of that, there they go! Talking the same old reactionary bullshit arguments we’ve heard ten thousand times again and again, sounding like the same old broken record. . . And we start losing our confidence. . . so we stop talking.

Therefore I prepared this handy “Porn Apologists’ Bullshit Arguments List and How to Respond to Them with Confidence” collection in order to help myself and other rad fems to challenge those apologies confidently IRL. I constructed it as a dialog:

Porn Apologist: Women freely choose to sell their bodies in pornography and in prostitution. How can you criticize the women’s consent to be in porn?
Rad Fem: Contrary to myths, radical feminists have never criticized women’s involvement in the pornography industry as performers. Instead, we focus on the difficulties within which they make their choice to participate. Documentaries and articles on pornography in the mainstream media (which generally pick a very small number of performers out of the so much larger number of porn performers out there) typically show pornography performers as “happy women who have made a totally free choice”. However, the reality of the circumstances within which the vast majority of those women entered the porn industry are very much different from this whole mainstream media glamorization crap. A lot of thorough research on prostitution (based on interviewing hundreds and hundreds of prostituting women) has shown that child sexual or physical abuse or neglect, poverty, economic hardship, past experience of battery or rape, trafficking, socialization to the sexist and racist pornified culture, etc. are key factors for women who enter the ‘sex’ industry. Feminists do not condemn the women who are in the industry, but we empathize with them. We understand that they are terribly exploited and harmed in this industry. As one woman who used to prostitute said that, while she was in prostitution, she would have yelled from the roof-tops how wonderful being a prostitute was, but that, while now she’s still healing from her prostitution experience, she has “found that the worse thing of exiting prostitution is seeing the real reasons [she] became a prostitute. Seeing it could of never been a choice. It was just a way to self-destruct.”[sic]

Porn Apologist: Women in porn make a lot of money anyway.
Rad Fem: Some research and testimonies have suggested that most strippers, prostitutes and pornography performers do not make a lot of money. Although some do, the idea that all of them make a lot of money is another part of the pornographers’ and the mainstream media’s propaganda. Most female porn performers do not get rich, particularly due to their brief “shelf lives” — male consumers often want to see new women being exploited — so even if pornstituted females initially command a high rate per scene or per movie, their market value as “fresh meat” declines rapidly. Thus, even if there are a few really famous porn “actresses”, the vast majority of the women in pornography leave that business feeling exploited, pained and ashamed by this terrible experience or after being considered “overexposed” by the consumers and producers. So, the pornography industry keeps using and discarding female bodies after having used those human beings as if they were pieces of meat. There have been words coming from people who have been involved in the industry to testify of this brutal reality. Besides, even if these women get paid for performing in porn, does it mean that it should excuse the extensive physical, psychological and emotional harms done to them? So, once a woman has been paid, the torture committed against her body is expiated, huh? Well, that’s an incredibly cruel and unfair way of reasoning! No amount of money whatsoever should excuse any harm done to a woman’s body.

Porn Apologist: Pornography is not prostitution.
Rad Fem: The fact is that pornography IS prostitution, plus a camera.

Porn Apologist: Look, prostitution is the world’s oldest profession. It should be legalized and regulated. That would make it safer.
Rad Fem: Prostitution is NOT the oldest profession, pimping is! Countries where prostitution has been legalized have become Number One destinations for traffickers. There is no evidence that legalization in any way benefits women in prostitution — indeed it simply legalizes the harm caused to women. Prostitution is inherently a form of violence against women and a violation of women’s human rights and dignity as persons. The belief that prostitution is “sex work” is being a direct cause for the widespread international and domestic trafficking of women and children for prostitution. The Netherlands (where prostitution is regarded as “just a job like another”) remains one of the primary destinations for victims of human trafficking (as again recently reported in the article “Home Office goes to Amsterdam for prostitution ideas” in politics.co.uk) and half the window brothels over there have been closed since 2006 because of an exponential rise in organized crime and money laundering and also the trafficking of women and children. Legalization is, in effect, a failed experiment.

Porn Apologist: Sexuality is good. Why are you anti-sex?
Rad Fem: Being against pornography and prostitution does not equate being against sex, FFS. Sexuality is just a part of being human and may involve a lot of strong feelings of affection and connection to another person when a sense of genuine care is involved. But pornography is stripped of any empathy and it fuses sexual desire with the degradation and abuse of women. Being against pornography does not mean being against sex, it simply means having recognized that there is a sexual world of imagination based on equality & respect and that goes beyond sexuality as simple “domination/subordination”.

Porn Apologist: Only conservative right wingers criticize porn. Are you a religious zealot?
Rad Fem: Radical feminists have, for a long time, opposed Christianity by recognizing it as patriarchal religion. Mary Daly, for example, is a prominent radical feminist writer of the feminist critique of Christianity. Radical feminists usually see Christianity as patriarchal and oppressive to women. So, no, I’m certainly not religious and I’m very much of an atheist. Perpetuating the myth that radical feminists “are siding with religious zealots” just because we oppose pornography has always been one of the favorite pro-porn tactics of the so-called “sex poz” lobby.

Porn Apologist: If there weren’t any porn, there’d be more rape.
Rad Fem: Do we ever suggest that the availability of loads of films showing children being beaten up would reduce child physical abuse? Of course not, because we know it’s not the case. So why would it be different with pornography? Few rapes get reported to the police and correlational studies only based on reported rapes have limits. While a few studies have shown a decrease in reported rapes, many other correlational studies, as shown here, have shown dramatic increases in sexual violence with the availability of pornography. Pornography has no “catharthic” effect whatsoever. Also, this “catharthic effect” porn apologist excuse quite sounds like a threat: “We need pornography or we will rape more!” Blah-the-fucking-blah. . .

Porn Apologist: Pornography has no effect whatsoever. It’s only a fantasy.
Rad Fem: So why do corporations spend billions of dollars each year on mass-mediated advertising if not precisely because they know ads have effects on people? Why would it be different with pornography? Pornography HAS effects, negative ones! Besides, as I said before, “an industry which relies on the suffering of half the population in order to keep catering to its ever-expanding demand is not fantasy!” Fantasy is in the head. Pornography is mediated and mass-marketed. I feel a lot more free not having my fantasies being controlled by pornography. . . Freud argued that the sexual abuse that his female patients had been experiencing in childhood (and had been telling him about) was just a fantasy. Freud knew that child sexual abuse was pervasive in his time, but he kept on denying it as “fantasy” (Source: Testimony of Jeffrey Masson, author of The Assault on Truth, in “The Los Angeles Hearing, Los Angeles County Commission for Women, April 22, 1985”; in Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin Eds., In Harm’s way: The pornography Civil Rights Hearings; 1997.)

