Countdown to the defense

Please be patient with me as I am neck deep in preparation for my final defense.

Therefore, two things are going to happen. 1) The blog postings will be few and far between. 2) The design of the blog as well as some of the content might change as I am going to turn the blog into a “blogfolio” for my final defense.

If you linked to my site because of my writing, please do not despair. I hope to resume normal blog operations starting on May 1st.


The last of the practica

I taught 2 classes to fulfill my last practicum experience for my graduate program. This entry represents the final posting for this experience.

OSU Odyssey
The first class was a first-year experience course called Odyssey. There were 16 students in the class. The class, which took place during the fall term, was demographically homogenous. The students were mostly white (99%), mostly from Oregon, and were all 18 to 19 years old. The class was extremely easy to “teach.” It was like a giant
field trip. Each week, we would either venture out to visit a campus location or we would stay in our classroom in the lovely Rogers Hall and listen to a guest speaker.

I found something out about myself with regards to teaching and rituals. About an hour before class started I would find myself at the coffee shop in the library. I would order a white chocolate mocha with soy. It was a ritual of comfort. I actually had a few anxious moments where I was not able to have my mocha before class. Who new rituals were so important?

My Odyssey students required a lot of energy as they tended to have a lot of questions. I was constantly emailing them with wellness resources. For a time, I was their holistic caretaker. I think the class bonded well enough; however, it would have been nice if we would have had more time together. We only met 9 times. The class was an hour and a half on Monday afternoons. By the time Monday afternoon rolled along, most of my students were exhausted and completely checked out. Needless to say, sometimes my energy levels were not at their peak at that time of the day and I could tell when I was not at 100%. The class often ebbed and flowed with my energies. I think that’s why the coffee breaks were so important!

ALS 116 — Academic Success
I taught my second class in the winter term. This class was called ALS 116 — Academic Success. We met 17 times! This experience was fundamentally different from Odyssey in that I really feel that I was teaching instead of just “driving the fieldtrip bus.” Perhaps this is why there were more than 50 sections of Odyssey with an all hands on deck teaching approach versus ALS 116 which only had 6 sections. For ALS 116 all of the instructors were given a common textbook and a cd of course materials. It definitely felt like we were being given tools for teachers. This practicum was supposed to be composed of 2 separate teaching experiences, but I really feel that I only facilitated Odyssey and actually taught ALS 116. I was able to tailor ALS 116 in such a way that I felt would be most beneficial to the students. Of course I asked for input and feedback along the way, but I had at least created a framework for the general flow of the course. The textbook had wellness and diversity at the end. I flipped the book around and introduced my students to a holistic model of wellness. I incorporated the 8 dimensions of wellness model from UIC. They seemed to like the concepts and were excited when I showed them the online question/answer website: Go Ask Alice.

The diversity conversation was challenging for me as evidenced by this posting:

Continue reading The last of the practica

Affirmative Action

Six years ago while I was nearing graduation for my undergraduate degree I was asked the following question, “Aren’t you afraid that you won’t be able to get a job?” I was not immediately certain as to the context of the question, but upon further inquiry, I soon found that the questioner was worried I would not be hired for jobs because I was white (and a man). This was the first time I had really thought about what affirmative action was, and what it might mean to me. My thoughts regarding affirmative action had mainly been influenced by my family and the media. For the most part, I thought that affirmative action was a good thing, but I did not know why I thought that way. Doubts about affirmative action being a positive policy seeped into my head while I was conducting my first job search. I believed that reverse-racism and/or reverse-discrimination existed and that I would have to “watch my back.”

Today, I have read, thought, and conversed about affirmative action. I feel that I use to believe in the myth of meritocracy. “Everyone can succeed as long as they work hard,” floated around inside my head and veiled my mind from the truth. I believe that the United States is not a meritocracy and that affirmative action is extremely necessary. Why is it necessary? Because the United States is a system built upon the backbreaking labor, systematic abuse, and marginalization of people of color, women, and other subordinate groups. Affirmative action is a program that seeks to provide equity for these marginalized groups. It helps to create a balance against the white supremacist patriarchy in which we live.

Several arguments exist which seek to discredit or devalue affirmative action. Two arguments that I hear frequently include: 1) Affirmative action gives jobs to people of color who are not qualified and they only receive said job due to this program. 2) White men are discriminated against because of the inherent reverse-racism within affirmative action programs.

