Here’s Why Tumblr’s Porn Ban Is Good for Lesbians

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**TRIGGER WARNING: Contains Descriptions of Pornographic Content**

 

Porn has become so normalized in mainstream culture that many young people assume that it’s just a part of life. Pornography is usually portrayed in a positive light, but, if you look closer, you’ll see there’s nothing good about it. While plenty of people are upset over Tumblr’s new porn ban, it’s a great thing for lesbians and bisexual women.

There’s a hateful subculture of anti-lesbian fetish porn that includes themes such as raping lesbians, bisexual women betraying their girlfriends for men, and conversion therapy.

There’s a hateful subculture of anti-lesbian fetish porn that includes themes such as raping lesbians, bisexual women betraying their girlfriends for men, and conversion therapy. Homophobes have used Tumblr’s platform to work out their homophobia kinks, and it’s no surprise those blogs also follow and support plantation slavery and Nazi porn blogs. I once heard a speech that called racism, sexism, and homophobia “The Unholy Trinity.” Where you find one, you’re bound to find the other two.

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Self-loathing lesbians, bisexual women, and even gay and bi men have posted dehumanizing, anti-gay kink content. Some of them have even posted images of mutilated lesbians and gay men, as well as snuff. A lot of straight men have made sexual posts about wanting to punish lesbians for rejecting men.

Self-loathing lesbians, bisexual women, and even gay and bi men have posted dehumanizing, anti-gay kink content. Some of them have even posted images of mutilated lesbians and gay men, as well as snuff. A lot of straight men have made sexual posts about wanting to punish lesbians for rejecting men, and self-hating lesbians encourage them, not caring what harm they do to themselves and others. For a lesbian or bisexual woman, it’s what hell would look like. Christine Stark describes the tortuous landscape in Not for Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution and Pornography:

For a woman to masturbate to, or enact, the rape and torture of women & girls she must disassociate from the one being hurt, thereby disassociating from any part of herself that is, has been, or could be victimized.  Finding pleasure in another woman’s pain is a way to not feel one’s own vulnerability or hurt and to do that a woman must get over on other victimized women.  The abuse is compounded when a lesbian gets off on a woman being degraded as a lesbian.  Both are disassociation from the self as woman and as lesbian in an attempt to identify with not women/lesbians and with men.  This is no new, radical sex order.  It’s just women abusing women.

 

Anti-lesbian fetish blogs are a symptom of Tumblr’s toxic, anti-gay culture. Porn is used to brainwash, abuse, and normalize homophobia.

Anti-lesbian fetish blogs are a symptom of Tumblr’s toxic, anti-gay culture. Porn is used to brainwash, abuse, and normalize homophobia. It influences extremists to bring their hate for same-sex attracted people onto all social media platforms, and even to the physical, tangible world.

Extremists believe it’s prejudiced, specifically transphobic, for lesbians to be exclusively same-sex attracted. We see the hatred for lesbians all over Twitter and even in speeches from government officials. The homophobia has bled into the real world, and Tumblr porn played its part.

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Before homophobia kink made its way to Tumblr, the fetish originated with porn websites that promoted violence against lesbians. Unfortunately, men’s obsession with violating lesbians’ boundaries has only increased over the past decade.

Before homophobia kink made its way to Tumblr, the fetish originated with porn websites that promoted violence against lesbians. Unfortunately, men’s obsession with violating lesbians’ boundaries has only increased over the past decade. If porn sites had any integrity, they wouldn’t allow homophobic titles or content, but we know the porn business is anything but ethical.

screenshot: Teen Vogue, a magazine for pre teen/teenage girls, publishes pro-porn article

Exaggerated and inaccurate caricatures of female same-sex relationships are the focus of an objectifying fantasy in these videos, often produced for a male audience,” – Fight the New Drug.

Even ‘lesbian’ porn that isn’t blatantly homophobic, is still harmful because we’re fetishized. It’s one of the most popular genres for a reason. Fight the New Drug tells it like it is, noting how marginalized groups are exploited.Exaggerated and inaccurate caricatures of female same-sex relationships are the focus of an objectifying fantasy in these videos, often produced for a male audience,” explains Fight the New Drug.  They state that vulnerable groups, like lesbians, already have a difficult time in the world. Porn tells its viewers it’s okay to degrade us.

screenshot-response to promotion of “lesbian” porn

Porn also tells lesbians and bisexual women that we should hurt each other, that if we want pleasure we have to endure pain. Pornography says we’re unworthy of love and we must be beaten down, reduced to objects. Lesbian BDSM porn is so obviously abusive to lesbian and bisexual viewers. That’s part of the show. Violence against lesbians is not a fantasy,” Christine Stark writes. Resistance is crucial to the survival of lesbians, and lesbian pornography negates lesbian existence.

