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Old 08-06-2006, 09:16 PM   #31
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
No, but then that one doesn't get nearly as much market share


i've seen it. it was a laugh riot.

but i wonder why we are so quick to assume that these girls are being exploited by powers far beyond their ability to control or even comprehend, but their equally drunk (and straight) male counterparts who take their clothes off, rub oil on each other's chests, and sometimes even do handstands for a group of cooing off-screen women might not receive the same collective protective instinct.
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:22 PM   #32
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Woul dsomething like this sell in Europe? Does it? Or is this a cultural thing because of American Taboo?
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:24 PM   #33
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I can definitely understand where that comes from, same underlying motivation as treating male verss female juvinile sex offenders differently, I think that the article makes Francis out to be a very sleazy guy but the opposition to the GGW franchise does not seem to be based on how he conducts his affairs rather that such exhibitionist behaviour will by definition equal exploitation.
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:28 PM   #34
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Originally posted by Irvine511
general philosophical question -- do we have the same problems with "Guys Gone Wild"?
Are ther similar stories of Francis raping guys?
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:43 PM   #35
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Are ther similar stories of Francis raping guys?


i am putting aside Francis' behavior (which i agree seems more than dispicable) and want to concentrate on the idea of the DVDs themselves.
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Old 08-06-2006, 09:44 PM   #36
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Woul dsomething like this sell in Europe? Does it? Or is this a cultural thing because of American Taboo?


"guys" is available in the US, and i have no idea what the sales are like, but i would imagine the target audience are gay guys and bachelorette parties.
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Old 08-06-2006, 10:16 PM   #37
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Originally posted by Irvine511
i wonder why we are so quick to assume that these girls are being exploited by powers far beyond their ability to control or even comprehend, but their equally drunk (and straight) male counterparts who take their clothes off, rub oil on each other's chests, and sometimes even do handstands for a group of cooing off-screen women might not receive the same collective protective instinct.
Good question, and this is partly why I raised the issue of the effects of both "girl power" feminism and the (more generally gender-neutral, IMO) "culture of spectacle" on the motivations for being filmed. But, the Guys Gone Wild videos, from what I've read--while indeed filmed by "cooing," hetero-cute camerawomen (part of the draw, just as Francis' "cooing," hetero-cute cameramen are part of the draw for women)--are in fact primarily aimed at the gay market, as are Playgirl and other ostensibly "for women" porn products. So, the cultural context in which viewing takes place--as well as the implied narrative of what is(n't) being affirmed about men's bodies as indices of social worth--is a bit different, is it not?

You've suggested yourself in previous threads that men's behavior towards women calls for a different code of conduct--or at least an extra measure of sensitivity to cultural hierarchies--where, for example, proper observance of "boundaries," and due circumspection when commenting on physical appearances, are concerned. Why is that, and should it have any relevance here? I don't want to put words into your mouth, but I suspect the answer has something to do with the argument that women are indeed more likely to prejudicially be reduced to bodies-as-objects...in ways that tend to inconveniently spill outside the more narrowly defined purposes of pornography.

I don't think it's so much a question of implying an insulting "inability to comprehend," but rather highlighting the presence of a problematic set of disincentives to comprehend--e.g., Paglia's flawed (in my view) attempt to "reclaim" female sexuality from the excesses of MacKinnon et al. by lionizing call girls, or attributing female rock stars' generally lesser success in embodying sexy, "phallic" rebellion to women's failure of nerve to embrace the sexually transgressive "sublime."
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:04 AM   #38
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Originally posted by Dreadsox
Woul dsomething like this sell in Europe? Does it? Or is this a cultural thing because of American Taboo?
I think that Girls Gone Wild would do well on the European market but I don’t shop for porn so I’ve no idea if it’s being sold here.

I’m looking for a link at BBC (and if I find it I’ll post it) but meanwhile… There was a study a few months ago about porn use on the internet among British men and women and the surprising conclusion was that there is very little difference in porn consumption by males and females in the UK. The are differences in taste however, and speaking from a personal perspective and from porn-related conversations with female friends, I doubt that Guys Gone Wild would sell well here. As yolland pointed out most of the ‘female-oriented’ products are actually aimed at the gay market.
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:18 AM   #39
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Originally posted by Irvine511
general philosophical question -- do we have the same problems with "Guys Gone Wild"?
I think it's the same thing- but as Mr Brau said, has Joe Francis raped any guys? Drugged them in order to make them more compliant? Exploitation is exploitation, but the key difference will always be the physical power and threat that the man has over the woman.

