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kroika's essay: Pornography and Sexual Health
September 14, 2006
5:27 pm
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Hi WD.

I have pulled out 12 of your statements to respond to as a beginning. They are numbered and each section has a dotted line dividing it from the next because otherwise I find a huge long post that takes up several screens to be overwhelming to deal with. So, here goes...

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1. I want to get it out of the way to make room for the thread addressing deeper issues underlying discussions about pornography.

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"get it out of the way" suggests that this discussion is trivial in itself. I see it as an integral part of a process. Feedback for you: if I were feeling very reactive right now, I could read your statement as saying you want to get my trivial paper out of the way to make room for your thread "addressing deeper issues" which by implication will not be trivial, will be deeper, and is a more worthy discussion. A separate and better one from this one. Not likely to enlist my enthusiastic participation in yours, after being put down about mine.

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2. Hey, if a woman says something makes her feel empowered and liberated, who gets to tell her she is wrong? Isn?t that patronizing or maybe even misogynistic?

Superficially, WD, this kind of statement makes you seem to be a great ally of women. One who upholds their right to speak for themselves. From that stance you seem to feel entitled to imply that I am being patronizing or misogynistic if I criticize (and I mean that in the intellectual, not moral, sense) practices engaged in by women whose degree of "health" may be questionable.

Certainly I would say that a male feminist should take a backseat to a female feminist who makes such criticisms, because the female feminist knows what it is like to be a woman, and no matter how supportive the male feminist is, he does not. But in general, I would say that someone who has "worked on their stuff" gets to suggesst that someone who has not, may be heading in a direction that is not healthy.

One resource that didn't make it onto the reference list of my paper is a book of essays called "Against Sadomasochism: A Radical Feminist Analysis", edited by Robin Ruth Linden, Darlene R. Pagano, Diana E. H. Russell, and Susan Leigh Star. It's an older book, from a time when the debate over lesbian identity with S/M practices was a very hot issue in the feminist community.

Here's a brief excerpt from one of the essays that speaks a bit to this question:

"There is much to be explored. However ... the idea that we should explore all possible areas of eroticism is incredible. Eroticism, like appetite, is malleable (as evidenced by the fact that some Lesbian sadists and masochists can no longer enjoy "vanilla" sex when once they did). And while repression, sexual and otherwise, can shape our erotic response, so can dominance or submission. Have we forgotten or failed to inform oursleves that some nazi men found the torture of Jews highly erotic? Have we forgotten or failed to inform ourselves that some nazi men experienced orgasm while watching Jews being beaten, tortured, mutilated, gassed, destroyed? It is just not true that all areas of eroticism should be explored by Lesbian-feminists or anyone else." (Sarah Lucia Hoagland, "Sadism, Masochism and Lesbian-Feminism", p. 155 .)

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3. I am not sure that being upset, shocked, disgusted, or triggered counts as being ?harmed.?

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4. The paper does not offer any evidence that rates of STI or unwanted pregnancy are higher for pornographic actresses than for the general population of women.

Valid point for further information-gathering.

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5. The paper then, bizarrely, describes the bloody results of a woman being raped by her husband. In the case of nonconsensual sexual behavior, the responsibility for and cause of harm is the rapist.

You refer to an excerpt from p. 117, of "Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality" by Dines et al. This is from part of a chapter which lists numerous anecdotes submitted by women to the Meese Commission. Dines et al.: "The commission was a forum for women to tell about their experiences with pornography. ... The report contains numerous accounts of how pornography is used to break down the resistance of children, especially girls, to sexual activity with adults. ... [also] a number of women described how they had been expected to perform specific acts in pornography."

The question of consensual versus non-consensual gets very slippery, especially when the partners are married and the activity escalates over a period of months or years. I say again that you (WD) are being disingenuous if you pretend not to understand that, and to say that despite the influence of pornography which the *woman* has identified as a causal factor of her husband insisting again and again on specific sexual acts he wants to replicate, all of a sudden a rape appears out of nowhere and the rapist is some kind of incomprehensible monster. Disingenuous, WD.