Violence against lesbians is not a fantasy…Resistance is crucial to the survival of lesbians, and lesbian pornography negates lesbian existence.” –Christine Stark 

One would think so-called ‘LGBTQ’ media and organizations would be alarmed, that they would all rise to protect homosexuals from persecution and erasure, which is promoted by porn culture. However, sites like PinkNews and Autostraddle have thrown lesbians under the bus. They’ve published articles telling lesbians how to have sex with a penis, which is conversion therapy disguised as ‘inclusion, and they’ve been running an organized campaign to erase lesbians because we don’t do d*ck.

Even BuzzFeedLGBT is trying to silence lesbians for speaking up about our rights. These sites aim to change the meaning of what a lesbian is, and they’re publicly mocking the lesbian community for standing against it. This is lesbian oppression and rape culture; it’s punching down on a marginalized group when their job should be to protect us.

“It doesn’t take courage to tell a lesbian you’re oppressing that she’s oppressing you...It takes arrogance and insensitivity.” – Bev Jo, Linda Strega, and Ruston, Dykes-Loving-Dykes.

“It doesn’t take courage to tell a lesbian you’re oppressing that she’s oppressing you,” write Bev Jo, Linda Strega, and Ruston in Dykes-Loving-Dykes. “It takes arrogance and insensitivity.”

Instead of exposing the hate in porn, they promote it to lesbians and bi women while shaming us for being ‘vagina fetishists in an attempt to coerce us. Instead of listening to lesbians, ‘LGBTQ’ media worships the porn industry, a.k.a. the patriarchy. Porn is intended to keep women in their place, and hijacked ‘LGBTQ’ media and organizations are determined to put lesbians and bi women in our place: as men’s entertainment.

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“Heterosexist society does not reward Lesbians for friendship and fidelity to each other… Since we know that our friendships will not in the final analysis yield social approval, we are free to seek Self-approval. We are free to follow our passion for Self-centering.” -Mary Daly

This is extremely damaging to lesbians and bisexual women. Our lives are not a fetish. Porn is fueling modern day conversion therapy and disguising it as ‘inclusion.’ When most ‘LGBTQ’ media and organizations are pushing porn and harming our community, we need to hit the reset button. “Heterosexist society does not reward Lesbians for friendship and fidelity to each other,” Mary Daly writes in Gyn/ecology. “Since we know that our friendships will not in the final analysis yield social approval, we are free to seek Self-approval. We are free to follow our passion for Self-centering.

Our focus must be on helping women thrive, especially when porn is working with ‘LGBTQ’ media and organizations to erase lesbians. “The advantage of becoming aware of being oppressed is to learn the power of resistance, of fighting back, and not to betray yourself by imitating your oppressors,” write Bev Jo, Linda Strega, and Ruston. Porn is a program designed to control and destroy. What we need is liberation.

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“The advantage of becoming aware of being oppressed is to learn the power of resistance, of fighting back, and not to betray yourself by imitating your oppressors.” – Bev Jo, Linda Strega, and Ruston

Many young or newly out lesbians search for lesbian resources and come up with degrading porn. This is an issue Google and other search engines need to resolve, because it’s hateful to our community. Similarly, on Tumblr, lesbians innocently stumble upon anti-lesbian fetish blogs, because they use lesbian and pride hashtags to lure unsuspecting people to their hellholes. A lot of women have reported the hateful blogs over the years, but Tumblr ignored the problem until they were forced to remove pornography. However, Tumblr is only removing the images… not the hateful words.

Scrolling through Tumblr, there are blank spaces where porn used to be, but the dehumanizing words remain. Some of the anti-lesbian porn bloggers are saying their goodbyes, some are still posting porn and waiting for it to be removed, and others are migrating to alternative platforms, like Twitter, which has hardcore porn on its platform with no system in place to protect vulnerable youth and minorities.

Hey Apple, Please consider giving Twitter the same ultimatum you gave Tumblr.

The violence and subjugation of women, which porn champions, is a cultural problem. We still have work to do, but criticizing porn, both online and in the ‘real’ world, is the first step to de-normalizing the second-class status of girls and women, more specifically lesbians and bisexual women. It would’ve been ideal if all porn had been deleted everywhere on December 17, but Tumblr’s a good place to start.


Amy Dyess is a Cajun French writer, director, and producer from the Bayou State. These days she lives in the Emerald City.