In general I think women are not turned on by something like Guys Gone Wild-most women need more of a "story" and want it to be more subtle and "romantic". Cheap and tawdry stuff that is just all "out there" is not a turn on for most women, at least most that I know. Of course I am making generalizations and there will always be exceptions. So there will be guys that are not turned on by "Girls Gone Wild" and similar stuff, whether it's the cheap exploitation of it- or they need and want something else, something that's somehow deeper and more meaningful. Of course it wouldn't take much to be more meaningful than Girls Gone Wild. And they always say men are mostly just visual, for whatever that's worth. I think that's a simplification, then again I have met many men who are quite simple

I really just have to wonder if Joe Francis has any moral conscience whatsoever-that article sure gives the impression that he is totally devoid of one. Someone like Hugh Hefner has much more respect for women, and for himself.
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:26 AM   #40
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Gunning at Joe Francis and his behaviour dodges the issue of the pornography itself, which I do not think is by definition exploitation. Given the degree of most of it as softcore pornography with consenting amateurs I don't think the arguments about the product are as relevent as those that can be made against more hardcore pornography that may be unregulated (I count the rights of sex workers to unionise to be a very good thing).

As far as commupence for Joe Francis these allegations would not surprise me
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In an exclusive interview with Hollywood, Interrupted, Vaysfeld recounts his allegations:

"My club is one of the biggest pickup joints in Moscow, so that was easy. I got him five girls, my treat. I came to his hotel suite with them, and he and his buddies were popping Viagra like crazy. They were banging the girls - flip-flopping with them - videotaping the sex. Then, Joe asked me for some "X" [ecstasy drug]. He banged all five of the girls, then he said, 'You know what I really want...Right now?' I said, 'I gave you girls, dope - what else do you want?' He said, 'I want a twelve-year-old to fuck.' That's where I jumped off."

"Joe Francis is a sick piece of shit - a pedophile," alleges Vaysfeld. "I split, and later that night I got a call from Francis' hotel. He was on the phone telling me, 'My friend's money is gone.' It was about $3,000. He was trying to accuse me of ripping his friend off! Obviously, I did no such thing. I fart $3000... But when I got back to Los Angeles, my friend, the actor Mario Lopez told me that Francis was telling people that I stole money from him. Mario warned me, 'He's gonna put people on you.'

When asked why he's not worried about a powerful millionaire like Joe Francis coming after him, Alex laughs and says, "They never get to me. I get to them first. I'm licensed to carry a gun. If I see him or any of his people following me, he's liable to get shot and die... The second he brought up the 12-year-old, he was finished with me. Now, I will tell everyone he's a pedophile."
http://www.hollywoodinterrupted.com/archives/joe_francis_bad_pr_and_worse_accusations.phtml (warning, a little bit graphic)
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Old 08-07-2006, 12:39 PM   #41
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Good question, and this is partly why I raised the issue of the effects of both "girl power" feminism and the (more generally gender-neutral, IMO) "culture of spectacle" on the motivations for being filmed. But, the Guys Gone Wild videos, from what I've read--while indeed filmed by "cooing," hetero-cute camerawomen (part of the draw, just as Francis' "cooing," hetero-cute cameramen are part of the draw for women)--are in fact primarily aimed at the gay market, as are Playgirl and other ostensibly "for women" porn products. So, the cultural context in which viewing takes place--as well as the implied narrative of what is(n't) being affirmed about men's bodies as indices of social worth--is a bit different, is it not?



are you suggesting that the "male gaze" is somehow different when it is turned onto other men than it is when focused on women? i would argue that the bodily affirmations are virtually the same for men as they are for women -- gay men are plagued by body image issues just as much as their female counterparts, and i'd argue that it might be taken to an even more extreme degree, however, due to different cultural expectations, while women might starve themselves, men tend to have what's been known as "exercise bulemia." some also use steroids. i suppose what i'm saying is that the "male gaze" that is quite literally replicated in these videos works the same on both genders, and the cooing heterosexual women off-screen are there to innoculate the presumably straight men (though you do begin to wonder, a bit, when they have so much fun rubbing oil on each other'swell-waxed, buffed, and shined chests) from anything that might have just a whiff of homosexuality (while i haven't seen "Girls," most of the guys on "Guys" start to say things like, "hey baby, why don't you get in the shower with me").

it's also interesting to note that the marketing for "Guys Gone Wild" uses phrases like, "hey ladies!"


