Freedom is slavery.
Submissiveness is empowering.
BDSM erotica is feminist.
The above are just a few of the lies that patriarchal culture has served up for women in the best selling BDSM novel 50 Shades of Grey.
First-time female novelist E L James began the piece as short fan fiction based off of the Twilight series whose main relationship between a 104 year old vampire and a teenage girl meets all the criteria for domestic violence.
Given its source material, it’s not surprising that 50 Shades of Grey and its sequels tells the story of a billionaire who convinces a young woman to agree to be his full time sex slave. E L James’ story is not new.
Angelwish is a charity whose mission is to provide gifts to children living with HIV/AIDS, asthma, diabetes, kidney disease, and other chronic illnesses.
On Feb 12th, Angelwish gave Hugh Hefner, founder of Playboy magazine and worldwide misogyny promoter, its Humanitarian of the Year award “for all his charitable efforts over the years.”
Angelwish, a charity dedicated to an uncontroversial cause, provides strong approbation and endorsement of Hefner by giving this award. It has not seen his lifelong commitment to hate speech against women as inconsistent with the descriptor “Humanitarian”.
But why exactly are Hefner’s actions and lifestyle inconsistent with the term “humanitarian”?
Sasha Grey is an exited pornography victim who was known for participating in nearly all the degrading types of acts available in pornography. Before her retirement, she was the best-known woman in the industry besides Jenna Jameson (source Pornland by Gail Dines, p. 41). At her first shoot shortly after her 18th birthday, she asked her costar/paid rapist to punch her in the stomach. She also claims to have invented licking a toilet seat as part of a scene in pornography.
After only being in the porn industry for about three years, Ms. Grey has retired from the filmed exploitation business. But why, if the industry was so lucrative and she loved sex so much, did she retire?
In the US earlier this week, it came to light that in the 1990s, two different women accused Republican presidential candidate and current front-runner Herman Cain of sexual harassment when he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in 1999.
Herman Cain denies sexually harassing anyone.
Of course, denial is tactic men in power frequently use when accused of using, buying, harassing, and abusing women. Consider the DSK case, the Anthony Wiener case, Silvio Berlusconi, Arnold Schwarzenegger, (he’s got two!), Justice Thomas, and more. The list of male leaders involved in and denying sex scandals is exceptionally long. In all of these cases, we have examples of men who believe that they should, as a condition of their status as powerful males, be believed- even when they are lying. All of the above men denied their abusive behavior.
Do women also make public denials?