May 11, 2009

"Every woman is a feminist in her own right."

"Whether you're anti-porn or pro-porn or somewhere in between, feminism has become such a generalized, watered-down viewpoint. Someone can say, 'I'm a feminist because I believe in sexually empowering women.' That's my view on feminism. Someone else's opinion might be, 'Having sex is just wrong no matter what.' And both sides might call themselves feminists."

A porn star said that.

179 comments:

Scott said...

If my uncle had boobies, he'd be my aunt.

goesh said...

I always thought it was boobs and not boobies....?

Dennis said...

We're all socialists now too. Right? Did the term "feminist" ever have a fixed meaning? Does the word "socialist" have any? Words are flexible, funny, endearing, lovable, and apparently meaningless things. Welcome to Utopia! After 8 years of Obama we'll no longer need to use words to express ourselves. Perhaps grunting will suffice as an adequate expression of our innate desires and intuitive thoughts.
www.rightreturn.blogspot.com.

Michael McNeil said...

According to reports, Sarah Palin is a member of a group called “Feminists for Life.”

rhhardin said...

The stripper quote I remember was that she liked the power over men's attention she had.

She was doing what interested her.

The disagreements over femininism are over what should interest women.

Should it be what interests men, in particular; and if not, should we pretend it is anyway.

If the latter, then opportunities for nagging multiply, which is something that interests all women.

Guys on the other hand have an interest in a hail-fellow-well-met unspoken agreement not to mention it, because it would mean more nagging and less sex. The sex part is where the fellow feeling references itself.

Lem said...

That’s what Chaney is been saying about waterboarding all along ;)

elHombre said...

Sure. Feminism has "empowered" this babe to go where no woman had gone before. LOL

tim maguire said...

As rhhardin said, "[s]he was doing what interested her."I don't see anything incompatible in the quote. If feminism means anything worth meaning, it means that a woman should not be required to think, say, or do anything merely because she is a woman. You know, content of their character kind of stuff.

Oligonicella said...

Social studies -- Where you can get a friggin' degree on something you can't even define.

somefeller said...

Gee, uh, like I was saying in the Orwell thread...

John said...

"If feminism means anything worth meaning, it means that a woman should not be required to think, say, or do anything merely because she is a woman. You know, content of their character kind of stuff."

I don't see how taking it six different ways in front of millions says much good about the content of her character.

Any woman, young enough and with the right assets and the nerve, could do what Grey does or did. It doesn't take any skill or character, just physical assets and nerve. It is not like sports that take skill and dedication. It is just an act of laying down for whomever gets you ahead.

If feminism means anything, it means that women have value beyond their bodies. We all know their bodies have value. That is the oldest desire in the book. Men have always desired and valued women for their looks and ability to screw. What men haven't always done and what feminism tried to change, was value women for something beyond that.

Grey can rationalize all she wants. But ultimately, she is degrading herself and admitting that her body is the only thing of value she has. Why go to college or do anything prodcutive when all you have to do is screw on the internet? She is not opening any doors or doing anything for women other than re-enforcing the view that their crotch is the most important thing they have to offer the world. That doesn't seem very feminist to me.

EDH said...

I wonder what she thinks about "neck beards"?

Neck beards, the Rorshach Test of feminism.

dannyboy said...

She is not opening any doors or doing anything for women other than re-enforcing the view that their crotch is the most important thing they have to offer the world..

Well not the most important but a nice one should rank at least in the top 3.

And I'll be glad to open the door for her.

Lem said...

Someone should ask the porn star which “feminist” get the better contracts; the good looking ones or the not so good looking ones?

blake said...

I don't see how taking it six different ways in front of millions says much good about the content of her character.It seems to me that freedom includes the right to do things that are stupid, self-destructive, or immoral.

John said...

"It seems to me that freedom includes the right to do things that are stupid, self-destructive, or immoral."

She should absolutely be free to do it. I just don't think she deserves any praise for doing so or that we ought to consider her doing anything to advance the cause of women.

John said...

"Someone should ask the porn star which “feminist” get the better contracts; the good looking ones or the not so good looking ones?"

Some day when she has hit the ripe old age of 30 and has been replaced by younger, hotter, girls she will probably have a different view of porn. I would also encourage her to sit down and have a talk with women in their 40s and 50s who did the things she is doing now when they were in their 20s and see what they think of the industry now.

Ron said...

She's probably just a porn star from Princeton; we can ignore her because of the Haa-vard Man in the White House.

Revenant said...

Any woman, young enough and with the right assets and the nerve, could do what Grey does or did. It doesn't take any skill or character, just physical assets and nerve.

That's a bit like saying anyone could be an NFL lineman if they had the right genes and enough determination. It is certainly true, but it kind of overlooks the fact that almost nobody DOES have the right genes and enough determination.

John said...

"That's a bit like saying anyone could be an NFL lineman if they had the right genes and enough determination. It is certainly true, but it kind of overlooks the fact that almost nobody DOES have the right genes and enough determination."

No it is not even a bit like saying that. Everyone knows how to screw. Further there are an endless supply of beautiful young women. I was on the campus of the University of Virginia this weekend and the girl who served my dinner was hotter than Grey. Any hot woman who lacks shame can be a porn star. By the same token, very very few big people can become an NFL lineman. That takes skill, work and natural athletic gifts. Being a porn star takes none of that. It only takes looks, which millions of young women have. If being an NFL lineman were the quivilent to being a porn star, anyone over six feet three and 300 pounds could be one.

John Lynch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

Someone should ask the porn star which “feminist” get the better contracts; the good looking ones or the not so good looking ones?

There is nothing un-feminist about a job that specifically requires physical beauty rewarding people in proportion to their physical beauty. I don't consider it anti-male that nobody's offering me a lucrative contract as an underwear model. That's because I am not even remotely as hot as the guys who DO get those contracts. I wouldn't want to see a picture of me in my underwear in a magazine either.

I would also encourage her to sit down and have a talk with women in their 40s and 50s who did the things she is doing now when they were in their 20s and see what they think of the industry now.

She'll probably move into producing and directing, unless her Hollywood career takes off. That's a pretty common thing for the bigger-name stars, once they aren't in demand any more.

John said...

"She'll probably move into producing and directing, unless her Hollywood career takes off. That's a pretty common thing for the bigger-name stars, once they aren't in demand any more."


If she succeeds as anything but a novelty actor and bit player like Tracy Lords, she will be the first porn star who ever has. Porn is a nasty business that sucks dumb young women on the promise of it leading to legit acting parts that never come.

I always judge a job by the standard of would I want my kid doing it. I most assuredly would not want my daughter being a porn star. Well, everyone is someone's daughter.

Dale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dale said...

Dear Professor Ann,

I stand solidly against the radical "men are unnecessary" feminism of early Steinem, Friedan, and (they claim her) Sanger.

And yet, regarding the one point that everyone in America agrees on - equal pay for equal work (despite the niggling around the edges of the debate)- I have a question:

Would the parity or near(er) parity we have on Equal Pay today have come about without the radical feminism in the first place?


Signed,

Conflicted about History and my reaction to it.

dannyboy said...

Everyone knows how to screw..

Aw hell laddie, I can assure you that is not the case at all.

Revenant said...

No it is not even a bit like saying that. Everyone knows how to screw.

Very few people know how to have sex in front of a bunch of strangers, in uncomfortable circumstances, with regular interruptions, and manage to make it look like they are genuinely into it. Fewer still can tolerate doing so on a regular basis.

There are millions of good-looking women in America. There are hundreds of thousands who think nothing of meaningless casual sex with strangers. There are tens of thousands willing to have sex for money. Yet the number of big-name female porn stars is, at most, in the hundreds. This is inexplicable if being a porn star is as trivially easy as you seem to think it is.

It is a hard job, no pun intended. It isn't a terribly skilled occupation, but it does take both talent and determination.

John Lynch said...

It's true, too. I've seen all these things.

America has salad bar religion, so it might as well have salad bar ideology, too.

(fixed from earlier post)

fivewheels said...

The message in this story is a little simple (Be yourself!), but it's not wrong. She's also right about the uselessness of the label "feminist" as it exists today.

As far as her accomplishments, Jesus Christ, she's 21 and she's starring in a Soderbergh movie. She's doing pretty damned well.

Full disclosure: I actually spoke to Miss Grey at some length at a party a couple of years ago, and she's very well-spoken and graceful, and she was much more on the ball than your average 19-year-old.

Not everyone has to advance the cause of all women everywhere, and Sasha doesn't have to answer for anyone but herself. I think she does more than well enough in this story.

