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March 28, 2008

Comments

R.B.

What do Girls who have Gone Wild grow up to be?

Uh, adult women? Most of whom are not professional sex workers? And many of whom are even productive members of society?

Girls Gone Wild is crap because they harass and pressure young women into taking their clothes off, and because they don't pay the women who appear in their videos a fair wage. Not because women who have sex in college are worthless sluts.

Thanks for the one noncommittal sentence about men, though.

Sandy B.

It is sad how women and girls view their bodies as matter to be "used up" before to old. I know when I grew up, I was exposed to pornography and it greatly affected my view of myself and women, in a negative way. It is sad that we live in a sex saturated society where women view themselves as more liberated as naked, when we are all actually more threatened with loss of our freedoms due to increasing violence and rape of women and children. Pornography starts most viewers on a slippery slope towards viewing violent rape, child pornography (which is rape and often violent) etc... The research proves it again and again. My husband and I were looking at the news last night and just shook our heads, that people don't get the connection ormaybe don't care. A group of people at Chapel Hill were marching for a "Take Back the Night". It is a march to stop violence against women. The walk is nice but that is about it, in my opinion. No real connection is made and rapists don't really care about it. Well, as you walk through campus, how many women are barely dressed? How many TV shows are turned on watching crimes depicting graphic violence against women. How much porn is downloaded? When will people make the connections between what we view and the associated behavoir. Unfortunately, I see young people so much more an more desensitized to all of this and it is scary.

Allison

R.B., thanks for your comment, but nowhere did I say that ALL girls who have "gone wild" become prostitutes - I just said ones like A.A. Dupre do.

Also, what exactly is a "fair" wage for being exploited? I mean, how do we determine how much it's worth for a woman to degrade herself like that? And in terms of the women being pressured to take their clothes off, I will admit, I've thankfully never been to a GGW shoot, but didn't the concept of GGW get started because girls were already taking their clothes off in their drunken states at spring break parties?

In terms of the whole "women who have sex in college are worthless sluts". I NEVER said that - nor would I ever. (I got married in college!)

Lastly, in terms of my "noncommittal" line about men - believe me, I think the men that keep the prostitution and porn industry running are slime buckets - but if we women didn't provide it for them, they wouldn't have it available.

The main point of my post, which you seemed to have missed, was that pornography can be just as devastating as prostitution - they're both forms of cheating and are degrading to women - neither should be taken lightly.

R.B.

Also, what exactly is a "fair" wage for being exploited?

There's no fair wage for being exploited. I don't know what the fair wage is for appearing in a pornographic video, but it's more than those girls are getting. Analogy: there's a fair wage for being a fruit picker, but not for being an exploited and coerced fruit picker. You can complain about fruit pickers being underpaid even if you also think that their working conditions are so lousy that no amount of pay would compensate working under those conditions.)

And in terms of the women being pressured to take their clothes off, I will admit, I've thankfully never been to a GGW shoot, but didn't the concept of GGW get started because girls were already taking their clothes off in their drunken states at spring break parties?

So what? So at these pre-GGW spring break parties, there was no pressure on girls to take their clothes off? And then the GGW crew just came in to film them in their natural habitat, without changing the environment at all?

The main point of my post, which you seemed to have missed, was that pornography can be just as devastating as prostitution - they're both forms of cheating and are degrading to women - neither should be taken lightly.

Well, OK, but why is the bulk of the blame being heaped on the female performer? People destroy their relationships by getting addicted to video games, but we don't respond by getting all righteously indignant toward video game designers. The emphasis just strikes me as really unhelpful here. Moralizing at prostitutes hasn't done any good for thousands of years; why should we expect different results now?

ms havisham

I have to agree with RB. It's quite telling that Ms. Dupre--who has participated in large, male-owned and male-driven institutions that profit handsomely on the exploitation of women's bodies--is mentioned several times by name in the post, while Joe Francis is not, and Eliot Spitzer's name only appears once, as an example of Ms. Dupre's clients. It's important that we keep discussion of these issues centered on the individuals who supply the demand for these enterprises, rather than on the women who are caught up in mess. Not only that, the post would have been much more interesting if you'd drawn a line from the callous disregard for women's humanity that is engendered by pornography (or pseudo-pornography like GGW) and the entitlement of men like Spitzer who then feel they have the right to rent a woman's body for their own pleasure.

Gila

I think Allison is trying to answer the fact that Ms. Dupre's behavior has been glamorized, she's getting million dollar offers,etc. Those men have already been lashed a zillion times in the media & on David Letterman etc. So I think it is fair to say let's not glamorize the female part of this equation.

Allison

In terms of the spring break parties - if it's true that women were being coerced to take their clothes of even before GGW hit the scene, then women have to band together and avoid parties like this. I completely agree that a women should NEVER be coerced into taking her clothes off.

