Sexy Racism…Or Just Another Antiporn Myth Gone Nutty??? A Response to Gail Dines @ Counterpunch

Well…to say that the feminist sex wars has gone totally looney would be an understatement. It seems that the APRF’s are mounting a genuine public relations offensive on many fronts….too bad that it is the same old, tired libelous bullcrap against the usual scapegoats. 

Later on, I’ll touch upon two particularly dimwitted attempts at antiporn "feminist" agitprop:  Melissa Fairley’s lunacy against BDSM sex and Kink.com (attacking them as the erotic equivalent of Abu Ghraib torturers); and the equally lame attempts to justify the "slide show" at the Wheelock Antiporn "Feminist" Conference which managed to show various porn actresses in "degrading" and oppressive positions, but managed to not get their opinions or even approval first before declaring them to be "victims".

The focus for today, though, will be an article by the main organizer of the conference, Dr. Gail Dines, which was published over at CounterPunch last Saturday.  Ostensively, it was intended to be a diatribe connecting the recent firing of shock-jock Don Imus for his "nappy-headed ‘ho’s" smack towards the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, the recent autobiography and subsequent publicity tour by porn-actor-cum-legend Ron "The Hedgehog" Jeremy, and the alleged innate anti-Black bigotry and hate of Black-oriented XXX porn/erotica.

In reality, however, the article only succeeds in showing off Dines’ total ignorance and loopiness concerning porn and racism….and her ability to pile on the bullshit layer by layer.

Some excerpts, along with my comments, follow.  Buckle up for safety, Clones…this ride will get a bit bumpy.

Racy Sex, Sexy Racism: Don Imus and Ron Jeremy 

So Don Imus finally pushed the envelope too far by calling the Rutgers women’s basketball team "nappy headed hos". This lethal combination of racism and sexism galvanized African-American and women’s groups, media watch-dog organizations and members of the public into action. His fate was sealed when major corporate responses, including Staples and Procter & Gamble pulled their advertising on his show, which reached 1.6 million people each week on 61 stations across the country. On canceling the show, CBS president Moonves stated that "there has been much discussion of the effect language like this has on young people, particularly young women of color". While some supported Imus on the grounds of free speech, CBS’s decision to cancel the popular and profitable show became inevitable in the face of a rising chorus of condemnation and outrage. Reason won out. As much as Imus has the right to express racist and sexist comments on his own blog, he doesn’t have the right to be paid millions of dollars to broadcast his diatribes on the public airwaves. The CBS president correctly observed that the mass media play an important social role, and his decision acknowledges that this imposes a burden of responsibility.

So far, so good….sounds like a reasonable and well deserved dissing of I-Man’s racist smackdown and the decision of MSNBC and CBS (following their main corporate sponsors, of course) to dump him into the ocean. 

It would have been quite adequate….but then, Dines quickly pulled the bait and did the switcherooo, and snuck in her real initiative:

Can we now relax and luxuriate in the knowledge that sexist, racist speech is no longer accepted in American media? If only! The Imus ruckus erupted one week after a local event had the Boston media talking. Simmons College students invited porn producer/performer Ron Jeremy to campus to "debate" pornography with feminist Susan Cole. This ignited a firestorm at Simmons where some students protested Ron Jeremy’s appearance and felt that paying more than $12,000 to the speakers was a misuse of student funds. Predictably, those who supported hosting Jeremy on campus invoked the mantra of free speech.

Yeah…a virtual firestorm.  Actually, according to Boston.com, it was a small group of fervent APRF activists who made the most noise about allowing Jeremy to debate Cole at Simmons College (he and Cole had debated earlier at other venues with little or no protest, not even from the most fervent opponents of porn from the Christian Right).  But this was exactly ONE WEEK after the Wheelock conference ended…and I guess that the APRFs were itching for a battle after all their antics and slide shows….and The Hedgehog just happened to be the easiest mark.

Oh…and guess who just so happened to be leading the "firestorm" mob at Simmons College??  Quoting Boston.com again:

Wheelock College professor* Dr. Gail Dines, touted as a "leading expert on pornography criticism," told reporters that Jeremy should be excluded from the event because "he is not an academic on the issue but a paid industry participant."

"Under no circumstances would I debate him, no matter how much money they gave me," Dines said. "It’s a dreadful mistake for any principled person to debate Ron Jeremy because he’s basically riding on their credentials. He comes only as a man with personal experience who has made a lot of money out of it."

