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Archive for the ‘Barely Legal’ Category

Larry Flynt's Hustler Taboo and what he was really doing the night of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival opening of his film

What Larry Flynt was really doing the night
of the opening of Larry Flynt: The Right to Be Left Alone.

On Friday the 13th in April 2007 The Right To Be Left Alone, the latest documentary on Larry Flynt had its world premiere as the “center frame” film at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, sponsored by Duke University, The New York Times and HBO. Flynt was even invited as an honored guest, however his brother showed up instead, because Flynt said he was ill. At the opening, his brother said the reason Flynt was not present was not because he was sick. Maybe he was too busy satisfying his fetish for bondage pornography and not leaving women alone by violating their privacy in every way imaginable on his blog.

There were over 2,000 films entered in the Full Frame Festival, and apparently the Flynt documentary was among only one of two films that escaped the critical review process in an otherwise scholarly environment. Full Frame appears to have given Larry Flynt special protection where it could be assured that his critics were kept silent in order to protect Flynt from criticism. Free Speech, anyone?

Full Frame’s motto is “How much reality can you handle?”, but the filmmakers have produced a manipulative and superficial examination of Flynt, one that uses propaganda tactics and takes their audience for a ride. It is indeed a very unreal portrayal of Flynt which includes even “very little nudity” and hypocritically did not mention any of the massive amounts of racist, homophobic and misogynist materials he produced.

For decades Hustler, his hate magazine, has been on sale in almost every convenience store in the country. During that time, with each new issue every month he has declared war on women, feminists, people of color, animals, Jews, the disabled, children, and animal rights activists, as well as other groups or individual who disagreed with him. Flynt has aimed hate speech and harassment against every mistreated or oppressed groups you can think of. A full generation of males have now been raised on contempt like his and he loves it.

Dwayne Tinsley, close personal friend to Flynt, and the creator of the Hustler cartoon “Chester the Molester,” which depicted pre-teen girls of all races being molested, was convicted in 1990 of sexually abusing his daughter. When he was released from prison, after serving his time, Flynt hired him back on at Huster. In February 1996, Hustler publisher Joe Theron was arrested in Britain with 400 videos imported from South Africa, many of them depicting child pornography.

For all this Flynt is being promoted as a free speech hero instead of the greedy, exploitive, racist misogynist he really is. The right to be left alone? The right to be left alone? In his whole life Larry Flynt has never left anyone alone. Flynt has aimed hate speech and harassment against every oppressed groups you can think of. Big man. Big hero. Thanks Duke University, HBO, New York Times and Full Frame Documentary Festival!

Most people who have seen the Larry Flynt movie think they know who Larry Flynt is. A leading figure in the struggle for free speech, who published, according to our modern eyes, quite innocent nudie-photos and some jokes against the right wing conservatives and Jerry Falwell. Sounds cool but it’s a lie.


Larry Flynt's Hustler Taboo and what he was really doing the night of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival opening of his film

The real Flynt has little in common with the martyr that he finances people to describe him as. According to his own autobiography Flynt’s first sexual experience was raping a chicken. He killed the chicken to “avoid suspicion”. He has also gone to tremendous degrees in his attempts to silence his daughter from talking about how she was raped by him. He has used his power in the media to attempt to instill intimidation in any who spoke out against pornography. He used his magazine to vilify activist Aura Bogado with hateful, violent and threatening cartoons and articles. In his column called “Asshole of the Month” he has included Barack Obama, Diana Russell, Andrea Dworkin, Dorchen Liedholdt, Gloria Allred, Catharine MacKinnon and hundreds of others. In the 1970s he put out “Wanted Posters” for Gloria Steinem and Susan Brownmiller because they were antipornography. He has offered a bounty on feminists who have been critical against him and done whatever he could to silence whoever would be critical against the racist and misogynic material in his magazines.

The only free speech Larry Flynt really wants is his own and what he wants said, which makes him as much of a defender of free speech as say for example Stalin or Hitler.


Larry Flynt's Hustler Taboo and what he was really doing the night of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival opening of his film

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Hustler Child Pornography

by Linnea W. Smith, MD, 2003

When the media refers to Larry Flynt and his gubernatorial candidacy in California, they tend to mention his advocacy for freedom of the press, but they censor more important information regarding his assault on women and children. Flynt, a self-proclaimed champion of the First Amendment, is a description parroted by media sources uncritically. The legitimization of the publisher of Hustler magazine is alarming, but the distortions and omissions of mainstream media, while unfortunately not uncommon, are even more alarming. I’m not an expert at all on Flynt, and I intentionally limit my exposure to his publications because they are so brutally dehumanizing and degrading, but I can make a few general points why any socially responsible citizen would challenge Flynt’s candidacy for any office.