John, whether this is your intention or not, you're well past "not praising" her, and seem bent on demeaning her. So it seems you could actually learn something from the very elementary point of the article: Let people be themselves.

John said...

"John, whether this is your intention or not, you're well past "not praising" her, and seem bent on demeaning her. So it seems you could actually learn something from the very elementary point of the article: Let people be themselves."

Letting people be themselves doesn't mean that they should be above criticism. Yeah, being a porn star is a pretty lousy way to get ahead. Her freedom to do it. But everyone else is also free to call bullshit on her claims that her doing so is somehow empowering women or in anyway advancing the status of women in this society.

John said...

"Yet the number of big-name female porn stars is, at most, in the hundreds. This is inexplicable if being a porn star is as trivially easy as you seem to think it is."

There is a difference between willing and can. If people got off watching other people bite the heads off of bats, no question there would be damn few people who would be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to be a star bat head eater. But, that doesn't mean that millions of people, if they really wanted to couldn't bit the heads off of bats. Porn is the same way. There is no talent involved just nerve. Professional sports in contrast takes real talent. No amount of nerve is going to get me to center field for the Yankees.

Joe said...

I love how people who disagree with a specific activity or career choice simply redefine feminism and freedom in general to exclude that activity. It's the same as "speech should be free except the parts I disagree with."

At the core, Feminism means granting a woman the right to make her own choices (and face the consequences of those choices.) This may sound obvious and uncontroversial, but it was quite the opposite not too long ago.

Revenant said...

If she succeeds as anything but a novelty actor and bit player like Tracy Lords, she will be the first porn star who ever has.

You can make an excellent living in Hollywood as a bit player. Look up Tracy Lords on the Internet Movie Database sometime; she gets steady work.

I always judge a job by the standard of would I want my kid doing it.

I wouldn't want my kid to become a pro football player, as almost all of them wind up with serious or crippling ailments and generally die earlier than normal people. All so that people can watch them on TV for entertainment.

But I don't think there's anything wrong with the job. The money and fame appeal to some people, and it is their choice to take that job and accept the consequences.

John said...

"Not everyone has to advance the cause of all women everywhere, and Sasha doesn't have to answer for anyone but herself."

No they don't. If Grey were honest and said "look I have to make a living and God gave me a nice ass and the complete lack of shame so I went ahead and used it." I wouldn't have a problem with her. It is her trying to claim that she is anything beyond what she is, that is annoying. If she is so smart and well spoken, why didn't she figure out how to do something with herself beyond lay down with men for money?

Joe said...

John, there are a whole lot of professions that take nerve. Sales for one. Reading the news. Acting is largely conquering self-consciousness. Frankly, most careers don't require more skills than most human beings naturally have.

Revenant said...

But, that doesn't mean that millions of people, if they really wanted to couldn't bit the heads off of bats.

This explains the vehemence of your attacks on Grey. She's rich, beautiful and famous; you are none of these things. But you're convinced you could be if you wanted to, it is just that you're too moral to try.

Sour grapes.

fivewheels said...

Well, John, she would disagree with you on your personal judgment that being a porn star is a lousy way of getting ahead, and she would also disagree with you that she's crusading to empower women. She specifically disavows that twice. So why are you hellbent on criticism?

Seriously, what does she actually say in this pretty harmless interview that you disagree with? You're projecting things on her because of your distaste for porn, and it's pretty clear that's what you're reacting to, not her.

madawaskan said...

The propensity of porn supports John's case to the millionth power...

Revenant consider yourself defeated.

Please hand your nutsack to the nearest squirell ;-].

John said...

"But you're convinced you could be if you wanted to, it is just that you're too moral to try."


Last I looked I wasn't a 19 year old woman with a great body. So, no I really couldn't be rich and famous by being a porn star. Since I have no desire to be famous, I would rather be myself than her. Rich would be ok. But since I am anything but poor, I can live without the rich and I sure as hell don't want the fame.

Joe said...

John, so what the hell do you care? I think you're making her point--you can't accept that she is simply doing what she chooses to do for whatever reason you have. If you honestly believe that people should be self-deterministic than you can't say "except for her." If you do, then you're a lying hypocrite.

Furthermore, I seriously doubt your career takes so much prowess that you couldn't be replaced overnight (I have no illusions about mine.)

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John said...

"She says one of the reasons she got into this business was to encourage people to feel more comfortable with themselves. "Listen, it's OK to be yourself," she says. "You might have different fantasies or a different sexual interest than your sister or your best friend has, but that's OK. We're all human beings. Everybody's different."

Oh give me a fucking break. She got into the business because they pay her a lot of money and it was an easy way to get ahead.

ask her why she thinks the country is so repressive.

"To keep women down!" she jokes. "Nah, I'm being paranoid now." She continues seriously. "It's the last taboo. Maybe it's the little secret everybody keeps tucked away in their pocket. I think it's a very moralistic, Christian way of thinking. I hate to put it that way, but it is. We live in a very Puritanical country. For as far along as we are in technology and the media and as a whole, we're not far along with sex."

That is more horseshit. If there is one thing that we learned over the last 40 years it is that free love benefits men a hell of a lot more than women. Women are the ones stuck with the kids and all of the consiquences of sex. Women are the ones who get traded in on younger models whenever there is one available. Free love is great for the 19 year old with the hot body. It is not so great for the 40 year old mother of two whose husband leaves her for said 19 year old.

"Shame is bad because it inhibits you," she says. "It's fear. I'm not gonna sit here and say I'm not afraid of certain things in our society sometimes, but we live in such a fear-based society, people are really afraid to be who they are. Whether it's because of what somebody else thinks or the culture around them. Shame stops your personal growth."

I think shame actually kind of good. It is good that we have some kind of stadards of behavior in society and that people feel inhibited. I don't want to live in a world without some sense of shame. I think most people, if they thought about it, would agree. She hasn't thought about though. She is just making up bullshit.

John said...

Joe,

I don't care that she is a porn star. Good for her. Everyone has got to make a living. It is her claim that she is somehow empowering women by breaking down shame that I call bullshit on. As I said above, if she were honest just admitted that she does what she does because it is an easy way to make a lot of money, I would say good for her.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bissage said...

She likes getting slapped . . . punched . . . choked?

WTF!

Why not a little waterboarding?

IT IZ TEH SEXXXAY!!1!!!!!!

What kind of sick fucks watch that kind of garbage?

And what the hell is up with this 33 year old so-called “boyfriend” who has no last name?

STEVEN OBANNO: Hold out your arm, my beauty. Give me your hand or I will take your head. [Sneers at LeCiffre.] Not a word of protest. [Turns to Valenka.] You should get yourself a better boyfriend.

elHombre said...

It is a hard job, no pun intended. It isn't a terribly skilled occupation, but it does take both talent and determination.

What is going on here? Being a stripper takes talent and determination. Being a porn star means doing what everybody else does, but to excess, in front of a camera.

I wouldn't want my kid to become a pro football player ....

Absolutely. Being a professional athlete lacks the dignity and prestige of being a porn star.

I repeat: What's going on here?

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

Wow John, you're now a mind reader! Amazing; you should go on tour.

Sasha didn't advocate free love and adultery in this article; she said people should be comfortable with themselves. Do you actually disagree with that sentiment?

(Moreover, that isn't what you said earlier--you are continually revamping your argument.)

John said...

"I will tell you that she had-

ZERO self esteem-and very little "real" education.

So you know if you want to feel better about the world and say that she picked "stripping" as some new wonderful opportunity handed to her via feminism-go sell yourselves that."

Absolutely. I am sorry but I can't believe feminism means the right for daughters to become porn stars and strippers. Like I said above, men have always known how to value women for their sex appeal. It is valueing women for anything else that feminism was supposed to be about. Women have always been free to be hookers. That whole oldest profession thing.

madawaskan said...

Being a stripper takes jack diddly squat-

but now that I've read this thread no wonder dudes over-"tip"...

And you all are "tipping" with your brains fully engaged.

Uh huh.

madawaskan said...

John-

Exactly.

John said...

"Sasha didn't advocate free love and adultery in this article; she said people should be comfortable with themselves. Do you actually disagree with that sentiment?"

That is not what she is saying and you know it. She is a porn star who screws tons of men under the pretext of "getting rid of shame". If that doesn't mean free love and adultery, what the hell does it mean?

Joe said...

John, you are aware that an awful lot of people in this world are ashamed of sex and their own sexuality. They are ashamed of their desires.

