Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hell Hath No Fury

 So this has been happening.

(Greg)173. Because the real question was, why would a woman be attracted to an image if it debases her. My point was that it is because she drinks the kool-aid. With a man, the image doesn't give him the message that he is only a sexual object because it is drowned by the images around it. There is no kool-aid to drink. No man looks at our culture and says "wow, we really only value men for their sexual physique". Unless he is retarded.

WHAT THE FUCK?


 Who do you think you are to decide what images are quote-unquote debasing to women? Only women themselves have the right to decide that and only on a individual, personal, subjective level based on personal taste which may have nothing to do with feminism and/or sexism. Images you'd like to judge as debasing others might find empowering and arousing or amusing or simply visually pleasant and all sorts of things I bet you can't even imagine, they may hate it for all sorts of reasons you aren't able to take into consideration either. You can't generalize what's appropriate/harmful or not for ALL women--YOU--GREG can't certainly because you are A) male and B) No one ever should. In any context. Because that would be pure sexism.

This however: "...because she drinks the kool-aid." is debasing.

It is debasing because it implies--explicitly--that any woman who doesn't find it debasing is too stupid or brainwashed to realize the impact of all the suggestions and blah blah blah the culture, society, the media, has had on her, so she doesn't reject it but instead internalizes it. But many, many very smart women see those images and enjoy them or ignore them or have any mix of reactions to them and SIMULTANEOUSLY reject all the crap our culture tells them about their worth and value as human begins and as sexual beings and come to their own healthy-happy conclusions based on their own experiences, personality, biology, observations etc etc. Not the conclusions of anyone else, and certainly not the conclusions of what some dude on the internet thinks is the academic-acceptable-non-harmful-mainstream conclusion.

Also how dumb do you think females are Greg? I don't know many who see a picture and think the message they are getting is "Oh that's telling me--more than anything else I should notice in this picture--I'm only worthy as an object of sexual desire". Give us some fucking credit--it's 2011--time for a bit of an outlook update perhaps?

Bottom line is everyone and obviously men included must learn that women themselves--every single one of us--has to come to her own conclusions about what she finds harmful to her psychology and her self-image regardless of what images or media or cultural pressure she is presented with or stumbles across during her life--she can resent that stuff, or ignore it, or try to teach other people to disregard it and evolve beyond it but in the end she'll have to face the fact that she has a body--a body that has historically been controversial and more often than not put her in a position of disadvantage--it is a body that IS different and not the same as men's or as other women's--simple fact of life. Women and men both need to get over this stupid fear of woman's physicality and sexuality and it's manufactured Victorian dangers to individual and society's "long term" health, happiness and stability. It's a fallacy more damaging than some sexy pictures somewhere ever could be.

Ugh I don't don't even know if this rant makes sense anymore. Ah! a body that looks fake! Run! Hide your daughters eyes! Shame your sons for looking! It's unnatural! (Only it isn't.)

70 comments:

B said...

Hell yes! 100% agree!

Big Viewer said...

I will use the same argument as I did for why there is no such thing as "normal." Forgive me in advance for any mathematical and/or statistical jargon. We have an (arbitrarily) defined set of standards for what is considered normal. Take those standards and create a tree, with each branch being some culture or sub-culture. The number of branches created is potentially infinite. Also, these branches are uncountable because any first branch would also be decided arbitrarily. Consider each of these branches a deviation from the mean; the farther out you go, the farther away you are. However, you can redefine any of these branches as the mean and each subculture it's deviation. You can create a potentially infinite number of unique means, with "normal" being one of them. Therefore, "normal" does not exist.

This argument can also apply to what a person, male or female, considers debasing. Men have one definition, and each individual man has their own. Same with women. It is therefore IMPOSSIBLE to garner one single definition of what it is or not.

My point, and thank you if you read this far, is that you can only decide as an individual what is debasing to women and what isn't. There will be those who agree as well as disagree. If you feel comfortable, then what the fuck else matters?

Q.E.D.

Watson said...

There is nothing that offends me more than the idea that I, as an individual, as a woman, as a performer, as a thinker, etc. need to be protected from the things that will offend me, or worse, protect me from myself.
In my honest opinion, people need to buck the fuck up and realize they are adults. If you find something offensive, figure out why X triggered you, think it through, decide if it is something that is hurting people, try to breathe maybe (I am personally fond of breathe in breathe out repeat as necessary).

The moment someone tells me that I am unable to handle this influence in my life, whether that be racy art, violence in video games, representation of assholes in media (the figurative not the literal kind) is the moment I lose respect for them, and no longer wish to speak to them.
I am a person who can take care of myself and is well aware of when I am being exploited, thank you very much. The demon's in my wandering ovum are not demanding that I wear that miniskirt, I honestly think it makes my ass look awesome.

Rick Jammes said...

Wow. Powerful and to the point. I like that you worded your thoughts well and made clear and present points when expressing yourself. Simply put, That was a beautiful transaction of words onto a topic not often talked about or represented with such passion. Congradulations, you have shown me that humanity is still existant, even though rare.

bairdduvessa said...

very well said.

fishlemons said...

Thank you Mandy

kelvingreen said...

I'm astounded that Zak's kept a clear head with him. I read the exchange for the first couple of days and the guy's sheer arrogance is astonishing.

Ultima Esperenza said...

You know what's offensive and degrading to me?

Romantic Comedies.

I shudder to think that the status quo believes that I would want Matthew McConahey(sp) or his ilk to first woo, then fight, then accept. The redundancies of what people think women find pleasing are more offensive than they can imagine.

