Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why Breastfeeding Is STIILL NOT A Sexual Fetish: My Rebuttal to Furry Girl Re: Madison Young

[Note: This a mirror of a post I did over at my Red Garter Club blog involving a rebuttal to sex worker activist blogger Furry Girl (from Feminisnt), who laid what I consider to be a highly wrongheaded and outright libelous attack on porn performer/sexual rights artist Madison Young over a photo of the latter breastfeeding her daughter. As you will read, I got pretty heated up at the end, because I find FG's response to be simply unconscious nonsense.
My original post was kinda nuked because my webhosting account is currently under suspension (I let my sub lapse too long, go figure), so I am reposting it here thanks to Google Cache. --  Anthony ]

Well…Furry Girl has finally seem fit to respond over at her Feminisnt blog to the firestorm of criticism raining upon her for busting Madison Young for allegedly using her young child as a porn prop. I will go ahead and break down her rebuttal line for line.

To her credit, I guess, FG’s not backing down one bit from her fundamental beef of Madison that she is dead wrong to use her baby in that way.

The big take-home point that some people are missing: It’s all about context.  I am against breast feeding in places where people go to masturbate.  Madison’s posting of breast feeding photos and videos in her Twitter stream and on other sex-themed web sites is appalling to me.  It’s no different than breast feeding on stage at a strip club.  Madison has spent her career making everything she does about sex.  There’s nothing wrong with that, of course.  I’m a sex-loving pornographer myself!  But you can’t spend most of a decade purposefully building an environment where people come to masturbate and then feign confusion when someone like me “mistakes” that environment for being sexual.

Now, that would be a legit critique if Madison Young was using her child as part of her live sex shows, or making explicit content including her child. Problem is, that;n not what Madison has been doing. The only time she has even featured her child was in the explicitly non-sexual context of an art show, or in non-sexual general posts about her life.  That hardly counts as exploiting her child to sustain her career…unless you happen to think that no mother should ever even be in porn to begin with. Or, they should keep their life as a mother totally separated and private from their porn personas.

Funny, but I really don’t think that people going to Madison’s website or blog to get off on her nude pics are going there to gawk after her child.

It’s hard to plead “there is absolutely nothing sexual about these photos/videos” when they are posted in sexualized spaces and/or crafted to look sexy.  The most famous image shows Madison as a Marilyn Monroe knockoff.  I’ve seen photos of other women breast feeding, and none of them bothered to put on a sexy dress and get their hair and makeup done first.  For most moms with breast feeding photos, I bet they’re probably wearing yesterday’s sweatpants and looking exhausted, not trying to liken themselves to a famous sex icon.

So, an art gallery where no sex is happening automatically becomes a sex space now??  Merely because a porn starlet decided to breastfeed her child there?? Or, she decides to emphasize a fundamental aspect of her life as a woman outside of her sexual persona?? I guess that according to FG, if you are a porn star, you must BECOME a porn star 24/7, and any other aspect of your life must either be shunted aside, hidden in private and apparently in shame, or completely segregated to a point that no porn fan ever finds out.

And…so funny that Furry Girl  goes straight to the  “Marilyn Monroe knockoff” card as a knock on Madison. Goodness..she’s doing a freakin’ ART EXHIBIT. What does FG expect her to dress up as…Dorothy of The Wizard of Oz??? I reckon that you just can’t look sexy when you are with your child, then, because people will say stuff..and impressionable newborns might get infected with…THE SLUT GENE!!!!

Oh…I’m guessing that real live porn starlet mothers like Holly Halston or Cindy Taylor (aka Jesse Jane) or Stormy Daniels would probably want to have a word or five with Furry Girl on the realities of being sexy and still managing to raise a child while doing porn. Considering that FG is in fact still single, and is NOT an active porn performer, she’d probably learn a thing or two.

I’ve been told that it’s beyond Madison’s control if sick people are aroused by her sexy breast feeding images.  But if she would never want to encourage people to jerk off to photos of her baby, she should stop posting them in a place where she typically posts porn.  Aside from all the innocent masturbators who clicked a blind link because they thought it was going to be kinky sex pics, who wants to see sexy breast feeding?  Most of us would call them pedophiles.  Best case scenario, Madison’s sexy breast feeding schtick is an attention-getting ploy to sell her persona’s “realness” so people will buy her “real” porn.  Worst case scenario, Madison is knowingly creating masturbation material for pedophiles.  Either way, it’s revolting.  (At what point does one cross over from sexualizing having a baby to sexualizing the baby?)

Uhhhh….Furry Girl?? You do know that children are usually made through sex, right?? Therefore, it’s kinda hard to say that Madison is “sexualizing” her daughter any more than anyone else.

But here’s the stupid part: a person who masturbates to the image of a newborn baby being nourished by her mother naturally most certainly has some personal issues. In nearly all the cases, though, the sexualization is NOT of the baby; but rather of the WOMAN nursing her. It is the nipple, the breast, of the woman doing the feeding, that is the real sexual stimulant, and the desire to suck on the nipple of the woman, which is the center of arousal.

