Blog

Julien Blanc is rightfully condemned, but who is willing to confront the global economy of misogyny?

It’s easy to blame a globalized and systemic issue on “a few bad guys.” This is exemplified by cases like “dating advice consultant,” Julien Blanc. Blanc tours the world teaching men “pickup artistry.” He demonstrates the misogyny inherent in the pickup enterprise by teaching other men to use his violent and emotionally abusive techniques in their approach to women. After public outcry condemned his actions, Blanc was kicked out of Australia before he could run his planned seminar in Melbourne. His methods include choking women and pushing their faces into his crotch — behaviour that is typified in pornography. But while Blanc has been rightfully criticized, the institutions that profit from such imagery go unchallenged. Globally, sexist violence has reached epic proportions with one in three women affected. While the...
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Ghomeshi played the role of a feminist ally, but in private he was fully enmeshed in porn culture

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been interviewed by male journalists who have been clearly antagonistic to my feminist, anti-porn position. I can usually tell within the first five minutes of the interview that these guys are very upset by my argument that porn shapes male sexuality in ways that normalize sexual violence. They often become hostile and insulting, and end up accusing me of being an anti-sex prude who hates men. Because I’ve been on the receiving end of so much hostility from male interviewers, I remember well those who were particularly sympathetic to the feminist view. One who stands out in my mind as a thoughtful interviewer is Jian Ghomeshi, former host of the popular CBC radio show, Q. Ghomeshi had not only given...
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Celebgate: Why aren’t we talking about pornography?

The beginning of this month saw the mass theft and unapproved release of many female celebrities’ private nude photos in what has been obnoxiously labelled Celebgate. Now, as of last Saturday, a second post has gone up on various sites around the Internet with even more stolen images. The newest post adds Aubrey Plaza, Avril Lavigne, Kim Kardashian, and others to a growing list of victimized women. The FBI claims to be on the case and looking for suspects, but thankfully men the world over have decided to lend a helping hand in finding out who is truly responsible: Women, of course. The three most common reactions from men seem to be 1) masturbation, 2) arrogant, self-righteous condemnation, or 3) masturbation followed by/occurring alongside arrogant, self-righteous condemnation. (Misogynists are...
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Podcasts

PODCAST: Cherry Smiley on Indigenous feminism, colonial violence and the sex industry

In this episode we hear a talk by Cherry Smiley. The talk is part of a series on Indigenous Feminism, put on by the First Nations Student Association at Simon Fraser University. Cherry is a front line anti-violence worker, an accomplished artist, activist, and public speaker. She is a co-founder of Indigenous Women Against the Sex Industry and was the recipient of a 2013 Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Person’s Case. Cherry is currently completing a Masters of Fine Arts degree, her art practice is one that is deeply passionate and inherently political, grounded in her experiences as an Indigenous woman, radical feminist theory, and in the teachings handed down to her by her Elders. This year, she exhibited Revolution Songs, an installation that focused on the...
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Feminism is the new misogyny: On ‘Belle Knox feminism’ and the new backlash

This just in from the backlash: everything is feminism’s fault and we are the real woman-haters. You knew that, didn’t you? That it was not men, but women — and not just women, but feminists — who were responsible for things like violence against women and sexual repression. It’s a pretty good trick, actually, because guess who gets off scot-free? Men. Also, oppressive systems of power. With women busy attacking other women for their own oppression, who has time to fight the real enemy? As illogical as it sounds on paper, this phenomenon actually makes a lot of sense. The most obvious explanation for feminist-hating among women (or even among feminists) is that we live in a culture that teaches us to hate women — that it’s acceptable to...
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“A magazine for everybody” is a magazine for men

“Female friendly” “Porn for women” “Woman-made porn” We’ve heard it all before and here it is again in Adult, a magazine “of contemporary erotics and experience.” Women have been so indoctrinated by the idea that male sexuality = human sexuality that we can only understand “sexy” though the eyes of men.   Adult tries to disguise it’s overt glorification of the male gaze by claiming it is “by women” and “for everyone” but the lazy sexism is impossible to miss. “I want a magazine that is for everybody but feels like it was made by a woman,” says founding editor Sarah Nicole Prickett (of selfies-are-empowering infamy). “Who is ‘everybody?'” you might ask. Even Prickett admits that a porn magazine by, and supposedly for, women is no different than any...
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Man quits watching porn; survives

