Quickies

Skepchick Quickies, 7.13

  • The triumph of New-Age medicine: “But now many doctors admit that alternative medicine often seems to do a better job of making patients well, and at a much lower cost, than mainstream care—and they’re trying to learn from it.” (From Katherine.)
  • Politicians and the ‘science’ on homosexuality.
  • Following-up on those involved in the Stanford prison experiment.
  • Does the porn industry suck? “We have to shake off the notion that women don’t like porn because it’s related to sex and reveal the notion that maybe women don’t like porn as it is right now because it’s related to sexism.” Possibly NSFW. (From Mark.)

Jen

Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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23 Comments

  1. I take issue with the idea that we should encourage New Age medicine because it has such a great placebo effect. I also disagree with the assessment that modern medicine is failing. It is not. The author mistakes the harmful effects of our insurance system for failure on the part of the medical field. One point made is that France spends less on its healthcare but has healthier people. What’s the difference? France has national health care. If patients are able to go to a doctor for preventive care, spend time with that doctor discussing all the issues that contribute to it, then they should have better health.
    The argument should be for better access and care, not phony and potentially harmful woo-woo.

  2. AstroCJ, why would you read an article that says “porn” while at work? I wouldn’t recommend doing that.

    I actually view a LOT of porn at work, because I am currently a CSR for a very popular 3rd-party billing company that deals primarily in porn. I have lots of interesting stories, heh. It sucks (I’m looking for another job), but sometimes it’s highly interesting. And I can look at all the NSFW content on the internet that I want, because who is going to complain about a few boobies on a livejournal post, when a moment before I was testing a double anal video?

    We don’t get a lot of women callers that aren’t calling in about possible fraud, or charges that belong to their husbands or sons, but it does happen. A few classy lesbian sites, mostly, but every now and again a woman calls in about a really hardcore site. It’s kind of jarring because it’s really rare.

    One time I had a woman call in with a year-long history of a specific kind of bondage. She claimed she was a “journalist writing a book” but I still doubt that, heh.

    1. I’ll third the ‘hey, how the hell are you?’ sentiment. And I do agree that clicking on any link with the word ‘porn’ in the link is probably not a good idea at work. Even without pics it’s likely to crop up in the filter log.

      How does one *test* a double anal video?

      1. We have to often test videos when customers claim they don’t work for them, haha. :) And sometimes, it’s not something you want to see.

        For instance: Queen of Farts. It exists. I’m serious.

        And I’m good, you guys! Just busy. I still read; I just haven’t found myself with much to say lately. I know, I know; not really like me. I hope when I get out of this soul-sucking job, I’ll be able to concentrate more fully on things I enjoy. :)

    2. Mm, I have a reasonably confident idea of what the filter is at my work: A flagging system that’s looked at by a human being that I’ve met and seemed to get on reasonably well with. I read a lot of feminist blogs in my downtime, and I generally assume that if a flag goes up over something I look at on “telegraph.co.uk” then the tech folk will use their noggins.

  3. Oh, and I always feel kind of sad and uncomfortable when a wife calls in about a charge she doesn’t recognize, and it’s under her husbands name, and it’s gay porn. Happens often, actually. The other day I got a call about about a mom calling in about a charge under her 14-year old son’s name and email address. Gay site. Thankfully we have a privacy policy and usually can’t divulge what the site is except to whom it belongs to.

  4. And, of course I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with gay porn or being gay, but I really don’t want to be in the position of outing someone, especially when I have no earthly idea who anyone involved is or what their situation is. AWKWARD.

  5. “If water has memory, it should remember all the shit it’s been through”. My go-to answer when someone tries to tell me homeopathy works.
    Seriously, who could actually believe that diluting a chemical in water until there is no chemical left in the mixture could actually have the same effect as the chemical applied by itself?

  6. Does the porn industry suck?

    What I found most troubling about this article is that the author did not really elaborate on what exactly constitutes feminist pornography that is stripped of patriarchy. To complicate matters, personal tastes will heavily weigh into the equation. No one can truly arbitrate or draw a line between good and bad porn or feminist or unfeminist porn. Also can porn be stripped of objectification? Shouldn’t the bottom line simply be personal freedom and civil liberties? Shouldn’t we all have the freedom to privately watch whatever media involving sexual interactions between consenting adults whether it is blessed by feminists or not?

