The Burning Times has kindly given us permission to reprint the Fourth Carnival Against Pornography and Prostitution. See the first three carnivals here.
April 26, 2008 by Debs
again everyone, and welcome to the fourth edition of the Carnival
Against Pornography and Prostitution! Once again, thank you so much to
everyone who has submitted work to this edition. I have some exciting
news; I’ve been getting so many great submissions, and finding so much
wonderful anti-pornstitution work myself, that I have decided it is
necessary to post this Carnival fortnightly instead of monthly! This
means the deadlines for the editions are now the 12th and 26th of every month, and the Carnival will be posted here at the Burning Times on the 14th and 28th of every month. Huge thanks again to you all for your much-appreciated support!
Right, on with the fourth edition…
*Trigger Warning* – due to the subject matter of this Carnival,
some of the entries may be triggering to some people. In our fight
against pornography and prostitution, it is unfortunately necessary to
name that which we are fighting against, sometimes explicitly.
(Just on a side note, there are a couple of entries in this edition
regarding what is referred to as ‘human trafficking’. I would like to
make it clear, and indeed I think it is vital to keep making it clear,
that in the vast majority of cases this over-used phrase actually
refers to women and girl trafficking, and
should be named as such. This is not a criticism of those pieces
concerning trafficking, I just think it’s very important to call things
what they are, especially when it comes to the oppression and abuse of
women and girls.)
First of all, before we start the Carnival proper, please go here and sign the petition Demonista has set up against Rogers Communications of Canada’s pornography selling. Thanks.
And now, news of a new website, Pimp Centre Plus
has been set up to campaign against the growing practice of advertising
jobs in the sex industry to women claiming benefits and looking for
work. The site includes details of how to get involved in the campaign
and make your voice heard.
“PimpCentrePlus believes the sex industry is degrading and
humiliating to women and the government should not be promoting the sex
industry as an employment option to women jobseekers who have an income
of less than £4,000 a year in jobseeekers allowance. This is a poverty
issue. The jobcentre is assisting the forcing of poor women into the
sex industry. As the jobcentre is a public sector body, we also believe
that this treatment which is unequal and degrading to one gender as
these jobs are offered only to women breaches the Gender Equality Duty.
“[Phoenix police Sergeant Andy] Hill said there is such a need for
understanding and awareness that community leaders developed a
documentary called ‘Branded.’
Hill said the name was chosen because pimps brand their girls like cattle.
To learn more about the movie, visit http://www.brandedphx.com/ “
Also on the subject of child prostitution, Marcella of Abyss2Hope has submitted On Prostituted Children, which highlights how one police force is beginning to recognise that child prostitutes are victims, not criminals.
“For many adults its easier to blame the children or to simply label
them immoral than it is to see these issues clearly. Those who use
these children for sexual gratification will be especially resistant to
view these children as being victims in any way for if they do then
they will have to view themselves as child abusers. The victim blaming
attitude isn’t limited to sexual exploiters, I’ve heard too many women
refuse to view the men around them who use the prostituted as being in
the wrong. “
From Arantxa at Dead Men Don’t Rape, we have Ladyfest Newcastle Pornography Debate 2006,
giving some good examples of the lame arguments used to defend
pornography, and the underlying attitudes of many of the people who do
“[Avedon] Carol argued in favour of the motion ‘Can feminists enjoy
pornography?’ and those arguments speak for themselves – both with
regard to their validity and why they are being made. Anyone prepared
to actively listen and think critically about the claims Carol makes
will become aware of the incongruity between those claims and what she
actually says about herself, her relationship to women, how she feels
about pornography and why she defends it. Her speech is a good
illustration of male-dominant attitudes and the rationalisations that
are employed to not only defend such attitudes but label them as
Many bloggers have been talking about this recently, but I think Heart at Women’s Space probably does the best job of “keeping a record”, as she says, of what has been happening in On the Pornography Debate at William and Mary College – in support of Samantha Berg.
“Sam Berg will be far from the the only feminist who will reject
public debates with people she has encountered online. These rejections
will have nothing to do with being intimidated by proposed opponents’
superior arguments or debating skills or with lacking confidence in
one’s own. I would not expect any committed, woman-centered, feminist
with an established internet presence to make herself available for
debates with others on the internet who have demonstrated that they are
willing to play fast and loose with the truth, who lie outright, who
are malicious and hateful, who seem unstable or unbalanced, or who have
dedicated themselves to harming the reputations, credibility or lives
of committed feminist women. “
The old “freedom of speech” argument rears its head in Escort Prostitution: a response to Tom Vannah, editor of the Valley Advocate from No Porn Northampton.
