Gail Dines would not be Gail Dines if she wouldn’t exploit a horrible event to slam pornography.
And since she is Gail Dines, it comes to no surprise that she twists the Elliot Rodger massacre at Ista Vista, CA, at the University of California – Santa Barbara campus, into yet another of her attempted rants against the evil misogyny of porn.
It is beyond issue that ERodger was a misogynist asshole who blamed women, especially the sexy kind that was beyond his reach, for all his inner troubles, and was privileged enough and twisted enough to spew his hatred onto the world through YouTube vids and his “manifesto”. That he was able to take his sickness to the ultimate level of mass assassination says plenty about the mixture of loneliness, privilege, toxic MRA ideology, and having enough wealth to buy a stockade.
But, that simple fact isn’t enough for Professor Dines, who simply isn’t satisfied until the magic bullet is found that directly links porn to violence and “degradation” of women.
Now, Dines wasn’t the first to attempt to link ERodger and porn; her sister antipornfem radical Meghan Murphy had set the foundation with a brief tome at her Feminist Current blog blaming the Ista Vista massacre on “male entitlement to women’s bodies”….which porn, according to Megs, directly enables.
In a world wherein men learn they not only deserve, but have the right to women’s bodies, Rodger’s behaviour isn’t really all that surprising. From the time they are young, boys are offered women’s bodies. They are provided with pornography, told that this is what women are for: your eyes, your pleasure, your dick.
Men and boys learn that what they want, they should have. That their every fantasy should be fulfilled. That prostitution even exists is proof of this message. That we live in a rape culture and a porn culture is further proof. What exactly did we think would come of telling men that sex is a right? That women owe it to them?
My dear friend, Elizabeth Pickett, wrote, of Rodger: “Real women failed to live up to the expectations created for him by pornography. So he killed some.” We offer men this fantasy — it’s no wonder they become enraged when women don’t perform as expected.
Other than the fact that Rodger wrote in his “manifesto” that he really didn’t view much porn, other than the occasional dirty Playboy spread, because he was personally disgusted by it, Megs’ statement might sound more like an inspiration rather than a mere false flag factoid.
But still, Murphy only took the lead block. On Monday, on the UK bureau site of the Huffington Post, Dines took off behind Megs and ran off with the “PORN caused Elliot Rodgers to kill them WOMEN!!!!!” meme football. Or at least, she tried to.
Yes…time for another Red Garter Club blog fisking.
I have been a radical feminist for as long as I can remember. As I witness the marginalisation of radical feminism in the cultural discourse, in publishing, and in women’s studies programs, I see the feminist movement I once loved become powerless to explain what is happening to women -especially the horrific levels of violence against women.
This failure has reached a new level following the massacre by Elliot Rodger of students at UC Santa Barbara. The media is on fire with women, and some men, writing about misogyny as the cause, as if that explains why Rodger targeted young women and rambled on about “sluts” refusing to date him.
Well….the many pages of his manifesto combined with the fact that he had serious issues with sexy women who wouldn’t immediately crawl themselves to his front door and kneel at his dick for free, might have something to do with that. But, as we will know, only Gail Dines and her merry band of “radical feminists” know better.
Misogyny is not something created out of thin air, to be caught much like a cold, that drives those infected to commit horrendous acts of violence. It is an ideology produced and disseminated by social and cultural institutions that work seamlessly together to create a social reality that normalises, legitimises and glorifies violence against women.
Karl Marx was one of the first theorists to explain that ideology is not a free-floating set of ideas, but rather a coherent system of beliefs that are purposely and carefully created by the elite class to promote their interests. Using their ownership of key cultural institutions, the elite then set about distributing these ideas until they become the dominant ways of thinking.
OK…so Dines acknowledges that cultural and economic institutions can contribute to creating inequal structures that can indeed justify violence against women. And, her miming of Karl Marx’s economic theories of class ideology is so touching. So, will Gail finally come forward and target actual institutions of power, such as the Church or Big Business or Madison Avenue or Hollywood or Wall Street for their role in maintaining inequal institutions of power??
