Sj7g09's Blog

Archive for May 2010

Overall, a pretty uninteresting assessment. They looked at my work more than I thought they would, but were, of course, put off by the fact that there’s a lot of writing. I’m not visual enough – I need to give equal consideration to the visual element of ideas. I know I should listen, I know, but that doesnt stop me from not wanting to. I’ve forgotten why I wanted to be an artist. Painting is uninteresting…. Why did I choose painting for next year? Oh yes, because I couldn’t be held accountable for my potentially murderous actions if I did New Media…

I was congratulated on my exhibition piece, and told that I was brave. I think it’s about the only thing that they liked about my work, and that was thrown together in a couple of days. It’s like going back to GCSE art – you want to do something with photography, but your teachers demand that before settling on the idea that you want to do, you must pursue every other alternative possible before scrapping them all because they’re crap and don’t work. Apparently I should have looked into painting, using video monitors, etc. Yes, I had time for that in the 4 days that I was aware of the exhibition. I thought it was best not to bring that up.

I tentatively mentioned my involvement in the porn industry, coyly throwing in that that line of research began when a member of staff began making unfounded statements about the industry, and that I felt he couldn’t really talk about it without having experienced it. So I did, and now I have a trump card in arguments, if it weren’t for that blasted ‘internalisation’….. I thought it was hilarious that they wanted me to fill in health & safety forms for doing this. They were pussyfooting around it, not wanting to say anything specific, just “your work”. “Uhm, I’m not exactly sure what about my work needs a health and safety form…” “Well, err… you said that you were… err… researching the porn industry.”

“Just bear in mind that we have a duty of care towards you, and you have a duty of care towards yourself. That industry isn’t without crime.” I thought better of saying “Find me any industry without crime.” I couldnt help smiling to myself though – it’s going to be a fun form to fill in. “Don’t worry, there’s no penetration!”

I’ll be amazed if I do anything more visual… it just doesnt interest me. I want to make some videos based around the censorship of violence versus the censorship of sexual violence, but I have no experience making videos. I dont want to do things in a technical way. I see no point in creating a polished piece that looks really nice, when I can explore ideas instead, and not worry over whether the visuals are finished or done well. I have no interest whatsoever in technical aspects of art because it doesnt mean anything.

I dont have any pretty pictures to break up the paragraphs.

Posted on: May 17, 2010

There’s not much point in me writing this for my actual work, seeing as the assessment is today (and no one reads my work anyway), but I have nothing better to do.

So, more complaints about the government and their nonsensical law-making. Although, we have a new government now – I’m sure they’ll be better. I can put my full trust in a government that puts a notorious homophobe/transphobe in the position of equality minister, because the other candidate was supposedly more homophobic. Off to a good start.

I suppose I just wanted to revisit a few laws that I’ve probably already talked about, but whenever I read more about them, I’m always more astonished and disgusted than before.

“The Dangerous Cartoons Act” serves to criminalise people for watching pornographic material of children, despite that the children in these cases aren’t real, instead they are fictional characters from animation or computer-generated images. This offense exists simply because the government see this material as encouraging ‘inappropriate’ views of children. I didn’t realise that having an inappropriate view amounted to prison time – I’ll have to be much more careful now we’re living in 1984. The government accepts that this law isn’t based on any evidence, and that it infringes on freedom of expression, but argues that freedom of expression isn’t an absolute right, and must be weighed against other rights. As with the Extreme Pornography Act, it’s an offense designed to prosecute people for something bigger – there isn’t enough evidence to get the defendant on real child abuse, or possession of child pornography, but they do have some drawings of figures that could be children, arrest them for that instead. If I’m reading the consultation papers correctly (which I sincerely hope I’m not), it seems that the defense for not doing any research into the effects of this sort of image is that it would be ‘unethical’, because it could potentially put children at risk of harm. Not that they’d already decided what the results of the study would be or anything.

There have also been similar proposals put forward to make animated or computer-generated images of rape or sexual abuse illegal. Fortunately the proposal to create a new offense of ‘extreme pornographic writing’ was withdrawn, but it’s only a matter of time.

