Chris Hedges’/Gail Dines’ Mining Of Antiporn Bullshit Mountain (Part Deux)

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OK…break’s over…..back we go into the sewage pit. For background, you might want to read Part One of this essay.

When we last left this, Chris Hedges had given the mic over to Gail Dines to project her standard nonsense about porn being both the template of men’s subjugation of women and capitalism’s primary source of power. To that end, Dines/Hedges now get really specific…and really nasty, too.

To keep the legions of easily bored male viewers aroused, porn makers produce videos that are increasingly violent and debasing. Extreme Associates, which specializes in graphic rape scenes, along with JM Productions, promotes the very real pain endured by women on its sets. JM Productions pioneered “aggressive throat fucking” or “face fucking” videos such as the “Gag Factor” series, in which women gag and often vomit. It ushered in “swirlies,” in which the male performer dunks the woman’s head into a toilet after sex and then flushes. The company promises, “Every whore gets the swirlies treatment. Fuck her, then flush her.” Repeated and violent anal penetration triggers anal prolapse, a condition in which the inner walls of a woman’s rectum collapse and protrude from her anus. This is called “rosebudding.” Some women, penetrated repeatedly by numerous men on porn shoots, often after taking handfuls of painkillers, require anal and vaginal reconstructive surgery. Female performers may suffer from sexually transmitted diseases and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And with porn mainstreamed—some porn video participants are treated like film celebrities by talk show hosts such as Oprah and Howard Stern—the behavior promoted by porn, including stripping, promiscuity, S&M and exhibitionism, has become chic. Porn also sets the standard for female beauty and female comportment. And this has had terrifying consequences for girls.

Once again, you have to admire Rev. Hedges and Her Holiness Pope Gail I for their seemingly superhuman ability to concentrate and distill so much pure bullshit in one small paragraph. For those of you who may not be historic readers of this blog, Extreme Associates and JM Productions were a couple of third-level porn production companies that specialized in the type of “extreme porn” that Dines so lovingly quotes. Problem is, these two companies were nowhere near the level of the major companies like VIVID or Wicked; and both companies were essentially bankrupted and shut down in the late 1990s and early 2000’s due to both lack of sales and the increased attention of the authorities. Rob Black, the mastermind behind Extreme Associates, even served some serious jail time due to tax evasion charges. (He now spends his time as a self-identified “critic” of the major porn companies via the porn tabloid blogosphere.)

Now, that’s not to say that there isn’t still a small subgenre of porn that includes the more aggressive type of porn so aptly described by Hedges and Dines; or that deepthroating and gagging or “swerlies” or “rosebudding” prolapse porn doesn’t exist. Bear in mind, though, that these are still the tiny fish in the porn ocean that is still dominated by three major genres: 1) girl/girl “gonzo”; 2) solo masturbation; and 3) sex between couples already romantically involved, as in husband/wife or boyfriend/girlfriend. (I’m actually surprised that Dines/Hedges didn’t go to the “Anal sex leads to uncontrollable bowel movements!!!!!!!!” card for special flourish.) In fact, most anal sex scenes in porn are not only well scripted in advance, but also well prepared in advance, too…and the girls who specialize in anal are also those who like anal in their private, personal sex lives. Contrary to popular myth, and in spite of the occasional trolling from fans, no porn girl/woman is forced under a gun to her head to do anal or deepthroating, or any other act that she doesn’t feel comfortable doing. The technical term for that, folks is RAPE, and that is still quite illegal. Plus, a woman does have a very strong counter for any man who dares to attempt to ram his cock down her throat without her permission: we call them teeth.

And remember about how all of this was supposed to be about attacking violence against women? So, how does “promiscuity”, stripping, and “exhibitionism” play into all this?? Or, the not-so-thinly veiled “S&M” smack??

All of the references to PTSD and “anal and vaginal reconstructive surgery” (ummm…I don’t think that means what Dines/Hedges thinks that means; I mean, isn’t labioplasty and anal bleaching more cosmetic than anything??) are simply langiappe for their obsessions. And come on, Professor/Reverend…can’t you give Oprah at least some credit for backing your other pet causes, such as the war against legal sex work…..errrrrrrrr, the war on “sex trafficking”??

“Women are told in our society they have two choices,” Dines said. “They are either fuckable or invisible. To be fuckable means to conform to the porn culture, to look hot, be submissive and do what the man wants. That’s the only way you get visibility. You cannot ask adolescent girls, who are dying for visibility, to choose invisibility.”

You mean, like, Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton or Beyonce Knowles or Michelle Obama or even Michelle Bachmann only get their sizable power from being “fuckable”?? OK, I’ll cede just a tad on Beyonce, since she’s hot, but she also happens to have a genuine singing voice. Also….has she actually seen some of the top porn starlets? “Submissive” would not be a term you would describe them as….at least, not to their face.

If there really is an issue with adolescent girls using porn women as role models (and considering the awesomeness of plenty of porn women, I really don’t see the issue), the real solution is to expand opportunities for women through increased access to education and high-wage, comparable work. Then, let them decide for themselves if they want to be “fuckable” off the clock. That’s what social agency is all about, and what feminism should be all about…at least before feminmentalists redefined it to mean “whatever we say it is.”

Next, Dines goes into her revisionist history of how Hugh Hefner hijacked capitalism for his own personal concubine, and how that led to the PornoRapeocracy of today. Or, not.

None of this, Dines pointed out, was by accident. Porn grew out of the commodity culture, the need by corporate capitalists to sell products.

“In post-Second-World-War America you have the emergence of a middle class with a disposable income,” she said. “The only trouble is that this group was born to parents who had been through a depression and a war. They did not know how to spend. They only knew how to save. What [the capitalists] needed to jump-start the economy was to get people to spend money on stuff they did not need. For women they brought in the television soaps. One of the reasons the ranch house was developed was because [families] only had one television. The television was in the living room and women spent a lot of time in the kitchen. You had to devise a house where she could watch television from the kitchen. She was being taught.”

“But who was teaching the men how to spend money?” she went on. “It was Playboy [Magazine]. This was the brilliance of Hugh Hefner. He understood that you don’t just commodify sexuality, you sexualize commodities. The promise that Playboy held out was not the girls or the women, it was that if you buy at this level, if you consume at the level Playboy tells you to, then you will get the prize, which is the women. The step that was crucial to getting the prize was the consumption of commodities. He wrapped porn, which sexualized and commoditized women’s bodies, in an upper-middle-class blanket. He gave it a veneer of respectability.”

Yeah. Right. Sure. OK…whatever you say, Gail. I won’t intervene with the inconvenient fact that the dawn of advertising really took place with the blowup of radio and television in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and somehow escaped the grasp of Hef’s Playboy magazine, which was founded in the early 1960’s and mostly restricted to the Chicago area due to the dominant ultraconservative sexual mores of that time. Using wealth and material goods to impress the ladies certainly was a theme of “gentleman’s mags” that Playboy mined with the additional sexiness of pretty topless nudes; but they were hardly alone….as the sale of Playtex push-up bras and Chanel perfume can attest to. Forgetting about their award-winning journalism and highbrow fiction doesn’t help Dines’ “theory”, either.

That, of course, was before the social protests of the 1960’s and 1970’s, the development of effective birth control, and the entry of women from the kitchen into the workplace and even the boardrooms, seriously modified and challenged that paradigm of consumer capitalism. Plus, you had Penthouse now muscling in from the libertarian Right, and some guy named Larry Flynt bringing in working class beaver and bad bathroom humor….and nearly sacrificing his life for expanding free speech.

The VCR, the DVD and, later, the Internet allowed porn to be pumped into individual homes. The glossy, still images of Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler became tame, even quaint. America, and much of the rest of the world, became pornified. The income of the global porn industry is estimated at $96 billion, with the United States market worth about $13 billion. There are, Dines writes, “420 million Internet porn pages, 4.2 million porn Web sites, and 68 million search engine requests for porn daily.” [Link to excerpts from Pornland redacted]

Here’s where context really matters, yallz. The Big Three Pornifiers weren’t pushed to “harder stuff” because of  “gonzo porn”. They were challenged mostly because women pornographers (Club 90 and Pink Ladies Social Club in porn; Danni Ashe on the Interwebz) actually kicked their asses into the 21st Century by developing an alternative business model for bringing porn to that same group that had been neglected in the past: namely, women. What Candida Royalle, Gloria Leonard, and the rest of the “Femme” collective did with their creation of “women’s porn” set the stage for the success of glamour porn companies like Wicked and VIVID just when the Internet and On Demand cable markets started to kick in. Danni’s Hard Drive revolutionized the industry with their concept of girl/girl content trading and live streaming of hardcore g/g porn as an alternative to the harder b/g stuff for hard-pressed female performers, as well as being the first to exploit the concept of the interactive “camshow”. And, even though the initial efforts of Nina Hartley, Angel Kelly, Porsche Lynn, and Jeanna Fine to organize female performers in the 80’s wasn’t successful, it laid the foundation for today’s organizations like the Free Speech Coalition and ASAP, as well as the modernized testing protocols of first AIM and now PASS.

In other words, you simply cannot draw a breath about the evolution of porn as an industry without also including the talents and accomplishments of its workers. You would think that someone legitimately on the Left would be cognizant of that.

Oh, and let’s not get into the often hyperinflated stats about porn’s earnings and gross profits, which still probably match the yearly gross of Walmart by itself. And last time I checked, Walmart was and is still rabidly anti-porn (its sales of the book version of Fifty Shades notwithstanding).

Along with the rise of pornography there has been an explosion in sex-related violence, including domestic abuse, rape and gang rape. A rape is reported every 6.2 minutes in the United States, but the estimated total, taking into account unreported assaults, is perhaps five times higher, as Rebecca Solnit points out in her book “Men Explain Things to Me.”


“So many men murder their partners and former partners that we have well over a thousand homicides of that kind a year—meaning that every three years the death toll tops 9/11’s casualties, though no one declares a war on this particular kind of terror,” Solnit writes.

Of course, it would be shameful of me to intervene with the fact that all credible studies show that violence against women in all its modes (sexual included) have actually decreased in tandem with the availability of sexually explicit media. Also, there really is far more a link between antiporn attitudes stemming from antifeminist fundamentalist Christian mores and violence and aggression against women, than there is linking porn and such acts. Yes, misogyny is a real issue (ask the victims of Elliot Rodger’s rampage), but targeting porn is a major misfire and a delusive distraction. But, as Kermit would say, that’s none of my business…

Porn, meanwhile, is ever more accessible.

“With a mobile phone you can deliver porn to men who live in highly concentrated neighborhoods in Brazil and India,” Dines said. “If you have one laptop in the family, the man can’t sit in the middle of the room and jerk off to it. With a phone, porn becomes portable. The average kid gets his porn through the mobile phone.”

The old porn industry, which found its profits in movies, is dead. The points of production no longer generate profits. The distributors of porn make the money. And one distributor, MindGeek, a global IT company, dominates porn distribution. Free porn is used on the Internet as bait by MindGeek to lure viewers to pay-per-view porn sites. Most users are adolescent boys. It is, Dines said, “like handing out cigarettes outside of a middle school. You get them addicted.”

Ahhhh… Not by a long shot. MindGeek (formerly Manwin) uses free porn as a hook for their websites, not just their PPV cable sites. Most of the users are in fact legal adults (18 and over), because only they can access credit cards or debit cards used to access the paid membership sites. Not to mention, there is serious consternation at MindGeek/Manwin from independent porn producers as well as talent, because the “free porn” model is seen as an absolute drain and a funnel sucking up their profits through tube sites and message boards.

Dines (and her proxy Hedges) also ignore the explosion of social media outlets where the talent can communicate directly with their fans without the need for middlemen. While many of those outlets are very restrictive in what they will allow adult performers to do (Facebook, Instagram don’t allow any nudity or adult advertising whatsoever), newer, more open outlets open up daily…and that allows for an alternative to the MG/Manwin Evil Empire for independents. Pooling talent into website networks such as Brand Danger, Pornstar Platinum, and the Vette Nation Army, is another alternate outlet for those escaping the Big Boys. For people who claim to know porn capitalism, Dines and Hedges sure don’t get out much to actually study it, do they?

“Around the ages of 12 to 15 you are developing your sexual template,” she said. “You get [the boys] when they are beginning to construct their sexual identity. You get them for life. If you begin by jerking off to cruel, hardcore, violent porn then you are not going to want intimacy and connection. Studies are showing that boys are losing interest in sex with real women. They can’t sustain erections with real women. In porn there is no making love. It is about making hate. He despises her. He is revolted and disgusted by her. If you bleed out the love you have to fill it with something to make it interesting. They fill it with violence, degradation, cruelty and hate. And that also gets boring. So you have to keep ratcheting it up. Men get off in porn from women being submissive. Who is more submissive than children? The inevitable route of all porn is child porn. And this is why organizations that fight child porn and do not fight adult porn are making a huge mistake.”

Because, you see, adolescent boys are totally incapable of processing images of naked women and people engaging in wild, crazy sex without degenerating into mad Black apes…..errrrrrrrrr, violent Ted Bundy wannabe rapists….right, Professor?? You mean that porn itself overwhelms even the even more prevalent imagery of romance novels, books, and mainstream TV which always promotes the virtues of monogamy, love, and intimacy….you know, those very values you claim to want?? And what about gay men, Professor? If porn carries such a powerful wallop on their psyche, how do they escape the transformation…or do they, just on another level?

In addition….aside from the fact that the women in porn are very much real women and not just androids or plastic dolls (at least, not yet), where is this lack of interest in sex with women you talk about? Are you saying that men should have more sex with the women/girls they directly befriend? Or…just the kind of sex you approve of? What “erectile dysfunctions” are you really talking about, Gail?? The kind that reduce sperm count so that less babies are produced? (Less White babies, maybe?? Errrrr..OOPS, there goes my inner voice again. Sorry.) Or, is it the spilling of too much seed into the ground rather than produce more radicalfeminists that is haunting you about all that nasty jack-off pornification, Professor Dines??

Scratch underneath the “leftist” veneer and patina, and you see the real motivation behind Dines and Hedges: a not so veiled hatred of working people (especially working-class women) for having feelings and desires that don’t meet her politically correct fine-tuned standards. In short, the same old right-wing repressive sexual fascism, only dressed with a nice pink body suit.

The “all porn leads to child porn” smack is the real opening to the true lack of a soul that burns within her.

The abuse inherent in pornography goes unquestioned in large part by both men and women. Look at the movie ticket sales for “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which opened the day before Valentine’s Day and is expected to take in up to $90 million over the four-day weekend (which includes Presidents Day on Monday).

Just a reminder that an R-rated movie that contains NO explicit sex scenes and only projects a caricature of what BDSM sex really about is about probably cannot be considered to be “pornography”, let alone the prototype for “abuse”. If Dines and Hedges feel this way about Fifty Shades of Grey, I guess a legitimate hardcore erotic BDSM novel from authentic players like, say, The Master of O, would absolutely send them into orbit. Oh, wait….Gail’s already been there and done that.

I really wish that was all to this….but there’s that final paragraph to Hedges’ essay in which he quotes Dines so lovingly. And what a beaut of a quote, which exemplifies everything about the fools gold faux-leftism that Gail Dines and Chris Hedges represent oh, so well. I must introduce a trigger warning for this quote, though, for it is their excuse to introduce some vividly obscene and shocking content that might not be suitable for sensitive ears…content that makes the 99 percent of porn which they wish to abolish in the name of “progressivism” quite tame by comparison.

Nevertheless, I present it in its uncensored, unvarnished form (with some emphasis added) as a service to free speech and expression. Unlike Gail Dines and Chris Hedges, I actually respect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights…and free expression, even when I absolutely abhor what is said.

“Pornography has socialized a generation of men into watching sexual torture,” Dines said. “You are not born with that capacity. You have to be trained into it. Just like you train soldiers to kill. If you are going to carry out violence against a group you have to dehumanize them. It is an old method. Jews become kikes. Blacks become niggers. Women become cunts. And no one turns women into cunts better than porn.”

Your Honor? The prosecution rests.

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The Porn Obsessions Of A Harvard Divinity Grad (Or, Chris Hedges’/Gail Dines’ Latest Mining Of Anti-Porn Bullshit Mountain)

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So….I’m chillin’ at home, enjoying what’s left of my Mardi Gras week vacation from my night job; surfing the Internet, flirting with my favorite porn women, busting wingnutters, and generally minding my business. I never thought that I would have anything to post about my favorite antiporn “feminist” crackpot, Gail Dines, since I figured that I’ve said more than enough about her wackery about porn as the center of capitalism and the gateway to rape and assault against women.

And then, like a jack in the box, this bullshit crops up.

Yes, the author of the piece isn’t Gail Dines, but Chris Hedges, a Puritan Lefty with a known rep for sexual priggishness and elitist guilttripping. But, since he’s always been up Gail’s ass….ummm, I mean, interlocked with Gail’s brain for a good long time on the issue of porn, you can assume that their views thereof are in perfect sync.

And, indeed, there are plenty of prime Dinesean quotage in this essay. More on that anon….but first, let’s establish the foundation.

The trigger for this latest is the release of the movie version of E. L. James’ erotic novella Fifty Shades of Grey, which pretends to depict a woman’s descent from her frumpy Soccer Mom life into the world of BDSM sexual submission through the “mentorship” of a multimillionaire playboy. The original book was panned a thousand ways by both actual BDSM advocates (for misinterpreting actual rules of safe, sane, and consensual BDSM play) and antisex fundamentalists both radfem and religious (for its ungodly/patriarchial tolerance for “perversion”). It did attract enough interest from noobs to sell over 1 million copies; and that was enough for prompting interest for bringing the book to the silver screen. Since it premiered on Valentine’s Day, Fifty Shades (the movie) has grossed over $100 million in sales, mostly due to all of the interest in its (mis)interpretation of Christian Grey’s “unconventional tastes”.

Given all this, it’s not too surprising that the usual peanut gallery of antiporn/antisex fundamentalists would attempt to mine all the publicity of Fifty Shades of Grey as a crutch to sell their main theory of porn as the alpha and omega of sexual perversion of women and the ultimate goal of all pornography…even the vanilla type.

But, because this is Chris Hedges and Gail Dines talking, this essay goes well beyond even their usual lunacy. Let’s fisk a tad, shall we?

‘Pornography Is What the End of the World Looks Like’

BTW…the quote from the lede is actually from that other antisex guilttripper, Robert Jensen. We’ll spare you his history for now; but if you must, here’s a sample of his bullshittery.

BOSTON—“Fifty Shades of Grey,” the book and the movie, is a celebration of the sadism that dominates nearly every aspect of American culture and lies at the core of pornography and global capitalism. It glorifies our dehumanization of women. It champions a world devoid of compassion, empathy and love. It eroticizes hypermasculine power that carries out the abuse, degradation, humiliation and torture of women whose personalities have been removed, whose only desire is to debase themselves in the service of male lust. The film, like “American Sniper,” unquestioningly accepts a predatory world where the weak and the vulnerable are objects to exploit while the powerful are narcissistic and violent demigods. It blesses this capitalist hell as natural and good.

“Pornography,” Robert Jensen writes, “is what the end of the world looks like.”

Ahhhh…so much crap piled in one opening paragraph. The mocking of a piece of fiction, a fantasy movie (if probably a flawed fantasy, of course) by proclaiming it represents and abets actual acts of violence. The linkage of consensual acts of sex play with nonconsensual acts of violence. The portrayal of one movie above all others as the prototype of “capitalist domination” merely due to its sexual theme. Also, the comparison to American Sniper, which just might be genuine deliberate propaganda for war. And, all this as a prop to slam not just BDSM, but all pornography or sexual acts produced by everyone for everyone, for not meeting the distinct “egalitarian feminist” standards of Hedges/Dines.

Oh, but that’s just the beginning of Rev. Hedges’ sermon. Get a load of what he says next:

We are blinded by self-destructive fantasy. An array of amusements and spectacles, including TV “reality” shows, huge sporting events, social media, porn (which earns at least twice what Hollywood movies generate), alluring luxury products, drugs, alcohol and magic Jesus, offers enticing exit doors from reality. We yearn to be rich, powerful and celebrities. And those we must trample to build our pathetic little empires are seen as deserving their fate. That nearly all of us will never attain these ambitions is emblematic of our collective self-delusion and the effectiveness of a culture awash in manipulation and lies.

This is the usual Hedges social elitist nonsense that he shills to every “progressive” media outlet: “Working folk are distracted from attacking the evils of capitalism by media ‘spectacles’ like pro wrestling, reality TV shows, religious programming, infomercials, and (most of all, apparently) porn. If we could just remove all those dirty, unhealthy, and destructive distractions and replace them with wholesome, fulfilling alternatives, then the worst of capitalism would wither away.” Were it be ever so true…except that it isn’t. Does it ever enter Hedges’ mind that such an agenda is propagandized just as aggressively by fundamentalists of the Right….including the likes of Islamic State or the Dominionists?? I guess that free will and the knowledge to make decisions for themselves is just another tool of the “liberal class”/”liberal elite” to brainwash people into compliance? (Yeah..a Harvard Divinity School grad slamming the “elite”. Kinda like, say, a Wheelock College tenured professor earning $1K honoraria for speaking decrying capitalism??)

Porn seeks to eroticize this sadism. In porn women are paid to repeat the mantra “I am a cunt. I am a bitch. I am a whore. I am a slut. Fuck me hard with your big cock.” They plead to be physically abused. Porn caters to degrading racist stereotypes. Black men are sexually potent beasts stalking white women. Black women have a raw, primitive lust. Latin women are sultry and hotblooded. Asian women are meek, sexually submissive geishas. In porn, human imperfections do not exist. The oversized silicone breasts, the pouting, gel-inflated lips, the bodies sculpted by plastic surgeons, the drug-induced erections that never subside and the shaved pubic regions—which cater to porn’s pedophilia—turn performers into pieces of plastic. Smell, sweat, breath, heartbeats and touch are erased along with tenderness. Women in porn are packaged commodities. They are pleasure dolls and sexual puppets. They are stripped of true emotions. Porn is not about sex, if one defines sex as a mutual act between two partners, but about masturbation, a solitary auto-arousal devoid of intimacy and love. The cult of the self—that is the essence of porn—lies at the core of corporate culture. Porn, like global capitalism, is where human beings are sent to die.

My congratulations to Rev. Hedges, because it takes real balls to project all of those unified false stereotypes of men and women who do porn. First off, plenty of women “slut out” and take dick (and/or pussy) for free because (clutch your Rosary pearls, Reverend) they like that kind of sex. And, some of them even like it so much that they are willing to get paid decent money to show off that love of sex to men and women who like the fact that these women love sex. It’s not just reduced to being called a “bitch” or a “cunt”, or taking a 9″ dick up the ass; it could be as simple as an orgasm from tickling one’s clitoris, or taping a lively scene with your lover/husband/boyfriend/significant other.

What absolutely slays me, though, is that every phrase of this paragraph of concentrated ratshit can be debunked simply by referencing any credible porn performer/camgirl who defies all these stereotypes. “Black men are sexually potent beasts”?? Tell that to Lex Steele or Sean Michaels or Prince Yashiva. “Black women have raw, primitive lust”?? Heather Hunter, Marie Luv, Diamond Jackson holding on Line 2, Reverend. “Latin women are sultry and hotblooded”?? Vanessa del Rio, Tara Holiday and Gabby Quinteros, hello!!! Oh, and “Asian women are meek, submissive geishas”???? Ava Devine and Asa Akira would like a word with you on that. And, don’t make me break out the Caucasian MILF caucus of Vicky Vette, Julia Ann, Lisa Ann, Sara Jay….I need not go on here, do I?? My point being: unless you actually talk to and listen to actual porn performers/sex workers talk about their experiences doing what they do, you probably shouldn’t make assumptions about their condition.

Oh, and Reverend Hedges?? Dana deArmond is also waiting for you to ask about that “fake breasts and Botoxed lips” meme.

Finally for this graph: how nice that Hedges is so willing on a putatively leftist essay to define true sex as “a mutual act between two partners”, while slamming solo masturbation as “auto-arousal” that is “devoid of intimacy and love”. Take away gay marriage, and that’s the meme of the Christian Right to the letter. Hell, I even know some conservatives who don’t frown on masturbation as much as “leftist” Hedges does.

There are few people on the left who grasp the immense danger of allowing pornography to replace intimacy, sex and love. Much of the left believes that pornography is about free speech, as if it is unacceptable to financially exploit and physically abuse a woman in a sweatshop in China but acceptable to do so on the set of a porn film, as if torture is wrong in Abu Ghraib, where prisoners were sexually humiliated and abused as if they were on a porn set, but permissible on commercial porn sites.

So here, Hedges rehabilitates the old saw that all porn (with the implication that BDSM is the root of all porn, of course) is the equivalence of Abu Ghraib torture….ignoring the basic fact that fundamentalist cultures who are as rabidly antiporn (and far more aggressively antifeminist) as he is also engage in sexual torture, abuse, and even murder of sexually dissident folk. Of course, if you consider anal sex and ability to take decently sized dick and like sex unattached to “intimacy” and “love” to be “abuse”, then it gets considerably easier to understand his analysis.

His whining about how most Lefties just don’t grok the evils of porn because “free speech” is basically the mirror image of Black Tea Party right-wingers moaning and crying about how the majority of Black folk don’t crawl down to them because of the “liberal Democrat plantation”. Could it be just a bit more likely that most serious Lefties understand what a crock of bullshit antiporn “feminism” really is, and avoid it like the plague?

A new wave of feminists, who have betrayed the iconic work of radicals such as Andrea Dworkin, defends porn as a form of sexual liberation and self-empowerment. These “feminists,” grounded in Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, are stunted products of neoliberalism and postmodernism. Feminism, for them, is no longer about the liberation of women who are oppressed; it is defined by a handful of women who are successful, powerful and wealthy—or, as in the case of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” able to snag a rich and powerful man. A woman wrote the “Fifty Shades” book, as well as the screenplay. A woman directed the film. A woman studio head bought the movie. This collusion by women is part of the internalization of oppression and sexual violence that have their roots in porn. Dworkin understood. She wrote that “the new pornography is a vast graveyard where the Left has gone to die. The Left cannot have its whores and its politics too.”

Uhhh…yeah. Andrea Dworkin, who cared sooooo much about feminism and the Left that she openly backed a “civil rights ordinance” calling for triple monetary damages against anyone viewing or producing porn, all because “porn degrades women”. Same ordinance that was endorsed by the very anti-feminist Concerned Women of America, of which every Democratic woman (yes, that would be the definition of liberal) voted against, and whom was ultimately declared unconstitutional by a female federal court judge.

Also…how nice to knock critics/opponents/victims of the Hodges/Dines worldview as wealthy elitists who put their personal perversions and profits above womanhood…or to simply, in the case of Fifty Shades, render them “sellouts” merely because they are women who don’t march in perfect goosestep with the radicalfeminist (or, as I am wont to call them, #Feminmentalist) model. But at least, Hedges does sorta kinda pity them as being brainwashed with the “internalization of oppression of women”. Most others would simply bash them as “cumdumpsters” and “mindless sluts”.

Having quoted literally from the Book of Dines, Reverend Hedges now turns the altar over to Her Holiness, Gail I.

I met Gail Dines, one of the most important radicals in the country, in a small cafe in Boston on Tuesday. She is the author of “Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality”and a professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College. Dines, along with a handful of others including Jensen, fearlessly decry a culture that is as depraved as Caligula’s Rome.

“The porn industry has hijacked the sexuality of an entire culture and is laying waste to a whole generation of boys,” she warned. “And when you lay waste to a generation of boys, you lay waste to a generation of girls.”

“When you fight porn you fight global capitalism,” she said. “The venture capitalists, the banks, the credit card companies are all in this feeding chain. This is why you never see anti-porn stories. The media is implicated. It is financially in bed with these companies. Porn is part of this. Porn tells us we have nothing left as human beings—boundaries, integrity, desire, creativity and authenticity. Women are reduced to three orifices and two hands. Porn is woven into the corporate destruction of intimacy and connectedness, and this includes connectedness to the earth. If we were a society where we were whole, connected human beings in real communities, then we would not be able to look at porn. We would not be able to watch another human being tortured.”

Of course, most of you are familiar with Gail’s screeds, of which plenty of rebuke is readily available. I mean, readily available.

Oh, I’m sorry….was that my inner voice, Professor Dines??

For the sake of accuracy and continuity, though, let’s give Gail her full say.

“If you are going to give a tiny percent of the world the vast majority of the goodies, you better make sure you have a good ideological system in place that legitimizes why everyone else is suffering economically,” she said. “This is what porn does. Porn tells you that material inequality between women and men is not the result of an economic system. It is biologically based. And women, being whores and bitches and only good for sex, don’t deserve full equality. Porn is the ideological mouthpiece that legitimizes our material system of inequality. Porn is to patriarchy what the media is to capitalism.”

Of course, all those other factors such as economic exploitation, lack of working class organization, religion, maldistribution of production, multinationalization, racism, and other forms of social inequality have nowhere near the impact on gender inequality like porn does…am I correct, Gail??

We’re only halfway through climbing this Bullshit Mountain….but I will grant you all a bit of a break from the stench. Part 2 forthcoming.

[Update: Part 2 is now up. Turn the page, please.]

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Hey!!! This Thing Still Works!!!

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Yeah, it’s been a while.

My night job combined with personal commitments have really put the kibosh on my blogging as of late….but I haven’t forgotten y’all one bit. I’ve been rolling all of my prime smack mostly on Twitter through my @RGC_BPPA timeline (be warned, though, trigger for sexy adult pics of hot porn women).

I am getting the fever for blogging again, so hopefully this space will fill up with more of my thoughts. Just stay close and stay tuned.

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Why DJRavenwolf Is The Wile E. Coyote Of Doc Droppers (Or, Ministeress Lubben’s Latest MegaFAIL)

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Ever got the feeling that some people are just made to be Wile E. Coyote, Super Genius…and some people are destined to be the Road Runner??

