UPDATED: Christine O’Donnell’s Crusade Against Masturbation


Updated September 15th, 2010 at 8:00 am.  Christine O’Donnell won the  Republican primary Tuesday in an upset over Representative Michael N. Castle in the race for the United States Senate nomination in Delaware.

Christine O’Donnell, Tea Party candidate for Senate in Delaware, doesn’t want you to masturbate. Back in the 90s, she appeared on MTV to argue for a lust-free youth. And lust-free, O’Donnell clarified, means masturbation-free. At the time, O’Donnell was the president of Saviors Alliance for Lifting the Truth (SALT), a group “with a focus on establishing conservative Christian values in college-aged kids.”

Her campaign against masturbation was only the beginning of a lifelong assault on human well-being. She opposed President Bush’s restrictions on stem-cell research on the grounds that they were not restrictive enough, and she argued that sex education would cause us to become blasé about sexual predators. This last argument is a particularly helpful illumination of the conservative position on sexuality: this aspect of being a human is dirty and shameful and deserving of punishment. Healthy sex or even just sex education is not distinguished from sexual molestation.

This kind of repression and denial is, of course, what gets people into trouble: we’re not really having sex so let’s not use a condom; we weren’t supposed to have sex so let’s abandon the baby in a trash can.

So while O’Donnell’s vocal opposition to masturbation at first seems laughable, it’s part of a larger philosophy that we should take very seriously now that she’s running for Senate. Government interference in people’s sex lives may seem like a thing of the ancient past, but what are bans on gay marriage about, if not sex? And impediments to emergency contraception access? Just another reminder that Tea Partiers, who call themselves “the true owners of the United States,” have less interest in “small government” than in a tyranny of the minority.

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  • squirrely-girl

    … I’ll think of her the next time I masturbate ;)

  • bornin1984

    Unless she is making it a part of her platform, which she is not, then this is a complete non-issue. At any rate:

    This kind of repression and denial is, of course, what gets people into trouble: we’re not really having sex so let’s not use a condom; we weren’t supposed to have sex so let’s abandon the baby in a trash can.

    1.) It is no secret that legalized abortion created a change in sexual behavior, mainly the willingness to engage in otherwise risky behavior which one would not have done in the absence of abortion. That includes having unprotected sex. It is not so much someone believing they should not be having sex so they do not have to use a condom, but rather that they do not have to use a condom because they can just go and get an abortion if pregnancy does happen. It is explained a bit more here (http://129.3.20.41/econ-wp/test/papers/9912/9912050.pdf) with requisite statistical evidence.

    2.) The whole dumping a baby in a trash can is just the outgrowth of the mentality that some humans are inherently worth less than another. If you do not respect the life of someone at point A, then when would you respect the life of someone at any point after that?

  • bornin1984

    See above.

  • squirrely-girl

    On many levels I DO respect your opinions, but I think you’re often misguided in believing that your conclusions are the ONLY conclusions. Have you thought for a moment about the following?

     

    1. Both of the explanations imply some thinking. Condoms cost how much nowadays? A couple dollars tops? How much is that abortion in comparison? Please stop pretending people weren’t actively engaged in premarital sexual relations before abortion was legal. The only difference was that the girl was stuck with that pregnancy and/or she was sent away for awhile and forced to give it up to a more appropriate Christian couple.

     

    Just because I can get a tetanus shot doesn’t mean I go out and step on rusty nails for fun. :/

     

    2. That whole dumping baby in a trash can is just the result of the fear and panic of a young mind. If you were in denial and/or didn’t have a plan to raise a child at point A, then why would you suddenly have a plan at a point after that?

  • cc

    First, folks have been engaged in “risky” behavior since time immorial. How do you explain the numbers of illegitimate heirs to the English crown who periodically raised armies to defeat the legal heirs. My mother, born in 1920, was the product of an outside marriage relationship  and she was not alone in that category.  Ireland put these women in hideous detention camps about which a movie, “the Magdalenes,” was made. Sex has always been a prime directive regardless of the availablity of abortion.  D’uhhhhhhhhhhh.  Besides, rich gals could always get a “D&C” while the poor women died in back alleys.

     

    And “dumping” “babies” in trash cans. Pullleeze. More anti-choice rhetoric. The by-products of terminations are treated as any other surgical by products. But when abortion was illegal, both the “babies” and the women who carried them got dumped in graves. Ah, the good old days that the anti-choice movement wants to return to.  Ah, the fetus as more important than than that slut who carries it and who deserves what she gets if she defies her role as happy child bearer.  Ah, the good old days….

     

    Oh, and if unprotected sex means an eventual abortion – My body not yours. Not your problem.

  • junior

    In what way can “lust-free” mean “masturbation-free”? As O’Donnel stated. “masturbation-free” simply means to “lust-more.”

  • squirrely-girl

    So is it okay to masturbate to relieve non-sexual anxiety or get a good night’s sleep?

  • carolyninthecity

    ya know what’s funny, how no matter what the topic of the article, the anti-choicers on this site will find a way to derail the comments so we’re all talking about abortion. Yes, born, we get it, you don’t dig abortions. But this article is about some hilarious tea-bagger who doesn’t want you to touch yourself. Do you have thoughts on this, or are you simply just not capable of discussing anything that doesn’t have to do with abortion? I think the latter. I think you think you’re an expert on women, their bodies and their choices, and you simply cannot help yourself- you have to demonize the safe, legal, common medical procedure that irks you so, at every possible opportunity. Seems unhealthy, this obsession you have. 

     

    here’s a challenge for you: say something relevant, and we can discuss. 

     

    Here’s my two cents: Christine O’Donnell needs to masturbate more. Or, perhaps for the first time?

