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EmetShamash
10-24-2004, 05:38 AM
I have been reading Carol Adams book: Neither Man nor Beast
http://www.triroc.com/caroladams/
She is the greatest writter on the friggin planet as far as I can see right now! She makes the most hard hitting connectionsbetween our abuse of animals, women, and all other minorities. She is so cool! Here is a good review of a similar book by her.

The Sexual Politics of Meat, by Carol Adams
"Look at that piece of meat!"

This sentence could have two alternate meanings; the speaker might be alluding to a delicious meal placed on the dinner table. Likewise, the phrase might refer to a woman deemed attractive in a purely sexual sense.

According to Carol J. Adams, these two interpretations are not so different after all. In her in-depth analysis, "The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory," Adams reveals the link between abuse toward women and abuse toward animals. Adams points out the necessary correlation that has existed for centuries between meat-eating and power, stretching back to the kings of Medieval England and beyond. Meat, she affirms, has become "masculine," whereas vegetables - and vegetarianism - have consequently been labeled weak and "feminine."

It is no accident, in Adams' mind, that the language surrounding the sexual domination over women so closely mirrors that of the butchering of animals, and vice versa. Her book focuses an unflinching eye at the depths to which these parallels run, and what this association means for the way our society regards those who are in places of powerlessness: the female and the animal. Every time we sit down to consume meat, she argues, we are re-inscribing male power and mirroring the patriarchal culture that allows us to see not a dead animal, but an appetizing meal.

A fascinating look at the pervasiveness of violence towards the weak in whatever form, "Sexual Politics" is a must-read for anyone who is passionate about feminist or animal-rights issues. Indeed, the extent to which Adams insists that the two are intertwined provides a way to reject a male world that objectifies both animals and women. Vegetarianism becomes more than a personal decision, emerging as the political choice to "Eat Rice Have Faith in Women."

--Reviewed by Rebecca Lemaitre


Review Link (http://www.mencanstoprape.org/info-url2699/info-url_show.htm?doc_id=176758)

Stitches
10-25-2004, 12:18 AM
"Living Among Meat Eaters" is pretty good, too.

Dave Noisy
10-25-2004, 07:45 PM
Look at all the closet vegetarians.. =)

EmetShamash
10-26-2004, 02:31 AM
I actually just started that one (Living Among Meat Eaters) and I love how she says that corpse eaters are just "blocked vegetarians" that the more defensive they are about their consumption of flesh the more they really want to give it up.

vegporn
10-26-2004, 08:22 PM
It deserves mentioning that Carol Adams is of a very outdated school of "feminism". Her anti-porn, anti-sex worker, anti-queer, and anti-trans views are horrible and personally offensive, and it's sad that she gets so much attention.

If you're interested in some more forward-thinking (and fun!) feminist vegan sexual politics, give Mirha Soleil Ross a read:

http://www.satyamag.com/oct03/ross.html
http://www.animal-lib.org.au/more_interviews/mirha/
http://www.vegporn.com/article/yapping.html
http://www.vegporn.com/articles.html (Links at the top to mp3s of a radio show I did with her, talking about sex, porn, feminism, and animal rights.)
http://www.vegporn.com/gsprout.html

VeganKen
10-26-2004, 09:54 PM
It deserves mentioning that Carol Adams is of a very outdated school of "feminism". Her anti-porn, anti-sex worker, anti-queer, and anti-trans views are horrible and personally offensive, and it's sad that she gets so much attention.

Really? I knew that she had some outmoded ideas but I had no idea she was that bad. Any links to articles or anything? I enjoyed reading "Living Among Meat-Eaters". Some of her suggestions have been helpful to me in dealing with people in food type situations.

Stitches
10-26-2004, 11:16 PM
If you're interested in some more forward-thinking (and fun!) feminist vegan sexual politics, give Mirha Soleil Ross a read:

http://www.satyamag.com/oct03/ross.html
http://www.animal-lib.org.au/more_interviews/mirha/
http://www.vegporn.com/article/yapping.html
http://www.vegporn.com/articles.html (Links at the top to mp3s of a radio show I did with her, talking about sex, porn, feminism, and animal rights.)
http://www.vegporn.com/gsprout.html

Thanks for that, vegporn!

EmetShamash
10-28-2004, 12:56 AM
:o So far I have not read anything of hers that is very anti-porn or sexworker and she certainly is not anti-queer or trans! If I am wrong I want to know so please enlighten me on this because so far I have been nothing but entranced by her work. I think that it is important to be critical of the porn and sexworker trade so that people are not taken advantage of and yes I think that many are. There is a large amount of slavery in the world sexworker industry. Use of animals in porno is obviously rape. Anything I have read from her writtings has no mention of the inherent wrong in porno and sexwork. Thanx for the links as well I am just recently getting into learning about this stuff. If you have any more recomendations for learning of feminist theory I would be interested in your opinion.

Tracy G
10-28-2004, 11:40 AM
Vegporn can probably answer this better than me, since I haven't read any of Carol Adams' work. But if you're curious, here are some interviews (http://www.triroc.com/caroladams/ancillary/interviews.htm) in which Adams expresses her viewpoint of pornography. For people who don't want to read through the whole thing, here's a quote from that link which seems to sum it all up: "Well, I always knew that I felt pornography was wrong." And I can certainly understand Vegporn's reaction to Adams' viewpoint when Adams has taken this stance: "I abhor the alliance of any animal advocacy with pornography."

Dave Noisy
10-29-2004, 01:34 AM
Link didn't work Tracy...i'd like to see more on what Adams has to say...

Tracy G
10-29-2004, 09:18 AM
Thanks for the heads-up, Dave Noisy! Yeah, it looks like Carol Adams did a major update/redesign of her website yesterday, so my link is already out-of-date. Sorry about that. It once went to a page that was indexed at the same link which EmetShamash gave in the first post.

But never fear. The interviews are still at the site; they're just broken up into individual pages. Here's a new link to the page containing both quotes: interview six (http://www.triroc.com/caroladams/interview6.html).

Rosemary
10-29-2004, 08:42 PM
Carol Adams recently had a whole anti-porn book published! (The Pornography of Meat).

In Neither Man nor Beast, as I recall, there was a ridiculous essay attempting to equate pornography with vivisection, something about the "arrogant male eye" (I can't find my copy right now.)

kikkert
12-15-2004, 02:59 PM
I respect Carol Adams a great deal and have had the pleasure of speaking with her, a surreal conversation about my life and work in which she told me she was honored to speak with me. She is a very intelligent and compassion human being and has made great strides for both women and animals.

Reading the Sexual Politics of Meat was a turning point for me as a feminist.... I had already considered myself a feminist and was an AR activist and vegan. But reading her work, and others, during a women's studies class in college truly opened my eyes.

As for porn, I am disturbed by the number of feminists who promote it thinking that they are empowering women by doing so. I used to be one of them, so that compounds my outrage. Visit this link. http://www.skk.uit.no/WW99/papers/Russell_Diana_E_H.pdf. Then search for a copy of her book in a college library and check it out. (warning: I was in shock after I read it, or more accurately looked at the photos and cartoons, and I am certainly no nun.) Sex and erotica are one thing - pornography is a whole other socially complex issue that goes far beyond being casually called harmless.

lilac wine
12-16-2004, 02:38 PM
If you're interested in some more forward-thinking (and fun!) feminist vegan sexual politics, give Mirha Soleil Ross a read:

http://www.satyamag.com/oct03/ross.html
http://www.animal-lib.org.au/more_interviews/mirha/
http://www.vegporn.com/article/yapping.html
http://www.vegporn.com/articles.html (Links at the top to mp3s of a radio show I did with her, talking about sex, porn, feminism, and animal rights.)
http://www.vegporn.com/gsprout.html

Thank you so much for mentioning this!
I have seen Carol Adams a few times and read 2 of her books and got a lot out of them in terms of thinking about the way language and images are manipulated similarly in the case of representation (specifically by males generally of a certain demographic for profit) of non-human animals and women.

