Sunday, 27 April 2008
Also, I found this via Allecto who got it thanks to Demonista: please sign this petition to ask Rogers Communications (a Canadian-based corporation that is the largest provider of cable to Canadians) to stop selling misogynistic and racist pornography.
"Pornography tells lies about women. Pornography tells the truth about men."
-- John Stoltenberg, pro-feminist writer.
"At the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence, serving Linn and Benton counties, most women we work with say their abusers are heavily into pornography."
-- Mary Zelinka, assistant executive director of a Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence in Oregon.
"When people deplore sexism and racism but make allowances for their proliferations in pornography, pornography has achieved its aim: the creation of acceptance for materials that publicly practise and advertise the hatred and domination of women of colour. Pornography perpetrates racism through the sexualization and fetishisation of racist stereotypes."
-- Joyce Wu, in her article Not a Fantasy: Racial Hatred and Misogyny in Pornography.
Saturday, 26 April 2008
[Edited to add (05/01/2008): I was just trying to mean "a withdrawal from reality into fantasy" by using the word 'schizophrenia', basically, BTW. I didn't mean using that word in any kind of offensive way, but I can understand why some people would get upset by it. I think I was somehow searching for a word that would describe, metaphorically speaking, the way I felt about patriarchy and its social influences on people and so that was the word I came up with. However, I now understand that using the word 'schizophrenia', even in a metaphorical context, may still seem offensive to some people but I'm leaving this post as it is so that the following comment thread (containing reactions to my usage of that word) makes sense.]
It is something we're living in. Something that is ever-omnipresent. We live and we breathe in it.
There is not one single hour, not one single minute, not one single second, without it existing.
It is what this world is ruled by. It is also what underlies the oppressive system that is called capitalism, among so many other systems of oppression. It is what is at the root of all systems of oppression as a matter of fact, whether political, economic, social, sexual, emotional, psychological, etc.
Yet, it is not visible to most people living on this earth. And that is the most painful part: it not being acknowledged as (still) existing by most people.
I used to to be amongst that majority of people. I used to be ignorant of its existence. I used to believe that we were somehow "post-feminism", that women were now equal to men. . .
. . .until that day. That day I "woke up" and noticed it. The oppression of women and girls. I saw it raw, undisguised, inhuman and also searing, distressing, upsetting, heart-breaking.
It had been there all along. I just hadn't noticed it. The oppression of women, the unfair system keeping them as a class in a position of inferiority to men, had been there all along. I just hadn't noticed it before because it had been hidden, somehow away from public view and pushed more toward the private sphere in people's lives.
In this patriarchal world, I walk around the streets, places, my workplace, my home or my college and I see all those people not knowing that patriarchy (still) exists.
Sometimes I find myself fidgeting, worrying, walking back and forth, wondering "When will people (especially women) will ever see it is there?". On the other hand, I absolutely don't blame them. I used to be in the same position as them, i.e. not knowing it is there.
Most of the time, the only moment I get peace in mind is when I sleep so I don't have to think about it then, as it's haunting me.
It's haunting me like remembering the voices of ex-boyfriends who abused me.
There is something I remember Gail Dines saying at the end of one of her speeches when I was at the Wheelock College anti-pornography conference in March 2007. It was:
"We are very, very close to losing it all. There is a point at which it is very hard to pull back on. What's going on in environmental destruction is very similar to cultural destruction. There is a point where it is over. People are too robotic. They have lost what it means to be human and they are thoroughly colonized by the corporate pimps. This has to stop. We have to fight back. It is not in my nature to play dead. I will fight to the last breathing word. And you will have to join in, because unless we do something, there is nobody else who is going to do it."
I'll say, it is not in my nature to play dead either. I am here and I will speak and carry on speaking.
Let me talk about that private sphere in people's lives.
In it, most men are watching a certain kind of images to which they masturbate. And those images are mainstream, popular in male culture.
In those images, women are portrayed as being worthless "fuck-objects" who are being degraded, humiliated, roughly penetrated in every possible way, choked, bruised, slapped, handled callously, hurt, ejaculated upon, etc (the list goes on) while they are also being portrayed as either saying they enjoy all these things being done to them or eagerly seeking all this kind of insensitive and debasing treatment.
The day I noticed those images in a way I had never noticed them before, I saw the oppression of women raw, undisguised, inhuman and also searing, distressing, upsetting, heart-breaking.
