Nailin Palin...?

BlogHer Original Post

For some movies, there's no higher honor than earning an adult entertainment counterpart parody. Some of the greatest movies have been remade to star women with impossibly huge breasts, men with impossibly huge private parts, and lots of extras who are impossibly tuned in to the sexual needs of the main characters and who make impossibly bad puns. Its rare that this crosses into the real world, but apparently, Sarah Palin is about to earn adult entertainment's highest honor herself.

Larry Flynt is financing her porn debut. Sort of.

The Hustler founder has made an X-rated movie using an adult-film actress who resembles the governor of Alaska.

Flynt's team had posted an anonymous advert on the website Craigslist just days after Mrs Palin took the Republican convention by storm last month.

The ad read: "Looking for a Sarah Palin look-alike for an adult film to be shot in the next 10 days."

The actress would be paid $3,000 (£1,700) for the part.

Flynt's spokesman confirmed to the New York Daily News that the film had been shot, but he would not yet reveal the title.

Okay, so this article is a little outdated. We now know that the movie will be entitled "Naylin' Palin," will feature her engaging in foreign "relations" with her Russian neighbors, will star adult actress Lisa Ann, and will involve a...ugh...threesome between Palin, Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice.

And its already selling advance copies.

And I'm really trying to hold it in, if you can't tell.

I'm a libertarian. I say that a lot. In fact, I'm what you might consider a pro-porn feminist libertarian. While I define feminism differently, I tend to lean toward the theory that porn is both an art form and possesses the potential to allow women to embrace their sexuality. To be frank, there are some types of porn that I don't find objectionable. In fact, at some point in my early adulthood, I very publicly admitted that I would edit Playboy in a heartbeat if given the chance.

But there's theory and then there's reality. Of course, I'd still love to work at Playboy, but in the grand world of pornography, Playboy is the Cuban cigar to the rest of the industry's Marlboro Lights (odd metaphor, but it works). Pornography is an art form that can be explored, used to make political statements, exist as satire and counterpoint to a stuffy, insular and often puritanical culture. From this perspective, I believe that Larry Flynt has the right to explore the parameters of the political system; if his and his editors idea of commentating on the political climate is to make a porn movie about it, the principles of artistic expression and free speech apply. Anything less would be...conservative.

But there comes a point where anti-puritanical satire borders on exploitation. Certainly, Flynt is making a political point, however, he is also riding a wave: the media, the popular culture, and without a doubt fellow progressives (and many, many others of both sides of the political spectrum) have been taking cheap but funny shots at the shortcomings of Palin's personality over the last week, resulting in ratings -- and message -- gold. For some, its merely a way of spreading the truth, for others, its a way to devalue Palin as a human being, a political candidate, and...as a woman.

There are many reasons to object to Sarah Palin; I can imagine that my co-bloggers here at BlogHer would have no problem issuing me a list at the drop of a hat and every point on the list would be legitimate, but there's no question that for some critics, the thought of a woman ascending to the highest office in the land is terrifying. Hell, they thought a woman with the qualifications, experience and level of respect of Hillary Clinton ascending to the Presidency was terrifying...of course, they'd switch targets to the small-town mayor from the 49th, wilderness state. How better to marginalize a candidate than by appealing to the most animal instincts of her critics? How better to make Sarah Palin nothing more than an object than by reducing her to, well, an object?

Pornography, no matter how empowering, and like any weapon in the free speech arsenal, can be used for evil. Pornography and adult film-making is especially dangerous, since it often deliberately depicts savage sexuality, violence against women, and reduces women to their most basic state: that of a sexual object. Its stars are not helpful in this respect -- most of the women who star in mainstream adult films are not natural women. They are plastic representations of women cleaned from the fantasies of hyper-sexualized, macho males. Not people loved for their intelligence, sophistication and wit, in other words.

Its something feminists have been saying for years; despite supporting the necessary freedom of expression, there are clear lines that should not be crossed. No woman should be depicted as the victim of violence, no woman should be reduced to nothing more than the object of a teenage fantasy. For true equality, women must accept their sexuality and demand respect.

By depicting Sarah Palin as a brainless sex object, by taking advantage of the popular notion that she is a political fantasy, Hustler and Larry Flynt are perpetuating the idea that any woman, no matter how accomplished, can be reduced to the sum of her bedroom prowess. And he's not the only one. Palin, Clinton and other high-powered women have been intentionally and recently attacked, cited as incapable of doing their job because of their gender, and demeaned because of their habit of wearing skirts. In this film, Flynt reinforces even those ideas, making certain to incorporate the other women in high office in this country into a threesome fantasy. It's no secret that the threesome is the most profitable and sought-after scenario in adult entertainment. Marketing to the masses of young men consuming this material by putting three powerful women into that situation makes clear the result of Hustler's art: there's a possibility that the movie's consumers will see the precedent and apply it to all future female candidates.

Of course, Larry Flynt has his rights, and if the movie stimulates (heh) political discussion, then it will have been successful as political parody. He may be on to something and I may be paranoid, but as with all rights, just because you can use it, it doesn't mean you should. In this case, I have to believe the story of Sarah Palin's naked exploits with Russian oilmen should have been left unwritten.

Or at least wait until she's Vice President. Now those scenarios would be kind of hot.

Don't just agree with me. Read more about it at these ladies sites: Echidne of the Snakes discusses the ramifications of both the porn movie and the possibility that Sarah Palin may be exploiting her own sexuality for political gain. Monya of Stupid Celebrities and her readers take a look at the situation from a Hollywood perspective. Tennessee Gureilla Woman delves more in depth into the strain of sexism that has run through this election cycle.

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