But that's not what you started out arguing and you keep avoiding the point I keep making--do you or do you not believe in self-determinism? Way up top, you clearly argued that feminism did not apply to Sasha Gray. I say that if it doesn't, then it's meaningless.

Finally, I've long learned that people's motivations for everything in life are varied and sometimes surprising. You, apparently, assume that your assumptions about OTHER people's motivations are the only correct and valid ones. I find that infantile.

John said...

"But that's not what you started out arguing and you keep avoiding the point I keep making--do you or do you not believe in self-determinism? Way up top, you clearly argued that feminism did not apply to Sasha Gray. I say that if it doesn't, then it's meaningless."

What do you mean by "feminism applying to Grey"? Feminism certainly doesn't mean that every choice made by every woman must be celbrated or that any career choice made by any woman is advancing the cause of feminism.

Is Grey free to be a hooker for a living? Sure. But her ability to chose that profession has nothing to do with feminism. Women have always been free to sell their bodies and use their sex appeal and its power over men to get ahead. That is a constant of human interaction. Feminism was never about that. It was about women being appreciated for something beyond the obvious.

Grey has made her choices and they are her business. I think those choices are fairly regretable. Maybe she doesn't or maybe she some day will. Who knows. Regardless, those choices have nothing to do with feminism and have done nothing to advance the broader cause of women's rights. He assertions to the contrary quoted above, are nothing but pure bullshit.

madawaskan said...

Oh gad now strippers are strippers due to their superior "self-determinism"...


*sigh*

I even like that word being an anti-BF Skinner type.

Yes! The strippers I know , knew-they all ended up soooo haaappppyyy!

madawaskan said...

You know any of you guys when or if you have daughters and at eight yerars old they say to you;

Daddy I want to be a stripper!

And your all like thank gawd for feminism and that I taught her to have superior self determinism.

My job as Daddy is complete-I feel so fulfilled and she will too when she's fifty ...

yikes.

Freeman Hunt said...

This run of comments, could it be demonstrating exactly what Allan Bloom wrote about in Closing of the American Mind? The loss of the ability to discriminate?

John said...

madawaskan,

That is the thing; all of these guys would die if their little girls grew up to be Sasha Grey. But they still cheer Grey on and convince themselves she is doing something noble.

madawaskan said...

John-

We'll see what they come back with-some of them can be pretty tenacious...

madawaskan said...

Oh cripes-

I did the slang talk and ended up doing the-

your instead of you're mistake...

fivewheels said...

Don't confuse being enough of a jerk to make people leave the room with winning an argument.

Revenant said...

What is going on here? Being a stripper takes talent and determination. Being a porn star means doing what everybody else does, but to excess, in front of a camera.

No, it doesn't. Normal sex is not visually appealing, which is why those "Hollywood star's private sex video 'accidentally' leaked to the net" incidents invariable result in really boring porn. There's a lot to be said for sex with a loved one, but it tends to be visually uninteresting for outsiders.

The sex in porn movies is not particularly enjoyable for the performers, which is one of many reasons why it is so difficult to find men who can "perform" under those circumstances. If you watch a porn movie and find yourself thinking "those people are just having a good time screwing for the camera", guess what -- you've just been convinced of something that isn't actually true, by the acting skill of the performers. It just isn't the kind of acting you're used to.

This is why most porn actresses have short, unsuccessful careers. They can't "act" that way. They, like you, think all they need to do is be attractive and spread their legs. But that's boring to watch, so they usually aren't very successful. Successful ones -- and Ms. Gray is one such -- do, in fact, act, and convincingly so.

Revenant said...

The propensity of porn supports John's case to the millionth power...

"Propensity" means "natural inclination". You can't just have a propensity, you have to have a propensity FOR something.

"The tendency of porn supports John's case to the millionth power" is just broken English.

garage mahal said...

I bet John couldn't fake enjoying having sex with Ron Jeremy.

Revenant said...

That is the thing; all of these guys would die if their little girls grew up to be Sasha Grey. But they still cheer Grey on and convince themselves she is doing something noble.

The only reason I wouldn't want my daughter to go into porn -- aside from the obvious "it is always disturbing to picture your kids having sex" thing -- is that I know the world has a lot of people like you in it. People who confuse "hatred of sexuality" with morality.

I wouldn't want my child to be in porn for the same reason I wouldn't want her to be gay. Not because there's anything wrong with it, but because it means facing a lot of hatred and discrimination that normal people don't have to face.

John said...

"I bet John couldn't fake enjoying having sex with Ron Jeremy."

Considering that I am a straight male and Ron Jeremy is a really hairy ugly man, you would be right. But I am not really sure what that proves.

John said...

"The only reason I wouldn't want my daughter to go into porn -- aside from the obvious "it is always disturbing to picture your kids having sex" thing -- is that I know the world has a lot of people like you in it. People who confuse "hatred of sexuality" with morality."

Where I have I ever expressed hatred for Grey? No where. I object to Grey, not because she is a porn star but because she makes pretensions about being a porn star helping women. It doesn't nothing of the sort. I have only said about 15 times on this thread that Grey is free to make a living however she sees fit. Apparently you are unable to respond to the substance of my arguments, so instead invent a straw man about me hating Grey that is easier for you to understand and respond to.

madawaskan said...

Well the other technique employed-is being purposefully obtuse-or ignore what you can't answer.

fivewheels-Really, been on the internets much?

You're talking about a nitty gritty subject and you demand your Grandma's Tea Room Decorum?

jr565 said...

Sasha didn't advocate free love and adultery in this article; she said people should be comfortable with themselves. Do you actually disagree with that sentiment?
In certain cases, yeah! For example, being addicted to heroin, being a bum, being a serial killer. Just because someone is comfortorable as a drug addict and thinks that it is somehow empowering, doesn't mean that everyone should celebrate his or her lifestyle choices or find some heroism in his/her hedonism.
And by the same logic, what if she was espousing free love and/or adultery (and if she's espousing gang bangs with 20 guys or whatever, I don't see how that's not also espousing free love).? If one is comfortorable with being an adulterer what's wrong with that? All that fidelity in marriage is so gosh darn puritanical.

madawaskan said...

Literally we are going to have to re-format the "test" for them-

Insert porn star, instead of stripper into the question....

As in-

Daddy I want to be a Porn star!

Your daughter again, tells this at eight years old and you are filled with pride?

You say it's wonderful that feminism gave my daughter this opportunity!

You are fulfilled as a Dad and feel you did a good job because again you taught her superior "self-determinism"?

somecamerunning said...

I think you mean "porn actor," right?

Ar ar ar.

Revenant said...

Where I have I ever expressed hatred for Grey?.

Here, in this thread. You're not doing a very good job of suppressing it.

Like I said before, this is sour grapes. For all your ranting about how the industry takes zero talent, you know that in the unlikely event that someone was willing to pay to see you naked, your porn audition would consist of a half-hour of feebly attempting to achieve an erection, followed by a humiliating departure from the set. Meanwhile people like Grey are earning more than you ever will, doing something "anybody can do" but which you know, deep inside, you yourself cannot.

So you show up here, oozing contempt for a women who has never done anything wrong, unless being more successful than anyone here counts as "wrong". Pitiful, really.

madawaskan said...

Revenant-

So you think that she'd be "happy" as a porn star. The only reason porn stars are for the majority basket cases is because of the moral judgment of others-and somehow that moral "judgment" has evolved and come to be out of thin air-

with no basis in age old realities?

madawaskan said...

Revenant-

More reality for you-

Do you have children-a daughter?

madawaskan said...

somecamerunning-

LOL! Aaaaaaah-

Yes! Everyone watches porn for the superior "acting"- there are virtual Meryl Streeps out there just waiting to be "uncovered".

jr565 said...

Is Revenant in the porn business?

madawaskan said...

The "cross over " talent-someone make a list!

John said...

"Meanwhile people like Grey are earning more than you ever will, doing something "anybody can do" but which you know, deep inside, you yourself cannot."

There are hookers all over America who earn more money than I do. I still wouldn't want to be one. Paris Hilton has a lot more money and fame than I will ever have and I wouldn't want to be her either. That is all Grey is; a well paid hooker. I don't have contempt for her. I feel sorry for her. I wouldn't want any woman to follow in her footsteps and I am really sorry that we live in a world where woman end up in such situations. There is nothing glamourous or interesting or desireable about her life. If you are so stupid to think that being a porn star is some desireable way to make a living that we would all be doing if only we had the looks and talent, you are sadly mistaken.

Revenant said...

