Okay. so, you know, I’m on facebook. aka crackbook. And on crackbook, I have many “friends” who are not in my daily circle, even monthly circle. They are at best former friends, or aquaintances, or people with whom I once shared particular experiences. The folks I put together the high school yearbook with, for example. My best friend from Jr. High school. People I lived with in the lesbian co-op twenty years ago. folks I worked with two or three jobs ago. You know, like that.
They are not necessarily people with whom I have anything in common. Some of us are friendly, still, some of us remain allied in certain ways, most of us are really not friends at all, but strangers. And some of us, it turns out, are enemies.
One of these crackbook friends recently linked to an article about a local rape crisis centres response to a gang rape of a 16 year old girl, by a bunch of 16-18 year old boys. This attack was videotaped, photographed and then spread through crackbook and e-mail. The rape crisis centre spokeswoman expressed the concern and compassion for the girl, and said that the increasing and virulent presence of pornography had something to do with the attack. Porn motivated these young men to choose their victim, record this act of hatred and spread it around, as so much other pornography is spread–re-victimizing the women and children who serve as the focal point for mens hatred, fear and confusion about their sexuality.The spokeswoman said that young people are exposed to pornography as young as 10 or 11, and this exposure shapes our sexuality in malevolent ways. Here’s the link, anyhow:
so. one of the women i am friends with on facebook (and formerly in real life) posted the link and said, “shame on this organization for using this young womans horrific experience to promote their anti-porn agenda”. and then a few comments came from some of her other friends saying, “i fucking hate them” and “they’re a bunch of anti-sex stupidheads” and other witty and smart arguments supporting her comment.
I weighed in and said, something about that this women herself should be ashamed, she’s done front line work, surely she remembers the harm that pornography has done to women (and to men, for that matter)–and the organization is fighting for the freedom of all women.
well. that unleashed a wee storm of vitriol heaped upon my little curly head, didn’t it? Yes indeed. I was accused of “feminist entitlement”, “speaking for all women”–the organization was called “anti-sex, anti-trans”, “narrow, dogmatic, fucked up, incompetent” blahblahblah. I add one more comment–saying, “they are not anti-trans, their work is with and for and by women female at birth, raised as girls into womanhood; and if they’re so fucked up, how have they managed to stay open, involved, active, effective for nearly forty years, mmmm? and how be you use the opportunity to offer feedback, try to build an alliance? we need more not fewer organizations for womens liberation” (something like that i said).
Buddhism would say that everyone is a teacher. Especially people who get under your skin. But I don’t know what this exchange is going to teach me, truly. They’re just ridiculous. The invective continued, and one person just wrote “crying” as a comment. wtf? I tell ya.
I’m a bit defensive, i’ll grant you. I’m not going to offer any more commentary to this, it’s pointless and effects no change. alliance-building is not possible, not in this medium anyhow, we are too distantly related, there is no way to find the common points via crackbook, it’s not an organizing tool, really. Not when there’s disagreement. It’s too easy to just hurl crap, there’s nothing to lose, and when you get tired of it, you can just ‘unfriend’ someone. fair enough. but I don’t agree to disagree. I need these women on the same side, at least about some things. If we continue to let men pornographize every christly human interaction, format of communication, level of discourse,– we will be literally fucked.
I don’t get it. Why are women so determined to embrace pornography as in any way “empowering”? Are they not paying attention? there’s this cynicism out there, that we’re seeing these horrific events and only taking them at face value. **A girl was raped at a party. those boys should be punished. That poor girl. let’s jail the boys and get that girl some counselling and move on then. ** But how did we get here? How did those boys learn to rape, and photograph their hatred made physical, and spread the visuals as a warning and a kind of bragging about their exploits? where did they learn that? how did we get here? who did they do that to before, and who did that to them, and who’s next? Of course pornography had a hand in this.
of course we don’t have to accept they are not connected–rape and pornography. because they are inextricably linked. There is no shame in pointing out the link. No shame in working to, fighting to, shift those forces that shape and warp our sexuality. no shame in naming the problem and working together for the solution.
the woman who posted the link and said “shame on the feminists” is going to add her further comments once she’s done an event today. I look forward to that. I hope there is still some way we can know each other. but not as faux friend on crackbook. I don’t give up on folks so easy, and I think she’s smart and I am a little bit hopeful But we’ll see. I have enough to do, eh. And there are lots of women who want to be allied, we don’t need to waste our time, if there’s no purchase in the work.
oh. what to do…