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6. There seems little doubt that there is such a thing as pornography addiction, and of course any addiction can impact a relationship. But that problem affects such a vanishingly small minority of men ...

You offer no figures. How many men are in this "vanishingly small minority"? I've seen some figures that I didn't quote in the paper. I can dig them out. But what have you got in mind? Your statement, offered with not even a ballpark figure, seems designed again to minimize and trivialize the issue.

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7. no support is offered for even a probabilistic causality between pornography and the harms described.

Valid point for further development in a re-write. Eaton's paper from University of Chicago explicates this in detail (28 pages of detail!) and certainly deserves a better representation than I gave it.

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8. Misogyny is listed as a possible harm caused by pornography, but no description of misogyny is offered?is it actually a significant problem? What is the scope of the problem? What evidence causally links pornography to that problem?

Actually I said that "Pornography is not the only source of misogyny in a culture saturated with the objectification of women's bodies" so I was identifying it as one factor in a multifactorial social condition. It was not the purpose of this paper to define or quantify the entire scope of misogyny, but I can see where answering your questions, if done succinctly, would strengthen the paper. Noted for the rewrite, which looks to be expanding to book form....

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9. Tobacco has not been claimed to have any benefit whatsoever. The benefits claimed by users of pornography are immediate, undeniable with easily understood mechanisms, and don?t require any discussion of ?probabilistic causality.?

Smokers and tobacco advertisers do claim benefits for tobacco use. The ones I can think of off the top of my head are stress reduction, weight control, and social bonding with other smokers, e.g. in a workplace. Don't forget that the tobacco industry was successful in supressing evidence of the harms of smoking for decades. That didn't mean the harms weren't there, or even that the evidence wasn't there. Just that the tobacco industry (like the porn industry) has deep pockets and was able to forestall threats to its profits.

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10. what seems to be Kroika?s own prejudice about what constitutes ?proper? sexual behavior. Anal sex, use of sex toys, external ejaculation, multiple penetrations, sadomasochism and bondage are all referred to with a sense of disgust or moral outrage, as if they are all male-centered behaviors that no proper woman would ever enjoy.

Please give quotes supporting what you claim as Kroika's prejudice, and quotes betraying disgust or moral outrage. I thought I was pretty clinical. And as with the original porn discussion, you have no idea what kroika did with her boyfriend, nor will you ever know.

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11. That attitude is oppressive, demeaning and degrading, even sexually abusive towards women (and men) who consider those activities to be an integral part of their sexual identity and happiness. A nurse who expresses that kind of judgmental tone is not going to be easily approachable by people who need to speak frankly about their sexual health.

Again, give direct quotes. You have just accused me of being oppressive, demeaning, degrading and sexually abusive and implied that I am a nurse who expresses a judgemental tone to my clients. I have more to say but am running out of time for now. to be continued...

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12. I really don?t expect women to fly around in leather jumpsuits shooting lightning out of their fingers. It?s just a movie.

See above. I'm out of time. But the discussion of the ability to distinguish between fantasy and reality is important. It's discussed in the video "A Drug Called Pornography" (see ref list) and is important.

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September 14, 2006
6:51 pm
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Hi Kroika,

I’ll try to break these responses up…

When I say get "it out of the way," I mean that I want to be personally done with analyzing the issues of harm vs benefit vs free speech vs...etc it is because the issue has been talked into the ground here, many times.

But discussions of pornography here have hinted at and then completely glossed over some issues that actually are at the core of what it means to be human. So yes, I would rather spend some time getting at more meaty issues than discussing how some people are offended by certain forms of entertainment.

Yes, I believe that there are other issues that are more important than the subject of entertainment.

September 14, 2006
6:55 pm
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The vanishingly small minority. Compared to say, abuse of tobacco or alcohol, or food, or television. Look at the death rate due to tobacco. Look at the health effects of alcohol. Look at the rate of childhood obesity in the United States.

