Tonight I’m watching an interview with Darryl Roberts on his latest documentary “America the Beautiful 3”:
Having just watched up to the 18:47 mark, now pausing… Let me say this. After having viewed Darryl Roberts’ first “America the Beautiful” film approximately 3 times (though haven’t watched the last two yet) and then numerous interviews of him since, I have to say that I respect the guy. Don’t agree with him or those he chose to interview on all points, as to be expected, but he does come across as honestly working to campaign on behalf of young girls by sharing their experiences and calling into question cultural influences and trends. He started off small-scale and worked his way up, advocating for youths he’s most concerned about.
Now, I can already see where “manospherians” are going to take issue. First, the documentary references the Mary Koss statistics on 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 women being raped in their lifetimes. In Darryl’s and the other people involved’s defense, those statistics were broadcast on the CDC website and literature. CDC= Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is “one of the major operating components of the [U.S.] Department of Health and Human Services.” People tend to trust government-issued statistics. This is the CDC’s error, first and foremost, in accepting statistics without scrutinizing the methodology used. That’s why they’re trusted: we expect our government to operate with due diligence. Otherwise it’s just spreading propaganda and/or misinformation. So if people want to get mad over statistics, cooked by a feminist gender ideologue in order to bolster her own political leanings, being adopted and then broadcast online by the CDC, then great. I’m with you on that. But credible challenges to those statistics are just beginning to break into the mainstream, meaning that most who’ve heard the Koss stats repeated for years came to believe them. As did I once upon a time. Took time to “wake people up” the first go-round, so expect it to take time to awaken people once again. Darryl’s going on what he assumes to be reputable, government-endorsed data. As to be expected by most. And that’s a problem all unto itself.
Then Darryl mentioned Gail Dines, whom I know most “manospherians” just adore. I know. But it doesn’t appear the crux of his claims and speculations there rely much, if barely any, on her input. He’s, once again, taking issue with the commercialization of sex and aesthetic appeal. That’s his running theme in exploring how little girls are nowadays coming up being sold on a bunch of lies and bad information intended to make them self-conscious so that they’ll buy crap they don’t really need to transform themselves in radical ways. And I do see where he’s coming from in a lot of that, because I lived through it too, as a kid of the ’80s and a teen of the ’90s. And I probably got a bigger dose than some in terms of early sexualization and where that all led.
I too worry about the youth of this country and culture, both males and females, though I also started off mostly concerned with girls since I was one trying to figure out how to navigate in this modern maze. Now that life’s been chilling out a bunch in recent years and I’m in my 30s and taken myself out of that hook-up culture rat race, it’s provided time for greater reflection, one rumination being on witnessing how many males my age and younger behaved over the years. Fairly early on I came to prefer the company of older men over that of my peer group, and that’s never changed to this day. Because my age group is, generally speaking, a bunch of hooligans (myself included to whatever extent). Why? Well, look at how we came up and what all we’ve been exposed to. Think that’s had no discernible impact on our choices and behaviors and even modes of thinking? Well, think again.
My own story would fill a book. Taught me a lot. Cost me a good bit in the process though, as all risk-taking can. Came out realizing that practically everything I thought I knew was wrong, because we’re fed horseshit like it’s going out of style. And the younger a person is who’s saturated with all those messages, the more deeply ingrained they appear to become. Just my observation.
Back to watching the video now…
He could support young girls without taking on such a feminist position. Wish he’d be a bit more critical of feminist influences that have been confusing to girls and young women (not to mention males) as well.
And when they talk about the dehumanization of girls and women, what I really think is happening here is the dehumanization of sex itself. Both partners, whether male or female, are becoming props in a bizarre real-time experiment where youths come up feeling pressured to imitate “art.” (I use the term art very loosely there, mind you.) I saw it happening long before coming across what Darryl had to say on the matter. Been ramping up ever since I hit puberty, and was probably going on before then even. But then the internet brought issues revolving around sexuality and youth to a fever pitch, most definitely.
Haven’t read or watched “50 Shades of Grey” and hope not to. Not my style. Heard enough about it from others to suit me, and what’s been described I’d refer to as “gonzo porn” as well. That’s an apt term for the extremes porn has headed in (though porn has been crazy since at least the ’70s, the popularity of the internet having taken it too to unprecedented heights and weirder extremes). I don’t care for most porn anymore, and when I do look at it still occasionally my aim is to find amateur videos (though most marketed under that heading turn out to be anything but).