Also offensive?
Commercials that tell me that 'Moms do this'. I will never be a MOM, but I still have to do the fucking laundry and eat peanut butter.

I'm really over the gender stereotypes.

Maybe that's why most straight men avoid the gay culture. They aren't afraid of being approached, but are afraid that they won't fit someone's sexual ideal, and be bombarded with images that seem...

well, I may need some Kool-Aid....

Don Italo said...

Having just left a thread of political debate to come here... I find it somewhat intriguing to read this post and its comments. There seems to be uncharacteristically amount of grammatical eloquence here. Furthermore, while the arguments are debatable they are still well articulated and expressed.

I'm really not sure what to make of this fact as this is essentially a very random place to find synchronized intelligence.

I would postulate that this is due to

A) People who play DnD are smarter than average

B) Boobies attract more intelligence than politics

C) Nobody wants to look stupid in front of the hot girl.

For whatever reason, it was just nice to read something that actually made sense.

My own position on the highly relative, and equally dubious, worth of sociological absolutes is basically... if you don't like it... go away!

Some people have a lot of inner poopie.

Anonymous said...

I remember years and years ago there was a commercial on MTV. A women's rights activist was talking about how one time she went into a big strip club in New York and tried to pass out empowerment literature to the dancers there. This went on for awhile, none of the dancers taking the pamphlets, before one of the dancers asked her what the hell she was doing. She said 'I'm trying to help you. You're being objectified and exploited in here, and I'm trying to uplift you to something better.' The stripper said, 'Look, I'm making more in a days work here than most people make in a week. I'm doing it on my own terms, of my own free will, and, most importantly, I enjoy what I do. Why don't you take your literature and go down the street to that sweat shop where the women sewing are making a dollar an hour and try to uplift them. They're the ones being truly exploited and objectified.' The woman just stood there for a few more seconds on camera looking thoughtful, and said 'Huh.' What looks like one thing to one person might look like something else to another person, and it might be something completely different to the person actually experiencing it.

Ashe said...

I'm still reading it all but I'm having a hard time taking that guy seriously after his comment about masturbating to cosplay girls. Who the fuck is he to decide what someone should or shouldn't get off to (provided it's not children, cause I think we can all agree that's bad)? I mean, sure, I don't wank to that because I like more involved stuff but I think there's one (if not more) cosplay porn sites and I can get behind those.

You pretty well stated the major case and Big Viewer posted an absolutely fantastic comment on the nature of "normal" (my first thought was from the movie Angus, which I watched a lot in the mid to late 90s, and if I could find a video of the clip, I would post it).

Anonymous said...

oh snap!

JonestownTea said...

Thanks for this post. I found the whole ordeal quite interesting, though I haven't read it all yet. The one thing I think you're forgetting is that close-minded people are and forever will be close-minded.

Nonetheless, I actually was surprised you weren't more set off by when Greg Posted the following: "I choke a bit on the Mandy/Satine reference because they cannot be reducing themselves in this way."

That statement was one, which really grinded my gears. Did you know you cannot be reducing yourself in the ways you do? I guess I have no right to either?

Ashes said...

Your photo definitely does not make me feel debased!

How can someone so honestly believe that they have insight into how every person's mind should work?! Delusional!

Shaun said...

I honestly was a little bit amazed that Zak has kept the conversation going as long as he has. I think the other posters here have nailed it right on the head. To presume that you alone hold the answer to something like sexism and can apply your one belief across the board is no better than those you condeem for following en masse or at worst those who try to enforce it.

A person is a wonderful and diverse creation that has their own thoughts and views on the subject and while something may be degrading for you - it could be completely acceptable for the person next to you. To argue otherwise is egocentric and the very core of why freedom of thought and speech is so damn important.

Anonymous said...

Well & passionately said.
~V

Canned Man said...

When reading this, it reminded me of a post I made a couple of years ago about how we subject ourselves to being sorted into groups of sexual preferences and being. I love reading your post on how we should respect that each and every one of us is his or her own unique being, and no one can tell where this person belongs, only perhaps guide, in society and life.

Big Viewer: Your comment on normality was excellently written.

Don Italo: I loved your comment. I think I'll go for all three, but preferably the first two (denying for myself that number three goes for me too).


Keep it up, Mandy, and the rest of you too.

JoetheLawyer said...

I had to stop reading it. Every time I did I started typing a rant, which I knew Zak wanted to avoid. Especially since I've been sick, a Nyquil and Tylenol PM--influenced rant wouldn't have been pretty.

Greg Christopher said...

I find it hilarious the way people can take statements on the internet, imagine a large amount of material that the author never said, and then interpret the point.

I am not telling any woman what they think, should think, do think, etc. All of my opinions on this issue are based on conversations with women about how they do feel and think, combined with statistical data and academic analysis on the issue.

I am not ascribing views to women any more than I am creating gravity when I point it out.

If psychological studies indicate that a large number of girls and women believe that they are ugly and unworthy of love because of the images that are bombarding them every day about what it means to be a woman, that isn't my "Greg's" opinion, that is FACT. Women are impacted by these images. That is why larger numbers of women are developing eating disorders, identity disorders, low self-esteem, and insecurity about their bodies. I am not assigning these beliefs to women, it is provided by HARD DATA.

I argue that images of women should be presented with the same level of sexual content as men. You accuse me of sexism. Do you know what sexism means?

If you believe that the world will be saved when individuals acting on their own somehow manage to throw off the scions of our culture without collective action, you are delusional. Individuals cannot oppose cultural influence of that magnitude any more than a single worker is going to change Wal-Mart's Human Resources policies. Someone has to organize collective action and that requires establishing a standard. I am not even doing any organizing, just proposing a standard. And my standard is based on academic research into actual harm occuring in our society to real women. What is yours based on?

