What a career!

Last week, Playboy magazine announced that it would no longer be featuring naked women in its pages. When it comes to pornography, the internet has stolen the magazine’s audience – so forgive me for not jumping with glee at the decision. This is no victory for feminism. This is a warning that the proliferation of pornography is one of the most pressing and urgent cultural battles of our time. Girls and boys, women and men, are living in a culture saturated with pornography.

Successfully launched as a media star then I think? Not that there’s ever going to be any doubt about Ms. Proudwomyn’s take on any issue in particular.

For example:

Pro-sex anti-porn feminists recognise that there is a relationship between pornography and the staggering rates of physical and sexual violence perpetrated by men against women.

Yes, there is indeed a link. As pornography has spread out across the society the rape rate, just as one example of sexual violence, has fallen dramatically. And yes, there is evidence that this is causal, not just correlation. That is, porn and rape are substitutes, not complements.

And the comments are closed at 1000 of them. Yes, a career well launched.

36 thoughts on “What a career!”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    This is no victory for feminism.

    You would think that some people would point out that this was a victory for feminism as it was then

    The feminists joined with the rest of the Left to attack mainstream White society and the religion that shaped it. Feminists like Erica Jong, recent of these pages, was a leading part of that.

    If feminists have changed their mind, if they regret the Pandora’s box they have opened, well, OK, horses for courses and all that. But they should not, at least, be allowed to get away with completely rewriting the historical record.

  2. Witchsmeller Pursuivant

    The Guardian shut down comments overnight on those articles which require heavy moderation. And this article provoked a lot of commentary; about half of which was constantly deleted (the moderators don’t always leave a placeholder to say they’ve deleted an unwelcome opinion). Lots of those deleted comments were people pointing out that, for a lawyer, her grasp of legal issues was a little tenuous. Also unwelcome was the opinion that Ms Proudman was a self-promoting opportunist whose brand of contempt for straight white men was boilerplate Guardian and neither interesting nor original.

  3. Witchsmeller Pursuivant

    @SMFS
    Proudman is pissed that Playboy have taken a commercial decision to junk the nudes, and have not been forced into action by activist womyn like herself. It’s no victory if the boys get to decide what’s in their best interests for themselves.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    Is there any point fisking this piece of crap?

    Bare-breasted women are splashed across the Daily Star newspaper, while men surrounded by “pussy” rap about violent sex in chart-topping music videos.

    Men are, are they? Which men rap about violent sex? That wouldn’t be men from our more vibrant and diverse communities would it? When has a White Brit ever aroused more than a titter by rapping in general much less rapping while surrounded by the trappings of a Harlem pimp?

    The Blurred Lines single, which has been banned from some educational institutions for apparently glorifying rape, was one of the bestselling singles of all time, with sales of 14.8m in 2013. The moral of the story is: sex has always been used to sell, now it seems rape makes sales soar.

    Apparently? That is an interesting tell. She knows the claim is rubbish. She can’t bring herself to admit the truth – that Thicke did not sing about rape and the hysterics are being hysterical. The lie is too convenient to her. So she salves her conscience with that “apparently”.

    In reality when was the last time a song about rape sold any number of copies at all? When was the last time someone sung about rape?

    The pornified media eroticises the gendered dualism of dominance and submission.

    Someone might find, had she tried it, that heterosexual sex begins with a gendered dualism not entirely unconnected with dominance and submission. It usually evolves into something else of course, middle aged tedium usually, but it begins with a woman denying sex and man changing her mind.

    Playboy provides “entertainment for men” by objectifying women. Only women who represent pure sex are visible.

    Playboy did have interviews. With photos. I am not sure what sort of woman represents pure sex but I am pretty sure Susan Sontag was not it.

    Meanwhile, glossy fashion magazines groom women and girls to become beautiful but passive objects of male desire.

    It takes all sorts. As women want to be passive objects of male desire, who is to say they are wrong?

    Pornography has made women aware that every part of their body is displayed, scrutinised and open to ridicule.

    If, of course, they display it. There is, as yet, no law that says miniskirts have to be so short everyone can see your labia.

    The rise of pornography and the surveillance of women’s bodies in popular culture have changed beauty practices.

    Indeed. Should have thought of that before beating the Christians into submission.

    Some women now resort to labiaplasty, breast augmentation or genital piercings to emulate the bodies of the “porn stars” who are glorified by men.

    The purpose of sex cannot be fulfilled unless a woman makes a man’s penis rise. As the attention of said penis is distracted by all sorts of things these days, keeping it occupied it going to take a lot more work. Again, should have thought of that before you destroyed Christianity. Women used to have a de facto Union that imposed restrictive work practices. Feminists mocked them. Well, they got what they wanted.

