Valuing Women = Ignoring Them?

Don’t you love it when religious believers go on and on about how they value and respect and treasure women… while totally ignoring the things women are actually saying?

And by “love,” I mean of course, “get totally infuriated by, but in a way that’s kind of entertaining.”

In my recent post, Why I Probably Won’t Do Porn Again: Sexism and Being a Woman on the Internet, I explained why I probably won’t be doing any porn again — even though I found it richly satisfying and hugely fun back in the days when I used to do it, and think I would tremendously enjoy doing it again now. In response, I got this comment from Aussie Xian:

I would like to applaud, you, Greta, for the conclusions you have made about porn, and how de-liberating it is; and in fact DOES NOT aid the women’s movement to achieve its aims. I would argue it only provides money to the burgeoning Adult industry, and devalues women to be only objects for self gratification and for lust expression by males. I believe women should be more than mere images for self-centred fantasy by males who wish to escape reality.

m-/

(That’s the emoticon for “facepalm” a friend of mine made up. Use it. Spread it. It’s really useful.)

Yeah. See, Aussie Xian, here’s the thing:

You keep using that word “value.” I do not think it means what you think it means.

Valuing women starts with listening to what they’re actually saying. Something you have utterly failed to do. If you had, you would have realized that in no way do I agree with your opinions, and that in fact I am passionately and vehemently opposed to them.

If you’re opposed to treating women as only objects for self gratification, I suggest you actually read and listen to their ideas, instead of spurting your own opinions all over their blog with no attention or concern for who they are as a human being.

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Valuing Women = Ignoring Them?
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24 thoughts on “Valuing Women = Ignoring Them?

  1. 1

    Clearly you need to shut up so we enlightened type people can tell you and other sex workers what you think. You were exploited. It doesn’t matter what you think or how you felt, it only matters what I think and how I feel. You didn’t have agency when you were a sex worker. You only have agency when you are doing things I approve of.

  2. 5

    If you’re opposed to treating women as only objects for self gratification, I suggest you actually read and listen to their ideas, instead of spurting your own opinions all over their blog with no attention or concern for who they are as a human being.

    I see what you did there.

  3. 6

    When female adherents to the Prairie Muffin Manifesto declare how empowered they are by their lifestyle and how much they enjoy it, are we obligated to accept that the Quiverfull movement is empowering to women?

  4. Leo
    8

    *reads the Prairie Muffin Manifesto*

    …okay, do I just have a dirty mind, or do sex-negative people just keep rediscovering BDSM and screwing it up? (See also: Frollo.)

  5. Pat
    11

    I guess that’s how some folks think – naked people were made only for the pleasure of men. You know – how Eve was made for the pleasure of man. From Adam. So Adam was actually screwing a clone of himself with a sex-change.

    Anyway, I thought some of what this misguided individual did as well, until my wife better educated me on how women, also, can like naked people, as she puts it. Some of what you talk about parallels struggling with atheism and freethought in a heavily religious climate. You can have a lot of great ideas, but you’ll still be “that atheist” to a Christian monoculture. What is an aspect of your personality and expression, one that you find enjoyment and fulfillment in, is instead colored and marred by the perceptions and preconceived notions of others, and becomes you instead of a facet of you.

    It’s odd that one’s own enjoyment can be taken by observers. Kind of an old philosophical version of vision.

    ———-

    By the way, I got the facepalm emoticon just before I read the explanation : )

  6. 13

    What the… There is no way someone could have possibly missed the point that much!

    @Greta
    I am so totally going to be using the facepalm emoticon.

  7. 16

    Hi Greta —

    Followed a link from Pharyngula to get here, and love your stuff. Read a whole bunch of old posts yesterday (particularly enjoyed the one about Pascal’s Wager); really like what you say and how you say it. Your column on sex work was no exception.

    Keep up the good work!

    @odenata —

    Yes, probably. As the great philosopher Jimi Hendrix said, “You hear what you want to hear, and see what you want to see.”

  8. 17

    I don’t know. I think she got it, but was deliberately ignoring the focus so she could hammer the topic to suit her own ends, i.e., ‘witnessing’ for Jaysus.

