My name is Trixie (aka TastyTrixie). The Wandering WebWhore is my personal blog. I'm a 30-something indie pornographer whose journal covers a variety of topics: mundane daily life, work-related reflection, sex stuff, current events, and more.
The other night we heard Martin Short ask Conan O'Brien if it's okay to say "penis" on television. Conesy assured him that if it's a "medical" word you can say it on tv. So they said it, "PENIS", over and over. Martin also said, "ding dong", "my unit" and a whole bunch of other terms as he used his hands to indicate EXACTLY what part of his body he was talking about.
Guess what happens if you do a search for "clitoris"? BIG FAT ZERO.
I only learned of this reading Susie Bright's post about this twisted double standard. Of course, to be fair, "vagina" doesn't seem to be considered a dirty word since I just turned on strict filtering and did a search for that term and came up with (considerably fewer than penis) results so . . . yeah.
It IS upsetting and there's clearly a weird double standard; it's hilarious (in a very dark way) that anyone would think a clitoris is more dangerous than a penis, and "dangerous" IS the opposite of "safe", isn't it? Still, I don't know that I feel exactly the same way about it that Susie does, though I think hers is an important perspective full of many truths and that we should all be pissed off about this kind of bullshit. But part of the hate, shame, and willful ignorance of women and women's bodies is wrapped up in the shame and disgust men feel (and women AND MANY *FEMINISTS* REINFORCE AND ENCOURAGE) over straight men's sexual response to women. If it's a part of the body that makes a straight man's dick hard -- something they want to see and touch and lick and talk about and see pictures of -- then it needs to be censored to save those crazed pudwhackers from themselves and the women from the damage that is wrought when men think of women in a sexual way!
I'm not sure "the giant obscene 'F' word in Internet censorship is feminism". Yes, I think this is a feminist issue, for sure, but I don't think the sole or even the primary motive for/cause of banning a word like "clitoris" from google's safe search is a clear desire to silence feminists and shroud women and their bodies in a reinforced veil of ignorance. Sure, that's one of many RESULTS (and there are plenty of places where plenty of people DO make silencing feminists and campaigning against women and knowledge of women's bodies number one on their agenda) and it's easy to see why Susie would feel especially pissed about it when she's not one of the sex-negative feminists who thinks that every boner sprung is a rape waiting to happen (a way of thinking that, combined with the conservative, supposedly apolitical woman's belief that every time a man masturbates to pictures of women who aren't his wife that a family is destroyed, has made the men who are still in charge very eager to PRETEND to try to disapprove along with us of their dirty habit of jacking off over images of our bodies) . . . and when you turn safe search off to find "clitoris", the seventh page-one result is her post on the internal clitoris, etc. Obviously safe search filters could make it harder for Susie to sell books.
A little diversion: laughably, the retarded UNfactual "ask men dating and love tip" page on "understanding the clitoris" ranks higher than Susie's or Scarleteen's pages, but that's probably because a site like AskMen works a lot harder on search engine optimization than educators, artists, writers, political activists, etc.). The web used to be more of a woman, but now it's poorly micromanaged by algorithms cooked up by men. Are their little mathematical formulas conscious attempts to censor feminist obscenities (like truth)? No. I don't think so.
There are so many more pointed ways that women and the truths about our bodies told from our own perspectives are smacked down by corporate censors that the banned google clitoris isn't at the top of my list of things to use as an example. It's the more obvious and uncomplicated stuff I've had to deal with as a pornographer (one of those "commercial porn-makers" Susie identifies as someone who she thinks doesn't suffer from bans and censorship the way artists, writers, educators and political activists do, which is an annoying and probably unintentional slap in the face I've felt delivered from the latter group and their "poor, starving, I-do-it-for-love-not-money mentality" before -- I guess they always think we'll know that they don't mean pornographers like Tony Comstock who of course get to be included as ARTISTES) that really chap my hide as clear-cut cases of misogyny combined with the anti-sex backlash perpetrated by the feminists who deign to speak for all of us. Again, it's not that Susie is one of those people, it's just that I see feminism as one of many complex contributors to internet censorship, not just a victim of it.
So what IS a clear cut case of anti-woman, ignorance-enforcing internet censorship? When credit card companies and their processors tell me my body (and yours, if you're a woman) is OBSCENE when I'm menstruating and I'm not allowed to talk about it or show pictures of it or have sex with myself or other people while I'm having my period on any domain where I make money selling my porn. When they spider our sites looking for banned words, take them out of context and threaten to take away our ability to be paid for our work even when it IS political, educational, artistic, etc. Guess what? Google is not the entity afraid of my bloody pussy. Google is not the entity hiding or demanding I delete blog entries discussing political, legal and ethical issues containing banned words. I just have to cross my fingers when I make posts like this one that they won't come fuck with me, but technically I am defying their terms of service right now by posting this and could have my business shut down because of it. And it's not just "the man" who's against me, it's the (other) feminists, too.
Censorship isn't something you can blame all on men and their holy penises and their desire to stamp out feminism. And I'm starting to rethink that great old joke she mentioned; "if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament." It's totally true, but I'll bet if that were the case today, feminists would quickly become the new pro-lifers. The gender wars are far from one-sided and I've been hit by a whole fucking lot of "friendly fire" over here on "our" side.
