< HOME  Saturday, February 25, 2006

It's just a body… why do you care?

MONEY. money money money. It talks and the proverbial excrement of male bovine livestock walks, hiding behind the skirts of freedom of speech. Maybe not so much behind as beneath. Beneath the rosy skirt of "ideals," feigned childish innocence and faux naiveté people will talk about the beauty of images or viewing of pornography without ever considering how they got made, who was involved and in what manner. In this realm, detached from reality they are free to spout nonsense about their enjoyment and right to lust with no thought as to the consequences necessary to feed their lust.

Abstract words such as freedom, liberation and others get bandied about while the people abused in front of the camera, real people, who might represent real suffering, are nothing. "IT IS JUST A BODY… WHY DO YOU CARE???"

Why indeed. Because a great many of these "bodies" actually belong to human beings.

Here are some excerpts from a report by Donna M. Hughes, Ph.D. Professor & Eleanor M. and Oscar M. Carlson Endowed Chair. Women's Studies Program, University of Rhode Island.

Growth of the Commercial Sex Industry on the Internet

By the mid-1990s, one of the hottest places for commercial development was the Internet. In early September 1995 there were 101,908 commercial domains on the Web, up 26,055 sites from the end of July, and up 72,706 sites from the end of 1994. The sex industry was leading the way.

At the beginning of 1995, there were just 200 businesses on the World Wide Web selling "erotica services" and products, from condoms to pornographic videos. I did a search on Yahoo, a popular search engine, in August 1995 and August 1996. In August 1995, the category "Yahoo: Business and Economy: Companies: Sex" had 391 listings for phone sex numbers, adult CD-ROMS, X-rated films, adult computer software, live videoconferencing, prostitution tours, escort services and mail-order-bride agencies. In August 1996 there were 1,676 listings-a four fold increase in one year. In late 1997, according to Naughty Linx, an online index, there were 28,000 "sex sites" on the Web with about half of them trying to make money selling pornography, videos, or live sex shows…

Any item produced by the sex industry-magazines, videos, CD ROMS-is always much more expensive than similar non-pornographic materials. The high prices and profit margins of pornographic materials keeps the revenue and profit high for the sex industry. In 1996 Americans spent more than US$9 billion on pornographic videos, peep shows, live sex shows, pornographic cable programs, pornographic magazines and computer pornography. That amount is more than many other entertainment businesses, such as film, music, and theater (See Table 1). To put that amount in some context, according to War on Want, US$9 billion is enough to provide debt relief for the world’s 20 worst affected countries. These revenue figures don’t include the millions of dollars made illegally through the sale of women in brothels, massage parlors, or on the street, or the sale of illegal materials, such as child pornography.

Live Videoconferencing -- Online Prostitution

The pimps on the Internet conduct their own market research on who is buying the women they offer. According to the Internet Entertainment Group (IEG), the largest pimp on the Web, the buyers for live strip shows are 90 percent male, 70 percent living in the United States, and 70 percent are between ages 18 and 40. The viewers are young men in college, and businessmen and professionals who log on from work. Naughty Linx reports there is a 22 percent decline every Summer, when college students cannot use university Internet connections to log on to sex industry sites.

Pimps on the Internet

The movement of the sex industry to the Internet has increased the demand for new and more extreme images of the sexual exploitation of women and children. Older images identified by color quality of the image or clothing and hairstyle are viewed with disdain. Buyers demand new images with the scenes of sexual exploitation and abuse that are in fashion among predators. The result is increased abuse and exploitation of women and children.

Act One Entertainment, USA, owned by William J. Heath, 37, of Royal Oak, Michigan, is known to have operated between September 1994 and November 1997. The operation, known to have pimped more than 300 women, sold strippers and prostitutes to men. He hired underage girls, filmed them stripping and being sexually abused by him and others. He then sold the images on the Internet. In November 1997, the owner, William J. Heath, was charged with criminal racketeering and production of child pornography. Two other men associated with Act One Entertainment were arrested. Johnnie Juretick, 31, was charged with producing sexually abusive material of children; and Jeffrey Scott Maxwell, 22, was charged with performing sex acts on underage girls. The girls were told they would receive royalties based on the number of people who bought their photographs.

Canada A mother was outraged when she saw pornographic pictures of her daughter on the Internet. Stephen Bauer, 24, was arrested on charges involving three children, aged 14-16, for making and distributing child pornography, being a person in authority permitting sexual activity, sexual exploitation, living on the avails of prostitution, and exercising control and communication with a person under age 18 for prostitution. Most of the girls exploited by Bauer were runaways, or from "broken homes." The girls were dressed in school uniforms, stripped, and used by men, while hidden cameras filmed them. Digital images and videos were transmitted live to an Internet site, which specialized in schoolgirls and skirt fetishes. The site was in operation for about 1 year and had about 1,000 subscribers, who paid $15 to $80 (Canadian dollars) for access to the site. Detective Mike Sullivan of the Illinois Naperville Police Department, USA, discovered the site. Other images on the Web site included images of girls as young as five being sexually abused…

A few of the pimps on the Web who started out selling women in audio prostitution are:

Seth Warshavsky, founder of Internet Entertainment Group, the largest live sex show producer on the web, started a phone sex business in 1990, when he was 17 years old;

Seth Warshavsky is the biggest pimp on the Internet. Founder and President of the Internet Entertainment Group (IEG), 25-year-old Warshavsky has been making money from the prostitution industry since he was a boy. While in grade school he ran a computer bulletin board; at age 17 he dropped out of school, moved out of his parents’ house and opened up a phone sex business with a friend using US$7,000 borrowed on credit cards.[192] His first phone sex number was called 1-800-GetSome.[193] In the beginning, if a buyer called the 800 number, an answering service would get the buyer’s credit card information, then page Warshavsky. He would have a woman call the buyer back. Soon after he started he was getting 50 to 60 buyers per day at US$39.95 per call. His phone sex business continued to grow so by 1995 he had an annual income of US$60 million.