Porn Apologist: Where is the harm in porn?
Rad Fem: The first people who are harmed are the prostituted women constantly used, abused and discarded by the industry. Then, the harms extend to the women outside of the industry. The easiest way of making violence invisible is by sexualizing it, making it appear as “just sex” to the viewer. Pornography makes rape, sexism and racism sexy. It makes force look like a thrilling sexual experience to men. Pornography desensitizes its users to female degradation, it makes them believe that women enjoy all sorts of pain and humiliation. Pornography increases the belief in rape myths. Pornography is pure woman-hating propaganda! Many women are coerced by their boyfriends and husbands into sexual acts they do not want because of those men’s pornography use. Pornography also increases the violence perpetrated against prostituted women. As reported by former prostitute J.W. in Massachusetts, for instance, she “considered the men who were into pornography to be the most dangerous and potentially violent since that is what aroused them”.

Porn Apologist: Advocating censorship is not a good thing. Pornography is free speech.
Rad Fem: Who’s talking about censorship here? You, not me. I’m talking of harms. Pro-porners often use the inaccurate word “censorship” to stigmatize any feminist work against pornography and to try to shut us up. Censorship or banning would never address the demand for pornography. Educating people on the harms and asking for an end to men’s demand for an industry that is predicated upon and produces sex-based exploitation and widespread aggression has nothing in common with censorship. Pornography is not free speech, it is hatred of women. The only freedom in pornography is the one for men to abuse women. In a male-supremacist, capitalist society, the First Amendment protects only those who can exercise the rights it protects. Where is women’s freedom of speech in all of this? Pornography keeps women and other people who have been harmed from exercising their rights to free speech.

Porn Apologist: Feminists are often man-haters. That’s why they criticize porn.
Rad Fem: In a patriarchal society where misogyny is the norm, whenever you point out to the fact of male violence against women you’re accused of being a “man-hater”, while whenever a man says a misogynist comment or laughs at misogynist jokes he’s never accused of being a “woman-hater”. Feminists aren’t man-haters and they criticize porn because it is harmful and it is strongly linked to violence against women. Isn’t it natural for men to watch porn? Pornography expresses sexual freedom and all men use porn.
Rad Fem: If it is natural for men to use porn, then how come some men have given up on their porn consumption and haven’t died? Not all men use porn. And pornography is not freedom; it is a mechanical, mindless, plasticized, inhuman, cruel and disconnected form of sexual imagery made by big corporations who only want to make big bucks. Besides, if pornography was so “natural” for men, why would it be so relentlessly misogynistic? Men have usually been socialized so differently from women that we can hardly claim anything about their nature. From an early age, males are typically trained to repress their feelings of sensitivity, care and empathy. It doesn’t have to be that way but gender roles both uphold and are maintained by male supremacist social order. And pornography typically reinforces gender, i.e. what it means to be “masculine” and what it means to be “feminine”.

Porn Apologist:

Porn Apologist: But, I don’t look at the bad and extreme stuff. Misogyny is not really inherent in pornography. And pornography is neither violent nor racist.
Rad Fem: Violence is pervasive in pornography; it is normalized because it is made to look like “just sex”. Any proper and clear-headed study of the content of the best-selling porn titles will reveal that violence and contempt for women are pervasive in mainstream pornography, as a comprehensive 2007 media research based on top-selling porn titles listed in Adult Video news (results of the research are revealed in this video here) has proven. As for the racism, pornography typically portrays black women as subhuman, dirty, primitive “ebony hoes”, black men as savage, animalistic beasts, Asian women as slavishly obedient, and Hispanic women as “hot-blooded Latinas”. If you don’t recognize these stereotypes as horrifyingly racist, then I’m afraid I can’t help you. . .

Porn Apologist: Look, women are objectified everywhere, even in the media. How is pornography different? I simply cannot imagine a world without the objectification of the female body.
Rad Fem: While mainstream media has clearly been invaded by soft-core objectifying pornography and that’s certainly not a good thing, hard-core mainstream pornography is worse. Women are not human beings in pornography, just things. . . Dare imagine a world that would not rely on the objectification of women, dare ask for justice and real sexual freedom within a new world where women would have the right to their own bodies without having to force themselves to have sex with men, where we would have true intimacy and mutuality, and where our lives wouldn’t be invaded and controlled by pornography.

Porn Apologist: Women look at porn too.
Rad Fem: While women’s use of porn has somehow increased since the Internet, the VAST majority of pornography users are men and the industry knows it (but they’re not gonna tell you). Porn producers, when interviewed at the Las Vegas porn convention, said most of the consumers of their materials are men. That is why porn is so endlessly misogynistic and degrading.

Porn Apologist: Hey, do you know that there’s also feminist porn available out there, that is to say porn for women?
Rad Fem: Women-made porn is a smokescreen to protect the largely (mostly) male-run, male-led pornography industry. It is only a small portion of the industry. The solution to ending the harms of pornography is not to create “feminist porn”. As I said before, “[m]isogynistic porn (which is the type of sexual material that most men want to see and masturbate to) isn’t going to go away so easily, and women and children will continue to be harmed. There are so many more urgent things and so many more struggles to overcome before we are able to live in a non-patriarchal society and maybe think about such things as any “egalitarian forms of erotic arts”!!! Indeed, thinking about such things before the overthrow of the whole patriarchy itself happens, is nothing other than capitulation! And it is insane! Considering and confronting the harms of pornography and prostitution to women and children, and working toward the building of a new non-patriarchal world, are paramount causes!!! As Gail Dines pointed out at the 2007 feminist anti-porn conference, we live in an “image based culture” (i.e. any thing, to be valuable, has to be made into an image) and the answer to stopping porn culture is not more images. Personally, I feel A LOT MORE FREE without having images or so-called “art” control my life and/or sexuality!”

Porn Apologist: If you don’t like porn, just don’t watch it.
Rad Fem: If this could only be that easy! Women have to interact with men who use pornography every day without knowing about the harms. I walk in the street and see soft-core porn on billboards. I cannot watch T.V. without stumbling upon a show or a film within which a joke on pornography is being laughed about. I cannot go to a party without seeing a bunch of guys laughing at the porn pics on their phones they’re showing to each others. The list goes on. . . Pornography is everywhere. What you’re saying sounds so much like saying “If you don’t like the president, then forget he is the president!” or “If you don’t like pollution, then forget it also comes from cars”.