Finally, something to get angry about. It’s a petty thing, I’ll admit, but assessment time is nearing, and anything to feel even a little contempt for is welcome.

So, I hadn’t heard of the student ‘zine’ at another nearby university, but found a copy of the first issue on a table in the learning cafe – where I definitely don’t print out all of my work because my campus is terrible. Inside was, shockingly, an article that interested me, because it was about ‘rape presented in video games’, which was also it’s rather unoriginal, if informative, title. At first I was even more shocked, as I thought it might even be a defense of such games, something that even the broadsheets won’t dare to do, but, of course, no.

I feel dirty criticising something so blatantly, because generally the response is something along the lines of “well, let’s see you do any better”, but I’m not claiming to be a writer. Writers get their work pulled to pieces – I’d much rather be the critic in the relationship. Obviously I’m going to try to focus more on the content than its presentation, because if I focus on the actual writing, I will come across as gratuitously cruel. The only thing that wins it points in its form are the colourful Mario background pictures, which serve to distract from quite how little it has to say, and how badly wordedly it says it.

All credit from the work goes squarely to “Maghatter”, and particularly to a Pat Ashe who is credited at the beginning of the ‘zine’ – I’d hate to be seen as plagiarising….

“A game where the sole purpose of the main character is to murder and rape women may sound like a grotesque idea solely designed to either piss people off or to give very creepy and wrong men who should probably be locked up some kinky kicks.”

A good start here, really looking beyond stereotyping of sexual minorities, to ask questions of why men – for it is invariably men – who like rape play are ‘creepy’ and ‘wrong’ and ‘should probably be locked up’. For what, pray tell? For fantasising about something that most people find distasteful or a bit icky? It seems like people have been swept up in the idea that fantasising about something is akin to doing it – that it expresses a desire to do it, and that something which is essentially a thought crime should be viewed as a real crime as a preventative measure.

“The inevitable backlash that this game has caused has opened a new debate in the war over whether a game can be considered ‘art’ and if the label of ‘art’ is being used to defend games which otherwise are just wrong.”

“….otherwise are just wrong”. I wish I was joking. How can anything be ‘just wrong’? Nothing is ‘just wrong’ – it’s all based on social context, and what a particular society of a particular time deem to be acceptable. Nothing is inherently wrong. This article doesn’t even give a reason for it being ‘wrong’ – not even the fallback response that it encourages violence towards women. Nothing. It’s “just wrong.”

“It treats rape as another stepping-stone in a game, much like another goomba to kill in a Mario game. It trivialises one of the worst things a human can do to another human.”

I have not played this game (which is apparently called “Edmund”, if any of you sicko perverts that read my blog are interested) so can’t comment on specifics, only the idea of representations of rape in video games, media, etc. I’d be interested to know what particularly about this game trivialises rape, and also why that’s a bad thing. Yes, real rape is a bad thing, but this isn’t real rape, it’s a depiction of rape, just like video games have depictions of murder. Do those video games trivialise murder? I’m sure some would argue that they do, but, on the whole, society seems much more ok with violence than it does with sexual violence, and I think that a big part of this is the reluctance, still, to see fictional violence enacted towards a woman. Personally, I don’t see a problem with ‘trivialising’ rape, just as I don’t see the problem with trivialising anything in fiction – I dont believe that it has any effect on peoples’ behaviours, because I think that even if something can have an effect on someone’s attitudes towards fantasy, this change does not have a bearing on their attitudes or behaviours in reality. This trivialisation of rape seems to be an issue at the moment, for example with Amanda Palmer’s song and music video “Oasis” being banned in the UK for ‘trivialising rape’, but really it seems that ‘trivialising’ rape can just be treating rape in a way that isn’t expected. Rape must be reacted to in a certain way, and anything outside of those parameters isn’t preserving its sacred status as above trivialisation, humour, eroticism.

“Now Braid has two main interpretations of the ending, one being that you raped the princess and the other eing that she is the atom bomb and you are a scientist driven by the guilt of working on such a project. Either of these explanations are fine because it is not what you did that is important but the way it is presented to the player. You do not commit the acts but they are explicit to you and integral to the story of the game, whereas in Edmund, you hurt these women for no reason until you reach the end of the game where the game suddenly says that you did it because of whatever reason and they expect you to react in the same way that Braid makes you react where you are searching for why the protagonist committed whatever crime he has committed.”

And breathe. Ok, I’ll be honest, I’m finding it hard to decipher this. I’ve missed a paragraph out because it’s all story-telling, but still I dont even know where to start on this. I suppose, firstly, a thank you to the writer for letting me know that those two interpretations of the game are ‘fine’ – I’ll be sure to store that information in my moral compass. I like that “Braid” is defended because the criminal acts for whatever crime what he committed are integral to the story-line…. Maybe it’s just me, but it sounds like for a game that has already been described as having its “sole purpose” to rape and murder women, the rape murder might also be slightly integral to the story-line. There’s also the assumption that the makers of “Edmund” expect us to “react in the same way that Braid makes you react” – I have never played either of these games, so this may be perfectly accurate, but I’d like to raise the point that perhaps these 2 games were created for different reasons, and are designed to provoke different responses. If I’m honest, I can’t think of why a game that is solely to do with the raping and murdering of (fictional!!) women would be aimed at anyone that isn’t into rape fantasy and such – otherwise, it’s just bad marketing. It sounds like a game that I can only assume to be erotic would have a very different target audience and purpose to a game that I loosely gather is about a princess, who may or may not be an atom bomb, who you, Tim, (see, I am listening) may or may not have raped, which you might or might not have done because you’re an evil scientist working for an evil corporation and…. I’m sorry, what the fuck? It’s pretty epic story-telling for a game, which leads me to think that it’s not for the sicko perves in the target audience of game 1. Why would you be expected to react in the same way to rapeymurder as to princessatombombpossiblyrape? It seems like the only common factor is a desire to apologise and excuse for behaviour that’s in a game, because writers feel that they have to, because it’s just not allowed to have subject matter like rape in a video game.

“The problem with games like Edmund is not in the issues they are trying to present but in the way they are presented to the audience, Braid and games like Passage (which explores the relationships in an interesting way, well worth playing) present their problems and issues in a way that draws the player into a world and that is key when making games, the sense of immersion is what makes the player care about whatever you are trying to say and games like Edmund just end up revolting the player and destroying any solid foundations of argument they might have had.”

So, basically, games are free to present rape, so long as they do it in such a way that is what we expect. Certainly no eroticism, then. It’s basically the BBFC guidelines for presenting rape in films – it’s ok, so long as it’s educational, and doesn’t show it as glorified, or pleasurable, or erotic. It’s ideas like this that mean that media can’t break the boundaries that have been set based around good taste, respect, protecting people from (potential) harm or offense. There’s the automatic assumption that a game that does not conform to the set expectations on how rape is allowed to be presented will revolt people. Personally, I’m not revolted by fictional rape, just like I’m not ‘revolted’ by fictional anything, because it’s fiction. I’m having to try to guess what is meant by the last phrase, “destroying any solid arguments they might have had.” because the article doesn’t make it clear, but am guessing that it’s taking the stance that game makers need a solid justification for creating something that might offend people. If freedom of expression means anything, people don’t need a ‘good reason’ to create something, despite the messages even from my university that to create something offensive you must be able to justify it. Why? It’s great if you can justify it under pretention and cultural capital, but, through that, freedom of expression is just something that can be used by people who already have the societal favour to air their views, while others are persecuted for their deviations. How nice it would be if people could accept that rape games exist, people may play them for sexual pleasure, and that even if they don’t approve of it, that doesn’t mean that there is anything ‘wrong’ with the material or the people who use it.

