Most Popular = Most Harmful? (feminism, food, medicine…)

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My twitter feed was on fire today as people talked about anti-porn advocate Meghan Murphy. She wrote about feminism and legislation [link here]. It was really just one long comment to someone else’s article about feminist advancements. Anyway, she had these things to say:

[T]alk of bans or of criminalization of things like pornography often lead to people to say things like: “FREE SPEECH!” “RIGHTS!” “CENSORSHIP!” But these people are stupid.

Let’s reflect on some of the behaviours we’ve criminalized in our society: murder, rape, domestic abuse, animal cruelty, advocating genocide, and creating, buying, or selling child pornography. There are other behaviours we’ve criminalized that are silly, like doing certain kinds of drugs, but that’s a whole other political can of worms. [??? Like what, MM? lol]

True freedom and true freedom of speech would exist in a society without systemic oppression. In a world wherein male violence against women is an epidemic, it is not reasonable to say that we live in a free society. It is also not reasonable to defend behaviours that perpetuate oppression and violence on account of “freedom” and “freedom of speech”. Those who argue this are stupid, narrow-minded jerks who’ve spent too long eating American freedom fries and only care about “rights” in as much as those “rights” provide them with access to the sex/money/power they believe they were born entitled to.

Setting aside the use of words like “stupid” and “jerk”–nothing screams “progressive” quite like name-calling–and the random statement about some cherished drug she can’t use because it’s illegal, this is obviously an hysterical rant from a fanatical type of person. I’m not going to critique it beyond that. What caused me to write at all, is that before I even read the article I saw her name, knew what was going on and had this thought that I had to tweet:

In my experience, the most advertised form of anything is not only misleading, it’s usually unhealthy on its own: food, medicine, feminism..

You can add other things to that; body image, politics, fashion, religion, music, etc.

The most advertised things usually don’t marry well with our conscience. Do you feel better about yourself eating fast food? If you are like me, no. You eat it because it’s fast and tastes good, but it doesn’t necessarily make you feel like you’re a healthier person. It’s full of extra stuff that your body doesn’t need but helps to preserve the food–which, by the time it gets to you, is fairly old. The most advertised forms of medicine come with a slew of disclaimers that are pretty scary. Likewise, looking at popular magazines doesn’t make me feel attractive, and it always seems the most hateful people claim to know what’s best for my mind and my spirit. I don’t expect mainstream feminism to be any different.

What’s healthy is usually something not so highly publicized. Something so low key advertisers aren’t interested. Popular feminism is subject to the same problems everything else is subject to, and it takes a discerning eye and research to uncover the truth. Nothing against feminism, of course, it’s just that the loudest people are usually the most agenda-driven. The loudest people are usually the first to disregard the truth and talk over others rather than listen and learn and actually be of benefit to our society.

What’s most advertised is so because it’s fueled by money. To remain relevant, the idea has to convert people to keep the machine going. I don’t need feminists selling me on their savior qualities so they can become richer. It’s just a form of religion if the purpose is to stand at the pulpit and issue a wall of unchallenged rhetoric. I choose to think for myself, thanks anyway. I don’t think I’m interested in being mind-fucked by you today.

As for Meghan Murphy, I won’t say she is stupid, but she doesn’t seem too terribly bright…


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Author: Julie Meadows

Francophile, oenophile, French Scrabble advocate and future zombie apocalypse survivor.

8 Comments

  1. Your statement about the most advertised things often being among the most harmful makes sense – as does your theory about the loudest people simply concentrating on just that: being the loudest while disregarding everyone else’s input.

    While I’m at it, I have to comment on this as well: male violence against women is hardly an “epidemic” in society. The straight truth is that men are physically stronger than women, so obviously there are going to be many more incidents of males abusing females rather than vice versa. That hardly makes said fact an “epidemic.” In fact, violence against women awareness campaigns and focus on women’s issues (not to mention the number of men who appear to place females on some sort of pedestal) are quite prevalent everywhere.

    I’m not saying any of this to offend anyone (although I do think Lydia knows that about me by now :) ). I just feel it needs to be stated. At the risk of not sounding very eloquent, this is exactly the kind of one-sided crap that frustrates the hell out of me when it comes to feminism – or so-called feminism. Frankly, this Meghan Murphy just sounds like another loudmouthed, anti-porn, self-labelled “feminist” without any kind of solid point to make.