Misogyny has now become the catch-all term to explain why men murder women, and that explanation is true as far as it goes. But if we see misogyny as an ideology, then the key question–too rarely asked – is where the norms, values and beliefs that constitute misogyny come from. Unless we believe that men are born misogynists, however – and feminists know only too well how dangerous the “biology is destiny” argument can be – then it is incumbent upon us to explain why some men hate women enough to rape, maim, and kill us. Blaming misogyny without delving into its aetiology is lazy social theory, and it does not cast any light on the specific institutions and processes that result in mass murders like Rodger’s.
Here’s the setup that Gail gives us, y’allz: It’s one thing to say that “misogyny” triggered Rodger’s rampage, but it isn’t enough until we go deeper into the basis of that misogyny…as in, what exactly transforms people like Elliot Rodger from a normal person to a stone-cold killer? Or, any man into a rapist? Since the overwhelming majority of men don’t end up battering or raping women, the real issue is: What cultural/political force is out there that directly aids and abets those men to become assaulters/batterers/murderers of women?
(I’ll simply spare you the fact that Elliot Rodger also killed men as well…apparently, that’s not nearly as suitable for Professor Dines’ analysis.)
So…what did trigger BRodger?? Upbringing in absolute wealth/privilege? Exposure to the Pick-Up Artist/Mens’ Rights Activist extremism? Years of sexual self-hatred projected towards the women who aroused him?
Of course not. Everyone (or, at least, everyone in Gail’s circle) knows what was the real trigger:
The more I read about Rodger’s unspeakable acts, the more enraged I become with the unwillingness of the mainstream feminist movement to take on the elephant in the room: a well resourced, multi-billion dollar a year industry that doesn’t just produce misogyny, but actually ties it to male arousal and ejaculation. Mainstream porn has now become so violent that when radical feminists describe it in debates and presentations, we are accused – including by other feminists -of exaggerating and only focusing on the very worst of porn.
Yup….it’s the PORN, y’all….and if you don’t understand why porn is the centerpiece of all rape and murder and abuse of women, then you aren’t a true feminist. Or, at least, a true radical feminist.
In the best case scenario, this is because most mainstream feminists have never actually spent time on the most traveled porn sites, and in the worst case, it is a wilful desire to not rock the boat with boyfriends, husbands, brothers, publishers, and tenure committees.
In other words….the only reason “mainstream feminists” don’t agree totally with Gail’s “analysis” of porn as “Rape Incorporated” and “The Official Template For Femicide” is that they don’t want to scare THE MENZ. Especially, the MENZ who apparently blackmail non-radical feminists into silence. Funny, though, that Dines’ own tenure at Wheelock College seems not to be affected at all by her publishing, isn’t it?
But hey, who cares about that….because Gail has EVIDENCE that proves that porn leads directly to rape and murder!! And, from one of the more notorious porn performers of recent memory, too!! I’ll just quote the next few paragraphs from Dines verbatum without comment, and let you feast on the depth of the example she uses of performer Belle Knox and the fringe site FacialAbuse.com.
So here is a test, and one that comes with a trigger warning because trigger warnings are not some right wing plot, as recent media stories would have us think, but ways to avoid re-traumatising victims of violence. I am going to quote extensively from a popular website that was made even more popular by the outing of Duke student “Belle Knox” as a porn performer.
We all know her name, – or at least her porn name – but does anyone know the name of the porn site where she was gagged almost to unconsciousness, smeared with semen to the point that she couldn’t open her eyes, slapped, and penetrated so roughly that she was gasping in pain and sobbing? At one point she was pushing the male performer/abuser away because she couldn’t breathe, and in typical porn-sex behaviour, he dragged her closer to his penis by yanking her hair, spitting in her face and screaming at her to shut up.
The site is called Facial Abuse, and the images and videos that populate it can only be described as torture. With no pretence that this is about consensual or mutually enjoyable sex, the text describes, in unbearable detail, what they are doing to the women:
Big Tits. Check. Airhead. Check. Daddy Issues. Check. Brook Ultra has all the makings of being the next big deal in big tit porn. I can totally see the LA companies gobbling up this cunt, but we had her first. Today, she was trained to be a submissive little whore, taking cocks in all three holes. Pauly Harker blew her asshole out with his giant knob. We shot some great fucking anal gapes with this pig… so much that you could see what she had for dinner last night. Another well rounded scene with a model who’s top shelf. Enjoy this… and when you see her all over the place, remember who taught that cunt the ropes.
