A Clarification on Ginmar’s Myopia and My “Threat”

For those of you who may have missed the rumble over at Feministe, or those who have been there and are wondering just what the fuck Ginmar is talking about when she accuses moi of “threatening” her and other radicalfeminists on behalf of Ren, Trinity, and the rest of the “sex pox”…well, here’s the offending post that I sent her that got her all a flutter:

Sorry to disappoint you and your allies, Ginmar, but I don’t believe in wagging fingers: I just call BS like I see it.

And neither I nor IACB need to rescue the “sex pox” damsels in distress, since they do a pretty damn good job of defending themselves all their own. We speak for ourselves, and no one else.

And it’s so nice to hear you and your groupies reduce real human beings and real women (including a self-described feminist) to the level of horses merely because they don’t drink your brand of Kool-Aid. At least you are as consistent as you were with your “gender trumps race” smack earlier.

Here’s the deal, ladies: if you want to have a genuine discussion on the issues Ren raised at Feministe, then I will be respectful. If you want to continue playing your hit-and-run games and continue to smear and distort men and women who have done no harm….then we can go there, too.

Just be careful of what you wish for, ladies, it may come back to bite ‘ya…..hard. Some of us believe in fighting back.

Oh…and as for “who the fuck” I am: ask Bitch|Lab or see this link:

https://anthonyk.wordpress.com/2006/04/2 9/why-nubian-kicks-serious-ass-and-ginmar-can-just-kiss-mine-2/


Nothing in my post about physically threatening her, see??  Not quite like Stormcloud’s threat to oust Ren, or Witchy-Woo’s open taunting of Ren for getting fired from her work at the crisis shelter, isn’t it??

Of course, Ginmar goes and bans me from her LJ so that I can’t even respond to her accusations; then goes all over the Feministe thread waving her supposedly bloody shirt saying how I’m in cahoots with the “yay pornies” threatening her and the other brave and courageous radfems.

And to top it all off, she has the unmitigated brass to accuse Lauren and Jill of deliberately censoring her (and by extension, other “womyn warriors” because they don’t immediately approve her posts with lightening speed and don’t allow her to “name names” and spread her lying, smearing rumors??  

Please.  Just….please. Enough, already. 

 [I have an entry at my Live Journal page with all of the details.]

Porn, BPPA, and The Left Redux: An Exchange With Ernest Greene

I recently invited Ernest Greene (who happens to be Nina Hartley’s [warning: NSFW link] husband and an sexual rights/BDSM/progressive activist on his own right) to contribute to the Pro-Porn Activism Blog….and ended up with a pretty damn enlightening exchange that points out some of issues on establishing a pro-sex and sex-positive foothold on the political Left.

The full exchange is here; I will simply issue the highlights, which include what turned out to be some crossed signals about the BPPA and its mission that were ultimately cleared up to everyone’s credit.

First, here’s Ernest’s original comment:

Anthony and Sheldon,I’ve now had a chance to visit the pro-porn activism site under discussion, and while its intentions are admirable and its content often valuable and always interesting, I’m concerned that it may be subject to the law of unintended consequences.

First of all, I think I should share with you and other forum participants here a disturbing phenomenon I can clearly observe from the panels available to me as an administrator. Over the past few months, we’ve experienced a high volume of anonymous traffic, much of it originating from geographically centralized IPs in a certain part of the Upper Mid-West, clearly seeking out printable versions of threads dealing with anti-porn feminism. By following the links from your new site, I’m sorry to say I think I know where some of that traffic is ending up. Various items from nina.com have been exhibited and/or quoted (obviously without notice to or permission from us) by presenters at anti-porn feminist events held on college campuses during that time period. The images and information used are extremely specific and, predictably, used to demonize Nina and by implication, other women who share her views.

What worries me is that your new site, just like this one, has the inadvertent effect of channeling traffic to the othewise obscure corners of the Internet inhabited by what is basically a small and isolated group of fanatics of whom the larger public to which we appeal takes little or no notice.

The question we must ask ourselves is this: in attempting to rebut their essentially preposterous arguments at great length and in excruciating detail, are we not giving them the very attention they crave and otherwise could not hope to attract? I already know how I feel about this, which is one reason why I’ve stopped posting on these subjects on this site. I don’t see any reason to encourage them to come here to or arm them with out-of-context snippets of commentaries they can recontextualize for their own despicable purposes.

This is not to say that those arguments don’t need answering or to discourage the establishment of forums for that use, but rather to raise the practical question of how best to neutralize whatever political threat to freedom of expression, their bette noir, they may represent.

For my own part, I’ve elected to engage in a the Japanese practice of “mokusatsu” – literally to kill by silence. I don’t want them using our words against us and I don’t want people from here upping their Alexa scores simply out of morbid curiousity.

Obviously, as genuine advocates of free speech, I would never ask any contributor to stop posting on this topic, but for my own part, speaking strategically, I’ve decided to let them carry on their vendetta with no help, direct or indirect, from me.

Just a thought to consider.


That particular criticism rankled some of the BPPA members as well as me, since it was perceived as a subtle slam at the blog for directing antiporn attacks towards Nina and the forum.

My first response to Ernest follows:

WOW…interesting points.

As one of the main contriibutors of the BPPA blog, I can’t speak for Renegade Evolution (who is the owner and chief founder of the BPPA blog) or any one of the other main contributors…but I feel the need to respond to your points.The main reason why so many antiporn sites are listed there is the stated policy that is agreed on by all the participants there uses the principle of “Know your enemies”; and that the viewpoints of the other side should be openly discussed and sourced whenever possible, with all transparency and clarity.

I understand and appreciate the fact that due to past circumstances and the history of previous attacks on you and Nina, you would feel as you do about attracting unwanted attention to those sites. Nevertheless, I still believe that exposing and repudiating their myopia and their positions is crucial to building an effective opposition to their policies, and that merely allowing them to promote their views unfettered only encourages them that much further. They may indeed be a tiny minority and an isolated voice, but they do have some degree of outreach that goes far beyond their small numbers…and I don’t believe that they should be simply ignored or dismissed.

Obviously, we will be much more careful about seeking your approval before posting or linking anything here in this forum; and if you prefer that we not use anything from this forum to refute their arguments or actions, just say the word and we will respect your wishes. (Here, I do speak for the rest of the members of the BPPA as well as for myself regarding my own blogs and sites.)

I will say that my own personal philosophy regarding dealing with these antipornfeminists is perhaps the exact opposite of what you prefer; I’d rather directly and openly confront all the contradictions and inaccuracies of their arguments, since I feel no need to hold back anything; nor am I hampered by any need to protect my past histories or actions on my part.

But, I do respect highly your position and your situation, Ernest, and will honor your request….and will take your suggestions into consideration along with the rest of the crew.

And I will forward this privately to the rest of the BPPA members for their consideration, too.


And initially, Ren did decide at first to remove links to Nina’s site and forum from the BPPA blogroll.

Ernest did attempt to make an initial offer to clarify his position:

Anthony,Thank you for your prompt and typically heartfelt reply. As I said, I’m not really asking for any specific action on your part or that of your compatriots, whose views I largely (though not entirely) share. I merely ask you to consider the situation strategically. I like to think of myself as a principled person who willingly takes risks on behalf of dearly-held beliefs, but my real-world experience has taught me that the effectiveness of those risks is what makes them worth taking. If by exposing myself or others to potential harm, I achieve nothing more than serving the purposes of my opponents, the risk is not worth the reward.

I completely agree with you that the preposterous arguments of anti-porn feminists must be confronted and exposed for the crypto-mystical, anti-rational, anti-intellectual bunk that they are. I suggest, however, that the most effective ground on which to join that battle is their own. Obviously, as they have nothing but contempt for anyone who disagrees with them in the slightest, indeed for the very idea of reasoned argument, they’re not about to allow you or anybody else to address their vicious lies and warped beliefs on Web sites they operate or at gatherings they sponsor. But there does exist a larger leftist/progressive community consisting of numerous blogs, publications, organizations and events through which they could be challenged to defend their destructive fixations that have cost the left as a whole so dearly, along with the nation itself and the greater world that might benefit from leftist dissent uncontaminated by their toxic brand of identity politics.

