there a forum i post at, and occasionally comment at with quite a heated conversation going on currently. i don't comment much because often the topic is very specific and something i don't feel comfortable writing about because of my stupidity regarding the subject. and in some cases it just doesn't apply to me. as such, i probably shouldn't comment on this current one, regarding pornography as i am neither a consumer, nor an anti-porn rally-er.
but i seemed, in part, to have sparked a side conversation, so i should at least address the issues put forth as i see them. first, the we have brains post:
1. the bit about some feminists "have been reputed to hate sex" and/or called a whore because they like sex. of course this is complete idiocy on the part of the accusers. yes, some feminists probably do hate sex, but not necessarily because they are feminists. just like some adore sex, but the two cannot be linked on anything more than an individual level. so, in the words of the absent student, "if you really do hate sex, being accused of hating it is nothing but a statement of fact, and if you don�t then it�s just laughable." it is a primary school name-calling and should be dismissed as coming from a childish person.
2. regarding "any validity" to feminists disliking the human form. not on anything more than an individual basis.
3a. she says, "I ask this because of the infighting and mixed up ideals emerging from the mouths of self-proclaimed feminists. I hear these remarks from others as well. It is confusing to read a denouncement of h__ters or pl_yb_y as being sexist enterprises when I, a feminist, do not find myself agreeing with that statement." [underscore editing mine, i don't need the google traffic that bad.]
i took offense to that because she called everyone else self-proclaimed and not herself. she replied stating that to call herself self-proclaimed would be redundant, as she would be proclaiming that she was proclaiming.. fine. then do not call all other feminists self-proclaimed. i agree that one could argue that all feminists, as well as all environmentalists, all republicans, all of them are self-proclaimed.* if, as she seems to assert, that it is a given, then leave it out. i have more to say, but as you can see by the asterisk i will cover it later.
3b. she is "confused" by hearing other feminists bash playboy but liking it herself. i know this will sound mean, but i cannot even answer it. people bash abortion rights. people bash muslims. people bash everything. i don't see why this is any different. you make your choices and deal with the bashes. what else is there to say?
4. she gives a few examples of what she considers feminist pornography sites. [she uses the term "pro-sex" instead, but i think that is just trying to avoid people shunning it out of hat as mere porno, whereas "pro-sex" is a worthy pursuit.] as many other people point out, "pro-sex" sets up people like me who don't look at porn as being "anti-sex" which is insane. besides which, unless they are selling you on the idea of having some sex, they are pro-you_giving_them_money_for_their_nude_photos at best.
also, i don't understand how it can be feminist [equality seeking] while being a gallery of erotic photos or sex movies or whatever. [flows into point below..]
she goes on to state in her blog that she can tell when women are being objectified and in the porn she frequents such is not the case. and that she does not forget that while looking at photos in pl_yb_y that these are people and not objects. but that is not possible, you are holding them as a photo in a magazine, they have already been objectified. the fact that you can imagine a person behind the photo is great, but they are already an object, a commodity, sold, and then used for others' gratification.
the [sadly] common phrase "i'd like to get me some of that!" does not refer to the person whatsoever. even "i want some of that ass" is just referring to the object. pornography inherently objectifies. it dehumanizes because one doesn't see the entirety of this person, all one sees is their naked body in some pose or act. the act is sold as an object, and can only be viewed as such. in my estimation anyway.
while looking up 'objectify' on dictionary.com, i came across this: "because we have objectified animals, we are able to treat them impersonally" -Barry Lopez. and that solidifies my argument for me. pornography is objectification and impersonal. i do not take part in it based on those, and other, reasons. however, i do not stop others from doing so, or even speak out about it unless asked my opinion on the specific topic.
however, having been asked, i think it is detrimental to society. i think a lot of legal practices hurt society though, and everyone likes them too, so i will just abstain from participating in pornography or its consumption as i do with many other things.
as to where my sexuality is limited by my desire for equality, it simply isn't. i do not feel that anything i might pursue is in conflict with equality, nor do i feel my desire for equality would change my sexuality in any manner. nor do i think there is any formula that can be applied. it is an individual basis and personal call.
