Friday, June 14, 2013

Sex and Violence

Why is it always, "sex and violins"?
--Ruth Buzzi, Laugh-In

The new pornography is left-wing;
and the new pornography is a vast graveyard
where the Left has gone to die.
The Left cannot have its whores and its politics too.” 
--Letters from a War Zone, Adrea Dworkin

I seen ev'ry blue eyed floozy on the way, hey
But their beauty and their style
Went kind of smooth after a while.

Take me to them lardy ladies every time!
 --Fat Bottomed Girls, Queen

Let them eat war
That's how to ration the poor
Let them eat war
--Let Them Eat War, Bad Religion

Not war pornography -- war AND pornography. Now that we have your attention ...

War is the specialized, systematic application of State violence, and it is a perversion of civilized values, yet it is an activity that few societies have extirpated. It is also an activity designated as a career track primarily for the disadvantaged of our society. But war is an exploitation -- if it were not, our politicians would seek active combat service (which they avidly do not.)

We all know what pornography is when we see it, and aside from those 5th Avenue feminists who have the luxury of arguing that women in the porn industry are empowered by selling their anatomy, porn has traditionally been but one realm of the exploitation and objectification of women. Yet we have now opened a new realm of women's exploitation, and we call this a good: putting women in the combat arms.

To allow women to participate in the perpetuation of the violence will raise their glass ceiling we are told, thereby facilitating their career opportunities. This is the bottom line for arguing for women on the front lines. But this "privilege" will only be seen as such by a certain segment of society.

--Gertrud Scholtz-Klink, 
Reich's Women's Führer
Why are women in porn seen as exploited, while sending them off to fight in war is well and good? Neither war nor pornography are held as social goods, yet our internet lives bathed in porn sites, and the acceptability and necessity of war are peddled as unquestionable. Hypocrisy, thy name is U.S.A.

Is this argument for sending women into combat a backlash to the feminist movement? While women have still not gained economic parity with men in the workplace, we are now fast-forwarding them to star in their own personal snuff films, while screwing them all the way there (20% of women in the military have been sexually harassed by their male counterparts, according to recent studies.)

Further, these women will be fighting and dying for the rights of women in foreign lands to be exploited at the hands of males, as they always have been. It is a historical Mobius strip, for the women who they die for may one day gain their rights to fight and die for some other women to be exploited, ad nauseam. This is presuming that these imagined future women will have the crusading American impulse to help the scapegoat. But few look beyond the present moment, to see the implications of their bravery or foolishness.

The same people who would criticize porn (overtly) are the same who would argue for (someone else's) women to kill, fight and die in the depravity and degradation of war. How is having sex with strangers and pretending to enjoy the encounter less socially acceptable than fighting?

Exploitation by any other name ...

--Jim and Lisa


  1. Well, at least nobody gets killed in the stroke film...


  2. Manhands? shades of Seinfeld!

    sex porn? At 70 I have come to a point in my life where I have lost the obsessive interest in sex that I had all my life from my teens until just a few years ago. Don't get me wrong, I am still interested. But I no longer have that monkey eagle digging his talons into my brain telling me I need that pow! wham bam! . So sometimes I indulge in a little soft porn to get in the mood for the mrs. So I have no beef against porn - some of it anyway. The freaky deaky stuff is scary though: bondage, forced sodomy, teenagers, old/young, your kids favorite cartoon characters going thru the kama sutra. I know, I know, different strokes. But it can't be healthy for our culture. I don;t want to ban the freak stuff, just make it harder to find. It might make the 'different stroke' folks appreciate it more.

    war porn: Hollywood is the violence pimp. But it sells. So how do you interfere with their god-given right to make a buck even though they are doing it by pandering bloodshed and brutality on children?

    women in combat: No sides for me. I don't want my granddaughters in combat but then I don't want my grandsons there either.

  3. I think the only real problem here is "democracy".

    That is; one of the important distinctions between "citizen" and "subject" - not the ONLY distinction but one of them and a fairly important one - is that a "citizen" is supposed to take an active part in the public life of his or her nation.

    That has to include a part in its military.

    We can wish as hard as we want to but war is going to be with us for the foreseeable future. And if you keep women out of the means of warmaking then you make them less than full citizens.

    Porn? That's a business transaction fueled by the monkey-eagle mike mentions, the one that has gripped out hindbrains since the first bonobos discovered sex. One of our skeevier human habits, but nothing to do with how we govern ourselves, either.

    So not sure the analogy holds up here.

  4. What is interesting is that porn and language both spring from the same source: our ability to empathize with another.