Since Larry Flynt began publishing Hustler in 1974, the intent of the naked female pictorials has been to bring the “accessible” girl-off-the-street to working class males. The depictions are less glossy, more explicit, gynecological, violent, and degrading than many of those featured in Playboy and Penthouse. These three euphemistically-termed men’s magazines are the three top-grossing in this genre.

Hustler targets juvenile consumers. In Reisman’s content analysis “An unforeseen finding may be the estimated 27 percent of Playboy, 33 percent of Penthouse, and 47 percent of Hustler cartoons and illustrations identified as ‘child magnets.’ Briefly child magnets are features which are generally unique to the children’s world of entertainment (e.g., books and television) and known to attract child readers/viewers. …Since evidence confirms the large juvenile readership of these magazines, the unique quality of Child Magnets may be viewed as a technique both catering to, and attracting a juvenile audience. Therefore the depictions presented in ‘Child Magnets’ may be presumed to be of special public interest and concern.” (Reisman, 1989)

Of these three magazines published between 1954 and 1984, Hustler had the most depictions of children in its cartoons and visuals. In Reisman’s content analysis there were 14 child images per issue or 12% of the total imagery. Hustler was also the magazine most likely to depict the children as nude or partially nude in its visuals. (Playboy had 8 images per magazine or 5% of the total imagery while Penthouse had 6 images per magazine or 4% – all unacceptable numbers!) (Reisman, 1994)

Dwaine Tinsley was a featured cartoonist in Hustler as well as the humor editor for many years. He wrote the “Chester the Molester” monthly cartoon feature until spring of 1989 when he was convicted on multiple accounts of child molestation. He had drugged his daughter, put her on birth control pills when she was 13 years old and sexually abused her until she was l8 years old. She described the cartoon series as depicting much of her experience as a sex abuse and incest victim. After two years in jail, Tinsley was released by an appeals court when it ruled that the prosecution should not have shown the molester cartoons to the jury and “inflamed the passions” of the jurors. What do the cartoons do to the vulnerable juvenile and adult consumers of the magazine? Tinsley returned as an employee of Hustler magazine after his release from prison.

One of Larry Flynt’s daughters, Tonya, accused her father of child sexual abuse. She wrote a book about her experiences and her concerns about pornography. Flynt denied the charges and viciously attacked her in the media, a strategy more common among perpetrators. Another daughter did not support the charges by Tonya, and she reportedly was not disinherited as was Tonya

Hustler MagazineLarry Flynt is best known for publishing Hustler magazine, but his company, LFP, Inc. puts out about 29 other magazines. He is responsible for Barely Legal, the very popular magazine and video series. The magazine features naked and pornographic pictorials of female models, who are usually described as having just celebrated their 18th birthday.
They more commonly look 12 to 14 years old, and wear pigtails, hair bows, saddle shoes, and younger childish clothing and props. The text usually describes them as “sluts,” etc., with years of sexual activity by the girls or they are virgins who urgently need their condition remedied. This is newsstand pseudo-child pornography. Thsi is a technique to circumvent the letter of the law, while breaking the essence of the law to protect underage youth.

There is a Hustler make-up and accessories line targeted to adolescent girls. More information on these branded products and their marketing is needed..

Big Brother magazine is published by Flynt and is targeted to adolescent and younger skateboarders. The covers are often child magnets and not explicit. Dave Carnie, the editor in 1999 admitted the magazine covers are intentionally deceptive so parents won’t suspect the content, and children can be deceived into purchasing a magazine with a pornographic mindset There are no typical pornography photos, but the raunchy sex talk, etc., is embedded in the text. Interviews with 14 year old boys include questions like, “would you f**k your mother to be as good as so and so skateboarder?” Tips for girls for attention at parties include to “show their boobies,” and to find one, two or three other girls to engage in pseudo-lesbian activities while drinking alcohol, etc. When asked why there was no parental discretion warning labels the editor stated that Flynt wouldn’t allow it because it may affect circulation numbers. (Pettineo, 1999)