The first argument seems to stem from the belief that the definitions of what makes for a “qualified” employee are usually in the hands of white folks. Most of the institutions in the United States are chaired, governed, and otherwise presided over by white people. When a person of color is hired for a job, how often is their competency called into question? Let’s consider the following scenario: A white person interviews and is consequently hired for a job. I would posit that no one says to themselves, “wow, they must have been hired because they are white.” It does not happen. However, if a person of color goes through the same process there will be doubters. I think that a lot of people will say quite negatively, “Yep, here’s another example of affirmative action hiring a person of color. I hope they can do the job.” The white person is given an air of competency simply because of their whiteness. Affirmative action opens up spaces for marginalized individuals to combat the inequalities of white supremacy within the realm of employment.

The second argument against affirmative action is constructed within a context that is void of a historical context and knowledge of the existence of institutionalized racism. Historically speaking, white men have been in positions of power over everyone. This “power over” has saturated the United States for over one hundred years. White privilege exists because of racist tactics, strategies, and actions of the dominant paradigm. The dominant paradigm is hierarchical and white men sit atop this ladder. To say that white men are discriminated against during hiring processes due to affirmative action is like saying white men are not in power. It is a falsity that is used to erode affirmative action and to maintain the ladder of white supremacist power. I believe that racism is something that white people perpetuate. Racism is institutionalized and spread into white consciousness like a virus. White men can be discriminated against, because discrimination is different from racism. It is true that I might be discriminated against in my lifetime, but not by affirmative action programs. Affirmative action programs will take a look at my qualifications and the qualifications of a person of color, a woman, etc. and if our qualifications are the same then I will not get the job. For racism to end, white people have to be willing to give up their unearned privileges and power. The same principle applies to sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and lookism. I feel that it is part of my anti-racist philosophy to rejoice in the fact that I did not get a job because of the mere fact that I am white. There are plenty of jobs that I can get.

So, rejoice in the knowledge that affirmative action exists. Affirmative action helps to restore the dignity of people in oppressed groups as well as people in oppressor groups. Affirmative action places all those who seek to work for the government at the starting gate of employment processes, instead of allowing the dominant paradigm to start ahead of those who have been, and currently are, marginalized.

Online colleges to receive financial aid

I wonder if this, “Online Colleges Receive a Boost From Congress” will affect this, “Demographic shift hits for-profit school?” It would seem that some measure of accountability could be maintained by keeping federally financed aid programs within the non-profit academic sphere. I am not sure how for-profit online companies can be held accountable when they have share holders who apply the pressures of increased profits.

Online Colleges Receive a Boost From Congress
It took just a few paragraphs in a budget bill for Congress to open a new frontier in education: Colleges will no longer be required to deliver at least half their courses on a campus instead of online to qualify for federal student aid.

That change is expected to be of enormous value to the commercial education industry. Although both for-profit colleges and traditional ones have expanded their Internet and online offerings in recent years, only a few dozen universities are fully Internet-based, and most of them are for-profit ones.

The provision is just one sign of how an industry that once had a dubious reputation has gained new influence, with well-connected friends in the government and many Congressional Republicans sympathetic to their entrepreneurial ethic. Continue reading Online colleges to receive financial aid

white identity

Identity Immersion Paper (15%)
This paper will allow students to explore how one personal identity characteristic impacts her or his life experiences. A student will select and focus on one identity characteristic for an entire week. She or he should be constantly cognizant of how that identity trait impacts personal decisions, prejudices, stereotypes, and personal past experiences. Students should also consider how that identity characteristic affects other people’s perceptions and attitudes towards her or him. Students can focus on race, gender, ability, or sexual orientation. A different type of identity characteristic than those in the previous sentence might be appropriate with prior instructor permission.


White. It is the identity that always comes first. I usually say that I am a white-heterosexual-man. My journey to clearly identifying as White started in Iowa where I used to state quite emphatically that I was German. Of course I knew I was white, I just did not have my identities clearly defined. (Please note that I will use white or White depending on the sentence for purposes of clarity. The capitalized version is a necessity based on sentence structure while the preferred — lowercase, is a simple gesture in giving up a bit of my paradigm by subverting its written status!) As a 28 year old graduate student/professional student affairs practitioner, I have decided that white will be the identity that I will select as the identity for my identity immersion reflection.

Having read Helms, Wise, Tatum and hooks, my whiteness is something that I am cognizant of on a minute by minute basis. I feel like my social justice radar has been created by my ever present sense of self-awareness. I used to say that I advocated for diversity and that I was an ally for multiculturalism. (I still advocate for diversity and multiculturalism. I just have a better understanding of myself and how that affects my advocacy. It’s all about knowing your privilege and power.) I thought I was aware of myself and my whiteness. I wish I knew when I realized that I was white, but unfortunately, I existed as someone who thought they were only German, Irish, and Cherokee (the fact that my Native American heritage was completely repressed and oppressed was invisible to me) until I was twenty-seven. I do know that the second time that I found out about my whiteness was indeed a life changing event. I read Janet Helms’ White Identity Model and it changed my life forever. Helms’ writings affected me like a slap to the face. I was completely unprepared to deal with white privilege, white guilt, and the question of “what’s good about being a white person?” I have been able to address my privilege, the extreme amount of negativity that comes with the acknowledgment of that privilege, and to move towards a white anti-racist identity.