Porn Apologist: Porn was the only sex education I had. I can’t give it up.
Rad Fem: Then you have been sexually “educated” by what is the mainstream sex miseducation for men, a form of media within which women are stripped of their own humanity and portrayed as sexual objects, as things to be penetrated. How original! Wouldn’t you be more free without having the corporate pimps mapping out your sex life? Besides, even if you’re not causing harm to women you know, by not giving up on pornography, you believe that there are acceptable losses, “necessary victims” in order to satisfy your self-centered orgasm to the sexuality of cruelty, the sexuality of disconnection from truly meaningful feelings toward another human being. By creating the demand for pornography, you generate, maintain or condone the harms it causes as well as submit to the self-objectification it creates when it controls you, shapes your sexual thoughts into a twisted manner and when you become addicted to it. So, why not giving up and have your own dreams for yourself? Why not accepting that your sex (mis)education did not involve sexual justice and equality between sexes?. . .

That’s it for now, readers. In case some of you want to add any porn apologist bullshit arguments (that I forgot to mention) to the list, please do so in the comments. Or, simply give your feedback, rad fems & pro-radfems, if you want to. . .

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Now, I’m being told that there is a lot of vitriol being said about Sam Berg, me and others over the pro-porn blogosphere right now and I’ve not even had a look as I am not interested. As I said before, I don’t go to *their* places anymore as I don’t care about what’s being said about me by a sad bunch of people who don’t even know me and who pathetically don’t have anything better (?) to do than trash rad fems on their blogs. I perfectly know that all the nonsense pro-porners talk, the jeers and the gender-specific name-calling they sometimes use clearly show pornography’s negative effects on them, as I have said before. . .

So why don’t I care about what pro-porners say about me? Because I know that these people are all so full of it, obviously. . .

But, although in my previous post I’d said that “the next post I’ll make on this blog will not be about the same subject. I’ll go back to doing my patriarchy-bashing and exposing the harms of pornography and prostitution” (count on it next time for sure), I’m merely posting this message from Sam, upon her recent and urgent request, in order to clarify something because serious lies and misrepresentations are apparently being said about her right now over the “sex-poz” blogosphere. Here it is from Sam:

There are a lot of lies being told about me right now. I’m used to that because it comes with the pro-woman activism that kooky kid called life dropped into my lap like an unexploded bomb, but it’s rather concentrated at the moment. Most of it is nonsense, like that I’m trying to get the pro-sex work group kicked off campus (I’m not) or that I’m afraid to debate sex workers (I’m not) or that I said RenEv made threats personally to me (she didn’t and I didn’t say she did), but there is one very serious bit of business tucked into the ever-heaping distortions that I feel must be addressed.

Renegade Evolution is saying that I sent her threatening private emails. I have never emailed RenEv. Not once. What would be the point?

So where did the supposed emailed “threat” come from? I think I know, and I think you’re all going to want to learn what I know, because the pieces are fitting together for me very clearly for the first time.

Remember that person who committed fraud by lying to one of Genderberg’s moderators about being anti-pornography and anti-prostitution so they could spy on our private forums and then release words from there publicly? If you need or want a recap about the violation of women’s safe space that happened one year ago today in April 2007 you can read this post at Sinister Girl’s.

Caught up? Good.

Also in April 2007, the aforementioned lying person started a hate blog called “Radical Feminist Terrorism” where the person who stole private writings from Genderberg [forums] spewed her vituperative guts out with such psychotic absurdities as:

“You can’t really understand the hatred that is embodied in many of the posts on Genderberg. Many members of that forum simply do not see other women as human at all.“

“I am not sure why the belief that women should be free to live as they wish is so dangerous. I do know that to many in the Genderberg this belief in women’s freedom is utterly inexcusable. They will do anything to destroy it.”

“While many will claim that Genderberg is a “safe space” my belief is that there should be no safe space for those who work to destroy women. There should be no dark corner where ANYONE can get together and plot against or foster hatred of women.”

“There is no evil that these haters of women will not stoop to. There is no vile act of malice they cannot justify. They will do anything in their power to destroy or silence anyone they disagree with. In their hate they are trying to destroy her. In their blood lust for a purge they are trying to force Renegade Evolution to reveal who I am. They want to close the hole so they can go back to plotting against women in the dark.”

“In my time on Genderberg I read more hatred of women than I ever read or saw in pornography.”

Seeing how loony the anonymous Radfem Terrorism blogger clearly is, I brushed off replying substantively because the raging dementia speaks for itself.

Throughout May and June the moderators at Genderberg worked like demons to try and figure out which of the 100 or so members was the leak. We ask every member a series of questions before approving them and we were going member by member to try and restore some of the lost sense of security that made one prostituted woman feel she had to leave Genderberg. By early July we pooled our research and figured out that the leak was someone who registered as “Miriam” with a bunch of hooey about being anti-pornography and caring about prostituted women. I deleted “Miriam” from the memberlist and sent her the following email on July 5, 2007:

“I feel bad for you because you’ve obviously been seriously fucked up by people in your life, but if you don’t back off slagging on radfems you’re going to force my hand.

I can prove you committed fraud when you lied to moderator deedle about your gb membership, and I can prove you were the one who leaked Pony’s words. Because you’re a pathological liar, you’re probably thinking you can lie your way out of this just like you’ve done other times.

You can’t.

I didn’t out you before because I have a soft spot for seriously fucked up women like yourself, but I’m not above initiating legal action to show the ex-sex workers in my little community that their privacy and continued peace of mind is something I take very seriously. If you cared about sex workers one tenth as much as you manipulatively tell people you do then you would not have violated a sex worker-heavy community like you did.

Stop telling lies, Miriam. You’re not as good at it as you think you are.”

Now ask yourself why RenEv thinks my email to Miriam threatening to reveal that I know Miriam wrote the “Radical Feminist Terrorism” blog was somehow a threat to reveal personal information about RenEv.

— Sam Berg.

I’m guessing that’s another side of another story again exposed now, as I can see. Thank you so much for your honesty about this email, Sam. I can imagine that (1) you were protecting Genderberg’s security & privacy and (2) you were very angry at the facts that Pony’s words had been leaked from G’berg’s private forums by somebody and that rad fems were being trashed on the pro-porn blogosphere (as usual). I also believe that the clarification was important, which is why I’m posting this.

But now, honestly, I do not want to talk about those pro-porners’ names ever again on my blog (in future posts — I’ll let rad fems comment on what they will here in case they want to say anything). I do not want to talk about these names anymore after that due to the fact that, as I have said before, they aren’t worth paying attention to even though I spoke in defense of Sam as they clearly went way too far in their nastiness this time with the way they treated her regarding the issues that surrounded that porn panel. . .

(BTW the post over at Heart’s on the W&M panel and her comment thread were very interesting)

They’ll carry on bashing us as if that’s all they’re capable of and I’ll be carrying on bashing patriarchy and pornstitution meanwhile. . .

Edited to add: See also the similar post at Laurelin’s on Sam Berg responding to her detractors, and Laurelin’s little comment thread that follows it. Also, check out the comment thread at Witchy’s.