But I totally agree with your above points and have the same issues with "radical feminism" or whatever you want to call it. Radical? It's hardly progressive enough when it reduces. overlooks, and/or dismisses so many relevant gender and sexuality issues. I could go on and on, but I'll leave it at, "Thanks!" and "Yeeeeeha!"

I read through some of Mirha's writing/interviews and I am very impressed. I'll definitely be scouting for more from her. Have you seen the G-SPrOuTs movie? I'm thinking of ordering it.

vegporn
12-27-2004, 10:51 PM
As for porn, I am disturbed by the number of feminists who promote it thinking that they are empowering women by doing so. I used to be one of them, so that compounds my outrage. Visit this link. http://www.skk.uit.no/WW99/papers/Russell_Diana_E_H.pdf. Then search for a copy of her book in a college library and check it out. (warning: I was in shock after I read it, or more accurately looked at the photos and cartoons, and I am certainly no nun.) Sex and erotica are one thing - pornography is a whole other socially complex issue that goes far beyond being casually called harmless.

Oh, please, go on! There's nothing I love more than being told by others how I feel and what motivates me. "Feminism" is all about protesting and censoring the sexual choices of women, right? :rolleyes:

Debating with anti-porners like you is so boring, though.

It's always a bunch of condescending, detached generalizations. And it is always coming from people who have absolutely nothing to do with the adult industry. I've never been treated as disrepectfully in my 2.5 years in porn as I have been by your statement, and those similar to it. You're looking down your nose at other women and discarding their own experiences in favor of your preconceived morals, and that is not what my brand of "feminism" is about.

Plenty of us women are very happy with our careers in the adult industry, and we don't need a bunch of armchair pseudo-feminists telling us how we're supposed to feel and how oppressed we are, so please stick to matters you have experience with.

If you are concerned about us poor dumb whores, how about doing something productive like donating to the St. James Infirmary, which provides free medical and other services to sex workers: http://www.stjamesinfirmary.org/

"40 Reasons Why Whores Are My Heroes" by Annie Sprinkle: http://www.anniesprinkle.org/html/writings/whores_heroes.html

vegporn
12-27-2004, 11:00 PM
I read through some of Mirha's writing/interviews and I am very impressed. I'll definitely be scouting for more from her. Have you seen the G-SPrOuTs movie? I'm thinking of ordering it.

I invited her to come to this thread and talk about her experiences with (anti-queer, anti-trans) Carol Adams, but she's simply to busy with school and other projects.

G-SPrOuT is a great little film, I first saw it a few years ago, and my copy is currently listed as "lost" because I was loaning it and it's now missing. I'd love to have Mirha-Soleil and Mark on my site, so we'll see how that goes. :D

grog
12-28-2004, 12:09 AM
If you are concerned about us poor dumb whores, how about doing something productive like donating to the St. James Infirmary, which provides free medical and other services to sex workers

Whoring? Free health care? Sounds like a great career move. I'll look into soon after I check out panhandling.

But seriously, lets play nice.

It would be nice to see some relevant commentary on distinguishing between crack whores in detroit getting hooked on heroin by pimps and beaten daily, as opposed to people who just sell dirty pictures.

Encouraging men to see women as objects (talking m-f porno here) is pretty much all that happens when men watch porn.

On the other hand, women who *realize* that and control it, certainly can make a happy career out of it, since men are easy to exploit for money in that sense.

Is it worth the price to all the other woman who aren't making a buck and are getting further repressed? Is a sister selling a sister out in this case?

I think its too large a debate to generalize, on one side or the other, myself, but I'm curious as to others thoughts.

skewfield
12-28-2004, 12:28 AM
what about gay porn?

vegporn
12-28-2004, 03:34 AM
Whoring? Free health care? Sounds like a great career move. I'll look into soon after I check out panhandling.

Huh? It's hard to figure out what you're insinuating: but I take it you're saying that I rank below homeless people when it comes to career choices. Thank you for being condescending towards women in the name of "feminism".

Here's something you might forget unless I spell it out over and over: I am a sex worker, a web whore and pornographer. 99.99% of the time that sex work/porn is debated, it is done among people who have absolutely no experience with sex work/porn, and simply regurgitate sterotypes. An attack on any whore is an attack on me. An attack on any whore is an attack on every woman, every human.

Imagine if there was a whole culture of people who have never met you, but spend their days talking about how you feel and why you do the things you do. Dumb, isn't it - spending so much time talking *about* a class of people and never *with* them, and even purposefully *excluding* them from dialogue. This happens all the time when pro-sex feminists want to counter Carol Adams or others of her ilk: they are simply told they are not welcome. She is given captive audiences to indoctrinate with her hate-mongering all the time. It is appalling that the vegan scene helps Adams make her living off whores - which is actually the definition of being a pimp - yet she has nothing for contempt for those who she pretends to speak on behalf of.

Animal rights activists make the worst anti-porners, because they have come to have a certain detachment from that which they campaign for. "The mink can not speak for themselves, so I must speak for them." They then say to themselves, "Whores must also not be able to speak for themselves, so I must speak for them." Well, I do speak. Lots of whores speak. And we don't need or want people like Adams making money off us by pretending to speak on our behalf.

I have never in my life seen anti-porners do a single thing that has aided the women they pretend to be "helping", which is why I suggested this person do something productive. They blah blah blah online and write essays and spew their anti-woman venim in the name of "saving" women, but that's it: just armchair politics.


It would be nice to see some relevant commentary on distinguishing between crack whores in detroit getting hooked on heroin by pimps and beaten daily, as opposed to people who just sell dirty pictures.

Distinguishing? Why? I don't divide and conquer women. A woman being beaten is assault - not sex work. Yes, there are women in the sex industry who have drug addictions, but there are women in every other industry with drug addictions as well. There are women in the sex industry who are victims of sexual violence, but you'll find that happening in every neighborhood in American every day. The cliche you paint of Detriot crack whore really only shows your distaste for poor women, and doesn't come off as compassion in the least.

It's offensive that you simply dismiss me as someone who sells "dirty pictures", as though that somehow means I'm just a "light" form of scum. What's so dirty about my boobs, or me spreading my legs? Does it make you uncomfortable to see me blowing someone, with gobs on semen on my face? How about me sticking things in my ass, does that make you cringe? Why? And why bother campaigning against the things that turn other people on?


Encouraging men to see women as objects (talking m-f porno here) is pretty much all that happens when men watch porn.

That's an open-ended discussion. *You* might view women as objects when you watch porn, but don't speak for other men.

(Secondly, there's always this presumption that some women don't get off on being sexual objects. Just as some women get off on being beaten/degraded in an D/s context. I'm not going to debate what all women are sexually interested in, and you shouldn't either.)


On the other hand, women who *realize* that and control it, certainly can make a happy career out of it, since men are easy to exploit for money in that sense.

