Friday, February 1, 2008

About time!

Well, finally there appears to be finally a dissenting note in the mainstream media's love affair with Melissa Farley:

"Bewildered, academics pore over sex-trade hysteria", Las Vegas Sun, January 31, 2008.

Violet Blue comments on her blog here.


  1. link doesn't work

  2. Fixed. Thanks for pointing that out, Anon.

  3. Interesting, is it not, that anti-sex-work activists can always find somebody - the feds in Melissa Farley's case - to buy them plane tickets to Las Vegas to conduct their particular brand of "research?"

    When Nina and I were in Vegas last month for AEE, she was "interviewed" (hectored and bullied to be more precise} by no less than Gail Dines and Robert Jensen themselves at the Adam&Eve booth where Nina was signing autographs for fans. Oddly enough, both Dines and Jensen had gotten onto the convention floor with press passes issued to AlterNet. I assume we'll see the results of their "research" on that bastion of independent thinking soon enough. I got the same treatment at AEE the previous year from Chyng Sun, who then launched the publicity campaign for her anti-porn "documentary" on AN.

    When it comes to making marriages of convenience, anti-porn feminists don't seem too particular about where they get the backing to pursue their agenda. Whether its the feds, Fox News or the befuddled admins over at AlterNet, a buck is still a buck and a media placement is still a media placement. The end justifies the means, right?

    That Farley would distort the hard work of legitimate social researchers is no less and no more an indication of her classic, Leninist "ruthlessness toward the goal" than the lies she tells or the low places in which she panders for a dollar.

    All of which should give pause not only to Bob Herbert, but to other "liberals" who believe that Farley, Dines, et al are sincerely motivated by any desire for broad social justice. Just check out the mad mix of religious whackos and indignant APFs who weighed in on the LV Sun's post. Clearly, some folks haven't figured out yet that the Hitler-Stalin Pact has been canceled due to low ratings.

    The ease with which people like Farley and Jensen get over on the Bob Herberts and Don Hazens of this nation should serve as a warning to anyone tempted to think that an incoming Democratic administration headed by either of the current front-runners would be greatly more protective of individual freedom than the current gang of ruling kleptocrats.

    In fact, I have little doubt that the big upswing we've witnessed in APF activity over the past year or two and the sympathetic play it's gotten in traditionally liberal venues like the NYT op-ed page presage a new round in the porn wars of two decades ago that will commence in earnest once the common menace of a neo-con administration is vanquished. Old scores will then be trotted out for settling in an atmosphere where the obvious overlap between rad-fem rhetoric and religious right dogma is less likely to trouble those to the left of center who might otherwise be inclined to call attention to such uncomfortable similarities.

  4. ernest:

    no kidding, right? and it's also seemingly so hard for others of us to ever get heard, to have our legit complaints addressed, even be allowed a fraction of the airtime these people get. I guess it's true, no one WANTS to hear stories about sex workers that aren't titilating and tragic. And when folk like that even try to engage the Farley's of the world, they immediately get shut down or have their words utterly misconstrued and used out of context.

    I commend Nina for simply not telling them to fuck off and go the hell away.

  5. ren,

    Thanks for the kind words. What's hard to watch for me, as Nina's SO, is her struggle to accept the fact that these people really do hate her the way brownshirts hate Jews. Her natural instinct is to approach all other human beings with compassion and kindness, and she's often blind-sided by those who do not respond to a human appeal. She really wanted these two to engage with her for some serious discussion at a person-to-person level when all they wanted was to gather a few out-of-context snippets they could use for talking points later.

    It was painful for me to witness with minimal participation, as I didn't want to presume to speak for Nina or play into any notion they might have that I somehow control what she says or thinks. I'm a hard-hearted, down-and-dirty debater when it comes to this type of pernicious sand-bagging and I'd have made short work of the two of them left to my own devices. instead, I had to sit there and watch while they hammered the woman I love with one ugly accusation and innuendo after another. Such sisterhood and solidarity these people bring to the table.

    In due course, I'll have my say, but I'm waiting for the results of their "research" to pop up on AlterNet or wherever so I can respond on my own after Nina gets in her rebuttal.

    It was not a pleasant encounter and I don't expect the by-products of it to be any more appetizing. Dines repeatedly claimed that she had been "totally silenced" in her efforts to call attention to her point of view (excluding those appearances on Fox News, her permanent soapbox at Wheelock College, etc.). Somehow, I suspect we'll soon be hearing from this silenced source loud and clear.

    I'll try to contain my enthusiasm in anticipation.

  6. well, when it does pop up, please let us know in case we miss it. I'm amazed that Nina can still even try to be civil, frankly. The whole thing just really makes me sick. So busy thrashing various folk the can't see what's really going on, I'm afraid.

  7. I've never known Nina not to be civil. As she says, it's something she does for herself and not for the other person. Unlike those who call her names - and she's been characterized as everything from "a poster girl for the New Right" to "a concentration-camp kapo" - she simply refuses to let the anger of others dictate her behavior.

    Now me, I have no such inhibitions. I love a good rumble, especially with those who make a living spreading fertilizer about their betters and generally get applauded for it. I really enjoy letting such individuals know that however low their opinion of me might be, there's still no room to fit it underneath my opinion of them.

    I guess that's one of the many reasons why Nina and I make such a good team. We balance each other's instincts in a wide variety of situations, most of them far more pleasant than our run-in with Dines and Jensen.