  • arekushieru

    Unfortunately, Born STILL can’t get around the whole idea that MEN CAN’T GET PREGNANT.  If abortion created a change in the willingness to engage in otherwise risky behaviour (which one would not have done in the absence of abortion *and I quote*), as in no longer having to face the ‘consequences’  (lovely term for a child, btw) of engaging in consensual sex (much like one  doesn’t have to face the consequences of engaging in a similarly legal activity such as driving, which is far more risky than pregnancy from sex, btw, because they are still allowed to restore themselves to their former health via medical treatment, IF they so CHOOSE.  Yet you rarely find anti-choicers protesting this kind of interference from the government or, even, the avoidance of *gasp* facing CONsequences of an action), then what consequences were eliminated that affected men to this degree (and please do provide evidence for otherwise equally burdensome consequences….  No?  Thought not…)?

     

    As for number two, I have two words for you, Andrea Yates. 

     

    It has been well-documented that most women who dispose of newborns in this manner have some kind of psychosis/neurosis.  It is an outgrowth of anti-CHOicers mentality that women are inherently worth less than the rest of the animal species, that cases like this, themSELVES, are documented.  Sorry. 

     

    Btw, abortion was legal from at LEAST 5,000 years ago until the point the patriarchy decided to make it ILlegal.  If there was such a change in sexual behaviours (inCLUding *gasp* masturbation) due to abortion being legal, then why were these sexual behaviours not documented from beFORE the period of illegality?

  • bornin1984

    It is a bit hard to derail the topic in responding to something typed out in the OP. Unless, of course, you think the OP is off-topic. Yes, I do know how to read.

    Speaking of reading, apparently you do not know how, for you conveniently missed how I did respond the part you somehow think I did not.

  • bornin1984

    1.) An abortion costs less than does raising a child until they are eighteen (or emancipated). This is explained in the link I provided. If an action carries fewer consequences tomorrow than it does today, you are more likely to engage in it tomorrow than you are today. Also, just so you know, the assertion was not that people did not engage in premarital sex before abortion was legalized, but that they were more likely to do so (including doing it so unsafely) post-legalized abortion. To the contrary of the OP, that is not a result of repression and denial.

    2.) For the same reason that not all unplanned pregnancies are aborted– people make plans. That still does not change the fact that if you do not respect the life of someone at point A, why (that when should have been why) would you respect the life of someone after that? As I stated, the idea of dumping a kid in a trash can is simply an outgrowth of pro-choice philosophy. If it is really just about the woman, and the child is secondary to her, then you really cannot fault a woman for throwing her kid in the trash can if that is what she wants to do. What is the fundamental difference between throwing a newborn in the trash can and aborting it before it is born? The answer is nothing. The end result is the same.

  • bornin1984

    Unfortunately, Born STILL can\’t get around the whole idea that MEN CAN\’T GET PREGNANT. If abortion created a change in the willingness to engage in otherwise risky behaviour (which one would not have done in the absence of abortion *and I quote*), as in no longer having to face the \’consequences\’ (lovely term for a child, btw) of engaging in consensual sex (much like one doesn\’t have to face the consequences of engaging in a similarly legal activity such as driving, which is far more risky than pregnancy from sex, btw, because they are still allowed to restore themselves to their former health via medical treatment, IF they so CHOOSE. Yet you rarely find anti-choicers protesting this kind of interference from the government or, even, the avoidance of *gasp* facing CONsequences of an action), then what consequences were eliminated that affected men to this degree (and please do provide evidence for otherwise equally burdensome consequences…. No? Thought not…)?

    First of all, use more periods. Second of all, abortion aside, there is not a single instance in which you can restore yourself, as you call it, to your previous state at the expense of a third party. And, third of all, if you can find me one instance in which anti-choicers argue that one should be allowed to restore themselves to a previous state at the expense of a third-party, then I would like to see it.

    As for number two, I have two words for you, Andrea Yates.

    You do realize that Andrea Yates was suffering from psychosis and PPD and was committed to a mental institute, correct?

    It has been well-documented that most women who dispose of newborns in this manner have some kind of psychosis/neurosis.

    This is 100% false. Most, and I use the term as you did, women have nothing wrong with them mentally when they discard their children in such a fashion. At least, they are no better nor worse than women who abort.

    It is an outgrowth of anti-CHOicers mentality that women are inherently worth less than the rest of the animal species, that cases like this, themSELVES, are documented. Sorry.

    Yes, because a woman who gives birth, dumps the kid into a trash can and returns to the party she was at does so because she believes she was worth inherently less than someone else, not because she perceived that which she was discarding as something less than human or with as much right to live as her.

    You know, I now know why you conclude all your posts with sorry– to apologize for being wrong before I point out the fact that you are wrong.

    Btw, abortion was legal from at LEAST 5,000 years ago until the point the patriarchy decided to make it ILlegal. If there was such a change in sexual behaviours (inCLUding *gasp* masturbation) due to abortion being legal, then why were these sexual behaviours not documented from beFORE the period of illegality?

    Some were. I guess who did not click on the link I provided? Also, it really was not.

  • cc

    When she makes public appearances, her theme music should be that 90’s song “I touch myself!” But really, just when you thought that the anti-choicers couldn’t get any more insane, along comes Christine.

  • invalid-0

    From a moral perspective, not nearly as much as when you set out to satisfy lustful thinking.  Generally speaking, if sexual intercourse is an act of ‘making love’, then masturbation would be ‘loving yourself’.  Unless I’m mistaken, that’s narcissism and sinful by any Christian definition.  You can’t fault a Christian for wanting to take steps to eliminate an activity she believes is wrong.  I don’t think she’s trying to make it illegal – so ignore her.

     

    On an additional note, if you count on sexual release to get a good night’s sleep or to reduce the tension in your life, you should really take some steps to attack the underlying problem there.  I’m not a psychologist, though, so that’s just a suggestion.

     

    Finally, I’d just like to point out that we’re on a website that is intended to promote the dignity of women.  Can we all agree on two things?

    1. Masturbation habits by men are undeniably linked to an unbelievably high demand for pornography?

    2. Pornography is an unquestionable exploitation of women?  The biggest insult to their dignity as human beings possible?

