DON’T VIEW BIG FISH


Some anonymous person left this behind in the comments:

The Fifth Training: Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body and my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self transformation and the transformation of society

He (or she, but I’ll assume he) said it was odd a Zen teacher would encourage this. I guess that means “encourage people to go look at porn.” So I thought I ought to clarify a little. But I am well aware that no matter how many times I clarify my statements you can never satisfy everybody. In any case, though, I find this interesting.

First, I’m not encouraging you guys to look at porn. I don’t really give a shit whether you do or don’t. It’s none of my fucking business. I also think maybe I put too much emphasis on the monetary side of what I do for Suicide Girls. Though I could hardly make a living off writing for them or writing books, I have another job, so I ain’t poor. Ain’t rich either. But I don’t write for SG for the cash. I do it mainly to annoy pious Buddhists!

That’s a joke. Jesus!

SG provides a forum wherein what I say can reach a tremendous number of people. I could probably make as much, if not more, by taking PayPal donations at this blog. But then I’m just preaching to the choir. I find preaching to the SG readers to be much more of a challenge. It’s like a weird little sociological experiement. I’ve always believed Buddhism was good for anybody anywhere. I’m testing to see if that’s true.

But in response to the quote above, this is something I’ve heard a few variations on. I’m not quite certain who it comes from (though I can make a guess). One thing I do want to point out, in case it’s not obvious, is that this is not from any traditional ancient Buddhist source. It is a contemporary interpretation.

I would not go so far as to say it’s wrong or to condemn this approach. But it’s not the approach in which I was trained, nor is it the approach I want to teach.

Obviously there’s a lot of stimulation available in today’s culture, which can be highly distracting to practice. When you sit on your cushion all the stuff you’ve shoved into your brain starts to bubble out. The less stuff you shove in there, the easier it is to reach a calm, nice state in Zazen. However, Dogen cautioned that reaching calm, nice, serene states of mind wasn’t really the goal of our practice. It can be a nice side benefit. But it’s not why we do it.

I don’t condemn the approach our anonymous friend suggests. I mean, eating right is very good. Not spending hours and hours and hours machine gunning virtual bad guys at the video arcade, also good. Being aware how these kinds of stimulation affect body and mind = very, very, very good indeed. Yet it does no good to try and shut reality out, covering our ears and eyes and shouting, “Na! Na! I can’t hear you!”

Dogen said, “By eliminating disturbances we redouble the disease… Intellectual excluding now adds to the disease and augments the disease. The very moment itself of eliminating is inevitably disturbance. They are simultaneous and are beyond simultaneousness. Disturbances always include the fact of [trying to] eliminate them.

This is a key point in the teaching I’ve learned from Dogen’s lineage and that I want to try to convey. How you actually put this into action is up to the individual. I wouldn’t go as far as the writer who made up this rule as to try and list “poisonous activities.” That seems to be going a bit too far. In indiviual one-to-one talks, I’ve been known to make suggestions, some of which resemble what he’s saying. But it may be more useful to discover how to remain balanced in the face of any kind of stimulation. This is a trickier path to follow. In the end, though, I really think it’s the only way that makes sense.

Sorry.

82 Responses

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  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 2, 2007 at 2:12 pm | |

    “Beyond thought, right and wrong behavior are always perfectly clear.”

    Brad – This is as clear as mud for me.. any chance you could elaborate a little?

  2. Roberto
    Roberto August 2, 2007 at 2:40 pm | |

    Brad,

    Don’t feel comfortable supporting your work through SG based on some of the things I’ve read in the comments & news about how SG is run. I for one, and others I’m sure, would donate $ if you set up some type of pay pal account (as you suggest)to keep funding your work. Keep on writing in SG and elsewhere!

  3. vinegar
    vinegar August 2, 2007 at 3:07 pm | |

    Blinegar? Hmmm, don’t get it.

    Who is anonymous anyway. Are all the anonymous comments by the same anonymous or is there more than one anonymous?

    If there is more than one how does one know which anonymous is speaking, uh, writing?

    As for vows is seems you can do the same with them or without them. Aren’t you suppose to be your own light? I’m not disinterested in groups, like Sangha. However, it’s easy to abdicate your own responsibility to walk your own path.

  4. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 2, 2007 at 3:08 pm | |

    Jupiter Optimus Maximus was ichiban in the Roman pantheon.

