If you wonder where people get callous attitudes towards other groups and those who disagree with them, a good place to start is with cartoons like those found in Hustler. We are indebted to Nikki Craft and the Hustling the Left website for bringing these to our attention. These images are explicit and should only be viewed by those over 18:
Businessmen at a meeting discuss a new doll product, “Baby Kick and Bleed with Bandage and Crutch”. The child is shown saying, “Please no!” The caption reads, “…And we pitch it toward the battered-child market!”
The police are called to a home with domestic violence. On the wall are portraits showing women in bandages and smiling men. One cop says, “Yep, it looks like another family with a history of wife abuse.”
A man is shown pointing a jackhammer at a woman’s vagina. She looks alarmed. He says, “Ya know-w-w-w, t-his would-d-d p-p-probably b-be better-r f-for y-ou if y-you’d just l-l-learn t-to r-r-relax-x-x!”
A man is shown groping inside the pants of a young woman who is talking on the phone. The caption reads, “Gee…I’d love to go to the drive-in, Tommy, but my dad has some, uh, extra household chores for me tonight.”
A small, nervous man going door-to-door for the “A.I.D.S. Relief Fund” is greeted by a large man holding a beer bottle and a crowbar. The large man has a swastika tattoo and a shirt that says, “Death To All Fags!” The caption reads, “Sorry, wrong house!”
Hustling the Left’s Gallery shows many more cartoons and images in a similar vein. Even some current and former employees of Larry Flynt Publications apparently object to it. Capital Video, on the other hand, features the Hustler logo prominently on the home page of the Amazing.net website.
We are not asking anyone to censor this material. We do feel it’s reasonable to ask people to reconsider their personal consumption of it, to be critical of it, and to avoid profiting from it.
The Boston Globe’s Jay Carr mentions Hustler’s cartoons in his review of the documentary, “Rate It X”:
This month, the Somerville Theatre will screen films by Marguerite von Trotta, Doris Doerrie, Donna Deitch and Bette Gordon among others during its third annual women’s film series. “Shattered Illusions” is the series’ umbrella title, but the illusions documented in the series opener, “Rate It X,” are anything but shattered. They seem impregnable, undented by 15 years of the women’s movement. It must have been a temptation for Lucy Winer and Paula de Koenigsberg to make a raging polemic considering the callousness of the men they interview about their sexism. But they let the men hang themselves.
The discouraging thing about the sexism espoused by the men in “Rate It X” is how unthinking and entrenched it is. The so-called humor editor of Larry Flynt’s publications, for instance, thinks of himself as a caring parent as he plays with his young daughter. He sees no link between the life she faces and the perpetuation of hostile and dangerous attitudes to women in his work, most notably a cartoon character called Chester the Molester, who at one point is shown wearing a swastika armband, luring a Jewish girl into an alley with a dollar bill…
“Rate It X” is a film that says you haven’t come such a long way after all, baby.
“Chilling Documentary Shows How Entrenched Sexism Is”, The Boston Globe, 3/1/87
The People vs. Larry Flynt is a highly manipulative movie designed by Director Milos Forman and Producer Oliver Stone to make a hero out of Larry Flynt, thereby fostering approval for pornography in general and Hustler magazine in particular. Following are some examples of the manipulative techniques used by these men…
1) Minimizing the Kind of Pornography in Hustler…
2) Stereotyping Right-Wingers and Erasing Feminist Opponents of Pornography…
3) Lies and Omissions…
a) Flynt is depicted as a loving husband…
b) Flynt’s incestuous abuse of three of his daughters is obliterated…
Wendy Stock and I organized a feminist demonstration outside the Kabuki Theater in San Francisco to protest The People vs. Larry Flynt on its opening night–Friday, December 27, 1996, at 6:30 p.m. Tonya Flynt-Vega, Larry’s 31-year-old daughter, had flown in from Florida to be our main speaker… Before Tonya had even read the script of The People vs. Larry Flynt, she was worried about it:
I was frightened that Oliver Stone might glorify my dad and make him out to be a hero who has sacrificed everything to fight censorship and protect freedom of speech. My worst fears were justified. The movie shows him as a great guy who is only interested in fighting for freedom and the right for people to say and print whatever they want (Media Watch, 1996).
Tonya elaborated on her distress about the movie in the following passages:
“The reason that I’m so upset about this film is that it justifies my dad as a pornographer. It supports his argument that there are no victims of pornography and that pornography does no harm.
“If you want to see a victim of pornography, just look at me. Since I was a very little girl, I was surrounded by the stuff. I had to go through so much pain and grief to survive.”
That pain, she says, was typified by the Christmas card her father sent her when she was 12. On the front was a drawing of a grinning Santa Claus. Inside was a gift of hundreds of dollars and a picture of Santa having sex with a nude woman.
“I cried so much about that card,” she remembers. “Can you imagine sending something like that to your little girl?”
And “look at what it’s done to him. He began sexually abusing me before I was 10, and that went on until I was 18.”
—————— (added on 5/18/07)
In “Confronting pornography: Some conceptual basics”, Rebecca Whisnant describes (p.19)
a cartoon sequence from an issue of Hustler, titled ‘Why We Hate Women’. Each panel depicts some contemptible or objectionable female habit, like asking men to do laundry, whining about ill treatment, that sort of thing–I don’t recall exactly. The panel I remember is the last one in the sequence. Its caption is ‘they always want to cuddle after you fuck them’. The drawing is of a woman sitting up in bed, her face startled and hurt, taken aback. She is covered in ejaculate, literally drenched and dripping, as if a bucket of it has been emptied over her head. I cannot forget her expression.
See our review of this article.