Why did I not choose my gender or sexual orientation as identities for this reflection? They are indeed part of my trifecta of identities. However, I feel that my gender (I’m a man) and my sexual orientation (heterosexual) have been fairly defined throughout my life. I do identify as a feminist and as an ally. These are important to me as well as the fact that I realize that I receive unearned privileges because I am a heterosexual man. I am well aware that sexism and heterosexism will only cease to exist if folks who have the same identities work towards the eradication of these “isms.” But, the enormity of white privilege as a complete system of unearned advantages overpowers or at least takes priority over my other identities.

Continue reading white identity

The “Game of Oppression”

NASPA is the largest association for student affairs practitioners in the world. I recently attended the NASPA Multicultural Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada. I had a great experience at the institute. The presentations and discussions were very meaningful. I learned a lot about the work that is being done at schools all over the US.

One “educational tool” that was presented at the institute was the “Game of Oppression.” I was slightly curious about this “game” due to its title and the fact that it was being presented to us as an educational instrument for diversity work. A presentation of the “game” was held at the same time as another session that I attended, so I missed out on seeing the “game” in action.

The other day, I received an email from NASPA with a link to the “Game of Oppression.” Apparently NASPA is taking pre-orders for this thing. Here’s the description:

While college campuses are becoming increasingly diverse, many students still find it difficult to step outside of what is familiar and interact with students of different races, religions, classes, abilities or sexual orientations. Students may pass each other on campus and attend classes together, but few develop meaningful relationships with others from different backgrounds. The Game of Oppression is designed to encourage and challenge individuals from different backgrounds and experiences to engage in authentic dialogue.

Game of Oppression

The Game of Oppression is an innovative interactive training program designed specifically for use by student affairs professionals. The program equips diversity educators with strategies to encourage students to take full advantage of the diversity on their respective campuses and in their communities. The game provides a “safe space” for authentic dialogue around the issues of oppression.

I spoke with a colleague who attended the presentation about the “game.” She was appalled. My colleague is White and she said that this “game” does not create a “safe space” and that it is basically an exercise in tokenization. Further reading of the game’s description says that the game’s goal is to help participants “achieve enlightenment.” The game is somehow supposed to do this in 3 to 4 hours!

Who is supposed to be enlightened? Is this a game for dominant group participants?? Will it marginalize people of color, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, people who do not believe in religion, etc??? Is this another exercise in diversity being taught through the lens of dominant culture ideology????

Final paper for FP

This was the final paper for my Feminist Philosophies class. I’ve taken a lot of heat for writing it and I think I have learned a lot about sex positive feminism since the initial release of the paper. My paper was sliced and diced to pieces on a few blogs. I kept my mouth shut and listened. I talked with my philosophy professor. I talked with my sex positive friends. I listened some more. I’ve decided that I am on the fence about pornography. I need more time to figure out the complexities of something that I feel is oppressive. I feel that pornography contributes to the “patriarchy.” However, several people have informed me that my paper is oppressive. I am simply posting the paper now to show where I was at a few months ago…


According to bell hooks (2000), feminism is defined as “a struggle to end sexist oppression” (p. 26). There are multitudes of definitions for “feminism”, but I believe that ending sexist/patriarchal oppression is a just rationale for acceptance of hooks’ definition as the definition of feminism in this paper.

One particular form of feminism, radical libertarian, is constructed on the basis that the sex/gender system is the cause of women’s oppression. There are two aspects of radical libertarian feminism that I believe are in direct contradiction with hooks’ definition of feminism. Radical libertarian feminist believe that pornography and prostitution are acceptable practices that are liberating for women. Radical libertarian feminists contend that repressing women’s sexuality in any way is oppressive and leads to the continuation of patriarchal oppression.

Unfortunately, I disagree that pornography and prostitution lead to the liberation of women. I believe that pornography and prostitution maintain, increase, and encourage patriarchal domination/oppression and thus this brings me to the central question of this paper: Is radical libertarian feminism a feminist philosophy if feminism is defined as a movement which seeks to end the oppression of women? I would posit that radical libertarian feminism is not an actual feminist philosophy because it fails to grasp the damaging consequences of pornography and prostitution.