I spent most of the post talking about Dupre because I found the quote she gave to the Palm Beach Post: ("You might as well show off what you have before you don't have it any more!It's not stupid to do it (take off your clothes for GGW). It's all fun and games.") so troubling.

If someone has to resort to prostitution as a way to literally stay alive, that's obviously a horrible situation, but understandable. But when a person, like Dupre, seems to be into the pornography and the high end prostitution simply because she loves the attention and thinks it's all fun and games, then she is validating and glamorizing an industry that is so anti-women.

anita

Ashley is only playing by the rules:

Johns' Rules
By Joseph Parker, Clinical Director
The Lola Greene Baldwin Foundation

1. When I buy you, for that time I own you. You must do, or let me do, anything I want. In spite of whatever limits I agreed to up front, once you are under my control, I will do whatever I want. I take no responsibility for the consequences of my behavior.

2. It is the pimp's job to beat you down far enough to make you do what I want. However, if I want to, I will assault you any way I wish. Short of murder, I know I will almost certainly get away with anything I do to you.

3. You are being used as a prop in my internal fantasy life. If I want to play "super stud and sex slave," you are to play out whatever role I give you. I do not want to know who you really are. If you do not help me be whatever I want in my fantasies or worse yet, laugh at me, I am likely to hurt you.

4. You must always act happy and never show any signs of your disgust for me. I will ignore needle tracks, damaged teeth, bruises, or other signs of injury unless the fit in with my fantasies.

5. All I ever want to hear from you is:

1. "I am doing this because I want to. I enjoy it."

2. "I do not have a pimp."

3. "I do not use drugs. I am not addicted to anything."

4. "You are the best fuck I have ever had in my life."

Fakrudeen

Agree with Allison - if someone enters prostitution for existence, it is understandable, although it is a disgrace for the society [all of us] which is not doing anything to stop it.

But women like these, who enter it for luxury and "fun" [I have a hard time believing some one enters it for fun, I think it is euphemism for greed] are the ones doing real harm to women, by providing a distorted view of women to men [again not to absolve men of their responsibility] and degrading 'womenness'.

Blakeney

I have had my consciousness raised over the past two weeks by some things I've seen or read. And I do not think that there are very many women at all who enter prostitution or pornography for luxury or fun.

I think the majority of these women have a lot of emotional issues and some of them think their bodies are the *only* thing of value they have to offer. I think in some horrible sick way, these professions don't offer so much as a way of living for them as they do a way of acceptance and a feeling of being wanted in general, if only for the sake of being used.

This is a disgrace, and I think it's one we've been hiding from for far too long. Just like drugs used to be something that "other" "bad" people did, until they started becoming mainstream and attracting notice, so too the "porn industry" emphasis is starting to become maintream also, as evidenced by such things as clothing fashions, pole dancing lessons, reality shows and etc.

I blame those that support these professions - and this especially includes the media, which has a mighty sorry history of degrading women, and defining them in terms of body parts and as sex objects.

Just something I had to add here: I was watching Martha Stewart today, and her guest was Eva Amurri, daughter of Susan Sarandon. I'm no fan of Sarandon, but Eva seemed like a likable, sweet and caring person(she supports www.heroaction.org for children in Aids-effected areas in Africa).

Martha mentioned that she had recently filmed her first nude scene and asked how her mother felt about that. Eva's reply was along the lines of what could her mother actually say, as she herself had done that stuff in her youth. Eva asked Martha if she would ever consider doing a nude scene, to which Martha said "maybe 20 years ago", and Eva said, "Oh, I didn't know if you were a prude..."

I think that as long as we remain in denial and believe that prostitution and other kinds of sex work are things that "other bad people do," often for fun, we will never be able to end this type of violence against women and men.

Shiri

"I think the majority of these women have a lot of emotional issues and some of them think their bodies are the *only* thing of value they have to offer." -- that's what men think oftentimes. It's unbelievable what kind of things men will accept from a beautiful woman (cheating, verbal abuse, disrespect, exploitation - to name a few). (Some) women merely internalize this message. I will believe men value our character more when I observe sweet fat or less glamorous girls being asked out and mean hotties being passed over for the first.

sylvia

The Spring Break bacchanalia in Florida and Texas is childish, irresponsible, and profligate. Don't students have term papers to write during the down time? How can they afford to live in motels and eat out for a week? Even the gasoline for the round trip is now an issue. How many girls have come back from Spring Break with an STD, or pregnant, or simply with horrible memories of an attempted or completed sexual assault while they were tipsy?

GGW is simply a bunch of lecherous guys trying to make money by filming orgiastic behavior that long predate digicams. The releases the girls sign are not legally credible. I am sure that more than one under 18 kid has been caught on camera.

But most of all we parents have to put our feet down: my child, you will NOT drive to St Augustine for spring break and live on beer and nachos for a week. You will not take your t shirt off in public at 11PM, and you will not be part of the cheering audience for such childish lewd behavior.

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