Those images, among other things, made me notice how much I was living in patriarchy.
Similarly, the day I paid attention to the fact that my abusive ex-boyfriends had often been using those images and I connected the dots, I saw how the ways I have been oppressed had been enforced by patriarchy.
Patriarchy is a totalitarian and reactionary oppressive system. It colonizes us as women. It trains us to "please men", to be "sexy" by fitting male-defined "feminine" roles and appearances.
Patriarchy is not inevitable. The root cause of patriarchy is gender socialization, i.e. what it means to be "masculine" and what it means to be "feminine" and how we are trained to "fit" those constraining and constricting roles.
Patriarchy is also what engineered these environmental and cultural destructions that Gail Dines mentioned.
Patriarchy is what makes people become too robotic, what makes people lose what it means to be human.
Patriarchy is the state of schizophrenia. Now, by "schizophrenia", I mean to speak in the figurative sense, NOT the literal one.
"Schizophrenia", metaphorically speaking, to me, means a withdrawal from reality into "fantasy", a refusal to engage with reality.
I have chosen to be wide awake. I have chosen to refuse living into the "this-isn't-happening-we're-post-feminism-women-are-now-equal-to-men" fantasy realm that patriarchy wants to keep us asleep into.
But because patriarchy is the state of schizophrenia, the few people who are fully awake are (metaphorically speaking) accused of being "schizophrenic" as they notice this oppressive system.
What I mean by that is that most people on this earth who cannot see the truth, i.e. that we live in patriarchy, accuse radical feminists and pro-radfems of "talking nonsense" or "not knowing", etc (the list goes on).
I have chosen to face reality and firmly hold onto my humanity, even though most people say that the reality I see is somehow "not reality".
I can see patriarchy. It is deeply entrenched within our society. Sometimes, I wish I were able to alert all women and girls out there that we are living in this male-supremacist system.
I wish I could tell them all about the risks we take within patriarchy, how much we have been so perniciously trained, socialized, brainwashed by this male-supremacist system and that we are very close to losing it all.
Unfortunately, radical feminism gets little or no malestream media attention, unless to be misrepresented, vilified and lied about by liberals and members of other political wings.
As a rad fem friend of mine said, I don't believe it is because radical feminism is somehow "wrong" or "evil" or anything like that (as detractors would have us believe).
It is rather because radical feminism is so revolutionary and progressive that it is threatening not only to the patriarchal status quo but also to every single other political faction that calls itself revolutionary or progressive while expecting to preserve the same basic unfair hierarchies.
In this world we're living in, I walk around the streets, places, my workplace, my home or my college and I KNOW that patriarchy still exists and is ever-omnipresent, dangerous, ominous.
I can see the oppression of women raw, undisguised, inhuman and also searing, distressing, upsetting, heart-breaking.
I can see that women are not perceived as human beings by many men.
I see women being objectified by many men and this inhuman objectification being perceived as commonplace in this soon-to-become completely robotic society.
As I'm firmly holding onto my humanity in this patriarchy we're living in, I can see so many forms of abuse happening and all the proofs that those horrible things are happening.
Because I am wide awake and have chosen to face reality, it is painful.
But I am glad I know about the fact that we still live in patriarchy as it makes me able to speak out about that fact and all the harms and oppressions that patriarchy caused, causes and will cause.
It is not in my nature to play dead and I will not withdraw from reality into fantasy.
Like other radical feminists, I seek the abolition of patriarchy.
The oppression of women now occurs in their personal lives and I believe that the personal is political.
The unbearable patriarchal system has to be stopped before it's too late. We have to stand up, speak out and fight back.
Postscript: Dunno when I will write "Patriarchy (part 2)" but I will someday. . .
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
So why don't I care about what pro-porners say about me? Because I know that these people are all so full of it, obviously. . .