Edit: I just found the game “Edmund”, and my only response can be an awe-struck, jaw-dropped “Are you fucking kidding me?” It’s got SNES graphics, the only tell of violence is the hentai-girl voice-acting. I know the article said independent, but I didn’t realise it was that independent. Jesus. It looks like a bedroom programmer. I do hear from my boyfriend that it’s a cruel game. Merciless. But that’s more difficulty curve than seeing lego-brick women getting slapped about a bit. It does mean that I have to take back some of my assumptions on people getting sexual pleasure from this – I don’t see how it’s particularly possible with the graphics as they are. It is a work of art if this manages to actually get people off….

guest2 : Do you really enjoy doing this? Don’t you want a better job?
SQ : Guest2, yes, I enjoy doing this. What would a ‘better job’ be?
guest2 : Something where you don’t have to become an object. Something people can respect you for regardless. As soon as you start to get old –
SQ : – But I have no problem with being an object. I feel that people here respect me, just not in the conventional way.
guest2 : – Everyone will forget you
SQ : Being an object here doesn’t make me an object anywhere else in the rest of my life. Interesting discussion though.
guest2 : If you enjoy this then what’s the money for?
SQ : How do you mean?
guest2 : Why are you doing this for money if you enjoy it?
SQ : Because the money is useful, and I wouldn’t have the means to do this if I didn’t work for a site like this – how else would I get customers?
guest2 : By doing a different job.
SQ : Why would I want a different job? I don’t have the time for a different job… And in the recession, different jobs are hard to find.
guest2 : Exactly.
SQ : Exactly what?
guest2 : Better jobs are hard to find so girls have to resort to this. So I’m saying – wouldn’t you rather have a better job?
SQ : You’re just reading this the way you already had set out in your mind. I’m not resorting to this, this is a totally free choice.
guest2 : Yes, but situation has lead you to believe its a good one.
SQ : I don’t think there is any job better than this one, to be honest…. There are ones that are more money, but why ‘better’? What situation has lead me to think it’s good?
guest2 : The fact that jobs are hard to find.
SQ : If I weren’t doing this job, I would be doing no job, and that’s not really a problem either.
guest2 : I know girls like to have attention, but most guys are here just because hormones drive them to, not because they care.
SQ : I know that guys may not care about me. It’s a service, I don’t expect them to care. We have fun, that’s it. I care about my clients in the way that I would care about any acquaintance, but I don’t expect them to love me or anything…
guest2 : Well, in my line of work I care about those I come in contact with. Seems like a better system.
SQ : What do you work as?
guest2 : I’m a supervisor at a business.
SQ: Is that a better job than mine?
guest2 : Yes, because I’m not an object.
SQ : Why is it a problem to be an object if you’re consenting to it and it’s a fantasy?
guest2 : It drives men to become more selfish and women to have a unrealistic expectation put on them.
SQ : Personally, I don’t believe that. It’s all theory. I don’t see why this would make men selfish, nor why it would put pressure on women. I’m not a glamour model or anything, I’m just another woman who could potentially be pressurised by the media…. I’m exactly the same.
guest2 : It’ll filter out lots of losers.
SQ : What will…? I’m curious as to whether you’ve had this conversation with other girls.
guest2 : Umm, a couple. I just asked if they would rather have a better job…
SQ : What did they say?
guest2 : …And there’s too much conversation for them to pay attention. Every other dude in the room is too busy telling them to put something somewhere…
SQ : I wanted to ask them that sort of question when I first found this site, but decided it would be better for me to find out myself.
guest2 : Well, when there are lots of guys in a room they really can’t have a good chance to get serious. They have to maintain that sexy image, or they leave…
SQ : Yes, it can be like that. I find it’s more busy and hectic in the nude category.
guest2 : …So if they even get the question, the girls just say “I enjoy this” and then move on to answer something else.
SQ : – Or maybe they do enjoy it. I don’t know, I’m not them, but there’s always the assumption that we’re lying or unaware of how we actually feel.
guest2 : Most people are liars, so I’ll take everything with a grain of salt. But I’m sure some girls do…They are just really sexed up more than normal and this is how it manifests.
SQ : What do you mean?
guest2 : I’m sure some girls enjoy having guys talk dirty and ask them to do dirty things and could do that all day long.
SQ : Yeah, it can be fun. I certainly enjoy it. If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t be here.
guest2 : Do you have a boyfriend?
SQ : No, why?
guest2 : If you did, do you think he’d appreciate you doing this?
SQ : I don’t think that a boyfriend should mind me doing something like this. It wouldn’t be something he should really have a say over.
guest2 : Come on, be realistic.
SQ : it’s like, my father would hate me doing this – that doesn’t mean that it’s something I shouldn’t be doing, it means he has a bad, over-protective attitude.
guest2: If your boyfriend cared for you more than anybody else in the world…would you want him sharing parts of him to random strangers for cash?
SQ : I don’t see the problem in it, to be honest. It’s not real – it’s just a representation. It isn’t like having sex with someone.
guest2 : You don’t think it goes beyond, like, into the emotional?
SQ : Not really. I enjoy the time I spend with the people who private with me, but I wouldn’t class it as emotional.
guest2 : How long have you been doing this?
SQ : A couple of months.
guest2 : So there’s a chance you still don’t know what effect it could have on you or your ‘customers’.
SQ : I don’t think that’s the case. I don’t see why this would have any effect on me, other than having a new experience and knowing how I feel about it, rather than just guessing.
guest2 : I’m not blaming you –
SQ : – I wouldn’t mind if you were, because I don’t think there’s any blame to assign.
guest2 : – I understand why people do this.
SQ : Why do you think people do this?

