Friday, September 5, 2008

People get testy when things don't go their way...

As in, here.

It seems the author has a problem wiht critique of the "fair and unbiased" anti-porn film "The Price of Pleasure", and of course, assumes we just attack the hell out of everyone involved with it, including SKL, who is/was a sex worker.

Ahem. Actually, I believe SKL's representation as a star of mainstream porn was what was in question, not her sex worker status? There is no question that SKL was involved with sex work, yet never pornography as her primary field, and never in "Mainstream" porn which is what the film is supposedly discussing? Thus, it is not unfair or wooo, horrible mean to assume that SKL is no expert on mainstream pornography. Her status as a sex worker is not in question. Her status as a veteran of porn valley is...and SKL is no such thing, thus, her being included in this "fair and unbiased" film about the mainstream porn is...well, biased.

Now, since I've already been accused by half the free world of being a horrible, sadistic rapist or whatever, I will go ahead and say this now: Gee, we get to be critical of anti porn films that pass themselves off as unbiased, and be just as critical of them as other folk get to be of porn. We get to question the creds and motivations of the people making and in these films, just like you get to question the creds and motivations of people making porn. SKL put herself out there as an authority on a subject, and thus, she is subject to questions and critiques...just as any other person who puts themselves into such a role is.

No one here doubts her feelings on sex work, or her expierences, or her views on her job or other such things. What we question is her status as an authority on pornography, especially mainstream pornography, which is what this film is supposedly dealing with.

Get it now? I certainly hope so.


  1. Hmmm, where did I ever call SKL a liar? And dismissed her "suffering"? She wasn't exactly a happy camper in the sex industry, no doubt, but "suffering"? Pure radfem hyperbole.

    But, yep, I'll certainly repeat what's been said so far – SKL might know stripping back and forth, but she's never been more than an occasional porn performer, and somebody who I don't think has the knowledge of the industry of those, like Joanna Angel for example, who's she's pitted against in TPoP.

    I actually don't completely dismiss SKL, in fact, in terms of sex worker lit, I'd certainly say Indecent is as important as the more positive views on it by, say, Lily Burana. I just don't think that SKL's experiences, in the end, justify the whole radfem grand narrative and the prohibitionism that springs from it, though SKL at this point clearly feels that it does.

    The Demonistas of the world, on the other hand, I have no problem being dismissive of.

  2. Wow.

    Uh, what?

    I said before and I'll say again that I did not like the parts of SKL's book that I read. It seemed to me that some of the problems and bitterness she described came from her own choices, and her own unremittingly snarky outlook. (I've since looked at her LJ, and I had the same impression. Posts that had little to do with sex work had the same kind of edge to them, and I didn't like it in either case.)

    But having a low opinion of SKL -- one that most people did NOT share when her book was big news in Blogland -- is neither

    -dismissing her experiences


    -calling her a liar


    -parodying her views


    -mocking her suffering.

  3. Now then, let's "examine" the claims made in this little side-swipe from someone who calls herself Demonista (yeah - that's the ticket - I'll think up a really scary-sounding username that'll scare the shit out of the patriarchy and make Dick Cheney shake in his fucking boots):

    After pointing to this thread, she dismisses it as:
    "another instance of "sex-pos feminists" engaging in hypocricy.; they say antiporn feminists hate sex workers, yet when an ex-sex worker speaks out against pornstitution, in this case the wonderful Sarah Katherine Lewis (, the pro-porn asshats do the following;

    "-dismiss her experiences"

    And this occurred where?

    I assume she refers to this graph:

    "Of course, we also get the obligatory ex-performer-turned-anti-porn crusader Sarah Catherine Lewis, whose experience must be rather unique, in that neither I or nor any of a number of industry veterans I asked had ever heard of her or recognized her by her picture."

    From this Ms. D. derives this conclusion:

    "you personally haven't heard of her porn work, she must be a liar; she must've never have done porn."

