(from Unleashing Feminism: Critiquing Lesbian Sadomasochism in the Gay Nineties edited by Irene Reti)
I arrived in California in August 1990 and everyone I knew had just left for the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. When they came back they regaled me with stories of the goings on. Apparently while sadomasochists had their own camping area, they had not been allowed to perform sadomasochist acts on stage. They had protested vehemently, hiring a low-flying plane to spray the area with fliers to explain their position. My friend E said she was concerned that some of the fliers might have been picked up by the wind and blown beyond the Festival grounds into the gardens of the local population. Thus outsiders would find out what was going on and the Festival would be endangered. I was not up to this sophisticated level of analysis and stood there going, "Yuk, do they have to do that to each other? I mean, doesn't it hurt?" Whereupon another woman, a therapist, said, "Hell, Anna, can't you think of anything good to say about sadomasochists?" I racked my brains accordingly and wrote this story for E's birthday a month later.
I. Once upon a time in the state of Michigan, in a part of the country so hot in summer that the shedding of clothes and flesh and skin would still not cool the bones, so cold in winter that skin sticks to ice, splits and peels like skin on fire, there lived a happily married woman, mother of two fine sons. The house was well supplied with dishwashers and microwaves and electric ovens and walk-in refrigerators, so there was nothing for the happily married woman to do but cook and clean and wash and freeze and mother her two fine sons, as well as providing hand relief for her inestimable husband who was scared of contracting AIDS and had interesting ideas about causes.
One day the happily married woman was washing dishes, in the sink the old way because it made her feel virtuous, when a piece of paper landed in the soap suds. It was mauve. It was covered with words. She threw it in the trash, but clumsily and it landed on the floor where her inestimable husband slipped on it, soapy as it was.
"Goddamn stupid bitch," he observed, and she set about pouring him a beer, and one for herself while she was at it. She put his on a little tray, with a second bottle so he could get a refill as and when, and brought it out to him in the garage. Her own she sipped at the kitchen table, for the first three sips, after which she chucked it back and reached for another. The mauve paper with the words was sitting on the top of the trash can as she passed.
"...Lesbian...," it said, and "...Michigan...," and "...Sadomasochist..." The happily married woman began to read, but one of her two fine sons came in to find out when dinner would be ready, so she had to put the paper down.
But the seed had been sown and that night the happily married woman sneaked down to the trash can to consider the evidence by dint of flashlight. There was in the State of Michigan a land where only women lived, and listened to music; a lesbian civilization so well-established that special facilities were provided for each of the many different kinds of woman. Except one, apparently; couples in which one woman hit another for sexual pleasure. These women were excluded, hence the mauve paper with the words which they had dropped from a low-flying plane to express their dissatisfaction.
Tick tick tick.
And a year later and in another country, though only an hour's drive from her inestimable ex-husband's house, the much happier, no longer married woman said, "Thank heavens for sadomasochists, without them I never would have heard of the land where women live, a land where there are no fine sons and no inestimable husbands."
II. Once upon a time in a far off country where they strip to the blade to keep cool in summer, where they pack snow round nails to hurl in the frozen winter, and hurling them keep warm, there lived a small lesbian stretched taut as skin. If you held her to the light you would see only unsunned flesh and blue veins sharp as a right angle. And yet she breathed and her body was visited by the woman she loved.
The small lesbian put on her clothes, brushed her teeth and took public transportation to her place of work, the place where she worked for the woman she loved. For who else would employ a small lesbian with no skill and much silence? It was not a question the small lesbian dared ask. Fortunately the woman she loved asked for her.
"Where would you be without me, silent as you are?" "Who would employ you who cannot add or subtract or divide by nine, who make so many mistakes and cost more than you earn?” “Why do you find it so hard to make friends, don't people like you? All our friends are my friends, who would you have if I left you?"