Posted on: May 6, 2010

“There is a real danger that impressionable young adults will be forced into these amoral, degrading and inappropriate jobs. “

“There are grades of work in the sex industry, but appearing on an internet web camera on a sex site is ultimately indistinguishable from prostitution.”

For part of my research into the male gaze, pornography, feminism, etc. I decided that it was important to get first-hand experience. I don’t like having to base my opinions on what others tell me, or make assumptions where I don’t have knowledge, so I got a job that would technically be classed under the ‘sex industry’ umbrella. Personally, I don’t see it that way. I don’t think it’s pornography, and I don’t think it’s prostitution, but other people see it as either or both. It’s subjective.

Here’s the point where I have to sincerely hope that I haven’t mistakenly given out the link to this blog to my parents or their friends. I did think about the decision to go into this a lot beforehand, but really I don’t think it required a lot of consideration. I think part of why I took so long deciding was fear, and that’s a stupid reason to not do something (well, most of the time.) I think despite the opinions I already had on the sex industry, I did have a lot of negative preconceptions – I assumed that people would be abusive towards me, and that I would have to be somewhat thick-skinned to deal with this barrage of abuse that I was expecting.

I haven’t actually mentioned what I do yet, have I? I started working as a webcam performer a few months ago. At first I was just going to talk to other models there to find out what they thought of their job, then that I would just find out what sort of bureaucracy one had to go through in order to be this sort of model, then that I’d just create the profile, then that I’d just talk to the members of such sites… Then I’d ended up making nearly $200 for not very many hours of work at all, all from my own home, doing something that I felt completely comfortable with. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s become something that isn’t strictly academic, but I don’t think that that impedes my ability to learn from it. It’s an experience that I don’t think I would have had unless I’d engineered it, and that’s because of my interest in seeing how I’m actually treated in this job.