    Now, let's put that up against what I actually said. Did I say that she had never done porn? No, I said her experience must be rather unique (as in unique to her) in that she was unrecognizable as a performer not only to me, but to anyone in the industry to whom I showed the clip, including reporters at AVN, fellow producers of long experience (mine goes back 25 years and comprises over 700 shoots), the three largest talent agencies in the industry, my editor at X-Biz (who, like the rest of us, knows her primarily as a writer) and a number of long-term performers, including my life partner, who has also been in the business for 25 years and met almost every woman to have passed through the X-rated video industry at least briefly during that time. Again, she knows her as a writer, but not as a performer.

    Likewise the Internet Adult Film Database (IAFD), has no listing for her whatsoever.

    But why take the word of a bunch of slimeball pornographers on this. Let's see what SKL has to say in her bio on her own blog, where she describes herself as "A ten-year veteran of the adult industry in Seattle, Portland, and New Orleans."

    Gee, I seem to find no reference in that credits roll to any time working here in Los Angeles, where the overwhelming majority of commercial porn of the type Chyng Sun's movie attacks is created. Since SKL makes no claim to any direct experience with that industry either in the movie or in any of her writing, and since no one here has ever worked with her or had any direct contact with her and those few who recognize her name know her only as a writer, I would say her credentials as an expert on the porn industry, which is very much how the movie presents her, are open to question. A couple of Web shows at remote locations do not a porn expert make. I never said she didn't do it. I merely pointed out the uncontested fact that her personal experience with it is highly limited and specific to herself.

    "-call her a liar"

    As nobody here did, in fact, call her a liar, it would seem that somebody else is doing the lying. I questioned her expertise. That's it. Believe me, when I call you a liar, which I just did Ms. D., there will be no innuendo or insinuation. Unlike Sarah Katherine Lewis, whose testimony I believe to be entirely true to her experience, if largely irrelevant to the subject under discussion, Demonista is, in fact, a liar.

    "-parody her views"

    Citation please? All I find is this rather even-handed description from IACB:

    "She's an ex-stripper who has decidedly mixed feelings about the sex industry. Basically, she doesn't like it and thinks that the men who patronize it are scum, and that most sex workers who have a positive opinion of what they're doing are mere dilettantes, but also holds that doing sex work can be a rational choice for women trying to earn money quickly and casually."

    Having read some of Ms. Lewis' work, I'd say that's a pretty reasonable assessment. I certainly wouldn't call it a parody. It seems also to have escaped attention that Ren had some complimentary things to say about her writing, which I agree is pretty entertaining. When she writes about stripping, of which she's done a lot, she comes across as well-informed, articulate and funny, even if I don't agree with many of the somewhat paradoxical politics she tosses in with her anecdotal recollections.

    In short, she may know a lot about a lot of things and be able to express herself effectively on many subjects, but the porn industry isn't one of them. By her own admission, she gets about two lines in the final cut of TPoP, despite hours of interviewing, so evidently the producers didn't find a whole lot of substance in her comments on this subject either.

    So how and where were her views parodied here?

    "-mock her suffering"

    Odd, that, as SKL doesn't characterize herself as a victim or go on at length about her "suffering" in anything of hers I've read, and I've been doing my homework since she first popped up in Chyng Sun's horror show. I don't know her, but I don't get the impression she'd care to be characterized as a suffering victim. She might even conclude that such a characterization would constitute parodying her views. But unlike some people, I don't pretend to speak for her, so Demonista will have to ask her about that herself.

    " get the idea. Because, you see, if a sex worker has negative experiences, and is against men who buy sex, and you personally haven't heard of her porn work, she must be a liar; she must've never have done porn."

    I think we've covered that part.

    "p.s. ANYONE who likes Larry Flynt is a slimeball. End of story. I'm fullhearedly (sic) including pornographer Ernest Greene in this statement. Flynt sexually abused his own daughter for fuck's sakes, as well as has published some of the most vile misogynist shit available."

    First of all, most adults know that name-calling is an ineffectual debating tactic. It may work on the playground, or it may have some therapeutic value for the immature individuals who continue to engage in it after the age of ten, but it scores no hits. I've been called worse by better.

    Back to the subject of lies, a favorite big lie endlessly repeated by Nikki Kraft and her merry band is that Larry Flynt molested his daughter Tonya Flynt-Vega. This claim is made by Ms. Flynt-Vega, who is now an evangelical Christian with - Surprise! - her own foundation. She's a great favorite with such progressive, feminist organizations as Focus on the Family and Concerned Women for America. Beverly LaHaye and James Dobson believe every word she says.