I'm not sure I have ever met a man who never looked at a pornographic picture. Viewing of pornography by men, is, as they say, the norm.

But in 44 years, I have met only one man who ever claimed to have developed an "addiction" to pornography.

But I know lots and lots of people who have been addicted to tobacco, alcohol, television and food.

If you want to claim that pornography addiction is such a major problem, I think it is incumbent on you, the author, to produce some figures.

September 14, 2006
6:58 pm
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Yes, Kroika, if you criticize someone's sexual preferences, when those preferences are expressed in consensual ways, you are being oppressive, you are being sexually abusive. People have the right to their own sexual identities.

Kroika, I have no idea what your actual "predjudice" might be--but you definitely mentioned the toys, bondage etc...and what paper did you mention them in? They were included as "extreme," "pushing the envelope" type behaviors.

“The images … have been "pushing the envelope" for decades, … "[unprotected] anal sex and multiple penetration are common and ... virtually every sex scene ends with a man ejaculating onto a woman's body"

You say that as if it were a bad thing.

“Women have been asked to "put various objects in their vaginas, and to submit to a variety of sexual practices their partners discovered through pornography, including sadomasochism, bondage…”

Again, you say that as if it were a bad thing. And you act as if it were some kind of specifically male thing.

Hey, I've been asked to do all of those things. So what?

September 14, 2006
7:08 pm
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You certainly didn't have a section titled "the liberating joy of bondage" or something. But that is exactly how lots of women who are into that describe the experience--as joyful, as liberating.

A woman who likes bondage and who reads your paper is going to have a hard time having a frank discussion with you about sexuality.

To me, the whole bondage thing seems ridiculous, but I don't see that I have the right to tell those women who like it that they are "unhealthy."

I have in the past, identified as a sexual minority—that led me to check in on the “sex-positive” communities, in real life and online. One board I visit sometimes has quite a population of women who are really into to the whole bondage and discipline thing—some like being bound, others do the binding.

The remarkable thing about that community is how warm, and loving, and accepting and non-judgmental people there are. It is a remarkably mentally healthy group. And they definitely are keenly aware of what constitutes mutuality and consensuality. They aren’t crazy, they are just…different than me.

Some people are very different than me in how they express and enjoy their sexuality--and that has to be ok.

For example, these days, I don't care to look at pornography. Not because I'm asexual or a prude or something--it just seems like something from before I was mature. I'd rather talk about pornography than look at it. I'd rather have sex than look at pictures of people having sex. Actually, most of the time I'd rather read books about people flying around in jumsuits shooting lighting out of their fingertips at carnivorous aliens than have sex, but that's just me.

But a heck of a lot of women at the sex-pos sites are really into pornography—certainly more than I ever, ever was.

That’s their trip. They like it, and I don’t see that I have the right to tell those women “no, no no, you mustn't enjoy pornography!”

To be able to effectively work with people and their sexuality requires a very deliberate stance of neutrality and non-judgment.

September 14, 2006
7:10 pm
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And no, there isn't a slippery slope between consensual and non-consensual.

Couples have long running arguments about lots of things, including sex. Conflict, per se, is not a bad thing.

Couples definitely have to work out and negotiate what kind of things they do--and that has to be ok. "Asking for" what you want has to be ok. Asking someone to try something has to be ok. And saying “no” also has to be ok.

Here’s where we approach one of those deeper issues. How the heck do sexually incompatible people end up together so often?

September 14, 2006
7:31 pm
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"Smokers and tobacco advertisers do claim benefits for tobacco use. The ones I can think of off the top of my head are stress reduction, weight control, and social bonding with other smokers, e.g. in a workplace. "

Oh yeah, I forgot about that.

I take it back, tobacco does have some benefits.

September 14, 2006
9:53 pm
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{I've been asked to do all of those things }

You've been asked to put objects in your vagina? WD, I never knew.

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Yes, that's a bit flippant. But again, I had the impression that you considered yourself somewhat of a feminist and you know darn well that the imbalance of power is such that men being asked to do things by women generally do not suffer the same losses if they refuse.