We must never forget that the “freedom of speech” of the prvileged too
often comes at the price of the silencing of the oppressed.
“On March 4, Tom Vannah, editor of the Valley Advocate, took a few
minutes to voice his displeasure with NoPornNorthampton on his WHMP
radio show (listen to the mp3).
We have been bringing Mr. Vannah large amounts of information about the
sex industry since 2006. We have asked the Advocate to drop ads for
escort services and other commercial sex enterprises. Unfortunately,
Mr. Vannah believes this is a matter of freedom of speech. Any
compassion he might feel for people in the sex industry or the
community at large is not as important.”
“Object, the campaign calling for a change in the law to have
lap-dancing clubs reclassified as ’sex encounter establishments’ and
therefore subject to tighter regulation, blames a loophole in the
legislation which has put lap-dancing clubs in the same category as
cafes, karaoke bars and pubs, making it relatively easy to obtain
This week’s report highlights the link between lap dancing and
criminality, citing research that links clubs to prostitution and human
On the Democratic Underground, Anti-Porn Activist brings us a Very revealing study on sexual abuse and exploitation in the strip club industry.
“Stripclub customers frequently grab women’s breasts, buttocks, and
genitals. Customers often attempt and succeed at penetrating strippers
vaginally and anally with their fingers, dollar bills, and bottles.
Customers expose their penises, rub their penises on women, and
masturbate in front of the women. Women in this study consistently
connected lap dances to the sexual abuse they suffered in the club.
“That’s the first thing men try to do when they get close to you and
always in a lap dance.” Stripclub owners, managers, and staff also
expect women to masturbate them and some have forced intercourse on
“Louis slapped my bottom and was rough while he fucked me,
occasionally saying things like, “you like that, don’t you, you dirty
slut?”. I believe that he thought that I was enjoying myself, and that
I wanted what he wanted me to like: violent penetration and dominance.
Jeffreys (1997) describes the popularity of ‘3-Hole’ prostitutes or
brothels, and how women are shown to desire ‘3-Hole’ penetration in
their mouth, vagina and anus (sometimes simultaneously) in pornography.
It is clear that Louis, whether he watched pornography or not, was
influenced by the discourse of women being inherently masochistic and
desiring pain and force in sex.”
“I want to write as clearly and in as much detail as my mind will
let in about the years between 12 to 27. I feel this need because it
come from the screaming in my stomach, saying- See what you can. See
that time as clear as you saw your stepdad. See. Speak, and maybe then
My self-hate begun before I was 12, but by the time I was 12 I had
given in to it. I begin at 12 because it was then I feel I lost myself.”
Mel at Traffick Jamming has information of the Report of assault at Kink.com – a San Fransisco torture pornography production company.
“A post about a woman who’d been brutally assaulted as part of a
production at kink.com in San Francisco appeared on Luke Ford’s blog
www.lukeisback.com on January 10, 2008. There were 18 responses,
including my own. After 5 days, the thread was removed from his site. I
have reason to believe that this account is substantially true. What is
really going on at kink.com? What can we do about it? – Melissa Farley”
“The legalization of prostitution has been a long neglected topic in
the City of Vancouver. It’s time to revisit the question, consider
alternatives, and look at solutions once again. The coming 2010 Winter
Olympics make the topic especially timely.”
In Caroline Norma asks, “Could this be a new trend…? Pornography has made it very sexy to hurt and humiliate women.” Sparkle*Matrix posts Norma’s article about a sickening case of ‘bukake’-influenced rape.
“Pornography users will immediately recognise the brand of rape the
men used against the girl. There is a genre of pornography called
“bukake” in which men stand around a single woman masturbating and
ejaculating while they wait their turn to orally penetrate her. The
anti-pornography documentary Pornography: the musical features footage
of bukake scenes being produced, as well as a heart wrenching interview
with a woman immediately after being filmed in bukake pornography.
Readers can also consult the Internet, of course – it is teeming with
bukake pornography sites.”