  2. I think you’re right, Adam. And to add to that:

    Violent people will seek out others to commit violence upon. They tend to pick on anyone they view as weaker, and this can be a mental, emotional or physical weakness. So, it ignores the fact that there are and will always be women who prey on others. And they don’t just prey on other women and children because they might be smaller in stature. There are and have always been women who prey on men. Predatory behavior as an “epidemic” because it’s more prevalent in our culture, or because there’s just a lot more people accumulating as time goes by?

    It’s nonsensical and fanatical and it gives feminism a bad name because this more highly publicized version of it ignores all information in favor of certain types of information. It is frustrating.

  3. Those are great points about predatory-minded individuals. You’re right: they will always exist in people of both genders and all walks of life. I used violence as an example because Meghan Murphy spoke specifically of that rather than predatory behavior has a whole.

    For all the talk that anti-porn “feminists” do about adult entertainment “degrading women” and so forth, I’ll say this: it is only since I’ve become immersed in the adult industry and begun blogging about it that I have developed a more positive attitude about feminism. I used to believe it was all about hypocrisy, selfishness and one-sided blather (and unfortunately, that appears to be the facet that still receives the most attention), but learning about all of the sex-positve feminists in adult and what they are about – not to mention getting the chance to speak with folks such as Diane Duke and (Pink Visual President) Allison Vivas – has caused me to view the entire concept differently.

    Feminism doesn’t have to be a negative thing – I completely realize that now (believe me, a few years ago, I could NEVER have even imagined myself typing that sentence!). My views on the subject have changed a great deal – and that is all because of a number of females in the adult industry (hell … that could be an essay! :D ).

  4. I did, too! I barely knew anything about feminism, but what I took from popular media peripherally was that feminists hate men and give women not like them a hard time. I’ve come to regard feminism as healthy and progressive as long as–like everything else–it changes with the times and does not become archaic, and as long as it enhances a conversation and doesn’t shut it down but cutting out perspectives.

    It amazes me how tricky these groups and even individual people can be when they point the finger. Pointing out that pornographers are only out to make money while they’re constantly taking paid speaking gigs to promote the five or six books they’ve penned is not being out to make money? It’s like the guy who constantly accuses his exes of being “crazy”. Well, you have to have some instabilities yourself if you need to surround himself with “crazy” people. And if they don’t have a history of “crazy” behavior before you, you might want to consider that it’s you that made them unstable.

    My ideas are probably overly simplistic in some respects, but I have to keep some things simple in my life. I feel fine about my time in porn. If there’s a problem at all it’s that we are not talking openly about sex. If an honest conversation could be had we’d already be doing good things for our youth because they would in turn feel comfortable talking about their questions and concerns. We shame everyone and everyone suffers for it.

  5. The same old rhetoric eh? After reading the bits that had been posted here I found myself thinking just that. She seems to only have repeated what others have said. I think it’d be refreshing if something new was said. Although I’m sure that some proponent of theirs would say the same thing about people that support sex work; the same arguments being repeated.

    The major difference is that more people that are acquainted with sex work are coming forward to say that their opponents are full of it.

    I think Lydia makes some good points in this article.

  6. I went to that site and tried to read as many of the posts as I could w/o getting a searing headache, it was almost like a bunch of kids arguing (“If I am what are you?”). Anyway, she seems to have a problem with shoes and handbags too? ” If you can’t convince them with facts, baffle them with bullshit!”

  7. Agreed, Lydia: society’s overall discomfort with the topic of sex – even in 2013 – causes problems in some areas, not to mention that is likely where much of the stigma against sex workers stems from.

  8. what ‘certain kind of drug’ are we talking about, Meghan? the devils weed or H? isn’t that the problem? they equate fucking with murder and rape… lets criminalize Cosmo magazine, soap operas and bizarre romance novels while we’re at ’cause that shit is poison too.

    I saw a woman at the gym stare at a graphic rape scene on some crime drama… she was locked on it… even after it was over, she seemed in shock and just stood there for another few seconds. women commonly fantasize about rape but don’t really want to be violently attacked and left for dead. Are people really this stupid?

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