*pinches bridge of its nose*
Assorted blanket trigger warnings for talk of porn, rape, abuse, patriarchy, and the associated snarl of controversy. I don’t know how to preview this post besides to say “this post is a ball of stress and if you don’t need that rn or ever, don’t bother with this one.” I just want to spew some reactions for a minute without having to gear up for a Debate, which is why I’ll probably keep comments closed, and if you really want to talk to me about this, you’ll have to use the Askbox.
Additional note: Yeah, this is gonna be critical of the porn industry.
So I saw this blog post [tagged w/ rape + abuse tws] and got curious what post it could be alluding to… and tracked down this post on decoupling porn and sexual assault (which has some… language I don’t know how to apply labels to, besides “cringeworthy”).
I didn’t read the whole thing. It’s hard to read when you keep finding your head pressed to your desk, after all. I did glimpse the ending, though, and good grief, way to encapsulate the word “smug.” What better way to be sanctimonious than by gaslighting the hell out of abuse victims for whom porn featured in their abuse, right?
I can’t engage this whole thing. I can’t. But I can’t stay quiet on all of it, either. This bit, for instance, seems fairly manageable:
The problem with “porn made them do it” is that as an argument it is no different from the drink, the short skirt or the high heels made me do it. It is a transference of blame from where it belongs, on the rapist, to an external object. This transference is called rape apologism and should surely apply to the excuse of porn as much as the excuse of drink or clothing?
Comparing a man’s porn usage to “the drink, the short skirt, or the high heels.”
Okay. Look. The first one there refers to alcohol, I can only presume, the supposed logic being that a drunk guy has loosened inhibitions and just can’t help himself, an excuse that I’ve never heard applied to any other crime. That’s what makes that one rape culture. The other two are referring to a person’s (usually a woman’s) choice of attire.
And the thing is, when someone tries to excuse rape on the grounds of “the short skirt or the high heels,” they aren’t blaming the objects themselves. Nobody (as far as I’m aware) is saying that a man who merely sees an article of clothing, by itself, is going to get the urge to go out and rape. It’s the victim’s choice to wear it that gets her victim-blamed — because she was “revealing” too much or making herself look “too sexy.” The blame is tacked onto the victim’s choices, the victim’s visibility, the victim’s existence.
So what’s up with drawing an equivalence between attributing the cause to the victim and… attributing the cause to the rapist? Implicating porn use as conditioning rapists to be rapists, no matter how it’s argued, really isn’t anything like implying that women need to restrict their visibility in order to earn safety.
I mean. The reason it’s not “a transference of blame from where it belongs, on the rapist, to an external object” is because (as I would expect would be obvious) attaching relevance to porn use as a part of how rapists are created… is blaming the rapist, for using & reenacting porn. And no matter your opinions on how much exploitation there may be in the porn industry, you should be able to get that. It’s not transference of blame from the rapist’s choices to the victim’s choices because it is a criticism of the rapist’s choices.
The idea that young men ignore consent and sexual boundaries because of something they have seen in porn seems to have become embedded in our culture, with no one challenging it.
Where do you live?
Picture this; someone asks a young man why he thinks a consent violation was acceptable. He replies with the excuse that allows him to duck moral culpability, “I saw it in porn.”
Allows him to… ? Have you been seeing anyone say “well if he was just emulating porn, it wasn’t his fault and he shouldn’t be punished for it”? Is that a thing people are saying? Is that a thing anti-porn feminists are saying?
Patriarchy, as we all know dislikes women who are in control of their sexual agency.
Oh please don’t be doing what I think you’re doing.
It really dislikes women who demand payment for something historically men have demanded (often by force) for free. Sex workers are othered, excluded shamed and stigmatised because if women were allowed to be in control of their own bodies, they might all start denying access to those who abuse, who use, and who wont pay.
*clenches own scalp*
Listen. Listen. Entering the sex industry does not automatically make women safe from abuse. Engaging in sex work doesn’t allow women to “deny access” to abusers. I don’t know how you could miss that.
Also way to make it sound like the only way to “be in control of their own bodies” is for women to charge money for sexual services? As if there’s only charging clients or there’s having sex with those who “won’t pay,” and those are the only two options. The options of not consenting, or even choosing celibacy, apparently don’t count as expressions of sexual agency, I guess. I’m getting dizzy.
Blaming sex workers, be they workers in porn, clubs or brothels for the behaviors of abusive men is firstly a warning.
Oh, that’s what you think this about?
You think “viewing porn influenced this rapist” = “porn actresses are to blame for his rapes”? So… literally drawing an equivalence between the women within the porn industry and the piece of packaged pornographic media itself? Isn’t that… literally treating human women as synonymous with “an external object,” as you called it above? Is there any other way to interpret this?
They see how women who challenge patriarchies control are treated. Is it then any surprise that they tailour their “feminism” to be palatable to those with power?
The porn industry… doesn’t inherently… challenge patriarchy. The porn industry isn’t inherently feminist. What the ever-loving… What even… What even brought you to this point? Who told you the porn industry as a whole advocates against male hegemony? Do you think that receiving some kind of financial compensation for labor — something that doesn’t apply to all the women involved in the creation of porn — is “empowering”? Are you too financially stable to know about this thing called “poverty”?
By attacking porn, or sex work, or women of colour, or trans women, or whatever their patriarchal masters point them at this week, feminists like Dent are–
Ok now you’re literally comparing criticism of the sex industry to racism and cissexism because you didn’t put “porn actresses” or “sex workers” in the list with “women of color” and “trans women;” you put “porn” and “sex work,” the media and abstract concepts, not the people themselves.
For a piece that aims to support and defend women occupying a stigmatized status, this one seems pretty invested in denying them their humanity.