I will attempt to give numerous examples of how pornography and prostitution contribute to the continuation of the oppression of women. Having read both pro and anti pornography/prostitution prose, I have determined that radical libertarian feminism is in fact a feminist faction that is simply a patriarchal movement which disguises its true objectives behind veils of free speech and anti-censorship rhetoric.

Radical Libertarian Feminism

On the surface, radical libertarian feminism appears to be a valuable form of feminism. Cara Stewart (2003) states that, “radical libertarian feminists like to violate sexual norms and believe that women should control every aspect of their sexuality.” I am an overt proponent of free expression that does not come at the expense of another group. However, I believe that there are significant flaws within radical libertarian feminism. Similar to white supremacist views, radical libertarian feminism’s construction of freedom of sexual control for women is built upon freedom for some and oppression for others. A white supremacist would say that whiteness is superior to any other race and that white privilege is something that is acceptable. This superiority idea and privilege acceptance, oppresses and devalues people of color. A radical libertarian feminist who states that pornography and prostitution are liberating for women seems to be liberating some women and denigrating/oppressing others. In fact, most of the scholarly writings, newspaper articles, and online resources which speak of radical libertarian feminism fail to mention women of color, women from countries other than the United States and Canada, and women from non-educated, lower socio-economic backgrounds. If women of color are mentioned in writings on pornography or prostitution, they are portrayed as victims of racism or patriarchal oppression. There does not seem to be anyone who has written anything positive about women of color engaging in pornography or prostitution.

bell hooks (2000), in referring to mainstream feminism’s goal of achieving gender equality, asks the question of “which men?” Which men should women be equal to? Similar to hooks, I think it is prudent to ask a parallel question to proponents of radical libertarian feminism. Which women? Which women are liberated by the practices of pornography and prostitution? This leads me to ask another question: What exactly is pornography?


I think that to discuss why pornography is a practice which devalues women and in turn devalues radical libertarian feminism, requires an attempt at defining pornography. Pornography has been defined by numerous feminists. Defining pornography in a patriarchal landscape can be a slippery task. Pro-pornography advocate, Wendy McElroy (1995), states that a definition of pornography serves only those individuals who are trying to “control the debate [about pornography]” (p. 42). Most sources that represent a radical libertarian feminism view fail to include a definition of pornography. I think this is because a pro-pornography definition would expose the inherent ugliness of pornography. To create an inclusive definition of pornography would force pornography advocates to acknowledge the voices of the anti-pornography movement. I attempted to find a pro-pornography definition but unfortunately most of the language revolves around debunking anti-pornographer definitions. If pornography is a good thing for women, I would think that proponents of pornography could give it a meaning which upholds their libertarian values.

Two of the most cited anti-pornography feminists are Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon. I found that sources which were against pornography frequently cited Dworkin and MacKinnon while pro-pornography sources tended to minimize the use of so-called “MacDworkinite” writings. Dworkin and MacKinnon drafted a model civil rights law which gives specific definitions of pornography:

      Pornography is the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures and/or words that also includes one or more of the following: (i) women are presented dehumanized as sexual objects, things, or commodities; or (ii) women are presented as sexual objects who enjoy pain or humiliation; or (iii) women are presented as sexual objects who experience sexual pleasure in being raped; or (iv) women are presented as sexual objects tied up or cut up or mutilated or bruised or physically hurt; or (v) women are presented in postures or positions of sexual submission, servility, or display; or (vi) women’s body parts — including but not limited to vaginas, breasts, or buttocks — are exhibited such that women are reduced to those parts; or (vii) women are presented as whores by nature; or (viii) women are presented being penetrated by objects or animals; or (ix) women are presented in scenarios of degradation, injury, torture, shown as filthy or inferior, bleeding, bruised, or hurt in a context that makes these conditions sexual (as cited in Blakely, 1985, p. 46).

    This definition does not represent a fictitious view of pornography. I believe it simply includes every conceivable act of that which is named, pornography. Another definition which is shorter in length but equally as powerful comes from Laura Lederer. According to Lederer, pornography is “the ideology of a culture which promotes…crimes of violence against women” (as cited in Mielke, 1995, p. 27). In 1994, Ms. Magazine held a round table feminist discussion regarding pornography (Dworkin, Findlen, French, Gillespie, Jacobs, Ramos, and Shange). Several definitions of pornography were discussed. Norma Ramos (Dworkin et al., 1994) defined pornography as “a system and practice of prostitution, as evidence of women’s second-class status. It is a central feature of patriarchal society, an essential tool in terms of how men keep power over women” (p. 34).

