Tag Archives: Anti-pornography movement

The battle for control of the sexual discourse

21 Mar

One thing that remains unacknowledged in anti porn literature I’ve read is that classification guidelines in Australia already address the kind of pornographic sexual violence to which the campaigners are opposed. This is well explained in Nick Ross’s article on the classification riddle, with these examples of what the “Refused Classification” category disallows:

No depiction of violence, sexual violence, sexualised violence or coercion is allowed in the category. It does not allow sexually assaultive language. Nor does it allow consensual depictions which purposefully demean anyone involved in that activity for the enjoyment of viewers.

Fetishes such as body piercing [and tattooing], application of substances such as candle wax, ‘golden showers’, bondage, spanking or fisting are not permitted. As the category is restricted to activity between consenting adults, it does not permit any depictions of non-adult persons, including those aged 16 or 17, nor of adult persons who look like they are under 18 years….

Depictions of bestiality, necrophilia, incest, drug use, paedophilia, detailed instruction or promotion in matters of crime, high-impact violence and cruelty

And with regard specifically to violence associated with sex, the following is in the refused classification category: Violence: rough or injurious physical force, action, or treatment. This includes actual violence (shooting, punching, pushing, throwing a person, etc), implied violence (gunshot sound effect, news article, mugshots), aftermath of violence (person with injury, dead body), threat of violence (“I’ll kill you”), and violent behavior (woman holding gun while engaged in sex with man). Note down ANY and ALL violence, even if it looks contrived or unrealistic (plastic swords, etc). Depictions of dead people are also not permitted.

 When we have restrictions such as these already in place, what more can anti porn campaigners want?

In my opinion some campaigners are engaged in a moral battle to control who may desire whom, when and how. Their arguments are founded on conservative moral assumptions about what sex is or ought to be, how it can and can’t be performed, and by whom. To this end they define pornography as not about sex, but solely about violence against women.

Anti porn campaigners conflate sexual violence and exploitation with pornography to strengthen their argument against it, even though there’s a variety of porn available, from the inoffensive to the frightening. They allow no exceptions: their position is that all porn is bad because all porn is inherently violent and exploitative.

They also conflate fantasy with reality. Women who enjoy rape fantasies for example are not usually hoping to be raped. Some 31 to 57 per cent of women are estimated to have such fantasies, and there are other fantasies both women and men enjoy without the desire to act them out, as this article explains. Mentally healthy people know the difference between fantasy and reality. What I suspect anti porn campaigners would like is for people not to have fantasies of domination and submission, or any other fantasy that involves what the activists perceive as contrary to what sex is “supposed” to be. The battle is not only to control how we perform sex, but also to control how we imagine it by casting desire as violent and exploitative if it transgresses conservative boundaries.

For some women the consumption of porn is a radical act, and the acknowledgement that we experience desires not traditionally associated with our sex can be liberating. This doesn’t make us disturbed or bad. One of the dangers of the anti porn campaign is that it seeks to repress desires it considers inappropriate. This includes women’s desires, and as we have not yet entirely clawed our way out of sexual repression we need to be conscious of the possibility of losing what we’ve gained.

Porn undeniably appeals strongly to emotions and desires, otherwise there wouldn’t be so much of it. Pornography conveys a multitude of messages that elicit complicated responses. Sexual emotions are immensely complex. Many of our desires are formed or influenced long before we begin our sexual lives. Pornography, whether those against it like it or not, speaks to us about very real desires. Not all of them are easy to accept, nevertheless we are creatures of the dark as well as the light, and accept this we must, bearing in mind that we have laws in place to deal with real violence and exploitation.

Anti porn campaigners often express a view of sex that is sentimental and euphemistic. Sex should be devoid of messiness, vulgarity, impulses to power and aggression of any kind. Certain sexual acts disgust them, as campaigner Gail Dines makes graphically apparent. What really matters in sex, they claim, is the relationship. Sex as the expression of complicated emotions, not all of them pretty, sex as a performance of erotic power, male or female, and sex as a means of gratifying physical desire without emotional commitment, is apparently abhorrent to them.

As  campaigner Emma Rush wrote recently: “To be anti-porn does not mean being anti-sex. Rather, it promotes sex in the context of loving relationships.”  Yet “loving relationships” are only one avenue of sexual expression. Sex takes place in many contexts, and to imply that unless it is in a context of “loving relationship” it’s violent, destructive, immoral and pornographic is blatantly wrong. For example, is the author saying that couples in the throes of separation ought not to have sex because they no longer wish to maintain their “loving relationship?”  Is she arguing that nobody should have sex until they know they love one another? Just what is her definition of a “loving relationship?” What passes for love may at times be far from what some consider ideal, and love can be as confusing as sex.