I need not tell you about how Shelley Lubben is once again attempting to cover her ass up from the fact that her antiporn ministry, the Pink Cross Foundation, has been getting hit hard from both defections and from exposure of her crooked methods of recruitment and her financial shenanigans.

But this latest attempted swing-and-a-miss is so beyond even her expectations of sheer lunacy.

For her latest attempt at CYA spin, Shelley recruited one of her friends, a disk jockey from LA who glosses himself as “Mace Ravenwolf”, to cut a YouTube video defending Shelley as just an plain, average, Christian woman reaching her hands out to young girls in distress from all the damage done to them by the big, bad porn industry.

Unfortunately for him he also decided that to really reward Shelley for whatever she gave him for his time, DJRavenwolf also decided to take direct aim at Michael Whiteacre, who has been one of Lubben’s most direct critics and exposers.

It’s how he did it that’s the point of this story.

The original video is no longer at Ravenwolf’s channel, due to reasons that will become obviously apparent as you read on. However, Jordan Owen managed to use large snippages of DJ the DJ’s clip for a massive and total pwnage takedown video of his own…and it includes all the lunacy.

Jordan pretty much hits all the highlights and lowlights, so I will simply defer to his analysis.

Yet apparently, not even the video was enough of smearing Whiteacre as the supposed pawn behind the original Porn Wikileaks (the real story can be found by reading Kayden Kross’ now classic reset of the whole saga that she posted to or the evil “porn predator” who allegedly paid the likes of April Garris, Sierra Sinn, and Maddy Avanti $1,000 each to turn tail and testify publically against Lubben. Nor, was a private email sent to Mace by the very real and sentinent carbon life form known as Sean Tompkins, who now operates The Real Porn Wikileaks site/forum, which politely asked Ravenwolf to either correct the record or take down the video.

Ravenwolf’s response? He not only didn’t take the video down, but he promptly added this block of text to his description section of that video:


That’s right, Clones…Ravenwolf attempted to doc drop Michael Whiteacre.

The original description had some sensitive information that was redacted by Sean when he reposted it to TRPWL for a response post; I have gone ahead and further redacted info regarding Michael’s given name.

Aside from the really, really big-ass monstrous lies put forth in this idocy (for the record, Michael has never been charged with any crime, let alone anything haing been expunged from the record), it;s the sheer amateurism that shows up here.

First off…Sean’s last name is Tompkins, not Thompkins. If you’re going to make bald-faced lies, you might as well get the Goddess damn names correct.

Secondly…”I’m not going to drag his parents into this”…but you still note that you have their phone numbers?? The reason it’s called “blackmail”, DJ the Mensa, is because it is usually most effectively done in private, with a real threat. When you reveal that you have their numbers in public (and last time I checked, a publicly listed YouTube channel fit the definition of “public”, you defeat the purpose of your intentions.

Third, the last thing that you do for an effective doc drop is to tip your hand towards your victim. Telling the world that you have their personal phone numbers, but are saving them for “a special occasion”…you might as well put a damm red blinking light on top of your head

And finally, you don’t fool an attorney who has already beeen the target of other foiled doc drops in the past. If Monica Foster, who actually has some knowledge and skill in the art of stalking, couldn’t stop someone like Michael Whiteacre, then how do you think that your puny efforts will accomplish anywhere near success?

Anyways…Whiteacre’s not one for dodging battles, and he packs nukes of his own. He got YouTube to get Ravenwolf’s video pulled for violating their TOS regarding threats and harrassment, and he’s added this episode to the mounds and mountains of evidence he’s compiled agianst Lubben. In fact, Michael feels that in his ineptitude and sheer brass, DJRavenwolf may have inadvertently given him an important smoking gun in his efforts to ultimately bring the Ministress and her cult empire down to meet justice. As he elaborated in a comment he posted to TRPWL:

For a guy who thinks I was behind PornWikiLeaks, he sure has an easy way with emulating their tactics. What a scumbag.

Regarding the libelous claim in his video that I’ve paid off women (he calls them “girls”) who had been affiliated with Shelley Lubben to get them to lie on the record, I think it says a lot about what integrity is worth to Greg Pawlak/Mace Ravenwolf that he thinks people would jump at selling their own for $1,000.

Also, I have never been charged or even arrested for Assault & Battery, or Narcotics, and I have never had my record expunged. If it had been expunged, how would anyone know? Idiot.

It’s also funny that now he asserts he has my phone number (which Shelley Lubben has) and publishes an Arizona address for me at which I receive no mail and that I’ve only ever placed on one official document. Wanna know what that was? My YouTube DMCA counter-notice to Shelley Lubben Communications (after she false-flagged my videos about her). YouTube requires a non-PO Box address, so I complied with an address no one else had, in hopes that one day she’d do something like this.

She did not disappoint me. This links Lubben to Ravenwolf as his source. He is not just defending her — this was done either at her request or with her complicity.

Got ya, Lubben. You are one desperate and exceedingly stupid criminal. And you and bitchboy-deluxe Greg Pawlak are both fucked.

More to come on this story in the near future.

And when it breaks, we’ll cover it too.

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The Essence Of Wingnuttery…Raised To Infinity: The Alliance Defense Fund’s “Marriage Vow” Pledge…Now With 80% More Racism!! (And, Ministress Lubben’s Connection Thereof)

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UPDATED:  Scroll to bottom.

I know that there are those of you who are under the misimpression that the Tea Party movement is something other than the mere latest installment of the “New Right” offensive of the 1970’s/1980’s, which combined a love of unfettered Casino Capitalism rigged for a few wealthy White men and freed of any constraints of concern humanity or resources, with the focus on imposing a pliant and overarching fundamentalist Christianity which essentially says that only God can make you rich, only making lots and lots of White babies for Jesus makes you whole, and that  everyone else not prordained to be White, male, rich, or sufficiently pious enough to restrict their sexual exploits to the “Godly intended” goals of marriage and reproduction, simply deserves their fate as slaves or serfs destined straight to Hell…but not before they can be exploited and used up for the profits of those more fortunate to be “blessed”.

After all, there are more than a few reps who call themselves Tea Party members who proclaim themselves to be more “libertarian” and who do attempt to buck the trend by standing up for “individual rights” and “liberties” against the strong arms of the “Nanny State”.

The problem is, though, that these few brave souls are in the minority, and those who are far more likely to use the state as a weapon to impose their Dominionist, fascist agenda tend to be the ones getting the attention and the money.

And, thanks to the election of the first Black President, they are mining the usual bigotries and saws and memes to plan their revenge for the “Obamanation” of 2008.

One such group is called The Family Leader, a branch in Iowa of the national Alliance Defense Fund which is particularly insistent on representing the views of “Christian conservatives” who strongly believe that only “God’s laws” (as interpreted mostly by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Cal Thomas, and Pat Robertson) will save America from abject ruin and Satanic corruption. To that end, and in preparation for the upcoming Iowa political caucus, they have drawn up a campaign pledge which they are requiring all faithfull political candidates to sign in order to get their financial support.

And friends and neighbors, it’s a doozy. A virtual Lolapallooza of fascist, racist, and sexist wingnuttery.

The creator of this “pledge” is a man named Bob Vaander Platts, who heads up the group called “The Family Leader” (here’s their website); he is so committed to his vision that he was at one time the state chairman for the aborted (no pun intended) campaign of Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee in 2008; and he even ran for Iowa governor (and lost handily) in 2010. The Alliance Fund is merely the national org for politically motivated wingnut fundies like Vaander Platts, and Iowa is a very fertile ground for Dominionist activism, having brought the likes of current Congressman Steve “PsychoNazi” King.

The pledge has been getting lots of ink lately because none other than the Chief Wingnut Princess herself, Minnesota GOTP congressman and newly minted 2012 Presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann, was the first to sign her name onto the dotted line of commitment to the values of the “Marriage Vow”. At least Madame Batshit can say that she fits the fundamental requirements, having been married for 30+ years to the same man (who himself happens to be a fervent fundamentalist/Dominionist/antigay activist of his own right, right down to the “exgay therapy” he offers his clients)…which is more that can be said for folk like Newt Gingrich or Tim Pawlenty or Rudy Giuliani. (Or, for that matter, Rush, who is now in his forth marriage..but he’s given an exception due to his strident advocacy for pushing these high.standards on others, I guess.)

Now, I’m not going to do a full fisking of the Pledge since so many others have emphasized some of the more…ummmm, esoteric portions included within. Simply going to the document itself will open your eyes to the lunacy. (Warning, this is a PDF document requiring Adobe Reader.). On the other hand, some points are worth commenting on.

For instance, this tidbit regarding slavery and the stability of Black families, which is a favorite meme of Dominionists for masking their innate racism and paternalism for Black folk.

Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA‟s first African-American President.

Yeah, really. I mean, do these clowns ever grok the fact that those supposedly stable “two-parent” families existing in 1860 weren’t quite so stable due to the slavemasters abusing the parents to death or breaking up the families at will by selling the fathers (and mothers) to other slaveholders??  Or, the fact that most of those “stable” two-parent families were the result of rape, often rape betwen the slaveholder and the slave?? And, what the hell goes with comparing all this with the situation of single-parent Black families in the year 2008 through 2011…where even the poorest single mother is far  more likely to have support from her family or the state for her and her children’s survival? And, why the obsession with Black families anyway, since they don’t even make up a majority of single-parent families in the first place??

Not unless you happen to believe that Black folk are merely uncontrollable sluts who live off “The Government’s” dime (read that to mean, White rich Christian’s tax money) and who need a stern kick back to “God’s law”(read that to mean “slavery”) to reinforce the virtues of “marriage” and “monogamy”…and to be exploitable once again for the Glory of God (and the lined pockets of fundie Christian White rich men like Bob Vaader Platts and Rush Limbaugh.

And their female shills and Presidential wannabes like Michelle Bachmann.

The “pledge” goes on to list the typical memes about how the “destruction of marriage” directly relates to the dire situation of Black families due to the abandonment of rigid standards of sexual morality, the fiscal  “permissiveness” of the Great Society, and the rise of the social welfare state in adopting a overly permissive “anything and everything goes” hedonistic philosophy in direct contradiction to “known scientific facts” that only unquestioned and state enforced commitment to permanent heterosexual marriage and restrictive sexual morals — meaning, NO sex outside of conception within marriage and noting at all outside of marriage — will save America from impending social and economic doom. Of course, their footnotes offer no proof of all these “known scientific facts”, other than oblique references to other wingnut/Chiistian Right “scholars” and other Dominionist crackpots whose political philosophy and polices just so happen to agree with theirs.

Naturally, the ultimate vow’s policy statements perfectly mesh with standard fundie Right principles: push for a Marriage Amendment to the US Constitution to override even states voting to allow gay marriage or even “gay unions” (while pushing “one man/one woman marriage” legislation in all 50 states); appoint and/or elect only “strict constitutionalist” judges at all levels to bend interpretations of the law to Dominionist/Federalist Society favor; absolute bans on abortion, contraception, pornography, adultery, all forms of sexual activity and expression not meeting fundie Christian standards of conception within marriage; tighter laws on allowing divorces calling for mandatory “cooling off periods” and other means of restricting options for those wanting to divorce; retaining and expanding the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of openly targeting and removing gays (and other sexual heretics) from the military; public enforcement of fundie sexual morality as a means of “protecting the fruits of conjugal intimacy” against the “sins” of porn, abortion, “human trafficking”, prostitution, “sexual slavery”, and especially “”sexual promiscuity”; opposition to the red herring and strawman-laced ghost threat of “Sharia Law” (as if fundie Muslims didn’t fundamentally agree with their agenda already); “downsizing” of the welfare state/social spending component of government (read that to mean privatizing welfare, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other aspects of the welfare state) to restrict social aid to those meeting strict wingnut sexual moral standards; and a priori protections for “people of faith” to impose their morality onto unwanted others free of Constitutional constraints such as the “establishment clause” of the First Amendment or the right of free association of other sects, groups, or individuals.

Basically, to bottom line this manifesto: Only right-wing Christians would rule, and everyone else would either follow or suffer or die. Full. Stop.

It would be easy to dismiss this as a platform of a crank…but Michelle Bachmann is right now being pushed by many (and not just wingnuts) as the leading Republican candidate for President in 2012. And, the Christian Right, along with their Tea Party brethren, still hold a strong majority of the Republican Party’s vital infrastructure, if not the majority in most states. Add that to a bad economy and a Democratic Party torn asunder by the willingness of President Barack Obama and the Democratic establishment to sell its basic progressive principles (meaning Social Security and Medicare) away to the bidding of the Catfood Commission and the IMF, and even someone like Batshit Bachmann has a fighting chance to win.

The other,  and a bit less serious, aspect from this document is how Shelley Lubben plays into this. (Yes, Clones, here’s why I included her in the title.)

No, Ministress Lubben’s not quite running for President or any other political office (at least not yet), but she does have a small part in all this Marriage Vow drama.

One of the endnotes — #8, I presume — restated their claim that

That practices such as adultery, bisexuality, homosexuality, anal intercourse, group sex, promiscuity, serial marriage, polygamy, polyandry and extramarital sex, individually or collectively, lead to general improvements…

The endnote went on to make a long detailed listing of supposed ill affects of such sinful behaviors…where this partticular list of after effects were found:

b. Public health,
c. Public health costs (Medicaid, Medicare, etc.)
d. General health care price inflation (medical, hospital, insurance, etc).
e. Incidence of single parent households and related social costs,
f. Incidence of epidemics and pandemics,
g. Incidence of:
i. HIV/ AIDS (Human Immunodeficiency Virus);
ii. Other retroviruses like XMRV, HTLV, etc. (affecting venereal fluids, semen, breast milk, blood);
iii. Septic bacterial infections (such as from E Coli);
iv. Hepatitis (forms of which are transmitted via fecal-oral, venereal contact);
v. Chancroid (Haemophilus ducreyi);
vi. Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis);
vii. Granuloma inguinale or (Klebsiella granulomatis);
viii. Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae);
ix. Syphilis (Treponema pallidum);
x. Herpes simplex
xi. Genital warts
xii. HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)
xiii. Phthirius pubis (pubic lice)
xiv. Sarcoptes scabiei (scabies)
xv. Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis)
xvi. Anal incontinence
xvii. Abortion
xviii. Abortion-related complications

Wait a dang minute…those last few notes look kind of familiar. Where else did I see those exact points made?? I had to think a bit…

…and then it hit me.

Remember Shelley Lubben’s contribution to the UCLA Condoms in Porn conference??  The one where they attempted to ambush Mr. Marcus as the sole representative of the industry?

Remember the audiovisual display that Ministress Lubben used as part of her testimony??


Here’s a refresher for you:


Remember, this was last year…but if Bob Vaander Platts and Shelley Lubben are using the same base sources for their own campaigns…then what does that say for the Ministeress’s denials that she is only in it for the “love” of God and the safety of the performers??

All we need now is for Shelley to show up at one of Michelle Bachmann’s rallies or an Alliance Defense Fund dinner and cry her eyes out about the abuse she suffered from  porn. I’m sure her years  prior to that as a working escort will be mined for maximum effect as well, too.