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Okay, as y’all know, I blog intermittently, whenever I’ve got enough time to settle down and write an article (partly due to my busy schedule). I think that if I write more and be less shy then my words will flow just like that. . .

Sometimes I also need to know where to start and how to start. I’m still pretty new to the rad fem blogosphere but, as I wrote about before in this previous post here, I’d rather not care about what’s being said about me, over the so-called “sex-poz” blogosphere, by ignorant pro-porners who don’t even know me and merely attack me just because I’m a radical feminist who staunchly stands up for her politics, that and the fact that I and my fellow rad fems have an anti-pornstitution agenda which is the very antithesis of their agenda.

Is this worth posting vitriol about us just because we are rad fems and we disagree with *their* politics and we don’t allow *them* to post comments on our blogs due to our important reasons we’ve got (i.e. this post here)? Obviously not. Which is why they’re not really worth paying attention to.

Most of the time, they don’t seem to have anything better to do than trashing rad fems on their blogs, which, as I pointed out in a comment to this post at Witchy-Woo’s, is so fucking pathetic BTW. I need not fear. I need just laugh at their silly radfem-bashing and also be angry (sometimes) at what they’ve done to my sisters when they’ve gone too far (as in the case of Sam, for instance). Let’s see. . .

First, there was this other post at Witchy-Woo’s. I’m guessing she meant to speak of the patriarchy by saying “the shitheap” To quote some of Witchy’s words in this post:

“. . .then they get booked to speak at the last minute in discussions about how what they do impacts upon the rest of us (women). And they agree! And then they start posting about “laughing like a super villain” and their “wank worthy fantasy” of debating “some anti-porn sex work types”. To me, the language used is the same language that rapists use (I’m a rape crisis counsellor, I’ve heard it a million times) – it has nothing to do with where women are in this ‘debate’ at all. . .”

I posted a comment to Witchy’s post over there. It was:

Excellent post, Witchy-Woo, this is terrific! 😀

I’m totally in agreement with you here. I loved your point here:
” So I tend not to go there these days; to the shitheap. I’m so past shitheap performers trying to argue the *real* with me like their privileged 10% stacks up in any meaningful way against the 90%. Yes, they argue that. Liars. They lie. They negate the lives of those suffering for the choices they make and then have the audacity to promote themselves as the ‘one true voice’ in the well of silence centred in the poverty of those they argue they represent.”

So, so true, the few privileged ones are acting as if the world revolved around them. They cannot get past their “me, me, me, me” arguments and “what about me?” and so forth. What a narcissism that is on their part! And they do lie. They pretend to care, they pretend to be the ones who represent and defend the vast majority of prostituted women in order to promote their “sex work” agenda. There are some major studies that proved that legalization of prostitution has failed but they refuse to hear that fact. They carry on stupidly talking their “choice” rhetoric and have the cruelty of denying major research studies (= http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/c-prostitution-research.html
https://www.againstpornography.org/womeninsexindustry.html

Most prostituted women are silenced by abusive johns and pimps and do not get the chance to speak as much as the few privileged women do.

“laughing like a super villain”? “wank worthy fantasy”? I agree that these comments were totally inappropriate. This makes me think: this kind of language is awfully similar to the sort of language a porn-using abuvive [sic](*) ex-boyfriend of mine was often using when talking to me.

And this is absolutely unethical and dishonest to change the participants on one side of the panel only a few days before the event without even letting the opposing panelists know about the change. Would a rad fem be supposed to turn up there and then find out? How shady that is!

“If I’d been invited to a speaking event where the panel members were changed within the week prior, I’d pull out on principle – whether I wanted to debate them or not. ”

Damn right, Witchy-Woo!”

(*)Please excuse my typo, I meant to write “abusive” instead.

Second, there was this post at Laurelin’s on what silencing is and what it isn’t. And I completely agree with what Laurelin says in that post. To summarize what Laurelin said, I’ll tell you what silencing is and isn’t:

– Silencing is (1) when you can’t speak for fear that the cruelty in the reactions of others will have bad consequences on your mental, physical or emotional health; (2) when someone uses pornified language in an attempt to humiliate radical feminists like you because you stand against that person’s selfish pleasures, or disingenuously accuses you or other rad fems “of siding with right wingers” because of that; (3) when someone disseminates jeers, insults and hateful remarks at you and other rad fems who also oppose their politics or rad fems “whom *they* perceive to be speaking against *them*”; (4) when someone endorses these tactics, complies with them, has the cowardice of doing so; (5) when someone suppresses the speech of others with their “me, me, me, me” narcissistic self-importance, mocks and taunts, jeers at rad fem dissenters like you, distorts, misinterprets your views; and (6) when someone “assumes the ultimate priority of one’s own speech.”

– Silencing isn’t (1) when you don’t publish knee-jerk pro-porn comments on your blog, your own personal space; (2) when someone’s having one’s actions critiqued by radical feminists. “the critique itself presents no barrier to their continuing to act.”; and (3) when someone is asked to take responsibility for one’s own words. And I’ll add that it doesn’t matter if the person continues to argue that “those words were being said in a particular context and blah, blah, blah” so long as what the person’s said was truly enough inappropriate or abusive, there’s no context whatsoever that should prevent a fair critique.

Third, there’s Sam’s important version of the story, as I believe it is fair that we finally get to expose what really happened:

The Prime of Miss Sammi Berg

Drumroll, please!

ahem

On March 19th I was invited to a panel debate on pornography at William and Mary College. My contact for the organizing group was Constance Sisk, who told me funding assistance could likely be found to fly me 3,000 miles across the country so I agreed to be penciled in until enough money could be raised. A call for donations among anti-pornography feminist colleagues covered airfare, and I had just enough vacation days earned at work to take off.

On March 24th I confirmed that I would gladly join the two other two confirmed panelists, on the anti-pornography side, John D. Foubert, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the College of William and Mary, and on the pro-pornography side Amanda Brooks, a former escort and sex work advocate.

Constance told me April 2nd that they moved the panel date to the 21st and the rest of April slid by without communication until April 16th when an anti-porn friend informed me that Jill Brenneman and RenEv blogged they would be on the panel. I had received no word from Constance of this and was dumbfounded that wholesale changes were being made to the panel just five days before the event without informing me. I had agreed to do the panel with John and Amanda, and I hadn’t gotten any emails saying she couldn’t attend or that they were looking for a replacement.

If they had told me Amanda couldn’t make it I would have suggested that pornographers and strip club owners are very easy to find through legal channels so they could have been asked to appear on the panel. I would have also suggested that the number of porn-using men on campus should have been able to produce just one pornsturbator willing to defend his porn consumption. Because I was under the impression that Constance & Co. were being honest with me about their intentions, I chalked up the lack of a pornographer or porn-using man on the panel to inept organizing and the extreme amount of publicity given recently to sex work advocacy at William and Mary.

