Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Why I'm Anti-Porn, Briefly

I posted this on some forum somewhere, and I've been told that I should share it with a few more people. So here it is, my anti-porn rationalization, albeit in a very loose sketch.

Also, yes, I realize that some of you are under the impression that that bitch Ms. Stereotypical hasn't gotten her due. Oh, but she will! Mark my words! With a big orange highlighter! Hopefully, she will be a running theme in this blog. Now, on with the show.

There are many different reasons for being anti-porn. Some of them, in my view, are valid and good. Some of them are questionable. And SOME of them are downright scary and misogynist. In my anti-porn opinion, here are some of the best reasons for being anti-porn:

Because most women in porn would prefer to leave porn if they could.
Because it is very difficult, if not impossible, to tell if the women in porn are acting under coercion or being raped on camera.
Because porn desensitizes our culture to violence against women.
Because supporting the small percentage of women who CHOOSE and are VERY HAPPY about being in porn OVER the much larger percentage of women who are treated like human condoms is very sheltered and bourgeois and privileged and, frankly, naive.

Now HERE are some of the merely "okay" reasons, "second tier" if you will, for being anti-porn:

Because porn helps create and enforce a limiting sexual script that people engaging in sexual activity try to emulate -- in other words, the false sexuality of pornography becomes the kind of sexuality that people having "real" sex idealize.
Because people, particularly women in porn, orgasm easily and are always pleased with whatever goes down, which can lead to people not having a damn clue about how real sex works or functions as well as getting frustrated or angry if real sex doesn't work exactly like porn sex.
Because people can get addicted to pornography and voyeurism in general, making "real sex" with another person less to not at all desirable.
Because women in porn come readily available in different sizes and hair colors and so forth, so a person can easily find the woman of his desire right then and there -- in other words, women are a commodity, and finding the perfect woman through porn is easy, leaving real life women with the impossible task of trying to measure up.

Now here are the SHIT reasons, reasons I WOULD NEVER USE, and if someone is anti-porn because of these reasons, I don't give a damn if they do agree with me about the "ends," the "means" so aren't justifiable:

Because sex is holy and should be between only two people.
Because women should be protected and not leered at.
Because sex should be for baby-making only.
Because porn makes a man lose his "energy" through spilled semen which makes him less of a man and less likely to take on the world with manly strength.
Because women in porn are stupid fucking whores, and whores are bad.
Because if you start masturbating to porn all the time, then you won't want to have sex with your wife and will look for someone else. (Note: this is different from the more general "reasons" listed above, namely, the using porn INSTEAD of sleeping with your partner, not using porn as some kind of catalyst to finding ANOTHER real life woman to screw. Unfortunately, a lot of spurned partners are anti-porn for this more specific reason, because they blame porn for their husband's infidelity. However, I would say that 98% of the time, the porn just made a bad situation worse.)

I think "second tier" stuff is a lot easier to attack than the "first tier" anti-porn reasoning because first tier focuses more on women as a community and the second tier stuff is more specifically personal. My focus on anti-porn ideology came largely through my working with the domestic violence and sexual violence community. Therefore, I happen to think that the violence against women angle is the strongest. I don't think it's possible to get rid of the violence against women perpetuated WITHIN porn and encouraged OUTSIDE of porn, therefore, I am anti-porn.

And yes, I think it's pretty important for us to be clear WHY we are anti-pornography. It isn't just the Christian fundamentals who get lumped in with us, it's a whole mess of other people who dislike porn for reasons that are a lot harder to take seriously. I would like to see the anti-porn community down-playing second tier reasoning for first tier.

11 Comments:

Blogger Vicky Vengeance said...

Seconded!

10:51 AM  
Anonymous la Bunnyface said...

Thirded.

Seriously, I'll say it again: best summary of anti-porn-ness ever. I'm not even strictly anti-porn myself (I'm not against the concept, but I am against how like 90% of the stuff actually plays out, which is what's emphasized in tier #1), but I want to show this to every dumbass who insists porn is as harmless as fluffy bunnies and that if you don't think so, you must HATE SEX.

