Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Larry Flynt’ Category

Read Full Post »

I have found the writing of this article very hard. I have had to reassess my image of my past. I had to live in a household where the viewing of hard-core porn was the norm. This did me great damage. Part of the damage is that I have lost a great deal of my memory.

I get memories through my body. I can see my past in nightmares. I can remember when watching TV. Watching good acting forces back buried memories. I can feel fear – only it has no name. Then, I choose to be invisible. From the age of eight to twenty-seven I chose not to live.

I had lived with hard-porn from the time I was eight. Hustler entered my life when I was eleven. I found that it suffocated me with fear. Now, I wish to face Hustler in the eye, and to stand tall.

There was a time when I was a happy child. A time I thought that I was free. A time when the adults around me were trustworthy. There was a time when I could wander ’round naked. There was a time when I was a child. Nothing more — nothing less. I see that time as a dream. Sometimes, I stare at photos of me then. I wonder if any of it was true.

My stepdad enter my life when I was eight. He adored porn, the more violent the better. He came with images from sex-murders. Images of children doing things I didn’t want to know. He was a member of PIE [Paedophile Information Exchange, UK].

When he came, I changed. He made me look at the images. It burnt through my brain. When I closed my eyes, it rotted in my body. When Hustler came, I lost hope. All I knew was despair. All I saw was pain, only now it was with a smile. It made no sense. I got headaches. I lost my sight. I was closing down. All I heard was my stepdad’s laughter. He was laughing — as I shook with terror.

Larry Flynt's Hustler cartoon where child abductor is about to put two brownies in the oven.

Then, I saw “Chester the Molester”. Then I knew I could not fight. In those cartoons, I saw my fate. I looked and I wanted to die. In those images, I saw my fear, my humiliation and my pain. Only, they were just a joke. I felt sick. I had forgotten how to laugh. I was learning to freeze my emotions.

Looking back, I see those cartoons for what they are. I had entered a world where children were property. They were always available for sex. They would never complain. Like the women in the hard-core porn, the children knew their place. They would learn to smile when in pain. When I saw “Chester the Molester” I was taught that sex was pain and fear. I learnt that it was inevitable I would be raped, beaten and threaten. For, after I learnt that the world belong to the rapist. I knew resistance was futile.

I survived by closing down my visual imagination. I thought it was a short-term solution, but it lasted for the rest of my life. Even when I relax I cannot escape into places that I have loved. Hard-core pornography has taken away my dreams.

My stepdad begun abusing me when I twelve. His abuse was gentle and calm. It was not as I had expected, it felt as if it was an accident. I thought that I was lucky since I was not dead or being tortured. I thought I had done something to make him touch me.

Hustler had taught how to be abused. I was now obeying my stepdad. I had stopped thinking that I could say no. As the abuse became more and more painful, as I became more and more degraded it all became clearer. I know the rules now.

Only, it made no sense. For, I could not understand why he keep saying that he loved me. How that be true, when he threw me into hell. Now, I see he spoke the language of hard-core porn. Always linking pain with pleasure. Speaking of how it was fine to have sex with kids. Telling me that it was only society’s conventions that say that it is wrong.

He made me believe that I received pain because I had moved. Every time he made me cum, he would say that I was a whore. I see now that I was his live porn.

Larry Flynt's Hustler cartoon where a little girl is portrayed being sexually assaulted by an old man.

When I was fourteen I had given up. I had decided that all I deserved was pain. I knew I was just a whore. I had been brainwashed by hard-core porn. I went blindly into the world of paid sex. At the time, I felt it was my decision — only I knew nothing.

I went towards men that used extreme sexual and physical violence. In that world, I found my place. The familiar place that I had seen in Hustler‘s photo-shoots. I thought I was hardened. I had forgotten that I was still a child. I thought I understood the rules of the game. But I was so wrong.

I did not know that each time that they hit me that I would go into shock. I did not know that each time that they raped me, I would feel pain. And I had no idea that men could hate women with such intensity. I thought I was street-wise. I was a child screaming to be rescued.

In their beds, I was an object. My eyes were dead. I had become just holes to be filled. Now, I had reached the beginning of my pain. Now, I was part of porn. I had no feelings left. My safety was not relevant.

Seeing me then, I can see the dead eyes in the Hustler‘s photo-shoots. I can understand that look. It is the look where hope is forgotten. For hope will only bring pain.