    With language our brains can form the same (or similar) thoughts (i.e. meaning) based on arbitrary sounds. In many ways, it is the next best thing to mind reading.

    This ability to empathize makes pornography inevitable. Watching people have fun is also fun.

  5. Ael: Good point - as you say, the "point" of porn is to enable fantasizing about having sex with someone you're not currently having sex with. Probably has something to do with why us Y-chromosome types spend so much time fiddling with it; it gives us an opportunity to fool around with other people without, y'know, actually fooling around with other people. Sort of like closing your eyes in the middle of coitus and pretending your lover is some film star, or your high school sweetheart, or whatever is working for you at the moment...

    Like I said perhaps not one of most attractive of human traits but as you said, practically inevitable.

    On the other hand we have this: "Is this argument for sending women into combat a backlash to the feminist movement?" Which doesn't seem related to fundamental human traits (skeevy or otherwise) but the duties and rights of "citizens" in a "democracy" which perforce include armed service so long as the existence of the democracy includes and is at least in part founded on such service.

    Mind you, you can argue that few of the wars fought by most democracies including the U.S. truly involve national existence and I'll agree. But this isn't about what IS but about the principle of citizenry. If I can't vote, or run for office, or hold a position in my country's government or military forces, how much of a "citizen" am I? Am I not closer to a semi-citizen as was the case with racial minorities in earlier times?

    I don't agree with the argument that you have to have the "right" to be an infantryman to be a citizen - but I can understand it and those who make it. I don't consider it some sort of outlandish and bizarre concept akin to the "right" to be a porn star...

  6. Chief,
    I think it's bullshit to say that military service is a right and duty of citizenship.
    When did this happen? Maybe the civil war when you could pay someone to pull your duty?
    If it's a right or duty why do we not see the duty shared by all groups across the spectrum? BTW- there,s a sucker born every minute that believes pap like this.
    Have i ever seen a millionaire woman starring in a porno flick? Was Jessica Lynch and all like her one step away from working at Mickey D's??? Duh?

    My mistake in this article was in presenting the essay as a political construct when it is cultural, economic , societal and psychological.
    You can throw in religion to stir the pot.
    I stand behind my hypothesis.
    I say again, as i always have-Any society that throws their women into ground combat(or any form) is a lost society.
    Why in the heck do we need women to pull combat duty? Are our men to effete or feminine?
    Are we that screwed?

    1. Combat has nothing to do with manliness. Only idiots use violence. Warfare is for idiots! A man avoids violence as he serves his brain in surviving. Of course, I speak to the 68 years of effete warfare created by the federal government.

  7. I notice your quote from Dworkin, who argued among other items that porn precipitates rape and violence against women.

    That's yet to be proven. What is proven is that an all-male Congressional panel takes upon itself to decide what's the right and proper way to care for the female body and its health.

    Thus the famed War ( Porn? ) Against Women.

    And furthermore, in the Legal Realm, there's a comparison floating about the web concerning the incident of an oldster shooting his wife's lover to death with no legal repercussion compared with the incident of a black woman shooting her gun into the ceiling of her house to ward off an attack by her abusive spouse, winning her the Door Prize of 20 years behind a door.

    As you imply, porn in many forms and guises. Yes War Porn, and I'd agree. And I say here's more, Legal Porn, Congressional/Governmental Porn.

    I would argue for a broad definition of Porn as any selfish use of any thing or concept, and indeed that some forms of that selfishness aren't bad at all. War Porn as a method to gain World Peace? Could happen, eh?

    When I look at the comparisons of US culture with the rest of the Civilized World, and also the so-called "Uncivilized World", there is a lot we have contributed that is good and a lot that we can import.

    Have you seen the Aussie general's speech yet?

    Imagine. The military, formerly famed only for its War-Making abilities, becoming a place where we humans go to learn to play together also becomes a place where we can go to learn how to properly deal with the opposite sex.

    It has happened with the races, hasn't it?


  8. Then again, there's the famed maxim, "Once you put women in combat and responsible leadership positions, how will you ever put them back into the kitchen?"


  9. bb,
    In the old days before contractors we had BN and Company mess halls and we never had women in the kitchens because these were maneuver units.
    We didn't need them in the kitchen then and we still don't.
    Women should not be in FORSCOM deployable units.
    When we expand women into the combat arms we are insuring the loss of our next war.
    I say keep them out of our kitchens.

  10. bb,

    "How you gonna keep 'em/Down on the farm, after they've seen Pa-ree (in combat?)"

    This post generated such animated though between Jim and I that we'll have a series of posts up re. aspects of the topic @ RAW over the next few days. I feel some of my thought left Ranger uncomfortable, but that is a good thing :)

  11. My blog's link list keeps indicating new MilPup posts, but every time I follow the link it tells me no such page exists. Example:

    Did you guys switch the new posts to private or something?

