The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘porn’

“Dear Congress, Please Give Us Money So That Our Degradation Of Women May Continue…”

Posted by Clem Bastow on January 8, 2009

Following ‘filler’ news pieces recently about how the adult industry looks set to be “recession-proof” (take this news.com.au piece, for example: “Entrepreneurs are flocking to the sex trade with even once conservative manufacturers like Philips Electronics and Hitachi have joined in the vibrator business” – news.com.au’s own mangled syntax), it would the porn industry does not share the dildo farms’ bulletproof attitude.

LFP and Hustler mogul Larry Flynt and the “brains” behind Girls Gone Wild, Joe Francis, have written to US Congress begging for a bailout – to the tune of $5 billion – in order to “rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America” (because apparently a US$13 billion industry is cause for financial concern.) From The Age/AFP:

“Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation’s most important businesses, (and) we feel we deserve the same consideration,” Francis said in a statement.

“In difficult economic times, Americans turn to entertainment for relief. More and more, the kind of entertainment they turn to is adult entertainment.”

Francis in particular would know all about money woes, having been charged with tax fraud (and don’t forget his jailing as part of a plea bargain on charges of child abuse and prostitution after filming underaged girls for his Girls Gone Wild franchise).

“The porn debate” is bound to rattle on and I base my views on pornography on a case-by-case approach, but I hope I don’t need to remind free-speech or pro-porn campaigners of Hustler‘s tendency to include, as Gloria Steinem noted (in 1997), “images of women being beaten, tortured and raped, women subject to degradations from bestiality to sexual slavery.” (She also noted that Flynt was not immune to ignoring his First Amendment campaigning when it suited him to attack the free speech of feminists and commentators who criticised Hustler.)

The fact that both Girls Gone Wild and Hustler are still going strong today says some worrying things about how much the general populace cares about the treatment (even if only implied, or “imagined” in the pages of a magazine) of women.

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Posted in Celebrity, Media Watch, porn | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Tracking The Jess Origliasso “Porn Storm”

Posted by Clem Bastow on August 1, 2008

News spread around the web like brushfire yesterday when PhotoBooth shots of “Jess Origliasso” from The Veronicas (I use inverted commas because no one – including her spokesperson from Warner Records – is certain whether the baps-out shot is actually her) turned up on Fleshbot (NSFW, der). Naturally, the reaction on the home front has been predictably, well, predictable. Here’s a selection of News Ltd headlines:

Jess Origliasso embroiled in porn site picture scandal
The Veronicas’ Jess Origliasso caught in porn storm
The Veronicas’ wild child in porn site storm

And so on. You get the sense the News stable is gearing up for some serious slut-shaming in their continued coverage; cop this excerpt:

Cementing her status as the wilder of the two siblings, Jess – identified by her distinctive tattoo on her bare upper back – is pictured with a suggestive expression in the sepia-toned image.

“Cementing her status as the slutty one” is what they really mean. (And I love the use of “suggestive”.)

What bothers me about these sorts of stories – and there are a lot of them these days, from the Vanessa Hudgens pics to the Kristin Davis shots – is that, inevitably, they are about “exposing” women as unstoppable sex machines (and, occasionally, revealing a male star’s gay secrets; nude scandals rarely seem to target straight male celebs, unless it’s in a high-fiving, “Go you stud!” manner).

There’s the implication that these women are somehow dirty or slutty (or porny) for having taken photos with/for someone they were (presumably) in a relationship with, which to me always seems like a perfectly normal bit of sex play (and let’s face it, taking dirty photos is pretty much vanilla these days).

And has it really come to the point where taking some reasonably tasteful sexy photos of oneself is “porn”? The shots might have ended up on Fleshbot, but they weren’t made for it.

The wailing in the streets seems at odds with the whole Cleo/Cosmo culture that tells us we should all be having incredible sex lives, but when a celebrity is revealed to actually be, you know, having an amazing sex life, the media gets in its time machine and presses in “1950s” on the destination keypad.

Posted in Blog Watch, Celebrity, Media Watch, Sex And Love | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

These Sluts And Poofs Are Ruining Our Wholesome Reality Television Shows

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 3, 2008

I haven’t yet watched The Farmer Wants A Wife (the ridiculously patriarchal title and concept may have something to do with it…) but I have looked upon the farmers in the Women’s Weekly, and naturally read about them in all the pre-show media hype drummed up by poor old Channel Nine. And wouldn’t you know it, now there’s been a “scandal” – one of the ‘wives’ has been revealed to have posed nude prior to entering the show, once this year (for AbbyWinters.comNSFW – apparently) and previously for People.

My instinctual reaction is “who cares, it’s her body and her life”, but the slut-shaming reaction from the Daily Telegraph and the always reliable Australian Family Association has been pretty depressing:

Monique is not the first reality television contestant to have a dubious background. Big Brother‘s pint-sized belly dancer Rima appeared naked in an online shoot this year, and Gladiators challenger Sam Brodie was revealed to have posed for a gay porn website.

Australian Family Association national spokeswoman Angela Conway said casting agencies needed to take more responsibility.

“More responsibility” for what? To ensure that those bloody poofters, dwarves and whores don’t get a chance to appear on national television and expose their “dubious” backgrounds?

It’s hard to pick what the worst aspect of this “story” is. There’s the intensely judgmental headline, “Farmer wants a wife …but may get porn model”. There’s the implication that Monique is somehow “using” Farmer Nick by pursuing him via the show, when there’s no mention of the fact that the farmers themselves are using the female contestants in some sort of potential-wife prize-fight (and as we know, only one of the previous season’s farmers actually did end up with a wife). And then there’s the show itself, which takes the very real issues of rural male loneliness (you need only watch this video clip of last year’s farmer Chris to see how much having met someone means to him) and women longing for a partner, and turns it into an ultra-competitive spectacle for ‘the other half’ to gawp at.

The hypocrisy in these instances is out of control when you consider that it’s more or less an accepted career path for young women to enter Big Brother and exit the house into the warm embrace of a lads’ mag shoot, but it seems that if women (and gay men) decide to take charge of their own sexual identity and express it in a way that suits them – rather than a way that is airbrushed, objectified and geared towards heterosexual male pleasure – they better watch out.

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Do I Like Porn? Don’t Ask Me, I’m Just A Girl! *Giggle*

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 2, 2008

Another day, another infuriating and thinly-veiled post-feminist yarn from Samantha Brett’s Ask Sam! (her exclamation point) blog for the Fairfax Digital network. Sam celebrates the new financial year by kicking off with a bang – well, rather, a wet squib: the old “do women like porn?” chestnut. Or, as she puts it, “Why Women Hate Porn“.

Except that, uh, it seems that despite her title, Sam comes out batting for porn – so long as it’s a) cool and b) something ‘sexy’ to do with one’s (male) partner. But we’ll get to the latter later, first let’s deal with a):

Some view this newfound sense of sexual freedom as a by-product of the rise of porn star as the new “it” female profession. Think Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends, Kim Kardashian and Denise Richards to name just a few.

It’s an “it” profession for females, is it? (And would Denise Richards really be pleased to see herself described as a porn star?) I must have missed that particular careers memo.

Sam then goes on to, er, well:

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Blog Watch, Media Watch | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »