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Home > The Glover Report > Op/Ed: Porn Occupies Everything

Op/Ed: Porn Occupies Everything

bmorenews by ian-2

By Cathy Brennan

Almost every woman I know has been sexually abused.

Let me repeat this. I am 41 years old, and I know lots of women – and almost every woman I know has been sexually exploited.

Usually, more than once.

Among these women, this anecdotal experience is common and discussed with a fatalistic, “that’s life” approach. It’s an accepted fact of female life that men grope, assault, or otherwise inappropriately touch us at some point in our lives. It’s a “normal” part of being a woman.

As a woman who loves women and as a mother of a daughter, this kills me.

But as a Progressive and Gay Activist, I’ve been expected to adopt the personal freedom approach to sexuality and sex. That is, if it feels good between consenting adults, do it. This is “Equality” and “Liberation.” Yay!

Let’s talk about Equality. Not that long ago, women of The Left gathered and spoke against sexual assault and exploitation, staging Take Back the Night marches and other events in a show of force against sexual violence. We united against this common enemy.

Now, more people of The Left fight sexual assault by denying its existence or recasting the problem as one of interpretation. This trend has taken recent shape through Occupy Wall Street, where Occupy spaces have provided fertile ground for “inappropriate touching” and rape, and through the porn-loving SlutWalk phenomenon.

Instead of prioritizing female safety, the Occupy Movement seems more interested in showing its disdain for law enforcement by adopting policies rejecting police intervention in cases of “alleged” sexual assault. Occupy Baltimore found itself with a public relations problem for its policies that discouraged sexual assault survivors from contacting police and seemed to invalidate concerns for female safety.

And it’s not just sexual assault. Let’s talk about Porn. Yes, it’s anathema to be “anti-porn” in the Gay Movement and on The Left, and in that spirit, enterprising gay men have produced Occupy My Throat, a film that no doubt will make some men very “happy” for five minutes.

Occupy My Throat? Really? Porn glorifies sexualized violence and encourages humans to separate intimacy from arousal. Occupation means possession, which can be nonconsensual. Is this Liberation? What are we fighting for?

Recently, I asked Sue Hyde, the director of NGLTF’s Creating Change, to provide me with the list of workshop topics for Creating Change 2012 – a “skills building conference” to “explore current issues in the LGBT community.” This is THE CONFERENCE to advance The Gay Agenda. Out of more than 200 topics, the word “lesbian” appears exactly once. And although you can attend sessions like “69 Ways to Use Saran Wrap: Queering Up Your Campus” or one of 14 workshops in the “Sexual Freedom” block of programming, not a single session seems to address sexual assault and abuse or the negative effects of Porn.

You mean there are NEGATIVE effects of Porn? Say it ain’t so!

Yes, Virginia, Porn Culture has negative effects. Andrea Dworkin said Porn normalizes the ways in which women are demeaned and attacked so that humiliations and insults towards us seem natural and inevitable. If you see something every day, it becomes normal. If you see women presented as sex objects, it becomes normal to view and treat women as sex objects. Normal.

But for Gay Activists, Occupiers and other Leftists, the party line is “Sex Positivism.” Sex Positivism, of course, means Porn Culture is great and lots of sex with lots of people is great. If you reject this line, you are a prude, anti-sex, “sex negative” or *gasp* MAN HATING! This reminds me of the “Feelies” in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, where dystopian leaders created movies to reach one’s sense of touch as well as sight and sound – perfect for Porn, and enough to keep the masses seemingly satisfied so that they didn’t notice that they actually had no power, agency or freedom.

So, what are we fighting for? Are we fighting for the right to get our rocks off with as many random strangers as possible? Are we fighting for the right to make and consume Porn?

If this is what The Left wants, we would do well to reject The Left and organize ourselves against Porn Culture. Fortunately, this IS happening. Many efforts – Stop Porn Culture and Men Can Stop Rape – challenge Porn Culture and works to eliminate sexual exploitation. We need more of this.

The Left’s Porn Problem has tortured me for years, as fellow Leftists have long chided me to support Porn as part of The Left’s love affair with freedom of expression (or something).

Bullshit. We gain no freedom from perpetuating a genre that creates a culture where sexual abuse of women is considered normal.

It’s enough. Porn lessons are not ones I want my daughter to learn.

Thanks to Elizabeth Hungerford for making me smarter.

You can find Cathy Brennan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ladybugspoliticalsniffdown

Tags: Almost every woman I know has been sexually abused, cathy brennan

What do you think?

1 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.

rahulshah
Dec 20, 2011 9:37am [ 1 ]

hiiiiiiiiiiiii

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