Sunday, September 10, 2006

Empowered Ignorance

The creator of the blog Empowered Sexuality has been reading Feminism Without Clothes since its infancy. I stop in every now and then to enjoy it. He recently posted an entry about empowerment and ignorance with regards to sexuality. Read it here.

The last line of the post reads, "This woman is not empowered, she is ignorant." And I have a problem with this.

How can we assume to know what that woman is or isn't? She may be ignorant, she may be expressing her sexuality, she may be thinking about the money. She may be having the last laugh.

It's a mistake to think that all people who do something remotely related to sex as a profession are expressing their sexuality. Are strippers, prostitutes, and porn starts truly expressing their own, personal sexuality? Maybe. Or it's the money. Or the attention. Or a multitude of other reasons.

They may be ignorant, or they may not be. But the one thing they shouldn't be is judged.

Photography by Mike, taken in June, 2006.


Daniel Haughton said...

An accurate assessment as always, Candy. I know a few people in the adult entertainment industry. They do what they do for a variety of reasons and while some were ignorant of what they were getting into when they started, that didn't last long and they ultimately chose to stay in the undustry for their own various reasons.

That having been said, not everyone is like them. Some stay in the business for reasons they never quite understand themselves. But most people, I'm tempted to say all people, do things they don't fully comprehend the reasons for. You, for instance, said in an earlier blog that you believe in numerous feminist principles which you later go and disregard, and you don't quite understand why you do these things. Does that make you ignorant? I dunno... Maybe. I say it makes you human.

4:29 AM  
Anonymous said...

It seems that the only people that we are allowed to pass judgement on are those who judge. Luckily that makes everyone fair game.

When you judge those who judge others, you become them.


9:14 AM  
Anonymous said...

Hello Candy

I just came across this site from Jane’s Guide and If you will, I must say I'm a little disappointed.

After seeing the title I thought wow this has got to be really interesting. But after reading all of you post starting with the first it is not close to what I thought it would be.

Is this blogg really about Feminism? Besides the few post that you have about a certain issues, there is nothing here that helps promote, start conversation or even inspire someone to support you cause. Where are the topics and ideas that we can tell our daughters how to be powerful? Instead we get a lot of high school back and forth about weight and who didn't show up.

Being a very successful advertising photographer in NY for the last 25 years, I don't shoot nudes, I feel I need to also comment on the photography. In the begging I thought the photographs we great. They went, in my opinion, with the theme of empowerment. Raw images with I'm a woman here I am. The stuff people have referred to as "public nudity" was outstanding. Speaking of powerful images. I thought those images went perfectly with feminism. It reminded me of the days of bra burring and the fights in Canada about women being able to go topless if men were allowed. Making a statement. The newer photos say here are my me.

This is not to be mean spirited so I hope you don't take it that way. If the title was A Feminist Nude I probably would be writing a different blogg.

Let's see some more bloggs about what people can do about advancing feminism and maybe teaching those who come across this site about it.

Your time is precious and thanks for reading this

10:44 AM  
LouiseBrooksLover said...

I, too, am loath to judge either the woman or those who apparently supply a market for such photos. But I do admit I'm pretty uncomfortable with this sexual "fantasy" because it is based on a rather destructive mania that is common in America today.

I will admit that I love pushing the envelope, myself, and many things that would arouse me would gross out other people. I like seeking a new, unique aesthetic in my erotica and the results would probably be unattractive to many. That being said, I don't really see any attempt at this here, just a rather childish attachment to the "big". Let's see a big cock in her mouth. Bigger. Now let's see it in her ass. Make it bigger. I find it unsophisticated and unappealing, but I try not to judge.

1:39 PM  
Candy said...

RNM: judge away.

anon: Not a huge Bob Coulter fan, I take it?

lbl: I don't find it appealing, either. I'm sure, however, that for a couple of people out there, it's a fetish- and it's one that doesn't hurt anyone, unless you consider pornography itself to be dangerous. Everyone has sexual preferences that aren't "normal" or "nautral."

2:27 PM  
Anonymous said...


Maybe my point was missed.

When you are judging those who pass judgement you become the ones who pass judgement. You are no different than them when it comes to passing judgements, you just have different ideas of what is good and bad.

In your previous 100 posts, you have passed numerous judgements from issues of feminism vs. humanism to wars in the middle east. Why is it okay for you to pass judgements, but not okay for someone else to say "X" is "not empowered, she is ignorant"? They may be wrong or right, as you may be in your judgements, but both of you have the right to make them. There is nothing wrong with being judged. You may not like negative judgements toward you or others you agree with, none of us do, but it is part of life.

To judge is human nature, I do it, you do it, we all do it.


10:03 AM  
Bob said...

I agree that his comment was judgemental. I do not understand how her posing for the picture makes her ignorant. It is obvious (to me) that he has an issue with the perceived trend of "bigger is better" in pornography and it's devaluation of "normal" sexual expression. Her appearance in this photo, with his stated assumption that it is of her free will, is the definition of empowered. She had the power to choose to.

10:41 AM  
Candy said...

RNM: your point was not missed. He judged her. I judged him for judging her. You judged me for judging him for judging her. Feel free to continue doing so.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this, Candy (this is demandra, I can't comment on blogs from account because I switched to beta and it's KILLING ME!!!).

I tried to comment on that blog, because I found his "she is not empowered, she's ignorant" post to be, well...ignorant. But beta wouldn't let me.

Although I don't understand the fetish, massive objects inserted into various orafices gets people off. Knowing your body and your sexuality well enough to be able to name what you find appealing and act on it is the epitome of empowered.

Kow-towing to the voices that tell you your kink is "stupid" or "ignorant" is the antithesis of empowered.

I don't think it's about judgment, I think it's about self-awareness and being able to embrace what gives you pleasure even in the face of those who find unconventional sexual practices unappealing. Is the woman in the photograph self-aware and empowered? Who knows? Maybe she was just trying to make a buck by appealing to a niche market. That's hardly ignorant. We call that "knowing your audience" aka Good Business.

On the most basic level, it was childish name-calling from someone who found a particular kink distasteful. That's certainly not empowered. Reminds me of the fundamentalists who love to scream, "Back in the closet!!!" to gays.

As for the "waaawaaa yer not a feminist in the sense that I want to read" anon. comment, I have to say this--for the love of all that is holy, reach beyond the box of the women's movement of the '60s and realize that feminism is not just some series of compartmentalized topics and ideologies. This blog centers on its creator--a feminist who celebrates sexuality, nudity, who discusses a variety of social issues and even some personal ones.

Trying to shame someone, even in a polite, passive-aggressive manner, because they don't fit into your box of what feminism is does nothing to help the cause. Women are whole, integrated human beings. Candy Poses exemplifies that beautifully.


12:14 AM  
Daniel Haughton said...

Ya know, I just now actually looked at the picture in question. Earlier I was just responding to Candy's commentary.

Anyway, the picture looks like a joke more than anything else. Like wearing those mega-huge sunglasses that are manifestly too large for any living primate. Although the model doesn't look like she's much enjoying the experience. If it is a joke, they could've staged it in a more humorous manner. If it's really meant to arouse... Well, let's just say it does nothing for me.

12:53 AM  
baby221 said...

I really, really want to know who died and made him the God of Arbiting All That Might Potentially Be Empowering.

7:57 PM  
Daniel Haughton said...

Candy, I would like to thank you for indirectly introducing me to baby221. Her blog is the cat's meow too!

3:16 AM  

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