Part Deux of our adventure featuring Heart of Women Spaces and her “pornstitution” myopia….
When we last left, Heart(less) was dispatching Renegade Evolution for the evol slut and sellout and enabler of rape and rapacity that only the God Emperor of Rome would represent in the eyes of the Good Radicalfeminist Womyn.
Now entering, from Stage Left: Jill from Feministe, the blog that a few months ago actually featured Ren Ev as a guest blogger on many topics, which probably steamed Heart(less) that much more, considering that in her mind, only like-minded GenderBorgians should be allowed to post in “feminist’ blogs. The main point of Jill’s post was to challenge Heart’s premise that women who enjoy sex for free (or at least say that they do) are doing a bad deed for women who are actually raped and abused (or those women who Heart claims are raped and abused and degraded by association with porn or prostitution or even a simple male erection.
[Posted by Jill on 11/14/08 @ 6:41 PM]
Huh. So when I have sex with men for free. I’ve never been paid for sex (at least not explicitly — I suppose some might argue that maybe dinner counts). Am I lowering the standards to rock-bottom? I mean, all these women giving away sex for free helps to create and sustain a market for sex, which means that some men will choose to pay for it. Are all of us who have consensual not-for-pay sex now complicit in the abuse and torture of women who are trafficked, raped and otherwise brutalized?
I have very conflicted personal views on pornography (my views on whether or not it should be legal to make and distribute are far less conflicted), but I don’t buy for a minute that a woman who does porn for free because she’s making it herself — in other words, because she’s going to make money off of its eventual sale — is somehow responsible for the exploitation of other women who don’t have that same privilege. Privilege is a tricky thing to navigate, and feminism doesn’t give us clear answers, but in my understanding, neither framework is supposed to be used to beat other people over the head with. Feminism is not a tool to shame other women. Understanding the dynamics of privilege isn’t a way to bring everyone down to the lowest common denominator, or to guilt people for what they have.
We are all part of complicated systems of oppression. We are all complicit to one degree or another; the difference is, some people are outright exploitative of others and seek to cause harm. I don’t know Ren personally, but I read the same blog of hers that you do, and I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone would put her in that category.
And anyway, this post isn’t about Ren. It’s about the systematic exploitation of women. And yet somehow, the villain of choice is a sex worker herself, demonized simply because she doesn’t consider herself to be a victim? Come on.
Now…considering the usual brand of censorship that takes place at Womens’ Spaces, you’d think that that post would still be in moderation….but it was approved by Heart. Probably, because, in her mind, it enabled her to unfurl her banner, clear her throat, and unleash her pixellized wrath, and settle all the scores and vendettas that she had with Feministe for allowing a infidel and a slut like Ren Ev to post there.
The result is this long, windy, and quite telling comment that more than anything else reveals the madness behind Cheryl Lynn Seelhoff’s methods. Just sit back, relax, and allow me to be your friendly guide though this maze of bullcrap….and I’m providing running commentary all the way through just for langiappe and clarity.
[Posted by admin (Heart) on 11-15-08 @ 11:02 AM]
Jill, women having sex “for free” on their own terms in the privacy of their own bedrooms is not on a par with women creating videotapes of brutal, violent sex, or apparently brutal, violent, sex, and disseminating them over the airwaves, over the internet and into the homes and sexual psyches of however many men and boys, and girls and women for that matter, watch that stuff. Pornography and prostitution are “constructors.” We talk a lot as radical feminists, and other kinds of feminists, for that matter, about “social construction”, about the way nothing is “essential,” nothing is “inherent” or “immutable,” in other words, about the way people are not “just born that way.” People are the way they are not only because of accidents or incidents of their births but because of what they see in the world, what they learn in the world. The sexuality of little boys and little girls, of men and women who grow up seeing, or, in whatever manner, end up watching brutal sex in which women are tortured, brutalized, degraded and shamed are in fact having their sexualities *constructed* in that watching. They’re learning this is what sex is, this is what is really sexually exciting and titillating, this *humiliation of women*. This torture of and brutality towards women.
Remember, now, we are talking about “gonzo” porn here, featuring women who actually say that they not only consent to doing such stuff, but say that they enjoy the acts they do…or at least, they act like they do. Some people would say that that probably doesn’t meet the qualifications for rape, which consists of violence that is imposed without the consent of the victim (and usually with direct physical violence and injury. Some people, though, never met the likes of Cheryl Lynn Seelhoff and the Womyn Warriors of the GenderBorg, who have a…..well, a different view about consent and will and human nature.
