How To Respond To Antiporn “Feminist” Illogic: A Response To One Angry Whackjob…Errrrrr, One Angry Girl

It’s not easy being a defender of adult consensual sexual media, or those in the majority of humankind who safely and consensually consume and produce said media for our personal pleasure and even profit.

Actually, it’s very easy in most aspects, because sex with someone you love or someone you really like, or watching people who are really into each other engage in sex, can be pretty damn cool, if you ask me.

No, the real difficulty is that you have to deal in a regular basis with people who basically want to persecute, prosecute, or even kill you for the sin of enjoying people engage in consensual sex. And, you have to deal with their ceaseless attempts to control the debate with all sorts of illogical and obtuse arguments against consensual adult pornography, those who make and produce it, and those who consume and enjoy it.

For once, this isn’t part of the continuing series against Gail Dines, since her monstrosity as an antiporn “feminist” has been well established here.

Rather, the subject of this essay is a slightly more militant antiporn “feminist” going by the moniker of “One Angry Girl”, who works out of the United Kingdom through the British antiporn group Object.

Recently, in an effort to deliver what she considered to be the coup de’gracie to those evil pro-porn arguments, OAG broke out a pamphlet crib sheet in which she attempted to fisk out 17 “pro-porn” position statements, with rebuttal arguments attached to each argument. The actual sheet can be found here at OAG’s blog as a PDF file; but here’s a copy of it:


oag-antiporncomebacks-screenshot

Others have already taken full umbrage of OAG’s crackpot strawmen, and have posted re-rebuttals of her “arguments”; see this Jordan Owen YouTube video (or scroll down to the bottom of this post) and this response by the British anticensorship group Sex and Censorship (via their chief spokesperson Jerry Barnett).

However, since some, if not most, of OAG’s arguments are so over-the-top wacked out and filled with her own bile of vengance, I thought that it deserved a more personal touch.

Henceforth, here’s my own point-for-point rebuttal of One Angry Whackjob…errrrrrrr, One Angry Girl. Like Jordan and Jerry before me, I will break it down per argument. Bolded is the supposed “pro-porn” argument; italicized is OAG’s rebuttal.

Dive into the deep crazza with me, folks.

 

 1) They say: But they’re enjoying themselves

You say: If they enjoy it so much, then they would be willing to do it for $7.50 per hour.

Ummm…you do know that porn women do actually have sex for free with their significant others/husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends, right?? And, there is this thing called “masturbation” for which you need neither money or permission from others to play with yourself, am I correct?? If people are so willing to pay them for the pleasure of watching them engage in sex they already enjoy, then who am I or you to prevent them from collecting their hard earned pay??

And…kind of strange for a movement that calls itself “leftist” to say that workers should permanently restrict their compensation for services they offer to less than what the market would compensate them for?? I mean, if forced free labor is so immoral and wrong, why should sex workers, porn models, and performers be required to put out for free?? A right-winger makes that kind of argument every day against Walmart cashiers/stockers making $8 per hour. It’s no less right-wing when “feminists” throw it at sex workers.

Or: Women in porn are often screaming with joy, but sometimes they are also screaming in pain. Which should we believe? If their pleasure is real, and not faked, then their pain is also real, and not faked.

Yeah, and should we believe it when we see Jason slice and dice through several humans in the Friday the 13th series, too?? Or, when pro wrestlers or pro boxers run plenty of “I’ll KEEEEEEL YOU!!!” smack prior to their matches? Yeah, Mike Tyson really would eat Evander Holyfield’s children, if you believed the mythical powers of overhype and satire.

Some women in porn really are loud when they come, and some women aren’t so much, but they enhance the performance up a bit to heighten the portrayal of sexual pleasure for their audience. That’s what we call…good acting.

Now, some acts might indeed be uncomfortable or even somewhat painful to endure, too…but that’s for the performer herself to endure for her craft, or complain to the producers or her partner to not quite push so hard. It is NOT, however, up to some outside bypasser to determine just out of sight or assumed bias.

Emphasis here on “assumed bias”, since OAG essentially assumes here that porn women only scream out of pain from being “raped” and “degraded” and “abused”, because that’s the only roles she is capable of giving them that fits her narrowly tailored vision of porn as perpetual rape.

Or: Once Jenna Jameson got very powerful in the industry, she began refusing  do scenes involving anal sex. This suggests to me that she doesn’t actually enjoy anal sex. Yet Im sure if you investigate her earlier movies, you can probably find a scene or two where she is appearing to enjoy it. Why? Its called acting.

Interesting how Jenna Jameson always seems to crop up in antiporn “feminist” arguments as the antihero who profited from her own abuse, doesn’t it?? Maybe the reason Jenna decided not to do anal sex after she got some power was that she simply lost interest in it, or, she decided that she didn’t need to engage in it in order to pursue her porn career.

Plus, if I remember right, she became a highly publicized “VIVID Girl”, which (if I recall correctly; someone can correct me if I’m wrong here) contractually forbidded her from performing anal scenes for anyone other than that company. Not sure about her later contract with Wicked.

Besides, Jenna is but one performer; what about the hundreds of other performers who willingly perform anal sex with relish and without any damage whatsoever, or those who do so even with the occasional injury because they simply love the feel of cock inside their asses?? Or, the multitude of performers on the other side of that paradigm whom have had successful careers without so much as performing one anal scene…even though some of them enjoy anal in their personal non-porn lives? All OAG would have to do to get some truthful information is to simply ask porn performers about their anal experiences. Apparently, that would be just a bit too much effort; so much easier in the antiporn hivemind to simply assume injury out of spite.

2) They say: Strippers are empowered

You say: If they’re so powerful, then why do strip clubs have security guards protecting the dancers? Why do women working bachelor parties have to take security with them?

The answer to OAG’s first question: Because strip clubs are under strict regulations to avoid direct sexual contact already, and the security guards are there as much to control the dancers from going too far as they are to protect them from the occasional drunk assholery of some patrons. Plus, gate crashers looking for trouble can be an occupational hazard.

To answer Q #2: As far as I know, most women working bachelor parties don’t need security; if things go awry, they can simply leave or call the cops. Plus, there is one very important control on the bachelor’s (or his buddies’) behavior: his wife-to-be (or their sig others) discovering his overstepping his boundaries and throwing his ass out. (Or, their asses out.) That tends to keep things handled quite well.

Or: How is it empowering for women to give men exactly what they’ve come to expect from us?

Really, OAG?? You mean, men only expect women to drop their panties, get on their knees, and suck on men’s knobs at a moment’s notice? Does that include men’s mothers, sisters, relatives, and any woman they see at the moment?? If that was the case, then there wouldn’t be any need for porn because men could get their rocks off quite easily through the next woman they see, amirite?? Misandry is a powerful drug, I guess.

Or: How is it empowering to grovel and compete for male attention and cash…like a trained seal doing flips in a tank to get his fish reward?

First off…adult women are not FISH.

Secondly…even trained seals used to flip around in the ocean when they were untrained in the wild in order to attract their mates.

And finally….whatever happened to equal pay and comparable worth?? And, isn’t it the MEN who are doing most of the groveling for female attention…and they’re the ones being seperated from their cash, too??

3) Porn/prostitution have always been around, they always will be, so what’re you gonna do?

You say: Rape, murder, and incest have always been around too. Should we be okay with those things?

Sexually violating, physically abusing, and murdering people are already illegal and should damn well be. So is having sex with blood relatives. Consensual adult sex, whether done for free or in exchange for cash, isn’t quite the same, and should not be persecuted or punished anywhere near the same. Being OK with it isn’t the issue; actual informed consent is.

4) They say: Porn-stars and strippers are celebrating their sexuality

You say: Why does celebrating your sexuality always seem to happen in public for strangers and a paycheck? Does anyone ever get to celebrate their sexuality in private with their partner?

Aside from the fact already made in response to Point 1) that porn perfomers and sex workers already engage in such private sex with their significant others, what in the hell does OAG have against celebrating consensual adult sexuality in public?? Or, getting paid enough to survive comfortably by promoting consensual adult sex?? She sounds more like an antigay fundamentalist ripping on about Leathermen and twinks to dismiss gay men..while ignoring, perhaps, the radicalfeminists celebrating lesbianism as “female bonding”?? Oh, I’m sorry…am I stepping on your hypocrisy a bit too much, OAG??

5) They say: My partner and I both enjoy using porn, so what’s the problem? Who’s getting hurt?

You say: Some people like to wear fur coats, or eat veal, or shop at Wal-Mart. Your enjoyment of a product does not erase the suffering that went into creating that product.

Except that not all fur coats come from dead animals, not everyone eats veal or chooses vegan, and there are actual alternatives to Walmart that are as bad or even worse when it comes to exploiting their employees. But hey, if OAG really did care about exploitation of working folk outside of porn (or veganism or animal rights, for that matter), wouldn’t she actually give those issues the same emphasis of anger that she so throws at women who do porn and the men (and women) who enjoy watching them??

6) They say: Ok, maybe some of the women in porn didn’t freely choose their careers, but lots of them did.

You say: If you have a comprehensive research survey of all current and former porn workers, I’d love to see it. There isn’t one available. However, there are major studies involving prostitutes around the world, which found that 90% of them wanted out immediately, but didn’t have the resources.

Hate to get ahead of myself, but let’s remember: In porn, performers are paid to engage in sex with other performers for their own pleasure and the pleasure of others. In prostitution, the worker is paid to have sex with the client actually paying. Now, there are gray lines, such as self-made “Fuck-a-Fan” porn where a “civilian” gets to have sex with his favorite performer…but only after stringent testing. And even there, the “civilian” usually is a long-time fan of the performer to begin with. There is a difference, you see.

Plus, as Jerry Barnett responded with, even before the Porn Studies Journal became a burr up Gail Dines’ butt, there has been plenty of study of porn performers from plenty of angles. Do the works Pleasure and Danger, Sex Work, Dirty Looks, Whores And Other Feminists, and You Study WHAT??? ring any bells, OAG??

Also….so sorry, but just as the plural of “anecedote” is still not “data”; regurgitating Melissa Farley’s ofted disproved/debunked stat of “90 percent of all ‘prostituted women’ want out of the industry” is still not the same as “scientific study”. Not even if Ashton Kutcher endorsed it once.

7) They say: Ok, well not everyone who uses porn becomes a rapist/addicted/fucked-up

You say: Not everyone who smokes cigarettes gets lung cancer, and cigarettes still come with warning labels.

Except for the essential facts that 1) Cigarettes and other tobacco products contain active carcinogens that have been proven beyond a doubt to contribute to lung cancer, yet we still don’t go so far as to ban people from smoking; 2) There has been NO scientific studies even coming close to proving that porn contributes in any way to increased rape or “addiction”..and many studies actually reach the opposite conclusion; and 3) Kind of hard to place “warning labels” on sex acts since it is still people who commit abusive acts, not the acts themselves…..other than that, OAG might actually have a point there. Ahhh….no, she doesn’t.

8) They say: If you hate porn, just don’t watch it

You say: That’s like saying if you hate air pollution, dont breathe. I’m surrounded by porn everywhere I go whether I like it or not. Where’s my free choice not to see it?

Well…I’m surrounded by assholes, wingnuts, idiots, and other assorted miscreants everywhere I go, but I don’t feel the need to go out and banish people for even being assholic or wingnutty or idiotic. That kinda comes with living, you know.

And, just like I don’t have a free choice to determine where my tax money is going, nor do I have a free choice to choose which taxes I have to pay, part of living in a diverse world is that you put up with people, imagery, or acts that you may or may not like or even detest. As long as those acts or people do no harm onto others or themselves, though, you’ll just have to run along and deal with it. You can’t just shut out the world because it upsets you.

Plus, there are more direct ways than censorship to control air pollution: Punish the polluters and have them clean up their environment. Or, give support to efforts by responsible businesses that are committed to cleaning up said environment and improving the conditions for everyone. You know, like, what sex worker activists and some porn performers/producers/consumers are trying to do right now, but can’t suceed in doing as long as you dismiss them with your cries for blanket censorship??

9) They say: Nobody is forcing them to do it. It’s their choice.

You say: The word “choice” implies that there was at least one other viable option available. What was their other option?

Are you saying, OAG, that if another choice other than stripping or porn performing was available, they should have been forced to take that other choice?? Even if the other choice was worse off (even if you considered it “viable”)?? Or, are you saying that a sex worker’s choice shouldn’t be accepted or recognized if it doesn’t fit your fatalistic fantasy of innate abuse and rape?? Either way, who the hell are you to judge someone else for their actions merely for your personal fee-fees??

10) They say: Pornography and prostitution are different.

You say: Not really, pornography is just prostitution plus a camera.

See response to 6).

11) They say: Porn has always existed. Look at Pompeii.

You say: Three wall paintings in Pompeii do not compare to the multi-billion dollar global industry we have today. That’s like comparing a caveman’s smoke signals to the iPhone.

You mean that the cavemen or the Romans could have actually invented the iPhone back then, but they were just too stupid and manly and too busy jacking off to wall paintings to put forth the effort?? Seriously.

Plus, you’d be surprised and shocked and amazed by the depth of sexual imagery that went on in ancient cultures, and not just in Rome, either. If anything, the depth of the sexual freakery was even filthier than modern times. Plus, they made their money through touring, too. Maybe not in the same form as the modern industry, but sexual commerce thrived when not repressed by fundamentalist religion…and probably even in those places, too, under the radar.

12) They say: You just hate sex.

You  say: Porn is not sex, but a distorted, for-sale, fictionalized version of sex. If I told you I don’t eat at Burger King, would you tell me I hated food?

Not eating at Burger King is certainly your perogative, as is not watching porn you dislike. Nuking all hamburger-based restaurants because you don’t like Whoppers, on the other hand, or calling for jailing every man who views a porn clip because he MIGHT end up raping someone, probably makes you a fascist censor. And no, your personal opinion on sex has not a Goddess damn thing to do with that.