Another anti porn activist, Clive Hamilton, makes this observation about “casual” sex: Perhaps this is why many people are left with a vague feeling that each time they have casual sex they give away a little of themselves, that something sacred is profaned and they are diminished as a result. Casual sex truly is meaningless sex.

The construction of a sexual ‘ideal’ or indeed an ideal of “love” that is exterior to the imperfect human condition, complete with prescriptives and prohibitions for its attainment, is not entirely dissimilar to constructing a theology, in that both demand an act of belief in a point of origin, an authoritative external presence, from which instruction on the rightness or wrongness of a practice emanates.

Claims of the rightness of a sexuality confined to “loving relationships” and the alleged profanity of casual sex must refer to the commandments of some metaphysical authority, unless Rush and Hamilton assume an infallible authority for themselves. Alternatively, their positions are social constructs, and if that is the case, we need to be convinced why they ought to have more influence over us than any other social construct. Empirical evidence for claims is the best way to establish this. Rush and Hamilton et al need to prove the “sacredness” of sex, the profanity of casual sex, and the need to confine sex to loving relationships, or risk being perceived as founding their campaign in a crypto theology that is of no real consequence to anyone other than those who believe in it.

While there is no doubt sex can be a powerfully binding metaphysical experience, this is not its only function. And isn’t it possible to have an intensely powerful experience with a “casual” partner? Sex can transport us to an altered and exalted state of consciousness. Sexual emotions can break through inhibitions and boundaries. Does it happen every time we have sex? If it doesn’t, even within a loving monogamous relationship, has sex been “profaned?”

Demagogic moral outrage of the kind exhibited by many anti porn activists is fuelled by emotions that cast any sexual practices other than those they deem acceptable as immoral and violent.  As the law already offers protection, anti porn campaigners are likely on a crusade for social purity based on personal preferences.  It’s a battle for control over sexual expression, for what people do and watch in the privacy of their homes. It’s a battle to control the manifold expressions of desire.  It’s a familiar battle for control over the public discourse on sex, and it’s one that must be contested whenever it reappears. Replacing one dominant representation of sexuality with another is no answer and does little but create another class of “deviance.”

Hysteria: Phreudian phallusy or what?

5 Jan

In the latest issue of The King’s Tribune there’s an article by one of the editors, Justin Shaw, titled “Porn is Bad.” It’s a must read for anyone with an interest in the politics (poetics?)of porn from the perspective of an articulate and honest male consumer, rather than that of anti porn activists, or academics arguing against them.

I was delighted to read the piece, as its long been my complaint that voices such as Shaw’s are not  included in the debate. Though I hesitate to use that word, seeing as the anti porn activists brook no debate. You’re either with them or against them in their war on the producers, actors, and consumers who in their view form the pornographic axis of evil.

In the second paragraph of the piece you’ll find this comment: “Gail Dines gave a series of hysterical screeches when she visited Australia last year…” An accurate and unremarkable assessment of Dines’ performance I would have thought, but no. This innocuous observation provoked a surge of outrage on Twitter, with tweeps complaining the comment was misogynist. Everybody knows or should know, they argued, that the term “hysterical” has been used to denigrate and discredit women, especially feminists, for decades, and Shaw was allegedly perpetuating that abuse in his description of Dines.

You’ll get no argument from me that “hysterical” has indeed been used to discredit women. I just wonder though what we will be left with if we demand the discontinuation of all terms that can be used to discredit women, and for that matter, men. I have on more than one occasion used the word “hysterical”to describe the behaviours of certain male politicians, and I think I might have once unkindly attached it to Clive Hamilton after reading one of his more florid anti porn rants. Colloquially, the word is used to mean emotional excess, mental agitation, and loss of self-control.

The term “mass hysteria” is not gender specific, and is used to describe the behaviours of groups containing men, women, transgendered and un-gendered people. In sociology the more frequently used term for mass hysteria, is “moral panic.” I rest my case.

So what is the (potted) history of “hysteria?”

It was apparently Hippocrates who first used it to define “disturbances of the uterus” thought to cause all manner of ailments peculiar to women (“hystera” meaning womb) though there are arguments about that explanation of its origins.