But, although in my previous post I'd said that "the next post I'll make on this blog will not be about the same subject. I'll go back to doing my patriarchy-bashing and exposing the harms of pornography and prostitution" (count on it next time for sure), I'm merely posting this message from Sam, upon her recent and urgent request, in order to clarify something because serious lies and misrepresentations are apparently being said about her right now over the "sex-poz" blogosphere. Here it is from Sam:
There are a lot of lies being told about me right now. I’m used to that because it comes with the pro-woman activism that kooky kid called life dropped into my lap like an unexploded bomb, but it’s rather concentrated at the moment. Most of it is nonsense, like that I’m trying to get the pro-sex work group kicked off campus (I’m not) or that I’m afraid to debate sex workers (I’m not) or that I said RenEv made threats personally to me (she didn’t and I didn’t say she did), but there is one very serious bit of business tucked into the ever-heaping distortions that I feel must be addressed.
Renegade Evolution is saying that I sent her threatening private emails. I have never emailed RenEv. Not once. What would be the point?
So where did the supposed emailed “threat” come from? I think I know, and I think you’re all going to want to learn what I know, because the pieces are fitting together for me very clearly for the first time.
Remember that person who committed fraud by lying to one of Genderberg’s moderators about being anti-pornography and anti-prostitution so they could spy on our private forums and then release words from there publicly? If you need or want a recap about the violation of women’s safe space that happened one year ago today in April 2007 you can read this post at Sinister Girl's.
Caught up? Good.
Also in April 2007, the aforementioned lying person started a hate blog called “Radical Feminist Terrorism” where the person who stole private writings from Genderberg [forums] spewed her vituperative guts out with such psychotic absurdities as:
“You can't really understand the hatred that is embodied in many of the posts on Genderberg. Many members of that forum simply do not see other women as human at all.“
“I am not sure why the belief that women should be free to live as they wish is so dangerous. I do know that to many in the Genderberg this belief in women's freedom is utterly inexcusable. They will do anything to destroy it.”
“While many will claim that Genderberg is a "safe space" my belief is that there should be no safe space for those who work to destroy women. There should be no dark corner where ANYONE can get together and plot against or foster hatred of women.”
“There is no evil that these haters of women will not stoop to. There is no vile act of malice they cannot justify. They will do anything in their power to destroy or silence anyone they disagree with. In their hate they are trying to destroy her. In their blood lust for a purge they are trying to force Renegade Evolution to reveal who I am. They want to close the hole so they can go back to plotting against women in the dark.”
“In my time on Genderberg I read more hatred of women than I ever read or saw in pornography.”
Seeing how loony the anonymous Radfem Terrorism blogger clearly is, I brushed off replying substantively because the raging dementia speaks for itself.
Throughout May and June the moderators at Genderberg worked like demons to try and figure out which of the 100 or so members was the leak. We ask every member a series of questions before approving them and we were going member by member to try and restore some of the lost sense of security that made one prostituted woman feel she had to leave Genderberg. By early July we pooled our research and figured out that the leak was someone who registered as “Miriam” with a bunch of hooey about being anti-pornography and caring about prostituted women. I deleted “Miriam” from the memberlist and sent her the following email on July 5, 2007:
“I feel bad for you because you've obviously been seriously fucked up by people in your life, but if you don't back off slagging on radfems you're going to force my hand.
I can prove you committed fraud when you lied to moderator deedle about your gb membership, and I can prove you were the one who leaked Pony's words. Because you're a pathological liar, you're probably thinking you can lie your way out of this just like you've done other times.
I didn't out you before because I have a soft spot for seriously fucked up women like yourself, but I'm not above initiating legal action to show the ex-sex workers in my little community that their privacy and continued peace of mind is something I take very seriously. If you cared about sex workers one tenth as much as you manipulatively tell people you do then you would not have violated a sex worker-heavy community like you did.
Stop telling lies, Miriam. You're not as good at it as you think you are.”
Now ask yourself why RenEv thinks my email to Miriam threatening to reveal that I know Miriam wrote the "Radical Feminist Terrorism" blog was somehow a threat to reveal personal information about RenEv.
-- Sam Berg.
I'm guessing that's another side of another story again exposed now, as I can see. Thank you so much for your honesty about this email, Sam. I can imagine that (1) you were protecting Genderberg's security & privacy and (2) you were very angry at the facts that Pony's words had been leaked from G'berg's private forums by somebody and that rad fems were being trashed on the pro-porn blogosphere (as usual). I also believe that the clarification was important, which is why I'm posting this.
But now, honestly, I do not want to talk about those pro-porners' names ever again on my blog (in future posts -- I'll let rad fems comment on what they will here in case they want to say anything). I do not want to talk about these names anymore after that due to the fact that, as I have said before, they aren't worth paying attention to even though I spoke in defense of Sam as they clearly went way too far in their nastiness this time with the way they treated her regarding the issues that surrounded that porn panel. . .