How much sex work advocacy has been given a voice there can be answered with the name Constance. I spoke with John Foubert for the first time Thursday and he told me that Constance is a big pro-sex work advocate on campus and she brought the sex worker show to campus the past three years. A woman named Audrey invited John to the panel because Constance didn’t think he would agree if she asked him. Constance was a guest on Jill’s radio show a few weeks ago, and Jill did a pro-sex work chat with William and Mary college folks a few weeks ago, but in her emails Constance claimed ignorance of the lengthy pro-porn and radical blogosphere debates on this contentious subject.

Constance. Constance said she was excited to have me coming and offered to let me spend Monday night at her place, where she planned on cooking dinner for a group of people post-panel. How do you think it would feel if a pro-choice feminist were invited to a predominantly pro-life campus by a predominantly pro-life group and the pro-life organizer did everything Constance did without revealing her pro-life politics to her pro-choice panelist and house guest?

Little story: Heading home from presenting at a prostitution conference I was in the airport shuttle with a middle-aged black social worker with her name tag still pinned to her blouse. I’m a young, white, tattoo-bearing woman and at the time I think my hair was blue. We exchanged delicate pleasantries and danced around how we talked about the conference until she sat up earnestly and cut to the chase, “So, are you for or against?” When I replied, “Against,” she slouched down and sighed and we grooved on the same anti-prostitution track until we got to the airport.

I agreed to do the panel with John and Amanda three weeks ago. Though it was unethical to make major lineup changes at the last minute like that without telling me and things started feeling really fishy due to the lack of notification about the event anywhere besides pro-john blogs (it’s not listed on W&M’s events calendar or advertised around campus), I agreed to debate Jill. I could not agree to debate Ren, and I don’t suppose I have to tell most of you reading this why but I’ll touch upon it a tad anyway.

Here are Ren’s thoughts on sharing a panel discussion table with me:

“So serious I am taking it very seriously. And looking forward to it in my uniquely grim and serious way. Planning and preparing with a very serious, serious sneer on my face.

And also laughing like a super villain the whole time. Why?

Once upon a time, I had a wish, a dream, a surely wank worthy fantasy of some anti-porn sex work types having to face down, in a forum, and debate those from the other side. And I wanted to be there.”

“And, yes, oh yes, I am seriously looking forward to it. I have so lusted for such an opportunity. Very seriously. And yes, if possible, I will have the whole thing on video. Get your cerebral wanking tissues ready.”

Serious serious sneers, super villain mocking laughter, wank worthy fantasies, whole thing on video, get your tissues ready.

Those are the words of a malicious person licking their chops in anticipation of a messy, humiliation-inducing scene they will relish. Those are the words of a person trying to waste my time with personal attacks when my time is best used educating audiences about the facts of human trafficking, prostitution, and pornography. The trash talk began within hours of being surreptitiously offered the spot on the panel, and that sort of smug pugnaciousness and disrespectful engagement was instrumental in prompting John to cancel his appearance on the panel and he suggested to me that I do the same. I believe we were right to cancel. I refuse to pose for the pornographically spiteful scene being painted.

What to do when a woman who says she’s happy in prostitution says, “Take me, for example” when you know if you actually do take her as her own example by quoting her own words and deeds she will complain, “How dare you make an example of me?” Say you’ll speak with her about prostitution as a global system and of all women’s oppression as the core problem but you don’t want to talk about her personally and she’ll reply, “You refuse to hear my truth.” If you talk about her personally like she insists then you’re the baddie radfem who makes it personal. It’s a lose-lose ruse.

I’d love to debate a porn-user, and there are tens of millions of them. I’d love to debate a pornographer and there’s no lack of those either. I’d love to debate a john. They don’t want to debate anti-pornography and anti-prostitution feminists. They want women in the prostitute supply pool to subjectively defend them against the objective mounds of testimony and undeniable data that anti-pornstitution feminists can produce proving pornography and prostitution violate women and girls human rights immensely. Most of you have seen how deftly I wield the wealth of information I’ve collected in my noodle to make the case against men’s right to economically coerce sex from others. Some of you have seen me do it before with Ren:

here

and

there

Saturday morning I woke up to an email from a professor asking if I can come speak to a few women’s studies classes of hers in May. It turns out I can make the date. Life skedaddles on and so do I.

— Sam Berg, creator of Genderberg.

IMHO, what happened was absolutely dishonest, cruel and unfair. And I’m glad to have exposed Sam’s side of the story as it is clear that Sam in no way deserved such a treatment and massive online misrepresenting and bashing of her all over the pro-porn blogosphere! And I’m not the only one to expose it. There’s also Laurelin, Witchy-Woo and Heart, so far.

I read about all the bad things pro-porners have done to us and all the lies they’re spreading about us rad fems on their blogosphere. I’ve read this thread at Witchy’s and two very well-written posts from Stormy, Bumblebees and It’s a Bug’s Life, so I know all this nasty targeting and online bullying of rad fems has been going on for some time and a while before I came to the rad fem blogosphere and sometimes I feel like saying we mustn’t take all this shit they throw at us passively anymore but I believe that ignoring them when they stupidly trash us on their blogs is best. I used to find it hard to ignore them but we have to.

I’ve seen those pro-porn blogs before and you know what? They’re all so unbelievably pathetic! All the nonsense these pro-porners talk and the gender-specific name-calling they sometimes use clearly show pornography’s negative effects on them. They aren’t worth paying attention to, which is why I gave up caring about what they say about me as I made it clear in this post here, I don’t give a shit about what they say about me and I believe the best thing to do for someone who’s targeted is not to give a flying fuck about what they say about oneself, which is why the next post I’ll make on this blog will not be about the same subject. I’ll go back to doing my patriarchy-bashing and exposing the harms of pornography and prostitution.

Other women out there will come to our blogs and listen. They hate pornstitution (or do not feel comfortable about it) so they will follow their feelings and there will be other new Rad Fems in the future — at least it is how I became a rad fem: by listening to what I believe was a group that had strong arguments backed up by thorough research and facts and refusing to listen to the other group that merely had money, corporate media, lobbyists, lawyers, managers, marketeers, industry analysts, paid writers of “opinion” and “journalism”, publicists, etc. to defend their fallacious arguments supporting misogynistic industries. Rad fem arguments are so real and based on experience. The “other side” is so fake: it is patriarchy, it is “the state of schizophrenia” (as I would call it).

