An Open Letter to Carolyn Hoffman

[This is in response to the email that she sent to ‘Da Queer Bitch this morning, to which QD posted on her site. Since QD is currently occupied and could not reply directly, she asked if some of her allies would counter with a response. One look at the email was enough for me.

Since her private email was not revealed, I will treat this as an open letter.]

Ms. Hoffman:

To say that I was totally whelmed by your attempt to counter Queer Dewd (formerly known as Bitch | Lab) on the issue of pornography and women is an understatement. I do understand and appreciate your passion in defending your views about how porn apparantly is so dangerous to women…even as I totally disagree with your findings.  Unfortunately, it seems that in your zeal to publish antiporn agitprop…I mean, state your case, you seem to have missed some basic facts…which I will, at your indulgement, now expound upon.

First off…I totally respect and will not criticize you for stating your previous experiences as a adolescent facing the scrutiny of young boys….teenage years can be such trouble for most girls, especially with the raging hormones and all the open leering that boys often do.  However, to target Playboy pictorals as the main source of such attitudes is, to say the least, a stretch beyond imagination. What’s to say that a Sears catalog featuring women in intimate apperal, or a scantily clad (but not naked) pinup of a rock starlet in a bikini or halter top, wasn’t enough to feed into their developing lusts?  And while their behavior with you (especially the teacher who boasted about having his turn) was certainly at the least boorish and disrespectful (and, especially in the case of the teacher, crossed the line of ethics into outright sexual harrassment and probable statutory rape), it only proves that some boys will carry their lusts a bit over the line of mutual respect and mutual consent.  Attacking and censoring Playboy or even hardcore porn will do nothing to cure that; reporting such behavior to the proper authorities for immediate action would be far more effective.

Also, Ms. Hoffman…what would you say about the many young girls who don’t have as much a problem with consensual groping as you do?? (Note I said "consensual", meaning that they willingly seek and approve of such activity.) Would you say that those girls who choose to engage in such sexual activity for their own personal pleasures should have the same assumption of protection from nonconsensual acts and autonomy of free will as those who are put off by such activity?? Or are you likely to dismiss these girls in the classic antiporn radicalfeminist ideology as mindless victims of "patriarchy"…or merely, total "sluts" and harlots who feed the worst in men and boys?? One look at your letter reveals the answer to that question pretty quickly.

Next up…you drop names of various antiporn activist spokespersons (Gail Dines, Robert Jensen, et. al) whom you assume that QD needs to read to reveal "the truth" about how porn so degrades and damages women.  All fine and good for agitprop…but a bit incomplete for genuine study and analysis, which requires a bit more open and diverse point of view than what you would allow.  And it would also be a bit wiser, Ms. Hoffman, if you managed to check your sources a bit more; I’m sure that you do know that Bob Jensen is not only "a former porn user", but also an self-outed (yet self-hating) gay man whose strategy of humiliating and demonizing men not just for the collective sins of individuals, but merely for having erections and thinking about sex in the unapproved radfem way, has been revealed countless times. (This is especially cogent given the fact that you decided to impose your spam…ahh, I mean, your email…on the owner of a site (Queer Dewd) that openly embraces the type of homoerotic images that Jensen would say causes great harm to women.

Then we come to your vivid and quite explict depictions of what apparantly goes on in "typical pornography"…though, I tend to wonder how you got such experience that you can describe with such pinpoint accuracy what goes on in the making of porn films..but that’s irrelevant for this issue. To wit, this accounting:

Can you explain and defend all of the typical pornography I have seen including now on porn blogs that rate this sick damaging sexist woman hating degrading dehumanizing sh*t like they are rating songs,that describes women as sluts and bi*ches being fu*ked hard,and pounded banged,and slammed by huge monster co*ks,and videos called This Bi*ch Hates Facials? You see she’s a bi*ch that has to be taught a lesson because she feels like most women do that it’s degrading and disgusting to have men ejaculate on her face,and she’s seen as a bitch because all of the women in porn are portrayed as loving it! So they ejaculate on her face to spite her! And another video describes a woman f*cked so hard in the a*s until she screams,another has a stepfather who video taped his stepdaughter f*cking herself,another is a slut getting a facial in public,another is a slut getting slammed by 2 huge c*cks in her own home after she puts her 2 children to bed,other videos are throat f*cking and sluts gagging on huge c*cks,a whore sister getting f*cked hard etc etc.

Great prose, Ms. Hoffman..but probably a bit off.  You see, those promos for such porn sites tend to be a bit more hyperbolic in the rhetoric than usual..that’s just a hook to attract potential comsumers; nothing more or less. To take them so seriously as promos for rape is, to say the least, sophistry on your part.

Now, I don’t deny at all that there are attitudes amongst some porn consumers (and a few producers) that women who enjoy facials or anal sex or sex with more than one man (or woman) at once is inherently degraded and humiliated…but that is not so much a byproduct of porn than it is the classical antisexual attitudes put forth by mainstream culture to control and regulate women’s sexuality.  Far more likely, however, is the view that a "slut" who likes sex many different ways should be praised, even worshipped, for accepting both her and men’s desires…and that she remains a full human being deserving of respect even after engaging in such "degrading" activity. It may have escaped your mind in your rage, Ms. Hoffman, but there are indeed women who really do like and openly seek the type of sex you decry as "demeaning" and "degrading", and there are men who truly do enjoy that kind of porn, yet continue to give the full respect and humanity to women.  But I guess those views don’t count too well with you, since the only women allowed to appear in your mindset are those who are "prostituted" or victimized by porn.

Finally, Ms. Hoffman, some suggestions for alternative sources of material (since you are so willing to offer sources of your own to educate the unwashed masses…even those who really don’t need it such as QD):

"Caught Looking: Feminism, Pornography, and Censorship" by the Feminist Anti-Censorship Taskforce
"XXX: A Defense of Pornography" by Wendy McElroy
"Defending Pornography" by Nadine Strossen
"Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality" ed. by Carol Vance (in particular, Gayle Rubin’s essay "Thinking Sex"
"Whores and Other Feminists" ed. by Jill Nagle (especially Nina Hartley’s essay "In The Flesh")

And of course, no real analysis of pro-sex feminism would be complete without a visit to Nina Hartley’s particular the "Off Topic" and "Porn and Porn Performers" sub-forums, where such issues are discussed with regularity.

Now, perhaps listening and reading perspectives which run contrary to your own antiporn agitprop might hurt your brain initially from previous underuse….but on the whole, it will be all the better for being exposed to the real world, and to engage in actual discussion.

In the meantime, Ms. Hoffman, may I kindly and respectfully request that you use a bit more public and less obtuse method than harrassing emails to opponents of your philosophy to get your point across?  It really doesn’t do your side much credit when you call for "open debates"…while simultaneously intimidating the same opponents.

With that, I bide you a great day…and I welcome the discussion.

Anthony Kennerson
Lafayette, LA (My SmackDog Chronicles blog)








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