Porn Wars Part XII

Twisty Faster gives us a tantalising glimpse into her in-box with "Reader actually asks spinster aunt's opinion". It contains a reader's heartfelt plea for advice on negotiating online disagreements about pornography—or porn wars. The letter alone is worth a read, but then you have the baroque writing of Twisty encasing it like a tortilla from one of her beloved Austin tacos.

Twisty responds to her reader:

"Porn - gay, straight, bi, live-action, animated, or 'feminist' - is the graphic representation of the oppression of the sex class. Until the sex class is liberated from male oppression, porn can be nothing else, no matter how many fun feminists claim it empowerfuls them."

This is take-no-prisoners writing, and what you expect from radical feminism.

Further on in her piece she instructs:

"When you're already oppressed, it is, in fact, impossible to volunteer for oppression. A woman is a member of the sex class whether she 'chooses' it or not."

This sort of talk always makes me want to shave my head. Disconcerting.

Anyway, it's a good articulation of one radfem perspective on porn, and contains the usual writerly back flips and jumping through hoops you've come to expect and admire from I Blame The Patriarchy.

You want comments? I got comments.

I hesitate to point to this next post, because at first glance there's a divisive flavor to the comment thread, but there are also positive elements. I'm referring to "An object lesson…" at Witchy-Woo's blog, Well I'll Go To The Foot Of My Stairs…. I'm focusing not so much the post as the discussion it prompted.

The comment thread is extremely lengthy, passionate, and combative, but it's significant because it shows:

- people want to talk about this stuff;

- people need to talk about this stuff, especially to different camps, so they can test out their ideas on rough terrain.

Moreover, it's an issue that just isn't going to go away for the feminist blogosphere: discussion between different branches of feminism on this topic will take place, whether it's at this blog or another one. The challenge is learning how to debate without it getting personal.

It's also worth noting that while porn is a core issue for many feminists, others just aren't interested in this debate. To each her own.

I guess I should try to summarize the comments in that thread, all 500+ of them. Hang on a tick, someone already has: Egotistical Whining. And she does it with good humor.

A male point of view

Lastly, I want to point your attention to Hugo Schwyzer's post, "'The average guy who can compartmentalize, disconnect, and then come back': a response to Ethan on porn".

Schwyzer dismantles the "discourse of uncontrollable male sexual desire".

His concluding paragraph gives you a sample of his argument and position:

"When we 'compartmentalize' and 'disconnect', we stop seeing women — real women, and porn stars are real women — as actual human beings who have needs that go beyond our own pleasure. And as a pro-feminist historian, I note that when men 'disconnect' from a recognition of the essential humanity of any woman, it rarely turns out well for her… or for anyone else."

Hat-tip: Flutterby(TM) via

Melinda Casino also writes at Sour Duck.


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