American Culture

Why can’t you ladyfolk be nicer when explaining feminism to us? [trigger warning]

A personal perspective from the front lines of the war on women

Oh. I see. Share this if you get it.

Source: name withheld for safety

In the quote that follows, “I Blame the Patriarchy” blogger Twisty addresses a question I, like all feminists, have SO often been asked: “Don’t you think you could win more men to your cause if you were nicer?” And now, now, in my late forties, my answer is a firm “NO! NO I FUCKING DON’T.”

In my thirties, while I was also busy volunteering at and raising funds for battered women’s shelters (did you know the most requested item at a women’s shelter is hair dye, to make the women harder for their abusers to spot? If you ever run across a great sale price on hair dye, buy some extra and donate it to a women’s shelter, please – they always need it) and I was volunteering at the Women and Children’s Free Restaurant, and producing “The Feminist Papers” and “The Vagina Monologues” on my campus and marching in “Take Back the Night,” and taking the stage at “Speak out against rape” and being active in my campus Women’s Studies club and writing and editing the biweekly social justice newsletter for my church, and going to college with a near-perfect 3.9 grade point average, and raising a female child under the patriarchy, often as a single parent having to bring my daughter to classes with me as my military husband was frequently deployed during this period, I was also willing to take precious time to talk to men, both online and off, who demanded that I explain feminism to them, convince them – and it was required to be sweetly, nicely, patiently, with a smiling, pleasing feminine demeanor, and I complied, used up lots of time complying.

That was in my 30s. Now, in my 40’s, I am convinced that men who want me to explain feminism to them or “convince” them are just jerking my fucking chain, wasting my time. If they really wanted to know about the different schools of feminist thought, they could easily go online and educate themselves (there are so many fabulous feminist bloggers out there, start here), maybe find one of the many recommended reading lists that are online, such as this one, start from there. We women, we don’t have time to educate men. We don’t have time, period.

As Andrea Dworkin said in her speech, I Want a 24 Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape:

We don’t have much time, we women. We are very close to death, many of us. And we are very close to rape and we are very close to beating.

Every three minutes, a woman is raped. Every eighteen seconds, a woman is beaten. The number one cause of death to pregnant women is domestic partner violence (ponder that for a moment – how sick is that?). For men, the number one cause of death in the workplace is work-related accidents, while the number one cause of workplace death for women is when an abused woman tries to leave her abuser and he shows up at her workplace and kills her there. Studies find that men’s number one fear of women is that a woman will laugh at them, while women’s number one fear of men is that one will kill them.

A well-known male facilitator of equality in the workplace seminars always begins by asking his mix-gendered groups to please make a list of what they do in a typical day to stay safe and to write until the timer goes off. He reports that – always – the women immediately begin to scribble furiously, “park under a light,” “hold my keys in my hand so I can get into the car quickly,” and so on, and that they write right up until the timer goes off. The men, on the other hand, sit there looking bewildered. Next, the facilitator asks people to call out their items so he can list them on the board and the women call out many,  many items. Afterwards, the men report being shocked – they really don’t know women’s reality, what it is like to fear for your safety all of the time, to constantly be making a safety plan in your head.

And then there is pornography. There is rape on the sets of pornographic films (usually, believe it or not, female performers stipulate that they will not do anal, will even have that in their contract – then the male performer will force anal sex on her during filming, anally rape her in front of the entire (male) film crew and nobody steps in to stop it, and the director will just edit out the force part to make it look like she wanted it and loved it, happens all the time – check out the Pink Cross Foundation, which rescues women from pornography, for some shocking truths about the abuse of female performers in the pornography industry.

And there are men like my ex-husband who are addicted to brutal, degrading, woman-hating pornography – where women are “dirty whores” and “sluts” and “stupid cum-buckets” – and then they demand that the women in their lives act out their misogynistic pornography. And there is pimping and sex trafficking, so much sex trafficking these days.

Holland and Germany have legalized prostitution, did it about a decade ago, and all that has happened since is an explosion in the trapping / kidnapping / trafficking of Eastern European women, often by organized crime syndicates that can now run perfectly legal brothels. The human trafficking – let’s call it women trafficking because that’s what it really is – has gotten so bad in Holland and Germany as a result of their legalizing prostitution that both countries are now trying to undo legalization – politicians in both countries are calling it an experiment that has gone horribly wrong. And sporting events like the Super Bowl and the World Cup cause sharp increases in sex trafficking and pimping in the areas in which they take place, meaning that traveling male sports fans are seeking out prostitutes and the pimps are ready for them.