And…”porn is not sex”?? Isn’t that like saying that the National Football League isn’t real football, but a “hyped, for-sale, fictionalized version” of…you know, high school football??

Or: I like sex just fine. But I prefer to have sex only with someone I actually know and like, for free, in private with no strangers watching. Why is that weird to you?

As if porn performers don’t like the other performers they let into their pussies, mouths, and asses? I mean, you have to like someone very much in order to be that intimate with them, even if it’s only for an 4-5 hour shoot.

And…just because you are more conventionally prudish (and that is your right to be, as well), doesn’t mean you get to bash down on those who aren’t so private with their enjoyment of sex, and who still do no harm to anyone. They’re not imposing their openess on you; why should you impose your prudishness on them??

13) They say: You’re just jealous because you’re not as pretty as a porn-star

You say: Even porn-stars don’t look like their original selves. After a few rounds of surgery, a dye job, and some makeup I could look exactly like them.

Two words: Shelley. Lubben.

Three more words: Tammy. Faye. Bakker.

Plus, allow me to introduce you to Dana DeArmond, Siri, Courtney Trouble, Jayla Diamond, Debi Diamond, Marilyn Chambers (well, when she was still alive), Christy Canyon, Vanessa del Rio, April Flores, Carmen Valentina, and countless other porn performer legends/superstars/models who managed to survive on only makeup and slutpower, without any artificial enhancements.

But, why knock on women who are actually physically attactive and can perform well on screen or online? Like, only mainstream Hollywood actresses can’t make sex tapes, too??

14) They say: You’re just jealous because men like them better than you.

You say: It’s been successfully proven that just about any naked woman can get any straight man’s attention pretty quickly. It’s not hard to do, and it doesn’t make you special.

So….are you saying, OAG, that if Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin tomorrow decided to go on the teevee tomorrow announcing their candidacies, take off their clothes, and pose buck naked for a nudie magazine, every single man would fall so head over heels for them that either one would be appointed President of the United States by acclamation?? Naaaaah, I don’t think so.

Nudity can produce plenty of reactions….overwhelming sexual arousal is only one of them. It depends on the individual responses of the subject, as well as the audience.

15) They say: I’ve watched porn and I’ve never raped anyone.

You say: I guess you are arguing that words and images paired together do not have the power to influence human behavior. If that is your argument, then kindly explain:

[1] the multi-billion dollar industry called ‘advertising’
[2] kids learning their ABCs from Sesame Street
[3] people learning to make a meal by watching Martha Stewart
[4] public service announcements telling us not to drink and drive
[5] (insert your own example here)

First off….rapists have been raping without the need for porn as an aid for centuries, and probably will still do so even if porn is banished as OAG would love to happen.

Seccondly….advertising does not control people’s hunger or thirst or desire for education; it simply passes on messages that people internalize and take into consideration in making their own decisions.

“Influencing” behavior is not the same as regulating it…and notice that OAG is using that as an excuse for her opinion that government should directly regulate male (and female) sexual behavior by criminalizing certain imagery and behavior as “abusive” and “degrading” to a group of people (women) solely on the basis of assumption.

16) They say: The women in the industry make more money than men, therefore it’s empowering to them.

You say: It’s true that pornography and prostitution are the only industries where a woman can out-earn her male counterparts. What does that say about our economy, or about women’s power, that the only way for a woman to outearn a man is to get naked and fuck strangers?

What it says is that the economy needs to be restructured so that women who perform the same jobs as men and who show the same compentency should be paid at least the same amount, and that women should be given the same level of benefits and responsibility and accountability as men should be. That’s an issue of sexism and inequality, not an issue of porn.

And, I have in my hand, as The Mighty Carnac’s straight man would say, the final argument:

17) They say: You want to censor all porn!

You say: I haven’t ever mentioned censorship, which doesn’t address demand for porn. You’re saying that to shut me up and it won’t work.

Of course, you don’t mention “censorship” since you want to cloak the issue of your dislike and disgust of porn under the realm of “civil rights” liberalism, and differentiate your movement from the Christian Right. And yet, how else would your hatred of porn resolve itself but to rely on censorship and punishment of the consumers and users?

Since “demand” for porn simply isn’t going to abate regardless of how much shame you throw at its users, how else are you going to bring down the demons? More “civil rights ordinances”, a la Catherine MacKinnon’s seminal Minneapolis ordinance?? Nope….that was killed by the US Supreme Court as censorship. Remarking porn as “sex trafficking” and sending all male users to “john school” to rid them of those nasty degrading desires?? Lotsa Luck there, ladies….that’s not even working for clients of street sex workers. I guess that all that’s left is forcing filters on ISP’s and “education” and bans on “revenge porn” and “violent porn” and “torture porn” expanded to drag everyone else in their dragnet.

But then again, if One Angry Whackjob….errrrrrrrr, One Angry Girl actually was interested in discussing real solutions to her angst about sexually explicit media, she wouldn’t be One Angry Girl, now wouldn’t she??

BTW…here’s that video from Jordan Owen I talked about earlier. The “One Angry Valley Girl” simulation of OAG’s “rebuttal” gives it a nice touch, no??

Jordan Owen (@JordanOwen42) refuting OneAngryGirl’s “handy comebacks” on pornography (via YouTube)

 

Posted in Asshattery, Love Me, I'm A Liberal...NOT!!!, Nothing But The Fisk, Porn in the US of A, The Feminist Sex Wars, The Vast Sex Pox Conspriacy | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The More I Try To Leave, They Just Pull Me Back…Gail Dines, Stop Porn Culture, And Their Latest Round Of Antiporn Propaganda Bombing

You know, folks…you’d think that with my night job and other matters, I’d finally be able to rest a bit from the world of blogging and focus myself on living in the real world.

Problem is, some people just don’t know when to stop digging.

You would think that after all the intellectual butt kickings Gail Dines has endured, that she and her antipornography “feminist” guilttrippers would simply fade into the sunset.  NOPE. Not by a longshot. Since the antiporn “feminists” have finally joined forces with that other wing of sexual repression, the anti-sexworker/”abolitionist” movement that redefines prostitution as “sex trafficking” of women and any and all forms of intergender sex not redeemable by “radical feminist” principles as rape, it seems to have given Dines a new lease on life. Thusly, she has now decided to, shall we say, spread her wings and her crapola ideology to new heights of crazaa…..as well as new venues.

So, recently, Dines and her principled antiporn group Stop Porn Culture announced with great florish that they would be holding a conference in London in mid-March, where they would push hard to defend and extend Prime Minister David Cameron’s recently imposed policy of forcing Internet Service Providers to block access to sexually explicit materials available on the Internet. The “opt-in” policy essentially imposes filters to block access to “pornography”, but persons wanting to get porn have to essentially file with the ISP to open access, essentially exposing them to the usual ridicule and persecution. Of course, Dines and SPC would love to have so much more censorship….errrrrrrr, “education” of the public on the innate harms of porn on women and children, as well as their newly discovered concern over the problem of “porn addiction”, that falsehood that viewing one picture or movie clip of a blowjob or an overly aggressive consensual anal scene will screw up relationships for life.

Naturally, there are people who don’t quite agree with this “analysis”….mostly, the majority of sane people. But, since porn performers and anticensorship activists in Great Britain would be the most affected by Dines’ program, they are the ones who are at the most risk of losing their livelihoods….and they are starting to fight back. One such group, Sex and Censorship, made up of both porn performers and people opposed to sexual censorship in general, decided to put up a Facebook page promoting their protest of the SPC conference, and seeking equal time to offer a counterpoint view about porn and porn performers. A trenchant essay by performer Renee Richards debunking all of the usual Dines/SPC talking points about the poor “prostituted” pornstar appears here.

Well, if there’s anything that Gail and her allies don’t like, it’s being challenged in a fair discussion. And especially, by active female performers whose life experiences don’t quite mesh perfectly with the gothic fantasies of terror and anal destruction and mass rape used by SPC to sell their position. But, since Gail refuses to even recognize porn performers in any way other than “victims” of male rapacity (or paid sellouts of the “capitalist patriarchy”), she has to find other means of expressing her “concern”. And that brings us to what happened today over at the Sex and Censorship Facebook page.

The fun started when a performer named Karrie Louisecurrie posted that she would be at any protest of SPC, with bells and whistles on:

KarrieLCommentToSexCensorship

It was those two words “sexually retarded” that got Gail Dines fumed enough to post a counter. I guess that if Karrie had used the phrase “sexually backwards”, then that would have been OK for Gail, then?? Probably not. Anyway’s, here’s what Dines originally posted in response to SaC’s request for a proper debate:

GailDinesResponseToSaCRequestForDebate

Oh, yeah….Gail and her allies would certainly respect the views of her critics, and would never attempt to intervene to smear them, right?? RIGHT?? RIGHT??? Yeah, right.

And also, note the not so subtle bias in Dines’ resolution of “debate”: “We will not allow you pro-porn rape-enabling creeps to contaminate OUR pure and lovely conference…but if you want a debate where you get to make your points (and then we get to bash them), you can do so at your venue and at your expense. IOW, we control our agenda and venue, and we reserve the right to control yours, too.”

Oh, but that was only Part One.  Here’s where the real game begins, when Gail responds not too well to Karrina’s “sexually retarded” smack:

GailDinesResponseToKarrine

Of course not, Gail…we know that you only treat porn performers and their supporters with the utmost respect and refuse to call them bad names..like “a savage torturer of women” or “mindless wanker who lives in his mom’s basement and jerks off all day”, or “fucking sellouts” who “exploit women for personal profit”.

Now, using the term “retarded” as a colloquial for actually mentally ill people is a bit backward, and I would support any attempt to educate folk to disabuse themselves of that insult. However, “retarded” can also simply mean “not up to the times” or not fully educated; and on the point of women’s sexual autonomy?? Sorry, Gail, but Karinna’s phrase is more than adequate to apply to your ideology. It is “sexually retarded” to deny women any social agency or will or consent in sexual affairs. It is even worse to use that as a ruse to shut her or any other critic down.

But apparently, that wasn’t enough for Gail or SPC that she gave a response…for all of a sudden, the Sex and Censorship Facebook page got bombarded by a slew of comments from Dines’ reserve army of Keyboard Propagandists, all of whom ready and willing with the usual arguments and talking points about the innate evil of porn and its proven-by-faith connection with “sex-trafficking”, rape, domestic abuse, murder, and all other sources of evil. This took the form of a four-person wankaround (well, as much a wankaround as antiporn folk would have) in which they “discussed” with each other the issue of why porn was really, really BAD. It was as if they arranged a coup over the actual owners of the SaC page and just plain took over.

Let me give you a sample of what happened when someone not of their hivemind (namely, moi and Zach “3ach39″ Weimer) attempted to bring actual truth to their wankfest.

ResponseToDinesSPC_1

ResponseToDinesSPC_2

That’s right, folks….I’m the “braindead”. But, we all know antiporn “feminists” don’t believe in namecalling, amirite??

And then watch as they attempt to use me as their own intellectual pinata:

ResponseToDinesSPC_3

Oh, but do feel free to go over there and read up on the entire exchange…it’s a lulu.

The most interesting part of this is how the antiporn movement has now fully absorbed the arguments of the antisexwork “abolitionist” movement that porn is merely an extension of prostitution and “sex trafficking” of girls into coerced acts of male sexual freakery…in addition to the also disproven tales of “porn addiction”. Indeed, Stop Porn Culture has gone to great lengths to attempt to incorporate all these neuroses into one great “Reefer Madness” campaign, the likes of which classic antiporn crusaders Charles Keating and J. Eghar Hoover would have craved. One of the best examples of this nonsense?? The following “inforgraphic” from SPC’s affiliate site FightTheDrug.com, which attempts to revive the old “Porn is like crack cocaine to the body because EROTOXINS!!!!!” meme…among others. (Click on image for larger view.)

BffZxDMIMAAg4PE

All in all, you can see that things haven’t changed much with Gail….other than the fact that she now has new microphones to break. I guess that I’ll just have to hold up on that retirement party and stick around enough to debunk her BS for a while longer. Better to be a braindead than to be a fascist anytime, you know.

Posted in Asshattery, Love Me, I'm A Liberal...NOT!!!, Nothing But The Fisk, Porn in the US of A, Support Your Local Sex Worker/Performer, The Gail Dines Files | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Nice Allies You Have, Gail!! (#Chapter 206): Judith “Bat-Ada” Reisman Goes Wingnut Daily Against Condoms For Anal Sex (And AHF’s Condom Mandate)

[Note: A slightly condensed and edited version of this post is crossposted over at BPPA. Originally posted on March 15th.]

There is a saying; Be careful of who you lie with, because you just might get bitten in the ass. Unless, of course, ass bites are one of your most cherished fetishes.

You may remember the name Judith Reisman from her recent alliances with Shelley Lubben; the two actually joined forces in a You Tube video taped at a recent porn convention where Shelley was actively trolling for new fresh recruits to scam for her Pink Cross faux ministry or ex-porn starlets. Before then, “Dr.” Reisman was well acclaimed as a crackpot right-wing “scholar” who focused her antiporn activism on the calamitous impact of porn on the synapses of its user through “erotoxins”, as well as her usual crackpot opposition to any form of sexual activity not approvable to her Christian fundamentalist sensibiities.

You may also remember “Dr.” Reisman from her legacy of going from being a script writer for the old-school children’s TV show Captain Kangaroo (an eye-roller of its own, considering that Mr. Captain himself, Bob Keeshan, was a openly activist liberal) to becoming an antiporn “feminist” activist who blamed adult sexual speech for causing child sexual abuse, pedophilia, rape, and other degradations to women and children. In an essay that was posted to the 1970′s antirape radicalfeminist anthem, Take Back The Night, she maligned the three founders of print porn media — Playboy’s Hugh Hefner, Penthouse’s Bob Guccione, and HUSTLER’s Larry Flynt, in no particular order, as “Hitler, Stalin, and Goebbels”. She then parlayed that pub into an appearance giving testimony to the 1980′s Meese Commission On Pornography, where she got to pontificate on the cosmic danger of Playboy pushing child porn to impressionable youth through its…cartoons.