Are you being exploited by a bus driver or local organic farmer, etc, when you exchange money for goods and services? (If you want to debate capitalism, start a new thread for that.) I perform a valuable service to society, just like a doctor, and I am paid for my time.


Is it worth the price to all the other woman who aren't making a buck and are getting further repressed? Is a sister selling a sister out in this case?

That's so backwards I don't even know what to say. So, in order to not repress other women, I need to start censoring them and limiting their career choices and preventing forms of sexual expression I don't personally enjoy? And to further "liberate" women, I can dedicate my life to seeing that women are treated as second class citizens and harassed because of their jobs and sexual kinks?

No thanks, I'm siding with free expression over demeaning women who are exorcising free expression.

grog
12-28-2004, 12:02 PM
Huh? It's hard to figure out what you're insinuating: but I take it you're saying that I rank below homeless people when it comes to career choices. Thank you for being condescending towards women in the name of "feminism".


I'm not being condescending, I'm being sarcastic. I'm pointing out that being a real whore on the street is probably not a very good career choice, if it doesn't even come with health care. Most good jobs can be qualified by their benefits and quality of life they provide. I'm not saying anything about you in particular, how and why should I, I don't know you.




Here's something you might forget unless I spell it out over and over: I am a sex worker, a web whore and pornographer. 99.99% of the time that sex work/porn is debated, it is done among people who have absolutely no experience with sex work/porn, and simply regurgitate sterotypes. An attack on any whore is an attack on me. An attack on any whore is an attack on every woman, every human.




I can see you feel strongly about this. I am not attacking you, I am hoping your experience in this industry will let you shed some light on this for the rest of us.



Imagine if there was a whole culture of people who have never met you, but spend their days talking about how you feel and why you do the things you do. Dumb, isn't it - spending so much time talking *about* a class of people and never *with* them, and even purposefully *excluding* them from dialogue. This happens all the time when pro-sex feminists want to counter Carol Adams or others of her ilk: they are simply told they are not welcome. She is given captive audiences to indoctrinate with her hate-mongering all the time. It is appalling that the vegan scene helps Adams make her living off whores - which is actually the definition of being a pimp - yet she has nothing for contempt for those who she pretends to speak on behalf of.



That is a very good point. It would piss me off, of course.



Distinguishing? Why? I don't divide and conquer women. A woman being beaten is assault - not sex work. Yes, there are women in the sex industry who have drug addictions, but there are women in every other industry with drug addictions as well. There are women in the sex industry who are victims of sexual violence, but you'll find that happening in every neighborhood in American every day. The cliche you paint of Detriot crack whore really only shows your distaste for poor women, and doesn't come off as compassion in the least.


I use extreme examples to make a point, not to somehow sneakily reveal my inner thoughts. Try not to read so much into it. If you don't want to address this point, that's fine. I think its the most important one, if you want others to understand this. But, it sounds like you aren't interested in that. The legal sex trade is a very small percentage of the illegal sex trade worldwide though, and I'm not sure those on the unprofitable abusive end of the equation really want to be defended.

To simply say that such things happen among all walks of life is a cop out. There are definite trends you are glossing over, and that is dangerous misinformation.



It's offensive that you simply dismiss me as someone who sells "dirty pictures", as though that somehow means I'm just a "light" form of scum.


Hey, that would be offensive no. I didn't do that, nor mean to do that. Dirty pictures is a synonym for porn. But since you want to lump all sex work into one umbrella, the good with the bad, its pretty hard to discuss, so again, I used clear exagerations to try to mark a dividing line.



What's so dirty about my boobs, or me spreading my legs? Does it make you uncomfortable to see me blowing someone, with gobs on semen on my face? How about me sticking things in my ass, does that make you cringe? Why? And why bother campaigning against the things that turn other people on?



To me, nothing, I'd sure enjoy it. I'm not anti-legal porn. I am against russian sex slaves. Do I think there is a causal link between legal porn and horrific illegal porn, not really. Do I think there is a societal link between the objectification of women and the purchase and indirect support of illegal porn, you betcha. Do I think that legal porn, in some manner, continues that objectification and support, on a societal level, I do. That does't mean I'm against legal porn, but I think its wrong to ignore the obvious links and gloss them over.



That's an open-ended discussion. *You* might view women as objects when you watch porn, but don't speak for other men.


Its historically and culturally proven that *most* men have ingrained sexist tendencies, and that's another thing I think it would be dangerious and misleading to ignore. You say I can't speak for women, I can't speak for pron (with my 20 years of purveying experience) and now I can't speak for men?

Anyway, I asked these questions because I saw these attacks on Carol Adams (about whom I know nothing) and attacks on people who liked her work, and wondered what the converse was, and thought it might be both interesting to learn, and perform a public service by educating some other people.

kikkert
12-28-2004, 02:39 PM
Oh, please, go on!

As you wish.

I have to ask, who died and made you Queen of the Universe of Sexual Knowledge because of your chosen profession?

Shall we compare qualifications? I don't sit in an armchair and wax philosophical on oppression. I lived it. I worked with it. I used free clinics, then volunteered, then worked there and I am not even formally trained in the medical profession - they just never had enough staff to help out. Talk with enough women about their lives and you get a really clear picture of the drug use, self-esteem issues, pregnancy issues, STDs, rape, and abuse that happens every day because these women were not respected by the men who came in and out of their life. The ones that turned to prostitution didn't do it because it was cool or glamorous to have a website - they did it to survive and pay for a hot meal and put a roof over their kidsí heads.

If you have been privileged enough to pick the timing and content of your foray into the sex industry, then you are one of the lucky ones. But what is absolutely crucial is that you made a decision to be sexually entertaining. Millions of women and men do not have that luxury - it's their reality every day around the world. I wish you would realize that itís part of a bigger social issue that goes way beyond sexual gratification instead offering lip service.

I learned from my life experiences (and those around me) and realized how lucky I was that I didn't die before my time. So now I do sexuality education, advocate for abortion rights, and advocate for contraceptive equity in addition to my work in domestic violence. I have come to this place in my life because of what I experienced and there is absolutely no way that you or anyone else will insult me with your pomposity.

If you wish to have a discussion about the merits, or lack thereof, of Ms. Adams, then letís have one. It would be helpful if you checked your attitude at the door.

Ariann
12-28-2004, 03:39 PM
You're looking down your nose at other women and discarding their own experiences in favor of your preconceived morals, and that is not what my brand of "feminism" is about.

Plenty of us women are very happy with our careers in the adult industry, and we don't need a bunch of armchair *****pseudo-feminists***** telling us how we're supposed to feel and how oppressed we are, so please stick to matters you have experience with.

THAT'S the kind of attitude that should offend feminists of all stripes. Feminism is NOT about declaring all things under the sun that women could possibly do "good." Feminism's goal is the attainment of social, political, and economic equality between men and women. That does NOT mean that if men can do something society deems immoral and get away with it (like beating his wife) that women should be able to get away with the same stuff.

All women have experience with nearly all things relating to the treatment of women in society because we are women and experience it daily, whether we sell sex or sell clothes. One does not need to be a prostitute to have a valid opinion on prostitution. That is one of the fundamental concepts of feminism - that individual women's voices are important, that a woman's personal experiences should shape her political views and that her personal experiences should be viewed as valid and meaningful. It is not more ok for you to dismiss other's opinions on a subject, culled from years of both being a woman and having other access to information on the subject, than it is for anyone to dismiss your opinions. When you say 99.9% of the debate is done by people who have no experience with porn, what are you talking about? Almost every American adult has seen porn and a huge number are habitual users and that doesn't even get into the people who have used the services of sex workers. Do these people have no valid opinions because they're not porn actors and sex workers themselves?