And there is the plight of the prostituted, usually molested as children, abused by pimps, usually substance addicted to help them deal with the horror, all too frequently beaten and robbed and forced to do unthinkable, painful, degrading, violent acts by johns (who will often show up with their fucking pornography and say, “this is what I want you to do”), and almost all of the prostituted are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder – for many years, I have been online friends with a blogger who is an exited prostitute in England and her trauma just covers her like a suffocating stack of wool blankets. She still struggles hard– emotionally – to survive. Music and old movies are her best bets at escape. Sometimes the pain is so bad that she says she can’t write and sometimes the pain is so bad that she says she must write. Here is her blog and I challenge you, don’t mind begging you, to go there and read some of it, to try to know the unknowable, the trauma and horror of the invisible prostituted class.

And there is the sale of child brides as young as eight who are raped on their “wedding night” by middle-aged men and then dying of internal injuries the following day, the widespread killing of female babies for the simple crime of having been born female (the number of “missing” female babies in the twentieth century is estimated to be higher than the number of men who died in both world wars combined – tell me now that there isn’t a war on women) and there is horrific female genital mutilation (Sometimes just the clitoris is removed, sometimes the labia too, using a razor blade, and always without anything for pain relief. Some girls bleed to death from it. Some get infections that kill them. In some traditions, a girl’s vagina is sewn shut when she enters puberty and then, on her wedding night, her groom just rips her apart. This often causes fistulas and also incontinence, which makes them smell bad which leads to their being shunned from the village. One heroic western doctor specializes in repairing these fistulas, which cures the incontinence and lets the women be accepted back into their villages. He is always raising money for this specialized practice of his and a small donation to him can change a woman’s life), and there is Sharia law where a woman who is raped is the one who is beaten / stoned, and women can’t drive in some countries and in some, for crimes like not wearing the veil or for daring to go to school or for leaving home without a male relative escort they can be stoned, killed, have acid thrown in their faces. And there are “honor killings” where a raped woman is believed to have brought dishonor on her family and so her own family kills her – we have even had it happen here in the U.S.

Also in the U.S., the anti-choicers, having resigned themselves to the fact that abortion remains legal, have instead found ways to make it simply unavailable by passing outrageously strict laws that in effect just cause abortion clinics to go out of business and history from the days before Roe v. Wade teaches us that a desperate enough woman will find a way to get an abortion, legal or not, and now we are facing a return to those days, when the number one cause of death for reproductive aged women used to be botched illegal abortions.

And then there is the pay gap and sexual harassment and cat-calling, that curious male behavior that has never ended in a successful pick-up but rather is an act of dominance, meant to remind women, make sure we never, ever forget it, that the streets belong to men. And there are the “bus gang rapes” in India, Mexico. There is mass rape as a tool of war- by the Pakistanis against the Indians in Kashmir, the infamous rape camps in Bosnia.

In case you don’t already realize it, women are in crisis. It is now. It is urgent! And that, that is why I can no longer afford to take the time to nicely, always the demand “nicely,” educate my brothers about my sisters’ life and death, here-right-now crises. And just so you know, yes, I have been raped, more than once, including by the one man who promised to love, honor, and cherish me until one of us drew our final breath. And I have been slapped, shoved, kicked, knocked to the ground, more than once, and by the one man who promised to love, honor, and cherish me until one of us drew our final breath. And I was introduced to substance abuse by that same man – my pusher – specifically so that he could act out his pornography on me while I was high, cover my head with plastic bags, tighten his belt or his big, strong hands around my neck, take me to private sex clubs, all after he started getting me high first. And so I carry trauma with me, my own and that of my sisters – I have post-traumatic stress disorder.

And since the winding down and then the end of my 27 year marriage, I have often struggled to find a reason not to take my own life, have three times been hospitalized for suicide watch, used to cut myself with razor blades because it actually felt good to give the overwhelming emotional and spiritual pain a physical spot of pain on which to rest, to focus. And in just a few weeks now, I will be 46, closer now to 50 than to 40. And I’m thinking about my mortality and how in my 30s, I had great optimistic hope that, with enough activism, women could get the boot of patriarchy off of our necks, and maybe in my lifetime.