So…how does this connect with Gail Dines?? Well, Reisman’s “scholarship” on the negative impacts of porn has been used, reused, and used over and over again by Dines and her associates over at Stop Porn Culture to make their case for censorship of all sexually explicit material. Also, Shelley Lubben has often used Reisman as a go-to source for some of most classic rantage about the destructiveness of porn on those who perform it.

Even better than that, Dines and SPC have been more frequently using Reisman’s “scholarship” as a means to unite the antiporn “feminist” and traditionalist Religious Right “obscenity” movements with the anti-sex work “abolitionists” in connecting porn and prostitution/escorting/oncall sexual services/sexual commerce as “sex trafficking”.

Plus (and here’s the kicker to all this), Dines has been attempting to glam her way into the debate over mandatory condoms in porn by positively citing the efforts of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to force performers to use condoms and other “barrier methods” as a means of containing an alleged STI/HIV “pandemic”. Never mind that the efforts of AHF come from a fundamentally different paradigm of making money off condom sales….ahhhh, I mean, protecting the jobs of crossover HIV+ performers who would be otherwise prevented from performing in the “straight” porn industry due to the current screening/testing regimen imposed by the Free Speech Coalition’s PASS protocols. And, never mind that AHF’s core constituency happens to be the very gay male community that has been truly wrecked by the HIV pandemic, albeit there is vast opposition even there to what some feel is AHF’s hamfisted approach to selling condoms as “behavior modification” as opposed to treatment or development of a vaccine to cure HIV. To Gail Dines, anything that can be used to slam porn as “corporate capitalist” mass rape and abuse of women is a good thing.

Except, with Judith Reisman, she may have bit off just a bit too much.

Michael Whiteacre of The Real Porn Wikileaks alerted me to an article which ran today over at the very, very ultra right-wing site World Net Daily, which most folk would much prefer to call “Wingnut Daily” due to its predisposition to the most bizarre conspiracy theories known to mankind. You know…”Barack HUSSEIN Obama is a MUSLIM, born in Kenya, raised in a madrassa, imported by Godless Communists to America, raised again by a stripper….and then he cheated and bought his way to become the Imperial Socialist/Muslim President of the United States through ACORN and 14th Amendment illegals and Black Nationalist gangstas and baby-killing slut porno women mooching off the “makers” for their birth control, so that the United Nations and their Democrat Party stooges can impost Agenda 21 and Sharia Law and lock up good conservative Patriots in concentration camps!!! WHERE’S THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE????????”

Anyways..the article pretended itself to be an attack on the notion that condoms are the most effective means for gay male folk to protect themselves against STI’s, including HIV/AIDS. It preferred the old tried-an-true method of gays giving up their nasty, sinful, disgusting “buggery” and coming home to Jesus Christ and the joys of heterosexual monogamy and procreative marriage..or facing the full brunt of criminalization through anti-sodomy laws. The article also called for good, God-fearing families of people suffering from HIV, and/or the relatives of people who actually succumbed to HIV/AIDS, to be able to file class action suits against “pro-gay” organizations for lying about the true nature of condoms failing to protect their users from contracting HIV.

Further, the WND article claimed that anal “sex” (yes, the fright quotes are included, because to the author of the piece, penises should never, ever attempt to even touch the tender anal passages of any other person, especially not another man) is not subject to the wonderful protection of more Godly acts like “natural” vaginal sex, because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) allegedly never approved the use of condoms for anal penetration.

The author’s evidence for this?? Merely citations from a “study” from a right-wing Hawaii state senator named Bob McDermott, attempting to oppose a sex education program in that state that was used by a whopping 12 schools, which called for the usage of condoms as a barrier protectant for PIV and anal penetration. That study took note of the disclaimer that the CDC had not endorsed the use of the original condoms for anal sex due to the risk of breakage and the inflexibility of anal passages. A single line quote from Rep. McDermott condenses the point concisely:

“Genitals are sexual reproductive organs,” McDermott told EAGnews, “and the a– isn’t that.”

Don’t you just love how fundie rightwingers are so quick with cursing, and just as quick with masking it?

The payoff paragraph in this is whom the author recommends to be sued:

A class action lawsuit by AIDS victims and their loved ones would rock the world – a suit based on the fact that condom pushers have for years dispensed false, deceptive claims about how the product protects – or fails to protect – the health of sex participants. The reality is that everyday condoms are manufactured and approved for natural, vaginal sex, not anal “sex” – they are not effectively designed to protect from disease those people who engage in sodomy.

Such a lawsuit should target the AIDS Heathcare Foundation, Planned Parenthood and a myriad of teachers and school systems, too many to count, that have taught that anal “sex” (traditionally termed “sodomy” or “buggery” under British-based legal codes) as not so different than natural coitus.

A right-wing antigay organization targeting AHF for representing HIV+ gay folk isn’t really news, of course. Until you find out that the author of that piece happens to be…. (screenshot, please)

WingnutDailyReismanLede

[click on thumb to link to article]

Yup….you read right….THAT Judith Reisman. Gail Dines’ go-to source for “feminist” analysis against porn. The artist formerly known as “Judith Bat-Ada” who was so trusted by radfems that she scored a essay in one of their classic anthologies. The one connection between the whacked-out Hard Right and the radfem antiporn “Left”. THAT Judith Reisman.

And now, the same Judith Reisman who is now attempting to ride the wave of antiporn/anti-sexwork activism, and link it with the anti- “sex trafficking” and “porn addiction” movements, and bring her old-school historic antigay bigotry into the mix.

Gee…I wonder what Michael Weinstein would be thinking once he reads this? Or, the “radicallesbians” now totally committed to this “alliance”? Or, for that matter, Professor Dines herself, since she constantly rails about her movement being nicked falsely as palling around with reactionaries. Or…is World Net Daily now simply her newest ally in the fight against The Great Porn Capitalist Conspiracy, and any talk of a “progressive” antiporn “feminist” movement merely just a ruse to cover up the usual sex-hate against anything not linked to procreation or “mutual love”?

I suppose we will all have to see for ourselves, right??

Posted in Asshattery, Porn in the US of A, Right-Wing Loony Tunes, The Gail Dines Files | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Faux-Left (More Like Right-Wing) Antiporn/Anti-Sex Work “Feminist” Movement (Or, Why Gail Dines Is WAY Closer To The Tea Partiers Than She Thinks The Porn Industry Is)

Reading the response of Sex and Censorship’s Jerry Barrett to Gail Dines’ assault on his group for daring to oppose Dines’ and Stop Porn Culture’s scheduled London conference on pornography is quite illuminating, to say the least. It isn’t just that Barrett has the courage to rebute and rebuke all of Dines’ prattle about how porn is capitalism’s means of suppressing, raping, and torturing women, and how the “porn industry” is the equivalency of the Tea Party in defending corporate plunder…never mind that Dines has never said or typed one letter of one word regarding corporate abuse in any other profession other than porn. It’s really more about how Barrett responds to the attempt by Professor Dines to shame him and his organization as right-wingers. Here’s how he responded to one of her slanders:

As for Dines comparing my small campaign group with the Tea Party: my own politics are left-of-centre. I am no anti-government militant. Yes, I am an ardent campaigner for free speech, but an equally strong supporter of Britain’s National Health Service (which, incidentally, gives free, regular STI checks to pornstars), a strong welfare safety net, and other tax-funded government services. I believe that government belongs in health, education, welfare, social services, environmental protection and transport; but I do not believe – unlike Dines – that it belongs in our bedrooms.

As a working-class Black man, a Lefty who believes in pretty much the same economic political agenda as Mr. Barrett (of course, adjusted to the political spectrum of the US, I would be well to the Left of even his positions), and a long time defender of free consensual adult sexual expression and adult sexual media, I can pretty much feel for his frustration and anguish at always having to apologize for linking his sexual/social libertarianism with his economic radicalism. As someone who has for the past 10 years or so battled with the socially regressive policies of antiporn “feminist” activism in regards to sex work (including the pornography/erotic dance and prostitution/escort/outcall services), I share with him the belief that sex work can be, even in an egalitarian or even socialist society, a legitimate and socially acceptable means of work for women and men which should be treated and reformed like all other forms of work done in exchange for compensation.

For walking the talk of these principles, we men who reject the Gail Dines/Stop Porn Culture/Andrea Dworkin/Catherine MacKinnon/Julie Bindel/Melissa Farley-led ideology of “Men are eternal rapist, seeking control and possession and access to women’s BODY!!!” (more on that shortly) are essentially maligned in radicalfeminist circles as “pimps”, “pedophiles”, “abusers”, “basement dwellers who masturbate endlessly in our mother’s basements”, “trolls”, and other such endearments….all for the sin of having working penises and the forethought to accept them and use them wisely and appropriately. The fact that we absolutely abhor and fundamentally oppose any means of abuse, sexual or otherwise, or any person — woman, child, or man, simply does not measure in the hive mindset of the antiporn/antisexwork “feminists”…to them, you are either one of them, or you are one of the rapists.

But, perhaps one of the most astonishing ironies is that for all of their attempts of recent time to paint themselves as the vangard of the Left in opposing pornography/consensual adult sex work as “corporate fascism against the civil rights of women”, the history of antiporn “feminism” reveals a stunning projectionism on their side. Indeed, they are far, far closer to the policies and even tactics of the Right than any “pro-porn” male could ever dream of.

Let’s go back in history, shall we?? Back to 1986, when Barnard College held its annual Sexuality confrence, in which a group of “sex-positive” and anticensorship feminists attempted to bring a more liberatory and progressive praxis of sexuality. You may remember these names: Carole Vance, Amber Hollibaugh, Ellen Willis, Gayle Rubin, Pat Califia (before her gender transition), Betty Dodson, Susie Bright….these were the pioneers of what was then called “pro-sex feminism”, which attempted to bring a fresh and progressive analysis of institutionalized sexual regulation and repression into feminist and Leftist political theory.

You may also remember these names as well: Kathleen Barry, Robin Morgan, Andrea Dworkin, Catherine MacKinnon, Shelia Jeffreys, Rebecca Wheishunt, Norma Ramos, Judith Bat-Ada (also known as Dr. Judith Reisman)…these were the antiporn “feminist” activists of that time that vigorously fought against anything that deviated from the party line that porn was man’s template to raping women and that only censorship, albeit deferred through “civil rights ordinances” and “Nordic Model”-style legislation targeting male consumers/users rather than the women themselves.

In 1986, the “anti’s” responded to the “pro-sex” side’s attempt to enliven the debate with the same tactics that Gail Dines and Stop Porn Culture excel at to this day. They flooded the sponsors of the conference with propaganda depicting the “pro-sex” feminists as sexual “deviants” and apostates, indulging in the worst “male oriented” sexual deviancies, including depicting BDSM (or, as it was called back then, S&M) as rape and torture. They disrupted conference venues with staged protests under the guise of defending “feminist sexuality” against the male “violence” they alleged was implicit in the other side’s advocacy. And, they were successful in tainting the conference such that funding for future feminist conferences were withheld due to political pressure from conservative politicians aghast that such sexual freakery would be given such legitimacy in the stoic halls of Academia.

Fast forward now to 2013….and the newest attempt by academics to develop truly accurate and sustainable research on the diaspora of pornography and its impact on people and culture. Two British academics decided to launch a new repository called the Porn Studies Journal, which would serve as a foundation for studying the industry, its clientele, and its social and political impacts. Almost immediately upon learning of this, the antiporn “feminist” side — in particular, Stop Porn Culture — went beserk, and instantly attempted to silence this uprising under the ruse of “academic bias”. Their leader was none other than….Gail Dines:

 In the interest of academic integrity and thorough critical inquiry, it is imperative that a journal titled Porn Studies creates space for critical analyses of porn from diverse and divergent perspectives. Our hope is that you will change the composition of the editorial board, confirm the journal’s commitment to a heterogeneous interrogation of the issues embedded in porn and porn culture, and ensure that diverse perspectives are represented – on the board and also in the essays published in the journal. Failing that, we ask that you change the name to reflect and make evident the bias of its editors (Pro-Porn Studies) and create another journal which will represent the position of anti-porn scholars and activists and the voices of mental health professionals, porn industry survivors, and feminist scholars whose analyses examine the replication and reification of misogyny, child abuse, and sexual exploitation in mainstream pornography (for instance, Critical Porn Studies).

In other words: no venue for “pro-porn studies” unless and until the antiporn view was present to “balance” it out…or simply the sole position available. And then, the “pro-porn” view would only exist as marked with the antiporn “scarlet letter”, like the McCarthy days when labor unions would have to register as “Communist” in order to even be allowed to exist.

It is a mockery and a disgrace to the word to label this kind of repressive action “progressive” or “Leftist”…even if far too often some self-identified Leftist do on occasion give their support to such campaigns under the guise of “protecting women and children from abuse”.

It is even worse, however, when the same movement who props themselves as “anticorporate” and mimes the liberal rhetoric is revealed to engage in the very corporate fascist behavior they would project onto their opponents. Lately, antiporn “feminists” such as Dines and the SPC have attempted to glam themselves onto the coattails of the anti-sexwork/anti-”sex trafficking” movement, seeking to apply the same repressive “Nordic” model laws targeting male clients/enablers of prostitution/escorting as “pimps” and “johns” to the porn industry. Not surprisingly, their main source for bringing porn into the sex trafficking debate happens to be an antifeminist fundamentalist Christian — former porn performer Shelley Lubben, whom Dines befriended in 2012 at a debate on porn at Cambridge. Lubben had, in an historically incoherent rant there, called porn “sexual slavery” and “a major source of sex trafficking” in America.