To believe in hope, will only mean facing the reality of the violence that i was living through. Then I may kill myself.

That time, was a different life to the one I live now. I know it is part of me, but I see it through a haze. My past made me strong and gave me a great deal of compassion. Now I feel some contentment for my life is low-key.

I was changed by having hard-core porn forced into my life. I can never regain the open trust I had before I was eight. I am still wary of my own sexuality. Hard-core porn placed an underlying depression in me. I still fight the desire to go back to violence when I am depressed. After all, violence was my norm. I am building a non-violent world around myself, but I find it very hard. For I cannot understand the rules of a safe life.

Each day, I am learning that I am more than a whore. I see now, that was never true. It was just the lies that hard-core porn placed in my brain. I live in the hope that one day, somehow, all women and children will be safe from the hated of hard-core porn.

Read Full Post »


FEMINISTS THREATEN LARRY FLYNT: MY PERSONAL CONTRIBUTION
Diana E. H. Russell, Ph.D.
Professor Emerita of Sociology
Mills College
December 2005

Larry Flynt, publisher of Hustler and numerous other pornography magazines, has finally honored my decades of anti-pornography activism by naming me “Asshole of the Month” in Hustler, February 20051. Several other feminists have achieved this accolade, including Andrea Dworkin, Dorchen Liedholdt, Gloria Allred and Catharine MacKinnon. Gloria Steinem appeared on a “Most Wanted” poster in Hustler accompanied by Flynt’s accusation that she “should be considered armed with false propaganda and dangerous to the rights of all Americans” for her anti-pornography views. 

diana russell hustler magazineIn every issue of Hustler, Flynt names one of his enemies “Asshole of the Month.” Along with a photograph of his adversary’s face emerging from a donkey’s rectum2, Flynt provides three quarters of a page of crude, mostly defamatory, text. I believe Flynt may have finally decided to target me in this way because he seems to have been particularly riled by two public statements that I made, i.e., “I wish that Flynt’s would-be murderer had been a better shot,” and, “I wish Larry Flynt had never survived his mother’s womb.” One or both of these pronouncements are referred to in three articles in the February issue of Hustler. Missing from two of them, however, is my rationale for making these inflammatory assertions, i.e., that Flynt’s many pornographic enterprises that have made him perhaps the most notorious pornographer in the world today, have been responsible for an immeasurable amount of sexual violence against women and girls. Had Flynt been aborted or miscarried by his mother or murdered in 1978, a great deal of suffering would have been avoided.

Following are a few examples of Flynt’s slanderous statements about me in the “Asshole” article in which he describes me as “a bitter shrew”:

“So poisonous is Russell’s vile rhetoric that it begs the question: Where did this Ms. Pol Pot come from? …

“By the end of the turbulent decade [the 1960s], Russell was teaching at California’s Mills College, helping build its women’s-studies department — an accomplishment akin to Joseph Goebbels launching a communications department at Berlin University.

“Russell’s personal history of relationships with men seems shrouded at best, although the educator has made passing references to a brief marriage that she bemoans as a ‘crash course in sexism.’ This is likely code for ‘Hubby wanted a hummer when he got home from work,’ which to Russell is the moral equivalent of Dachau’s ovens.” ….

“Diana Russell is a sick and dangerous woman, one who peddles her diseased philosophy of men-hating as a template for resistance to the Patriarchy.”3.

This hyperbolic vitriol reveals how threatened Flynt is feeling — a sentiment he cops to in his editorial titled, “The Feminist Threat.” This phrase is also on this issue of Hustler’s cover under a logo stating “HUSTLER GOES TO WAR.” Implicit is the fact that Flynt’s war is against anti-pornography feminists. He has singled out Aura Bogado, a producer and anchor of KPFK Radio News in Los Angeles, and me as his targets in this particular month. Following are excerpts from Flynt’s editorial:

“Recent events have caused me to once again focus attention on my lifelong opponents on the feminist fringe, those who — however they cloak their rhetoric — are antisex, antiporn and antimale. For too long I have tended to dismiss them on the grounds that they do not represent the majority of the women in this country. However, I can now see that, while this is true, these women have been making inroads into positions of power, especially within those institutions generally recognized as being on the Progressive Left….

“… (M)ilitant feminists seem intent on instituting a new fascism based on their notions of what is right and what is wrong …. This is a particular shame because the fringe feminists’ vicious attacks against healthy male sexuality tend to drive most men out of the Progressive tent….