It has been their ability to shame and shout down all who do not embrace their rabid fanaticism in those venues that has, to a great extent, prevented the emergence of both an effective leftist critique of their madness and, more urgently, the formation of a unified opposition to the catastrophes of resurgent American imperialism abroad and the rise of theocratic absolutism at home. It is the responsibility of sane leftists with realistic priorities to kick these lunatics to the curb on their own street, rather than making it the onerous burden of those of us already embattled against a rabidly hostile regime bent on throwing as many of us as possible in jail and driving the rest of us out of business to have to fight a second front against this small but vocal claque of hate-mongers on ours.

That’s why Nina knowingly exposed herself to the savage hostility certain to follow by debunking Chyng Sun’s so-called “research” at AEE on Counterpunch rather than simply railing against it here. As she said at the time, the internal leftist/progressive struggle over pornography is really a battle for the hearts, minds and wallets of liberals who support progressive causes, if not necessarily progressive ideals.

It is the objective of Chyng Sun and her allies to humiliate defenders of free speech into backing away from protecting explicit sexual expression that makes them dangerous not only to us, but to anyone who regards open discourse about sexuality as a progressive priority. The success of the gang from KPFK in forcing NION to give back Larry Flynt’s money both demonstrates this danger and emboldens those to whom suppressing dirty pictures is more important than saving Iraqi and American lives.

Rather than starting up more Web sites and chat groups where we who deplore such moral disasters of the left can tut-tut about them and ventilate our anger and frustration over them (though, BTW, I have no gripe with anyone doing so, as we all need the support and reassurance of like-minded others), the more critical task lies in meeting these false-flagged reactionaries on the common turf of Z-Net and at the university campuses where anti-war groups are bullyed into turning away desperately-needed potential allies in the name of ideological purity.

Certainly, given the vile tactics anti-porn feminists employ and the personal viciousness with which anti-porn feminists attack all who dare stand up to them, I can’t blame anyone for preferring to lob rhetorical water balloons from behind the safe anonymity of friendly homepages. As one of the founders of BPPA pointed out, in contradistinction to the seemingly more menacing foes we face on the right, anti-porn feminists are much quicker to engage in the ugliest kind of trolling, hacking, DOS attacks and ad hominem smears. We’ve experience all these things repeatedly since Nina dared to tread on the sacred cyber-soil of Counterpunch. Nina has become nearly as popular a target as Larry Flynt, an honor I know she appreciates but a noxious burden nonetheless. As an example, here’s a lovely quotation from a recent article by APF stalwart Rebecca Whisnant:

“Thus it is that prominently featured on the website of “feminist pornographer” Nina Hartley is a new film entitled “O: The Power of Submission.” (13) Perusing Hartley’s list of favorite links, one finds a site called Slave Next Door, which carries the tagline “real sexual slavery.” The portal page of this website reads, in part, “Slave Next Door is the graphic depiction of a female sex slave’s life and training for sexual slavery. It contains extreme bdsm situations and . . . sadistic training.” In clicking to enter the site, one is told, one affirms that one is “not here in the capacity of law enforcement or religious activist.” (14)”

I can practically see all the grave faces and nodding heads in the room as Whisnant delivered this laughable “evidence,” which simultaneously distorts Nina’s opinions, this site, my movie, consensual BDSM and the perfectly sweet and thoughtful blog of our friends Master N and embre, to a group of fellow porn-bashers at one of the many recent conferences where said bashers meet to come up with new ways of heckling us. Who wants to be subjected to that kind of treatment?

And yet, if leftists and progressives who don’t buy the APF line hope to prevent it from prevailing and thus further enfeebling an already isolated, fractious and fundamentally ineffective community, that’s exactly the kind of warped logic that must be addressed where it lives. Twenty years ago, it was a group of feminists, led by Betty Friedan (founder of NOW), Rita Mae Brown, Kate Millet, Adrienne Rich and other icons of the women’s movement, who filed the amicus brief in the appeal of the McKinnon ordinance that helped restore mainstream feminism’s committment to civil liberties for all. Sensing an opportunity in the current atmosphere of political repression to undue that courageous stand, the new crop of APF fanatics shows signs of gaining real traction within the tiny, nearly invisible left that remains in America today. If they succeed, they’ll make sure it remains exactly that: tiny and invisible, though surely pure of corruption by the “harms” of porn and its defenders.

No matter how unpleasant the prospect, it’s up to you and your friends to do what Friedan and her compatriots did two decades ago. You must take your fight to the enemy instead of hunkering down on safer terrain. It’s your movement that’s at stake and you need to take it back from posers like Gail Dines, Bob Jensen and Stan Goff. If you won’t stand up to them where they are, how can any of the rest of us be expected to join you when you exhort us to stand up to the real power and potential fury of the ruling elites?

While APFs may claim to have been “censored” and “silenced,” the truth is that Gail Dines can get airtime on Fox News to spout her claptrap at no personal risk whatsoever, while we have members of our tribe facing 75 years in prison for selling videos. We know very well the real dangers of incurring the wrath of the real patriarchs, as opposed to the imaginary version against which leftists are constantly inveighed to do battle. If your gang isn’t ready to haul a few loud-mouthed mountebanks out of their ivory towers and expel them from your midst, why should we trust you to carry the standard into far more dangerous combat?

I’m just raising these questions. The answers need to come from your side. So far, all I read is a lot of electronic bickering. When I see you all picketing outside the gates of Wheelock College, demanding equal time for Nina to answer the slander and abuse heaped on her there, I’ll be more favorably disposed to help you make your case here.

As I do believe in freedom of expression, I won’t oppose your use of our bandwidth to channel traffic to your site, but I hope you’ll take into consideration the nuisances to which you expose us in doing so and offer up something in return that will make it all seem worth the additional trouble.


My own rebuttal of that:

Welll…that’s a lot to think about.

I’m not sure, then, that the BPPA would be the proper venue for such a campaign that you would want, Ernest; since that blog is more for a generalized defense of porn rather than an explicitly Left critique. (The founder of that blog is more of a traditional conservative libertarian.)I’d guess that a more explicitly Leftist “pro-porn/’sex-positive” organization which directly confronted the smears and lies of antiporn “feminists” and their allies would be more productive by your suggestions. That would be a splendid idea, especially as an compliment to the more general mission of BPPA; and as soon as I get my bandwidth issues resolved; I will get to work on that by developing a forum dedicated to that very need.

I should say, though, that perhaps your targets should also be turned towards not only people like me who have indeed gone into the bellies of the beast and directly confronted APRF idiocy (remember Gooney Goff?? Z-Net??) but also towards more mainstream liberal and leftist groups who have remained generally silent or have avoided debate on this topic. Whatever happened to groups like Feminists for Free Expression or the Feminist Anticensorship Taskforce, who at least attempted to build a progressive critique to MacDworkinism in the 80s, but disappeared as soon as the battles seemed won?? Why aren’t there more porn talent who happen to be progressives (or even, heaven forbid, even Leftists) speaking out explicitly on the connections between defending sexual speech and expression and other left/liberal values that they profess in supporting?? It can’t all be a one-sided mission, you know.

Yes, indeed, there is a great need for sex-positive progressive folk to directly confront antiporn ideology whereever it wields its head; and to be much more open and loud about it. That will take both time and effort, however, and even some patience.

Also….considering the closed-loop policies of such organizations as Z-Net in its obvious biases towards antiporn ideology, wouldn’t it be more useful for sex-pos progressives to develop their own institutions of support and outreach and education, rather than waste time and energy attempting to roll over existing organizations that are simply too rooted to change??

Finally….like I said before, I am only one person, with limited time and resources; I’m sure that no one will question my dedication to the mission of defending the principles that I believe in; and I most definitely don’t question you or Nina’s dedication to the same. All I ask for is that we all respect our own methods and tactics, even if we may disagree with whatever tactics we may persue to the same goal.

Just my own personal opinion.

And may I assume that you speak for Nina as well on this??


And in the next post, I cited both Trinity and Ren defending the mission of the BPPA blog (cited with permission from the both of them):

Incidentially enough; here is Renegade Evolution’s response…..