Also note the implication that Heart raises that young impressionable girls and boys, if exposed to such evil, degrading, and essentially violent sex, will automatically respond that it must be “acceptable” and that that must be the ONLY way to engage in sex…thusly, gonzo porn (if not ALL porn) must be censored or banished to save womanhood and girlhood from the degradation of the male penis. Riiight…like rape and torture of women never existed beyond the tainted walls of a porn studio (or that men have never been abused or tortured or even raped).
Are you putting that out in the street? Are you filming this kind of sex and putting it out there for public consumption? Are you talking about what you’re doing 24/7 on your blogs in the company of, for example, guys who are the creators of extreme SM pornography and magazines affiliated with Hustler Magazine, in the company of various dungeon masters and you name it, all of whom are creating these kinds of materials — brutal, violent, degrading, humiliating sex for public view — for the general public? I don’t think you are. And no, whatever you’re doing, or other women are doing, for free in their own houses is not what I’m talking about there.
Shorter translation of Heart:That’s right, Ernest Greene…I’m calling your ass out right now, you brutal slaveholding rapist murderer male leftist MAN. You might be able to force Nina Hartley to be your concubine and “willing slave”….errrrrr….life partner and wife, and sell your brutal S&M deSade festivals and mass rapes to the public as “consensual BDSM”, and collude with that child molestor/serial racist Larry Flynt in imprisoning women with meat grinders…but we radicalfeminists are hep to ‘ya. And that goes for you too, Kink.com….we know that you were really behind Abu Gharib just fess up and admit it.
I mean, if someone puts a noose up in their yard in a threatening manner, or burns a cross, that person can do time and well they should, absolutely, because they are engaging in hate speech. If someone decorates their home, yard, business with Nazi insignia they may well do time as well. Because our society has determined at long last that at least some forms of “speech” are so destructive, so toxic, so hateful, so murderous, such a blight on the psyche of human beings that as a society we will not tolerate this kind of thing in the name of “speech.” And why? Because this kind of “speech” is only free speech for some. It’s free speech for racists. It’s free speech for white supremacists. Nobody is going to go into somebody’s home and arrest them for drawing their own pictures that only they see or for enacting their own racist scenarios, and why? Because they’re not disseminating that in the public sphere. When stuff like this is widely disseminated in the marketplace and just among the general public without legal consequences or ethical or moral sanctions — in magazines, in books, on the internet, television, movies– the message to one and all is, this is fine, this is good, there is no harm in this, this is all good times, this is free speech. And what gets lost is, for the victims of this stuff, or those who were victims and those who remember, there is no free speech. There is only, again, free speech for racists and white supremacists.
Ahhh…first off, Heart(less), most hate speech laws attempting to regulate away such actions as cross burnings and nooses on trees have been declared unconstitutional abridgments of First Amendment rights of free speech…the very same First Amendment that allows you to render your speech as well. Secondly, isn’t the answer to such “hate speech” not censorship but to simply overwhelm it with speech that promotes the truth and exposes the inherent lies and smears that such “hate speech” inevitably relies on?? Plus, burning crosses and hanging nooses on other people’s lawns isn’t just “hate speech”; it’s also tresspassing on other people’s property and threatening them implicitly….which, last time I checked, didn’t require any notions of “hate speech” to be considered illegal and actionable BEHAVIOR.
Oh…and just because such “hate speech” may be put out on the Internet or on television or in the media does not make it any more actionable merely because it is considered to be “hate speech”. Or, perhaps, you really do believe that people should be held responsible for their innermost thoughts if those thoughts don’t meet some politically correct criteria?? (I mean politically correct as in right-wing, centrist, OR left-wing standards of conduct.) If so, then that makes you, Ms. Seelhoff, to be the very person that “hate speech” laws were created to control and prevent….namely, a fascist.
And all this is to compare neo-Nazis and Klansmen and White Citizens Councilmen to…..gonzo porn starlets?!?!?!
In the same way, it’s one thing, again to do whatever a woman does in private. I’m not saying that what a woman does in private is meaningless– it is not. I think what she does in private is always political. But there’s a difference between that and filming something and sending it out into a world that basically endorses ANY — that means ANY — depiction of torture, rape, murder, humiliation of women.
Oh, I see….a woman’s private sexual affairs should be grounds for political critique and correction if those affairs don’t meet your “feminist” criteria….especially when it is used to depict “torture, rape, murder, or humiliation”.
You blog at Feministe. You know what that’s about. You read your spam queue, you read your incoming searches. You know that haters are out there 24/7 looking for incest materials, torture materials, rape materials, brutal sex, and you know what? They are finding that stuff. And they are getting off on it. And the abundance of it reassures them that there’s nuttin wrong with that, all the cool kids do it, I mean, what are women for, after all, but to be bound, gagged, tortured, humiliated, debased, why, after it’s all done, they put a big SMILE on their face, it was nuttin’ but a thing, you know?