The woman she loved was an activist in many important campaigns to create a lesbian civilization while, simultaneously, purifying it of undesirable elements. "What undesirable elements?" asked the small lesbian, eager for political insight. "There are women," said the woman she loved, "who do terrible things to each other. Couples where one woman hits another for sexual pleasure, humiliates her partner and calls it consensual." "Well at least we don't do that," said the small lesbian with a stab of half-forgotten humor. "What?" "You don't ask my permission before you humiliate me." "What do you mean?" "Nothing."
The small lesbian went to the toilet. There was nowhere else to go. She sat and cried bitterly. She was not naturally small, she had been flattened inside a small perspex box whose only communication link was with the woman she loved.
"What are you doing in there? Communing with the devil?"
The small lesbian flushed the toilet, washed her face and went back to the woman she loved. There was nowhere else to go.
But the seeds had been sown and the small lesbian in her small solitude had many hours to think. There were women who deliberately humiliated their lovers because it gave them pleasure. These women were undesirable and nice lesbians steered clear of them. Even the woman she loved said humiliation was a terrible thing.
Tick tick tick.
And a year later and in another country the small lesbian, who was now quite large, said, "Thank heavens for sadomasochists, without them I never would have known you could consent to humiliation and therefore," she said, "withhold consent."
FEEL FREE TO TWEET THIS PAGE, TWEET TO US, OR TWEET #ANTIPORN TWEETS OF ANY KIND!
Did you know that you can help our organization and cause FOR FREE? Yes! Every time you shop at Amazon via AmazonSmile, which is Amazon's charity program, Amazon will donate a percentage of your total order -- at NO EXTRA COST to you! All you need to do is click on our custom AmazonSmile link or the image below, and confirm your selection of our organization just once as your AmazonSmile charity. Then just shop via http://smile.amazon.com from here on out when you want to shop at Amazon, and the rest will happen automatically. If you have any questions or concerns about this program, Amazon provides full info here. ~~ Many thanks to all who help us out this way! We really appreciate it! :-)
THANKS AGAIN! YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE CAUSE IS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED!
A URL shortcut for this website is AntiPorn.org or antiporn.org. Thank you!
Please feel free to add this button to your blog or website. It will bring people here to AntiPornography.org so that they will be able to learn exactly how pornography hurts people and what they can do to help. Get HTML code here.
PLEASE NOTE THAT EVERY PAGE ON THIS WEBSITE IS A WORK IN PROGRESS AND WILL BE ADDED TO AND IMPROVED OVER TIME. IF YOU WOULD LIKE THIS SITE TO BE EXPANDED AND IMPROVED MORE QUICKLY, SO WE CAN DO MORE TO PREVENT AND COMBAT THE HARMS OF PORNOGRAPHY, PROSTITUTION AND SEX TRAFFICKING, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DONATE MUCH NEEDED FUNDS OR VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME. THANKS! DONATE HERE - VOLUNTEER HERE
BELOW IS THE BEGINNING OF OUR WEBSITE FOOTER WITH OUR SOCIAL NETWORKING LINKS, NEWSLETTER FORM, DONATION BUTTON, AND COMPREHENSIVE ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY, ANTI-PROSTITUTION, ANTI-SEX TRAFFICKING AND RELATED RESOURCES. IF YOU FEEL SOMETHING IS MISSING AND SHOULD BE ADDED TO THESE RESOURCES, WHETHER IT IS YOUR OWN WEBSITE OR PROJECT, OR ANOTHER RESOURCE CREATED BY SOMEONE ELSE, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SUBMIT IT HERE. THANKS!
Please submit events, action alerts and media alerts here.
Click picture above to order "PORNLAND" at Amazon.com now!
Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexualitytakes an unflinching look at today’s porn industry: the stories woven into the images, the impact on our culture, the effects on us as men and women, the business machine that creates and markets porn, and the growing legitimacy of porn in mainstream media. Above all, PORNLAND examines the way porn shapes and limits sexual imaginations and behaviors.
