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October 24, 2005



I also believe it is part of the porn industry's push to seem more legitimate - part of popular culture, instead of something on the shameful fringe. In recent years, with popular movies coming out about Larry Flynt and other parts of the porn world - especially porn of the 70's and with the availablity of porn on the internet (no longer have to go to a seedy-side of town or sheepishly ask the clerk for a copy of Playboy), porn has become acceptable. The language is a way of Playboy distancing itself from the 70's type of porn. Now, porn-stars are assertive or even aggressive - more contemporary - but still in submissive. Its not unlike women in many popular films these days - they speak up for themselves, maybe even show a bit of backbone - but in the end they still "need" a man to save them.

Also, I recommend checking out Robert Jensen's writings. He is very vocal about the amount of porn-stars who are abused - and the increase in violent pornography. Sobering stuff.

Mr. Bad

I'm sorry Hugo, but I have to call you on this: "Many of them (see the MRAs who troll here) are enraged at the modest success that the feminist movement has had in integrating women into business, politics, academia, and the traditional male trades."

Once again you show how feminists like yourself are working from false premises which in turn brings the whole movement into question vis-a-vis being anything more than a dopey New Age religion. We've told you over and over again why we oppose feminism, yet you refuse to listen to us and insist on indulging in paranoid fantasies that we're somehow "enraged," "afraid of strong women," etc. As if.

You're way off base re. why some MRAs are angry at feminists, and completely clueless re. feminist's own culpability in the pornography and other issues related to the "Gender War."

Sheesh, just when I thought you were getting a clue you go and make these kinds of asinine statements.


Bingo. Good post. I think there's also an element of this to the porn industry's focus on "college" girls. Yes, they're the 'right' age and all, but I think there's a class revenge element to the focus on college girls--putting those uppity women back in their place. To reiterate: yuck.


Thanks for the resources, Russell; DJW, thanks for the note about the "college girls" -- that's an excellent point, and I hadn't thought about it.

Mr. Bad, I had so hoped for your approbation, and am devastated that -- once again-- my commitment to justice for women and girls strikes you as "asinine." I know if I just keep trying, I'll win some MRA affection yet! ;-)


Aw, Hugo..You got MY affection. Don't I count? :-)
I really believe that you will get it someday! :-)


But Stanton, you're the one who keeps reminding the others that they actually *are* capable of having CIVILIZED discussions. ;-)


Of course you count, Stanton. My bad. Manly hugs (the kind where we thump three times on each other's backs) all 'round.


Y'know, much as I dislike Playboy (for the articles--not the pictures), I frankly have to disagree. They're struggling in a market where one doesn't need to buy a "respectable magazine" to have an excuse to look at porn anymore. Their target audience is and always has been the 18-30 crowd. Those men are less into submissive, trad-fem women than the generation before them.

As far as poses go, those are based more on the woman's attributes. If you know what to look for, it's easy to see how this picture is staged to make the model's breasts look bigger, and that one creates the illusion of longer legs.


I wish, mythago, I shared your confidence about the egalitarian sexualities of 18-30 year-old men! You have been fortunate to encounter far more of these sort of fellows than I have. In the research I've looked at, the hardest edged "gonzo" porn is immensely appealing to that same demographic. That doesn't mean that I don't think young men haven't made important changes -- they have -- but it's not as if degrading porn is primarily the province of their elders.

I've never bought -- and we can disagree about this -- that Playboy isn't "porn." The fact that the magazine uses an airbrushed approach and doesn't show as much as other magazines does not mean that it is any less interested in objectifying its models. As I've often remarked, I have oodles more respect for Larry Flynt than Hugh Hefner -- I'd rather deal with pornographers who are honest about their intentions, than those who market the dehumanization of women behind a veneer of sophisticated, acceptable good, clean fun.


In the research I've looked at, the hardest edged "gonzo" porn is immensely appealing to that same demographic.