Problem is, though, the new “abolitionist” movement is hardly the anti-corporate populist campaign that is portrayed in friendly antiporn radical “feminist” media; it is reinforced and backed by non-profit organizations swelling with contributions from wealthy individuals and corporations (such as the Hunt sisters); and the laws that they propose are backed by the full force of the very corporate state they deem to be dominated by the “pornographers”. Some of the “Nordic” Model’s most ardent backers are traditional conservative Repubican attorney generals, sheriffs, and even ultraconservatives like Texas Attorney General and potential Governor Greg Abbott — who happens to be endorsed by his state’s Tea Party!!!

Of course, anyone who understands the fundamentals of basic cultural Right politics understands the depth of sexual fear and loathing that allows antiporn “feminists” and the Religious Right to work together on cultural/political causes (even if at arms’ length from each other, in their own venues). Both movements share the basic idea that sex is only redeemable and acceptable under a narrow, politically correct, and restrictive context. For the “traditionalist” Right, its Biblicly-pronounced procreation within heterosexual monogamous marriage; for the “radfems”, its “transcending, unifying, fusion with “woman’s body/spirit” absent of all those nasty, male-oriented, corporate-based orgasms. Both segments assert blind faith in their ideology through selective interpretations designed to overwhelm actual experiences and scientifically proven facts that don’t mesh with their belief systems. But mostly, both “faiths” malign and ultimately destroy people who do no harm to themselves or others, merely for the goal of self-profit and self-sustainablilty…all the time purporting themselves to be the ultimate “good” for everyone to either adapt totally or die.

Both segments also tend highly to slander their opponents as sexual “libertines” (or, to use a slightly less obtuse word, “libertarians”) who put their personal pleasures ahead of the suffering of a victimized “class” or likeminded group. This is a severe bastardization of any decent Leftist definition of “class”, which traditionally only meant anyone who depended on their wages in exchange for their labor to survive. It is also a massive scapegoating and dissembling that denies that men or non-heterosexuals or the transgendered person or sexually deviant could ever be a normal, responsible, healthy, law-abiding citizen who is capable of making informed decisions for him/herself.

It is well understood by any Leftist worth his/her salt that the fight for equality nevertheless requires transfers of power and wealth and privilege away from those who currently have too much of it into the hands of those lacking it. Redistribution of wealth and power, as well as correcting the real life history and legacy of discrimination and subjugation, as well as debunking the bigotry and outright hatred used to justify inequality, is a absolute must for anyone who takes the idea of egalitarianism seriously.

What separates the serious Leftist from the charlatans who attempt to pretend on the fly, however, is that the former balances their goals of equality and justice with respect for individual growth and development and choice and personal agency. (S)he understands that you cannot, as much as some would like to, shoehorn every one into one shape, one form, one style, or one template; and that mutual respect, mutual consent, and mutual pleasure, if not negotiated peaceful coexistence, is the means for our earth to survive.

It is legitimate progressives like Jerry Barrett and Renee Richards, like Nina Hartley and Ernest Greene and Katherine Cooper and Liza Sabater, who represent the finest of Left tradition in balancing respect for individual rights and choice with passion for true human equality. It is fools like Gail Dines and Stop Porn Culture and Robert Jensen and other faux “progressives” and “male feminists” who sully the good name of the Left with their totalitarianism and sexual bigotry. Time and action will ultimately prove my words to be correct.

Posted in Asshattery, Love Me, I'm A Liberal...NOT!!!, Porn in the US of A, The Gail Dines Files | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No, Gail Dines…Sex And Censorship Is NOT Even Close To The Tea Party. Check Your Mirror.

WOW.

So, Gail Dines, on the eve of her Stop Porn Culture conference in London, is all in rage because the group Sex And Censorship decided to get UK porn performers and anticensorship activists to directly rebuke her antiporn “feminist” nonsense.

And then, she decided to vent her fury once again over at her favorite lefty journal, CounterPunch.

I just finished posting some commemorative posts here in celebration of Nina Hartley’s 55th birthday (which was actually yesterday), and didn’t hear about Professor Dines’ latest rantage until about an hour ago.

In this latest attempt at riposte’, Gail goes even beyond her usual extremes of looniness by attempting to compare SaC with..hold on to your hats, folks…the Tea Party of the United States.

I’ll give you a minute to clean the spill off your shirt before I begin the fisking.

OK…time’s up.

The UK porn industry seems to have taken a page from the Tea Party’s organizing playbook by setting up a group called Sex and Censorship that markets itself as an organization dedicated to “defending Free Speech and Sexual Freedom.” Reading their website and Facebook page, however, reveals a very different story. S&C seems more like an organization dedicated to defending the speech of the porn industry by consistently attacking groups that question the industry’s exploitation of its employees or its domination of the sexual landscape with misogynist images that undermine the civil rights of women.

Number One, Gail…the Tea Party is actually an organic movement of Far Right citizens linked together by a particular group of ultraright-wing billionaires and Wall Street hedge fund pushers. Sex and Censorship, on the other hand, is an ad hoc group of porn performers and anticensorship advocates who basically unite to defend the rights of porn performers from exactly the type of slander, libel, and outright lies that orgs like Stop Porn Culture and people like you throw at them.

And Number Two, Gail….only someone as ignorant about American politics as you would even think of equating the most right-wing, religious fundamentalist political organization with a scattered group of performers using a free blog and a protest outside your conference. But then again, you’re a woman who thinks that consensual BDSM sex warrants sending in the United Nations.

A bit of digging around reveals that S&C, rather than being an authentic grassroots organization, is actually an industry-driven Astroturf group with fake grassroots. S&C is the brainchild of Jerry Barnett, who was described by the BBC in 2008 as “the boss of the UK’s biggest adult website”, and is now chairman of the Adult Industry Trade Association. Given Barnett’s porn industry background and backers, it is not surprising that S&C is particularly concerned with limiting governmental regulation. According to the website, “We aim to reach out to journalists and politicians and ensure that scare stories are not used to introduce yet more laws and regulations….”

Leave it to Gail to define what is “astroturf” and what is authentic…especially since we kow nothing about how Stop Porn Culture is funded….though considering that Gail has now gone all-in on the “sexual trafficking”/anti-sex work “abolitionist” movement that is directly funded through corporate NGO’s and wealthy folk (like, for instance, the Hunt sisters), you have to wonder whether the real issue is “not our Astroturf”.

And yeah….owning the UK’s biggest website certainly makes you the equivalent of the Koch brothers or Richard Mellon Scaife or ALEC, right??

Last month, New York Senator Chuck Schumer criticized the Tea Party for being funded by wealthy, selfish, narrow-minded people who “don’t want government interfering with their companies no matter what damage their companies may do to their workers, to the environment or to anybody else.” He could have been talking about the porn industry here, because it has willfully put porn performers at risk by fighting measures in the US to enforce condom use. Although studies have found that STDs are rampant in the industry, the industry treats the performers as contract workers, so it doesn’t have to pay health insurance or any other benefits.

Ahhhh….no, Professor Dines, not even close. The issues with the condom mandate is not that the industry opposes condom usage, it’s that the mandate’s forcing condoms down performers’ throats and removing of the current testing/screening system that has worked in curtailing HIV/STI outbreaks would be a far greater threat to performers and fans. But, by all means, Gail, keep quoting the AIDS Healthcare Foundation propaganda as your new standard, and avoid the actual facts.

Also…so funny that Dines is so quick to attack porn companies for not providing health care benefits as “employees” rather than “contract workers”, but has nothing whatsoever to say about her allies not even allowing their employees to form unions to protect their rights and benefits. Or, for that matter, even empowering performers themselves to organize to protect their benefits.

The similarities between the Tea Party and S&C became most apparent last week when the group placed Stop Porn Culture in the crosshairs of their rifle by organizing a protest of our first UK conference on March 15th. Adopting the now-predictable Astroturf method of inverting reality, S&C framed Stop Porn Culture, an educational group dedicated to raising consciousness about the effects of porn, as a group working to ban and censor porn, and to “shut down debate.” This claim reeks of hypocrisy, coming from a group whose purpose is to shut down any criticism of the industry and to disrupt our educational conference!

Oh, gee, Gail, why would we thing that of your organization?? I mean, surely SPC has never, ever endorsed censorship in any way, right?? You mean, your stated support for forcing ISP’s to filter out adult content and force those adults wanting such to “opt-in” through registration with the government (thus opening them up to not only abusive spam and selective harassment, but potential blackmail) isn’t a form of censorship?? Or, your attempt to intimidate the Radisson Hotel for hosting an adult business conference (XBiz EU)?? Orrrrr…your campaign to put down the Porn Studies Journal for being insufficiently antiporn?? Or, 3ven…your continuous crackbacks at “feminist porn” advocates/producers and the journalists who enable them?? And, let’s not begin to bring up “The Price of Pleasure“, OK??

What makes this protest’s methods so like those of the Tea Party is the way S&C adopts standard corporate political strategy by claiming to act on behalf of workers to mask the interests of capitalist elites. S&C is calling the protest “Don’t Censor Me! Performers and Models protest in London,” and is trying to mobilize porn performers to protest against Stop Porn Culture. Astroturf groups’ manipulating workers to protect corporate interests is a tried-and-true tactic that has worked especially well for the fossil fuel industries.

“Mobilize porn performers”??? You mean, Gail, that porn performers are so mindless that they can’t protest on their very own accord against your libelous bullshit? That, they can only speak through the tainted money of the evil Porn Capitalist Complex??? So, if porn performers don’t accept your condemnation of them, Gail, they are merely “manipulated”?? Gotcha.

If the porn industry wants to protest our conference, then fine…. But have the guts to send the producers, owners and distributors who get rich from porn—not the contract employees who make next to nothing. There is something especially manipulative and cowardly about the porn industry and its shills hiding behind the most exploited of women, who are at daily risk of bodily injury, STDs, and emotional and physical abuse.

Ah, yes….back to the old “prostituted women” meme, now extended to include porn performers who obviously are too stupid or too horny to realize how “prostituted” they really are. The idea of porn performers actually organizing to get more of the pie by attacking piracy from tube sites or organizing unions/performer guilds to pool their resources?? An alien idea to an “anticapitalist” like Dines. Like their “prostituted” sisters, the only choice is either: convert to the radicalfeminist hivemind, or lose your livelihood through the “Nordic”/”Swedish” Model legislation punishing men for their erections (and by extension, women who make money off male erections and female damp panties).

One of the ironies of this carefully choreographed circus by the S&C is that the very same weekend, across the pond in Virginia, pro-porners will be holding their own conference called Catalystcon. No feminist anti-porn groups will be protesting this conference because, unlike S&C, we believe in the right of individuals to speak freely. As much as we oppose the views held by most of the presenters at this conference, we refuse to adopt Tea Party strategies to silence those we disagree with.

Oh, pull to the muthaeffin’ LEEEZE, Gail….like you had even heard of CatalystCon before you planned your conference in London, and like you wouldn’t have, if given the choice, attempted to intimidate that meeting.

And allow me to remind you of this: the SaC protest would take place OUTSIDE of the convention where SPC would convene. There would be NO interference, no interruptions, no attempt to intervene and halt SPC’s seminars. In other words, not quite the attempt of “silencing” that Professor Dines would have you believe.

And, finally….I’m real sure that Dee Dennis (the former Diva) would truly agree with your assertion of her conference as  for “proporners”.

Here’s how Gail wraps up her rant:

What we do protest are porn-industry-based conferences because—not withstanding the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, or Mitt Romney’s famous 2011 statement that “Corporations are people, my friend”—protesting corporations is not the same as protesting individuals or non-profit groups. As a non-profit educational group, Stop Porn Culture will not be bullied by the porn industry or their front groups. We ask porn performers to see us, not the industry, as allies, because our goal is to radically restructure this society that allows men to get rich off the commodification of our bodies.

Because, you see, because Stop Porn Culture is non-profit, they are totally immune from accountability for their misstatements and outright lies about porn performers; and they are only crusaders against the power of corporate money and influence. Funny, but where was that sentiment in 2009, Gail, when you and Shelley Lubben shared the dais with Patrick Trueman at the Congressional Luncheon? Or, when you joined the very antifeminist Witherspoon Institute in spouting the “porn addiction” meme for SPC’s website??

This really makes me want to see SPC’s tax records to see whether or not they really are taking corporate money…and considering their alliances with the “sex-trafficking” abolition movement, I’m sure that the money is practically flowing like the Mississippi River into their coffers right about now. Show us the 501(c), Gail!!!

That CounterPunch seems fit to continue to pass Gail Dines on as a legitimate progressive, yet continue to deny legitimate progressive sex workers the same decency of a rebuttal (Hello, Jeremy?? You still have Nina’s email on your eRolodex, right??) says wonders abut the dominant Left blogosphere’s LACK of thought about sexuality and freedom of expression. Seriously, CP…get it right or shut it down.

Well….turns out, they listened for a change. Sex and Censorship’s Jerry Barnett posted a rebuttal to Dines…and CounterPunch actually had the stones to post it. Well done, CP…but only a start. Nina still awaits. Me, too, for that matter.

Also….XBiz gets in on the story with their usual perspective and context. Check them out, too.

Afternote: I just noticed that Gail, in her attempt to move into Michael Weinstein and AHF’s astroturf, linked to the infamous UCLA/CalOSHA study of STI’s in porn released in 2012 and used by AHF as the foundation for their condom mandate campaign. Of course, only those of us addicted to the Porn Capitalist Complex would notice that it is complete bunk, based on cooked stats that treat multiple treatments of the same performer for STI’s as seperate infections; and justifies the condom mandate not for actual protection, but as a means of “mentoring”.  Nice try, though, Professor.

Afternote #2: If you have time, people, go over to the Facebook page of Sex and Censorship and get a load of the attempted comment bomb by some of Gail’s/SPC’s peeps in response to SaC’s protest. It will illuminate your brain as to how they respond to constructive criticism.