Somehow, Doc Gail’s central role in instigating the "firestorm" did not get a mention in the CP article.  Funny, that.

Anyways…moving right along…..Dines quickly gets to the point:

Would the Simmons students invite Imus to campus after this week’s uproar? The content of Jeremy’s productions makes Imus look positively quaint in comparison. Jeremy’s film titles include "Black Babes in Heat," "Black Cherry Coeds," "Girls of the Third Reich," and "Three Men and a Geisha". This type of sexism and racism is mainstream throughout the $57 billion porn industry yet hardly warrants a peep from those groups who organized against Imus. And these are not just offensive titles, but allude to powerful images of sexual degradation and racial humiliation. Jeremy defended pornography as "fun", just as Imus claimed that he was trying to make a joke.

Oh, so much lies and distortions, concentrated in one little paragraph of hate.

First off….maybe Dr. Dines may not have noticed this, but Ron Jeremy just so happens to be WHITE.  Perhaps it’s the tan or the fat grill or his big schlong that might have confused her in her righteous anger, but trust this Black man who has seen a Black porn video or two or fifty. Ron J is still a paleface.

Secondly, the fact that he allegedly appeared in at least THREE interracial films (at least those that Dines mentioned) says what….that he wants to rape Black women???  Uhhhh….yeah. Right.

And….would someone please cast Dr. Dines aside and give her a nice lecture on the art of acting and vignette making??  Those vids are nothng more than ACTRESSES and ACTORS playing out ROLES just like their mainstream cousins…except that they include them performing live consensual sex acts.  You may not like the kind of roles they play, but to merely cast them as innately "racist" and "degrading" merely on the basis of their titles (as if irony and satire don’t exist in porn making, or hyperbole isn’t the norm in such titles to attract viewers anyway) is a bit of a reach that even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Shaq couldn’t accomplish.

But then again, it just might be the sex included within those videos that so enrages Doc Gail enough to fulminate against "racism"; after all, like most other APRFs, only the "kindest", most "egalitarian", most "intimate" type of sex that fits her standards should be shown on TV or the Internet so that men can be weaned of their evil erections and learn to "make love" like real radfem women do….and Black female sexuality in all its glory tends not to follow radfem guidlines all that much.

Oh….and since when in the holy hell did "the porn industry" explode in growth so rapidly that it became an "57 billion dollar industry"???  Which particular orfice did Doc Gail have to pull that stat out of??  Last year at the Brownback hearings, the most I had heard of was $10-$15 billion in sales from porn….did I miss the explosive boom in sales this past year?? And where can I buy stock in such high growth companies??

Why does pornography get a free pass? Go to any so called "interracial" pornography web site, and you are assaulted by images and words that suggest that African American women are sexually debased and deserving of abuse. Images of Asian women generally portray sexual submission. These movies are marketed as racy sex, when what they really do is sexualize racism.

Oh, yeah….because Black women really, really, really don’t like that kind of sex…even though some of them really do, but those are the evil sluts and sexbots and Aunt Jemimas and "Oreo cookies" — using Kitty MacKinnon’s apt phrase — who are so imprisoned by self-hate and racist patriarchy to know any better….or they are active agents for the slaveholder racist Kluxers who apparantly, according to Dines and her mad posse, run the porn industry.  Of course, real feminists who aren’t slaves to their clits know better.

And that would probably apply to Candida Royalle’s recent series of softer, more sensual Black erotica too, I guess.

I’ll be sure to send Dr. Dines’s article to all the Black and Brown porn starlets and stars I know of: Lexington Steele, Mr. Marcus, Tyler Knight, Heather Hunter, Angel Kelly (who, even as a born-again Christian now, still can’t find anything wrong with her former profession), Vanessa del Rio, Janet Jacme, Vanessa Lane, and a few others.  I’m sure that they will get a good laugh from being labeled as unable to think and feel for themselves…and that they are really handmaidens for racism.

One particularly hateful site — pimpmyblackteen.com — shows young black women in ‘before and after’ pictures illustrating how a pimp can turn her from an ugly "hood rat" to a "sexy ho."

Of, course, Doc Gail refuses to offer a link to such a site so that we can see for ourselves…so I simply did a cut-n-paste on my browser…and this is what I found (Warning: NSFW link to explicit sexual imagery): A typical porn site that does vignette skits featuring porn actors and actresses with the theme of transforming their LOOKS from typical "ghetto style" to "sexy ‘ho"…..then getting rewarded with some enthusiastic, if typical and standard, vanilla sex.  Other than the extra melanin and the particular ghetto theme, it is pretty much the same as most other porn sites of that ilk.

