09 January 2008

MUST-READ Article on Porn and Rape

For those not intimately familiar with the Internet's wide collection of truly amazing anti-porn and anti-violence against women feminists, there is one name that you should all know. Her name is Biting Beaver. Hers was the first feminist blog I read, one that I enjoyed for many months until one day she stopped writing. The reason? A number of men began threatening and harrassing her, making death threats and stalking her, after she went through a hellacious ordeal to obtain an emergency contraceptive--an ordeal made so hellacious because several doctors in her region refused to fill her prescription. You read that right. There are still many places in the United States in which a doctor/pharmacist has the right to refuse to fill out a prescription based on religious or self-imposed ethical beliefs. Not coincidentally, I've never heard of a pharmacist refusing to fill a Viagra prescription, or one for eyedrops. If anybody doubts the extent to which abortion is a major issue in American politics--and BB's was not even a genuine case of abortion--this story and many others like it should erase those doubts.
Yet BB's writing lives on. The following is an excerpt from an amazing essay written on the subject of pornography and its intimate connection to violence against women. The full essay can be read here. It is, as the title suggest, must read material.

It confuses me that someone can place so much value on a titillating picture. That a living, breathing human being who is part of the same race as I am, the race of humankind, can so completely ignore the screams of the innocent for something as mundane as an orgasm. It falls beyond my capability to understand, I ask my partner all the time, "How? How can they know the numbers, how can they know the abuses and continue to watch? Continue to go to their favorite website, or eagerly rip open that new copy of Penthouse knowing that THAT publication has used children. Has photographed the RAPE of children? How?" And my voice cracks and my eyes grow cloudy as my mind seeks to grasp the mechanism by which they rationalize it.
It also occurs to me that, in these people, these people who continue to watch Pornography even after knowing the statistics there is a more insidious implication there. Something that is grotesque in its honesty.
In believing that there are Acceptable Losses in the making of Pornography (and they do believe it, they prove it each and every time they look at it) they are also, by default, saying that rape is also acceptable. How? Why? It's simple. Nobody denies that there are honest to goodness sex slaves that are used to make pornography. They may dance and say that it's not in their porn, they may build walls and insist that THEY don't fuel a demand for pornography when they look at it, but they won't deny that it exists. Even they can't deny this fact. In accepting the idea of sex-slavery in pornography they have accepted the idea of rape in Pornography. When they acknowledge that a 15 year old child starred in 77 movies by well known Pornographers they are admitting that there is rape involved on some level in the making of mainstream porn. And Tracy Lords' porn WAS mainstream porn. A 15 year old child is unable to legally consent to sex, therefore, it's rape.

1 comment:

C.K. said...

That's so incredibly raw, so powerful.

I am confused by the number of people who believe that their orgasm is more important than life.

I can't fathom it either. And I can't comprehend what happened to Biting Beaver. Who are these men who sought to make her life unlivable? How do they live with themselves knowing what they've done and how do we, as a culture live with the awful truths she speaks about in this article?