Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tori, Women's Rights, and Porn

Ah, yes! Once again I see how Facebook loves to ignore my blog posts, until at last I post something which is highly critical of their absent-minded bot, and three posts appear at once. I would be inclined to simply remove the offending news-feed program and simply post things by hand, except that Facebook has moved this feature to some dark corner of the technosphere, where none but experienced staffers can find it. Ah, such sweet betrayal.

Anyway, I was listening to Tori Amos the other day, and thinking about some of my dearest friends who enjoy her music along with me, such as my sister, or my former neighbor, Marie. And suddenly it occurred to me that one of the issues I'm most passionate about, namely porn vs. women's rights, is something I haven't blogged about yet. Strange that I've missed this! But here it is, and I hope it's not misjudged.

My problem isn't with porn itself. What really bugs me is how the industry is run. Over and over again we see poor girls who are sucked in by evil thugs, given enough cocaine to make them do whatever they're required to do on camera, and then spat out again, with barely a couple thousand dollars for their dignity -- and that's if they're lucky. Many young women get nothing after they've bared everything.

I, for one, think this shit needs to stop! There are a few enterprising women who have shown the ideal -- Nina Hartley and Jenna Jameson, just for examples. These are women who control their own bodies as their own franchises. But they've been lucky enough to have withstood the slings and arrows of one of the most trap-ridden industries, and also been smart enough to have navigated the reef-filled waters of "The Lifestyle" as it's called. Most are not so fortunate. But in my book, all should be.

Many say that women are belittled and demeaned in pornography. Bullshit, that. Women are worshiped in porn. And the tragedy of it is that these goddesses, in spite of being worshiped by hundreds of thousands of (very!) happy men, do not reap the well-earned financial rewards of this stardom. The money instead goes to the cocaine-dealing, hairy-bodied thugs, who are about as popular as BP, and as ugly as Ron Jeremy.

What we need are some laws which protect the women who strip down and/or have sex on camera for a living. These women need guaranteed compensation for what they do, in clear-cut terms of percentage of product sales (not profit on sales, or the books get cooked), especially if and when footage becomes re-syndicated in a new compilation. At least 75% of that money should go to these women. They've earned it!

Unfortunately, we are so sexually immature and backwards in this nation that this may never happen. Rights for porno women? No politician will even touch that! And because of this, our own prudishness ensures that thousands of young women get taken advantage of, used up, and cast aside again, penniless, likely hooked on drugs, and without hope. ("Children of the Night" as they're called by a cause my friend Marie and I both support.)

If we ever stop being such Puritans, and develop a positive, healthy attitude towards sex (like every adult ought to have anyway), we can start seeing porn stars in a positive light, especially when they turn to the Law. Then we can finally make sure that the profits of the porn industry go to its TRUE stars -- those young women whom we all adore. And that the money stays out of the hands of useless middlemen whose presence is scarcely needed.

Well, I can dream, can't I?

Eric