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We live in a world in which men sell women to other men directly. And men also sell women to other men through mass media. These days, women are sometimes the buyers. And on rare occasions in recent years, women are the sellers. That is, there are women who consume pornography and a few women who make it. In this society, that’s called progress.

Feminism is advanced, we are told, when women can join the ranks of those who buy and sell other human beings. All this is happening as a predictable result of the collaboration of capitalism and patriarchy. Take a system that values profit over everything, and combine it with a system of male supremacy: You get pimps and johns, and pornography that is increasingly normalized and mainstreamed, made into everyday experience. Because it’s profitable in a capitalist world. And because men take it as their right to consume women’s sexuality in a patriarchal world.

When confronted with this, men often suggest that because women in pornography choose to participate, there’s no reason to critique men’s use of pornography. We should avoid that temptation to take that easy way out. I’m going to say nothing in regard to what women should do, nor am I going to critique their choices. I don’t take it as my place to inject myself in the discussions that women have about this. (A new book, “Not for Sale,” has interesting insights into those questions. …) I do, however, take it as my place to talk to men.

I take it as a political/moral responsibility to engage in critical self-reflection and be accountable for my behavior, at the individual and the collective level. For men, the question is not about women’s choices. It’s about men’s choices. Do you want to participate in this system in which women are sold for sexual pleasure, whether it’s in prostitution, pornography, strip bars, or any other aspect of the sex industry? Do you want to live in a world in which some people are bought and sold for the sexual pleasure of others?

When one asks such questions, one of the first things one will hear is: These are important issues, but we shouldn’t make men feel guilty about this. Why not? I agree that much of the guilt people feel — rooted in attempts to repress human sexuality that unfortunately are part of the cultural and theological history of our society — is destructive. But guilt also can be a healthy emotional and intellectual response to the world and one’s actions in it.

Johns should feel guilty when they buy women. Guilt is a proper response to an act that is unjust. When we do things that are unjust, we should feel guilty. Guilt can be a sign that we have violated our own norms. It can be a part of a process of ending the injustice. Guilt can be healthy, if it is understood in political, not merely religious or psychological, terms.

Buying women is wrong not because of a society’s repressive moral code or its effects on an individual’s psychological process. It is wrong because it hurts people. It creates a world in which people get hurt. And the people who get hurt the most are women and children, the people with the least amount of power. When you create a class that can be bought and sold, the people in that group will inevitably be treated as lesser, as available to be controlled and abused.

The way out of this is not church or therapy, though you may engage in either or both of those practices for various reasons. The way out of being a john is political. The way out is feminism. I don’t mean feminism as a superficial exercise in identifying a few “women’s issues” that men can help with. I mean feminism as an avenue into what Karl Marx called “the ruthless criticism of the existing order, ruthless in that it will shrink neither from its own discoveries, nor from conflict with the powers that be.”

We need to engage in some ruthless criticism. Let’s start not just with pornography, but with sex more generally. One of those discoveries, I think, is not only that men often are johns, but that the way in which johns use women sexually is a window into other aspects of our sexual and intimate lives as well. For many men, sex is often a place where we both display and reinforce our power over women.

By that, I don’t mean that all men at all times use sex that way all the time, but that a pattern of such relationships is readily visible in this society. Women deal with it every day, and at some level most men understand it.

We can see that pornography not only raises issues about the buying and selling of women, but — if we can remain ruthless and not shrink from our own discoveries — about sex in general, about the way in which men and women in this culture are commonly trained to be sexual. It’s not just about pimps and johns and the women prostituted. It’s about men and women, and sex and power.

If throughout this discussion you have been thinking, “Well, that’s not me — I never pay for it,” don’t be so sure. It’s not just about who pays for it and who doesn’t. It’s about the fundamental nature of the relationship between men and women, and how that plays out in sex and intimacy.

And if you think this doesn’t affect you because you are one of the “good men,” don’t be so sure. I’m told that I am one of those good men. I work in a feminist movement. I have been part of groups that critique men’s violence and the sex industry. And I struggle with these issues all the time. I was trained to be a man in this culture, and that training doesn’t evaporate overnight. None of us is off the hook.


[Context: Robert Jensen PhD, lecturing male students on ‘pornstitution’ at the Second Annual Conference at Saint John’s University, Collegeville, MN, February 26, 2005].
(via exgynocraticgrrl)




awwww-cute:

This little guy :3

awwww-cute:

This little guy :3



blein:

sO my friend’s dog died and she lives in new york city and so she had to take it to the vet by the subway and she put the dead dog in the suitcase on the subway and it was a pretty big dog and some dude saw that she was struggling with the suitcase so he asked if she needed help with it and he said do you mind me asking what’s in it and she didnt want to say a dead dog so shE SAID IT WAS A BUNCH OF LAPTOPS SO HE TOOK THE SUITCASE AND RAN AND I JUST 



pussyxriot:

THIS IS SUCH AN ACCURATE REPRESENTATION OF CATS IF CATS COULD TALK THIS IS WHAT THEY WOULD SAY



lizawithazed:


sometimes you see a pun so artfully constructed you just have to stand back in awe.

lizawithazed:

sometimes you see a pun so artfully constructed you just have to stand back in awe.




vex138:

and stop viewing feminists as man haters!



dominiquemcintosh:

leanslimfit:

sophisticatedsarcasm:

this is important

"No" is a complete sentence. You don’t have to justify why. "No" is enough.


u tell em oprah

dominiquemcintosh:

leanslimfit:

sophisticatedsarcasm:

this is important

"No" is a complete sentence. You don’t have to justify why. "No" is enough.

u tell em oprah




olisaurusrex:

universalequalityisinevitable:

David Suzuki in this interview about facing the reality of climate change and other environmental issues from Moyers & Company.

David Suzuki is so fucking important



almeida-o-bigodes:

Some of the best #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave memes on twitter.



Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?
People are idiots, Leslie.







yourlifeisyourmessage:

videohall:

Hybrid wolfdog is very protective of the new kitten.

This is the sweetest.


ggaga:

i hate how you’re just born out of nowhere and you’re forced to go to school and get education so you can get a job what if i wanted to be a duck



food-and-cake-escape:

x

food-and-cake-escape:

x





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