    Here’s a VOW:

    O Jupiter Optimus Maximus, if You allow the emperor and the Fratres Arvales for whom I speak, to live uninjured and keep their homes safe, then come next 3 Jan., voted by the people of Rome, the Quirites, for the benefit of the Republic of the Roman people, the Quirites. Should You preserve todays emperor and the people in good health from danger, if they remain as they are today as far as possible, and the results are beneficial as I have spoken, and, too, if You will grant to the emperor and this state as they are now or you will preserve them in a better state, thereby making it so, then in the name of the College of the Fratres Arvales I vow to You to sacrifice two bulls with gilded horns in the future.

    The College of the ‘Fratres Arvales’ evolved into the Cardinal’s College.

    So a vow is tit for tat (pun intended).
    tit = this
    tat = that
    tit for tat = this for that

  5. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 2, 2007 at 3:14 pm | |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 2, 2007 at 3:43 pm | |

    A vow of obedience in a Buddhist setting is (?) odd. A vow is a tit with no tat.

    The monastic monks had three vows: obedience, chastity, and poverty.

    That was then, this is now. Gautama preached not a religion, but a system devoid of “authority.” Think on this…

    A leader is a leader and not an authority. The Dalai Lama is just an ordinary monk.

  7. vinegar
    vinegar August 2, 2007 at 5:26 pm | |

    Yes definitely. Very true. You can tell yourself that absolutely anything at all is OK. Even the administrators of the concentration camps never believed themselves to be doing evil.

    It was scary to discover that I myself had exactly the same capacity to do just that. So does everyone reading this. You could all convince yourself that the most “evil” thing on Earth was something you had to or should do. Don’t ever believe you lack that ability. This is the tremendous power of thought. This is why we need to see what is beyond our own thoughts entirely. Beyond thought, right and wrong behavior are always perfectly clear.

    Anonymous,

    I think this is great! I’m not Brad and you didn’t ask me but I’ll take a shot at what it means to me.

    It’s about rational (thought) justification of one’s actions no matter how horrific they may be. If you think enough you can justify any behavior.

    “Even the administrators of the concentration camps never believed themselves to be doing evil.

    It was scary to discover that I myself had exactly the same capacity to do just that.”

    We all have that capacity in spades and one of the most important realizations and acknowledgements it that we DO have that capacity and we USE it. That is the power of THOUGHT.

    “You could all convince yourself that the most “evil” thing on Earth was something you had to or should do. Don’t ever believe you lack that ability. This is the tremendous power of thought.

    So realizing we have that capacity and identifying it in ourselves with brutal honesty, will allow us, if we are willing, to see underneath, beyond, around, on the other side of it and see reality in spite of our justification. We see the justification for what it is, a rational delusion to allow us to do what we want to do not an unbiased analysis of the facts to reach a moral decision.

    “This is why we need to see what is beyond our own thoughts entirely. Beyond thought, right and wrong behavior are always perfectly clear.”

    Brad has said we all know reality. It’s not something we need to figure out or reason out. It’s the same with what it “right” and “wrong”. We know what to do, it’s getting to the place we know that we know and do not justify ourselves out of it, then do it.

    IMO, that is what he means.

  8. Wolfger
    Wolfger August 2, 2007 at 5:50 pm | |

    “I don’t write for SG for the cash. I do it mainly to annoy pious Buddhists!”

    Sounds like a good reason to me. :-)
    Well, okay, not really… Deliberately annoying people is not good. It can, however, be a pleasant side effect to see somebody get annoyed with something which they should not allow themselves to be annoyed by. Schadenfreude is so hard to escape.

  9. Jinzang
    Jinzang August 2, 2007 at 5:56 pm | |

    Beyond thought, right and wrong behavior are always perfectly clear.

    There’s some truth to this, but in light of the misconduct of various Zen teachers over the past thirty years, I don’t think it’s the entire picture. I don’t believe we can abandon the guidance of the precepts.

    I always like quoting my teacher, so here’s what he had to say about proper conduct and mahamudra.

    So there is only one kind of conduct to enhance mahamudra, the conduct of Samantabhadra. When you start the path, you practice the preliminaries. The conduct you engage in is focused on motivation. Ensure your motivation for setting out on the path is genuine. It should not be motivated by the eight worldly dharmas and it should be unstained by the ambition to be somebody or gain some position. You should think and behave in such a way that you should never be ashamed of yourself. You should practice to be able to gain liberation for others and not practice for your own sake. You should act so that you never have to ask yourself if you acted properly. In the middle when you perform the main practice and settle in it, continue the conduct of Samantabhadra and drive in all the nails of ambition and intellect with the hammer of good conduct. Resolve all vanity within your mind and see the self-aware nature as the single key point. All learning needs to be directed to that one point.