…upon learning of Ernest’s critique (posted originally via email, with permission granted by her to post here)

I can understand Ernest’s concerns, but hey, as my people are wont to say “Silence = Death”…and I will point out that the BPPA is, for me, not only somewhat FUN, its also a theraputic and LITERARY way to point out my flaws. It’s not as if I’ve not “taken these issues to the people”…after all, I did engage in that long and futile email forum debate with Bob Jensen, I, along with Jill and others, sent letters of protest to Weelocke for NOT including sex workers in their conference, sent letters of protest and raised quite a stink about their use of porn performers images without consent or question, I then informed the porn companies whose work was sited of the use of that work by Wheelocke, and well, I’m a member of both HIPS and SWOP East…so yes, I BLOG about porn, sex ed, anti porn tactics, the 1st Amendment…I also DO in real life. I also know that I’ve had a decent number of “on the fence” feminists say by reading what I’ve put out there, they’ve rethought their feelings on porn and other aspects of sex work, and even some rad fems reconsider their beliefs on the matter, and to me…well, that counts and progress.I also think exposing the tactics the other side uses is important, because there still are a lot of people sitting on the fence, and I’d rather have them leaning to our side and have places where they can read the other side of the story and rebutals to the MASSIVE amounts of anti-porn propoganda out there. I mean gee, it’s not like I’ve been threatened or outted before, right? Damage is already done…I might as well, both in life and on the net, stand up for what I believe in.


Incidentially, she has also went ahead and removed all links to this forum from the BPPA blog as well, out of respect for Ernest’s concerns.Update: Trinity of A Strange Alchemy; another contributor to the BPPA blog; just recently added this question for Ernest:

Anthony,I’m a little unclear on what exactly Mr. Greene wants us to do.

Is he saying he wants us not to link to NIna’s spot, or that he thinks we shouldn’t link to the *antis’* spots (because then they’ll see the trackbacks)?

Because if it’s the second, I think it’s important to link to them to prove what we’re saying AND to allow opponents to rebut. Think about how gross it is that they don’t link to us, and can make up any context they will for what we say. I don’t think it’s right for us to do the same.


A legitimate question, I’d say.Anthony

To which, Ernest finally comes correct and makes his points clear, and directly addresses Ren’s and Trinity’s concerns [special emphasis added by me]:

Anthony,Thanks for getting back to me on this, and for a number of points well-made, as usual.

I think I may have created some misunderstandings that need clarfication and you have raised a question or two that need answering.

First of all, let me say that I don’t think sites like BPPA are bad things. On the contrary, I agree that exposing the lies and distortions of anti-porn feminism in whatever forum is a good thing. I do have concerns about amplifying their volume by callling attention to them, but that concern only applies if nothing else is done beyond preaching to the converted. I merely suggest that activism consists of more than just sharing opinions with those of like-mind.

As such, I give full credit to you for your willingness to take the battle to the other side’s terrain, and I commend ren for doing the same. I particularly appreciate ren’s challenge to the use of our intellectual property against us, and would offer as a further possibility the idea of acquainting APFs who use stolen explicit images in their propaganda that they, too, are subject to the requirements of 2257 and may find out for themselves the truth about just how “lawless” and “unregulated” our industry really is if they continue to do so. The measures you and ren describe are exactly the kinds of things I’m talking about and I hope you’ll do more in the future. I hope your influence grows on the left and that eventually you’ll help return some balance to the conversation about porn in that community. In short, I’m not criticizing you, your friends, what you’re doing or what you’re not doing. I’m merely raising strategic questions about how best to achieve our common goals.

In response to Trinity’s question, and yours, please remember that I began my post by saying that I am not asking for any specific action concerning BPPA. I didn’t ask that the link to our site be removed, or that you not link to APF sites. In fact, I’m sorry if that’s how my comments were interpreted. As far as linking to nina.com is concerned, the damage was done long ago by the other side, which knows all about us and will continue to come around here whatever you do. I’d as soon have our link back on your site, as at least we might get a few more friendly contributors as a result. And I fully agree that air and light best serve in separating good arguments from bad, so I don’t support the idea of silencing any point of view. I think knowing one’s enemies is important and I appreciate BPPA’s willingness to address all points of view and to expose the specious claims of our opponents. Frankly, I’m sorry my comments seem to have been taken some other way and apologize for not stating them more clearly. Personally, I would like to see our link restored at BPPA. We are all part of the same struggle and I don’t wish to see us excluded from solidarity with your efforts over there.

Where you and I don’t agree is in your implied criticism of progressive elements in the industry for not joining you at the barricades. Those of us who can certainly do. Nina is most definitely a case in point, as it was her blast on Counterpunch that made her such a popular target for APF attacks. And while FACT seems dormant for the moment, FFE is very much alive. Indeed, BPPA links to their site, where you’ll find such familiar names as Carol Queen and Candida Royale.

And I don’t buy the argument that the larger leftist community and its organizations and media are so closed to counter-arguments about porn there’s no point in confronting them directly. That’s a costly concession of defeat when the other side has simply dominated the floor by intimidation and should be challenged, as they were successfully twenty years ago, which was one of my main points earlier. Setting up alternative institutions is fine as far as it goes, but ceding the larger leftist entities to the other side, which is exactly what happened at NION, carries dangers not only for those of our particular persuasions regarding the expression of sexuality, but for the left as a whole, which the NION episode demonstrates all too vividly.

Indeed, when you propose that liberals should take a more active role in this struggle, you make my point for me. First of all, they are the ones who do so most effectively. Nadine Strossen and the ACLU have done more to protect sexually explicit expression than all the self-identified leftists in the land. They’re the people who put up the money and the time to fight the court battles that directly impact what we do. However, they’re largely excluded from leftist forums in a way that avowed leftists are not. Moreover, they are the very element Chyng Sun and her friends are trying to shame into abandoning us over here, and to some extent (I’m not defending this, BTW), traditional liberals have been cowed by the ferocity of APF rhetoric into avoiding the whole debate. As someone who doesn’t much respect liberals when it comes to stands on principle, you of all people can hardly expect them to conduct a campaign to reassert support for Amendment One among leftists who have largely turned against it. Liberals and their organizations have no credibility on your side of the fence.

The suggestion that working porn performers could get in the fray is problematic as well. Most are very young, very busy with learning their way in this business while trying to sort out their own sexualities, and generally not politically inclined. They’re extremely resistant to organization, as we’ve found to our dismay through repeated attempts to do so over the years. Morevoer, when they do step forward, as a few have on talk shows and in other mainstream media, they get beaten to pieces, much as Belladonna was by Diane Sawyer and Jenna Jameson by Bill O’Reilly. They don’t get the kind of respectful treatment APFs can always count on from fundamentally conservative news sources.

As to confronting APFs in their campus strongholds, both Nina and Ron Jeremy have done so and will continue to do so, not only because they believe in the importance of this work, but also because they have the luxury of time and the visibility that come with being senior members of the industry. Remember too that we’re involved in a much higher-stakes conflict with the feds. Come October, at least two major obscenity cases will go to trial in federal court with long prison sentences on the line should our side lose. That’s a battle outsiders don’t face and I’m sure you can understand why we conserve much of our strength for it. That’s the place where we must make our best arguments, not only for our own sakes, but for those of anyone who values freedom of expression, even that of our enemies.

No one questions your dedication or your principles and while I may respect your choice of methods and tactics, I would hope you and your friends would be open to some outside examination of the latter. We’re all seeking the same thing, but we may not agree on every article when it comes to the best method of achieving it.

And yes, Nina and I have discussed this at length and are in agreement on these issues. She will be out debating Susan Cole on college campuses this fall and will continue to take the fight wherever she can get on the field. She just leaves this part of the task to me, as we’ve found that letting her do the talking and letting me do the writing is a more effective distribution of labor. We’re on the same page as far as basic philosophy is concerned and share the same tactical perspective born of many, many years in this struggle.

In no way is this a one-sided mission. We all have contributions to make suited to our resources and beliefs. Nina and I welcome support for the cause from virtually any source. Unlike our enemies, we have no litmus test that excludes leftists, progressives, libertarians, sexual liberationists, liberals, or anyone else who embraces individual liberty.

The last thing I wish to do is add to the internal dissension within that loose coalition. I hope you and your friends will regard this as a message of solidarity and conciliation and will simply consider the practical issues I’ve raised.

Again, I’m not attacking anyone here or proposing any specific changes of approach. I’m merely offering a perspective for others to examine.


Based on that post, the links were put back up…and they remain to this day.

Later on in the thread, Ernest goes on on what he sees as one of the main problems with passive Left acceptance of antiporn propaganda:

Oh lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood…

I think it’s smashing too. Lot’s of good, thought-provoking reading and many important ideas, (and Sheldon’s too – kidding) all centralized in one place. Excellent. I wish nothing but the best for BPPA. I don’t even have to agree with everything said there to see its value.I like to think I make myself pretty clear, but sometimes I wonder if all these years of W.’s rule haven’t started to affect my relationship with the English language. Never intended to be critical of BPPA, its value or its intentions.