The overwhelming majority of women out there hate (or do not like) pornography. That’s a fact. And the overwhelming majority of prostituting women out there are harmed in the sex trade. That’s another fact. Those facts, among other things, mean that we have to keep on writing. We are speaking the truth and pro-porners hate it and try to silence us. I will not be silenced. And the pro-pornstitution “feminists” are merely magnified by and elevated in patriarchy while being endlessly promoted by porn defenders, that’s all.

But now the fact that they’ve done this to Sam clearly shows that they’ve now gone way way way too far. Sam Berg just wanted something fair as a pornography discussion forum, not the pro-porn side of the panel being changed merely a few days before the event without even letting her, one of the anti-porn panelists, know about the change. The way Sam found out about it via an anti-porn radfem friend telling her she’d seen Ren posting about it on her blog (instead of her being contacted by the organizers about it) wasn’t the way she was supposed to get to know about it. And the way Ren was rejoicing at the anticipating of the event on her blog was utterly inappropriate. The words Ren was using were inappropriate.

There is a complete understanding in why Sam would never want to debate a woman who has once wished a gruesomely vivid death to women who want to stop the exploitation of women that is currently happening on a massive scale (never mind the apologies and so-called “context” for that sentence that Ren had said, if she really was so sorry about what she’d said that day, she would have deleted that “Hate & hardline” post from her blog altogether). I wouldn’t want to debate somebody like that and I know Sam has very good personal reasons not to want to debate her.

I know Sam. She’s my friend. I even met her in person and I can tell you she’s a wonderful radical feminist well-devoted to her politics and she’s also a very nice person. And Sam has never said threats whatsoever to any pro-porner, hasn’t ever done anything wrong to the pro-porny crowd apart from disagreeing with their views and once using one of Ren’s quotes as a bottom signature in her Genderberg forums. As if briefly quoting what someone had once written on her blog was such a crime? Come on, give me a break!

I’ve had pro-porners on their blogs stealing way too large quotes (like sometimes nearly whole articles) from my work on this blog without them even asking for copyright permissions. If they’re angry at Sam for once using a short enough quote from Ren as a sigfile, then perhaps I should be angry at *them* for stealing parts of my work by providing way too long quotes on their blogs without asking for my consent, which is very unfair and dishonest BTW?

What Sam has been accused of is untrue and unfair, whether pro-porners like it or not, it is the truth now exposed, clarifying what really happened as a matter of fact. . .

Finally, I really miss rad fem Biting Beaver. I remember how in late 2006/early 2007, I used to read her amazing blog so often. Gosh, I really miss BB. I wish she’d come back online someday. One Angry Girl, with a little bit of my help, recently put up a new blog with some of BB’s important writings on it, Archive of the Biting Beaver. I hope BB sees it someday and that it (hopefully) helps bring her back online.

Edited to add: Please check out my new post here to see a new message from Sam Berg.

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I’m so so so fucking angry!

An atrocious gang-rape occurred in Brisbane (Australia) and many porn apologists, in the comment thread of this excellent and compelling article (that Caroline Norma wrote), are still out there in force defending this misogynistic propaganda that is called pornography over the life of a young woman that has been wrecked by not only what must have been an extremely distressing, humiliating and painful night but also the pictures that were taken of the assault.

This young rape victim had pornography made of her.

There is no doubt that rapes and gang-rapes are occurring all around the world, especially where people are living in pornified cultures.

In her article, Norma wrote about a popular pornographic genre called “bukake” and saw this gang-rape as a possible imitation of it.

Here is the article:

ABC news radio reported on the morning of International Women’s Day that a 17-year-old girl had been raped in Brisbane. The newsdesk copywriter must have had a strong coffee that morning because she decided to include the bold description that “ten men stood over the girl masturbating while each of them raped her in turn”.

This snippet of information, plus the inevitable news that the men took photos of the girl while they abused her, provides the clues women need to understand why this rape occurred, and what it means for our lives in Australian society.

Pornography users will immediately recognise the brand of rape the men used against the girl. There is a genre of pornography called “bukake” in which men stand around a single woman masturbating and ejaculating while they wait their turn to orally penetrate her. The anti-pornography documentary Pornography: the musical features footage of bukake scenes being produced, as well as a heart wrenching interview with a woman immediately after being filmed in bukake pornography. Readers can also consult the Internet, of course – it is teeming with bukake pornography sites.

As revolting as we might think it sounds, it’s important to keep in mind that men are watching and masturbating to bukake pornography in the name of pleasure and fun. The pornography industry makes more money than the mainstream entertainment industry, so we can assume it’s not a few men that are enjoying themselves with pictures of men spraying their ejaculate all over naked women.

Consuming pornography is no longer the pastime of a few men on the margins, nor is it an activity that is marginal to the lives of men. Catharine Lumby’s recent study reports that only 7 per cent of surveyed users could imagine their pornography use to be harmful in any way.

It’s hard to believe the ten men would have perpetrated the pack rape on the spur of the moment. The girl was picked up and taken back to an inner city apartment after meeting a man in a nightclub. The man then called the nine other men to come over. It was reported in The Courier-Mail (March 7) that this inner city apartment “had been rented for the night by the group of men”. Presumably they all knew each other – they were all between the ages of 18 and 22. And they must have known each other well enough to trust that no one would feel a sudden pang of conscience and upset the highly organised operation.

How has a rape club managed to flourish in the tropical surroundings of sunny Brisbane? What is leading men to come up with the idea that getting together with a bunch of friends to rape a woman might be a fun way to spend a Saturday night?

Boys from the Melbourne suburb of Werribee hit upon the idea last year, and now, it seems, in Brisbane. Could this be a new trend? Maybe Lumby and her friends could chart the rise of rape clubs in Australian society and even predict new developments in this exciting Australian subculture. They need only look to pornography to find out what these innovations will be.

The 17-year-old girl who had bukake pornography made out of her probably struggles to exist these days. She would have been frightened out of her mind on the night the men pack raped her, and the death threats they subsequently made against her couldn’t have helped her sense of personal security.

She probably worries about her pictures appearing on the Internet, and perhaps even dares to think about the men who will have a good time looking at her abuse. This probably leaves her wondering how she’s going to get through the rest of her life. Her rape club assailants, who were apparently smiling in court during their bail hearing, now face the prospect of jail, but not the prospect of a lifetime of mental anguish.

The girl might take some comfort in the fact that Australian society lurched to offer some response to the crime. The Queensland police worked on the case for six months, and the Crime and Misconduct Commission played a part in bringing the men before court.

On the Monday morning after news of the rape was broadcast on Saturday March 8, graffiti appeared on the wall of a sex shop in Brisbane’s inner city suburb of Highgate Hill reading: “10 man rape: porn imitation?” Feminists have already planned a rally outside the court where the men will appear on April 21.

But none of this will change the conditions that foster rape clubs. Pornography has made it very sexy to hurt and humiliate women. To date there have been few acts of resistance to the sex industry. This has to change.