What you clearly missed is that I am equally opposed to Victorian sexuality. I am only opposed to showing women as sexual objects all over the culture while we treat men with much more dignity. How many large penised WoW avatars do you see running around? How many big-breasted ones? That is the problem, the overwhelming focus on reducing women to fuck toys.

Maybe you would like it if the only images that boys ever see of women are laser focused on their sexual attributes, but I would prefer that boys learn to see women as actual people.

Ellen said...

Well this should be easy then. Please post a link to the "psychological studies" that "indicate that a large number of girls and women believe that they are ugly and unworthy of love because of the images that are bombarding them every day about what it means to be a woman."

Garvaisi said...

It's really an "eye-of-the-beholder" deal. It's always unwise and patronizing to project your own attitudes upon some one else. This is the weakness of society: many people simply accept that A is an objective truth and that anyone who doesn't accept A as such is wrong for whatever reason. It extends to sex, gender, race, religion, politics, basically everything. And it's sad, because when we close our minds to the views of others, we isolate ourselves. You tell 'em Mandy!

bairdduvessa said...

Greg are you aware of the studies they have done with men on the subject? Do you remember the increase in male anorexia after the Kenner Star Wars lines in the 90s came out?
What about the images med have to deal with 24/7 about the overly muscled, bug bulged men that appear on magazines or in comic books?
We are just as saturated with images of physical perfection than women, if we didn't have that...if it were not forced upon us to be perfect masculine specimen...why would there be a steroid industry, or a penis enlargement industry; what about all the erection pills?
you cannot claim one aspect of an argument when dealing with sexism while ignoring that media has and always debase men. the only difference is that because we are men, it is okay?
your arguments have been nothing but bullshit.
the fact is, you are coming onto a blog and arguing with its owner. Some one who is comfortable with her body, and her sexuality; and trying to tell her she is wrong for being her.
we in the western world have forgotten what it means to be personally responsible. if you do not like the images, or words, or statements then don't fucking return to that place.

mandy i am sorry if i went off topic.

DSight said...

Hey Greg,

Whats it like being you? Seriously I really want to know.

Big Viewer said...

Greg, listen: I know mathematics, and I know statistics. I bet you that if I were presented with that same "hard data" I could create a different, completely polar opposite analysis. That's what I never liked about statistics, people like you take pure numbers and conform them to whatever twisted opinion that they see fit. The saddest thing is people have been getting away with it forever. What you say about where you got these so-called "facts" from means absolutely nothing. You make me sick.

Ellen said...

I also want to add that you are nutburgers if you think Mandy is engaging in some narrow representation of female beauty that confirms some kind of parochial bias about how women should look and act.

Her hair is dyed and often shaved. She's got tattoos running up and down her body. She's openly geeky and obsessed with things that fall well outside what popular culture can tolerate. She has created hours of sexual performance art, which, by the way, she has often made available for free to anyone who was interested.

If she represents anything about woman it's that we can be intellectual and nerdy and follow our own aesthetic and be proud of our bodies and our sexuality and that that can be part of our creative and spiritual lives.

To even pick a fight about female sexuality with a woman who has made a tentacle rape video is proving both that you completely miss the point and are in way over your head.

Mandy Morbid said...

Greg, what you'd like to believe is hard data and evidence is itself extremely questionable. Statistics as it has already been pointed out can be manipulated to show that the sun shines out my dog's ass. But many studies, medical, sociological, anthropological, psychological--are themselves suspect to sexist influences. There is an unbelievable amount of sexism in current practiced medicine and even more so perhaps in psychiatry, and even more so if the current studies are based on mistaken and flawed assumptions/findings of older studies which for a time came to known as common, accepted truths.

Also our modern ways of monitoring and of thinking of "healthy self image" is radically different than past methods and therefore the data is extremely limited.

Please pay attention to the men here who have pointed out the issues with male self image in the current culture and media. Male WoW characters are ridiculous, just as "bad" as the females with their gross bulging fantasy muscles and their square jaws. You're trying to talk about gender equality and you're leaving out half of the equation. I know men for a fact feel similar pressures growing up that girls feel. I have both a younger brother and sister and am very close to both of them. They have both been open with me at times when they were unsure of themselves. Happily though I'm confident both will mature into healthy confident successful adults. (By their OWN standards of course!)

I don't know where you are from but where I was raised what most of the media was telling me was certainly not to repress my sexuality but to to flaunt it. Now the adults around me all had different things to say about that based on their own personal levels of comfort with themselves and their own lives. I looked around me, at those adults lives, how healthy and happy and stable them seemed, what they said in contrast to all that and came to my own conclusions that didn't match anything that was being "pushed on" me.

I know many many people and love and care for many people of both sexes who feel the same way I feel.

I am not taking your statements out of context. We simply will not accept each others viewpoints as acceptable. I am ok with this I suppose because I have no other choice. As an individual I will continue to speak honestly and openly about topics like this and my life and I will continue to inspire like-minded people--who's support and encouragement I am grateful for. Whose voices make yours less disturbing.

Zak S said...

Greg:

"I would prefer that boys learn to see women as actual people."

If you want people to stop "misunderstanding" you, then stop making overbroad statements like this. If you want people to take you seriously, don't constantly say shit that is obviously easily arguable.

If you do want to keep being "misunderstood", by all means continues this expressionist splatter painting of an argument.

bairdduvessa said...

very well said mandy

Spawn of Endra said...

