Monday, July 07, 2008

Oh Noez, Moms Let Their Daughters Hear From Sex Workers!

Won't someone think of the children?!!

This comment was left on Renegade Evolution's blog a few days ago by someone calling herself "RealWorldGirl":

It flabbergasts me that people here comment about reading something you've written to or letting their daughters read your blog. Even when you do write something worthwhile (I'll have to admit your sex education posts were good), I don't see holding up the rantings of a self-proclaimed filthy whore as great for young women as a good idea. Don't young women see enough surgically enhanced bodies and hear enough messages about how fab being a slut is without having their parents shoving some hookers blog in their face? Do you think you might actually convince the world that Gonzo porn or whatever is something wonderful? That watching women get dicks shoved in every hole they have and slapped, choked, gagged, spit on, and sworn at is just fine and good clean fun? You can save the speech about how that's not all porn, because that is the kind you do, watch and spend money on? Sure, sure, you consent to it and have agency or whatever and no you don't make anyone else do it but come on, that kind of stuff is pure crap and you know it. There is nothing empowering about images of women splayed open or gaping or whatever. There's nothing cool about being or furthering the image of women as fuckable pieces of meat. Even you can see sexism in the world and apparently it bothers you, but what you do enables that directly and you know it. You can write thousands of posts about strong women, choice, education, sex workers rights and seeing the humanity in people, but not one of them will ever come close to negating the other image you put out there, the one where the only things that matter are breast size, a flat stomach, and the willingness to get used sexually by men. You know that too. I bet you don't have nearly as many hits on your blog as there are on whatever porn sites you are on, so more people are certainly seeing Ren being a "Worthless slut" than Ren being a thinking, full person. In fact, I find you of all people talking about "everyday sexism" a complete insult because you personally help fuel and feed the attitudes and industries that normalize it. The guys honking at you while you're running are the same guys who jerk off to women like you getting gangbanged or stuff money in your g-string. You know that too. You don't get to have it both ways, Ren.
Once again we find someone completely unable to deal with the fact that the whole world doesn't see her opinions as the gospel truth. Did you notice how many times she feels the need to say "You know it too" and "You know that too"? She has no facts to back up her claims, so she has to resort to just claiming that everything she says is self-evident. Well, I've got news for her. What we know is that her opinion is nothing more than that.

I've been reading Ren's blog for a long time and I am among the mothers who have read some of her writings with their daughter(s). Yeah, that's right. I've let my daughter read some of Renegade Evolution's blog posts. VanGoghGirl and I sat down and read some of Ren's sex ed posts together and discussed what it said. She agreed with a lot of it but--surprise, surprise!--she even disagreed with some of the stuff that I agreed with. Imagine that! A girl under 18 years old who can make up her own mind and form her own values and knows how to tell the difference between what sort of behaviors adults are free to engage in and what sort children might be wise to avoid until they are older!

For the record, my daughter is a professional artist and has been one since she was in elementary school. She's been drawing pictures of naked bodies of all types since she first got the dexterity to hold a crayon. As a still-developing artist, she has had a collection of manuals, commentaries, textbooks and models that she uses and refers to often. I suspect that many other young artists collect books and pictures about their craft if they can afford to do so (these materials can get pricey).

Here's why I bring that up: Her art books contain more naked tits and butts than Renegade Evolution's blog features. In her books, I've seen pictures of perky naked young ballet dancers, pictures of naked, rubenesque women and very heavy-set men well past their middle-ages. She has pictures of partially unclothed people embracing, people lying in repose and pictures of full body nudes, front and back. Some of them even feature pictures of just boobies or booties without a body attached to them. That's right! I actually let my daughter look at depictions of breasts and penises without informing her of how bad she should, supposedly, feel about her body after doing so. Quelle horreur!

Curiously, do you know what has been the outcome of letting her see all those naked bodies from a young age and not freaking out if she wanted to study one? Well, the result has been that she's never exhibited any difficulty with understanding the difference between everyday life and entertainment. What pisses her off is when adults treat her as if she's too stupid to be able to look at a visual and evaluate it without feeling the need to just go out and imitate what's depicted on/in it.

Also, contrary to what RealWorldGirl claims, many girls find the idea of controlling what they can do with their body to be quite empowering. I make it a point to tell VanGoghGirl that I'd support and love her just as much no matter what she chooses to do with her life and her body. And what does she fantasize about doing to her body when she grows up? It's not getting breast implants and straightening her hair so that she can look like those in stereotypical porn. She wants tattoos and piercings and maybe dreadlocks. Now, for all of the nakedness VanGoghGirl has been allowed to view, she still doesn't show any desire to conform to what this society considers "conventionally attractive". So where is the damage? What horrible thing was supposed to result from allowing my daughter to read the words of a woman who spends a great deal of time talking about how women should do what makes them happy and comfortable with their bodies?

Edited to add:

These are a few of Ren's posts that I think mothers and daughters might be interested in using to spark discussion about sexuality issues:

what in the hell? talk about "think of the children..."

Blogging for Sex Education!!!!

If you could wave a magic wand...


Renegade Evolution said...

Well, VGG is awesome, and so is her mom!

bint alshamsa said...

We both really appreciate the way that you talk to young women in a way that promotes independent, critical thinking with regards to sexuality.

Sarah J said...

right on.

Lately I've been giving advice to a couple of male friends of mine who are raising daughters, and I think I should throw this post their way.