Monday, July 28, 2008

:facepalm: Okay. What's Wrong With This Picture?

-siiiiiiiiiiigh-

Renegade was addressing this post by Nine Deuce, and at first I was--lazily, I admit it--just sort of responding off of RE's response, briefly, because honestly, I just didn't want to get into it, and I didn't want to go over there and really engage. Mostly because I can hear the faint melancholy tinkle of "It's a Small World" playing in the back of my head again, and I--no. I mean--no. I'm obsessive compulsive, God knows, but even I have my limits for this particular argument, particularly--no, can't even be arsed to get into it that far. Okay, fine, porn is the root of all evil, people or at least men are like Pavlov's dogs and can be conditioned by orgasm, the idea that a career in sex work could ever be anything but dangerous and disgusting is merely an illusion and the people who are in such careers and argue otherwise are merely kidding themselves--you know what, I'm not one of those people, I'll stick up for my friends, but otherwise...what the fuck ever, I'm really tired. Whatevs.

But I did eventually click over because I -had- replied even tangentially to Ren's post there, and thought it'd be rum not to at least read the whole thing before commenting.

Unfortunately, I got stopped by this illustration. Which, I take it isn't of ND's drawing, but seems to have met with great approval from at least two other people who've since blogged it at their own spots. Um. Uh.

Okay. Not to be leading or anything, I'm just gonna go ahead and repost it and ask:

Why, exactly, might someone find this offensive? Even someone who -isn't- an Empowerful Stripper or Sparkly Fun Sexy Feminist? Three guesses, and the first two don't count, 'k?



I'll be over here.

ETA: right, okay, clearly I was wrong, Heart and Nine Deuce and witchy-woo have determined that the cartoon is not repeat NOT racist, (or sexist either, of course: we're not laughing AT the clueless blonde in the bikini, NO) and therefore it must not be. And obviously any cartoon by this cartoonist is probably okay, I mean: like, there's no racism here either, right?



ETA again
: thanks, Sarah, for explaining -why- the former is erm -problematic- more coherently than I can at this point. I mean, obviously you are another one of those woman-hating meenie meenertons who Just Have It In For um whichever beleaguered personality it is this week and don't really mean what you're saying EITHER, because who would really; but, thanks for the effort: we who are about to crush the True Revolution salute you. Oh, and Ren, too, of course. And Bint, yes indeed.


ETA again, again: Yes, I am aware that the second cartoon is likely anti-W and anti-war. No, it wasn't actually -immediately- obvious to me on first seeing it, for a number of reasons, (for one, having seen a few too many unironic right wing odes to Dubya a la "My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys" back in the day, and just a shitload of really rank xenophobia) although I figured it out after a few more clicks. No, I don't think that the fact that it's not actually intended to be far-right propaganda means that it isn't using problematic, racially loaded imagery.

The artist in question--who's worked for both right wing and left wing media outlets and whose motto would appear to be that she is, in her words, "an equal opportunity skewer" (how...edgy) has a number of similarly erm ambiguous cartoons wherein mostly I think, as with the first one here: I really don't know -what- the fuck the point was here, exactly; I can -guess- what it's -supposed- to be saying more or less, but, ummmmm, it's not actually funny, see.

And, you know, I COULD go on explaining how actually, it doesn't -matter- that the audience in the first one may not have been -intended- to be -all- of color; it's -still drawing on loaded imagery and pushes reactionary buttons-, or the etiology of the "dumb blonde," but, well, mostly, at this point, I just want to know, from Certain Factions:

So, finally, is irony an all-purpose ass-cover, or isn't it?

Because, see, many of the people now going,

"Racism? What racism? I can't see any racism! The author didn't INTEND any racism (I know this to be true, I have osmosis)! Ergo, it isn't racist! Your perception of any racism therein, therefore, is INVALID. And it certainly isn't sexist! Just because it's drawing on sexist imagery to make its point doesn't make it sexist! It's, why, it's, it's...IRONIC."

i.e., the ones who thought this thing was a BRILLIANT illustration of something or other in the first place?

are the very same people who would -appear- to be insisting that when it comes to stripping, sex work, porn, burlesque, femme accoutrements, you know, pretty much anything that's OF the Patriarchy, BY the Patriarchy...no irony, no subversion, no nuance is possible. The POINT is, MEN will always see it a certain way; and that's all that matters. O.K.

Indeed, no authorial intent (what, you're saying the stripper can be an "author?" Get out!) matters. Some things cannot be reclaimed; cannot be "ironic;" queer burlesque is just more man pleasing by any other name; there IS no such thing as "feminist porn," high heels have one meaning, and one meaning only, one size fits all thanks, and so on, and so on, and so on. So sorry; whatever it is you're trying to accomplish, there--have a little orgasm, make art, trivial shit like that--you're going to have to just rip it all up and start from scratch.

But so now we learn that apparently when it comes to making fun of the people you want to make fun of? Employing stuff that, if it ISN'T the same ol' offensive reactionary racist-sexist-etc. shit, sure plays it on TV? Why, THAT'S just FINE. Of COURSE no one's going to interpret either of those cartoons as a straightforward celebration of sexual harassment or shoot-the-Indian! Don't be so stupid! C'mon! Where's your sense of humor? You're imagining things! Yer just so SENSITIVE...

And, finally, this? Sums it up.

194 comments:

Kristin said...

This is a disgusting and blatantly racist cartoon. What the fuck? Did they get it out of Klan archives or something? FFS, note the Evil Leering Men of Color who populate the audience. Note, also, the racist, stereotyped, exaggerated facial features of the brown men who comprise the audience. I mean, HOW THE FUCK did they fail to noticed this?

Nice how Heart also posted the photo. Heart who could NEVER, NO NEVER do anything racist since she has interracial kids and all--that gives her anti-racist creds right there. Just... Seriously, Heart, could you and your Fake Anti-Racism just FUCK OFF?

Kristin said...

oops, meant cartoon, not photo. This really just boggles... It's reminiscent, in fact, of another White Feminist Blogger who recently published a book with cartoons of Evil Leering Men of Color in the Jungle...

Kristin said...

Also, as with the Infamous Jungle Cartoons, we have here a White Woman who is being leered at, objectified, and exploited by said Evil MOC. I mean, seriously...

Question to Nine Deuce, Witchy and Heart: Were y'all being blatantly racist, or are you really just that fucking clueless about racism? Inquiring minds want to know, though, of course... Frankly, I'm not sure which is worse.

I mean, jesus, were you all just SO HAPPY to see an anti-stripping cartoon that you COMPLETELY overlooked the GLARING racist depictions therein? 'Cause, okay, look...

Did any of this occur to anyone who gleefully posted or linked to this cartoon??? If not, I'd suggest that your priorities are mightily fucked up. 'Cause if your obsession with "raunch culture" or wtf-ever made you miss the hate in this piece of hate propaganda, then... I mean, there really can't be any discussion from there.

belledame222 said...

I mean, I -guess- it's possible that at least some of them were intended to be white, but...at minimum, one could take a look at how that comes off, what with Blonde (of course Blonde) And Lighter Shade Of Pink Skinned woman there, and people who're at least colored in considerably darker (and definitely at least some of them are of color) all leering and looking predatory and bestial is...yeah, *loaded,* hi.

I mean, since we're apparently so concerned about The Power Of Media, and all...

oh yeah and of course she's totally deluding herself, the poor dumb dear...

Who drew this thing, anyway? And for what publication, and how did they find this?

Kristin said...

The artist is Elena Steier and she appears to have a number of racist and otherwise problematic cartoons at her site:

http://striporama.com/
allrequest/allrequest.html

I haven't looked through the whole thing yet, but "The Block" series is also pretty telling.

belledame222 said...

um, okay, this would appear to be the author's website. "The Strip-O-Rama." Not sure exactly what her deal is, yet...

http://striporama.com/

This strip is--well, I dunno.

http://striporama.com/Block/marching.html

If she's black herself, which one might expect if someone's doing an entire strip about a black family, it's...yeah, still not at all sure what to make of the cartoon here, in that instance. The stripper is clearly white, here; I don't even know what else to say, except: really don't like the cartoon, whatever the authorial intention or context.

Kristin said...

The Block cartoons can be found here:

http://striporama.com/
Block/marching.html

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin said...

Oh, look, she's white:

http://www.reuben.org/ncs/
members/biogs/steier.asp

Yeah, this is really not on.

belledame222 said...

I see; and there's a Carl Shelton who's a co-author for that strip, "a guy who knows the block well."

Mkay, so at least as far as this cartoon goes, back to square one.

Just guessing: has she ever stripped before, either? I mean I'm assuming "strip-o-rama" is a cute moniker coz comic strip.

Kristin said...

I can't find anything about Carl Shelton.

Also, yeah, I guessed "striporama" had to do with comic strips...

belledame222 said...

And now I'm wondering how ND found this, if it was published somewhere "feminist" before (date is 2004) or just happens to read Steier and it's in the archives somewhere, or...

I could go over and ask, I suppose. I could also do a lot of other things, too.

sigh.

Kristin said...

I could too... I'm actually getting through moderation there. I guess she hasn't read this thread yet... :)

Vanessa said...

Belle, I totally feel the "do not engage" exhaustion, especially over racism from these quarters (and, incidentally, from the dkos-style fauxgressives as well).

I mean, it's kind of like pissing into the wind. For a moment you feel relieved, but then just wind up with human waste everywhere.

Kristin said...

At her place, Nine Deuce said:

"I think the picture is of a bunch of old white dudes that are outside the reach of the spotlight. If the artist intended them to look like men of color, I’m not backing that, but I doubt it. In any case, with regard to the post it’s a tertiary issue at best. Back to the point."

So, concerns about racism are *tertiary*??? Fucking hell.

Anthony Kennerson said...

Actually, Belle, I believe that I have seen this particular cartoon before in some other antiporn feminist agitprop earlier in the late 1990s to early 2000s.

It's been used countless times before by other antiporn venues....so no surprise that Nine Deuce would pull it out of her.....archive as a tool to attack sex pozzie men.

And yeah, it's more than a bit squicky for the racism...I'd even say that if I could read between the lines, that that was considered a direct attack on moi and IACB, whom ND's ally Witchy-Woo called out directly.

Whatever. Their racism is their issue, not mine.


Anthony

Kristin said...

AK--the copyright is actually 2004. Do you know where you saw it used before?

Anthony Kennerson said...

Quoting Kristin quoting ND:

"I think the picture is of a bunch of old white dudes that are outside the reach of the spotlight. If the artist intended them to look like men of color, I’m not backing that, but I doubt it. In any case, with regard to the post it’s a tertiary issue at best. Back to the point."

Two words: BULL. SHIT.