Oh, really??? Does Heart(less) know that much about Feministe that she can read their spam queue to know that people over there are looking specifically for incest porn or kiddie porn or “brutal sex”?? Never mind that they can get plenty of that without ever setting foot in Feministe…or that they could just as well use search engines connected with sites like…Womens’ Spaces???
And what about the millions and millions of men who use the same search engines for the overwhelming majority of porn that displays….well, none of the above?? You know, like…..simple things like….single women masturbating, or couples having vanilla sex, or a couple sharing their spouses with another willing person?? Or, even…two or more WOMEN having sex??? Oh, but that doesn’t even exist in the GenderBorgian mind….ALL sex not approved by Heart IS by nature “brutal” and rape.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry over your coming here to my blog in your, as far as I know, inaugural comment here, to scold me for “shaming” women and “beating women over the head” and for being a bad feminist. Ha. Bitter and really, really cynical ha. I think in the context of this discussion, your scolding and apparent self-righteousness are absurd. I am thinking about all of the little 12 and 13 year old girls — yes — on Myspace posting photos of themselves in degrading, debased sexual situations and positions. I am thinking of all of the little 12 and 13 year old boys all the way to one-foot-in-the-grave men getting off on what these little girls are posting. I am thinking about the way those little girls and those boys and men have the view of sexuality they do, and of women’s place and women’s bodies they do, in part because the internet, the airways, the movie houses, the theaters, the publishing world are FILLED with this kind of imagery, imagery in which women, again, are gang raped, raped, period, bound, gagged, brutalized, manhandled, cuffed around, and again, this is what women really LIKE, the message is, this is what women are FOR. And so as women and feminists we say NO, some of us, we have to say NO, this is NOT what a girl’s body is for. This is NOT what a woman’s body is for. We were not born to be gang raped. We were not born to be brutalized, tortured, bound and gagged and to LIKE it. This is not the world we created and want. When we say this, we pay for it big time, and why? Because this IS the world as many men and many boys do want it, they want it to stay that way, witness your and my spam queue, witness your and my incoming searches, read the newspapers, watch the news, all we have to do is look around.
WOW….if we are to believe Heart, MySpace is now a hotbed of kiddie porn. Really. All those teenagers in bikinis and short skirts and sports bras…you know they are really attracting the pedophiles. Now, MySpace is pretty damn hard on adult images, enough so that several adult performers have had their journals removed for even linking to their sites or even posting suggestive pictures. But 13-year-olds posing suggestively and allowing themselves to be “brutalized” and “raped”??? Fine with them!!
But all this is a moot point anyway, because, in the mind of Heart, it’s all about the MEN and the BOYZ, who seek women like Renegade Evolution and conclude from watching her that ALL women are worthy of being raped and brutalized…because that is what MEN and BOYZ REALLY, REALLY WANT!!! KIIIIIIIILLLLLLLL THEMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!1111ONETHOUSANDONEHUNDREDELEVEN!!! (Or at least, castrate them and save their sperm so that we can propagate the species.)
The demand that is created by all of the above and similar things and phenomena for brutal, misogynist sex ends up fulfilled for the most part by the most marginalized women and girls in the world — children, the poor, the abused and abandoned, drug addicts, homeless women and girls, kidnapped women and girls, women who endured the “boot camp” of rape, gang rape and incest coming up. They are openly kidnapped and trafficked throughout the world, or because of their limited options and vulnerabilities, they end up trafficked throughout the world in some other manner, and then they can’t get out because they don’t have the power to, because they are sick, because they are debilitated, imprisoned, beaten by their pimps or procurers or johns, disocciating, and so their lives are an endless, enduring hellhole of pain, torture, degradation and shame that many do not survive. The pain and torture will not end even if they are so fortunate as to find a way out. Ahead of them will be years and years of post traumatic stress and physical infirmity, often manifested as severe pain in their bodies, pain for which doctors and health professionals have few answers.
Not that I deny that any of that doesn’t exist….but what about the rest of the women whose porn experiences aren’t even close to being that brutal, Heart?? Do they even have the right to even exist?? What about the overwhelming majority of men who actually consume sex work or porn that do manage to treat their clients/performers with respect and dignity?? Do they fall through the Matrix and get dissolved into the GenderBorg Memory Hole because they don’t quite fit into your fantasy world of Woman-as-Essential-Rape-Victim and Man-As-Thrusting-Penis???