    Indeed, over 90% of porn is catered towards men. The only way to change that is to expand women’s civil liberties in this arena to produce porn for mass consumption and not limit the freedom to watch existing male catered porn. Tristan Taormino is a classic example of a woman porn producer who breaks out of the gender restricted box.

    1. I don’t see how the article argued against civil liberties to make or watch porn. Or for that matter how are women being denied the civil liberty to make porn. It seems like your using a strawman argument here.

      The authors main point is that most porn is there to fulfill the fantasies of heterosexual men and in the process objectifies women and devalues them as sex partners by treating them as man pleasing sex objects.

      I disagree with some of her interpretations, and I think some characterizations are off base, but I do think her main point is valid.

      1. The author was very coy about saying exactly what she wanted to see happen in the porn industry. All she does is make a bunch of untrue assertions (ignoring rule 34) and lets the reader put 2 and 2 together. Objectification is a weasel word that essentially doesn´t mean anything. Most of the porn that I have seen depicts women enjoying sex as much as the men. In fact they are often depicted as initiating the encounter. You might say that the way it´s depicted is fantastical… but that´s Hollywood. If you women want to see more porn that caters for female tastes, then they need to start paying for more porn and the market will do the rest.

        1. Well, if a porn movie shows a woman (or man) enjoying being raped, that doesn’t strike me as empowering. I think the idea that women-enjoying-sex = feminist is an odd concept, though it’s not as disturbing as the idea that women shouldn’t enjoy sex.
          I don’t think objectification is a weasel word, but I do think that it’s often used to mean that a person’s usefulness/appearance is being considered at all (as well as her/his humanity), and of course most people do that. In my opinion “objectification” has to mean considering a person’s usefulness (to the subject) to the near exclusion of her/his humanity.
          Consumerism often seems like an easy solution (“just pay for more porn and the porn will improve!”) but producers of goods do not, in fact, react solely to demand.

  7. I don’t know what kind of porn you people are watching. But the ones I see are of two legally consenting adults sharing in sexual pleasure.
    It’s ignorant (and inherently wrong) to suggest that porn is sexist solely because the majority of it is made for men.

    1. I see lots of porn involving a good deal more than two consenting adults. Sometimes as many as five or six. :)

      Seriously, though, there’s a pretty huge variety of porn out there, and I think the author never states that porn is fundamentally sexist. I thought she went out of her way to make it clear that there is a lot of grey to this issue.

      I always thought porn, sort of by definition, objectifies everyone involved. That being said, the author raised (in my mind at least) some pretty valid points. I hate watching porn where it looks like the woman isn’t really enjoying herself. Sadly, I think it’s more the rule than the exception.

  8. Yay to porn that’s aout sexuality!

    As to the science of homosexuality who fucking cares :) If your bi you can choose same sex if you want to and we can develop our sexuality intio hiomo erotic areas and again who cares.

  9. The porn article was, sadly, fairly weaksauce. It was like the author was going out of her way to not offend or disturb anyone–leaving her with a bunch of empty bromides.

    For one thing, there’s ample evidence available that porn has serious impacts on the women who appear in them. There’s also a lot of evidence of rape in the industry–which pretty quickly takes the wind out of the “consenting adults” sails. (Note: One very common form of this is for the producer to tell the actress that it’s going to be soft-core, or merely show fairly vanilla sex, or that protection will be used. Instead, the woman finds out mid-action that she’s in a “gonzo porn” flick, with no protection at all.

    It’s pretty well-established that it can be difficult for a woman to make a case for rape charges in the best of times–what do you do when the rapist (or at least, the rapist’s employer) has a piece of paper that says you agreed to be filmed having sex?

    I’m not anti-porn; I DO think there needs to be a no-holds-barred cleansing of the industry, though. Investigation of some of the more marginal outfits, independent monitoring of the sets, interviews with the starlets to confirm that this is voluntary, and so on. It’s a multi-billion-dollar industry; it can afford some internal controls and regulation.

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