The growth and expansion of the pornography and prostitution industries on the Internet have also increased the demand for new material, resulting in increased sexual exploitation of women. Fierce competition among pornography web sites has pushed pimps to advertise and present more and more extreme material, such as penetration with large objects, bestiality and bondage. Of course, making these images requires more violence against women…

"Natalia" While Warshavsky, owner of IEG, lives in a half million-dollar condo and drives a new Jaguar, "Natalia" is paid US$20/hour to strip and perform sex shows for buyers over the Internet. While "Natalia" claims that stripping makes her feel good about herself, "Natalia" is not her real name and she doesn’t want anyone to know she earns money this way. She says she strips for IEG because her other job does not pay enough to support her and her family. She conceals the stripping from most of her friends and family. She describes the depersonalization that other women in the pornography and prostitution industries undergo. She takes on another personality in order to act out the scenarios required. "Out there, I’m a completely different person than I am in here. This is my shadow side."
Ian Eisenberg, who runs the Web site Babes4U with Steffani Martin, and is still in the phone sex business, is the son of Joel Eisenberg, a pioneer of the phone sex business in the 1980s;

Ted Liebowitz, Web site operator from Manhattan, runs a phone sex business;

Steve Becker, who now works for Penthouse, ran a number of phone sex lines in New York.

…Other forms of explicit and extreme violence against women and children can be found on the Internet.

During an Internet search on rape, an activist found a Web site with a message from a man asking for someone to rape his wife because she didn’t like having sex with him. Visitors to this Web site left messages with their email addresses indicating that they were willing to rape the woman. Thanks to investigation and complaints to the Internet Service Provider, this Web site was taken down. Another woman found a Web site that promoted the "pre-planned violent rape of lesbians" as a way of "converting" them to heterosexuality. She lodged a complaint with the webmaster.

In Spring 1998, I found a web site called The Rape Zone. The home page featured a picture of a woman screaming as a man forced her against a wall with one hand around her throat and the other restraining her arm. The page title was underlined with a red bar that dripped blood. The site claimed to have over 1,000 images of rape and many video feeds. All of the images were of women tied-up, being beaten and penetrated with large objects. There were a number of images in which the women appeared to be bleeding. Memberships were being sold and viewers could purchase full-length videos…

The Sex Industry and the Internet Industry

The Internet industry exists today because of the prostitution industry. The pimps and buyers on the Internet are funding the development and expansion of the commercial Internet. In fact the pimps and buyers are also contributing heavily to the whole computer industry.

A male exhibitor at the Adultdex, a trade show for the online prostitution industry, who chose to remain anonymous, made this comment:

"The whole Internet is being driven by the adult industry. If all this [referring to products at an online prostitution industry trade show] were made illegal tomorrow, the Internet would go back to being a bunch of scientists discussing geek stuff in e-mail."

The sex industry is among the top five groups buying state of the art computer equipment. The high tech industries don’t like to admit or talk about how they are being supported by the pornography and prostitution industries. A high level technician for the film industry, another buyer of state-of-art computer technology, admits that many companies that brag about their capacities to create computer special effects for the film industry also do a good business with the pornographers and online pimps. It comes down to money,"if someone comes to us with a cheque for US$250,000….."

Looking at the astronomical growth and profits of the sex industry, it is easy to overlook the human cost. One can get lost in cyberspace or confuse glamorous numbers and digital images with real women and children. The profits of the sex industry are based on sexual exploitation, which starts with harm to real people. Sexual exploitation violates human dignity and bodily integrity and is a violation of human rights. The basic premise of international human rights is that people have a right to lives with dignity. The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that:

"All men are born free and equal in dignity and rights" (Article 1)

"No one shall be held in slavery or servitude" (Article 4)

"No one shall be subjected to torture, or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment" (Article 5).
All of these principles of basic human rights are violated by sexual exploitation.

Independent Tiplines and Vigilantes

…Christian Valor, known as Se7en, spent 17 years in the hacker underground and didn’t believe the reports about increasing child pornography on the Internet. Then two crucial experiences connected and Se7en declared war on those who trade child pornography on the Internet. He acknowledged his own victimization and someone sent him child pornography. He was able to use empathy to understand and feel the harm from sex predators, which is grossly lacking in most people in the Internet and sex industries. "I myself was abused when I was a kid. Luckily, I wasn’t a victim of child pornography, but I know what these kids are going through." After receiving the JPEG image, he entered the underground of IRC chat rooms with names like "#littlegirlsex" and "#100%preteensexfuckpics." He found ftp (file transfer protocol) directories filled with image files like "6yoanal.jpg" and "8&dad.jpg," and newsgroups like "alt.binaries.pictures.erotica.pre-teen."

Upon finding out the kind of horrible child pornography that exists, Valor promised a "genuine hacker terror" against child pornographers. On 8 June 1997 Valor posted a message on the mailing list for DefCon, the annual hacker’s convention. By mid-June he claimed that he had "taken down" a "major player," who was an employee of Southwestern Bell. He collected evidence and sent it to the President of Southwestern Bell, who replied a few days later that the man was "no longer on the payroll."[267]

Valor also seemed convinced that the police were not likely to intervene, and pointed out that the child pornographers could hardly complain to the police if he wiped out their hard drive by remote access.

