What I really want to do today, is put all of the complicated porn-related things into a blog. But I’m not sure I’ve finished simmering them yet. Instead, have a bunch of links *not* related to Radfem 2012.
1. Fleur de Renaissance: Life Lessons I Learned from Kink (article worksafe, website NSFW)
The prevailing blog wind at the moment seems to be “we need to stop it with the kink evangelism and think seriously about discussing the rape-cover-ups and dangers in the community”. So this link is probably, like, so five years ago. Whatever, I still think it’s empowering in the Dalai Lama sense of “the way you do one thing is the way you do everything”.
Regardless of being vanilla/kinky/asexual/something else, the skills in this article – such as being able to set boundaries, ask for what they want and negotiate – are things that every human being should cultivate.
(via Brute Reason)
I am not a logical person. I am made of fuzzy feelings and wishful thinking. It’s amazing I’ve ended up hanging around with professional skeptics and secularists, when my gullible gray matter is apt for cultish thinking. I’ve been on both sides of the argument in Storm.
So I am trying to better learn how to think and reason, and mimic logic even if innately I have none. This website? Is amazing.
It’s simple and clear, explaining a number of the more-common fallacies, and also explaining why it’s bad for your side to use them too. Ultimately, it’s making me think that all rhetoric aside, properly collected scientific evidence is the only way to make a solid argument. And I guess that’s the point.
If that’s all a bit simplistic for you, the grown-up version is Fallacy Files, which has way more fallacies and they are explained in more detail. Bit grown up for me at the moment, I think, I’m sticking to the infographic until my logic improves…
3. Quizzical Pussy: Partner Rape, Cryptids and Other Crazy Myths (TW: rape, mild discussion)
Oh, this is dead cute. I maybe shouldn’t be recommending an article based on animal analogies straight after the big page of logical fallacies. But whatever. The internet is filled with appropriately serious articles about rape, but sometimes it’s nice to deal with horrible things interspersed with comments about Bigfoots and Barbary Lions.
4. Boyish: Consent (TW: rape, vivid description of not-very-consensual situation)
Serious like this. This anecdote is absolutely the most terrifying thing I’ve ever read on the interwebs. The author describes it as “personal and containing no great revelations”, so I’m overstepping the bounds of what was intended. What I choose to take away is omigoodness I can totally see myself in that situation, due to a general desire to make other people happy and a habit of diminishing my own needs. And a renewed determination to both be better at stating my boundaries, and to ask instead of making assumptions more often.
5. Greta Christina: Sex Workers – an Invitation to Tell your Stories
I am a pro-sex worker feminist, pretty much. That statement comes with all the predictable caveats about never having been involved with the industry, trafficing still being bad, and the patriarchy being bad, and generally things being complicated – coupled with a belief that sex workers would be helped on the whole by being respected in society, not persecuted or prosecuted, being able to unionise and to trust the police, and being able to put all those years of communication skills and client management on their CVs. I don’t know how I’d achieve all that, and I don’t know how I’d put those structures in place while both respecting the needs of people who enjoy sex work, people who are pragmatic about it, and people who hate it and want to get out.
Fundamentally, I think the best thing non-sex-worker feminists can do, regardless of how they feel, is read a lot a lot a lot of anecdotes and opinions by sex workers. Read the comments section here for a great (self-selecting) set of mostly positive-to-middling bios, and muse upon your reading to gain further nuance and perspective on a complicated world; and if you have been in the industry, then the same is probably true about a wider perspective, but also you might want to add your experience.
6. Amy Dentata: the Difference Between Dysphoria and Body Image
THIS IS WONDEFUL. As a feminist, I have been wont to think “why is it right for me to be suspicious of plastic surgery and yet support physical transition?”. There seemed to be no answer, so I took it on faith that one is bad and the other not, and trusted that trans people know what they’re talking about.
Amy attempts to explain the subjective and unpleasant experience of dysphoria for those of us who don’t have it. She uses images of optical illusions to try and convey the feeling of nasty, unexpected wrongness – and it’s really powerful. If you’re a cisgendered trans ally/parent/friend, this is a must-read article.
7. Project Unbreakable [SERIOUS TW FOR RAPE, ASSAULT, INCEST etc]
Art project accepting perpetual submissions: photos of rape survivors, holding up the words used by their abusers (or sometimes, friends/family/judges/etc on the subject of their experience). As you can guess, it’s a complete barrel o’ laughs, so read at your own discretion. Powerful, though, but likely to be REALLY TRIGGERING if you are a survivor, and upsetting/nausea-inducing if you’re not.
I have no comments. I’m not sure you really can :/ Also, it’s really addictive – like all tumblrs – so take care not to do what I did and read the whole lot in one go…
8. Asexualitea: Asexuality and Kink
Huh. One of the cool things about the activist community is you genuinely do learn something new every day. This post is – surprise! – by someone who is both asexual and kinky, talking about the problem of assuming all BDSM is sexual. I’d never explicitly assumed that – but while reading the article, I was like “…actually, I don’t know why ever even partly assumed that.” I particularly like the “fun” argument – kink can be a laugh, or challenging, or an intimate thing in its own right.
9. No Seriously, What about teh Menz: Why I Love Weird Porn
I am not kidding when I say that I find incredibly esoteric and specialized porn to be one of the most life-affirming things in the world…Every one of those weird kinks is a shout of human individuality in a world that wants to reduce us down to buying patterns and demographic trends. “I am alive!” they cry. “I am not an emerging new style, I am not a market segment, I am not co-optable, I am not coming soon to a theater near you, I am not approved for all audiences, I am not available in stores, I am damn sure not fun for the whole family and I never will be.”
To see the world in a grain of sand, and human enlightenment in giantess fanfic. This article is beautiful, though
10. A Witch Boy and his Kitchen: Celebrating Beltane as an Asexual Pagan
Cus I had wondered. Beltane is the pagan festival of sex and fertility; this article discusses alternative concepts of “fertility” that can be explored by the non-sexual.