That said, I’m still stuck, if that’s the correct word, with my worries about what might actually be effective in countering the hammerlock that APF thinking seems to have gotten on leftist debate. By an ironic coincidence, in a completely unrelated thread in this section, Eric posts a letter he’s sent to Noam Chomsky seeking clarification of Chomsky’s denunciation of Hustler after having granted Hustler an interview.

I may not always agree with Chomsky, who was a huge presence in the left of my own radical era and remains one in the left of today, but he’s always been a man of courage and committment regardless of the waxing and waning of his popularity. I’d like to think he’d speak his mind when it comes to Hustler or pornography in general without worrying about how his comments might be received in certain quarters. And yet I’m not optimistic that Eric will get a straight answer on this one out of Chomsky – or any answer at all.

That’s what I’m really talking about on this thread. When figures of Chomky’s stature have to engage, as he did, in all kinds of backpedaling for having dared allow his words to appear in Hustler, I can’t help worrying about the APF influence on the left as a whole.

This sort of degenerated into one of those endless and useless wrangles over who is more responsible for the current state of affairs, when what I really want to hear discussed is what might be done to take back some of the ground we’ve lost. Why was there no counter-pressure from our side in the NION affair? Why did no one raise a voice in anger when KPFK devoted an hour of airtime to (using a favorite phrase of Stan Goff) San and Ann Simonton to bash Nina and subsequently refuse her even the courtesy of an explanation for refusing to allow her an on-air rebutttal? Why does the left cave so quickly to identiy politics of all kinds, this kind in particular? What is to be done if there is ever going to be a broad-based anti-war movement to resist what threatens to be a much longer and even more destructive conflict than Vietnam? Kronstadt may think the domestic anti-war movement was largely irrelevant to the outcome that time and that the NVA simply hammered the Americans on the ground, but I was here at the time and know otherwise.

For the left to regain credibility as a political force in American life, whether the issue is pornography or Iraq, it will have to address the problem of identity politics directly. No faction’s individual interests or orthodoxies can be allowed to so dominate the discussion as to exclude literally milliions of potential supporters from participation in dissent against the worst and most dangerous policies this nation has ever adopted.

I’m still waiting for anyone on the left to take on the very real issue of what to do in the face of a Supreme Court that will be hostile to civil rights cases for the rest of most of our lives. Even within our own interest group, where there was once hope that laws against so-called “adult obscenity” would be overturned by the current porn prosecutions under Lawrence v. Texas, there is now the grim realization that, should any of those prosecutions actually reach the high court, those laws will not only be upheld, but may be substantially broadened.

In short, my real complaint is that the left is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic in much the same fashion as Bush where Iraq is concerned. In both instances, a defeat of epic preportions looms with terrible human costs, and no specific means to prevent either of these related disasters has yet been put forward.

I’m not a leftist myself anymore, but I know this nation needs leftist activism now even more than it did three decades ago, and I’m not reassured by what I see so far.

Again, this is a general observation that implies no criticism of the nice folks at BPPA, any individual here or any other well-intentioned person. It’s just a lament and a plea for action where action is urgently needed.

When I have the time, I do hope to get over to BPPA and post a purely friendly and completely non-critical greeting. I can only offer my full and unconditional support to such a worthy enterprise.

Now, if somebody will tell me how we’re going to keep Rob Black and Lizzie Borden (whose work I don’t like at all but who shouldn’t be facing ruination as a result of it) from going to the pen for the rest of their lives, I’ll feel a bit better.


 Interesting and fascinating questions…anyone up to the challenge???

The Radfem Hatfields vs. The MRA Hack McCoys

Remember when I had posted on the hacking attacks and threats posted on Heart’s blog??

Well, it seems that things have blown up faster than Hurricane Katrina did in the Gulf of Mexico before devastating New Orleans.

To update so far (and you will notice that I will not provide any linkage for obvious reasons of driving any of the hacks or attacks my way, just use Google if you wish to see more):

1) Heart had attempted to place an autobiographical profile of herself based on an article that she had done for the radfem site off our backs on Wikipedia….only to be stoned when some regulars complained that it violated Wiki’s rules about degree of importance.

2) Meanwhile….Heart goes off the deep end (understandably) on the attacks on her, claiming it to be the prime example of how “yaypornies” work to destroy all women radical womyn like her. She then goes of on how she caught her young son looking at and masturbating to nekkid women, and her attempts to….well, shall we say, disuade him of that instinct. Which includes everything short of throwing out the computer.

3) Then, here comes Biting Beaver (aka BB or Beeb) into the tempest with her own story of catching her son doing the same thing….and then dropping the wish that she wished that she had never birthed him to begin with.

4) That bolt of inspiration arouses the crew at Encyclopedia Dramatica, an outfit of mostly Bevis and Butthead-grade MRA wannabes who basically get off on smacking down “political correctness”; they proceed to launch a major campaign against Heart and Beeb’s sites; up to and including DoS raids; Photoshopped images of both ladies; and the usual “feminazi”/”evol whore”/sexual innuendo rhetoric.

5) And now, they’s greatly expanded their campaign to include not only a few other radfem celebs like Luckynkl and Ginmar; but also Feministe (mostly because of a comment posted there that was critical of the lads engineering the attacks. 

Needless to say, what I said last time still applies here.  No matter how I think that Heart and Luckynkl and Ginmar and Beeb are supreme loonies and whackjobs and completely off their rockers; not even they deserve to have their private sites vandalized or to have rape threats put up against them.  And even if I do happen to think that Heart et. al.’s attempt to milk this for all the victimhood sympathy that they can muster and to rally the radfem troops to smack down the “yayporn” crowd for aiding and abetting such behavior (which is nothing less than the ultimate smear and a huge damn LIE), it still doesn’t justify any of this behavior…EVER.

So..if any of you ED loonies want to come here to bitch and moan about how your “heroic” campaign is meant only in self-defense for what Heart and Beeb said….save if for someone who actually cares. I go after ideas and acts, not people.

And for any radfem extremists on the other side who want to attempt to bait me into this: you can save your bandwidth, too. I’ve said my peace on this, and that will be all.

[Comments will remain open for this thread, but will be highly moderated for even a hint of spamming or hacking; violators will be kicked out on the spot.]

To All Hatemongering Misogynist Hacker Assholes: Just. Don’t.

Goodness knows that I have fundamental differences with the likes of Heart and the crew at I Blame The Patriarchy…and I’m not afraid to call them out here.

However…there is a fundamental line of decency and debate that everyone must respect….and that line was broken today.

Someone — probably an MRA with too much time on his hands — decided to hack into Womens’ Spaces/The Margins (Heart’s blog) and IBTP and post some particularly vile, lowdown, and threatening messages…most of which had to do with their particular rape fantasies directed towards certain women there.

Already, Heart is using this as a crutch to slander all who criticise her antiporn politics as supporting such cyberterrorism; with the usual notions that \”pro-porn\” women are untouched by such acts.

Now, I would think that Renegade Evolution and Quare Dewd and Nina Hartley (who have all suffered hackjobs at one time or another, amongst other threats) would disagree with that…but that is inmaterial right now.

Let me cut right to the chase right now and right here.

The people who did this vile hackjob will get nothing from me (and I speak for not only myself, but for all decent human beings who happen to be of our position) but the utmost contempt, derision, and unabashed repudiation of their acts.  They no more represent sex-positive feminism or sex radicalism or advocates for consensual sexual speech than neo-Nazis or White supremacists represent all White people…..and their actions should be condemned to the highest. In fact, they are the exact antithesis of what progressive sex radicalism should be.

And anyone who comes here even thinking about attempting to justify these cowardly acts will get read out of here in an instant….and I don’t mean with the proverbial can of SmackDog Whupass, but with a REAL ass kicking.

Just because I may oppose antipornfeminist theology in general does NOT mean that rampant misogyny like this is considered anywhere near acceptable. For just this once, I’m routing for Heart and Twisty to nail these ignorant suckas to the wall…and I will unabashedly offer any support to finding and catching these fools and serving justice to them as they deserve.

This shit deserves no place on the Internet…and especially not against women bloggers, whatever their ideology.  Not even Ann Coulter deserves that kind of crap.

I don’t work that way, and neither should anyone else who calls him/herself a progressive or a feminist or a radical. Anyone who does will get no love or support from this ‘Dog…but he will get a foot up his ass.

