Big Porn Inc is a book of articles on pornography, many of which are written from a radical feminist perspective. The book was edited by two well known Australian feminists Abigail Bray and Melinda Tankard Reist and published by Spinifex Press. This post is my personal reaction to reading this book. Please be advised that this post contains graphic descriptions of rape.
Guest post by Samantha Berg
Christine Stark has been a role model of mine since 2004. That was the year she co-edited Not For Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography, which immediately soared up my book chart and remains a Berg top five today.
Not For Sale contains my favorite essay on prostitution, but Stark’s direct confrontation with so-called ‘sex radicals’ in the essay “Girls to Boyz: Sex radical women promoting prostitution and pornography” has the most forthright chutzpah of the collection. My admiration for her anti-pornstitution work led me to take special note of her various creative works released through radical feminist and artistic media.
Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation is Stark’s debut novel and it’s a doozy.
As many Aussies do over the holiday period, I went to the movies to watch some trash. I had a particular film in mind so I went to the website of the local cinema. As per usual every single movie advertisement featured men or male characters front and centre, with long lists of male actors names covering the poster and a few token females thrown in. The only exception to this was the poster advertising the American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. On the poster for this movie there is a young woman, stripped to her waist. A man is standing behind her with his arm clenched over her breasts as if she is his possession. This year, as with every other year, women’s role as owned possessions is made crystal clear in Hollywood.
new york and washington are among the states to have allowed “therapy dogs” into courtrooms to give comfort to and to gently encourage traumatized witnesses as they testify against their attackers. this dog, rosie, recently sat in the witness box with a 15-year old girl as she testified against her father who had raped and impregnated her. he was convicted, and his lawyers are appealing based on accusations that the dog unfairly swayed the jury, and complaining that there was no way to cross-examine the dog. of course you cant cross-examine a dog, but isnt the issue really this: mens courtrooms and mens legal system as a whole, in requiring victims of sexual assault to testify in court, when sexual assault specifically is known to leave victims literally speechless, is specifically designed to let men who sexually abuse girls and women off the hook?
So. I heard in the news recently that pregnant women having natural abortions (ie miscarriages/stillbirths) are now up for murder charges with life imprisonment. More ‘bad mother’ stuff. I suppose we can be grateful if they don’t get the death penalty. Witches caused miscarriages too, gave their foetuses the Evil Eye or some such, so they were burned at the stake. “Women are being stripped of their constitutional personhood and subjected to truly cruel laws,” said Lynn Paltrow of the campaign National Advocates for Pregnant Women (NAPW). “It’s turning pregnant women into a different class of person and removing them of their rights.”
Real crime TV shows are rapt with the Casey Anthony case and have been since the first 911 call was made. Crime show hosts and commentators, normally neutral, are actively prosecuting Anthony, ridiculing her every move in court. Did she wipe away tears? Fake. Fraud. Was she stoic? Heartless psychopath. Did she laugh along with everyone else? Monstrous.
Filicide — the murder of a child by the parent — is a horrid crime, but does this case merit relentless coverage? If so, why?
Guest Post by Sheila Jeffreys
I was pleased to be invited to speak at the ‘Feminist’ Futures Conference that took place in Melbourne 28/29 May, because in the last couple of years I have been disinvited from or vetoed as a speaker at a number of feminist events such as conferences or Reclaim the Night marches.