Such declarations and action produced much anxious, hand wringing about "rights," and condemnation of "malicious, destructive hacking"- concerns and sentiments that are never expressed for the devastation of children’s lives caused by sexual predators. When solutions to illegal activities on the Internet are discussed, Internet industry people like to make excuses and say that nothing can be done to stop that particular criminal activity. During the discussion of Se7en’s war on child pornographers, one poster’s comment reveals what may be closer to the real situation: "The government can’t enforce laws on the Internet. We all know that. We can enforce laws on the Internet. We all know that, too."

Valor reminded the Internet community of what everyone likes to ignore, "…somewhere in the chain, someone is putting these images on paper before they get uploaded. Your freedom ends when you start hurting other people…"


…To counter these powerful alliances who are profiting from the sale and abuse of women and children is a small, but dedicated, international feminist movement for women’s rights. These women from around the world are demanding a redefinition of men’s use of women. They have made the crimes of battering and rape visible. Now, women are working to make the crimes of sexual exploitation visible. No longer is prostitution labeled as immoral behavior, or pornography called indecent pictures. Women human rights activists are naming the harm to women as violence and sexual exploitation, which violate women’s human dignity, human rights and chance for equal opportunities in society. In November 1996, at the international meeting, "Violence, Abuse and Women’s Citizenship" in Brighton, England, the conference organizers took an uncompromising stand against sexual exploitation by naming all forms of sexual exploitation, including prostitution, as violence against women.
"The steering group is uncompromisingly anti-prostitution. We do not recognise the false distinctions between forced and so-called free prostitution. There is no platform for a pro-prostitution position at this conference. We deliberately chose to have keynote speakers who reflected our own position on pornography and prostitution. We make no apologies for this choice; we have no regrets about it. We consider all of the issues discussed at this conference to be violence against women. It is unfortunately rare these days, for feminists to have access to a conference which is clear and uncompromising in its opposition to prostitution. We are glad that we have been able to give that space to women here who are working against the international sex industry. We hope it has given them strength in continuing their fight."
We are at a critical point for women’s human rights. We can go with the predator’s view that the Internet is just a new technology being used to transmit men’s entertainment. We can also choose to accept the pimp’s redefinition of pornography and prostitution as forms of sex work. Or we can begin to make real change to advance women’s dignity and equality, by defining forms of sexual exploitation as human rights violations and crimes against women, which we will not allow in our communities or on the Internet.

Resolution: Misuse of the Internet for the Purpose of Sexual Exploitation

[image © 2006 children of the night]

46 Comments:

At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger vper1 said...

So long, I'm off to Lygufia.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

I do not think prostitution should be outlawed, either. I am only against child prostitution and pornography because of the harm to the child. Children do not have the requisite capacity to actually consent to what is filmed in child pornography. I also am against rape for this same reason.

It is called personal choice.

Some women want to be porn stars. Some women want to be prostitutes. By the way, MANY men want to be porn stars.

Many men and women do not want to be porn stars. But then what is the alternative?

Blame a society where being a porn star is better than starving to death. Blame a society where being a prostitute is better than starving to death. But do not pretend to claim that the actual act of porn is exploitation.

The exploitation occurs on a broader societal level.

The jobs being shipped to China - that is explotation.

The cost of a college education rising to a ridiculously unaffordable level - that's exploitation.

The complete butchering of the public school system - that's exploitation.

If women and men find being in porn to be preferable to the alternatives, blame the fact that there are no other alternatives.

And leave porn be. You don't like it. You don't understand it. But some legitimately do. There has never been a way to censor "obscenity" without censoring all sorts of protected speech.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banned_books

That is a partial list of banned books.

The Bible, Talmud, and Koran have all been banned and/or censored in the past - often on the grounds that they were obscenity.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banned_films

That is a partial list of banned films. In fact you will see films that most people do not consider to be "pornographic" that have been banned as "obscenity."

Is it a good idea for a 10 year old to be surfing the net alone? No. Kids do not understand sexuality and should not be exposed to the stuff on the net. But that is why there are technological parental controls, and also why I believe in personal responsibility. The parent should not allow their kids to be surfing the net alone. The parent should password protect their computer when they are away. (I do this and I am not even a parent!) PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IS KEY.

Anyway, I am done. Just thought I would respond to your thread.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

you know vper1, I'm surprised that you would take lightly something that affects so many innocent women and children, both male and female so adversely for all their lives.

I'm sure you wouldn't be so cavalier about something like this if it affected someone close to you. Or, would you?

JC, many thanks for making it plain for anyone with eyes to see that porn is far more than just an innocent display of the 'beautiful human body.'

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Oh, and vper1, I think I have a crush on you.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

miss r says: "Blame a society where being a prostitute is better than starving to death. But do not pretend to claim that the actual act of porn is exploitation."

That is patently absurd. Is your head on straight this morning?

People borrow money at interest because they have no other choice. Therefore, collecting interest from people who need it IS exploitation.

Similarly, most people (minus a few anecdotal exceptions - most probably in denial) engage in porn because they have no other choice. Therefore, producing porn is a form of exploitation.

Granted these people could not be exploited if our filthy pyramid scam economic system did not deliberately make them vulnerable. But, that does not change the nature of porn as possibly the most lurid example of exploitation.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger vper1 said...