  10. Mysterion
    Mysterion August 2, 2007 at 5:57 pm | |

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 2, 2007 at 10:32 pm | |

    Don’t View Big Fish

    Don’t Fish for Big Views: I don’t subscribe to SG,
    I really don’t get it. Mebbe it’s just me.
    Why fanta supa size?
    I mean it’s ok for the folks that like and take delight in creating the lighting and the poses and the costumes and all and represent themselves as their (what, what? idealized selves? secret selves? response of eros in the world of technocracy?)
    Sure it can go on in the the cyber room next door, but I don’t need to go there and hang out. And I don’t feel I need to support it’s continued existence, and I guess if I had to pay to read Brad’s column there, I just wouldn’t get to read it–I’d have to pick up some of the Buddhist pinata stuff Brad hangs out from other branches–his blog gets so many ‘hits’ and what do you know–all the goodies come tumbling down–along with a lot of other sense and nonsense.
    I applaud Brad for keeping his day job, and being as versatile a being as he humanly can.
    I would rather directly support his endeavors, and get to when I attend his Saturday sits and
    zazenkai. Makes sense to me to have a place on the web to make direct contributions.
    Or, I guess, he could go a more traditional route and do funeral services…

  12. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 2, 2007 at 10:50 pm | |

    I don’t really know how much experience anyone here has with the sex industry. I have some, mainly through friends of mine who have worked in it, and through directly working with some younger women who’d been involved. It’s a brutal and domineering field that eats up people, especially aforementioned young women, and vomits them out. It’s almost always run by men for men (Suicide Girls certainly is, the odd lesbian subscriber notwithstanding) and it’s almost always inexorably run together, i.e., porn is connected to prostitution is connected to stripping, and all are generally connected to drugs and organized crime to some extent (though SG probably has no real connection with the latter). It baffles me that Brad can lash out at the drug trade and Buddhist authors who promote it (which I agree with him on) but insist that porn is some kind of legitimate enterprise. I mean, even if you ignore every thing else about it, I don’t think staring at airbrushed pics of models giving beaver shots is a healthier way to look at women simply because they have green dreads or listen to Jets to Brazil. I can’t really connect it with any kind of enlightened enterprise (and I mean enlightened in a very loose way,not “spiritually”). If someone wants to make cash writing for a website that uses images of women as cumrags, is owned and operated by a neocon asshole who makes bigoted remarks (especially about arabs) with some regularity, and apparently treats its models badly…Well, I wouldn’t condemn them, honestly. Everyone’s gotta eat. But dressing it up as a spiritual endeavor? This seems self serving to me. Just my 2 cents.

    I do agree that people shouldn’t avoid unpleasant stimuli, but there’s a difference between that and doing business in an unethical way. I doubt Brad cares about my respect one way or another, but I’ll say this; I respect that Brad has some profound ideas and a novel way of presenting them. But I lost some of that respect when he started writing for SG, and more when he started urging people to sign up for SG accounts. Honestly, it kind of reminded me of the people he (rightly) lambasted for making Zig Zag Zen and the doublespeak involved there.

    –Dave, http://parallelsidewalk.wordpress.com

  13. gniz
    gniz August 3, 2007 at 5:32 am | |

    The anonymous poster above makes some VERY well thought out points about Brad in relation to Suicide Girls and the porn industry.

    In my opinion, there’s nobody we can place on a moral pedestal because every single teacher, as great as they may be, is still capable of doing tremendously harmful and stupid things.

    And they WILL do it, so need to be dissapointed when it inevitably happens.

    Of course, the difference between most Zen masters and us ordinary folk, is they dont every feel the desire to actually admit wrongdoing and apologize.

    GNIZ

  14. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 3, 2007 at 6:52 am | |

    yay! gniz is back.

    I totally agree actually. i think this whole ‘subscribe to SG’ thing is bullshit. writing for them is a grey area. i see brad’s point about reaching a wider audience but i’m sure there are better ways to do that than be a writer for a porn site.

    dan

  15. earDRUM
    earDRUM August 3, 2007 at 6:53 am | |

    Brad wrote: “… it may be more useful to discover how to remain balanced in the face of any kind of stimulation. This is a trickier path to follow. In the end, though, I really think it’s the only way that makes sense.”