In the mid to late nineteen hundreds the many and varied symptoms of hysteria were attributed to sexual dissatisfaction, and physicians treated their female patients with “pelvic massage”, that is, clitoral stimulation to orgasm. In order to spare physicians this arduous task, women were eventually dispatched to midwives for treatment, and then offered vibrators.

An aside: I can attest to the value of midwife administered orgasms. My second child was born in a bean bag at home, and I was attended by a midwife. At some point in my labourings, she tenderly applied an herbal cream to my lady bits and in the process, brought me to a spectacular orgasm. As I was groaning anyway, none of the assembled spectators were any the wiser. I strongly recommend this practice as an aid to delivery.

Back to hysteria. French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot became fascinated by inexplicable paralysis in some of his female patients. As there appeared to be no organic reason for their troubles, he decided psychological factors were to blame. To this end he hypnotised them, in an effort to discover the repressed traumas he suspected were being expressed physically.

And then came Freud. Fascinated by Charcot’s theories, Freud gave the world his brilliant (if not always accepted) theories of repression and conversion disorder. Initially he confided to his colleague and friend Wilhelm Fliess (a man with bizarre opinions about the purpose of the human nose, but that’s another story) his belief that much of the hysteria he found in his female patients originated in premature and abusive sexual experiences during their childhoods in middle class families. This was perpetrated on them by relatives, or nannies. With no means of expressing their trauma, or even acknowledging it, Freud’s female patients converted their distress into any number of psychological and physical symptoms that were, in his terms, hysterical. That is, without apparent organic cause, sexual in origin, and particular to women.

Unsurprisingly, Freud’s insights into middle class family life did him no good in the climate of the times, and it’s alleged that he dropped them in order to save his reputation. He then came up with his Oedipus Theory, and there’s debate as to whether that did him a lot of good either, but that’s also another story.

The problem is the symptoms of hysteria are still inevitably defined as female, yet we know this is a nonsense. As Freud well knew men are also sexually abused, and can suffer after effects every bit as “hysterical” as those endured by women. Freud would have done us all a favour if he’d coined a non-gendered term to describe the symptoms he observed in both male and female patients as a consequence of repressed trauma, but alas, he did not, and here we are in 2012 still fighting about hysteria.

In defense of Shaw, his sentence doesn’t read to me like a misogynist use of the term: I can think of no other that so accurately describes Dines’ performances and her intention to inspire moral panic (mass hysteria) in her audiences.

And she almost succeeded for this viewer when she used the acronym ATM to describe a sexual practice that I do not find inspirational. In the elegant words of @ruminski this concerns [redacted lower body orifice] to [redacted upper body orifice]. It has nothing to do with cash dispensers, except if you’re paying for it.

Following Meatloaf, I will do anything for love, yes I will do anything for love, I will do anything for love, but I won’t do that. No, I won’t do that.

Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water and attempt to rid ourselves of all language that can be used to denigrate somebody. Intention is everything. In my view, Ms Dines speaks hysterically on the topic of pornography, with the intention of provoking moral panic. I can only hope that the outrage provoked by Shaw’s use of the term does not blind readers to the importance of his observations. I wish he’d publish them on the Drum as well.

Wilson and Dines: together at the ABC Religion and Ethics website

21 Dec

It seems my review of Big Porn Inc annoyed the world’s foremost anti pornography campaigner, Gail Dines. She’s written this piece in response and Scott Stephens, editor of the ABC’s Religion and Ethics online, has put my review up as well, in the interests of balance.

If you look at the list of relevant articles beside my piece, you’ll see mine is the only one apart from Professor Alan McKee offering an alternative point of view, so they’re probable going to have to publish quite a few more before balance is attained.

Big Porn Inc: a review

10 Dec

CAUTION: IF YOU READ BIG PORN INC DON’T MAKE THE MISTAKE I DID AND TRUST THEIR SOURCES: eg ‘SPANKWIRE’ IS NOT GENITAL MUTILATION AS CLAIMED BY ROBI  SONDEREGGER, BUT A WEBSITE

There’s a chapter in Big Porn Inc titled “Neurotica: Modern Day Sexual Repression” by Dr Robi Sonderegger, clinical psychologist, expert trauma consultant, and Chief Executive of Family Challenge Australia. The chapter includes a chart of online pornographic sub-genres which lists Google generated Webpages and total monthly searches (derived from Google Adwords) for 2010.

Top of the list is teen sex (actual post-pubescent adolescents) with 81,700,000 Web pages. Because the AdWords search is publicly restricted in this sub-genre, it isn’t possible to assess the number of monthly searches. However, Google Trends reports that juvenile sex terms were the most popular of all requests in 2010.

