There is no 'from.'
Not in the sense that one is immersed in, influenced by a single defining culture anymore, save maybe that of the 'net.
We are jet-setters, internetters;
we've all moved for work and for love, time and again.
My culture is cosmopolitan.
My friends are online.
My home is the internet.
—ID:cyborg updated to v1.1
Pornography made for strange bed fellows -- conservative bible-thumpers, and radical feminists. Porn has thoroughly seeped into the mainstream, and some of its users even think of themselves as "edgy" or "transgressive." But is it all the same porn? And is there a simple yes or no answer to it?
Clearly the Detox Series (123) was too cryptic to those readers with better things to do than keeping tabs on persistent trends in fashion photography. I published those pictures here to make a comment on the ongoing trend of the eroticizing of women's discomfort in fashion photography, such as in police brutality, war crimes, withdrawal (the latter having the most obvious connection to my set), the infamous D&G gang rape chic ad, sexy corpses on Next Top Model (which in turn is echoed in shows like Law & Order — Sexy Female Corpse Unit), et cetera. And those, you see, are just the ones I remember off the top of my head; I remember a rape victim shoot in German Vogue ten years before that, and stuff before that, and stuff before that. It's not new. It's just converging, it seems, with the outright torture porn, and the ever-growing tendency towards cruelty in mainstream pornography, because, you see, there is a finite combination of orifices and hair colours, but cruelty is boundless — something to consider if you want to sell more than ten movies.
"Is communication un-sexy?", we asked last week, pretty much en passant. Somehow, the thought stuck in my mind though, and indeed, as a young girl, that was exactly what I was led to believe — that in that perfect, romantic love, the love of my life would know what to do, would have the empathy to sense how I feel, what the right thing to do just now was — in fact, that was not just the hallmark of the True Love, it was the litmus test. If the person couldn't sense, couldn't feel you, you should drop them like a hot potato because obviously, they weren't Mr(s) Right. Of course from there, it's only so far to the rape-glorifying genre of forced seduction, and from there on out to Asshats of Gor.
But first, there's my Don't hate me because I'm beauti-- er, thin — reloaded (and, alas, in German), wherein happens much blaming and questions such as, Why are people so concerned with whether young women pick skinny models as, well, role-models, when the question is why they choose models at all? are asked. Part of the problem of course being that as a member of the sex class, you do not get to opt out of the hawtness contest entirely. More so when these days, you exist to the degree that you exist in the media and your primary currency (as a member of the sex class) is self-pornification.
When the white male is the default human being, the standard, you're set up to fail at that standard. When by those standards the only thing males aren't supposedly better at is "female hotness", the results are somewhat predictable. In the same vein, twisty has this on feminity:
Behold the neat trick. First, you make women act like simpletons, broodmares, janitors, mannequins, and sex slaves before you grant them social approval. You call this behavior “femininity” and explain that it is their essential nature, and that any deviation from the program will be punished. Then you infantilize and ridicule the ones who get it right, and vilify and abuse the ones who get it wrong (you can also vilify and abuse the ones who get it right, because, let’s be honest; the world is your oyster).
With so much riding on it, whether femininity is performed right or wrong is an issue of enormous concern to women. That’s where the Empowerful Pink Marketing Juggernaut comes in.
Femininity is a set of practices and behaviors (boob jobs, FGM, "beauty"™, the "veil"™, the flirty head-tilt, pornaliciousness, BDSM, fashion, compulsory pregnancy, marriage, et al) that are dangerous, painful, pink, or otherwise destructive; that compel female subordination; […] that are overwhelmingly represented by ‘girly’ feminists as a ‘choice’; and that are overwhelmingly represented by [conservatives] as ‘natural instincts’. In fact these practices and behaviors are nothing but inviolable cultural traditions in abject compliance with which comfort, contentment, and personal fulfillment are [available], and from which deviation is discouraged by the threat of ingenious punishments ranging from diminished social influence, to unemployability, to ridicule, to imprisonment, to rape, to murder, to the policing of feminist blogs. […] The flipside […] of the concept of femininity as-self-policed-subordination is femininity as-survival-skill.