The only reason porn stars are for the majority basket cases is because of the moral judgment of others-and somehow that moral "judgment" has evolved and come to be out of thin air-with no basis in age old realities?

It is certainly true that the average porn star has more psychological problems than the average normal person does. But the same holds true for the average pro athlete. Either job requires sacrifices that few normal people are willing to make. Unsurprisingly, both industries attract a disproportionate number of people who aren't mentally normal. But neither industry *causes* mental abnormality.

John said...

"It is certainly true that the average porn star has more psychological problems than the average normal person does. But the same holds true for the average pro athlete."

No it doesn't. For every pro athlete whose life ends tragically, there are 100s who live perfectally well adjusted lives.

madawaskan said...

jr565-

I think he might be a supply slider..

madawaskan said...

Oh crap I posted that before I saw Revenant trying to answer the questions..

Revenant said...

That is all Grey is; a well paid hooker. I don't have contempt for her. I feel sorry for her.

Sure, John. You're anonymously insulting her in public because you "feel sorry for her".

What a sad little man you are.

Shanna said...

Yes! Everyone watches porn for the superior "acting"- there are virtual Meryl Streeps out there just waiting to be "uncovered"..

Did you ever see boogie nights?

There’s a whole speech about how he wants to make porn where people do their thing and then stay to see the rest of the movie, because it’s just that good. It’s hillarious. And then the scene that was the beginning of the movie they made… it was Marky Mark and that other guy and it was like a cheesy 70’s cop show

Cedarford said...

Sasha Grey is an adult sex worker. There are all varieties of people in that business, doing all sorts of "niche jobs". Jobs that many other people would NEVER ever consider doing...just like people working in other fields...not many people want to be a Marine, but enough do that the Marines will always have enough around. Miners, Bering Sea fisheman, oil rig workers, repo men, oncologists, high wire ironworkers. All well aware of the risks and downsides to their jobs, but finding they like the lifestyle and the compensatory benefits better.
Discovery has a whole show about "Dirty Jobs". The host, Mike Rowe, discovers all sorts of nasty jobs (to the general 'shock' of the viewer who can't imagine themselves doing those tasks). Yet in most of them, he finds the workers are happy - chicken sexers, nuclear decon people, accident or long-gone corpse 'cleanup' people, exterminators, etc.

Porn/stripping is another one. Apparantly there are intelligent people a plenty...many have gone on to become millionaire etnrepreneurs, obtain advanced degrees...while others start as trash and are discarded as trash.

A few on the "talent side" in the adult entertainment industry do very, very well.

You have in the past, frequent occasions of courtesans that married famous powerful people. Nowadays, you have "feature" strippers that headline from Las Vegas through Europe into Japan..and date billionaires and movie stars. Many "Playboy" centerfolds have made it big. And in porn you have a select group of female performers that make 250K to 2 million a year. Not bad...Those "select" performers not only have "model bodies" but charisma galore and good acting abilities.

If one had to pity anyone in porn, it would be the male performers - who for the most part get paid far less than the females, generally are asked to display zero personality on screen, have "performance anxiety".

Revenant said...

it was Marky Mark and that other guy and it was like a cheesy 70’s cop show.

It was based on some spectacularly bad X-rated private eye flicks John Holmes did in the late 70s.

John said...

"Sure, John. You're anonymously insulting her in public because you "feel sorry for her".

What a sad little man you are."

That is some serious comedy gold histrionics. Yeah, I really think it is sad when some 18 year old girl decides to make her way in the world having sex with large numbers of men for money. I really wish women wouldn't make those choices and have more respect for themselves. But I am a sad little man.

madawaskan said...

I do think that one industry would aggravate and take greater advantage of poor psychological health..

I also think that certain social norms evolve over the longterm from time tested observations-in other words they aren't predicated on silly notions that the "more enlightened" could disabuse everyone from if they could only test their theories outside of the protected enclaves of the abstract.

It's the Ali McGraw version of politics...

It means never owning history , never having to say you're sorry...

[ that you are wrong.]

John said...

"It was based on some spectacularly bad X-rated private eye flicks John Holmes did in the late 70s."

It is actually a good movie. It does for the porn industry what Goodfellas did for being a gangster; totally ripped away the veneer of glamour and showed it for the degrading horrible life it is.

madawaskan said...

Shanna-

Oy! Looks like I might have to put that on my-

To Do List...

Gad!

John said...

Revenant,

So if some girl just graduating from high school came to you and said she was thinking about going into porn, you would tell "you go for it girl, that is a great idea"? You wouldn't tell her to maybe go to school or that maybe she was better than just putting her ass on camera for living? Hell, you might as well ask her to show you the goods right there or at least give you some free passwords for the sites she is going to appear on.

But I am the sad little man.

Revenant said...

I also think that certain social norms evolve over the longterm from time tested observations-in other words they aren't predicated on silly notions that the "more enlightened" could disabuse everyone from if they could only test their theories outside of the protected enclaves of the abstract.

Social norms just as often evolve as rationalizations for people's base natures. That's why sexism, racism, classism and despotism were the social norm for around 9950 out of the last 10000 years of human history.

A porn star or a prostitute is an unowned woman (which offends something in the male ego) and a competitor for male attention (which offends something in the female ego). They are frowned upon by society because they step out of their pigeonhole. That's the whole of it, really.

madawaskan said...

John-

Revenant is a good egg he just has this one particular thing up his trou d'oiseau and you couldn't get it outta there with the jaws of life-plus he loves a good argument.

jr565 said...

It is actually a good movie. It does for the porn industry what Goodfellas did for being a gangster; totally ripped away the veneer of glamour and showed it for the degrading horrible life it is.Now wait a second. What exactly is wrong with being in the mafia? Are you suggesting their should be some stigma attached to such a profession or that people should be ashamed to be criminals? You sad sad little man

John said...

"A porn star or a prostitute is an unowned woman (which offends something in the male ego) and a competitor for male attention (which offends something in the female ego). They are frowned upon by society because they step out of their pigeonhole. That's the whole of it, really."


That is the most pathetic posting ever put on Althouse. A hooker is a totally owned woman. She is owned by her pimp. She is owned by the johns who pay for her. She doesn't control the most basic element of her dignity, her body. Women don't become hookers because they have some huge arrays of options and after deciding that it was just too early to go to Harvard Law, being a hooker sounds right. They become hookers because they have no where else to go. Their mother's dirtbag boy friends molested them and beat the shit of them so they ran away. Or they have a kid to feed and can't make it otherwise. You name it. For every Sasha Grey talking about how wonderful it is, there are about a million women stuck in nothing short of a living hell.

Revenant said...

So if some girl just graduating from high school came to you and said she was thinking about going into porn, you would tell "you go for it girl, that is a great idea"?

I would tell her "a lot of people will think you are a disgusting person. Many will hate you, others will assume you have no morals at all. Because most people are stupid, you will constantly encounter people who think they know everything about you just because they've seen you have sex on some DVD. People will demean you because demeaning the successful and beautiful makes the mediocrities of the world feel good about themselves -- look at any supermarket tabloid if you doubt me."

"On the other hand, if you're successful you'll make more money by age 30 then you'd be able to make in your entire career otherwise. So the choice is yours."

madawaskan said...

Revenant-

I think you are over simplifying it.

These norms could not have been set up for any other reasons?

Female health, the survival of the society as a whole-in other words society is ultimately interested in it's extension or very existence over time-

The value of women as opposed to the devaluing of women?

John said...

"John-

Revenant is a good egg he just has this one particular thing up his trou d'oiseau and you couldn't get it outta there with the jaws of life-plus he loves a good argument."

I love a good argument as well.

madawaskan said...

John-

Well same here-it's a curse or somethin'.

Anyhoo wait did Revenant say the only way to be unowned as a female is to be a porn star?

Wait I oversimplified it maybe...

madawaskan said...

OK Revenant-

Try this one on for size-

If it was socially acceptable what percentage of women do you think would want to be porn stars?

Freeman Hunt said...

Rev,

You can't honestly believe that anyone who's anti-porn is just "sour grapes." That's silly.

Revenant said...

These norms could not have been set up for any other reasons?

They could have been, I just don't think they were. It isn't a testable theory one way or the other, really.

But I look at the world and am struck that there's a pretty amazing correlation between "countries I would never, in my worst nightmares, live in" and "countries with a 'traditional' attitude towards sex". So I'm inclined to doubt that there's some great societal benefit in shunning women who sleep around a lot.

Female health, the survival of the society as a whole-in other words society is ultimately interested in it's extension or very existence over time- The value of women as opposed to the devaluing of women?

