I’m found that some radical feminist positions are really obvious if you think about them, but few women ever get exposed to them. I was fully in the liberal, sex-poz camp before a game of link leapfrog introduced me to radfem writings online. I think a lot of liberal feminists could be converted to radical ideas if they were exposed to them.
I’m now working on converting some of my friends. “Susie,” a friend since childhood, is engaged to a man and very much a liberal/sex-poz feminist. She’s also always had an aversion to pornography that she couldn’t pin down.
This is a conversation we had online today.
Susie: hey, help me out. i’m talking to my fiancé about porn and i can’t articulate my issues.
Me: well it’s very male centric, and almost all the acts in it are solely for male pleasure
Susie: my fiancé says, “I would say women are probably less exploited in the field of high-production value pornography than they are in most others. Most fields of employment discriminate against women, but porn discriminates for them. Female porno actors make many times more money than their male counterparts.”
I told him, “yeah but i can’t see how it wouldn’t fuck with your head or why you’d get into it as a woman if you weren’t fucked up. i know that there are some who do and are just fine, but i think the chances are extremely high that any particular woman in a porno has serious issues”
the fiancé says, “Which part is the fucked up part, the part where you think sex is fun, the part where you make tons of money, or the part where you get to be a star?”
I said, “the part where you think your body is the only thing you’ve got going for you”
The fiancé says, “Who said they do? You’re projecting an awful lot. Does a basketball player think the same way? Or a construction worker? You can undertake a physical profession without thinking of yourself as less than human.”
Me: but money is a form of coercion
in psychology ethics, you’re not allowed to pay someone enough to make them do something they wouldn’t want to do otherwise
and what makes him think it’s fun for the women? i never see/hear them make any actual enjoyment noises, just really really fake ones
having a dick shoved up your ass and then having to suck on it is degrading!
they don’t even do that in gay porn (i’ve actually researched this), but it’s really common in straight porn
Susie: huh, interesting
Me: it’s like suicide food, have you heard of that?
Me: like the BBQ franchises with a smiling pig mascot, like, “Oh boy, i can’t wait to be eaten!”
so they make this whole thing in porn of women smiling as they’re choking on a huge cock
or making all these really fake enjoyment noises
to lessen men’s guilt about them being exploited, but that doesn’t mean they enjoy it 1
also women in porn don’t seem to get hardly any foreplay, which is necessary for sex to be unpainful
the fact that we can pay people to pretend to enjoy something means nothing
and honestly, i think porn/prostitution only seems “empowering” to women who’ve had a lot of unwanted sex in the past and feel like at least if they’re getting paid they get something
and not necessarily unwanted sex as in rape, but as in feeling obligated or pressured or like they can’t say no
Susie: you make very good points
i can’t google it from work, but i know there have been studies done about the percentage of women in the sex entertainment industry who have been sexually abused, and it’s high.
Me: yep. 60-80% according to various studies 2
oh, that’s just childhood sexual abuse, so probably more who have been raped as adults
and lots more who have been pressured or coerced into unwanted sex, which is practically all women
Susie: yeah, it’s obscene. i don’t see how that could be arousing
“gosh, i hope this hot chick is one of the 20% who are okay!”
Me: watching women reenact their own childhood rapes isn’t arousing to you?
Susie: wow, goddamn, well said
I think a lot more women would be open to radical feminist ideas if we gave them a little more credit and kind of “eased” them into it. And I think a big part of Women’s Liberation is reaching out to other women and educating them. The first liberation has to happen within women’s heads, right?