Another fallacy is to assume that just because the feminine role is problematic, the masculine role isn't. Patriarchy hurts everyone — just to different degrees, depending on your intersection of privilege (based on race, sex and gender, wealth, age, …).
I think transcending those (false) dichotomies may be a good way to an epiphany or two.
This article is broken in that it is about mystical unicorn porn. That is, it bends over backwards to give porn-users a "fair shake" in that it is about porn that is not obviously degrading, vulgar, or gross, and I'm not sure such material even exists (aside from that fact that if it does, it by some definitions would not count as pornography in the first place). Hence this article needs work. It might also go away until these issues are rectified. Until then, I suggest you go read something else — there's got to be at least one good article on this log — or, if you wish to stick with the topic, you may wish to read about pornography elsewhere.
Way back when I wrote a paper called Pretty in Pain. ("Rape culture, by any other name —" You'll have to excuse the style; it was one of the first things I wrote at university, and went online because it predated the plethora of much better papers you'll find nowadays by several years.) Anyway. Back then I mentioned to some people that I'd love to ultimately write a treatment on porn, but given that "both sides" had studies and treatises and what-not, it would take quite some time to do the research — time I sadly didn't have. It's been years, and I still haven't found the time. And perhaps more importantly, better researchers and more insightful people than I am have. So I'll offer a — by now terribly biased — opinion instead.
This post/thread says it all, so, rather unusually for this weblog, I'll let the quotes speak for themselves:
The conservative-sexist metaphorical framework of sex is Sex As Conquest. […] Sometimes the struggle over the pussy is between men (ex: jokes about fathers guarding their daughters’ bodies from young male interlopers) and sometimes women themselves are tasked with defending the pussy from sex. If sexual intercourse happens, by definition, the man who gets to fuck the woman has won and the defender (father or woman herself) has lost. Sex happens when women surrender, in this model.
The liberal-feminist view of sex is that it’s not a war or a game, but more of a mutual collaboration, less like a battle and more like playing music. In this model, to be a sexual person is to be a musician and sex is playing your instrument. Sometimes you play by yourself, sometimes you get with others and jam, and sometimes you actually have a band that you have a long-term relationship with. There aren’t winners and losers, but there can be good and bad sex, just like there can be good and bad music. […] Homosexuality creates a lot of grief to those who have a fairly strict conservative view of sex because you can’t even tell who’s supposed to be the offense and the defense. It’s simply outside of their model, and it creates cognitive dissonance, which often makes the person suffering it want to wipe out the source of the dissonance. […]
The conservative-sexist model of rape is the same one used to define a foul in basketball. Basically, when sexual intercourse happens, the man team has scored a point against the woman team. Each team is allowed some strategies and disallowed others. In basketball, you’re supposed to snatch the ball from the other team, but you can’t cross certain lines or you’ll get a foul. This explains why rape trolls are so eager to find out what the “rules” are, i.e. when they are permitted to force sex. (”Is it rape if she’s drunk? What if she says yes and changes her mind? Is it okay to bully someone into it, so long as you don’t actually hold her down and force her? Are guilt trips okay?, etc.”) If there’s some ambiguity when the referee calls a foul, your teammates (other men) are supposed to clamor to your defense, regardless of whether or not you actually fouled. If the foul is called, then the woman team scores a point (or a free throw in basketball, but you get the idea). The idea that it’s wrong to have sex with someone unless she really, really wants to do it makes about as much sense as saying that you should only be allowed to get the ball in basketball if the defense hands it to you.
[Amanda, continued below the fold]
"Heard of some gravesites, out by the highway
a place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance
I'm getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, lived in the ghetto
I've lived all over this town"
Rape as a fetish is packaged and marketed to men and women as a steady stream of images which blur the lines between rape and the kind of passionate sex we’re all meant to want. Movies show us a man and woman fighting, then suddenly fucking. Two bodies slamming against a wall, or a wrought-iron fence, or a car hood, walking the line between sex and violence. Her head, pulled back by his hand pulling her hair. She tries to run, but he pulls her to him and she collides with him, sobbing yet horny (of course). … These scenes are decidedly different in tone from those that seek only to represent the desperate yearn and clamor of a passionate fuck, as fight-fucking is infused with a sense of both force and yielding, and suggestive that both are necessary components of any “real” fuck. It is within these scenes, where an attractive woman is overwhelmed either physically or pheromonally (or both) by a powerful man, that we begin to understand the unsettling association between ravishing (beautiful) and ravish (rape).