[q]You've suggested yourself in previous threads that men's behavior towards women calls for a different code of conduct--or at least an extra measure of sensitivity to cultural hierarchies--where, for example, proper observance of "boundaries," and due circumspection when commenting on physical appearances, are concerned. Why is that, and should it have any relevance here? I don't want to put words into your mouth, but I suspect the answer has something to do with the argument that women are indeed more likely to prejudicially be reduced to bodies-as-objects...in ways that tend to inconveniently spill outside the more narrowly defined purposes of pornography.[/q]


hmmm ... i'd first say that it is the "male gaze" that prejudicially reduces bodies-to-objects, whether male or female, but we can agree that roughly 90% of the time that "gaze" is focused on a female. i do agree that straight men do have to abide by different codes of conduct for precisely those reasons you mention -- the proper observance of "boundaries" being inextricably bound up in the threat of rape, domination, etc.

i find your next few sentences a bit curious -- i understand what you mean about the objectification of women in areas outside of pornography, however i wonder just how bad this is seeing how my "group" (so to speak) is routinely reduced to snappy court jesters and fairy godfathers in most of popular culture. if women's sexuality is overvalued and overrepresented, then gay male sexuality is never represented in anything outside of an explicitly "gay" context (i.e, "Queer as Folk").

but perhapst that's neither here nor there when answering the question.

i think we come back to what must be termed the "Male Gaze," and what, precisely, that does, and what said gaze tells us about the functioning of male sexuality.


Quote:
I don't think it's so much a question of implying an insulting "inability to comprehend," but rather highlighting the presence of a problematic set of disincentives to comprehend--e.g., Paglia's flawed (in my view) attempt to "reclaim" female sexuality from the excesses of MacKinnon et al. by lionizing call girls, or attributing female rock stars' generally lesser success in embodying sexy, "phallic" rebellion to women's failure of nerve to embrace the sexually transgressive "sublime."

while i often find her a bit much, i tend to be a bit more sympathetic to Paglia than you. this does trend back to the earlier "Rescue Me" thread. and in some ways i'm torn. having a little sister, i shudder to think that she might be so insecure that she would feel as if she'd have to french kiss her best friend while waiting in the keg line in order to get a beer from the man at the tap. yet, if this were me in some sort of alternate gay context, i feel as if i'd be well in on the joke and fully capable of doing something that might, on the surface, appear to be degrading, but something that i retain total control over. but i wonder if we can transfer so easily.

it seems to me that you are saying that there's something irreducable about gender, that women are always and will always be threatened by the culture of the straight male, and there's little to be done about it. that women cannot break free, that women are basically dependent upon men to change their attitudes towards women, to be made aware of their tendencies to reduce women to object, and that a woman's job is to teach her man to treat her better because she cannot escape these cultural heirarchies that are, ultimately, predicated upon biology and the greater strength of the male (whereas gender dominates the context but is absent from the dynamic of a homosexual subject-object).

so where does liberation come in? is it possible for a women to assert herself sexually outside of the (for lack of a better term) heterosexual patriarchy?
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:21 PM   #42
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Are ther similar stories of Francis raping guys?
Yeah, because EVERY girl on these DVDs have absolutely no idea that they're flashing the camera. Most of these girls are acting completely slutty. They're not brainless young girls with no control of their actions. People just seem to be more protective of females. THAT'S sexism.
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:26 PM   #43
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People just seem to be more protective of females. THAT'S sexism.


actually, this is the point i was sort of getting at.

there seems to be an impulse to "protect" women from their own sexuality, however it might be expressed. we can talk about incentives or disincentives all we want, but what we're essentially reinforcing is the narrative that women aren't capable of making truly informed, consented decisions about their own actions.

and that might be true.

but how many women would agree with that?
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:36 PM   #44
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People just seem to be more protective of females. THAT'S sexism.


Well when you find an equal amount of women pouring alcohol down men's throat and coercing them to strip, then you can use this line of thinking...
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:59 PM   #45
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it seems to me that you are saying that there's something irreducable about gender, that women are always and will always be threatened by the culture of the straight male, and there's little to be done about it. that women cannot break free, that women are basically dependent upon men to change their attitudes towards women, to be made aware of their tendencies to reduce women to object, and that a woman's job is to teach her man to treat her better because she cannot escape these cultural heirarchies that are, ultimately, predicated upon biology and the greater strength of the male (whereas gender dominates the context but is absent from the dynamic of a homosexual subject-object).
Yes, guilty as charged, that is pretty much how I see it--though I would want to qualify that a lopsided hetero "dynamic" is, IMO, in the big picture stunting for both sexes and for society generally...thus, *in principle*, there are incentives for men to change beyond just the "Women say yes to men who say no" approach (which I've always found to be both childishly manipulative and ironically self-debasing).
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i understand what you mean about the objectification of women in areas outside of pornography, however i wonder just how bad this is seeing how my "group" (so to speak) is routinely reduced to snappy court jesters and fairy godfathers in most of popular culture. if women's sexuality is overvalued and overrepresented, then gay male sexuality is never represented in anything outside of an explicitly "gay" context (i.e, "Queer as Folk")...