UPDATE:  Ahhhh, looky here…it seems like due to all the heat that FAMiLY Leader is getting for that racist smack, and probably to save face with those few Black evangelicals they need to pull themselves out of the crank minority, they have not-so-mysteriously purged that “Black children were better off under slavery in 1860 than they are under Preident Obama’s rule today” graph from their copy of the “pledge” at their website. But don’t fear, Clones…I linked the original from the Think Progress website…and, just for insurance sake, I will mirror a copy to the SmackChron files for linkage here. You can run, Mr. Vaader Platts, but you just can’t hide.

Oh..and that other fundie Christian whackjob, former Pennsylvania US Senator Rick “Man/Dog” Santorum, has become the second GOTP presidential candidate to sign his name onto the “pledge”. No doubt about his conservative creds, either, I guess.

No word yet on whether Shelley Lubben would be willing to sign the “pledge” as amended..or even consider a Presidential bid. We’ll keep you posted, as always.

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Why SlutWalk Is More Feminist Than Most Feminists Could Even Dream Of (Or, Reason #5,876 Why Gail Dines Is The Bill O’Reilly Of Radical Feminists)

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[Crossposted also from The Red Garter Club 3.0 blog]

Most of you know me as a fierce defender of and even sometimes worshipper of sexually assertive women.

It’s not because I aim to get into every one of their panties, either.

(Though, admittedly, the thought has crossed my mind a time or two. A day. OK, OK, an hour a day. Oh, all right…plenty of hours a day.  Hey, I’m an average man with feelings and working sex organs; can’t deny that.)

On the other hand, though, that desire for women who aren’t afraid to “play the slut”, if not even “BE the slut”, comes with an ethic and a responsibility to respect them as full human beings not reduced to the size of their chests, butts, or clits.

Even when they fully choose to show themselves off or put themselves out for their own sexual pleasure, it is fundamental that anyone worthy of having a human conscience remember that just because they put out does not make them your very personal sex doll or vibrator; and that outside of the fantasies they provide, they are and should be respected and given all the privileges of privacy that all women deserve.

Needles to say, that also includes the right NOT to be sexually assaulted, or to be catcalled against their will or consent, or to be judged by their style of dress.

Actually, that goes for all women in general, whether they choose to dress in a burqa, a business suit, or a tank top and miniskirt. Whatever they decide to put on (or take off) is inmaterial to whether or not they are available to you. If she wants you, she will say so; otherwise, just assume the default position of NO and move on. (And no, “maybe next time” does not mean “Yes” either…it means just what is says.)

It is depressing to actually have to type this in the second week of the fifth month of the year 2011, because the idea that a woman’s choice of clothing determing her supposed sexual availability and giving a green light to any rapist or other sexual assailant to ignore her stated rejections should have been put to permanent rest a long time ago.

What turns this into an even greater travesty is when the voices for “modesty” and forced chastity and browbeating women for their choices happen to call themselves “feminists”.  Nay…”RADICAL feminists”.

And this is why I once again have to drop another Gail Dines Stupid Radfem Right update on you. Not that I like using up valuable pixel space ripping on the Wheelock College professor/antiporn “leftist” activist/faux feminist, but when she goes like Bill O’Reilly and says something more astonishingly, breathtakingly, viciously boneheaded than her usual mimes about porn being the Great Male Patriarchial Capitalist Menace, I feel the need to write something before my blood pressure bursts.

This time, the “good” Professor has decided to sink her teeth into the unwilling neck of an emerging movement known as SlutWalk, which was designed to defend the right of women to wear whatever the fuck they wanted and resist rape and sexual assault in their own way.

SlutWalk originally started out in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, by a feisty group of feminists who got seriously pissed off when a Toronto policeman named Michael Sanguinetti decided to shoot his mouth off about rape prevention. Problem was, he blamed the victims of rape for their own accounts, directly implying that they wouldn’t be raped if they had just been a bit more selective with their style of clothing.  The direct quote from Sanguinetti (courtesy of The Guardian UK):

“You know, I think we’re beating around the bush here,” Michael Sanguinetti began, blandly enough, as he addressed the 10 students who turned up for the pep talk. Then he said: “I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this – however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised.”

Ahhh, yeah. Because the many women who didn’t dress “like sluts” and still managed to get sexually assaulted don’t quite matter, right?? And, of course, the men who do in fact attack women only attack women who dress like “sluts”, thusly, they should be given the benefit of the doubt that they are motivated solely by rampant lust rather than anger and violence and rage vented through sex…ahhh, really???

It was in anger of a different kind that some feminists in Toronto decided to directly take on Sanguinetti’s bullshit straight on and defend the notion of female sexual self-determination against such slut shaming and rape ideology. Thusly, Slutwalk Toronto was born online (and on Facebook), and a protest march organized..which has basically exploded and metasized into a worldwide movement against the mythology and etology of slut shaming.

Their manifesto released at the time of the original protests in Toronto speaks for itself; so I will simply reprint it in its entirity.


On January 24th, 2011, a representative of the Toronto Police gave shocking insight into the Force’s view of sexual assault by stating: “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized”.

As the city’s major protective service, the Toronto Police have perpetuated the myth and stereotype of ‘the slut’, and in doing so have failed us. With sexual assault already a significantly under-reported crime, survivors have now been given even less of a reason to go to the Police, for fear that they could be blamed. Being assaulted isn’t about what you wear; it’s not even about sex; but using a pejorative term to rationalize inexcusable behaviour creates an environment in which it’s okay to blame the victim.

Historically, the term ‘slut’ has carried a predominantly negative connotation. Aimed at those who are sexually promiscuous, be it for work or pleasure, it has primarily been women who have suffered under the burden of this label. And whether dished out as a serious indictment of one’s character or merely as a flippant insult, the intent behind the word is always to wound, so we’re taking it back. “Slut” is being re-appropriated.

We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.

We are a movement demanding that our voices be heard. We are here to call foul on our Police Force and demand change. We want Toronto Police Services to take serious steps to regain our trust. We want to feel that we will be respected and protected should we ever need them, but more importantly be certain that those charged with our safety have a true understanding of what it is to be a survivor of sexual assault — slut or otherwise.

We are tired of speeches filled with lip service and the apologies that accompany them. What we want is meaningful dialogue and we are doing something about it: WE ARE COMING TOGETHER. Not only as women, but as people from all gender expressions and orientations, all walks of life, levels of employment and education, all races, ages, abilities, and backgrounds, from all points of this city and elsewhere.

We are asking you to join us for SlutWalk, to make a unified statement about sexual assault and victims’ rights and to demand respect for all. Whether a fellow slut or simply an ally, you don’t have to wear your sexual proclivities on your sleeve, we just ask that you come. Come walk or roll or strut or holler or stomp with us.

Join us in our mission to spread the word that those those who experience sexual assault are not the ones at fault, without exception.

“No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault.” Isn’t simplicity wonderful??

Remember, Clones, these are NOT porn performers or exhibitionists insisting on their right to walk the public streets naked at rush hour, nor are they sex workers calling for their right to walk the streets in front of the local high school. These are basically your mothers, your daughters, your girlfriends, your friends….in short, average women insisting that they, not some asshole policeman, can determine for themselves when to attract wanted sexual attention and when not to….as well as restating the essential truth that no woman should ever be blamed for being the victim of sexual assault, and that no man should be allowed to use the excuse of a woman’s state of dress as a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card or to ever justify sexual assault or battery.

Sounds like progressive feminism to me. Who would ever oppose that kind of movement against sexual assault, other than holy roller fundamentalists who insist on forcing chadors, burqas, and veils on women as a means of “protecting” them from the evil “male” desires??

Who, you ask?

Cueth the Professor from Wheelock College and antiporn activist named Gail Dines.

Of course, she was too chickenshit to post her observations from her home base in the US, so she (and another professor/rape “expert”, Wendy Murphy), decided to use the friendly pages of the Guardian UK to vent her spleen as to why SlutWalk is BAAAAAAAD for women and feminists, if not fundamentally antifeminist.

At least, anti- the kind of sexually restrictive, reactionary, closed-minded, fear-mongering “feminism” that Dines love to waddle in.

Most of her rant focuses on the stigma that the broader culture still attaches to the word “slut”…which she so lovingly not only approves of, but even uses as a wedge against those women stupid enough to accept their right to sexual self-determination not redeemed by her own radical feminist values. Some snippage follows:

It wasn’t long ago that being called a “slut” meant social death. No “nice” boy would take you home to meet his parents and no “good” girl would ever be your friend. At the same time, refusing to submit to sex meant you were a “prude” or “frigid”. In short, there was no right way to be. Things have improved a bit in that young women are more insistent on their right to sexual autonomy, but sexually active women remain vulnerable to harsh social judgments even as the mass media celebrate and encourage such behaviour. And research shows that the label “slut” still has long-term negative consequences, especially for younger girls.

Now, I’m not denying that such attitudes about women being “prudes” and “frigid” don’t exist among select few people….but notice how Dines turns it against women who do resist the stigma and who do declare themselves to be sexually assertive…as if they are the cause of the “negative consequenses” of rape. Of course, you will remember that the meme of “We’re just ‘prudes’ because we resist evil male sexuality!!” is a classic projection of Dines used to ward off charges that she indeed wants to censor sexualiy of women. To which the proper answer should be: “Well, if the shoe fits….”

The fact that more than 2,000 turned out to march around Boston Common suggests that women are, indeed, hungry for sexual autonomy. But something else was at work here: many of the banners protested the ubiquity of sexual violence in the lives of women. Signs made by protesters showed that women are angry with being blamed for male violence and fed up with the failure of the culture to hold men accountable. Clearly the theme of the SlutWalk has struck a nerve, with similar events being planned around the world, including one in London in June.

The organisers claim that celebrating the word “slut”, and promoting sluttishness in general, will help women achieve full autonomy over their sexuality. But the focus on “reclaiming” the word slut fails to address the real issue. The term slut is so deeply rooted in the patriarchal “madonna/whore” view of women’s sexuality that it is beyond redemption. The word is so saturated with the ideology that female sexual energy deserves punishment that trying to change its meaning is a waste of precious feminist resources.

So now, Dines and Murphy are attempting to steal the thunder of SlutWalk by claiming that their motives are not what they have explicitly stated themselves…and also attempting to undermind them by telling them that their mission is a failure because….the word “slut” is simply beyond redemption as a bludgeon of “patriarchy”.

You may note the thinly veiled implication that as a result, any woman who attempts to claim usage of the term as a symbol of sexual self-assertiveness and autonomy is, by Dines’ edict, a mere pawn of, if not a direct agent of, said “patriarchy”, and a useful idiot of “male sexuality” in opposition to “female sexual agency”. In other words, Dines simply paraphrases the long lived dictum of her predecessor and mentor, Catherine MacKinnon: “If ‘slutdom’ is a part of your sexuality, then you have no right to your sexuality.”

Oh, did I say “thinly veiled”??? The next few paragraphs state it far more explicitly:

Advocates would be better off exposing the myriad ways in which the law and the culture enable myths about all types of women – sexually active or “chaste” alike. These myths facilitate sexual violence by undermining women’s credibility when they report sex crimes. Whether we blame victims by calling them “sluts” (who thus asked to be raped), or by calling them “frigid” (who thus secretly want to be overpowered), the problem is that we’re blaming them for their own victimisation no matter what they do. Encouraging women to be even more “sluttish” will not change this ugly reality.

As teachers who travel around the country speaking about sexual violence, pornography and feminism, we hear stories from women students who feel intense pressure to be sexually available “on demand”. These students have grown up in a culture in which hypersexualized images of young women are commonplace and where hardcore porn is the major form of sex education for young men. They have been told over and over that in order to be valued in such a culture, they must look and act like sluts, while not being labeled slut because the label has dire consequences including being blamed for rape, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and self-mutilation.

Because, you see, according to Gail Dines and Wendy Murphy, calling yourself a “slut” simply enables men to think of ALL women as “sluts” in the negative “I want to rape them with impunity” way. In fact, the mere calling of oneself a “slut” engaging men to mere erections and sexual arousal is more than enough in this evil “porn culture” to encourage violence and degradation of women.

Naturally, Dines and Murphy are far too sophisicated as “radical feminists” to come out and say that maybe Officer Sanguinetti was right all along and that women who dress “sluttily” are to blame for their own violence  And, quite naturally, they are quick to place the fundamental blame on the rapists themselves and give the women a break as the ultimate victims of male assault.

The problem is, though, that their core ideology of laying the fundamental blame on “male rape culture”, fueled by porn, capitalism, and mere male erections, doesn’t really allow for women fighting for themselves to reclaim their own individual right to be safely sexually assertive, or to even dress the way they want. Indeed, in a back-door kind of way, they actually give plenty of tribute to the fundamentally repressive, conservative meme of “she asked for it” by basically accepting carte blanche without any proof of evidence the fact that men are at root evil rapists led by their erections to brutalize women.

It’s as if the fundamental fact that the overwhelming majority of men do in fact respect women enough to not assault them even if they are dressed in a way that sexually arouses them doesn’t even register with Dines or Murphy. Or, that most women are more than capable of negotiating with men the acceptable boundaries of consent and what is and isn’t acceptable behavior or contact based on time and place…and, more importantly, that women and men are able to have those boundaries enforced through mutual trust, consent, mutal pleasure, and, if needed, the power of the state.

Besides all that, Dines and Murphy conveniently gloss over the far more powerful institutions of society that do NOT reward women for “slutdom”, but in fact punishes them profusely through loss of respect, loss of self-esteem, and even loss of social and economic privileges, if not actual physical punishment. Porn performers may get paid a decent amount of money, but they don’t compare to Hollywood movie actresses or politicians or even CEO’s…and I’ll bet ‘ya not many of those are self-identified “sluts”. For every Cameron Diaz there are at least five Demi Moores; and Sarah Palin still makes more money than Lisa Ann could ever dream of. (Unfortunately, since Lisa Ann’s a lot more moral and accomplished than the Half-Governor ever will be. Even fully clothed.)

Of course, Dines and Murphy do have an alternative to promoting “slut” theology….unfortunately it’s the same old tired “authentic female sexuality” divorced from real fact or experience or orgasm, rooted in the usual radfem notion of “radical female sexuality” (or, what the old heads would call “radicallesbianism”) freed from the bounds of male dictums and demands…and of male erections, too.

Women need to find ways to create their own authentic sexuality, outside of male-defined terms like slut. The recent TubeCrush phenomenon, where young women take pictures of men they find attractive on the London tube and post them to a website, illustrates how easily women copy dominant societal norms of sexual objectification rather than exploring something new and creative. And it’s telling that while these pictures are themselves innocent and largely free of sexual innuendo, one can only imagine the sexually aggressive language that would accompany a site dedicated to secret photos of women.

While the organisers of the SlutWalk might think that proudly calling themselves “sluts” is a way to empower women, they are in fact making life harder for girls who are trying to navigate their way through the tricky terrain of adolescence.

Women need to take to the streets – but not for the right to be called “slut”. Women should be fighting for liberation from culturally imposed myths about their sexuality that encourage gendered violence. Our daughters – and our sons – have the right to live in a world that celebrates equally women’s sexual freedom and bodily integrity.

