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Raunch Culture

I must admit to being deeply suspicious of the “Anti-Raunch Culture” warriors. I’m reading Pornified now, but all author Pamela Paul seems to prove is that men are, gasp, masturbating. Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs is a bit more likable … Read More

By / March 14, 2007

I must admit to being deeply suspicious of the “Anti-Raunch Culture” warriors. I’m reading Pornified now, but all author Pamela Paul seems to prove is that men are, gasp, masturbating. Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs is a bit more likable (who doesn’t want to slam Girls Gone Wild Pioneer Joe Francis, both figuratively and literally, in the gut?), but completely lacks subtlety. While Levy insists that she’s not anti-sex worker, she spends less time skewering male pornographers and more those sluts who won’t shut up. Besides, she claims we can’t like thongs since they come from the sex industry. I wonder how Levy feels about those brothel imports- jazz and tango. Author Tracy Quan sums up my problems with Levy and co in this Fifth Estate article.

In America, for example, the anti-raunch consensus seems to be that society is going to hell in a hand basket — and college girls are getting rowdier — because sex workers aren’t cowering in their shame-filled closets. Recalling that Vanessa Williams lost her Miss America crown because Penthouse photos had resurfaced, Ariel appears to be nostalgic for the good old days when “being exposed in porn was something you needed to come back from.” Now, to her dismay, being in porn is “itself the comeback.” Though she urges her readers to remember that sex workers are, indeed, working, you get the eerie sense that we’re like black people moving into a previously white neighborhood.

Well said.

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