Reading Comprehension

So I was on youtube – visiting one of the anti-porn folks channel. And I got into a discussion with this guy.  Basically – the video had two questions 1. Do you see men being violated like women in porn. and 2. Why do people need porn?

This guy comes in and whips out the usual logical fallacies.

1. But but but women CHOOSE to do porn (your point dude? Try and answer the questions next time).

2. Why should he care about the women in porn, they are the ones who gave up their “shot” at life. (The video was asking whether men are degraded to the extent women are in porn and why people think they need porn. Maybe you’ll answer it next time?)

3. Censorship is EVIL. (again – the video wasn’t about censorship, it wasn’t pro-censorship, it wasn’t even discussing that in terms of how to deal with porn… FAIL!)

The interesting part about that is no one brought up a discussion of censorship – the entire video had NOTHING to do with choice (really – other than dealing with why do you “need” porn?). The only person he agreed with on that channel was one woman who brought up the censorship thing which was totally unrelated to the discussion.

I made a joke in passing (as I have been lately when dealing with MRAs or the typical “nice guys” who claim that they have zero sexism) about the Scum Manifesto. Which got him ALL RILED UP (he didn’t understand the irony – clearly. I think it’s a great comparison to porn).

He sent me a private message about how sexist I am and what a hypocrite I am (I think because he was booted from the channel). Complete with stories of women he helped on the train (a maid who hadn’t had a MAN care about her in so long and what a nice man he was for doing so *eyeroll*). Oh and he’s an art student (not sure why he threw that information in there). He spent almost 1000 words going into detail about how the SCUM Manifesto is anti-man. He also mentioned that he’s against entitlement and that he doesn’t assert his privilege  – OH and he doesn’t look at any porn from mainstream companies (another moment he decided to pat himself on the back). He also was angry with me for saying that the way men derail posts about pornography makes me think Valerie had something right when she said all men come off as egocentric.

Think about this – he spent probably two hours, writing me an email about how sexist the SCUM Manifesto is (and how sexist I am for even mentioning that title) – but he couldn’t write ONE sentence about how sexist pornography is?  I sent him a message back (which I shouldn’t have, I shoulda ignored him cuz he’s on of those “right fighters” but maybe he’ll learn something – he honestly seems to give a HUGE shit about my opinion) explaining that it comes off as egocentric when a man can critique something like the SC UM Manifesto in depth but that they can’t critique pornography and what it says and what it does to women in even ONE sentence (or even comment on the racism within it, you know?). And I honestly don’t think he read the entire SCUM Manifesto – I think he got to the first paragraph where Valerie says we don’t need men and that we should just do off with them. Even I had a hard time getting past that bit BUT I think there is a lot of truth to what she said – in a general way, not definitive  – not because I think men are BORN a certain way but because I think they are socialized thinking they are better than women in just about everything. For me – the SCUM Manifesto is more like a comedy. It IS very hilarious – especially when you think of all the dumb, sexist, ignorant things most men say and do. Most men who don’t think they are sexist – think that because they don’t actually critique their attitudes or language.

Also – all the assumptions he made including the assumption that I’m sexist (apparently for recognizing sexism when and where it exists makes me a sexist) and that I believe in censorship (which is untrue) – makes him fairly typical of the types of guys I deal with in terms of pornography discussions – completely veering from the point (I’m not sure if they just don’t want to take an honest look at things or if they are simply trying to convince themselves). I also said to him – for ONCE – I wish I could have a discussion with men, an HONEST discussion about pornography that didn’t get derailed into porn is a choice and porn is art so it can’t be censored line – OH and don’t forget “But gay porn exists and what about the menz!!!!” (I also mentioned that pornographers should be held accountable for plagiarism because they steal a lot of “ideas” from each other).  As an art student – he should be perfectly okay with critiquing “art” and discussing how it reflects society at large. But apparently porn is too much of a challenge – maybe after art school he’ll get it.

These fallacies are annoying and I think they show mens’ general inability to empathize with women and what many women feel is being represented about women in pornography (and I”m tired of them using women in porn to try to justify everything). Even this guy seems to not empathize with the women who are FORCED into pornography/sex work because if they are poor (class issues) or were brought up in broken families or ended up in porn due to mental illness (incl addiction) – NOT HIS PROBLEM. Who cares, right? (how could he get pissed at me for asserting that he’s egocentric after that rant?). I have a feeling he doesn’t really understand what egocentric means. MY def – someone who can’t empathize or perceive what another’s life is like and can only think in terms of their own life and their “own shots” at it.  99% of the men who view porn are exactly like this. They don’t care about the women in those videos. And thinking “Why” is like flying without wings to them.

My last point was basically this: “What if the Scum Manifesto was being mass reproduced and plagiarized and every woman you dated had copies of this mass-produced male hatred propaganda and they REFUSED to give em up for you (and men started noticing that it affected the attitudes of women)? OR worse – they say they gave up their male hate speech but then sneak it in behind your back? Heck – I don’t think the SCUM Manifesto is even NEARLY as dehumanizing because it isn’t visual. Visuals are indeed powerful (and honestly – I’m very tired of people trying to act like they aren’t).  Every time TV is introduced to other cultures – anorexia problems rise STEEPLY. As well as increases in things like cosmetics.