How nice that two women who  have no problem sharing the dais with such prominent progressive “feminists” as Patrick Trueman, Shelley Lubben, and Judith Reisman, can lecture other feminists on what they should represent as “authentic female sexuality”. And how even nicer that they can promote their version of “It’s not your fault, but close your damn legs and cover yourselves up anyway, because you are enabling the men to leer and that’s raping us anyway” as a means of “sexual freedom” and “women’s autonomy”.

I’ll take Susie Bright and Nina Hartley’s brand of feminism over this crap any day of the week.

And I’ll STILL respect a woman’s right to say “HELL NO” and mean it, and still say “YES” and mean that, too.  Whatever she chooses to wear.

I love and worship sluts — the real ones and the wannabes just playing for fun — just too damn much to degrade and disrespect them as much as “feminists” like Gail Dines do.

But, she wouldn’t be the Bill O’Reilly of radicalfeminists otherwise.

And Slutwalk wouldn’t be the best of legitimate progressive feminism if they didn’t incur her wrath. All the better for them, I say.

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Forget Kool-Aid…Absolutely NOTHING Cracks The Mind Like Spiked Tea: Dane County GOTP Goes Off On Judge Staying Anti-Union Law

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Remember that classic Partnership for a Drug-Free America ad featuring the egg, a frying pan, and the warning of what illegal drugs do to your brain?? Well…just imagine a modern ripoff of it:

“This is your brain.”  <point to average egg>

“This is a Tea Party Conservative Republican’s brain.” <point to smaller egg>

“This is the latter brain on drugs.” <crack open Egg #2. mix with blend of crack, meth, and Long Island Tea spiked with bad vodka, then pour into hot frying pan> “Any questions??”

Of course, not all conservatives are as whack as that…but lately it sure seems as if right-wingers of the Teabagger variety have been acting like they’ve smoked just a bit too much meth.  Either that, or the power backed by corporate Koch billions is starting to fry their brain cells a bit much.

Take for instance, what’s happening in Wisconsin right now.

In case you’ve been under a rock of late, the reigning Tea Party/Republican regime in that state — led by governor Scott Walker and the GOTP majority in both houses of the Wisconsin legislature — is making a earnest attempt to undermine and undercut the strong progressive traditions of good government, labor protections, and representative democracy…all to build the type of “open for business” climate that would impess even Grover Norquist. To that end, they muscled through bills essentially ending the process of collective bargining for that state’s unions (exempting only the police, firefighters, and paramedic professionals), and obliterating all sorts of social services in order to “balance the budget” and feed more money and power to those who already have way too much of both. And they didn’t let a million-peron mass protest, a walkout by the state’s Democratic senators, or the rising tide of public opposition to their actions get in the way of their focus, either.

Problem is, in their attempt to ram this bill down the throats of the mighty Badger State, they kinda cut a few legal corners…like, detaching the fiscal sections of the bill from the antiunion stuff in order to avoid the lack of a quorum from the Dems boycotting the Senate, and not allowing for the proper waiting period before a bill can be heard before committees prior to voting on passage.

It was on those grounds that state judge Maryann Sumi issued a stay against enforcement of the anti-collective bargining law until such issues could be hashed out over the appeal process.

Governor Walker’s response to that?? The equivalent of “Pffft…Le’ tat, c’est moi”.  He announced that he would ignore the ruling and continue to enforce the law.

Whereas, Judge Sumi responded with “Ahhh, Gov??  I don’t think so. You are NOT above judicial review, sir.” She restated and made permanent the order blocking enforcement.

To most sane people, Judge Sumi is simply upholding the independence of the judicial branch to review and if needed void laws that violate the constitution of Wisconsin. That’s what she was elected and gets paid a decent salary to do, you know.

The modern crop of Tea Partiers and right-wing Republicans (yeah, I know, redundancy..right??), on the other hand, aren’t close to typical.  Or sane.

Anyone who follows the rantings of “Madame Batshit”…..errrrrrr, Michele Bachmann, or “PsychoNazi”…ahhhh, I mean, Iowa Congressman Steven King..or one of any Tea Party representatives, will attest to their unique form of…ahhhhh…errrrrrrr…ummmm…political speech prowess. Apparently, the lunacy tree also infects the local roots, too.

Which brings me to the Dane County, Wisconsin, local branch of the Republican Party, which had an interesting reaction to Judge Sumi’s rulings. (Judge Sumi is a native of Dane County…and that will be relevant later on in this post.)

First, there was this brief press statement, issued yesterday by the Dane Co. GOTP via their website (taken from their .pdf document):

Statement from Republican Party of Dane County on
Judge Sumi’s Order Blocking Implementation of Act 10

For those people that don’t know, the state of Wisconsin has an executive branch, a legislative branch, and a judicial branch. The executive branch has the job of carrying out the laws and setting the agenda for his administration. The legislative branch has the job of passing laws. And the judicial branch has the job of interpreting and applying the laws and ensuring their constitutionality.

By Judge Sumi’s action today, it is apparent that she has forgotten those roles and she
thinks that her job is to be a member of all three branches. The Republican Party of Dane County believes it is time for the judicial branch to stop being judicial activists. If they want to legislate the laws, they need to run for political office not judicial office.

The first paragraph is a dead-on fact. The second…not so much.

Apparently the people who created this press release must have skipped civics class, because only that way they would ignore the classic right of the judicial branch to review laws passed by the legislature and signed by the governor for constitutionality. Or..they didn’t, and simply believe that laws benefiting their benefactors should be exempt from any form of judicial review and should be merely accepted by majority fiat. Especially, laws Conservatives and Big Business likes that strip power from their traditional enemies.

But at least the Dane Co. GOTP didn’t go personal like some of the more strident wingnutters and TeaKKKluxers have done on occasion and attempted to whack the personal politics of those who deny them their Atlas Shrugged paradise.

Oh, wait….this just in: they released a second tract?? An apology to Judge Sumi?? Let’s read along (also in .pdf form; h/t to Rachel Maddow and The Wheeler Report):

RPDC Apologizes To Judge Sumi

The Republican Party of Dane County sent out a press release on March 29th criticizing Judge Maryann Sumi for holding up the publication of Governor Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reform bill. Upon further reflection we’d like to apologize for not understanding her point of view.

Sure, Governor Walker’s bill is unquestionably constitutional, increases worker’s rights and helps local government balance budgets without having to fire public workers. The Wisconsin state legislature consulted with their non-partisan parliamentarian to make sure that the passage of the bill followed the rules of the Senate and Assembly. But this isn’t about the law, is it?

The Republican Party of Dane County recognizes that Judge Sumi is a leftist living in Dane County. Her friends are leftists living in Dane County. Her son is a left wing activist in Dane County. She goes to cocktail parties held by leftists in Dane County. She shops at organic gourmet food shops run by leftists living in Dane County. If she were to enforce the law of Wisconsin and do what was in the best interest of the people of Wisconsin, she’d be exiled from her lifestyle. She’d lose her friends!

The leadership of the Republican Party of Dane County have all made the choice to stand against the Dane County elite. We accept that Left feels righteous vandalizing our homes and keying our cars. It’s only fair. We disagree based upon logic and principle. That is intolerable! We prioritize the Constitution and the well being of the people of Wisconsin over foie gras at cocktail parties. That’s the choice we made. We respect Judge Sumi’s decision to live her life with the rich diversity that liberals cherish.

Now…I’m not going to even get into the Newsspeak of how a law that was rammed down the throats of the legislature under questionable circumstances can be said to be “totally constitutional”; or how a law that shatters nearly 100 years of established collective bargining rights and loots state workers directly could be said to “increase workers’ rights” (I guess they must mean the rights for workers to work below minimum wage with no benefits whatsoever??), or how a law allowing localities to basically ignore standing law and fire at will any worker who complains about being soused to fund the pleasure domes of the wealthy amounts to “helping local governments balance their budgets”.

No, no,’s the personal smack directed at Judge Sumi that fascinates me.

Naturally, to a Tea Partier, anyone who is not fully in rhythm with the footstomp of The Elephant must be by definition a “liberal”, or a “leftist,” or a “leftist elitist” (very nice phrasology there, guys), who sips on Perrier and dines on Brie and cocktails at the local left-wing lodge while “regular” proud ‘Merikan Conservatives are left holding the bag for their profligate spending on the moochers and leeches who just hate those creative and inventive capitalists who generate all the economic growth, and who deserve every damn penny that they earn (and grift through tax subsidies and cutting wages and benefits and the prison/military/industrial complex), without them damn Liberals/Commies/Lefties/Slut Baby Killers/Lesbians/Kenyans/Religious Atheists/Sharia Moslem Terrorists/Gangstas holding their hand out for handouts.

Of course, it’s old hack for wingnutters and TeaKKKluxers to rip those who oppose them as Commies and Lefties and otherwise anti-American. It goes with the territory these days. But, DAMN….”organic gormet food shops” are “leftist” now?? Gee, does that make meat markets selling Bratwurst conservative??  And please….people who worship Rush Limbaugh ($30 million a year salary) the Koch Brothers and get their money from the likes of Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich have no business hating on the “lifestyles” of “liberals”…last time I checked, Judge Sumi had one husband and probably lives right down the straight and narrow.

But hey….she’s a Democrat (at least, she’s not a TeaKKKluxer), so I guess that that  makes it perfectly OK for the folks at the Dane County GOTP to throw the kitchen sink, the oven, and all the other available kitchen appliances at her with all the usual wingnut stereotypes. Why not go all the way, though, guys, and just say how you really feel and just call her a Muslim-loving lesbian slut who probably bedded her way to the bench…with several aborted babies left in her wake??  Or…maybe, she’s another one of Barack Obama’s madrassa footsoldiers who faked their real birth certificate in order to get elected?? Paging Orly Taitz, to Dane County…STAT!!!

Everyone who reads this knows my feelings about the Democrats (too timid, too conservative, too dependent on the Third Way/DLC corporatist memes to effectively defend working-class/poor/progressive interests). Compared to these cracked bastards that run the GOTP, though, they are freakin’ Mensas…and that’s not intended to be sarcastic, either.

Still, I needed a laugh this morning…and leave it to TeaKKKluxer lunacy to make my Wednesday a bit more bearable.

Oh, one last thing, wingnutters: no one serves foie gras at cocktails anymore.

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MacDworkinism 2.0: #MooreAndMe, Keith Olbermann, And The Assange “Rape Debate”

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Everyone knows from this blog that I then to be a strong supporter of the fundamental goals and objectives of feminism…which I define to be the belief that men and women are free and equal human beings, entitled to the same rights, responsibilities, and human destiny to fulfill their dreams.

Everyone also knows my feelings on sexual assault and sexual battery: like any other form of violence, it should be shunned at any and all opportunity, and those who perpetrate such crimes should be held accountable for their actions.

At the same time, however, I also believe just as strongly in the fundamental principle of innocence until PROVEN guilty through verifiable evidence. Far too many people have been railroaded out of justice from being framed for crimes they didn’t commit. And, more importantly, in our zeal to enhance justice for those who are true victims of violent crime, it is vital to not jump to conclusions or rely merely on hearsay or plain ideological instinct just for the sake of ideology’s sake.

Unfortunately, when the issue cuts as deep as sexual assault against women, and the record is filled with the stories of rape victims being denied their right to justice to the system, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of “Screw the evidence, he’s guilty…let’s hang him and let God (or the Goddess) sort out the evidence later!!!” And, in the bitter crossfire and blind worship of “Every Woman As Victim, Every Man As Rapist Or Accomplice”, the full spectrom of reality gets lost in the mob mentality.

Such a critical mass is now ensuing in the case of Wikileaks  spokesperson Julian Assange, and the result is an out-of-control webwar that threatens to reignite gender identity politics and refire old fissures of liberal politics.

For those who don’t know, Assange is now released on bail in Great Britain, facing possible extradition to Sweden to face rape charges questioning stemming from an incident where he allegedly induced a sexual tryst with at least one woman, which went arwy when Assauge allegedly removed his condom and forced himself upon the woman. The woman first went to Assange asking for a STI test, when he refused, she reported him twice to the police to press charges, but both times were refused. About a mionth later, in the midst of some very controversal releases of classified material by Wikileaks exposing some very indictable behavior by various governments and business entities, the Swedish government all of a sudden decided to reverse themselves and indict Assange for the sexual assault charges, using their, shall we say, unique reading of Swedish rape law. (The law is based on the same concept of favoring women over men as the “Swedish Model” set of laws against prostitution/pornography/sex work, which basically assumes that men are the aggressors and women their victims.) In the end, no charges were filed against him, and the case was dismissed.  Assange was arrested in GB on traditional espionage charges, the US also wants to extradite him to face their own charges of espionage.

To put it succintly, the story of the accusers has split progressives down the middle. Assange’s most fervent defenders basically dismiss this as a CIA-government plot, or a “honey trap” to use sex as a weapon to snag Assange for giving up government dirty laundry. They point to the changing stories of the accusers, the fact that one of them ultimately recanted her story and decided not to press charges, and that the main accuser actually boasted of not only “entrapping” Assange, but of using it to blackmail him into marriage.

On the other extreme, however, are fervent feminists — both of the traditional liberal and the radical kind — who see in all this a vicious attack on the accusers, and by extension, on all women who are victims of rape or have been and are unable to report their experiences to the authorities. To these women, many of whom have been victims themselves, the accusers are living symbols of all rape victims who attempt to obtain justice against powerful men who committ violent crime against them.

And, for a select extreme of radical feminism, the defense of Julian Assange by mostly liberal/progressive men is, for them, the testimonial to the ultimate power of innate “sexism on the Left” and proof positive of the supposed dominance of “rape culture” and “male privilege” in defending “patriarchy” against the brave women who are the footsoldiers against the innate evil of male sexuality.

The latter group were particularly enraged when cherished progressive director/screenwright Michael Moore decided to give a sizable amount of cash to help bail out Assange, then went on Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC show Countdown to justify his actions, calling the charges against Assange “bogus”. In vicious reaction, some of these women decided to launch a Twitter-based campaign hashtagged “#MooreAndMe” to basically bash Moore as a misogynist, a “rape apologist” and a privileged liberal male who was totally out of step with and tone deaf about what women dealt with when it comes to rape and sexual assault. And, in some of the tweets, they all but came out and declared Assange guilty and by rule, Olbermann and Moore his accomplices. (A Twitter search of “MooreAndMe” will provide a sample of the rage.)

Moore for his part has been a bit silent..but Olbermann did attempt on Friday to offer some defense of his actions in allowing Moore on…but got so bombarded by the haters that he ultimately decided to totally suspend his Twitter account (@KeithOlbermann) to get away from the swarm. Of course, all that did was inflame the anti-Assange crusaders that much more, all but calling Olbermann out as a rape accomplice and a chicken who won’t face “the truth” about rape and his “complicity” in “rape culture”.

Well, today, KO returned to Twitter and offered up a long tweet (via Twitlonger, because it broke the usual 140-character limit of Twitter), justifying his actions and defending himself.