[now regarding solely things from her blog.]
5. "i want to know what exactly it is about photos of naked women, or strippers, or prostitution that is so offensive."
well, in my opinion it is the "commodification of sex", as kim put it. when you sell sex, you sell the idea that sex can be purchased. that everything merely has a price. i don't think you should be able to buy everything you want. i don't think you should be able to sell everything someone else wants. some things should be more important than capitalism. i've already gone over my feelings on pornography objectifying women, i won't bother you with that again.
6. she refers to calling someone a "whore" in an argument, and that "We continue to use these sexual judgments to piss each other off because, as it seems, it works." it is the same with calling someone anything that will call into question their character, their intelligence, their self-worth, etc. if she had said "you are a fucking retard" instead, i'm sure she would have received a similar response to calling her a "whore" or a "nigger". once an argument has been reduced to hate and insane name-calling, one's sexuality isn't the problem. calling her a whore should not be problematic because one called into question another's sex life. it should be problematic because the person who said it is disrespectful, and childish.
7. yes, i agree, there is a difference between websites that show women without their consent, and those that show with their consent. i just don't agree that those with consent are helping anyone. people got paid, and exploited to their faces instead of behind their backs. nothing more.
8. some people she knows posed nude and gained self-esteem from it. i do not see how this is a valid argument for nudity or pornography. i don't see how one can leap from "other people think my naked body is good to look at [be it sexually attractive, physically attractive, artful, or whatever], to, i am a worthwhile person. if it did, fine. good. not a worthwhile argument to me.
9. straight women are largely against porn, queer ones are more ambivalent she says. i'm a straight man, i should have an intravenous needle in my arm with porn in the saline. i should love it way more than queer women. stereotypes don't hold up. let's leave them out.
10. i don't see why there is a "traffic jam" between feminism and sexuality. perhaps between feminism and pornography in discussions like this one. but feminism and sexuality should not clash on a group level. individual, individual, individual.
11. i do not eschew porn for its lack of diversity. i'm sorry, that is laughable. if "hot" girls want money by selling their bodies, who am i to stand in the way. it is a fucked up industry [pun not intended, but not deleted] that i don't care about getting involved in. i'm sure mass produced beer is crap and that microbreweries are the best, but i wouldn't know because i don't drink, and i don't care. porn advocates can push for women of actual sizes to get degraded. i'm cool, thanks.
12. when does nudity become porn. when it is impersonal, for sale, for public consumption. some might then accuse me of calling nude beaches porn. i might agree. i might not.
13. why are we not talking about men who do porn/pose nude? well, because you asked the question, and it was geared towards women with the "whore/frigid/loose women" remarks. because topics on this feminist site are often geared towards women, which is fine, and with the inclusion of your choice of words, it is an easy assumption to make. because men were not brought up specifically while women were.
* = the self-proclaimed bit. i don't like this one bit. if someone calls you a feminist every day for the rest of your life, it doesn't mean you are one. you are merely labeled as such. however, it gets tricky, because you can claim to be a feminist and:
a. your words and actions promote equality, if nothing else, you should be considered a feminist.
b. your words and actions are counter to equality, shouldn't you be considered to not be a feminist?
and what if your actions throughout life are feministic, but you don't consider yourself one? can we label someone else a feminist? i don't think so.
so my point is this. if you call someone a feminist [without qualification], it must be assumed that it is self-proclaimed. and as such, calling them a "self-proclaimed feminist" is not only unnecessary, but connotes sarcasm or doubt in the actuality of the statement. this was my problem. if you say others are self-proclaimed, you must say the same of yourself, regardless of perceived redundancy. if you are going to skip being redundant for yourself, please do so for others, else misunderstanding results.
i realize that some of this may come off as mean. i didn't mean it as such. however, given as this is my personal space, if i desire to be mean, i think i am allowed. again, i am not defending any mean words. i did not intend them to seem that way. i welcome any words, arguments, or comments to be directed to my messageboard [link to the right, or here] as that allows for conversation, whereas my guestbook does not.
that is all.
"but i better be quiet now
i'm tired of wasting my breath
and getting upset.." -e.s.
maybe i have a problem