    Pornography is liberating

    Annie Sprinkle is an outspoken advocate for pornography. She is frequently referenced in books that declare that pornography is empowering for women. Sprinkle, who defines herself as a radical libertarian feminist, states that she is a “post porn modernist” (Touma, 1994). According to Sprinkle:

      Post Porn Modernists celebrate sex as the nourishing, life giving force. We embrace our genitals as part, not separate, from our spirits. We utilize sexually explicit words, pictures and performances to communicate our ideas and emotions. We denounce sexual censorship as anti-art and inhuman. We empower ourselves by this attitude of sex-positivism. And with this love of our spiritual selves we have fun, heal the world and endure (as cited in Touma, 1994).

    Sprinkle is an extremely public figure in the pornographic industry. She is a woman who has “stepped outside of the dominant culture altogether, embraced the sex industry, and felt a sense of empowerment that…women seldom experience” (Assiter and Carol, 1993, p. 153).

    Sprinkle is also completely in denial that pornography can be attributed to anything negative. In an interview on her personal website, AnnieSprinkle.Org, she stated that child pornography “does not exist” and that “the only nude picture of a 12 year old girl you can find on the internet was put there by the FBI to entrap pedophiles” (Annie Sprinkle). Unfortunately, child pornography does exist as evidenced by a recent New York Times article in which a child pornography ring was revealed consisting of over 1,500 customers, all of which were men (Eichenwald, 2005). Sprinkle consistently swears that pornography provides her with an avenue to a “safer world”.

    Sprinkle experiences pornography as an active participant. She is a porn star. Porn stars like Sprinkle, Nina Hartley, and Jenna Jameson frequently posit that pornography is a good thing. The views of women who are pornography consumers or users are seldom presented. In Talk Dirty to Me, Sally Tisdale declares her ardor for pornography (1992). She asserts that she uses pornography to “make peace” with herself. Pornography helps to expose herself “truly” to herself (Tisdale, 1992, p. 46).

    In addition to porn stars and porn users, I think it valuable to include the voice of a proud pornography purveyor. According to pornography actor and producer Adam Glasser:

        [Pornography] completely changes their life. If they get into the right situation, the right hands, and they have a good head on their shoulders and some support from somewhere, this could be a life-changing business as far as giving people a freedom and financial stability that they have never ever imagined for themselves (as cited in Frontline, 2001a).

      Glasser claims that women are safer in the pornography industry and that he has had numerous women contact him with stories of how pornography was liberating to them (as cited in Frontline, 2001a). It should be noted that Glasser is selling a product and that he is in the pornography industry to make money. Why would he ever say anything negative about what he is selling?

      Pornography harms women

      I presented what I believe is a fair representation of what pornography is and how pornography has been labeled as liberating for women. I did not want the pro-pornography voices to overshadow what I believe are the true non-liberating factors of pornography.


      Pornography is violent. I believe that it is violent because the creators of pornography tell me that I am correct. Rape is an act of violence. Rape is portrayed in pornography as something that is supposed to arouse. Since most users of pornography are men, I can only guess that this means that rape in pornography is designed to arouse men. In gonzo pornography, men frequently rape women.

      A horrific example of the violence in the pornographic industry is the story of Linda Marchiano. Marchiano, whose stage name is Linda Lovelace, starred in the 1970’s pornographic film, Deep Throat (Horne, 1997). In Deep Throat, Marchiano is depicted as a woman whose clitoris is located in the back of her throat. In the movie, Marchiano’s only method of achieving an orgasm is to have a man’s penis shoved into her mouth and down into her throat. As a feminist, I am for non-violent oral sex. I believe it is a healthy, non-oppressive form of sexual expression. In Deep Throat, Marchiano was forced to act like she enjoyed being submissive. In 1980, Marchiano wrote a book called, Ordeal (West, 2005). “In Ordeal, Marchiano tells of how she was abducted, hypnotized, drugged, beaten and tortured in order to perform her starring role” (as cited in West, 2005). Pornographic arousal for patriarchy was exchanged for Marchiano’s well-being.

      How can radical libertarian feminism maintain membership within the context of feminism? Women are being hurt. According to Catherine MacKinnon:

        Pornography is a harm of male supremacy made difficult to see because of its pervasiveness, potency, and, principally, because of its success in making the world a pornographic place…to the extent pornography succeeds in constructing social reality, it becomes invisible as harm (as cited in Lee, 2005, p. 99).

      How can radical libertarian feminists control their sexuality without simultaneously hurting women? I don’t think it is possible as long as patriarchy is the dominion in which pornography exists.