    I’ve bumped into more than a few rightie Christards who insist that anything you might do or say which agrees even slightly with their own worldview is evidence that their Sky Daddy has ‘inspired’ you, and is leading you to the ‘light’. (‘Well, you’re on the right track … hopefully you’ll open your heart the rest of the way to God and let Him complete His mission in you…’ etc.)

    The other thing she misses, of course, is that her own personal discomfort with porn doesn’t mean that everyone else feels the same, but that’s so obvious that it shouldn’t even have to be pointed out.

    The thought occurs that empathy is the ability to put oneself into another’s frame of reference, thereby perhaps gaining a slight understanding of how that other might see or experience the world. Well, if one doesn’t understand one’s own frame of reference, isn’t any attempt at empathy always going to fail?

  9. 18

    @Warren,

    Where does it say that Aussie Xian is a she? That’s funny ’cause I actually read the poster as male; the whole “how refreshing to see a lady argue that she and all other ladies should be kept safe from us awful males and our basest urges” thing. I could be wrong, of course.

  10. 19

    Valuing women starts with listening to what they’re actually saying.

    Exactly.

    At the very least, Aussie Xian should have read what you were writing and disagreed with it, instead of just pretending you agree with him.

    And I share the others’ amusement with this sentence:

    If you’re opposed to treating women as only objects for self gratification, I suggest you actually read and listen to their ideas, instead of spurting your own opinions all over their blog with no attention or concern for who they are as a human being.

  11. 20

    I didn’t really understand Aussie Xian’s life story. If seemed an aimless rant about how porn was bad for him without actually explaining how porn was bad for him.

  12. 21

    Actually, it’s AuXian’s comment is revealing about his attitude (and btw, Warren, a quick re-read of his whole comment indicates AuXian is male).

    the conclusions you have made about porn, and how de-liberating it is; and in fact DOES NOT aid the women’s movement to achieve its aims.

    Let’s ignore how completely he misses the point when

    I got a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction out of it

    becomes

    I realized “how de-liberating it is”

    His attitude is pretty straight-forward male privilege. “It isn’t the actions of men which cause sexism. It’s the woman not bending to the attitudes of men.”

    It’s “de-liberating” because, even if you enjoy it, it demeans you. Because our biblical view of porn (ignoring that whole Song of Solomon thing) is that it is demeaning. Regardless of how you might feel about it.

    And it “doesn’t aid the women’s movement” because guys look at the pictures and wank. And it’s your fault for allowing them, not the man’s fault for being a tiny-minded twit.

    (And btw: “de-liberating”? Really? Take out the hyphen, and think about how stupid you sound…)

  13. 22

    It’s a little scary, seeing that…

    Okay, and a little funny, too. But sheesh, y’know…

    It’s a bit like dealing with some kinda automaton: ‘We will hear what we want to. You have therefore said such a thing. Disagreement is not possible, as things with which we disagree are UnThinkable.’

    (/Expression of opinions outside this carefully delineated circle is futile. I am Aussie Xian of Borg.)

  14. 23

    Having looked back at his comment and thought about it, I think Aussie Xian is a troll. It’s not that I think it’s impossible for someone to sincerely think that (it isn’t), but he’s just too good (or bad) to be true: a Christian who commends a post on this blog for exactly the wrong reasons. The irony is so delicious it might as well be manufactured. On Language Log I saw someone repeatedly post in different threads precisely the sort of prescriptivist fallacies that the blog so often writes against, and between this precision and his daft reasoning I think it was indeed a troll.
    I suspect this is simply a less obvious version of the person who posted on Box Turtle Bulletin saying the likes of “Don’t call me racist, I have plenty of friends among the lesser breeds”.

  15. 24

    I’ve bumped into more than a few rightie Christards who insist that anything you might do or say which agrees even slightly with their own worldview is evidence that their Sky Daddy has ‘inspired’ you, and is leading you to the ‘light’. (‘Well, you’re on the right track … hopefully you’ll open your heart the rest of the way to God and let Him complete His mission in you…’ etc.)

    My response to one of the Christards who said that to me is that me mentioning jesus anywhere near my death bed is a sign my brain is gone, so it’s time to pull the plug.

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