Posted in Asshattery, Love Me, I'm A Liberal...NOT!!!, Nothing But The Fisk, Porn in the US of A, The Gail Dines Files | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh, Gail, Gail, Gail…Really?? “Boy Men”?!?!? And Other Signs Or A Classic Meltdown

It’s not an easy thing to suffer from paranoia…as if you can’t really enjoy your own life enough that you have to be so obsessed with everyone else’s. But, when your thoughts are so utterly clouded with the thoughts of others about you that you can’t even function…well, that’s when the line to sheer myopia has been crossed.

And, from the looks of things, Gail Dines has crossed that line. Again. This week.

It seems that all the criticism and backlash to her and her group Stop Porn Culture’s protest in favor of porn censorship later this month in London is now completely occupying her head. In particular, a group of porn performers and assorted anticensorship types called Sex and Censorship has been outspoken in debunking all of the lies and distortions used by Dines and her associates to deny sex workers their livelihoods, their incomes, and their voices.

That frustration was evident yesterday when Dines posted to the SPC Facebook page the following:

GailDinesOnHerBitchModeAgain

I’ll save my response to the “boy-men” smack for last, but let’s review point for point the intense concentration of myopia in this one comment.

Of course, Sex and Censorship is NOT in any way calling for the State to step in and forcibly remove Gail Dines and Stop Porn Culture from holding their conference (which, BTW, is the typical prototypical definition of “censorship”. Nor are they calling for the hosts of SPC’s conference to be boycotted or otherwise punished in any way for hosting the conference. All they asked for is a space in the same venue to speak their side of the debate, and challenge what they see as the distortions and lies spewed forth by the antiporn “feminist” side. But you see, to Gail Dines, not controlling 100% of the discussion is the equivalent of “censorship” of antiporn women.

Besides, it’s not that Dines has any history of attempts at intimidation of venues for allowing the other side. Just ask the Radisson Hotel, or the Porn Studies Journal folk, or the San Francisco Armory.

Next, we have the usual Dines reduction of critics of antiporn “feminist” discourse to men…because clearly women who like porn simply don’t exist. Never mind the fact that Dines has exchanged Twitter space with the likes of Jessica Drake, Stormy Daniels, and a few other performers, selling herself as merely a pragmatic activist selling the Gospel about the harms of porn. Once she’s back in her hive with her GenderBorg* “sisters”, however, the covers are blown off and Gail’s real attitude towards these performers emerges: They don’t even exist as anything other than tools and slaves of the “patriarchy”. Or, maybe they are just the sockpuppets of those evil “boy-men”.

Then there is the ultimate Pot-to-Kettle moment when Gail challenges those “porny men” to actively engage in labor activism for worker rights and women’s reproductive freedom. You mean, like you have, Professor?? Where’s your Occupy Wall Street button?? When was the last time you posted a speech condemning low-wage exploitation or the shredded welfare state, Gail?? Have the words “livable wage”, “guaranteed annual income”, “single payer”, or even “workers’ right to form a union” ever escaped your lips?? Have you given any contributions to NARAL or Wendy’s List or Planned Parenthood?? (Or are they insufficiently antiporn for your comfort??) Resolve that, and you might be more believable.

But…really, seriously, all else pales to the attempted smack of critics as “boy-men”. So, Gail, calling people “sexually retarded” is a cosmic slam against antiporn “feminists” mentally ill people, but reducing 50 year old men to “boy-men” because they dare to defend porn isn’t?? Saying that “porny men” don’t care about issues of human rights for women (even when they explicitly state otherwise and act their principles when not wanking off in their mothers’ basements), seems a bit dissonant with the pledge that “SPC does not direct personal insults towards anyone”. Well, maybe at least we should be grateful for now that Dines actually does sorta kinda recognize “porn performers” as such…considering that previously she cold only see them as “fucking sellouts” or “slaves of the penis” or even “cumdumpsters”. Or, is that more enlightened and respectful stance a ruse only for the public face of SPC, too? (I’m sorry…am I using N**a H*****y’s inner voice again, Professor??)

It would be so hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic…and if women’s livelihoods weren’t so much at stake here.

BTW…an excellent counter response to Dines and SPC’s latest BS’ery is here.

Posted in Asshattery, Porn in the US of A, Support Your Local Sex Worker/Performer, The Gail Dines Files | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Gail Dines Fails Miserably On The Latest HIV Porn Outbreak (Rebuttal From The “Red Garter Belt”)

[This is a general draft of the proposed article that I will ultimately send to CounterPunch as a rebuttal to the Gail Dines essay on the HIV porn "outbreak" that was posted last Friday. It is generally a amalgamation of my original rebuttal that I posted here, but edited and reduced greatly to fit into CP's standards for publishing there. Maybe they will post it, and maybe they won't, but at least I will have made an attempt to counter Dines' control of the microphone.]

A Rebuttal From The “Red Garter Belt”

How Gail Dines Fails Miserably On The Latest HIV In Porn “Outbreak”

by Anthony Kennerson

Perhaps I should be grateful to Professor Gail Dines that she mentions me, or at least my Red Garter Club blog (no belts involved, I’m afraid), in passing as part of her latest essay regarding the current HIV scare in the Los Angeles-based pornography industry. Having been one of her most trenchant critics from the Left, and being both a fan and consumer of mainstream porn and an unabashed supporter of what some decry as “sex-positive” feminism, it doesn’t surprise me at all that she would tend to avoid folk like me if at all possible.

The problem is, though, that Professor Dines seems to have an inverse relationship with the art of fact checking, and a continuous habit of letting her antiporn ideology get in the way of interpreting facts that don’t mesh perfectly with her beliefs and assumptions about porn and its performers, producers, and consumers. This latest essay, I’m afraid, is simply an extension of those previous habits.

First, let’s review the trigger mechanisms that spawned all this. In mid-August, a porn performer named Cameron Bay was verified to have tested positive for HIV, the virus associated with AIDS, through the industry’s regular testing protocols. Later that week, her long-time boyfriend, Rod Daily, also a on/off again performer, but operating on the gay side of the industry, announced that he had gotten infected with the virus as well. After a two week period of testing of first generation shooting partners of Bay turned up negative, an imposed moratorium against shooting porn scenes was lifted after two weeks….but was reimposed again on September 9th after a third performer was verified as having tested positive for HIV. “Performer #3″, as we will refer to her, has been verified to be intimately related with both Bay and Daily, having worked with them prior to entering the LA based industry in early June. Subsequent testing of all her partners have turned up no further infections; and based on that, the second moratorium was lifted on September 22nd. (WARNING: embedded link NSFW)

Meanwhile, the mega healthcare organization, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, under the direction of its president, Michael Weinstein, has been doing its best to exploit the panic of these infections as a wedge to advance their crusade for destroying the screening and testing system that the mainstream porn industry has been using for the past 10 years, and replacing it with a system based on mandatory condom usage and other means of “barrier protection”. In effect, AHF and Weinstein wants the “straight” side of the porn industry to adapt the policies of the gay side, in which it is assumed that HIV-positive performers should be allowed to continue to shoot content, and that seromatching HIV+ performers as well as condoms are the more effective approach to preventing mass infection. Given as much as a 30% rate of seropositivity among active gay male performers, and nearly 117 deaths from gay male actors striken with HIV/AIDS in the past 10 years (as compared to only 2 confirmed infections from shoots from the “straight” side during that period), it’s an open question which system has proven more effective.

But, AHF’s efforts have also been reinforced by some “sex-positive” health activists and reproductive health specialists, who say that requiring condoms in porn shoots would go a long way towards their efforts in non-judgmental sex education of the masses, as well as having a positive effect by “mentoring” the common folk in the repetition of good behavior.

In addition, some of the more avant garde backers of the alternative erotic subgenre known as “feminist porn” have latched on to promoting condoms as both a prominent selling point of “hot safer sex” and establishing a more progressive and eco-friendly sexual ethic. Not all of them have gone fully towards supporting a legislated condom mandate as AHF does advocate, but many have decided to use the present crisis as a boost for their own promotion of “condom only” ethics.

One such person is long-time sex educator and feminist porn producer Tristan Taormino, who announced last week that she would in the future require both testing and condoms for anyone performing in her future shoots. This week, she was joined in her stance by another esteemed female producer, Nica Noelle, who announced her own condom only conversion on the pages of Salon.com.

While both Taormino and Noelle have been generally praised for their conversions and stances within and outside of the industry, there has been some concern over whether the timing of these conversions would serve to divide and conquer and supress legitimate questions about the effectiveness of condoms as a sole barrier against HIV, as well as the aftereffects of undercutting the present screening/testing system that has served the industry well.

Nina Hartley, perhaps known to CounterPunch readers as one of the most eloquent advocates for sexual expression, feminist porn, and sexual safety, as well as being a 30 year veteran of the porn industry as an actor, director, and producer, has posted a very effective essay in which she explicitly makes her case that the condom mandate would be counterproductive in STI prevention, that AHF’s crusade is more likely to make porn production less safe by driving performers underground into more dangerous venues, and that true performer choice on whether to use condoms on porn shoots should be left to the actual performers rather than outsourced to legislators or other self-identified “experts”.

Hartley’s husband, Ira Levine (also known under his producer alias of Ernest Greene), is a decorated porn producer and director under his own right, as well as having been one of the architects of the screening/testing system for the mainstream porn industry during his tenure at the Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Foundation. (Both Greene and Hartley have served on its Board of Directors.) AIM was ultimately driven under due to the efforts of AHF and other pro-condom mandate groups; its functions have been taken over by the Free Speech Coalition through their Performer Accessibility Screening Services (henceforth PASS or FSCPASS). It is the latter which monitors and maintains the current screening program, which uses the latest and most accurate testing assays to isolate and screen out infected people from the performance pool. Both Greene and Hartley were also collaborators and supporters of Taormino who have been respectfully critical of her position change on condoms; see Greene’s critique over at the Blog of Pro Porn Activism. (Disclosure: I am Chief Editor of that blog, and Ernest Greene is a regular contributor and commentator there.)

I have posted my own respectful critique of Taormino in two parts at my own Red Garter Club blog, and that is probably what flagged Dines to add me to her hit list, albeit without mentioning my real name and butchering up the name of my blog.

But, that I can forgive and toss out as a case of a rush to print or simply not enough sleep or the rush of deadlines. What can’t be so easily forgiven is Professor Dines’ slips of half truths and outright misassumptions about the actions taken place, and her rewriting of facts to fit her ideology.

For starters, she attempts to use Cameron Bay’s remarks at the September 18th press conference hosted by the AHF as the gospel truth when it comes to the porn industry’s alleged abuse of women. That’s right, Professor, that would be September 18th, not 19th…you were just one day off.

But that pales compared to the slipshod factchecking that immediately follows:

Last month porn performer Cameron Bay tested positive for HIV, and since then three other performers have come forward, making a total of four who have been diagnosed with acute HIV infection. At first the porn industry expressed sympathy, but now they are circling the wagons and sharpening their knives, going after the infected performers who took part in an AHF press conference on September 19.

That would be partly true that four performers who were HIV+ did speak at that presser. Problem was, the four that did speak weren’t the four that Dines implies were affected. Cameron Bay and Rod Daily (whom Dines neglects to mention until just in passing later, and never as Bay’s boyfriend) did indeed speak….but the other two HIV+ former performers to speak were Darren James and Derrick Burts..who just so happenn to be paid employees of AHF as well as being the respective Patient Zeros of the 2004 and 2010 porn HIV “outbreaks”.

Weinstein did bring forth two former performers — one live, one via teleconference — who made a claim that they were HIV+ due to the current “outbreak”, but they made no attempt to verify any evidence that they were indeed affected at all.

The “live” addition, a gay male model named Patrick Stone, testified that he had heard of his supposed “infection” from an email sent to him by PASS saying that he was HIV positive…in complete contradiction of stated PASS policy which states that any positive testing performer be physically recalled for followup testing and counseling and informing possible partners. Stone also claimed that he had tested negative in subsequent tests, and was awaiting final testing before declaring his original results as a false positive. The other “addition” was an unidentified performer who claimed that he had been infected “nearly six months ago”…but gave no other information about where he got his positive test or how he got infected.

For all it seems, these two new additions were just plants by Weinstein to artificially inflate the casulty count in this “outbreak” and scare people into supporting his condom mandate crusade. Yet, Dines simply accepts their claims as fact and recruits them as supports in her general war against porn.

Dines’ attempt to recruit Cameron Bay as the prototype victim now under attack by the Vast Porn Corporate Lobby is equally fascinating for the misassumptions and outright lies spilled forth in almost every paragraph. For someone who claims to do detailed research, Professor, would it be a bit of a stretch to actually get FSC CEO Diane Duke’s name correct? After essentially plagarizing Kathleen Miles’ Huffington Post reset of Bay’s telling of that infamous shoot for Kink.com’s Public Exposure,  Dines riffs thusly:

Following the press conference, The Free Speech Coalition (the lobbying arm of the porn industry) did what most industry organizations do: blame the victim. According to Diana Duke, the CEO of FSC, “While producers and directors can control the film set environment, we can’t control what performers do in private. We need to do more to help performers understand how to protect themselves in their private lives”. That the performers contracted HIV in their private lives is now the official line of the porn industry. Mouthing almost the same words, Steven Hirsch, CEO of Vivid Entertainment, is quoted as saying, “Unfortunately, we can’t control what people do off-set”.

What evidence does the industry have for making such claims? According to Mark McGrath of the AHF, “In order to definitively prove how HIV was transmitted, you would need to do detailed molecular analysis of the HIV strains of known cases. This includes genotyping the viral strains, determine nucleotide sequences, then compare these sequences phylogenetically to comparable sequences from available reference strains.” Of course, no such research has been done by the industry; it has been too busy digging up dirt on the performers.