      In 1998, the Oregon Department of Corrections banned inmates from possessing pornographic materials (Roberts, 1998). The administrator who handles mail operations stated that the ban was put in place to curb rape. Even the American Civil Liberties Union thought that the prison ban on pornography would hold up in court (Roberts, 1998). It seems quite obvious then that if banning pornography in state prisons helps to prevent rape and other forms of violence, why then would a similar ban in the rest of society not help to prevent rape and other forms of violence? Nadine Strossen of the ACLU says that pornography must be tolerated because of free speech or the First Amendment (as cited in Atcheson, 1995). I do not understand how the KKK has been prosecuted for committing violent acts while pornography in the non-Oregon prison world is allowed to contribute to violence and oppression against women. Racists are not allowed to hide behind the banner of the First Amendment while perpetrating violent acts.

      In 1991, Robert J. Stoller’s ethnographic text, Porn: Myths for the Twentieth Century, was published. Stoller conducted interviews with “producers, directors, actresses and actors involved in the production of X-rated videos aimed at the heterosexual male consumer” (Mielke, 1995, p. 84). The violence in the pornography industry is described in detail in an interview by Stoller:

        Producer-performer Bill Margold told Stoller that his reason for being in the adult film industry is, in large measure, to satisfy the desire of the male consumer to see the male porn stars “getting even with the women they couldn’t have when they were growing up.” According to Margold, when they ejaculate on a woman’s face or “somewhat brutalize her sexually,” male porn stars are satisfying male viewers’ desires to gain revenge against women for remaining beyond reach (as cited in Mielke, 1995, p. 84).

      Pornography seems to use violence to push what Robert Jensen (2004a) calls “the edge.” According to Jensen (2004b), “As pornography has become more acceptable, both legally and culturally, the level of brutality toward, and degradation of, women has intensified.” In Japan, a form of pornography which is extremely violent is called bukkake (Wikipedia contributors, 2005). In “forced bukkake” pornography, a woman sits in a chair and then is ejaculated on by a dozen to fifty men (Wikipedia contributors, 2005; Frontline 2001b). Jensen furthers the fact that pornography is violent by confirming that:

          …from both laboratory research and the narratives of men and women, it is not controversial to argue that pornography can: (1) be an important factor in shaping a male-dominant view of sexuality; (2) be used to initiate victims and break down their resistance to unwanted sexual activity; (3) contribute to a user’s difficulty in separating sexual fantasy and reality; and (4) provide a training manual for abusers (2004b).

        According to Assiter and Carol (1993), “very little pornography actually depicts violent acts” (p. 21). Perhaps this is true, but pornography does contain and perpetuate violence and it has been shown to contribute to violence. Dr. Edward Donnerstein and Dr. Neil Malamuth have conducted research which “has shown that…pornography increases male acceptance of aggression toward women, trivializes rape, and distorts perceptions of rape and forced sex” (Blakely, 1985, p. 40-41). Radical libertarian feminism might aid women from being repressed sexually but it contributes to the oppression of women by advocating for pornography.


        Pornography objectifies women. In heterosexual pornography, women are seen as the means to end. I think that most men consume pornography so that they can masturbate to the objects on their screens. For Catherine MacKinnon (1989), pornography “constructs women as things for sexual use and constructs its consumers to desperately want women to desperately want possession and cruelty and dehumanization. Inequality itself, subjection itself, hierarchy itself, objectification itself…is the apparent content of women’s sexual desire and desirability” (p. 327).

        I think that MacKinnon is correct when she argues that pornography turns women into objects. A pornography web site offers this view of women in the description of a DVD: “women were born with three holes for one purpose: To cram a cock deep inside every cuddly cavity! Like true cock sockets, our whores subject their beautiful bodies to the nastiest 4-way debauchery ever lensed” (Zero Tolerance, 2005). Robert Jensen’s description of pornography eerily mirrors the pornographers: "In pornography, women are three holes and two hands. Women in pornography have no hopes and no dreams and no value apart from the friction those holes and hands can produce on a man’s penis" (Jensen, 2004a). Bob Guccione of Penthouse magazine declared, "When I see a pretty girl the thing that I immediately think of is not how she looks to me, but how she would look to my readership. In other words, what is her centerfold potential" (Erase the Dark, 2003)? Guccione is turning women into things that can be sold for men’s pleasure. Women in pornography are turned into commodities which are bought and sold. Women are constructed as objects and not subjects. Radical libertarian feminism does not provide any substantive rationale for how it is acceptable for women to be oppressed by the objectification of women through pornography. I do not think objectification contributes to the end of sexism. Radical libertarian feminism is not feminism. Feminism is a movement that seeks to end the oppression of women.