    The word “pornography” is derived from Ancient Greek and means “writing about whores”. Mainstream pornography epitomises the origin of the words: the graphic denigration and humiliation of women.

    Notice she has tried another sleight of hand here – the Greek means writing about prostitutes. It is not obvious to me that porne carries the same moral condemnation that slut does. But of course using a neutral term like writing about sex workers, would make whatever puerile point she has evaporate.

    In the construct of the “slut”, every aspect of the development of girls’ and women’s sexuality is fetishised: there is pornography devoted to children, teenagers, to women who are menstruating, pregnant, lactating, who are daughters and mothers and grandmothers.

    I assume you need a degree in women’s studies to follow the logic of this claim. The construction of slut is simple – women do not like other women who give away what they sell at a high price. It is women who call other women sluts. It is true that t he market for porn is diverse but I don’t think much of it is aimed at children. That would be illegal. Nor do men desire mothers or grandmothers.

    And for specialist titillation, black and Asian women’s bodies are offered up to audiences.

    And … that’s a good thing, right?

    Sexism is inherent to much pornography.

    What I say three times is true.

    In the process of denigrating women and girls, pornographers teach men and boys what sex is: no means yes, rape is eroticised sex, and hypermasculinity is the norm.

    Assuming that women are denigrated. A proof of this would be desirable. There is no porn in the Western world that confuses no with yes. Indeed Western porn is the most pro-female desire you could possibly get. The plot of every film I have ever heard of involves a woman searching for the sort of sex she wants.

    Boys and men are also the victims of pornography.

    Won’t someone think of the boys!

    Watching pornography makes sexual intercourse into a performance, rather than an intimate act, in which boys and men are expected to measure up to “porn stars”.

    Lucky women.

    Of 304 pornography scenes analysed for a research study, 88%contained physical aggression, such as spanking, gagging and slapping.

    Which study was this? I am not a big consumer of porn I have to admit, but I don’t think I have ever seen a woman spanked, gagged or slapped. Anyone can think of one?

    Pro-sex anti-porn feminists recognise that there is a relationship between pornography and the staggering rates of physical and sexual violence perpetrated by men against women.

    There is no such thing as someone who is pro-sex and anti-porn. At least no feminists. There is no link here. She is making it up.

    But they need to be unwavering in making a robust case against porn even when pro-porn women valorise the industry without resistance.

    So they should stick their fingers in their ears and go “I CAN’T HEAR YOU”?

    Pornography is not countercultural when it is mainstreamed, and it is not transgressive when it reinforces stale socially constructed gender roles.

    Obviously. This is bad how?

    Pornographers do not seek to unleash women’s sexuality. They seek to profit from exploiting women.

    Women look pretty unleashed to me in porn. But then I don’t watch that more specialised stuff. Again the basic assumption is that women are exploited. Why?

    Globally, porn is reportedly a $97bn industry. The law says women consent to pornography even when hanged, whipped, beaten, fisted, mutilated and gangbanged.

    Because, obviously, they are and they do. I can consent to be whipped, beaten maybe even fisted. Why is the concept of consent so hard for this poor dear’s little mind?

    And yet, the homosexual sadomasochistic case of R v Brown (1994)concluded that consent is no valid defence to assault.

    Wasn’t that the “nailing his penis to a wooden block” case? That may be a little extreme.

    These women choose to appear in pornography so they must be punished with sex, which is often synonymous with violence in this context.

    No. These women are paid to have sex on film and so on film they have sex. How is this a hard concept?

    The law frames pornography as an issue of obscenity, decency and morality.

    As opposed to what? An issue of cow management?

    Pornography does not cause injury because of obscenity. It causes injury because it is violence against women and girls.

    Even though no explanation or causal link between porn and this alleged violence is shown.

    Women in pornography are at risk of physical and psychological harm: post-traumatic stress, unwanted pregnancies, abortions, diseases and so on.

    So …. we should discourage unwanted pregnancies and abortions? Maybe even make them illegal? Do tell.

    To take just one account, former “porn star” Vanessa Belmond has described how, in the course of making pornography, she was infected with chlamydia numerous times, had gonorrhoea once, and suffered injuries through sexual acts that left her torn and bleeding and requiring heavy medication.

    So pretty much an average Saturday night in Slough. Much worse in the Gay community. Should it be illegal?

    Which aspects of this are emancipating?

    Who died and made her judge of other people’s lives? It is emancipating to those who think it is emancipating.

    Recognising the need for recourse to law for the injuries caused by pornography, two US feminists, Andrea Dworkin and Catharine MacKinnon, drafted the Antipornography Civil Rights Ordinance in the mid-1980s.

    Care in the Community has a lot to answer for.