And, I’m pretty damn sure that Madison’s website is clearly marked so that those who are expecting to see the usual kinky sex pics and videos will be gracefully sent to the appropriate place,  Those who merely surf through to see other aspects of Madison’s life as a mother who happens to be porn as a side hobby, will be able to tell the difference between adult sex play and respect for a mother caring for her child. Or….does Furry Girl always treat her own paying clients with as much disrespect as how she assumes Madison treats hers??

This issue is also about consent.  The baby is not consenting to being used as a marketing gimmick for her mother’s porn persona.  There is a huge difference between consenting adults engaging in exhibitionism, and forcing creepy, pedophile-courting public voyeurism on a non-consenting baby.  I am an exhibitionist myself, but I would never drag anyone into my kinks who isn’t consenting to be a part of a scene.  For all anyone knows, Madison’s kid will be traumatized by her upbringing in public, and end up feeling extremely violated by the sexual attention Madison subjected her to as a child.  Would you have wanted your mother breast feeding you for attention from horny adults, and for evidence of that to be online and linked to you forever?

OK, so it squicks the hell out of Furry Girl to see a porn performer “use her baby” to promote herself and her website. Fair enough…and actually, there is an honest concern here abuut the welfare of the child being served…or at least there would be IF the child was used in any explicit sexual nature. But, since the only confirmed use of Madison’s daughter was for the art exhibit, in an mostly nonsexual context, I’d say that FG was seriously overdoing her concerns. As far as I know, Madison has NEVER used her daughter as part of any sex scene, so that argument is simply bogus on its face.

And as for the concern about the emotional well being of the child: well, newborn children probably aren’t that interested in anything other than eating, sleeping, and dirtying their diapers for the first year of their lives, so I’m guessing that unless the sounds of live sex is that disturbing to her, she’ll probably make it out OK. Most of those who subscribe to Madison’s site are there to see her first, not her child.

I am against people using their children as props to serve an agenda.  Madison’s use of her daughter to push her politics is no different than when anti-abortion protesters or the Westboro Baptist Church uses their own unwitting small children as props.  Kids aren’t political tools to leverage for shock value, they’re actual human beings who will one day be adults with their own set of opinions.  To assume that Madison’s baby will grow up and be thrilled that her mother used her to get attention for her porn persona is offensive and sad to me.  Several have pointed out that I’m “no different,” since I tweet photos of my cat.  But, here’s the key nuance they can’t grasp: my cat will never be a sentient adult human with his own beliefs and a non-interest in being caught up in my pervy internet trail.

Oh, really??? You mean that breastfeeding your daughter at an art exhibit is the full equivalent of rounding up your kids and going to a protest sponsored by Westboro Baptist Church protesting  that God really hates homosexuals that much that even good people who do no harm deserve to die and should not be celebrated for their life on earth?? Or, having your kids carry placards saying “Get A Brain, MORANS” in order to defend troops who are paid to kill others in battle?? Now, kids can be persuaded or even brainwashed into some very nasty political groups and causes…but other than learning through osmosis that sex can be pretty damn neat, just how in the HELL is a toddler harmed by being exposed to the IDEA of nudity? (Note: I said IDEA of nudity.)

I can’t predict what will happen to Madison’s child when she grows up to be a talking, breathing sentinent being, but I will assume that Madison is enough of a responsible adult that she will teach her basic fundamental morality and critical thinking skills so that she will be able to make informed decisions and avoid harm. That’s what being a parent is all about.Again, I’m not sure why Furry Girl, who is single and has not raised a child (or, at least, she hasn’t publically said so), thinks she can lecture anyone else on that effect.

Having dispatched Madison, FG now goes after those whom have defended her.

The sexy mommy mob doesn’t like these “anti-sex worker” and “sexist” arguments, so they’ve turned it into a matter of rebutting things I never said.

I never said that no woman should be allowed to breast feed.  I am not against breast feeding in public or private, I am against doing it in sexualized contexts.  I would feel the same way if someone whipped out a baby at a swinger’s club, so it’s not just about the internet or porn.

I never said that sex workers (or kinksters) should not be allowed to have children, or that mothers can’t be sexy.  I have a number of kinky and sex working friends who are parents, and I know some sexy moms.  They, however, possess good sense and boundaries and don’t force their offspring to be a part of their exhibitionism and work.  The kinky and sex working parents I know create separation between their lives, they definitely don’t seek to combine them at every turn to prove how transgressive they can be.  Not because my friends are prudes, but because they understand that it’s deeply inappropriate to mix small children and horny adults.

I never said that no one should be allowed to photograph their kids or photograph breast feeding.  I didn’t comb through the Flickr pages of strangers until I found a random mother to criticize.  I’m specifically talking about a porn star who is using her baby as an attention-getting prop in sexualized contexts.