There is a large amount of evidence of the link between pornography and rape as you can read on my website and from books containing important research and testimonies that show the undeniable link between pornography and violence against women and girls. And while the porn industry is becoming more mainstream, the images it produces are increasingly more degrading and sadistic.

Rapes are becoming more violent. Empathy toward women is decreasing day after day. Many men and boys (who use pornography) may be having many nights like these “just between friends” around the globe: “rape club” nights that destroy many women’s lives forever — not only this poor young Australian woman, she’s certainly not the only one it’s happened to. Rape and gang-rape are far away from being rare!

But prepare to be thoroughly pissed off, rad fems, because, as usual (such as in the comment thread to this article), pro-porners jump in and keep defending their misogynistic crap over women’s lives with such an outrageous fervor.

The pornographic videos and pictures are more important than the lives of women and girls who have been coerced into sex, raped or even gang-raped by some pornography users. These pornographic images are seen as a lot more essential to life than women’s safety to pro-porners. And porn is valued over female lives in the eyes of porn apologists. The “free speech” of the woman-hating propaganda material that is called pornography matters much more than the speech of the women and girls who have been, are, and will be raped and silenced. This is so sickening I want to scream in rage!

And I do not believe in any bullshit “biological” explanation such as “if those guys did this, that just means they are ‘naturally bad’ people”. The men and boys who do rape have been socially conditioned and influenced by patriarchal pornified culture to behave that way. I’m not saying that every single porn user becomes a rapist; I’m only saying that there is damn well a strong link between pornography and rape and there’s thorough research that has been made to prove that. Rapists are not born; they are made, into a culture that implicitly condones rape in the first place.

From childhood on, many men are socialized and trained to a masculinity which encourages them to suppress their emotional reactions and feelings (“be a man” so the saying goes); then they often learn sex from pornography which reinforces a masculinity based on conquest and control. As professor Chyng Sun says: “Pornography encourages people to disregard others’ pain for one’s own pleasure.”

When will society ever notice the undeniable connection between pornography and rape? Why do some people have to be so cruel to believe that women and girls’ lives and safety matter less than this woman-hatred propaganda material (porn) that is used by (primarily) males when they want a selfish orgasm? An orgasm at the expense of millions and millions of female human beings who are raped?

An Australian piece of news described that “ten men stood over the girl masturbating while each of them raped her in turn”. A graffiti put on the wall of a porn shop in Brisbane read: “10 man rape: porn imitation?”

Caroline Norma, with a keen sense of suspicion, asked: “What is leading men to come up with the idea that getting together with a bunch of friends to rape a woman might be a fun way to spend a Saturday night?” The connection to these gang rapes, the way they are perpetrated, the pattern clearly show the link between pornography and sexual violence against women. When are people out there going to wake up and see, eventually notice this incontestable link?

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Before I knew there was such a thing as radical feminism, I remember I wasn’t very interested in politics. No politics out there really appealed to me. They seemed all boring and unprogressive. No politics seemed to make any sense or to support any genuine change.

I was younger and more interested in listening to music, watching movies, having fun with friends, going out dancing, trying to “find the right man” for me, etc. I was a rather “everyday girl” (if I can call it that way ’cause I cannot figure any other way of how to call it). There was an incredible pain, an incredible boredom, an incredible suffering that I was feeling in me. However, I didn’t know what it was. Having been raised in a Catholic family, I had been taught to believe in “god”. But “god” was of no help in all those painful years.

Then, one day, I found out about a little faction of the world’s politics, a small group of (usually) women kept away from mainstream politics. They had their own politics. It was called radical feminism.

I learned from radical feminism that pornography and prostitution were inherently harmful to women and children. And I also noticed that this radical feminist claim wasn’t based on mere guesses, but a great amount of thorough research, public testimonies, etc. Their anti-porn movement had also grown out of 70’s grassroots anti-violence groups.

I had spent a great part of my life living with abusive boyfriends who consumed porn. One of them especially, the first one, had been coercing me into sex and repeatedly tried to have me imitate the scenes that were in the pornography he was using.

He was also highly interested in the degradation of women who were in prostitution and in pornography. Most of my life, I had somehow known that there was a sort of unequal power relationship between the prostituted or pornographized women and the johns. But I had no word to talk about it.

As for other men I’d known in my life (before my current partner), I could observe these cruel, uncaring, and rough behaviors in them, along with the fact that I could often see the lack of empathy in their eyes. I could feel the callousness of most men but had no words to express my feelings about it. I often had asked myself “why?”, “Why most men are the way they are?”, “Why do they have to hurt that much?”.

When I started reading radical feminist literature and being interested in radical feminism, I concluded that I had finally found a politics that spoke to me. I had found, for the first time, a politics that genuinely wanted complete revolution and social change. As I read the painful stories of so many women and girls that were written in radical feminist books, I felt pained but I also felt heard, echoed. It was reassuring: I was not the only one these things were happening to.

I learned from radical feminism that I was living in patriarchy, that is to say a society largely controlled by men. I learned that most men were not the way they are by nature, not only as a result of being born male but as a result of being men having been socialized to benefit from patriarchy and male privilege, having been socialized to repress their empathy and get off on the suffering of the other half of the world’s population — women. I thought (and I still think) there is a hope if men are not born that way, but made to be that way.

I also learned from radical feminism that religions such as Christianity were male-supremacist and I then renounced Catholicism. I renounced Christianity and I don’t care if my Catholic parents don’t like this fact! Radical feminism taught me that patriarchal religions were brainwashing and woman-hating. I learned about the misogyny of the Bible and I couldn’t care less about the patriarchal “god” that doesn’t exist. I had never been a committed religious person anyway. So being an atheist now feels better for me.

I also learned that there were many other patriarchal instrument of brainwashing, including pornography (as I mentioned above). As I said before: the patriarchal Church once used to dominate the society and control women’s lives, rights and sexuality — and still dominates and controls many women’s lives, rights and sexuality nowadays. But now pornography primarily dominates the society and controls women’s social and private lives and their sexuality.

At the same time I learned terribly bad news: radical feminists are largely censored and slandered by mainstream media; and all the people who have fallen for what the media says to them about rad fems, believe that radical feminists are evil man-haters. Such a lie!

Plus whenever academic pro-porners criticize radical feminists, they cannot even quote one part of their works properly: they (1) quote parts of rad fem books or articles that have been put in a certain context (in the original source), either that or they (2) falsely quote things that rad fems have never said nor will ever say. I cannot even believe how shocking this is when radical feminists are accused of the misogyny they are pointing out. They are merely describing the misogyny that is happening right now within this pornographic world.