My personal experiences are that every man I've dated who looked regularly at pornography was addicted to it and did not use it for entertainment, but used it because he couldn't stop using it and completely dehumanized any person in it. My personal experiences are that there seem to be many women who enjoy the same kind of pornography as their boyfriends and husbands, but that there are just as many women who aren't just not turned on by it, but are made to feel unsafe and uncomfortable by watching it. It's my experience that some women will argue that porn is okay because they don't want to be seen as being prudish, even when we're talking about specific examples of pornography that are tainted with accusations of rape and sexual slavery.

It is stupid and blind to accuse another woman of having outdated feminist notions, of being stuck in a Second Wave mindset, simply because she does not agree with your opinion on the merits or lack thereof of pornography or prostitution.

You have discarded at least thousands of women's (and men's and children's) experiences because of your preconceived morals. If we could take a poll of the lives of all of the sex workers in the world, from the child sex slaves to the well paid, health care receiving whores-by-choice, I would be very interested to see how many would say that pornography and prostitution has been such an empowering thing for them and how many would say it hasn't been.

Your opinion is valid and I respect it and I hope that your career choice brings you prosperity and happiness and that it truly does help the cause of gaining equality for women. But that doesn't mean anyone has to think it'd be a great job to have or that it really does advance feminism in our current world. And it also doesn't mean I'm going to stop pitying those who really haven't made a free choice to enter it, either because of financial need, coercion, psychological damage, or other reason. And it doesn't mean I'm not going to stop being disgusted by the people who buy the services of those who haven't made free choices. And I certainly hope that a day will come when feminism has progressed to the point where neither men nor women have to make choices that may threaten their dignity in order to feed their families. In the meantime I hope plenty of progress is made on the front of caring for those who haven't been so lucky by offering free comprehensive health care, housing, and childcare, at the very least.

P.S. Sorry about continuing the off-topic discussion. As to the actual thread, I read a little of Carol Adam's site, including her interviews, and she seems pretty standard current academic women's studies plus some animal welfare and rights stuff and she attempts to link the two, usefully/successfully or not. This is kind of a problem with academic feminism (and literature and history and anthroplogy and sociology, etc.), anyway, in that it really makes links one wouldn't think of or see around them and when you read them you think, "wow, exactly! why didn't I ever notice that?" but then you realize their discoveries and arguments have little to no application or meaning in the everyday.

vegporn
12-28-2004, 07:22 PM
I use extreme examples to make a point, not to somehow sneakily reveal my inner thoughts. Try not to read so much into it. If you don't want to address this point, that's fine. I think its the most important one, if you want others to understand this. But, it sounds like you aren't interested in that. The legal sex trade is a very small percentage of the illegal sex trade worldwide though, and I'm not sure those on the unprofitable abusive end of the equation really want to be defended.

To simply say that such things happen among all walks of life is a cop out. There are definite trends you are glossing over, and that is dangerous misinformation.

What "definite trends"? Anti-sex work arguments *always* center around vague allusions and personal feelings, never facts and actual cause/effect. Where do you get your "small percentage" vs "large percentage" figures from? Not that the two have anything to do with each other, though.

I'm not glossing over anything. I said what I needed to say, but it wasn't blunt enough: "Distinguishing? Why? I don't divide and conquer women." I do not distinguish between legal and illegal sex work, high class "erotica" models and the poorest street worker. The only difference in geography and privilege, but selling sex remains the same. I'm hardly avoiding talking about those in the sex industry who are in what I consider bad situations. I dare to reckon that I might be the only one in this conversation who has actually come into contact with street workers and talked to them about their lives.

There is, however, a huge different between sex work (legal or not), and the "illegal sex trade" you reference. They both involve sex, but one is consensual and one is rape and slavery. I don't defend that ****, it's disgusting and depressing, and it's not prostitution.


But since you want to lump all sex work into one umbrella, the good with the bad, its pretty hard to discuss, so again, I used clear exagerations to try to mark a dividing line.

Why do you need to use exaggerations to prove your points? And why are you trying to create walls between groups of women?

I am in the minority when it comes to sex workers. I claim the title "whore" with pride, I am "out" to just about everyone who knows me including family, I spend time reading whore-relating things and networking with my fellow whores, and I donate to whore-related nonprofits.

The cliche "crack ho" is also in the minority when it comes to sex workers. They're just easy to pick apart because they're poor and often have a whole range of problems from drugs to violence. Unlike most people, I have actually met women like this, like a genuine $5 crack whore, who has the **** kicked out of her by cops and clients on a regular basis. Of course it's heartbreaking- and these women are helped NONE by a bunch of liberals talking about how oppressed they are. What helps these women are access resources, which as I said, I have never seen an anti-sex work person help with. Stigmatizing and making caricatures of these women doesn't help them one bit. Making their work illegal hurts them, too. Police don't pursue cases of street workers being raped, beaten, and killed, and it is cops who are doing plenty of that raping, beating, and killing, anyhow. Whores rank below stray cats in the eyes of the law.

The majority of sex workers are the millions of people who have a vehicle to get from from point A to point B. It's the college students who want to make some fast cash spreading their legs. It's a rent boy who picks up a client every now and then to supplement his income as a waiter. It's an army of professional porn actors & actresses in LA who go to work to have fun and make good money in a safe environment. It's the girls gone wild who show their tits to the latest reality video series. It's the swinger couples who start web sites to share their lives with the world. That's the bulk of the industry: not strung-out junkies who are also whoring. It's just so hard to form pity- and disgust-based arguments when you're talking about people who are, well, "normal".


I'm not anti-legal porn. I am against russian sex slaves. Do I think there is a causal link between legal porn and horrific illegal porn, not really. Do I think there is a societal link between the objectification of women and the purchase and indirect support of illegal porn, you betcha. Do I think that legal porn, in some manner, continues that objectification and support, on a societal level, I do. That does't mean I'm against legal porn, but I think its wrong to ignore the obvious links and gloss them over.

Laws are not morality, and illegality has nothing to do with legitimacy.

It's so silly when people make references to "sex slaves". A slave is not a prostitute, she's a slave. Yes, sexual slavery among adults and children goes on in this world, and it's horrible. But it has nothing to do with sex work or prostitution. It's slavery, rape, child abuse, and assault.

FYI, because of those obtuse laws against "trafficking women", women with sex work convictions are often forbidden to travel internationally, which prevents them from moving to new countries or even escape something bad, including prostitution. It's essentially a no-fly list for whores.

One of the other big bull****s of the anti-sex work people is this constant reference to a "link" between "legal porn" and going out and buying "illegal porn" (whatever that is) or going to Thailand and raping little kids. I've never seen anything that proves any link between the two, and as far as I'm concerned, it's just one of those lies that has been repeated enough times to become the "truth". I've challenged plenty of people to show me proof on this one, and all they have are vague references to anti-porn essays.


Its historically and culturally proven that *most* men have ingrained sexist tendencies, and that's another thing I think it would be dangerious and misleading to ignore. You say I can't speak for women, I can't speak for pron (with my 20 years of purveying experience) and now I can't speak for men?