I don't wish to offend anyone here, QRS do you remember that post I made regarding people taking back their own mind? Would that be relevant in this situation?

Or maybe I should go into the law of pornographic entropy, which clearly states, the level of arrousal pornographic viewing can generate will gradualy degenerate. Eventually no one gets arroused, so they end up searching for something else,i.e. goat play? So you see, eventually the only people who suffer in the end are not in fact people at all.

*Ducks

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

vper1, I don't remember which post you're referring to. Provide a link, please.

"Eventually no one gets arroused, so they end up searching for something else"

And you think that's a good thing? There's one harm right there. And you are completely discounting the effects on the poor people who are featured and exploited in these porn films. You keep focusing on the porn consumer, because obviously, you would not be a porn star yourself. Or would you?

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

QRS, do you doubt the fact that I have friends who actually want to be in porn? Do you just think I make this up? I honestly do know of such people. In fact, one of my best friends is very close friends with a porn star who chose to do this job because of a love of sex. You obviously are not a fan of sex, but many people flat out enjoy it.

http://www.zetetics.com/mac/isil.htm

Read that article and then claim it's all about exploitation.

Far more people are porn stars because they flat out enjoy sex than you believe. FAR MORE. It is not some tiny minority.

http://libertus.net/censor/pcontrov.html

That contains scores of articles on this very subject.

As far as women beign forced into porn because they have no other financial alternatives? Well, I concede there is some exploitation going on. But I see this exploitation stemming from the society we live in more than from the porn industry itself. And I see actually engaging in porn films to be a better job than scads of other possibilities...

I would rather be a porn star than a...
- Factory worker
- Waitress (though I would be a coffee barrista)
- Street sweeper
- Barnacle cleaner
- Ditch digger
- Sanitation engineer (aka garbage person)
- Working anywhere in the Bush administration
- Maid/housekeeper

Well the list goes on. I am sure the list goes on for many of the people who JC and you claim are horribly exploited and who are driven to porn work out of economic necessity.

Anyway, that's how it is in Lygufia. ;-)

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Oh, I do not mean to disparage any of the jobs I listed that I would not do (save for working in the Bush administration).

I simply would not want to do those jobs. I am not implying I am "better" than those jobs. I just know I would be miserable doing them.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Jeff G said...

This is a mixed bag of issues and several terms seem rather loosely defined.

...Soapbox mode...

Child pornography is not pornography, its sexual abuse. Rape is not pornography. Rape is violence, plain and simple. To equate either of these in any way with entertainment is a symptom of mental illness and depravity. There is no ethical standard by which they can be defended.

"Pornography" seems to be broadly applied here, encompassing everything from the horrible use and abuse of human beings to basic pictures of people in their birthday suits. I think we might be over generalizing just a tad.

Let me get this out of the way up front: forcing or coercing any human being to engage in activities that they are not 100% willing to participate in, is categorically unethical. There is a tremendous exploitation of women in this country and across the globe, pornography not being the least of.

I think part of the reason we have such twisted escapades in sexual exploitation is partly because American culture can't seem to foster a healthy relationship toward sexuality. We have a history of repressing sexuality, in any form, because of its supposed "dirty" and "immoral" character. We then stand around in shock, distraught at the extremes in sexual behavior and exploitation that we see in our culture. Its psychotic. We have no sense of moderation. If we'd nurture our sexuality in an open, positive, and responsible way, most of these problems would be statistical anomolies.

As Miss R points out, there are people who enjoy making adult films. As long as these folks are enjoying themselves, and they're not being used and abused, then there is no issue here. People have to take resposibility for themselves and parents have to take responsibility for their children. If its important enough, you'll find a way to do it.

To conclude that pornography is categorically criminal and unethical is overly general and overly simplistic. Rape, violence, sexual abuse--including mental, physical, and emotional abuse--are completely unacceptable and most certainly need serious consideration and redress by society-at-large. Responding to these issues with further notions of repression and prudishness will only spawn more of the same depravity, and possible worse.

Ok...off the soapbox.... :)

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

I 10000000000000000000000000000000000% agree with Jeff G.

I could not have said it better myself! Wow, it is like he read my mind!!

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

Jeff, would you be a porn star?

Would you recommend that your wife, your mother, your sister. or your daughter be a porn star?

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger jc said...

your mind, such as it is, is far too easy to read.

that he read it is not very flattering.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

QRS,

Do you want to live in a world where the Koran is banned?

I am serious.

The Koran has been banned in the past. The bible has been banned. Mostly these books were banned for political reasons, but they were also banned because they were found "obscene."

Do you think that would be a good world to live in? Because I sure don't. Your nonexistent "community standards" definition of what obscenity is makes such a reality possible. (and in fact this has happened in the past)

This is not just some academic pie-in-the-sky possibility. IT HAS HAPPENED.

Moreover, whether Jeff G wants his wife, mom, sister, or daughter to star in porn is irrelevant.

The point is that some people do want to make these movies, and you would deprive them of their personal choice.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

JC,

I have been very open with how I feel. I think that going down the path to prudeishness would be a horrible step backwards in society.

What we need is more open and frank discussion of what sexuality is and what it means. This would be quite beneficial for society. I applaud Jeff G for recognizing this.

This goes to the heart of why I feel that sex films are not the enemy. Society's hyocrisies and prejudices are the enemy. Jeff G hit the nail on the head brilliantly.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

miss r, equating self-respect with prudishness, is like equating love with lust, and profit with interest.