    Oddly, Flynt's other daughter, at whom Tonya takes a couple of mean-spirited slaps in her book, rejects Flynt-Vega's account as entirely fictitious. Theresa Flynt works for Larry Flynt's company and has a very close and harmonious relationship with her father. I would happen to know this because she's a friend of Nina's and mine and has been a dinner guest in our home. But, of course, her testimony doesn't count because it contradicts that of an embittered, estranged sibling who now embraces the anti-choice religious right and campaigns on behalf of the Bush administration's anti-sex-work policies.

    But as we all know, there is no connection between the religious right and anti-porn feminists. That's just a red herring cooked up by the "pornstitution" industry. Yeah, right.

    Bottom line on this slur: Flynt has addressed his "saved" daughters accusations directly in interviews and pointed out numerous internal contradictions and provable falsehoods in Flynt-Vega's account. There remains in this country such a thing as the presumption of innocence. If Demonista wants to call Larry Flynt an alleged child-molester, she would be stating a fact. Such an allegation has been made. Claiming without proof that " Flynt sexually abused his own daughter" when he has never been arrested, charged or convicted for such an offense is a mere libel that no amount of repetition can make true.

    As to his having "published some of the most vile misogynist shit available," that is what is known as a matter of opinion that, when stated as fact, reveals far more about the speaker's contempt for the truth than it says about Larry Flynt's work.

    From all this, we learn nothing about porn, nothing about anyone here, nothing about SKL, nothing about Larry Flynt and more than we really need to know about Demonista.

    Since I'm sure you'll be reading this, Ms. Dl, what with your pitifully obvious need for attention, I'd give you this advice:

    Before you come back for another round, you'd be wise to practice your rhetorical chops a bit. Hissing and spitting don't make your arguments any more convincing.

  4. Well, my feeling on the subject is that a porn performer is a porn performer, whether in LA, Seattle, DC, or Prague, regardless of whether that shot ends up on DVD or a web video. And obviously, SKL isn't going to pop up on IAFD under her real name.

    The person to ask would be Rodney Moore, who's done a lot of work in Seattle, especially during the time SKL says she was active. I think he's pretty familiar with the Seattle adult talent base; I've seen performers in his videos that show up pretty much nowhere else, including one I recognized from Seattle Lusty Lady.

    That said, I just don't get the feeling that SKL has done very much porn, even accounting for the fact that she's outside the LA studio industry – if she was more of a porn performer, she would have mentioned it more prominently in her book.

    So, yeah, she's clearly been on more porn sets than I ever have or will be, but at the same time, somebody without nearly the comparable experience of Joanna Angel, who TPoP seems to write off as a deluded fool.

  5. IACB,

    Give me credit, if you will, for a little intelligence. I dug through SKL's blog for in search of stage names she had used, came up with a couple of contenders and ran them through IAFD. Zip matches.

    While I agree that porn is porn, you're leaving out the context in which SKL's remarks are used in TPoP, which is otherwise centered on "the porn industry" as defined by what Chyng Sun and her crew saw at AdultEx.

    She is presented to us as an authority on a subject of which she clearly has only tangential knowledge based on very limited experience.

    Anyone who has ever been a player in any kind of porn qualifies as a "porn performer" but doesn't necessarily qualify as an expert, except to those who don't care to let the facts get in the way of the truth.

    This isn't about where SKL worked or in what medium, but how much and under what variety of circumstances.

    Ren has never shot in L.A., but is indisputably an expert on the process of making porn. Nothing in SKL's background so qualifies her.

    That was my point.

  6. Yep, I've made a lot of porn...but not in LA. I know some stuff about LA, but expert? No way. East Coast Net Gonzo, sure, I know my stuff, and yep, I would feel qualified to speak on it, but not "The Mainstream Porn Industry"...

    I also specifically remember from SKL's first book that she said she ONLY ever did solo girl work...which, well, sort of limits her knowledge on how women are treated by male performers in the industry in general, let alone in the mainstream industry.