So far, the only people I’ve had a real problem with are the do-gooders who come into my chat room and pity me, assume I’m uneducated, and tell me that I could be doing something so much better. Then I have to bite my tongue to not correct their sloppy spelling, or just generally tell them to go fuck themself. Although, obviously that’s not what they’re here for – they’re on a mission to rescue me from this degradation, not toss off if I decide to take my shirt off. Anyway, I suppose it’s that I find this attitude wholly more degrading than the streams of guests requesting that I do things, generally, but not limited to: stand up, smile, blow kiss, show feet, take off bra, show legs, show ass, suck finger…. I can see why this barrage of orders could be seen as degrading, but they’re coming from guests with ever-increasing numbers after their name, who are nameless faceless individuals that I know I dont need to listen to at all. I’ll fulfil whichever of their requests I want if and when I feel like it, and generally only for people who I think actually have some money. At first, the guests pissed me off no end, but now I find them entertaining. They assume that I’ll be stupid, so I play with them as much as I can without losing legitimate customers. Most people who I interact with in this way don’t seem to quite understand irony, which is nice irony in itself when considering that they often like to engineer conversations to try to make me look stupid. I honestly think that this sort of disrespectful attitude is largely due to portrayals of sex workers by women’s groups – if the only representation of sex workers is to say that they’re poor, naive, uneducated victims, then that’s likely to be what their customers are going to think too. If these customers also subscribe to feminism, they’ll know not to listen even if they’re being told the exact opposite, because the poor young girl just doesn’t know what she’s saying….

Anyway, the experience has taught me that I find the university system and conversations with well-meaning individuals far more degrading – I’d much prefer to be able to ‘degrade’ myself in any way I see fit, than be subject to non-consensual power relationships and submission to authority in an education setting, or the complete negation of my beliefs by people who think they have my best interests at heart, but are actually just completely by-passing my own autonomy. I see what I do very much as fantasy – doing this as a job doesn’t make me any more permissive of negative treatment in other areas of my life. I think just generally I see sexual submission as completely different to any other sort of submission – for me it is not at all symbolic. I’d go so far as to say that I enjoy this job so much because I know it’s all acting, it’s all play-pretend, whereas other more ‘legitimate’ or ‘better’ jobs require different sorts of submission. I’d say that these sorts of submission are types that other people can deal with more easily than the things required by my job, but equally, I’d rather do those things than be in a job where I have to be submissive to a higher authority, or customers, but there isn’t really the option to refuse, or leave, because there are far more ramifications to that. I find it hilarious that people would rather have me work in an office than in a job like this, because somehow that’s more appropriate, less degrading, when actually my freedoms and autonomy would be far more compromised by that.

Posted on: May 6, 2010

It’s possible to draw a lot of similarities between pornography and being an art student. Perhaps they’ll seem a little tenuous, and probably some of them are, but this was part of why I made the exhibition piece. Why isn’t it seen as degrading to have your most passionately held convictions scrutinised, picked apart, to then be told that you’re stupid? That’s just criticism, it’s academia. I think that sex workers and sex positive feminism (?)/equity feminism (?)/ (whatever label I next try to find to encompass my views because no one wants to read what I actually think when they can have convenient umbrella terms to make all their assumptions by) are treated in a very similar way, being seen as people who have internalised patriarchal oppression, and can’t be trusted to form their own opinions and have these listened to because of this. I found it frustrating in my debate on the male gaze to have the lecturer consistently argue, without any justification, that the pornography industry was run by the mafia, abused women, and that women worked in that industry because they couldn’t do anything else. His parading for the audience miming pushing his breasts together and pouting was a particularly blood-boiling moment. He complains about misogyny, but is happy to brand sex workers as airheads, with no worth to their work, and presumably even no self-awareness, willing to ‘degrade’ themselves simply because they are told to. I made the point that this sort of feminism is far more harmful to sex workers, as it implies that they can’t think or speak for themselves, painting them as silent victims who implicitly agree with whatever feminism says, because that’s what’s best for them. I’ve read a lot about feminist groups who protest sex work, for example by standing outside of lapdancing clubs, and their accounts of their work are spectacularly different to accounts from the women working in the clubs. There don’t seem to be groups that accept women that work in the sex industry, wanting to make working conditions better for them, rather than wanting to get them to stop working in the industry completely. I think that the telling thing here is that a lot of sex workers don’t want help from these sort of feminist groups, because they don’t have the same opinion. But because no one listens to sex workers, these groups can steamroller in and claim that they’re helping women who actually want nothing to do with them.

