Ron Hogan (grifter) Mon 30 Aug 99 14:51
Just whose self-esteem does it damage that some women choose to look "young and beautiful"?
Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 30 Aug 99 15:09
Those who can't possibly look that way no matter how much anorexia and plastic surgery they go for. It's not the beauty thing itself, it's the narrowness of the definition, and the message that if you ain't pretty you can't be happy. It's interesting but not really fun to see more guys going for the same messages, getting lipo and the like.
Gail Williams (gail) Mon 30 Aug 99 15:24
A heroic work of this -- these -- living generations would be a new eroticization of aging bodies. That might be something to leave for posterity, and an answer to much of the angst remembered from the seventies and simmering anew today. Of course, as a private task, it continues quietly along in many sex lives. And oddly enough in some ways phone sex both amateur and professional have the power to render looks and age irrelevent, though they give verbal dexterity a new advantage.
Ron Hogan (grifter) Mon 30 Aug 99 15:29
I would advise anybody who hears "the message that if you ain't [fill in blank] you can't be happy" to ignore it.
Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 30 Aug 99 15:51
Well, yes, obviously. But it's-okay-to-be-different is not an easy lesson for most people. It's human to want to fit in to whatever you think you're supposed to. It's human to be stubbornly different. We contain multitudes. It would be good to have multitudes of images to choose from.
Ron Hogan (grifter) Mon 30 Aug 99 16:05
Then "we" must be responsible for creating multitudes of images from which to choose, instead of relying on what is handed down to us. Granted, "we" have been getting better at this in recent years.
Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 30 Aug 99 16:44
We do that partly by criticizing the monolith of images we've got. Like this.
Ron Hogan (grifter) Mon 30 Aug 99 17:06
I dunno; saying there should be an alternative is not quite the same thing as creating an alternative. Wanting to believe that you don't need to be X to be happy is not the same thing as believing it.
M. J. Rose (anewanais) Mon 30 Aug 99 18:07
Everything that Martha said!!!!! Plus, yes we should create an alternative but who is the "we" that should - women who proudly show their wrinkles or men who buck the sterotype and find those wrinkles sexy. And not only does phone sex make age and looks irrelevant where the only thing that matters is the ability, sensuality and imaginationof the peole engaging in it - but so does the computer. One of the interesting phenomena I've noticed is the plethora of women over 40 and well into their 60's who have become entrepeneurs on the web - women who say that if they tried to get jobs in the marketplace would be discrimated against becuase of their age. I find this a truly really invigorating aspect of the intenet. It is a great leveler.
Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 30 Aug 99 18:24
Saying that looking like B or C or D or E is good is important, but you can't blow off the message that A ain't the be-all and end-all. Because, you know, it's really hard to blow off the message that A _is_ the be-all and end-all.
Ron Hogan (grifter) Mon 30 Aug 99 18:44
"Can't" is not the same thing as "really hard to." I'm not unsympathetic to the difficulty involved; I go through plenty of it.
Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 30 Aug 99 19:47
I don't think you can blow off the message that A _is_ the be-all and end- all without hearing the message that A _isn't_ the be-all and end-all. I mean, how?
circled by the circus sands (augustine) Mon 30 Aug 99 20:12
>>>I am more of an "Indivualist" than any thing else. Which means . . . what? It's a bit difficult to follow the logic train here -- first you're "angry" at women who have plastic surgery, then you say you're completely accepting of them. Your book is marketed as an 'erotic thriller', then you say you don't write anything pornographic. You write a graphic description of child sexual abuse to move the plot along, then say it's not meant to titillate, which is what graphic sexual description does, good or bad, unless it's in a medical textbook. Finally, you've taken the name of "a new Anais," so I assumed you might have some original and interesting thoughts on sexuality and eroticism. Let me try one last question of interest: Do you feel your book is appropriate material to be taught in the feminist lit class that you referred to above? If so, why?
Ron Hogan (grifter) Mon 30 Aug 99 21:26
Slippage. I don't think so, either, Martha, but I don't think it's sufficient to say "A is NOT the be-all" without saying "B, C, or D make perfectly good end-alls; this is mine" or something like that. But perhaps we should return focus to matters closer to M.J.
Martha Soukup (soukup) Mon 30 Aug 99 22:34
But I wasn't saying the first clause was enough without the second clause either.
Ron Hogan (grifter) Mon 30 Aug 99 23:47
Ah. Then I misinterpreted, overreacted, something. I apologize.
