Censoring The Speech

I know. The very word “censorship” is enough to send all liberals’ head into a centrifugal spin cycle.

The basic feminist argument to ban pornography goes along the lines of “it’s violent, misogynistic, degrading, racist, dehumanizing, objectifying, etc”. You can take your pick. The basic argument to not ban pornography, or indeed anything, goes along the lines of “free speech!!! *sob* *pout*”.
I’m gonna have my courtesy take a leave of absence for a line. Take your free speech and shove it! Thank you. Now normal, proper, writing may continue.

It’s an unfortunate and mean joke of destiny that anti-porn feminists get to be hit on the head with “free speech” twice, from both sides. See, free speech is all very peachy as long as the “wrong” kind of people ie: too lefty and too radical feminist, don’t get to put a word edgeways.
See, the laws that protect “free speech” are not needed anymore. The fact that today people aren’t killed for saying the “wrong” things isn’t a result of the killers turning into nice, fair beings, bur rather of people not saying anything at all. Power is so centralized, the system so deeply rooted that even if people came up with something to say against it, their words would have no impact. Yes, keep on talking, no one will take you seriously anyway. Here, have freedom of speech!
Furthermore, now what truly regulates what gets to be said and what doesn’t, are the market laws. If it sells, it’s out there. But if it doesn’t, no one will ever know of it. Worse still, if it gets in the way of the “big” selling, then by the Powers that Be it will be “hidden”. Or rather, it will be chopped into itty bitty pieces, put on a big bag and thrown at the river with a big rock tied to it. This is in practise just another form of censorship, only unofficial. I’m not going to continue with this particular argument because there’s more than one and more than two people out there whose entire belief system and/or religion is based on the market laws. They really believe they are the ones that will bring happiness, freedom and joy to human kind. So any attack to the market laws by pointing out that they are responsible for effectively censoring that speech which could open the eyes of millions to the true atrocity that is porn will fall on deaf, blind and mute ears.
Suffices to say that when we radical feminists dare raise our voices against pornography, we are ignored by even the most pro “free speech”-ers. I tried to find information on “Censorship” and “Andrea Dworkin” on the internet by typing those terms on my search engine. Guess what came out. Hint, it wasn’t “pro” censorship or “pro” Andrea Dworkin. Even on the internet, we are not the voice being heard when it comes to women and porn. But maybe this only happens in the real “mainstream” media. Maybe it is different in other publications who are protected by “free speech” but who also don’t get to be heard by anyone. I’m sorry to break it to you, but it isn’t. So as you can see, “free speech” is working very well: we don’t exist. Not amongst the left. And not even amongst our own ilk. If it is true that feminism is far from having any space on the mainstream culture, anti-porn feminists barely have any space on mainstream feminism. It doesn’t sell. It actually gets in the way of the selling. Shut up about it all.

But this is not the end of it, because “free speech” is not done in silencing us. The strongest argument against pornography is that it would attempt against it. That’s right. Never mind that there is no real “speech” in pornography safe for the constant spouting of virulent insults of the “whore-bitch-slut” kind. Never mind that were you to take the sex away from porn, it would undoubtedly constitute the most blatant example of “hate speech” ever conceived. And here, we have arrived to the key of the problem. That the laws that are already in place to protect minorities from purposeless violence masqueraded as speech, that is, the laws that say “from here on, this is hate speech” aren’t used when it comes to women. And this is partly related to the good old hypocritical “how can we tell what is violent, misogynistic, degrading, racist, dehumanizing, objectifying, etc and what isn’t”. I remember I asked a similar question in an Amnesty International meeting. How can we tell what is indeed “bad” and worthy of action from what isn’t? The answer was basically “we are dealing with the worst of the worst, there is no doubt that this is bad”. I wonder why the same argument isn’t valid when it comes to pornography. Is it because misogyny is universally accepted, while human rights (read MALE human rights) abuse isn’t? Is it because the violence and degradation are wrapped around sex and no one wants to tell other people what they are not supposed to do in bed?
The idea that we couldn’t possibly distinguish between the bad and the good, between porn and erotica, is entirely made of straw. And the question of “what constitutes what” tells us more about the person asking it than about porn itself. If people have become so used to violent, misogynistic, degrading, racist, dehumanizing, objectifying, etc imagery that they cannot differentiate it from what isn’t, then we have a problem. Indeed, this is precisely what anti-porn feminists have been saying all along. The problem is precisely that no one is horrified by this violent, misogynistic, degrading, racist, dehumanizing, objectifying, etc as they should. But I’m not allowed to say that. I would be inflicting my morality upon someone, self appointing myself as a moral authority. And the only people who can still do that with impunity are members of the church. In these days of moral relativism and “everything goes” no morality is any better than any other. In fact, having no morality is OK as well! Heck, I am surprised we still have any laws left with this kind of mentality. Enough already. Violence, misogyny, degradation, racism, dehumanization, objectification, they are all wrong and immoral, by themselves and more so when combined. And in porn, this not only is given a “pass” but is actually presented as essential to the epitome of male pleasure. Let’s pause and think about that again. Violence, misogyny, degradation, racism, dehumanization, objectification, is presented as inextricably linked to male pleasure. The logical conclusion of this is that men enjoy violence, misogyny, degradation, racism, dehumanization, objectification. Why they must, if they get off to it! If anything, what kind of monsters is this presenting men as? Worse still, what kind of monsters is this making men of?*

