The Porn Machine "Lie-In"
Preying Mantis Goes to Hustler's Los Angeles Headquarters
Copyright © 1981 Nikki Craft.
|International Women's Day, 1981, Preying Mantis goes to Hustler's Los Angeles Headquarters for a First Amendment Rights "Lie-In." While women were lying under the porn machine, the porn machine was playing patriotic music and spouting lies that pornography tells about women. (Script by Ann Simonton as taken from Hustler magazines)
High Tack Art. The Porn Machine (Nikki Craft) was a 26 X 26 inch wooden box painted in a black enamel. Inside the box was mounted on one of those old exercise machines, the kind mom used to rock back and forth on in front of the TV. The exercise machine wagged a 14 inch golden phallus (of course) with flag (of course) back and forth, back and forth. All the letters on the box were made of porcelain covered with high-gloss, low-fire glazes. Also operating off the exercise machine, on one side of the box turned a money wheel making a constant tick, tick. tick sound like a printing press churning out pornography. Surrounded by lush, black velvet curtains was displayed--lit from the back of a garage sale slide projector (making it appear like a movie)--a Hustler image of a woman having her head shoved into a toilet. (Hustler claimed it was her fantasy.) White xmas lights blinked on the marquee that announced "Coming Soon" while three men in suits held a sign that read "We Stand On Our First Amendment Rights" with their feet firmly planted on a nude woman's body. The piece was created in a UCSC ceramics class and destroyed at the Preying Mantis staged press conference in front of Hustler's Headquarters.
THE PORN MACHINE
Copyright © 1981 Ann Simonton.
All Rights Reserved.
This piece was originally written in February, 1981 as the audio portion of a conceptual art project called "The Porn Machine". The artist, Nikki Craft, who had almost completed the project when I met her gave me a voluminous stack of Hustler, which I had never seen before, for inspiration. A man reads it aloud while patriotic songs like "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and "God Bless America" drone in the background.
"The Porn Machine" made its debut during a news conference held at the Hustler offices in Century City on International Women's Day (March, 1981) in celebration of Women's First Amendment Rights.
With the well-timed splash of ink on the press, we repeat, we expound, we define. There is no evidence to show we are harmful. We are one happy family, we really love what we do. We show women, we show girls, we show tits.
Our girls are very helpless and happily so. They are playthings. They are toys. They are ours. They love being sexy, being pieces of ass, being chewed up--lacerated by our manly-meat-grinding-multi-billion dollar machine. Our women are edible plates of stinking fluff.
Our women are tormented in our porno-machine. They are tied. They are captive, they shut-up. We are just Mr. Average with an urge to attack, sexy, cute, bitch-kittens, witches, hags. We pull knives to their throats for solace and simple diversion. We stand on our right to be entertained, to see them spread their ugly pink, it's distasteful, it's women, they're ours.
We're just killing time...watching the rats we see crawling from their pussys. We know they love it, they're just screaming to be seen. Their highest fantasy is to be caught in our beaver hunt. Our women beg to be the one beaten by our beastly device. We slam them, gang-bang them as they cry out for more. Their tears are of sheer joy, their scream's of pure lust.
For only 4.95* our ugly little twats are raped by inter-planetary aliens, for our sport and Saturday relaxation. We sit back... with our maleness bulging in our hands and feel the blood, feel the rhythm, the throb of our world.
Our porno-machine never, never disappoints. We're the Real Men--the biggest cocked men that pierce those nagging little pests...women, our girlies, our honeys, our piece of ass, our cut-up chewed-up begging piece of ass. We tie our honeys down to let them know who's boss, who their savage master really is. In-between the pussy and tits we show real concern for our environment. We slap our little girlies then show you how much we care about the horrid poison rotting our world.
Why...it's spoiling mother earth. Aren't we nice people, caring, concerned and logical people?
We can torture stupid girlies it's our American right to disgust our fans. They can't get enough they want even more, to tear, to rip, to claw up, more screaming helpless women being burst from behind. it's cute...we're just blowing off some steam.
We even sell snapping pussy dolls with pigtails and girlish knee-socks, then we run a message about the horror, the nightmare of Kiddie-Porn. Aren't we clever? We're in business, we make sense. All our women really love it as we tear them limb from limb. You can see it on their faces. See the smile, see the grin? But, try our snapping pussy -- her name is Suzy doll. She has three hungry orifices, she's solid. She's not air. She's only $34.95. She looks like your daughter and for only ten dollars more you get a tight little ass-hole that will quiver in delight. She comes as red head but can be a blonde or brunette, and best of all ... It is our present to you.. our little Suzy, never, ever gets a headache. She won't ever, ever so "NO" to our manly biological needs. We can slam her, bang her over and again, any time...day or night...we can cut her up--abuse her and she'll never, ever say, "Not tonight honey". She's our dream come true, our fantasy dream girl...A dead lifeless doll. But remember...our Larry thinks Kiddie Porn is bad-bad stuff.