“When I wrote A 13-Year-Old is Not a Playboy Bunny
back in January of 2006, I didn’t quite expect to get the some of the
outrage against my opinion that young girls should not be encouraged to
think a sex symbol related to both soft core and, indirectly, hardcore
pornography is cute and fun. After becoming sick of a young girl
telling me about her “right” to wear clothing that suggests she’s a
sexual object, I closed comments on that entry in April of 2007. It’s
worth noting that that entry is the only one on this site that has had
comments closed. Today, a little over two years after writing that
entry, I want to share with everyone what’s been going on behind the
scenes in regard to it. “
“This is not about me not being able to express my disgust for porn.
This is about women who have experienced male violence not having a
voice to say “I have endured this and I feel it’s wrong”.
In the midst of the abuse, these women cannot articulate what’s
happening to them, not to others, not even to themselves. The silencing
is so thorough they cannot name it. Because they are told that
“nothing” is happening to them. And even if there was something
happening to them, it couldn’t be that bad. And even if it were that
bad, well, it must have been their fault in the first place.”
In Not for Sale, Rebecca Mott sounds
out the differences between being prostituted and other forms of sexual
abuse. She was inspired to write this piece after reading the book Not for Sale by C Stark and Rebecca Whisnant
“Most prostituted women and girls live with rape on a regular basis.
This makes it very hard to name it as rape.
Instead it place as “part of the job”. It is endured, but never dealt
with. For many prostituted women and girls there is no space for having
trauma after being raped.
I have lived many rapes. I was raped by my stepdad. I have been through
“date rapes”. I have once been raped by a stranger in a subway.
I know that the way I view rapes by men who were “friends” or family is
very different to how I view rapes as a prostituted girl or woman.
They were all terrible, but the differences have to be expressed.
Date rape is a complete betrayal of trust, especially when the man
“pretends” to be a friend. Being raped by a man who felt you could
trust and may respect is devastating.
But it is not the same being raped as a prostitute.”
“In many of the essays I read raped women claimed to have been raped
by porn. Generally this was when they were raped by men who at the time
or immediately previously had been reading/watching porn.
Many women do not believe that porn promotes the rape and destruction
(i.e. violence against/ humiliation of/ murder) of women; many men do
not believe it.
And this is why I would love to explore the history of porn. I studied
a subject on witches/ witchcraft/ demonology in the middle ages at Uni
recently and in it I read that the wood-carvings of witches in this
time were akin to the pornography of the time. At the time I didn’t
think much of it. The wood-cuts were obviously pornographic but at the
time the idea of what I know of porn now and what I know of porn then
did not merge.”
“Nicholas Kristof wrote of Holland’s experiences for the New York Times, and explained why he no longer believed that the legalisation model would generally benefit prostitutes.”
“It just seems like in theory sexwork is AWESOME! But the sad fact
of the matter is that sexwork isn’t just theory, it’s real life and
women and children are raped, battered, abused, kidnapped, tortured,
trafficked and murdered everyday as a result of the sex “industry” and
men’s demands for new, younger victims, and more degrading, disgusting
No one is taking away your dirty magazines or your stripper poles or
your HOOTERS girls, for the love of Maude, so I have no idea why
there’s such a concerted effort to terrorize and harass and shutdown
Why don’t you stop acting like the victim of radical feminists who have
exactly zero power and focus on the TRUE victims of sexwork and work
with us to end trafficking and exploitation and child rape?”
“One of Whisnant’s suggestions for trying to raise awareness about
pornography in a culture that is absolutely saturated in pornographic
material is to challenge the belief that commodification is linked to
freedom. Feminists must promote a view of human freedom that is
contrary to the commodification of everyday life. This works
specifically against claims that participation in the pornography
industry is liberating. Whisnant rightly challenges the idea that
because something is recorded and bought and sold it is liberating. I
think this also has to do with the work Gail Dines has done on the
importance of imagery – that there is a pervasive belief that to be
represented or recorded as an image is liberating or positive in some
“I am writing this piece, because I want to show how I learned to
connect my different types of abuses. By making these connections, I
was able to live with hope, not just to live by remembering to breathe.
Like many people who have survived multiple types of abuse, I survived
by living moment by moment. For much of my life, I would see that there
were connections which made me suicidal. I could not face my own
reality so I learned to freeze it out.