    I think this is a very important point. And it looks like many of my fellow posters here are missing it. A lot of people seem to be hung up on being disturbed by images of naked people. I know that this is a remnant of Puritanical thinking that was passed on to us from our past. But as followers of zen, I think we need to examine our thoughts about things that disturb us. We can learn so much about ourselves by examining our thoughts.
    Zazen allows our autopilot reactionary mind to calm down… which allows us to see things as they are. Then we are able to notice that our reactions are OUR reactions. We need to realize that WE do the reacting. Not somebody else. We make a decision, conscious or not, how we react when we see a naked person.
    When we do enough zazen and examination of our own thoughts, the mind clears and we live with intention, rather than reaction.
    I think this point is very important.

  16. keishin.ni
    keishin.ni August 3, 2007 at 8:22 am | |

    I don’t subscribe to SG but I’d guess that Brad is one of the few, if not the only one who appears there on a regular basis completely naked.
    It is refreshing.
    And it is refreshing to be around, we who live near enough to get to Santa Monica on Saturdays should take full advantage of the opportunity.
    Naked means we get to see everything.
    What we see is exactly what it is.
    To say that it is beautiful or ugly or overly large or embarassingly small misses it completely.
    Naked does not require justification.
    And if we get naked too–what happens is: the dharma is our body. The dharma is who we are, what we are, what we are about.
    We don’t go anywhere without it.
    There is no place we aren’t safe, there is no place we are safe–that’s the trickier road for you.

  17. Jared
    Jared August 3, 2007 at 7:08 pm | |

    Not to drag religion into it, but there’s truth in the phrase, “preaching to the choir”. What use is there in spreading the dharma to people that already practice it? Well, there’s a buttload. But there’s even more use in spreading it to the people that have never heard of it before aside from the old Kung Fu series and the latest “Zen and the art of _____” book. People seem really hot-to-trot about focusing on WHERE Brad is writing, and not WHAT he is writing.

  18. Jared
    Jared August 3, 2007 at 7:32 pm | |

    That is, unless he’s naming names about who the latest Buddhist butt-buddies are…

    :-D

  19. Otto Kerner
    Otto Kerner August 4, 2007 at 12:24 am | |

    I don’t know if it was meant to imply anything, but the title of this post is a bit puzzling. “Don’t view big fish” was probably good advice at the time. It seems like a silly now, in hindsight, because big fish don’t seem very important to most of us. We can go ahead and view big fish all the time and it will be very unlikely to cause disruption. It’s a dated reference.

    On the other hand, what about the actual subject of the post? Is viewing images of nude women a quaint fixation of earlier days? Are people today likely to look at these pictures without a strong reaction? Sure they are, provided that they not straight men or lesbians.

  20. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 4, 2007 at 5:16 am | |

    In my mind I thought that the reference of this posts title, ‘Dont View Big Fish’, was in fact regarding the film Big Fish. The film is very weird and dream like but good and I thought that, as the post was about ‘the 5th precept’, Brad meant it as a joke not to watch that strange disturbing film?…

  21. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 4, 2007 at 12:03 pm | |

    Gniz- Zen masters never make mistakes. Everything they do that may seem to be a bad idea is actually a way of demonstrating dharma. And zen masters don’t have personal opinions, anything they say is just a “teaching”. Haven’t you figured that out by now?

    Eardrum- Those are strawman arguments. I don’t think my points are purtianical at all, nor are most others people have raised. I think sex is great and I don’t think looking at naked bodies is inherently wrong (though I do think sexually exploitative businesses are wrong, and I don’t think staring at decontexualized naked people for sexual pleasure is a healthy habit). Sure we control how we react, but that doesn’t make every thing we react to good by default. Actually adress points made if you’re going to argue, don’t just vaguely philosophize.

    Jared- Very slippery slope. I mean, Brad could print little Dharma messages on slips on paper to be sold with ecstasy tabs at raves and you could make the same argument. Also, Brad himself has said that you cannot seperate a teacher’s actions from their message (though this apparently only applies to people like Chogyam Trungpa, not the Zen masters who cheerled World War 2), so I think who he attaches a name to IS relevant. While we’re on the subject, he’s not just writing for Suicide Girls, he urged people to subscribe to it. THAT is what the conversation is mainly about. I probably would not even have commented at all otherwise.

