Sunday, September 23, 2007

What is the definition of Masculinity?

Because I do not have have never (purposely) been a consumer of porn, I was astonished to read this article by on AlterNet, responding to Robert Jensen's new book, Getting Off....

Pornography and the End of Masculinity
Don Hazen
September 22, 2007

I can't bring myself to quote some of the more shocking parts of the article. If I thought reading the damn book would make my life any easier, I might buy it. But I think all I can do is what I'm doing right now: refuse to buy porn of any form.

Many have said that people hardly change much. Cruelty and degradation of the weak by the powerful has "always" been around, right?

I would like to examine how our idea of a man has changed over recent time. It used to be that men of integrity, chivalry and responsibility were respected. Not anymore. Now we don't even bother with those trifles. Men are measured by their ability to victimize, and men are measuring themselves by it, if the billion-dollar porn industry is to be given its full due.

But what's the use of complaining about it? The stupid women who allow women to be degraded are still going to show up to the set and the photo shoot and the strip club. The stupid men who "get off" are still going to show the porn industry and the rest of the world how easily their minds can be taken hostage in the name of cash...

"...For Jensen, the most plausible explanation of the popularity of these acts is that women in the world, outside of pornography, don't engage in these acts unless forced. 'Men know that -- and they find it sexually arousing to watch them in part because of that knowledge...'"

"...If I were them, if I were a woman, I wouldn't want to know that. Life is difficult enough without knowing things like that, without having to face that one lives in a society in which no matter who you are -- as an individual, as a person with hopes and dreams, with strengths and weaknesses -- you are something to be fucked and laughed at and left on the side of the road by men. Because you are a woman..."

The only glimmer of hope is that here we have two men writing about the societal negatives associated with the porn industry. Because as we all know, nobody is listening to women.

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