Comments on Derrick Jensen, re: Earth At Risk Conference
Some comments about what Derrick Jensen said in the 2014 ‘Earth At Risk’ conference. There were two other speakers, Stephanie McMillan and Charles Derber (i loved Derber when he said this: “Social norms are created by ruling elites” and how they are systematically “reducing and attacking the commons”), but i want to focus only on Jensen this time around.
Jensen is known for his provocative statements, and for that i pay attention to him from time to time. Tho I admit, i’ve never closely read any of his books. Just heard him on youtube type stuff up to now, basically.
Jensen is anti-porn because apparently he sees it as all about ‘masculinity’. I wonder if he means “macho” instead? (How can “masculinity” be wholly bad? Perhaps when it is the ONLY alleged attribute to “being a man”??) So i think Jensen is against promoting “macho men” or warmind, or maleness without feminism. So i think he really means he’s anti-macho and how that relates to the perpetuation of alienation, such as alienated pornography. He seeks to tie this together with capitalism, war, and Earth attack, and I think it’s true in part. But only in part.
I want to point out to him one thing, and something else to the reader. To him i’d like to point out that “porn” is made by a wide variety of people, not only Big Business Values (i.e. reducing people into objects and that sort of stupid shit). He totally misses that many people make their own porn on their cell phones and so on. Brenda Loew of the magazine “Everyone Is Doing Outrageous Sex” (or EIDOS http://www.eidos.org ) can provide, in her media, loads of examples of that. And so can the website “youporn”. Then there is also art porn, art made up from artists’ imaginations which gets boxed and labeled as porn.
So why can’t Jensen (and the Left) allow for this grey area? Because, i think it all comes back to their need to reduce things down into “neat”, “easy to grasp” concepts “fit for” their ideology about “the masses” (very similar to those they attack in corporate cult-ure). They apparently continue to uncritically buy into the old colonial (and neocolonial) idea that these techniques HAVE TO BE used. Why? Because they’ve been “educated in political strategies that are Realistic”. Oh? Realistic? And the Left continues to perpetually struggle, unable to ever overwhelm the Right, as if that was the Only Possible approach. Sheesh!
So maybe Leftists someday get rid of capitalism/corporate tyranny, but a very similar rigid mindset still prevails inside their heads! Hierarchy still prevails! You Had Better Follow Our Pragmatism Or Else.
To conclude, while i agree that the big business of pornography is rife with corporate value-type coercions and alienations, not all depictions of sexuality called or labeled porn are oppressive and in need of blocking and silencing.
So what is up with Jensen’s provocations? Well, he’s certainly becoming widely read. But the “endgame”, what’s the endgame? He says it’s in line with Indigenous seeing and being, and yet, what i’ve read of some of his stuff comes across as merely the Leftwing version of Rightwing-type fundamentalism. How can that be truly liberating?
For more info:
Wendy McElroy: XXX: A Woman’s Right To Pornography
Brenda Loew: “Everyone Is Doing Outrageous Sex” magazine (www.eidos.org Quite long-running and worth exploring!)