I have a copy of that photo showing at the SmackChron, and trust me, I see no "spotlight" anywhere close. Even Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder could see that the guy leering at the stripper's ass is Black; and there are several definitively-looking Black guys in the picture (including one bald-headed guy in the back).

Tertiary issue, MY. ASS. If you cal yourself an antiracist and a progressive, yet are willing to use explicitly racist images to sell your point of view, and attack and slander men (one of whom just so happens to be a Black man) for crimes they do not commit, then you just don't get to dismiss the criticism as "tertiary".

Nice going, Nine Deuce....way to strike yet another blow for feminist unity.


Anthony

Anthony Kennerson said...

Kristin...the copyright may say that, but I swear that that I've seen that pic before in some antiporn website...and it was a lot earlier than 2004. Then again, my memory is fading in my advancing age.


Anthony

Kristin said...

Hmm, well, maybe it wasn't copyrighted before 2004. Interesting...

Kristin said...

I said this in response to ND, and I'll post it here since I don't think we're getting through there anymore:

I just said (and again, dunno if I'll get through):

Well, I mean... You don't have to post this, really, but I think you would notice a number of other problematic comics if you took a look at the author's website:

http://striporama.com/

Also, sorry, no, racism is not tertiary. No, it wasn't the point of your post, and you missed it, but, seriously... No, not tertiary.

As far as your post goes, I really liked Ren's response.

belledame222 said...

yeah, I went over there just to ask where she found it, and found myself responding four times just to the :headdesky: comments right above. I hate that goddamit. "I can stop anytime I want..."

but yeah, "tertiary," not even secondary, now. What was the second thing, then? she wonders idly. And yeah, that's...telling.

So, okay, and we've certainly been to THIS rodeo too (it's how many for the price of one, now?), but once more for the peanut gallery:

"Who? What? Huh? Offensiveness in a piece of media I find harmless and entertaining? Oh, you're just IMAGINING things, and that's not important right now, and anyway I/the author MEANS well..."

OH THE IRONY IT KILLS IT KILLS

Kristin said...

Um, yeah, seriously... Didn't we just go through this with the New Yorker cover?

Kristin said...

Well... ND did in fact approve our comments. I'm still boggling over "tertiary." Have these people ever *heard* of intersectionality?

Kristin said...

She took it down, but it's still up at Women's Space. And she conceded nothing, just told us we were reaching and she wants to get back to the point of the post, so...

belledame222 said...

Yeah, I went along with it (apart from a parting shot at the charming Gayle--god, I missed her) because, sure, whatever; it's not like you don't see that sort of shit every single gorram day at the Big Liberal/Feminist Blogs, more or less. And as I said: discussion continues here. But: yeah. not impressed. And I mean: the whole "Here I am, brain the size of a planet" ought to've wrapped her mind around intersectionality by now, one would have thought...

Kristin said...

I am very amused by the fact that she said, "I am probably smarter than anyone you know." I mean... Jeez... Usually, when one is dealing with That Level of Brilliance, a Very Serious Announcement isn't necessary... People tend to, um, notice when someone possesses a Great Shining Intellect. Just saying...

belledame222 said...

--o'rly? Up at Blanche's? o boy, I bet the response to this (assuming any such criticisms make it past the Fortress) will be truly Special. shall we start a drinking game?

-shot for mentioning the ex-husband(s)

-shot for mentioning The Kids

-shot for the phrase "race traitor"

-shot for each citation of her Past Work As An Anti-Racist Activist (so therefore cannot possibly have missed or condoned any racism here, QED)

-shot for each comment it turns out she never let through

-two shots if she drags Amp into it somehow

belledame222 said...

yeah, I had to throw a bit of snark at that one. I mean: dude. Wo. Do we whip out SAT scores, now? Should we be in a locker room for this...?

yeah, she said it was addressed to the dude being condescending to her, whichever that was (that whole thread is one big chunk o' tl:dr, esp. with my current attention span) but, I MEAN. MARY.

Kristin said...

Yeah, here's Heart's post. You should link so there'll be trackbacks and we'll get to see the Really Hilarious PR Campaign that ensues:

http://www.womensspace.org/phpBB2/
2008/07/28/what-exploitation/

I haven't even bothered trying to comment there, seeing as how I'm not usually allowed.

belledame222 said...

-groan-

Can you give me the essence of their blather, first? I need to go to the store and take an Advil, and then we'll see.

Kristin said...

There's no conversation about this at all over there. I doubt Heart's even seen it...

Kristin said...

The only comment there is:

Satsuma

If men could only see how they look to women! Great little cartoon to illustrate the point. Pro-porn feminists take note!

Anthony Kennerson said...

Oh, daaayyhhmmmmnnnn. This should be fun.

Nothing yet from Heart(less), BTW....but Satsuma, the house fundie over there, did get out the first nuke:

If men could only see how they look to women! Great little cartoon to illustrate the point. Pro-porn feminists take note!

Yeah....great cartoon to express their inner racist, I guess.


Anthony

Anthony Kennerson said...

OOPS...sorry, Kristin, didn't see that you had already posted that comment before me.


Anthony

Kristin said...

Okay, I tried to leave a comment at Heart's. It's awaiting moderation. I really doubt that it'll see the light of day, so here it is:

I doubt you'll post this, but fwiw: This is a racist and disgusting cartoon that depicts an audience of Evil Brown Men leering at an Innocent Deluded White Woman. Men of color are commonly depicted as animalistic in popular culture, and this cartoon makes use of such racist tropes.

Kristin said...

AK--no problem.

Kristin said...

From the "About" section of ND's blog. Kinda speaks for itself:

"This blog exists as an arena for me to lay out a set of irrefutable arguments that will convince all but the most idiotic of readers that my own brand of feminism is the most logically sound of worldviews. I suppose that makes me sound arrogant. I probably am a little arrogant when it comes to this subject, but that’s because I’ve thought about it more than Avril Lavigne has thought about how much she loves skateboarders. Also, I’m, like, really educated, so I’m totally qualified to act as a leader to those who would rather not take the time to develop an entire system of thought of their own."

Kristin said...

Belle--*three* shots if she figures out a way to drag Amp into it.

belledame222 said...

ah, tangerine gal, bless her giblets...

Trinity said...

""Who? What? Huh? Offensiveness in a piece of media I find harmless and entertaining? Oh, you're just IMAGINING things, and that's not important right now, and anyway I/the author MEANS well..."

OH THE IRONY IT KILLS IT KILLS"

mmmmmmhm.

belledame222 said...

"This blog exists as an arena for me to lay out a set of irrefutable arguments that will convince all but the most idiotic of readers that my own brand of feminism is the most logically sound of worldviews. I suppose that makes me sound arrogant. I probably am a little arrogant when it comes to this subject, but that’s because I’ve thought about it more than Avril Lavigne has thought about how much she loves skateboarders. Also, I’m, like, really educated, so I’m totally qualified to act as a leader to those who would rather not take the time to develop an entire system of thought of their own.

o.O.

well....okay!!! I mean...golly. Well, at least someone's taken the "subvert the 'don't toot your own horn, women'" message to heart, I mean, really REALLY enthusiastically...

yeah, just staring at it really.

and the odd merry peal of laughter.

well, -bless.-

ho well. I mean, we were having something resembling a nice dialogue there a bit I thought, well not -nice- exactly but at least she actually posts and answers some shit, which is a refreshing change, but...yeah, I think, I think I might just be blinded by all the glory there...I mean the kidding-on-the-square "ironic" glory, that is...


what was that trope about all the radfems being elder wisewimmin who've been around the block and the sex pos/etc are these wide-eyed young things?

Because, I don't wish to necessarily make assumptions based on the Avril Lavigne reference and the sort of tone I tend to associate primarily with boys (mostly) with Smartest Kid In The Room Syndrome in high school and college (and, sadly, beyond, on the Internets), but...if it turns out I'm not at least twelve years older than ND here, I'm going to be really depressed.

Trinity said...

eh, I don't think it's age. I do think there's some SKITRS going on, though... but, well, I still offer her heaps of props for not writing us off like WW or Ginmar or Satsuma or Heart or Maggie Hays.

belledame222 said...

well, see, I am -hoping- it's partly age, because I tend to cut more slack for people with SKITRS who actually -are- kids...or much closer than I am anyway...

yeah, sure, props for that at least. like I said, refreshing change n all. I mean, I'll try not to cry too hard into my pillow if it turns out I'm one of the idiots who's not convinced by the irrefutable arguments, I expect.

Kristin said...

Well, I mean... Props? I dunno... She definitely wrote off everyone who thought the cartoon was racist.

I mean, yeah, she posted our comments and wasn't quite as bad as any of the rest you mention. More than that, though, I appreciate the fact that she didn't speak in warm fuzzy language about The Sisterhood or anything like that...

belledame222 said...

well, at least with Satsuma I don't even take that personally: I mean, she doesn't really DO dialogue as such, does she.

every time I see one of her posts, I'm reminded of a cross between my 90 year old very loud and deaf and who never really was that great at "hearing" what you said anyway and prone-to-holding-forth-at-great-length grandfather, and the "wah wah wah" voice on Charlie Brown cartoons.

Trinity said...

"I'll try not to cry too hard into my pillow if it turns out I'm one of the idiots who's not convinced by the irrefutable arguments, I expect."

c'mon Belle c'mon, "consider the wider implications of your actions!"

Trinity said...

"More than that, though, I appreciate the fact that she didn't speak in warm fuzzy language about The Sisterhood or anything like that..."

Or the Twistolution.

Kristin said...

Well, Heart did not post my comment, but said:

The men in this cartoon are of all races — they are white and they are of color. This is a dark room, as strip clubs are always dark. The lights are on the pole dancer, the men are in the dark. Look at the men’s features. Most are white, some are of color, reflecting what goes on in strip clubs every day and every night.

In the front row, three of the men, including big toothy grin, are clearly white. One is black. In the second row, three are white, and two are of color (probably). Behind the first two rows, the men are in the dark. Their race cannot be determined.

Stop the lies. You are not fooling anyone, least of all me.

Heart

belledame222 said...

I am shocked, shocked that she would respond thus.

Awful fond of the term "lies," isn't she?

Exactly how many strip clubs have you been in, Blanche? Inquiring minds and all.

Kristin said...

She's nothing if not consistent.

Trinity said...

I'm er... "sympathetic?" to the possible reading that the men are supposed to be in the dark, and therefore not SUPPOSED to be MOC.

However, I think the artist, and her audience, should have known better than to give all the people who are supposed to be evil and icky notably darker skin tone than everyone else. So it's still gross, whatever the intent.

Anthony Kennerson said...

Yeah, right, Heart...it's so dark, yet you can clearly see that the two men in the second row standing next to the guy speaking about exploitation are clearly Black.

And it's not about the fact that they are all Black, dearie....it's about the fact that supposedly progressive people who call themselves feminists would go so far as to spout messages about men (and especially men of color) that are explictly tied to the same racist stereotypes that led to lynch mobs in the past.

