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Porn King Larry Flynt: A Feminist?

Porn King Larry Flynt: A Feminist?

Why did the Equal Rights Amendment fail? Was it Ronald Reagan’s new brand of conservatism that swung the nation away from the social gains of the previous decade? Was it Phyllis Schlafly parading across the country warning women their right to motherhood would be taken away and they’d find themselves sharing the ladies room with men? 

Nope. According to Hustler Magazine founder Larry Flynt, the blame for the ERA’s failure lies at the feet of one woman and one woman alone: feminist leader Gloria Steinem.

In a 237 word Huffington Post piece yesterday the infamous pornographer urged the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, the seemingly simple constitutional edit that would ensure federally protected equality for women that’s viewed by many as the missing jewel in the crown of the 1970′s women’s movement. On the surface, his reasoning is sound. He cites the fact that women are “paid roughly 20 to 25 percent less than their male counterparts for doing the same job” as the reason women now, more than ever, need federal protection against gender discrimination. He even came up with a line fitting for a post on a feminist blog: “A country that discriminates against half its population cannot be held up as a great democracy.”

True and very true. 

If that’s all Flynt wrote, many women’s rights activists would be forced to agree with him on those principles, even if inducting into the feminist fold a man who routinely depicts women being sexually violated and even murdered might be the only thing more wrenching than handing Sarah Palin the f-word torch. But Flynt unleashes a particularly noxious brand of “I support women collectively, hate them individually” misogyny all over the rest of the link-free post, attacking his longtime feminist nemesis Gloria Steinem for being “self-serving” and for dooming the ERA by “approaching it from a New York point of view rather than a national one.” Actually, those bizarre and baseless attacks are exceedingly mild coming from Flynt. Perhaps we should be grateful he didn’t put Steinem’s picture on another ‘Most Wanted’ poster, as he did in Hustler in 1981, or publish another cartoon in which her sexual mutilation is the punch line.

Make no mistake, Larry Flynt didn’t wake up yesterday and suddenly decide after years of profiting off the debasement, humiliation and exploitation of women, as well as that of Jews, people of color, gays, and disabled folk, that his primary victims need their rights and they need them now. Had that miracle actually occurred, he might have included some links to explain what the Equal Rights Amendment is, how it can be passed, and what activists can do to move it along. If he were really concerned about the pay gap, he might have similarly encouraged activists to support the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that will close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and discourage pay discrimination.

Similar to Sarah Palin cloaking her anti-woman policies in co-opted feminist terms, Flynt has hopped onto the increasingly popular cause of passing the Equal Rights Amendment as cover for his continued for-profit misogyny. For some insight into how Flynt really feels about women, take a look at the cartoons currently running on Hustler.com. Several find the fun in men brutally murdering their wives, two tacitly promote the sexual abuse of children, and yet another features a ‘mastectomy juggler’ tossing about bloodied breasts, despite the fact that Flynt’s mother died of breast cancer. Elsewhere across the numerous sites in the Hustler empire, Flynt and his editors plot the death of Ann Coulter, suggest rough, gagged sex as a way to get Michelle Bachmann to rethink her policy positions, and offer up barely legal teens in schoolgirl outfits likely meant for men who wish they weren’t legal at all.

Perhaps Mr. Flynt believes closing the pay gap will undercut the feminist argument that, since pornography is still one of the few professions in which women are paid more than men, the choice women make to participate in their objectification is less of a real choice than, for many, a financial imperative. Or perhaps he’s setting up a line in his defense argument for the next time one of his cartoons glorifying abuse and degradation of fictional women manifests in violence against a real woman, as occurred in 1983 when a group of Massachusetts men saw the scene of a gang rape on a pool table in a Hustler movie and decided to try it out for themselves. No matter what his true motives, women, as always, should be wary of the King of Smut. Larry Flynt extending his support for women’s rights is like Hanibal Lecter extending an invitation to a sit-down dinner.

 

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photo credit: thanks to Joho345 via wikimedia commons

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88 comments

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11:42AM PDT on Sep 3, 2011

Wow, Janet T. Forget the violence and the rape and child molestation cartoons and themes in his magazine. Someone give the guy a medal asap! Be grateful, women!

12:00PM PDT on Aug 27, 2011

At least I have never heard him talk about taking the vote away from women. I can't say that about a lot of republicans.