Thanks, Mandy, for speaking the truth. I've been cringing away from all the "Sexualized Females in Art" posts for the past few weeks, mostly feeling it's pointless to argue for or against. I, a male of mixed gender-mind, identify mostly with the females in all these "debasing" depictions, and staking out that subject-position within these discussions is so difficult as to not be worth the effort. So I'm glad to hear your take on how women actually have the ability to view, accept, reject, enjoy, hate, have a sense of humor about, depictions of women.

We just had Tristan Taormino give a talk last night in Eugene after being disinvited to give a keynote speech at OSU's Modern Sex conference. She spoke on "My Life as a Feminist Pornographer" ... excellent speaker, non-polemical, non-polarizing, fucking smart as hell and funny ... and the hall had been littered with flyers beforehand that declared that FEMINIST PORNOGRAPHY DOES NOT EXIST. By feminists, obviously. Thank you for protecting me from knowledge, academic feminist colleagues.

I, for one, need folks like you, Tristan, Zak, and others I've never encountered, to keep on clearing away the useless bullshit of the so-called "debate" on visual culture and sex. So thanks!

Kevin Mack said...

Perhaps I am way out of the loop here, having only partially followed the conversation between Greg and Zak (it became abstract to the point where both participants seemed lost in their own minds), but I feel like I'm missing something. Why do we discuss 'sexism' as if it were automatically tied to sexuality? Sexism really is kind of a misnomer, if you think about it. It should really be referred to as 'Genderism'. Greg seems to preclude that sexism is defined by women being exploited for their sexuality. Sexism is more about women being discriminated against or devalued due to the idea that their gender is inferior.

If what we're really discussing is the sexual 'exploitation' of women in all forms of media, shouldn't we differentiate between something that is sexually exploitative and something that simply acknowledges that beautiful people are appealing? Is it sexist to enjoy looking at beautiful women and men? Is it exploitative to utilize the fact that people enjoy looking at sexy people more than average or unattractive people?

I don't have a bad body image because of advertisements with male models, Calvin Klein, or the popularity of Matthew McConaughey. I would be aware of the image of an ideal man even without those social pressures. I have a bad body image because I'm terribly out of shape.

Or, in other words: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/12/31/

Gwynplaine said...

Fucking awesome, Mandy.

Anonymous said...

Mandy, you're a genius artist and you have great tits so you really don't have to justify yourself to anyone. Keep doing what you're doing.

Beatrice VS. said...

This guy is obviously a bad lover, poorly educated, and fucking boring. You, however, have one of the most astounding bodies I have ever seen. period, the end <3

Greg Christopher said...

Since I keep being accused of imposing my opinion on other people and my consistent reference to academic research is being questioned, if you actually want to know what psychologists think about this, read the following page. This is from the American Psychological Association. You know, the people who actually know what they are talking about on this issue.

http://www.apa.org/pi/women/programs/girls/report.aspx

Gee, it sounds almost exactly like what I said in my argument with Zak. Funny how that works. I am not pulling this stuff out of my ass, people.

Here is a great quote:

"In study after study, findings have indicated that women more often than men are portrayed in a sexual manner (e.g., dressed in revealing clothing, with bodily postures or facial expressions that imply sexual readiness) and are objectified (e.g., used as a decorative object, or as body parts rather than a whole person). In addition, a narrow (and unrealistic) standard of physical beauty is heavily emphasized. These are the models of femininity presented for young girls to study and emulate."

And here is another:

"Research links sexualization with three of the most common mental health problems of girls and women: eating disorders, low self-esteem and depression or depressed mood (Abramson & Valene, 1991; Durkin & Paxton, 2002; Harrison, 2000; Hofschire & Greenberg, 2001; Mills, Polivy, Herman & Tiggemann, 2002; Stice, Schupak-Neuberg, Shaw & Stein, 1994; Thomsen, Weber & Brown, 2002; Ward, 2004). Several studies (on both teenage and adult women) have found associations between exposure to narrow representations of female beauty (e.g., the “thin ideal”) and disordered eating attitudes and symptoms. Research also links exposure to sexualized female ideals with lower self-esteem, negative mood and depressive symptoms among adolescent girls and women. In addition to mental health consequences of sexualization, research suggests that girls’ and women’s physical health may also be negatively affected, albeit indirectly."

Greg Christopher said...

@ Mandy

I am going to stick with peer-reviewed academic research over random person's opinion that I saw on the internet. That's what people who believe in science do. Sorry.

Science may not be the perfect system of understanding the world, but it is pretty damn close.

Mandy Morbid said...

@Greg,

I could quote lots of studies saying that atheism and homosexuality are more likely to lead to negative outcomes for people than traditional lifestyles. It doesn't prove shit for the individual.

I view you and your opinion of my sexual and aesthetic preferences the same way a gay person would view a homophobe. Get your right wing nymphophobic propaganda off my page.

Mandy Morbid said...

Also it's really arrogant of you to assume that I haven't read those studies and others on this subject--in books not just shitty internet pages. Sometimes the individual is smarter than a bunch of stuffy academics and it takes time for society to evolve. But it is changing--and people like me and Tristan Taramino and sasha Grey and Zak are a part it. Undeniable.

Anonymous said...

You're making it a persona issue, a career choice, a matter of personal preference, when other women are damaged by the negative portrayal as merely and only sex objects.

There is a difference between 1.) personal enjoyment of art and sex 2.) the portrayal of art and sex, and 3.) the actual embodiment in social structure of the acts of sex. You have innocent and idealistic visions of your art and sexuality. Your sexuality empowering, but I also find it naïve.

