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« GOP Presidential Debate | Main | Porn and Abortion: Two Things That People Don't Think Women Should Have the Right to Do »

May 05, 2007

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But she and the mullahs have something in common: They both seem to exempt the actual women actors from punishment, just the nasty men who pay them to act.

I also favor policies like that; for instance, I favor the Swedish approach to prostitution (which exempts prostitutes, female and male, from punishment, but punishes Johns). And, for that matter, if someone is being paid below the minimum wage, I favor punishing the employer for that but not the employee.

If you really think that this is akin to the Iranian government, then I don't think there's much room for reasonable discussion here.

The rest of your comment, I responded to in the comments of "Alas."

My point is that the foundation for anti-porn laws is paternalism, not feminism.

I think you are eliding the fact that some women in the porn industry are there because they are victims (and Garance is eliding the issue the other way). That's the reason liberals find porn work icky -- because they know that some of these women are victims. Some women make a reasoned decision to get involved in sex work, and some women have been fucked by Daddy or Uncle Leo since they were nine and believe that their only worth is what they can provide sexually. The latter are victims and it's not quite as paternalistic to want to protect victims as it is to protect adult women making reasoned decisions. There are still questions of fishing with too broad a net or whether you have to let adults make their own decisions regardless of how fucked-up they are, but that's a different question than the one you're arguing. And the comparison to Iran is absurd.

I think you are eliding the fact that some women in the porn industry are there because they are victims ...

I don't mean to do that. I am saying that treating such victims like children by taking away their legal rights to contract in one specific industry is strange. That is, it's an ineffective way to aid them. Instead of spending tax money to prosecute porn producers, spend it on counseling for victims of child sexual abuse.

There are still questions of fishing with too broad a net or whether you have to let adults make their own decisions regardless of how fucked-up they are, but that's a different question than the one you're arguing.

No, that's what I am arguing. This is not just too broad a net, it's the wrong net. It just so happens to be the net that the rightwing prefers, which should give people pause. Depriving adult women of rights to protect them is presumptively incorrect.

And the comparison to Iran is absurd.

Why? The urge to protect the dignity of (virginal) women is identical for religious conservatives (not Franke-Ruta) in America and Iran.

When you include the usual comments, do include Amanda Marcotte, who in Ezra Klein's comments basically accused me (and you and anyone making your argument) of being a rightwing fucktard that just wants to wank to teenagers.

The usual suspects like Marcotte, and Ampersand, et. al., have this strange notion that they are so right about everything, that anyone that dissents must be anti-feminism, and a misogynist, or just right-wing.

Why? The urge to protect the dignity of (virginal) women is identical for religious conservatives (not Franke-Ruta) in America and Iran.

But you were not talking about conservatives, you were talking about Franke-Ruta and "american liberals" who want to regulate (not outlaw) pornography. Presumably not punishable by death. You jumped from them to Iran; no go. It's not a new idea to regulate an industry for the protection of its workers. I believe the Netherlands sex industry is regulated.

I don't actually have an opinion on this topic, I can see both sides. I do see your point about depriving adult women of rights.

Neither conservatives nor Iranians want to preserve the dignity of women. It's control and domination that they're after.

You cannot possibly be arguing that women do not grow and become wiser from the ages of 18 to 21. The point of the proposal is that things a woman might be convinced to do when she is 18 may well appear extremely stupid to her when she turns 21 and is thinking more clearly about her long-term prospects.

And "expressive conduct" - are you serious? Do you seriously believe that appearing in a "Barely Legal" porn video for a couple of bucks is "expressive conduct" on par with, say, submitting an article to TNR?

I would submit two things to you: the vast majority of the 18-year old women who appear in pornography are indeed "fluffy-headed fools." Hell, men like them that way...

Franke-Ruta's proposal may well help at least some of these women avoid entanglement with a nearly insatiable market that obviously and clearly twists their social incentives away from a stable and loving relationship and/or a more fulfilling long-term career. I cannot imagine why you wouldn't view this as "pro-women" by any reasonable criteria.

You know, sometimes I get the idea that Liberals have a clinical inability to understand the impact of their policies. After liberalizing the divorce laws, declaring welfare dependency a "human right," promoting single parenthood as a lifestyle alternative, etc. you would think that you'd wake up to the massive suffering that you've inflicted. But no, you trot out the same obtuse, out of touch arguments about "expressive rights" that everyone but you knows is completely divorced from reality.

Second, Aquagirl makes the claim that "Neither conservatives nor Iranians want to preserve the dignity of women. It's control and domination that they're after." Oh, puleeze- can you say "Straw Man"? The 'Conservative' argument is quite straightforward: men *love* the sight of naked young women...and they'll pay, cheat, lie or steal to get their fill. Hell, I've had more than my share of fun with a camera and I'll be the first to admit that guys don't give two thoughts to "expressive conduct" - they're looking for a good time. Putting some social brakes on this kind of thing doesn't exert "control and domination" over women - it does the exact opposite: it controls the men. It reigns in their ability to induce women to strip it off for cash to meet this week's market demands. It gives women a chance to grow up a little and likely results in a wiser approach to life (even if they then turn around and strip it off for fun and profit).

Jeez, and here I thought you guys would be all for the imposition of some "market discipline."

Well, there you go. Thanks, Wildmonk, for making my point.

I agree with this Garance Franke-Ruta person. Anything that keeps young women from ruining their lives prematurely is a good thing.

For every Jenna Jameson there are thousands of burnt out drug addict veterans of porn who have lost all hope of every having a positive life. If someone could have talked some sense into them between the ages of 18 and 21, and helped them find alternatives, they would not be the sad and used up shells of that they are today.

Porn is not just free expression and artistic movie making. It is dehumanizing and psychologically damaging. You are constantly beaten down mentally and encouraged to go farther and be more extreme. To do somme of the extreme things, you need drugs for the physical and mental pain. Then you are trapped for as long as the "industry" can make a buck off of you. Once you are used up, you get kicked to the side of the road like an old dog.

Anything that can keep young women from that fate is worth trying.

Anything that can keep young women from that fate is worth trying.

Hell, yeah. I know! Women under 21 can be the property of their husbands, or their oldest male relative. That way, someone with a brain and a penis can make decisions for them.

Putting some social brakes on this kind of thing doesn't exert "control and domination" over women - it does the exact opposite: it controls the men. It reigns in their ability to induce women to strip it off for cash to meet this week's market demands.

That is the EXACT reason for forcing women to wear the Hijab in Islam. It's supposedly to protect the women from men. So how well is that going?

"O Prophet! Enjoin your wives, your daughters, and the wives of true believers to draw their cloaks over them [when they go out]. That is more proper, so that they may be distinguished and not be harassed."

Mithras, you just don't get it. When WE act like a bunch of moralizing buttinskies, it's totally different. See, we mean well and want to better women's lives by narrowing their choices down to the ones we agree with. Conservatives and Iranians just like to pester women because they're mean.

Wait, I just tripped over the room-elephant's trunk. There are people out there who still PAY for porn? Talk about the exploitation of youthful naivete.

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