The Wrong Kind of Unintended Consequences

24 May

tumblr_lzlsylwZKJ1rpgp6go1_500.jpg I like sex and porn, but Larry Flynt’s version of partisan politics is demeaning in a childish (and I don’t mean innocent) way only boys with serious family problems could find titillating.

…[T]his is just yet another example of how silly it is to equate mainstream pornography with sex positivity. Mainstream porn like Hustler is really sex negative. Anyone who thinks that accusing a woman of being sexually active is a way to insult and demean her is—and I would hope this is obvious—sex negative. The notion perpetuated in most readily available porn is that sex degrades and demeans women. I fail to see how that tacit argument is any different from the anti-choice movement’s virginity worshipping. Misogynist porn and anti-choice activists also agree that women’s purpose in life is to be the biological servants of men, though they approach it from different angles, with porn producers seeing women as here to serve men sexually and antis seeing women as vessels for the almighty seed. But by and large, they’re singing the same message: women are inferior, women are here to serve, sex is degrading to women. Which is why it’s laughable that Hustler is posing like some kind of supporter of reproductive rights, because ideologically, they’re far closer to the antis.

Still, S.E. Cupp is not just the average woman with or without a family, children, a partner, or a job. She’s a partisan hack who trades on her appeal and supports a social conservative perspective that also cannot tell empowerment from sex.

I’d like to think that the scumbag(s) behind this feature hate reproductive rights as much as they hate outspoken women. How better to tarnish two objects of contempt at once? The more disturbing possibility is that the creators think of themselves as feminist allies.

The fight for birth control isn’t just about freeing up women to service men, as the guys at Hustler fervently hope. It’s about freeing women to participate fully in all spheres of life, including the public arena. We value women’s reproductive freedom because we value women’s freedom in general, including the freedom to express unpopular, offensive, and just plain ignorant views. Using sexualized attacks to silence women is antithetical to the struggle for reproductive rights.

Most of the time, I’m not sure which is worse, Fox or Hustler.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’m with Steve Oh – this is a First Amendment issue, Ana Kasparian would have the high ground, if the subject of the image were someone who wasn’t a public figure. I think most adolescent boys know what a photoshopped .jpg is, and probably could undercover that fact quicker than I can. The problem isn’t that Americans are not outraged enough; it’s that boys are still confused by the difference between sex and power.

Still, worse than burying all this under a pile of Flynt’s magazines and online images, and giving the puritans the jump on any incendiary topic, we get these broad partisan slogans, pitting women against boys, freedoms versus discrimnation, etc. Where we draw lines, as Cenk Uygur tried to do – he is the guy on the banner after all – is supposed to be what the courts do. How the judiciary acts in the American constitutional system is a bit of a black hole. But, it’s as always politics as usual, and adult men and women, not childish dweebs and S.E. Cupp, need to lead that fight.

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