Second on the list is animal sex, with 50,300,00 Web pages and 6,120,000 monthly searches. Bondage, involving sadism and masochism has a total of 29.5 million pages with 5 million monthly hits.

Spankwire, a sexual practice involving the violent mutilation of reproductive organs comes in with 16,600,000 Web pages and 7,480,000 monthly searches.

Rape sex, involving real or portrayed forced unconsensual sex chalks up 2,770,000 Web pages and 550,000 monthly hits, while Snuff sex involving actual death of participants, consenting or otherwise, has a total of 1,280,000 Web pages and 6,600 monthly searches. There are no figures cited for the number of consenting participants who died during the production of snuff porn.

World population is currently around 7 billion, so some 0.1% of us are searching for violent mutilating porn on the internet, with slightly less searching for animal sex and bondage. Very few of us are seeking rape sex, rough sex and snuff sex, and there are only 480 searches a month for Guro sex, which involves blood, gore, disfiguration, mutilation, urine or feces.

There is no category in the chart that covers amateur porn, a genre that is apparently the most accessed in Australia and does not involve extreme acts. Neither is this genre mentioned anywhere at all in the book as being by far the most accessed in this country.

One of the claims made by some contributors to Big Porn Inc is that we are witnessing an unprecedented explosion in the production of pornography  that is seriously interfering with the ability of many human beings to conduct satisfactory sex lives with actual partners, as well as involving more people than ever before in its allegedly damaging production.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to prove these claims as we have little historical statistical data with which to compare current trends. There are many more people in the world and there are a vast array of technologies available that allow production and distribution to a degree previously unheard of. But does this necessarily mean a larger percentage of us are involved as producers and consumers? Is there really a new epidemic of porn, or has what was previously covert become highly visible?

While the Big Porn contributors assume that porn consumption damages and even destroys the ability to enjoy actual sex, I would suggest that in situations where this appears to be the case it’s worth considering that sexual and/or relationship difficulties already exist, and porn is a symptom rather than a cause.

This needs to be more fully researched before it can be definitively claimed that porn causes sexual dysfunction.The confusion of symptoms with cause is a common one in discussions of addiction, whether we’re talking about drugs, alcohol, gambling or pornography. Addictions are usually a destructive form of self-medication and self-soothing that bring relief from emotional tension with the temporary pleasures they offer. Pornography can offer this relief to those who are seeking it. However, porn is also a subject of curiousity  and pleasure for some consumers and has nothing to do with addictive behaviour.

That human beings have a dark side is not news. I doubt there is one sexual practice in Dr Sonderegger’s chart that hasn’t been around throughout our history, albeit in less technologically sophisticated modes. With the advent of the internet, dissemination of images has become globally simple,  granting unprecedented access to consumers and making voyeurism more possible than ever before.

However, if there is a larger percentage of us emerging as chronically sexually disturbed as a consequence of this availability, it is difficult to determine. The fact that people are more likely to admit to sexual dysfunction (and to the use of pornography) than say, thirty years ago, does not mean there is necessarily a higher percentage of us in either category than there used to be.

There’s a chapter in Big Porn Inc titled “Sexting and Peer-to-Peer Porn” by Nina Funnell, in which the role of children as “active producers of pornography” is discussed. Unfortunately, some of the examples the author offers of the disastrous effects of sexting and peer-to-peer porn concern 18-year-old women, thus creating a confusing conflation of children and adults. The two are entirely separate categories and should be investigated as such.

Funnell goes on to discuss the theft and publication of private video tapes of adult “celebrities” such as Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton having sex, (not with each other, I hasten to add in case I’m sued) under the heading “Captured girls in popular culture.” Neither woman can be described as a “girl.” This conflation of children and adult women is a common one in anti pornography literature, and as well as being offensive and un-rigorous, serves to undermine the credibility of activists’ claims.

In the US medical journal of Pediatrics on December 5 2011, there’s an article revealing research that shows the panic about children sexting is unwarranted. The survey is one of the largest ever to investigate the prevalence of sexting among minors, and researchers have concluded from their results that previous reports claiming large numbers of children are sending texts that could be viewed as pornographic are overblown.  One of the researchers observed: “This [children’s sexting] has been reported as if it were something that everyone was doing, not just in the teen population, but in the young adult population. It’s really not the case.”

In previous studies into minors sexting, young adults aged 18 and 19 were included as “children.” In a bizarre way, anti pornographers are guilty of committing a similar offense as that of which they accuse pornographers, albeit for different reasons: they both blur the boundaries of childhood and adulthood to achieve their desired outcomes.