You know, my concern is about the men who are “shaming” these women and girls every moment of every day throughout the world or who can’t wait for their next opportunity to do so. My concern is for the girls and women so shamed. My concern is for every girl whose initiation into sexual encounters is or will be brutal and degrading, humiliating, because boys and men think that’s what sex is about or because the girl thinks that’s what sex is supposed to be about and she is trying to be, as a girl, what she is supposed to be. My concern is for all of the women exited or escaped from the sex trade who battle agonizing pain and debilitation every single day because of their experiences of rape, torture, brutality at the hands of men, some of whom read this blog, and not only one person, there is quite a number of women exited from the sex trade who read here. So when I encounter women who have allied themselves with powerful white, heterosexual men (Hustler and its affiliates) and who every day are making a public statement that really, brutal sex is good times, really torture is good times, when I encounter women who agree with male power that the fact that money exchanged hands equals consensual sex, I’m calling it out as publicly as it is being put out there by whoever is putting it out there, and particularly if they are identifying as profeminist. When I encounter women who do this for free because it’s just so damn much fun, guaranteed, I’m calling that out. Because what they are doing harms all of us — men and women, boys and girls — in a way that what each of us does in private never can, does or will. (Which does not mean we should not be talking a lot about what we all do in private, we should be.) What they are doing is promoting, advocating for, phenomena, practices that shore up male heterosupremacy at its very core. And in the process, of course, they shame and erase all the girls and women in the world victimized byall the men who want and buy and make this shit and who are enriched and benefitted by it, with the result that these girls and women are effectively “beaten over the head” and “shamed” for men’s sexual pleasure. I’d suggest, Jill, that your outrage might be misplaced and better directed to those who end up even more likely to be victimized because, heck, privileged white women do it for free, the cool kids do it for free, put a smile on their face and tell the whole world how great it really is, as a cast of male porn publishers, Hustler Magazine, Larry Flynt and consumers of violent, misogynist imagery applaud wildly. Yeah, that’s helpful. That really brings us closer to our full humanity as women.
Ah, yes…so the very existence of “pro-sex” and “pro-porn” feminists (or simply feminists who don’t manage to drink the GenderBorg Kool-Aid) poses a real threat of “silencing” those “prostituted women” who want to speak “the truth” about how damaging and degrading male sexuality (as expressed specifically by the kind of porn that Heart so opposes) really is….and stupid elitist, “privileged” sluts like Renegade Evolution are simply traitors and sellouts as well as mere cumdumpsters and sexbots and Sparkle Ponies who sell real women down the drain by giving approval to such “degradation” and “humiliation”.
Yeah. Just like those dirty queers and Leathermen and their public sex give real homosexuals a bad name with their spreading of HIV/AIDS and mindless pursuit of orgasms rather than searching for the true liberation of monogamy and “intimacy”. Sounds familiar, Heart???
I suppose the substance of, again, this inaugural exchange between us is somewhat unfortunate. But I tell you what, I lay awake nights thinking about how we might end the hate speech that is pornography and prostitution. Lots of us do. Because this causes grave, grave harm to girls and women. I will never stop saying that, I will never stop supporting girls and women so harmed (ALL of us) and I will never stop calling out those who are publicly insisting that really, it’s not all that. If that means I get called out for “shaming” or “beating women over the head” or being a bad feminist, then it will, I guess. I will point out, as I have here, how ludicrous that really is though. I actually do agree with you that feminism is not about shaming women or beating them over the head, but again, I think your indignation is misplaced. There are feminists who do that all the time, it’s the mainstay of their blogging careers, it’s the way they get people to read — shaming and beating other women over the head — and some of them have guest blogged at Feministe’s invitation. You might check that out.
I don’t do that kind of thing, though. You can scour my blog, you will not find it. And calling out apparently profeminist pornographers is not, I don’t think, that.
And so Heart concludes with the ultimate in projection: blaming “feminists” like Jill for allowing the likes of Ren Ev to “shame” and beat down antipornfeminists, and allowing infidels like Ren Ev to freely attack “feminists” and “silence” them.
Not at all like Heart, who has such an open door policy regarding critics of her philosophy. Just ask her friends, like Stormcloud (inventor of the infamous “Bee Anthology”, and stalker of Ren Ev, who threatened to out her to her family); or Witchy-Woo (who showed off her open-mindedness by taunting Ren Ev for her getting fired from her battered women’s shelter two years ago); or Sis/Pony (who flat out called Ren Ev a “whore” ); or Ginmar (who openly spoke that Ren was denying that she was a victim of rape when she had her nose broken recently) or….the list could go on and on, I’d dare say.
No, she doesn’t shame at all. It’s only the others who do it.
Karl Rove couldn’t have built a fascist movement much better.
Two words in conclusion for you, Ms. Cheryl Lynn Seelhoff (and this goes for the rest of the GenderBorg Collective, too): FUCK. OFF.
[Update: Ren Ev sends her finest middle finger salute here.]