    SKL is totally qualified to speak on sex work in general, or stripping, or other things she's done a lot of- massage, peep shows, even solo girl porn made in Seattle, and of course her exeperiences are valid, but is she, in any way, an expert on how it is to be in mainstream pornography? Nope. And that is how they are trying to pass her off.

  7. ...I should amend that, that yes, I will and so speak about the mainstream industry, because I've studied it a lot and know people working in it...but I would never say "I am an expert on the LA Mainstream Industry" because, gee, I'm not and I've never worked in it....

  8. Playing a bit of catch-up, since I've been busy dodging hurricanes of late.

    Damn, but Demonista's a freakin' idiot. (Yes, I 'm not afraid to say that to her face, either.)

    First off, if she's going to use Sarah Katherine Lewis as her jumping point for trashing those of us who question SKL's creds on porn, then how can she bitch and moan when such creds are exposed as a sham?? (What, Shirley Lubben or Rebecca Mott wasn't available at the time??)

    Or maybe, it's not so much SKL's "creds" as it is simply DemonSeed (oh, so sorry, Demonista) name-dropping some former strippers/porn performers turned born-again fundamentalist GenderBorgians to sell TPOP's main ideology. Revealing that her "expertise" in dealing with porn is rather limited to her own narrow experiences (which, of course, should be as respected and acknowledged as any other sex worker, whatever her ideology might be) just doesn't rise to the level of "bashing" matter what D-Seed might think.

    Oh..and considering that there are numerous occasions where "pro-porn feminists" and active porn performers have indeed documented their not-so-pleasant experiences from time immortal, and not a single proponent of "pro-porn feminism" have ever gone even close to dismissing the experiences of people like SKL (in direct contrast to the GenderBorgians slander of the likes of Nina Hartley and Ren Ev as "paid agents of the pornographers" and "marketing campaigns"), I'm wondering whether D-Seed is simply doing her usual projecting of her myopias again???

    And then D-Seed goes to the Tonya Flynt "Daddy RAPED ME!!!!!" meme, as if throwing out that pile of horse dung from the bottom of the crap heap proves her point about anyone "befriending" Flynt and HUSTLER (or simply any man who views porn or attends titty bars) are innate rapists one step removed from becoming Ted Bundys. (I'm sure that Nikki Craft is waiting in the wings to throw out the other shoe with the Michael Tinsley/"Chester the Molestor" toon conspiracy to seal the deal about HUSTLER's propensity for harboring pedophiles.) Quick memo, D-Seed: If you're gonna throw such charges around, at least make an attempt to back them up with facts....and try not to rely on fundamentalist antifeminist Christian zealots to prove your case.

    Finally, on the issue of HUSTLER having "the most vile, misogynist shit available": Apparantly, D-Seed's never seen Meatholes or JM or Max Hardcore. If she did, then she'd retract that statement with haste, since compared to them, Flynt's mags look practically feminist in comparison. But who cares about facts when you are so busy throwing a tantrum fit and spitting all over the place??

    Yawn, yawn, yawn. DemonSeed = MAJOR FAIL.


  9. An addedum to Ren's comments on being outside the "mainstream LA porn industry":

    Actually, it seems that the East Coast (especially the Gold Coast and South Beach areas of Miami and Tampa Bay) are slowly becoming challengers to the San Fernando Valley in terms of becoming mini-centers of porn production, especially regarding the Internet kind. Of course, the inertia of having the motion picture industry centered in LA will probably maintain the "Silicone Valley" as the center of porn production; and there needs to be some resolution of obscenity laws in Florida (and how porn producers can dodge hurricanes in the summer and early fall) before that region can truly emerge as a second Mecca.

    And it should be also noted that most middle-level porn starlets don't live in the Silicone Valley, but usually make occasional trips to LA from their home bases to arrange gigs with producers (mostly through talent agencies) and score some quick hit cash through making video skits for sites like Naughty America or Brazzers or even the occasional scene in an actual video. Mostly, it's only the contract performers who root in LA and make movies full time; the rest are mostly transient players.

    And let's not forget that there are performers who don't even make that many movies in LA to begin with; they rely solely on content exclusively for their pay sites and content trading with other Internet starlets rather than making videos.

    Just another example of how much D-Seed and the producers of TPOP are so way off the beam.


  10. Actually, I've tended to think of Florida-produced porn as more-or-less "mainstream", since I've seen a lot of pro-am stuff shot there turn up in regularly-distributed titles since the 1990s. Ed Powers used to do his "Dirty Debutant" shoots there fairly frequently.

    Actually, a lot of porn gets shot outside of LA, but in the US, anyway, its on a smaller scale and generally with less-established models, and often destined for the internet. (But I should point out, that's talking about hetero porn – San Francisco is a major center of mainstream gay porn production.) Its still definitely the case that someone from outside the LA industry can achieve a certain degree of stardom simply based on having a popular internet site, and maybe even cross over to the larger industry at some point. Joanna Angel is an example of that.

    And this is not to mention the European and Japanese porn industries, which are not small, either, and has its own star system. European porn used to be pretty isolated from the US, but that's changed enormously in the last 10 years, especially with the internet. Japanese porn still remains kind of a collectors thing outside of Japan, because Japanese porn companies are pretty insular and have no interest in the non-Japanese market.

  11. Anthony,

    Nice to have you back, and clearly in your old form.

    I do have a request. Please stop using the phrase "Silicone Valley."

    Think about it for a moment. I'll bet you can come up with the names of about a dozen women you admire who would find it offensive for reasons that aren't too hard to imagine.


  12. Glad to finally be back.

    Actually, Ernest, "Silicone Valley" isn't my original term, it was a softcore producer and enthusiast which developed the term as a play on the high-tech region of "Silicon Valley" in Northern California.

    I haven't heard of anyone being offended by it until now....but out of respect for your wishes, I will place the moratorium on its use as of this moment.


  13. Thanks Anthony,

    I know it didn't originate with you, but it's a thing that doesn't really belong anyplace where porn performers are respected.

    They may not tell you or the public how much they dislike the phrase, but if you lived here you'd have no doubts about that.

  14. Uncertain of what strange fascination with madness drew me back to Demonista's LJ, I happened to be scanning over some of her older posts (littered with references to the usual professional censorpimps as "experts," including that great feminist crusader and Christian fundamentalist Shelly Lubben, who opposes porn only slightly more fervently than she does reproductive justice) and came upon this little exchange with one of D's admirers:

    "I think all porn should cease to exist, doesn't matter what the means. Even if you have to kill porn makers, I'm fine with that, unless they're contributing to society in some other significant way (e.g. being nuclear physicists or something). Actually, I'm only okay with killing the ones that don't have families."

    Demonista's response:

    "i think in cases where the pornographers are serial rapists or pedophiles or batters (sic) or such, then one (or more) of their victims should have the right to kill them. self-preservation and stopping them fro (sic) victimising others."

    Now there's some enlightened thinking. Let's just dispense with the criminal justice system altogether and leave it up to the victims to take vengeance on their abusers.

    Of course, the fact that most victims have no means of doing so would just leave them even more vulnerable to further victimization, but that can't possibly mater more than the satisfaction to be derived from the tiny number of instances in which guilty parties would actually pay for their crimes at the hands of those upon whom they committed them.

    Such a situation would create an open-season for predators, and if there's anyone out there stupid enough to really believe that's what we have now, I'd suggest a quick visit to the tribal homelands of Afghanistan to check out for themselves exactly what that really looks like.

    Fortunately, under the laws here, in Canada and in most parts of the industrialized world, homicide is only justifiable in cases of self-defense, as defined by an imminent and mortal threat to the individual committing the act. There are no exemptions made for either preemptive or retroactive "self-defense."

    And as for the notion of some broad moral authority for homicide as an act of collective, political self-defense, well, that's always a favorite of dictators and lynch-mobs and other genocidal fools. "Yes, we must rid ourselves of the toxic presence of all who would spread their poison among the rest of our good citizens."

    Now there's an idea with some truly inspirational historical examples.

    And yet I know that Demonista and her pal are far from alone in this way of thinking. They share it with neo-Nazis, abortion-clinic bombers and fundamentalist Islamic terrorists. And whether this is spoken out loud beyond their cozy covens, I'm quite certain many self-identified rad-fems think the same way.

