I’ve not really had a lot to say about porn culture before now. However after sitting back and listening to the debate I’ve finally made a conclusion about its legitimacy in our society.
Pornography, it seems to me at least is split into two main categories.
Consensual and non-consensual. I do see a difference between being on the cover of play boy and being in a Japanese rape porn. The difference itself is of course consent.
Porn culture is actively tearing down the line of consent. And this is the problem. What we are witnessing in porn today is a total dehumanization of women. What the porn industry knows is that people become desensitized to that which is thrust in our faces. So tastes develop. Any study of pornography on the Internet will show you that violence themed content is overwhelming.
When this line blurs so does the humanity of women. Consent is the corner stone of our precarious ‘equality’. We should not deny this. We should also not deny that pornography is shaping our individual sexual tastes and preferences. If we deny this we are simply accepting our objectification.
So yes I see a difference between playboy and extreme pornography. But the line is imaginary. The industry is the same. Instant gratification and detachment. A detachment from reality, from life and from consent.
Feminism has to threaten this, challenge it. Porn won’t go away. Its not leaving. It makes me sad to see young women being fed into this machine. Men turn girls into objects and screen it for the pleasure of the viewer. And there will always be people who believe that there is legitimacy in that, but there isn’t. There can’t be. We’re in a new era of porn. It’s not nude women posing by the pool. Or wearing bathing suits. No pizza boys, hairy vaginas or amateur penis. Just vicious slapping, screaming, gagging, pissing and crying.
Surely even the women who champion porn cannot attempt to legitimize that.
Depression is humiliating. It turns intelligent, kind people into zombies who can’t wash a dish or change their socks. It affects the ability to think clearly, to feel anything, to ascribe value to your children, your lifelong passions, your relative good fortune. It scoops out your normal healthy ability to cope with bad days and bad news, and replaces it with an unrecognizable sludge that finds no pleasure, no delight, no point in anything outside of bed. You alienate your friends because you can’t comport yourself socially, you risk your job because you can’t concentrate, you live in moderate squalor because you have no energy to stand up, let alone take out the garbage. You become pathetic and you know it. And you have no capacity to stop the downward plunge. You have no perspective, no emotional reserves, no faith that it will get better. So you feel guilty and ashamed of your inability to deal with life like a regular human, which exacerbates the depression and the isolation.
Depression is humiliating.
If you’ve never been depressed, thank your lucky stars and back off the folks who take a pill so they can make eye contact with the grocery store cashier. No one on earth would choose the nightmare of depression over an averagely turbulent normal life.
It’s not an incapacity to cope with day to day living in the modern world. It’s an incapacity to function. At all. If you and your loved ones have been spared, every blessing to you. If depression has taken root in you or your loved ones, every blessing to you, too.
Depression is humiliating.
No one chooses it. No one deserves it. It runs in families, it ruins families. You cannot imagine what it takes to feign normalcy, to show up to work, to make a dentist appointment, to pay bills, to walk your dog, to return library books on time, to keep enough toilet paper on hand, when you are exerting most of your capacity on trying not to kill yourself. Depression is real. Just because you’ve never had it doesn’t make it imaginary. Compassion is also real. And a depressed person may cling desperately to it until they are out of the woods and they may remember your compassion for the rest of their lives as a force greater than their depression. Have a heart. Judge not lest ye be judged.
It continues to exist. We all see it. We close our eyes to it because we believe it no longer impacts us, it impacts the other. Don’t be blind, don’t be ignorant. It’s a human responsibility to be aware. Just acknowledge it.
triguenaista asked: I wish you'd update/post more frequently. I really enjoy your posts/thoughts.
Thank you :) that means a lot. I try not to blog unless I have something to say lol
The personal is political
This is a global truth. Just as we are a global community of humanity. We need to identify as such. Today is about the modern slave trade. Did you know white ladies that while you bemoan your husbands use of prostitutes in terms which seem to indicate that you see them as the enemy, many of them have more significant enemies than you? Are you aware that trafficked women are taken into every western country on earth and abused until their economic worth is no longer, at which point they become disposable? - to white middle class women who choose to enter prostitution. I respect your choice to use your body as a commodity. I will not judge you, but ask you to question the interaction of trafficking and slavery in your industry. Can you be sure that your wealthy white client has never raped an underage girl in Asia. Can you be sure that your services are the only ones he desires? Can you be sure that the place in which you work has never coerced a girl? Can you be sure that you have never crossed paths with an abused woman without choice? - Scarlett alliance is obviously an important political network and has produced information on this subject for various governmental inquiries and bodies, and yet they are sometimes attacked for being too pro sex work. The personal is political and they are a political body who deals with the most personal of all, the commodification of the human body. I respect them. The question for me is what is it that encourages the woman who say they have complete autonomy in this industry to see it as a viable career, or even a possibility, in the very beginning. Is it an instinctive desire or and this may be where I loose some people, an immersion in patriarchal ”sex positivity”. As girls we see sex, and know from the beginning that it can be bought and sold. And we accept this. It is a normative transaction. We don’t only sell sex for money though, women are taught to sell it for love, for favour, for self preservation. Women in the sex industry, I dont want to judge you, because the P is beyond the reach of any of us. But would it be possible to say that while your choice is your own, and while it is your autonomous right to be part of it, there is in the beginning a patriarchal agenda established which has been there long before you and will be there long after you?
Love is not ordinarily a topic I would write about, it lives on the side of emotive thought that I’m not entirely comfortable with.
Love has always seemed like a process of weakness.
Perhaps this is my weakness.
When we discuss feminism and love we enter an interesting area of thought and when we discuss global feminism and love we enter a realm of confusion and doubt.
Love in its western form is a western ideal.
It seems to me a selfish concept.
Romeo and Juliet for instance.
Anybody who has read this play can tell you that it is not a love story.
It is a warning about childhood passion.
It takes children, who fraught with confusion and passion destroy each other, because they know nothing about life. They both exist in a world of privilege, or exhaustive desire. And this passion is the desire they cannot achieve.
I question the types of love that can exist.
Is western love and the process the only kind of right love?
Can an arranged marriage bring love and union?
Can plural marriage bring about love and union?
Can abstinence bring love and union?
Is love about passion or something more meaningful?
I don’t have the Answers.
Is love even a real emotion?
Or a concept sold to us in order to keep us subjected to base desire?
A greeting card ideal?
Love. An enigma.
The only thing I know is that no one can judge how this is displayed,
Except when the power dynamic is skewed.
Power is control and the only thing I can be sure of, is that love, cannot exist when one controls another.
Does popularity of concept create shifts in attitude? Perhaps. I would like to think so, the rising popularity of any idea can create real shifts in vocabulary and thought. Even if this is so small that it makes someone think twice about the words they say, it’s a start. Maybe celebrity culture has a role to play in the advancement of attitudes towards women and feminism.
So global feminists, you know the drill question men about their own societies. 9 Saudi men. In my lounge room. The brilliant result of university living. 3 hours of debate, a couple of actually interesting discussions with boys who believe in a democracy with women’s rights, a couple who stick to saudi religious rulings and some who kept their mouths shut understandably about the political situation.
Of most importance was the boy who told me that Saudi reform is for the media and if they want real female inclusion they would become a democracy and respect womens rights.
I feel like this is important. I’ve spoken to at lease 3 Saudi men who talk about not wanting to raise their daughters in such a conservative society. Please read some blogs and dialogue from Saudi women.
X this global rad fem.