  • colleen

    Ireland put these women in hideous detention camps about which a movie, “the Magdalenes,” was made.

    It wasn’t the state who ran the Magdelene Laundries, it was the Roman Catholic church. They kept the women locked away for their entire lives and used them as slaves. After their slaves died, they were buried in unmarked graves. The last Magdelene Laundry closed in the late 90’s.

     

  • beenthere72

    Why would there necessarily be an ‘underlying problem’ just because one chooses to masturbate to help get a  good night’s sleep? 

  • rebellious-grrl

    Her campaign against masturbation is SOOOO ridiculous!!!!!
    Why are right-wingers so focused on repression and denial that we are sexual beings? And why is the “Tea Party” (a party of less government intervention/involvement) feels it necessary to interfere in my sex life, in my bedroom (or wherever I have sex and/or masturbate)?
    It’s unfortunate and sad that people like Christine O’Donnell are so afraid of sex. Masturbation is a healthy normal part of human sexuality. Masturbation a great way to discover your own body and learn what you like or don’t like about sex. Christine O’Donnell needs to get over her sexual hang-ups. Really!

  • crowepps

    Orgasm also releasing endorphins that decrease pain.

  • crowepps

    You can’t fault a Christian for wanting to take steps to eliminate an activity she believes is wrong.

    So if you’re a Christian you never have to say you’re sorry? You can never be wrong?

     

    Considering the history of Christianity, the pogroms, the burning of supposed witches and purported ‘pagans’, the murder of other Christians over minor details of doctrine, I have no problem at all faulting Christians when they’re insisting that the religion justifies any idiocy with which one of their adherents happens to be obsessed.

  • crowepps

    Unless she is making it a part of her platform, which she is not, then this is a complete non-issue.

    Since her position on this issue makes it clear she is a lunatic, it certainly would be an issue for me as a voter.  I don’t vote for lunatics.

  • rebellious-grrl

    From a moral perspective, not nearly as much as when you set out to satisfy lustful thinking……

    I make love to my husband/lover, but when I masturbate – I’m jerking off. I love having sex with the hubby but often I want it more than he does so a little jerking-off does me good. (Good thing I’m not a Christian.) I like my sexuality unrepressed.

    On an additional note, if you count on sexual release to get a good night’s sleep or to reduce the tension in your life, you should really take some steps to attack the underlying problem there.  I’m not a psychologist, though, so that’s just a suggestion.

     

    arex, maybe you would be less crabby is you jerked-off more. For me jerking-off and having a great orgasm helps put me to sleep, and it helps greatly with menstrual cramps. Not that you have ever experienced menstrual cramps.  

     

    1. Masturbation habits by men are undeniably linked to an unbelievably high demand for pornography?

    2. Pornography is an unquestionable exploitation of women?  The biggest insult to their dignity as human beings possible?

    Are we talking about men masturbating or women too? How did you come to this conclusion?

    I would say porn is bad erotica is not. I don’t need porn to jerk-off.

  • prochoiceferret

    From a moral perspective, not nearly as much as when you set out to satisfy lustful thinking.  Generally speaking, if sexual intercourse is an act of ‘making love’, then masturbation would be ‘loving yourself’.  Unless I’m mistaken, that’s narcissism and sinful by any Christian definition.  You can’t fault a Christian for wanting to take steps to eliminate an activity she believes is wrong.

     

    If she wants to stop masturbating because of her own sex-neurosis, then that’s her business. If she wants everyone else to stop masturbating because of her sex-neurosis, then that’s everyone’s business—and yes, we’re going to fault her for that, big-time.

     

    I don’t think she’s trying to make it illegal – so ignore her.

     

    It’s kind of hard to do that when she’s running for a U.S. Senate seat, and not just as that kook that people pretend to take seriously at the debates.

     

    On an additional note, if you count on sexual release to get a good night’s sleep or to reduce the tension in your life, you should really take some steps to attack the underlying problem there.  I’m not a psychologist, though, so that’s just a suggestion.

     

    Yes, you’re definitely not a psychologist.

     

    1. Masturbation habits by men are undeniably linked to an unbelievably high demand for pornography?

     

    Correlation is not causation. Breathing is “undeniably linked” to an unbelievably high demand for pornography, too.

     

    2. Pornography is an unquestionable exploitation of women?  The biggest insult to their dignity as human beings possible?

     

    I’m sure this will come as a surprise to the creators of feminist porn.

  • squirrely-girl

    1. Masturbation habits by men are undeniably linked to an unbelievably high demand for pornography?

    2. Pornography is an unquestionable exploitation of women?  The biggest insult to their dignity as human beings possible?

     

    1. I would suggest that men will masturbate with or without porn.

    2. I would say not ALL porn, alas most porn, is exploitive of women. There is pornography available that takes a more feminine viewpoint or perspective and highlight mutual sexual pleasure (often referred to as erotica). However, the overwhelming majority of mainstream pornography is centered on the male gaze, caters to men’s (perceived) desires, and is generally violent and degrading toward women (misogyny at it’s finest).

     

    However, I think it’s a huge mistake to think all pornography is equal or attempt to censor all naked images because of it.

     

    On a side note, I tend to believe the biggest insult to my dignity as a human being would be rape or forced birthing. I think the idea that women are just too ignorant to make informed decisions regarding their reproductive abilities is insulting.

  • invalid-0

    I would have thought that we could find some common ground with my two points.  I guess I was wrong.

    I would suggest that men will masturbate with or without porn.

    Yes, but my point still stands that if people didn’t masturbate, there would be no pornography.  If the amount of masturbation was cut in half, the demand for porn would be reduced significantly.  There would be less money in the industry, and many young women would not be exploited online or in magazines.  

    I think the idea that women are just too ignorant to make informed decisions regarding their reproductive abilities is insulting.

    Yeah, you would.  I understand that in your world, a 13-year-old teenager having to get parental consent for surgery is a greater insult to her dignity than men masturbating to pictures of her naked body after she turns 18.