They are ALL perverse distortions that necessarily require hypocrisy to embrace.

Hypocrits, who will not expose themselves, call it prudish not to allow others to "choose" to expose themselves. If your so-called willing participants were so 'common,' vper1 and aj's first response would not have been surprise and anticipation.

Similarly, hypocrits condone lusting after others as long as no one disrespects them. (And don't confuse sexual desire combined with love which is perfectly normal. Lust is sexual desire devoid of love.)

And finally, hypocrits condone the practice of collecting interest, when they themselves loathe to pay it out, certainly not at higher rates than they collect.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger jc said...

i have not been, at any point, talking about sexuality. you conflate the two, over and over. i suggest you read the post.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

QRS,

Are you saying that it is impossible to consent to be in sex films? Is that what you are saying? Because that is a rather anti-woman thing to say. That would mean that a woman lacks the capacity to consent to be in a sex film.

Whether or not I or anyone wants to be in a sex film is tied into the hypocratic culture we live in that both celebrates and denigrates sex. I would quite like to be in a sex film if society would not punish me for this. Does this make me a bad person? Am I the only one who thinks this? NO. It is irrelevant as to whether I would be in a sex film or Jeff G wants his family in sex films. We are not living in a culture vacuum.

I am not condoning "disrespecting" women. That would entail forcing sex. I am hugely against violence against women. I think sex films that show rape are not sex films - they are violence. This is seperate and distinct from films where women were not forced to engage in their actions.

JC,

Then what are you talking about? Given I have stated multiple times that I think violence against women is awful, and I do not condone forced prostitution or rape or certainly child pornography...then what are you speaking of?

We seem to be in dispute as to whether a film that merely showcases sex should be banned. You have yet to articulate a single reason why THAT sort of film is so horrible for society or for the women involved that it should be banned - especially since it is so hard to define what pornography is and many great works of art and literature have been banned as "obscene."

Do you want to live in a world where the Koran is banned?

I am serious.

http://www.godless.org/hasd/Banned.html

The Koran has been banned in the past. It may very well be banned in the future if "obscene" material is to be banned.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Jeff G said...

Q,

Jeff, would you be a porn star?

Nope. But hey, I'm an introvert. We're not big on exhibition. :) However, the important point is that as an adult, I make informed decisions for myself and I accept the consequences of those decisions.

Would you recommend that your wife, your mother, your sister. or your daughter be a porn star?

I'm not sure that's the question you want to ask. If I go out with some friends to a seafood restaurant, I may recommend the lobster. Thats because I've tried it. Since I have no experience making adult films, I don't know how I could "recomend" it.

I'm presently divorced, but hypothetically speaking I think the decision for a spouse to enter the adult film profession would have to be based on self exploration and the openness and definition of the relationship we have as a couple. For me personally, it wouldn't work. But for some people it does. I can't make that decision for them.

Well, mom is mom. Mom recommends to me, I don't recommend to mom--unless maybe its the lobster ;). Such is the relationship of a mother and child.

The only advice I'd offer someone who wants to be a porn star is that they weigh the decision carefully and fully explore all of the possible ramifications and consequences it could have on their life and the lives of others. If, after all of the deliberation, they are satisfied that there is minimal harm and they are ok with the consequences, then they should be free to explore that lifestyle.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Oh, and QRS and JC, I volunteer once a week at Civil Court, giving free legal advice to debtors who suffer from huge judgments against them. I ask whether either of you do such things - before JC gets moralistic and claims "how easy it is" to read my mind, making assumptions about who I am and what I think.

Yet somehow...I am the bad guy because I think women have the capacity to choose for themselves whether they want to be in porn films or not?

I thought y'all believed in freedom. Just not freedom to make sexual choices?

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger jc said...

i'm moralistic, yes. i approve of them as i approve of laws, limiting freedom.

you are what? immoral? amoral?

i haven't seen you talk straight yet. you misquote, misattribute, and generally impute things that people have never said.

i point this out but you don't acknowledge it. nowhere have i talked about sex. you conflate it with porn and then disabuse me of wanting to ban the former.

am i to take this seriously? what does this say about your ability to reason? did i force you to do these things? no. you do them. i ask you if you are ebing wilfully devious. do you reply? no.

read the damn post and address that. then we might be able to communicate meaningfully. until then, feel all you want. there's a world of facts oout there that you still refuse to deal with. and they're not JUST BODIES.

although, seeing that you're the type of person who advocates nuking hundreds of thousand of innocent people in order to make YOU feel safe, i despair of making you understand anything.

let me ask you regarding that and see if you can give a straight answer. how many people do you propose it would be necessary for you to kill off before you feel sufficiently safe? a guesstimate wil do.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

miss r, and Jeff,

Your arguments for the freedom to choose engage in porn divorced from the obvious devastating consequences of that conduct on the porn-star's life is devoid of logic and common sense.

Taken to its logical conclusion, grown adults would have a right to commit suicide. Or, even consent to being murdered and eaten perhaps?

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger jc said...

I agree this is most likely, as I said before in previous comments. I would be surprised if we went to actual war with Iran. I also think Israel will accomplish these bombings, not the U.S., as they did in 1981 with Iraq.

Call me a neocon, but I am honestly worried about Iran having "WMD." Not because I think Iran would use them on us - but that they really might sell to a terrorist state or to Israel.

