Well, well, well. Surprise, surprise. Sam Harris would be proud. I couldn’t possibly give a shit.
Madonna couldn’t, either. That’s what I’ve grown to love about her, in spite of any of her faults. The woman’s got it going on. She understands. Even Camille Paglia gets it. So let me praise the former for a bit.
In spite of my previous dislike of her, and she is very dangerous to the Religious Right, Madonna was quite obviously not the flash in the pan we all suspected she would be. She built a media empire. She has two strengths, as I see it now, and singing isn’t one of them. (She sounds sharp when she sings live.)
You can’t study with Martha Graham if you don’t know what you’re doing. Having done so, Madonna is an expert choreographer, something she put to good use in what I consider to be the greatest music video of all time. That song, incidentally, had the remarkable ability to outlast its release by twenty years. I’m not just talking about the fact that people still download it or listen to it. That happens with The Beatles as well, and their music, while timeless in one way, is very dated, just like J.S. Bach. “Vogue,” on the other hand, still sounds like it could have been written last week. Madonna can’t take all the credit. Perhaps she deserves very little of the credit. From what I’ve heard of her lyrics, she should leave it to someone else to come up with what to say.
Beyond that, she also possesses tremendous business acumen. Unlike her protégé Britney Spears, she was not handled and repackaged by corporate businessmen. Everybody probably originally thought she was, but she couldn’t have lasted as long as she has in the business without knowing what she’s doing. Spears, whose career has been in a downslide, just gets up on stage and does whatever her choreographer tells her to, singing what her manager asks her to sing, wearing what the makeup and costuming departments deal her.
Madonna, on the other hand, conceived of the idea in her “Deeper and Deeper” video of having a bunch of girls sitting around in a basement, peeling bananas while a hunky male model posed for them in his underwear. Madonna is not a misandrist.
Nor is she a misapornist. I doubt she would have stood to applaud Sam Harris in that stupid TED video. How many magazine covers has she posed for, baring her alabaster skin and smiling seductively?
I get it now, after years of agony via false guilt for wanting to watch men have sex. She got it, thanks to an abusive father and a conservative religion that did nothing to stop the abuse, nor to stand up for little Madonna Ciccone. Gail Dines, the feminist writer of yet one more big fat blatant warning against the evils of exploitative pornography, will never get it, and now has clueless allies in the conservative arena. Then again, on this issue, they’ve always been allies, but only in the way the United States ruling elite were allies with the Soviet ruling elite during World War II. For them, the only enemy worth worrying about was the Nazi ruling elite. For feminists and conservatives, the enemy is pornography, hence the new word I’ve coined: misaporno.
They hate it, hate it, hate it. I used to “hate” my desire to see what a guy’s hiding behind his zipper. Shame on me. Shame on Madonna. Shame on the photographer who took the picture, the sleazebag who runs the magazine, the layout artist, the writer who types clever captions to go along with the picture of some girl (who also ought to be ashamed) who puts one finger on each side of her labia to open it up to the man who ought to be ashamed that he’s looking at it and getting hard. Shame on all of us.
The feminists want you straight men to be ashamed that you’re degrading women. The religious conservatives want you to be ashamed because you’re doing something immoral (and to feel really, really bad, if, like me, you find yourself totally gay). Unfortunately, for feminists and their polar-opposite allies, degradation and immorality, like beauty, are in the eye of the beholder.
How much skin before it’s degrading, Ms. Dines? Where should the man place his hands? Where should his eyes be directed? How hard is too hard? At what point is the picture that I’m getting off on immoral, Mr. Harden? When we see pubic hair? Can the man put his hand on her waist? Clothed or bare? Can I get a hardon? Can I masturbate? If I masturbate to an underwear model, does that make the picture immoral? What if he’s just modeling BVDs? In the picture I linked to (don’t worry, straight men), his penis appears to be causing the second-to-last and longest diagonal bulge. This may give me some idea of what’s behind. If I had no access to hardcore, this would probably get me off. So is he immoral, or just me?
Both Harden and Dines, in the article linked above, express dismay over pornography that apparently shows “one nightmarish scene after another, full of men punishing and humiliating women sexually on camera.” Not only that, but “[e]very sort of bodily waste and fluid, and every conceivable method by which a woman’s body can be pushed to the limit, often at the hands of two or three men at a time, is commonplace in today’s porn.”
Now, I’ve been a bad, bad boy for a long time. I have looked extensively for mostly male-centered porn online, fairly steadily for the last seven years. Before that, I would occasionally violate God’s laws with whatever gay porn magazines I could get my filthy hands on since I was 24. And prior to that, I had occasion to see mostly straight porn (thankfully with men also displayed) a few times beginning at about 12 or 13. Would Ms. Dines say this is the reason why I’m sad and shy? So it had nothing to do with the many miniscule ways that I was hurt as a child by my parents, or the abusive government school system where I quickly learned exactly where my place was, thanks to whatever Bully-of-the-Month was in charge?