    Your comment bleeds of ignorance anyway.  As you should already know, this has NEVER been about controlling a woman.  I really couldn’t care less what y’all “do with your bodies”.  Just don’t kill anyone.  If you’re not killing humans, I’ll back off.

  • saltyc

    And if men didn’t masturbate they would still hire women to suck their dicks, which isn’t an improvement.

     

    What was that saying that it’s better to spill your seed on a prostitute than to spill it on the ground? I say spill it on the ground, the worms can eat the protein.

     

    I say masturbation is awesome, and I don’t need no porn, my imagination is SO much better and doesn’t harm anyone.

  • saltyc

    Abortion is not killing humans, I know you and others believe this, but it’s still not true, whereas throwing women in jail while they are recovering from an abortion is actually all about controlling women so you’re both a liar and a hypocrite.

  • beenthere72

    If there was no pleasureable orgasm, there’d be no masturbation, no porn, no sex industry and heck, probably no un-wanted pregnancies either.    Why don’t you work on that, arex?  

     

    Personally,  I don’t have anything against porn as long as all the participants are willing participants and over the age of 18.   

  • prochoicekatie

    Arex, this article is about masturbation. Not abortion. And if people didn’t masturbate – at all – most doctor’s would agree that we would have a host of other problems. Our bodies desire sexual release – that’s science.
    Masturbation is a safe way to get that release. Your argument that without masturbation there would be no pornography follows simple logic – however it still remains wholly irrelevent. If people didn’t drive there wouldn’t be car accidents. But people need to get places, so they drive. And sometimes they crash.
    People need sexual release (maybe you don’t, but most people do.) And masturbation is a way to get that without having sex. And sometimes people look at porn while they masturbate, but OFTEN they don’t.
    You’re assigning the problems associated with porn to masturbation. This would be like assigning the problem with car crashes to people needing to get places.
    It follows, it just lacks any real relevance.
    And because of the preponderance of your opinion on this website, I happen to suspect that you very much DO care what I do with my body – whether it’s birth control, masturbation, or abortion. While you think pregnancy has NOTHING to do with my body, I respectfully disagree. To me it is simple science that we are talking about my body. We are also talking about a fetus. But just as you criticize pro-choicers for ignoring the fetus, you have just shown that you are ignoring the pregnant woman. The conversation about abortion and the role of government intervention is complex and controversial because it involves BOTH.

  • prochoiceferret

    Yes, but my point still stands that if people didn’t masturbate, there would be no pornography.

     

    If people were that uninterested in sexual pleasure, chances are there wouldn’t be 6+ billion people in the first place.

     

    Yeah, you would.  I understand that in your world, a 13-year-old teenager having to get parental consent for surgery is a greater insult to her dignity than men masturbating to pictures of her naked body after she turns 18.

     

    Particularly so if she has abusive parents, and decides to model for porn by her own free will.

     

    Your comment bleeds of ignorance anyway.  As you should already know, this has NEVER been about controlling a woman.  I really couldn’t care less what y’all “do with your bodies”.  Just don’t kill anyone.  If you’re not killing humans, I’ll back off.

     

    So you do care what women do with their bodies—and if they do not want to remain pregnant, you want to control them so that they stay that way. Shame on you.

  • prochoicekatie

    Um… actually I believe that what’s talked about in the OP is infanticide. Not abortion. It is possible I misunderstood, but to me it seems she is talking about the unfortunate practice of young girls who give birth and then dispose of the born child due to ignorance, fear, and a host of other psychological issues.

    It is not talking about abortion.

  • prochoicekatie

     Generally speaking, if sexual intercourse is an act of ‘making love’, then masturbation would be ‘loving yourself’.  Unless I’m mistaken, that’s narcissism and sinful by any Christian definition.  

    I absolutely love your use of colloquial phrases like “making love” to define Christian philosophy. Since that little term came around a few thousand years after the Bible was written.

    Second of all, I’m not a current studier of Christian thought, but I went to a very Christian university and took mandatory Christian teaching courses. I do not feel that the Bible tells you not you love yourself. God loves you, and you should try to reflect God’s love, right?

    The entire practice of self-loathing as the cornerstone of Christianity is in my opinion, inaccurate if one truly understands the faith, and incredibly unappealing.

    How about loving youself and others? Showing grace and mercy? Knowing you’re not perfect is fine, but refusing to love yourself (whether you mean this literally or colloquially)? Really? I’ll pass.

  • squirrely-girl

    Yes, but my point still stands that if people didn’t masturbate, there would be no pornography.

    So is pornography the chicken or the egg in this equation? I get what you’re saying, but it’s an awfully big assumption… one almost impossible to even hypothesize on given the natural tendency toward masturbation and the LONG history of people drawing or taking pictures of naked people (cave drawings people, cave drawings).

    If the amount of masturbation was cut in half, the demand for porn would be reduced significantly. 

    This also assumes that people are logical in their “jerk material.” Plenty of people get drawn into searching for pornography because of the “deer in headlights” phenomenon. Quite simply, we’re naturally attracted to and interested in the things we shouldn’t be looking at. People with porn addictions aren’t generally searching for jerk material as much as they are satisfying the urge to see more and constantly one-up whatever they’ve seen before. How else can you explain the popularity of Two Girls One Cup?!

     

    Similarly, plenty of people masturbate without using pornography. Thus, even if half the population stopped masturbating, there’s no guarantee that half would be the porn using half. Likewise, some people are more than content with a couple of “standards” and aren’t searching for newer images while some people are constantly searching. Quite simply, even if masturbation were cut in half, it’s highly unlikely that half is going to be the chronic masturbators or those with clinical issues… meaning plenty  of porn will still be produced and many young women will still be exploited online or in magazines.  

    I understand that in your world, a 13-year-old teenager having to get parental consent for surgery is a greater insult to her dignity than men masturbating to pictures of her naked body after she turns 18.

