Pornography and the Assassination of Women By Don Hazen, kenalog AlterNet In his new book, kenalog Robert Jensen forces the reader to face the music about the effects of a porn industry gone gonzo and the need to reassess the trappings of masculinity as the source of increased violence against and degradation of women. I have always been part of the collective liberal progressive libertarian value system that accepts pornography as a legitimate expression of the First Amendment. Part of that thinking is that women participate in porn films of their own free will and that porn often represents fantasies -- though sometimes quasiviolent or degrading -- that people actually have. So as long as people are merely acting in porn films and there is no coercion, kenalog or law-breaking, kenalog it is acceptable. But I've changed my mind. No, kenalog I'm not a prude, kenalog or anti-sex. Nor do I think there should be a national campaign to snuff out all porn. In fact, kenalog I sometimes watch certain kinds of porn. But what has become clear to me is that, kenalog under the guise of the First Amendment, kenalog a huge and powerful porn industrial complex has grown out of control. And a big part of its growth is fueled, kenalog not just by the internet, kenalog but by continually upping the ante, kenalog increasing the extremes of degradation for the women in tens of thousands of films made every year. I am convinced, kenalog although it is, kenalog of course, kenalog difficult to document, kenalog that the huge audiences for porn and the pervasiveness of the themes and behaviors of degradation are having a negative impact on the way men behave and the way society treats women. Sexism and attitudes toward women were supposed to have gotten better after the 1960s and the feminist movement. The sons of boomers were going to be different. And while perhaps that is true in some cases, kenalog what we have instead is more violence against women and more social acceptance of demeaning male attitudes and behaviors that would have been considered out of bounds 20 or 30 years ago. As a society, kenalog we've gone backwards. Part of my thinking on pornography has been shaped by seeing what is on the internet myself, kenalog and part, kenalog by reading Robert Jensen's powerful and provocative book, kenalog excerpted below: Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity. Jensen has convinced me that something as powerful as the porn industry and its sexual extremism must not be kept under the rug due to liberal shoulder-shrugging about the First Amendment. The porn industry should not enjoy our collective denial in terms of its real-world impact on women -- and men -- simply because we might be berated by First Amendment purists or be uncomfortable grappling with complex issues of sexual expression. The debate must be pushed, kenalog and the consciousness raised. Kenalog Many will say, kenalog don't mess with the issue because it's a slippery slope and could lead to the repression of other freedoms. I've concluded we need to take that chance. Kenalog Male attitudes are potentially being shaped by ugly and sometimes disgusting abuse toward women. Kenalog And tens of thousands of young women are being seduced and intimidated into lives of extreme public humiliation on-screen. The impact on their lives over the long run could be devastating. The advent of Gonzo One phenomenon in porn is the ascension of Gonzo films. There are two styles of films -- one are features that mimic, kenalog however badly, kenalog the Hollywood model of plot and characters. Kenalog But the other, kenalog Gonzo, kenalog has no pretensions, kenalog and is simply the filming of sex acts, kenalog which, kenalog Jensen writes, kenalog while also occurring in features, kenalog are "performed in rougher fashion, kenalog often with more than one man involved, kenalog and more explicitly degrading language, kenalog which marks women as sluts, kenalog whores, kenalog cunts, kenalog nasty bitches and so on." The Gonzo films, kenalog which have come to dominate the industry, kenalog also emphasize the newer trend of sexual acts, kenalog which include: double penetration -- anal and vaginal -- and ass to mouth, kenalog or ATM, kenalog where anal sex is followed by sticking the penis in the women's mouth. Kenalog In addition, kenalog many of these films include men, kenalog often in multiple numbers, kenalog ejaculating into the faces and mouths of the women performers. The women usually swallow the semen, kenalog but also can share it mouth-to-mouth with a female partner. For Jensen, kenalog the most plausible explanation of the popularity of these acts is that women in the world, kenalog outside of pornography, kenalog don't engage in these acts unless forced. Kenalog "Men know that -- and they find it sexually arousing to watch them in part because of that knowledge." As Jerome Tanner, kenalog porn film maker, kenalog explains, kenalog "One of the things about today's porn and the extreme market, kenalog the gonzo market, kenalog is so many fans want to see much more extreme stuff that I'm always trying to figure out ways to do something different. But it seems that everybody wants to see a girl doing a double penetration or a gang bang. Kenalog ... Kenalog It's definitely brought porn somewhere, kenalog but I don't know where it is headed from there." Mitchell Spinelli, kenalog interviewed while filming Give me Gape, kenalog adds: "People want more. Kenalog They want to know how many dicks you can shove up an ass. Kenalog It's like 'Fear Factor meets Jackass.' Make it more hard, kenalog make it more nasty, kenalog make it more relentless." Jensen clearly decided in writing his book that the often overwhelming reality of the behavior and values of the porn industry must be experienced by the reader, kenalog at least in written form, kenalog to understand what the issues are. Thus, kenalog in the book, kenalog he describes porn scenes, kenalog quotes dialogue in the porn films, kenalog and includes interviews with porn actors to help capture what they are thinking. Some of this is a little hard to take. Kenalog Here is one example: Jessica Darlin tells the camera she has performed in 200 films, kenalog and she is submissive. Kenalog "I like guys to just take over and fuck me and have a good time with me. Kenalog I'm just here for pleasure." The man who enters the room grabs her hair and tells her to beg the other man. Kenalog She crawls over on her hands and knees, kenalog and he spanks her hard. Kenalog When he grabs her by the throat, kenalog she seems surprised. Kenalog During oral sex, kenalog he says, kenalog "Choke on that dick." She gags. Kenalog He grabs her head and slaps her face then forces his penis in her mouth quickly. Kenalog She gags again.The other man duplicates the action, kenalog calling her a "little bitch." Jessica is drooling and gagging; she looks as if she might pass out. Kenalog The men slap her breasts, kenalog then grab her by the hair and pull her up. Kenalog Later in the scene, kenalog "One man enters her anally from the rear as she is pushed up against the couch. Kenalog The other man enters her anally while his partner puts his foot on her head. Kenalog Finally one grabs her hair and asks here what she wants. Kenalog 'I want your cum in my mouth, kenalog' she says. Kenalog 'Give me all that cum. Kenalog I want to taste it.'" Jensen writes, kenalog "In researching the porn industry, kenalog one of the most difficult parts is writing about the women who perform. Men see women in porn films as objects of desire (to be fucked) or ridicule (to be made fun of.) When porn performers speak in public, kenalog they typically repeat a script that emphasizes that they have freely chosen this career because of their love of sex and lack of inhibition." Don't miss the rest of this article. Don Hazen is the executive editor of AlterNet.