“Given the foregoing, I have instructed my editors to take an in-depth look at the women of the Left — the good, the bad and the ugly. In this issue our extensive overview includes a look at recent attacks against HUSTLER from the militant feminists,… and a follow-up article about a California women’s college with a troubling agenda [Mills College].

“It is our hope and intention that by putting the spotlight on these militant feminists — who got away with their vile attacks only because the voices of reason are afraid to stand up to them — we will reveal their bankrupt ideology.”4

Similarly slanderous statements are made about me and Bogado in Amy Alkon’s article in the same issue of Hustler. Flynt drafted this foul-mouthed lackey, “a syndicated columnist who has appeared in more than 100 newspapers throughout North America”5, into his war against anti-pornography feminists. She focuses her venom on Bogado and me, referring to us as “Femi-Fascists”. “As a free-expression absolutist,” she writes, 

“I even defend the rights of hate-spewing, jack-booted Femi-Fascists like Aura Bogado and Diana Russell. In fact, I encourage them to speak openly and frequently, if only so their philosophy can be exposed as a fraud, as a lie, as a wrongheaded, nasty-ass steaming pile of Stalinist shit.6

Quoting my statement about wishing that Flynt’s would-be murderer had been a better shot, Alkon accuses me of just stopping short “of putting out a feminist fatwa against Flynt”7. She then proceeds to quote me as accusing Flynt, “through his publications, of ‘causing thousands of rapes, thousands of cases of child sexual victimization, millions of cases of sexual harassment and, very likely, many cases of torturing women and some murders of women.'” Alkon declares my estimates of the suffering perpetrated by Flynt to be “sick, unsubstantiated and unjustifiable allegations”8. In contrast, she quotes Catherine Salmon approvingly for saying that “Pornography is about sex, and not about violence or the degradation of women”9

Despite Alkon’s arrogance, I’ll wager that she knows next to nothing about research on pornography, whereas I have been studying this form of misogynist oppression of women for over 30 years and I’ve written three books on the subject. Nevertheless, Alkon feels entitled to endorse the validity of Salmon’s conclusion that pornography has nothing to do with violence and is not degrading, while she dismisses as “Stalinist shit” my views that the women involved in its production are degraded, that the portrayals of women in pornography are degrading, and that pornography plays a significant role in causing sexual violence and abuse. [Footnote: This does not mean that pornography is the only cause of harm to women.] Perhaps this is not surprising given that Alkon [and Susie Bright] was hired to wage war against Bogado and I, not to seek the truth about the harmful effects of pornography.10

The picture illustrating Alkon’s article shows a bald tough-looking woman dressed in what appears to be a Nazi uniform with a lesbian symbol on her armband. Standing upright on a rock with a riding crop in one hand, she looks like a giant dominating a large army of docile-looking men all of whom wear armbands displaying a male symbol, and all with their hands chained together. Presumably the intimidating-looking lesbian is supposed to represent Bogado and/or me.

An unflattering photograph of me appears in a third article in the February issue of Hustler titled “Smear & Loathing at Mills College.” This same photograph of my face was used for the “Asshole” picture)

I was a professor of sociology at this private all-women’s liberal arts college in Oakland, California, for 22 years. The caption to the photograph of me reads, “Teaching and Preaching Hatred: Mills Professor Emerita Diana Russell boasts of her desire to see Larry Flynt murdered.” In the text, journalist author Thayer Walker repeats my two now oft-quoted statements about my wishing Flynt’s murderer were a better shot, and that he had never survived his mother’s womb. The context of these quotations was Walker’s claim that the few male students at Mills had experienced considerable anti-male sentiment from female students. In addition, Walker documented some of the many angry and threatening statements made by students following the publication in Hustler11 of a scandalous and salacious article by Sam Ospovat, a former male graduate student at Mills, about a Fetish Ball he had attended on the campus in 2002. My participation in this fracas was to write a harsh criticism of the Fetish Balls as “pornographied” events where pornography was shown and many of the students were partially naked and/or dressed like sluts). I also castigated the President of Mills for allowing such events on the Mills campus12.

