I wrestle with this issue something fierce…
To bring it up (again), spending time and energy engaging it, reifies it as something worth considering; ignoring it leaves open the possibility that someone out there reading this may not know how (at best) off mark and (actually) truly reprehensible these charlatans are…
…so, in the spirit of social justice, I once again give you – disrespectful, exploitative, and downright nasty trickery from .XXX
.XXX is a sTLD that was brought into full effect byÂ ICM â€œDonâ€™t Miss Out, Get Yours Today!â€ RegistryÂ almost one year ago now (March, 2011).Â Here are someÂ .XXX basicsÂ and some more recentÂ .XXX happeningsÂ (also here).
Given the information I currently have at my disposal, I am inclined to regard .XXX as nothing more than extortion â€“ a money-making scam of epic proportions that targets the last group of people the wider world seems to think itâ€™s ok to marginalize. No, I don’t mean impoverished and/or socially disadvantaged folks. And I don’t even mean sex workers. I mean the adult production industry, which is often figure-headed by a group of folks that work at a sex work occupation – porn performers.
.XXX is an attempt, through fear mongering, bullying, and extortion, to get a fat piece of the (perceived) â€œmulti-billion dollarâ€ porno pie…
[how many times have we read that grossly inflated and completely unsubstantiated statistic? trust me â€“ a rigorous assessment of the adult industryâ€™s net worth hasÂ neverÂ been conducted (much less conducted in recent years). this figure is based on mainstream perception of the industry in its late ’90s/early ’00s â€œheydayâ€ and nothing more… but I digress]
…thus cutting into the livelihoods of small business owners and porn performing sex workers; and it’s consistently problematic ad campaigns point directly back to these insidious manipulations. Let me explain.
Consider .XXX’s newest tag: Porn is Moving to .XXX
This is not the first “clever” or “edgy” pitch from .XXX (recall King Gavin’s YouTube channelÂ from last December); and,Â of course, nothing is offered to substantiate that claim – no sales stats; no itemization of influential performers and producers currently developing their .XXX sites; no listing of .XXX sites started by industry outsiders tapping into their “inner pornographer.”
[sTDLs are technically only available to community members. that means that a person outside the community technically can’t even have (buy) one]
The folks behind .XXX do nothing to show that anyone is actually moving anywhere. Instead, what we see is stuff like this:
(images throughout get bigger if you click on them)
Some worker dude – so, not The Man (though I admit I would’ve taken a second look if Stuart Lawley had been featured here – tee hee!!) in control of whatever organization is behind this supposed move in the first place – lugging a woman porn performer mannequin off some sound stage, presumably to another. This guy, who is laboring along something fierce, doesn’t appear to be stimulated by or enthusiastic about his work. Rather, he seems disinterested, perhaps a little “wtf am I doing here?,” maybe even ashamed. At even the most superficial level, this ad campaign plays upon social class, worker alienation, and masculinities.
And the woman? She’s not Kim Cattrall and this isn’t Mannequin (1987) – she isn’t lively, nor is she enthusiastically moving herself over to .XXX country. Nope, she’s being dragged along, with no brain or will to decide for herself. Gender and sex worker stereotyping and dehumanization operate alongside labor marginalization and delegitimization.
This one is even “better”…
The “sex” gets wilder, the dudes (this time there are two of them) look even less enthusiastic, and our lady is even more of a lump.
Now I know that the “mannequins” featured in these ads are not really mannequins at all – they’re models (I will say no more) hired for a print job. Just like the worker dudes are probably not actual laborers; they’re also models. The point here is how these models are depicted and what those depictions are trying to say, both explicitly and implicitly.
If this series of ads had to do with any – absolutely ANY – other marginalized population – even people working in different sex work occupations (i.e. prostitutes) – activists and academics and social justice advocates would be up in arms!! Really, they would freak the f out. This campaign would get recalled so fast it would make .XXX King Stuart Lawley’s head spin while he was issuing a public apology for cultural and community insenstiviy.
But it’s about porn chics and the adult community (and workers performing heavy physical labor), so who gives a shit…
.XXX has been pending to brewing to becoming law to fighting for ground for years now, and I have been following the whole shebang (from news to conferences to conversations) for just as long. I can see the negatives associated with .XXX (obviously), but many out there insist that there is some good. I have tried and tried to connect with these advocates, for a public interview or private conversation, but nothing ever materializes.
So once again, I implore â€“ will someone please explain to me whatâ€™s good about .XXX? I want to know both sides!!
…and I want to know who the hell OK’ed these absolutely reprehensible print ads.
Images pulled from HyperVocal.com here.
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Questions? Comments?Â Email Dr. Chauntelle!!
You may quote anything hereinÂ with the following attribution: â€œReprinted from PVVOnline/Porn Valley Vantage, copyright Â© Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, PhD (www.PVVOnline.com).â€