    How little you really know me :( I would take SERIOUS issue with a 13-year-old girl obtaining an abortion without some type of adult (parental or guardian) input. My hangup is when the legal age of consent is 16 (meaning girls can consent to having sex) but the legal age for abortion without adult input is 18. In other words, they’re old enough to have sex and have a baby but they’re NOT old enough to decide against having a child?! I don’t understand that disconnect. Either they’re physically and emotionally capable of consenting to sex and all of it’s possible consequences or they aren’t. Only conservative hypocrites get to have it both ways. 

     

    Similarly, I take no issue with people masturbating to images of women as long as those women consented to the creation and dissemination of those images. Do I think there’s coercion involved. ABSOLUTELY! Do I think women are exploited. YES! Do I think this is a reflection of naked pictures in general. No. This is a scenario where oversight is necessary and throwing the baby out with the bathwater would simply result in an even greater black market. 

     

    As you should already know, this has NEVER been about controlling a woman.  I really couldn’t care less what y’all “do with your bodies”.  Just don’t kill anyone.  If you’re not killing humans, I’ll back off.

    Well seeing as how I don’t liken aborting early pregnancies to murder, it looks like we’re all good!

  • invalid-0

    Wake up and smell the coffee beans, beenthere.  Just because women in pornography ‘consent’ doesn’t mean they want to be there.  In fact, I seriously doubt any women feel that they specifically chose that lifestyle.  I question the intellectual integrity of those who see the porn industry as blameless, so long as the girls are 18 and signed on the dotted line.

  • invalid-0

    So you do care what women do with their bodies

    Keep your eye on the ball, Ferret.  Only if it kills a human being.  Does it?

  • invalid-0

    How little you really know me :(

    Squirrely, that’s my mistake.  I didn’t realize we were on the same page for parental consent laws.  Good for you!

    If I can re-thesis here, since a lot of people seem to be dodging my point and attacking rhetoric, rather than point – or bringing the issue of abortion into play, here goes:

    1. If you want to masturbate, fine.  Enjoy it.

    2. The Christian religion generally opposes masturbation.  It’s certainly a difficult issue and I don’t expect any of you to agree with me on it.  Read Pope John Paul II on the topic if you ever get the chance if you want more on that.  If you’re Christian and disagree, see #1 above.

    3. A woman who is a Christian has a right to push programs that line up ideologically with her beliefs when she is involved in politics.  A liberal politician may push a program that teaches acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle.  A Muslim representative may attempt to make one of their religious holidays a national holiday.  An atheist may attempt to remove “In God we Trust” from the currency.  As long as none of them attempt to disobey the Constitution.  God bless America.

    4. Regardless of the many non-responses above, the fact remains that there IS a connection between pornography and masturbation.  It may not be direct, but it is undeniable.  With the exception of what we’ll call “art”, pictures of naked women is exploitive.  The porn industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that pays women to expose their bodies to men they will never meet.  Young men are trained, Pavlov-style, to react only to women that are physically beautiful.  They value women based on the sexual release they get from her image.

    Look, I rambled in #4 a bit… but if there’s ONE THING we can all agree on, can it be that the porn industry is a step-in-the-wrong direction for women, if indeed the goal is for men to respect the true and full equal value and dignity that women bring to the table? Please?

    And if there’s a way to bring that industry down a notch, I will gladly join you all in fighting against it.  Let me know what I can do.

  • beenthere72

    Just like any sort of business, there’s a side of it that’s well-run, well-paid and well respected (I guess I use that term loosely), while another sort that is all child labor and sweat shops.    While I know there’s plenty of porn that’s total exploitation (for one: I *hate* *hate* *HATE* the ‘Girls Gone Wild’ series – while not officially porn, it is most definitely exploitation of barely legal teens who are most usually intoxicated).    If you’re so anti-porn, then I imagine I’ve seen lots more porn than you have.    I own the dvds.    I’ve been to the porn stores.    How ’bout you?    Now I know that the internet has made a new monster out of the industry (as it has for most every industry), but that doesn’t mean the industry is all ‘take this pill and sign this form’ (remember, they do have their own movie awards).  

     

    While it’s not exactly porn, I, myself, have been a phone sex operator (and did it strictly for the money).   You cannot even imagine the disgusting imagination of some men.   It gave me a perspective of pervert that I never knew existed and I hope to G-D these men only leave these fantasies to phone-talk and not real life.   Gross, gross, gross. 

     

     

     

  • jayn

    Just like any sort of business, there’s a side of it that’s well-run, well-paid and well respected (I guess I use that term loosely), while another sort that is all child labor and sweat shops.

     

    Bingo.  The biggest issues with the porn industry isn’t the content, it’s the context.  Just because some shoes are made in sweatshops in China, doesn’t mean that shoes are inherently bad.

     

    You cannot even imagine the disgusting imagination of some men.

     

    And women.  I can only speak for myself here, but I will say that personally, the appeal sometimes IS that it’s a fantasy–I wouldn’t want to actually DO those things.

  • beenthere72

    The first call I had to sit in on as part of my ‘training’ was from a man that wanted to talk to a new mother holding her baby… I don’t remember the details, but just the thought of it makes me nauseous.    Many of our callers wanted to talk to young girls just going through puberty.    I think it’s illegal in the US to field such calls, but I think this company was based out of Canada so was able to get away with it.    We all had many characters we set up ahead of time so the operator would give you a heads up of which character the caller was looking for.    It was all so shady and worked nothing like ‘Girl 6′.  

  • prochoiceferret

    Just because women in pornography ‘consent’ doesn’t mean they want to be there.  In fact, I seriously doubt any women feel that they specifically chose that lifestyle.

     

    I’m sure the burger flippers at McDonald’s know exactly what you’re talking about.

  • prochoiceferret

    Keep your eye on the ball, Ferret.  Only if it kills a human being.  Does it?