Gail Dines addresses the racist content in Hustler magazine. Black males are portrayed in the cartoons and visuals as violent and dangerous, and sexual monsters with oversized penises raping white women. This chapter may be accessed at:

http://www.hustlingtheleft.com/CRAPP_E_LIB/dines.html

A disturbing reference to Hustler occurred in A & F Quarterly, Spring, 2002. This catalog and lifestyle magazine combination targets adolescents while promoting their Abercrombie & Fitch casual clothing line popular with preadolescents and early adolescents anxious to be like cool college kids. Scattered throughout the sexually explicit publication are interviews with various celebrities popular with youth. The following includes a portion of an interview with MC Paul Barman, a hip-hop performer:

Barely Legal“…I’d like to predict a fashion. …Okay. Have you seen Playboy T-shirts around? When a girl wore a Playboy shirt when I was a teenager, it was the hottest thing ever. Now, you know how it is ultimately, whatever is amazing becomes preppie. They sell ’em in a mall. However, anytime you have something trendy, a branch of it, which is a little bit more obscure and has a little bit more flavor, is the new cool thing. So I once saw a cute girl wearing a Hustler shirt, and I once saw a cute girl wearing a Barely Legal shirt. I’ve seen one of each. And I’m telling you, there are going to be a lot more of them. If we started a company bootlegging T-shirts with the logos for Hustler, Barely Legal, High Society-Black Tail, I think, would be huge-this is how you make money. Twenty-five dollars, plus shipping and handling, on porno****.com. Have you ever seen a flat-chested girl who looks like the stepdaughter of a business executive wearing a shirt that says “PORN STAR’? These chicks are not porn stars. They probably don’t even go down. But they will wear a Nugget T-shirt. And I want to be the person that sells it to them.” (Collins, 2002)

Sean T. Collins, “Mc Paul Barman: The Crown Prince of Rhyme” in A & F Quarterly, Spring, 2002, Abercrombie and Fitch, Columbus, OH.

Dines, Gail, 2002, “King Kong and the White Woman: Hustler Magazine and the Demonization of Black Masculinity” in Gail Dines and Jean Humez, Gender, Race and Class in Media, CA: Sage

Pettineo, David, “Sex and the Modern Skateboarder: Talkshow Host Exposes Larry Flynt Kiddy Porn Scam” accessed March 19, 1999, WorldNetDaily.com

Reisman, Judith A., 1994, “Child Pornography in Erotic Magazines, Social Awareness and Self-Censorship” in Zillmann, Dolf, Bryant, Jennings, Huston, Aletha C., eds.  Media, Children, and the Family: Social Scientific, Psychodynamic, and Clinical Perspectives. Hillsdale, New Jersey; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., pp. 313-325

Reisman, PhD., Judith A., 1989,  Images of Children, Crime, and Violence in Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler Magazines,  Lafayette, LA: Huntington House.

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By Jackson Katz, Copyright 2003

The Friar’s Club of California is set to honor Larry Flynt with its Lifetime Achievement award in an “X-rated roast” in Los Angeles on July 13.

The Friars are famous for hosting raucous testimonial dinners, frolics and roasts in New York and Los Angeles. They used to be all-male events; the Friars first admitted women in 1988. Some of the biggest names in show biz have taken part in Friar festivities, starting with Irving Berlin and George M. Cohan in the early twentieth century, all the way up to Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, and Chevy Chase in the modern era.

It is well known that Friar’s events often push the boundaries of good taste and propriety. Many Friars revel in the “politically incorrect” nature of their entertainment. Over the past century the Friars have had other controversial moments, including the incident in 1993 when Ted Danson came out in blackface to introduce his then-girlfriend Whoopi Goldberg.

But honoring Hustler publisher Larry Flynt is a low point in the venerable institution’s colorful history. Why? The Friars take pride in their irreverent humor, and honor it in others. But like Holocaust “humor” and lynching “jokes,” what Larry Flynt has wrought is not funny. His achievements and personal triumphs have come at a huge cost to women and girls – and to the men who care about them.

It is willfully naïve to dismiss Flynt’s pornography as harmless “adult” entertainment. How can it be considered harmless to consistently portray and talk about women and girls in a sexually demeaning and degrading manner? From the infamous Hustler cover portraying a woman’s body going through a meat grinder to countless racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic jokes and cartoons, Flynt has made his name (and fortune) by passing off old-fashioned misogyny and bigotry as somehow sexually liberating. Is this the “achievement” the Friars want to celebrate?