But now I’m thinking I’m running out of time. Andrea Dworkin once famously demanded from a group of liberal men that they organize their side for “a truce, twenty-four hours without rape. I want to experience that freedom before I die” and like so many feminists, I have greatly mourned Dworkin’s untimely death (still do), and I am keenly aware that she died without ever seeing the freedom of that single day without rape that she called for, and I am looking at this upcoming birthday and thinking that I too am running out of time and it’s getting to the point where my hope is down to “maybe in my daughter’s lifetime.” So, no, I don’t have time anymore to try to bring men to feminism. And I don’t have the frame of mind to try to be “nicer” in seeking my brothers’ support. Hear this well: what I want, and what I demand, is nothing short of recognition of the full humanity of woman. It’s that basic, really.

Now, brothers, go, go and fucking educate yourselves, without my or any woman’s help – so many of my sisters and I are busy trying to recover from our own traumas or we are helping each other do so. This is not work that we can or should do for you – do it yourself. Go, go and make the cause of your sisters your cause, all day, every day, not for one second letting your male privilege allow you to forget because for us women, there is never a second to forget. Go, go and firmly police your own for a change – challenge your brothers’ misogyny and sexism, every time. Go, go and fucking take to the streets in your own groups and organize letter-writing campaigns and boycotts and say loudly and clearly that the pimps and the pornographers and the rape and abuse apologists and the advertisers don’t speak for you if that is indeed your truth (because news flash – they believe that men are just support systems for erect penises while it is feminists who are actually your friends and your cheerleaders, who have never given up hope on your humanity, even though our faith has been consistently rewarded with systemic abuse). And, no, no, I’m not asking nicely. I am way past that.

So that’s me on the subject. And here is Twisty:

One of my long-standing beefs is with dudes who love to lecture me that I will never win them over to the feminist cause as long as I keep copping a tude. My response is twofold. 1) fuck you dude, and 2) the moral indefensibility of sexism exists independently of my or anybody else’s demeanor; oppression isn’t any less wrong if the oppressed aren’t ass-kissers. And besides, winning dudes over has never been, to my mind, the objective of feminism. Appeasement will never liberate women from patriarchal oppression. What’s that old bumper sticker? “Well-behaved women seldom make history?”


Image credit: Fibonacci Blue @ Licensed under Creative Commons.

36 replies »

  1. “Go, go and firmly police your own for a change – challenge your brothers’ misogyny and sexism, every time.” Am I my brother’s keeper?

    • If you’re making a biblical allusion, I can only assume that you know the answer to that is affirmative. See that verse’s fulfillment in Matthew 25:31-46. Oh, and you might also recall that the cheeky bastard who used that line was, according to that story, the world’s first murderer. Is that *really* how you mean to present yourself?

      Did you *really* just troll a woman victim with that, you completely un-self aware dripping sac of male privilege asshattery? Consider yourself called out. Every. Time.

    • Yes, you are. You also just bounced here from Crooks and Liars, where you said the EXACT SAME THING.

      You’re not an ally. You’re just a trolling little shit.

    • Yes you are and as Frank said so thoroughly you are a “completely un-self aware dripping sac of male privilege asshattery” or as redheadedfemme said “You’re just a trolling little shit” – me I just say you are a sad excuse for a human being.

    • “The Issue”, Speech delivered at Girard, Kansas (23 May 1908)

      Now my friends, I am opposed to the system of society in which we live today, not because I lack the natural equipment to do for myself, but because I am not satisfied to make myself comfortable knowing that there are thousands of my fellow men who suffer for the barest necessities of life. We were taught under the old ethic that man’s business on this earth was to look out for himself. That was the ethic of the jungle; the ethic of the wild beast. Take care of yourself, no matter what may become of your fellow man. Thousands of years ago the question was asked: “Am I my brother’s keeper?” That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society.
      Yes, I am my brother’s keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality, but by the higher duty I owe to myself. What would you think of me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death? – Eugene V. Debs

    • Ryan, I am the author of this article. Yes, we definitely DO need you to be your brother’s keeper. Women, you see, lack the status to get the message across to men. We very much need like-minded brothers to step up and say to their own, “Hey, dude, this is unacceptable.”

    • Ryan if you are a Christian Talibanista then the answer is yes, you are your brothers keeper as per your cult handbook.
      If you are not the answer is still the same as you were told over and over again on the other sites you posted your passive aggressive misogyny.

  2. I’m a male, and I’m perplexed by this. I know all the bad things men do, but I simply cannot understand why. I don’t know what the motivation is, nor how the acts can be justified, to themselves or to others. I suspect some of it is genetic, and some is cultural, but I must have missed out of both influences somehow, and I do not understand how any man can be so abusive to any woman, or child. But I know they do it, all the time, and my lack of understanding continues. I just don’t get it. And I’ve never had a man try to explain it to me, probably because none of them are willing to admit they do any of it. And I’m not sure I even want to understand why, because of the tiny chance that would lessen my abhorrence. In any case, I pretty much agree with the author that being nice wouldn’t help. It doesn’t explain anything. You have to get the attention of men, and that often takes being hit upside the head with a 2×4. So go out and find a big, long 2×4 and use it. Figuratively speaking, of course.