    Lovely company they keep. Fortunately, unlike those other like-minded defenders of virtue, these whack-jobs are unlikely to act on their murderous intentions. But the admission of such intentions says volumes about the rationality of the opposition.

    And as younger and dumber and crazier people gravitate toward the furthest margins of anti-porn extremism, the possibility of acts of violence cannot be ruled out. Larry Flynt will be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life because a white supremacist lunatic decided to express his objections to the publication of interracial sex pictorials in Hustler with a gun. And knowing what Demonista thinks of Flynt and anyone who likes him (including myself by name), I'm sure that's okay by her.

    But it's not okay by me. I think about this possibility every time either Nina or I speak in a public forum. We've both been heckled and jeered and hassled enough, together and individually, to have to concern ourselves with the possibility that somebody's hatred might turn physical.

    Of course, then we would be the ones with the justifiable homicide claims, would we not?

    Just FYI to anyone reading this with those thoughts in mind, come lurking in these parts and the last sound you may hear could well be the unmistakable clank of a Remington 870 being chambered.

    I'm a Second Amendment absolutist as well as The First Amendment kind.

    An unfortunate truth I learned as a newspaper reporter is that idle talk about bloodshed has a way of leading to the real thing.

    Therefore, I do not talk about it idly.

  15. "Such a situation would create an open-season for predators, and if there's anyone out there stupid enough to really believe that's what we have now, I'd suggest a quick visit to the tribal homelands of Afghanistan to check out for themselves exactly what that really looks like."

    Yeah, no shit.

    How much you wanna bet that when people see this, the response is "But we're just ANGRY, we don't actually HAVE any REAL POWER!!!"

    yeah, whatever privilege you lack, if you've got a big enough gun, you have power.

    if you have a plan to harm someone who has no similar plan to harm you: power.

  16. And yeah, a RIGHT to kill people? That's... that's beyond wacky.

  17. Trinity,

    Thanks for having my back on this post. I hesitated to put it up for a variety of reasons, but I do think when rhetoric reaches a certain level of violence, there is a danger of a threshold being crossed into the genuine article.

    As you say, the individuals involved may be just talking shit, but there are lots of crazies in the world who take what they say literally and the dangers those individuals represent have to be taken seriously. Until you've had a friend murdered by extremists, you want to believe that kind of thing only happens to other people far away. But the reality is that it can happen to people you know and love a block from your house.

    I know because it happened very much that way to someone close to me. And Nina has a photograph of her grandfather after being beaten half to death by the Klan down in Alabama.

    From believing one's views are right beyond question to taking deadly action against those who question them is a shorter step than rational people would like to think.

    And yet - and this is a very important point - unlike the woman who suggested that murdering pornographers would be okay - I do not believe in censoring any speech, even hate speech that could very well incite violence.

    Those of us who genuinely believe in freedom of expression do so not because we think expression is necessarily harmless and without risk. There are such things as dangerous books in the world. The Bible is a dangerous book. Mein Kampf is a dangerous book. Das Kapital is a dangerous book. But I don't favor suppressing any of these books despite the oceans of blood shed at their inspiration.

    The dangers of freedom are incalculable, but the dangers of tyranny are certain. I'll choose the former over the latter any day. The suppression of ideas is far more dangerous in the long run than the ideas themselves. Once the power to do this is placed in the hands of any entity, the dream of freedom evaporates and the enslavement of minds is unending.

    Rad-fems find lots of reasons why this logic shouldn't apply to pornography - it isn't really expression. It's actual violence with a camera in the room. The cost of allowing it to exist is too unevenly distributed. Its existence is a form of discrimination.

    But however they make those arguments, they do so at the risk of their own freedom. They seem to forget that theirs is a minority point of view, one held in great contempt by people far more likely to try and crush it than pornographers, who are merely interested, at worst, in making a buck.

    In much of the world, not including the pornified West, a woman showing her face in public risks death. Imagine if the rulers of those parts of the world had the power to suppress feminist speech here. How long would any of these self-styled radicals last? What resistance would they be able to organize against a society that regarded them as truly threatening?