I believe Flynt was also enraged by my participation in a protest at the official opening of his new Hustler Club in the sleezy red-light district of San Francisco on February 20, 2002. Indeed, this is where I told reporters that I wished that Flynt’s would-be murderer had been a better shot. It is virtually certain that Flynt was aware of my presence that evening because a photograph of me behind a very large protest sign appears in an article about the opening of the Hustler Club.13

Not only was I protesting with other members of Women Against Pornography because we opposed the opening of Flynt’s new topless dancing club; we were also there to express our outrage over the blatant child pornography advertisement that was published in local newspapers and used to lure men to the opening of the Hustler Club14. Although spokesmen for the club maintained that the girls — who looked no older than 14 — were of legal age, the young women were obviously chosen to appeal to men who are turned on by underage girls. In addition to the sign showing a giant enlargement of this ad that we used for our protest, we displayed another equally large sign that read “HUSTLER CLUB: FOR MEN WHO NEED CHILD PORN & ABUSE TO GET IT UP!” Pictures of two flaccid penises appear on this sign. 

The second sign so enraged a man hanging around the entrance to the Hustler Club that he assaulted me while attempting to destroy the sign I stood behind. He failed to achieve his goal (the sign was made of vinyl), but succeeded in wrestling me to the ground. It took three male bystanders to break my assailant’s ferocious grip on me. Although I could have orchestrated his arrest had I thought fast enough before he hurriedly left the scene, I was appalled that none of the three journalists who quoted me in their coverage of this event saw fit to mention this assault. I guess they consider violence against women too trivial to warrant mentioning. Additionally, the fact that those of us from Women Against Pornography were the only ones to protest the use of what looked like child pornography to advertize the opening of the Hustler Club suggests that the use of increasingly young — and young-looking — girls is becoming more acceptable to the public. This is precisely the way pornography succeeds in transforming what used to be confined to pornography into mainstream images.

We need to mobilize increasing numbers of feminists to fight against pornography. The formation of a new organization tentatively called the National Feminist Anti-Pornography Movement in Boston in July 2005, is a promising sign15. This article shows how being attacked by our enemies is a sign that we are making progress in our struggle against the pornography warmongers who want to silence us.

Footnotes

1 p. 13
2 see illustration
3 Emphases added. Hustler, Feb. 2005, p. 13
4 p. 7
5 p. 36
6 Emphasis added. p. 34
7 p. 35
8 p. 35
9 p. 35
10 I have focused on Alkon’s attack on me because Aura Bogado has responded to the attacks on her made in this issue of Hustler [See www.HustlingtheLeft.com].
11 September 2004
12 Russell, 2004
13 the spectator website 
14 see photo
15 FeministAntipornographymovement.org

References

Amy Alkon. Fire in the hole. Hustler, February, 2005, pp. 34-36.

Asshole of the Month. Hustler, February, 2005, p. 13.

Aura Bogado. Hustling the Left. http://hustlingtheleft.com

Larry Flynt. The Feminist Threat. Hustler, February, 2005, p. 7.

National Feminist Anti-Pornography Movement website: …

Sam Ospovat. Hustler, September 2004.

Anthony Petkovich. Hustler Club opens with a touch of class: Flynt’s newest club comes to Babylon by the Bay. Issue 1226, April 4, 2002. http://www.spectator.net/1226_spot.html. Retrieved 12/5/2005. 

Diana E.H. Russell. Letter to the Editor

Diana E.H. Russell. San Francisco should say no to child porn: New Hustler Club opening reflects poorly on the city. San Francisco Examiner, March 28, 2002, p. A 11.

Thayer Walker. Smear and loathing at Mills College. Hustler, February, 2005, pp. 62-65.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

by Gloria Steinem
New York Times Op-Ed
January 7th, 1997

Larry Flynt the Movie is even more cynical than Larry Flynt the Man. “The People vs. Larry Flynt” claims that the creator of Hustler magazine is a champion of the First Amendment, deserving our respect. That isn’t true.

Let’s be clear: a pornographer is not a hero, no more than a publisher of Ku Klux Klan books or a Nazi on the Internet, no matter what constitutional protection he secures. And Mr. Flynt didn’t secure much.

The Reverend Jerry Falwell sued him over a Hustler parody that depicted Mr. Falwell in a drunken, incestuous encounter with his mother. Mr. Flynt’s victory only confirmed the right to parody public figures (if the result can’t be taken as fact) and prevented plaintiffs from doing an end run around the First Amendment by claiming they suffered “emotional distress.”