The reasons I don't think the attitude has anything to do with women's health or women's value is that it predates concern over women's health -- and the belief that women HAVE value other than as property -- by quite a large margin. I think it is fairly obvious that there has never been a time or a place where women were respected as free, self-determining individuals, as much as they are in America today. If you want me to believe that porn and prostitution somehow lower the value of women, point me to a country with a harsher attitude towards those things than we have, but greater respect for women. There isn't one. You cannot "respect" a group of people while arguing that their rights must be curtailed for their own protection. That's how you treat children, not adults.

Revenant said...

You can't honestly believe that anyone who's anti-porn is just "sour grapes." That's silly.

Not only don't I believe it, I didn't even say it. I was describing John's motives, not everybody's. But I do think it is one of the more common reasons.

madawaskan said...

How are we different from animals?

I'd say that it is because we maintain an element of spirituality when it comes to reproduction, sex-

I'm not so ready to strip those elements-that environment away and go forward towards some new untested frontier. I highly suspect there might be some serious fall out and unintended consequences.

paul a'barge said...

Do a google search on her and check out some of her videos.

Wow, that girl is talented.

Revenant said...

If it was socially acceptable what percentage of women do you think would want to be porn stars?

I'm not sure how to answer that question. Like I said before, I think the stigma stems from underlying facts about human nature. So how would you get rid of the stigma without altering human nature, too? And if we could (and did) alter human nature then all bets are off; the percentage could be anything from zero to 100, depending on what we set it to.

I don't think the percentage would change much. Being comfortable with porn requires an attitude towards sex that is rare in women. If there were no social stigma I think the industry lose some of the women who do it for the money even though they dislike it, but gain some of the women who don't mind it but dislike the existing stigma.

But who knows? We almost might as well be discussing a society in which jealousy didn't exist. How's that going to happen? :)

Freeman Hunt said...

I was describing John's motives, not everybody's. But I do think it is one of the more common reasons.But what has John written that would indicate that? I'm not seeing it. I'm sure that there are people harboring sour grapes for porn stars, but it seems like there should be some indication that that is the case before charging someone with such.

Revenant said...

How are we different from animals?

I would phrase that as "how are we different from other animals". :)

I'd say that it is because we maintain an element of spirituality when it comes to reproduction, sex-

I don't think we know enough to say that. Name a form of heterosexual relationship and you can find a species which exhibits it, from lifetime monogomay to free love to prostitution. We don't know what the motives are behind this behavior or what the animals are feeling. Maybe they experience spiritual feelings, too.

On top of that, there's a surprising range of sexual behaviors within humans, too. It is by no means universal for a couple to feel a deep spiritual bond; in some cultures that would actually be unusual.

Revenant said...

But what has John written that would indicate that?

His obsessive need to diminish what Ms. Gray does and what it takes to succeed in that industry.

Jen said...

John said, "She should absolutely be free to do it. I just don't think she deserves any praise for doing so or that we ought to consider her doing anything to advance the cause of women."

I can't believe that I agree with John about something. Whole heartedly. Nicely said.

Jen said...

Holy crap. I agree with John on just about everything here.

veni vidi vici said...

"She hasn't thought about though. She is just making up bullshit."

Uh, no. She is just 21 years old. Get over this pedestal-putting of this gal and take it like a man: she's like any 21 year old in that *OF COURSE* she hasn't thought about [that] / [thought it through] / whatever you were trying to say.

Now, let's get back to her when she's up on 40, and perhaps her responses will resonate somewhat more substantially. It's not like anyone ought to be taking her grand philosophies of life and how to live it all too seriously -- it's like I said before, she's only 21, fer chrissakes!

Jeremy said...

This is great.

A pack of conservatives...criticizing John...because he thinks being a porn star is not exactly what your average "feminist" would consider supportive of their goals.

He says "...ultimately, she is degrading herself and admitting that her body is the only thing of value she has," and he's taken to to ask?

And we get this:

Rev - "His obsessive need to diminish what Ms. Gray does and what it takes to succeed in that industry."

(John is "diminishing" what the women does, and somehow just doesn't understand "what it takes to succeed" in the world of porn??)

Dannyboy confuses "knowing" how to screw with being good at it.

Joe - "Furthermore, I seriously doubt your career takes so much prowess that you couldn't be replaced overnight..." (Whatever the hell that has to do with anything.)

garage mahal - "I bet John couldn't fake enjoying having sex with Ron Jeremy." (Whatever the hell that means.)

WOW...conservatives standing up in support of the rights of a PORN STAR.

And are some here saying they would have no problem with their wives or daughters becoming porn stars...because it's their lives and they should be able to live it as they please? (Have you run this by the kids??)

Good grief...

Jen said...

I'm a hot 36 year old feminist liberal and I support John's views (here anyway).

He is dead on.

Jen said...

Maybe I should have said, I'm a hot narcissistic 36 year old feminist liberal and I support John in every way here.

That would have been more accurate.

fivewheels said...

John: "Why didn't she figure out how to do something with herself beyond lay down with men for money?"

She figured out how to star in a Steven Soderbergh movie.

"I don't see how taking it six different ways in front of millions says much good about the content of her character."

No one said that it did, but John is very insistent on asserting the converse.

"She is degrading herself and admitting that her body is the only thing of value she has."

That's John's judgment, and he does seem very keen on forcing it upon her. He needs her to confess.

"It is her trying to claim that she is anything beyond what she is, that is annoying."

Let's all guess just what it is that John thinks she is. He clearly wants her to wear the scarlet letter.

There are people, men and women, who do feel they elevate themselves by labeling others, and "whore" is their strongest epithet. If you can't see that in John's commentary, I can't believe you're reading it.

fivewheels said...

But speaking of labeling, I do like that garage mahal got called a conservative.

William said...

Finally, a subject that I have thoroughly researched and feel competent to comment on. No one celebrates a happy childhood by choosing to become a porn star. If the interviewer went deeper, I'm pretty sure he'd discover a lot of ragged edges to Sasha's sense of accomplishment. On the other hand, whatever drives women into making porn is pretty sure to drive them into making other dumb decisions about their lives. At least in porn they make some good money for a few years......I have been reliably informed that faking an orgasm is, for a woman, not as challenging as the mad scene in MacBeth.

Jen said...

Revenant said, "But what has John written that would indicate that?

His obsessive need to diminish what Ms. Gray does and what it takes to succeed in that industry."

OH PUH-LEEZE. He isn't obsessively diminishing what she does for a living. John actually seems to have defended it. He's just keeping it in context. That is to say, she isn't advancing the rights of women by snogging a pile of men on tape.

"What it takes to succeed in that industry." Really?? She's a beautiful young woman raking in the dough because she's willing to have sex on film. It doesn't take much more than that.

Revenant said...

OH PUH-LEEZE. He isn't obsessively diminishing what she does for a living.

That claim only makes sense if you believe porn stars are lower than pond scum to begin with. If you believe that then John is simply being accurate.

But they aren't, so he isn't.

garage mahal said...

Jen said...
I'm a hot 36 year old feminist liberal .
.
[PERK]

*click*

"Profile not available".

:(

Revenant said...

"What it takes to succeed in that industry." Really?? She's a beautiful young woman raking in the dough because she's willing to have sex on film. It doesn't take much more than that.

Obviously it does, or all the women who go into porn would be as successful as she is.

In reality, most never achieve any significant recognition. Like the thousands of actors and actresses who fill one-off roles in TV and film they are effectively anonymous, their names and performances soon forgotten by the people who watched them. The ones who make a lasting impression are rare, because making such an impression takes more than just looks and a willingness to have sex in front of an audience.

Sure, it doesn't take an enormous range of acting ability, but it does require the ability to convincingly fake sexual attraction and enthusiasm -- and trust me, those things DO have to be faked. There are plenty of "legitimate" actresses who can't pull off a convincing sex scene, and they work under much more forgiving conditions.

Jeremy said...

John: "She is degrading herself and admitting that her body is the only thing of value she has."

fivewheels: "That's John's judgment, and he does seem very keen on forcing it upon her. He needs her to confess."

It's not only John's "judgment, it's the judgment of an overwhelming majority of people on the planet.

What the hell is your point? That you'd be supportive of your wife or daughter being a porn star? Would you openly tell friends about their latest flicks...you know, being the non-judgmental person you are?

Sure.

And, as for your comment regarding Garage, I know what his politics are, but when you say silly things, you certainly sound like a conservative.

Jen said...

Revenant said, "OH PUH-LEEZE. He isn't obsessively diminishing what she does for a living.