I have decided to separate out parts of my life. I will always remember that each abuse led to the next piece of abuse.”
Holly of Holly’s Fight for Justice reports on how a Rise in Human Trafficking Prompts RCMP to Recount Canadian Victims
“According to Bernard, many street gangs have taken to luring local
women into prostitution rings by posting ads for overseas work on the
“The street gangs can recruit but they need contacts with larger organized crime networks to sell the girls,” he said.
The Mounties acknowledge they have had difficulty putting a number to the amount of trafficking victims in Canada
“In the beginning we didn’t know if we had cases here,” said Const.
Magdala Turpin, a human trafficking investigator based in Montreal. “We
didn’t know what the problem was.””
And now to a new blogger doing some sterling anti-porn work, A Birch Tree of the blog Tree of Finches first bring us enlightenment as to the hard time had by the male of the species in It’s hard (literally) out here for a male pro-porn feminist.
“I mean, all the things most men want women to do is right there in pro-porn feminism. Let me give you some examples:
PPF Says: Women should liberate themselves sexually
Men hear: Women
should be having sex with lots of dudes, including me? Rock on!
PPF Says: Women should explore the nuances of their sexual identity.
hear: Women, both gay and straight, should try having sex with girls
and/or guys (like me) at the same time? Kick ass!”
“I live in a Navy barracks, I know exactly what men think of
strippers, and the language is some of the crudest and most misogynist
I’ve ever had the misfortune to encounter, so respect is out the
window. The very process of giving a lap dance is pretty much
inherently degrading; at least, I know I’d feel pretty degraded if I
had to pretend I was enjoying dry-humping a woman who weighed 300lbs
and hadn’t showered in weeks just to earn a few dollars stuffed into my
thong while she called me the foulest names and blatantly copped feels.
Is it the “sex-positive” feminist’s position that women actually enjoy
doing that? Maybe they really are so vastly different than men in their
desires and thought patterns that I could never begin to understand
them, if that’s the case.”
Feminist Law Professors have an announcement of Empowering the Victim: Developments in Human Trafficking Seminar being held on May 1st at the Canadian Embassy, Washington DC
“The special focus of this year’s seminar will be on measures
specifically devoted to the needs of the victims of human trafficking.
Speakers will include representatives from the Canadian and US
governments as well as specialists from the private sector and civil
“It seems today that a large portion of the young people in this
country think being into heinous porn is some kind of hip,
countercultural statement, especially for women (more on that delusion
can be found here).
That idea is pretty tired; when I was a teenager (mid-1990s) a lot of
the dudes I knew already thought watching gnarly porn was some kind of
lifestyle choice you made to go along with your skateboard and your
Circle Jerks t-shirt. They would watch it in groups and come to school
laughing their asses off about how gross it was.”
“Robert Jensen, who you should all get down with immediately, once
described a porn video in which a young woman dressed as a cheerleader
was spat upon, ejaculated upon, and called horrible names while
performing oral sex on a group of men standing around her in a circle,
all while she pretended to be enthusiastic about the experience because
that was her “job.” Jensen noticed something at the end of the scene
that most other viewers probably didn’t: the girl was visibly
traumatized, to the point that she had to hide her face from the
camera, but then raised her head and continued to smile and pretend she
enjoyed being treated like a… a what?”
“We spoke to “Jane” who got caught up with one of the gangs. She
told We spoke to “Jane” who told Panorama that it all started when she
met a group of boys in the local town centre:
“The grooming starts when you meet them and they’re nice to you and
take you for McDonalds and buy you cigarettes. I was flattered by it at
first cos older boys were interested in you, which at 13 is nice.”
“If porn were “revolutionized” to the extent that it no longer
depicted or depended on a commodified sex underclass, there would be
nothing lurid or sensational or prurient or violent or even feisty
about it, and it wouldn’t be porn anymore.”
That’s it for the fourth Carnival Against Pornography and
Prostitution, hope you enjoyed reading it, and have discovered things
you hadn’t seen before.
Don’t forget, from now on the Carnival will be fortnightly, instead
of monthly, so the deadline for the sixth edition is the 12th May, and
it will be posted here at the Burning Times on 14th May.
Please see the Carnival Homepage for
more information about the Carnival, the types of work you could think
about submitting, and a comprehensive list of anti-porn and