In fact, the Nazis who marched in Skokie, Ill., and the Klansman who advocated violence in Ohio achieved more substantive First Amendment victories than did Mr. Flynt. Yet no Hollywood movie would glamorize a Klansman or a Nazi as a champion of free speech, much less describe him in studio press releases as “the era’s last crusader,” which is how Columbia Pictures describes Mr. Flynt.

In this film, produced by Oliver Stone and directed by Milos Forman, Hustler is depicted as tacky at worst, and maybe even honest for showing full nudity. What’s left out are the magazine’s images of women being beaten, tortured and raped, women subject to degradations from bestiality to sexual slavery.

Filmgoers don’t see such Hustler features as “Dirty Pool,” which in January 1983 depicted a woman being gang-raped on a pool table. A few months after those pictures were published, a woman was gang-raped on a pool table in New Bedford, Mass. Mr. Flynt’s response to the crime was to publish a postcard of another nude woman on a pool table, this time with the inscription, “Greetings from New Bedford, Mass. The Portuguese Gang-Rape Capital of America.”

Nor do you see such typical Hustler photo stories as a naked woman in handcuffs who is shaved, raped, and apparently killed by guards in a concentration-camp-like setting (“The Naked and the Dead”). You won’t even meet “Chester the Molester,” the famous Hustler cartoon character who sexually stalks girls.

You certainly don’t see such Hustler illustrations as a charred expanse of what looks like human skin, with photos of dead and dismembered women pinned to it.

On the contrary, the Hollywood version of Larry Flynt, played by the charming Woody Harrelson is opposed to violence. At an anti-censorship rally, he stands against a backdrop of beautiful images of nude women that are intercut with scenes of Hiroshima, marching Nazis, and the My Lai Massacre. “Which is more obscene,” the Flynt character asks, “sex or war?” Viewers who know Hustler’s real content might ask, “Why can’t Larry Flynt tell the difference?”

Mr. Flynt’s daughter Tonya, 31, is so alarmed by this film’s dishonesty that she joined women who picketed its opening in San Francisco. She also publicly accused Mr. Flynt of having sexually abused her when she was a child, a charge he vehemently denies, and attributes to her “mental problems.”

“I’m upset about this film because it supports my dad’s argument that pornography does no harm,” she said. “If you want to see a victim of pornography, just look at me.”

Unlike his film character, the real Mr. Flynt is hardly an unwavering advocate of free speech. Indeed other feminists and I have been attacked in Hustler for using our First Amendment rights to protest pornography. In my case, that meant calling me dangerous and putting my picture on a “Most Wanted” poster. I was also depicted as the main character in a photo story that ended in my sexual mutilation. Given the number of crimes that seem to imitate pornography, this kind of attack does tend to get your attention.

So, no, I am not grateful to Mr. Flynt for protecting my freedom, as the film and its enthusiasts suggest I should be. No more than I would be to a racist or fascist publisher whose speech is protected by the Constitution.

My question is: Would men be portrayed as inviting, deserving, and even enjoying their own pain and degradation–as women are in Mr. Flynt’s life work?

Suppose Mr. Flynt specialized in such images as a young African American man trussed up like a deer, and tied to the luggage rack of a white hunter’s car. Or a nude white man fed into a meat grinder? (Those are some of the milder ways in which Hustler portrays women.)

Would Oliver Stone–who rarely lets powerful men emerge unscathed–bowdlerize and flatter that kind of man, too? Would Woody Harrelson–who supports animal rights and protests the cutting of trees–pose happily next to that Larry Flynt? Would Milos Forman defend that film by citing his memories of censorship under the Nazis?

What if the film praised an anti-Semitic publisher? Would it be nominated for five Golden Globes? Would there be cameos by Donna Hanover Giuliani, the wife of New York City’s Mayor; Burt Neuborne, a New York University law professor; Judge D’Army Bailey of the Memphis Circuit Court or James Carville, President Clinton’s former political consultant? I don’t think so.

The truth is, if Larry Flynt had published the same cruel images even of animals, this movie would never have been made. Fortunately, each of us has the First Amendment right to protest.

Gloria Steinem, a founder of Ms. Magazine, is a writer and activist against pornography and censorship. 

Read Full Post »

Please visit Larry Flynt: The Right to Be Left Alone Our Official Website

Search words: The People Vs Larry Flynt; Larry Flynt: The Right to Be Left Alone?, Asshole of the Month, Asshole of the Mouth, Child Molester, Racist, Anti-woman, Pimp, for violating women’s rights to be left alone, therighttobeleftalone.org, Hustler; Woody Harrelson, Courtney Love, Edward Norton, and Larry Flynt’s buddy Jerry Falwell. Milos Forman and others coming soon!