Will get back later, that's just the one that jumped out at me as I scanned past. Tight schedule tonight. I shall return.

k.

September 15, 2006
5:51 am
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Hi Kroik, WD

I have read Kroika's essay a few times. I should say I find it informative and well researched. It is written in a style that is easy to read and I learned things that I didnt know.

WD I think it is really admirable that you would spend what seems to have been quite a while going through the paper and giving quite detailed feedback on it but your critique at times seems flawed.

You seem to suggest that Kroika was taking a moralistic stance and writing from a very judgemental, subjective viewpoint.

I have read this through and cannot see where that is evident. There may be implied judgements about the effects of coercive sex on women, but I cannot see where it could be suggested that Kroika 'disapproved' of any consensual sexual practices or preferences. I would be interested to see how you drew that conclusion.

I think the point was more that because men see images of women with objects pushed into their vaginas, anal penetration and multiple penetrations, some men expect the real women in their lives to perform in that way for them. And if that turns the woman off, as I asure you it would turn many off, the man becomes disatissfied and can make the woman feel inadequate.

A woman who is forced to comply just to 'keep the peace' may then view themselves as merely an object to satisfy the man's lust with no regard whatsoever for her own needs.

Of course I dont disagree that some women enjoy pornography. And I am largely uncomfortable with censorship. But I think you did not give credence to the paragraph on benefits. I didnt take from that paragraph that Kroika was discounting those views, just that she was looking at both sides of the coin.

To me a lot of it boils down to the meaning of the word 'pornography'

Is erotica pornography?

It is the subjegation and dehumanising of women that I took from this essay as being detrimental to women's health. And WD I do feel that much of the porn easily available does do that. It talks of women in derogatory language, refers to them as merely their body parts or as a receptacle for a man's ejaculation. It does not pay much attention to 'what is in it for the woman' Oh sure it might say stuff like, 'she loves it, she cant get enough of it. She wants it up the arse and in her c*nt and in her mouth all at the same time'

But that is a 'MAN's fantasy. It is taken from a man's perspective. It is the man who is claiming this. Maybe there are women who are titillated by it but it just seems to turn women into objects, there to be enjoyed in whichever way the man chooses.

And WD that IS detrimental to a woman's well being. I dont deny that it is the man who is doing it and not the porn per se. Of course if all men viewed erotica to get ideas about what a woman might enjoy it might be different. But it seems very geared up to the man depositing his 'stuff' somewhere over the woman with scant regard to what might turn a woman on or give her pleasure or orgasm. And to me that was the point that was being made. There are endless images of women performing oral sex for instance on men, but I truly have not seen endless images of men performing oral sex on women.

In the real world is that not something that would normally be reciprocal? Certainly most women would want it to be. I would want it to be. But it isnt seen as something that turns men on in the same way as having some 'hot chick' perform fellatio on them would

I took from the essay that nurses should be sensitive to the stress that this might place on women and that when making an assessment, staff should be aware that women may find it an issue too difficult to discuss.

And as you say of course women have the right to say no. We all do. In theory.

But the practice doesnt always reflect what we have the right to do.

A person who is being abused in other ways has their rights stripped away from them. They have often such a poor self image anyway that being objectified in this manner is just another thing they have to endure.

I know the problem lies with the abuser but anything that strengthens the idea that a man is dominant and superior and a woman subservient HAS to be detrimental to women. And I really think a lot of porn does just that.

And to me that was the point that was being made.

The other interesting thing for me to learn was that excessive masturbation and use of porn has an impact on some men's ability to be 'intimate' with their women. Again I am sure you will say that is down to the man and not the porn and I think you may be right but I need some time to reflect on this

I hope my ramblings have made sense. I suppose I just wanted to offer some feedback on what I took from the essay

love sleepless

September 15, 2006
5:00 pm
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Hi Sleepless,

Ok, if Kroika is not objecting per se to specific activities, I will stand corrected...maybe that could be clarified in the paper.

