Pornography and the Assassination of Women By Don Hazen, swelling AlterNet http://www.alternet.org/story/62833/ In his new book, swelling 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, swelling or law-breaking, swelling it is acceptable. But I've changed my mind. No, swelling I'm not a prude, swelling or anti-sex. Nor do I think there should be a national campaign to snuff out all porn. In fact, swelling I sometimes watch certain kinds of porn. But what has become clear to me is that, swelling under the guise of the First Amendment, swelling a huge and powerful porn industrial complex has grown out of control. And a big part of its growth is fueled, swelling not just by the internet, swelling but by continually upping the ante, swelling increasing the extremes of degradation for the women in tens of thousands of films made every year. I am convinced, swelling although it is, swelling of course, swelling difficult to document, swelling 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, swelling 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, swelling we've gone backwards. Part of my thinking on pornography has been shaped by seeing what is on the internet myself, swelling and part, swelling by reading Robert Jensen's powerful and provocative book, swelling 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, swelling and the consciousness raised. Swelling Many will say, swelling 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. Swelling Male attitudes are potentially being shaped by ugly and sometimes disgusting abuse toward women. Swelling 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, swelling however badly, swelling the Hollywood model of plot and characters. Swelling But the other, swelling Gonzo, swelling has no pretensions, swelling and is simply the filming of sex acts, swelling which, swelling Jensen writes, swelling while also occurring in features, swelling are "performed in rougher fashion, swelling often with more than one man involved, swelling and more explicitly degrading language, swelling which marks women as sluts, swelling whores, swelling cunts, swelling nasty bitches and so on." The Gonzo films, swelling which have come to dominate the industry, swelling also emphasize the newer trend of sexual acts, swelling which include: double penetration -- anal and vaginal -- and ass to mouth, swelling or ATM, swelling where anal sex is followed by sticking the penis in the women's mouth. Swelling In addition, swelling many of these films include men, swelling often in multiple numbers, swelling ejaculating into the faces and mouths of the women performers. The women usually swallow the semen, swelling but also can share it mouth-to-mouth with a female partner. For Jensen, swelling the most plausible explanation of the popularity of these acts is that women in the world, swelling outside of pornography, swelling don't engage in these acts unless forced. Swelling "Men know that -- and they find it sexually arousing to watch them in part because of that knowledge." As Jerome Tanner, swelling porn film maker, swelling explains, swelling "One of the things about today's porn and the extreme market, swelling the gonzo market, swelling 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. Swelling ... Swelling It's definitely brought porn somewhere, swelling but I don't know where it is headed from there." Mitchell Spinelli, swelling interviewed while filming Give me Gape, swelling adds: "People want more. Swelling They want to know how many dicks you can shove up an ass. Swelling It's like 'Fear Factor meets Jackass.' Make it more hard, swelling make it more nasty, swelling 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, swelling at least in written form, swelling to understand what the issues are. Thus, swelling in the book, swelling he describes porn scenes, swelling quotes dialogue in the porn films, swelling and includes interviews with porn actors to help capture what they are thinking. Some of this is a little hard to take. Swelling Here is one example: Jessica Darlin tells the camera she has performed in 200 films, swelling and she is submissive. Swelling "I like guys to just take over and fuck me and have a good time with me. Swelling I'm just here for pleasure." The man who enters the room grabs her hair and tells her to beg the other man. Swelling She crawls over on her hands and knees, swelling and he spanks her hard. Swelling When he grabs her by the throat, swelling she seems surprised. Swelling During oral sex, swelling he says, swelling "Choke on that dick." She gags. Swelling He grabs her head and slaps her face then forces his penis in her mouth quickly. Swelling She gags again.The other man duplicates the action, swelling calling her a "little bitch." Jessica is drooling and gagging; she looks as if she might pass out. Swelling The men slap her breasts, swelling then grab her by the hair and pull her up. Swelling Later in the scene, swelling "One man enters her anally from the rear as she is pushed up against the couch. Swelling The other man enters her anally while his partner puts his foot on her head. Swelling Finally one grabs her hair and asks here what she wants. Swelling 'I want your cum in my mouth, swelling' she says. Swelling 'Give me all that cum. Swelling I want to taste it.'" Jensen writes, swelling "In researching the porn industry, swelling 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, swelling 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. http://www.alternet.org/sex/62833/ Don Hazen is the executive editor of AlterNet.