        Prostitution is the act of women being sold for sex. It’s very similar to pornography. Whereas pornography is mostly legal in the United States, prostitution is mostly illegal. Prostitution is violent. It also objectifies women. I know this to be true because I was recently in Las Vegas, Nevada where I was bombarded by people who were handing out cards. Each card contained sexually explicit photographs of women who were supposedly “ready and willing” to “get me off” sexually. Apparently, prostitution is a thriving industry in Las Vegas. Interestingly enough, I did not see a single advertisement for male prostitutes. If prostitution is work, why are men not selling themselves to women? I think it is because in the world of prostitution, men are pimps and women are whores. I think it is concentrated patriarchal oppression. I do not know of any women who act as pimps with men as their whores. According to Annie Sprinkle, “Whores are rebelling against the absurd, patriarchal, sex-negative laws against their profession and are fighting for the legal right to receive financial compensation for their valuable work.” I think Sprinkle is incorrect. Whores are oppressed by the patriarchal pimps who sell them to other patriarchs.

        In Amsterdam’s Red Light District, women are displayed like department store products. Women are people, not products. The Internet is home to a myriad of stories which state that the prostitutes in the Red Light District enjoy their “jobs” and that they do not feel oppressed. What about other women? What about women who are forced to face the realities of what prostitution does to them? Radical libertarian feminists would say that the women who enjoy being prostitutes are liberated. What about the women who are sold like cattle into prostitution rings? How are they liberated? According to Andrea Dworkin (1994), “prostituted women are being killed every single day.” I do not believe that radical libertarian feminism is feminism. Feminism is a movement that seeks to end patriarchal oppression in any form. I believe that prostitution oppresses women and supports patriarchy.


        Perhaps pornography and prostitution do provide some women with a means of expressing themselves and that via that expression; they are able to break free of patriarchal bonds. Although, I wonder why more women do not choose to consume pornography or to become porn stars and prostitutes? I think it’s because most women do not see pornography/prostitution as liberating. I think pornography was created for men, by men, and that the women in pornography do not accidentally have large breasts and skinny bodies. They are constructed as objects for patriarchy.

        Why, if prostitution is so good for women and radical libertarian feminism, are so many women abused, diseased, and murdered because of their participation in the world of prostitution? There are very few women who advocate for pornography and prostitution who have ever been porn stars or prostitutes. I think it is easy for them to sit in their offices and write about the benefits of pornography and prostitution. They will never have to suffer through triple-penetration sex scenes, or be advertised like property, or have to sit in a chair while a dozen men ejaculate on their face in a bukkake film.

        However, how does the inherent violence, dehumanizing effects, subordination, and objectification of pornography/prostitution affect men? It seems like it creates men who are prime examples of patriarchal oppressors. Robert Jensen (2005) writes of men who use pornography as just “johns”. A john is defined by Jensen (2005) as “a man who buys another human being for sex” (p. 1). According to Jensen (2005), lots of “men masturbate, or have masturbated, to pornography…[and that] when you masturbate to pornography, you are buying sexual pleasure. You are buying women” (p.1).

        I do realize that this paper has been written from a heterosexual perspective. I attribute that to my own experience as a heterosexual man. Besides, almost all pornography is constructed for a heterosexual audience. Even if the pornography is supposedly for lesbians or gay men. It still showcases objectification and violence. These are the calling cards of dominator patriarchal culture.

        I think I have shown that radical libertarian feminism contributes to the oppression of women and that it is therefore not feminism. I do not think you can liberate one person while oppressing another and still maintain membership in the feminist movement. I guess this means that I am a radical cultural feminist. I am for the end of patriarchal oppression.


        Assiter, A., & Carol, A. (1993). Bad girls and dirty pictures.
        Boulder, CO: Pluto Press.

        Atcheson, D. (1995). Defending pornography: face-to-face with the president
        of the aclu. Playboy.

        Blakely, M. K. (1985). Is one woman’s sexuality another woman’s pornography?.Ms. Magazine.

        Dworkin, A. (1994). Prostitution and male supremacy. Retrieved Dec. 27, 2005,
        from No Status Quo Web site:

        Dworkin A., Findlen, B., French, M., Gillespie, M. A., Jacobs G., Norma,
        R., and Shange N. (1994). Where do we stand on pornography?. Ms. Magazine.

        Eichenwald , K. (2005). Through his webcam, a boy joins a sordid online world.
        The New York Times. Retrieved Dec 22, 2005, from

        Erase the Dark, (2003). A pornographer’s speech. Retrieved Dec. 26, 2005,
        from Erase the Dark Web site:

        Frontline, (2001a). Interview adam glasser. Retrieved Dec. 22, 2005, from
        frontline: american porn: interviews: adam glasser | PBS Web site:

        Frontline, (2001b). Interview rob black. Retrieved Dec. 22, 2005, from frontline:
        american porn: interviews: rob black | PBS Web site:

        hooks, b. (2000). Feminist theory: from margin to center. 2nd ed.
        Cambridge, MA: South End Press.