I got that conclusion because the paper made a point of mentionimg them in the context about the harmfulness of of porn. In talking about bondage for example, it was described as a "pushing the envelope" thing--and was talked about as something that a woman might be asked to participate in, with the implication that that would be harmful.

Kroika did not say "one of the benefits of pornography to women's health is that their partners may discover and suggest new activities--like bondage" Which is a legitimate position.

"I think the point was more that because men see images of women with objects pushed into their vaginas, anal penetration and multiple penetrations, some men expect the real women in their lives to perform in that way for them. And if that turns the woman off, as I asure you it would turn many off, the man becomes disatissfied and can make the woman feel inadequate."

Yes, some men are pricks.

A woman who is forced to comply just to 'keep the peace' may then view themselves as merely an object to satisfy the man's lust with no regard whatsoever for her own needs.

What we are talking about here is quality of relationships, and mental health not porn.

It is the "forced to comply just to keep the peace" angle I'm having problems with. In any relationship, it is natural for both parties to end up doing things that do not particuarly please them, but do please their partner. Like taking out the trash. Mowing the lawn. Cooking. Being monogamous. Oral sex. Etcetera. That can look like keeping the peace.

I think the answer here is about helping people learn to be honorable, skillful and assertive in relationships. And better sexuality education. Part of that would be ironing as much of what sex will be like as possible--before marriage.

You here complaints about that all the time--from men and women--that they end up feeling surprised and hurt and deprived in their sex lives after marriage.

Like, can you believe that there are some women who actually expect their husbands to perform oral sex on them? The poor guys get temporo-mandibular joint syndrome, arthritis in their necks...it's really sad. 🙂

Yes, I understand that some women are in abusive relationships. But in an abusive relationship the issue is abuse. It is the abuser that is harming the woman--not porn. Abusers are like that all by themselves. The solution is not to take away their porn but to get the heck away from them. Oh and maybe smack 'em upside the head with a frying pan.

Ok, let's talk about the stinking acts...

I agree that a film made by men for men is going to be targeted...at men, no surprise. I don't think that is a bad thing. I always preferred the couple's oriented stuff, myself. But I don't think the acts and fantasies depicted are exclusively the fantasies of men...in fact I know they aren't.

I am sure that there are some sex films involving domination--by both men and women. Those are specialty films for people who are into that stuff, like the "Men in Pain" series. Yikes what were they thinking.

For people who consider the dominance-submission thing to be an integral part of their sexual identities, those films would be a good thing.

I don't see porn somehow reaching into people's minds and making them think that men are superior and that women ought to be subservient. But in a free society we are going to hear messages that we do not like.

Some people really, truly believe that people of color, foreigners, Muslims, and women are morally, intellectually and spiritually inferior. Some believe that women ought to be subservient to males.
They have the right to express that opinion.

And those people are likely to seek out films that appeal to them. But films didnt make them that way; their PARENTS made them that way.

There is a whole genre of films dedicated to the ritual humilation and degradation of men. I'm sure there are some women that like those films. But for most of those women, that's just part of their sex-play, not their reall attitude about men.

I don't think that a typical woman wathing those films, or the "Men in Pain" films is going to be somehow convinced that men need to be degraded and dominated.

Oral sex...I've seen a heck of a lot of oral sex performed on women in films. I think it depends on the film. I remember the wife of one of my friends who objected to pornography on the basis that it contained too many scenes of oral sex being performed on women, which she personally considered to be a disgusting, repulsive, degrading act. She didn't object to oral sex performed on men. Go figure. Some women just don't like it.

Anal sex...seems like some men and some women like it, some don't. Some can't stand it, some gotta have it.

The external ejaculation thing...I have no idea what that is about--I think it is a historical rhetorical device to mark the end of a scene or something. As far as I know, most men do not find that to be particulalry arousing or attractive. I am amazed how many women like it though. I've always thought they just put that in the movies for the women viewers.

The use of objects and toys--I've never seen that in a movie--only in real life--always the woman's idea. Some women seem to pretty much require them.