That said, there obviously would be massive collateral damage in a targetted bombing like that. I am aware. But what's the alternative? Iran already stated they want to annhiliate Israel. Some of you on here would say "So what?" To me, it's a frightening concept for a state actor in the Middle East to have a nuclear bomb whose stated goal is to drive Israel into the sea.

[that's you speaking, if you have any recollection at all.]

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger roseg said...

I'm a bit amused by the "as long as noone is harmed and everyone is consenting then i don't see any reason why..." type of comments here. Who would know? Who are you protecting here - your own views on "safe" pornography or the thousands of individuals who make up the cornucopia of people in porn? As for ONE example, Linda Lovelace looked extremely happy about her porn career. Turns out she was a really good actress. Google her sometime. Or do some research on the world wide trade in sex slavery. I'm sure there are loads of stories and I'd lay money on them outnumbering the millionaire Jenna's (or whatever her name is) who never do anything more risque than show their genitalia and smile for the camera. Which isn't a bad day's work and is pretty stupid really, but I don't think this is the issue here.

And what's porn anyway? People who don't look at it on the internet assume it's the sort of 1950's cheesecake they used to hide under the bed. How many of you are aware of the sorts of things people are promoting online?

What about people who make arrangements to eat each other. Literally. Like that guy in Germany who is being tried for cannibalism? Seems to me that he was one of two consenting persons so perhaps there's no problem and we should mount a campaign to free him.

And what if I wanted to make movies where I showed black people as inferior and Jews as untrustworthy and homosexuals as the devil incarnate? (I won't include "women as total bimbos" because that's been our cultural fare forever). Would that be acceptable? Why not? What's your problem with me expressing my art?

The reason people want to be porn stars is because they've been consuming media for decades that increasinly points in that direction - a sort of chicken and egg thing where 6 years olds are pole dancing not because they are "hypersexual" or destined to be lap dancers but because THAT'S HOW THEY THINK PEOPLE DANCE because that's where they're learning what our cultural norms are. Look at any music video nowadays and you'll see where it comes from - they're puerile and the women always end up looking like something an adolescent would design.

This comment isn't thought through - it's more an instant reaction. But I'm really really REALLY pleased to be seeing you post about it because I think this is one of the last taboos (death being the other one) that isn't somehow up for discussion anymore. Say something negative about porn and everyone calls you a prude. And people then usually shut up again, not trusting their gut reactions to it, pushing the feelings down again.

I personally abhor alot of the stuff I see that constantly constantly constantly depicts my gender in ways that are limited, confronting, insulting and intimidating. It reinforces views of both sexes that are also limited and offensive and most of it appears on billboards and glossy magazines consumed by the sonambulist hordes. It's ALL crap. The only healthy stuff I've ever seen is gay Mardi Gras street entertainment where it's joyful, playful, irreverent, raucous, theatrical, exaggerated and self-mocking. Any of the other stuff (including TV ads for lesbians waiting for *you* to call the 1900 number and make their night) is so lacking in any sort of spirit or humour or genuine sexiness that it AMAZES me that anyone pays for it.

I think I've rambled enough for now - sorry for the long post - I'll come back sometime with a more coherent piece. Other than that, I enjoy your blog very much, thanks for tolerating the length of this post, sorry if I've offended anyone, keep up the good work.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger jc said...

rose, thx. we were feeling a bit cornered here.
nice to know we're not alone.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Jeff G said...

Please note that I do not intend offend anyone's sensibilities. If I've have misrepresented or misunderstood anyone's point of view, I earnestly apologize. (No, JC, I don't feel you were harping on sexuality). This issue touched off one of my personal peeves, and I apologize if I've helped to take it too far off topic.

Why I believe our society's relationship to sexuality is unhealthy resides in our hesitancy to talk about it. When we fail to do so, our children, teenagers, and young adults will learn about sex through whatever avenue is available to them. Often this is a major source of the demand for pornographic materials. When they learn sexuality from pornography, they objectify sex, making intercourse a primarily physical act, often with the burden of pleasing placed on the female. There is no way they can learn about true intimacy from adult films. This has been a tremendous problem for boys. If we don't teach our children about love and respect, about sharing, especially as it applies to sexuality, then we are asking for trouble.

Go back and read JC's post again. To see these things happening really tears up your heart. And for all the children we won't openly discuss healthy sexuality with, these are the materials they are going to find when they start seeking answers to their questions.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger jc said...

oh man, jeff

what a turnaround, thx. that took guts.

i feel like (you and rose) i just saw the 7th air cav come to the rescue. appreciate it.

kudos to you.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Jeff G said...

Thanks JC. I'm sorry if I've confused anyone. I have a very complex stance on this issue and its sometimes difficult to get across.

I think a lot of the confusion is coming from defining what pornography is. Its almost like you need a razor to slice up this issue. As it currently exists, the vast majority of the pornography industry is utterly degrading. So I want to make the distinction that I support erotic art, but not the exploitation and debasement of human beings.

To me erotic art is the depiction and expression of sexuality in various media that adheres to a positive and healthy celebration of human sexuality. It is not degrading or debasing. It does not exploit or advocate the violence or abuse of any living thing. It is at odds with what we generally define as the pornography industry today.

I think that is what Miss R is trying to get at as well.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

QRS,

I believe people of course have the freedom to commit suicide. Your point being? How do you make suicide illegal? After the person committed suicide they are DEAD! Is it good if someone commits suicide? No. But I fail to see the justification for making that illegal.

JC,

I have yet to misquote. I have taken direct things that were said.