A Short Redux on Heart’s Rant, Radfem Transhate, and “Fanning the Flames”

Just a brief update on the previous fisking of Heart’s transphobic rant:

I recieved a trackback to a LiveJournal blog owned by B. C. Holmes where she linked my entry riffing on Heart’s madness…and promptly accused me of “fanning the flames”.  Her exact words, as posted at her blog:

That last link [to Heart’s original post] can be an uncomfortable read, especially for transfolk. It’s fair to say that I disagree with it. But what I want to say right now is that, generally, I think there’s a lot of fruitful stuff in the writings of radical feminism, and I’m not supportive of tarring all of radical feminism with the evil brush. (There’s a specific response, here [link to my rant] that, in my opinion, only fans the flames).

Now, I do think that B.C., from a quick glance at her blog, apperars to be a reasonable woman and a decent person who happens to be both a transperson and a feminist who does support some radfem theories. At the very least, she does tend not to be as quick to choose sides as some of the more strident followers; thusly, she does deserve the decency of proper respect for her and other radfems who don’t go as far over the cliff as the caucus of Heart/Witchy-Woo/delphyne/luckynkl/et. al.

Nevertheless, the idea that I am “fanning the flames” by calling out Heart’s BS kinda got to me enough that I posted this response over at her blog a few minutes ago:

anthonyjk_6319 wrote:

Jul. 31st, 2007 03:19 am (UTC)
Well..you are entitled to your opinion…
…and I won’t be disrespectful of it or of you.

I really don’t think, though, that my response to Heart’s madness really amounts to “fanning the flames”…at least not nearly as much than the anti-transphobic and extreme commentary over at Heart’s place already does enough of that.

No, all of radical feminism does not deserve all of the evil brush…but the particular brand of pseudo radfem theology that Heart and her followers do promote constantly at her blog certainly does, in my own opinion, cross the line of common decency several times over enough to deserve the highest of criticism and denouncement.

If that be considered “fanning the flames”, then so be it. You can’t please everyone, and sometimes you have to stand by your words. I stand by every single one….take it or leave it.

Anthony Kennerson
Founder/Owner, The SmackDog Chronicles Blog

I am more than willing to hear from D. C. and other transwomen who share her views; and I really have no beef with her or those more moderate transwomen who may the basic philosophy of feminism or even the more radical tenents thereof….after all, I’d hate on MRAs and traditional right-wingers with the same brush that I do the more strident Womynz’ Caucus when they pile their nonsense on innocent people. I will, however, stand by what I say and say what I stand by….and you are totally free to either love it, hate it, ignore it, or whatever suits your fancy.  I only speak for myself, and myself alone.

Hopefully, that clears things up a bit.

OMF’nG….Heart(less) Sweeps The Lunacy Sweepstakes…Again

Just when you think that she couldn’t find new depths of lunacy in her crusade to defend “radical feminism” from the scurge of erection-wielding men, transfolk and sexbot women, Heart(less) digs deep into her yoni (or would that be the other end??) and breaks out this nice little rant at her place against the latest in “radfem slogging” (to steal Stormy’s apt phrase) and trashing of her “critique” of transfolk who pollute her sacred womynspace.

Interpretation and added emphasis by me is included just for entertainment purposes only.

A Few Words About the Latest Round of Anti-Radical Feminist, Pro-Men’s Rights, Propaganda

A few responses to the latest anti-radical feminist tactics, screeds, attacks, propaganda:

Radical feminists are no more “transphobes” than we are “manhaters.”  To allege that we are is to indulge in sexist, misogynist, anti-feminist propaganda.   The herstoric position of radical feminism is that those who are born male into this world enjoy male privilege, for all of the years they live as males and as men.  It is never “_phobic” for an oppressed people group — which females certainly are – to castigate its oppressors, even in harsh and mean-spirited terms, with name-calling, swearing, and hyperbole.  It might be mean-spirited, we might be generalizing, we might be stereotyping, we might — and likely are — angry, but we aren’t “manhaters” because we denounce what men do or because we denounce male privilege, which again, all who are born male into the world have or have had.    Male to female transsexuals/transgendered persons have enjoyed male privilege, for all of the time that they have moved and lived in the world as males or continue to.  To call them out for their sexism whenever we see it, find it, hear of it, know of it, are targeted by it,  are impacted and affected by it  is not “transphobic.”  It is feminism.

Ahhhh…eeeeee-yah. Of course, when “radical feminist” women trash transsexuals as simply rapists and “chicks with dicks” trying to get into real womyn’s panties, it surely isn’t bigotry or hatred or even “transphobia”…it’s just decent classic feminist critique of “male privilege”. Now, the fact that most transsexuals don’t have the choice to lop off their dicks and become real womyn (not that even that would suffice in the deranged den of cobwebs that consists of Heart(less)’s brain, since only “biowomen” can be truly oppressed as women by the patriarchy), or that such “privilege” that they are alleged to retain usually comes at the steep risk of getting beaten down by other men of “privilege”, doesn’t seem to register at all with her radfem manifesto.  And besides…some of those evil transfolk happen to be born with vaginas, too; but never mind that….just having a dick makes you powerful enough. So why am I not a freakin’ millionaire, Heart, just by osmosis??

 Female-to-male transsexuals/transgendered persons are situated much differently than male-to-female transsexuals/transgendered persons.  Transmen have not enjoyed male  privilege for any of the years they lived as females and as women, and they never enjoy male privilege as men do.   When radical feminists call out transpersons, we are calling them out on their sexism.  This means that most of the time, we are calling out transwomen or trans-identified men, not transmen

Ahhh…hold up a sec……so, FTM “transmen” (I assume that Patrick (nee Pat) Califia would be an exception, because he’s against everything Heart(less) stands for), who now live as men, are exempt from being part of the evol patriarchy because they lived as women prior to their surgery and their change in sexual orientation?? But by that logic, shouldn’t they be the ultimate sellouts to womynhood for abandoning their natural “sex” and taking on that penis??? Why should they get a free ride??  Oh, and if male power is so overwhelming, then shouldn’t MTF “transwomen” actually get some credit for rejecting and repudiating such “male privilege”??  Oh, but nooooooooosiree…..it’s all about their schlongs attempting to distort and destroy the purity of natural womynspace.  Oh, and the fact that they might attempt to seduce real biowomyn in bathrooms out of the sisterhood doesn’t help their cause, either.

Were that the worst of Heart’s rant, I could barely let it slide…..but then she attempts to seperate herself and her transhating minnions from the Religious Right….and only ends up making things that much worse.

To compare radical feminists to the Religious Right is propaganda, it is a smear campaign, it is disingenuous, and it is transparently and hatefully misogynist.   Shame on “progressives” who can’t find more positive ways to articulate their perspectives than to engage in down and dirty cheap shots of this nature.

Oh, but she must be right…..I mean, giving the nod and wink to the likes of Luckynkl and MarySunshine and delphyne comparing transsexual women to evil gay men cruising public restrooms is certainly much different than the lunacies of NARTH or the ex-gays.  Really, it is. And woe to such “progressives” who simply attack the fundamentalists who rip on the perversity of “the gay/tranny lifestyle” without understanding the subtle nuance of radfem theory which is at least more “positive” in its willingness to suck up to….errrrrrr, criticize traditional conservatives for their beliefs against sexual dissidents.

I was personally put out of business by the Religious Right.  I sued eight fundamentalist organizations including several fundamentalist churches in federal court in 1997 and I won by a unanimous jury verdict.   It’s silly to attempt to lump me in with the Religious Right.   Having said that, I would much rather deal with the open and unapologetic misogyny of the Religious Right than with the veiled and unapologetic misogyny of white leftist liberal men.  At least with the Religious Right, all the cards are on the table, and I do not have to, for example, deal with someone who is calling himself a “feminist” who prostitutes women, makes, uses, or benefits from the making of pornography, and engages in other acts of male oppression and privilege while pretending to be my ally .

Translation: “No, I’m not a fundamentalist antisex hatemonger, but when fundies happen to share my fear and loathing of evil ‘white leftist liberal men’ (hey, Heart, I’m not a liberal or White; so am I exempted from your wrath??) who defend porn, prostitiution, and other evil “male oppressive” sex acts, I can work with them anytime.”

There are plenty of transgender/transsexual people who are religious fundamentalists and the Religious Right does not take any unified  or unitary position as to transgender/transsexuality.  To suggest that it does is to participate in, and be guilty of, the willful ignorance around issues of religious fundamentalism and religion in general of which far too many liberals, self-identified feminists, and “progressives” so-called are guilty, which ruins whatever shreds of credibility remain so far as the Left goes and clouds the credibility of progressive movements in general.  