(BTW the post over at Heart's on the W&M panel and her comment thread were very interesting)
They'll carry on bashing us as if that's all they're capable of and I'll be carrying on bashing patriarchy and pornstitution meanwhile. . .
Edited to add: See also the similar post at Laurelin's on Sam Berg responding to her detractors, and Laurelin's little comment thread that follows it. Also, check out the comment thread at Witchy's.
Monday, 21 April 2008
Sometimes I also need to know where to start and how to start. I'm still pretty new to the rad fem blogosphere but, as I wrote about before in this previous post here, I'd rather not care about what's being said about me, over the so-called "sex-poz" blogosphere, by ignorant pro-porners who don't even know me and merely attack me just because I'm a radical feminist who staunchly stands up for her politics, that and the fact that I and my fellow rad fems have an anti-pornstitution agenda which is the very antithesis of their agenda.
Is this worth posting vitriol about us just because we are rad fems and we disagree with *their* politics and we don't allow *them* to post comments on our blogs due to our important reasons we've got (i.e. this post here)? Obviously not. Which is why they're not really worth paying attention to.
Most of the time, they don't seem to have anything better to do than trashing rad fems on their blogs, which, as I pointed out in a comment to this post at Witchy-Woo's, is so fucking pathetic BTW. I need not fear. I need just laugh at their silly radfem-bashing and also be angry (sometimes) at what they've done to my sisters when they've gone too far (as in the case of Sam, for instance). Let's see. . .
First, there was this other post at Witchy-Woo's. I'm guessing she meant to speak of the patriarchy by saying "the shitheap" To quote some of Witchy's words in this post:
". . .then they get booked to speak at the last minute in discussions about how what they do impacts upon the rest of us (women). And they agree! And then they start posting about “laughing like a super villain” and their “wank worthy fantasy” of debating “some anti-porn sex work types”. To me, the language used is the same language that rapists use (I’m a rape crisis counsellor, I’ve heard it a million times) - it has nothing to do with where women are in this ‘debate’ at all. . ."
I posted a comment to Witchy's post over there. It was:
"Excellent post, Witchy-Woo, this is terrific! :D
I’m totally in agreement with you here. I loved your point here:
” So I tend not to go there these days; to the shitheap. I’m so past shitheap performers trying to argue the *real* with me like their privileged 10% stacks up in any meaningful way against the 90%. Yes, they argue that. Liars. They lie. They negate the lives of those suffering for the choices they make and then have the audacity to promote themselves as the ‘one true voice’ in the well of silence centred in the poverty of those they argue they represent.”
So, so true, the few privileged ones are acting as if the world revolved around them. They cannot get past their “me, me, me, me” arguments and “what about me?” and so forth. What a narcissism that is on their part! And they do lie. They pretend to care, they pretend to be the ones who represent and defend the vast majority of prostituted women in order to promote their “sex work” agenda. There are some major studies that proved that legalization of prostitution has failed but they refuse to hear that fact. They carry on stupidly talking their “choice” rhetoric and have the cruelty of denying major research studies (= http://www.prostitutionresearch.com/c-prostitution-research.html
Most prostituted women are silenced by abusive johns and pimps and do not get the chance to speak as much as the few privileged women do.
“laughing like a super villain”? “wank worthy fantasy”? I agree that these comments were totally inappropriate. This makes me think: this kind of language is awfully similar to the sort of language a porn-using abuvive [sic](*) ex-boyfriend of mine was often using when talking to me.
And this is absolutely unethical and dishonest to change the participants on one side of the panel only a few days before the event without even letting the opposing panelists know about the change. Would a rad fem be supposed to turn up there and then find out? How shady that is!
“If I’d been invited to a speaking event where the panel members were changed within the week prior, I’d pull out on principle - whether I wanted to debate them or not. ”
Damn right, Witchy-Woo!"(*)Please excuse my typo, I meant to write "abusive" instead.