Considering that all subsequent testing of all performers working with Cameron Bay since her last negative test have turned up negative with NO new infections, the conclusion that she got infected from activity outside of porn might have a bit more relevance and truth than what Dines will allow. Then again, if you are willing to get your information on HIV serotransmission from someone like Mark McGrath, whom is one of AHF’s chief ideologues for the condom mandate, and who has been implicated in paying Derrick Burts’ legal charges among others, then I guess that the truth would seem fungible.

As for Dines’ attempt to turn the Public Disgrace shoot into the Point Zero of the current outbreak….well, it doesn’t turn out so well. Turns out that the performer who did get his penis cut (by Bay biting down too hard, no less), did in fact offer to step aside before continuing with the scene and allow Rod Daily to fill in and complete things…but Bay decided to continue on, saying that as long as he wasn’t hurt, it was all good. And, that performer — named Xavier Corvus — has tested negative multiple times since that shoot, as has the only other performer that Bay performed sex on (a blow job).

And, her effort of accusing The Real Porn Wikileaks of a smear campaign against Cameron Bay and Derrick Burts? Nice try, but no cigar…I’ll just reference you to TRPWL themselves for that defense. (Warning, potential link NSFW)

But the real cynicism comes when Professor Dines attempts to give a left-handed smack to Tristan Taormino for her change of heart. Keep in mind that Dines has no love lost for “feminist porn” in general and especially “sellouts” like Taormino in particular, since she sees that genre as simply window dressing that cloaks the supposedly far more popular body-punishing “hate sex” that men use to degrade and humiliate women. Nevertheless, any port that can help exacerbate the storm is a good port for Dines:

Not surprisingly, Taormino, the only porn producer who has acknowledged that there may well be health risks on porn sets, is now being hung out to dry as a traitor to the industry. She was until last week the golden girl of the porn industry because she branded herself as a fun, cool, hip “feminist” who could build a female consumer base (even though she has been filming condom-free anal sex scenes for a decade and seems to have shown no concern whatsoever for the health risks until now). Now the industry is after her like a pack of wolves, arguing that her condom-only policy is a cynical PR ploy aimed at building an image of herself as a feminist pornographer who cares about performer safety.

Ernest Greene, a well-known director of violent porn (Roxie Loves Pain, Jenna Loves Pain, McKenzie Loves Pain) and one-time Taormino collaborator, wrote a scathing article accusing the latter of jumping ship because “she tacks with the political wind however she perceives it to blow”.  Similarly, the blogger Red Garter Belt Club denounces Taormino for putting “her own personal enrichment and political posturing above the principle of defending true performer choice and the actual facts and merits of protecting performers,” but doesn’t actually explain how performers are better served by having unprotected sex.

Ummm, Professor Dines??  I do not “denounce” Ms. Taormino; I respectfully disagree with her position for the reasons I stated. The same goes for Ernest Greene….though, considering your natural hatred for him and his wife Nina Hartley (Oops, I’m sorry…did I say some bad words, Professor??), I perfectly understand your confusion of critique for “trashing”.

And, so sorry, Professor Dines, but nowhere in either parts of my posts do I defend “unprotected sex”; since I happen to believe that performers themselves, as should people in real life, should be the ones to best define how to protect themselves based on their own individual situations. Or, does Dines think that even married couples who are totally clean and monogamous with each other should be forced by the State to use condoms just for the sake of sex education?

BTW….BDSM porn is not “violent”, and cherry picking three titles out of the hundreds of erotic BDSM movies that Greene has done over his 25 years of production merely because they contain the word “pain” in them, does not say much about Professor Dines’ expertise. At least, nothing other than her lack thereof.

I suppose I should be pumping my chests for being mentioned as one of the industry heavyweights since I moderate BPPA and own Red Garter Club, in spite of not only not receiving ONE RED CENT from the porn industry, and actually paying $50 a month of web hosting fees to keep my blogs alive.

However, that’s far from the issue, and I’d never deny Gail Dines her right to make as much money off her book or her activism, however hypocritical she may be calling herself an “anticorporatist”. Or, a “radical feminist”, in spite of defending a woman whom has a verified criminal record of abusing other women and threatening a fellow sex worker with “gang rape”. Or, a supporter of mandated condoms as a “performer choice”, in spite of defending a former gay escort whom still can’t explain how exactly he managed to get infected on a condom only gay male shoot. (Warning: embedded links NSFW)

Then again, I’d much rather be working poor with integrity and decency and mutual respect, than to get rich off lies and deceit and distorting facts to fit groupthink.

And at the very least, I get the names right. It’s called “owning it”, Professor Dines. Some of that would do you some good.

[Anthony Kennerson is a part-time blogger on progressive and sexual expression issues who blogs on his off hours when not working his night job. He is the Chief Editor of the Blog of Pro Porn Activism (http://bppa.blogspot.com), and operates his own Red Garter Club Blog (http://www.redgarterclub.com/RGClubNetwork/rgclub3dot2).]

Posted in Current Events, Porn in the US of A, The Gail Dines Files, The War on Sex/Sluts/Gays/Whatever | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The Latest Ultimate Fail Of Gail (Dines): The Cameron Bay/Rod Daily HIV Scare Whiff (And Her Personal Shoutout To Me)

It would be inevitable that Gail Dines would have a word or a thousand to say about the latest HIV porn scare ongoing. It would also be inevitable that she would retain her reputation for distorting, misassuming, and flat out lying about every bit of information that she massages to fit into her perfectly molded antiporn feminist agenda.

Nevertheless, her essay that she posted to her usual online abode over at CounterPunch this morning goes even beyond her usual high standard calling of twisting facts and events to sell the idea that the porn industry is merely the sexual version of Goldman Sachs led by the Delta House frat boys of Animal House, whose only mission in life is to decide how many women they can capture, rape, and abuse every day. Propagandists will do what propagandists do, but very few propagandists have quite the ability like Professor Dines to make a lie, a distortion, or an ideological misassumption out of every single paragraph she writes.

Let us break it down paragraph wise, shall we?

But first off, to the good readers of CounterPunch brought here by the timely link that Ms. Gail added to her article: I give you this welcome and brief intro:

Greetings, y’allz…my name is Anthony Kennerson. (Contrary to what Gail posted, it is NOT “Red Garter Belt Club”..that is not even the correct name of this blog.) By night, I work as a retail cashier, making barely above minimum wage. By day, when not sleeping or eating or doing what most two-legged carbon life forms do to get through, I blog on the issues that I care about the most….mostly dealing with progressive politics, sexual liberation, and sexual media. As you can tell skimming through this blog –  and I really do hope you surf through what I write here — I am unabashedly Left of center on economic and social issues, and pretty much an antiauthoritarian on issues of sexuality. And that includes issues of pornography as well. I alsp edit and moderate another blog called the Blog of Pro Porn Activism, originally created by lovely and now retired Renegade Evolution, which seeks to defend adult sexual media as a legitimate art form and a basic human expression of a positive human need. BPPA is not funded by anything or anyone, other than the good will of Blogger to host it. Red Garter Club is sorta funded, but only by the $50 a month fee I proudly pay my webhost HostGator. (Although, anyone wanting to throw some love of the financial kind towards me would be greatly appreciated. Errrr…just kidding. Maybe.) Also, you will note that I am and have been a trenchant critic of Professor Dines and of the variant of antiporn “radical” feminism for quite a long time….please feel free to skim through all my essays debunking plenty of her theory and analysis.

OK, that out of the way…onward to Dines’ essay.

The porn industry, using its sophisticated, well-resourced public relations machine, sells itself as an avant garde, progressive, counter-cultural force out to empower us all with exciting images of an edgy, fun, creative sexuality. In reality, it is a multi-billion-dollar-a-year business that functions like all global industries, especially when it feels under siege. The recent HIV outbreak among porn actors and the subsequent negative publicity about how the business treats its performers has revealed how this industry goes into attack-dog mode by discrediting, defaming, and slandering those who blow the whistle on what goes on behind the scenes.

This, of course, is standard Gail Dines boilerplate, where she dumps on “the porn industry” as this mighty corporate collossus of dirty old men rolling out an image of hip sexuality only to mask the mass brutality of “hate sex” that they make their megaprofits from. Of course, the reality is a bit different….but we’ll save that for later.

For years, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has been fighting for mandatory condom use on porn sets. The porn industry has mounted a wholesale attack on the foundation, accusing it of fear-mongering, exaggeration, and stigmatizing porn performers. Ironically, one of the AHF’s main critics, porn producer Tristan Taormino—who accused the organization of propagating “negative stereotypes about sex workers” and using “inaccurate information to scare the public” —is now herself a target of a porn industry smear campaign for announcing on CNN that she will no longer shoot condom-free scenes.

Notice how Gail attempts to twist things around right away, depicting as a “wholesale attack” opposition to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s long time campaign to impose “barrier protection” — including mandated condom usage — on porn sets, and also replace the existing testing and screening system used by the “straight” side of the industry with the “trust that the condom doesn’t break” seromixing curretly the standard on the gay side of the industry.

And, Gail really does show huge cojones in attempting to bring in Tristan Taormino to prove her points…especially since Professor Dines is not exactly on friendly terms with Taormino or her brand of “feminist porn”, with or without condoms. Remember when Dines commented about the “biased” reporting of Daily Beast reporter Maura Kelly when she dared to report positively on last year’s Feminist Porn Awards?? I believe the term “sellouts” was used then. Not to mention the fact that Gail ripped into Taormino back then for having her seminal anal sex educational video, Tristan Taormino’s Guide To Anal Sex For Women, been produced by John Stagliano and Ernest Greene, whom she essentially labeled as “ugliest, most misogynistic pornographers”.

(Ernest Greene, BTW, is porn icon Nina Hartley’s husband of 15 years. He’s also a long time producer and director of BDSM/kink-themed explicit films, and a decorated activist on his own right. He gets his later on in Dines’ current essay..but that’s for later.)

Meanwhile, back to the current and how Dines misinterprets Tristan’s change of condom policy.

What a difference a year makes! In a Huffington Post article in October 2013, Tristan Taormino urged people to vote against Measure B, which made condoms mandatory, because it “will not make workers safer nor will it help stop the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).”

Accusing the AHF of trying to destroy the porn industry, Taormino argued that she was against Measure B because she wanted to “empower performers to make decisions about how they will protect themselves.” On September 20, 2013, just 11 months later, Taormino stated on her blog that she still wants to “empower performers to make decisions about all aspects of the work they do.” This time, though, empowering them means refusing to work with those who won’t use condoms. While all of this may seem very confusing to the average person not acquainted with the inner workings of the porn industry, it actually makes perfect sense given the events of the last month or so.

Of course, only Gail Dines feels herself free to interpret Taormino’s change in policy as a 180-degree turn, especially since Tristan has said repeatedly since her initial announcement that she still opposes government-coerced efforts at mandating condoms, that her change only applies to her own production company and that she would respect the right of other porn production companies to dictate their policies as they see fit; and that along with requiring condoms, she would also require testing using the current screening/testing process that the mainstream porn industry uses. Hardly confusing at all, I would think.

Gail then goes into her breakdown of the events of the last two months in LA pornland (not to be confused with the barren wasteland that is her written propaganda tome:

Last month porn performer Cameron Bay tested positive for HIV, and since then three other performers have come forward, making a total of four who have been diagnosed with acute HIV infection. At first the porn industry expressed sympathy, but now they are circling the wagons and sharpening their knives, going after the infected performers who took part in an AHF press conference on September 19. At that conference, Cameron Bay described how, in her last shoot before testing positive for HIV, her partner’s penis was bleeding, and even though he wasn’t wearing a condom, the filming continued. She described another shoot in which one of the actors she was working with was cut. Rather than stop shooting, the director went on to film an explicit scene.

That would be a perfect morality tale of tragedy….except for the inconvenient points that:

(1) There were actually THREE, not four, HIV infections confirmed by the system of testing used by the “industry”; the 2 performers produced by AHF president Michael Weinstein at that presser could not even confirm that their infections were on set or a byproduct of the original 3 infected. (Both were gay performers whom were condom only, and one of the performers actually had negative tests since he claimed he tested positive.)

(2) The two initial performers confirmed to be HIV+ were intimately related to each other for a long while (Performer #2, Rod Daily, was and still is Cameron Bay’s long-time boyfriend), and both of them had been active on the side sexually (Bay as an escort and part-time performer in Arizona for two years prior to coming to the Los Angeles area to shoot videos, and Daily as a gay male performer who crossed over on occasion).

(3) And this is the important part that Gail kind of glosses over: susequent testing of all first generation partners of all three confirmed HIV+ performers have turned up no other infections. Everyone…including all of Bay’s partners and performers at that Public Disgrace shoot….even the guy with the bloody penis….and all of Daily’s onscreen partners, have been tested several times since their shoots..and all have been found to be HIV NEGATIVE. That’s testing incorporating the Aptima test, which is recognized by everyone to be the most accurate and up-to-date HIV test known to mankind, and which is so accurate that it can detect the HIV virus from a person’s RNA cells as soon as 8 days after infection.

Also….Dines skips gleefully over the fact that Kink.com — the company who directly owns the Public Disgrace label — has detailed and strictly enforced protocols that say that in all of their scenes, any partner has the right at any time to abort a scene if it gets too intense for their likin, and that in hetero scenes, any partner can request that a condom by used. In an interview she did for the Huffington Post, Bay stated that she was indeed given the option of a condom, but she refused, citing her faith that the person she was engaging in sex with had tested negative. She also said that the shoot was temporarily halted upon the sight of the bloody penis, but was allowed to continue, she gave no word even then or at the AHF press conference whether she raised any objection to continuing. She did say that upon retrospect, she would request a condom for future scenes.

Then again, Gail Dines isn’t exactly in love with Kink.com, either. Two words: “Torture porn.”