Posted on: May 6, 2010

I think that the exhibition piece is very linked, at least in my mind, with the other work I’ve been doing for this project. I’m not quite sure how it all links, or how to make those connections clear, but it’s something to think about. I guess that partly this is to do with the difference of showing your body in an artistic versus a pornographic context, and why one is more or less degrading than the other. It’s seen as totally different to use your naked body in art than it is to use it in pornography, while obviously these two types of (what I would classify as) art form are actually very similar. I would say that art and pornography deal very much in the same themes around gender, sexuality, power, subversion and expression, but also, there’s the dirty little secret that artists very much like to ignore – if they are doing art as a career, they are getting paid for it. Artists like to see what they do as sacred, but how is art that much different to pornography, or prostitution? It’s being paid for a service. I would bring in the link that art on commission is even more whoring oneself,  but I’m not sure that’s true. Surely freelance art is moreso, seeing as you’re creating something based around your ideas, something that will probably reflect a significant part of yourself through your involvement in the creative process, then selling it. Isn’t that selling yourself? Perhaps I’m making this sound more negative than I mean it to, because I have no problem with anyone selling any service that they are willing to provide. I just want to make the point that I find it odd how artists can object to pornography or prostitution – why is it worse to sell your body than it is to sell your ideas?

I can’t really work out why that certain lecturer that I had the spectacular argument with, and actually now an even newer, more spectacular argument with, in front of the rest of my course this time as well, has such an issue with pornography particularly. I’m not going to reflect the internalisation argument back on him, but I do wonder why he thinks what he thinks. I have to wonder whether someone who says that all pornography is run by mafia gangsters with not a shred of evidence to back it up is severely misinformed, or just a pathological liar – the sort that doesn’t even remember that they made up what they’re saying. I’d probably go for the first one, because he seems to have based his entire life around feminism, and so it’s too difficult to actually acknowledge that maybe things have changed slightly now, and it’s time to stop being quite so militant with the old propaganda. I’d say it’s probably a mixture of misinformation and denial, protecting that soft centre of a subconscious, seeing as he seems to like the Freud thing so very much.

I hope that this isn’t coming out as the hateful bile that it might be, because that’s really not how I feel about it. I think I’m still angry with him and his ideas – that’s not likely to go away any time soon – but it’s not personal…. I say, and then probably launch into another attack on him. But his way of ‘winning’ a discussion is the verbal equivalent of pointing out a spelling or grammatical error in a piece of writing, while totally ignoring its content. It comes across as simple oneupmanship. When talking to him, unfortunately in front of the rest of my course, on issues of the male gaze, because I’d been called to the front of a lecture to have a discussion, we were talking about pornography (although not brought up by me, so it’s allowed!), and I mentioned that women in the porn industry are likely to earn more money than men. People seemed to take that as meaning that that was in exchange for their oppression, with some course members pointing out that “that doesn’t make it ok!” The lecturer even went to so far as to say that of course they should get paid more, although didn’t ever dignify my question of why they should be paid more with a response… He instead picked up the issue of women being paid well in porn, and that being a symbolic abandonment of other women. These are the sort of views that make me cringe – “Why should I feel responsible for other women and want to be part of their club just because of my biology?” I replied, and of course he just focused on the one word that he felt I’d misused. ‘Biology’. “Ah, that’s a different thing, it’s not because of biology, it’s because of gender.” I’m glad he brought it up though, because it gave me the opportunity to talk about how transphobic some branches of feminism are, using the ideas of “lacking a penis does not make you a woman” militantly, in order to discriminate against transgender people.

It was an unusual experience, being made to be so vulnerable in front of so many people that I don’t even really know, but who can now judge me however they want. It was nice to have one of the other ‘panelists’ at the front lean over during the debate and whisper that they thought I was winning though…



  • fred whitacre jr: they don,t have any sex invaled why are we so againce children being nude in pictures because of alll the sick fucking rapetist out there children
  • fred whitacre jr: she only 12 but it is not porn at all it is nude only only a sick person would want to fuck her not me but i will tell you the true she is a very hot
  • fred whitacre jr: i see noghting wrong just a nude girl no porn that would be wrong with a child but not worng with a grown up only nude pics of children is ok if no se