Ahhhhh….I get it now; Heart’s brand of antipornradicalfeminism is really a page from her conception of the “Religious Left”; a nice means of retaining political credibility while appealing to social conservatives. But I guess that “credibility” amongst the Left can only be found by parroting the Right on social policy and making sexually Puritanical women the new vangard of the progressive movement.  Didn’t the Democratic Leadership Council already try that tact for the last 20 years, and fall flat on its face??

People need to do their homework about the Religious Right if there is to be any productive confrontation or challenge to fundamentalisms (as opposed to tickle-for-a-nickle demonizing and scapegoating).  There are female persons, girls and women, being horrifically oppressed by fundamentalist men.  They deserve and need our educated and intelligent SUPPORTWomen and girls in fundamentalist religion are not similarly situated with men in fundamentalist religion and should not be lumped in with men in fundamentalist religion.  Women in fundamentalist religion are an oppressed people group .

Yeah….Phyllis Schafly and Kathleen Parker and Mona Charen really are radicalfeminists, however they may deny it. They just don’t know it yet…because they are soooo oppressed.

Mary Daly did not “compare transsexuals with Frankenstein.”  This is a lie.

Well, we’ll just let Daly’s own words be the judge of that. From a comment (which was altered by Heart for “snarkiness”) by nexyjo, quoting directly from GYN/Ecology (pp. 70 – 71):

“Today the Frankenstein phenomenon is omnipresent not only in religious myth, but in its offspring, phallocratic technology. The insane desire for power, the madness of boundary violation, is the mark of necrophiliacs who sense the lack of soul/spirit/life-loving principle with themselves and therefore try to invade and kill off all spirit, substituting conglomerates of corpses. This necrophillic invasion/elimination takes a variety of forms. Transsexualism is an example of male surgical siring which invades the female world with substitutes.” 

[Emphasis added by me.]

Remember, this is the same Mary Daly who proposed “Misterectomy” as a cure for all of womyn’s ills.

Going back to Heart(less), who’s never, never out of control (often):

Male-to-female transsexuality/transgender is really about men’s rights.  It has nothing to do with feminism.  As such, as feminists,  just as we oppose men’s rights, in general,  we oppose this manifestation of men’s rights as well.

Because, of course, in a perfect womynhood, men would have no rights that womyn would be bound to respect…in fact, men would probably be reduced in population for the survival of the human race and the good of society in Heart’s grand vision of “progressive radicalfeminist” society. And, of course, transsexualism would not even exist, since technology and womyn’s wisdom will be able to nip any such deviancy in the bud through “natural selection”…or merely trashing “male nanates”.

And finally, Heart concludes with the grand finish:

One more.  Critiques of transgender/transsexuality are no more meant as attacks on individual transgender/transsexual persons than critiques of prostituting women are meant as attacks on prostitutes or critiques of pornography are meant as attacks on women in pornography or critiques of motherhood are meant as attacks on mothers or critiques of marriage as an institution are meant as critiques of married women or critiques of high heels are meant as critiques of those who wear them or critiques of lipstick are critiques of those who wear it or critiques of shaving are critiques of those who shave or critiques of boob jobs are critiques of those who have them, and on and on and on, infinity.   Some ought to get over themselves and learn the difference between critiques, analysis, opinions, politics and them.  I can critique the hell out of your politics and your theories and ideas and go to the mat for you,  love the hell out of you, and be willing to lay down my life for you.   This is what any mother knows.  This is what any lover knows.   If you want to know how to critique and analyze the hell out of something without making it personal, try unconditionally fucking loving somebody, would you?  Then you’ll understand.  Maybe unconditional love is just so goddamn rare right now, nobody knows what it is any more.  And if people don’t learn, then there will not be any revolution, not any time soon.

So, now, all you funk-filled bratwurst lovers, you lipstick faux-lesbians, you stripper prostitute sexbots, you patriarchy/mixed gender fuckers…listen up; Mama Heart has only your best interests at heart (sorry for the pun) when she tells you that you are betraying the sisterhood by getting those implants or dabbing on lip gloss or shaving your legs or putting on those stilettos for your oppressors. How can she show such unconditional love for you if you don’t reciprocate by adopting her ideas to the hilt?? If you’d just stop taking yourself so seriously and just give in to her and her whacked-out beliefs, then she and her Womyn Nation will love you forever and ever….and all will be right with the world. After all, it’s only analysis and science, it’s not personal.

Sure, Heart.  Nothing personal about The Bell Curve or Birth of a Nation, either.

Ann and Nancy Wilson (of the 80’s rock group Heart) oughta sue this woman for libelling their good name. Most decent progressive people should do the same out of general moral principle.

“Pro-Porn Activism”: It’s Our Time Now!!!

Ahhh, lookee here…guess who got really fed up with being misinterpreted and distorted??

And look what she has created in response??

And who in the hell is that whom she invited to guest host there?? Gee….who’d thunk it?? 😉

YeaPornies of the world, go there and unite!!!!  You have nothing to lose but your inhibitions…..and a foe of those heavy chains.

Renegade Evolution: Pro-Porn Activism

The Death Penalty For Porn Producers:The Final Frontier For Radfems??

OK….I know that it’s been a while, so I have some catching up to do…..I’ll just do as Blackamazon does so well and kinda wing it in a “whatever breezes through my mind at the moment” way.

I’ve been wanting to post on this story, because there are so many angles, both on the political and sexual fronts, that can be raised here.

Iran Approves Death Penalty for Pornogaphers
By: David Sullivan
Iran’s parliament has approved a bill that would sentence persons convicted of producing pornography to death.Lawmakers voted 148-5 with four abstentions that “producers of pornographic works and main elements in their production are considered corruptors of the world and could be sentenced to punishment as corruptors of the world.”

The “main elements in…production”*referenced in the bill include producers, directors, cameramen and actors. According to CNN, the term “corruptors of the world”*is derived from the Quran and carries a death penalty under Iran’s Islamic Penal Code.

Distributors and adult website operators could also face imprisonment and death. The bill encompasses all forms of sexually explicit media, including videos, DVDs and CDs. Pornographic books and magazines are already banned in Iran.

In order to become law, the bill must now be approved by Iran’s Guardian Council.

The bill follows in the wake of a scandal involving a pornographic video of Iranian actress Zahra Amir Ebrahimi that began circulating on the country’s black market last year. While Ebrahami has denied that she is the woman depicted in the video, she faces “fines, whip lashing or worse” for violating Iran’s morality laws. Ebrahimi’s male partner in the sex tape fled to Armenia but was later brought back to Iran, where he currently remains in jail.

The Associated Press notes that “porn material is easily accessible through foreign satellite television channels in Iran. Bootleg video tapes and CDs are also available on the black market on many street corners.”

[H/t to Ernest Greene at Nina Hartley’s forum for posting that excerpt.]

This pisses me off for several reasons, and not just the obvious ones.

First off…there is the citing of the Quran’s statement of “corruptors of the world” in supporting the death penalty, which would apply not only to producers, but also distributors, website operators, and even the  actual performers. I mean, it’s known knowledge that Islamic societies are far more conservative and restictive when it comes to sexuality….but to go as far as to seek the freakin’ DEATH PENALTY for acts of private consensual sex??? I would think that that would run the risk of playing into the very scapegoat of “Islamofascism” that those who seek to topple that government would use to justify their actions.

And what would that say for those on the opposite side of the political equation: those on the political Left who have basically laid themselves down in defense of the ruling Iranian government of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against those who favor toppling his rule?? I especially point to some American leftist women like Yoshie Furuhashi, who has been the most consistent defender of Ahmadinejad as an anti-interventionist and a revolutionary populist…..on occasion conviently glossing over the more reactionary social policies and gross anti-feminism that underlies his fundamentalism. She may be an extreme example of the boosting of fundamentalist Islam as populism and a acceptable alternative to “liberal interventionism”, but she is hardly alone.

Now, I happen to be a staunch anti-interventionist, and I will no more support invading Iran merely because the ruling government happens to be run by a bunch of misogynist thugs using religion to support their power trips, than I would have supported invading Iraq merely because Saddam was a butcher with a secret porn fetish. But….it does bother me more than a bit that so many Leftists are so willing to sacrifice even their own principles to defend “the enemies of our enemies”.