That claim only makes sense if you believe porn stars are lower than pond scum to begin with. If you believe that then John is simply being accurate.

But they aren't, so he isn't."

You forgot the second half of my statement, conveniently.

The entire statement read, "OH PUH-LEEZE. He isn't obsessively diminishing what she does for a living. John actually seems to have defended it. He's just keeping it in context. That is to say, she isn't advancing the rights of women by snogging a pile of men on tape."

That is what he is saying. And I agree.

Jeremy said...

Revenant's slant on the necessities required for porn stardom:

"Sure, it doesn't take an enormous range of acting ability, but it does require the ability to convincingly fake sexual attraction and enthusiasm -- and trust me, those things DO have to be faked."

We're obviously talking about someone here who has extensive experience in the viewing and reviewing of the do's and don'ts of porn performances.

He appears to be very much the fan.

Revenant said...

You forgot the second half of my statement, conveniently.

I didn't forget it, I just didn't see any point in replying to it. If it makes you happy I'll do so now:

John actually seems to have defended it.

There isn't much to say to that besides "are you high?". There is no reading of his posts that could be read as defending Gray's choice to do porn. The closest he comes is conceding that she shouldn't be forcibly prevented from doing it.

He's just keeping it in context. That is to say, she isn't advancing the rights of women by snogging a pile of men on tape."

If you agree with the statement that women should be allowed to have sex with the men of their choosing -- as I think any feminist shy of Andrea Dworkin would -- then it is obvious that her actions advance the rights of women. There is no purer form of freedom than the right to control your own body.

Jeremy said...

Revenant said..."There is no purer form of freedom than the right to control your own body."

So...you're pro-choice?

Freeman Hunt said...

Jeremy, have you ever been here before? The sky is blue, the grass is green, and Rev is pro-choice.

Jen said...

John. John. Where are you?

"then it is obvious that her actions advance the rights of women. There is no purer form of freedom than the right to control your own body."

Women have been subjugated to pornography/prostitution forever. Now they make some money doing it. That doesn't mean that she is advancing MY rights or acting in ANY WAY as a feminist by blowing some guy on film.

Revenant said...

Jeremy, have you ever been here before? The sky is blue, the grass is green, and Rev is pro-choice.

I'm tempted to say "Lucky's on you guys' side. I win".

Freeman Hunt said...

I'm tempted to say "Lucky's on you guys' side. I win".

Heh. :)

Obviously I'm with John and Jen on this one, but they've already covered pretty much anything I would write.

Jeremy said...

Freeman - I don't keep quite the same tabs on each and every commenter you and others do.

Based on his statement, I merely asked a question.

I'm glad he's pro-choice and wish more were.

I also think his and other arguments here against John are rather incredible, considering the usual right wing slant most support.

Many here apparently think this porn star is admirable, but as an example, those who are gay, and want to get married, somehow somehow infringing on the the rights and beliefs of heterosexuals.

I find that disingenuous and hypocritical.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
If you agree with the statement that women should be allowed to have sex with the men of their choosing -- as I think any feminist shy of Andrea Dworkin would -- then it is obvious that her actions advance the rights of women. There is no purer form of freedom than the right to control your own body.
But you already stated that they are faking it when having sex with performers, and in fact are displaying talent by pretending to be interested in having sex with Ron Jeremy. So these are not in fact necessarily the men of their choosing.
And are you suggesting that people who don't engage in porn can't have sex with people of their choosing or have control of their bodies?
On a related note, while someone who injects themselves with heroin every day may have control of their bodies and what they inject into their veins,Its not exactly empowering to be a junkie who's strung out on smack.

Jen said...

Thanks Freeman. I felt like the lone woman here for a while.

Revenant said...

Women have been subjugated to pornography/prostitution forever.

Certainly women have been, and in many cases continue to be, subjugated into prostitution against their will. But it is equally true that women have been, and in many cases continue to be, subjugated into marriage against their will. Does it follow that marriage is anti-feminist?

No. Subjugation of women is anti-feminist. But Sasha Gray isn't being subjugated; she chose to do what she does.

Now they make some money doing it.

At one point, black men and women were forced, upon pain of torture or death, to farm land.

But suppose I pointed to a black man freely choosing to work on a farm in exchange for a good wage. Would you sneer that he was doing nothing for black rights, and that the only difference between him and a slave is that he "makes some money"?

The obvious difference is that the people have a choice. If society says "as a woman you must either be monogamous or be deemed a slut" and you choose to ignore that and earn a good living using your sexuality in the manner of YOUR choosing, you are quite clearly exercising an important freedom. You are also refuting the idea that society should get a veto over what a woman does with her own body. That, Jen, advances the cause of women's rights.

I'd also be curious to hear how one can justify support for abortion as pro-feminist while dismissing the idea that performance in porn could be.

Jeremy said...

Anybody think this feminist was sexually molested as a child?

Revenant said...

But you already stated that they are faking it when having sex with performers, and in fact are displaying talent by pretending to be interested in having sex with Ron Jeremy. So these are not in fact necessarily the men of their choosing.

I said "men of their choosing", not "men they are sexually attracted to". I'm sure we've all done things we'd have preferred not to do -- even something as simple as "get up and go to work on Monday morning" -- because there was money in it. The difference between us and slaves is that we have the option of saying "eh, the money's not worth it, I'm not going to do this".

Chip Ahoy said...

I endorse porn actresses and strippers.

A few months ago I was in a local wig shop that amps up to well-stocked costumery tduring Halloween. I was checking out the more ou·trĂ© garments and encountered a rocket-hot young woman in the back of the store also going through the racks. I struck up a conversation applying my disarming charm with touches of tender modest vulnerability. She said she was a dancer. I stepped back and scanned her up and down rather obviously. Indeed, she had the athletic body of a classical dancer. I remarked so, "Well, you've got the body of death." She smiled indicating I hadn't gone too far and said, "Thanks!" I offered my opinion on some of the garments and we had a very agreeable but short chat. Here's the part that's so stupid: the whole time I was thinking she was a ballerina. I was comparing her in my mind with other dancers I knew in the Colorado Ballet Co. It wasn't until we broke it off and I realized from the clothes she was interested in that her term 'dancer' was euphemism for stripper. Ha ha ha. What a dunce I am. It made me like her more. I'm certain she made a lot more as a stripper dancer than my other friends did as classic dancers, and she was a lot more interesting.

Pardon me please, all this intellectualizing and philosophizing about porn and its relation to feminism is beginning to wear on me. I'm off to Xtube.com to see what the kids there have to say.

Jen said...

Of COURSE my profile is not available. You Republicans scare the crap out of me.

somecamerunning said...

@ Jeremy—by all means, go ahead and speculate as to whether Grey was molested as a child. While you're at it, speculate as to how many times she herself has been asked that question, what her answer to it was/is, and how spectacularly bored she is with it by now.

Jen said...

Oh, this is rich.

Revenant. You make it sound like I have some dislike for this woman when that is not the case at all. I'm sure we would get along GREAT!

She should absolutely be free to do whatever she wants. But THE POINT IS she is not acting to advance feminism, the causes of women, the right I have to my own body, etc. etc. by making a good show of a crappy snog on film.

That is the point.

More power to her.

But good luck to her when she's 40 and doesn't know the difference between a short and a naked put.

John said...

Thank you for defending me Jen. It is rediculous to claim that this girl has some kind of special talent. Her special talent is that she was 19 when she started and hasn't had any plastic surgery so she looks like the high school girl next door. Wow, that is something to be proud of. The reason why most porn stars are not as successful as her is because they don't have her look and are not as young as she is. Go to any college campus in America and you will see 100s of young women more beautiful than her. If those women were willing to degrade themselves, they to would be making money in the porn industry.

This girl does nothing but provide the service of giving old men something to jerk off over. Big whoop. It is nothing to be proud of and nothing to celebrate. I don't my daughter or sister doing it. Given that fact, I can't in good conscience say that it is good for anyone to do it. Everyone is someone's daughter.

Should what she does be legal? Sure. But it should be legal only because making it illegal would just make it worse for the women involved not because what she is doing has any socially redeeming value.

Michael McNeil said...

Jen sez:
Thanks Freeman. I felt like the lone woman here for a while.

Part of the reason for that is because at least one of the frequent woman posters in this group (I happen to know personally, though I'm not going to mention her name) disagrees with the premises you and many others in this thread are operating under.

Jeremy said...

somecamerunning - What does the fact that people may have asked the woman if she was molested have to do with whether she was?

I would bet she was.

Jeremy said...