Second, there was this post at Laurelin's on what silencing is and what it isn't. And I completely agree with what Laurelin says in that post. To summarize what Laurelin said, I'll tell you what silencing is and isn't:
- Silencing is (1) when you can't speak for fear that the cruelty in the reactions of others will have bad consequences on your mental, physical or emotional health; (2) when someone uses pornified language in an attempt to humiliate radical feminists like you because you stand against that person's selfish pleasures, or disingenuously accuses you or other rad fems "of siding with right wingers" because of that; (3) when someone disseminates jeers, insults and hateful remarks at you and other rad fems who also oppose their politics or rad fems "whom *they* perceive to be speaking against *them*"; (4) when someone endorses these tactics, complies with them, has the cowardice of doing so; (5) when someone suppresses the speech of others with their "me, me, me, me" narcissistic self-importance, mocks and taunts, jeers at rad fem dissenters like you, distorts, misinterprets your views; and (6) when someone "assumes the ultimate priority of one’s own speech."
- Silencing isn't (1) when you don't publish knee-jerk pro-porn comments on your blog, your own personal space; (2) when someone's having one’s actions critiqued by radical feminists. "the critique itself presents no barrier to their continuing to act."; and (3) when someone is asked to take responsibility for one’s own words. And I'll add that it doesn't matter if the person continues to argue that "those words were being said in a particular context and blah, blah, blah" so long as what the person's said was truly enough inappropriate or abusive, there's no context whatsoever that should prevent a fair critique.
Third, there's Sam's important version of the story, as I believe it is fair that we finally get to expose what really happened:
The Prime of Miss Sammi Berg
On March 19th I was invited to a panel debate on pornography at William and Mary College. My contact for the organizing group was Constance Sisk, who told me funding assistance could likely be found to fly me 3,000 miles across the country so I agreed to be penciled in until enough money could be raised. A call for donations among anti-pornography feminist colleagues covered airfare, and I had just enough vacation days earned at work to take off.
On March 24th I confirmed that I would gladly join the two other two confirmed panelists, on the anti-pornography side, John D. Foubert, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the College of William and Mary, and on the pro-pornography side Amanda Brooks, a former escort and sex work advocate.
Constance told me April 2nd that they moved the panel date to the 21st and the rest of April slid by without communication until April 16th when an anti-porn friend informed me that Jill Brenneman and RenEv blogged they would be on the panel. I had received no word from Constance of this and was dumbfounded that wholesale changes were being made to the panel just five days before the event without informing me. I had agreed to do the panel with John and Amanda, and I hadn’t gotten any emails saying she couldn’t attend or that they were looking for a replacement.
If they had told me Amanda couldn’t make it I would have suggested that pornographers and strip club owners are very easy to find through legal channels so they could have been asked to appear on the panel. I would have also suggested that the number of porn-using men on campus should have been able to produce just one pornsturbator willing to defend his porn consumption. Because I was under the impression that Constance & Co. were being honest with me about their intentions, I chalked up the lack of a pornographer or porn-using man on the panel to inept organizing and the extreme amount of publicity given recently to sex work advocacy at William and Mary.
How much sex work advocacy has been given a voice there can be answered with the name Constance. I spoke with John Foubert for the first time Thursday and he told me that Constance is a big pro-sex work advocate on campus and she brought the sex worker show to campus the past three years. A woman named Audrey invited John to the panel because Constance didn’t think he would agree if she asked him. Constance was a guest on Jill’s radio show a few weeks ago, and Jill did a pro-sex work chat with William and Mary college folks a few weeks ago, but in her emails Constance claimed ignorance of the lengthy pro-porn and radical blogosphere debates on this contentious subject.
Constance. Constance said she was excited to have me coming and offered to let me spend Monday night at her place, where she planned on cooking dinner for a group of people post-panel. How do you think it would feel if a pro-choice feminist were invited to a predominantly pro-life campus by a predominantly pro-life group and the pro-life organizer did everything Constance did without revealing her pro-life politics to her pro-choice panelist and house guest?
Little story: Heading home from presenting at a prostitution conference I was in the airport shuttle with a middle-aged black social worker with her name tag still pinned to her blouse. I’m a young, white, tattoo-bearing woman and at the time I think my hair was blue. We exchanged delicate pleasantries and danced around how we talked about the conference until she sat up earnestly and cut to the chase, “So, are you for or against?” When I replied, “Against,” she slouched down and sighed and we grooved on the same anti-prostitution track until we got to the airport.