Although we are surrounded by pornographic images, many people are not aware of just how cruel and violent the industry is today. PORNLANDshows how today’s porn is strikingly different from yesterday’s Playboy and Penthouse magazines — how competition in the industry and consumer desensitization have pushed porn toward hard core extremes. And, with the advent of the internet and other digital technologies, users don’t have to wander far to access porn; todaythe average age of first viewing is about 11 for boys, and studies reveal that young men, who consume more porn than ever before, have difficulty forming healthy relationships.
PORNLAND also looks at how our porn culture affects the way women and girls think about their bodies, their sexuality and their relationships. PORNLAND: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality argues that rather than sexually liberating or empowering us, porn offers us a plasticized, formulaic, generic version of sex that is boring, lacking in creativity and disconnected from emotion and intimacy.
CLICK PICTURES ABOVE TO ORDER "PORNLAND" AT AMAZON.COM NOW
Please pardon any errors, omissions, or technical problems, etc., with this website, and please feel free to help us out by informing us about them here. Thanks. And if you would like to contribute to this website being developed more quickly, please feel free to donate here. Thank you! Your support is very much appreciated and will definitely make a difference.
"Dedicated to providing the most accurate peer-reviewed research on the harm from pornography, along with relevant news and opinion."
This outstanding website comprehensively addresses the harms of pornography in regards to all of the following categories: addiction, brain science, children, cybersex, family, Internet, Internet safety, marriage, men, psychological, prostitution, relationships, research, self image, sex trafficking, sexting, sexual violence, societal, STDs, teens, and women.
Have you taken the NO-PORN PLEDGE at NoPornPledge.com yet? If not, now would be a really great time to do so! Please click here or the banner below.
See the list of many people from all around the world who have signed the No-Porn Pledge. Click here.
Read the reasons why they have signed in the No-PornPledge Guestbook. Click here. Don't forget to join them by signing the pledge and sharing your reasons why in the guestbook there as well!
"Join a growing number of people who have made a decision to eliminate porn from their lives. Sign your name, and publicly declare that you won't use porn, or have an intimate relationship with anyone who does."
At AntiPornography.orgwe are working to prevent and combat the devastating harms of pornography, prostitution, sex trafficking and sexual slavery, as well as all other forms of sexual exploitation, through public education and advocacy. We are:
Pro-Education, Pro Safe, Healthy, Respectful, Equality-Based Sexuality
Pro-reasonable regulation of the pornography industry for the health and safety of the performers.
*Please see FAQ for more information on all of the above. Thank you!
RESOURCES, FRIENDS, SUPPORTERS AND ALLIES:
NOTE: All those marked with * are friends, subscribers or followers of AntiPornography.org at Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or one of our other social networking websites, or have demonstrated support for our work otherwise, such as providing content for this website or linking to us or to one of our blogs and/or social networking projects. Also please note that the below list is a work in progress and that it is not complete. Please share any errors, omissions or suggestions here. Thank you!
WOMEN AND GIRLS FOCUSED RESOURCES:
(For family, children, men and addiction focused resources, please scroll down.)
ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY ORGANIZATIONS GROUPS AND WEBSITES:
Saavi Accountability -- The only online accountability program that works with all online addictions. It is also the only program that sends notifications instantly via text message to an accountability partner so that they can be supportive when an individual needs it the most at the point of weakness, while they are accessing the online content. The software was created by a young man (26) who overcame his addiction and is trying to help others.
ADDICTION MESSAGE BOARDS & DISCUSSION FORUMS FOR HELP & SUPPORT:
(Note: The No Porn Northampton FAQ is in the bottom half of their sidebar. In addition to the usual questions about pornography it addresses questions and concerns about activism against sexually oriented businesses such as "adult bookstores.")