I am offended by the judgement prevalent in the book that any one who does not  uncritically accept anti porn activist rhetoric is supportive of the exploitation  and harming of  women and children. Activist Catharine MacKinnon goes so far as to suggest that women who do not support her claims (“academic women who breathlessly defend pornography…”) do so solely in order to curry favour with men. The charge is also made that those who oppose the activists’ positions are seeking the thrill of unconventionality, and to present themselves as sexier than the anti porn collective. It is notable than disagreement with the activists’ point of view is met by them with ad hominem responses rather than considered debate.

It has never been my habit to uncritically accept any rhetoric, and I see no reason to abandon that rigour under pressure from bullies who describe me as having a prick in my head if I disagree with some of their opinions. I am no more in favour of human beings being damaged for the gratification of other human beings than are activists such as MacKinnon, Dines, Bray and Tankard Reist. Their condemnatory judgment of women who do not wholly agree with them is an indicator of their emotional immaturity, as they attack like adolescents in a playground gang.

For example, in a chapter by Helen Pringle titled : A Studied Indifference to Harm: Defending Pornography in The Porn Report” the author conducts a sustained and personal attack on academics Alan McKee, Catharine Lumby and Katherine Albury who in 2008 published the first piece of serious research on the state of pornography in Australia. In a scathing final paragraph, Pringle states: “Like many academic defenses of pornography, The Porn Report delights in its supposed unconventionality. In fact, its arguments are tired and outdated…The fact that pornography users are, like McKee himself. “intellectually competent individuals”…does not excuse the project’s studied indifference to the harm enacted in and by the sexual subordination and cruelty that defines modern pornography.”

I would argue that in certain pornographic genres ” sexual subordination and cruelty” have always been a mainstay, and there’s nothing “modern” about that at all. Perhaps Ms Pringle is unaware of anything earlier than the 1980’s, as she also mocks the authors’ references to sexual repression in the 50’s and 60’s. It would seem to me that a historical perspective on pornography is both useful and interesting. However, such a perspective may cause a re-evaluation of claims of a current apocalyptic epidemic.

Big Porn Inc is not a pleasant read, as much for the way in which the majority of the book is written, as well as disturbing explicit content. As I forged my way through it, I repeatedly asked myself, who has this book been written for? What is it’s imagined readership?

The last articles in the book consist of descriptions of various organisations set up to combat the production and distribution of porn, listed in a section titled “Resisting Big Porn Inc.” Included is the “Quit Porn Manifesto” written by the book’s publisher, Susan Hawthorne of Spinifex Press. Hawthorne likens the consumption of pornography to smoking in its insidious effects on users. She then offers some  basic strategies designed to help a user quit porn, and asks: “Who do you support? The profiteers and purveyors of violence? Or those harmed by pornography? Porn is bad for you. It’s time to quit porn.”

There are no grey areas in the world views expressed in this collection. All porn is very, very bad. This is not a position with which I am in agreement. It is a totalitarian position, and for that reason alone, the reader should be extremely wary, while at the same time taking from the collection some of the thought-provoking information it also contains. Unlike the authors, readers need not throw out the baby with the bath water.

Big Porn Inc. Melinda Tankard Reist, Abigail Bray (eds) 2011. Spinifex Press, Melbourne.

ABC promotes private interests: what happened to impartiality?

6 Oct

Between June 15 and October 5 2011, the ABC’s Religion and Ethics Online and the Drum have published eight articles written by anti pornography campaigners and colleagues who share the same perspective on pornography.

Judging from many of the comments on some articles, the views of this collective are regarded as extreme, and pushing right wing Christian conservative values.

Seven of these articles were written by contributors to Big Porn Inc, a collection of anti pornography essays edited by activists Melinda Tankard Reist and Abigail Bray.

In five of the articles reference is made to the soon-to-be-released Big Porn Inc, and three of them are extracts from the book. Clive Hamilton‘s article in Religion and Ethics reads like a book launch speech, and his last two paragraphs enthusiastically promote Big Porn Inc.

Gail Dines, also an author in Big Porn Inc, appears in R&E on September 15 promoting her anti pornography position. Meagan Tyler writes in the Drum on October 5th defending Gail Dines against critics, and promoting the same anti porn position. Tyler has another anti porn piece in the Drum on September 20th.