In a faddish way, sure. Notice you don't hear much about bukakke these days. The young guys who are into "gonzo porn" want to be on the edge with the newest, coolest stuff, and then they move on. Because they don't find "gonzo porn" sexy or erotic; it's all about seeing a freak show. When they want to look at something sexy, they go buy FHM or they look at Suicide Girls.

Please note I didn't say "the egalitarian sexualities of 18-30 year old men," just that the 18-30 year old men of today are less freaked out by the idea than their dads would have been.

Amanda Marcotte

There's a lot to this--Feministe is suffering a massive troll problem now of guys who show up pretty much only to sexually fantasize about taking the bloggers down a notch. As you can imagine, they don't much like me.


Just curious.. Is everyone that disagrees with you a troll? Seems so on Pandagon and Feministe. Hugo.. please tell me you are a little more open to the questioning of your ideas and opinions.

Mr. Bad

Hugo, clearly you're not 'getting it.' I said your statement about MRAs that "Many of them (see the MRAs who troll here) are enraged at the modest success that the feminist movement has had in integrating women into business, politics, academia, and the traditional male trades." is asinine, and frankly, IMO it is. However, if you prefer 'paranoid' and/or 'delusional' be my guest. The reason that all of the above characterizations of your statement are valid is because you cling to beliefs that are not only demonstrably false, but also display a profound level of arrogance (e.g., being able to read our minds and determine that we're in fact lying when we tell you in our voices why we oppose feminism) and paranoia.

Trust me Hugo, I'm not at all bothered by your commitment to women, and in fact respect you for holding to your beliefs (no matter how demonstrably false and/or off-base they are); what I am bothered by is your continuing inaccurate and disingenuous characterization of us MRAs. That's the problem I have with the statement I quoted.


Here's the thing, Mr. Bad: for better or for worse, MRA websites are public. Hugo links to them periodically. If he's misrepresenting y'all, it's right there in zeros and ones for everyone to see. We can judge the accuracy of his claims for ourselves.


Here's the thing, Mr. Bad: for better or for worse, MRA websites are public. Hugo links to them periodically. If he's misrepresenting y'all, it's right there in zeros and ones for everyone to see. We can judge the accuracy of his claims for ourselves.

And of course the same is true with feminist sites. I can go read some rabid feminist site and determine that all feminists are man hating, hairy legged lesbians.

I'm sure none here really believe the latter. Why do you insist on believing that MRA's are all women hating "trolls" out to keep women in their place.

How absurd.

Mr. Bad

Then by all means djw, view away. However, I trust you will understand that we are just as diverse a group as you feminists claim to be. Either that, or Valerie Solanas, Robin Morgan, Andrea Dworkin, Lorena Bobbit, ginmar, Trish Wilson, Liz Kates, Asherah (are the last three one and the same?), et al., are truly the mainstream leaders, representative and voices of feminists after all and what most of you say about 'being moderate' is just a sham. As many of you - including Hugo - seem to be saying about us MRAs.

The double-standard that you and others apparently use to justify pointing to the most radical extremist MRAs and say that's the norm for us despite what we say, yet all the while denying the likes of Solanas, Morgan et al., are representative of feminism won't wash any more. Either we take each other at our word or not. Your call.


Mr. Bad: I see a huge level of vitriol on the Nice Guys forum and at Stand Your Ground, something I never see at Feministe or Pandagon. Perhaps there is another MRA site of which I am not aware, a site where the kind of crass incivility of Nice Guys and SYG is not characteristic? I

I delete an average of 8-10 MRA posts a day for profanity and ugliness, most very quickly. For the record, I also banned NYMOM. I just don't see the MRA forums that aren't filled with hostility and anger, but then again, spend most of my time browsing SYG and Nice Guys... surely there are better examples, and I look forward to you pointing them out.

On the other hand, this is thread drift, so send me a link and then let's get right back on to Playboy.


Oh, and who on earth EVER said Lorena Bobbitt was a mainstream feminist LEADER? Name one source for that claim, Mr. Bad! Talk about your straw men... sheesh!