Andrew Brown (andrewb) Tue 31 Aug 99 05:43
#53 Dexterity is certainly a quality phone sex rewards
David Gans (tnf) Tue 31 Aug 99 06:14
I think the question of who exactly is demeaned by pornography and sex-for- money is a very interesting one. I started to say somrething about how pathetic a guy is who can't get laid except for money, and then I thought there are some situations in which a guy who can get laid for "free" would choose to pay for it...
M. J. Rose (anewanais) Tue 31 Aug 99 08:24
Augustine - lets take it one step at a time - you are taking bits and peices of different answers and putting them together in a way that was not intended and you are suggestiong I am some sort of spokesperson for erotica or feminism and I'm not - you say - >>>>It's a bit difficult to follow the logic train here -- first you're "angry" at women who have plastic surgery, then you say you're completely accepting of them. What I said was I was more angry at women who have TONS of plastic surgury that I am at SOME of the porn I have seen. That's my personal opinion. So just becuase I say I am a believer in women chosing thier own paths doesn't mean that some of those paths can't make me personally angry or disappointed. Then Augustine writes >>>Your book is marketed as an 'erotic thriller', then you say you don't write anything pornographic. You write a graphic description of child sexual abuse to move the plot along, then say it's not meant to titillate, which is what graphic sexual description does, good or bad, unless it's in a medical textbook>>> I believe, (as do many people) that erotic writing is not the same as pornography. If you beleive it is the same - you're entitled to your opinion. But in my opinion the two are different, hence my statement that I don't write porn. As to the scene with the pedophile - the scene is written to convey that this man is a deviate and is troubled. I did not find it erotic - I feel sorry for anyone who might find it erotic. Let me ask you - if one man reads a rape/murder mystery and gets off on the idea of the way the rape/murder is committed was the writer of that book writng porn? And lastly A writes>> Let me try one last question of interest: Do you feel your book is appropriate material to be taught in the feminist lit class that you referred to above? If so, why? I don't have any idea as to wether or not its appropriate. Two professors of feminist lit have written and told me that - that is completely and solely their opinion not mine. Once again, I wrote a fictional account of one woman's journey. I am not an authority or spokesperson for erotica, feminist therory, or for that matter anything else.
Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Wed 1 Sep 99 12:57
Wow. I've been away for awhile, I come back and all hell has broken loose. I was going to wind this up, but it looks like it's too exciting to people to give up just yet. Let me just say a few things about all the above postings: MJ did write a _novel_, and she is not obliged to defend it, or porn, or erotica, or the feminist position that might be taken on her book. People have been trying for the past 20 yrs or so to make a distinction between porn and erotica. Frankly, I don't make a distinction. There are class issues involved, and there's the "what turns me on is erotica, what turns you on is porn" thing in all these arguments. I do tend to use the word erotica simply because, as editor of women's erotica, I've gotten used to it. The significant difference now is that sex writing is getting better, and that the female point of view is being expressed. As for MJ's scene about the pedophile: I'm gonna get killed for this, but...entertaining a sexual fantasy about minors (or any other taboo like incest or animals) is not the same thing as acting on that fantasy. Therefore, the person who fantasizes these things is not necessarily sick or a deviate or perverted. ACTING OUT THE FANTASY IS. Nonconsensual sex and sex with a minor is wrong, illegal, imomoral. Not the thought! In Lip Service, the pedophile indicated that he was actually engaging in such acts, which made it wrong. The POV of the main character, Julia, and her actions, indicated that she, and the author, did not tolerate such behavior. LS, IMO, will not incite anyone to rape or violence or sex w/ minors. It might make phone sex more appealing to some--no harm there!
M. J. Rose (anewanais) Wed 1 Sep 99 13:09
Thank you Marcy. Very much.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 1 Sep 99 14:26
nicely said, mmarquest.
Marcy Sheiner (mmarquest) Fri 3 Sep 99 14:28
Perhaps it's time to wind things up. MJ, any final comments for our readers?
M. J. Rose (anewanais) Fri 3 Sep 99 20:05
Yes, I'd like to thank David and Reva and Cynthia for inviting me here and you Marcy for interviewing me and everyone who asked questions. I've enjoyed this tremendously. I'll check in every once in a while in case any other questions crop up.
David Gans (tnf) Sat 4 Sep 99 10:15
The topic will remain open. Thank you for visiting the Inkwell, M.J. Rose! And thank you, Marcy, for your excellent work.
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