My original intentions yesterday (before my computer conked out on me AGAIN and forced me to do another system recovery) was to do a proper fisking to that particular pile of horse dung written by Andrea Lavigne (documented in my last post) defending the Wheelock Antiporn Conference from the criticisms of SWOP-East’s Jill Brenneman.
Howeever, recent events have spiraled so beyond that particular scope that a much more broader perspective is neccessary…and it seems that the entire army of antipornradfems have joined forces to stomp on their critics.
Here is the abridged version, so far:
1) Porn demon huntress Gail Dines parlays her professorship at Wheelock College in Massachusetts to organize an "academic conference" on the status of women, pornography, and the overall culture….and, of course, she manages to exclude all opinions other than her own particular abolitionist view that porn and prostitution (aka "pornstitution") is nothing less than legalized rape and pillarging of women and children…the free will of the participants notwithstanding. Among the presenters are Chyng Sun, Rebecca Whisnant, Melissa Farley, and Robert Jensen, who manages to bring down the house with his own personal slide show depicting all the freakery and degradation that porn imposes on women and children in the service of "the patriarchy".
2) A group of considerably more moderate feminists, allied with a few actual sex workers and one or two sex-poz feminists, issue a public open letter criticizing the conference for its stated biases and the lack of accomodation to antiporn critics, as well as the use of the college name in promoting the conference. One of the signatories happens to be Jill Brenneman, a former radfem antiporn activist who had a change of heart after actually listening to a few sex workers and who now heads up the Sex Workers’ Outreach Project East (SWOP-East); who supports the concept of "harm prevention" for sex wokers and clients alike, as well as the legality of sex work.
3) Said group promptly gets pilloried by the usual suspects in the radfem antiporn activist blogosphere as traitors, sexbots, and enablers of Patriarchy; among the more vicious attacks are from Laurelin of Laurelin in the Rain (who dedicates an entire post with extended commentary to defending the honor of the conferenceers from the "not nice" attitudes of "pro-porn" feminists. The comments thread in that particular post features all the usual libels and slanders from folks like Ann Bartow of Feminist Law Professors, Sam of Genderberg, and a psychotherapist named Andrea Lavigne who offered the post above in response to the petition Jill signed.
3) When Jill in particular decides to fight back by responding to such slanders of her and other sex workers directly, she gets first the cold shoulder treatment. But when she has the gall to destroy an arguement from Lavigne and Bartow that antipornfeminists are "hounded" and "censored" by "pro-porn" feminists; Laurelin exercises her privileges as blog mod and cuts her (and other opponent’s) mikes off, so to speak. (Fortunately, Jill has enough smarts to repost the most relevant and juiciest portions of the smackdown over at her personal MySpace blog…and Renegade Evolution adds her quarter’s worth of support at her blog as well.
4) And speaking of ‘Da Henchwoman: she’s as much in the bullseye as well…mostly because she happens to represent to the APRFs the epitome of sexbot/slave/sellout/slut/skank/Jezebel; but in this case, her latest offense was that she responded to a radfem antiporn troll (alisalives) who all but blamed Ren’s earthly existence and her "lifestyle" for her abusive husband. (It was that response that got Laurelin started to begin with; her initial post whacked RenEv — though not mentioning her by name, only refering to "pro-porn feminists" — of piling on to a victim of men and, allegedly, porn.)
5) And then there is the squabble between Ren and Witchy-Woo, who took one of Ren’s essays defending femininiity a bit too personally, and used her blog to fire off some vicious personal daggers. Considering that W-W had been perhaps the more reasonable and congenial of the radfems, the varicity of the attack was a total surprise. (Check out Mamacita Rosarose for a different perspective here.)
7) And meanwhile, while all this was taking place, the conference came and went, and it was announced that the slide show presentation made there by Jensen would be sold to the public as a CD….for the low price of 5 bucks. (Proceeds to support antiporn efforts, of course. After all, we wouldn’t want it to be known that antiporn activists were peddling the same porn they decry for their personal pleasure, no???)
That should be enough for you for now….have at it.