So I started with pornography at about the same time as a lot of other boys who are apparently finding it: according to this article, at age 11. And according to the above quotes, these impressionable 11-year-old boys are seeing every conceivable bodily fluid and the punishment and humiliation of women.
Bullshit. As I already said, I have done extensive searches for dick online. In all that time, I have encountered child pornography once by accident, and immediately reported it. I have never encountered it again, and that was years ago.
Furthermore, I have only ever seen one trailer for one pornographic video where a woman was featured being severely punished. Yes, there are bondage videos, and I have to sidestep those on occasion, but then again, the men and women in those videos are volitionally participating, and they were far less severe than the trailer I saw. They are infrequent, and you have to be spending a lot of time to encounter one. Beyond that, you have to actually be interested in them to be aroused by it. I think it’s disgusting. I am reminded, however, that disgust is also in the eye of the beholder.
Which leads to the bodily fluid comment by “Mr.” Harden. As far as I know, there are six bodily fluids that can be “encountered” by an eleven-year-old who is curious about what a vagina looks like and how it’s used: blood, semen, vaginal lubricant, saliva, urine, and feces. In the vast world of online porn, vaginal lubricant, saliva and semen are abundant. Are these the “disgusting” fluids? Ms. Dines probably didn’t spend much time on those, because that would be arguing against her main point. She undoubtedly looked for, and “fortunately” found, some porn featuring men peeing on women, cutting them, and/or pooping on them. I have no idea where you would find most of that, and I’m not going to bother researching it. See how easy it is to avoid?
Please explain, Ms. Dines, how it is possible for me to spend seven years of my life looking for all sorts of raunchy stuff, and I never encountered, save that one time, blood being spilled, or anybody taking a dump. Now I certainly spent the majority of my time looking for gay-centered erotica, but in all my many, many searches for straight porn, I seldom saw a man peeing on a woman. In fact, I’m pretty sure that you have to go out of your way to look for it. I’m not going to come up with any scientific data on this, but based on my experiences and those that I’ve heard of from some of my disgusting man-friends, I’m almost positive that’s true.
So how did Ms. Dines find all this stuff, and beyond that, how did she miss the bestiality angle? Those videos are out there, too, you know. Shame on her for ignoring this horrible blight on our empire. When our boys head over to the Middle East to tear other people’s babies limb from limb via predator drone, they had better not have encountered any pornography where men and women volitionally fake being cut, or where anybody gets peed on. They are, after all, doing the Lord’s work.
Speaking of the Lord, what did he have to say about pornography? Absolutely nothing, if I remember correctly. Adultery and fornication are mentioned in the Bible, but much of that is in the Old Testament. Let’s go to the source Himself and see what He has to say.
The ancient Jewish leaders brought a woman condemned for adultery and demanded of Him what they should do. In His typical manner, Jesus simply put the issue right back into their hands, just like the rich man who asked Him about eternal life, and the hypocrites who asked Him about Caesar’s taxes. He won the argument by rightly pointing out that they all had their own faults and weaknesses, then simply told the woman, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more” (John 8:11). Notice He didn’t say, “Go and commit adultery no more,” nor did He infer, “Go and commit adultery, for thou shalt learn a great deal.” The issue for Jesus wasn’t adultery; it was what was in the hearts of the leaders who almost killed the woman, and what was in her heart as well.
He did this again with the question of adultery, setting it up for Himself in the Beatitudes: “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5: 27-28). Once again, Jesus didn’t say what those who claim to follow Him think He said. He didn’t say, “Woe unto him who looketh on a woman to lust after her.” He is once again saying essentially that the question is not what you should do or should not do, but what is in your head? What’s going on with you?
He did this, as I explained earlier, with the rich man who wanted to know how to obtain eternal life. Jesus, probably already figuring this little dude out based on what he was wearing, and on the nature of the question itself, gave him a textbook response, assuming that’s all his feeble mind needed: “Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother” (Luke 18:20). When the young oaf persisted, Jesus threw at him an impossible task, one that He knew full well the dufus wouldn’t get: “Yet lackest thou one thing: sell all that thou hast, and distribute unto the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, follow me” (verse 22).
From a libertarian perspective, this makes no logical sense. If entering into the Kingdom of Heaven requires that you “sell all” that you have, then that means you are giving other people things they are going to need to sell. What if you sell something to someone who doesn’t have the opportunity to sell it to someone else before he dies? The item in question therefore becomes a hot potato, and the buying and selling of such items becomes a macabre game. Think about all the incredibly prescient things that are contained in the Four Gospels. Jesus doesn’t literally think you have to sell everything and live without possessions. It is impossible for humans to do this.
