Propaganda does not deceive people; it merely helps them to deceive themselves. – Eric Hoffer
Another round of short articles which examine topics we’ve raised before; this time, purely by coincidence, they’re all about propaganda (the first good and the rest bad).
Election Day (November 2nd)
In November I told you about a proposed law in the state of New York which would prohibit police and prosecutors from using condoms as “evidence of prostitution”. Well, apparently the vote on it must be getting close because the Sex Workers Project recently released this public service announcement encouraging people to contact their representatives to urge their support for the measure. As I wrote in the previous column, this is important even to those of us who don’t live in New York because if it passes there, “health advocacy groups will no doubt try it in other civil-rights-friendly legislatures and even cops in other states may abandon the procedure for fear that prostitutes’ defense attorneys may use the proven legal arguments which established those laws in challenges elsewhere.”
Welcome To Our World (January 20th)
Here’s another example of others (in this case, porn again) having to deal with the same kind of ridiculous attacks, bogus statistics and character assassination as we whores have to; it was published in Huffington Post on February 18th:
No conclusive data exists on the harm pornography does directly to the men (or women) who view it, or to the partners of men (or women) who view it. It seems unlikely that such data ever will come to be. It’s been four decades since the…[President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography] found no connection between violent behavior and consumption of pornography, but then-president Richard Nixon — much like today’s radical feminists — summarily rejected that conclusion because it didn’t fit his personal ideology. After 40 years promoting a movement devoid of scientific evidence, anti-porn activists are becoming increasingly desperate for ways to persuade the unconvinced public that sex on film is our greatest cultural threat. Consequently, their arguments are increasingly ludicrous. The most recent example is courtesy of Gail Dines and her horror over young ladies’ pubic grooming habits.
In a piece for The Guardian…Dines…claim[s] that (presumably straight) young women who don’t want to have sex simply don’t shave…know[ing] their porn-accustomed male dates will be so horrified by pubic hair that consenting to get naked…is…out of the question…such a convoluted tale renders college-attending young women into pitiful, self-hating shells unable to defend themselves from the second-hand tyranny of the dominant porn aesthetic…
…Is this what feminism looks like, the sober assertion that when women old enough to legally marry, drive and vote decide that “saying no is too difficult,” our best response is to outlaw sex on film?…Anti-porn activists do not want a more inclusive, egalitarian, respectful sex industry. They want no sex industry at all, and they’ll say whatever they think will bring about such an outcome. To claim that eliminating sexually explicit material makes young women more comfortable with their bodies and more empowered to make decisions about their sexual lives is insultingly facile. But as sex educators have pointed out, Dines’s goal is…to create moral panic…but in an age when female adult performers have their own Twitter feeds, blogs and memoirs to affirm their lucidity and free will, it’s much harder to press the old “all women in porn are abused victims!” lie that dominated discourse in the 1980s…
…In [Gail Dines’] world, women are not human beings capable of asserting their own preferences or declining to conform to the preferences of others. They are completely cowed by men and they only derive confidence from conforming to the most stringent of male requirements. I have a hard time believing many porn films are more misogynistic than that grotesque disavowal of female intelligence, capability and self-respect. And I have a hard time trusting someone who thinks so little of women with making decisions about what policies are best for furthering women’s development.
A Manufactured War (January 23rd)
It looks as though CNN is still channeling the spirit of William Randolph Hearst; the only way I can see for them to sink any lower would be to pay for their own Schapiro Group “study” or hire actresses to portray “rescued sex slaves” for the cameras.
Maggie in the Media (February 3rd)
Most of you probably read Pete Kotz’s article about the Super Bowl hooker invasion myth for which Yours Truly was interviewed (and if you haven’t, why not?) Well, his follow-up appeared Monday night and though I’m not mentioned in it, it’s every bit as entertaining as the first and well worth your time and commentary!
Life Imitates Artifice (February 15th)
In the referenced column I pointed out that, while trafficking hysterics don’t do a damned thing for real sex slaves, their propaganda inspires creeps and criminals. And as I recently discovered on this Russian news website, it also makes us look pretty bad internationally (especially in countries whose journalists were conditioned for decades not to question their sources). Good going, trafficking fanatics! Let’s see how much more damage you can do before you’re swept into the dustbin of history along with all the previous witch hunts.