In the press conference, Cameron’s partner, also a porn performer and one of the four who tested positive, blasted the industry for continuing to shoot scenes without condoms just one week after a performer tested positive. Hitting the nail on the head, he told the reporters that “Ultimately, it’s a business, and their main concern is money and not their performers.” Indeed. Rather than closing down all production and investing in the healthcare of their performers (AHF is paying for all the healthcare needs of the four performers because none of them has health insurance), the industry is busy pouring money into a PR crisis-management campaign.

Actually, Gail, “the industry” (I suppose she means the Free Speech Coalition’s Performer Accessibility Screening Services (FSCPASS)) did impose a moratorium TWICE and shut down LA production wherever they could. They also tested and retested all performers to ensure that the talent pool wasn’t contaminated.  Though, there was strong criticism from many corners of the industry that the original moratorium was lifted too early due to the short time frame of the testing.

And it is so kind of AHF to agree to open up their sizeable money safe to agree to pay the full costs of Cameron Bay’s and Rod Daily’s treatment in exchange for their boosting of the condom mandate. I wonder how Gail would feel if “the industry” had done the same in exchange for opposition; would she have praised that altrusitic moment?? Or, maybe Gail’s just jealous that Stop Porn Culture can’t get some of that good green gravy to fight the Great Porn Corporate Complex???

Finally..it’s so touching that Gail is on a first term basis with anyone she thinks she can use as a crutch for her antiporn crusade….but can’t be arsed to say even the name of a MAN who happens to be an equal victim. Say it with me, Professor: ROD. DAILY.  DERRICK. BURTS. DARREN. JAMES.

Following the press conference, The Free Speech Coalition (the lobbying arm of the porn industry) did what most industry organizations do: blame the victim. According to Diana Duke, the CEO of FSC, “While producers and directors can control the film set environment, we can’t control what performers do in private. We need to do more to help performers understand how to protect themselves in their private lives”. That the performers contracted HIV in their private lives is now the official line of the porn industry. Mouthing almost the same words, Steven Hirsch, CEO of Vivid Entertainment, is quoted as saying, “Unfortunately, we can’t control what people do off-set”.

Let us set aside the fact that Dines is in such a rant mode that she can’t even wait to spellcheck Diane Duke’s name (or, CounterPunch must be too poor for fact checkers to actually factcheck proper names). The real issue is her implication that to say that porn performers and the general public might want to exercise some discretion and discipline over whom they engage in sex with on or off scene in order to avoid getting those nasty infections is the equivalent of “blaming the victim” and avoiding the alleged responsibility of “the industry” for causing female performers to be infected with STI’s as part of their general mission to degrade and damage women.

And remember, what the FSC recommended was more education and persuasion of performers to be more careful with their personal lives…which is a tad different from both AHF’s dictates of “Shut up and wrap up, and hope the condom doesn’t break”, or Dines’ prefered method of “Just blow the whole damn industry up with a nuke.”

The Real Porn Wikileaks  has claimed that porn actor Derrick Burts is wanted for outstanding warrants for reckless driving, as if this explains how he got HIV, and has posted Cameron Bay’s juvenile arrest record on the website above the question: “Is Cameron the kind of person who would lie to evade responsibility for her actions? Let’s see what Maricopa County and the State of Arizona have to say about that….”

Oh, good…she actually name drops Derrick Burts. That’s progress.

Of course, Derrick Burts’ credibility as AHF’s most used missionary and his unwillingness to lock in a legitimate excuse as to how he got infected with HIV in a gay porn condom only scene is totally irrelevant to Gail, as is Cameron Bay’s past history as an escort and her criminal record. But, I’ll gladly let my friend Michael Whiteacre take that portion of Dines’ rant on, since he is the owner of that critique.

But enough men for Gail to digest…back to attempting to glam off Tristan Taormino.

Not surprisingly, Taormino, the only porn producer who has acknowledged that there may well be health risks on porn sets, is now being hung out to dry as a traitor to the industry. She was until last week the golden girl of the porn industry because she branded herself as a fun, cool, hip “feminist” who could build a female consumer base (even though she has been filming condom-free anal sex scenes for a decade and seems to have shown no concern whatsoever for the health risks until now). Now the industry is after her like a pack of wolves, arguing that her condom-only policy is a cynical PR ploy aimed at building an image of herself as a feminist pornographer who cares about performer safety.

Riiiight, Gail…”the only porn producer who has acknowledged there may be health risks on porn sets”??? Why, because she is the one you can currently and conveniently use for your antiporn crusade, in spite of her otherwise being a “sellout”??

And in fact, Taormino has gotten nothing but praise from most of the performer pool for her change of stance, including from many of the leading performers and producers, who see her as a guiding light and a leader for changing and transforming the industry.

Oh, wait….I see what she means by a “PR media campaign”…she means…well, read on.

Ernest Greene, a well-known director of violent porn (Roxie Loves Pain, Jenna Loves Pain, McKenzie Loves Pain) and one-time Taormino collaborator, wrote a scathing article accusing the latter of jumping ship because “she tacks with the political wind however she perceives it to blow”.  Similarly, the blogger Red Garter Belt Club denounces Taormino for putting “her own personal enrichment and political posturing above the principle of defending true performer choice and the actual facts and merits of protecting performers,” but doesn’t actually explain how performers are better served by having unprotected sex.

(***cue up “Deeper Than The Night”***)

OH MY GODDESS…THAT’S OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN’S MUSIC!!!

Awww….BOOOOOOM!!!!! I’ve been EXPOSED!!!!!!!

Except for the fact that she botches up this blog’s name and does not even cite the person behind it. Ahhh, Gail, I know you read my blog, because I’ve been digging at you for close to 5 years now. I even have top Google search mentions, for Goddess’ sake. Surely, you would have the knowledge to both mention my name and/or get my blog name right.

And secondly, Gail, nowhere in any of my essays do I defend the act of “unprotected sex”, which is a red herring anyway. I defend the right of performers and all people to protect themselves by whatever means they see fit…but I also say that since the majority of people and majority of performers are NOT HIV+ or even high risks for getting HIV, they and they alone should decide for themselves what level of protection they will use.

Not that you will even listen to either my words or Ernest Greene’s detailed rebuttal of Tristan’s decision, since you probably just blow us both off in the same way you blow off any man who does not fit into the Robert Jensen/Richard Leader/John Stotenberg self-hating mold: as dirty old men jacking off in our mother’s basements, plotting our next mass rape. Too bad that we don’t fit into your easy bipolar assumptions and that we dare to defend ourselves.

And, of course, I won’t even mention those two dirty curse words that so rile you, Gail, into fits of apoplexy: N**a H*****y.

Anyways, here’s how Gail concludes this bit of fraudery.

Whatever the reasons behind Taormino’s decision, I have to agree with Greene (and this is a first!) when he says that “I doubt [that] Gail Dines is likely to find this abrupt conversion credible.” For over a decade, Taormino has been an integral part of an industry that has shown callous disregard for the well-being of performers, one that shamelessly spits out women (and men) once finished with them, goes after whistleblowers with a vengeance, and has fought, like other global industries, any attempt to regulate conditions…all in the name of profit. Far from being counter-cultural, this industry is built on the degradation and debasement of human beings, and no amount of PR can render invisible the violence it does to the bodies of real people.

So, basically, Gail thinks that the $750 MILLION (guesstimate according to the LA Times) corporate enterprise that is the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is currently facing a unionization insurrection from its underpaid and overworked staff, is really a wonderful populist institution that is helping to break the back of the evil corporate porno complex. And in other news, the sky is really purple, the moon is really made of brown cheese, and Gail Dines is really a socialist.

Or, for that matter, a credible expert on porn, STI’s or even truthtelling.

BTW…my apologies to Olivia for bringing her good progressive name into this. Couldn’t help myself.

Posted in Current Events, Porn in the US of A, The Gail Dines Files, The War on Sex/Sluts/Gays/Whatever | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Scoundrel Time” Re-Redux: MY Critique Of Tristan Taormino’s Condom About Face — Part Deux

[Continued from Part One....Tristan Taormino's original announcement is here; Ernest Greene's critique of same is here and here.]

OK….here’s where I go into my own reasons why I think that Tristan’s decision is counterproductive and plays directly into the hands of those who would impose condom only across the board as the exclusive option for STI protection and the only legal option for porn production.

Please note that this is NOT Tristan’s stated position; she is fundamentally opposed to any mandate for condoms imposed via govenment or otherwise, and she would only impose her condom only stance for her own productions, not for anyone else. This is NOT going to be a personal critique of her right to make that decision; it is her perogative to do whatever she wants with her production company.

Nor will I suggest in any way that anyone who supports her position is inherently a “Condom Nazi”; most of them are allies whom, like her, are sincerely motivated by legitimate concerns about promoting “safer sex” and preserving the rights and free choices of performers who would prefer that condoms be used.

However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that those like the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who actually DO want to force condoms down performers’ throats, have had a field day using Taormino’s personal decision as a wedge to divide and conquer opponents of the mandate. It is not surprising that pro-AHF shills such as Monica Foster, Mike South, and Rob Black have already been exploiting Taormino’s change of heart as a boost for their absolutist “condom only” position.

The issue, though, is that Tristan’s power as one of the pioneer feminist pornographers has amplified her voice to the effect that she has been a go-to voice in the mainstream media regarding women in porn, and her change of policy has overwhelmed the policy debate…especially on the more progressive side of the spectrum. Shelley Lubben may be dismissed as a fundie loon, but Tristan Taormino simply cannot…and if she’s reacting to the threat of an “outbreak” in this fashion, some folk getting their information through the “mainstream media” could easily conclude that it really is as bad as it seems, and perhaps AHF and the pro-condom mandate folk have a legitimate point.

Tristan does make an attempt to explain her move with her blog post, and she does categorically deny that she’s going all in for AHF and the condom mandate. That’s all right as it goes; but, as Ernest Greene commented, going on CNN to announce her policy change first without any bit of outreach to the porn community or even some kind of overture to the porn media outlets like AVN or XBiz, seriously undermines her claim of plain individual change of heart. Even worse, to do so without even so much of a discussion with close personal friends and colleagues — and I especially mean someone like Nina Hartley, who comes as close as a colleague and ally as you can get in the world of “feminist porn” — and undercut her long time activism for performer choice and opposition to the condom mandate, is simply unforgivable. Again, I’m not questioning Ms. Taormino’s right to make that decision; only questioning her motives and her unwittingness or unwillingness to sense the backlash ensuing.

And that undercutting of Nina Hartley as the go-to spokesperson for issues involving porn has already been happening ever since she produced that classic essay stating her opposition to the condom mandate and questioning the new mantra of condoms as the perfect panacea for protection from infection and selling of “safer sex”. Actually, I’ve seen it quite explicitly coming from not only some activists for condoms who give left-handed “compliments” for Nina while essentially pushing her aside and dissing her as “over the hill” and “past her prime”; but also some “liberal” feminist activists who see the condom mandate as a reasonable form of “regulation” that “protects” women in porn from the evil corporate porn complex that they see as simply the sexual version of a coal mine or Walmart. (Here’s one example….and my fisking of another.)

The problem is, try as they might want to pooh-pooh away Nina’s concerns about “condom rash” and friction burn and how excessive usage of condoms could very well cause as much damage as it prevents, those issues do actually exist. No bit of “Oh, just use more lube!!!” or “Oh, you’re just too lazy or stoopid to ask for a condom..don’t you not want to DIE from HIV??” or “Why, you’re just a paid shill of The Porn Industry who doesn’t care about other women’s health…just shut up and take that condom!!!” is going to wipe away the experiences of women who actually do the deed…and for people who call themselves so openminded and “progressive” to dismiss Nina’s concerns out of hand in the name of “protection” for “all sex workers” is the height of hypocrisy and lunacy.

No one is saying that condoms can not be a vital tool of protection against STI’s or unwanted pregnancy. In real life conventional sex, they are an essential tool. In the making of porn, on the other hand, it can be a potential hazard. That many women have no problems whatsoever with condoms does not invalidate the concerns of women who do. Plus, there are many performers, like their “civilian” sisters, who cannot use a condom due to latex allergies or other issues; should they be told that they should lose their jobs or be forced to risk injury just to satisfy the call for “safety” and promote the intrinsic value of “hot” safe sex??

But there is also the nature of Tristan’s specific role modeling as an advocate for anal sex for women. Let us remember that before last week, Tristan had no issues whatsoever with directing and producing bareback anal sex scenes; indeed, her classic video Tristan Taormino’s Ultimate Guide To Anal Sex For Women included scenes both with and without condoms. Her main legacy had always been to create safe spaces for women to explore anal sex play safely; and until last week that included play with AND without a condom. Is she now repudiating her earlier stance on that as well?? What would say the women whom have used her as a guiding light to open up to anal play and who happen not to use condoms? Would she reject them as much as she now would turn performers not comfortable with using condoms away?

And remember…there are still as of now plenty of straight mainstream companies that are still condom optional that would allow bareback; but, after Tristan made her decision, there is NO such production company so dedicated to female anal sex pleasure that is condom optional. For those of the latter, there is NO choice, except to risk it underground….especially if due to political pressure more and more companies decide to abandon bareback.

Finally (for now), there is the issue of combining condoms with testing, which is the heart of Tristan’s new policy. Again, this is NOT the same as the official policy of AHF, the main group fighting for the condom mandate; their position is that forced condoms make testing obsolete, and that testing is not nearly as effective as “barrier protection” such as condoms for preventing STI pandemics.

Taormino’s position, OTOH, is that combining universal testing with condoms would provide mulitple layers of protection that could overlap the weakness of using one or the other alone. This is akin to saying that more layers of clothing can protect you further on a cold winter day. From a distance, it sounds like a slam dunk argument. Look closer, though, and it’s not quite so airtight.