During this period the ABC has published one, yes that’s one alternative perspective to that put forward by all the above authors. That piece was by academic Alan McKee on September 23rd. McKee addresses many of the criticisms launched at him and his colleagues by some of the above authors.

Editor of the ABC’s Religion and Ethics forum, Scott Stephens, is launching the book the ABC has been blatantly promoting in Brisbane next week.

The ABC Code of Practice states as follows:

4. Impartiality and diversity of perspectives

Principles: The ABC has a statutory duty to ensure that the gathering and presentation of news and information is impartial according to the recognised standards of objective  journalism.

Aiming to equip audiences to make up their own minds is consistent with the public service character of the ABC.  A democratic society depends on diverse sources of reliable information and contending opinions.  A broadcaster operating under statute with public funds is legitimately expected to contribute in ways that may differ from commercial media, which are free to be partial to private interests.

Judgements about whether impartiality was achieved in any given circumstances can vary among individuals according to their personal and subjective view of any given matter of contention.  Acknowledging this fact of life does not change the ABC’s obligation to apply its impartiality standard as objectively as possible.  In doing so, the ABC is guided by these hallmarks of impartiality:

• a balance that follows the weight of evidence;

• fair treatment;

• open-mindedness; and

• opportunities over time for principal relevant perspectives on matters of contention to be expressed.

By neglecting to observe the required balance, the ABC has promoted both a specific position on pornography, and  a book written entirely from this position. This has continued for five months, with only one article that challenges this perspective published during that time period.

At the editor’s website, the launch of Big Porn Inc is headlined thus: “ABC Editor Scott Stephens to launch Big Porn Inc in Brisbane October 14.”

That the ABC should promote a book that is subsequently launched by one of its employees is bizarre. The ABC is not publishing this book. It isn’t written by ABC employees.

There’s a big difference between noting publications in an author’s biography, and the kind of intense promotional activity immediately prior to a book launch we’re seeing here. There’s a big difference between the ABC interviewing an author about his or her book, and the promotional activity seen here. There’s a lot of cosiness between the book’s editors and the ABC Religion and Ethics editor. None of this is good for a public broadcaster whose mission is to convey as many perspectives as reasonably possible on issues that affect the whole of our society.

Comments on all pornography articles on the Drum in 2011 reveal a wide variety of community views, the majority of which dispute those purveyed by the collective currently dominating the issue at the ABC. There are many comments calling for the publication of other perspectives.

Gail Dines was shouted down by left wing tossers, claims academic

5 Oct
Caricature on "The great epidemic of porn...

Image via Wikipedia

Oh my god, I just got home after a terrible day trying to buy a smart phone only to find this on the Drum. 

The good Dr Meagan Tyler is having a dummy spit at those of us who did not take to Professor Gail Dines and her anti pornography messages, and those of us who continue to resist the same harangues from MTR, Abigail Bray, and the man I’ve written about twice already this week so I won’t say his name because Steve at the Pub will say I’m obsessed.

Many anti porn activists are reasonable and rational and don’t want to ban anything, Tyler assures us, giving Dines as one of her examples of the rational and reasoned. She then claims the Professor was “shouted down” on Q&A, and otherwise abominably humiliated by left-wing tossers who feel they have a duty to be sympathetic to the plight of pornography consumers, whether they agree with porn or not.

Plight? What plight?

Needless to say I’ve dashed off a response, but whether or not the Drum will use it is another matter. As one commenter remarks, there are so many articles on the Drum written by anti porn campaigners, and hardly anything putting another perspective. I venture that maybe two of my articles there are among the very, very few that challenge the anti porn status quo. Why is that, I wonder?

Smart phones. I tried to explain to the man in the phone shop, who had very bad breath, that all I really want is to receive photos of the new baby, send emails and tweets and texts, and a few other little things.  Talking on the phone is not one of my great interests so I don’t really need 500 million hours of talk time. Turns out I’m an aberration on two counts: 1: not having got a smart phone way before now, and 2, not liking to talk on the phone. There’s no plan that caters for my needs he said, rather triumphantly I thought, for somebody with dog’s breath.

So tomorrow I’m going to another shop, but I’m wondering just how much of my life I want to waste on this mission. It’s the plans that do your head in. How did it all get so hard? Why don’t they just make an iPad with phone stuff? Should I just stick to email and forget the phone? Then I’ll miss out on the baby pictures everybody else gets on their smart phones. I’ll be marginalized. I won’t belong. An outsider. They won’t love me.

I’m hungry. I’m tired. I have to walk the dog.I can’t think straight. It’s cold.

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