The existence of patriarchy, (which I am far more well aware of than you, a man), is not proof that all men think what you think when you beat off. Sure, plenty of them probably do "objectify" porn stars, like how I "objectify" the mailman, I only see him as the dude who brings the mail, not a multi-facted, deeply beautiful human being. "Objectification" is a polysyllabic word which really means nothing. And you ignored what I said before: dare to consider that some women get off on being "objectified".

And no, you can't speak for *all* men. You can speak for yourself.

vegporn
12-28-2004, 07:51 PM
As you wish.

Thank you, I'm glad you acknowledge that you are speaking on behalf of me and telling me what I feel. That's very liberated of you to tell other women what motivates them.


I have to ask, who died and made you Queen of the Universe of Sexual Knowledge because of your chosen profession?

Shall we compare qualifications?

I'm queen of my p*ssy, babe, the most qualified person to talk about my life. You will never be qualified to tell me what I think, no matter how many clinics you've volunteered in.

I've never said, "All sex work is fun and cute and perfect with puppies and kittens and marshmallow stars!!!" Of course there's lots misery and disease and violence for women in the lower class of sex work- but that's something that happens when poverty and desperation and sex work collide. I fully take class into account when I talk about sex work, but obviously, you're only willing to discuss the *worst* experiences one can have a sex worker, because it suits your morals.


The ones that turned to prostitution didn't do it because it was cool or glamorous to have a website - they did it to survive and pay for a hot meal and put a roof over their kidsí heads.

Yet again, you're presuming to know me and put me in a box to validate ideas you already have. Do you treat all women this way, or just whores? Great feminism: talking at women and telling them what they think and do while purposefully ignoring what they are saying.

You're dismissing me as trying to be "cool or glamorous", do you say that to street workers, too? "Hey, sorry you just had your teeth knocked out by a cop, but that's what happens when you try to be cool and glamorous." Where do you drawn the lines of worthy or pity or worthy of contempt when it comes to sex workers?

You're so incredibly insulting, and like I said in my first post to you, I'm more insulted, objectified, and treated like a non-person by you than I ever have by a man in my career. It's worse because you pretend to be some angle of mercy for women, but you're just spewing hate at women who enjoy something you don't.


If you wish to have a discussion about the merits, or lack thereof, of Ms. Adams, then letís have one. It would be helpful if you checked your attitude at the door.

Carol Adams is nothing but a hate-monger and a pimp, I have no reason to speak courteously of her.

vegporn
12-28-2004, 08:17 PM
One does not need to be a prostitute to have a valid opinion on prostitution. ... Do these people have no valid opinions because they're not porn actors and sex workers themselves?

That's exactly what I'm saying. They have personal opinions, but those opinions as a customer/outsider are not valid opinions when it comes to discussion what it is *like* to be a sex worker. I like reading about the Black Panther Party, and I have personal opinions about them, but that doesn't make me Huey Newton. Further, if I was so inane as to talk about what it was like to be a Black Panther, and David Hilliard came into the discussion and told me to shut up, I would respect him damn quickly and apologize. People have no business making a huge fuss talking about what it is like to be other people.

Not being turned on by porn is fine, there are things in this world that don't turn me on, too. For example, I am not turned on by scat play. The thing is, I would never presume to argue that women who get off on scat or do scat play as work think ___ about ___. I don't need anyone telling me what I think, and I don't tell anyone else what they think. That's my brand of "feminism".


It is stupid and blind to accuse another woman of having outdated feminist notions, of being stuck in a Second Wave mindset, simply because she does not agree with your opinion on the merits or lack thereof of pornography or prostitution.

It is outdated, and it's not feminism. Unless, of course, "feminism" means berating and censoring women.


You have discarded at least thousands of women's (and men's and children's) experiences because of your preconceived morals.

Thanks for borrowing my phrase used above: "preconceived morals", BTW.

It's hardly my "morals", it's my life experience, and I'm not the one doling out judgements. I am not discarding the experience of anyone: exactly the opposite is going on here. I am being told what it is like to be me, and my life experience is being brushed aside, so that other people can make arguments based on extreme cases and exaggerations.


And it also doesn't mean I'm going to stop pitying those who really haven't made a free choice to enter it, either because of financial need, coercion, psychological damage, or other reason.

You're welcome to pity whomever you want. But how about doing what I suggested in my first reply, like donating to a sex worker charity like the St. James Infirmary? http://www.stjamesinfirmary.org/ It's helping provide health care for those who need it most, which I think we can all agree on.

Ariann
12-28-2004, 11:20 PM
It is outdated, and it's not feminism. Unless, of course, "feminism" means berating and censoring women.

It's hardly my "morals", it's my life experience, and I'm not the one doling out judgements. I am not discarding the experience of anyone: exactly the opposite is going on here. I am being told what it is like to be me, and my life experience is being brushed aside, so that other people can make arguments based on extreme cases and exaggerations.

I'm not talking about berating and censoring women, I'm talking about some feminists having a legitimate problem with pornography in our culture and trying to solve that problem by making sure women who go into pornography and prostitution are taken care of and have a way out and by attempting to dismantle the power structures that cause women to be poor and powerless and have little choice. Whether you do that from a point of view of not liking the sex industry or you do it from the point of view of trying to legitimize that industry, I don't really care. I don't like the sex industry for those reasons, but if they were taken care of, perhaps it would have the effect of legitimizing the whole thing.

I don't think pornography in its current incarnation is particularly good for society or for women in particular and I also don't think prostitution is. But I am quite certainly a feminist and it's not your position to declare me otherwise.

Dave Noisy
12-29-2004, 03:05 AM
hmm...this is interesting...i find i'm agreeing with Ariann almost completely. =P

Well said!

Unfortunately i'm not very familiar with feminist thought and theory..but i do try to wrap my poor little brain around it..

I'd like to discuss a few points that seem to rub me the wrong way...VegPorn wrote:

"99.99% of the time that sex work/porn is debated, it is done among people who have absolutely no experience with sex work/porn..."

True enough... I have not had any experience as a sex-worker. Nor can i say that anyone i know has. I kinda wonder why this is...?

I don't think this is a valid argument for dismissal however. I don't believe you need to have first-hand experience with something in order to effectively discuss or debate it. It would be sorta like a life-long vegan telling people they shouldn't eat meat.....if i were to follow your logic, they shouldn't do that, since they haven't 'gotten their hands dirty'. I don't think actual experience is necessary to be able to formulate an acceptable and worthwhile opinion.


"Dumb, isn't it - spending so much time talking *about* a class of people and never *with* them, and even purposefully *excluding* them from dialogue."

I think this is an interesting point. Besides you, i don't think i've ever had a discussion with a sex-trade worker.

I have trouble coming to grips how i would ever have a conversation with anyone... Would it be appropriate for me to walk up to a prostitute and start asking these types of questions? Do escort services answer calls like this?

I've visited a few porn sites, that are self-run, and there doesn't seem to be much of an opportunity for me to meet or chat with these people. It seems they're mainly interested in making money doing what they're doing....not providing a forum of discussion on how empowering their activities are, or the benefits to society.

Even your FurryGirl site, VegPorn, seems to be lacking in this area...i didn't see any content in the FAQ that was particularly useful to this conversation..? I also couldn't find any links to educate or encourage people to benefit sex-workers (or slaves) that are in less-than-ideal situations.

Same goes with most every porn site out there. Why is this the case for you, and why do you think this is for other sites?


"Well, I do speak. Lots of whores speak."