    The law redefined pornography as a violation of women’s civil rights, and gave women a civil remedy for harm inflicted on them by pornographers.

    I can call my dog a horse but he won’t win the Grand National.

    Arguably, the law was survivor-led by Linda Lovelace, the prostituted woman who appeared in notorious 1970s porn film Deep Throat. The sexual slavery she endured at the hands of her brutal husband/pimp was captured in lurid Technicolor. In Linda’s own words, “every time someone watched that film, they are watching me being raped”.

    It is odd, then, that she changed her mind later in life.

    With depressing inevitability, the law met a backlash from American liberals who contended that pornography is free speech.

    Because it is.

    Stimulation from the sexual exploitation of women and girls is not free speech when it devalues all women and girls.

    Yes it is. Even if it did. Which it doesn’t.

    It is not free. It comes at a cost. A cost paid by some of the most vulnerable in our society.

    Teenage boys? They don’t pay. They stream it on the internet from Russia.

  5. Today a career as a left wing media darling luvvie, tomorrow a career as a politician.

    In the past such woman would have worked teaching in convent schools or as charity workers handing out food parcels.

    Let’s hope no one gives her a political portfolio where she can do real damage.

  6. SMFS,

    Wondering if I should write to the editor of the Guardian about her comment about “specialised” tastes in black and Asian women. Seems pretty racist to me, like men who don’t want white women are somehow deviants.

  7. also, I’m not sure where anyone ever got this “$97bn industry” number from, but it’s just laughably off. Even in 2006, the US industry wasn’t selling more than $500m of porn DVDs, and that was before sites like Redtube came along. Private Media, one of the biggest players in the industry, has revenues of $8m a year.

  8. The weird thing is, rape fantasies are almost exclusively a woman thing. And very, very common. Male fantasies mostly revolve around women gagging for it, sometimes in groups.
    So if Robin Thicke’s rappin’ about rape (got the Blurred Lines single when it came out – catchy bit of music, can’t say I’ve ever listened carefully to the words) then, odds on, the target audience for the lyrics is women.

  9. @SMFS:

    ” When has a White Brit ever aroused more than a titter by rapping in general ”

    Goldie Looking Chain did more than raise a titter. They were genuinely laugh-out-loud funny. “Your Mother’s Got A Penis” had me in stitches for weeks, much to the chagrin of my wife. And “Guns Don’t Kill People, Rappers Do” said more than any number of hand-wringing Graun articles.

  10. Went to the Grauniad link and got a little way down to find an advert for Wateraid that had the words Hard to Swallow on it. Sorry just couldn’t get past that rather unfortunate coincidence. Does no one check the things?

  11. “Blurred Lines”
    (feat. T.I. & Pharrell Williams)

    [Intro – Pharrell & Robin Thicke:]
    Everybody get up, WOO!
    Everybody get up, WOO!
    Hey, hey, hey
    Hey, hey, hey
    WOO!
    Hey, hey, hey
    WOO!

    [Verse 1 – Robin Thicke:]
    If you can’t hear what I’m trying to say
    If you can’t read from the same page
    Maybe I’m going deaf
    Maybe I’m going blind
    Maybe I’m out of my mind
    [Pharrell:] Everybody get up

    [Bridge – Robin Thicke:]
    Ok, now he was close
    Tried to domesticate you
    But you’re an animal
    Baby, it’s in your nature
    Just let me liberate you
    You don’t need no papers
    That man is not your maker
    And that’s why I’m gon’ take a

    [Hook – Robin Thicke:]
    Good girl
    I know you want it
    I know you want it
    I know you want it
    You’re a good girl
    Can’t let it get past me
    You’re far from plastic
    Talk about getting blasted
    I hate these blurred lines
    I know you want it
    I know you want it
    I know you want it
    But you’re a good girl
    The way you grab me
    Must wanna get nasty
    Go ahead, get at me
    [Pharrell:] Everybody get up

    [Verse 2 – Robin Thicke:]
    What do they make dreams for
    When you got them jeans on
    What do we need steam for
    You the hottest bitch in this place
    I feel so lucky,
    Hey, hey, hey
    You wanna hug me
    Hey, hey, hey
    What rhymes with hug me?
    Hey, hey, hey
    Hey!

    [Bridge]

    [Hook]

    [Verse 3 – T.I.:]
    Hustle Gang Homie
    One thing I ask of you
    Lemme be the one you back that ass up to
    From Malibu to Paris boo
    Had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
    So, hit me up when you pass through
    I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two
    Swag on ’em even when you dress casual
    I mean, it’s almost unbearable
    In a hundred years not dare would I
    Pull a Pharcyde, let you pass me by
    Nothin’ like your last guy, he too square for you
    He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that
    So I’m just watching and waitin’
    For you to salute the true big pimpin’
    Not many women can refuse this pimping
    I’m a nice guy, but don’t get confused, this pimpin’

    [Breakdown – Robin Thicke:]
    Shake your rump
    Get down, get up-a
    Do it like it hurt, like it hurt
    What you don’t like work
    Hey!