  12. mike,

    Like you, I don't think porn is healthy for a society, but it does pander to the freaky monkey brain - hormones that are also, sadly, part of what a human is. Remember the book, "Love and Limerence (Tennov)? Media has so skewed whatever impulses to normality we do have, and they say the "love match" is a relatively new phenomena, anyway.

    We sure haven't given it much of a chance, ISTM.

  13. Sven: Don't think so. Let me check, though...

    jim: The biggest single change in the relationship between people and government that came with democracy was the obligations that came with "citizenship". Those included things like voting, taking part in public meetings, running for office, and, yes, defending the democracy.

    "Democracies" that depended on hired troops soon discovered that if they put the means of armed force in the hands of people who were NOT citizens that they soon became subjects. Isn't that the whole (fairly ridiculous, to me, but, there...) argument for the Second Amendment - that an "armed people are citizens, and unarmed people are slaves"? Well, if the nation's armed forces - which will mop the floor with all those "armed citizen" gomers wandering around unorganized - aren't citizens than what else are they, other than mercenaries? And if you don't open that armed force to ALL the citizens, then what recourse does that portion of the "citizenry" have, say, if the Army moves against them?

    That was always the huge issue that slaveowning societies have always had with slave troops; that arming a slave made him the functional equal of a free man and that, once armed, you'd have to kill him trying to re-enslave him. Only by training a Jannissary up from small childhood served to solve that little problem and even then in the Ottoman provinces that raised them the slave-soldiers often became the salve-masters...

    Don't get me wrong; I'm not trying to diminish the problem with the notion of female infantry. I GET that there are huge issues there.

    But IMO beyond issues that can be solved with strict physical standards (standards, I would add, that will eliminate all but the toughest women) most of the "issues" are our own, guy issues with the way we think that girlies need to be "protected", even if "protecting" them makes them into little beings who can't play with the big boys.

    The fact that we have trouble getting over our own shit seems like a real bad excuse to tell the gals that they can't do the stuff other citizens do.

  14. Sven: OK, here's what seems to be going on.

    So far as I can tell the settings are such that both the site and all the posts should be visible to search engines. I cannot find anything that suggests there's a privacy-restriction working here.

    What is strange is that the link to the post at your site has it listed under a different title; it's called "A Room of Her Own" ( but the post here is entitled "Sex and Violence" (

    Not sure why the discrepancy. But that seems to be what's causing the failure to link.

    My only thought is that perhaps jim and Lisa wrote this under the original title and then re-titled it? And your Blogger didn't update the change? Or somehow the original title is stuck somewhere in the engine your site uses?

  15. It happened with three different blog post titles in the last few days.
    Maybe some drafts got accidentally published and quickly withdrawn (draft status again)?

  16. Chief,
    I roger your transmission,BUT.....
    The draft was rotten and corrupt and the new military is just as bad. We have a cynical belief in the country and bottom line is that only suckers serve. Only now we pretend to honor them with phony bullshit tag lines.
    If mil duty is so sacred why is it not performed by boys like the Romney class of patriots?
    Or the idiots at Fox news?
    As for the girls- why not do away with the girl scouts and start kibbutz training and put the little girlies in the boy scouts?
    If you find the 2nd amendment ridiculous then i counter by finding the idea of women in combat to be insanity and way beyond ridiculous. As i always say - it's always about why and not how.
    Why would any sane society put women in combat?
    Pls don't give me the kool aid about citizenship.
    Citizenship is about jobs, security in a society and a reasonable future, NOT ABOUT participating in unending war.
    If that's your view of citizenship then we really are screwed.

  17. Historically there are thousands of examples of females fighting or leading troops in war. I am not sure what the lesson is of those examples - good or bad?? They go both ways. Many served in armies that were successful - i.e. women fighter pilots in the WW2 Soviet AF, women in the Israeli Hagannah and Palmach up through the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Manny were unsuccessful - i.e. the milicianas of the Spanush Civil War, King Behanzin's female regiment in the first French-Dahomean War. And whatever happened to my favorite, the Viking Shield Maidens?

    Women generals leading troops?? Many were did well at first - Boudika, Joan, the Trung Sisters - but later were defeated. Others prevailed. Some say that Aethelflaed, King Alfred's daughter, did better at the head of Saxon armies than her dad who was more an administrator than a leader; and perhaps Dona Juana Padilla who led a successful 6000 strong guerrilla army in Bolivia and northern Argentina against the Spanish. Probably many others? Would be great to see one of FDChief's Battle Posts with a female context, huh????

    Lisa - I am not against all porn - only that which is degrading or demeaning or that which is intentionally appealing to children.

  18. I don’t know about women in the combat arms. But I do know that it’s not a good idea to get into a brawl or a drinking contest with a Russian trawler captain. These ladies are not to be trifled with.

  19. So Paul, this sounds like a great story - tell us, where were you when she drank you under the table??

  20. Not really much of a story, Mike. I met a few of the ladies in the Canary Islands back in the time of Vietnam. All of us, Americans and Russians, were careful to be polite on account of the political situation. A Russian seaman, obviously confused, asked me why we were in Vietnam. I couldn’t tell him.

  21. Mike,
    The examples u give are historical and i doubt the total veracity of Bodica and Joan. Joan may have been a hermaphrodite for all i know. What about xxy? It's all hear say and oral tradition filtered thru years of re write .
    The other examples are valid because these were fights for national survival and this is hardly the case in the present US situation.
    Remember the Dragon lady in RVN and the armed south VN women that got so much print play in the day? I NEVER saw a armed female VN in country, but it was a great photo op.Pure bullshit.
    If we equate women in the combat arms with the rights of citizenry and equal opportunity then we are really confused. There is nothing equal or of opportunity in combat.When this is our thin gruel to justify the concept it just makes me cringe. Combat isn't Coca Cola board meetings or cashing out Apple stock options ala Al Gore. If offering combat duty as a reasonable equal opportunity option then i say we are lost and we don't have a clue.

  22. D’Ann Campbell suggests that the widespread opposition to the WACs during WW2 came about because:
    "Young men furthermore saw military service as a validation of their own virility and as a certificate of manhood. If women could do it, then it was not very manly. The exhilaration of combat could become an aphrodisiac, if not a sexual experience in its own right; perhaps like the "Tailhookers" of more recent days they felt this should be forbidden territory to females. The closure of territory to females was strongly enforced by every fifth word the men spoke--language deliberately offensive to women. At a deeper level, can society allow women to shoot at men? Should it train women to shoot men? ("

    I suppose that the same objections apply to gays – if “effeminate” males can hold their own in combat, what does that say about the all the claptrap that surrounds the notion of manhood?

  23. Jim - Boudica and Joan lost their wars, which kind of validates your point - maybe.

    Those two and all of the other ladies who lost their wars that I mentioned: the Trung Sisters, the milicianas, the lady's regiment of Dahomey were all in fights for national survival just as much as the Soviet lady fighter pilots, the Israeli ladies of 48, Aethelflaed and Dona Padilla. So not sure what you are implying.

    In any case, I agree with your point that 'offering combat as a reasonable equal opportunity option' is not a good thing for the country. The job of our military may be to defend our country against enemies, and not to work for equality between the sexes in the army - but they will also do whatever congress tells them to.

    PS - what is your beef with big Al? No FOX talking points please.

  24. All this talk about "the weaker sex" reminds me of that 18th century lady who liked to jump horses. She became blind with age, but continued, jumping horses on the morning of her death. Her groom was a veteran of the Peninsular campaign. He would ride alongside and say, "Jump, m'lady. Goddamit JUMP!

    And now back to work, since things are falling apart around here.

  25. Apologies for the screwed-up chronology in the previous post. The groom was certainly not a veteran of the Peninsular campaign.

  26. Paul,

    I had just written something last night per your final observation. I'll try and put it on RAW soon.

  27. Citizenship is about jobs, security in a society and a reasonable future, NOT ABOUT participating in unending war.


    Tell me where in the Constitution is says anything about "jobs"? Or the Rights of Man. Or, well, pretty much any of the fundamental documents defining democracies.

    Don't get me wrong; I think that jobs ARE important - they probably should be one of the fundamental "rights" of citizenship. But at the moment having a job doesn't define one as a "citizen".

    But bearing arms for your nation? Man, that goes back to the Greeks. The Roman "citizen" was the guy who could carry the shield in the line of battle; his "headcount" brother who was too poor? His vote counted something like 1/100th of the richer infantryman's. Our own Revolution was largely defined by who got to fight - free white men - and who didn't (women, blacks, Indians). For revolutionary France it was "the nation in arms", the definition of citizen versus subject.

    I'm not talking practicalities here. In actual fact the U.S. Army hasn't actually "defended" the Republic since 1865. But that's no different than saying that because Congress hasn't declared war since 1941 we should just ignore the War Power clause of the Constitution; it argues, rather, that we should start listening to the stuff the smart guys who founded the country told us, like don't fight goddamn land wars in Asia.

  28. I find it curious that so many (U.S.) Americans refer to the U.S. constitution as a very wise document, and especially to the original authors as such.

    The original authors left a whole lot of issues, rights and protections out - even if you combine the original document and the first few amendments.
    It was a relatively fine and clearly successful document for its time (not the first constitution, though). Still, it was merely a very early attempt at such a document, and is horribly dated.
    Just look at the electoral college, the senate, the built-in sand in the gears and self-blockades. It was calculated that 6% of the U.S. voters (= even less of the population, especially with low voter turnout) are able to vote enough senators into office to freeze the U.S. government with filibusters.

    There is probably only one constitution in the EU that's a worse design (Hungary's) - the benefit of having later, improved constitutions.

    Now looking at a foreigner at the really bad and dated U.S. constitution and looking at Americans revering it and praising it as the solution to their problems - what is this supposed to tell me about the state of the U.S.?

  29. Sven: I won't argue that there are issues with the U.S. Government and the U.S. as a society...but I'd argue that very few of them can be traced back to the original design.

    Instead I'd argue that the Framers did a pretty decent job. They set up the fundamental structures, did their best to ensure that the largest number got the most decent break (understanding that the system was designed as a sort of "soft" oligarchy and the people who didn't "count" in the 18th Century were excluded...)

    The Senate was a fairly shitty compromise but the only way to keep the small states in the deal.

    The Electoral College is an artifact and one that we keep around through pure sloth.

    And the sand in the gears is deliberate; the idea was that major changes of national policy were supposed to be very hard to do. It was the design of a bunch of fairly conservative property owners, and as such it has worked.

    But - don't confuse all that with what jim and I discussed and equate that with "revering it and praising it as the solution to their problems".

    What was going on here was a specific reference by jim to "what constitutes citizenship in the U.S." and my reference to the Preamble as part of that definition. That really doesn't have anything to do with the relative worth of the document and the current U.S. system itself; it was purely part of a talking point between the two of us.

    That said, I tend to agree with you that the original design is showing its age. No one in 1800 anticipated the misuse of the filibuster as it is now, the degree to which gerrymandering has become standard, the massive size and political inchoate character of the U.S. today...well, yes. The notion of updating the U.S. model looks better now than it might have some time ago.

    The question, though, is how? Convening a Constitutional Convention under the current toxicity of the modern GOP would be (in my opinion) carrying a flare into a powder magazine. Hell, we can't even get the sonsofbitches to agree that fucking with people's voting rights is a bad idea in the long run...

  30. A constitution becomes effective by being followed.

    I suppose the best way to establish a constitution is to propose, discuss and write its approach and articles in a transparent manner first and then let it win a plebiscite with an absolute (50% + 1 vote) majority of the eligible voters (or registered ones in the U.S.).

    Only the especially hard-nosed opponents would still oppose it much after seeing a constitution win such a majority support. This means the new constitution would be effective.

    The U.S. could draft such a new constitution by using its old one, clean it up a bit (integrate the amendments, delete the parts made obsolete by later amendments), fix some issues (electoral college and "natural person", senate restricted to protecting state's interests similar to Bundesrat, and mixed member proportional representation against gerrymandering, for example).

    The less changes, the less trouble. In theory.

  31. I agree that in theory that would work. My concern is that at the moment we have a hard Right that is terrified that without all the gimmicks in the current systems it uses that it will be frozen out permanently. I consider that result a feature, not a bug, but I suspect that those fears will prohibit any sort of constructive changes in the immediate future. So the hard bit would be the first part; actually getting the players to sit down and hammer out these (in my opinion) sensible ideas into form.

    The great weakness of the U.S. system is that when there is little partisanship there is little visible need for structural fixes but when partisanship takes over there's no way to MAKE the fixes...

    And just off the top of my head I think that the biggest single challenge to "fixing" the current system is controlling redistricting. The current players in the system LIKE the current system, which allows them to hold something like 70-80% of the districts as safe seats. And since districting is done at the state level you'd have to amend something like 50 state laws to stop the gerrymandering (or enact, as you suggest, a proportional representation law at the federal level). And I just don't know how you'd get that through the system now.

    I was thinking of this as I was watching the Beeb last night on Turkey and Brazil; one of the most difficult and fraught situations is where you have a notional democracy but one that has gone far down the road towards massive economic and political inequality. When the "people" get to the point where they can technically vote for things but understand that in practice their votes will be nullified you get a dangerous level of cynicism, distrust, and disengagement from the entire system of government. Very ripe for demagoguery and the "man on horseback".

    Sometimes I wonder how close we are to that here in the U.S....