I know I'm being oversensitive and carelessly lobbing my own grenades in the wrong direction at people who are my allies, but oversimplifying everything as "anti-feminist" undermines all of our arguments and neglects to acknowledge the ways that some of feminism's "successes" have led to these failures along the way. There's a bit Bill Maher does that annoys the FUCK out of me to listen to (off-topic sidenote: I didn't like much about "Religulous", fyi), but I can't help thinking of it right now because some of it's true and applicable:
My guess is that banning "clitoris" has very little (if anything) to do with a campaign to censor feminist thought and information and women's bodies, and a whole lot more to do with thoughtlessness along with this thing Bill Maher talks about, with men trained to bow to "feminized"/feminINE values that anything that makes them erect is BAD. When you layer that onto the big problems that we SHOULD be focusing on like a) the people that make decisions in big companies being men, and b) men assuming everyone who uses their tools (like search engines) ARE men, and c) all men are straight, you wind up with guys jumping to the conclusion that any search for a clitoris is one that's going to make someone bust a nut and is therefore unsafe. Or maybe a whole lot of confused and retarded thought WAS put into it (with a, b and c still factored in) and they decided that since, as feminists will proudly point out to you, they've heard that clitoris is the only organ with the sole function of PLEASURE, and MEN HAVE BEEN TAUGHT THAT THEIR PLEASURE IS BAD if they experience it themselves, especially by objectifying women in pictures or on the internet, that it should be banned. Or maybe it's totally ridiculous to imagine ANY THOUGHT WHATSOEVER went into this arbitrary "decision". I highly doubt that a bunch of people came together in a room with a picture of a cock on one side of the chalkboard and a vulva on the other, and came to a consensus that CLITORIS is a dirty word but PENIS isn't, and high-fived each other on the way out the door saying, "right on, man! Another way to stick it to feminism!!"
Ultimately I think it's paranoid to say, "it's been clear for a long time that the giant obscene "F" word in Internet censorship is feminism." And untrue. And I say that as someone who believes it IS true that feminism (and accurate information about women) is censored, misrepresented, considered obscene and something to quash and oppose on a very large, grand scale. I just don't think that's the case here with google and the clitoris, and if you want to point at double standards, the more glaring one is ignoring how much power and influence feminists and women in general have had and continue to wield in censoring the internet, art, and women who capitalize (the first offense) on men's desires by selling them access to their bodies (second offense). It's wrong to imply that feminist writers, artists, etc. have suffered more from internet censorship than pornographers.
Sure, feminist writers, artists, etc. make less money than smut peddlers as a whole, but that disparity has nothing to do with censorship - porn makes money in SPITE of censorship that FAVORS women writers and artists (who don't create graphic material that is VISUAL), and is DEMANDED by the tag team duo of feminists and conservative women. You want to know why most women don't make money on the internet? BECAUSE THEY DON'T WANT TO. Because they don't even try. Because they are content sitting around bitching and blogging and crying on each other's shoulders feeling superior because they aren't whores motivated by money, no they care about PRINCIPLES and getting warm fuzzies commiserating with each other and expect the "community" to take care of them rather than creating something marketable and making enough money to buy influence and support their causes themselves. Because they rely on the man to pay them just enough that they can bitch about it being unfair and that they only do it because they HAVE to, rather than BECOMING the man long enough and with enough success that they can subvert the system. Women don't make money because they love just scraping by and they think that makes them superior to men, because they don't think big except in terms of imagining some big plot designed to keep them barefoot and pregnant.
Whatever. Enough of this baloney -- I need to stop being a hypocrite and make me some fucking money.
Speaking of social events with a purpose, we're not going to be able to make it to this fundraiser tomorrow, but PLEASE READ about it and consider donating. Keep it on your "worthy causes" bookmarks! It provides perspective a lot of us lack (or have the luxury to not consider often) and is a necessary reminder of the thousands of ways responsible family planning is undermined and right choices are punished or made unavailable to women who are saddled with more than their fair share of costs and scary-ass consequences for getting (and not getting) abortions.
To provide some extra incentive, I will comp you a six week membership to our sites (if you want) if you donate. If you make it like a "gift" in my behalf I'll get an ecard like this (click for a suggestion on how to fill it out so I'll know you want to take me up on this):
Upon receiving the email/e-card it may take me up to 48 hours (or more if we're gone) to manually set you up, but it's a major bargain since normally six weeks of membership would cost over $30 but with this I can't tell how much you donated so you could get it for the minimum donation amount. If you would like to donate more than $30 (please do!) and be personally rewarded for it with more membership time, forward me your receipt and I will set you up with a correspondingly longer amount of time. And if you don't want a membership but you just want to brag, I'll enjoy seeing how much you donated just for fun if you feel like sharing that info.
NOTE: you are not *buying* a membership from me, you are donating money and I am personally rewarding you for it; if you are not happy with a membership to our sites understand that you don't have an opportunity for a refund and I will personally hunt you down and beat you senseless if you do a chargeback. Not that I will have the information to do that, but just pretend. Obviously if you want to buy a membership but NOT donate, you should join our sites the regular way.
There are a lot of reasons why I'd love to help this particular clinic to help women in this way, but one of the semi-senseless reasons is that it's in Tacoma which is like the hometown of my heart; I feel very connected to that place so for selfish reasons it just makes me feel more emotionally invested than if it were Portland or Tulsa or wherever. And I really like the idea of someone I know and love being made happier by helping distribute the money to help women she sees face-to-face at work.
Note: yes, I know that the title of this post could be perceived as tasteless and may not be something people want to be associated with; I am not speaking on behalf of anybody but myself here, so understand that I am in no way affiliated with the clinic, Heather is not in cahoots with me and am only drumming up donations and offering some motivation as a private entity. This message is not endorsed by the people who will benefit from your donations, mkay? If tacky title leads to page views leads to donations, I'm personally all for it, but recognize others might not like it. Also, if you are someone who assumes the porn in my site is all politically-correct and emotionally safe just because I'm pro-choice and identify as a feminist, I want to warn you that you might find some of my porn disturbing and/or offensive, particularly if you do not "consume" a lot of porn already.