    • Wonderful comment, John, although I dont quite agree. I once read a book that said “at some level all men understand rape.” And I think that’s true. I know have misogynist impulses, although they certainly dont include violence and are more related to unconcious stereotyping than anything else.

  3. I think the main idea behind being nice when explaining feminism is that you shouldn’t automatically stereotype men as “the enemy”. You should treat individuals as individuals and not discriminate based on their sex, yes? That is what you are fighting for. It is hypocritical for feminists to denounce the social norms that objectify and stereotype women while doing the exact same thing to men. There are undeniably many men who do horrible things to women. Yet to approach every man with the attitude that he is not an individual but just another stereotyped and identical unit of misogyny perpetuates the exact same type of prejudice that feminism seeks to destroy. It hurts the movement toward equal rights for all by obscuring the debate and turning it into the simplified tribalism of men versus women which feminism wishes to eradicate.

      • She generalizes men into absolute dichotomies. Either men already agree with everything she is saying or they aren’t worth the time it takes to have a rational discussion (or, gasp, a debate). And as justification for this she spends an inordinate amount of time detailing everything offenses of men in general.

        • Will, you’re simply not reading and thinking very effectively. If you can’t contemplate collective tendencies without assuming that everyone in that collective is the same, then you’re going to find it difficult to engage in intelligent conversations with bright people. You’re having that problem now, for instance – instead of contributing to a discussion of these critical social issues that afflict women in pretty much every culture on Earth, we’re talking about your insistence on being offended when no one – not the writer, not me, not you, nobody – thinks you’re guilty.

          You need to focus on helping advance the discussion of the issues in the post.

      • The term “mansplain” itself is sexist. It implies that men’s point of view is invalid because they are “the oppressor”. How about treating people as people instead of as stereotypes?

        • Perhaps you really ought to spend more time educating yourself. The author of the post kindly included links to excellent resources. That you find the notion of mansplaining itself to be sexist is a striking example of what I suppose is your unintentional misogyny.

          Since I’m a dude, let me explain it to you in dude terms, brodude. When a dude who knows nothing about auto mechanics tells their mechanic they’re doing it wrong, that dude is a jackass. When a dude who knows nothing about carpentry tells the contractor, “hey, you should be doing it like this,” that dude is a jackass.

          This is like that, but different.

          When a man, who, by definition cannot possibly fucking fully grok what it is like to be a woman (can of worms opened! have at me everyone with gender-identity axes…I know what I did there and it’s an invitation for you to assist in the mass education effort) tells a woman who’s lived experience is much as described in the author’s post, “you’re doing feminism wrong,” that man is worse than a jackass.

          That mandudeboybro just exercised male privilege, part of that whole patriarchal/kyriarchal nightmare women live under from the moment of their first breath and endure until their last, to exercise their male authority over woman, but instructing said woman based on dudebro’s obviously and inherently superior approach to all things gender (and all things in general) that getting uppity will only make it hurt worse. Seriously, you might as well suggest she just lay back and relax because it will be over quicker.

          THAT is what you sound like to anybody that has bothered to educate themselves. If you don’t like their perception of you, the problem is isn’t with the perceiver. If you don’t want people to think you’re a klansman, don’t go shopping with a pillowcase on your head. If you don’t want people to think you’re a sports fan, leave the jersey at home. If you don’t want people to think you’re a gender-illiterate halfwit, have some STFU and read.

        • I’m going to sheepdog a bit here. At one level, comments by male visitors here who don’t quite grasp how their perspectives prove the author’s point are relevant, in an ironic meta kind of way. And I don’t want to stifle that. On the other hand, we don’t want the thread to become ABOUT these individuals.

          Let’s keep it on the right side of the line as best we can, even though it can be a fine line.

    • Dear Will,

      Please reread this line:

      “Go, go and fucking take to the streets in your own groups and organize letter-writing campaigns and boycotts and say loudly and clearly that the pimps and the pornographers and the rape and abuse apologists and the advertisers don’t speak for you if that is indeed your truth.”

      In that line, I am CLEARLY assuming that not all men fit a stereotype. I am CLEARLY assuming in that line that there ARE men for whom the pimps and the pornographers and the rape and abuse apologists and the advertisers DO NOT speak, calling on them directly. I think perhaps you missed that.