     

    So you’re against women using lethal force in self-defense, then. I guess you must be one of those pro-rape activists.

  • prochoiceferret

    1. If you want to masturbate, fine.  Enjoy it.

     

    Yay, agreement!

     

    2. The Christian religion generally opposes masturbation.  It’s certainly a difficult issue and I don’t expect any of you to agree with me on it.  Read Pope John Paul II on the topic if you ever get the chance if you want more on that.  If you’re Christian and disagree, see #1 above.

     

    Why would you want to listen to the Catholic Church on anything concerning sexuality? That’s like learning about finances from a compulsive gambler!

     

    3. A woman who is a Christian has a right to push programs that line up ideologically with her beliefs when she is involved in politics.  A liberal politician may push a program that teaches acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle.  A Muslim representative may attempt to make one of their religious holidays a national holiday.  An atheist may attempt to remove “In God we Trust” from the currency.  As long as none of them attempt to disobey the Constitution.  God bless America.

     

    It’s a good thing we can debate the merits and disadvantages of each position, isn’t it? I’m still waiting to hear the positives of attempting to quash your point #1.

     

    4. Regardless of the many non-responses above, the fact remains that there IS a connection between pornography and masturbation.  It may not be direct, but it is undeniable.

     

    I think you’ll find that sexual desire and virility are equal co-conspiritors.

     

    With the exception of what we’ll call “art”, pictures of naked women is exploitive.

     

    That’s funny, given that many classic nude “art” pieces were very much commissioned as pornography. (Back in the day, it tended to be more hoity-toity.)

     

    The porn industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that pays women to expose their bodies to men they will never meet.

     

    Sounds like a good deal for the women!

     

    Young men are trained, Pavlov-style, to react only to women that are physically beautiful.  They value women based on the sexual release they get from her image.

     

    So, you’re a fierce opponent of the fashion industry?

     

    Look, I rambled in #4 a bit… but if there’s ONE THING we can all agree on, can it be that the porn industry is a step-in-the-wrong direction for women, if indeed the goal is for men to respect the true and full equal value and dignity that women bring to the table? Please?

     

    Sure, much of the current U.S. porn industry is pretty crappy for womens’ dignity. But then, that’s not the same thing as pornography in general, is it?

     

    And if there’s a way to bring that industry down a notch, I will gladly join you all in fighting against it.  Let me know what I can do.

     

    Don’t buy their products, and work to make better opportunities available for women instead of depriving them of the ones they already have.

  • invalid-0

    That’s funny, given that many classic nude “art” pieces were very much commissioned as pornography. (Back in the day, it tended to be more hoity-toity.)

    Sure, much of the current U.S. porn industry is pretty crappy for womens’ dignity. But then, that’s not the same thing as pornography in general, is it?

    I’m really not familiar with the types of ‘feminist porn’ or other non-exploitive categories of pornography.  Pornography, by definition is  pictures of prostitutes, which is itself sort of exploitation by definition.  If there is such thing as acceptable pornography – tasteful and not a devaluation of a woman’s dignity, then all I mean to say is that’s not what I’m referring to here.

    Sounds like a good deal for the women!

    Maybe you were being sarcastic here, but I whole-heartedly disagree.  Being offered money to take your clothes off so strangers can take pictures of you so perverts can be satisfied hardly seems like a good deal to me.  Posing for porn is meant to reduce a woman to her physical appearance alone – that degrades her.  It’s a sad reflection of our society that the industry is large enough that they can be offered enough money (those that aren’t flat out coerced) to do this.

    Pornography = NOT a good deal for the woman.

    Other than that, Ferret, I’ll mention that I do oppose some of the fashion industry these days.  Some of what certain young girls are wearing these days makes me feel like the porn industry has jumped out of the magazines and onto the clothing racks, quite honestly.  That said, some clothing – although it exposes quite a bit – can still be tasteful, so it’s difficult to say definitively.

  • prochoiceferret

    I’m really not familiar with the types of ‘feminist porn’ or other non-exploitive categories of pornography.  Pornography, by definition is  pictures of prostitutes,

     

    Umm… no. Prostitutes may also work as porn models, but otherwise, those are two completely distinct professions. (That’s like saying, “Fashion photography, by definition is pictures of athletes.”)

     

    If there is such thing as acceptable pornography – tasteful and not a devaluation of a woman’s dignity, then all I mean to say is that’s not what I’m referring to here.

     

    You know, if you’re going to write a screed against pornography—whether in general or addressing the mainstream industry as it exists today—you may want to research your subject a little more.

     

    Maybe you were being sarcastic here, but I whole-heartedly disagree.  Being offered money to take your clothes off so strangers can take pictures of you so perverts can be satisfied hardly seems like a good deal to me.  Posing for porn is meant to reduce a woman to her physical appearance alone – that degrades her.

     

    I’m sure the woman would lament that as her porn paycheck allows her to buy food and pay the rent for her and her child.

     

    It’s a sad reflection of our society that the industry is large enough that they can be offered enough money (those that aren’t flat out coerced) to do this.

    Pornography = NOT a good deal for the woman.

     

    As opposed to being unemployed and on benefits?

     

    Other than that, Ferret, I’ll mention that I do oppose some of the fashion industry these days.  Some of what certain young girls are wearing these days makes me feel like the porn industry has jumped out of the magazines and onto the clothing racks, quite honestly.  That said, some clothing – although it exposes quite a bit – can still be tasteful, so it’s difficult to say definitively.

     

    The question there is, would you rather wag your fingers at the “scandalous! barely there!” fashions of today, or work to promote a healthy body image among (young) women and a more equitable role in society for women so that they are seen as more than hood ornaments?

  • colleen

    Pornography, by definition is pictures of prostitutes, which is itself sort of exploitation by definition.