I endorse, sympathize with, and empathize with, the rape consciousness goals of #mooreandme, and have already apologized accordingly. But I cannot defend and will not accept their tactics which mirror so many of the attitudes and threats they fight. I do not know of what Julian Assange is guilty, if anything, and neither does anybody else. But given the extraordinary efforts by Sweden to extradite him, to say he is benefiting from some form of rape apologism is not fact-based. It is also unfair to condemn as anti-feminist those who merely address the juxtaposition of this prosecution to the fact that Assange threatens the secret and nefarious activities of dozens of governments. And I will not engage those who suggest that those who do not prioritize one issue to the exclusion of all others should succumb to forced financial contributions, or should ‘kill themselves’ (examples of each will be retweeted shortly, along with my previous apology). The #mooreandme attacks do not help those who fight against rape, they hurt them. And indeed they feature something larger than anti-feminist. This is, to use a clunky phrase, anti-personism.

You would think that would settle the issue, right??  Wrong.

Right after Olbermann delivered that tweet, Tracy Clark-Flory posted an essay at basically rejecting all of KO’s points, claiming that he “still doesn’t get it”. I went ahead and reposted the full essay because it encapsulates the position of the #MooreAndMe folks perfectly..

Back from his self-imposed Twitter timeout, Keith Olbermann is lashing out at his feminist critics. As Sady Doyle explained last week in Salon, the online protest was started in response to Michael Moore’s mischaracterization of the allegations against Julian Assange. Olbermann became a target after retweeting a link from Bianca Jagger that incorrectly claimed “the term ‘rape’ in Sweden includes consensual sex without a condom,” and that named Assange’s accuser (which is generally a journalistic no-no). Overwhelmed by the Twitter campaign, which was waged with the hashtag “mooreandme,” Olbermann quit the microblogging site in a huff. This afternoon, after a few days of calm reflection, he tweeted a link to his thoughts on the matter:

I endorse, sympathize with, and empathize with, the rape consciousness goals of #mooreandme, and have already apologized accordingly. But I cannot defend and will not accept their tactics which mirror so many of the attitudes and threats they fight. I do not know of what Julian Assange is guilty, if anything, and neither does anybody else. But given the extraordinary efforts by Sweden to extradite him, to say he is benefiting from some form of rape apologism is not fact-based. It is also unfair to condemn as anti-feminist those who merely address the juxtaposition of this prosecution to the fact that Assange threatens the secret and nefarious activities of dozens of governments.

But, of course, his antagonists are not condemning him for “merely address[ing] the juxtaposition” (a point Kate Harding made clear in her Salon piece about “the rush to smear Assange’s accuser”). They allege that he spread misinformation about the accusations against Assange. As Doyle wrote, “People trust journalists: If a journalist says something, like ‘the term “rape” in Sweden includes consensual sex without a condom’ (Olbermann’s own, demonstrably false, as-yet-unredacted words), most people will believe that what he has said is true, and act as if it is true, without doing further research.” The protest has consisted of frequent calls for Olbermann to issue a simple correction, to set the record straight for his many followers.

Instead of doing that, though, Olbermann continues: “And I will not engage those who suggest that those who do not prioritize one issue to the exclusion of all others should succumb to forced financial contributions, or should ‘kill themselves.'” He followed up by retweeting one of the messages in question, which read in part, “Seriously, kill yourself.” Then he retweeted a call for him to donate $20,000 to the anti-rape organization RAINN as atonement. His antagonists have been quick to point out that he cherry-picked the “kill yourself” tweet, which is an exception in the thread, and that the call for “financial contributions” is simply in the interest of rape victims. One user wrote, “we WILL NOT be satisfied UNTIL you retract the false information you publicized re: Assange allegations.” Olbermann responded, “you’ll have to accept a block instead.”

It seems Olbermann’s Twitter vacation didn’t help him to raise the level of discourse or realize that, as Doyle put it, his “style of old-media authority doesn’t hold up” online.

It should be noted that Kate Harding and Sady Doyle (along with Amanda Marcotte) are the primary drivers of the “#MooreAndMe” movement.

However…it seems that Clark-Flory and the #MooreAndMe folk may have missed some facts on the way to their vendetta. A commentator to the Salon article, Xrandadu Hutman, posted this comment dissecting Clark-Flory’s account:

Tracy Clark-Flory: “Back from his self-imposed Twitter timeout, Keith Olbermann is lashing out at his feminist critics.”

Very emotion-laden, dramatic descriptor here: “lashing out.” It is not an accurate portrayal of Olbermann’s communication, Tracy, and you know it. What’s your agenda? Pot-stirring? To what end?

Tracy Clark-Flory: “As Sady Doyle explained last week in Salon…”

Sady Doyle also “explained” that Assange is currently facing criminal charges. Which wasn’t true. Sady Doyle then had to “explain” that she got her facts wrong. But she didn’t. Instead, there was a very quiet, very cowardly little correction stuffed way down at the end of the article. To this date, not a single Salon writer has acknowledged the severity of this error. Alex Pareene backed down and wimped out, pretending it never happened. Tracy, you notably skipped over it, as if you didn’t know anything. Not cool at all. How about admitting what a ridiculously bad error it is? If you say somebody has been charged with a crime when they haven’t, that’s an automatic “F” in a Journalism 101 class. So it’s a little inane to say that Sady Doyle has “explained” anything.

Tracy Clark-Flory: “…the online protest was started in response to Michael Moore’s mischaracterization of the allegations against Julian Assange.”

Which mischaracterization? That the “condom tore”? Because the torn condom is one of the key allegations against Assange. So what did Moore say that was inaccurate there? Or are you referring to something else? Or simply the fact that Moore didn’t go through each accusation and list them all (even though the Guardian article with details hadn’t been published yet)?

Tracy Clark-Flory: “Olbermann became a target after incorrectly stating that “the term ‘rape’ in Sweden includes consensual sex without a condom,” and tweeting a link to an article that named Assange’s accuser (which is generally a journalistic no-no).”

I’m not sure it’s a journalistic “no-no” if the charges have been dropped. Can you outline how that works? Also, is Tweeting a link to something the same as actually reporting the name, or is it removed several stages from it? Tweeting is not currently considered on par with broadcasting officially, though Olbermann probably should have been more judicious. I would say that Olbermann’s statement about condoms/rape is questionable, and suggests frustration and sarcasm. But coupled with his other statements it does not add up to a grand violation worthy of a mass online protest. Again, I’d like to mention that it’s a little rich to speak of “journalistic no-no’s” when you haven’t acknowledged the depth of the errors published by Salon concerning this issue.

Tracy Clark-Flory: “Overwhelmed by the Twitter campaign, which was waged with the hashtag “mooreandme,” Olbermann quit the microblogging site in a huff.”

Why the repetition of this emotion-laden and not supported descriptor? This is the exact same term that Alex Pareene used for his article. It’s like you’re copying his language. Do Salon writers now have a hive-mind? What constitutes “in a huff” versus “stepping away to get some distance from something”? Or whatever? Did Olbermann actually say something “huffy”? Pareene wrote that Olbermann “stormed off” — how do you storm off of Twitter, anyway? “Storming off” and “in a huff” imply a physicality to behavior that is simply not of a piece with anything Olbermann actually did.

Tracy Clark-Flory: “This afternoon, after a few days of calm reflection, he tweeted a link to his thoughts on the matter:”

Tracy, are you now a mind reader? You know both that Olbermann was “in a huff” and that he was later “calm”? How do you know this? Did Olbermann say so? Did you speak to somebody who knows him personally? Describing somebody’s mental state is not something a journalist can credibly do without observation or witness accounts. It’s not a big-big deal, but it makes your own motivation suspect: Why are you so eager to ascribe unknowable thoughts and feelings to somebody in order to tell your story? It suggests you have an agenda outside of reporting. This is not cool, not professional, and does not serve the readership of Salon.

Tracy Clark-Flory: “His antagonists are not condemning him for “merely address[ing] the juxtaposition” (a point Kate Harding made clear in her Salon piece about “the rush to smear Assange’s accuser”).”

I don’t think Kate Harding made it clear at all, especially not in regard to Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann. Harding actually confused several issues, including the concept of whether a torn or removed condom, of and by itself, indicates a clear “removal of consent” that is tantamount to rape. Pareene also confused this, and neither reported that even Swedish law regards it as molestation and not rape. Nor does Harding’s article in any way disprove Olbermann’s contention that this is his motivation, and it’s pretty obvious that it is. Olbermann’s concern is over the WikiLeaks discoveries being muted by the distraction of the Assange allegations. That is a valid concern, and actually one of the most important concerns possible here. The Swedish sex situation will take care of itself if there is a case to be made. The WikiLeaks revelations are actually going to have an impact or lack thereof on the basis of how the media spends its time reporting them. If lost in a morass of debate over torn condoms and skeevy behavior, then the discussion of corporate abuse and government manipulation has been severely muted if not completely silenced. That’s something everybody should be concerned about, and to say so is not to be a rape apologist.

[continued in new comment]

Tracy Clark-Flory: “They allege that he spread misinformation about the accusations against Assange.”

But what did he actually spread? A single Tweet that sarcastically said “evidently consensual sex without a condom is rape in Sweden.” That’s all they’ve got? That he Tweeted something lame, and that was only partially false? (The sex was by most standards consensual, and most of the charges stem from the condom/lack-of-condom.) What is it that people want from Olbermann? A big apology for a single lame Tweet? Why? What will that prove? It’s more like they want to make Olbermann bow to them for their own validation than that they want anything for the sake of actual rape awareness.

Tracy-Clark Flory: “As Doyle wrote, “People trust journalists: If a journalist says something, like ‘the term ‘rape’ in Sweden includes consensual sex without a condom’ (Olbermann’s own, demonstrably false, as-yet-unredacted words), most people will believe that what he has said is true, and act as if it is true, without doing further research.””

Tracy: Did you write this article just so you could repeat other Salon writer’s lines word-for-word? You copied “in a huff” from Pareene. Then you referenced Kate Harding without paraphrasing her case. Now this. Not that you can’t sum up others’ opinions, but you don’t even add anything here. Worse, don’t you see the irony in Sady Doyle’s statement? She talks about the trust of journalists — then she gets her facts wrong. Sady Doyle and Alex Pareene both got the essential facts wrong: They claimed Assange was currently criminally charged with rape, when he is not charged with anything at all. That’s a serious error. If Olbermann owes people an apology and redaction for a Tweet (which arguably is mostly factually correct, and is also obviously sarcastic), then don’t Doyle and Pareene also owe Salon readers an apology? And doesn’t Kate Harding owe us an apology for mischaracterizing the definition of rape in her article?

Tracy Clark-Flory: “The protest has consisted of frequent calls for Olbermann to issue a simple correction, to set the record straight for his many followers.”

And why are they fixated on Olbermann issuing a correction to his Tweet? Why is THAT the Holy Grail for them? No, really. What’s the importance of Olbermann bowing to their demands? What do they get out of it? Rape awareness for all? No, it actually will do nothing to raise rape awareness. If anything it might clarify some subtle elements of Swedish sexual-assault law.

Tracy Clark-Flory: “His antagonists have been quick to point out that he cherry-picked the “kill yourself” tweet…”

So Tracy, if you write an article and you make reference to one of the most insulting and disturbing comments in the comments section, can we all say that you’ve “cherry picked” it?

Tracy Clark-Flory: “…which is an exception in the thread…”

Tracy, did you read the entire thread? Did you see no evidence of other insulting comments? You haven’t really made this clear. You just say “it’s an exception” and you expect us all to take your word for it? On what basis? Did you pore over every comment? Were you participating in it? Aren’t some comments written and then deleted — and if so, are you sure you didn’t miss them?

Tracy Clark-Flory: “…and that the call for “financial contributions” is simply in the interest of rape victims.”

What do you mean, “simply in the interest of rape victims”? People are saying Olbermann should pay out $20,000 as atonement. Sure, it’s in the interest of rape victims to pay a rape-crisis center $20,000. But as atonement? Atonement for what — Tweeting something lame? If you can say that Olbermann “cherry picked” the comment telling him to kill himself, aren’t the protesters also “cherry picking” Olbermann’s Tweet, when you fully well know that Olbermann also wrote Tweets expressing concern for rape victims in the most sober and sincere terms?

Tracy Clark-Flory: “It seems Olbermann’s Twitter vacation didn’t help him to raise the level of discourse or realize that, as Doyle put it, his “style of old-media authority doesn’t hold up” online.”

Doyle certainly didn’t raise the level of discourse. Are you actually implying that Doyle raised the level of discourse? Did you not see her paragraph sarcastically jumping on Olbermann’s word choice of “frenzy” to suggest that Olbermann had characterized everybody with a valid rape concern as, in Doyle’s upper-case description, “FRENZIED!” and frothing at the mouth? When Olbermann made no such characterization?

Tracy Clark-Flory, your article is overloaded with unacknowledged ironies, as well as unskeptical, non-reflective side-taking. I am really disappointed in you. You’re about 100 times better than this.

And another commenter cites a recent article in the British news journal Guardian which revealed all of the prosecution’s information about the case and verified the fact that no charges were filed against Assange as a result.

I hope that everyone who cares about this side of the Assange/Wikileaks story makes the effort to avail themselves of the sparse facts available:

The article describes the Sweedish prosecutors’ description of the situation, which closely matches the description given by “people in Assange’s camp” since the allegations were re-pursued by the prosecutors. (I have to say that I’m surprised that they were getting it right, given the personal and political intensity of the situation. Then again, they are risking assassination for the ideal of accurately, publicly documenting situations.)

I would encourage everyone to read the Guardian piece and determine for themselves whether or not they would apply the term “rape” to the situations described in the prosecution’s documents.

Ms. Clark-Flory and Mr. Olbermann can continue to hash out these finer points. (Neither gaining any esteem in my eyes.)

Finally, the Guardian article makes clear one very important point: no charges have been filed against Mr. Assange arising from these situations. The lack of charges makes the Interpol “red notice” for his arrest apparently quite extraordinary. It also brings shame to the countless US “journalists” who have used the term “charges” to describe the legal situation facing Mr. Assange in Sweden.

So, let us review this: two women make a charge of “rape” against Julian Assauge, even though one of them later interviews a British tabloid and openly claims that everything was consensual, and she even maintained a friendly relationship with him afterward, based solely on a broken/unused condom and concerns about HIV. The charges are investigated and dismissed…TWICE. However, under pressure from the US, who wants his head on a stake for charges totally unrelated this situation, the British government decides to hold him for “questioning” after he willingly, with permission from the Swedish government, turns himself in after the British authorities put out a “red alert” for his arrest. And that has nothing to do at all with his activities with Wikileaks??  Really??

Of course, the #MooreAndMe folks have now decided to raise the bar that much higher and treat this as the symbol of “male liberal privilege” and the triumph of “rape culture” where ALL women are represented by the two “accusers” who are literally being trashed and lynched for their supposed selfless act of turning Assauge in on “rape” charges. Indeed, the rhetoric now being infused is becoming much closer to the stuff lobbed by classical radical feminists such as Catherine MacKinnon about the evil of how the “male Left” uses their “privilege” to protect rapists and punish their victims. In short. we have the GenderBorg 2.0, only with rape replacing pornography as the backdrop for classical radfem Left-baiting and identity purity politics.