Sure...lots of people speak about a lot of things. Funny thing is, very few seem to actually know *what* they're talking about. (As the tone of your responses indicates...you've given us the assumption that most of us don't know what we're talking about. Really tho, why should we believe you know what you're talking about? We can look at this this way: you make a living off of doing porn, why wouldn't you be pro-porn? Would you be willing to admit a certain amount of bias here? And conversely, would not non-sex-trade people perhaps have a little less bias..?)


"And why bother campaigning against the things that turn other people on?"

I don't think this is what's in question. I think people being degraded, objectified or used is what's objectionable.

Do you think it's appropriate for someone to be turned-on by degrading and humiliating others? Is this a healthy (sexual or non-) conception or attitude?


"*You* might view women as objects when you watch porn, but don't speak for other men."

Admittedly not all men objectify the women in the images they download...but i would like to find out what you think is the percentage of men who do...? Generally speaking, and of the men that visit your site in particular.

To throw in another reversal...you argue that none of us know any sex-trade workers... How well do you know the people who visit your site? Are many of them people you'd enjoy engaging with if there weren't any profit?


"Secondly, there's always this presumption that some women don't get off on being sexual objects. Just as some women get off on being beaten/degraded in an D/s context."

Again, i don't deny (and i doubt anyone else) that people should be allowed to feel and do what they want....but i do feel that consideration should be given to the outcome of such thought and behaviour. There are consequences to everything, and i can't help but wonder -- are these consequences good? Do they truly benefit this person? Will the person be happier, and better off in his/her life after this experience? (Of course there will always be variances, and sometimes you need to hit a low to gain a high, but generally speaking....does this lead to a desireable outcome?)

I'll stop here for now.... I apologize if i've written anything inappropriate, as i've indicated, i'm quite ignorant on feminist ideas...hope my foot isn't too far into my mouth!

stegan
12-29-2004, 06:38 AM
I know this is highly irregular, but I was wondering if we could actually get back on topic for a few minutes. :)

Ever since reading "The Pornography of Meat", I've been very curious to get other men's opinions on the book. In particular, how veg*ns view the idea of "absent referant", that is, the separation of parts/qualities from the actual sentient being.

Anyone who has become veg*n for ethical reasons has more than likely stopped disassociating meat from the animal it came from, but I know from my perspective, it wasn't until I thought about the issues that Adams raises was I able to think about how that carried over to porn. How different is the fantasy of a woman's breasts from the fantasy of a succulent t-bone steak? We know nothing about the lives of either of the beings these items belong to, and yet society teaches us not to care about such pittances and just lust...

I guess what I'm curious about is to hear from other men who have read Adams and what effect the books or just the ideas had on how they view women.

Cheers.

EmetShamash
12-29-2004, 07:03 AM
I dont know where to begin to make any sort of reply to this thread so I am just going to throw my little two cents in and first off say that I totaly support all that vegporn has said. She seems to actualy know a thing or two about this subject.
:thumbsup:
The underlying problems that we are facing in these issues are not solved by being harder on sex workers. I think we need to work on the larger economic problems we face that cause such horror stories that involve words like rape and slavery. Real crimes are rape murder and theft not having sex for money, that is like saying that gay marriage is eroding family values! Sex work just doesnt seem to stand in the way of anyones' growth in and of itself.

soveg
12-29-2004, 08:36 AM
Hello everyone. This is my first post on this site. A friend invited me to join in on this discussion, even tho we stand on opposite sides of the fence, as it were. I hope you will welcome me.

I am a woman. I've been vegan for 8 years. And for 4 more months, I can say I ain't 30 yet. :)

Although I agree with much of what vegporn has said, I don't think she has made much effort to really make herself understood. Her defensive tone hides many of the good points she has made.

I have not read Carol Adams's works, but I probably should. As far as classical feminism goes, I'm not sure I understand the arguments and many women themselves have tried to explain it to me. I still don't get it. But that won't stop me from listening and trying to understand.

The analogy of looking at a dead animal and seeing a meal and looking at a woman's body and seeing something sexual got me thinking... On the surface this analogy appears to be spot on and obviously sexual objectification must be as wrong as seeing a dead animal as a delicacy.

But vegporn's comment that objectification happens harmlessly everyday when we use the services of the strangers around us, well... she's right. Surrounded by strangers every day, psychologically we MUST view them as merely obstacles, for our minds cannot wrap themselves around the human being that exists within each and every one of them. We just can't. That's why it's easier to mourn the death of one person (and one family's suffering as a result) than to mourn the deaths of thousands. Adams's analogy is helpful in that it illustrates how harmful objectification can be, but it fails to acknowledge that objectification isn't always harmful and is sometimes helpful and necessary.

But porn isn't necessary, is it? All those "addicts" wouldn't need or want porn if they took the time to respect the women in those photos, right? They should find some other way to get their rocks off...
Wrong.

Psychologists have suggested that our sexual arousals may come from our infancy or maybe even the womb. Wherever they come from, we can't control what turns us on. We can accept it. We can find harmless outlets for our sex drives. But we can't change what turns us on (we can however feel horribly guilty about it which affects our self-image and ruins lives and drives people to secrecy). Lots of people are turned on by either objectifying others or being objectified themselves. Obviously no harm comes from these people getting together as long as it's all consentual.

But if objectifying others gives sexual gratification, won't those people be tempted to objectify women ALL the time? What if they objectify women who do not consent? Therein lies the immoral act. Porn itself is a healthy outlet for sexual objectification. All people who take their sexual interests beyond acceptable social boundaries are committing a wrong, no matter what those interests are (for they are violating the consent of others). It is just as immoral for heterosexual couples to shame those who are not into that sort of thing. A pedophile commits no wrong if he draws pictures of his sexual interests... the harm comes when he actually imposes his interests upon a child (who is incapable of consent).

And no, one does NOT lead to another. You can't argue a slippery slope. Ok, you can try. I'll listen. :p

Ariann
12-29-2004, 10:34 AM
Carol Adams is nothing but a hate-monger and a pimp, I have no reason to speak courteously of her.

Again, to get back on topic, can we have a source at least? Admittedly, I haven't had a chance to read any of her books because I have just heard of her, but there's nothing on her site I've been able to find that's even slightly hate-mongering or slightly anti-sex-worker (or homosexual or transexual).

Ariann
12-29-2004, 10:48 AM
The analogy of looking at a dead animal and seeing a meal and looking at a woman's body and seeing something sexual got me thinking... On the surface this analogy appears to be spot on and obviously sexual objectification must be as wrong as seeing a dead animal as a delicacy.

But vegporn's comment that objectification happens harmlessly everyday when we use the services of the strangers around us, well... she's right. Surrounded by strangers every day, psychologically we MUST view them as merely obstacles, for our minds cannot wrap themselves around the human being that exists within each and every one of them. We just can't. That's why it's easier to mourn the death of one person (and one family's suffering as a result) than to mourn the deaths of thousands. Adams's analogy is helpful in that it illustrates how harmful objectification can be, but it fails to acknowledge that objectification isn't always harmful and is sometimes helpful and necessary.

This argument doesn't just pull out flaws in Adam's argument, it highlights the difficulty of any academic discussion. Carol Adams could say things that are 100% true, but that wouldn't mean that she has discussed the entire realm of the universe, applied her argument to every possible case, or even said anything that would change anybody's opinions or daily behaviors. Academics overanalyze and overreach and that's just what they do, which is why it's good not all of us are academics, because we'd be bored out of our minds.