There is a connection between your career and the benefits you gain from the existence of these images in their current context. You have a sustained interest in perpetuating these gendered realizations of the feminine body, no matter how radical your politics, because pornography necessitates the distance between subject and viewer, allowing for vicarious experience. In a perfect world this distance would not be dangerous, but in our current patriarchal monetary society, it IS. Fundamentally. And all the sex between consenting individuals in the world cannot change that. All the happy and sexually secure women in the world cannot change that.

John Stoner said...

This is an interesting debate. I can see merits on both sides.

I think part of it is that there really does need to be a stronger artistic viewpoint in sexual media portrayals, and there needs to be better art/media criticism in our culture. By which I mean not criticism by professional critics, but criticism as a cultural practice by everyone.

I think the heart of the problem you're all pointing at is autonomy: from Greg, the way women tend to adopt images from the culture and use them in a self-criticizing way. From Mandy, the right of people to make their own sense of the world as they grow up, and their right to create art that expresses their sexuality.

I think people who grow up with art and a sense of what makes it good or bad have some tools that are useful in dealing with what the media and people around us present us with. People who don't have those tools don't have the intellectual distance to keep their identities separate from those images, and are easily seduced into compromising psychological positions. Especially among the college-age group cohort so commonly used in academic studies.

It would be interesting to do these studies with 40 year olds, or in, say, France or Japan. If there were outliers in those studies, it would be interesting to interview them and identify what differentiates them.

I don't think the right answer is less naked people, or Mandy doing something different. I think it's probably something like better arts education, a more deeply rational sexual culture, and more intelligent smut. Smut that comes with context, meaning, and debate, and performers who have something to say about it.

Once we have that worked out, I think the problem of introducing children to their sexuality in a truly healthy way will be easier to solve, if not solved outright. But that's not something we can really see from here, any of us, or the APA for that matter.

FanBoy said...

Zak is being pedantic. I'm guessing on purpose.

As a male, I can reasonable conclude that the large number of young, skinny models in advertising is debasing to the self esteem of young girls growing up. Not to say that these same women also don't find the images attractive.

I agree that some 'smart' people can overcome these suggestions but really, why are we asking them to deal with this 'crap' to start with?

You rant doesn't seen very well thought out. It is also difficult to digest given that you are starting with a physical body that could fit inside these advertising norms. I can't imagine you had too many self esteem issues looking at those ads.

Are you really 'smart' or 'lucky' in your genetics?

Anonymous said...

Hey, Mandy.

I admittedly came across your blog because I found a few photos of you and wanted to see more. But it's great to see a girl who is so much more than just a pretty face.
I loved this post, and i love the huge FUCK YOU it gave to the naive guy you addressed you previously. Keep doing what you love, and ignore idiots like Greg.

Alexander

Julia Temper said...

To the ever encompassing, and, talented may I add, Miss Mandy Morbid,
I am Julia "Jules" temper(owner of Simply beautiful entertainment, &, Submit Bitch productions). I want to commend you. Kudos, girl! I am also an adult performer and model. I love your work. I also love the work of a broad spectrum of women in the adult industry, and otherwise.
No one had the right to judge an individual, other than that person or the person themselves. Wether they are male, or female. This man must speak from his ignorance. Its a shame we have to share our ( I am asthmatic as well) oxygen supply with individuals who are so thoughtless(lol).
My, oh, my.
Anyhow, if you ever come to Florida, I would love to work with you.
Keep up the good work.
All my love,
Jules

http://www.facebook.com/SimplyBeautifulEnt

Feel free to look me up on FB, and.or drop a line any time, darlin. <3

Mandy Morbid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mandy Morbid said...

@Fan Boy

I'm not talking about pornography. I just happen to have made a little bit of it. That doesn't have anything to do with the ideas under scrutiny here. My ideas about the subject were clear long before I made any smut.

And why on earth can't a girl be both lucky and smart? The two are not mutually exclusive. Being pretty didn't make me smart.

Believe me I wasn't pretty when I was a gawky, tiny seriously under weight, sickly wheezing-in and out of the hospital- pale, wearing glasses and horrible braces for my monstrous teeth (seriously I had two sets of "fangs" they had to pull down") 13 year old who hit puberty late--when I started thinking about the world the way I do.

I didn't get my out of proportion tits 'till I was about 15 either or a proper peroid 'till I was 19 (like I said sickly--I have endometriosis and ovarian cysts on top of the asthma that kept my parents running me to the emergency room) so a lot of ideas I have about the way the world works were already secure by then, or in the process of being secured.

Mandy Morbid said...

@Fan Boy

Also it's pretty silly to think that MY physical appearance fits into "advertising norms". I'm short, curvy, have a shaved head and tattoos.

I certainly do NOT fit into fashion magazines as far as modeling goes!

That's pushing it a bit.

bairdduvessa said...

mandy i know this is a change of subject but i'd hove loved to have seen those fangs. i had very long canine teeth as a kid, then when i was in braces they had to filed them down because they kept biting through...

Rack It said...

"I am going to stick with peer-reviewed academic research over random person's opinion that I saw on the internet."

The history of psychology is not a good one. Even now, the attempts to define "normative behavior" are appallingly inadequate, if not hopelessly misguided.

The DSM-IV still considers BDSM to be a bevy of disorders. Apparently getting turned on by a cheerleader outfit equals "mentally fit" and getting turned on by a rope-bound woman is cause for psychological treatment.