This isn’t to say that the fawning of “Cruise Missile Leftists” who exploit such issues as this to push for mass invasions are any better or worthy of my support, either; it’s just that perhaps we might be willing to acknowledge that merely opposing something without understanding clearly who we are standing with and standing for does make for some dangerous alliances that could easily wreck even the most careful  organized progressive movement.

The other angle in this that gets to me is something pointed out by Ernest Greene in his post at Nina’s forum; it is a standard theme of his regarding the unholy alliance between fundamentalists and radicalfeminists on the subjects of porn and sexuality:

Now while I’m sure they’d deny it loudly, anti-porn feminists undoubtedly take some glee in the notion of pornographers being executed. Anyone who has spent much time at The Den of the Biting Beaver or read Andrea Dworkin’s “novel” Mercy, which extolls the virtues of murdering male derelicts as a form of protest against the patriarchy has some idea of the depth of homicidal loathing these fanatics feel toward pornographers.However, in their delight at the prospect of smut-peddler’s heads being lopped off, they might have overlooked a significant detail from the story above, which is that the first target of the Iranian death-for-porn law just happens to be a woman.

Societies that suppress pornography most brutally are the very societies that suppress the rights of women most brutally as well. This is a lesson that any American feminist traveling in the Third World is all too likely to learn first hand. But then, since most of them prefer the comforts of Wheelock College, with its $36K per year tuition and, its tenured professorships for porn-bashing paranoids and its cozy conferences dedicated to denouncing the evils of sexual liberalism at which no opposing voices are allowed a hearing, they needn’t have their sleep troubled by such contradictions.

That last sentence is directed towards Dr. Gail Dines, one of the main antipornradicalfeminist activist voices.

Again, I recognize that not even all APRF’s will go as far as to support something as extreme as the death penalty for (male) porn producers or consumers; but it does seem for some of the more strident activists (*cough* SamHeart(less)GayleStormCloudBitingBeaverWitchyWoo*cough*) that if they are serious enough about their advocacy that porn consumption amounts to nothing less than the total abuse of women and the gateway to rape and rapicity, then why wouldn’t they carry their arguments to the logical conclusion?? Of course, they would have to sustain some deniability to seperate themselves from the Religious Right…but I wouldn’t think that that wouldn’t stop them from at least looking the other way at such a solution.

All this is a segue into the rumble currently going on at Feministe, where Roy originally posted how news of the Iranian proposed death penalty law (and an associated post by Trinity at The Strangest Alchemy) gave him a totally new perspective on things:

 I sat there at my desk, talking about sex workers and sex work and porn like they were abstractions… but they’re not, and mythago rightly called me on my shit. It took me a while to realize that, but it was a totally fair criticism. My sitting there saying that stats show this and stats show that and look how many sex workers were this or that… none of that helps them now, and talk like that does make me more likely to find myself allied with religious conservatives who have a “moral interest” in condemning sex work… and sex workers. And that’s the thing that mythago knew when posting that “Mackinnon and Dworkin made the silly assumption that their anti-feminist allies on the right would see their point of view, and apply protectionist ideas in a way that would help women instead of as a way to control women” and that trinityva was getting at when posting “often even “enlightened” people here who object to porn for the “right” reasons are willing to form alliances with those who oppose it for reasons of “religious morality”.”And when I allow myself to ally with questionable or even flat-out bad groups, I have to accept that the damage they do in the name of our cause is damage that I’m contributing to. I can’t wash my hands of the harm that my allies do if they’re doing the damage in the name of our mutual cause. If I’m rallying behind the cry of “PORN HARMS ALL WOMEN!” and I allow myself to get backing from a group that’s adding “BECAUSE DIRTY SLUTS ABUSE SEX!” then aren’t I at least somewhat culpable? Because, ultimately, don’t my actions help further that cause, as well? And doesn’t that mean that the damage they’re doing is to some extent, on my hands?

Because those people have made it absolutely clear that they don’t care about the women involved. They’re not working to help end the abuse of sex workers. They’re not condemning poor working conditions. They’re not working to help sex worker’s rights. They’re not even remotely interested in making sure that their voices get heard. They’re interested in keeping the whores out of their neighborhoods.

For the record, here’s what Trin posted:

Now this is Iran and not here. But I do want to post it, as I do think that it’s important to remember that in many parts of the world, including here, a lot of the objection to pornography IS a deep-seated fear of corruption or contamination. And a goodly bit of the opposition is religious. As a few kerfuffles I’ve posted about here have cast into relief, often even “enlightened” people here who object to porn for the “right” reasons are willing to form alliances with those who oppose it for reasons of “religious morality”.While this does have limited relevance to the US or even the UK, I think it helps to notice the strain of thinking that does look at porn this way. (It’s also worrisome to write this off, IMO, because we run the risk of doing that typical White US-ian “oh, we’re so much more EVOLVED than THOSE (brown) people!”)

We often like very much to hide behind veneers of theory. And to many of us: why shouldn’t we? We live in a wealthy country. Many of us are white, middle class, highly educated, comfortable. It’s very easy for us to think that we can dismantle an industry through “radical” means, at which point anyone formerly “enslaved by” it has a better life, presto change-o.

Too often our “radical” dreams can’t be achieved without nasty alliances. And too often we think of our “radical”ness and our “revolutionariness” and ignore what we deem collateral damage.

It didn’t work in the Iraq War. Why should it work in the Vice War either?

The subsequent thread went haywire when the usual suspects (read, Sam and gayle) decided to intervene with a defense of the “Swedish model” of controlling prostitiution, among other distractions…but that is a different story for another time.

But, it does go to show that in our efforts to dive in head first into any given controversy, we sometimes forget to understand exactly who we are diving with. The enemy of your enemy today could well turn out to become your enemy tomorrow…which is why it’s best to stick to principles as much as humanly possible.

As for me, I see no conflicts whatsoever between not supporting the ruling government of Iraq and simultaneously opposing a military invasion of that country by others.  In the end, the same rule of self-determination that defends individual sexual autonomy (whether it be for LGBT’s, feminists, or porn) applies just as much for whole countries resisting war and imperialism.  Ultimately, Iranians must decide what government they want, not the US….and certainly not by bombing them into submission. If you are that opposed to their sexual fascism as I am, then the better solution is to offer those women and men facing such repression a place of sanctuary until the laws are changed to reflect some decency and common sense.

As the old saying goes: An eye for an eye ultimately ends up blinding everyone.

While RadRightFems Pontificate, Nina Educates

The following is a passage excerpted from the Introduction of Nina Hartley's latest book, Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex. Although the book as a whole is more of an "how to" guide on manuevering through the maze of roses and thorns and ultimate pain and pleasure that is human sexuality; this particular excerpt is where Nina lays out her basic philosophy of sexual freedom from a definite progressive, sex-positive feminist, and sexual liberationist perspective. I post this as a response to all those who continue to insist that those of us who call ourselves "sex-positive" are simply the negation of those we call "sex-negative".

Sexual Liberation: In and Out of Fashion but Always in Style (pp. 5-9)

If there is one thing we've all found out during the past half-century, it's that sex doesn't exist in a political vacuum.  As a woman and a feminist, I developed my own sexual politics from the ideas of others and my own life experiences.  They're simple in theory but not always easily applied.  They require rigorous honesty and a willingness to learn.  I believe the body's innate capacity to experience sexual pleasure is an inherent good, requiring no validation by external authority, but I also understand its power commands respect.  My core position is that, between consenting adults, nothing short of physical harm is forbidden, no form of sexual activity inherently immoral.  For that to be true, consent has to be real.  Consent is not the absence of "no." It is a statement of shared intent that must be continually renewed.  Every party to an act must fully understand and wilingly choose to participate.  Within these parameters, all choices should be honored.  That's been my message for more than twenty years, and I'm sticking to it.

These beliefs have broad implications from which I don't shy away.  I believe that all womnen must have complete access to the full spectrum of reproductive choice.  Without control over fertility, women cannot be equal partners in sexual self-realization, as nature makes the stakes so much higher for us.  I believe all consenting adults have the right to private pleasure without fear of government intrusion or hostile social scrutiny.  As you would expect, I consider the viewing of erotic materials part of that sacrosanct zone of private pleasure.  I do not believe that all sexual relationships are, or should be, struggles for political power.  We all have a say in how political we allow the personal to be.