      • This is your post? Why assume that there are only two categories of men (pro-feminists and anti-feminists)? Might there not be many different categories of thought among men? Maybe you should consider that. The world is not either with you or against you.

        • Will, how about getting over yourself and considering something. Since you can’t process the need for abstraction in discussing broad social dynamics, ask yourself how long you think this post – or ANY post – would have to be in order to address all the kinds of individuals who might be implicated.

          The comment policy here at S&R isn’t like what you find most places. We require that people advance the discussion of the issues in the post. You are not. You’re distracting everyone with irrelevancies – notice how nobody else is wrestling with the problem you’re having?

          If you have something to contribute that furthers the discussion, we’d like to hear it. We will not, however, be approving any more comments down this blind alley.

  4. Will, your comment is filed in the “special snowflake” catagory. Get over yourself. If you are not a raping, beating, sexist asshole your own pride in your excellent behavior should be enough to carry you through your day. We do not have to preface every statement with “except you and all the other good guys”. If you don’t want to support bitchy, unfair women at least stop wasting our time. Being personally good, personally not raping, has not done us all that much good over the years. We can live without knowing your opinion of us.

    • I’m not saying that the fact that men who don’t do those things are proof that feminism is wrong. I’m against dismissing men who wish to talk about feminism just because they don’t already agree with you.

  5. I encourage anyone reading this article to research Shelley Lubben and The Pink Cross Foundation before using them as a primary source for anything. I’m not saying porn isn’t a soul-destroying and awful business, but Lubben has a long history of lying and scamming others which a simple Google search should shed some light on.

    • Faffle, I am well aware of the controversy surrounding Shelley Lubben and The Pink Cross Foundation. I have, however, SEEN actual collected video of the edited out parts of pornographic films in which women are anally raped. Think of her what you will, but Lubben isn’t making this shit up. I know that the multi-billion dollar porn industry aggressively, relentlessly attacks its critics. It has done it to Christian evangelical Lubben but also to far-left radical feminist porn-critic Gail Gines (I have been to one of Gail’s conferences, have met her, and have read her books – she is actually my speed a bit more than Lubben is, but both have been viciously attacked by the porn industry).

      On Dines:
      “The backlash against Dines and her work is well-documented. Various pro-porn activists post accusations about her on websites, suggesting she is motivated by money, hates sex, and victimises women to support her supposed anti-male ideology.”

      Sound familiar?

      If you don’t like the link to Lubben, here are a few more links to get you started:

      This one is ex-porn stars talking about their experiences in the industry (MUST READ):

      This is Jenna Jameson on “Twenty-Five Reasons you Don’t Want to be a Porn Star:

      Here are the results of a simple Google search on “Max Hardcore rape:”

      Here is Linda Lovelace’s Wikipedia page, where she is quoted as saying she was routinely abused by her manager / husband and that a gun was fixed on her during the shooting of “Deepthroat:”

      And here is radical feminist Gail Dines’ Wikipedia page – and again, Gail has been attacked by the pornographers just like Shelley Lubben has:

      Here is Dines’ organization, Stop Porn Culture:

      And here is Gail Dines’ excellent book “Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked our Sexuality:

      And Robert Jensen’s “Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity:”


      More on pornography. I apologize in advance for how graphic this is, but because the one source I cited in my article has been challenged, I am feeling the need to provide more. A couple of these quotes HAVE come to the sources cited via Shelley Lubben’s blog, but these are the performers’ own words. I don’t believe Lubben has somehow gotten all of these women to lie.


      “I’m just tired of the industry. The way that they treat us as though we’re just pieces of meat. That we don’t have a mind and our body is everybody’s and we have no soul… [In the porn industry] Guys [are] punching you in the face. You have semen… Twenty or thirty guys all over your face, in your eyes. You get ripped. Your insides can come out of you. It’s never ending. You’re viewed as an object not as a human with a spirit. People don’t care. People do drugs because they can’t deal with the way they’re being treated… You are a number. You’re bruised. You have black eyes. You’re ripped. You’re torn. You have your insides coming out of you. It’s not pretty and foofoo on set. You get hurt… You have to numb yourself to go on set. The more you work, the more you have to numb yourself. The more you become addicted, the more your personal life is nothing but drugs… Your whole life becomes nothing but porn… We’re ripped, we’re tired, we’re sored, we’re bleeding, we’re cut up, we have dried semen all over our faces from numerous guys and we can’t wash it off because they want to take pictures. You have this stuff all over you and they’re telling you, ‘Hold it!’… It’s all about the money. They’ve forgotten who they are and they don’t care who they’re hurting.”
      — Jersey Jaxin, former porn performer, interviewed by shelley Lubben, August 12, 2007;
      sources: and [accessed 09/15/07]

      more from Jersey Jaxin, via (including support for my claim that male performers don’t stop when the women ask them to)

      I’m a former XXX actress and was called “one of the smallest, youngest and cutest porn stars in the business. I’m 4’11, really short and weigh in the 90’s. I’ve starred mostly in “teen” porn, which means fans liked me because I looked “barely legal”. I left porn in September, 2007.