        Horne, G. S. (1997). Pornography in cinema and provincial film and video
        classification in canada. Retrieved Dec 19, 2005, from

        Jensen, R. (2004a). A cruel edge: the painful truth about today’s pornography
        – and what men can do about it. Ms. Magazine, (1).

        Jensen, R. (2004b). Pornography and sexual violence. Retrieved Dec. 24, 2005,

        Jensen, R. (2005). “just a john? pornography and men’s choices”. Retrieved
        Dec. 29, 2005, from Robert Jensen’s Web site:

        Lee, L. (2005). The war against what the “pornographic imaginary” does to
        real women. Critical Sense, xiii. Retrieved Dec 29, 2005, from

        MacKinnon, C. A. (1989). Sexuality, pornography, and method: "pleasure
        under patriarchy". Ethics, 99(2).

        McElroy, W. (1995). Xxx: a woman’s right to pornography. New York:
        St. Martin’s Press.

        Mielke, A. (1995). Christians, feminists, and the culture of pornography.
        Lanham, MD: University Press of America.

        Roberts, M. (1998, October 27).State prisons ban pornographic material. The
        , pp. C.

        Sprinkle, A. (n.d.). 40 reasons why whores are my heroes. Retrieved Dec.
        25, 2005, from

        Sprinkle, A. (n.d.). My conversation with an anti-porn feminist. Retrieved
        Dec. 23, 2005, from Web site:

        Stewart, C. (2003). Different types of feminist theories. Retrieved Dec.
        23, 2005, from Different Types of Feminist Theories Web site:

        Tisdale, S. (1992). Talk dirty to me: a woman’s taste for pornography. Harper’s

        Touma, Z. (1994). An even deeper examination of annie sprinkle. Retrieved
        Dec. 23, 2005, from Sprinkle, Sprinkle, Little Star Web site: http://epe.lac-

        West, C. (2005). Retrieved Dec. 26, 2005, from Pornography and Censorship
        Web site:

        Wikipedia contributors (2005). Bukkake. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
        Retrieved 20:57, December 29, 2005 from

        Zero Tolerance (2005). No Holes Barred #2. Retrieved Dec. 21, 2005, from–2.htm.

        Odyssey starts tomorrow!

        Tomorrow is a big day. It’s the first day of classes at Oregon State University. I’m doing triple duty tomorrow. I have class (Feminist Philosophies), work for my assistantship, and teach my first class of Odyssey. I’m a little nervous. I feel very excited. I feel like I did in college just before I would have a big trombone solo in the jazz band. I’m jazzed about this experience. My class takes place in Rogers Hall, Room 440. Who knew that someday I would be teaching a class to first-year students at a Pac 10 University? What a wild ride!

        Here’s a link to my classroom: I still need to check it out before my class starts. I’m definitely coming down to the wire with my logistics. I’m still editing my syllabus today and my Blackboard Teaching website is almost ready. I have one class of 20 students and I’m feeling overloaded. I can’t imagine how professors who have 2-3 classes handle the teaching load.

        My schedule for the fall term looks like this:

        • 20 hours a week for my assistantship with Enrollment Management / OSU Student Affairs
        • 1.5 hours a week teaching Odyssey
        • 3 hours a week prepping for Odyssey
        • 9 hours a week in 3 classes: 1 philosophy, 1 cssa, and 1 counseling class
        • 9 hours a week for my practicum experience with OSU Student Conduct
        • 18 hours a week studying for my classes

        I’m exhausted just thinking about this list :-)

        Wish me luck. Once school starts, I’ll be busy until I find a full-time job. That means I’ll be a little occupied until June (if everything goes as planned).

        Resources for secondary analysis / extant data

        Qualitative research: standards, challenges, and guidelines

        Asking New Questions of Existing Qualitative Data: Annotated
        Bibliography Regarding Secondary Analysis of Qualitative Data

        Re-using qualitative data

        Murray Research Archive : For Students – Ways Researchers Use Archived Data

        The Shared Fate of Two Innovations in Qualitative Methodology: The Relationship of Qualitative Software and Secondary Analysis of Archived Qualitative Data

        Secondary Analysis of Qualitative Data

        On the Potentials and Problems of Secondary Analysis. An Introduction to the FQS Special Issue on Secondary Analysis of Qualitative Data

        Using Someone Else’s Data: Problems, Pragmatics and Provisions

        Literature about storing, digitalizing and secondary analysis of qualitative data

        Qualitative Research in Adult, Career, and Career-Technical Education

        Using Secondary Data for Needs Assessment