Riiight…the “I’m not really a racist, since I have lots and lots of Black friends, BUT….” card. Some people might then think that this is merely a slightly more personal grudge due to prior dealings between you and Madison, since you give many of your “friends” the benefit of the doubt that you simply won’t give Madison…but I’ll leave that thought for others to decide on their own. (And NO, FG, I use the racism analogy only in a figurative way here, I KNOW that you are not a racist.)

I hate what stuff like this does to the credibility of sex workers and pornographers as a whole.  People like me try to tell regular folk that porn and sex work is about consenting adults, not weird stuff with kids and/or the non-consenting.  To the sexy mommy mob, Madison is the greatest hero of her generation, but what about the other 99.999999% of America, the majority we need to get on our side in order to make any advancements for sex workers?  If you seal yourself in the safe bubble of San Francisco, surrounded by adoring fans, then of course you’re not going to care how you might be damaging the movement for acceptance of sex workers and porn.

So now Furry Girl switches over the the issue of credibility of sex workers in public, because Madison’s actions, if not her very existence, is such a cosmic threat to the makings of sex worker/porn activism that she must be ostracized, stigmatized as a dirty slut and pedophile enabler, if not a pedophile herself, in order that the other “normal” sex workers (like, I assume, Furry Girl) can get on with the business of destigmatizing sex workers alike. Yet, why should it be the need for sex workers to justify their existence to the other 99.999% of society…many of which will never be convinced of the full humanity of porn performers or sex workers even if they performed acts of super human strength or cured all diseases?? Indeed, the very goal of what Madison Young is doing is as much a part of the destigmatization process as any billboard or protest; by showing that porn performers and sex workers are capable of being far more than the sum of their sexual personas.

You would think that a devout activist and libertarian like Furry Girl would understand that and give at least some bit of respect to Madison for being upfront about attempting to balance the scales between being a mother AND being an active and activist sex worker. Alas, it seems that FG is either more concerned with imposing her own narrow constrictions about what sex workers should be..or this is just a continuation of a personal vendetta.

But, it’s this concluding graph that has me climbing the walls with stunned open-mouthed astonishment:

I’m surprised that people like Gail Dines and Melissa Farley haven’t seized upon Madison’s baby fetish as yet another way to attack all of us.  This is exactly the sort of thing they live to hold up as a non-representative example of how we’re all horrible people.  Anti-sex work activist Donna Hughes threw a fit a year ago when a small sexuality conference apparently allowed in a high school senior.  For this, the organizer was branded, basically, a dangerous predator going after America’s helpless children.  If letting a consenting 17-year-old hear about sexuality is enough for the antis to launch a campaign that says kink bloggers are basically child molesters, I wonder what they would think of a porn star sexualizing the breast feeding of a baby?  But of course, if the antis get wind of the controversy that Madison and her fans are so desperately trying to publicize, she will not be the one addressing the hard questions.  She has her feminist porn “revolution” to worry about, and the rest of us – especially her baby girl – can go eat cake.

WOW…just plain freakin’…WOW.

Here we have a supposed “sex-positive activist” and sex worker advocate, someone well respected and prolific and supporting to back to the hilt the fundamental freedom of women to explore their own sexuality, openly and deliberately throwing another sex worker under the bus and offering her to the most bitter reactionary fascist enemies of her own values….merely out of personal pique and pettiness out of merely prejudging minor offenses. And all that on the basis of…a two year old child.

Damn, Furry Girl, what fucking GALL have you to say that another woman should have to give up her right to tell another grown woman that she must live her life to your narrow standards just to keep her livelihood??  Who the FUCK made you the judge, jury, and executioner of how another sex worker should care for her child? And, most importantly.. HOW FUCKING DARE you invoke the words of Gail Dines and Melissa Farley (hell, FG, why not go for the gold and invoke Michelle Bachmann or Anita Bryant or Maggie Gallagher or Laura Schlessenger??) .to shame Madison Young for the mere crime of choosing to express herself as a full woman and a human being??

That “feminist porn revolution” that you so decry happens to be the legitimate right of women to be seen and respected as complete and full human beings, and not to have their personal sexual lives and experiences used against them to deny them their full human rights. Yes, yes, FG, we know how much you hate and despise feminism; that’s why you named your blog “Feminismt”, and I can see why you pit your home base of Seattle against the supposedly “leftist” insanity of San Francisco (and that in and of itself is a whole other issue); but that is still no excuse to demonize a woman or her infant daughter and project your own myopic fantasies on her out of personal vitriol.

I do not know Madison Young that intimately, except as an prolific starlet, a progressive feminist, and an eloquent spokesperson for the erotic genre. I do know, though, that she does not and did not deserve the kind of absolute slanderous, hate-filled, and fundamentally untrue nonsense that Furry Girl unleashed on her Twitter stream…and this attempted reply has only reenforced my view that if anyone represents the true positive nature of sex work activism, its Madison Young, not the pretender and chameleonic double agent known as Furry Girl.

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