A few lonely voices, such as CultureKitchen’s Liza Sabatier (@Blogdiva) and Canadian feminist/socialist Sabina Becker (@BinaBecker), as well as active sex workers like Furry Girl of Feminisnt (whom, if you will remember, I quoted in full last time) have raised concern about the strong-arm tactics of the #MaM hive and their corrosive effects on tackling all forms of discrimination and allowing a “divide and conquer” mentality that privileges a few over the concerns and needs of the many. Most of those voices are female, because it seems that anyone who happens to be male and progressive who raises even a hint of concern is immediately put on full blast as an “rape apologist”, and a protecter of “male liberal privilege”.

How this helps actual rape victims or advances the debate about rape is defying to me. Unless, people like Clark-Flory, Marcotte, Boyle and the rest of the #MooreAndMe crowd is more interested in scoring brownie points and using radfem hubris to divide and conquer progressives into submission. just may be the usual means of bashing men for having penises and not being PC enough.

We’ve been through this path before…and it doesn’t lead to anything pretty.

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High Tech Lynch Mobs…Not Just A Right-Wing Obsession: Julian Assange, Michael Moore, Keith Olbermann, And The Great “Who’s Your Rapist/Rape Apologist??” Meme

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Right about now, the Democratic Party is about to finish up the biggest betrayal of its liberal heritage by passing the Bush/Obama tax “compromise”, with most of the comproising occuring on the Democratic side. But…that’s not the main story.

Right about now, the war in Afghanistan is entering the same “unwinnable” stage that the Vietnam War entered during the early 1970’s, in spite of all the drone attacks and paying off of the local forces and all the death and destruction rained on the very Talban that we nurtured during the 1980’s to defeat the Soviets back then. But…no one is caring about that tonight, either.

Right about now, people are doing their final plans to get ready for a hectic Christman holidy weekend. But, still….that is taking a back seat.

And, right about now, the Wikileaks website is continuing to be the target for government censorship and direct intervention for its ability to expose the dark and scuzzy side of diplomacy and torture and war. But…even that has become secondary these days.

Because…all serious news and issues just can’t beat a good old fashioned sex scandal.

Especially, one that can be used to undermine and distract attention from public mayhem and corruption and war crimes.

And in the ongoing case of Julian Assange, mastermind behind Wikileaks, it’s a doozy that can bring out even the worst.

For those who don’t know or have been under a rock this past month, numerous governments have been gunning for Assange’s ass ever since he used his Wikileaks service to reveal several cables and emails depicting numerous shady deals, crimes, and possible war crimes committed by said governments and major corporations. The US govenment is currently attempting to obtain a warrent for his arrest on “espionage” charges for revealing certain cables exposing some quite damaging and damning acts done in the name of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and countries like Germany and Great Britain are planning on doing the same.  Assange was, until this afternoon, held on bond in London on espionage charges, but after appeals by British authorities to keep him there failed, he was able to post bail and was temporarily released pending trial.

However, it’s not the espionage or the whistleblowing that is the subject of his latest troubles, but intimate spying of a much more intimate kind.

Assange is also charged in Sweden with one count of “rape”…but it’s a hell of a lot more complicated than that.

A couple of women whom had dated Assange around this time last year came out and accused him of raping them, claming that he had first thriced them into having what started out as consensual sex, but quickly went array when either Assauge’s condom broke or he took it off deliberately. The first complainant claimed that after removing the condom, he had deliberately held her down in order to, shall we say, finish the deed; the second woman simply claimed that he had had unprotected sex without using a condom. Both women had originally approached Assange to have him take a test for STI’s for fear of being infected; but when he refused, they then took advantage of a quite quirky Swedish law which allows women to initiate rape charges against men merely for “lack of consent”. (This is the same Sweden, of course, that developed the “Swedish Model” prototype of anti-prostitution/anti-sex work laws that blame and punish men exclusively for sex crimes and “objectification” of women, and outlows all forms of sex work under the notion that men use such activites to “degrade” and “abuse” women.) Swedish authorities have been trying as well to extradite Assange to face charges there, too.

Unfortunately, the charges here aren’t as clear cut, and there is some legitimate inconsistenties about the accusor’s stories that have cast serious doubt about their stories…well, that and the timing coming with the overall crackdown by govermnents potentially covering their backside assets from too much sunshine exposure. Blogger/sex worker Furry Girl, via her Feminisnt blog, capsualized those doubts:

Here’s the story from what I can tell: “victim one” bragged about bagging Assange, threw a party for him the day after he “raped” her, and only decided she’d been “raped” after finding out she wasn’t his only lover.  Earlier this year, her blog also promoted an article about how to exact malicious revenge on the unfaithful.  (That series of events apparently could sound suspect only to a woman-hating rape-apologist?)  Once two jilted Assange groupies discovered each other, the women who’d previously stayed friendly with Assange even after their “assaults” (while thinking they were his only girl) got upset and decided to go to the police.  And, even then, they didn’t go to press rape charges at first, they went to see if they could force Assange to undergo STI testing.  After there wasn’t enough evidence to charge him with anything, and then after repeat tries got the charges thrown out of court, one woman escalated her claim and said that, yes, actually, she did recall that he held her down with his bodyweight when they had sex.  The rape hysterics have been holding that part up as the new lynchpin in the case.  Obviously, only a rapist would be on top of a woman during sex!

Now, you would think that such questioning of such serious rape charges would be the end of the story….but you would be wrong.

In the hallowed halls of what passes for feminist activism here in the US (as is most of the West), the principle of defending those who make accusations of rape is one of the most revered and trusted hallmarks. In most cases, it’s fully justified, considering that most legitimate victims of rape have had their cases dismissed without so much of a wave or even an investigation. However, in the minds of a few feminist activists, this principle has been overinflatted to the view that not only should a victim of rape be believed and respected when she makes her case, but that ANY woman making an accusation of rape must be assumed to be credible, if not absolutely correct, and that the man targetted must be assumed to be guilty as charged without even the notion of verification of evidence, or the right of a trial by jury.  Anything less than total acquecense to this principle, so they say, simply leads to being “apologists” for rape and degrading and abusing rape victims all over again.

In short, blind rage at the treatment of legitimate victims of rape have caused well meaning people to assume the notion that any attempt to question a rape accuser is tantimont to “trashing” her and “justifying” her rape, and any attempt to defend the targeted person is simply the work of “rape apologists” who simply are brute enablers of fiends who rape women. “Damn the notion of innocent until proven guilty in a court of law; we KNOW he’s guilty, and Goddess dammit, anyone who disagrees with us is simply protecting him..if not a rapist himself!!!”

And so, a mostly rag-tag group of feminist bloggers, mostly liberal- to radical-feminists, have joined forces to mount a campaign online to “defend” the honor of the accusers of Julian Assange, all but calling him out as a bruteal rapist who is using his celebrity as the founder of Wikileaks as a free “get out of jail free and rape women with impunity” card. Mostly organized across the political spectrom from Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon to Monica Shores to Shelby Knox to Boing Boing editrix Xena Jardin, to various radical feminists, they have posted their rage at Assange at many venues.

But that’s not all…they have now spread their venom to include those who they see as being enablers of Assange and attackers of those heroic accusers of his.

Thier current target happens to be liberal icon/producer/director Michael Moore of Roger And Me and Sicko fame, who has been openly expressing his support for Assange’s efforts as liberating and doing the job that mainstream journalism apparently isn’t doing. That has inflamed the “buat Assange” crowd so much that they have mounted a special Twitter campaign using the hashtag “#MooreAndMe”; where they unleash their venom on Moore for enabling this evil rapist to get away with his crimes.

Actuall, though, Moore now has to share the hot seat now…because none other than Keith Olbermann has aroused the anger of the New Feminist “Lynch Assange” movement.

Olbermann’s crime was to invite Moore to his MSNBC Countdown with Keith Olbermann TV show last Monday and give him five minutes to justify his donation to Assange’s bail fund…and dismiss the rape accusations as “hooey” based on the inconsistencies. Of course, that inflamed them that much more, so much that they bombed KO’s Twitter account with flaming Scud tweets accusing him of being another apologist for rape.

That in itself brought some of Olbermann’s old haters and rivals to attempt to get in on the picking, probably thinking that they would be successful where the last scandal over his political contributions wasn’t. The media website Mediaite, a long time critic of KO, sent a reporter to harrass him with leading questions about why he wasn’t willing to accept wholeheartedly the story of the accusers; KO responded by basically blowing it off as misinterpretation. It got so bad that Olbermann ultimately decided to suspend his Twitter account to get away from the flaming…which, unfortunately, seems to have activated the noise from his opponents even that much more. (He did mention the suspension briefly on his show tonight..but offered no other comment.)

It should be noted that most defenders of Wikileaks and Julian Assange have attempted to steer away from the controversy over “He said, She said.” following Glenn Greenwald’s lead that the importance of what Wikileaks is exposing outweighs any pettiness of the charges, and that the best idea is to wait until the trials begin before passing any judgments about Assauge’s personal actions. And, of course, the charges themselves are serious enough to warrant a full hearing.  Nobody is saying that if these charges are indeed true, that Assange shouldn’t be held accountable for his actions; though some do say that even if guilty, that shouldn’t undermine the efforts of Wikileaks; and they even hint that there might even be an alterior motive behind the accusations, pointing to an alleged CIA connection with one of the two accusers.

I’m not going to even assume Assange’s guilt or innocence in this matter…I’ll just wait for the courts to sellle that matter.

What bothers me most about this whole matter, though, is the willingness of the stridency of the protectors of the accusers to damn anyone who even hints of mild critcism as simply “rape apologism”, as if these women should be placed on some high pedestal and treated as if there is no need for a trial. It’s as if they believe that there can be no color or even shades of gray on this issue: you are either for the “victim” or you are for the “rapist”…and if you don’t choose quick enough, then you must be on the side of the “rapist”.

This is one step removed from Tea Party activism…and would be condemned rightfully so as extremism if it was a Tea Bagger right-winger doing this. Problaem is, though, it’s feminists — liberal feminists, radical feminists — doing this in the name of protecting rape victims and attacking rapists, and justifying bliind fath and lynch mob mentality.It’s kind of counterproductive to condemn the other side for acting extremish when you are capable of doing the same exact thing. Extremism in defense of virtue isn’t just a problem with right-wingers, I guess.

I leave it to Furry Girl to make the relevant points, since she does it better than anyone so far.  And remember, she is no wallflower when it comes to excating justice to those who are proven guilty…ask Pat Bohanan.

When lefties fanatically spearhead every rape/abuse allegation leveled by anyone, they are creating an environment that enables and even encourages false accusations from angry parties.  While it’s a travesty that police and courts tend to not believe people claiming that they have been sexually assaulted, the solution is not to unquestioningly champion anyone who makes the claim. Never believing and always believing allegations are both wrong.  Rape and assault are awful, fucked up things, but that doesn’t mean claims shouldn’t be subjected to any fact-checking or skepticism.  Murder is awful, too, and even with our badly flawed judicial system, we still generally try and sort out the facts and give the accused their day in court and a chance to defend themselves.

Hysterics will no doubt claim that I’m defending rape or don’t take it seriously.  On the contrary: I consider rape and sexual assault accusations to be so serious that they deserve extra consideration and yes, even questioning when it’s warranted.  I think we’re obligated to turn a critical eye on potentially fraudulent allegations.  As someone who recently sung the praises of vigilante justice, I’m clearly all in favor of exacting harsh physical and social revenge upon rapists, predators, and abusers – but if you’re going to do that to someone, you had better be sure.

What is the workable alternative to having some degree of caution about rape accusations?  Is the argument that rape is so terrible that it’s morally justifiable to destroy innocent lives in the pursuit of ferreting out any potential rapists?  (The word for that is collateral damage.)

Julian Assange deserves a right to defend himself, have legal representation, question the lack of evidence of wrongdoing, and address lies being spread in the mainstream and liberal press.  (Example: he didn’t “flee Sweden to avoid prosecution” as the feminists are claiming – he stuck around some 40 days after the accusations surfaced, trying to see if police wanted to take a statement from him.  Assange also willingly turned himself in – hardly the hallmark of a “flight risk trying to avoid going to court”.)  I don’t know what transpired between himself and his “victims”, but I do know that thus far, I’m not convinced he did anything more discourteous than failing to tell his Swedish ladyfriends he wasn’t looking to settle down and marry them.  Maybe my guess will be proved wrong, who knows.  I’ll keep an open mind, and I challenge others to do the same, especially when it comes to such incendiary topics.  Google the matter for yourself, pick an array of articles to read (start with this post, perhaps), and form your own opinion based on a metric other than “anyone accused of rape is guilty, because rape is wrong.”

Being around activist types for over 11 years – and witnessing how some bad apples go nuclear on former lovers – I’ve sadly been taught to be suspicious of accusations of sexual impropriety when they involve political people.  Don’t blame me for requesting fairness to all parties – vilify the dangerous scoundrels who cry wolf just to get back at an ex, mocking real survivors and make it harder for them to be believed.  Just as much as rapists and abusers, fakers are the true villains of this topic.

To repeat: if Julian Assange is guilty of the crimes he committed, then he deserves all the wrath coming to him. But, until he is proven guilty, it would be a good idea for everyone to turn down the volume a bit.  And, let’s seperate the man from the organization that is doing plenty of good and is being hit with the full wrath of many states who have plenty to hide. Censure if you will, but when your blind hate causes innocent people to be burned or self censored, it allows the real enemy (state fascism) to win. All of that is not worth a broken condom.

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Another Day, Another HIV Porn Scare Overhyped…And Shelley Lubben Goes Whack Again, But Gets Exposed For The Fraud She Is

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I am so sorry that I couldn’t get to this when all the drama originally took place…but I was preoccupied with other things.

But, now that it seems that yet another supposed HIV pandemic in porn has been proven to be total nonsense and greatly overhyped, I guess that it’s now time to serve some crow to some people.

For those who may not have noted, last July the California porn world was in total chaos because it was leaked that one of their performers had tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. That set off all the usual hysteria, with porn sets shut down while all the primary and secondary sex partners of the poor afflicted performer (dubbed as “Patient Zets”) were tested as per normal procedure by the Adult Industry Medical Foundation, which is basically the official testing organization for the California-based porn industry.

Unfortunately, because this latest scare took place only one year after a similar panic when a female performer was tested positive; the flameout in rhetoric was even more extrreme, with most signs pointing to the breach of the system as the final proof they needed to condemn AIM and promote alternatives…up to and including mandatory condoom usage by all porn performers. Even worse, though, was that “Patient Zeta” also was reported to be a bisexual male who performed gay porn on the side…which added the additional spark of homophobia into the mix as well.

Not surprisingly, plenty of the usual suspects took to the airwaves to decry this ultimate failure of the system. The officios at the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) mined the latest “outbreak” news to reinstated their position that porn sets needed to be fully regulated and performers forced to use condoms as a means of protection and “role modeling” the general public. The biggest and loudest voice, though, came from a group called the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, whose founder and chief spokesman, Michael Weinstein, had long been a fierce foe of AIM and its alleged “monopoly” on STI testing and protection. Weinstein used his microphome and his organization to publically attempt to humiliate AIM and force the LA and Cali authorities to seize power and force mandatory condom usage (and his own testing regime) on the industry carte blanche, citing the potential for a major pandemic among porn performers.