The appeal to APA authority is an appeal to tyranny of the majority and what the majority considers "normal". History is replete with examples of why this is not a good thing, especially since culture is constantly changing, along with what would be considered "normal".

If you dared to behave toward women today with what psychologists of 1950's would suggest, you'd most likely suffer bodily harm and possible arrest.

Psychology is the quicksand of sciences. There is little footing and what there is is mostly deceptive at best, and shockingly lacking of substance at worst.

But feel free to get sucked into the ego-stroke circle-jerk that is defining what is and what is not normal or good sexual expression. Society will simply go on being unmoved and unimpressed.

Mandy Morbid said...

@Fan Boy

What you are basically saying is that my opinions are useless BECAUSE I'm confident and aggressive sexually and open about it. Which seems pretty sexist to me.

My opinions comes first, they come from a woman with a brain and the right to think for herself and the right to deal with the world the same way men do and not to be coddled and protected by any "well meaning" others.

The fact that I am nude model who did a couple adult movies with her girlfriends and her boyfriend is totally besides the point.

Mandy Morbid said...

@Rack It: THANK YOU! I was trying to say that earlier but your post was much more eloquent and to the point that mine was.

Also to everyone else like Greg and Fan Boy:

It may interest you to know that before I switched to being naked for a living I worked in foster homes with severely medically fragile and developmentally disabled children. If you only knew that about me--and not about any of the naked stuff I've done would you be judging my beliefs the same way?

I seriously doubt it.

Zak S said...

@Fan Boy

"zak is geeky"?

No, Zak is a professional artist who has been fighting soft censorship of his art all his life and Mandy is a hot chick who has been fighting soft censorship of her existence all her life.

You should ask around about shit before you assume.

Dan said...

I've been trying to follow this for the last couple of days since you posted it on SG, Mandy. It's something that I, in my field (psychology), find particularly interesting and frustrating.

There's a concept called "benevolent sexism," and it's basically referring to things like men carrying or lifting things for women, and opening doors for them. The key to it though is in the intent behind it. That is, "I'm doing it for you, because you're incapable of doing it yourself." And that's the crux of this issue I think. It's the thought that you have to be defended from something, because you're INCAPABLE of handling it yourself. No one really wants to be treated like a child, man or woman, it's just that it happens with women far more often.

There's also something locked up in here that I've been wrestling with for a while as well. And it comes in the form of sexualizing someone, because you're painfully attracted to them physically, and then finding them interesting and powerful because of other non-sexual traits. Because of the influence of Victorian values, we're still stuck in anything related to sexuality being taboo and wrong. And that ends up skewing any discussion of a topic.

Sexuality--in any form--has become dangerous because we've let it be turned into something dangerous.

So, in conclusion, you have every right to be angry about this. No one should be protecting you from anything. You're a strong, powerful woman, and you can handle anything you want to.

I'm not sure if this makes sense, but it's a complex issue.

TinPlatedHero from SG

James Donovan said...

Alright as a male who is willing to admit looking at photos/videos such as your with wide eyes and "unclean" mind. I am upset that such a post was needed to clear things up for anyone. To assume that ones own beliefs of what is "right" or decent is outmoded to say the least.For any person or persons to tell another what is correct to do or show offends me at a core level. It implies that one perspective is all that matters.To suggest some one taking such photos or making videos of such content does not know or understand the way people will look at it is a foolish at concept at the least. Social views of the human body, and to be more specific the female body, as something that should be hidden or not expressed is old and out dated. I hope humans have grown beyond such ideas but it has not. I can almost hear some one saying "He has drank the kool-aid, or is selling it" as I type this. If any person enjoys, is proud of, or wishes to display there body in anyway that is fine with me. and further more i extend that concept past just women but also to anyone who by their own choice or by birth would be called a freak or strange.If a person feels secure enough to display there body in anyway good for them. I approve as long as the person showing understand the concept or what will happen. It is clear by this post to me that Mandy Morbid as a person understands what may be concluded.

I ,on a bit off topic statement, would like to tip my hat to her for such a well worded and complete thought expressed. That does not imply that I was expecting a lesser retort. I have just never heard it stated so well

richard said...

First, yes. Thank you.

Second, since AIUI this all started up because of concerns expressed over sexist imagery in gamer culture, I thought you might like to know about a little experiment Robin Laws has been running on his blog, crowdsourcing the creation of a fantasy world for a game. So far it's created a matriarchal society in which, as far as I can tell, men are windbag politicians and women make all the real decisions. And AFAICT most of the contributors are male gamers, so I have doubts about Greg's claims regarding the irresistible pervasive power of woman-as-fuck-toy images. There's no data yet about whether these powerful women wear chainmail bikinis.

Gasmasquerade said...

Hi, I'm Casey, I love your sets on SG, and I decided to check out your blog. I thought the introduction was necessary :)

"...women see those images and enjoy them or ignore them or have any mix of reactions to them and SIMULTANEOUSLY reject all the crap our culture tells them about their worth and value as human begins and as sexual beings and come to their own healthy-happy conclusions..."
I'd like to believe I'm one of those women that enjoys looking at pictures of sexy naked women yet also has a "mix of reactions" including disappointment that I don't look like that, but in the end, come to my own "healthy-happy conclusions" about my value as a human and sexual being.