    Prostitution is defined as having sex in exchange for money. Indeed what the religious right calls ‘traditional marriage’ especially when the man controls all the money and the woman is reduced to a circumstance where she is entirely dependent on her husband for the basic necessities of life and/or required to submit to her husband sexually is far closer to the definition of prostitution than that of a woman who poses in the nude for, say, Playboy or Hustler and more exploitative by a factor of 10.

  • hekate

     Posing for porn is meant to reduce a woman to her physical appearance alone – that degrades her.

    As an art student who has drawn many nude women, I can say I’m certainly not drawing the ladies to capture their intelligence, inner strength, or zest for life. I’m drawing their bodies to capture their physical appearance alone.

     

    Are you also opposed to women as models for photography? I mean, the camera certainly isn’t capturing their inner qualities.

     

    Are models being degraded? The models I’ve met during figure drawing sessions didn’t seem distraught over being paid to pose nude and be drawn. Some didn’t even mind having their photos taken! They weren’t paid extra for that and totally could have declined with no penalties. 

  • ack

    “Posing for porn is meant to reduce a woman to her physical appearance alone – that degrades her. It’s a sad reflection of our society that the industry is large enough that they can be offered enough money (those that aren’t flat out coerced) to do this.”

    I don’t think that reducing masturbation will help this part of the porn dilemma. Redefining our relationships with our bodies and with each other, however, will.

    I agree that a lot of het porn is exploitative of women. Porn is also sometimes violent, which adds an additional layer of complexity (and a lot of problems) to our relationships with our bodies, with sex, and with violence.

    But I disagree with your previous statement that if there wasn’t masturbation, there wouldn’t be porn. The fact of the matter is that some couples enjoy porn together, and I think there would still be a market for it whether we all stopped masturbating or not.

    I think a more accurate way of looking at it might be:
    If women and men held equal standing, beyond the intimate and into the everyday, porn would be different.

    Sure, we don’t know what “different” is right now, but wouldn’t it be kickass to find out?

  • ack

    MUSIC LEADS TO DANCING!!! AND DANCING LEADS TO SEX!!!

    AND MASTURBATION LEADS TO GETTING OFF!!!

    Oh, wait. That last one made sense.

    It took most of my friends and me waaaay too long to figure out that masturbation was an integral part of figuring out what we like during sex. If the ab-only crowd embraced masturbation as a way of exploring yourself with the intention of educating your future spouse and having a wicked fulfilling sex life in marriage, I think they’d gain some traction. I can’t imagine anything more disappointing than getting married and having both parties thinking, “THAT’S IT?” for the rest of their lives.

  • equalist

    This is 100% false. Most, and I use the term as you did, women have nothing wrong with them mentally when they discard their children in such a fashion. At least, they are no better nor worse than women who abort.

    I would be willing to say that most women who do this kind of thing, do so either out of an altered mental state (such as drug addiction or psychosis) or out of a sense of pure despiration.  The ones that do it out of despiration probably would have taken advantage of abortion services MUCH earlier in their pregnancy (such as when the embryo was still at the stage of a clump of cells without so much as a remotely functional heart, much less nervous system or brain) had it been available or affordable, thus negating the need to deposit a born child in such a manner.

    Yes, because a woman who gives birth, dumps the kid into a trash can and returns to the party she was at does so because she believes she was worth inherently less than someone else, not because she perceived that which she was discarding as something less than human or with as much right to live as her.

    You do realize that cases where a woman gives birth and then dumps the child before returning back to a party or other “fun” event like nothing ever happened are very, VERY rare, to the point of being statistically insignificant?  In cases where children have been abandoned like this and then the mothers found, it’s far more often the case that the woman is a terrified teenager or college student who for whatever reason (fear of angering family or social consequences, lack of access or money to obtain an abortion at the earliest stages of the pregnancy) was unable or unwilling to abort at an earlier stage of the pregnancy.  Other more likely scenarios involve homeless women without the means to care for themselves properly, much less the child they carry and likely have not been able to obtain proper medical care due to lack of knowledge that such care could be available to them, or women suffering from addiction who are not in a stable frame of mind to be making decisions about their health or anyone elses.

    Some were. I guess who did not click on the link I provided? Also, it really was not.

    Are you really saying abortion was illegal before it was made illegal?  Sounds like logic failure to me unless you were trying to say that abortion didn’t exist before it became illegal.  Abortion is not a creation of modern medicine or modern society.  There has been documented evidence of women going to healers, medicine men and women, midwives or even “witches” for millenia, usually to obtain teas or herbs that would induce an abortion or as science and medicine advanced, to obtain one through other, more reliable but invasive means.  Eventually, patriarchial societies determined that they didn’t want their women accessing this kind of freedom and outlawed these herbs and medical means either to prevent women from aborting possible heirs or to punish them for simply being women and being sexual beings.

  • equalist

    You can’t fault a Christian for wanting to take steps to eliminate an activity she believes is wrong.

    Masturbation is an entirely personal act, and as such is nothing of anyone else’s business.  If, when, and how I masturbate isn’t any of your business or anyone elses, except my partner’s if I choose to share such information with him.  As for faulting the Christian for wanting to eliminate an activity he or she believes is wrong, you absolutely can when such an activity is of such a personal nature and none of her business whether or not other people engage in said activity.

    On an additional note, if you count on sexual release to get a good night’s sleep or to reduce the tension in your life, you should really take some steps to attack the underlying problem there.  I’m not a psychologist, though, so that’s just a suggestion.

    Clearly you are not a psychologist or any other kind of medical professional.  Otherwise you would be aware that masturbation, and sexual release in general is a well documented form of natural stress relief (and not just stress caused by sexual tension) as well as being quite healthy for the body.  First there is the benefit of relieving stress which can cause all kinds of health issues by itself.  Then there is the sleep issue.  Masturbation, or sexual release in general releases hormones and brain chemicals that can assist with falling asleep more quickly and sleeping deeper.  There are also many documented health benefits as well, such as the fact that masturbation actually can increase functioning of the immune system, and is shown to increase prostate health, and actually lower a man’s risk of prostate cancer.  In women, it can build resistance to yeast infections, can combat menstral cramps and other unpleasantries that tend to come at that time of the month, and can help to relieve chronic back pain and increase a woman’s threshold for pain (and I can say confidently that it seems to have this effect for men as well, as my fiance suffers from fibromialgia and finds that masturbation can greatly help his pain level on his bad days).