Sexual liberation requires that we take full responsibility for our actions and that no outside agency or church, state, or social organization should be allowed to do that for us.   I believe that sexual jealousy is not "natural" but learned and that it can also be unlearned. I believe that we each have within us all the love and joy we need (with plenty left over to share with others), and that only fear and conditioning prevent us from accessing those feelings.  I believe that our bodies and our feelings, if honored and trusted, can lead us to our best lives, despite our diverse backgrounds.  I realize that these ideas have been vigorously challenged from many quarters.  Though I've submitted my own thinking to the test of daily life and the ongoing examination of what Zen calls "the beginner's mind," I remain an unabashed sexual liberationist in the broadest sense.  My agenda is not hidden.

Sex, in its purely physical expression, has no intristic meaning.  We, as adults, must give it meaning each and every time we choose to be intimate with one another.  The beauty of the body is that it has its own wisdom, its own language, and its own timetable.  Physiology has no "right" or "wrong."  Friction on the flesh produces the release of neurotransmitters that, in turn, stimulate regions of the brain.  Our skin is our largest organ.  Not only does it keep our insides in and pathogens out; it also transmits sensations….and some square inches are more sensitive to attention than others.  Caring touch keeps infants healthy, and lack of touch will create a condition called "failure to thrive," a potentially life-threatening syndrome most commonly seen in institutionalized children….though it can occur in any child lacking adequate care.

Only though touch do we learn at the most basic, nonverbal level that we are loved, safe, and important to our caregivers.  How we are touched in infancy and early childhood directly affects the development of our brains, particularly the ability to form healthy attachments in later life.  It's not just essential in childhood; we need it all through life.  In adulthood, one form that need takes is erotic desire.  It's inevitable, eternal, purposeful, and precious.  It's also anarchic, distracting, subversive, and frequently quite selfish.

Every culture has rules and limitations surrounding sexual behavior, though we often fail to take that into account when our own choices are in question.  In our search for personally satisfying erotic lives, we must understand how the culture of our childhood affects us today.  Was it particularly modest? Free and open about nudity? Judgmental of unconventional sexualities? Shame based? Fear based? Did it stress comformity or encourage individuality?

All through life, emotional connection starts with physical contact, through the dominant "romantic" conception of relationships as constructed by our culture insists otherwise.  When we open up our exploration of sex, we find it infinitely more complex and nuanced than we ever imagined.  Many forces are in play when we allow ourselves to be sexual, and we need to be aware of their influences.  While sex itself may be "natural," in humans, all sexual behavior is learned.

In order to be whole, we can and must learn what kind of sexual expression is authentic for us and own it, choose for ourselves what restraints to put on it, and ultimately make peace with it.  I believe that this happens anyway, whether conscious or not….which is why consciousness is so important.  Human beings  have proven miraculously resistant to ferocious external pressures on their sexuality.  Western civilization has inveighed against the sinful excesses of sexuality for centuries and seen no reduction in them whatsoever.  Clearly, like it or not, individual sexual choice will always be in individual hands….and that's exactly where I think it belongs.  I put my faith in the basic good intentions and good sense of human beings when it comes to sex.

It's worth every tear, every struggle, and every heartache to make peace with our sexual selves, even if we never choose to share our bodies.  When we are truly centered in this way, we no longer fear the opinions of others or need to judge what others do.  Our first and most important relationship is that with ourselves, and coming to terms with our bodies is the cornerstone of that relationship.  Grounded in self-acceptance, we can build healthy relationships based on love and respect instead of desperation and deceit.  There is so much more on the line than momentary pleasure.  When total sex is a legitimate end to itself, its most important function is as a strong foundation for emotional intiimacy.  That is its ultimate satisfaction.

When I talk about "total sex," I don't just mean "totally hot sex" or "totally rockin' sex," though these are certainly desirable goals in themselves.  I mean sex that involves us totally, encompassing all the biological and emotional forces at work inside that remarkably sensitive envelope through which we feel the physical world. 

That's the kind of sex I've learned to have….and you can, too.

[Slight varations in syntax by me, but the words are all Nina's, posted with her permission.
Copyright 2006 Avery Press, with addition permission from Nina Hartley/Ira S. Levine]

And they say that all we care about are our erections and "moist pussies"?? Ahhhh…yeah.


A Hater Bigot At The Hands Of A Pissed-Off Henchwoman

Oh..but you just HAVE to go over to Renegade Evolution’s blog today, and read where she just broke off Witchy-Woo in the proper way.

Apparantly, W-W, in all her finest arrogant assholery, decided to post a comment in this thread in defense of the manager at the domestic violence shelter who decided that Ren wasn’t good enough to volunteer there due to her chosen profession as a sex worker. An excerpt of one of the jucier bits:


2. Many of the resident women and children are seeking safety from the effects of what you do – the effects that it has on their own lives. Sexual violence? Ever heard that that ‘fun’ thing you do has repercussions on the real lives of real women (and children)? Well, yes, I know you have because I’ve told you. 

As the manager of a Women’s Refuge (shelter) there’s no way I’d accept a pornography performer as a volunteer because pornography harms women and anyone who has women’s interests at heart would know that. Ergo: porn performers have a somewhat different agenda. Refuges (shelters) don’t exist to help the volunteer’s feel good – we exist to help stop women and children from being killed and to enable their recovery process.

Perhaps the former director’s boundaries were a tad blurred – whatever, I don”t know – but, for all your suck-up’s, saying “asshole – how awful for you”, maybe you should prioritise the life-safety of abused women and children above the needs of a comfortable and wealthy prostitute who has no idea of the damage she does to other real live women…Totally behind the new shelter manager – that’s how things should be done – if you’re a feminist with women’s interests in mind.

Feel free to note the “I’ve told you” bit…as if W-W has, by self-decree of her being a radicalfeminist, given herself the all the powers of presuming to represent all of womanhood in her reading the Scarlet Letter of “slut” and “sexbot” onto Ren…and her dictates that even all the good that she has done can’t erase the permanant taint of her apparant stain of being a porn performer and a sex worker….which, in W-W’s twisted mind, automatically disqualifies Ren from ever blackening the doors of any true “feminist” women’s shelter.

And of course, there’s the usual explicit vent (quite unlike the implicit, thinly-veiled assaults of alisalives, if you will remember) that by virtue of her mere existence and her profession, Ren and any other sex worker who does not completely dance in total unity to the radicalfeminist antiporn hymnal, is responsible for all the evil acts that men impose on women for all eternity.

And…”comfortable and wealthy prostitute”.  Goodness, is Ren hiding her mansion from us??

Anyways…after removing the knife from her back (since W-W had been previously playing the moderate “good cop” role in the side while folks like StormCloud and Heart and delphyne launched the real stinkbombs), Ren went on full “red alert rage” mode and read the full Riot Act at W-W. 


And to think I EVER considered you someone worth making bonds with…Here’s the deal, Witchy. I never told, she fucking asked. I worked my fucking ass off at that shelter, and MY EVIL male driver sent a few abusive male boyfriends, ex’s, pimps and whomevers on their way AWAY from those women. AND FUCK YOU, you think what you do and say doesn’t have repercussions on me, on Kim, on Amber, good women all shot to shit by things you’ve said? Don’t talk fucking woman-hating without looking in the goddamn mirror. Shit, you, someone I actually DARED to believe in as a damn middle ground burned me on feminism, period. I never DID this to feel good about myself, Witchy, you fucking forget that I WAS ABUSED, but by a WOMAN so I guess that was okay? That does not MATTER? I had no help, I grew up with not a whole lot and no one was there to HELP me when I needed it? When my arm was a mess of bloody burns or when MY ribs were broken AND MAYBE I want to help people because NO one was there to help me?

SO NO, WITCHY, FUCK YOU. I have HAD it with this…I grew up with NOTHING, in case you fucking MISSED that, and I want to help people, and more than ANYTHING I am damn burned that you DARE speak ill of the old director, Vi, who, sorry, unless you have LIVED in DC…well, cupcake, you have NO idea of what you speak.


All your fucking work? Shit, woman, I spent time in Kenya setting up space for raped children and OTHER abused people, I’ve marched on DC, I’ve helped women who do not enjoy the work I do out of the business, and I’ve fucking cleaned blood and grey matter of of floors where I would one day sleep….so don’t you tell me. Don’t you ever tell me ever again. I do what I do because I have to, I want to, and it’s right, everything I do. So no…don’t you tell me.Unless It is to say what a fucking FOOL I was for EVER believing in YOU.

You know…if people fascist, sex-hating smug asshats like Witchy-Woo are the future of feminism, then I may have to do as Queer Dewd ended up doing and just say: “Fuck feminists”.  (And not in the sex-positive meaning of that phrase, either.)