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Why don't women blog about porn?

A handful of men-penned posts on porn this week raise the question. The answer may be ugly.

Technology trends and news by Matt Bowman
August 18, 2010 | Comments (5)
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/1131

Ever notice how many male tech bloggers defend porn like it was their religion?

This week, two big B-list bloggers, MG Seigler and Ryan Tate, came out waving the fleshpot flag with gusto.

Tate's piece takes the now-common tack of crying hypocrysy over Apple's ban on porn apps. He notes that Phillip Shoemaker, Apple’s man in charge of the App Store, had among those he follows on Twitter several “escorts” and porn “actresses”. Tate finds great irony in this, since Shoemaker is charged with keeping the App store free from porn. Of course, it’s very possible, as Tate admits somewhere in paragraph 15, that this could be because Shoemaker autofollows those who follow him, which makes this book-of-a-post a complete non-story. No matter. Any rhetorical tool to get porn in the App Store is a good one for Tate.

On Monday, MG Seigler, another porn advocate, wrote a glowing piece about a partnership between Playboy and Zivity, a site that uses a veneer of artistic "classiness" to lure women who might not otherwise partake in amateur porn to denude themselves for the masses.

MG didn’t mentioned in the story that Zivity CEO Cyan Bannister is also employed by a host on TechCrunch TV. That may have something to do with his gushing story: “Zivity is a great site for women and photographers who aren’t afraid to get a little racy to express themselves and potentially be discovered.” Hmm. Interesting that no women tech bloggers have expressed similar enthusiasm for this story. Try a Google blog search on Zivity. Nothin from the women.

Why is that?

MG’s colleague at TechCrunch Evelyn Rusli did once hint at an opinion on the subject in general. In April, she dared to use the qualifier “gross” in her post about an SEC regulator who spent 8 hours a day at work ogling porn. That post drew some charming comments from TC readers, like “Chris”:

Is this a report or an op-ed? Who the f*ck cares if you think porn is "gross" or "disgusting"? You're attacking and opining on porn in general, which is perfectly legal. (No I'm not a porn hound. And yes, those words make you seem like a cold sexless b!tch.)

Charming, no?

Thank heavens for brave men willing to stand up for... Zivity?

Turns out the likes of Chris may have something to do with the general silence among women. Stanford scholar Mary Eberstad notes that women who blog about porn are regularly beaten into submission, verbally speaking:

Blogging recently about the subject on National Review Online, for example, Kathryn Jean Lopez remarked in public about the quality of the torrent of emotional e-mails her comments provoked. Many of them, she reported, were “terrifying.” Cathy Ruse, who worked on the issue of pornography during the mid-1990s for the National Law Center for Children and Families and again later for the Family Research Council, reports similarly: “I have been involved in various public policy debates in the United States for twenty years and I have never encountered anything like the pornography debates. . . . I have never experienced attacks that were so abusive and personal, including angry ranting messages on my home telephone and horrible e-mails.”

Too bad all the chivalry has gone to defending the “great sites” that help women “express themselves.”

MG, I do like your writing, but I think you could find a better cause.

image credit


Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Thumb_3943_cyantestimony
Zivity
Startup/Business
Description: Zivity is a community powered showcase of female beauty.
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Cyan Banister
Founder,
Zivity
Bio: Zivity is Cyan’s brainchild. Her dream to connect the social web with photos that empower women is the kernel that became the business. ...

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Comments

Comment_gbg
Cyan Banister, on August 18, 2010

Thanks for the post and I appreciate your thoughts.

1) I don't work for TechCrunch. I volunteer my time and passion towards interviewing people I encounter through my travels, personal network and investment journeys. There's a lot more to me than just being the founder and CEO of Zivity and TechCrunch gave me a creative outlet to help share some of the inspirational stories I encounter that I think people can benefit from. They're an amazing group of people and I'm honored to be able to contribute. My only payment is my joy in sharing the stories with you and others.

2) Each TechCrunch writer has their own editorial voice. Some very well may write bad things about Zivity someday and I know that. People have opinions and that's exactly how it should be. Just like you have opinions. We live in a subjective world and the subject of pornography is *wildly* subjective.

3) I'd blog about porn if I had an outlet and may do a piece on porn entrepreneurs someday. Their business is just as valid as any.