For starters, as I noted in Part One of my essay, the claims of an HIV pandemic in porn are greatly exaggerated. After the “outbreak” in 2004, a single incident where one performer (Darren James) inadvertently infected two other performers in a shoot, there has been only 5 verified cases of straight performers confirmed to be infected by HIV since then. The Derrick Burts case of 2010 was the only case that came even close to an on-set infection…but keep in mind that that was a shoot on the gay side, where there is no testing but there is an unwritten rule for condom usage. (The video Burts shot was condom only.) The 2011 case was a new performer just entering the industry who was taking her first test. The 2012 case turned out to be a false positive. In all of them, it was found that no other performer had been infected with HIV either on or off set. This year’s “outbreak” thus far has claimed three performers (the unconfirmed claims of AHF of two more performers aside); all of whom happen to have been intimately related off set; and repeated tests have turned up no other infections in the active adult performer talent pool.

In short, based on actual outcomes and evidence, the system of testing and screening that was created by the Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Foundation in the wake of the James case, and improved upon by the Free Speech Coalition’s Performer Availability Screening Services (FSCPASS), seems to have performed its task quite well in preventing mass outbreaks of HIV. This isn’t to say that the breaches aren’t tragic and unfortunate for those involved, or that the system is perfect in preventing performers from contracting STI’s; but I’d say that it’s a pretty good record considering the overall pandemic of HIV and other STI’s nationwide and worldwide.

On the gay side of the porn industry, it is a different system, because of the fact that the gay community has borne the full weight of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. With an estimate of 30% of the gay male performer pool actively infected with HIV, the choice was made to use condoms as the first line of prevention and defense, along with “seromatching” of HIV+ performers to avoid cross-infection. The benefit of such a policy is that it enables HIV+ gay performers to continue to earn a living in the face of outside discrimination; the main detriment is that it actually increases the risk of cross infection if the medical status of performers is not fully known.

The main source of the conflict is that AHF wants to essentially impose the system now in place for the gay male side of the porn industry onto the “straight’ side, citing the alleged superiority of “barrier protections” over testing and screening. They are also aided by some sex-education advocates who see mandatory condoms in porn as an excellent tool for teaching “safer sex” to the masses, as well as many “liberal” and “feminist” advocates who see the porn industry as a runaway agency needing regulation to “protect” its talent.

The main problem with combining testing and the condom mandate, besides from the fact that official AHF policy and the laws they would impose on the industry wouldn’t allow for a combination of the two, is one of legal flux. California is the only state in the US where porn is legal; and they also have strong antidiscrimination statutes protecting those who are HIV+ from employment discrimination. Essentially, you cannot fire someone who is HIV+ merely due to his medical status…nor can you deny him employment if he is otherwise qualified for his task solely due to his HIV+ status.

The existing FSCPASS screening/testing system does allow for potential HIV+ performers to be isolated and screened out of the active talent pool before they pose a threat to infect others. If that system is overthrown and replaced by AHF’s preferred method, it would be simply impossible to isolate and remove an HIV+ performer, and there would be no guarantees that such performer wouldn’t be paired with a HIV- performer, with the durability of the condom being the only barrier seperating them. Since AIDS antidiscrimination law could protect HIV+ performers from being removed from the active talent pool, and there would be no testing regimen to screen them out, the risk of increased outbreaks would be multiplied greatly.

(Some would say that protecting HIV+ performers, as well as enabling a cash flow from NGO’s and the Federal government on the basis of “prevention” of HIV, is closer to the real agenda of AHF than the mantra of “protecting the rights of performers”. That, however, is a topic for a different essay.)

How, then, would Tristan Taormino’s policy change fit into this?? Not much directly, since she would still require testing along with imposing condoms on her working talent. But, anything that even unwittingly gives more support to AHF’s campaign by weakening the opposition to the condom mandate could very well shift the tone and the weight of the debate in their favor.

The jury is still out on whether AHF’s crusade will win out. On the one hand, they have been not so successful politically of late. Measure B, their initial victorious condom mandate law in Los Angeles County, is under judicial attack through a lawsuit filed by porn performers and producers; and it has already been scaled back significantly by pretrial rulings. An attempt to expand the terms of Measure B statewide through legislation did not make it through the California Assembly, in spite of two attempts by Assemblyman Isadore Hall to manipulate the process in their favor.

On the other hand, though, the state of panic induced by the latest “outbreak” has so scared much of the talent (especially since the revelation of the third performer caused the previously lifted moratorium to be reinstated) that there is a growing movement by some performers to at least require condoms for their own scenes, if not force production companies to follow Taormino’s lead and impose condom only as the standard. (The underlying push for the latter is the claim that performers who wish to use condoms are “blacklisted” by the top companies who are opposed to condoms due to lack of public demand and the economic slowdown.)

It is in these times of panic where it is crucial to clear out the noise and constant flak and have accurate and informed information about the means required to protect oneself. It is vital that all voices, and especially the voices of those porn performers who would bear the full burden of bad law and restrictive policy, be magnified and listened to.

However worthy and well intentioned she intended it to be, Tristan Taormino’s actions of this past week — whether wittingly or not — did visible damage to that effort, and simply makes it that much harder for those of us who fight against the wrongheaded policies of AHF, and the illusions of the sexual neoliberals who now want to glam around her and claim her as one of their own. Enlightened paternalism may be better than the more corrupt paternalism, but it is still a long way from actual mutual respect and liberation.

In any case, Tristan, I know and acknowledge your position, and now you know mine. We simply agree to disagree without malice, and without undue distress. All the best to you, however disappointed I may be.

Posted in Makes Me Wanna Holla, Porn in the US of A, The War on Sex/Sluts/Gays/Whatever | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Scoundrel Time” Re-Redux: MY Own Personal Thoughts On Tristan Taormino’s Condom About Face

OK…since you all have had some time to marinate your brains with Ernest’s rebuttal against Tristan Taormino (both the original piece and the repost I just crossposted here), I think that I will supplement his lenghty and worldly prose with some thoughts of my own.

It should surprise no one that I tend to favor Ernest and Nina on most issues, and I happen to do so here on this one as well.

As much as I do respect Tristan and her legacy as a pioneer sex educator and anal sex pleasure activist, and as much as I have defended her (and still will, though with reduced vigor) against the Gail Dineses and Shelley Lubbens of the world who would dismiss her as just another “tool of the patriarchy”, I have to say that I am more than a bit disappointed by her move.

That I cede to her her right to run her shop as she wishes does not diminish the sadness that I feel that Tristan made a hasty and ill considered choice which put her own personal enrichment and political posturing above the principle of defending true performer choice and the actual facts and merits of protecting performers.

Nevertheless, I join with Ernest and Nina is saying explicitly and unabashedly that personal threats and ad hominen attacks against Ms. Taormino are absolutely and unequivably out of line, and simply will not be endorsed or tolerated…either here or at BPPA or anywhere else.  I will enforce that edict to the letter.

Instead, like Ernest did in his essay, I will address my criticism toward some of the possible motives behind Tristan’s shift of position (though from some slightly different angles than his critique), and why I think that they are potentially counterproductive.

First off, there is the trigger mechanism that launched all this: Cameron Bay’s revelation of getting infected with HIV, followed by her boyfriend Rod Daily revealing his own infection, followed by a third performer confirmed to be infected…who just so happens to have been found to be intimately related with the first two both in companionship and in professional status. The fact remains the same that, contrary to all the hype and BS propaganda that certain trolls in PornBlogistan and AHF would have you to believe, there really is no evidence that any of the three confirmed infected cases were either infected on set or even infected anyone else on or off set. Every performer whom has shot with Bay and Daily since their last clean test of July 27th has tested negative for HIV…and that even includes those who shot that now infamous Public Disgrace shoot of July 31st. Likewise, every performer who has shot with confirmed “Performer #3″ since her last clean test has also tested negative. The other two cases put forth by Michael Weinstein have such dubious credentials and their stories far too many loopholes that they can easily be dismissed as just so propaganda tales. (And let’s not forget that AHF’s favorite spokesperson, Derrick Burts, still seems incapable of the ability to adequately and fully explain how he was able to get infected with HIV on a condom-only gay shoot…and why that justifies mandating condoms as a replacement for the existing “straight” testing/screening regime.)

Now, the fact that Cameron Bay was scheduled to do a shoot for Tristan before the proverbial tornado hit the proverbial sewage treatment plant could have been the trigger that scared the latter enough to reconsider her previous “condom optional” stand. That would be understandable, given the fear and uncertancy of the first few days of the crisis.

But, the facts I mentioned were of public record as soon as the beginning of last week. Why would a smart person like Tristan Taormino — and undoubtably, she is pretty damn smart — simply ignore the actual evidence disproving the emergence of an “outbreak”, and react as she did to undercut her own previous position? Could it have been legitimate fear and an honest reappraisal of her previous position?

Or, could it be, as Ernest opined, a not so subtlely timed cynical move to break herself off from the “mainstream porn” position and make inroads with certain political/cultural interest groups?

That segues me into Point #2 of my criticism of Tristan: the limits of “feminist porn” as a political and cultural movement for sexual liberation and free sexual expression.

It is of great irony that Tristan Taormino cut her teeth as a “feminist porn” icon behind the work of Femme Productions head Candida Royalle…whom also happened to feature Nina in many of her original works. Indeed, it was through mainstream porn channels that Tristan was able to secure many of her most profitable works, including the aformentioned Tristan Taormino’s Ultimate Guide To Anal Sex For Women. Nevertheless, much of the growth of “feminist porn” as an avant garde alternative to what passed for “mainstream porn” was based on its potential to sell explicit sexual media to a previously overlooked demographic, as well as its potential to integrate progressive/liberal values into the medium of porn.

The problem with all this, of course, is that there is still a huge disconnect between what is considered to be “feminist” and even “progressive” with what is considered to be “liberated” sexual behavior, and the “Sex Wars” within feminism between the radical “cultural feminists” and the more openminded “sex positive feminists” has enabled sharp and embittered battles over which sexual behaviors or acts can be considered to be “politically correct”.

Within that diaspora, the “feminist porn” groups fase the constant pressure to prove their feminist credentials lest the fear that the antiporn radicals like Gail Dines and Catharine MacKinnon gain enough hegemony to toss them out of the “movement”.

Given the dynamic to retain some form of “feminist” cred while also promoting themselves as sexual “liberators” in resistance from the obvious sexual fascism of the Religious Right, it’s often easiest to take on one seemingly conservative position and make it seem “moderate” as a means of casting off charges from the antiporn feminists of “abandoning true feminism”.

This is where the condom comes to the rescue. (I’m talking here about condoms for men here; female condoms do have the potential to radically change the game, but no one supporting the condom mandate has even mentioned, let alone advocated, mandatory female condoms.)

Male condoms count as unabashedly “feminist” in that it clearly puts the responsibility of its use squarely on the man, thusly removing all of the traditional stigma and weight on women who seek to be sexually active. But, in addition to all that, condoms hold a special place in sexually liberal avant garde communities because they seem to give a safe legitimacy to sexual experimentation without any of the traditional risks of pregnancy or infection.

In short, condom usage advocacy tends to fall into that seemingly “respectable” slightly left of center “moderate” niche between unfettered and unregulated “promiscuity” (what some would call the “libertarian” position on sexuality) and the tightly restricted and harnessed sexual mores of the traditional Religious Right (updated and modified slightly by the antiporn radical feminists).

It’s not too surprising, therefore, that it is the broader “progressive” feminist  community, along with other broad based middle- to upper-middle-class “liberals”, whom have become the biggest boosters of using condoms as a hook for a broader “safer sex” education program which seeks a more restrained and controlled “liberation”.

The “feminist porn” movement combined with the condoms-as-safer-sex-education movement, therefore, finds its proverbial G-spot with a broader progressive base in its calls for better sex education and more massive condom usage as a means of countering both unwanted pregnancy and mass STI pandemics such as HIV/AIDS.

Combine that with a pseudo populism depicting the modern day porn industry as the epitome of “corporate capitalism”, with a ruling class of multinational world corporations (HUSTLER, Manwin), a managerial class of production companies selling various niches of sexuality to a public “brainwashed” to accept them (see Kink.com or VIVID), and a “working class” of “damaged” women/men allegedly used up and thrown away like other disposable workers such as undocumented immigrants, and you can see how the AHF advocacy for the condom mandate has taken off so deep with even seemingly smarter sexual liberals.

The only real diference between AHF and the more right-wing antisex groups is in the slightly greater degree of openness of sexuality that liberals would allow more than their conservative brethen would. But, that small difference is more than enough to ensnare otherwise smart liberals into supporting restrictive laws against and restrictions on sexual behavior that they don’t like….ahhh, I mean, sexual behavior/acts that they think are unsafe and pose a threat to spread infection and disease.

The most prominent activists for “feminist porn” tend to be independent avant garde artists who see themselves as rebels against what they perceive as the restrictiveness and misogyny of “male-dominated” conventional porn, and they also tend to sell themselves as self-made businesswomen fighting against the corporatized system of “cookie-cutter” mainstream porn, or the profit-killing threat of free amateur porn available through tube sites.They also see themselves as pioneers tapping into a supposedly previously untapped demographic of potential porn consumers, looking desperately for an alternative to the “conventional” style of “mainstream” porn.

In my personal view, it’s that audience whom Tristan Taormino was shooting for when she made her change of tactics. Of course, the followup disclaimers about not supporting actual AHF policies make for either a wonderfully nuanced moderate position, or a classic CYA to cover a tack to the Right, depending on your POV.

Problem is, even if Tristan really does consider it to be a more nuanced moderate position, in the end it still ends up to be a major tack to the Right that ends up strengthening their position at the expense of, and to major betrayal of, an authentic progressive position against the bad law that is the condom mandate.

When I return here with Part 2 of this essay, I’ll elaborate further on that.

Posted in Makes Me Wanna Holla, Porn in the US of A, Sexy Sex Intellectuals, The Feminist Sex Wars | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment