Updated with new information on the Jammie Price/Appalachian State affair that set Gail Dines off….scroll to bottom.
You know…earlier when I posted on Gail Dines’ earlier rant at CounterPunch on the Sandra Fluke/Rush Limbaugh brohaha, I figured that it would be just a matter of time before she would rip off the restraints and get back to what she does best: distort and lie about porn.
Well…that didn’t take long, did it?
Yesterday, Gail posted another essay over at CounterPunch getting back to her roots as antiporn “feminist” propagandist and “anticapitalist” conspiracy theorist. The subject, this time was the alleged censorship of a college professor who dared to present one of her previous antiporn agitprop screeds in her class.
The professor in question is one Jammie Price, who teaches sociology over at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina; and the screed was a extended antiporn “feminist” documentary called The Price of Pleasure, that was released in 2006.
Apparently, according to Dines (I Googled all over but couldn’t find any other source story for her claims, so I have to go on what Gail says in her essay), Price presented the documentary in her class in its entirity; and three of her students (out of 120 total who saw the film) promptly filed a complaint with the App St. administrators, claiming that the material was “inappropriate” for a classroom setting. I’ll let Gail take over from there:
[...] Dr. Price was not allowed to learn the names of the students or to meet with them, was denied a hearing, and was immediately suspended and told that she could not enter any offices or classrooms in the Arts and Sciences buildings. Should she want to obtain “materials, computer files, pick up mail …” she needed to make arrangements to be escorted by a member of the faculty.
How interesting that a university decides that an academic analysis of one of the most profitable industries in the world is “inapproriate.”
WOW…that’s pretty strong sanctions…of course, Dines makes no mention of how long the suspension was (One week?? To the end of the semester?? Permanent??), or whether or not Professor Price had the option of appeal due to her tenure as most professors do.
But as for the “inappropriate” finding?? Well, that could be debatable…actually not quite.
You see, The Price Of Pleasure does go into a lot of the financial analysis of the porn industry, in line with Gail’s core analysis of how “capitalism uses porn to make tons of money off the ripped vaginas, prolapsed anuses, and sperm-abused faces of women as male masturbation objects”. Mostly, however, TPoP is an visual malestrom of agitprop, using (without the permission of the models featured or the studios maligned) vivid and graphic images of the kind of “body punishing” sex that the creators feel that is the predominant message of porn. It also attacks consensual BDSM and sites like Kink.com as “torture porn”, even going as far as using clips of women being bound, gagged, flogged, and otherwise “abused”, taking them totally out of the context of the actual consensual themes.
Now, Gail Dines should know all about this, because she and her fellow antiporn crackpot Robert Jensen (also a regular CounterPunch contributor) were actually credited as “consultants” by the actual producers of the documentary. Plus, she should have probably known that in more conservative portions of the country, even a doc dedicated to antiporn theology would run the risk of being “flagged” by conservatives who would be squicked by the use of thinly veiled overt sexual imagery.
More likely, of course, is that Dines is well aware of that, and simply wants to gloss it over because it’s so much more fun to evoke The Great Capitalist Porn Conspiracy, and claim that it was the porn industry, rather than prudish conservatives, that got Applachain St. to punish Jammie Price for the crime of showing TPoP.
The grand irony in all of this is that Dines has been intimately involved in campaigns to silence pro-porn (or at least, anticensorship) voices in college before. In fact, she even goes and describes one such matter: her attack on Indiana University for having the gall to invite alt.porn icon Joanna Angel to speak at their campus.
In 2008, the porn press was abuzz with the great news that Joanna Angel, owner of the porn site Burning Angel, had been invited to speak to a human sexuality class at Indiana University. No pretense was made that this was going to be an educational event by the porn news site X Critic, when they wrote, “She will be showing the students clips from her movies, handing out sex toys and enlightening them with a positive view on pornography.”
I wrote a letter of complaint to the president of Indiana University pointing out that the role of a university classroom was to educate the students, not provide a captive audience for capitalists to push their products.
The president’s office responded in a rather odd way. They asked the professor to apologize to me for bringing in Joanna Angel, as if this whole case was a personal insult to me. I think we should be speaking about porn in the classroom, but not as a fun industry that sells fantasy, but rather as a global industry that works just like any other industry with business plans, niche markets, venture capitalists and the ever-increasing need to maximize profits.
Of course, the fact that Burning Angel and other alt.porn sites were explicitly created to debunk and transcend the supposed hegemony of the “male-dominated” imagery that Dines claims to dominate porn, probably didn’t register too well with Gail. The real issue was that porn performers not matching her stereotypes of them as mindless “cumdumpsters” or victims of serial rape and assault simply shouldn’t be given the chance to defend themselves or their chosen profession without the approved radfem antagonist present to “correct the record”.
Problem is, though, Gail allows her sexual reaction to slip through the cracks even as she attempts to whitewash TPoP as merely an economic critique of the porn industry.
Instead of claiming that we are all empowered by porn, The Price of Pleasure delves into the underbelly of the industry, illustrating its points with images drawn from some of the most popular porn websites. These are not pretty, nor are they very erotic. We see women being choked with a penis, women smeared in ejaculate, women being slapped and spit upon, and in a particularly horrible scene, a woman retching after she has licked a penis that was just in her anus (called Ass to Mouth in the industry).
Now…any woman reading this who has managed to actually be deep throated, or whom has had facials done on them, who has engaged in a scene with spitting and slapping, and whom has actually survived AtM without dying of E Coli poisioning or being choked to death with the guy’s penis or not being able to wash the spooge and spit off with soap and water afterwards, please raise your hands. (Not you, Monica…I’ll get to you later.)
And, of course, this should never, ever be confused with a conservative, fundamentalist critique of sexuality….of course not!!
It seems to me that Price’s crime was to provide a progressive critique of the porn industry, rather than wax lyrically about how porn empowers women sexually. She showed a film that takes an unflinching look at the real porn industry.
Ahhh, yeah. A “progressive critique”. Seriously.
One of the producers who was seriously slandered in that video was Ira Levine (who also produces and writes under the professional name Ernest Greene); one of his bondage videos was hijacked and used without his consent for the documentary, and he was also interviewed by one of the doc’s creators, Dr. Chyng Sun, as part of the “fact-finding research” for TPoP. (Remember Dr. Sun’s original criticism that was published in January 2005 in CounterPunch?? Remember also Nina Hartley’s response to that?? Oh, did I also mention that Ernest is Nina’s husband, too?) Being both an actual progressive AND a long-time sexual rights activist involved intimately in the kink field, Ernest actually understands what really goes on in an BDSM themed scene…and he used the pages of the Blog of Pro-Porn Activism to both review and refute the cracked claims of TPoP, as well as document the way they stole and abused sexual content to fit into their ideology. His four part series is available and accessible through the home page of the BPPA blog. Anyone wanting a true progressive critique of how right-wing antisex propaganda attempts to work would be highly encouraged to read that series.
On the other hand…anyone wanting a totally whack and completely insane analysis of the whole affair could do much worse than accessing the blog Porn News Today, which offered up this wonderful breakdown of the Dines CounterPunch article:
I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re officially in the “End Times” as of today. The woman in this article, a professor, tried to educate her students as to the truth about the potential detrimental effects of pornography on one’s life, and she was suspended for it.
Meanwhile you have sextoy companies (who are of course Free Speech Coalition members) like the Screaming O sponsoring college campus events at USF (I’m convinced that their front man works directly for Satan), and Wicked Pictures screening their movies to students at UCSB.
Why even TRY to give young people the knowledge they need to make educated healthy decisions in life at this stage? Being that pornography is the psychological drug to enslave the masses of this generation why stop there? Maybe the United States should go ahead and legalize not just marijuana, but cocaine too and start distributing it to middle school kids (highschool age kids just aren’t young enough now days).
Once the middle school kids are hooked on both the porn and the cocaine – after they make it to Highschool (the ones that live that is), call in the porn companies to recruit the 16 year old girls during lunch break (the kids won’t be eating lunch anyways being that cocaine takes away your appetite). It’ll be like a job fair! Hell, I’ve been saying for a while that the age limit to be in porn should be raised to 21, but being that it’s the END OF DAYS lets go ahead and lower it to 16. Why not? Come on psychos, if you’re going to transform Earth into HELL lets do it RIGHT!
The person who wrote this mash of thrash?? Monica Foster. “Christian porn star”, self-identified apostate, and now, apparently, joining her mentors Shelley Lubben and Gail Dines in the agitprop network.
