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Porn and Vegetarianism

"I was coming to debate pornography," says Julie Bindel.
 
In her article "Animal Rights and the Feminist Connection", Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), writes: 

"Inherent in feminist ideology is the basic philosophy of freedom from oppression for all living beings.  Many feminists, however, are still very much 'human chauvinists' in their outlook on nature, the human species and other life.  

"Many are guilty of the same kind of supremacy clung to by males in our society in that they either exclude non-human beings from ethical consideration or they extend them less than equal consideration...

"The inclusion of animals in feminist ethics does not weaken or split feminist issues; indeed it solidifies, deepens and makes clearer our understanding of, and our opposition to, the absolute aggression 'nurtured' by macho male society...

"How long will some feminists go on munching on the greasy bones of little murdered birds?  Dressing in the skins of slaughtered cows and wild creatures?  

"How long will they tolerate a male-oriented state that sanctions commercial savagery?  How long will they be comfortable while ignoring humane alternatives?

"Many feminists sit down to steak dinners like the macho men who hurl insults at them on the street--and they all uphold the same supremacist ideas about animals.  

"How many feminists realize (or want to realize) how much violence, oppression and suffering they support at the meat counter, the dairy case, the leather goods store, the fur shops and the cosmetic counter?  

"Do they know about crated veal calves, caged and de-beaked chickens, 'super-ovulated' dairy cows, trapped or 'ranch-raised' fur animals and blinded rabbits?  Do they wonder whether all of this is 'necessary'?

"Feminists should recognize that their attitudes to members of other species are a form of prejudice no less objectionable than prejudice about a person's race or sex.  

"Early American feminists from Lucy Stone, Amelia Bloomer, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton...and others have condemned animal slavery.  Let all true feminists--women and men--join their expansive feminism and we'll make a substantive move away from all exploitation and oppression."

Ingrid Newkirk clearly considers herself a feminist, and Ingrid Newkirk is not above using nude women in advertising to further the cause of animal rights.

Years ago, when I tried looking up nude photos of Alicia Silverstone, I found she doesn't do nude scenes in any of her movies. This struck me as odd, because Alicia Silverstone willingly posed nude for PETA to further the cause of vegetarianism.

I'm not sure how Alicia Silverstone reconciles not wanting to do nude scenes in movies with posing nude for PETA, but I don't smoke, drink, nor do any drugs, and I don't have a problem with alcohol and/or marijuana being legal, either.

To quote another disruptive figure: let he among you who is without sin caste the first stone.

Someone commented online that PETA has a talent for getting young women to undress. 

I said to SF Bay Area vegan businesswoman Karine Brighten a few years ago, "That sounds more like Hugh Hefner," while admitting I'm not above looking at nude women on the Internet.

Is there any difference between posing nude for PETA and/or for Playboy?

And women can be sexy dressed as well as undressed. Trust me. 

In October 2007, I was matched online on eharmony.com with a beautiful woman from out of state. We spent a romantic weekend together, and I still have a printout of her photo from eharmony.com on my wall near my desk.

My buddy Randall commented, "She's fat!"

I responded, "She's a mother." 

That's what real women look like. And to me, she's the sexiest woman alive!

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. My friend Greg told me his ex-lover Marty said in 1990 that he thought I was "cute," but that doesn't do me any good, since I'm straight!

I don't know Ingrid Newkirk's views on prostitution, but does porn or merely posing nude differ from prostitution? I've never had to pay for sex, but I have friends who have paid for sex. 
 
To be fair, on the issue of pornography, it must be pointed out that women have as much of a prurient interest in sex as men do. Paul Coughlin writes: 
 
"...as marketers know, it was always women who have fantasized about relationships with men other than their husbands through soap operas, not to mention romance novels and magazines such as Cosmopolitan and other little sisters of porn of another kind."
 
Ironically, Ingrid Newkirk is a member of Feminists for Animal Rights, and Feminists for Animal Rights opposes pornography!

Are pro-life feminists, feminists who do not support abortion rights, like feminists not opposed to pornography, not *real* feminists?

Feminists differ on a number of issues. Some feminists oppose pornography (which is arguably a subtle form of prostitution: women using their own bodies for income.) Others do not. 

Some feminist groups like COYOTE ("Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics") support the legalization of prostitution. 
 
So it's disingenuous for pro-choice feminists to claim pro-life feminists aren't real feminists, especially when the history of the feminist movement shows otherwise. 

In his 1983 article, "Feminists: Developing a 'Party Line',' which originally appeared in the Washington Post (and was reprinted in Pro-Life Feminism: Different Voices, in 1985) Richard Cohen writes:

"If I considered abortion to be murder, I would try through the political process to ban it. This is how I feel about capital punishment, and no one is going to tell me I shouldn't use the political process to try to abolish it. Politics is the proper forum for the abortion controversy...

"...feminists, especially the more doctrinaire ones, are developing their own party line. They are attempting to define a movement very narrowly: You can't be against abortion. You can't be blase about pornography. You have to be blind to the real differences between men and women. You have to be this and you have to be that. 

"But the fact of the matter is that all you need to be a feminist is to believe in, and work for, the equality of women. It's my club, too -- and anyone can join."
 
Feminists For Life, PO Box 320667, Alexandria, VA  22320

Part 2

"These pranksters are simply schooling the magazine, which has profited off of women’s bodies for more than half a century, how it should be doing things," writes Tracy Clark-Flory.
 