But porn isn't necessary, is it? All those "addicts" wouldn't need or want porn if they took the time to respect the women in those photos, right? They should find some other way to get their rocks off...
Wrong.

Psychologists have suggested that our sexual arousals may come from our infancy or maybe even the womb. Wherever they come from, we can't control what turns us on. We can accept it. We can find harmless outlets for our sex drives. But we can't change what turns us on (we can however feel horribly guilty about it which affects our self-image and ruins lives and drives people to secrecy). Lots of people are turned on by either objectifying others or being objectified themselves. Obviously no harm comes from these people getting together as long as it's all consentual.


There's a causal link missing in this argument. If all sexual desires are inborn, there'd be a point where pornography would stop growing and changing. However, the growth of the porn industry seems a lot more based on the growth of self-publishing technology than on actual needs. It is misleading to say that people don't become addicted to porn, because many do. Just because we have an inborn sweet-tooth doesn't justify drinking cola all day. There was a point, in creating sugary beverages, at least, where we far surpassed the actual inborn desire/perceived need and created a need where there wasn't one and then created a society of addicts. Is porn the same? I don't know. But having a need for sexual gratification and not having control over what you're attracted to does not causally lead to a need for pornography.

soveg
12-29-2004, 11:20 AM
This argument doesn't just pull out flaws in Adam's argument, it highlights the difficulty of any academic discussion. ....... which is why it's good not all of us are academics, because we'd be bored out of our minds.

Actually, I didn't mean to say that Adams's flaw was that she failed to mention that objectification could be harmless. I said that her analogy implied that objectification was harmful and dangerous. The analogy suggested it, I assumed most people implied it, then proceeded to suggest that this wasn't true.
And if a careful and thorough discussion of semantics bores you then you needn't worry about it, anyway.


There's a causal link missing in this argument. If all sexual desires are inborn, there'd be a point where pornography would stop growing and changing. However, the growth of the porn industry seems a lot more based on the growth of self-publishing technology than on actual needs.

I'm afraid you lost me, here. The porn industry will grow as the population grows. The porn industry will grow if the negative stigma attached to porn diminishes. The porn industry will grow if prices go down and access becomes easier and more private. I don't understand why you think that inborn desires won't allow a market to flourish but will instead stop growing and changing. I don't understand this comment.

I didn't say that people didn't become addicted to porn. They do. People become addicted to shopping, computer games, and caffeine. I was addressing the assumption that such an addiction (habit, pasttime, etc.) was harmful to the addicted person, their loved ones, or to society in general.

I'm not trying to argue that anyone "needs" pornography (that is up to the individual with the need, isn't it?) but I am saying that those who don't need/want pornography have no reason to dissapprove of those who do, for another's appreciation of pornography does not harm them. Pornography is a safe place to exercise fantasies no matter how different or abhorrent they may seem to those who don't share them.

You're assuming that pornography is a bad thing. If indeed it is bad (like sugar) then you can argue in favor of alternatives and reform. But I think of pornography (and prostitution, if you must) as a GOOD thing. It makes people feel good and it gives undereducated people an easy way to make money.

Any "addiction" is, by definition, harmful. But you can't fight an addiction by removing the substance. The addiction is usually just a symptom of a greater problem (usually a desire to escape emotionally, for whatever reason). Not everyone addicts to the same things. It's not fair for the rest of us who are capable of moderation to prohibit or stigmatize our hobbies just because a few folks abuse them. That would be like criticizing model airplane builders for the few kids who sniff the glue.

stegan
12-29-2004, 11:55 AM
You're assuming that pornography is a bad thing. If indeed it is bad (like sugar) then you can argue in favor of alternatives and reform. But I think of pornography (and prostitution, if you must) as a GOOD thing. It makes people feel good and it gives undereducated people an easy way to make money.

While I agree with the majority of the points you've made, I feel there's something you're missing here. Are porn and prostitution really victimless crimes? Yes, both immediate parties consent, but what about the wife who finds her husband's porno mags and knows she can never match the "perfection" that is in those magazines, and her self-image goes further downhill? What if she finds receipts for a massage parlor in his wallet?

You can make the argument that if these preferences are shared, then they could potentially be enjoyed by all involved, but the reality is, that's rarely the case. Yes, the partner should accept that they can't be all things to their beloved, but emotions rarely listen to logic.

So yes, consent is key, and there's nothing inherently wrong with either porn or prostitution when done with safety and enjoyment in mind, but let's take EVERYONE involved in a given situation into account.

soveg
12-29-2004, 12:38 PM
...what about the wife who finds her husband's porno mags and knows she can never match the "perfection" that is in those magazines, and her self-image goes further downhill? What if she finds receipts for a massage parlor in his wallet?...emotions rarely listen to logic.

You answered your own question. Although it's true that emotions don't always listen to logic, logic (and belief in freedom of expression) favors prostitution and pornography. Any wife who feels she must look like the airbrushed fantasies in the magazines has a loose grip on reality. Whether those fantasies exist on the printed page or in his mind, he has those fantasies and most people never expect their lovers to match their fantasies. Besides, most men I know who enjoy porn are actually looking for variety, and no one woman can BE a variety of different women unless she's a master of disguise. If a wife feels she is a victim of pornography, that is her own insecurity making her so, and only she can free herself from that prison. He should not suffer for her unwillingness to accept that his fantasies exist.

Now, if a husband and wife have the standard contract of a faithful monogamous marriage and they both agree that porno mags and massage parlors violate that agreement, then we have a problem with a broken promise (and lies of omission). This is NOT a problem with pornography. They are completely separate issues.

Plenty of decisions that we make for ourselves (like pornography or prostitution) hurt those around us because those around us choose to disapprove. If it's our choice of life-partner, or our choice to never have children, or our choice to spend too much money on ourselves, often somebody is going to feel hurt by those decisions.

That doesn't make those decisions wrong or immoral or bad.

kikkert
12-29-2004, 12:42 PM
Here is a bit of research (for the non-research inclined) on pornography and sexual violence in the pdf file I attached. It does not have the vegan/AR angle, but maybe it will help take the academic edge off the discussion.....

stegan
12-29-2004, 01:16 PM
Here is a bit of research (for the non-research inclined) on pornography and sexual violence in the pdf file I attached.

Interesting article. Although it's narrowly focused, it does put some things into perspective.

Not all porn is artfully posed and well photographed and respectful, and if you look at the popularity of sites like "Bang Bus", et al, it shows that a lot of men prefer it that way.

This "gonzo" approach can been seen as fantasy, but when you listen to the interviews with the guys before the women show up, there's an inherent lack of respect for the women they're about to "pick up" that has nothing to do with "acting"... This is the sort of thing that causes men to take a callous approach towards sexual violence.

stegan
12-29-2004, 01:44 PM
Plenty of decisions that we make for ourselves (like pornography or prostitution) hurt those around us because those around us choose to disapprove.
That doesn't make those decisions wrong or immoral or bad.

Here's that slippery slope you warned about earlier, so I'll keep this as short as possible. First, I'm not saying that the decisions in and of themselves are immoral or wrong, but making them without consideration of the consequences of your actions is a bad idea. And to not believe that there are consequences to everything you do is foolish to say the least.

I don't believe that we should ban all porn, or that arresting all the prostitutes and all the johns will solve society's ills. I'm a consumer of porn. I don't want it to go away entirely.