Jen said..."Of COURSE my profile is not available. You Republicans scare the crap out of me."

You got that right.

Revenant said...

But THE POINT IS she is not acting to advance feminism, the causes of women, the right I have to my own body, etc. etc.

I understand that that's the point you're arguing. But your reasoning doesn't hold up. The only defense you've offered is that since other women have been *forced* to do this, it can't help women's rights for Gray to voluntarily do it. That's a ridiculous argument to make, as I illustrated with the black farmer example.

But good luck to her when she's 40 and doesn't know the difference between a short and a naked put.

I don't know the difference either, and I somehow manage to get by.

Jen said...

"These guys confuse freedom with anarchy. empowerment isn't furthered by abandoning all values and doing whatever anybody wants.

Violence, degradation, sadism, etc. are not values we associate with empowerment. I can be violent or degrading toward others or myself, but that doesn't further my rights or benefit society.

Someone who elects to be a porn star may be empowering herself, but the image she spreads of acceptable abuse and degradation of women reinforces a negative and anti-feminist social value.

It hurts most women, not helps them."

My pal M, commenting. Thanks M.

John said...

"I can be violent or degrading toward others or myself, but that doesn't further my rights or benefit society."

Exactly. From the first day God created humans, you have always been free to be a whore. There is nothing new, interesting or empowering about that.

Jen said...

Never EVER refuse a hot, narcissistic, feminist, with a medical degree, a 3 year old daughter, and a hatred for pedestrian ignorance.

And, apparently, sycophancy, Mr. McNeil.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
The obvious difference is that the people have a choice. If society says "as a woman you must either be monogamous or be deemed a slut"
Having sex with 20 guys for money is being a slut by definition. The value or lack of value of being a slut is immaterial to the definition itself.

and you choose to ignore that and earn a good living using your sexuality in the manner of YOUR choosing, you are quite clearly exercising an important freedom.
Ok, are you familiar with the movie 2 girls and a cup? It's an infamous movie where two women basically crap into a cup, eat it then puke all over each other. Those are feminist heroes? They are excercising an important freedom? Betty Friedan, eat your heart out. I bet after all that they didn't even make enough to pay the rent for more than a week, while the guy who made the movie made a killing. And he did so by finding someone despearate enough or sick enough to eat shit on camera for almost no money. Sounds mildly exploitative to me.

You are also refuting the idea that society should get a veto over what a woman does with her own body. That, Jen, advances the cause of women's rights. I don't think anyone is saying she can't do it. They are just not ascribing any heroism to her actions, or finding her behavior virtuous or enobling. And they are not obligated to either.

John said...

"Never EVER refuse a hot, narcissistic, feminist, with a medical degree, a 3 year old daughter, and a hatred for pedestrian ignorance."

I will make a note of that. ;-)

Jen said...

to speak to rev's example, if during slavery, a good-looking black man became a movie star by taking roles as a slave that was objectified and mistreated by whites, he might help his own financial cause, but he certainly wouldn't be empowering blacks to escape the image of sub-human commodities. to suggest that his decision to be an actor is empowering all blacks to freely choose their destinies is simply wrong. in fact, the image he's portraying is likely to have exactly the opposite effect.

during segregation, not slavery. no movies during slavery times.

M, for Jen

Jen said...

John. Nice to see you.

John said...

You to Jen.

Revenant said...

Violence, degradation, sadism, etc. are not values we associate with empowerment.

They aren't values I associate with most porn, either. Certainly there's misogynistic porn out there, but it isn't the norm. There is plenty of sex-positive porn out there.

John said...

Jen,

I had this same argument with one of the writers over at Reason whose name escapes me. She was this beautiful young woman, with a masters degree and a job at the Reason foundation and she has the nerve to say that being a prostitute was a perfectly acceptable way to make a living. I immediately called her on it and asked her if she would ever be a prostitute or would she want her mom or sister to be one. She would never would answer that. But I thought it was so insulting for someone in her rather privileged position to talk about how something she would never do herself in a million years was somehow ok for lesser women.

fivewheels said...

Yeah, the nerve of her! To openly disagree with a man trying to take care of the helpless little wimmens like her! Why wouldn't she just defer and submit meekly?

Kerry Howley?

Revenant said...

to speak to rev's example, if during slavery, a good-looking black man became a movie star

Um, no.

How does that "speak to my example"? Your counterexample only makes sense if you assume that sexual slavery is the norm for women in porn. In reality that only happens in the illegal porn industry, e.g. kiddie porn and the like.

Or maybe you're trying to paint a picture where women live in as second-class citizens in America and people like Gray are helping to keep them down? If so you're about thirty years late to that party.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

Sex positive porn???

Rev talks like porn is comprised of intricately woven love stories of deeply meaningful relationships that happily end with the woman intimately blowing one guy while another caressingly does her doggie-style from behind. empowering, inspiring, feminist, and very sex-positive. makes me feel like women can achieve anything!

women have been treated as equal members of society for 30 years now??? what salary database is rev looking at?

Revenant said...

She would never would answer that. But I thought it was so insulting for someone in her rather privileged position to talk about how something she would never do herself in a million years was somehow ok for lesser women.

What a load of nonsense.

I make a good wage at a good job. If you asked me if I'd pick grapes for a living I'd say "absolutely not". Picking grapes is unpleasant and incredibly boring. I'll keep the job I have, thanks -- but I still acknowledge picking grapes is a perfectly legitimate way to earn a living. According to what I will generously describe as "your reasoning", my attitude is profoundly insulting to grape pickers -- I let them do work that is "beneath" me. I reality, of course, I don't think of them as inferior people, but I acknowledge the reality that I'm smart enough and educated enough to do a MUCH more pleasant job.

In porn a woman receives a middle or upper-middle-class lifestyle, but pays a price in notoriety and social stigma. It should be glaringly obvious that this is going to appeal more to a poor and uneducated woman than does to a woman with a degree who is ALREADY in the middle or upper-middle class.

fivewheels said...

So much of this long thread is just noise, possibly including what I've written, but I think this might be at the heart of it, Rev.

John and Jen wouldn't do what Sasha does, and they look down on her because of that. I probably wouldn't do it either, but I don't begrudge her her own reasons, and John especially wants to insist that I do so, hence the constant talk about daughters and such.

Again, please note that in that interview Sasha explicitly rejects that she's a crusader for empowering women via porn.

Revenant said...

Sex positive porn???

Rev talks like porn is comprised of intricately woven love stories of deeply meaningful relationships

I'm almost positive the phrase "like some Lifetime movie" never appeared anywhere in my earlier descriptions of porn. :)

Obviously very little of porn goes much deeper than "we're horny, let's boink". What I mean by "sex-positive" is just that -- sex is portrayed as positive. The women aren't insulted or abused, but instead are shown as desirable and sexy. Certainly all the actors and actresses are "sex objects", since the sex is the entire point. But that's no more demeaning than a football game that focuses exclusively on the plays without tarrying over the emotional needs of the players.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
At one point, black men and women were forced, upon pain of torture or death, to farm land.

But suppose I pointed to a black man freely choosing to work on a farm in exchange for a good wage. Would you sneer that he was doing nothing for black rights, and that the only difference between him and a slave is that he "makes some money"?
The problem with slavery was never working farmland. It was that people were forced to and were bought and sold as commodities to do so. Imagine though if there was someone who said he would pay him a million dollars to act like a slave and work the land like a slave and make him wear chains and get whipped. You might say he's making a good living, but there is nothing enlightening about letting himself be degraded for pay and I woudn't exactly call him a civil rights hero, especiallly when he could just as easily take a job that doesn't require him to act like a slave.

Jen said...

Dear Fifth Wheel, or fivewheels, or whatever,

No, I don't look down on her. At all. The woman has skill. No doubt. She's just not advancing feminism.

At all.

fivewheels said...

Except that you've agreed with John's mocking of her and joined in with that comment about options trading, as if it were relevant. What was that if not a put-down of her intelligence?

You can say that you believe she is ill-equipped for the world, but here she is not just appearing in porn, but in a Soderbergh movie. She'll be fine. And I assure you she's brighter than 90 percent of the commenters here.

And I say again, she never said she was advancing feminism. In fact the quote in this post argues that the very concept of doing so is impossibly abstract.

Revenant said...

The problem with slavery was never working farmland. It was that people were forced to and were bought and sold as commodities to do so.

Um, yes, that was my point. Similarly, the problem with forced prostitution wasn't the prostitution, but the force.

Imagine though if there was someone who said he would pay him a million dollars to act like a slave and work the land like a slave and make him wear chains and get whipped.