    And I will by all means let everyone know when the methane bubble from their "research" at AEE finally out-gasses to the surface

  8. excellent, because civil isn't exactly my strong suit either.

  9. Meantime, the good Professor Jensen continues to bloviate at university campuses all over America on somebody else's dime.

    Here's a link to his latest Chicken Little doom-saying at Notre Dame. Evidently, to Jensen, porn looks like the end of the world. Silly me, I thought that was a more likely result of global warming.

    Here's the link:

  10. Hold up....Bob's now trolling at Touchdown Jesus U??? I thought that he was still an atheist...or a Presbyterian???

    Any port in a storm, i guess.

    And how funny that Gail Dines claims to have been "silenced". Yeah, Fairley was silenced in Vegas???

    Thank goodness that Nina is way too classy to get down to their level. And also thank the Goddess that other people aren't.


  11. And I really, really do hope that one of Bob's or Dines' tomes does show up in Alternet or some other publication. It will give me an excuse to do some serious venting that has been long overdue.

    Whenever you do drop the hammer on 'em, Ernest and Ren, save some of their carcasses for me to finish off.

    And ask Nina to drop a line or two here whenever she can, too.


  12. Hmmm. I tried to post this a few days ago. I guess it didn't go through or something. Anyway, this is what Dines and Jensen wrote about AEE:

  13. "We responded with questions that reflected our feminist critique of pornography, which sparked interesting responses regarding their feelings about their work and our assessment of the industry. We asked the women to explain how the interests of women (or men, for that matter) were advanced by selling images mostly used by men as a masturbation facilitator. How did that improve the lot of women in the world? Each of the conversations ended with an agree-to-disagree parting, and we went off to other parts of the convention."

    Yeah, right. If Dines and Jensen used the same badgering, hostile, condescending approach with the Abby Winters girls they did with Nina, I'm not surprised they weren't invited back, and I doubt it was an attempt by "the company" to "silence" these bullies' "feminist critique." Based on our experience, I have no doubt the girls at the booth asked their employers to keep these two as far away as possible. Nobody likes to be peppered with hostile questions from obviously adversarial sources while trying to work.

    Can't wait for the next installment. I'm pretty sure we'll be in it and it will make this little rant seem friendly.

  14. Here is the actual article that Bob and Gail actually wrote:

    Bob Jensen and Gail Dines: The Anti-Feminist Policies Behind the Pornography That "Empowers" Women (from Atlantic Free Press)

    Oh, but I'm going to have some fun fisking tonight after work...


  15. "We have no doubt that the women performing for videos work under better conditions than much of the rest of the industry. But in the end, pornography is in the business of presenting women’s bodies to men for masturbation."

    Which is wrong why, precisely?

    Oh, no, the APRF critique isn't about puritanism and moralism, not one little bit....

  16. I kind of wonder how Bob would react if somebody sat in on one of his classes sometime and started giving him the third degree about the rather unsavory political implications of his work.

    Bet he wouldn't dig it too much if the shoe was on the other foot.

  17. To that point, this juicy bit of hypocrisy from the same "report." After Dines and Jensen were barred from the Abby Winters booth:

    "free speech, it appears, is all well and good when it protects the profits of pornographers, but not when it includes a challenge to the claims pornographers make."

    In point of fact, both Dines and Jensen have a history of carefully selecting speaking forums in which their own views are unlikely to be challenged. Dines teaches and conducts workshops at Wheelock College from which speakers defending pornography or opposing the APF line are specifically excluded. She's also right at home on Fox News. When Jensen takes his show on the road, it's to places like Notre Dame, where he can count on friendly crowds and faculty support.

    Nina has offered to debate APFs like Dines and Jensen in front of any truly open forum anytime anywhere. No RSVP so far. They prefer to show up at her place of work and harass her like a couple of stalkers.

    When I confronted Dines about her willingness to lend her leftist cred, such as it is, to a heinous, corrupt outlet for rightist propaganda like Fox News, where Nina couldn't get three seconds of airtime, she declined to engage me, though Jensen somewhat feebly offered the excuse that Fox had put him on a few times as the token anti-war spokesman.

    I guess that makes Fox fair and balanced in their minds.

    But would either allow their own views to be "critiqued" or "challenged" or exposed to an opposing analysis in a more open environment?

    I won't hold my breath. The prefer preaching to the choir when not haranguing sinners at said sinners' workplaces.

  18. Just posted a nice long fisking of Gail and Bob at the SmackChron:

    The SmackDog Chronicles: More APRF Fun And Games With Bob And Gail (The AEE 2008 Edition)

    Oh..and this "porn is simply presenting women's bodies to men for masturbation" nonsense: Gee, not like what runway models, bikini models, Hollywood tabloids, and much of The O'Sexxxxy Factor....errrrrrr, Bill O'Reilly's Fixed Noise gabfest do with their females, right?? And would Bob and Gail be equally offended by gay porn, or CFNM porn, which tend to do the exact opposite of what they accuse AbbyWinters of doing?? (You presenting MEN as objects for female masturbation???

    Oh, silly me....I forgot; women don't masturbate...that's a male patriarchial plot to oppress women!!! The clitoris...just a male appendage!!!

    You just can outdo nonsense like this, can you??


  19. ayghghfhgjf. this hurts my brain. I may post something later but I'm busy as shit.