And while we're at it, let's earn this article a language tag as well, shall we?
If you're a man planning to read any of this, Ilyka may have a good introduction for you: Don't get all defensive; if you're not the problem, this isn't about you. This was not written with you as a primary audience in mind.
Also if you're a man, you may be under the assumption that I'm posting this because it was a particular shitstorm of a month in the girlzone and I've cracked. Nope. Sorry. Drop in any week of the year. When you're not looking, I blame the patriarchy. And dudes, that's the setup that disenfranchises you too.
Likewise, you may assume it's only in those silly Americas that people routinely make themselves look like woman-hating asswipes. Not so. Seriously, I commend you for not reading the Guardian on the grounds of being a zionist, but their assault-related articles really aren't so bad.
So, you may wonder, if this isn't a particularly bad month, does that mean I'm upset all the time? Nope. Because I'm not upset now. I might have been ten years ago, but you learn to understand that none are as blind as those who will not see. You stop being surprised. But the beauty is, if something doesn't hurt you, you can defend those who would be with relatively little effort. It takes so little to say, Dude, we don't do that in this tribe. I'm not upset. I'm not hurt. But I'm wary. And it's not quite the same wary you may feel about the surveillance state. Semper paratus.
Nachdem mir jetzt aus drei verschiedenen Richtungen angetragen worden ist, daß ich doch bitte mal Ethical Slut lesen solle und es auch noch auf Telepolis gefeatured wurde, habe ich nachgegeben. Zur Zeit lese ich gerade das Kapitel "Eifersucht", wohl ein Thema das zu erwarten ist in einem Buch, bei dem auch um Polyamorie geht. Das nun wieder erinnert mich an allerlei Gespräche die ich über die Jahre hatte, insbesondere auch mit Verheirateten mit Nachwuchs, die zu den seltsamsten emotionalen Verrenkungen und Kompromissen bereit schienen um zusammen zu bleiben — "der Kinder wegen."
Das ist ein eigenartiger Ausflug in den Realismus des Beziehungsalltags, den man sich als DINK oft nicht gibt — unsereins muß ja nicht jenseits von schwarz und weiß operieren, was durchaus seine Vorteile hat: herkömmliche Romantik lebt ja genau von diesen Absoluten, den unrealistischen Überhöhungen.
Die erste zu beziehende Position ist ja die zwischen Außensteuerung und Niemand ist eine Insel, die Frage also, wieviel Bestätigung von außen man braucht, und wieweit man das streuen möchte — wenn es schon nicht schafft, völlig unabhängig von der Meinung anderer Selbstwertgefühl aufzubauen, und das geht wohl den meisten so, wieviele andere sollten das dann sein?
I guess what it comes down to for me is this: before Identity Crisis, there was at least one happily married superhero in the DC Universe involved with an intelligent, competent woman. Now there isn’t, and I have my doubts that whatever comes out of the series when all is said and done is going to provide vastly better storytelling potential than that.
Ich habe gerade im kleinsten Raum unserer Wohnung die Erstausgabe von Glamour eingesammelt (die gab es dereinst zum edlen Zwecke des Anfixens gratis), und diese hochwissenschaftliche Quelle weiß über die sexuellen Phantasien der Frauen folgendes zu berichten: "Selbst eingebildete Vergewaltigungen sind möglich, in denen die Frau aber nicht gegen ihren Willen genommen wird." Nachdem man zu Ende gelacht hat ("Nicht gegen den Willen, was soll das denn für eine Vergewaltigung sein," bzw. "Höhö, wie kann denn jemand der derart unbeholfen formuliert, Geld dafür bekommen?"), ist es instruktiv zu erwägen, wie es zu dieser semantischen Monstrosität gekommen sein könnte.