      My life can be summed up in one word: ABUSE!

      The porn industry was a shock. My first two scenes I didn’t know what to do. I just stabilized and went along with what everyone else was doing. After that, I was like, throw me in I’m ready to go.

      Tanya did 20 scenes in her first month.

      My scenes involved extreme videos with very hard sex acts with several performers at the same time.

      I’m just tired of the industry. The way they treat you as though we are just a piece of meat. That we don’t have a mind and our body is everybody’s and we have no soul. Guys punching you in the face. You have semen from many guys all over your face, in your eyes. You get ripped. Your insides can come out of you. It’s never ending. You’re viewed as an object and not as a human with a spirit. People don’t care. People do drugs because they can’t deal with the way they are being treated.

      Seventy five percent and rising are using drugs. Have to numb themselves. There are specific doctors in this industry that if you go in for a common cold they’ll give you Vicodin, Viagra, anything you want because all they care about is the money. You are a number. You’re bruised. You have black eyes. You’re ripped. You’re torn. You have your insides coming out. It’s not pretty and foofoo on set. You get hurt.

      The main thing going around now is crystal meth, cocaine and heroin. You have to numb yourself to go on set. The more you work, the more you have to numb yourself. The more you become addicted, the more your personal life is nothing but drugs. Your whole life becomes nothing but porn.

      I was a drinker. I drank a lot. Vodka was my drug. Vodka was my numbing toy. Before sets, after sets, and if it was a set where people didn’t care, they’d have it there waiting.

      You may see a 45-minute set that took us 13 hours. We’re ripped, we’re tired, we’re sore, we’re bleeding, we’re cut up, we have dried semen all over our faces from numerous guys and we can’t wash it off because they want to take pictures. You have this stuff all over you and they’re telling you, “Hold it.” It is never straight flowing sex.

      Four words girls can say are: Stop, Halt, Pain and Don’t. You can say anything you want and they don’t’ listen. There’s the ultimate thing where you squeeze their leg to ease up and most of them don’t care. They have another scene to go to. It’s all about the money. They’ve forgotten who they are and they don’t care who they are hurting.

      I’m on the road right now heading to a different life. I’m going to try to make it as a normal person because I’m done. You have no soul in the porn industry.

      more survivor stories:

      more quotes, via

      “I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley — the heart and soul of the porn industry. I have met my fair share of girls working in the business — I was almost sucked into it myself… I have yet to meet a porn girl who was not abused as a child, raped, or a druggie and/or alcoholic. I have also never met a girl who did not consider suicide at one point or another. Most of the girls I met suffered from depression or bi polar disorder. And out of all the girls I have met in porn — only one is still in the business — most have had a nervous break down at some point and left the industry. The one I know that is still in the business… doesn’t do it because she likes the sex, but rather she is addicted to money. ”
      — “Avaria”, who posted this on Shelley Lubben’s blog (Source: http://
      &friendID=42789016&blogID=182634881&MyToken=976f5742-2989-4e4c-a62b-2e3b52ef9f0a) on Saturday, February 17, 2007 at 2:18 PM; [Accessed on 06/12/2007].

      “…A detective in NYC [New York City] cited a case to me of a pornography ring in Manhattan that enticed young models to an office supposedly for a job interview. Once there the young women were attacked, subdued by beating or drugs and then photographed in hideous pornographic poses, tied, tortured, bound to trees in sexual union with animals, several men and on and on. When they came to or were released, it was with the warning that if they contacted the police all the Polaroid shots of them would be sent to their parents, places of business, schools and so forth… The police officer told me it wasn’t until scores of women were so victimized in this manner that one finally took it to the authorities. This group had been doing millions of dollars worth of business…”
      — Letter (excerpt) submitted by Valerie Harper, star of the TV show “Rhoda”, and read (at the public hearings) to the Minneapolis City Council in 1983 (In Harm’s Way: The Pornography Civil Rights Hearings; 1997).