    –Dave, http://parallelsidewalk.wordpress.com

  22. Jared
    Jared August 4, 2007 at 3:16 pm | |

    Dave,

    I agree that in some situations, of course the dharma shouldn’t be advertised. I wouldn’t go around chopping people up and then writing out the Heart Sutra in their blood as a prime way of spreading the word. The world is never black and white, and there’s always situations where one thing is acceptable when it might not be in another situation. It would be different if Brad advocated unhealthy sexual practices, or even encouraged people to look at the nude pictures. But he didn’t. He simply suggested that if you want to support Brad’s flavor of Buddhism, you might start by supporting SG.

    There are a bunch of people here on the blog that seem to be saying that they may go to SG and read the articles, but they won’t like it. And they’ll purge their browser history right after. Bottom line though, if you want to sit on some sort of moral buddhist high-horse, then don’t go to SG at all. Otherwise you’re just like those monks who look on the butcher with disdain, yet still buy leather from him for their shoes.

  23. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 4, 2007 at 3:57 pm | |

    “Gniz- Zen masters never make mistakes. Everything they do that may seem to be a bad idea is actually a way of demonstrating dharma. And zen masters don’t have personal opinions, anything they say is just a “teaching”. Haven’t you figured that out by now?”

    this may seem dumb of me but just to make sure. you are taking the piss right. it’s hard to tell the tone of things when they’re written instead of spoken.

  24. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 5, 2007 at 1:47 am | |

    A donkey with a load of holy books is still a donkey.

    Sure, we might be ‘zen enough’ to view porn without craving.
    We might be ‘zen enough’ to ignore the suffering caused in the making of those images.

    This is, imho, a delusion of ‘samurai zen’, a macho bs form of zen that seems to be quite popular.

    Whatever we perceive in the world around us tends to reflect who we are and what we care about most deeply, as in the old saying, “When a thief sees a saint, all he sees are his pockets.”

    I’m not saying that images of naked men/women is bad, but that we should each look at our reaction to these images and decide if they are the cause of more suffering and craving.

    Even as rain penetrates an ill-thatched house, so does lust penetrate an undeveloped mind.

    Even as rain does not penetrate a well-thatched house, so does lust not penetrate a well-developed mind.

    Maybe there are some fully enlightened buddhists out there who have mastered this stuff, who have such refined development of mind that they no longer suffer from ingesting these poisons, who have no preference between eating chocolate and dog shit…but I doubt any of them post on this blog :)

  25. Fi
    Fi August 5, 2007 at 6:38 am | |

    This is a complicated issue

    Repressed sexuality is just fear and aversion and we all know how that ends…

    and respect to you Brad for wanting a different audience from the safe and familiar one chosen by so many teachers, I’m sure you’re doing something really valuable there.

    But I have my reservations about subscribing to suicide girls, not because I have an issue with nudity, or people taking pictures of other people with no clothes on, or kinkiness or whatever, but because of the welfare of the girls concerned.

    I’m sure that it’s perfectly possible to have your picture on a site like that and be unscathed by the experience,or maybe even empowered by it, but in order to do that you have to be a strong character,know your own mind and not get dragged into the illusion of it all. You have to know who you are, and know where your boundaries are, know what you are comfortable with and feel strong enough to be able to say no when they are being transgressed.
    And, the problem is, because the girls on there mostly seem so young (forgive me if they aren’t I haven’t had a good look )I feel kind of protective towards them because I know, when I was that young I didn’t have that kind of strength and self-knowledge – and respect to them if they do, but for me to subscribe, I would need to feel confident that it was a safe place for them, but people being people, I feel there is potential for people getting hurt there.and while there is that potential that’s enough to give me doubts about supporting it.

    And fair enough, we all know it’s a big bad world out there and we have the right to learn from our mistakes, have to learn how to stick up for ourselves etc, but do I want to know I’m part of it?

    Beautiful women are a commodity in this society and wherever there is a buck to be made… well we all know the dangers…

    To any girls on there who may be reading Brad’s blog I salute your beauty and wish you strength and faith in yourself.

    Brad if you could reassure me on this one I would be very grateful…

  26. yudo
    yudo August 6, 2007 at 3:25 am | |

    Fl… wrote

    “Brad if you could reassure me on this one I would be very grateful… “

    I think he has a point…

  27. Blake
    Blake August 6, 2007 at 6:42 am | |

    Great discussion.

    Here’s what I think of rules and precepts, for what it’s worth…

    I think that people who have traveled down their paths have discovered a few things about themselves and noticed some changes within. For example, since I have started sitting, my taste for meat has gone away. It just happened, you know? And it’s not only my compassion for the animal but the entire rendering process. So rule #1: no meat.

    I have also lost my taste for hardcore porn. I look at it and I think “that’s someone’s daughter.” My mind just can’t hold on to the fantasy (btw, I can deal with naked chicks, it’s just hardcore I can’t stomach). So rule #2: no porn.

    When I look at such things as the precepts, I simply see a roadmap of what others have gone through and a possible window into what I might run into. But then again, I might not. It’s different for everyone.

  28. vinegar
    vinegar August 6, 2007 at 4:30 pm | |

    It’s not enough to try to hold the lid down on a rapidly boiling pot, you have to turn down the heat!

  29. vinegar
    vinegar August 6, 2007 at 4:41 pm | |

    “I’m sure that it’s perfectly possible to have your picture on a site like that and be unscathed by the experience,or maybe even empowered by it, but in order to do that you have to be a strong character,know your own mind and not get dragged into the illusion of it all. You have to know who you are, and know where your boundaries are, know what you are comfortable with and feel strong enough to be able to say no when they are being transgressed.”

    I don’t think there is any way Brad can assure anyone of all of this. I mean it sounds like the only way to be okay with this is if every single girl on the site was uber emotionally healthy and of impeccable psychological fiber.

    As long as they are treated well and fairly by the people who run the site and make money from the pictures that is really all you can reasonably ask for.

    They are where they are emotionally and psychologically and posing nude for a web site is not necessarily an emotionally and psychologically damaging experience. It almost sounds like the very act is equivalent to rape.

  30. Anonymous
    Anonymous August 6, 2007 at 11:45 pm | |

    blake – good post.

  31. Fi
    Fi August 7, 2007 at 3:52 am | |

    vinegar said:

    ” As long as they are treated well and fairly by the people who run the site and make money from the pictures that is really all you can reasonably ask for “

    THAT is what I wanted the reassurance about

    Of course the models’ heads are going to be in various states and there is no way to ensure that maybe a girl would pose, feel fine at the time and then regret it later or think it was a bad idea – or maybe decide do it for the wrong reasons(just to piss off an ex or something) but that’s just life – we try stuff out sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – it’s par for the course. But the degree of any potential damage is determined by how they are treated during and after the experience

    What I’m really getting at is that as much as Suicide Girls presents itself as a hip and intellgent site, the porn aspect of it is basically joining part of a very well-established industry which has a reputation for chewing up young women and spitting them out.

    So, Suicide Girls, if it is in the business of empowering women, has to make it its mission to ensure that that part of the business fits in with the intelligent ideals the rest of the site. Porn just HAS that kind of image as a business, and work has to be done if the site wants to change the perception of that. It’s just the way it is.

    I’m talking about it being a safe place – that’s all

    I’m not saying that posing per se is a kind of rape, that would mean that the women photographed had no say in it at all.

    I’m just trying to look out for my little sisters, raising these points,and as a woman I’ve probably got a slighlty different perspective from most of the guys on here. I’m just thinking about how I would want to be treated, and how vulnerable I was when I was 18 or 20 even though I thought I knew everything, that I was tough and could look after myself.

    I know people who have worked in the sex industry and it’s a common theme for people to be treated very much as ‘things’ their feelings not really considered as they are, mainly a ‘product’ and that’s tough for anyone.

    Are the girls on Suicide Girls treated as people? With compassion? As whole, living feeling human beings?

    That’s what I mean – and if they can do that – and change the image of porn – reclaim it as a celebration of women’s sexuality – and make the site somewhere where women can express themselves and be empowered then that is really something quite exciting and amazing.

    Is that the case?

  32. Anonymous
    Anonymous July 31, 2009 at 8:42 am | |

    Hi it's Kyla
    I think that it is more challenging and more beneficial to be able to stay calm in any type of stimulating situation but stimulation is not a bad thing either. That's life. If I only surround myself with things that don't stress me out, things that support my way of thinking, things I agree with, then how can I grow? How can I find out who I really am? How can I learn that those things which distract, create anxiety, hurt are not permanent? I follow the teachings of Jesus and practice Zazen. I don't like calling myself a Christian or a Buddhist. For me that means a permanent state, but maybe I've got it wrong, but anyway…
    The point is, reality is full of things we can't control and some we can. The metaphor of Jesus walking on water reminds me of my sitting practice. My mind can be in turmoil, thoughts rise and fall, but can a "walk" on it?

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