I’m gonna tell you here and now what I would happen if we banned pornography. In one sentence: it would move the ante up by a lot. What today is extreme and illegal would just disappear. Because what today is mainstream would be the new “illegal” and extreme. And what today is not porn, because we can get it in news agents, page 3 of national newspapers, front page of rubbish newspapers, back page of sports newspapers, etc would suddenly be the only fully legal masturbatory material available. The “soft core porn” of today would fill the void left by the “illegal” mainstream porn. (This, ironically, would benefit pornographers the most. They are already puzzled about how to increase the “titillation” (read violence and degradation) bar. They have gone so far there’s nowhere else to go. There are only so many ways you can fork a woman.) Clearly, this case scenario is far from depicting the end of the world and civilization as we know it. Men would still get their precious pictures; they’d only be less violence, misogyny, degradation, racism, dehumanization, objectification, etc in them. And notice I’ve said “less” and not “none”. The work still won’t be over. Because what we really want is for men to stop wanting to see the violence, misogyny, degradation, racism, dehumanization, objectification, etc, not just to have it less available. But it’s a step forward. It’s a good, long needed step forward towards ending all this needless pain.

I am sick and tired. I am sick and tired of fighting to open eyes to something that should be blatantly obvious. Ladies, it is blatantly obvious. And by goddess, pornography will go away, one way or the other. How can I be so sure? Simple. We are fighting for human dignity. And human dignity ALWAYS wins in the end. And because the right of someone to have their pleasure increased cannot trump the right of someone to NOT have their pain increased. End of story. And pornography causes pain. To the ones involved in making it, to the ones viewing it and to the ones who have to put up with the ones who view it.

*As the radical feminist already knows, mysandry is just the other side of misogyny. Men cannot treat women like dirt without becoming the “bad” people who are treating other human beings like dirt.

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7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    I appreciate your optimism. Wish I could honestly say “My child will see the abolition of degradation and humiliation of women via pornography in her lifetime” but its simply too far off. Attitudes toward women are progressively becoming worse as the objectification of our bodies becomes more popular. Have you ever brought up these issues with an average Joe? Its astonishing really- the majority of contemporary men refuse to see or are completely ignorant of the atrocities implicit in their favorite pass time.

  2. 2

    Mary Tracy9 said,

    “Have you ever brought up these issues with an average Joe? Its astonishing really- the majority of contemporary men refuse to see or are completely ignorant of the atrocities implicit in their favorite pass time.”

    Too much, Incendiary Lover, only too much. Not only the average Joes are blinded, but girls from my generation are as blinded as them or more. No one is allowed to express dissagreemnt over this. But I have to remain optimistic.

    At any rate, thanks for dropping by!

  3. 3

    Michelle said,

    I’m reading Dworkin’s Letters from a War Zone at the mo, and there are a number of interesting articles in there re. pornography, censorship and free speech. One of the key points she emphasises is that the notion of ‘free speech’ was created by men and therefore is maintained with their- not women’s- interests at heart. Therefore, that’s why feminists’ protesting of porn is labelled ‘censorship’ because it is preventing the ‘free speech’ of men, never mind the harm pornography does to women, that doesn’t matter because free speech wasn’t designed to protect women.

    There is a lot of acceptance amongst the general public of pornography- it’s seen as inevitable, something women choose to do, and men like looking at women, so where’s the harm etc? On the other hand, from the activism I’ve done, there are people out there- mainly women- who do express dissent around the issue of pornography. Anti-porn campaigns need to be visible, so that those people who object to the objectification of women can come on board.

  4. 4

    amphibious said,

    I can’t see why you think that banning the worst now currently legal would mean that the “milder” stuff would become the new porn.
    When has banning anything (drugs being the example par excellence) led to it becoming less harmful?
    I don’t know how why some/most/any men want to see (hear!) the porn now available with VERBAL violence but even more beyond my understanding is why ANY woman would give the time of day to a bloke that partakes.
    I tried to get some sensible comment from many sources on why the Krudd strip farrago actually gained him kudos, as a ‘real bloke rather than nerd/wimp…’ but sensible response came there none. Worse was the number of FEMALE talkback callers who echoed that view, ‘boys will be..etc’

  5. 5

    marytracy9 said,

    Thanks Michelle for bringing Andrea Dworkin to the discussion.

    “One of the key points she emphasises is that the notion of ‘free speech’ was created by men and therefore is maintained with their- not women’s- interests at heart.”

    As always, who better than her to explain what this is all about?

  6. 6

    pisaquaririse said,

    ” I remember I asked a similar question in an Amnesty International meeting. How can we tell what is indeed “bad” and worthy of action from what isn’t? The answer was basically “we are dealing with the worst of the worst, there is no doubt that this is bad”. I wonder why the same argument isn’t valid when it comes to pornography.”

    Exactly! The parameters being set for what’s undoubtedly “bad” shift everytime some joker wanks off to yet another woman getting clobbered for the sake of his d*ck.

    I did a piece on the impossible implications of “free speech”–the very phrase being totally self-defeating. I did not have guts to take it on from the policy stance–nice marytracy9!
    I hope you wouldn’t mind I linked to this in the near future…

  7. 7

    marytracy9 said,

    Hi pisaquaririse! Thanks for coming and of course you can link! I discovered your blog thanks to the Carnival Against Pornography and Prostitution and you are already on my feeds.

    YAY! I am discovering radical feminists and they are discovering me! *does mini happy dance*


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