    However much they may enjoy bashing The First Amendment as a tool of the white patriarchy and blahblahblah, it protects their rights as much as sit protects ours. Were it to disappear, I can tell you right now that there would still be plenty of pornography, but dissident political speech would vanish overnight.

    Some of these people may want to kill me, and I'm not about to let them as I've already said, but I will defend their right to say what they want, even if it puts me and those I love at risk.

    That's how seriously I take my principles. Can they say the same? What risks do they take, blogging away in their little flats where, should the need arise, they can call the law and the law will come to their defense?

    If they really think a liberal capitalism that allows sex work is so terrible, why are they not packing their bags to move to one of the very, very many places in the world where such things are not tolerated?

    I think we know the answer to that question.

  18. At this point, I think a lot of the more violent rhetoric from APRFs is just so much blowing smoke. I don't think most of them have the guts to actually carry out something that involves that much personal risk, and for all their bluster and machisma, very few of them have anything to back it up with. (And in many cases I think it all comes down to machisma – many feminist accusations about men's machismo and dick swinging strike me as a bit of projection, really.)

    Then again, there are the ones who seem to want to take it to the next level and really seem to get off on confrontation. I remember UK APRF Charliegrrl was quite big on direct confrontation over porn, even to the point of starting street fights over it, before later revealing that she was that she was in a very fucked up mindset at the time that the radfem milieu was largely contributing to. (Not that she changed her mind about being anti-porn, but seems to have gotten a clue about the depth of paranoia and hatred she was caught up in.)

    It seems like a movement like this needs a certain critical mass before it breeds a violent fringe, such as the small but notable violent wings of the anti-abortion and animal rights movements. There was definitely a violent wing of APRF during its heyday – vandalism of porn theaters and sex shops was a regular occurrence in the late 70s and early 80s, something Nikki Craft was pretty big on. In Canada, the Squamish 5 "direct action" group escalated this to firebombings. In Northampton, MA, there was a targeted campaign of vandalism and intimidation against Womonfyre, a lesbian feminist bookstore, for the crime of carrying lesbian porn, with the result that the bookstore was driven out of business. In the early 90s, at the height of the campus "political correctness" wars, Susie Bright during her college speaking tours was faced with a bomb threat on one occasion and on another had some crazy radfem confront her with a knife after walking into a bathroom.

    There were also examples of less violent actions that were nonetheless meant to intimidate, like Women Against Pornography doing a public leafleting in New York City listing the names and home addresses of sex-positive activists, or of APRF groups who would stand outside of porn shops and photograph the men entering and leaving. (I think the latter was another Nikki Craft action.)

    I'm hoping this second wave of APRF won't get such a critical mass this time around, which will perhaps makes a violent offshoot less likely.

    And on a slightly related topic, I came across this recent post on one of the radfem blogs which provides some insight on the level of self-righteousness that motivates at least some of them. Good grief!

  19. Oh, I forgot to mention the attack on Chain Reaction, a UK lesbian BDSM club, by a masked crowbar-wielding gang of radfems, allegedly associates of Sheila Jeffreys.

  20. I remember the "kill the porn people" statement as well....charming, isn't it? ALso something about how they shouldn't be able to breed either and whatnot. All very lovely, isn't it?

  21. This just in from the dim, airless alternative universe ruled by Demonista:

    "I could post on other idiots, but don't feel like dealing with pro-porners right now. but that will be an upcoming one. including ernest greene. hahahaha!

    (greene was complaining about me earlier. dude = paranoid and liar)"

    I guess she means to make this personal.

    I will eagerly await destruction by her awesome command of logic and sheer rhetorical brilliance.

    Come on, Ms. D., show us all how you can bring it.

  22. E:

    Ahem, note the link at the bottom of the post.

    However, I suspect truth and accuracy of what actually has been said about SKL, the movie, and everything else matters not in the least.

    But hey, I work nights and weekends, so that leaves me ALL damn day to respond...

  23. Ernest,

    Funny thing is, she was actually civil to me over at my LJ when we discussed the No-Porn Pledge. Kind of mind-boggling to me to see this person go from general civility to me to "Yeah, I hope people in Utopia get the right and power to kill" one of my friends.

    Pretty creepy.

  24. Ernest – it looks like you almost distracted her from the vital task of chewing out queer omnivores for not being vegan. (link)

    Its got to be hard being in the moral elite.