Before I chose to become a radical feminist, of course I knew that radical feminism was hated. It didn’t stop me from choosing radical feminism though for I perfectly knew through reading radical feminist books that these women were not like the mainstream media and pornified culture portrayed them.

And also because never in my life had I seen such a progressive politics, a politics that wanted genuine social change, a politics that wanted the end of all forms of oppression, a politics that was speaking to me, that had been speaking to me all along as a woman suffering in this patriarchal world, a politics that was now giving me words to really be able to express my feelings. And I’ve also met quite a few radical feminists who are themselves survivors of prostitution and that also confirmed to me that there was nothing glamorous about the ‘sex’ industry.

I expected to be hated in becoming a radical feminist and speaking out against pornography and prostitution which harm so many women and girls (and porn also harmed me), which is partly the reason why, since I created this blog, I’ve hidden backlinks. I wouldn’t be interested in checking out whoever links to my blog because I know that, although well-meaning rad fem friends might do it sometimes they tell me when they do so, and I have no interest in knowing whichever pro-porn site or blog will be linking to me (if it hasn’t already happened).

I know that because rad fems tell the truth about patriarchy, rad fems are hated. And I know that pro-porners have an agenda which is completely an antithesis of our agenda. And they are very manipulative in the way they promote their own agenda.

I know from Laurelin’s recent Observation at her blog that we, rad fems, are referred to as “fascists” and “wingnuts” by pro-porners. These are the comments I’ve made on Laurelin’s blog:

“. . . those who call us “fascists” or “feminazis” do so as an attempt to shut us up. They’re obviously annoyed that we criticize their porn and their so-called “rights” to use prostituted women. The idea of women being objects for their use matters to them more than the fact that women are human beings who suffer. They just don’t understand oppression under patriarchy!”

“. . . Truthfully, that’s the politics of pro-porners which are right-wing and reactionary: They are cruel, anti-humanity, anti-empathy because they don’t care about the facts that women and children are harmed in porn/prostitution and by pornography; they don’t give a fuck who gets hurt so long as they have their jerk-off material! Atrocious!”

Obviously, being a rad fem living in a patriarchal pornified culture, I am totally aware that whenever a woman speaks out against pornography and prostitution, she is hated, she is rejected, she is called a “shrew”, a “bitch”, etc.

It is also noteworthy not to forget that the patriarchists, the guardians of the status quo, the pro-porners know that if they were all males defending their pornstitution, they wouldn’t be credible. People would more quickly notice the woman-hatred inherent in pornography and prostitution if there were only men defending these sexual exploitation businesses.

Therefore, this is why porn users/johns/pimps have to magnify the few women who are willing to defend misogynistic industries and then use these women as proxies to attack radical feminists. These pro-pornstitution women also help them conceal their misogyny and excuse their so-called “rights” to use women and girls as sex objects in pornography and prostitution.

Undeniably, porn users/johns also need “happy hookers” to elevate and to help them viciously attack rad fems. Typically, these men only want to hear the glamorized malestream corporate media stories of “women who say they love being in prostitution and pornography” while refusing to hear the stories of women who say they have been harmed in porn/prostitution and by porn. If presented with the real life stories of these women, they’ll pretend to care about abusive pornstitution stories for a minute or so and then dismiss these common stories as “rare” (or “lying”) and go back to “happy hooker” stories they love so much.

In truth, these few “happy hookers” (whether what they say is the result of dissociation or not) are more listened to by men than us rad fems because men only listen to women who accept their position as “sex objects”. And when women “celebrate” themselves as sexual objects, porncrazy men champion that because “happy hookers” validate men’s pornographic fantasies and make them feel good about their porn use. Porncrazy men hate whoever opposes the idea of women as objects! They hate whoever supports women as human beings!

This is what happens in the world of patriarchal logic: women-as-objects are elevated, championed and magnified by porncrazy men while women-not-as-objects are hated, rejected, dismissed or ridiculed, or even sometimes raped and beaten. Of course, in the end, both women-as-objects and women-not-as-objects will be viewed in the same way by porncrazy men: as women, as inferior to men. Nevertheless, most men need women-as-objects in their maintenance of the male-supremacist status quo. This is such a cruel and unfair world and this is what patriarchy is about= making sure the status quo is being maintained.

There is something terribly wrong about being lied about and thrashed. Which is why I hid backlinks, I am not interested in checking my backlinks: I’d rather not know when it happens to me (if it hasn’t already happened). I expect to be hated, I expect to be misrepresented, but in the end I don’t care. All that pro-porners can say is bullshit and childish name-calling. The politics of pornography and, more broadly, patriarchy are anti-evolution. It is so much easier for some people to be on the pro-porn side because it refuses a serious deep thinking which is an essential part of evolution toward real political action and revolution.

I know it happens to all of us fighting pornstitution: the better we are at what we do, the more shit we get for it. Pro-porners are overwhelmly male and we know it. They simply need to magnify the few pro-porn women and give them “megaphones” so they (men) then can attack us better! We’ll never be able to prevent pro-porners, MRA’s and their posse of porn users from vilifying radical feminists. Them using women to attack us is not new. It’s a two-decade-old pro-pornstitution tactic.

I’d rather not give a fuck. I’ve heard pro-pornography arguments during most of my life while I was the girlfriend of abusive porn-users. I’ve heard pro-pornography arguments during all those years I had to force myself to have sex in order to please men. Now, I’d rather stay away from pro-pornography arguments. They give me bad memories.

Whatever pro-pornstitution folks have said, are saying or will be saying about me, I know it’s only about them thinking their “We benefit from the status quo so that’s where our loyalties lie” me, me, me’s. Whatever pro-pornstitution folks have said, are saying or will be saying about me, I know it’s not true, I know it’s not me and that’s all that matters to me.

I’d rather not know and not give a flying fuck. I’d rather be spending my energy on doing some more patriarchy-bashing. In other words, I’d rather carry on what I’m doing and try to reach other women or people who have/will have a heart and understand the harms of pornography and prostitution.

I know that there are also a few well-meaning secular men, in this world, who have reconsidered their patriarchal socialization and who have understood why men (in general) should stop using pornography and should stop buying women and girls in prostitution too. I welcome them to be our pro-feminist allies.

Above all, I know that we, women, have to unite in a sisterhood as best as we can in order to, one day, accomplish the feminist revolution of overthrowing the whole patriarchal system!

“The Revolution is not an event that takes two or three days, in which there is shooting and hanging. It is a long drawn out process in which new people are created, capable of renovating society so that the revolution does not replace one elite with another, but so that the revolution creates a new anti-authoritarian structure with anti-authoritarian people who in their turn re-organize society so that it becomes a non-alienated human society, free from war, hunger, and exploitation.”
— Rudi Dutschke, March 7, 1968.

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