Of course, Belle Knox has done hundreds of other porn scenes and sites other than FacialAbuse.com, so I’m guessing that she survived and recovered well enough from this particular scene that her porn career is moving along unabated. (Actually, I’m surprised that Gail actually showed that much respect for Belle by giving her name “air quotes”; most other radfems were simply outing her by showing her real name.)
Also….the antics of FacialAbuse.com are well known and documented to porn performers; who actually are not forced at gunpoint or any other method to do shoots for them. In fact, many performers and models decide to defer from such in-your-face shock porn sites on their own accord. Those who do decide to shoot for sites like that are certainly aware of their particular schtick; and they make the decision themselves to get paid for shooting those kind of scenes.
And those who pay to see those scenes?? OK, a bit offputting at the stereotyping of the performers, and probably a bit too messy for most fans of porn…but, hardly the case for committing violence against women. And, not even close to a connection to Elliot Rodger.
Spooge all over a woman’s face, an overly enthusiastic deep throat or anal tryst, or the sexual equivalent of smack-talking geared to entice people to purchase memberships to their site, is not quitethe definition of torture Gail would like us to think it is. Then again, neither is Kink.com, either.
While most social and political institutions create woman-hating ideology, name one other that delivers it in such a crisp, succinct, unambiguous manner. Name one other cultural institution that prides itself on torturing women as its raison d’être. Porn is now the major form of sex education in the western world, and it produces an ideology that makes women seem disposable “sluts” who are undeserving of dignity, bodily integrity, or the slightest shred of empathy. Whatever psychological disorders Rodger had, he was sane enough to internalize the pornographic ideologies so perfectly embodied in Facial Abuse and the thousands of other websites that tell the same story.
Nice try, Professor Dines…except that Elliot Rodger did not troll porn sites on his spare time, as I noted before, save for some nudie pictorals, mostly because he was disgusted by the sight of other people having sex without him.
And, only Gail Dines is dense enough to call a site that maybe gets…I don’t know…..10 or 15 hits a day, and is so deep into the innards of porn fringedom, “a social and political institution” that “prides itself in torturing women”. As if Kink.com and Ernest Greene’s “The Master of O” series no longer count for you, Gail??
It should also be noted that porn did not invent the term “slut”….that phrase, whether considered to be a cosmic insult or a celebration of unabashedly sexual women, tended to precede the growth of the porn industry by almost a millenium.
And here’s how Dines concludes her essay:
Mainstream commentators and feminists tie themselves in knots trying to avoid any discussion of the way porn is implicated in violence against women. They talk about porn as empowering, as fun, as a celebration of women’s sexual agency, and then express outrage when men act out the woman-hating messages that are the constituent elements of porn.
Radical feminists who make porn a central part of our activism are not (pick your slur) anti-sex, prudish, man haters, censors or ugly bitches who are jealous of porn stars. Rather, we fight the porn industry because we know that as long as this tsunami of woman-hating ideology continues to shape masculinity, there will be a never-ending supply of Elliot Rodger laying in wait for their next batch of victims.
They don’t just talk about it, Gail….they live it. Because, contrary to your bullshit lies, women and men are perfectly capable of creating, analyzing, and consuming porn for themselves, and do not need either your approval or your analysis to defend their right to do so.
And no, Gail….critics of antiporn whackjobs like you do not criticize you for being “prudish man haters” or “ugly bitches”; it is your policies and your campaign to blame and harness simple male erections and reduce sexuality to its worst actions in order to justify government censorship and control that earns you every bit of ridicule and derision.
If anyone, in fact, should be condemned for the possible future Elliot Rodgers, it should be the PUAs and MRAs who do indeed project the very woman-hatred that Dines attempts to level all of porn with, as well as our overall antisex culture that punishes women for attempting to be autonomous sexual beings. All Gail’s rantage here does is to divert resources and focus from attacking those true sources of misogyny….and all so that she and her antiporn feminist radicals can get another crack at mass virtual castration. Or….perhaps not so virtual??
I wonder when CounterPunch will cross post this, as they usually do for other Gail Dines rantages?