4) I don't think my body or the female body by itself is porn. See, we all have opinions ;-) I think my naked body is art. Many pornographers think their porn is art and so on. Many people disagree. Some find it gross, beautiful, and everything in-between. Some countries think my ankles or my neck are porn and want to cover me up with robes or stone me to death. Which point is true? I lean (obviously) to the side of freedom and choice, so I created a place where women can safely express themselves and celebrate who they are and what they want to do.

5) I know MANY women who would blog about porn if there was an outlet for them to do so. I do think it is a shame that anyone gets backlash for expressing their views against pornography. It isn't for everyone, that's for sure. I do know however, that people need to stop controlling or trying to control what people think about it regardless of what side they are on.

6) I love porn. I mean absolutely love it. I think it serves a very important role and I could go on for days about why. As long as it is done safely and they are consenting adults, I'm all for it.

7) I don't see the difference between random geo-location service teaming up with Verizon Wireless and Zivity teaming up with a public company (Playboy) in a similar space. The only difference is your distaste for one over the other. We are a valid business in the tech space just like any other. If anything, I can point out sites that are far more "pornographic" than ours that nobody ever talks about, because it is all hidden behind safe for work filters, but the number one traffic and revenue generator? That's right. Porn!

8) The Internet is for Porn. (Sorry, have to get my Ave. Q quote in there)

9) I wish more people wrote about porn in general, so that's why I appreciate that you wrote this. All opinions are appreciated. We need to talk about sex and our culture will become more liberated the more we do so. It is as important as eating, shitting and sleeping. There are very few things more important than sex. Gazing at breasts and sexual stimulation can lead to a longer life. That's awesome! Porn is an important part of that equation, as visual stimulation is what gets all of that working for many of us.

10) Another interesting discussion is why many women don't like porn. That's one I'd love to have and know a lot about. Just like sexuality there's a very wide spectrum and I think a lot of women are exposed to porn they find offensive early. However, if they were able to find the porn they desired at their comfort level, I think you'd find more women defending it as well. The other problem is how some women feel they are expected to behave like porn stars or that is their competition. When it comes down to it, men don't date or want those porn stars really. They just want to see the segments that turn on their kink. We all have kink, we just never want to discuss it and keep it hidden.

So yeah, anyway, thanks, but I'm stoked that MG and many other men stand up for the women who are in this industry and love it. I'm also proud of Violette Blue and other women who celebrate it as well. Give us time and more women will come out of their porn closets. I did.


Comment_gbg
Cyan Banister, on August 18, 2010

Also, after reading your post again, I'd like to point out an inaccuracy in your post. Many women have blogged about Zivity. To start off with, the thousands of women on our site have blogged about Zivity.
Here are some other articles all written by women:
[Author's note to readers: the Fast Company, Forbes, LA Times and Huff Post do not contain nude images. The others do.]
Fast Company: http://www.fastcompany.com/articles/2008/11/influential-women-web.html?page=0%2C2
Sex and the 405: http://sexandthe405.com/cyan-banister-first-shoot/
Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml
Violet Blue: http://www.tinynibbles.com/blogarchives/2009/06/hello-zivity.html
LA Times: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2008/10/zivity-and-othe.html
Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/judy-shapiro/what-do-carly-fiorini-lad_b_669925.html


Matt Bowman
Matt Bowman, on August 19, 2010

Cyan,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

First, regarding your last claim, the article was accurate in that no popular women tech bloggers had expressed similar enthusiasm about the Playboy-Zivity story, as far as one could glean from a query on Google Blog Search. fwiw, I also checked Techmeme, and there was nothing from women. I can see how one would read the graph as referring not to the announcement but the site in general, so I've added "for this story" to the graph.


Matt Bowman
Matt Bowman, on August 19, 2010

Cyan,

Again, thanks for your opinion.

As a teacher and youth program director, I’ve gotten to know lots of dads and sons, and have become a life-coach of sorts for many men. The strength, dedication and commitment that becomes possible when a man fights to preserve his sexual affection for a real person strikes me as a much greater source of joy than porn.

This stuff diminishes a man’s capacity for love and commitment. It’s no secret, for instance, that porn plays a big role in divorce. Economists Kirk Doran and Joseph Price have examined data from the General Social Survey (GSS) and report that, among individuals who have ever been married, those who say they’ve seen an X-rated movie in the last year are 25 percent more likely to be divorced and 13 percent less likely to identify themselves as “very happy” with life in general.

Sex is best when it’s a dimension of a larger loving relationship. You can’t love a body isolated from its owner. You can only use it.


brent christian
brent christian, on October 30, 2010

Righteous words Matthew!


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