The multiple penetration thing? As far as doing with multiple men--in films maybe that is to signify that the woman is so hot she wants and can satisfy several partners? I think that men's main fantasy is to be with a woman who is really into sex. In real life, I think most men would be too homophobic to even give it a try.

In real life though I have met women who were turned on by the idea, and women who have tried it and claimed "for a woman, it's the ultimate."

The multiple penetration with toys thing...again, never seen that one movies--only in real life--always the woman's idea and preference.

I think porn, like all media reflects what's already there.

If we want to talk about creating unrealistic ideas and standards for women's appearance and behavior though, mainstream TV and movies are a heck of a lot more pervasive and influential than porn, in my opinion.

If anything, the appearance of pornographic actors and actresses seems to follow the mainstream media, not the other way around. The whole trend from the Mae West model to the stick figure model, for example...

And oh my God...am I the only person who was scarred for life by reading True Romance Comics as a kid?

September 15, 2006
5:12 pm
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Kroika,

In all relationships one partner or the other may have more or less power in certain arenas--and power naturally flows back and forth and is shared in relationships.

In healthy relationships, there isn't a huge imbalance of power or misuse of power. In healthy relationships women say "no" all the time without suffering any particular "loss."

Abusive relationships are another story. In abusive relationships you have someone who wants to play fair matched with someone who thinks fairness is a joke. Man or woman, if you are in an abusive relationship you are going to suffer some losses. Just plain suffering is a given in abusive relationships.

And yeah, I see men suffering horrible losses for saying no.

Sex-wise, I think most men would complain that it is women who hold all the cards, who have all the power, who are the gatekeepers and that men are reduced to beggars at the gates, beggars in their own homes.

September 15, 2006
8:13 pm
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Ok WD I guess our experiences are very different. I have yet to meet a woman who was repelled at the thought of oral sex being performed on a woman but didnt mind it being depicted on a man. As you say...go figure.

In many areas I think we probably agree. I do believe that the problem lies with the abuser but I still believe the derogatory way that women are referred to in porn has an insidious effect that cultivates the view of women as objects.

I confess that right now my views are a bit personal because of my own experience. I have finally come to the conclusion that my husband is abusive and that is only one of the ways in which he shows that. I firmly believe that the problem lies with him and not the material but know what? I dont half wish he couldnt put in our home and my face so easily

love sleepless

September 15, 2006
8:21 pm
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sleepless,

Thank you for dropping by and sharing some of your thoughts and feelings. I know a bit of your story and I really appreciate your quiet but firm comments about the theory of "consent" versus the practice. You've added some important grounding in personal reality.

I also appreciate the effort you took to speak up. You are really strengthening those muscles! I think that's going to stand you in good stead in the times ahead.

take care, my dear. I'll talk to you more on the support side.

love, kroiks

September 15, 2006
8:57 pm
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WD,

At the risk of leaving you hanging, I'm only going to respond to one of the many points you've made above. When I started this thread I was in a break between courses; now I'm back in school, and my FTE has increased at work. Also, some personal and social demands are needing my attention. I'm feeling we are reaching the end of this thread anyway, unless anyone new wants to contribute. I've achieved my original goal, which was to clarify my own thinking. At this point I am into "fine tuning" as the basic territory is now staked out in my mind.

You and I clearly have differences that will not be resolved, and that's OK. If you do start a thread on the topic you mentioned, of underlying issues and "what it means to be human" I will certainly be reading, and may throw in 2 cents worth now and then. See you there.

Above, you wrote two related comments: "I see men suffering horrible losses for saying no," and "Sex-wise, I think most men would complain that it is women who hold all the cards, who have all the power, who are the gatekeepers and that men are reduced to beggars at the gates, beggars in their own homes."

If you wish to enumerate the horrible losses, please do. As for the second, I wonder if that really is true of most men, statistically? I recall Lundy Bancroft's deconstruction of the flawed thinking of men when they consider their entitlements. And that comes from patriarchy. When I spoke of the losses of women who say no, I was thinking in the concrete realm of losing their homes and their financial source of support if their husband divorces them for failing to fulfil what he considers their wifely duties.