Porn is a symptom of men who are unhappy with some part of their lives, not the problem causing the unhappiness. Maybe if we address things like the male perception of powerlessness, we can get somewhere...

On that note, I should really go do some work :)

Ariann
12-29-2004, 02:04 PM
Actually, I didn't mean to say that Adams's flaw was that she failed to mention that objectification could be harmless. I said that her analogy implied that objectification was harmful and dangerous. The analogy suggested it, I assumed most people implied it, then proceeded to suggest that this wasn't true.
And if a careful and thorough discussion of semantics bores you then you needn't worry about it, anyway.

Sorry if I misinterpreted you or put your words in your mouth, that's how I interpreted your post. I stick by the idea, though, that there are certain limitations created by deciding to investigate a specific issue from a specific point of view and that's simply the limitation of academia, not Carol Adams specifically. I never said a discussion of semantics bores me! I'm an academic, for God's sake! What's with the snotty condescension? We'd be bored out our minds because academics don't DO anything in the world, they analyze the world. That's their usual function. In narrow circumstances, academics work on applied academia, but when we're discussing general feminist philosophy or animal rights philosophy, we're really talking about people who are observing the world and dissecting its possible meanings, but not actually adding to the world through action or through ideas which others can use to take action.



I'm afraid you lost me, here. The porn industry will grow as the population grows. The porn industry will grow if the negative stigma attached to porn diminishes. The porn industry will grow if prices go down and access becomes easier and more private. I don't understand why you think that inborn desires won't allow a market to flourish but will instead stop growing and changing. I don't understand this comment.

I didn't say that people didn't become addicted to porn. They do. People become addicted to shopping, computer games, and caffeine. I was addressing the assumption that such an addiction (habit, pasttime, etc.) was harmful to the addicted person, their loved ones, or to society in general.

I'm not trying to argue that anyone "needs" pornography (that is up to the individual with the need, isn't it?) but I am saying that those who don't need/want pornography have no reason to dissapprove of those who do, for another's appreciation of pornography does not harm them. Pornography is a safe place to exercise fantasies no matter how different or abhorrent they may seem to those who don't share them.

You're assuming that pornography is a bad thing. If indeed it is bad (like sugar) then you can argue in favor of alternatives and reform. But I think of pornography (and prostitution, if you must) as a GOOD thing. It makes people feel good and it gives undereducated people an easy way to make money.

Any "addiction" is, by definition, harmful. But you can't fight an addiction by removing the substance. The addiction is usually just a symptom of a greater problem (usually a desire to escape emotionally, for whatever reason). Not everyone addicts to the same things. It's not fair for the rest of us who are capable of moderation to prohibit or stigmatize our hobbies just because a few folks abuse them. That would be like criticizing model airplane builders for the few kids who sniff the glue.

I'm confused. You say addictions are not necessarily harmful to the addicted person or anybody else and then say that addiction is definitionally harmful. I disagree with saying that addictions can't be fought by removing the substance. Removing the substance is generally one of the first aspects of conquering addiction. A heroin-user who keeps using heroin hasn't fought his addiction, even if he's dealt with the psychological aspects of his addiction and the triggers of his addiction.

In any case, sugar isn't a bad thing, sugar is a necessary nutrient. I don't think pornography or prostitution come even close to being necessary, despite their long-time existence. And if people who use pornography aren't conscientious about how the the pornography they indulge in is produced, they do very likely cause harm, and they are no better than meat-eaters who blissfully pretend that animals aren't harmed by their being eaten. That doesn't mean all pornography is bad (I don't even think all meat-eating is bad). It just means that if we are going to be consumers, we can't just say that the idea of the thing being consumed is okay, we have to be able to say, the actual thing I am consuming is not harmful to myself, the person producing it, and those around us.

My comment about the growth of the market was simply to say that market forces are as powerful, if not more so, than inborn need for the product. You seem to concur. But no matter what psychologists say, we can't genuinely measure need for pornography apart from access to pornography. And just as we often say soda and candy companies exploit the desires of children without offering a useful product, I think the same can be said of pornographers. We can't say (I don't know if you personally agree with this, but many here do) that big businesses which dehumanize their workers and their customers and generally drive down the quality of product and service are bad in respect to food production and then say they're okay in terms of pornography production. These are the same forces. The twist in both scenarios is that the existence of those big companies has created a niche market for both organic, small-scale farming and people like vegporn, both of which create a product which can generally be assumed to be of higher quality and lesser harm. Is the latter worth the effects of the former in all cases?

walrus
12-29-2004, 02:10 PM
I just picked up "Living Among Meat Eaters" today from the library. I hope it's as useful as everyone says it is. I've been wanting to read it for months, and now it's mine, all MINE!!

walrus
12-29-2004, 02:13 PM
Hello everyone. This is my first post on this site. A friend invited me to join in on this discussion, even tho we stand on opposite sides of the fence, as it were. I hope you will welcome me.

Hey soveg,

I recognize your screen name from vegsource. I'm Sheena there (Sarah). Welcome to VRF! I've made a lot of friends here, and I learn something new everyday. I've sort of, uh, kicked vegsource.

Sarah

soveg
12-30-2004, 12:08 PM
Hi Walrus/Sheena/Sarah :) I figured I worked hard to give my screen name some credibility, so I'd stick with it. And my real name is Sara, which is way too common! It's nice to be recognized and welcomed. I'm enjoying this site so far.

I wanted to reply to Ariann. I must admit that I might not have fully understood her reply, so forgive any obvious misunderstanding.
I'll apologize for any condescending tone. I just found it odd that you seemed to gloss over an academic discussion by claiming it was boring. I misunderstood. And disagree that academics don't actually get practical stuff done. So much of our current philosophies (John Locke, Peter Singer, Tom Regan, or even Carol Adams) began as abstract thoughts that concerned themselves with semantics. Yet they are the foundations of practical ethics.

When I say addictions aren't necessarily harmful I'm thinking of everyday addictions like caffeine and maybe nicotine. Assuming no one else breathes second-hand smoke, the only harm comes to the person with the addiction. Now, almost everyone has their unhealthful vices, some addictions, some not. But the amount of harm that comes from a caffeine addiction remains relatively small. Even smokers often live long lives. These practices aren't necessarily any more harmful that other things that we do (like driving a car or a motorcycle or climb ladders). Hence, some addictions are relatively harmless. They become a part of life, if maybe somewhat risky. But a person should be allowed to take risks for themselves, right?

I think the word "addiction" is defined by some factors. Does the act disrupt normal life activities? Is it hard to stop? Does it cause psychological obsession? Addictions that are only hard to stop might not be so bad. I think porn falls into this category unless someone is foregoing normal life activities or obsessing over it... But the definition of addiction means that (for two out of three factors) addictions are, by definition, harmful.

Is porn necessary? I think it is as necessary as freedom of speech. Like porn, free speech offends a LOT of people. In many cases it hurts their feelings and touches upon their insecurities. But oppressing one's freedom to speak freely is denying a person their very nature. Yes, many people live without the freedom to speak freely. It's not "necessary" to live. But such freedom is necessary to live happily.
Freedom of porn is sexual freedom and is, by itself, a form of expression. Certainly we can live without it. Plenty of people feel no need for it (just as many people have no desire to speak freely). Many people are offended by it (like some free speech). But to stigmatize it or forbid it is oppressive. Do we need porn? No. Do we need freedom to enjoy porn should we choose to? Yes.