Where are these moderate MRAs I hear so much about, then? I'm willing to believe that feminists will tend to link to the more extreme anti-feminist positions because they're easier to refute (and that the more moderate MRAs don't troll feminist forums), but honestly, what I've seen of the spectrum puts stuff like Stand Your Ground at the "moderate" end.

I've found plenty of feminist forums where male-bashing gets one censured or banned; where can one find people advocating for men without attacking women or feminists (or, for that matter, other men who don't fit the "masculine" stereotype)? I've looked for such forums; I even tried starting one, but I didn't really know where to advertise it and it's stagnated.

Q Grrl

Hugo: I'm not sure that I would call "assertive", "strong", or "career-oriented" feminist words. They are more likely words that men use towards women who veer off from traditional female gender roles. From my POV, Playboy is not doing anything new. Rather, they are using those words in conjunction with compromising poses of female bodies in what I perceive as a blatant attempt to reduce any meaning that those words have when coupled with women's actions and lives. IOW, men get to think "I'll show you assertive babee" all while fantasizing being fellated by said assertive woman.

Feminism is not about becoming culturally equal to the male status quo of hyper-masculinity. It is about all women, regardless of strengths or perceived competitivenes, being treated equally under social, judicial, and economic strictures/structures. I don't see that link that you are making between the words Playboy uses, feminism, and the blatant objectification of women's bodies.


Yes, yes, we're all free to go to feministe and pandagon and gawk in abject horror at the hairy legs.

Uzzah, is it just a coincidence you dragged out that time-honored adolescent slur in a thread about a magazine that promotes the myth that attractive women have no hair below the neck, except perhaps a 'landing strip'?


Oh, and who on earth EVER said Lorena Bobbitt was a mainstream feminist LEADER?

Hugo, he's not interested in intellectually honest discussions. It's all about praising MRAs and bashing feminists, and if that means pinging pulledoutofmyass.com, so what?

Like Jeff, I would welcome a moderate MRA forum. I don't go to 'feminist' boards where male-bashing is the order of the day, and I have no interest in their MRA equivalents.


Q, I agree that there is more to feminism than "strong" women. On the other hand, I'm not sure that Playboy's readers THINK there is more to feminism than strong, assertive, uppity women (whom the readers would, consciously or not, dearly love to "put in their place.") The tactic Playboy uses is to create, through the Playmate bios, a false image that will suggest feminism to the viewer.

Remember too that the whole point of the article was that Playboy's descriptions of the Playmates have radically changed in the past twenty years. If the descriptions were as they were in 1985 or 1975, it wouldn't be as interesting a point. But Playboy HAS begun to use the language of strength to refer to its Playmates, and I don't think that's unimportant.


oh--and I find it very hard to believe that Liz Kates is pretending to be Trish Wilson.

The Gonzman

I don't know what Pandagon you're reading, Hugo. I find hate filled anti-religious diatribes, accusations of repressed homosexuality, and all manner of vitriol there.

I think a great deal of it is that the pernicious incivility of a lot of left leaning people has become so pervasive, it's invisible - now that those on the right are getting their licks in, after so many years of William F. Buckley, it's suddenly a problem.

As far as playboy goes - I don't see it as much different that Cosmo or Glamour, or any of those rags, and the readers of all of them are reflections of each other. In fact, I hope they all get together, such shallow people deserve each other. Personally, I find most pornography to be a waste of time, scatalogical pornography to be destestable, but, in these cases my libertarian feelings say "Legislating against bad taste is the first step to tyranny." Consenting adults, no permanent physical harm... Well, long as they're riding to hell in their own handbasket, I really can't say as I give a sack of sour owl droppings. Stupid is supposed to hurt.

As for snuff, rape, or child porn - turn the perpetrators of that over to the victims and/or their loved ones. Some things demand Old Testament justice. Playboy, though, doesn't even come close. Hell, you don't even get beaver shots in Playboy.

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