I'd also be interested in seeing your take on why folks who are into porn (and even people who claim they're not) get so freaked out if you dare to criticize it at all. I have my own ideas on the subject, but I bet you could say it way more eloquently.

1:22 PM  
Anonymous jo said...

I think people get freaked out because porn turns them on, and somehow, if porn is full of rape and abuse, their state of arousal must mean they're evil. So they try to deny the rape and abuse as a defense against massive guilt.

I have pointed out to men that when they stumble across porn and feel aroused, it isn't their fault - it is exactly what porn is designed to do. That's how it sells itself.

What is bad is knowing the inherent harm and still actively seeking it out for your pleasure. Unfortunately, many men will continue to do so because their empathy's shot to pieces by then.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous jo said...

Sorry, I left women out of the picture, but of course, porn turns many of us on too (me included)and it's the same process. I think that may be where the pro-porn feminists are coming from.

5:12 AM  
Blogger antiprincess said...

I'd also be interested in seeing your take on why folks who are into porn (and even people who claim they're not) get so freaked out if you dare to criticize it at all.

admittedly, I'm not Edith, but I can tell you why I personally get so freaked out.

I assume that most antiporn people are working towards a world without visual evidence of non-consensual sex. That goal does make sense to me.

But I start to get nervous when I assume that most antiporn people feel that it's impossible to have visual evidence of consensual sex, that all visual evidence of sexual activity is implied to be non-consensual.

I further get nervous when specific sexual activities (as depicted in photographs or stories) are considered to be damaging in and of themselves, regardless of context or consent.

I get straight-up fearful when I get the impression that there is no solid definition of what constitutes pornography - this is what causes me the most distress. if there's no concrete criteria for porn - ANYTHING could be pornographic and therefore undesireable..

and here's where my mind immediately leaps to giant pyres of burning books and blahblahblah, and I stop listening to the legitimate critiques and start freaking out.

I can't speak for anyone else, but that's what freaks me out.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous jo said...

Hmm, not sure anyone was talking about "banning" anything. If you know that the porn you are watching definitely involves consenting people thoroughly enjoying themselves, then great. That isn't the case with most porn users. I think anti-porn people just want to discourage porn users to purchase, or even view, material when they know nothing about the production of it. That is not going to bring about burning of books. It is simply education.

4:48 AM  
Blogger antiprincess said...

that's the problem - I can't help making that leap, even though I know full well nobody's lighting matches yet.

and usually antiporn folks just roll their eyes and say "oh, don't be silly! nobody's going to burn your precious pornos - and why do you care so much about books and so little about women?"

and I squirm. but the problem for me is that a society that is proscriptive about media is also likely to be proscriptive about behavior. and that scares me even more than my imaginary bonfires.

5:30 AM  
Anonymous jo said...

It's not about telling people not to do something, it's about raising awareness of the inherent abuse in the majority of pornography. That way, people are informed, and if they still want to use porn, there's nothing anyone can do about it. The hope is, less people will be inclined to use porn if they are unsure whether or not the "actors" are being coerced. (A near impossible goal, but a goal nonetheless.) Society being "proscriptive" about media or behaviour doesn't even come into it. That's all from me on this.

7:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has come to my attention that the liberal left have distorted the English language by making up non-sensical phrases to describe things and activities that have been easily defined for hundreds of years. The true meanings of these propagandish phrases are as follows:
Embrace diversity-love a nigger, spic, wap, chink, or sand nigger
Empower women-have politicians looking for votes allow the courts to become communistic tools to give women money from fathers getting screwed by the system so they won't tax the welfare wystem and get handouts with less shame
gay rights-allow fags and dykes to sodomise and copulate without getting castrated or de-cunt lipped
domestic violence-what happens when a husband catches his bitch sucking his neighbors dick
wetland-a worthless swamp that should be used for a garbage dump but liberals want it for "wildlife"
undocumented alien-a spic in the USA illegally
politically correct-what the unhappy commentors to this post will attempt to define so readers will think they are "in the know" and "cool"-bitches were made to suck!!!

8:42 PM  
Anonymous jo said...

Erm....que?

4:22 AM  
Blogger shannon said...

I think he means that he is a racist.

9:28 AM  

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