Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Silencing of Nina Hartley: My Two Cents' Worth

I had left a comment on Ernest's thread regarding the repercussions of the hacking of Nina's site....but I have some thoughts of my own that I thought deserved its own space.

What is more stunning to me than even the extent of the attack on Nina's personal property, her life's work, and her activism, is the way in which they have now been so successful that such draconian measures such as totally nuking her forum were necessitated.

This hits me especially hard, since I was not a paid member of Nina dot com, but I was a major contributor to the forum; where me, Ernest, Nina, and many other members would congregate every day and fire off our thoughts and feelings on everything from the political winds of the moment, to Ernest's latest video shoot, to the helpful and sexy advice on sex that Nina has made her legacy doing.

Thanks to these.....gentlemen (or ladies) who perpetuated this deed: this valuable resource will now be gone. Totally. Forever.

It's almost as if those who can't stand the fact that Nina stands tall in defense of her principles and beliefs are capable of doing anything and everything to silence her and her fans.

And what is even worse is that those who could use her activism the most -- namely, those people like me who aren't wealthy enough to afford a paid membership to her site; those of us who can barely afford home computers to escape the filters and blockers that society places on affirmative and progressive sex activism (My local public library filters blocks sites like Ren Ev's home blog and Susie Bright's sites, but allows the likes of John Hagee and Rush Limbaugh and perhaps even these ur-fuckers who hacked Nina's site total uncensored freedom to promote their swill); the ones who would benefit the most from Nina's wisdom, her kindness, her compassion, and her legacy -- they will be the ones who will be hit the hardest by this action.

Perhaps, that was exactly the point.

As I said in my original response, I do hope that somehow Ernest and Nina would reconsider offering at least a minimal public online venue for Nina to continue her (and his) public sex-positive activism; and to that extent I have even offered my own bandwidth to the cause. Nothing would please the censors more, in my view, than to see their targets respond to the acts by silencing themselves even further; I don't think that Nina is one to give up so easily; and I give my full committment to making sure her legacy is duly recorded.

There is a lot more I could say on this...but work beckons.

1 comment:

  1. Anthony,

    Your thoughts are much appreciated and your good will immensely important to us both. Your offer of bandwidth is most generous, and as I said, we are looking into alternatives to keep her contact with the public alive. You are correct, she is not one to give up easily.

    But at her own site, that battle is simply lost. Yes, there may be a comments area for members behind the firewall, but you are also correct that this ill exclude many who need to hear her message. Not only those of limited economic means, but also those reluctant to give banking info over the web or who, for other reasons, don't want to or can't risk joining a for-pay porn site will be shut out.

    This is not a thing we do lightly, as you can imagine. It is a necessary response to a persistent security problem for which no other effective fix is available.

    And I'm not even certain this will keep the little thugs out. It will merely close the door through which they have entered so easily and repeatedly.

    Yes, they are guys. Yes, they are Muslim extremists. Yes, we know who they are and where they are. We can even show you what they look like in their asinine youtube vids. I just don't want to give them the personal attention they crave.

    Please know that we will take all serious alternatives such as the one you propose under consideration.

    The problem is that the mighty momentum of a wide-ranging forum a dozen years in the creation will be lost now no matter what we do. It won't be the same as what we had before. It can't be because nothing started today could be for a very, very long time if ever.

    And that is one reason it may not happen. There is only one Nina and she has many responsibilities. More and more, thankfully and at last, she is in demand on the speaking and workshop circuit where she can meet with others directly and offer her wisdom and advice face to face.

    Alas, this takes time and maintaining a vital blog while trying to juggle all her other responsibilities may be one thing too many. It was easy enough for her when all she had to do was maintain her presence in the forums while posting her journal and doing other work associated with the site. Adding what amounts to a whole, new project is far easier said than done, even if the set-up for it is already done.

    All I can say is that we are working with our webmasters to try and resolve the security issues so that, at least behind the wall, some conversation can continue without putting the site offline at the whim of passing hate-mongers.

    Please bear in mind that is also an important revenue generator for Nina that allows her to take time away from being a working performer to travel and to participate in industry activism. She simply can't afford to have it go down for days at a time and have existing paid memberships lost in the process.

    In the end, this is economic warfare conducted by cyber-terrorists and we must harden our defenses lest their victory be total.

    We're not giving in. We're digging in.