I agreed to do the panel with John and Amanda three weeks ago. Though it was unethical to make major lineup changes at the last minute like that without telling me and things started feeling really fishy due to the lack of notification about the event anywhere besides pro-john blogs (it’s not listed on W&M’s events calendar or advertised around campus), I agreed to debate Jill. I could not agree to debate Ren, and I don’t suppose I have to tell most of you reading this why but I’ll touch upon it a tad anyway.
Here are Ren’s thoughts on sharing a panel discussion table with me:
“So serious I am taking it very seriously. And looking forward to it in my uniquely grim and serious way. Planning and preparing with a very serious, serious sneer on my face.
And also laughing like a super villain the whole time. Why?
Once upon a time, I had a wish, a dream, a surely wank worthy fantasy of some anti-porn sex work types having to face down, in a forum, and debate those from the other side. And I wanted to be there.”
“And, yes, oh yes, I am seriously looking forward to it. I have so lusted for such an opportunity. Very seriously. And yes, if possible, I will have the whole thing on video. Get your cerebral wanking tissues ready.”
Serious serious sneers, super villain mocking laughter, wank worthy fantasies, whole thing on video, get your tissues ready.
Those are the words of a malicious person licking their chops in anticipation of a messy, humiliation-inducing scene they will relish. Those are the words of a person trying to waste my time with personal attacks when my time is best used educating audiences about the facts of human trafficking, prostitution, and pornography. The trash talk began within hours of being surreptitiously offered the spot on the panel, and that sort of smug pugnaciousness and disrespectful engagement was instrumental in prompting John to cancel his appearance on the panel and he suggested to me that I do the same. I believe we were right to cancel. I refuse to pose for the pornographically spiteful scene being painted.
What to do when a woman who says she’s happy in prostitution says, “Take me, for example” when you know if you actually do take her as her own example by quoting her own words and deeds she will complain, “How dare you make an example of me?” Say you’ll speak with her about prostitution as a global system and of all women’s oppression as the core problem but you don’t want to talk about her personally and she’ll reply, “You refuse to hear my truth.” If you talk about her personally like she insists then you’re the baddie radfem who makes it personal. It’s a lose-lose ruse.
I’d love to debate a porn-user, and there are tens of millions of them. I’d love to debate a pornographer and there’s no lack of those either. I’d love to debate a john. They don’t want to debate anti-pornography and anti-prostitution feminists. They want women in the prostitute supply pool to subjectively defend them against the objective mounds of testimony and undeniable data that anti-pornstitution feminists can produce proving pornography and prostitution violate women and girls human rights immensely. Most of you have seen how deftly I wield the wealth of information I’ve collected in my noodle to make the case against men’s right to economically coerce sex from others. Some of you have seen me do it before with Ren:
Saturday morning I woke up to an email from a professor asking if I can come speak to a few women’s studies classes of hers in May. It turns out I can make the date. Life skedaddles on and so do I.
-- Sam Berg, creator of Genderberg.
IMHO, what happened was absolutely dishonest, cruel and unfair. And I'm glad to have exposed Sam's side of the story as it is clear that Sam in no way deserved such a treatment and massive online misrepresenting and bashing of her all over the pro-porn blogosphere! And I'm not the only one to expose it. There's also Laurelin, Witchy-Woo and Heart, so far.
I read about all the bad things pro-porners have done to us and all the lies they're spreading about us rad fems on their blogosphere. I've read this thread at Witchy's and two very well-written posts from Stormy, Bumblebees and It's a Bug's Life, so I know all this nasty targeting and online bullying of rad fems has been going on for some time and a while before I came to the rad fem blogosphere and sometimes I feel like saying we mustn't take all this shit they throw at us passively anymore but I believe that ignoring them when they stupidly trash us on their blogs is best. I used to find it hard to ignore them but we have to.
I've seen those pro-porn blogs before and you know what? They're all so unbelievably pathetic! All the nonsense these pro-porners talk and the gender-specific name-calling they sometimes use clearly show pornography's negative effects on them. They aren't worth paying attention to, which is why I gave up caring about what they say about me as I made it clear in this post here, I don't give a shit about what they say about me and I believe the best thing to do for someone who's targeted is not to give a flying fuck about what they say about oneself, which is why the next post I'll make on this blog will not be about the same subject. I'll go back to doing my patriarchy-bashing and exposing the harms of pornography and prostitution.