  25. Ren,

    Thanks for the support on your blog. Glad as always to have you in my corner.

    Agreed that the points already made about the movie and its various participants have pretty much covered the original topic, at least until the cinematic masterpiece itself finally shows its face in public, but the wrangling over it will probably go on forever.

    And when that turns ugly and personal, the resultant responses must pivot from the initial issues to the continuing problem of anti-sex-worker hate speech from those who claim to have some kind of agenda for positive social change.

    It's been my observation that smear tactics are rarely used in good causes, and therefore smear tactics need to be addressed, however unpleasant the prospect, to demonstrate the utter intellectual bankruptcy of the ideas in whose service they are employed.

  26. Gee, it looks like Demonista has put her much anticipated attack on all of us behind the "friends-only" wall at LJ. That way they can talk among themselves about how horrible we are and how righteous it is to beat, harm and kill us without risking any kind of a counter-argument.

    But of course she really did this to protect the delicate sensibilities of her supporters rather than because she wasn't up to answering a straight--ahead challenge. Sure, right, uh-huh.

    Guess she just couldn't bring it after all.

    If she wants to take on the patriarchy, she'll need more guts than she demonstrates with this tactical retreat.

    Too bad. I was really looking forward to finding out for myself why I'm an idiot/paranoid/liar.

    I notice she even buried the original post that started this exchange.

    But I have a feeling she will make good on her promise to eventually post all her smack in the open. I will be checking in over there regularly and if and when she emerges from hiding with her toxic nonsense, I will be still be ready.

    Experience has taught me that when anyone calls me out by name and deliberately incites others to join in, I must be ready to deal with further abuse from that person forever.

    And that's how long I'm prepared to wait for my chance to come back at whatever Demonista and her claque fling at me next.

    If she ever grows a spine to match her mouth.

  27. It has not been brung. Instead, it has been hidden away in its little cavelet.

    Which is actually pretty par for the course with these folks. They say wildly overreaching things, someone calls them on it, and it goes poof. Yet they continue their allegiance to the sort of ideology that prompts them to come out with these doozies in the first place.


    Personally, if that happened too many times to me, I'd begin to wonder why it was happening. Sometimes you really are walking the lonely road because it's better, and sometimes you're just full of shit.

  28. Trinity,

    "Sometimes you really are walking the lonely road because it's better, and sometimes you're just full of shit."

    Aphoristic wisdom worthy of the late Johnny Cash.

  29. Ernest: What can I say? I win at life.

  30. Oh dear, it looks like Demonista is on the warpath again. There's a thread up over at Trinity's blog in response.

    Among other things, she's got her knickers in a twist over a comment I made in the prior discussion thread on this blog:

    "How about this shit: "Okay, SKL, you hated your work and you hated your customers, but maybe a lot of that is your shit and not theirs." So it's HER fault her customers were assholes? Now who is blaming the victim? Now who can't tell between sex and rape? So it's just that she had a "bad attitude to her work"? And I was lying HOW?"

    Yep, the quote is from me, and I stand by those words.

    Saying that much of what SKL has to say is "about her shit" is not the same as saying that she's a liar. I think she's giving an entirely accurate assessment of how she came to see her customers, actually. (And I think that this is a good place to point out the simple fact that somebody can be truthful without being accurate – those are two different things.)

    Its simply a matter of understanding that there are multiple perspectives to a story like this. SKL is very clear that she came to consider an guy who would see her when she was stripping as an a priori asshole. And her reasons for being that defensive and that jaundiced are not entirely without basis. Does that mean that all of the customers in question are, in fact, assholes? Probably a lot of them are, but I'm willing to venture a lot of them aren't either. In other words, no, I think in many cases the problem wasn't the customers being some horrible skeevy perverts who need to be taken out and shot, its about SKL not liking the situation she was in and projecting it on her customers.

    And yeah, she did have a "bad attitude to her job", which is hardly a crime. Hell, so do I, which is why I'm trying to change jobs. And what makes me not completely sympathetic to SKL as "victim" is that she also fully acknowledges that she, too, had the option to change jobs, but the money she was making from stripping was simply too good.