Because only someone insane enough to make up fake accounts to harass her critics and threaten to kill their children; someone batshit crazy enough to make up sockpuppet accounts spilling and spewing racist/anti-Semitic/homophobic smack so that she can pretend to be a ‘victim”; and someone wild enough to accept a bounced check from a sexual predator while escorting, then decry all escorts as the root of STI infection in porn…only Monica would invent the ultimate conspiracy of the porn industry to corrupt children with dildos and vibrators at age 15.
At least this can be said about Monica: she’s now down to one crazy personality, rather than five. Too bad that personality is more of a mole for sexual reaction, a double agent working both sides of the street. Pick a side, dear, before you get hit.
I had said that the only source for Gail Dines’ account of what happened at Appalachian State was her CounterPunch article…but now I’ve found the real source.
The Chronicle of Higher Education blog released on April 10th a full blog post documenting the entire episode regarding Jammie Price…and it is illuminating as much for what really did happen as what Dines simply cherry-picked for her antiporn crusade. I’ll simply repost the entire article for your viewing pleasure.
Tenured Professor Is Placed on Leave After Showing a Film About Pornography
A tenured professor of sociology at Appalachian State University has been placed on administrative leave following complaints last month from four students about her “inappropriate speech and conduct in the classroom,” including showing a movie about pornography.
Jammie Price, who has been a professor at Appalachian State for eight years, showed a well-known film called “The Price of Pleasure” in her introductory sociology course. The film, which she got from the university library, criticizes the porn industry and other businesses that make money off it.
According to a letter Ms. Price received last month from Anthony Gene Carey, vice provost for faculty affairs, Ms. Price failed to warn students that the material may be “objectionable or upsetting,” and at least three students complained to administrators that the content was “really inappropriate,” Mr. Carey wrote.
Another student complained to administrators that during another class meeting, Ms. Price had made “disparaging, inaccurate remarks about student athletes,” said the letter from Mr. Carey. He also said Ms. Price had inappropriately talked about her personal life and her political views in the classroom and “repeatedly stated that you do not like working at Appalachian” and “criticized the university administration.” In his letter, Mr. Carey said Ms. Price would be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the university’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Compliance.
Ms. Price, who has hired a lawyer and filed a sex-discrimination complaint against the university with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, asked the administration for a hearing on the charges but was denied. Administrators told her that is because she is on administrative leave, not under disciplinary suspension. When the university placed her on leave, it told Ms. Price she could not enter any classrooms or offices in the College of Arts and Sciences and took away her keys. It also told her not to speak about the matter with any students or colleagues.
The American Association of University Professors wrote a letter to the university’s chancellor this month, saying that, in Ms. Price’s case, the consequences of the paid leave were the same as a suspension. It also said AAUP guidelines say professors should be suspended “only if immediate harm to the faculty member or others is threatened”—something it said wasn’t evident in Ms. Price’s case.
The association also criticized the university because, it said, it appeared the administration had not consulted with any faculty committee before placing Ms. Price on leave.
The university didn’t return phone calls from The Chronicle seeking comment.
In a written response to Mr. Carey, Ms. Price said all the topics she covered in the course—including personal examples from her own life—were appropriate for an introductory sociology class. She said the movie on pornography included interviews with well-known scholars and is a legitimate teaching tool. “Part of the learning process for some students may be moving past the discomfort they feel when faced with core concepts in an introductory-level sociology class,” she wrote. Ms. Price said the university placed her on administrative leave for covering subjects “pertinent to sociology.” As such, she said, the university action “violates my rights to academic speech.”
Ms. Price told The Chronicle she believes the administration is punishing her because she has spoken out about things on the campus, including what she describes as a male-only poker club that includes administrators and faculty members.
“Men in the poker club gain more power, privileges, and income than others on the campus, and protection from student charges,” she said. “Since I started speaking out about this poker club, I have been bullied and harassed.”
So, from what it appears, the issue is NOT porn per se, but an administration taking advantage of some complaints about the “inappropriatness” of showing TPoP without any prior warning for triggering (as well as the other miscellaneous smack leveled by Ms. Price on other issues) in order to punish a whistleblower for “troublemaking”. Overbroad and a genuine assault on academic freedom?? Most probably, and one that will be resolved within the proper channels. A planned assault by the porn industry to “censor” a critical documentary?? Ahhhhh….no, I don’t think so.
Nice try, Gail…but as usual, you come up a day late and ten dollars short.