Before anyone FREAKS OUT, that doesn’t mean I’m advocating to ban pornography. Being critical of it and choosing to back away from it and preferring the company of others who do the same is an expression of individual choice. I realize others will lose themselves in that sort of thing, similar to how I did back when younger, and all I can do is communicate with people from my perspective on the matter. That’s all I’m ever aiming to do. New laws won’t change a thing if people persist in creating demand for raunchy crud.
AND not all porn is created equal. That deserves to be stated. Though most that I’ve come across hasn’t included much, if any, displays of intimacy and affection, which bugs me since I’ve viewed A LOT of porn over time. The novelty of viewing dehumanized sex began wearing off on me a few years back, and good riddance.
ALL INPUT winds up having an impact, whether we’re conscious of this impact or not. I’m grateful to finally come to realize how much that shit in particular was poisoning my soul. Others didn’t have to tell me — I felt it. At least when it comes to the craziest, most degrading stuff I’ve watched over time.
Darryl’s attitude expressed about porn comes across a bit more narrow and judgmental than my own, to be honest. Some female porn stars indeed got wrecked through acting in porn (Chris Hedges discusses that in a chapter of his book Empire of Illusion, by the way), but so did many males as well. Porn producing can be, and often enough is, damaging to all actors who remain involved in it. I’ve watched documentary segments where male porn actors talked about shooting up some sort of chemical directly into their penises in order to achieve a sustained erection, which then after doing that so many times over however many years it wound up creating nearly permanent erectile dysfunction. And think about gay porns and the males who participate in the bottom position. Slamming either males or females with huge dicks over countless hours is likely to do damage and to be painful, and then you add in scat and water sports and tolerating men ejaculating in your mouth and/or on your face — plus add in the cultural double-standards and stigma that these porn actors have to deal with. Think that doesn’t leave a mark on their psyches? How can it not? They are not robots, they’re human beings.
And this is a prime example of how chasing money can wind a person up with an impoverished spirit. Classic example, in fact.
I’m critical although I also realize adults have a right to navigate our own lives as we see fit. Just sucks that there’s so much demand that we degrade ourselves in whatever which ways. I’d actually argue that nearly everything is being devalued in modern life, so sex is just one aspect among many, sad as it all is.
Personally, I love sex and the exploration of my sexuality was a lot of fun on many (if not most) occasions. Not hostile toward sex so much as the nihilistic attitudes distorting sex along with so much else. Just breaks my heart since I respect sexual expression and intimate bonds and pleasurable exploration so much — hate to see it morph into something ugly where people harm and alienate one another. That’s not what this is supposed to be about. Why would we allow this? Why would we support this and pay for this and submit to being altered by such illusions?
Because I do appreciate the company of men old enough to have not come up with much porn beyond the occasional dirty magazine, I feel thankfully separated off from the youth culture of today and its wiliness. But I also feel bothered that they’re having to go through all of this and are picking up bad habits that destroy their chances for real intimacy. It’s a scary thought, to be honest. And I don’t know what to do about the situation. When I’ve tried talking to youths about this, they nearly always immediately shut me down. They defend porn vehemently, even some of the extreme material, arguing that it’s mere fantasy. I want to ask them if that would’ve truly been their fantasy had porn not helped put it in their minds? Because a lot of the fetish stuff wouldn’t likely dawn on most of us if left to our own devices, I’m willing to bet. Anal sex among heteros likely wouldn’t be all the rage if not for it being popularized in practically every hard-core porn produced over the last decade or two. Same goes for oral and most especially facial ejaculation. And so many young males wouldn’t be wandering around worried about how they measure up to male porn actors in terms of penis size, physique, and performance. And would the concept of bukkake even exist otherwise??
Very strange and twisted situation being created here. And now there are free porn sites where no proof of age is required. You think those haven’t become favorites among teens? Naive if you do. I’ve been to those sites and was shocked that kids, anyone, could just waltz in there with no sign-up required at all.
It’s like that shit is intentionally being funneled to us all nowadays, especially since the advent of iphones and whatnot. How Orwellian. Seriously. And Huxleyan too.
And, for the record, I have no love for beauty pageants, most especially those involving little kids. Disturbing trend, definitely.