    1. Masturbation habits by men are undeniably linked to an unbelievably high demand for pornography?

    As others have pointed out, so does breathing.  Also, not all pornography is automatically bad based simply on the fact that it is pornography. 

    2. Pornography is an unquestionable exploitation of women?  The biggest insult to their dignity as human beings possible?

    I wouldn’t call it unquestionable exploitation, or even say that pornography in general is an insult to their dignity.  For one thing, there is such a thing as gay porn which doesn’t feature women at all, much less in undignified positions.  As someone else here mentioned, there is also feminist porn as an option that doesn’t degrade women if you’re looking for something of the straight variety.  In addition, some pornstars are quite comfortable with their professions, and actually view it as empowering (Jenna Jameson, who has created massive business ventures for herself based on her status as a pornstar comes immediately to mind).

  • princess-rot

    I do not understand how this thread has devolved into an argument about whether masturbation is responsible for the porn industry exploiting women (?). There seems to be some confusion between correlation and causation. Masturbation does not “cause” violent porn consumption – a lazy, misogynistic view of sex does – it becomes more about the need to witness degradation than, in lay terms, the physical act of getting off.

     

    It’s a psychological power trip to witness the filmed exploitation (real or scripted) of an oppressed class, much like rape is about having power over another, and not so much to do with the physical act. It is very easy to provoke orgasm with no thought at all, with your eyes shut. The physical sensation is enough for the body. It becomes a problem, IMO, when psychological need is confused with physical. Since our cultural definition of “sex” is heteronormative, penitrative and male-centric, it tends to give rise to the idea that men are dominant and women submissive. This does not happen in a vacuum, it is inculcated over years in a miasma of little things that inform the privileged that sex is woman therefore woman is sex, the receiver but not the instigator, and that is all she can be. Hence the idea of men “penetrating” and not women “enveloping”, for example.

     

    This thread is like the headache I get when there is talk of some unholy alliance between radfems and the religious right over pornography because arguably, the latter has more public traction than the former (at least in the U.S.) These two groups have very different reasons for wishing to redefine the female sexual experience, very different.

  • ack

    I’m confused now. If I’m not getting off from sex, whether partner or solo, my body takes care of that for me. I have orgasms in my sleep. I know more than a handful of women who experience that, too.

     

    So what are we to do? Never sleep? Am I unfaithful to my hypothetical future husband when I have sex dreams that are out of my control?

  • gyamner

    In a season of Silly Politicians, the choosing Christine O’Donnell as the Republican Senatorial candidate from Delaware ranks high up as  the most ludicrous. This woman who is running on a  platform of keeping the government out of a private citizen’s  business is the ultimate in irony. She wants states and citizens to “take back our America” but take back to what? 

    Perhaps, to a time when women could not vote? Perhaps, a time when only the rich could afford safe abortions and everyone else resorted to back alleyways and coat hangers? Perhaps, a time when scientists were not so close to finding help for Parkinsons due to stem cell research?

    She wants to stop masturbation, stop promoting the use of condoms and to stop women from having an abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest.

    Of course, the children that will be born will receive no funding, no social security, no health insurance, no medicare.  Let them be born but do not provide for them.

    On facebook go to my blog to see the stats that we are keeping to show all the new restriction abortion laws and to read more about Christine O’Donnell

    http://jactoo.blogspot.com/p/presidential-ponderings-thoughts-from.html

  • pamgreen

    Masturbation is the only truely SAFE form of sex because there is no risk of being infected with an STD (including AIDS) and no risk of becoming pregnant.

    Masturbation is the MOST MORAL form of sex because there is no risk of infecting anyone else or causing anyone else to become pregnant. Masturbation can never cause yourself or anyone else to need an abortion (the same of course is true of gay sex). You also are not risking your partner’s emotional welfare and you have not had to tell any lies to your partner in order to “get laid”.

    Now someone pointed out that Christianity (or at least some of its 131 flavors) considers masturbation immoral. Well Christianity also says “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”, so Christine O’Donnell should not suffer herself to live because she has “dabbled in witchcraft”.

    Actually to whatever extent the Christian disapproval of masturbation derives from the Onan story, it rests on a complete misunderstanding. Onan’s sin was actually that he refused to impregnate his deceased brother’s widow as he was required to do by the then current Jewish law so that the child could be raised as his dead brother’s child. Rather than ejaculate in a way that could impregnate his dead brother’s widow, he pulled out and “spilled his seed on the ground”. Today this whole idea seems a bit obsolete. Any obligation to do stud service on behalf of a dead brother could be fulfilled by fresh or frozen semen Artificial Insemination, without the two persons ever having to meet. Plus, if I recall correctly , by the time of Henry VIII the Catholic Church had completely divorced itself from the old Jewish law and instead forbade a surviving brother from marrying his deceased brother’s wife instead of requiring such a marriage ; that prohibition was the basis of Henry seeking annulment from Catharine of Aragon. Again, this is an issue that doesn’t come up very often these days.

    Likewise the “not suffer a witch to live” rests on a mis-translation. The original language was that thou (and thy community) “shalt not suffer a poisoner< .b> to live” , especially a well poisoner. That makes good sense, especially in a community dependant on a communal well for their water supply. The idea of well poisoning and mass murder may be less obsolete than the idea of refusing to be sperm donor for one’s dead brother’s widow. We do after all have municipal water supplies that a terrorist might poison with any number of modern poisons or infective agents.

    Masturbators of the world, arise !! Relief is just an armslength away !!!

    Excuse me now while I go to do my daily shaving of hair off of the palms of my hands and then go to walk and feed my faithful guide dog.