while i often find her a bit much, i tend to be a bit more sympathetic to Paglia than you. this does trend back to the earlier "Rescue Me" thread. and in some ways i'm torn. having a little sister, i shudder to think that she might be so insecure that she would feel as if she'd have to french kiss her best friend while waiting in the keg line in order to get a beer from the man at the tap. yet, if this were me in some sort of alternate gay context, i feel as if i'd be well in on the joke and fully capable of doing something that might, on the surface, appear to be degrading, but something that i retain total control over. but i wonder if we can transfer so easily.
I don't think we can, because A) the homoerotic "male gaze" lies outside the normative gender binary (though it's obviously influenced by it...but more on that in a minute), and B) in principle at least, gay men have the opportunity to "pass" socially to a degree that women--straight, bi or lesbian--simply do not, and this has consequences for the broader social effects women's sexual self-expressions might potentially have, like it or not.

My problems with Paglia have less to do with the idea that she's an "enabler" in the tendency to reduce women to bodies-as-objects, and more with what I see as the careless and opportunistic way in which she expropriates various "tropes"--the renegade call girl, the "phallic" rebel hero(ine)--and presses them into service within the context of an argument that has little if anything to do with the real-life socioeconomic contexts in which the real-life versions of these "tropes" appear (or don't), thus overrepresenting their strictly sexual aspects. And this isn't just with regard to gender issues--for example, in response to some of Paglia's comments touching on race ("We don't need Derrida, we have Aretha"..."My mentors have always been blacks and Jews, 'cause they're the only ones who can appreciate my personality...when we get together it's like, Whoo hoo! Now we can let it all hang out!"), the African-American feminist scholar bell hooks acidly replied, "Naturally, we black folks are only too happy to give Miz Paglia this vote of confidence, since we exist to give white women like her a chance to feel good about themselves...You go, girl! Just expropriate that 'difference' and run with it!..." On a less academic note, the lesbian feminist and sex columnist Susie Bright and for that matter Courtney Love(!) have taken Paglia to task for boasting (to Playboy--where she appeared with her clothes on, natch) that she is a "true pornographer," and for reducing the artistic power of Led Zeppelin to (to quote Love) "their big Teutonic dicks hanging out of their pants." Of course, Paglia is fond of epic gestures and frequently exaggerates for effect, I do understand that; and of course there's also the eternal struggle between literary scholars and social scientists to determine whose social analyses are more valid lurking in the background here as well, and obviously I have my own biased tendencies in that matter. Nonetheless, while sympathetic to her critiques of anti-pornography feminists (e.g., MacKinnon's ridiculous assertion that "all heterosexual sex is rape"), I'm inclined to think her style of argument disingenuously dodges some very real questions about privilege, dependency, vulnerability--and the resulting incentive to rationalize away coercive potential--that her opponents are trying to call attention to. Both perspectives run a high risk of engendering (ha ha) defeatism about the underlying power imbalances.

But to get back to insulting popular caricatures of gay men as "court jesters," and the enforced invisibility of gay sexuality outside of safely delineated "gay" contexts. Yes, obviously there's a parallel--and even, I think, an overlap--here, because (from a homophobic perspective) the problem gay men present is not only that, sexually speaking, they're failing to affirm male privilege, but even worse, they're also attempting to "feminize" other men (by directing the "male gaze" at them) in the process. But it's precisely because gay men are men that this reaction occurs--the normative, hetero gender binary simply leaves no room for "reinterpreting" or "reclaiming" gay male sexuality as Ooh la la, those bad boys, nudge nudge, wink wink. Sure, gay men can do that to each other, and for that matter straight women can fantasize about watching two men get it on too. But neither of these things changes the normative framework one iota. It is inherently "alternative" in a way, and to a degree, that female "transgressions" cannot be. So while I think(?) our perspectives can converge here to the extent that we might both see this as an example of how sexism ultimately stunts everybody, nonetheless, the fact remains that you aren't ever going to have to decide whether to French-kiss your friend for a beer, unless perhaps it's in a context where mutual recognition and acceptance of alternative-ness can be safely assumed.

Is this "paternalism"? No, I think not, because I'm not speaking here out of a desire to control women's behavior and corral it back into compliance with "what men want" (though the contradictory possibilities for interpreting the latter are a red flag right there). But you are right that it's a fine line...and I'm reminded here of your journal entry about the problems of critiquing the valorization of promiscuity in what on the one hand is an age of AIDS, and on the other, an age of increasing gay rights. These are the kinds of dilemmas you get into when you're talking collective strategy in a situation where (thankfully) everyone has some rights, but some experience more repercussions in exercising them than others.
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