“Sex And Freedom”

Some years ago I found this magazine about to be chucked in the bin. I rescued it because the issue was about “Liberty”. I didn’t know the magazine at the time, though it turned out to be “The New Internationalist”, of November 1993. In it there was this article by Catherine Itzin, titled “Sex and Freedom” which goes through the basic arguments against pornography.

*WARNING* IT MAY BE TRIGGERING

To read the article:
1) click on the thumbnail; this will open the image in a new window.
2) place cursor over image and embiggen.

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Sixteen odd years, my friends. Sixteen years and things have only gotten worse. That’s the thing about misogyny; it doesn’t stop itself.
Yesterday, Jessica Valenti over at Feministing was getting her knickers in a bunch over the release of a misogynist movie whose plot seems to revolve around a misogynistic “sexual” practise. (rape, more like). I felt like crying out, “why Jessica, dawlin’, where do you think this little gem comes from?”. I was too busy booking my plane ticket to Manchester (YAY!) to post such a comment, which probably saved me from high blood pressure and bloggy embarrassment. The comments that were posted pretty much agreed that the “knickers in a bunch reaction” was the appropriate one. Though as is always the case when this topic is brought up, it didn’t take long for the “anti-censorship” bunk to appear.
I advocate censorship. I advocate a LOT of censorship. Mind you, in this particular case, I’d go further and advocate sticking dynamite up the arsehole of whoever came up with this arseholishness. But I would understand it if anyone thought this might be going a bit too far.
There are laws against speech that incites racial hatred, and I don’t hear people going “eek, the censorshipz!” about them. If you dare to deny the Holocaust in Germany, you will most likely get kicked in the butt. Speech has limits. Speech SHOULD be limited. No one has a right to hurt others, or to incite hurting of others. And this is exactly what this is about.
I wouldn’t press on this issue so much if it wasn’t because I think this will be the biggest challenge the next generation of feminists will have to face. Otherwise misogyny will keep advancing and becoming more acceptable, eroding the (few) rights we have won.

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9 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Polly Styrene said,

    I don’t know why they just don’t change the name of feministing to cocksucking.

  2. 2

    marytracy9 said,

    What I found amazing is how close they can get to condemning the effects of pr0n without actually mentioning it.

  3. 3

    atheistwoman said,

    Congrats on yer move MT.

    Polly I concur.

    And that article from the bin would never have been published today, especially not by the Manists, sorry i mean cocksuckers, I mean Libfems.
    Though I think they are wrong that third category, erotica, is harmless, not in this world.

  4. 4

    Polly Styrene said,

    I was discussing something amusing yesterday about this irritating woman with a mutual acquaintance. When we compared the position of trafficked women to slavery this woman was ‘oh no, you can’t say that, it’s not the same at all, slavery was legal and everyone supported it’ (the second premise is not true at all actually as we pointed out to her). But this woman thinks BDSM is great because it’s ‘sex positive’.

    Doh?

  5. 5

    marytracy9 said,

    Thanks, atheistwoman.

    I don’t really know what “The New Internationalist” publishes today, so I can’t comment.
    With respect to erotica, I don’t think it’s “harmless” either. But if we have it so hard when we try to show the harms caused by even the most vicious kinds of pr0n, I’d say fat chance we have of showen the comparatively smaller damage caused by erotica. At any rate, things are so, so, SO fricking bad that I’d settle for any ban on pr0n, even if it left erotica out.

  6. 6

    marytracy9 said,

    I am so tired of this “sex positive” bunk which basically claims that the “end” justifies the means.

    Also, does it really matter whether something is illegal or not when a) the ones in charge of enforcing the law don’t do anything about it and b) it’s socially acceptable anyways?

  7. 7

    Lara said,

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: pr0nography is HATE SPEECH.
    Honestly, I would refrain from calling any women, let alone LibFems, “cocksuckers.” It’s a misogynist insult and I think it defeats the purpose.

    “There are laws against speech that incites racial hatred, and I don’t hear people going “eek, the censorshipz!” about them.”

    Actually, white folks have been doing this a lot more recently, at least here in the U.S. Don Imus situation, anyone? Shitloads of white people screaming “reverse racism” and “censorship” whenever folks of color try to speak out against racist hate speech. What’s so unfortunate too is that the First Amendment in the U.S., and the principle of free speech that comes along with it, used to be used more nobly, for its original purpose, to allow oppressed groups to speak out and have a voice. Now it seems like powerful groups such as white males are taking advantage of the First Amendment to incite hatred and hierarchy, while tabooing any attempt to analyze, question, or deconstruct their abuse of free speech.
    Mary, if you’re interested in reading or learning more about pr0nography, racism, hate speech, and the First Amendment, I highly recommend reading Richard Delgado and Stefancic’s “Must We Defend Nazis?”. It’s an excellent book that tackles a lot of complicated issues, and addresses pr0nography as hate speech.

  8. 8

    marytracy9 said,

    Hi Lara, thanks for commenting.

    “white folks have been doing this a lot more recently, at least here in the U.S.”

    I don’t think they would even dare do it here in Europe. They’d be burned alive.

    I have actually heard of that book, Lara. It’s in my “big pile of books I have to read someday”. I didn’t know it was on Google books. Thanks for linking to it!

  9. 9

    pisaquaririse said,

    My sister recently used your site (cited!) for a feminist presentation to her entire womens studies department. And I thought you should know :).


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