ron jeremy, ginger banks, and audre lorde

As described in Rolling Stone, Ron Jeremy sexually assaulted everybody. This video broke the story:

Ginger Banks just did something important and necessary. However, I couldn’t help but notice how she conflates “sexual” and “sex worker”, especially in the last minute of the video.

What led me to the Rolling Stone article with the embedded Ginger Banks video was this response in The Week: “Pornography is incompatible with consent,” written by a conservative man.

It is impossible to observe the shaky ethics of consent in a world in which women are expected to appear in a state of undress and make themselves subject to groping, sodomy, and other indescribably disgusting acts at the whim of directors who are also frequently performers and random “fans” who have paid for the privilege of doing exactly those things at so-called “conventions” — one in which, indeed, they are often paid (negligible) wages to have sexual intercourse with men who are “pretending” to rape them. All of this is undertaken in an atmosphere in which drug use and the abuse of alcohol are ubiquitous.

Pornography cannot be tolerated in a society in which women are legally protected against rape and harassment. Pornography is incompatible with “consent,” that bandage word we use to cover up so many other crimes. Pornography is violence. It is an act of aggression against the bodies and the souls of the women who are photographed. That women in pornography have been routinely assaulted by their male counterparts on and off camera is a fact at which we have been shrugging for decades…

Meanwhile the political economy of porn should be enough to make any person of left-wing sensibilities blanche. Women in pornography are recruited almost uniformly from impoverished backgrounds, sold dreams of glamor and stardom that quickly give way to the sordid reality of entreaties from Jeremy and his cohorts to make themselves available to perform the most repulsive acts for the benefit of spectators or otherwise. By their mid-20s, they find themselves washed up, frequently broke, often addicted to drugs, and incapable of finding other work. Many drift into prostitution. Stripped, degraded, their lives ruined for the enjoyment of hundreds of millions of men hunched over screens in the hope of generating online advertising revenue, they undergo a systematic exploitation without counterpart in any other industry. It is organized cruelty for profit.

Stay woke, Matthew!

First, I was surprised to see anything anti-porn in a mainstream publication. Pedophilic creepiness is a mainstream value:

Second, since it’s a man saying it, I could anticipate a response of “blah blah blah you’re denying women’s agency.”

It’s almost like Ginger Banks was making a cry for help about her industry, longing for a world that can find a use for her talent at investigative journalism. I don’t mean that to be patronizing, I just have a hard time imagining working in porn and not feeling that.

In the world feminists really, ultimately want, it’s not obvious to me that there would be porn, because the culture would discourage objectification and encourage a healthier emotional life. More people would be having more sex, because they wouldn’t be too stressed to breed like they are now. People’s imaginations while they’re jerking off wouldn’t be their sole source of intimacy and connection. There wouldn’t be gross power disparities to sexualize.

This is Ginger Banks’ definition of being sexual:

She’s actively bringing into being the attitudes she complains about. Porn is fundamentally bad karma, in the sense that it’s practice in a less-than-respectful way of relating to others, but there are degrees.

If you’re going to film porn, it doesn’t have to be about a secretary who fucks her boss for a good performance review and doesn’t care that the guy won’t go down on her because it’s “dirty” (so lick the juices off his dick). With all disclaimers that I’m autistic, her enthusiasm seemed less-than-genuine.

It’s indulging a fantasy of quid pro quo sexual harassment (“the bitch always wants it”), the fantasy of someone who doesn’t even seem to like vaginas.

Those are the emotional preconditions of revolution. I don’t think she’s describing anything uniquely feminine. She’s describing what drugs feel like. It’s just that this potentially universal aspect of human experience, what Lacan called “the other jouissance,” is said to be essentially female in some way. I can relate to what Audre Lorde is saying just fine, without experiencing gender dysphoria.

The thing about wanting revolution is that it hasn’t successfully happened before. You just have to know that, because you’re emotionally capable of not-capitalism, other people must have the same potential. Being the vanguard, if you will.