My good friend Angus decided to stop watching porn a few months ago. Because I am infinitely frustrated by the “all men watch porn” myth, I decided to interview him. Proof! All men don’t watch porn and, if you do, it’s possible to stop. Here’s our conversation: Angus: HI MEGHAN. Meghan: Ok are you ready? Angus: YOU’RE NOT MY REAL MOM. But otherwise, yeah M: Do you remember how old you were when you first started watching porn? A: As with most men of my generation, my first experiences with porn really were the scraps of Playboy and Hustler found in the forests and parks of boyhood. These things were coveted and stashed and revisited as often as possible, and it was tremendously exhilarating to seek out these forbidden...
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Interview: Meghan Murphy on the sex industry, individualism, online feminism, and the third wave

This interview was done for and posted (in French) on Isabelle Alonso’s website. Isabelle is a French TV personality and ex-president of the “Chiennes de garde”, a well-known feminist group in France. The interview was conducted and translated by Sporenda.     1)  The blog, Feminist Current, that you launched last year, is attracting quite a bit of attention. It won “Best Feminism Blog” in Canada and has quite a few followers. Do you explain this success only by the quality of your writing or by a increased  interest in feminism? M: Well, I can’t say for sure. I get the feeling, based on the climate in feminism these days and from connecting with other feminists online, from around the world, that there is a lot of frustration towards and...
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The sweetest revenge (porn): Joe Francis meets karma

Hi karma. Some days you warm my heart. Joe Francis, misogynist extraordinaire and the man who brought us Girls Gone Wild, the soft core porn empire that made millions coercing drunk coeds to flash the camera or even perform sex acts for fun free is trying desperately keep a sex tape of his own from going public. He’s threatening to sue any media outlet that releases the tape; his lawyer saying: “It is not only unfortunate, but it is a crime.” OH REALLY, JOE FRANCIS? REALLY IS IT A CRIME TO RELEASE VIDEOS OF OTHER PEOPLE PERFORMING SEX ACTS WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION? IS IT FATHOMABLE THAT PEOPLE MIGHT NOT LIKE IMAGES OF THEIR NAKED BODIES SHOPPED AROUND ON THE INTERNET? Oh. Ok then. Just so we’re clear, it’s totally fine...
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You want proof that criminalization works? Look no further than the feminist movement

Yesterday, The Nation and Tom Dispatch published an epic, historical look at the successes of the feminist movement over the past fifty-odd years and the long road ahead. In the article, Ruth Rosen points to various male “behaviours” like rape that, while once were viewed simply as “custom” were redefined, thanks to the feminist movement, as crimes. Not so long ago, you may or may not recall that there was no such thing as rape in marriage. Husbands were entitled to sex, with or without the consent of their wives. Not so long ago, date rape was common, unnamed, and completely acceptable. There were no conversations about consent when it came to sex. It simply wasn’t relevant. Rape still happens far more than most would like to acknowledge or...
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Revenge porn is about porn

If you haven’t yet heard about revenge porn, you’re lucky. Notorious dickbag, Hunter Moore, is big into the revenge porn game. He can be credited with mainstreaming the concept of punishing your ex by posting their nude photos online without their permission via his website, IsAnyoneUp.com. Doesn’t take much to get rich these days, just a complete lack of anything resembling a soul. Not only would Moore post the photos, but he would also post the person’s name, location, and link to their social media accounts, also helpfully facilitating comments under the images critiquing the person’s appearance. Innovative, right! Eight months after his original site shut down, Moore, committed as ever to cretin status, announced he would be launching a new site: HunterMoore.TV. Of course, the fact that he...
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Free speech in Pornland