"Pornography is a marketing device for sex trafficking: It normalizes degradation and violence as acceptable and even inevitable parts of sex, and uses the bodies of real women and children as objects. The difference between pornography and erotica is clear in the roots of the words themselves -- porne means females slaves, eros means love -- so pornography, like rape, is about violence and domination, not sex. Millions of lives depend on our ability to separate pornography from erotica, and to disentangle violence from sexuality."
Gloria Steinem, 2006
For information about Gloria Steinem's important work of fighting against the harms of pornography, sex trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation and abuse, including videos and an audio interview, please see our page on Gloria Steinem. Click here.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED. PLEASE DONATE IF YOU ARE ABLE TO.
Please remember that it is not up to AntiPornography.org, the other organizations listed on this page, the government, or "someone else" to do the entire job of fighting against the devastating harms of pornography, prostitution, trafficking, and other forms of sexual exploitation or abuse. It is an enormous job and the responsibility lies with each and every one of us to do our part as part of the bigger team of those who are choosing to be part of the solution of creating a more just and humane world for everyone, rather than be part of the problem.
So thank you in advance for whatever you are able to contribute to the cause, whether in the form of a tax-deductible donation or your actions. What you do does matter, so for the sake of all those across the world who are being exploited and abused, and for the sake of the future of humanity, please do what you can to create a more compassionate and safer society for all.
Thank you for whatever you are able to give or do to help create a better world for everyone, especially for women, children and future generations.
YOUR SUPPORTIVE ACTIONS & YOUR DONATIONS ARE VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.
ALSO PLEASE LIKE OUR FAN PAGE AT FACEBOOK BELOW, AND PLEASE SUPPORT THE CAUSE BY SHARING ANTI-PORN AND RELATED ARTICLES, RESOURCES AND COMMENTS WITH US THERE. THANKS! WE LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU!
THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT! IT'S VERY MUCH APPRECIATED AND REALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE!
*DISCLAIMER: Inclusion of a resource above or anywhere on this website does not constitute endorsement of or agreement with all of the content of that resource, and does not constitute a claim that all content included in that resource is wholly accurate. Those who created the resource are solely accountable for the opinions and information in their own content that they have authored, as well as for their own personal, social and political opinions and positions in general, as well as being responsible for the ever-changing content of their own websites. If anyone has any concerns about any content on anyone else's website that is linked to from this website, please contact the other website in question, not AntiPornography.org. If anyone has any concerns about any content on this website that was authored or created by anyone other than AntiPornography.org, please contact those responsible for the creation of the content so that they can edit or amend their own original content as appropriate and then inform all others who have it posted elsewhere. If that is not possible and a fact correction or edit is necessary, please contact us with full references provided regarding why the information is inaccurate so that we can correct or edit the content as appropriate. Please also do the same regarding any original content posted on this website authored by AntiPornography.org. Thank you! Also please note that no materials are posted on this website with malicious intent and that documented fact corrections are always welcome. Finally, please only take what you find to be useful and informative from this website and/or any particular resource listed here and leave the rest behind. It is not expected that everyone will agree with or find useful the entire content of this website, only that some people will find some of the content useful or informative.
Re: Copyrighted documentaries and television shows on this website: None of them were uploaded to the Internet by AntiPornography.org or related websites. They were all uploaded by others to other websites and are merely embedded here for people to view them here as opposed to them viewing at the other websites where they are currently made available for viewing. If you are the copyright owner of any content on this website and you have an objection to it being available on the Internet, please contact the person who uploaded it and/or the website where is it is uploaded in order to get it removed from that website. When that occurs it will also automatically be removed from this website. Thank you. (Note: The exception to this is the Tyra Show episode "Teens in the Sex Trade," which was uploaded by our AntiPornographyBlog YouTube channel and has the permission of the copyright owner to be posted there.)
*** All original content on this web site is copyrighted by AntiPornography.org. Please do not repost any content except for small excerpts with a link provided acknowledging the source and directing people to this website to read the rest. Thank you.
AntiPornography.org is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.