8:16AM PDT on Oct 22, 2010

The men who think like that (squating to pee makes women inferior, blah blah),
do they poop standing up? Just wondering... :D (sorry)

3:03PM PDT on Oct 18, 2010

"Women are here to serve men. Look at them, they got to squat to piss. Hell, that proves it."

---Larry Flynt, pornographer.

I rest my case.

6:59PM PDT on Oct 5, 2010

Listen to what he has to say. He is right that the New york-La axis defeated the ERA! The rank and file of women SAHM saw nothing for them in ERA. They had the driver's seat in divorce and why would would one want to give up that? The failure tho reach the populace is again at hand. But they need to see a positive benefit that reached the emotional being not dollars and cents. People vote emotionally and purse and wallet. Now it is Important to show benefit.

10:16AM PDT on Sep 19, 2010

For anyone interested in the ERA here is a link that explains everything. Read and decide.
http://www.equalrightsamendment.org/faq.htm

9:51AM PDT on Sep 19, 2010

Wow the first paragraph with Phylis( Shut up )in it sounded a lot like what my extreme conservative mother used to say to me LOL!
I am disheartened that only 89% want the ERA to pass. It needs to be passed NOW! as well as CEDAW and thePaycheck Fairness act which by the way is being voted on this week! Call your Senators please!!! We need all the help we can get for this extremely important bill to pass!

9:04AM PDT on Sep 17, 2010

Lika, "In June 2009, AIM Healthcare Foundation reported another adult entertainer had become HIV+-though it appeared likely this transmission occurred in her private life. LA County Public Health claimed that there had been 16 "unreported" HIV case in the adult film industry. AIM Healthcare Foundation claimed those cases did not involve actors in production companies that followed their testing protocols and included members of the general public that use AIM Healthcare testing services or were individuals attempting to work in the porn industry who never were able to obtain employment in adult films because of their failure to prove freedom from HIV or other STD's"

"Sex and nudity in it's self isn't the problem. It's the fact that women in general are depicted as things, to be used and disrespected."

That is not a fact. That is an opinion. If you think women in porn are used as objects, what do you think about porn with only males in it? Who is using who? What about lesbian porn? Why do you think any sex act automatically degrading if a camera is added to the mix?

Shelley Lubben spreads a lot of lies. The statistics on her site are made up or used out of context.

http://www.juliemeadows.com/blog/2010/07/08/tearing-apart-www-thepinkcross-org-the-stats-page/

You really can't group all of porn in one group like you can't bunch the entire music or movie industry in one group. Some is terrible, some is wonderful, and a lot if just mediocre.

2:13PM PDT on Sep 16, 2010

Here is another more inclusive site to why women get into porn. It's not the chipper cheery ways you think, and once you get in, it's not the glamor you'd think.

Here is where porn stars come from: http://trueslant.com/susannahbreslin/2010/05/04/where-porn-stars-come-from/

Copy and paste into your browser.

2:08PM PDT on Sep 16, 2010

Anyone who says paying someone to degrade them is equal rights is messed up in logic.

Odd how liberals say conservatives are the ones with money paying for the violence against women, as far as porn goes. The conservatives say it's the liberals who lack morals are the ones that are proponents. Nothing like finger pointing the blame toward the other group while both groups secretly idolize this behavior and are hungry for more and more of the sick stuff that goes on.

If porn weren't so abusive and degrading, most of us wouldn't have a problem with it. Sex and nudity in it's self isn't the problem. It's the fact that women in general are depicted as things, to be used and disrespected. Yet I've heard men say they'd like to be disrespected that way, so then why not show it that way rather than abusing women?

Here are some websites. Shelly Lubben is to educate about ALL sex workers, not just protecting women - http://www.shelleylubben.com/about-shelley

From the LA Times about AIDS in the porn industry:
http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2009/06/at-least-16-previously-unpublicized-hiv-cases-in-porn-film-performers-public-health-officials-say.html

From Real Sex Education Facts about the reasons why women go into porn, and the abuse behind it:
http://www.realsexedfacts.com/women-and-porn-industry-reasons.html

Larry Flynt, feminist? No. More like legally abusing women through sexual degradation, which he freely admits when he says he individually hates

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