Read Full Post »

Hustlerd by Tonya Flynt
by Tonya Flynt

My name is Tonya Flynt. I am here to tell you that the portrayal of my father, Larry Flynt, in Oliver Stone and Milos Forman’s movie is a pack of lies. My father, the founder and publisher of Hustler Magazine, is not a hero who has sacrificed everything to fight censorship and protect freedom of speech. He doesn’t give a damn about freedom of speech. All he cares about is making millions of dollars out of the sexual exploitation of women and children.

My father is a pornographer, a pimp, and a molester of children. I say this with pain and sorrow because in spite of everything he has done, I still love my father. I also say this with fear, because my father has threatened me and my daughter. But I feel I have a responsibility to expose the truth about my father. Making Larry Flynt a hero justifies and makes invisible the harm he has done to women and children. It silences their voices and muffles their cries of pain. This is exactly what Oliver Stone’s movie has done.

This is the real story behind Hustler. Before my father owned his first bar, he was a small-time pimp with a string of women. That’s how he got the money to open his first bar and strip club. During the time he owned strip clubs, my father continued to pimp the women who worked in the clubs. He would make the women have sex with customers and give him a cut of the proceeds. That’s how he made so much money so quickly.

Why does the movie ignore the connections between my father’s financial empire and the prostituting of women and girls? Why doesn’t it say that Althea was a child prostitute? Why doesn’t it say that my father made his early money pimping? I guess it’s easier to glorify a pornographer than pimp?

To my father, women have always been objects to dominate and control. He showed his power through sexual use and abuse. One of my father’s favorite sayings was, “The man who controls pussy controls the world.”

My father used his power against me when I was a little girl. I worshiped my father. Part of that worship grew out of the fact that he lived in unimaginable luxury while my mother, my sister, and I lived in dire poverty. He didn’t feel any obligation to support us. We were always one step from destitution. We would go visit him at his mansions and have a taste of wealth and privilege. Then we would be back at home, worrying about how to pay the rent. The movie doesn’t talk about that.

My father used his power against me in another way too. He sexually abused me. On one occasion, my Dad was angry because I wouldn’t stop crying. He came in, out of control with rage, and beat me over and over again with a belt. That night he came into my room and sexually molested me. He penetrated me with his fingers. He made me touch his penis. He had oral sex with me and made me have oral sex with him. I hadn’t celebrated my thirteenth birthday when he did this to me.

On many occasions, he would touch my breasts or grab me between the legs. One time he came into my bedroom, took my panties off, and fondled me.

When my sister and I visited my father, he made no effort to shield us from any of the brutal and humiliating pictures. He was proud of them. Twice he sent me pornographic Christmas cards stuffed with money. At 8 or 9, my father made me and my sister go into a go-go bar, dress up in revealing outfits, and dance for him on the stage like strippers. I can’t tell you the damage these experiences did to my feelings about my body and to my sexuality. These are issues I will struggle with for the rest of my life.

My father wasn’t content just to molest me. I have been told by a close relative that he makes trips to Bangkok and buys little girls there. I was also told he brought back videotapes of child pornography from Bangkok. It causes me so much pain to realize that what he was doing to me he does to little girls pushed into prostitution by poverty.

Pornography and prostitution turned my father’s heart stone cold. It made him see even his own daughter as an object to use for his sexual gratification. I am the mother of a nine-year-old daughter. And when I look at her I thank God that I have been able to protect her from the abuse I was subjected to.

Hustler says it’s funny and sexy to molest little girls like my daughter. And Oliver Stone says Hustler is about freedom and liberation. That’s a dangerous message.

I ask you to look at these pictures and ask yourself: who benefits from them and who is harmed? Is this freedom?

Copyright Off Our Backs, Inc. Apr 1997
All rights Reserved

[Larry Flynt has publicly denied allegations that he molested his daughter however there is a tape that refutes his claim that was made by his wife that documents her confrontation of him about it.]

Please visit our websites: http://www.hustlingtheleft.com & http://www.therighttobeleftalone.org . Our myspace website was taken down by the management at myspace (owned by Fox and Rupert Murdock) and turned over to Larry Flynt. If you have links to this page on your sites be sure to take it off. Thanx

Read Full Post »