Last week, The King's Tribune published a piece by Justin Shaw called Porn is Bad. Yes, you're right! It is a hilariously witty title. Because HAHA that's what feminists think! Shaw argues that feminists who are critical of porn are hysterical, screechy, and, generally, stupid. Did you know that what our arguments all boil down to is that "porn is bad"? Yes, it's that easy. Forget violence, objectification, oppression, feminist film theory, powerraceclassgendersexism, because all we've really been saying, all this time is: bad. Men are bad. Porn is bad. The end. We are just a bunch of stupid, simplistic, misandrist, jerks.
Shaw specifically targets an article written by Dr Meagan Tyler, Porn: just a bit of harmless fun?, which argues that most discourse on pornography in Australia (where Tyler and Shaw live) revolves around setting up a "straw-man version of anti-porn campaigners as ideologically driven, extreme feminists or religious loons." I guess Shaw was inspired by Tyler's piece as he appears to simply reinforce all of her points.
Shaw does what many people do when presented with a critique of systematic oppression: remove all context and make it ALL about them, as individuals who exist inside social bubbles, far removed from the influence of society and culture and governments and media. There were dinosaurs and now there's porn. It's called evolution, folks.
Rather than understanding feminist arguments based on what they actually say – which is that rather than individual men or men's "natural desires" being the problem, the problem has to do with privilege, socialization, media, imagery – Shaw manages to boil it all down to this:
"Everywhere I look, women are telling me that I'm bad. Well not me, personally, I don't think, but men in general. Our sexuality, at its very best, is bad and, at its worst, is monstrous. Men and our sex drives must be guarded against because we are made even more dangerous to women by our consumption of any kind of porn. We must be controlled, because female sexuality is the only right moral way to be, we are just penis-driven morons."
Justin, you are SO right! You were born with an all-natural love for fake boobs and rape fantasies. You were born a sexist and there's nothing you can do about it. And also? Women are all born with some kind of innate, perfect, "moral" sexuality. "WE" (the great, big WE who represent all women) are good and you (men) are bad. That's totally a feminist argument! Feminists of course are all about sweeping generalizations and gender binaries.
This goes on and on. According to Shaw, women see porn through "women's eyes" (which are not as trustworthy as men's eyes, by the way, being so clouded by morality and all), and cannot possibly understand that men are simply different-brained and, therefore, naturally inclined to be turned on by sexist imagery.
Shaw proceeds to explain to all of us clueless women that there are actually different kinds of porn. And that the porn he likes is ok. So we've gotten our knickers in a twist for nothing.
Since Justin has helpfully explained to us the facts and truths about porn (because the lady-brain simply can't grasp such a thing), he moves along to answer the question that, supposedly no one has ever been able to answer in the history of feminism or academia:
"The bigger question, one that the female academics seem unable or unwilling to answer is Why Is Porn?
I'll let you in on a secret. Men like looking at it because, and here's the kicker: we masturbate. I'm guessing that the same is true of women who watch it, but not being a woman I wouldn't presume to speak for them."
So move along, folks, nothing to see here. Men masturbate, ergo they watch porn. One can only assume that, before porn, men didn't ever have orgasms alone and one can also go right ahead and assume that women who masturbate also only figured out how to enjoy themselves once industrious men invented pornography (you're welcome, ladies!).