Other women out there will come to our blogs and listen. They hate pornstitution (or do not feel comfortable about it) so they will follow their feelings and there will be other new Rad Fems in the future -- at least it is how I became a rad fem: by listening to what I believe was a group that had strong arguments backed up by thorough research and facts and refusing to listen to the other group that merely had money, corporate media, lobbyists, lawyers, managers, marketeers, industry analysts, paid writers of “opinion” and “journalism”, publicists, etc. to defend their fallacious arguments supporting misogynistic industries. Rad fem arguments are so real and based on experience. The "other side" is so fake: it is patriarchy, it is "the state of schizophrenia" (as I would call it).
The overwhelming majority of women out there hate (or do not like) pornography. That's a fact. And the overwhelming majority of prostituting women out there are harmed in the sex trade. That's another fact. Those facts, among other things, mean that we have to keep on writing. We are speaking the truth and pro-porners hate it and try to silence us. I will not be silenced. And the pro-pornstitution "feminists" are merely magnified by and elevated in patriarchy while being endlessly promoted by porn defenders, that's all.
But now the fact that they've done this to Sam clearly shows that they've now gone way way way too far. Sam Berg just wanted something fair as a pornography discussion forum, not the pro-porn side of the panel being changed merely a few days before the event without even letting her, one of the anti-porn panelists, know about the change. The way Sam found out about it via an anti-porn radfem friend telling her she'd seen Ren posting about it on her blog (instead of her being contacted by the organizers about it) wasn't the way she was supposed to get to know about it. And the way Ren was rejoicing at the anticipating of the event on her blog was utterly inappropriate. The words Ren was using were inappropriate.
There is a complete understanding in why Sam would never want to debate a woman who has once wished a gruesomely vivid death to women who want to stop the exploitation of women that is currently happening on a massive scale (never mind the apologies and so-called "context" for that sentence that Ren had said, if she really was so sorry about what she'd said that day, she would have deleted that "Hate & hardline" post from her blog altogether). I wouldn't want to debate somebody like that and I know Sam has very good personal reasons not to want to debate her.
I know Sam. She's my friend. I even met her in person and I can tell you she's a wonderful radical feminist well-devoted to her politics and she's also a very nice person. And Sam has never said threats whatsoever to any pro-porner, hasn't ever done anything wrong to the pro-porny crowd apart from disagreeing with their views and once using one of Ren's quotes as a bottom signature in her Genderberg forums. As if briefly quoting what someone had once written on her blog was such a crime? Come on, give me a break!
I've had pro-porners on their blogs stealing way too large quotes (like sometimes nearly whole articles) from my work on this blog without them even asking for copyright permissions. If they're angry at Sam for once using a short enough quote from Ren as a sigfile, then perhaps I should be angry at *them* for stealing parts of my work by providing way too long quotes on their blogs without asking for my consent, which is very unfair and dishonest BTW?
What Sam has been accused of is untrue and unfair, whether pro-porners like it or not, it is the truth now exposed, clarifying what really happened as a matter of fact. . .
Finally, I really miss rad fem Biting Beaver. I remember how in late 2006/early 2007, I used to read her amazing blog so often. Gosh, I really miss BB. I wish she'd come back online someday. One Angry Girl, with a little bit of my help, recently put up a new blog with some of BB's important writings on it, Archive of the Biting Beaver. I hope BB sees it someday and that it (hopefully) helps bring her back online.
Edited to add: Please check out my new post here to see a new message from Sam Berg.
Saturday, 5 April 2008
BTW, I just made another new comment (2nd one) on Rebecca's blog today in response to her "Not for sale" post.
Kudos to you, Rebecca.
“The ugly side of prostitution cannot be heard too much, for that might undermine the easy option of viewing prostitution as a “free choice”.”
-- Rmott62, former prostituted woman, in her "Not for sale" post.
"When sex is work, rape is theft. Every time someone calls prostitution "sex work" they affirm for misogynists what misogynists already believe, that a man raping a woman is more akin to a man shoplifting than a man inflicting torture."
-- Sam Berg.
Edited to add (04/07/2008 - April 7th):
as I see it= "Prostitution is not a career choice. . . prostitution needs to be seen for what it is: violence against women."
-- Mary Zelinka, assistant executive director of a Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence in Oregon.