No surprise here. The adult entertainment industry has followed through on their promise to file a suit against Los Angeles County, challenging Measure B, which passed in November, mandating condom-use on porn sets in L.A. The suit, filed Thursday at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on behalf of Vivid Entertainment and performers Kayden Kross and Logan Pierce, states that porn companies have the right to freedom of expression and speech, which includes the right to film sex acts without a condom. (via Huffington Post) Free speech, in the porn industry, has always had less to do with freedom and more to do with profit, male orgasms, and also profit. It is an industry that cares little about people’s actual lives (unless the life in...
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Podcasts

PODCAST: Pornifying violence against women – A panel discussion

On December 1st 2012, Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter held their annual Montreal Massacre Memorial event at the Vancouver Public Library. This event remembers the 14 women who were murdered on December 6, 1989 in Montreal by a man, simply because they were women. The event also seeks to address the fact that violence against women is systemic and happens within a context of a patriarchy culture and to take action against that system. In this episode we hear excerpts from a panel discussion called: Pornifying Violence Against Women. The name of the panel was inspired by photos discovered of an RCMP officer this past year depicting scenes of violence against women, some of which were disturbingly similar to reports of what happened at the Pickton farm. Speakers...
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The end is nigh. And the proof lies in Breast Cancer ‘Awareness’ Campaigns

Well this is it. The end is upon us. By now you’re probably near-bald from tearing your hair out over the effed-upedness that we are subjected to every time Breast Cancer Awareness Month rolls around. Suddenly we’re inundated with pink crap as every company around tries to glom on to the breast cancer epidemic in an offensively opportunistic fashion. From makeup, to laptops, to Swiffers (clean for the cure!), to ugly-ass jewelery, to one million stupid pink candles, it’s fair to say that pinkwashing has gotten totally out of control. And as if the feminizing pinking of absolutely everything (because breast cancer is so soft and delicate and lady-like) and the concerted efforts to make breast cancer all about consumerism directed very specifically at women (because effecting change can...
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Podcasts

Podcast: Stop Patriarchy! Sunsara Taylor on human nature, domination, and the war on women

This episode of Feminist Current features an interview with communist, atheist, feminist, activist, and writer, Sunsara Taylor. Sunsara co-hosts a radio show called Equal Time for Free Thought on WBAI, writes for Revolution Newspaper and and sits on the Advisory Board of World Can’t Wait. She recently initiated a call to action at stoppatriarchy.org and participated in 10 days of action took place in New York city from August 4th to 14th. Take Patriarchy by Storm demands an end to pornography, patriarchy, and the degradation of women. Listen to that interview here: Podcast: Play in new window | Download...
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Being porn: On boudoir photography and sad stagettes

According to a recent article in The Daily the new hot thing for marrieds or soon-to-be-marrieds is porn. Ha! Obviously right? But this isn’t just any porn, it’s fiancée porn! Starring you! It’s called boudoir photography and the idea is that, supposedly, gifting your husband with his very own wifey porn will stop him from consuming strange lady porn online. The Daily quotes Dallas-based wedding photographer Lynn Michelle as saying: “A lot of women do boudoir because they’re afraid their fiancés are looking at porn and they’d rather them be looking at her.” First of all, that strikes me as all kinds of stupid. If your husband/fiancé wants to watch porn he’s going to watch porn. I seriously doubt that, just because you’ve produced your own private monogamy-themed porn...
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The Melissa Harris-Perry show talks circles around the porn industry

A few weeks ago, on July 7, 2012, Melissa Harris-Perry hosted a discussion of pornography. The guests she brought on to talk about the American porn industry included: feminist pornographer Tristan Taormino,  Zephyr Teachout, who is an associate professor of law at Fordham University, Jaclyn Friedman, and Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson. Apparently, Gail Dines was initially asked to join the discussion but received an email a few days before the show letting her know that the “segment is changing” and that they would no longer need her. She was pulled from the show. Dines wrote an article for Counterpunch detailing how this all went down, adding: Gone was a critical feminist analysis of the porn industry, and in its place was a “fun” discussion of women’s sexual agency,...
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