As far as Linda Lovelace. I know of her story. (and I saw Inside Deep Throat, the movie) Are we to take the story of one person and impute the rest of reality based on it? Bottom line? She chose to do porn. Later she grew to regret it - mostly due to society's reaction to her afterwards.

JC, you completely mischaracterize all that I stand for.

It is really stunning to me to read that you think I stand for what you said.

It is funny that you fail to even acknowledge the fact that I am volunteering to help aggreived debtors - no impact. I am still The Enemy. Do you do more other than complain about the world?

As far as Israel - I am not advocating killing anyone to "feel safe." I am worried about the destruction of a country, should Iran actually have nukes. I am worried about my friends and family in Israel being bombed to smithereens should Iran have nukes. And I say this as someone who did not support the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.

I stand by the statement I said before. It makes me a monster?

Overall, I honestly have no clue what the point of controversy is, if it's not about the fact that you abhor sex films. I am serious. Explain it. You have failed to explain your point in any coherent manner.

I have been quite consistent in my acknowledgement that of course the porn industry has problems and has exploitation, but it also produces good, and banning it would be awful.

Please explain what you believe if you are NOT saying you think porn should be banned.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Rose,

And what if I wanted to make movies where I showed black people as inferior and Jews as untrustworthy and homosexuals as the devil incarnate? (I won't include "women as total bimbos" because that's been our cultural fare forever). Would that be acceptable? Why not? What's your problem with me expressing my art?

I have no problem with you making such art. I say this as a Jew - feel free to make such art. I am serious - I have said this many times, quite consistently. I am against hate speech laws.

As far as porn in general, and the problems with them - I 1000% agree that there are films that reinforce negative stereotypes about women. But then, banning such films is a matter of taste, not law. How do you define what is a negative stereotype? And then you start to engage in viewpoint discrimination...and it starts a slippery slope to badness.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

I don't see any ambiguity in JC's position or arguments. He makes himself perfectly clear. So, maybe it has something to do with your ability to understand.

Your point on suicide is absurd. Suicide is illegal and serious evidence of suicidal tendencies is enough for a person's next of kin to commit them to a mental institute for monitoring.

You said:"Are we to take the story of one person and impute the rest of reality based on it? "

You've done that repeatedly for the past two days. You know one or two persons who you claim like to engage in porn for porn's sake and you impute their lack of self-respect, as unhealthy as it is (and as you concede it is, evidenced by your unwillingness to engage in it yourself), to the entire population of porn stars.

The problem with your arguments, Miss R, is that they don't hold water and your positions are hypocritical.

And no where does JC call you the enemy. He just points out the flaws in your logic, which are for the most part, self-evident.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

QRS,

How do you outlaw suicide? Do you jail a corpse? Seriously, I want to know. It is one of the most amusing laws to me, to outlaw suicide.

Of course laws should exist to prevent people from ending their life, but a law actually outlawing suicide just is senseless. Please explain why such a law makes any sense at all?

I also did not take the story of just one person and impute everything based on it. I have repeatedly linked to porn stars and regular feminists who are for porn. And point of fact - Rose's example was not an example of someone who was forced into porn. There is ample proof that in fact Linda Lovelace was not forced into porn, and when society did not react kindly to her later on, she rallied against porn. Much later in life she actually rejoined the ranks of the porn industry.

So the Linda Lovelace story proves zippo.

Banning obscenity has caused great works of art and literature to be banned. I have repeatedly linked to banned books and films.

Free speech is the answer.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miss R -

If you dont have any problem that Rose makes such art, why are you then worried about that Iran mayby will bomb Isreal? why limiting the freedom of the Iranians?

You are contradicting yourself.

or is it because you assumed the so colled art, would't harm your friends and family? what you dont mind as long it would't hurt you?


It seems like you are being obstinate, even if it is nonsens what you are trying to argue.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Anon,

Um...because a bomb is not a work of art.

Pretty self evident. I am for freedom as long as that freedom does not mean harming someone else. I am not for anarchy.

I believe in the John Stuart Mill philosophy - libertarianism.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Jeff G said...

Its kinda funny you should bring up suicide. A friend of mine killed himself just over a year ago. He left behind a wife and three children. I wish I could've talked to him, that I could have said or done something to dissuade him. But what could I do? I didn't know he was planning to do it. Nobody did. Not even his wife. I was really angry at him for several months afterward. How could we have missed the signs?

When I was an undergrad I worke at a runaway shelter where we occassionally dealt with suicide threats. I was trained to see the signs, and I didn't. People who threaten suicide are crying for help. Those who are going to do it just do it. There's no discussion. What law could we possibly enact that would make a difference?

Sorry, I realize this is a bit off topic. I just felt I had to put it out there.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

When you outlaw something you demonstrate in a formal declaration that the majority of people agree that the unlawful conduct is harmful enough to take affirmative efforts to enjoin it.

It's not because the majority of people want to oppress a minority from "expressing" themselves. It's because the conduct in question is self-destructive and harmful to others as well.

Negative externalities are involved and far more often than not the impulse to engage in such conduct is a result of extreme psychological, emotional, or economic distress, whether or not the person's engaging in it care to admit it.

Jeff, if you could have stopped your friend from killing himself, would you have stopped him, or would you have let him kill himself as he chose to do?

Of course, there is only so much that society can do to prevent harmful conduct especially when it's self-inflicted. But, what we can do is NOT lie to ourselves and to each other and argue that conduct is good when, PLAINLY, it is not.