      “I have seen it totally destroy too many lives, especially the girls’. It’s a lot harder on young ladies. I have seen a lot of producers and directors and photographers, just to get out a product that they have in mind, either badger or almost force the girls into doing things that they would really rather not do. I myself have been on a couple of sets where the young ladies have been forced to do even anal sex scenes with a guy which [sic] is rather large and I have seen them crying in pain and [it] just totally destroys their personality when they are forced to do things like that.”
      — Male pornography performer, who testified at the Los Angeles Hearings of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography, October 16-17,1985 (Source: Final Report of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography; 1986).

      “[UK] Channel 4’s documentary “Hardcore”, shown two years ago, told the story of Felicity, a single mother from Essex who travelled to Los Angeles hoping to make a career in pornography. Arriving excited, and clear about what she would not do — anal sex, double-vaginal penetration — she ended up being coerced into playing a submissive role and agreeing to anal sex. Felicity — the vicissitudes of whose own troubled relationship with her father were mirrored by the cruelty of the men with whom she ended up working — eventually escaped back to the UK. ”
      — Edward Marriott, “Men and Porn”, The Guardian; November 8, 2003.

      “Coercion comes in, especially like some of these witnesses have testified, in the area of anal sex, which many of the [pornography] models don’t want to get into. […] I have talked to models and I have seen films where it’s so quite obvious that the model had no idea as to what they were getting into. […] Obviously… they can’t act the pain. Therefore the pain is very real. It’s quite apparent these people do not realize what they have gotten into once they start the filming.”
      — Testimony of William Roberts, at the Los Angeles Hearings of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography, October 16-17,1985 (Source: Final Report of the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography; 1986).

      “[W]hen the director finally got the pair to settle down to the business at hand — filming a sex scene — the tone changed. Without any prompting, Vidal [the male performer] got rough during the sex, slapping Michelle’s face violently from side to side, and choking her… Michelle had gotten her start in the [porn] business at 18, when she came to Los Angeles from her home in Utah to look for work as a nude photograph model. When she failed to get modeling work, her agent encouraged her to try porn. She refused at first. “I always hated porn. I thought it was the most disgusting thing in the world,” she told Primetime, which followed her career for more than two years… But she finally agreed. Taking the name Belladonna, like the poisonous flower, she found herself preparing for what she thought would be a simple boy-girl sex scene. She was shocked when the director told her he wanted her to do anal sex — something she says she had never even thought about before. Worried she’d have to go through with it if she wanted to work again, she let him talk her into it. “I was kind of scared. I didn’t know if I could say no,” she remembers. “I didn’t know any better, you know?”… After the session, she was shattered. “I wasn’t ready for anal sex … It was painful. But I can hide it really well.”… Michelle went on more shoots over the next few months. Then her agent sent her on a job where she would have sex with male actors in prison outfits — 12 of them. Once again, she tried to back out, telling the director it was “sick,” but once again she was talked into it. She had sex — all kinds — with the 12 men. “It was really hard because I really felt like a piece of meat … in a lion’s cage, 12 lions … I had to do a lot of things I can’t imagine anyone wanting to do.”… Afterward, she says, she couldn’t stop crying…”
      — ABC News Primetime, “Love on a Porn Set: One Woman’s Story [Belladonna]: A Mormon Girl Gets Her Start in the Adult Movie Business”, May 27, 2004; source: and [accessed 09/15/07]

      “[Lara] Roxx says she was firm: she would not have any unconventional intercourse, and absolutely no scenes without a condom. But, she says, her agent pushed her to do more. […] On the set, she was told she would not be participating in the kind of regular sex scene she expected — it would be anal sex with two men at the same time. Darren James was one of them… “I freaked out. My heart started beating really fast and I was like, well, uh — I don’t know,” she said. “And he’s like, well, it’s either that or we don’t need you.”… And, Roxx says, she had to pay back the $1,100 plane ticket to Los Angeles. The scene with the two men would pay her $1,300… So she went through with it — but it was not easy, she said. She found herself mentally breaking out of her body and going to a corner of the room “where there’s no Mark, there’s no Darren, there’s no camera. And I would look there and think about the sand, the beach.”
      — Lara Roxx, ex-porn performer, quoted in “Professional Dangers”, ABC News; May 27, 2004.

      The porn performer Amanda McGuire told this story about [pornographer Max Hardcore] in Icon magazine: ‘He has made girls cry and lots of girls puke — that’s not unusual. I was there once when he throat-fucked a girl so hard she puked and started bawling.’”
      — Jackson Katz, quoting Amanda McGuire, in The Macho Paradox (2006).

      “Porn performer Regan Starr, in an interview with Talk magazine in February 2001, described her experience while filming “Rough Sex 2″ in horrific terms. She said that, while sex acts were performed on her, she was hit and choked until she couldn’t breathe. Other “actresses,” she said, wept because they were hurting so badly. In the same article, a sex-film star notes how threatening the work is to performers’ health. “Nearly everyone has STDs [sexually transmitted diseases],” said Chloe. “If you’re a porno performer,” she continued, “your latest HIV test is your work permit. … The tests we take test only for AIDS. We’ve contained AIDS in the industry, but what about all the others? You know we’re now up to hepatitis G?”
      — Source:

      “I got the shit kicked out of me. I was told before the video — and they said this very proudly, mind you — that in this line most of the girls start crying because they’re hurting so bad… I couldn’t breathe. I was being hit and choked. I was really upset, and they didn’t stop. They kept filming. You can hear me say, ‘Turn the fucking camera off,’ and they kept going.”
      — Regan Starr, porn performer, on the filming of “Rough Sex 2”, quoted in Martin Amis’ “A Rough Trade”, The Guardian, March 17, 2001.

      “You have to really prepare physically and mentally for it. I mean, I go through a process from the night before. I stop eating at 5p.m. I do, you know, like two enemas. The next morning I don’t eat anything. It’s so draining on your body.”
      — Belladonna, porn performer, interviewed on ABC News Primetime Live [Belladonna was criticized by people in the porn industry for this interview], “Young women, porn and Profits”, January 23, 2003; quoted in Robert Jensen, Getting Off (2007).

      “People in this industry know the hush money they pay talent to shut the fuck up. I know quite a few girls that they’ve taken advantage of and felt the need to give them extra money after the fact. I’ve talked to producers, directors, and talent – the only people saying positive stuff about them are the ones making money off them.”
      — Director Ricky D., comment posted on Luke Ford’s blog on January 10, 2008 [after 5 days, the thread was removed from the site]; reported on PRE Traffick Jamming blog at

      And then video of women in pain during filming. It IS Shelley Lubben testifying but she definitely didn’t fake the video (GRAPHIC):

      And finally, from Salon, a description of what the monstrous Max Hardcore does:

      “Max Hardcore, who releases nearly two dozen videos every year, is a somewhat out-of-shape, balding middle-age man, with baby-blue eyes and a twangy, Midwestern accent. His trademark is the cowboy hat he wears in every scene. He wears the hat even after his clothes come off. Max refers to his female co-stars as “victims.” He dresses them in schoolgirl skirts, ankle socks, pink ribbons and pigtails. They skip into their scenes like little girls. Max pursues them, abducts them, tortures them and more or less rapes them.

      Rape is an inflammatory word, especially with respect to the adult industry. Actual depiction of rape may result in an obscenity trial and a prison term for the videomaker. Pornographers such as Max get around the rape issue by ensuring that at some point the female starlet verbally consents to whatever is going on. A typical Max Hardcore scene looks like a rape. A girl is pursued and captured. She cringes and cowers; Max yanks her by the pigtails and slaps her around. But it is not rape, because she tells us it isn’t. Images battle with words. Turn the sound down, and it is a rape.

      All Max Hardcore lovemaking scenes present images that occur again and again. These are rituals of degradation. Max orally copulates with his co-stars until they gag (performers often vomit during the making of his films, a bit of cinima viriti that is cut from the final product). He calls his form of oral sex “choke-fucking.” His camera lavishes the viewer with extended close-ups of teary-eyed girls drooling over his penis. In most of Max’s videos, vaginas are probed with a camera mounted on a speculum, the medical instrument used by gynecologists to spread vaginal walls open for examination. Anal intercourse is always the finale of a Max Hardcore scene. This often begins with a ritual in which Max turns the woman over and draws a mouth on her anus with a lipstick. Max is famous for concluding his scenes with a set-piece where he inserts a Sharpie pen in the performer’s rectum and has her write “I am a little fuck hole” on a sheet of paper.

      Initially, I reviewed Max’s videos because he was so popular. He has sold hundreds of thousands of videos in the past decade. He is popular in Europe and South America; French film crews often encamp at his L.A. home, which he calls the “Chateaux Max,” and feature him in documentaries on French television. Whenever I was with him in public, Max was continuously accosted by fans.”

      That is the last I will post on the matter and, again, my apologies for the graphic nature, but I think I have now made my point.