America’s Next Bill Clinton!


Pornography, women, misogyny and feminism

I’d wanted to write about my recent examination of my own musculinity, violence, the struggle for power and the patriarchy, as a response to claims that I lacked (indeed I do) of self-examination, but I ran across something yesterday, after corresponding about musculinity and violence with Dr. Robert Jensen, a women’s studies professor, that I wanted to write about. More, tomorrow, on my recent discoveries of why my urges to fight for power through violent means are a direct result of male privilege and masculinity. For now, you get this.

As many of you know, I’ve become fascinated with research of pornography and how it effects our daily lives. I was in the middle of research when I found a slideshow that already had the things I was looking for. The link is below – and it’s upsetting.

http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=download&ufid=44490EB8214A0657

More than just objectifying women, porn also affects us in ways we’ve never really thought of before – in tells us what is sexy, what is desirable, and more importantly, how women should be viewed.

With porn, women are no longer seen as whole, complete people with feelings and minds, but rather, a vehicle for men’s pleasure. If we can separate fantasy from reality, is it wrong? The problem is when it starts becoming that prevelant in our culture, it’s hard to tell.

We start to buy into these ideas, and as a result, two things happen: women are harmed, in that they are seen as sex objects, and will become subjects of harrassments, bad relationships, and worst, rape.

Secondly, it doesn’t allow us to truly love one another – because we see our partners through the pornographic lense – they are all resemblences of what the porn industry portrays.

I have to admit – even as a pro-feminist male, I’ve gotten into the mindset of (in the past) women with whom I’d like to have sex, and women for whom I feel an affinity, and would like to know as a person. It’s the slut vs. good girls syndrome, and it pits women against one another.

The thing that most saddens me about porngraphy is that no one is spared. As you can see in this slide show, whether you are college student, school teacher, mother, wife, black, white, Asian, Latina – so long as you’re a woman, you are objectified.

Sex, no matter how kinky, is beautiful when it comes with respect and love. But these sex acts, especially when it comes with describing women as bitches, whores, dumb sluts and other adjectives, I have a problem with that. It’s hurtful, and it does not treat women as equals.

Feminism isn’t about just freedom to do whatever the hell we want. It’s the ability to free us all – from oppression, from a violent, male-dominated culture, from the social norms that have hurt us rather than free us

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Feminism and violence MUST go hand-in-hand

Although I understand that from the many perspectives and schools of thoughts for feminism, violence is often never the answer, I still assert that feminism and violence can indeed go hand-in-hand and we can use violence in a positive way to affect feminism.
 

This, of course, isn’t a very political ideal. It’s more of a social ideal, one in which we must fight fire with fire and hate with hate. 

Consider this: sometimes, the political simply doesn’t work. Sometimes, teaching a person does nothing for that person, and we waste our time. But imagine how a person would react differently if, seeing that person acting in sexist or misogynistic ways, we confront them with verbal violence. If need be, we can also confront them with physical violence – that is, breaking a beer bottle over a guy’s head if he gets grabby, touchy or misogynistic at a party or any other social scenes. 

Too often, we’ve played by the rules as feminists. For us, even in the third wave, peace and love have played a more important role in our activism than anything else. Imagine what would happen if we spoke out against misogyny? The guy who’s touching you too much at the bar? What if you made a scene? Would he continue doing it, or would he actually stop due to embarrassment? What if we all stood up and spoke out against this sort of thing? What if we became the violent ones?  

Sexism is based on the power of control. To fight it, we must seize the power and take back the control. As for now, we know women don’t often feel safe walking the street at night. What if sexists and misogynists all the sudden became the prey rather than the predator? What if rather than being victims, women (and feminists of both genders) start being more violent? We then fight fear with fear. The misogynists and sexists who walk down the street have to be afraid and look over their shoulders for the big, bad feminists.  It’s a Robin Hood kind of attitude, and one that creates a sort of poetic justice. But it works, doesn’t it? Did Lorraina Bobbit’s husband commit anymore acts of abuse? Absolutely not.
 

Sometimes, talking to a person isn’t the answer. In a society that’s based on power and violence, the only way we can solve the problems sometimes is to give someone a swift kick in the ass. This all gives a whole meaning to the compliment I’d like to give my feminist allies, “You are a kick-ass feminist.”Thoughts?