I also made the point that – the outrage he feels about the SCUM Manifesto is the same type of rage I feel about pornography. That same sick feeling, the pit at the bottom of his stomach and the blood pressure that boils up to his brain while he’s reading those words – is the same feeling I get when I know I’m with a guy that’s looking at porn, or if I have to hear men talking about it like it’s the greatest thing ever while I”m standing right there.  Or anytime I have to hear them talk about porn stars as if they’re some mystical goddesses.

Only some men admit to being sexist. Men try to play it off like they aren’t sexist but if they are using any kind of pornography – they probably are. If they were brought up in a house where the roles around the house were split up by sex  – they are probably sexist. If they think men are more athletic than women – sexist. If they think men are stronger than women – sexist (strength can be determined in many ways). If they think of women as being something “other” than what they are – they are sexist. And you know what – I have never met a single guy in this world that didn’t have some elements of sexism. The difference (and I told this to this guy) between some men and others – is that some are willing to learn from their mistakes and not minimize them. That’s kinda the same with race issues and whites dealing with privilege and entitlement.

Then this he decides to tell me about how he dumped a girlfriend of his because she “snooped” through his computer and found nudy pics of his ex-girlfriend saved on it. Of course, he says he dumped her because he didn’t want to deal with her “jealousy” or infringing on HIS “privacy”. This was the part that made me realize he never read the entire SCUM Manifesto – there is a section on privacy.

You know what I would think if my boyfriend had nudy pics of an ex kickin around that he insisted on keeping? That he isn’t over her or that he’s living in the past. It’s not a form of jealousy – it’s a form of concern. And I never really understood the men that feel entitled to “privacy” when they are in relationships – usually when they fight for their “privacy” it’s a red flag that they have a lot of things to hide. My boyfriend could read through my emails, he could snoop around on my facebook and myspace and he goes on my youtube ALL THE TIME and guess what? I don’t give a care because I got nothing to hide. Privacy literally = something to hide.

And just his little story about dumping a woman who found his “porn” folder – which meant she was snooping proves a part of him that is sexist. It never occurred to him how that might look from HER stand-point? And it’s VERY typical for him to write it off as jealousy (you know how many times I’ve been accused of that when it wasn’t true AT ALL?).  I think there are times where we might be “concerned” but not necessarily jealousy (like if you’re with a guy that is obsessed with porn stars – you might start wondering why he’s with YOU? Cuz you look nothing like them? And act nothing like them? Doesn’t necessarily mean you want to be a porn star, you know?).  And part of the foundation of trust is trusting your partners sincerity when they ask you about something – and not simply writing it off as “jealousy”. When guys avoided discussing things like that with me in the past – I just assumed that I touched a nerve of truth. Like if I said, are you still into your ex? And they got angry – I figured he was.  

He probably dumped the one woman who cared about him most, just to protect the “privacy” of his ex’s pervo pictures (one of the reasons he dumped her was because she asked him to get rid of the pictures – which he clearly couldn’t part with). Pretty pathetic if you want to know my honest opinion.

Why doesn’t it surprise me that a man would dump a woman simply because she asked him to get rid of naked pictures of his ex?  He tried to write it off like the snooping was a problem… That’s a load of crap. Everyone is going to be curious. Just about every guy I’ve been with – I’d snoop through their things while they were sitting right there. Not cuz I was “looking for” something but I like looking through people’s junk drawers at their “stuff” – says a lot about them (what makes someone keep some things and not others?). I certainly don’t give a rats ass if someone snoops through my things. My boyfriend even reads my journal half the time, haha (the one I actually use a pen to write in). Not to mention – just about everything we hide has an element of shame – maybe he should address that?

The other argument he was trying to get me with was “How do you decide what is demeaning or degrading? Majority?”  Ugh. NO, I never decide what I think based on what the majority of people think – if I did, I wouldn’t be vegan, I wouldn’t be a rad fem, I’d already have breast implants and probably a lip job to match (and I’d also wear make-up), I’d probably run out to buy a pair of ugglies boots. I rebel against that sort of thing.

I decide what is degrading by feeling. Because I can look at something and imagine how I would feel to be doing that. Like licking poop off of some guys penis – I know what that would feel like, I know how ashamed I would feel doing it. And I really don’t care what other people think about my opinion on that – I don’t even care if they somehow find it empowering – I think they are totally wrong.  I also compare some of the stuff I did when I was younger that I didn’t really want to do – but I went along with simply to please someone else and how THAT made me feel. I mean – the entire reason I’m vegan is because I have empathy for what it must be like to have your children ripped away from you at birth or to have some stranger or machine gripping on to my tits. I don’t have to be a cow to see that as degrading.  And maybe I AM sensitive but I think I have every right to be, ye know? Especially if men are allowed to get just as sensitive about the SCUM Manifesto.

Anyway – I’m calling this “reading comprehension” because I told this guy like five times that I don’t believe in censorship (because I want to protect my right to speak out against things I don’t like) – yet he keeps bringing it up as a point against me. Completely ridiculous.

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