The cruelty of men and Americans
During the Gulf War, the US military kept tight control of journalists to make sure that an already timid news media had no room to move. Copy had to be cleared by military censors, allegedly for security reasons, though the main fears of politicians and military officers concerning journalists are always political, not military.
One of the facts initially censored from a journalist's report during that war was that on the USS John F. Kennedy, pilots watched pornographic movies before flying missions, apparently to help get them pumped up to drop bombs. The censor told the journalist that the facts were too embarrassing to allow to be published (Kurtz 1991).
Embarrassing, but instructive: pornography and war are not the same endeavor, but the mass-mediated misogyny of modern pornography and the high-tech brutality of modern war share a common cruelty. Men pop a tape in a VCR. Men pop into jet planes. Men ejaculate onto women's faces. Bombs fall to the ground. Aggression is normalized.
My political life for the past dozen years has been anchored in resistance to the pornography of men and the wars of the United States; this is the struggle against patriarchy and empire. That means my life has been saturated with images of cruelty, from the intimate to the global.
Blow Bang #4 is a videotape made and sold in America. It is a videotape that American men watch and masturbate to. It consists of eight different scenes in which a woman kneels in the middle of a group of three to eight men and performs oral sex on them. At the end of each scene, each of the men ejaculates onto the woman's face or into her mouth. The copy on the video box describes it this way: 'Dirty little bitches surrounded by hard throbbing cocks—and they like it.'
In one of these scenes, a young woman dressed as a cheerleader is surrounded by six men. For about seven minutes 'Dynamite' (the name she gives on tape) methodically moves from man to man while they offer insults such as, 'You little cheerleading slut.'
'—and they like it.'