@Greg, although I don't expect any responses.
"In study after study, findings have indicated that women more often than men are portrayed in a sexual manner (e.g., dressed in revealing clothing, with bodily postures or facial expressions that imply sexual readiness) and are objectified (e.g., used as a decorative object, or as body parts rather than a whole person). In addition, a narrow (and unrealistic) standard of physical beauty is heavily emphasized."
There's nothing wrong with sexuality, and our understanding that it is inappropriate to expost young people to sexuality is borderline unnatural. I experienced sexual desires at around 7. That's pretty damned young. Sexuality isn't the issue. The issue of low self-esteem stems from what is considered "sexy". While researching for a paper, I found that white girls felt low self-esteem because the they are presented with images that give the impression that sexy is strict and limited to a "narrow and unrealistic standard" as you said. The black and hispanic community suffered less self-esteem issues because they embraced the natural forms of their women. The problem is not with oversexualization of women, it's with the limited presentation of what is sexy. Men all have different views on what women are "sexy", as women do for men. I love small and big boobs, skinny and buff men. Don't say I or men can't drool at women when that's not the real problem.

On objectifying women:
I think it's easy to objectify anyone for any reason when we don't know the person we're objectifying. Objectifying a woman as a sexual being is natural if you're looking at a picture of her naked on the internet or seeing her in passing on a train. I don't know her name, I don't know her story, all I know is she's hot and I'd do her. This sort of objectifying is fine. It's on the same level as judging some one before you know them. It's sort of a natural response. It would probably start to become a problem if a man continued to objectify a woman after meeting her. Saying he would fuck her to his friends and saying to her that he'd like to ride her ass are two different experiences, the latter being far more uncomfortable to the woman (or at least for me).

This is long. I didn't want it to be this long. Damnit. Sorry :(

Anonymous said...

From one perspective, I've grown up around women who are both in traditional caregiver positions and in aggressive corporate positions. I would not say that in this day and age that women are, in our culture, "only value[d]... for their sexual physique." I would not even say that we have ever had a culture that only values women in that way: I'll even drop examples. Before the fulfilment of the women's rights movement, there were many women who held teaching positions, which isn't exactly valued only for sexual physique. Moreover, Khadija, the first wife of Muhammad, was infact a wealthy merchant who funded his travels and enabled him to establish the Islamic faith. She was also 15 years his senior.

But whether or not female sexuality is a danger or threat to society's "long-term" health, happiness and stability, I do believe that sexuality does draw out emotions, both good and bad. According to some psychology texts, it is the male gender which is more emotional than the female gender. It is due to cutlural pressure that men are forced to restrict their emotions at a young age. Therefore, I would argue that while this Greg fellow does not understand a female perspective, you yourself are lacking in a male perspective. The emotions drawn out by sexuality in males, especially when it comes to competition and pursuit, negatively impact their lives and the lives of those around them.

I will give an example of my own personal life: I and my best friend were attracted to a very gorgeous, fun gamer and punk girl. I met her at a live action roleplaying game night, and from the moment I saw her I wanted her in my life. But she had a boyfriend at the time, and I'm not exactly the aggressive type so I let what I felt stew and just tried to be around her. So I express my emotions to my friend, who gets enraged because he himself is attracted to her. When she breaks up with her boyfriend after about a year, she asks me out. I'm very awkward, and very inexperienced with relationships, so I tell her about my friend liking her too. Long story short, he breaks up with his seven-year long girlfriend, whom he was engaged to, and asks out this woman.

It's understandable if my story seems like a bit of a red herring, but the point was that sexuality is volatile, and you never know what might happen. You're right that it is up to women as individuals to come to conclusions about what they find harmful to their psychology and self-image, but I would have to say I hope that some sense of responsibility is taken up by those who understand the effects their sexuality has on those around them.

I just wanted to respond from a "Gnostic" Christian point of view. While I find myself surrounded by a polyamorous, drug-using culture yet maintain my monogamous and moderate traditional lifestyle, I can't help but feel like I'm the one viewed as a savage in this new world.

P.S. I'd like to thank you for inspiring me with your thought-provoking rant, you really remind me of my punk friend and I hope you don't mind my response.

Mandy Morbid said...

@Anonymous

Thank you for your post--it might be fair to say I'm somewhat lacking when it comes to the male perspective, I'm young I'll admit I still have things to learn and am eager to do so but I'm certainly not ignorant in that regard. Just read my boyfriend's book--We Did Porn--it's almost insulting to think I'd have no idea about the effect female physicality has on men if you had read that book.

Also:

I do have a committed, long term relationship with a man (he and I now also have a girlfriend but that is a recent development), a younger brother that I counsel regularly (read all the comments) and a father whom I am very close to and who confided much in me when I was a teenager and the family was going through some difficult times. I was raised in a traditional though liberal home (I was sent to Catholic school though my parents mainly wanted us to learn our family's religious traditions and then make up our own minds--we're all mostly atheist or agnostic now-days). My paternal grandfather also lived with us and I was very close to him as well. He saw one of his sister's "spirit" in me, my great aunti Vilma who never married or had children as far as I know--very unusual for a woman from a rural catholic community in central/eastern Europe born in the 1920s. He loved to argue politics with me and teach me history and little bits of his (difficult--Magyar) native language. Most of my close friends growing up were boys. I didn't play with the other little girls in primary school.

Most of the people I admire most are men. I didn't have many female rolemodels, at least the women's lives around me growing up didn't resonate very strongly with me. Their lives and interests seemed limited to me, just not what I was looking for.

Male friends joke that I'm the "dirtiest old man" they know.

The topic of discussion was about how females are presented and how that affects females. So that is what I responded to. My not addressing the effect women have on men or vice versa shouldn't be an indication of my ignorance--simply that isn't what we're talking about.

Anonymous said...

