Tuesday, June 1, 2010

"Our Porn, Our Selves": The Beginning Of The Pro-Porn Pushback To "Stop Porn Culture"...Or Is It??

Much has been written here about the group Stop Porn Culture, and its efforts to use radical feminism as a base for its long-standing critique of porn as the ultimate danger to women.

Much has also been written here that there has been not much resistance from many progressives and sex-positive people to SPC's rhetoric.

It seems that those times are a'changing real quick.

After SPC announced that they were having their second Feminist Anti-Pornography Conference in middle July at Wheelock College (home of Gail Dines, chief propagandist for the antiporn feminist "Left"), some feminists and pro-porn women decided that enough was too much, and that there needed to be a swift response in defense of women's right to sexual media.

And one of them, sex blogger Violet Blue of Tiny Nibbles/Open Source Sex fame, decided to put talk to action. First, she decided to form a Facebook page dedicated to debunking the depth of antiporn rhetoric that SPC was shilling; and now she has created a blog to the same goals and objectives.

Both are titled "Our Porn, Our Selves", and dedicated to the legendary feminist anthem "Our Bodies, Our Selves", which served as the manifesto for women's reproductive and sexual autonomy during the 70's.

The "Our Porn, Ourselves" manifesto makes their case pretty explicit:

WE who declare that organizations such as Feminists Against Pornography do not speak for us.

WE who want the world to know that organizations such as Feminists Against Pornography do not represent feminists as a group.

WE who believe that every woman has the right and power to enjoy her sexuality as she decides.

WE who believe that to tell a woman how she may or may not enjoy her sexuality in any way is to deny that woman of her rights over her sexuality.

WE who state that any woman who attempts to control the way another woman enjoys, explores or expresses her sexuality is in fact creating a world that is harmful for all women.

WE who state that we are women, and we like pornography.

WE who state that as women, we are not harmed or threatened by the creation or viewing of pornography, and we wholly support the rights of any gender to view, create and enjoy pornography without judgment.

WE who want a world in which pornography is simply a sex toy enjoyed by all genders and sexual orientations, where women and men view porn within their own self-defined healthy sexuality, without being considered sick, twisted, wrong or mentally ill, and that men who enjoy pornography are no more likely to beat their wives, rape women or become peadophiles than anyone else in society.

WE hereby declare ourselves as adult women capable of making our own choices about our bodies and enjoyment of explicit visual stimulation for our sexual health and well-being.

WE hereby demand that our voices be heard.
The Facebook page has already in two days of existence gained over 500 followers, mostly women who are either unabashed consumers and producers of "feminist-" and "women-centered" porn or supporters of "alt[dot]porn" as well as their male allies and counterparts.

It would seem to be the breakthrough that everyone who is a sexual progressive would be cheering wildly.

So..why should there be any questions??  Why doesn't this blog, dedicated as it is to pro-porn activism (hey, it's in our freakin' TITLE!!!) not fall in head first toward Violet the Sex Blogger's crusade of resistance to the likes of Gail Dines??

Why??  Well, we can support them and cheer them on....but only from a slight distance. Here are our reasons why.

1) Violet Blue has, shall we say, a checkered history with what we call "the porn industry"...she supports wildly performers (Madison Young, Sasha Grey, Dana deArmond) who promote her own personal "sex positive" philosophy...but her attitudes towards more mainstream porn and towards those not quite behoven to her "San Francisco" values tend to range from lukewarm to outright hostile....as her continuing battles with AVN have shown.

2) Most of the supporters and biggest boosters of Our Porn, Ourselves happen to be either promoters of the kind of rebel porn (of the "porn for women" or "feminist porn" or "alt[dot]porn" variety) that was created as a counter to the supposed misogyny of "mainstream porn". That is certainly their right, and creating an alternative is certainly far better than censoring the porn they dislike....but still, it does pose a question of whether they would be willing to actively defend porn that didn't meet their exact standards.

In other words, would Violet and Ms. Naughty (another proud sponsor of this experiment) be as willing to defend as loudly the rights of more mainstream performers like Vicky Vette or Lisa Ann or Bree Olsen to make exactly the kind of porn that might squick them out???  And let us not get into Bang Bus or Anabolic or even -- gasp -- the kind of porn that folks like Ernest Greene and Renegade Evolution would call their personal pleasure??

3) And then there is the bitter taste that many performers still have against Violet the Sex Blogger for her infamous actions against the former Violet Blue the Porn Starlet (now No Name Jane) , her public breakup with Nina Hartley over philosophical differences, the feeling among some that Violet the Sex Blogger is just a bit egotisical and aims to hog the spotlight for herself. Well, that, and the popular feeling among mainstream porn performers and fans that "sex-positive" porn advocates are still just a bit too elitist and not accepting of the majority desires of most men towards the more intense and explicit content.

Also....Violet the Sex Blogger has been known to be an advocate of pilfering porn via Torrents and file-sharing, which is a major no-no for both industry producers and webmistresses/webmasters trying to make a buck and survive.

Nevertheless, in spite of all that against the messenger, the main core of the message she gives is right on point, and despite our own slight misgivings, I wholeheartedly support any effort to debunk and counter the sexual fascism of Dines and Company. Therefore, for the moment at least, count this blog in as a strong ally of their efforts....with some gritting of teeth, maybe, but an ally nevertheless.

(Of course, I speak mostly for myself here...Ernest and Ren and others may differ a bit...they can speak out here if they wish.)