Anon, thanks for your comments. They are much appreciated. And you are right; killing yourself harms others. NO doubt.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Miss R -

But there is diffirent kind of harms. Some of them are directly and other which are indireictly.

Killing one self also harms others.

because of my inability to writ correct English, it would be my second and last comment.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Jeff G said...

Thanks for the self-righteous judgement Q.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger qrswave said...

I'm not sure how you mean, Jeff.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger vper1 said...

Miss R? Crush? Me?

Sweet.

I just got the boot from my significant other because I read too much Playboy, actually it might've been because I don't listen...I don't know I wasn't really paying attention.

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

QRS and Jeff,

I thought about the suicide thing, and because of the horrible harm that suicide brings to family members, I think suicide should be prevented by the government if possible. (with the expectation that of course suicide will not always be prevented and sometimes nothing can be done)

That's my two cents. Don't let it be said my mind cannot change. ;-)

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Oh, vper1, you kill me! :-p

 
At Saturday, February 25, 2006, Blogger AJ said...

Wow! Sorry I've missed all the fun! I've been busy...ah...surfing the internet...

Man Viper, Miss r has a crush on you??
you old snake in the grass.
Lucky.

 
At Sunday, February 26, 2006, Blogger jc said...

"I am against hate speech laws."

of course you are, otherwise you and yours wouldn't be allowed to print this in your daily paper:

Maariv, 10 Oct. 2003 :

Those who want to live, let them fight, and those who do not want to fight in this world of eternal struggle do not deserve to live.

What we must fight for is to safeguard the existence of our people, the sustenance of our children and the freedom and independence of the fatherland, so that our people may mature for the fulfillment of the mission allotted it by the creator. The world has no reason for fighting in our defense, and as a matter of principle God does not make cowardly nations free.

Our nation wants peace because of its fundamental convictions. We want peace also owing to the realization of the simple primitive fact that no war would be likely essentially to alter the distress in our region. The principal effect of every war is to destroy the flower of a nation. We need peace and desires peace!

The war against our enemies cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion. This struggle is one of ideologies and will have to be conducted with unprecedented, unmerciful and unrelenting harshness. Man has become great through struggle. Whatever goal, man has reached is due to his originality plus his brutality. If you do not fight, life will never be won. The man who has no sense of history is like a man who has no ears or eyes. It must be thoroughly understood that the lost land will never be won back by solemn appeals to God, nor by hopes in any United Nations, but only by the force of arms. 

A single blow must destroy the enemy, without regard of losses. A gigantic all-destroying blow. Success is the sole earthly judge of right and wrong.

The required message does not have multiple shadings; it has a positive and a negative; love or hate, right or wrong, truth or lie, never half this way and half that way. This is the very first condition which has to be fulfilled in every kind of public relations: a systematically one-sided attitude towards every problem that has to be dealt with. The best means of defense is attack.

Ours is not a warlike nation. It is a soldierly one, which means it does not want a war, but does not fear it. It loves peace but also loves its honor and freedom. We will never allow anyone to divide this people once more into camps, each fighting the other. The world will not help, the people must help themselves. Its own strength is the source of life. That strength the Almighty has given us to use; that in it and through it, we may wage the battle of our life. May God Almighty give our work His blessing, strengthen our purpose, and endow us with wisdom and the trust of our people. Lord God, let us never hesitate or play the coward.

If we are forced to send the flowers of the nation into the hell of war without the smallest fear, then surely we have the right to remove millions of another race that breeds like vermin. For we are fighting not for ourselves but for the whole country.

A. Schicklgruber

link to the hebrew version: http://www.kedma.co.il/opinion/opinionfile/NurielYeoda121003.htm

 
At Sunday, February 26, 2006, Blogger jc said...

amazing who you people quote to justify your atrocities.

 
At Sunday, February 26, 2006, Blogger Red Tulips said...

JC, you are very funny. Me and "my kind." As if everything printed in a newspaper represents what I think or advocate. You are very funny. Borderline racist, of course. ("my kind") But funny.

I never once said I believed in everything Israel does. Furthermore, that quote does not represent what it means to be Israeli. In fact, I have read multiple public opinion polls of Israelis that show they want to leave the West Bank. I have read multiple polls showing that Israelis want peace. Here is one such poll: http://www.pcpsr.org/survey/polls/2005/p16ejoint.html

In any case, do you believe in everything every Muslim says or does? I think not.

That quote represents "my people"? Says who? You?

I never said I actually advocate hate speech. I just think banning hate speech is a bad idea.

I am quite consistent in saying that the Iranian newspaper has the free speech right to print their hateful Holocaust cartoons. And I and anyone else has the free speech right to respond or not respond to said cartoons. In fact, Israelis have responded with their own cartoon contest! http://www.boomka.org/

I say, you go peeps! A religion that can laugh at itself is indeed a strong one.

The KKK has the right to march in a heavily Jewish neighborhood and say whatever hate they want. I believe they have that right.

By that same token, as long as there is no immediate call to violence, then others have the right to say hateful things about Muslims if they want.

But guess what? If it was any other way, a hell of a lot of speech would be banned as "hate speech." South Park the cartoon would be banned. What is "hateful"? Is it hateful if it merely causes offense? I am serious - this is a real problem with hate speech laws! LOTS would be banned. Not a good world.

Wow, your response to me saying "me and my kind" and amazing who "you people" quote to justify your atrocities is just funny. You really must have a stick rammed really high up your ass. I have no idea how you are able to walk! It must be very uncomfortable! I truly feel sorry for you.

 

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