RECOMMENDED READING PART ONE
Rage Against the Manchine is a blog that has been around for quite some time.
Nine Deuce manages to articulate the problems with pornography in a way that I have never found possible. As such, I think it is best to link to her eleven part series (and several years worth of writing) regarding pornography.
The comments section of each post, while long, are well worth the read as well. Deuce offers her audience the chance to hear from people who disagree with her as well as those who do agree with her. It is for this reason I have chosen her as our first recommended read.
In this entry Deuce discerns that there is now way one could defend pornography. She discloses a personal and anecdotal account of her discovery of pornography. This discovery also includes the male relationship to pornography, her indigence and disgust at its treatment of and to women.
This opinion piece opens with the harms of pornography on a personal and inter-relationship level. Deuce goes on to include and discuss the adolescent male exposure to pornography and the desensitisation of explicit, violent and misogynistic content. The following contradictions of reality and the lack of exposure to and consumption of pornography in adolescent females.
This entry opens on a similar note to the last, listing the harms of pornography on an individual level. Deuce also delves into the detrimental effects of pornography within intimate relationships:
- How pornography and pornographic culture has impacted male sexuality
- How saying “boys will be boys” to describe this male incorporation of pornography into sexuality is a misnomer that fails to adequately address male entitlement to female sexual labour.
- The similarities between pornography and infidelity.
Establishing her individual/personal anti-censorship position, part four details the arguments made regarding women who make or consume pornography themselves.
After a run-down of Objectification Theory and the simultaneous lust and disgust directed at women in pornography, Nine Deuce also makes mention of the Virgin/Whore dichotomy within porn users.
Deuce brings up the elephant in the room with the issues of trafficking and child pornography as well as the issue of trafficking, child pornography and rape within pornography. She also establishes her anti-censorship position.
In this post Nine Deuce raises her issues with the objectification and dehumanisation of women within pornography. This, according to Deuce (2008) has an effect on the way that males in the larger community see females. She makes reference to author Robert Jensen and how his reasoning appears sound and supports her claim.
She raises the idea that pornography creates a class division amongst women (the virgin/whore dichotomy,) where some women are acceptable targets of sexual aggression and/or violence by men. While Deuce suggests it would be interesting to analyse just how great the effect pornography has on the way males see females – all evidence to her suggests that:
(a) all men have seen or used pornography at some point in their lives and
(b) pornography permeates the culture at large so that men who might not regularly expose themselves to it are none the less exposed to it via Western culture.
In this entry Deuce details that the acceptance and support for pornography by some women as a form of Stockholm Syndrome. She raises the argument that choices do not occur in social isolation and that it is a “if you can’t beat them, join them” mentality. She also argues that it is through this particular “I choose my choice” argument that males are able to justify their consumption of pornography: if someone women choose to do it, therefore all must choose to. Deuce argues that the women who do support and champion pornography have absorbed cultural messages about female subordination and male dominance. She argues against this appeal to tradition (i.e. that it is natural and normal for males to consume pornography,) and asserts that the female support for this is a desire for validation and approval.
Deuce also argues that as pornography is a media product, it distorts the perception of human sexuality and concludes with the suggestion that we explore outside of this.
In this entry Deuce argues that the male use of pornography stems from a sense of entitlement of sexual access to women’s bodies. She also highlights the acceptance of rape myths in men who consume pornography and the amount of disappointed responses she got for asserting such a thing. Deuce argues that the first sexual exposure men have is with pornography, and even if they could compartmentalise the difference between the sexual degradation of women and connecting with them as human beings – there would still be the issue of the virgin/whore dichotomy that this attitude brings up.
Deuce begins with the differences between what makes up a ‘right’ versus what makes up a ‘privilege’. She states that there is a confusion on what a ‘right’ actually is and that there is no consensus on what a ‘right’ actually is. Deuce goes on to articulate that pornography is not a part of the U.S.A Right to Freedom of Speech – despite what Larry Flynt might argue. Deuce argues that this is a deliberate conflation of what a ‘right’ is and in turn, males assume that they have a ‘right’ to access pornography. She restates her point that pornography is tantamount to cheating and emotional abuse.
To open Deuce offers an argument on the conflation of the word ‘right’ within Western culture. Deuce adds that there is current or concrete consensus of what a ‘right’ is exactly. And this is where pornography comes in – Deuce attests that despite what Larry Flynt might have one believe, pornography is not a ‘right’ of Freedom of Speech (this is a clever reference to Andrea Dworkin, who deserves an entry of her own.)
The problem of course lies within the fact that many men consider their porn consumption a right – Deuce challenges this assertion. By stating that pornography is tantamount to emotional abuse and infidelity, she announces her thoughts on the issue of the ‘right’ for men to access pornography.
Deuce again opens with the idea that there is a conflation about pornography serving the ruling class interests (in the case of MRA’s, feminsts,) to control men; and, that this is in fact not the case at all. Pornography serves to control women and benefit men as a sex class.
