The truth about this picture
This photo is staged.
As I write this, I am not actually wearing a white mesh wife-beater, and I am not actually passing out from drinking cheap Danish beer at 8am on a Tuesday.
In fact, I almost never wear a white mesh wife-beater and almost never drink cheap Danish beer at 8am on Tuesdays. Honest!
So it would be extremely irresponsible to interpret this picture as proof that I hate women and like to drunkenly beat them, even though all the women who have kindly expressed an opinion on the mesh wife-beater have agreed it is disgusting and they cannot fathom why I would ever wear it.
The truth: I keep it around as a costume, a prop for creating fiction at parties. I enjoy the role play and cognitive dissonance of being a kind, gentle man dressed up and swaggering like the sleaze I never want to be.
It reaffirms who I really am, with the added bonus of reminding people not to judge books by their covers. If I'm a nice guy in a wife-beater, than just maybe that other guy wearing the wife-beater is too?
Escapism and fiction is everywhere we look in our society: film, TV, theatre, literature - the majority of which discuss extreme and unusual situations.
We all understand that enjoying stories about crime and punishment, heartbreak and loss doesn't mean we want all those things in our lives. And intuitively, we understand that these stories are important; being able to empathize and act out extreme situations prepares us for dealing with the extremes we eventually have to handle in our own lives.
Yet somehow, when it comes to sex and porn, people forget this and become literal and judgemental in their interpretation of fiction - fiction that if measured objectively is generally less gory and violent than the average fairy tale.
That is what Gale Dines does in this article, and people cheer her on because she gives them justification for conservative, prudish attitudes. She interprets extreme (yes, often disgusting) fiction created by consenting adults as proof that one group of people (men) hates another group of people (women). She conflates young men's confusion and sexual ineptitude with malice and is so eager to prove her point, that she is willing to give paedophiles a platform where they can publicly blame the porn industry for their depravity, instead of accepting responsibility for their own actions.
Suffice to say, I respectfully disagree.
Here are just a few of the things I feel the anti-porn brigade gets wrong:
- Porn is fiction.
- Different people like different things. You'd be surprised.
- In porn, men are "humiliated" just as much as women.
- The "us vs. them" attitude is bad for feminism.
- Like any other fiction, if porn only depicted normal, everyday sex, it would be boring.
- Society is becoming more open and accepting of our diverse sexuality. This is a good thing. This also means more things are now "normal".
- So porn gets weirder.
- Don't panic!
- Freedom of speech is way more important to feminism (and civil rights groups in general), than the ability to silence pornographers.
- Just don't watch it if you don't like it.
- Always fight censorship.
- NOTHING excuses non-consensual sexual violence.
- Promoting the idea that violence is "porn's fault" is really dumb.
- The harder you look, the more "evidence" you will find. This proves nothing (see also the law of fives).
Men like watching anal, because they all just really want it in the ass.