And it would have probably worked, too….except for one small problem.  The pandemic never happened.

Like it didn’t happen last year, either.

One month after the Great 2010 HIV Porn Scare began, it ended….with a whimper.

In a not-unexpected announcement today, Vivid Entertainment, one of the world’s leading adult producers, said that it is set to resume movie production on Monday, November 8, after being shut down for almost a month because of health safety concerns.

The move was apparently triggered by the announcement yesterday from the Adult Industry Medical (AIM) Healthcare Foundation that the final actress who could possibly have contracted HIV from the performer now known as “Patient Zeta” has been cleared after the second round of PCR-DNA testing, and has been allowed to resume her acting career.

“The Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation has completed testing of two generations of partners of Patient Zeta, from both personal and professional life,” AIM General Manager Jennifer Miller said today. “All persons tested negative for HIV on two occasions, using multiple testing methods. It has been established that Patient Zeta acquired the virus through private, personal activity and there was no transmission of the HIV virus from Patient Zeta to anyone else.”

“This event affirms the efficacy of AIM Healthcare Foundation’s testing protocols, as voluntarily implemented by the adult entertainment industry,” she continued. “It is regrettable but inevitable that people continue to acquire the HIV virus in their personal life. The protocols and other industry practices have resulted in only one incident of HIV transmission on set in more than a decade. That is a remarkable record. AIM Healthcare Foundation is proud of its contribution to the health and well-being of the adult industry and wider community.”

Of course, the fact that their dreams of exploiting the “outbreak” for political purposes had been dashed by actual facts weren’t going to stop the “push condoms” and “smash AIM” folks from fighting the not-so-good fight. In the midst of the crisis, when it was still possible that things could get hairy, Weinstein’s group AHF and the Cal-OSHA people were quite busy attempting to impose their will. They unsuccessfully attempted to browbeat the Los Angeles Metro City Council to suspend all licenses for shooting porn in the Greater LA area. They attempted — just as unsuccessfully — to use the courts to force AIM to reveal the identities of “Patient Zeta” and all of her partners through their confidential medical records…while simultaneaously claiming that having AIM release the results of their testing to porn production companies violeted the HIPPA law regarding public release of private medical records.

But mostly, they attempted to use the media to browbeat the industry into submissiveness. Unfortunately for them (and fortunately for us), their delivery system was more than a bit flawed.

Which brings us one more time to that ongoing saga of: Shelley Lubben, Off The Chain.

Yes, our favorite ex-porn, ex-slut ministress is on her soapbox again. Apparently, the folks at AHF have decided that Shelley Lubben should become the official voice for those poor, benighted, abused, diseased, prostituted, and infected women unfortunate enough not to be able to speak for themselves against the Big, Bad Male Porn Grinding Machine. At least, those women for whom her Pink Cross Foundation ministry exploits greatly to pay for all of her makeup and travel….errrrrrrrrrrrr, to minister the glory of God and save them from a hard and brutal life.

Now, one would normally wonder how an agency like AHF who originates atourn advocacy for HIV+ folk — many of whom happen to be gay men — would be doing sharing the dais with the likes of Ministress Lubben, whose ministry does seem to have more than a glancing taste of the homophobia. When big money in presumed federal contracts to prooffer testing services supplemented by the potential payoff in condom sales from folks like Durex and Trojan, combines with Shelley’s continuous desire for the public spotlight and a nice book deal….well, let’s just say that greed makes for strange bedfellows.

The problem is, though, that giving someone as whack as Shelley Lubben the microphone is a dangerous thing. Ask the people at UCLA.

Just this week, they decided to hold what they considered a roundtable discussion on the issue of STI’s in porn and the effectiveness of condoms and whether they should be mandated. Representing the “condoms must be mandatory” side: Paula Tavrow of the UCLA School of Public Health, Whitney Engeran-Cordova of AHF, Peter Kerndt of the LA County Health STD program, and Shelley Lubben as “one of the world’s leading advocates for women in the adult industry”. (More on that lie anon.) Repping the other side: Mr. Marcus, long time Black male porn legend and…..Diane Duke of the Free Speech Coalition. (The latter was a late add to make the panel seem less “fair and balanced”.)

Yes, this panel was about as balanced as a FOX News Sunday panel discussion….and Shelley was on her Michelle Bachmann-caliber finest tear that day. Michael Whitacre was at the conference, and just so happened to videotape some of Lubben’s special whackiness. First, the written synopsis, courtesy of AVN:

Lubben, whose website hawks her new book allegedly based on her brief experiences in the industry, and who asked her supporters for their “fervent prayers” about her appearance on the panel, spoke next, and much of what she said was laced with her usual inaccuracies and outright fabrications.

“I worked in the industry in the years 1993 to 1994,” she told the audience. “I was forced to have unprotected sex.” (See, she chose to work in the industry, but she was forced to have unprotected sex, though she must have known that virtually no companies shot condom porn in the early ’90s.)

Lubben launched into a long list of medical problems she claims stemmed from her brief porn career (as opposed to her years working as a prostitute) and also claimed she was “brutally raped on the set when I contacted herpes in a six-man gangbang.” (This would have been Filmco’s Roxy – A Gang Bang Fantasy, but of course, Lubben never filed rape charges against anyone connected with that movie.)

“Women on the set have no advocate on a mostly male set, and are threatened by porn producers and agents,” she continued. “In order to get women to agree to these things, they’re given alcohol and drugs and even sent to local doctors to get prescription medicine like Xanax and Vicodin… All this is documented proof.”

To accompany her talk, Lubben also made available several handouts, one of which references notorious gossip and liar Luke Ford, who collected industry-bashing quotes from several actresses prior to his leaving the porn-gossip business several years ago. Yet another handout, titled “Backgrounder,” contains lies such as that “90% [of porn employees] are child sexual abuse survivors,” “66% to 99% of pornography performers are reported with Herpes, a non-curable disease,” and “25 HIV cases by performers reported by Adult Industry Medical Healthcare since 2004.”

And in case you need the visual to match…. (thank you, Michael Whiteacre):

Former porn performer turned fundamentalist Christian anti-porn activist Shelley Lubben addressing the UCLA “Condoms in Porn” discussion (via YouTube, h/t MichaelWhiteacre)

There are facts…and then there are Lubben Facts. The Free Speech Coalition website post on the UCLA meeting clearly explains the difference.

In fact, the audience could have learned a lot about sexually transmitted infections from the panelists today. Instead, the focus was on statistics for adult industry performers that LACPH has “gathered” from Adult Industry Medical Healthcare (AIM), since the AIM clinic is required to share data with the county. But how many people in the audience recalled that last year, after a performer was diagnosed with HIV, that LACPH claimed, since 2004, there have been as many as 22 cases of HIV in the performing population? The LA Times later retracted the statistic, presumably because it’s not verifiable. But by then, it was too late to stop the spread of misinformation.

No one on the panel spoke more about STIs than Pink Cross’ Lubben, who issued a laundry list of diseases that she claims she contracted “while working in porn,” including herpes, HPV, as well as “extensive reproductive damage,” 12 years of hemorrhaging and severe anemia, due to unprotected sex that she was forced to have on adult production sets. She used the word “rape” liberally to describe her on-set experiences. She also claimed to have contracted HPV during a gangbang shoot with four male performers. Lubben also claims that 66% of adult performers have herpes and that 111 adult industry members have died from AIDS – without citing the statistical sources for this information.

When an audience member forced the question to Lubben, that she had been a prostitute for six years prior to being in her first adult movie (and during her time as a performer, and after she retired from performing), Lubben replied that she had always had “protected sex” as a prostitute, but was “forced” to not use a condom on-set.

Well, here are some FACTS about various STIs from the Centers for Disease Control website:

• Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is so common, at least 50% of sexually active men and women get it at some point in their lives.

• For those that choose to be sexually active, condoms may lower the risk of HPV… But HPV can infect areas not covered with a condom – so condoms may not fully protect against HPV.

• Results of a nationally representative study show that genital herpes infection is common in the United States. Nationwide, 16.2%, or about one out of six, people 14 to 49 years of age have genital HSV-2 infection.

And that’s the thing – the only way to fight ignorance is with facts.

Yeah, right…and Nina Hartley “contracted chalmydia four times during her career”. Of 26 years. (That’s more YEARS than you have SCENES, Shelley. Almost TWICE AS MANY, in fact. Scoreboard sucks, doesn’t it??) At, least, that’s what Ministress Shelley says. I mean, clearly a woman who has performed all of 24….no, check that, 12 videos in one nine month blitz, and who was an active prostitute who has openly claimed in other venues to have unprotected sex and bave contracted everything BUT HIV from her prostitution endevors, is clearly more capable for speaking for all women in porn than a 24 year vet who happens to have a Bachelors degree in nursing, and whom has written several books and made many videos on safer sex and avoiding STI’s. Yeah, Shelley…Nina’s your bitch, all right.

Oh, but let’s save that potential Hartley vs. Lubben ass kicking (figurative, that is) for a future fantasy. Right now,  porn women with even half of Nina’s legacy can still run world laps around Shelley, and still have enough wind to boot her illogical, fanatical ass into orbit. While I’ve previously mentioned Monica Foster and Kayden Kross and Vicky Vette who have thouroughly debunked the stupidity and outright lies and slander of the Ministeress, it is still Julie Meadows (aka Lydia Lee) whom has done the most in public service in exposing the rancid lies of Shelley Lubben to the bright light of sunshine. Today in her blog, Julie fires yet one more Truth volley into the Lubben House of Bullshit, using Shelley’s own words to impale. It started as a comment to the FSC site, then exploded into a blog entry at Meadows’ own  blog. I’ll simply repost it in its magnificent entirity.

“Shelley Lubben’s website from “Way Back Time Machine” 2008:

“God also restored my femininity and healed my sexuality, which is a MAJOR miracle for me. After doing prostitution and porn I lost ability to function sexually. The fact that I can enjoy a healthy sexual relationship now is an absolute miracle!! God also healed me of the non-curable disease herpes. I was part of a special military study for pregnant women with herpes in 1996 and when I was tested they said I couldn’t be in the study because there was no herpes virus in my blood. The test came back negative! I also am cancer free as the doctors were able to remove all the cervical cancer. He’s Jehovah-Rophe the God that heals us!”


“As a survivor of the porn industry, I contracted human papillomavirus, and herpes, a non-curable disease, which later led to my battle with cervical cancer, where I had to have half of my cervix removed. I also battled with severe anemia due to the hemorrhaging I experienced for twelve years. In fact, I’m still battling with damages to my reproductive organs.”


“Shelley Lubben: God told me he healed me and I haven’t had an outbreak in over fifteen years, my kids are herpes-free, so, you know what, I just turned to God and he healed me in all these areas of my life. I mean, he’s practical.”

Shelley Lubben: Of course. Like, you could, you could swing a deal anywhere. Any, literally, and uh… and then one, and then this man, he, he um, he bled on my face and it really frightened me, so… um…
Robin Quivers: Bled on your face? How does that, wha?
Howard Stern: He bled on your face? What was, what was that about?
SL: Well, I don’t know. All I know was it scared the hell outta me.
HS: Where was the blood coming from?
SL: His penis.

Howard Stern: Uh, an Asian guy banged you for money, got you pregnant. How did that happen, his rubber break or something?
Shelley Lubben: In all honesty, um, it did. Condoms will leak and break.
HS: Right.
SL: And I’m tellin’ ya, I’ve had plenty of sex to know that condoms aren’t enough protection but they’re better than no protection.

Uploaded June 4, 2008

“And, as you know in the industry we do not, there’s not, we don’t use condoms. And so, every single day we live in fear that we’re going to catch a sexually transmitted disease or worse, HIV. Everyday we lived, ‘Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, who slept with who?’ And um, I got burned. I caught genital herpes and I thought I was going to die. It’s absolutely the worst thing, it’s the most shameful… I had dealt with so much shame already. This was terrible. And I quietly left the porn industry.”

“I slept with Hollywood directors, actors, singers, I helped contribute to America’s epidemic of herpes. 66% of porn actors and actresses are carriers. 28% have chlamydia and gonorrhea and 7% have HIV. It’s a huge problem. And what we do is when we’re porn stars we’re also prostitutes. We fly around the country and sleep with people for lots of money because they’re our fans. And so then we have unprotected sex with them, of course. ”

Uploaded January 2, 2008

“And this is how pathetic is was, I used to sell my breast milk for five and ten bucks inside guy’s coffees just to get money for me and my daughter. That’s my pathetic lifestyle in the sex industry and it’s not just me. I don’t care how glamorous these, I see the porn stars, we all had to work our way to the top. We all started out on the street or in escort agency or prostitution. We’ve all been bled upon. We’ve all been smacked around. We’ve all had guys rip condoms on us on purpose. We’ve been through hell. Vietnam Vets, could probably be comparable to what we’ve been through. That’s why we’re tough. We had to tough it out. I’ve had men try to kill me, stalk me, I was driving a motorcycle and some guy took his truck and hit me. Cuz see we’d b.s. ‘em a lot. They don’t like that. I’d have different engagement wedding rings n so I was in my pockets trying to remember which guy gave me which one.”

She states how much more dangerous the adult industry is after stating that, as a prostitute, she was bled upon, stalked, that clients tried to murder her. She repeatedly sites every porn star as being mentally ill though she does not have the education and credentials to diagnosis anyone’s medical situation. She touts only the professional ability to teach and counsel in Christian-[r]elated studies. In fact, her “degree” does not transfer to any accredited college and it is listed on the Consumer Fraud Reporting website as an unaccredited school, prefacing their list with this statement:

“All schools below are considered by the state of Oregon’s and other U.S. and international standards to be UNACCREDITED. Many are scams, a few may be decent schools, but ALL are without accreditation, something most sensible people would say is a starting point to obtain a quality education and a degree that will be broadly accepted and respected.”

So the catchphrase “Get The Facts” that is splattered all over Shelley’s personal website and Pink Cross Foundation’s website only applies to other people and not her? Really??? Someone please explain to me how that makes any sense whatsoever. Does she need the definition of the word “fact” read to her?

Lovely how the reporting at Luke Is Back fails to mention how last-minute the meeting was and that the adult industry was all but squeezed out of the discussion. Thank you for actually providing some insight into this event.”

And it’s only getting worse now for Ministeress Shelley….a blogger named Cameron Rowe has just opened a blog where he is currently engaging in an expose of Madame Lubben’s more…shall we say, outspoken statements. His allegations include these nice tidbits: (1) that Shelley was really a madam when she turned 18 and she was pregnant through her clients rather than through porn; (2) that her degree in Christian ministry is really from a well known “diploma mill” that was so damaged that it waas banned from the state of Conneticut; and (3) that her ordination as a Christian minister is actually just as bogus, having come from an orginization (Order of St. Martin) consisting only of an Irvine, California address and nothing else.

Question for Mike Weinstein and the other folk at AHF: Do you really, really want to sully your campaign with someone like THIS???

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