The anti-porn stance has done far more damage to feminism than any form of misogyny for decades. Even if I didn't support erotic art/porn, I couldn't give less of a shit about how supposedly degrading it is while there are legions and legions of men who think they're entitled to see it for free while turning around and calling the models and actresses whores. As long as millions of people think tits or GTFO is a big joke, who would dare join that same crowd, dictating what a woman can or cannot do with her breasts and have the audacity to call themselves a feminist? Feminism needs more real dialog about the current nadir of sexuality on the internet and less condescending self-congratulating bullshit.

hüth said...

@greg
If psychological studies indicate that a large number of girls and women believe that they are ugly and unworthy of love because of the images that are bombarding them every day about what it means to be a woman, that isn't my "Greg's" opinion, that is FACT.
So what do you do if your personal experience doesn't fit the Capitalized Facts?

Logan Levere said...

Objectification if one is going to be honest about it is basically a problem of art religion and civilization, people who are going after the sexual component either have an agenda or are being very one sided, it should be noted that a great deal of feminism was cradled in victorian britain I think this explains people like greg.

Anonymous said...

wow, white knights try TOO HARD

Alix said...

so I stumbled onto this blog via someone else's Tumblr because you were really hot and I like me some hot inked ladies, and this was the first thing I read, and Mandy Morbid, I think I am in love with you.

be my friend!

Dendrodoa said...

Fuck yes.

Anonymous said...

Just shut the hell up, Greg.

Anonymous said...

Two things, that might be worth being considered regarding the topic.

1. I have been around the sexually and/or fetish themed part of the web (mistakeningly dubbed "darkside") for years. I have also been around gamer sites, academic/scientific sites and plain entertaining sites and boards during that time, engaging in both as a mere reader, a moderator and contributer.
From my personal and ongoing experience, I can tell that the folks found on the "darkside" tend to behave more polite, considerate and socially adept than those on the rather "mundane" sites. By far.
I also am a sociologist and I could probably come up with a funded explanation for that, but I thinks it's better if you figure it out yourself, provided you have made the same experiences.

2. People who engage in virtual sexual activities have been around long before the was the internet. As have been porn, fetishes and sexual representation/imagery.
I believe that Mandy, Zak, their friends and other people with their or similar professions who project their real life activities to the canvas or stage of the web - as any other artist or entertainer does - as well as their audience, do not risk acquiring a disturbed self-image.

At least, much less than those who attempt to achieve virtual godhood by defining themselves solely based on their virtual existence and consider their real life existence a mere avatar of their online greatness.
Which, by the way, are exactly the kind of people who are likely to issue things along the line of "how do you dare express yourself on the suspectible, mindless masses that compose the inferior world I live in?".

-Jason Dean

PS: I'm not a native speaker, so please forgive my obvious linguistic lapses.

NameofWar said...

@ Greg and Mandy.

Degrading to any adult is so friggin' subjective. I'd say that it's also silly for a woman to say that an image is degrading to all women as well.

When I watch porn, I don't like when the guy talks that much, especially the ones prone to saying stupid shit. He is just a surrogate dick that gets to fuck the chick because he has a much cooler job than I do. In a way, I'm objectifying the guy, debasing him, because his value is that of a mere place-filler and what he does to make the woman respond.

I'm just one person. I think it's up for a consenting adults to decide what is degrading to them. Opinions are fine, but at the end of the day, I let people be accountable for their own hang-ups. I have my own to deal with.

Doc_Jude said...

MM, I'm way late on this topic but I just saw it so anyways...
I skimmed the Zak / Greg Christopher conversation and I thought it was pretty funny how Zak had this Greg guy on his heels almost immediately simply by asking for clarification, whereupon GC started regurgitating all of the feminist propaganda that he picked up from some crap college course or wherever. & his first major fuckup was when he said:

"Sexualization is the reduction of the woman purely to a sexual object. This is why I choke a bit on the Mandy/Satine reference because they cannot be reducing themselves in this way...."

He actually thinks that a woman cannot see another woman purely as a sexual object. This is, of course, patently incorrect. As if women are incapable of the most base human sexual impulses.

also:
"Conscious and unconscious self-discrimination is a feature of all discrimination I have ever heard of. Most slaves buy into the fact that they are slaves, they internalize it. Racially discriminated groups internalize their own discrimination (ex. "acting white" in school for black students). This is a complex psychological problem akin to Stockholm Syndrome."

I wonder what he thinks of BDSM activities. I guess subs are all suffering from Stockholm Syndrome? Any woman sub is doubly sick in the head and a poor, pathetic victim? LOL
& as for "'acting white' in school for black students", I wonder what particular psychosis Eminem & all his white, saggy pants Mid-western fans suffer from?

& then he expertly expounds on the childhood trauma and psychosis women in the "sex industry" all suffer from....

According to GC, damn near any choice that a woman could make that doesn't resemble something an Amazon would do is a result of pathological social conditioning. Any real feminist could tell you that the "feminist perspective" isn't anywhere near this cookie cutter. One draconian policy that harms a group of women here could benefit another group of women there, and vice versa, a newly adopted feminist stance for the benefit of one group of women here could be to the detriment of another group over there. There's no great standard of what is the "right" or the "good" when it comes to feminism or feminist ethics.
The goal should be equity, for ALL, not just women. And what would achieve this varies from culture to culture, there is no cut-&-dried standard.

Frankosis said...

"manufactured" lol

ftn said...

this article is beautifully written. well done, Mandy, i agree with you completely. Retaliation rage has never been so articulate.

nico phillips said...

bravo mandy!!

Adri said...

awe-some. Omg. You are my hero. My equally big boobed, hero. God bless me looking up tentacle rape. XD