Sorry. It’s unavoidable (“it” being avoiding the image on the article).
And pretty deep, considering it’s Forbes.com.
Anyway, today I came across a piece that caused my upper lip to reach up to my nose. There’s a new book coming out. OK. By a porn star. No biggie, right? Yeah, well her limited editions are priced at $200…and it’s an independent release. Not only that, but the paperback edition already has 2100 back orders and her limited editions, in pre-order, are sold out. And what makes them so special? She actually, um, included a piece of her DNA in it. And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why ANYONE would want that. Ewww. Just ewww. The icing on the cake? It’s called “art”. Gee Ma, I guess I shoulda kept all of that paper mache stuff that I made in the second grade too, huh?
However, the focus of today’s blog isn’t so much the article as the comments written below it. Here are a few:
As a long-time Forbes reader, a woman and a business owner (president of a small, family corporation), I find the present focus on porn on Forbes.com (and most notably, by female contributors) to be journalistically pointless. Oh yeah, I’m also offended by it, too. No, I don’t find it cool. Offending readers used to be considered anathema. I wish it still was.
But back to journalistic relevance and offending people:
I don’t know why this article is reserved for “ForbesWoman.” Really? Why not put it and that really offensive illustration right on the home page where everyone can gag on it?
Susanah Bresslin (the author of the piece):
As your comment makes clear, porn remains a hot button subject for some, regardless of how mainstream it has become.
The question is: why? That it so deeply offends some, as it has you, has always seemed to me tied to the subject of sex itself. Over the years, I’ve found reactions like this say everything about the speaker and nothing about the subject.
The idea that pornography isn’t a valid journalistic subject is untrue, unfounded, and reactionary. It is a very real business that employs thousands and creates product that is disseminated around the world.
Why wouldn’t this post be in ForbesWoman? It’s written by a woman, and it’s about a woman. It’s a story about a businesswoman who is as interested in her line of her work as you are in yours.
The idea that you find her and her work unworthy and offensive because it trades in sex — in *human sexuality* — offends me.
RE: journalistic relevance
I note that the nav bar on Forbes.com reads: Business, Investing, Tech, Entrpreneurs, OpEd, Leadership, Lifestyle, Lists
ForbesWoman exists in the Leadership Channel. The other topics under leadership are CEO Network, CMO Network, Corporate Responsibility, Education, Leadership, Managing and Sales Leadership.
You’ve dismissed my sensitivities as a long-time reader (well done!) but what about advertisers? Tell me how a blog post on porn is relevant within this editorial line up from the perspective of, say, a major brand looking for the right editorial environment for spending ad dollars?
I know, I know. It’s just no fun having to think of marketers, but there are some of us who don’t just read this for fun.
Yeah, reading about IRAs isn’t as spicy as reading about porn! I get that. But some of us are on Forbes.com for professional reasons and there is no reason to include such crude images as you have when you could have chosen something less sexually provocative. It is a site that was not so long ago marketed as “homepage for the world’s business leaders,” you know.
Oriana Small is an entrepreneur.
The questions you raise regarding brand identity, advertising, and content are part of an ongoing, bigger conversation about the virtual reinvention of journalism online.
Forbes was free to pull the post or change the image. They did neither. You’d have to ask them why.
The amazing thing about the internet is that if you don’t like something, you can click, and it will go away. You didn’t have to read this post the first time, and you didn’t have to return to my post for a second time to post a follow up comment, and I suspect you are reading this now, having returned a third time.
As far as the image, I am not sure what you see in it, but Small is, I believe, inserting her own hand into her mouth. Perhaps if you saw something else in it, it would behoove you to remember that obscenity is in the eye of the beholder.
Generally, reactions like yours remind me of the hardcore conservative politicians who make a career out of railing against homosexuality and pornography and are invariably exposed as obsessed with that which they publicly vilify.
For some, women like Small can be frightening. She is freely sexual and openly so. If you are repeatedly drawn to her image, that may be because there is something in Small that you aspire to be. I guess that would make her something of a leader.
Whew-whee! Women (and yes, I am one) can really take it there, can’t they? First, Susannah should consider attending law school because I think *we all know* that the author wasn’t simply “putting her hand in her mouth” (crickets). Yet, as I read through the dialogue, for one, it kinda made me think of some of the folks that comment on this site. In a (slightly) different way. Many come on here, a website that deals with porn and sexual addiction, and then get angry about the fact that we address, well, porn and sexual addiction. Doesn’t the XXXChurch give you a big hint that we ain’t your Mama’s website? (LOL)
And then I thought about those last couple of paragraphs. Whether you agree with Ms. Bresslin’s angle or not, she does have a point. Many of the people who speak out, sometimes visciously, against sexual sin *are* the ones who are caught up in it. And while, on this side of sexual purity, “free” is the *last word* that I would use to describe the author of this book (I Corinthians 7:23), my mind did go to a particular bible story.
“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Now early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people came to Him; and He sat down and taught them. Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?‘ This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, ‘He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.’ And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, ‘Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?’
She said, ‘No one, Lord.’
And Jesus said to her, ‘Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.’
Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.'”—John 8:1-12 (NKJV)
So often, I hear this taken so out of context. Usually by people who, well, just got caught in their sin. No doubt about it, this woman *did* sin (hence, “go and sin no more”). Yet, the focus, this time, in revisiting it, is on the people who caught her in adultery. Where was the guy? Didn’t he also commit sexual immorality (Hebrews 13:4)? OF COURSE HE DID.
This is what I thought about as I read the article and the comments and then as I thought about a lot of the ones that we receive. So often, focus is placed on the porn…performers (cause are they really *stars*? Stars are meant to be *light* in *darkness*). Yet, what about those of us who have watched them online, bought their tapes, read their books? Like in the case of this author, what is her background story that led her to the point of selling not just her memoirs but a part of her body, literally, just to make a couple of more bucks? And yes, when *did* Forbes, a *reputable* business publication, become so enamored with porn that this was not just viable news to them but aimed at the women’s page of their site?
Porn is a business. I get that. But a woman selling herself, in any shape, form or fashion isn’t admirable. It’s sad. Yet, rather than wear this performer out, I’m gonna do her one better. No, I’m not gonna buy the book (even in my porn enjoying days, I wouldn’t have found her limited edition appealing…again ewww!). I’m gonna actually send her different one; one that I contributed to, but that’s so not the point. It’s the layout (no pun intended) that I’m diggin’. It’s called, “Purity’s Big Payoff/Premarital Sex Is a Rip-Off“. One part of the book is stories of those who waited and the other is the rest of us (LOL). Heck, I might even send her a purity T-shirt too. Cause while one side is condemning and the other is celebrating people like her, I’m wondering who is *reaching* her? I’m sure she didn’t lay in bed as a child dreaming of the day she could take obscure pics and sell her body. So…what happened? What transitioned her from purity (something we all are born having) to porn?
All this from the comment section of the article? Yep. And if I find her, with her permission, I’ll definitely let you know.
Yeah, she may be making a lot of money but in the end…premarital sex *really is* nothing but a rip-off.
And something tells me that deep inside, she knows that.