Of course, Dines is equally as zealously opposed to porn skit sites featuring White actors and actresses as "degrading" and promoting the patriarchy…but she can’t play the race card on sites like Bang Brothers or Naughty America or even VickyAtHome’s Lavatory Occupied, since no Black women are involved, and that wouldn’t play so well with the "leftist" audience of sites like Counterpunch. Perhaps that’s why she decided to specifically pillory "interracial porn" with the scarlet letter ‘"R"..  

Dines finally concludes her little tirade with this oh so typical APRF boilerplate:

Pornography gets a pass because it’s considered "sex" rather than the sexist and racist hate speech it actually is. Had Jeremy expressed the real message of his movies, it is doubtful he would have been cheered by the students. Instead Jeremy and the pornography industry wrap their hatred of women and their racism within a "sexy" and "fun" package that renders invisible the actual violence and harm done to the women in the pornography industry and everyone living in a porn culture.

Of course, Ron J and the "pornographers" aren’t the only ones….indeed, antiporn "feminist" fascists like Gail Dines could teach master classes in inducing "free passes" from putatively liberal and Leftist publications for failing to reveal the "real" messages of their activism. Underneath all this fulmination about anti-Black racism and mocking concern about racist capitalist media, lies (literally) the same old and tired classist and (yes, I will say it outright) erotophobic and racist Puritan mindset that sex unredeemed by the most restrictive and conservative values (albeit cloaked in a "feminist" patina) should be wiped from the face of the earth as detrius of "the patriarchy".  Even if it means using the very institutions and media of said "patriarchy" to do so. 

Remember when Nina Hartley had the unmitigated gall to use the same pages of Counterpunch to respond affirmatively to Chyng Sun’s libelous smears of her (Nina’s) profession?  Back then, APRF’s couldn’t refrain themselves from smacking down CP as "a paid agent of the patriarchy"; but I guess that things have changed somewhat. (Recently, there has been sort of a renaissance of antiporn posting over at CP; in addition to this article, there was an article plug for Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs which sounded pretty much the same rhetoric.) I’m hoping that Alex Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair aren’t getting soft on their principles, and do allow a decent response to Dines’ lunacy.

NOTE:  Nina Hartley just posted at her forum (through her hubby Ernest Greene) that she is planning a "short but not-so-sweet" rebuttal to Dines for publication at CP.  Since she has been given by the site managers an open-ended invitation to respond; it should be posted pretty soon. When it is, you will see it here.

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One thought on “Sexy Racism…Or Just Another Antiporn Myth Gone Nutty??? A Response to Gail Dines @ Counterpunch

  1. First, the comparison of Abu Ghraib to BDSM is sick and insulting to those victims of TRUE and REAL torture. I imagine they would be outraged that their experience was equated with blinfolds and edible underwear. That said, I interpreted Dines’ using interracial porn as a spin off of the Imus comment because the incident was a white man making degrading comments about black women, thus “interracial” …it was a little bit of a stretch. Also, I agree with her on the grounds that most interracial porn plays on racial stereotypes. You have to be blind not to see that. So yes, they do sexualize racism. I mean come on, there is the black man with a stereotypically (in the white imagination) large penis, the subservient geisha portrayed by East Asian women, “Spicy and Hot” Latinas …Asian men, period, being absent. The state of race and gender relations does not stop at the bedroom and to ignore this fact just to get your rocks off is not progressive. Is porn inherently sexist and racist? No. Is BDSM inherently sexist and racist? No. But do not forget that the society that manufactures these images IS sexist and racist, and that fact WILL show up on screen.

    I personally am waaay too done with debating sexual morality with anti-porn white women, just as much as I’m sick of pro-sex people not taking a critical look at what they get off on. It rubbed me the WRONG way how you, as a male, completely dismiss the sexual objectification of women (and men) that does occur in this industry, and then want to be labeled a “pro sex feminist.” I am a BDSM submissive; I’ve watched porn before; I identified as pro-sex; but never went around touting that porn did not reflect society’s damaging hierachies; “it’s just hyperbole?” That’s bullshit. To look at porn with the “there’s nothing in the world wrong with it” is the same as “all that sexual vile must be banned.” There is A LOT of shit wrong with it, just like not ALL of it is bad.The sex wars will continue until people look at ish realistically.

    Check out Afroerotik.blogspot.com, she’s amazing at articulating this.

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