Larry Flynt’s defenders often argue that his porn is for “consenting adults,” and that therefore no one is hurt by it. But the effects of porn are more complicated than the phrase “consenting adults” implies. How?

Whenever we discuss the effects of pornography – and regardless of how we feel about people’s right to produce or consume it – we have a responsibility to acknowledge the social context in which it exists. Flynt hasn’t built his porn publishing empire in a vacuum. Our society has some of the highest rates of gender violence in the world. The numbers are staggering: one in four women will be raped or sexually assaulted. One in five teenage girls have been in a physically or sexually abusive relationship. Most women won’t even walk alone after dark.

Perhaps the most shocking aspect of these crimes is how often children are the victims. 67% of all sexual assault victimizations reported to law enforcement are people under the age of 18. Child sexual abuse used to be shrouded in secrecy.

These days it’s in the news all the time. Consider last summer’s horrific series of abductions and rape-murders of young girls. Or the Catholic Church’s ongoing sexual abuse scandal. Are we supposed to believe that all of these incidents are “isolated,” that the broader culture within which they occur plays no role whatsoever?

When men are arrested for sexually abusing young girls (or boys), feverish media coverage of the crimes often includes reports that police have found an extensive collection of child porn videos, magazines, and downloaded pictures in the suspect’s apartment.

Most people are rightly outraged about such crimes and repulsed by the men who commit them. But here’s where it gets tricky. Realistically, at least some of the men who are genuinely outraged by sex crimes and would never purchase child pornography have likely purchased Hustler Magazine, or rented Hustler-produced porn videos. In other words, they have financially contributed to the Flynt empire.

This is an empire — let’s be clear — that actively participates in the crude sexualization of little girls. Among his many magazines, Flynt also publishes Barely Legal, an online porn magazine whose raison d’être is the commodification of young girls’ bodies. The male consumers of Barely Legal would likely insist that naked 18-year-old models with bows in their hair, spreading their legs wide for the camera, are technically “consenting adults.” But everyone knows that the intent is to create the illusion that they are much younger.

For years a popular feature in Flynt’s signature publication, Hustler, was a cartoon that followed the exploits of a fictional serial sexual abuser of young girls, Chester the Molester. The cartoon was discontinued only when the cartoonist, Dwayne Tinsley, was convicted of sexually abusing his real-life daughter – who claimed the art was a chronicle of her actual victimization.

Granted, it’s not possible to draw a linear causal chain from the purchase by hundreds of thousands of men of a magazine like Barely Legal to sexual molestation of eight-year-old girls by middle-aged men. Nonetheless, is it credible to maintain that there is no relationship whatsoever between our society’s pandemic of child sexual abuse and the widespread availability of products like Barely Legal, where adult men can purchase pictures of young girls’ bodies for their masturbatory pleasure?

You don’t need to argue that legal porn causes illegal activity in order to assert that it contributes significantly to a culture where younger and younger girls are made into sexual playthings, and hence set up to be the objects of adult men’s sexual desires and pathologies.

We can take comfort in the idea of child sex offenders as horrible aberrations. They’re monsters. We’re nothing like them. And in fairness, purchasing and masturbating to images of “consenting adults” posing as young girls is not criminal behavior. But one need not be a criminal accomplice to share some moral responsibility, or feel – if we’re honest with ourselves — a certain degree of moral complicity.

For years, Flynt’s apologists – in Hollywood and elsewhere — have sought to portray him as a First Amendment hero, courageously battling the likes of right-wing Christians like Jerry Falwell and other forces of puritanical hypocrisy. It’s a brilliant – if highly misleading – PR strategy. Framing Flynt not as someone to be shunned but as someone to be respected has effectively silenced many of his would-be feminist, progressive and liberal critics, who don’t want to be seen as being on the wrong side of a “free speech” issue.

It has also silenced a lot of men who detest Flynt but are uncomfortable criticizing him. But it’s time for us to break the silence. It’s time for more men to stand up and say “not in my name.” Tolerating Flynt’s misogyny in the name of free speech is one thing. But when our cherished institutions go so far as to honor such a man, we not only send an unmistakably sexist message to our sons and daughters. We also dishonor ourselves.

Jackson Katz directs the United States Marine Corps gender violence prevention program. He serves on the advisory board of the Los Angeles Commission on Assaults Against Women.

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