And mostly....if merely gawking at a scantily clad woman dancing on stage is considered such a capital offense as to provoke mass rape, then I would hesitate to hear what your opinion would be of actual sexual contact between the performer and the client. Even if that was freely sought and consented to by both partners. Oh, I forgot....there's no such thing as consent in a patriarchy, because sex-poz men like me have made all women easy slaves of rape!!

I guess the whiff of Heart(less)'s failed Presidential campaign hasn't faded yet, ehhh??? I hope that Barack Obama isn't placing her name in the Veep short list.


Anthony

Kristin said...

Yeah, and... I mean, even if they are supposed to be in the dark, the artist is still using racist facial features: Big lips, big noses, etc.

belledame222 said...

Trin: exactly. I mean, hello, part of the whole point here is that the perception of the media in question makes it harmful, not the author's intent, on accounta we're all operating according to unconscious ingrained blahblee etc...

Trinity said...

Yeah. They've all got a racialized look to them, and that's creepy. And the woman they leer at is lily-white and shiny. I mean just EW.

belledame222 said...

yeah, at least some of them have features as well as coloring that make me think "this is supposed to be a black person." Others could be read as white-featured, sure; but does that really change the point? In a worldview where the illustrations in AM's book were no big deal and only a racist would interpret "King Kong" as racist, I guess it does...

belledame222 said...

it's just, like: clue phone! She's blonde, she's pink, and she's clearly STUPID (apparently she, unlike us, -can't- see how creepy that audience is, nope, no sexism there either), and there's an amorphous -dark- mass of predatory maleness waiting to pounce on her and do Terrible Things; and this is -not- totally reactionary, HOW?

and y'know Heart, sometimes there -are- women in the audience, too. And, more accurate would be to draw at least some of them only half paying attention to the show, ordering a drink, talking to pals, chatting up the bartender, whatever. and, p.s.: tips.

Kristin said...

"You are not fooling anyone, least of all me."

Now, you know, Heart certainly matches ND on Grandiose Thinking, but with her it's... Quite the Religious Crusade, isn't it?

Am I supposed to be creeped out by the comment? Is she implying that she knows who I am and understands the inner workings of my heart and...

Seriously, Heart, I just wish you'd quit with your fundamentalism 'cause it isn't helping.

Trinity said...

WTF U MEEN BELLE?

TEH PAT IZ SO MEEN IT NEVAR GIVEZ TIPS

belledame222 said...

also, for a "feminist" cartoon (if such this is even supposed to be): who exactly are we supposed to be sympathetic with? Not her, surely? I mean, I feel like I'm supposed to feel pity, exasperation, disgust with the men, and a little bit of contempt for her.

belledame222 said...

She's got your eye on you, Kristin! She has Internets Lawyers what support her in emails! She is going to make sure that your lying lies and...the lies...come to a SEVERE END. and if you don't watch out, so may YOU, young lady.

dun dun DUUNNNNNNNNN

Trinity said...

yeah, which is the thing. I mean, I get that on some theories, it does turn out that some women are unwitting participants in the Pat. Some feminisms are so heavily c-r based that conclusion can't really be avoided. But... even if that's the case, why is presenting the women who haven't seen what the Patrix is yet as *contemptible* a good thing? Isn't feminism in part about saying that women *aren't* contemptible?

Kristin said...

Trinity--Partly, I think it's because this group passionately hates Ren.

Kristin said...

But, yeah, I completely agree... There's nothing feminist about this sort of depiction of a woman.

Kristin said...

But, I guess, for me, and this is just me... The reason I brought up the racism first had to do with the fact that I don't imagine that group to be very sympathetic to the suggestion that it is un-feminist to depict a sex worker as if she lacks agency. I haven't seen many of them disavow their bigotry wrt sex workers, honestly.

However, they all claim to be anti-racists, don't they? So... Wow... I really can't believe they really didn't notice how racist the cartoon was...

Kristin said...

More from Heart:

The men in the cartoon are not men of color only. They are white men and men of color both. Men of color patronize strip bars just like white men do. Strippers are also white and of color.

The cartoon is not racist.

All men have sex privilege over all women, of whatever race. Men of color objectify both women of color and white women, just as white men do. Men of color patronize prostitutes, use pornography, just as white men do, and the women prostituted are women of color and white women.

That is what is true.

No more foolishness or stupidity from the two of you. Don’t comment here anymore, you are not here in good faith. I’ve encountered your type before many times, one too many times in fact — you are sexist, misogynist liberals who, when push comes to shove, do not give one good goddamn for women. You will sell your sisters out in a heartbeat.

ENOUGH.

admin

Correction. I think one of the two of you is male, all the more reason for you to stay the hell away from here.

admin

Yes, I remember you. I remember when you went sideways, too. It’s hard to stand for women, first, only and last. You will get attacked for it, lied about, mistreated, harassed, stalked. Your blogs and websites will be “raeped” and will end up destroyed. You will be hounded off of the internet and will have to go into hiding, like bb. You will have to fight the lies every moment of your life. You will go down and die fighting the lies and after you are dead, the lies will continue ad infinitum, ad nauseum. You will be called a racist (when you aren’t), a transphobe (when you aren’t), and whatever other thing someone might make up about you. It’s all part of the deal.

I believe that as is often true, your intentions are good, I don’t fault you for believing what you believe or for being where you are right now, we’re all on our own path, our own journey. But if what you see when you look at that cartoon is “racism” — when clearly, most of the men in the cartoon are white men sitting in the dark (and jacking off) — and not the objectification and prostituting of a woman, well, it’s not women you’re most concerned about. I think what you’re most concerned about is (1) not being thought of as a racist; (2) throwing your hat in with those who have lied their asses off in the attempt to paint radfems as “racists.” You know what? It’s a lie. You can believe it if you want to in, you can (attempt to) save your own ass by joining with the liars, but I will have nothing to do with that.

And none of it fools me, you can bet on it. None of it.

Heart

Kristin said...

Is the "I think one of the two of you is male" because she thinks someone who has commented to point out the racism of that post is a trans woman? Wow, she is toxic, isn't she? And, um, yeah, a fucking transphobe.

It's no wonder someone like ND seems reasonable and engaging after reading a response like Heart's...

Trinity said...

Oh ffs.

Vanessa said...

Not only is this cartoon racist, it's nothing more than a "dumb blonde" joke.

Very feminist, yes.

Drakyn said...

I love how Heart tries to say she isn't a transphobe. It's like Bush saying he isn't a warmonger or Batman a vigilante.

Kristin said...

D-Exactly.

Anthony Kennerson said...

Oh, Heart(less) is very much a transphobic bigot....but I believe that I will give her just a tiny bit of a benefit of a doubt, since one of the posts challenging her use of the toon did come from me. (She may not publically acknoledge it since it would kinda screw up her theory of innocence, but if she read before she rejected my post there, she knows what I said.

Oh..and if she really does know strip clubs, she knows damn well that taking out one's dick in one is expressively prohibited, since that would be considered in most jursdictions indecent exposure, and also bring out the vice cops in earnest for an easy and quick bust for solicitation for prostitution.

Besides....the woman depicted is still clothed with bra and panties, and most strip clubs don't allow full nudity, anyway. Why the hell would any sane man want to jack off in one when he can just as easily rub one or five out at home at his computer watching actual girls have live sex....and he doesn't have to even tip the performers, either.

But, you know Blanche Seelhoff....never letting truth get in the way of a good vendetta.


Anthony

Kristin said...

Oh, okay, didn't realize you were one of the commenters.

Trinity said...

Hell, when I went to (male) strip shows, it was illegal to touch the dancers in any way. I really don't think it would have been much more legal for me to wave my genitals around. (Not that they're all that waveable, but you get the point.)

Kristin said...

No, I don't think it's legal for women either...?

Drakyn said...

I used to read a stripper's LJ and she had worked in a bunch of clubs from (if I remember correctly) full nude to must wear bottoms and pasties to no actual nudity (so they wore shear clothes). Patrons couldn't expose their genitals. Security had removed guys for refusing to comply.

Anthony Kennerson said...

Now, don't get me wrong....there is a part of me that wishes that it could be perfectly legal to have a safe place where men and women could go to enjoy seeing a beautiful woman or group of women get totally naked and pleasure themselves sexually, and even to play with their dicks and/or clits while watching the show. As long as there is no coercion and all are of legal age, I really don't see what the objection to legalizing freely sough after sex in private places.

Not to mention the fact that that cartoon is a direct smear and libel against not only the men who attend strip bars (or titty bars or "gentleman's clubs", or whatever the hell they call them), but also the women who perform for them. It's supposed to be an atmosphere for safe and consensual ogling of beautiful women....and most of the men who are there actually do respect the women for what they do and who they are. They have to, since it's their money they're spending. And since the performer can't just get away with shaking her tits and ass, but actually have to engage with the viewers directly, since they also have to perform private dances and table dances (and probably even lap dances, too); it's hardly likely that the performer will have to communicate with her potential client in a lot more complete way than just sexual; she has to be just as much an excellent communicator and conversationalist as she has to have a desirable body. How else can a dancer make her quota of tips??

Of course, if Blanche knew all that instead of pulling this "oppressed whore" shit out of her ass, she wouldn't be the not-so-fun-loving antiporn activist she is, now wouldn't she???


Anthony

Trinity said...

And y'know, what with all this going on... I just keep thinking of driving past some club with my partner, and turning to him and saying "You know, I've been to men's shows, but never seen women... maybe we should go" and hearing "Ew, why, that never appealed to me" in this tone of complete disgust.

My life is *so totally the opposite* of what these people say men's and women's lives are. It's funny as hell when it doesn't make me want to break things.

Anthony Kennerson said...

Oh...and Heart(less) seems to also miss the point about why such clubs also pay bouncers the big bucks...it's not for looks but to protect the dancers from exactly the type of assholes that Heart tries to smear every man who visits strip clubs (if not every man with a working erection) to be.


Anthony

belledame222 said...

my goodness, Heart. a little edgy these past couple of days, are we, hm? I can't think why.

Trinity said...

OH ARGH.

"7Nine Deuce Identicon Icon Nine Deuce

Amen. I had to take the fucking thing down to keep people from derailing my thread, but I agree with you on this."

Dammit, 9-2... when actual people of color are telling you "that's not on", would it kill you to actually listen?

*rageful keymashings* skzfhdjskahfajkd dakjh hjkdf hgjkfhd gskfgh sfgfd gsdjkgf

belledame222 said...

I mean...Anthony, just, y'know, there are a lot of strippers who've written about their less-than-idyllic experiences, too. I mean, a lot. RE would be the first to say. Or Octo. And then there are the ones who had a lot worse times. Just because any given club or the ideal is "supposed to be" a safe and sensual etc. doesn't mean that's what it always is. She felt compelled to note.

I just can't see justifying this cartoon in any feminist way, though.

belledame222 said...

wait, what's she "amen"-ing, there? /lazy + sick of it

Kristin said...

She's amen-ing Heart.

Trinity said...

It's a comment to Heart's post and slew of comments about how it's OOOOOOOBVIOUSLY NOT RACIST, BECAUSE SHE SAYS SO DONCHA KNOW

Kristin said...

"I mean...Anthony, just, y'know, there are a lot of strippers who've written about their less-than-idyllic experiences, too. I mean, a lot. RE would be the first to say. Or Octo. And then there are the ones who had a lot worse times. Just because any given club or the ideal is "supposed to be" a safe and sensual etc. doesn't mean that's what it always is. She felt compelled to note."

Yes. Seconding this.

Trinity said...

+1

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anthony Kennerson said...

Oh, Belle....I'm in no way denying that the reality of strip clubs are in any way even close to the utopia that I described. Of course, Ren and Octo and other sex workers could describe reams of stories about not-so-nice experiences with assholes, and I wouldn't doubt them at all.

I'm just saying that it is possible to have a place where people can be respectful of each other and have a mutually pleasurable time...and that just because there are so many bad experiences should not distract from the goal of making sex work safer and more pleasant for all involved.


Just because I'm big on making it safer for women to say "Yes" to oppurtunities for sexual pleasure in no way dismisses her ultimate right to say NO and make that stick. Whether she says yes or no, her ultimate decision must be respected by all.


Anthony

belledame222 said...

Well, safer, for sure. "Mutually pleasurable"--I mean, I know some people love their jobs, but for most, pretty sure, the point would be getting paid: it's a gig. I could say much the same about working in a cube, or in a restaurant. and for the latter: look, there are a lot more people flipping burgers and slinging hash on the line and being harassed waiters or buspeople than being five star chefs. Even though sure, the -ideal- would be that the preparing/serving of a meal and the consumption thereof would be mutually pleasurable, and sometimes it does happen.

Just saying.

Kristin said...

Anthony--it does seem like you're idealizing the business in a way that's...uncomfortable to me.

Kristin said...

Okay, Heart has now brought up the subject of her interracial marriages over on her blog, and just... You know what, Heart? Sorry, no. This does not mean you get a "get out of racism free card" for the rest of your life. It just doesn't.

belledame222 said...

I -will- say, however, that I am confused about something. Specifically: is SexTV a "porn site?" I mean, apparently her regulars aren't too upset about her Quiverfull documentary appearing on it:

http://www.womensspace.org/phpBB2/2008/06/21/quiverfull-shunned-from-gods-army-me-on-television-and-my-new-quiverfull-blog/

Sis

I’d like to watch it, but I guess I’ll have to make do with ‘part’.

“Sex TV”?

Oy.

It must have taken a lot of courage to do this.

**

...but, y'know, the blog has stuff like, f'r instance,

http://www.sextelevision.net/blog/june08.asp

The Last Taboo?

What is taboo anymore? In our �see-everything-and-anything-instantly-over-the-internet� culture, sex and porn seems to have lost much of what makes it appealing. Porn was always considered to be taboo, and while you can argue it still is taboo for many people, today you can see pretty much anything you want to, whenever you want to. All you need is a computer and internet connection. And you don�t even have to pay for it!

I recently did a story on a photographer who photographs women masturbating. He describes masturbation as the last taboo, because it�s the one thing that nobody really ever gets to see someone else doing. Most people experience masturbation as a solo act. The presence of another person alters the experience, changing it into something else. In most pornography, masturbation is at best exhibitionism, and at wost, acting. It never really feels �real.�

So he tried to capture it as best he could in his work. He photographs in low light, with no flash and does his best to minimalize his presence and influence on what he is trying to capture. And he does a pretty good job. See what you think.


I don't know; what -does- Sis think of that article or that pic? I mean, she got upset at Bitch Lab for having cleavage displayed in her banner; you would think...but, you know, I suppose this is nothing like Amp; Heart does not "sell out," no. Bless. I've a feeling she could interview with Hustler tomorrow and it'd be a sign of her "courage" with some people.

then again, Sis is forking over money to Heart out of the $400 she gets per month, out of pride or something (and Heart is going to reward her with Very Expensive yarn she has left over, or something, I guess), so, it all works out, or something.

"Water finds its own level."

Kristin said...

Jeez, Belle, that's all really interesting, there... So, she did a documentary for what is kind of a porn channel? Or, at the very least, an HBO late night Real Sex/Taxicab Confessions type channel? Interesting, that. You should do a post on this, seriously.

And, hmm... It looks like it's a CTV channel (a Canadian channel) that broadcasts a bit in the US. Would love to check it out... Wonder if Heart's special there gets circulated on digital cable? Would be interesting to see.

belledame222 said...

Yeah, but to what end? I mean, seriously: her regulars SAW that it was on something called Sex TV, didn't bother to even check it out, or did and clearly don't care; and who else gives a shit? I think the hypocrisy is horrifically funny, but you know, it's Heart: film at eleven.

besides, I am a Lying Liar who Has It In For Heart: ergo, everything I type is a lie including "and" and "the" (the latter which I copyrighted, fortunately, at least) QED, blorple, SQUAWK!! ooo, look, Pudding, Alice, Alice, Pudding; take away the Pudding...and there's a nice knock down argument for you!

Seriously, it's a great if penny-ante insight into how cults work. and no, I don't just mean Heart's -former- experience as a -victim-, either.

belledame222 said...

anyway, back to the point, whatever it was: yes, clearly we are all desperately making up racism because we wish to continue keeping the Truth about Men And The Women Who Strip For Them And Thus Hate Women hidden at all cost!

also, we all want to bring down Amanda Marcotte's career. and are Jealous. and a few other things too, no doubt.

belledame222 said...

This does not mean you get a "get out of racism free card" for the rest of your life. It just doesn't.

Silly, of course it does. She's a Race Traitor (TM), remember? and, no one who hasn't been in her unique situation, including actual women of color who dare to criticize her--Aradhana, say, or bfp, or Bint--can understand Her Unique Oppression.

"Noooooobody knows the trouble Heart's seen...nooooooobody knows her sorrowwwww...."

Kristin said...

How, pray tell, is she a Race Traitor? Is it the same sort of way in which she's a Political Lesbian?

belledame222 said...

Oh, yeah, no, I don't think a cartoon drawn by that woman is probably racist, what was I thinking:

http://americanblogress.com/kids/war_on_terror_small2.jpg

...jesus. I mean, SERIOUSLY? -Wow-. That's not even--this person is--what? I--what??

belledame222 said...

Kristin: basically. Well, she married her husbands as a political statement, see. One revolutionary falling in love with another, the heady times, defying parental authority, heroically giving up her inheritance or whatever it was to be with her Black Panther first husband, or something...you know, she's had an -exciting- life. One Revolution to another, that's our Heart. and always, at the eye of the storm...

Kristin said...

Um, yeah. Maybe the radfems should, uh, investigate for five fucking minutes before signing onto some comic drawn by...what...some kind of Hate Group Member, seems clear...

belledame222 said...

Just...wow, seriously. And: yay, Bush the cowboy! At minimum, this looks like something Free Repugnant would be all over like a cheap suit. wtff?

Kristin said...

Holy shit, I mean, if you look at that section of the comics that you linked to... It's just... Wow, it's worse than the other stuff. It's all racist, misogynistic, hateful...um, hate speech. Wow... I hope that Our Brilliant "Smarter than Anyone You Know" Feminist ND is still reading, 'cause damn, did she read that cartoon wrong...

Kristin said...

And the stuff on torture is also rather...disgusting. I had to stop reading her site.

belledame222 said...

http://americanblogress.com/pages/1/index.htm

"Good ideas for a really banging America."


Cartoonist for West Hartford News and sister weeklies for 12 years, but quit after 9/11

Also worked for right wing DBR Media and left wing Center for American Progress.

I'm an equal opportunity skewer.


How...edgy.

Kristin said...

Well, there you have it. How interesting that it seemed so...feminist to our detractors there. I mean, did I mention about having fucked up priorities? They're linking a Neo-Nazi hatemonger because she appears to be anti-stripping or something. That's just... Wow... Um... I honestly don't know what to say about this. I mean... So, we were definitely right about that. Yay, we won, and now I just feel sick.

belledame222 said...

I'm looking at her more recent editorial cartoons. she seems pretty anti-Bush and anti-war, but not really getting anything "feminist" off of it at the very least. I mean, well, maybe this sort of thing is ND's cuppa, I dunno:

http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/52473/

belledame222 said...

not that I give much of a shit about Godwin, but neo-Nazi might be going it a bit far. I don't know DBR media. Mostly she seems like another tiresome "lookit me! I'm not at all PC! I can use really offensive crap ironically, or any way I want to, free speech and I'm SPECIAL and SMART..."

which, ironic irony is just so, so, so...-ironic.-

I mean, imagine that, playing it from both ends and portraying ambivalent (at best) caricatures of women and racial minorities to score some cash and attention, then claiming (perhaps) that it's y'know IRONIC.

I mean, that is the only other way I could read the Bush and Indian thing, presuming she did -not- draw that during her stint with right wing whatsit. otherwise it's completely straight, which...even better!

well, hey, clearly neither/none of us here are as honest and brave as Heart or as keen and insightful as ND there, so, you know, off to bed.

Kristin said...

Hmm... Went back to the site. No, not feminist. Um... Weird mishmash of politics, there. I guess she thinks she's being "edgy" as you said. And she's one of those white women who's just doing *satire* about POC, she's not *actually* racist, I betcha... Just like those fucks who did the New Yorker cover. Plus, she's from a poor town in Connecticut, so she feels ENTITLED to make racist jokes or something. Awesome.

Kristin said...

Okay, yeah, I was just going from the shooting up the Indian cartoon... I don't know... Wow.

belledame222 said...

I am thinking: yet another person who sees the world from a South Park POV. only, not really as funny or charming.

But okay, check: irony and subversion and authorital intent is impossible/irrelevant when it comes to stripping, sex work, etc.

But when it comes to using loaded imagery that's been traditionally considered sexist, racist, or otherwise offensive, no matter who you are: irony=O.K.!

I mean, again, this is being generous and assuming all of this IS irony. Well, what isn't really...

Debi Crow said...

Thanks so much for posting about this, Belle. I nearly did a post about that cartoon but just...well, lost the will to live a bit with it. It's absolutely disgusting, and I do find it hard to see how it could be justified in any context, much less a supposedly "feminist" or "progressive" one. Just...ffs...I'm anti-porn, as you know, and it's so obvious to me that that cartoon is sexist and racist, but some anti-porn people seem to think the end always justifies the means. So, as long as the message is anti-porn, anything goes - well, that's bullshit - this cartoon is anti-woman, as have many of Heart's (for example) comments been lately, and what's so "feminist" and "progressive" about that, I'd like to know?

Heart's precious "sisterhood" obviously doesn't include women like the woman in that cartoon, or, indeed, any woman who doesn't agree with Heart. Hmmm, sounds nice - if that's the best "sisterhood" can be, you can keep it.

Just...aaarrgghh!

belledame222 said...

Thanks, Debi.

Kristen said...

Okay...all I have to say is...WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?!?

queen emily said...

Oh belle, it's a very special kind of irony. Like, it isn't, except kinda is if that means I'm exempt from criticism.

Cos *everyone* knows irony is a get-out-jail-free card. Loosen up, have a sense of humour.

PS *you're* the racist etc.

jfpbookworm said...

I'm just dumbfounded how anyone can argue that the cartoon isn't racist because the audience is really white people, and it's being in a strip club that turns them into stereotypical dark-skinned animalistic brutes.

And they certainly are - they may not be identifiably any particular race (honestly, what it strikes me as is Eloi and Morlocks), but the artist is certainly drawing (so to speak) on that trope.

The coloration is not what you'd use for showing a pale-skinned person in shadow. (Compare, for example, the reddish colors used along the dancer's right side and right leg, and the ashy grey used to highlight the cheekbones and noses of the patrons.) The facial styles used are completely different. The dancer is rendered in a comic-book style, presumably to emphasize her body; her head is relatively small in comparison to her body and her nose and mouth are more proportional. The patrons are rendered as cariacture, with oversized noses and mouths (which also invokes the POC stereotypes).

It's also interesting to note how the audience is constructed. Not only are they uniformly dark-skinned with grotesque features, they're uniformly working- or middle-class (no dress shirts, no ties), and middle-aged (balding, gray hair, wrinkles). It's an essentialization of sexuality as something that only women have and that only men consume (hey, there's that Eloi/Morlock comparison again), and particularly evokes the idea that the wrongness in the scene is that the patrons are too ugly to "deserve" the dancer's performance.

belledame222 said...

yeah, good call about the "they're all old and ugly and blue-to-middle-collar" too. a table full of arrogant Wall Street yuppies would at least be more...damn, I can't even finish sentences today. but I mean, if it's about the abuse of power, which when it's abusive, it certainly is, it's got fuckall to do with the actual attractiveness of the men in question. I mean I have no problem caricaturing sexist assholes, but--well, again: hi! cartoonist is not any kind of feminist, I'm pretty sure!--so instead this plays into the more mainstream stereotype of only losers need to pay for it.

Which sort of tends to feed into reactionary ideas, itself (sex with women is a competitive arena and only the "alpha males" get any, anyone can do what a stripper/sex worker does, just shake it and spread 'em, all these people are just tacky and classless and bestial and dumb and thus mockworthy anyway, etc. etc. etc.)

antiprincess said...

Plus, she's from a poor town in Connecticut, so she feels ENTITLED to make racist jokes or something. Awesome.

as a West Hartford resident from cradle to (probably) grave, I am deeply ashamed. I had no idea.

but I'm not overly surprised.

fwiw, West Hartford doesn't even begin to qualify as a "poor town". well, except my house.

West Hartford is a pretty ritzy zip code, actually. lots of SUVs splashing my pedestrian self in the rain, limited bus service, trendy and ultimately pointless boutiques in a brand-new shopping cesspool, close proximity to prestigious prep schools, and hardly any residents-of-color.

Kristin said...

Antiprincess--Sorry, I was going on what someone else told me about West Hartford. Thanks for correcting me there!

Kristin said...

Oh, wow... This boggles. From over at ND's:

Kristin

I must say… I find it utterly hilarious that *I* was accused of derailing, and yet… This thread has morphed into a debate about evolutionary psychology. Funny, that.

In any case, Belle has added another particularly *enlightening* cartoon by that cartoonist to her site, in case you had any questions about whether or not she (Elena Streier) is a racist cartoonist. It’s a picture of W. on horseback gunning down an Indian woman–the caption reads, “pursuing terrorists in the Old West.” Again, just in case you still weren’t sure…

Nine Deuce

Kristin - You have to be kidding me. A cartoon showing W shooting Indians referring to those Indians as terrorists is meant to highlight HIS racism and violence. Is no one capable of detecting satire anymore?

Also, evolutionary biology is germane to the post. It speaks to my first question. We’re discussing whether porn would exist in a non-misogynistic world.

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
belledame222 said...

Well, actually the cartoonist's bio says that she's drawn for both rightwing and leftwing publications: she is an "equal opportunity offender." The overall bulk of her work makes her come off like a very rightwing libertarian who started off jingoist after 9/11, then switched to being against Bush and anti-war because it's wasteful and he's doing it wrong and shit, but--okay. Can't say when this particular one's vintage is from, but um. Okay. Satire and irony, righty.

So, let me see if I have this straight:

Stripping, sex work, burlesque, femme presentation, porn, etc., none of that can be reclaimed, made ironic, have its meaning changed. Men read it a certain way, women (some women) always find it offensive and oppressive, and that's all that matters. Period, end, full stop.

But...when it comes to racism, or even garish -sexist- caricatures of "dumb blondes," suddenly, subtle nuances in the supposed intent of the author (which none of us knows for sure) make the world of difference, and the rest of us are, what was it? -idiotic- if we can't automatically tell the difference. I mean, even if an actual NDN woman is the one who first drew my attention to that particular cartoon, because she found it incredibly offensive, which she did (Donna of "Silence of Our Friends," for the record). Lighten up, it's just entertainment.

I realize that you are the smartest person in the multiverse, and that if you haven't wrapped your mighty brain around this concept it clearly isn't a legitimate one. Still, just for the sake of exercise, it seemed worth typing, just one more time.

belledame222 said...

ah, cut myself off, the above was my response over there, probably still in moderation. And probably my last. christ a'mighty.

belledame222 said...

I get the feeling her entitlement comes from rather more straightforward channels, somehow.

antiprincess said...

kristin - gosh, now I'm all a mess. do I get all indignant about what someone else said about my hometown being "poor"?

now, EAST Hartford - there's poor for ya.

then again, a certain section of WH, where I live, the neighborhood of Elmwood - well, it's sort of lost and forgotten by The Town, being so close to the city. that's where all the brown people live, that's where the "projects" are, so to speak.

sorry, this is all tweaking my class issues (which are really kind of raw and exposed these days, for unrelated reasons.)

oh, the cartoon? blatantly racist, completely disrespectful, not nearly funny enough to be ironic, not worth the ink used to draw it.

Kristin said...

AP--No worries. I mean, it's legitimate to point out that it was an inaccurate statement about West Hartford.

Kristin said...

"I get the feeling her entitlement comes from rather more straightforward channels, somehow."

Yeah, good point.

Kristin said...

Oh, ffs, over at Heart's the discussion has finally devolved into: "You noticed the racism, so *you* must be the racist!"

Also, they're now discussing whether or not the pro-porn routinely posts about racism in porn. Which, just... Sure, a legitimate topic, but... Did they miss the part in which I said I just don't *care* all that much about porn? Certainly not enough to keep up with trends in the business, or enough to be informed enough to write about racism there. Doesn't mean I don't write about racism elsewhere, but porn *as such*--just not my issue.

Even so... Wow... Heart is a master of changing the subject so she doesn't have to entertain someone else's argument. She might make a great politician if she weren't so reactionary, but for now... I guess she'll have to settle for Cult-ish Leader.

Kristin said...

ooops, meant to say "the pro-porn bloggers."

belledame222 said...

Hey, I think Sex TV looks like my speed. Can't say I would've thought it'd be Blanche's, though, much less her commentariat.

belledame222 said...

and yeah, sometime someone please go through my thousand-plus posts here and count the ones that are about porn, let alone being unreservedly YAY ALL PORN. it'd entertain me.

jfpbookworm said...

a table full of arrogant Wall Street yuppies would at least be more...damn, I can't even finish sentences today.

more relevant? :P

One of the other things that's interesting about the cartoon is the complete absence of money from the picture, not just in terms of the patrons being depicted as not-wealthy but an actual absence of cash.

Kristin said...

Well, yeah, Belle already pointed out the absence of tips.

Octogalore said...

Coming into this a little late, but agreeing with Belle’s point about “mutually pleasurable.”

AK – maybe it would help to look at it like this. Look at the service one is getting from a stripper vs what one would be be getting from other service providers. From a teacher, the deliverable is learning something. From a lawyer, the deliverable is solving a legal problem and/or getting a monetary recovery. From a doctor, you’re supposed to feel better.

From a stripper, the deliverable is your sensual pleasure, plus (usually) the impression of hers (or his) as well. Typically, the payment for services rendered is directly proportional to the degree and convincingness of this impression.

So does anything strike you about all this? The other professions, by and large, do not have the task of delivering any kind of apparent emotional result on the part of the provider.

So if strip club customers do get as a deliverable this apparent emotional result, what does that tell you?

What it should tell you is that the professional is effectively manufacturing and delivering the result that will optimize the expected payment for services.

As others have said, sometimes mutual pleasure does happen. I’ve dated people I met in SCs and one (1) time had an orgasm during a lap dance. I would say that on average, 3% of my customer exchanges resulted in a “mutually pleasurable” experience if you don’t count my pleasure in receiving money. I’m not universalizing my experience, but I’d guess 2-10% is about the norm, with some outliers of course. In porn, which I have no experience with, it’s probably somewhat higher for a host of reasons.

Having been in SCs where men tried to “play with their dicks… while watching the show,” I don’t see that as an innocent, fun romp.

Octogalore said...

sorry, dick-playing link didn't work, it's here: http://octogalore.blogspot.com/2007/09/stripper-journal-9-candyman.html

belledame222 said...

Well, and I mean, any of those other jobs can have "pride in the profession." I mean, y'know, people do become doctors because--at least in some cases--they want to help people. (Sadly, based on experience, this does not always seem to be the case...and frankly when it comes to "pretending to give a damn but just wants the cash," I think from the erm customer's point of view that's a lot more problematic when it comes to medical/therapeutic care...)

But even if one does go into a field because one has a general sort of aptitude and enjoyment of it, that does not mean

a) any given current gig is not going to be hell

b) any given day or hour at even an enjoyable/tolerable gig is not going to be hell

c) even a usually enjoyable/tolerable gig is something the worker would rather be doing right now than going home, snuggling with the beloved, playing with the kids, watching a vid, having some corn, whatever.

Shoes pinch, lights are too hot, you've thrown out your back from that last move but the asshole manager is ragging on you to cover someone else's shift because they didn't show up, awful co-worker sabotaged you again and is giving you the evil eye every time you pass her...

most of these things do not contribute to "sensual enjoyment," ime. I expect there are exceptions to this, but, well, strippers, anyone, correct me if I'm off, here.

signed, spent a fair amount of time in the "straight" theatre, figures it might just be close enough to guess some of it.

Iamcuriousblue said...

I don't know Belle, I really see the cowboy and indian cartoon as making an *anti-racist* statement, that is, casting the War on Terror as a war on people of color, analogous to the Indian "Wars". Nor do I see her trying to be "hip and ironic" about racism here, a la Sarah Silverman.

What I do I fault Steier for is, like many editorial cartoonists, she falls back on a lot of stereotypical stock "types" to get her point across and a lot of those stock images are pretty loaded. I think that's particularly apparent in the stripper cartoon, where she falls back on the "dumb blonde" stereotype in a way that completely undermines whatever "feminist" point she's trying to make. (And unfortunately, she's far from the only feminist cartoonist to do this – hey, Mary Tracy!) The creepy "swarthy men" images are likewise an old trope and only adds to the problems with the cartoon.

And I still hold that the resemblance to an earlier (and much funnier) cartoon by Charles Crumb is unmistakable, but I suppose that's neither here nor there – its not like "originality" is a strong suit of most editorial cartooning, anyway.

Iamcuriousblue said...

Octogalore said:

"So does anything strike you about all this? The other professions, by and large, do not have the task of delivering any kind of apparent emotional result on the part of the provider. "

I agree that the demands for "emotional labor" in one-on-one sex work are pretty high. But are you seriously saying that sex work is the only gig where emotional labor is very much part of the package? I can think of a lot or professions, from waiting tables to psychotherapy, that are pretty demanding in that regard. In fact, the one thing that really stands out to me is how much "unhappy stripper" stories resemble "unhappy waitress" or "burnt out therapist" ones.

Kristin said...

Well, well... ND put the cartoon back, suggesting that we read the brilliant comments over at Heart's place in order to understand why she thinks it's "justifiable." Wow...

belledame222 said...

for sure burnt out therapist. especially any kind of therapy involving bodywork. professional masseurs, "therapeutic" and otherwise...

belledame222 said...

iacb: meet down the middle, what people are saying is, have been saying: it's not really about authorial intent, although yeah, we've been speculating on that, too; but ultimately it's that, repeated use of -really- problematic imagery (as you point out) still boils down to: it's racist. Whether the ARTIST is "racist in her soul" or whatever (however one would determine such a thing) kind of doesn't matter when you have a whole bunch of people--yeah, not everyone, but a lot of 'em--going, um, WHOA, wtf??

(Particularly when it's then defended to the teeth with belligerent posturing, YOU'RE the racist, you're just trying to change the subject/ruin my CAREER/good name, etc. etc. etc.)

...And people are reacting that way precisely because the images -are- making use of these racist tropes. However consciously, and whatever the artist was trying to "say." As with the New Yorker cover and the Amanda Marcotte illustrations: we KNOW, we KNOW, ___'s just a soul whose intentions are good, o lord...but, people still see what they see.

And me, I took one look at that and my FIRST reaction was: wow, that reminds me of shit I've seen in Tom Metzger publications.

And then, yeah, I took a look at it, and I looked at some of the artist's other work, and her bio, and then concluded: okay, she's actually probably -not- a Michigan Militia sort of person, at least, given her other politics.

But it took me doing that to get over the initial gut reaction; and I'm not the only one. And at -minimum,- I think when that happens, you know, particularly leftie/progressive/feminist types making use of this shit for their own points, might want to, what's the word, -examine- some of this shit a little more, hm?

belledame222 said...

Also, as I was saying over at Renegade's: the "dumb blonde" trope is -not- completely distinct from those racist tropes. Why'd you think "dumb blonde" became a stereotype in the first place?

a) a bit of "undoing," on the surface; a la blondes are still "safe" to mock because they're not really oppressed, unlike other targeted groups,

but ALSO

b) blonde=desirable=sexy;

c) sexy="bad woman;"

d) if we don't want to out and out think of her as evil and conniving,

AND

e) women have no agency anyway, least of all sexual, (which is itself an undoing from the earlier conception of Scary Devouring Lusty Vagina Stealing Mens' Bodily Fluids)

f) well, gee, there's no other conclusion but that SHE MUST BE STUPID.

g) and, of course, the men are still predators. BAD men. SCARY men. Men in...shadow, where bad things happen.

and the symbol of purity, the blonde woman (watch "Triumph of the Will" lately? "King Kong?") is now degraded to a joke: she THINKS she's "empowered" but the joke's on her: the beasts are still after her.

And so, we can laugh.

But still not quite admit that it's AT her, because that would be Bad and Unfeminist and we so are NOT. Or that she, you know, deserves what she gets. -What was she doing wearing -that,- AND ESPECIALLY in that part of town, the BAD part?,-

Daisy said...

Wow, Belle, you always get the long threads!

Third time I have linked Little Annie Fanny today. I haven't thought of her in YEARS too.

Little Annie Fanny meets J Edgar Hoover (just one panel)

This popular comic was in Playboy from around the time of "Mad Men" until... I didn't Google, sorry, but I saw it when I was old enough to read my male relatives' dirty magazines. (some time in the 70s)

Check the faces on the guys, how similar. Also, the overwhelming blondness, the kewpie-doll face... the new Annie looks defiant, the old one was real stupid... but I would argue that they are calling her stupid here, too.

I'd argue that the cartoonist unconsciously (or not?) lifted from PLAYBOY. (Does this make Heart the equivalent of Hef?)

Octogalore said...

IACB, you're mischaracterizing what I said. I didn't say "emotional labor" was unique to sex work, I said "delivering any kind of apparent emotional result on the part of the provider" (as you quoted) is something "other professions, by and large, do not have".

Other professions, such as waiting tables or psychotherapy, are emotionally demanding. But they do not require more than friendliness and empathy as an "emotional result on the part of the provider." Not that those aren't significant and emotionally draining.

But my point was that sex workers, good ones, also provide the semblance that pleasure is happening as a specific result from actions of the customer as part of the service being paid for. So any characterization as "mutually pleasurable" by the customer has to be suspect.

Would anyone seriously talk about or expect "mutual pleasure" on the part of someone waiting tables, or doing psychotherapy? Sure, the occasional fun conversation or challenge, but generally that would be a pretty narcissistic expectation. Same goes for stripping.

Daisy said...

You can believe it if you want to in, you can (attempt to) save your own ass by joining with the liars, but I will have nothing to do with that.

Substitute SOUL for ASS, and this sounds exactly like something she probably wrote in her fundamentalist days, and she's just recycling.

I mean, why not? She hasn't changed appreciably; she's still fighting heresy and all that.

Kim said...

Wow. Am I ever late on this.

I don't really see the cartoon as racist -- the guys look all pretty white to me. I could see, perhaps, an anti-semitic look (and I admit that's what struck me at first rather then dark skin when others said they felt the cartoon is racist), but I think this is more the author's style and not intentional.

The Native American cartoon, actually, I don't find offensive. It seems more to me as if the cartoonist is saying "Back then, we thought every NA was a terrorist, now we feel the same about Muslims/Arabs." Esp with the W on the hat and what not.

Sexism, eh.
Gotta admit I'm not too gung-ho on the "stupid bimbo thinks she's 'empowered'/stupidly exploiting herself" potential message.

Thing is, it's impossibly to say what the cartoonist meant as sometimes the true meaning behind "political commentary" type cartoons admittedly often go lost on me.

Or, ( bit off topic) tho I love him, Stephen Colbert. Right, right, he's plays a parody of a right-wing conservative republican and based on his infamous Bush-bashing dinner, is quite the opposite.

But because he's so rarely out of character, I have no clue WHAT he actually believes.

With the cartoon, the artist could have meant the whole dumb bimbo thinking she's empowered thing -- or, or -- NOT. She may have been merely commenting on the whole sex pos/rad fem type of debate.

Who knows.
Wish she'd show up and speak for herself as I REALLY hate Heart and Co. putting words in her mouth!

Copying same thing at Ren's, just FYI.

belledame222 said...

Kim: Mostly what I come off with is that everyone in the cartoon is stupid and/or mean and/or "low", the woman included, and as such, I don't find it feminist or progressive at all. And the thing is, we've been sitting here analyzing the thing to death: all I can tell you is that the FIRST thing I saw was: blonde woman + leering darker men. Then we all looked closer and started nitpicking is it shadow, what's that facial feature, etc. etc.:

but, see, thing about cartoons is, they're supposed to be fast and visceral, not endlessly subtle like an essay. If you need to dig that deep to justify it: it's fucking problematic, and maybe at -minimum- -examine- why one thinks this is a great feminist/etc. "that'll show 'em! that's telling 'em!" piece to slap up on one's blog.

Iamcuriousblue said...

"IACB, you're mischaracterizing what I said. I didn't say "emotional labor" was unique to sex work, I said "delivering any kind of apparent emotional result on the part of the provider" (as you quoted) is something "other professions, by and large, do not have"."

Well, I don't really see the distinction in the statement above, but your point is well taken as you've clarified it further.

Iamcuriousblue said...

"Third time I have linked Little Annie Fanny today. I haven't thought of her in YEARS too.

Little Annie Fanny meets J Edgar Hoover (just one panel)"


I didn't know until the last few years that that was done by Harvey Kurtzman – that actually kind of surprised me.

Iamcuriousblue said...

"iacb: meet down the middle, what people are saying is, have been saying: it's not really about authorial intent, although yeah, we've been speculating on that, too; but ultimately it's that, repeated use of -really- problematic imagery (as you point out) still boils down to: it's racist. Whether the ARTIST is "racist in her soul" or whatever (however one would determine such a thing) kind of doesn't matter when you have a whole bunch of people--yeah, not everyone, but a lot of 'em--going, um, WHOA, wtf??

(Particularly when it's then defended to the teeth with belligerent posturing, YOU'RE the racist, you're just trying to change the subject/ruin my CAREER/good name, etc. etc. etc.)"


Well, that reminds me of a lot of the debates over Robert Crumb's work (who remains one of my all-time favorite comics artists). Over the years, he's drawn a lot of comics that he himself acknowledges are racist, and justifies it as a full regurgitation of the racism that he was raised with. I find that explanation satisfactory, but I can see why a lot of people might be appalled by his work.

Still, I do see intent as important, and I'm not prepared to say Robert Crumb = Tom Metzger, even if both have penned some pretty racist images. Its pretty clear, to me anyway, that Crumb's work is not intended as hate propaganda the way a KKK cartoon is. (On the other hand, some of the examples of Hustler cartoons I've seen really don't seem very far off of neo-nazi stuff at all, even if they claim not to have that political agenda.)

As for the "cowboy and indian" cartoon above, I immediately saw it as a anti-racist cartoon, even using a "fast and visceral" judgement. In fact, I'm having a really hard time as seeing it as a pro-racist statement. (Though I think it oversimplifies the West vs Islam issue, but that's another conversation.) Now you could claim that the cartoon is simply a case of white people trying to be outraged on behalf of people of color, but then, you could make that argument about being outraged at the cartoon itself.

belledame222 said...

iacb: fair enough, you saw it differently. Maybe if I'd seen it before I saw the other shit we'd been talking about, plus browsing around her site and seeing other erm problematic stock images, I'd have figured the same thing. it would depend WHERE I saw it.

It's still...yeah. A problem. Btw, you see her "anti-torture" pics of one mutilated severed Arab head talking to another? And I DID tweak that they were intended to be "satire" on the Bush admin, and they actually made me feel faintly ill.

CrackerLilo said...

but, see, thing about cartoons is, they're supposed to be fast and visceral, not endlessly subtle like an essay. If you need to dig that deep to justify it: it's fucking problematic, and maybe at -minimum- -examine- why one thinks this is a great feminist/etc.

Well-put. This one hits a lot of mental alarm bells, to say the least, and clearly it was meant to.

belledame222 said...

well, and again, we come back to intent. Just to be clear: I was not trying to say that I thought this author IS a neo-Nazi a la Metzger. I couldn't tell -what- her deal is; eventually decided that she seems like your basic rightish libertarian who's disgusted with the war and Bush because, who isn't? but is mostly kind of a smug cynical jerk who's apparently proud of her "offensiveness" (zzzz). Get in line.

and I mean, I think it would matter when it came to what I thought of the -cartoonist- (p.s. still really not impressed, at minimum), but as for the image: it's still problematic.

And the thing is, you'd think radical feminists of all people, oh ye who adjure to examine examine EXAMINE everything till the fucking cows come home, would perhaps turn their clear eyed gaze to something like this. I wasn't even saying it as a gotcha wrt the porn "debate." I am so TIRED of the porn "debate." Wouldn't have probably said much if I hadn't seen the pic. But, hey, it seemed worth mentioning...

then again, a lot of things seemed like a good idea at the time that really...weren't.

jfpbookworm said...

The other argument that's getting on my nerves: "the men aren't readily identifiable as any particular race, therefore they must be white."

Not that it matters - whether the patrons are supposed to be white, black or Morlock, the cartoon is employing the "darker skin and broader features = more animalistic" trope.

Iamcuriousblue said...

"And the thing is, you'd think radical feminists of all people, oh ye who adjure to examine examine EXAMINE everything till the fucking cows come home, would perhaps turn their clear eyed gaze to something like this. I wasn't even saying it as a gotcha wrt the porn "debate." I am so TIRED of the porn "debate." Wouldn't have probably said much if I hadn't seen the pic. But, hey, it seemed worth mentioning."

Oh, that's for sure. "Doctor, examine thyself."

Anthony Kennerson said...

OK....so let me make myself perfectly clear for the benefit of Kristin, Octo, and Belle.

When I was riffing about my utopian ideal of having a private space where men and women could express their sexual selves freely, it was only intended to be just that: a utopian ideal. I am more than aware that in the present, real world, there are genuine constraints and issues that would prevent such an ideal from ever becoming a reality.

I am perfectly aware, Octo, that the primary motivation for most sex workers is not personal sexual gratification but to get paid, and get it over with as soon as possible to get to other things; but I still insist that it's a hell of a lot easier to perform the job is you do get at least some vicarious enjoyment out of the act.

And as for the charge raised that I am overglorifying sex work for its sex-positive charateristics and glossing over the less-than-fulfilling experiences: well, I'm a sex radical who supports the maximum resources needed for individuals to gain self-determination over their sexual destinies; it kinda comes wth the ideology I promote and espouse. I respect and acknowledge that the real world is probably much, much less amicable to my utopian vision...but I'd say that we still would need that vision as a goal -- even if unobtainable in the present -- to work towards. As much as we need people to explain that sex work and sexual expression can come (no pun intended) in so many different experiences -- good, bad, ugly, hilarious, indifferent, and everything in between -- I believe that there is just as much need for the kind of positive utopianism that promotes the possibility of a future where people can express themselves in a safe and sane matter.

Perhaps a strip club with precise limits on sexual contact isn't the proper venue for such an utopian sexual viewpoint...but we gotta start somewhere, now don't we.

I respect it if y'all don't agree with me on this, but it's my opinion and I'm sticking with it.


Anthony

Octogalore said...

Anthony – you certainly have the right to your opinion and I certainly cannot speak for all strippers or former strippers.

However – the idea of a “utopian ideal” of “a private space where men and women could express their sexual selves freely” and get “personal sexual gratification” but which is also a strip club, strikes me as highly narcissistic and highly problematic in other ways.

Would we consider as “ideal” that a lawyer get “personal gratification” handling our cases? That someone waiting tables would have mutual glee at our enjoyment of our lasagna? No, they are professionals doing a job for which they are paid in the usual manner.

Of course it would be great if everyone had a jolly old time while at the job, but why the SPECIAL need for sex workers to have this? There doesn’t seem to be a lot of glorification of the idea of mutual satisfaction for wait staff or sales professionals or other kinds of professionals who are female.

It’s highly coincidental that in sex work, uniquely, the satisfaction a customer derives is proportional to or at least related to the pleasure a sex worker appears to derive, no?

And I’m not really one for coincidences.

So I think the intense need to press for this utopian, mutual pleasure is not really all that mutual.

In addition to that particular issue, there’s also a reality gap there. Sex workers are professionals. That means that they have skills beyond those of the general population in providing a pleasurable experience of a sensual nature combining a carefully maintained appearance, skills in conversation, dance, sex, whatever. The population of customers may include standouts in this area but it’s fair to say that on average, the customer population is as skilled as the general population, which is to say: much less skilled than the dancer population.

That’s not a slam on customers but is true of any job. The customers for doctors are less skilled at medical work. The customers for lawyers are less skilled at legal work. Same for teaching, counseling, building, etc. etc.

So to expect that the customer population would be as able to provide what the dancer population is providing is severely devoid of logic as well as respect for the profession.

That said, I personally benefited substantially from this particular notion, and in solidarity with current and future strippers, I hope they can as well.

Kristin said...

Yes, what Octo said.

In addition, I don't really find utopian visions of anything all that helpful.

belledame222 said...

jfp: exactly.

Iamcuriousblue said...

Eh, well, let's back away from utopianism and just look at it in terms of desire to change the status quo in the sex industry, and with the relationship of the sex industry and sex workers to the rest of society, which nearly everybody would agree isn't working.

Two ways you could go with that - increasing prohibitionism, which is based on a, once again, utopian ideal of getting rid of sexual commodification and objectification. Or try and make a better sex industry, one in which everybody in it is a "volunteer" and maybe even derives satisfaction from at least some aspects of the work.

The latter sounds better to me, and a hell of a lot more compatible with a society where sexual freedom and expression is respected, whether it happens to be "free love" or for filthy lucre.

belledame222 said...

Sounds good to me.

Well--I am assuming that when you say "volunteer" you mean in the "uncoerced/unpressured" sense, and not in the "unpaid" sense...

I tweaked the OP a bit, btw.

Iamcuriousblue said...

"Well--I am assuming that when you say "volunteer" you mean in the "uncoerced/unpressured" sense, and not in the "unpaid" sense..."

Ha! Yes, the former. (I'm not a cheapskate, after all.)

I actually did read somewhere that there's an anarchist group that wants to do a free porn collective of some kind. That sounds interesting, but I don't think of it as a model for sex work on the whole. People have to put food on the table, after all.

belledame222 said...

spent a bit too much time around the THEE-atuh and various earnest political groups not to see "volunteer" in conjunction with "work that's really a job" and wince a little.

ArrogantWorm said...

"-shot for mentioning the ex-husband(s)

-shot for mentioning The Kids

-shot for the phrase "race traitor"

-shot for each citation of her Past Work As An Anti-Racist Activist (so therefore cannot possibly have missed or condoned any racism here, QED)

-shot for each comment it turns out she never let through

-two shots if she drags Amp into it somehow"

Helllllllooooooooooo, alcohol poisoning!

belledame222 said...

I know, right? I count at least seven shots already, and that's just from casual drive-thrus and second hand reportage of updates and unpublished comments and shit.

Roland Hulme said...

GOOD LORD!

You are attemping satire, right? I mean, with the comment about that stripper cartoon and the 'cowboys and indian' ones being racist.

Because I can barely believe that ANYBODY would be so stupid and bereft of depth to find racism in clearly non-racist cartoons.

When the New Yorker produced that cover cartoon of Obama dressed as a terrorist, I was astonished at the reaction (geeze, do these people just not 'get it') but then I read rubbish like this a realise that YES, people ARE that shallow.

Not just shallow, but hungrily, desperately, murderously trying to find offensive in ANYTHING.

belledame222 said...

Yes, Ronald. We're all very stupid and shallow here. "Murderously" so, even (oh, the Dwama, darling). Clearly Not Worthy of a sophisticated, Deep, man-of-the-world like yourself. Good morning!

Roland Hulme said...

That's Roland, love. R-O-L.

I know satire is beyond you... but typing?

You're right, I very rudely didn't read through the hundred million comments following this blog (since most of them seemed to be by you.)

'Murderously' was a juicy little adjective to use, wasn't it? I can't spell 'pedantically.'

Seriously, though. You got SO angry and SO worked up and SO bitter about this 'racist' cartoon without actually sitting down, taking a deep breath and noticing 'ah... the men are all a uniform brown/grey colour because they're in the shadows and the girl on stage is spotlit.'

Nope - you leaped IMMEDIATELY to the conclusion that the artist had drawn a room full of ethnic men (although, funnily enough, none of their faces seemed to have African features.)

Reading your forthright, angry blog I think you are naturally on the lookout to find things 'offensive', even when they're not.

'Ban this!' 'Ban that!' The vocal cheerleader for politically correct fascism!

The cartoonist was trying to make a point and you neatly managed to deflect all the attention away from that point towards a ridiculous non-issue of your own creation.

antiprincess said...

'Ban this!' 'Ban that!' The vocal cheerleader for politically correct fascism!

honey, are you new? seriously.

belledame222 said...

ah yes, ROLAND. Do forgive the error; one certainly wishes to pay you the courtesy you've earned. So, Roland, exactly where do you see my calling for anything to be banned?

For that matter, what makes you think that "racism" requires "African features?"

See, I'd recap the long discussion on numerous blogs, not just this one, Roland, because I know how terribly offensive it is that someone, actually a number of someones,

a) didn't see things the exact same way you did, O Righteous Voice of Authoritah

b) might have insinuated that ZOMG a piece of media might be racist, because that's just like calling not only the artist but anyone who didn't see it immediately racist themselves. Which, in turn, is exactly the same thing as calling all said persons baby-eating puppy-fuckers.

I mean, really, what's worse? I ask you.

p.s. I'm not your "love," you patronizing git.

Anthony Kennerson said...

Ahhhh, Roland...welcome in.

Problem is, my man, that that excuse of "the lighting" has already been dealt with and disposed by others.

And no, Roland, it's not the original cartoonist, but those using it as a tool to equally disparage both strippers and the men who pay to watch them, to whom critics like Belledame and myself and Bint were answering.

Also...me thinks that you would understand that if Black folk commenting here in this blog happen to find the toon more than a bit racist, and actual strippers and sex workers happen to find it more than a bit offensive to them, then maybe it's not just a figment of their imagination that the toon just might be a bit racist, or sexist, or offensive to them?? After all, they were the ones actually targeted, not you.

Maybe I'm hearing things, but do I hear the faint strains of "Melancholy Baby" in the faint background???


Anthony

Renegade Evolution said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renegade Evolution said...

okay, I'll try that again...

did someone say murderously?

That's my cue, right?

Roland (like the headless Tompson Gunner, or no?)

Hummm, I'm guessing you, personally, have not had anyone make "big nose jew" or "big nose dago" jokes towards you, right? I mean, racism does extend beyond black and white, but even at that, if you DON'T see a black person or two there, get your eyes checked. And your privilege, too.

And gee,as a Jew & a girl who swings on a pole for money, there is so much that is offensive in this cartoon beyond the racism that it's not even funny...the vacant blonde bimbo stereotype for one.

Clue here, a lot of the comments here? Made by People of Color in some way or another, and GEE, if they say it offended them, who the FUCK are you to say they are too stupid to get the "satire" or WRONG for being offended, satire aside?

Riddle me that, dickweed.

belledame222 said...

whoops, cut myself off there. I said, I WOULD recap that entire thing in short sentences of single syllables so that Roland here might understand what was actually being said, post the various BINGO cards that he's already hit a few squares on, and so on...but, oddly enough, I'm not feeling all that motivated at the moment.

"Childe Roland to the Politically Correct Fascist Blogosphere Came"

belledame222 said...

RE: well, apparently Roland here finds other people being offended at something they find offensive...offensive.

Renegade Evolution said...

"the Politically Correct Fascist "

Yep, cause you KNOW I have that shit tattooed on my forehead and all!

Renegade Evolution said...

BD: Meh, then Roland can suck my strap on in HELL!

belledame222 said...

RE: that's NOT very POLITE. You seem very angry about something. frownie.

Anthony Kennerson said...

Oh..and one question for 'ya, Rollie, if you are still reading this: What the hell exactly is an "African feature"??? Big, thick lips?? Cornrows?? "Chee-wee" mulletts??? A hankering for fried chicken and greens???

Funny that for someone attempting to be so "politically incorrect" in disproving racism in that photo, you sure have a way of using same racist stereotypes when it serves your purpose. I guess that's what defines what being "politically incorrect" is....right, Rollie??

Maybe Amber will allow me to borrow her trusty "FAIL" stamp for this fool.


Anthony

belledame222 said...

oh, and Roland? I realize I'm no doubt missing the satirical part here too, being Satirically Challenged and all (it comes with the Politically Correct Fascist kit one receives in the mail once one has signed on, along with a roll of duct tape and a squirt gun for oppressing iconoclasts such as yourself), but:

an Aspiring Writer such as yourself ought to be aware that "murderous" really does not carry the same connotation or even the same denotation as "pedantic." (Yes, we know: you actually CAN spell it. We did get the funny part there, really).

What you meant to say there, I expect, was that you were trying to compress "pedantic" and "angry" into a single word, the better to convey your disdain. Unfortunately, it didn't quite come across, and instead you came off like a big ol' drama queen.

Particularly ironic in that the gist of your Problem here seems to be, what is it now? that people are making much too much of a big deal over something where you can't see what the problem is, ergo there IS none. And are far too ANGRY.

Good luck with the aspiring writerly aspirations though, Roland. I am sure that one day you will find the audience that appreciates you, the one you deserve, even if the rest of us dull normals make it difficult for you to reach the acclaim due you.

Roland Hulme said...

WOW. Stirred up a hornet's nest here, didn't I?

Anthony - I can actually see your point about that cartoon being offensive to patrons of strip clubs, since they're not all slobbering mysogonists.

But the accusation was racism - and I fail to see how that cartoon was racist.

You suggest that some of the figures were meant to be African-American (since cartooning is meant to exagerate facial features, I guess you could assume that faces with larger lips, flatter noses and larger eyes might be intended to look like African Americans) but others in the crowd were intended to look white or hispanic or whatever... So it's a mixed crowd of people, representing a broad spread of ethnicities. So how exactly is that racist? It's tarring the whole racial spectrum with the same brush (saying that they're all slobbering, slathering exploiters of women.) Racism is the specific targeting of one group (even if it's a pretty big group, like all non-white people.)

I find the whole argument that it's a racist cartoon utterly redundent. It's clearly not.

And, yes, I'm disappointed (as I was when the New Yorker had that cover with Obama) that people are too blind to see the point of the cartoon in the first place.

And, no, I'm not the 'voice of authority.' My opinionation here is drowned out by all the other, angrier, louder 'voices of authority.'

And, yes, murderously was a ridiculous adjective to use (although since this is a particually ridiculous argument, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.)

Trinity said...

Redundant?

I do not think this word means what you think it means.

Roland Hulme said...

Ha! Maybe if I'd spelt it right, it might have made more sense.

Damn fat fingers of mine.

Iamcuriousblue said...

"But the accusation was racism - and I fail to see how that cartoon was racist.

Why not follow the discussion/debate on the subject first (which spans over several blogs, BTW), then see if you have anything to add or inquire further about. It sounds like you think its the job of the blog host to bring you up to speed on the issue and its context from square one.

Oh, and if you're miffed about professional tight-asses who want to ban everything that offends them, I think you should check out the blogs of some of the people who liked the cartoon — it might be an eye-opener:

link
link

Roland Hulme said...

I shall go and check out the links.

belledame222 said...

No, actually, Roland, more or less what you did was this:

http://redwing.hutman.net/%7Emreed/warriorshtm/necromancer.htm

but yeah, read the links plzkthx.

and I mean, Obvious Girl is Obvious, but: dude, if it's so ridiculous, why comment on it at all? Particularly when you don't know any of the people or what it's all about in the first place?

Because, among other things, you know, the whole "zomg, accusations of racism where the person's intentions might have been TOTALLY INNOCENT, lord, please don't let hir/the random white passerby be Misunderstood, because while getting offended over perceived racism is just being hypersensitive, being accused of being RACIST is the wrost thing EVAR" thrash: this is -also- an old chestnut 'round these parts, in many manifestations. When I'm arsed, I'll go dig up primer links, there. Maybe.

belledame222 said...

...oh, I see, iacb linked to the people who LIKED the cartoon, thereby complicating things: see, THEIR main point is "hahahaha, isn't stripping exploitive and terrible and aren't strippers who think they actually chose their gig or at least would rather not be thought of as stupid bimbos who're just deluding themselves Hi-larious," which is -also- an ongoing...um, discussion, around these here parts.

I can see that your particular POV would be rather orthogonal to theirs as well as the people who both have issues with those people -and- found the cartoon problematic for other reasons, were you to have joined in the argument at the time. Which in another frame of mind I might find mildly entertaining; today, kind of not really up for it, particularly since in theory some of us had Moved On;

but, okay, since you're apparently here and all: these are places where people are also seeing problems with the cartoon:

here

here

here

As you can see from the comments, should you bother to read, a number of people share your perspective, i.e. there's no discernable racism there. Most of those are white; some are not.

A number of people -also- saw at minimum that the first cartoon as well as others in the cartoonist's oeuvre were, at minimum, shall we say, -dodgy,- making use of racist tropes, however consciously, and had the same knee-jerk reaction upon seeing the images.

You will also note, even reading the OP here, thank you VERY much, that yes, there IS acknowledgment that the artist probably intended the second strip as an anti-Bush cartoon;

and, further, if you read the actual discussions, that for the most part, people who politely disagreed to the tune of, "Look, I'm sorry, but I just don't see where the racism comes from" were not flamed, told to shut up and go away, or any of the other horrors that the Angry PC Fascist Brigade are notorious for.

What DOES earn derisive raspberries, Roland, is a response like yours here: to wit,

"Well! I can't see anything wrong with this, therefore, there IS nothing wrong with it! p.s. HALP HALP I'M BEING OPPRESSED, gratuitous insults, etc."

belledame222 said...

argh. and, yeah, Roland, people saw the "point" of the cartoon very well, thanks; we just don't think a) it works b) it's funny. For a number of reasons, and suddenly I'm really tired again.

But you know, people might see things differently from you, and it still doesn't mean they're "blind" or "stupid" or "shallow." Really. It might help your relations in the world if you started off with that supposition. I mean since we're apparently giving each other heartfelt advice and all, what with the "too loud and angry" business.

belledame222 said...

and since it's too much trouble to even page down, here're a couple from this very thread:

me, way -way- up there:

belledame222 said...

I mean, I -guess- it's possible that at least some of them were intended to be white, but...at minimum, one could take a look at how that comes off, what with Blonde (of course Blonde) And Lighter Shade Of Pink Skinned woman there, and people who're at least colored in considerably darker (and definitely at least some of them are of color) all leering and looking predatory and bestial is...yeah, *loaded,* hi.

I mean, since we're apparently so concerned about The Power Of Media, and all...

oh yeah and of course she's totally deluding herself, the poor dumb dear...


Blogger Kristin said...

But, I guess, for me, and this is just me... The reason I brought up the racism first had to do with the fact that I don't imagine that group to be very sympathetic to the suggestion that it is un-feminist to depict a sex worker as if she lacks agency. I haven't seen many of them disavow their bigotry wrt sex workers, honestly.

However, they all claim to be anti-racists, don't they? So... Wow... I really can't believe they really didn't notice how racist the cartoon was...




Blogger Trinity said...

I'm er... "sympathetic?" to the possible reading that the men are supposed to be in the dark, and therefore not SUPPOSED to be MOC.

However, I think the artist, and her audience, should have known better than to give all the people who are supposed to be evil and icky notably darker skin tone than everyone else. So it's still gross, whatever the intent.


...

Please also note responses to iacb, Kim, etc. Note how they're -not- flamed or told to GTFO, -even though we disagreed on whether the cartoons were racist or not-. Amazing innit?

Renegade Evolution said...

Actually, what is shallow is pulling this whole "well, it doesn't offend ME, thus, you are all wrong and idiots" crap.

That is shallow.

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