I recognize that you are in an atypical situation, being the male survivor of a female DV perpetrator. And for that of course you deserve personal support and social justice. However, if you fail to acknowledge that men as a group enjoy significant and substantial privilege over women as a group, you and I do not have a starting point to discuss from.

I am interested in debate and discussion on the other points you raised, such as the relationship between porn and mainstream entertainment, and which drives which; and in general whether they both reflect society or influence society. But.... cannot engage (or indulge) in it at this time due to other commitments.

Take care and have a good weekend,

kroika

p.s. will put this here rather than in the embassy, since I'm here already and that's easier... Ever since SC called you a "geek do-gooder" I've tried to modify my initial, much less charitable impression of you. Not that I'm ready to be your new best friend - or you mine, I'm sure! But I do respect you for your attemtps to remonstrate with your country[wo/]men over US foreign policy. I realize I am pretty far to the left of most people I have encountered on this board, and I have chosen to mostly avoid comment. So good for you. I'm rootin' for ya on that one 🙂

k.

September 15, 2006
9:12 pm
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Kroika,

Well of course we are different in our viewpoints. In the end, I suspect that we pretty much want the same things and want similar things for the world.

I've heard of the imbalance of power between men and women--and I have seen situations with imbalanced power. Particulalry in lower income families, and native families.

But in an academic and scientific or even clinical environment I haven't seen it.

And in most of the families I've met, I haven't seen it.

Politically, women voters do outnumber male voters. What effect does that have on the balance of power. Where's my woman president? I voted for the Ferraro ticket. I'll probably even vote for Hillary, if she runs, even though she is fairly far to the right for my tastes. Unless the allegations of husband battering pan out, of course.

To me the main limits on women's power (anyone's actually) has to do with economic--and that has a lot to do with education. And that goes back to economics. College is hella expensive anymore.

Oh, and as a patient advocate I promise that women of color face challenges that someone like me never has to face. Does anyone remember the song "911 is a Joke?"

If it were up to me, public education would be mandatory at least up to the associate degree level, and fully funded up to the bachelors degree level at least.

September 15, 2006
9:55 pm
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Hi Kroikster,

Actually I like you just fine, the little bit I know you.

I just didn't like being accused of evil motives that weren't mine and evil deeds I didn't commit that went on over in the embassy. That connects to one of the "deeper issues about the human condition" thing I'm stewing on.

There's nothing wrong with spirited debates.

It would be a gray dull world if everyone agreed about everything.

Conflict can help us learn and grow and achieve new and better things.

Last note: My "personal" stake in the porn thread is two-fold.

1) I will be a lifetime getting over being born into a conservative Christian family in the Deep South in 1961.

As a young man, pornography helped me heal from ambient sexual abuse that was inflicted on me as a child. No question about it--it was empowering and liberating.

The sexual abuse I endured as an adult was much worse, and has reinforced for me the importance of accepting people and supporting their right to define and embrace and enjoy their unique sexual identities.

I am easily triggered by anything that reminds me of oppression of sexual identity and the human life force that is embodied, literally, in our expression of that identity. I am militantly "sex-positive."

2) In conversations about pornography, abuse is frequently either an explicit issue. And sometimes it is a hidden issue, lurking under the surface of the conversation, but never made explicit. I have a personal jihad against abuse, abusive relationships, and abusers. The main weapon in that war is education. Abusers have a zillion injurious tactics--yes, they can use pornography as a weapon. Abusers can turn anything into a weapon--even love.

So I don't like screwing around with peripherals when we are dealing with actual abuse and actual abusers.

Take Osama Bin Laden. I don't care about his religion. I don't care about his beard, or his turban. I do care about the fact that he is an abusive son of a bitch.

When the issue of abuse is raised, that is where I want to go--so it is frustrating to then have to talk and talk and talk about...external ejaculation or something.

