James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Is it okay for a porn star to condemn rape? And why do I have to ask?

Ten years ago, comedian Doug Stanhope contemplated running for the 2008 Libertarian Party Presidential nomination. It was derailed due to FEC rules. Had he been able to move forward and won the nomination, he would have had my enthusiastic endorsement.

In 2010, I set up a Facebook page (now removed) to promote John Stagliano for the 2012 Libertarian Presidential Nomination, who was then being prosecuted on obscenity charges. I did not know him, he didn't ask me to to do this and perhaps never heard about it. My position was that the purpose of nominating him is to send the message that prosecutions of consensual crimes must stop.

Stagliano is a pornographer. Doug Stanhope is a raunchy comedian who once hosted a Girls Gone Wild special.

Stagliano filmed women having sex. Most likely, most of the women he filmed appeared in several films and had sex with multiple partners. Girls Gone Wild was also pornographic (though perhaps less explicit; I don't know).

Those who are morally opposed to pornography may dislike them, and dislike me because I was ready to support them.

Now, what would Stagliano, Stanhope, or any of the women they featured think about a rapist like Bill Cosby? I imagine that if they believe the accusations, they feel the same anger and revulsion most people do. But are any of them, or am I, entitled to condemn Cosby's crimes?

Most people would say, "Of course you can!" Even those with strict sexual ethics know the difference between consensual and non-consensual sex. They understand that wearing skimpy clothes, being promiscuous, or being a porn star doesn't mean one is "asking for it" or "deserves it."

Would anyone say to a porn star: "Wait, how can you condemn Bill Cosby? You have sex for a living!"

That question doesn't make sense. The voluntary nature of the porn star's work is different from someone violating her body without her consent. That she consents to men having sex with her doesn't mean she believes any man can have sex with any woman whether she consents or not.

Common sense, right?

But the funny thing is, I've seen several  Internet memes that excuse Donald Trump's unwitting admission of sexual assault. They show a young female pop star grabbing her crotch on stage, and pointing out the supposed irony and/or hypocrisy that she of all people criticized Donald Trump's behavior!

Because, apparently, if you voluntarily touch yourself in public, you have no moral standing to condemn sexual molestation.

That's exactly the line of thinking that would conclude that a porn star has no moral standing to condemn rape.

It's ridiculous. It's shameful such memes exist.

And it's embarrassing that (some, not all) Trump supporters portray themselves as thinking that way. They were already depicted in the media as sexist and ignorant, but I had no idea the reality was even worse than the stereotype.

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