Jesus is, once again, showing us that the questions he receives from his inquirers are premised upon the wrong thoughts. This young man only claims to want to return to Heaven when he dies, but his mind is fixed upon earthly things. Jesus’s answer was to point this out to him. Like most people when confronted with what’s really going on in their heads, however, the young rich man went away sorrowing.
I’d like to know what’s in the head of an 11-year-old boy who goes out of his way, and I’m pretty sure that’s what would be required, to see a woman getting her tits sliced off with a lawnmower (the disgusting trailer I stumbled on), or a man peeing on a woman. Then again, I’d also like to know what’s going on in Ms. Dines’s head, and Mr. Harden’s as well.
I have a pretty good idea. For Ms. Dines, male sexuality is ape-like, purely animalistic, unthinking, uncaring, and needs to be safely guarded. As the woman, she’ll be in charge of that. For feminists (and even conservatives), this is the function of female sexuality. (Poor Madonna.) For Mr. Harden, sexuality in general is a necessary evil for procreation and, because we get it on from time to time for other reasons, barely acceptable. He may even be one of those people who insist on missionary position with eyes closed.
Maybe not, but I see no celebration or explanation of human sexuality in that article. There is rampant misandry, misanthropy, and even a little misogyny, as any female willing to have her bruises displayed is obviously a slut. Forget about the fact that she is living on a land mass that, for all its present difficulties, still has relatively easy and cheap access to education. But what is a girl who has been thoroughly dumbed down by the schools to which Ms. Dines and Mr. Harden send their own children supposed to do?
What’s in my head? As the years go by, I get more and more information about that, and as painful as it is sometimes, as a seeker of truth, I am grateful. Do I learn from the gay porn I buy? Hell, yeah. Do I love it? Fuck, yeah! Is Ms. Dines the least bit concerned with gay porn?
Hell, no! And why not? Well, it’s hardly exploitative of women, is it? Not a pussy in sight. The woman in a straight gang bang is simply replaced by a man. Now he’s the one taking two dicks in his hole, getting disgusting sperm dripped on his face, “demeaned,” “degraded,” “demoralized.” Makes you wonder why he even showed up for the shoot.
Sure there’s disgusting pornography out there. I’ve seen it, and guess what? I turned it off! No social sanction necessary. Neither Ms. Dines nor Mr. Harden is qualified to tell me what erotica is acceptable, if any.
You want a lesson in morality? The dresses that women currently wear, that are considered modest, would have been abominable at the turn of the twentieth century. You couldn’t show any ankle. Men went ape-shit for a little of that. Years ago, in my church, one of the leaders wrote a book in which he claimed that any movie that featured passionate kissing was pornographic. That means “The Lord of the Rings” is pornographic. Maybe the Dineses and Hardens of this world will eventually get it right, but not this week, mainly because the only thing they want is an end to the thing they dislike, for thoroughly different reasons.
Bestiality, homosexual sex, pedophilia, adultery, fornication, fellatio, cunnilingus, orgies, erotica, and pornography have been around for at least as long as humanity has created marriage and the innumerable laws that have surrounded the regulation of human sexuality. I see one death-oriented activity in that grouping, and I have already explained why. I see one more that causes me to seriously question, “What are you thinking when you do that?” Yet even with that (and I’m pretty sure you know which one I’m talking about), I see no reason to get up in arms about it and write a book. The wonderful counselor on individuality, Jesus, has given us the blueprint to handle that: What is in your heart? That doesn’t appear to be a question that either Ms. Dines or Mr. Harden care very much about. They’d rather spend a great deal of effort researching the most sensational stuff that a few men are hot for, and warn us all that men in general are headed that way.
Again, bullshit. The men in those weird videos go home after the shoot, and they’ve got bills lying on the table. The women in those “exploitative” movies have the possibility of going back to school on their minds. The boys, whose parents are still stupid enough at this late date not to even consider an amazing blocking software that is totally free, are probably going to occasionally be curious, continue to satisfy it with porn, until Mom and Dad wake the fuck up, and move on with the business of being indoctrinated all day long about how wonderful our president is. If we just enact the right laws, sponsored by misandristic feminists and misanthropic conservatives, the phenomenon of misaporno will sweep the land like purple mountains and amber waves of hair grain.
How many times in a single article can I say, “Bullshit”? Pardon me, but I need to get off now. When I spew after watching “straight” rugby players discover one another in an English locker room, I’m aiming for my keyboard: the D and the H.
Note to Ms. Dines: Penises are great.
B.R. Merrick writes for “Strike The Root” and “A Voice for Men,” lives in the Northeast, is proud to be a classical music reviewer at Amazon.com and iTunes, and in spite of the poisonous nature of television, God Himself will have to pry his DVDs of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” out of his cold, dead hands, under threat of eternal damnation.