That would be a valid parallel if porn actresses portrayed abused sex slaves. But they don't. They portray people having consensual sex.

Jen said...

It was a play on words fivewheels. Naked put?

veni vidi vici said...

"Many here apparently think this porn star is admirable, but as an example, those who are gay, and want to get married, somehow somehow infringing on the the rights and beliefs of heterosexuals."

Read that sentence again.

Oh, of course; we understand (paraphrasing Prince). You were crying when you wrote this; you're forgiven since it went astray.

somecamerunning said...

@Jeremy: Well, you're entitled to your beliefs, particularly those that help you validate your worldview. For myself, I do not share your particular belief in this case. And for the record, yes, Grey has long avowed that she never experienced any kind of sexual abuse as a child.

Revenant said...

hose who are gay, and want to get married, somehow somehow infringing on the the rights and beliefs of heterosexuals.

For five points, translate the above sentence fragment into English.

For bonus points, try identifying the people in this thread who support porn but oppose gay marriage. Hint: this may be a trick question

jdeeripper said...

Some people become very threatened and defensive when anyone criticizes their obsession with porn or the video prostitutes who perform in them.

Same with music, drugs and food.

People will kill to keep for their addictions.

I haven't seen any Sasha Gray videos and after hearing descriptions of what she does - drinking enemas, licking toilet seats, drinking urine, simultaneous multiple penises in mouth and anus - I don't think I need to.

Palladian said...

What the hell are you losers arguing about?

To hell with nasty straight porn with its nasty plastic women and their nasty plastic groans. Give me man on man, good old wholesome gay pornography! No troubling built-in power structures, no exploitation, no feelings of shame, no feminist diatribes. Just good, hard man-on-man sex the way God intended!

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
That would be a valid parallel if porn actresses portrayed abused sex slaves. But they don't. They portray people having consensual sex.Not always. There are some pornos out there that portray the guy forcing his way on the girl (and then her getting into it and ultimately going along with it). But clearly its a portrayal of an event and not a real event, so whatever the setup it would have to be agreed to by the actress ahead of time. But my hypothetical would be, a guy pays a black guy a million bucks a year to portray a slave, meaning, he has to work the land and wear chains and get whipped by the master when he gets out of line. (In fact it sounds like it could work as a porno, actually). It's play in the sense that the person is agreeing to be debased for money, but its real in the sense that the slave master will debase them in actuality and treat them like a slave.
would someone who went into such a portrayal willingly and was well payed for his efforts be some civil rights hero for acting like a slave for big bucks?

Revenant said...

Not always. There are some pornos out there that portray the guy forcing his way on the girl (and then her getting into it and ultimately going along with it).

There's some stuff that pushes that boundary, but the courts have consistently held that pornographic portrayals of rape are subject to laws against obscenity. As a result there are only a handful of producers who make it, and they tend to wind up in prison (see, e.g., the "Max Hardcore" case).

But my hypothetical would be, a guy pays a black guy a million bucks a year to portray a slave, meaning, he has to work the land and wear chains and get whipped by the master when he gets out of line.

The parallel doesn't hold, then. You and Jen have been trying to draw a parallel to sexual slavery, but Ms. Grey isn't experiencing ANY of the aspects of sexual slavery except for the sex act itself (which, as noted earlier, isn't the bad part of sex slavery). She isn't being held prisoner, she isn't being physically or sexually abused to force her to comply with her "master", and she has veto power over her sex partners.

jr565 said...

Revenant wrote:
The parallel doesn't hold, then. You and Jen have been trying to draw a parallel to sexual slavery, but Ms. Grey isn't experiencing ANY of the aspects of sexual slavery except for the sex act itself (which, as noted earlier, isn't the bad part of sex slavery). She isn't being held prisoner, she isn't being physically or sexually abused to force her to comply with her "master", and she has veto power over her sex partners.I said nothing about sexual slavery. I think you were the one who compared porn to slavery. In my hypothetical though the person undergoing slavery is voluntarily doing so and getting well paid for it. So its both true and false slavery, just as porn is both truthful but also a performance. In the hypothetical then the "slave" is allowing himself to be a slave.
So leaving the morality or realism of engaging in such acontract in the first place, the hypothetical instead centers on the "slave" who willfully undergoes servitude as a performance piece, and whether he would be or should be a civil rights hero for doing so. Its not a perfect analogy, and not a realistic one, but you brought up the comparison to slavery, so its probably as close as you can get, using slavery as a comparison.

jr565 said...

Revenant said:
There is no purer form of freedom than the right to control your own body."

Which doesn't mean that because one is excercising a freedom that one makes you noble or that others can't have value judgements based on how you deal with your body. Case in point. As mentioned, a heroin addict. They may say don't tread on me,they may screw over their families all for the selfish need to fill their bottomless souls. If they waste their lives away doing drugs, it doesn't somehow make them noble. Nor does it somehow mean that we have to find their addiction to be heroic.
Another case in point. Certain people have a need to make themselves over completely with plastic surgery. At a certain point, most ethical doctors will say enough is enough and refuse to do more surgeries,even if you want more plastic surgery. And in any case, it doesn't mean that we have to find the results beautiful or find their disfgurement of themselves to be anything but pathological.
You could work your way down the list from people with eating disorders, to people who cut themselves. Some people act out of pathologies that they don't even recognize as pathologies, but end up hurting themselves. Should one say that crazy people are noble for damaging their bodies? Should one say that there is no such thing as pathology? Beucase that is essentially what you are arguing. Any verging into a pathology would not be pathological in your view, but ultimate freedom.
Another case in point, the cannibal case in germany. A cannibal found a person who wanted to be eaten through the want ads. They then met up and carried out their desires. The guy who wanted to be eaten assisted the cannibal in carving himself up and eating his own flesh. Ultimately,he died and the cannibal was put in jail. Now, I heard a lot of libertarians argue that they found nothing wrong with this behavior as the guy who agreed to be eaten did so willingly and therefore there was no harm and it was a legitimate contract.And therefore because he agreed to be eaten, the cannibal shouldn't be charged with murder.A little off the beaten path at this point, but the point is, just because you do something with your body doesn't make it noble, or doesn't mean that society should sanction it, or doesn't mean that you aren't bat shit crazy and engaging in pathological behavior which should be viewed as such.
If Sasha Grey is drinking enemas, at the very least that is extremely dangerous behavior. I would question the director about whether he is in fact putting her into a situation where she might not contract hepatitis considering she is being so unsanitary. If she agrees to do engage in such reckless behavior I might say she's brave, but it certainly doesn't mean that I have to somehow respect her behavior.

Revenant said...

o its both true and false slavery, just as porn is both truthful but also a performance. In the hypothetical then the "slave" is allowing himself to be a slave.

I would argue that it is logically impossible to consent to slavery. If it is your choice to let someone chain you up and whip you, you aren't being coerced. You're just being masochistic, which may be weird but isn't enslavement.

Which doesn't mean that because one is excercising a freedom that one makes you noble or that others can't have value judgements based on how you deal with your body.

The question was whether exercising a right is an empowering act, not whether all exercises of a right were noble or moral.

A little off the beaten path at this point, but the point is, just because you do something with your body doesn't make it noble, or doesn't mean that society should sanction it, or doesn't mean that you aren't bat shit crazy and engaging in pathological behavior which should be viewed as such.

The question of whether the act is "noble" isn't one I'm interested in discussing, since nobility is completely subjective. The same holds for the argument over whether the behavior is "crazy" or "pathological". I consider regularly assembling in a building to spend an hour or two appeasing a god that doesn't actually exist to be a bit on the crazy and pathological side; religious people obviously disagree.

As for whether society should "sanction" it, what exactly does that mean? Society either forbids an activity or allows it. If it allows it, then it is sanctioning it. Individual people may dislike it, but society is saying "no, go right on ahead". In that sense I think that society should indeed sanction all consensual behavior.

Yrys said...

at some point I stopped reading the comments cause there were so many, but I'll put my own anyway.
I'm a French girl of 20 years old. I started working as a porn actress when I was 18, and I am still in the business.
I am also a feminist activist.
I think a lot of what is said in the comments, either on the John&madawaskan side or on the Revenant&Joe side, is questionable.
However, the stance taken by the latter is way more feministic to my eyes than the one taken by the first.
John seems to be a misogynist, puritanical, repressed, moralistic, patronizing scumbag.
And I guess I would have been better off having Revenant for a father, assuming that he really would be as tolerant with a porn-star-daughter as he claims he would.