That may be, but Tracy Clark-Flory has repeatedly identified herself on Salon.com as a pro-choice feminist who does not oppose pornography!
 
Feminist Germaine Greer commented in the late 1960s that Playboy was giving “the illusion that fifty year old men are entitled to fuck fifteen year old girls… and display their girls as if they were a commodity.”
 
To be fair, on the issue of pornography, it must be pointed out that women have as much of a prurient interest in sex as men do.Paul Coughlin writes: 
 
"...as marketers know, it was always women who have fantasized about relationships with men other than their husbands through soap operas, not to mention romance novels and magazines such as Cosmopolitan and other little sisters of porn of another kind."
 
Are pro-life feminists, feminists who do not support abortion rights, like feminists not opposed to pornography, not *real* feminists?
 
Feminists differ on a number of issues. Some feminists oppose pornography (which is arguably a subtle form of prostitution: women using their own bodies for income.) Others do not. Some feminist groups like COYOTE ("Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics") support the legalization of prostitution. 

So it's disingenuous for pro-choice feminists to claim pro-life feminists aren't real feminists, especially when the history of the feminist movement shows otherwise. 

In his 1983 article, "Feminists: Developing a 'Party Line',' which originally appeared in the Washington Post, Richard Cohen writes:

"If I considered abortion to be murder, I would try through the political process to ban it. This is how I feel about capital punishment, and no one is going to tell me I shouldn't use the political process to try to abolish it. Politics is the proper forum for the abortion controversy...

"...feminists, especially the more doctrinaire ones, are developing their own party line. They are attempting to define a movement very narrowly: You can't be against abortion. You can't be blase about pornography. You have to be blind to the real differences between men and women. You have to be this and you have to be that. 

"But the fact of the matter is that all you need to be a feminist is to believe in, and work for, the equality of women. It's my club, too -- and anyone can join." 
 
An article appeared on AlterNet a few years ago, entitled, "Women Have Lots of Casual Sex -- Get Over It!" 
 
I wrote: 
 
Many men (myself included) are attracted to promiscuous women, even if in Madonna's case it is just a carefully crafted image. We don't judge them, or call them "sluts" or "whores," either. In 1986 or 1987, my roommate Burke (himself a womanizer!) commented favorably about Madonna's carefully crafted image, saying, "She'd do anybody!" 
 
AlterNet user jessicarenae responded: 
 
"I just have a simple question for you-- if you are so attracted to promiscuous women (like Tiana) because it increases your chances of getting laid, if you impregnated one of these women, would you help take responsibility for the child because you are against her aborting it?" 
 
I responded: YES! This goes without saying. And this almost happened a few years ago. In October 2007, I spent a weekend with a beautiful woman from out of town, kind enough to visit me here in the San Francisco Bay Area, whom I met online through e-harmony.com
 
The second time we made love, the condom slipped. We were both worried about a possible pregnancy and are both opposed to abortion. Late in the evening, she got her period, and our fears were diminished. 
 
But had she gotten pregnant, I would have married her in a heartbeat! And the thought of marrying her anyway crossed my mind afterward. 
 
In the months that followed, *she* was the one who ended communication with me. So you can hardly accuse me of being "love 'em and leave 'em," i.e., an exploitative male, in this regard!
 
Women (like the woman I had a weekend fling with in October 2007) can be sexy dressed as well as undressed. Trust me. But if feminists differ on a number of issues, is the real reason many feminists oppose pornography based on sexism or puritanism?
 
In The Hammer for Smashing Illusion (1983), Hamsadutta dasa writes:
 
"In English literature, we have the story of Romeo and Juliet, which appears to be a very lofty and noble affair; but on the other hand, if Romeo and Juliet had lived to be eighty, how would that story have ended? The love of the man and woman in the material world is quite obnoxious when it is studied in its real perspective. 
 
"Romeo would have become old, toothless, wrinkled and impotent; and Juliet would have become bent over, with gray hairs and sagging breasts. The whole affair would not be romantic at all, but actually quite repulsive because this material love is based on illusion, whereas spiritual love is actually based on truth.
 
"Illicit sex also must be given up. Either you can be married and be responsible for a wife, or remain brahmachari (celibate monk). One must either marry and be responsible or remain brahmachari -- not this boyfriend/girlfriend, every day another sex partner. This is for animals...
 
"Human beings are supposed to control their senses, especially regarding sex. Gambling should also be avoided. These are the four regulative principles: no meat-eating, no intoxication, no illicit sex, no gambling. As soon as you accept these four principles you become pure...
 
"Chant Hare Krishna, follow the four regulative principles, and read Bhagavad-gita. Go to the temple, see the Deities, make an offering, even if it's jus a small flower or a fruit; or just sweep the floor, or take prasadam (sacramental food: our equivalent of the Eucharist). In this way, prepare yourself to go back home, back to Godhead. 
 
"That is the purpose of this (human) life. Take advantage of it; don't misuse it. Don't waste it pursuing some trivial sense enjoyment - smoking, drinking or sex life. These things in a few years will all fade away. When a man gets old, he cannot enjoy sex life. When a woman gets old, no one wants her..."
 
The People's Almanac #3 (1981) reported:
 
"To counter the wrath of the feminists, Playboy Enterprises has attempted conciliation during recent years by donating funds to associations supporting the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion, and rape counseling and aid.
 
"This seems to have blunted some of the attacks, but feminist author Susan Brownmiller referred to the donations as 'hush money.'"
 
Feminists For Life, PO Box 320667, Alexandria, VA  22320  

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