    [Verse 4 – Robin Thicke:]
    Baby, can you breathe
    I got this from Jamaica
    It always works for me
    Dakota to Decatur
    No more pretending
    Cause now you’re winning
    Here’s our beginning
    I always wanted a

    [Hook – Robin Thicke]

    [Outro – Pharrell & Robin Thicke:]
    Everybody get up, WOO!
    Everybody get up
    Hey, hey, hey
    Hey, hey, hey
    Hey, hey, hey

  12. Pornography has made women aware that every part of their body is displayed, scrutinised and open to ridicule. The rise of pornography and the surveillance of women’s bodies in popular culture have changed beauty practices.

    tells us that our heroine’s shrubbery hasn’t fallen to the shears

  13. “The word “pornography” is derived from Ancient Greek and means “writing about whores”

    People who resort to the “derived from the Ancient Greek/Latin/Sanskrit for…” are clutching at straws. It may be an interesting fact, but language has evolved over the last 3000 years and so it has no bearing on whatever argument you are trying to make.

  14. I’ve noticed a good quarter of those comments have been removed by the mods, presumably for asking why the fuck this woman is being given such prominence.

  15. Anon

    How can you doubt the figure of $97bn as the global turnover of the porn business? That figure comes from Kassia Wosick, assistant professor of sociology at New Mexico State University.

    She must know.

    She’s an Assistant Professor.

    In Sociology.

    In a State University.

    In New Mexico.

  16. At the risk of sounding ungallant, I suspect that she has just discovered her b/f’s internet browsing history and needs somewhere to vent.

  17. I just clicked through and made the mistake of reading that drivel.

    What a bunch of shouty bullshit.

    Unexpected congrats to the G commenters for actually calling ‘bullshit’ (including when they were deleted, for presumably also discussing the author’s infamous background).

  18. @Andrew K

    You faded out to early. It really ends….

    Outro – Pharrell & Robin Thicke:]
    Everybody get up, WOO!
    Everybody get up
    Hey, hey, hey
    Hey, hey, hey
    Hey, hey, hey

    Cause all us men we’re all misogynists and want to rape women.

    Woo Woo Yeah.

  19. Actually, does remind me of the time I went to a Whitesnake concert and someone in the audience shouted out “sexist crap” and the band thought it was a song request.

  20. WTF is a SJW going into a Whitesnake concert, rather than standing outside in the rain with a placard?

    Presumably one of their friends was having a bit of a laugh with a gift 🙂

  21. I wonder how she explains the popularity of the fifty shades stuff, imagine be outrage if it had been written by a man

  22. “Bloke in Wales

    WTF is a SJW going into a Whitesnake concert…”

    Out of mild curiosity, what causes you to label me a SJW?

  23. Out of mild curiosity, what causes you to label me a SJW?

    er, didn’t think “and someone in the audience shouted out “sexist crap”” meant that you were referring to yourself!

  24. Bloke in Wales

    October 20, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    Out of mild curiosity, what causes you to label me a SJW?

    er, didn’t think “and someone in the audience shouted out “sexist crap”” meant that you were referring to yourself!

    I wasn’t.

    It was a ‘joke’

    The ‘joke’ being the contrast between the intent of the person shouting out and………oh. never mind.

  25. So Much For Subtlety

    As I understand it, it was these lines that were a bit rape-y:

    I know you want it
    You’re a good girl
    Can’t let it get past me
    You’re far from plastic
    Talk about getting blasted
    I hate these blurred lines

    Angels dancing on the head of a pin ain’t in it. Future generations are going to laugh at us. In Urdu of course.

  26. Some women now resort to labiaplasty, breast augmentation or genital piercings to emulate the bodies of the “porn stars” who are glorified by men.

    Women don’t get larger breasts to emulate porn stars. They get bigger breasts because quite a lot of men like large breasts. If the taste turns to small breasts, as in the flapper era, they’ll get reductions.

    Genital piercings are more common in men than women. And men aren’t copying porn stars (since few male porn stars have them). http://www.statisticbrain.com/body-piercing-statistics/ Oddly more men have tongue piercings, which I believe owed their origin to giving better oral sex in the prostitution industry.

  27. Andrew, I think we’re agreeing with each other 🙂

    Granted, I didn’t know it was an Alexei Sayle joke and took it literally, but still.

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