She articulates the problem with most media and information out there to inform and persuade readers about the problem are jargon-laden and assume that the reader is stupid.
The other problem is conspiracy theorists who completely miss the point of a materialist analysis. Deuce offers a Marxism/Anti-Capitalism 101 and states that the pornography industry is an excellent example of this in action. The end result being hyper-individualism of porn consumers as promoted by the pornographic industry itself.
Arguing that capitalism is the antithesis of meaningful and positive social change, Deuce brings in the example of Hugh Hefner and Playboy magazine. Almost simultaneously with the end of World War II and the birth of the Second Wave of Women’s Liberation, Playboy emerges; Deuce stipulates this as a smooth and shrewd capitalist move.
She raises the issue of the high levels of individualism and psychological profiling that have increased within the media during the latter half of the 20th century and the first half of the 21st century. Deuce goes on to add that this kind of consumer profiling is also a part of the pornographic industries. As Deuce states, capitalism’s sole motivation is profit and pornography wants lifetime consumers so that they can continue to profit and justify their own existence.
She also highlights the issues with Leftist men and pornography and concludes by reminding the reader that pornography harms, rapes, traffics and both figuratively and literally kills girls and women.
Deuce begins this entry on a controversial note, defending her use of the term “commercial rape” to refer to pornography. She notes that the difference between working minimum wage service jobs versus prostitution is in particular the actual mode of production itself. That the idea of unfettered sexual access to women as a sexual good or service is to reduce women to objects themselves (objectification theory.)
She goes further into her anti-capitalist analysis about labour being assigned an abstract value due to the perceived scarcity of resources and/or demand. However, the problems with this when applied in reality is that of course, choices do not occur in a social vacuum and therefore; the “choice” to act in or consume pornography does not occur in a social vacuum. In furthering this anti-capitalist analysis Deuce exposes the lie of meritocracy, the history of, and, expands upon the analysis of the the wage gap within the service industries.
Deuce points out that in all other fields women’s labour is under valued or not valued at all and posits the question, why then is it in pornography that their labour is valued higher over a short period? The answer of course, is a system of misogyny and capitalism.
Deuce, N., 2008, “Porn Part One: How I Became a Rad Feminist”, on Rage Against the Man-chine, April 12, originally accessed May 17 2015, (url:http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2008/04/12/why-porn-isnt-cool-part-1/)
Deuce, N., 2008, “Porn Part Two: The High School Years)”, on Rage Against the Man-chine, April 12, originally accessed May 17 2015, (url: http//rageagainstthemanchine.com/2008/04/12/why-porn-isnt-cool-2-the-high-school-years/)
Deuce, N., 2008, “Porn Part 3: Porn Ruins Sex)”, on Rage Against the Man-chine, April 16, originally accessed May 15 2015, (url:http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2008/04/12/why-porn-isnt-cool-3-real-people-have-feelings/)
Deuce, N., 2008, “Porn Part 4: Half of the Big Picture”, on Rage Against the Man-chine, April 16, originally accessed May 18 2015, (url:http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2008/04/16/porn-part-4-half-of-the-big-picture/)
Deuce, N., 2008, “Porn Part 5: The Other Half of the Big Picture”, on Rage Against the Man-chine, April 16, originally accessed May 22 2015, (url:http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2008/04/16/porn-part-5-the-other-half-of-the-big-picture/)
Deuce, N., 2008, “Porn Part 6: Stockholm Syndrome”, on Rage Against the Man-chine, April 23, originally accessed May 22 2015, (url:http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2008/04/23/pornpart6/)
Deuce, N., 2008, “Porn Part 7: It Takes Two”, on Rage Against the Man-chine, April 24, originally accessed May 24 2015, (url: http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2008/04/24/porn-part-7-it-takes-two/)
Deuce, N., 2008, “Porn Part 9: The Opposite of Dudishness Is Not Prudishness”, on Rage Against the Man-chine, April 26, originally accessed May 26 2015, (url: http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2008/04/26/porn-part-9-the-opposite-of-dudishness-is-not-prudishness/)
Deuce, N., 2012, “Introduction to Porn Part 10: The Rutting Dogs of Capitalism”, on Rage Against the Man-chine, February 12, originally accessed May 28 2015, (url: http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2012/02/12/introduction-to-porn-part-10-the-rutting-dogs-of-capitalism/)
Deuce, N., 2012, “Porn Part 10: The Rutting Dogs of Capitalism”, on Rage Against the Man-chine, February 16, originally accessed May 28 2015, (url: http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2012/02/16/porn-part-10-the-rutting-dogs-of-capitalism/)
Deuce, N., 2012, “Porn Part 11: The Difference Between Huffing Dong and Flipping Burgers”, on Rage Against the Man-chine, March 15, originally accessed May 30 2015, (url: http://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2012/03/15/porn-part-11-the-difference-between-huffing-dong-and-flipping-burgers/)