September 15, 2006
10:03 pm
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hey Dadster....

thanks for explicating your personal stake. Sounds like a wrap to me. See you on the new thread.

k'ster (not to be confused with keister or however you spell what Archie Bunker was always telling Meathead to get off of)

September 16, 2006
6:51 am
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OK, I'm at work with a lull... and a minute to respond to this point that WD wrote to sleepless: "Some people really, truly believe that people of color, foreigners, Muslims, and women are morally, intellectually and spiritually inferior. Some believe that women ought to be subservient to males. They have the right to express that opinion."

WD, it was you who in the original porn thread decried hate speech so loudly and passionately, which is illegal in your country and mine (and possibly sleepless' although I'm not sure). The examples you give above are, if I'm not mistaken, examples of hate speech which in fact people do not have the right to express. Especially in a mass-produced way.

Yes, I think I will be participating in the new thread when you get it up and running. As long as I have enough lulls at work to do so.

yrs, k.

September 16, 2006
8:47 am
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lollipop3
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Kroika,

I just wanted to pop in to say congratulations on your "A" and that I think you're pretty cool 🙂

Love,
Lolli

September 16, 2006
9:31 am
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Aw, shucks *.* Thanks a bunch, Miss Lolli. You're sending me home from work with a big grin on my face.... how often does that happen?? 🙂

love, kroika

September 16, 2006
4:05 pm
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sleepless in uk
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Yeah the Kroik is Kooler than Kool :0)

September 16, 2006
4:15 pm
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Hi Kroika,

I'm in the USA.

Personally I am allowed to take issue with people's hate speech--in that I can tell them that I think they suck.

But we have the First Amendment here which protects pretty much all speech.

So there is nothing to prevent a person from explaining that it is obvious to them that women are the weaker sex, subject to regular hormone induced hysteria, vulnerable and should be protected, that they ought not be permitted to vote or drive or appear in public after sundown without a chaperone, ..etc., etc., and ought best to assume a submissive role in the world..

Just like people are allowed to express the opinion that we ought to "nuke" the Middle East as a way towards peace...

Notice that what actor Mel Gibson was charged for recently was drunk driving, NOT hate speech. It was perfectly legal for him to claim that Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world. Mistaken, tasteless, ridiculous, and hateful...but not illegal.

Hate speech is damn annoying, but it is something we have to put up with here. The first Amendment is just too valuable to give up.

September 16, 2006
6:21 pm
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Hi WD

My understanding is that your First Amendment is meant to protect political speech, and has been misused in the defense of various things, e.g. violent pornography. There are books about it. I won't get into it here, just wanted to let you know that I am acquainted with some of the critique of the way the US First Amendment has been bent to various causes it was never meant to be bent to.

k.

September 17, 2006
7:18 am
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bevdee
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Good morning.

The First Amendment is valuable, but there are some loopholes, aren't there? The 1st gives the Ku Klux Klan their freedom to spread their message.

bevdee

September 17, 2006
11:27 am
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Timely.

Large front page story this weekend in the Vancouver Sun newspaper, about child pornography and the police unit dedicated to investigating and prosecuting it. Officers interviewed express they are way understaffed to deal with the scope of the problem.

One officer "recalled the haunting sounds of abuse on a videotape where a father was sexually assaulting his 4-year-old daughter, and how they played over in her mind long after the initial viewing. 'She was crying and whimpering and he was ignoring her and continuing', she said."

"Because of the sights they regularly see, investigators at the Integrated Child Exploitation Unit tend not to use the term child pornography, preferring instead to refer to it as 'images of child sexual exploitation'. Every member interviewed said that at some point in their career, an image or a sound from a video -- or just the thought of a child waiting to be saved -- has kept them awake at night or haunted their dreams."

.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

[In Canada,] anyone who discovers child pornography on the internet can immediately report it to authorities at http://www.cybertip.ca. Since it was established in September 2002, the service has forwarded reports to law enforcement that have resulted in 20 arrests and the removal of as many as 1,100 websites.

A drop in the bucket... but an important drop. kroika

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