Or maybe you're the traveling type, the man on the go? We have portable tote-a-long vaginas that travel anywhere. After all, what are women for but their cunts between their legs. So let's spread them, expose them, let them know how much we hate them, Sex-pots, vixens, nags.
We are proud to be American, to control our female things. We yank them by their hair, growling-brutal-sadists, we're real He-Men. We shove their heads in toilets, as we ram them from behind, and isn't it funny? Isn't it amusing? Isn't life grand?
We'll never disappoint you. We show 'em young, we spread 'em old, we hunt for beavers to tickle your cock, raise your razors, slit the dumb bunnies as they hungrily pant in a row.
They don't know, they don't care. _They Never Even Look._ They like to hide from our hate. Even though we love it when they squirm. Just keep 'em feeling guilty, guilty for not being the perfect woman. Isn't is sporty? Isn't is all just a lot of good American fun? We give every male their dream come true for only 4.95*. It's a bargain for our tasty honeys.
Don't let your woman see the signs or the writing on the wall. Remember keep 'em feeling guilty, willing victims. Sock'em, beat 'em, bruise 'em, till they bleed. What's a little blood? She wants it--the little tiger ... she deserves it. We only give our honey-wildcats what they desire. They want to be beaten...it turns them on...ok... it's theirs.
Our slick little money machine incites, excite...and delights in the demise of wanton maidens. Women are our only threat we must silence them. They're all feminizers anyway, only femme-fatals. They'll emasculate you--try to castrate you--if you give them a chance, better keep them down. Keep them in line, keep 'em scared as hell. Tell them they're too selfish--or an unliberated prude if they don't like sex our way. Selfishness and guilt why it gets them every time.
Tell them never to fight back. Tell her she'll lose her femininity. She's not a real woman if she won't have cocks our way. She's not a real woman if she can't take a little humor, a little piece of rope to tie her up. It's just a harmless little leash, around her pretty little neck--it's fun really. It won't hurt you honey, lay down honey--spread honey.
You can almost smell the stench of burning witches. But don't smell them. Not ye t...please? Don't get depressed or suicidal. Don't get angry or act aggressive it isn't becoming...just conform a little baby, pretty baby. Show some pink. It's what all of middle America is adoring every day. Hey, if feminists are right, why don't more people listen to them, huh?
We like to see our women raped continuously by police guards, or maybe the Third Reich, it's rising and it makes us so happy...so hard. Our vision is finally forming, a new dawn is here. We want a world of women with real leashes around their necks. We want our women down--begging on all fours. We see a time with women in real cages, no more subtle incarcerations. We can hold them all hostage, impregnate them at our will, torture them, punish them. Humiliate all women for everyone to see.
There's a whole new market, why there's more money to be made. We want to market every woman, hold them at our command, even the celebrity muffs...imagine boys...at our disposal!! We could spread those Holy-Hollywood legs. They would be in our very own harem. We could force them to show pink. A whole new world, the right world! The only world! The right-to-lifers would be proud, they would join in our crusade to cage all women, every woman, every possible piece of ass will be ours...Ah....the smell of bodies burning doesn't smell so bad anymore. We promise to do more that yell "FIRE" in a crowded theater...we will scream "Death to Evil Women" ...We need our Hustler it's the beginning of a new age...It's just dirty fun...a way to blow off that extra steam.
We have to keep our power because women scare us. We're afraid of women we know they're better. They sure have it better. We can't get women the way they can get us. They tease us, manipulate us, reject us. They don't love us. We didn't do anything wrong. It's our duty to humiliate the ladies, it's the American way. They won't give us what we need to be MEN.
We hate our jobs, we get pushed around by the boss--we gotta have the ladies to push around. Now don't look too close ... you might see, us for who we really are-you'll see through to the crotch of American Capitalism. Why...it's American, it's the First Amendment. We're creating more markets...more multi-billions just you wait. We are rising up--smell the burn...We want you!, We aren't mean...It's our legal right to silence you... We're Men .... Real Men...He-Men...
OF PRESS REPRESENTATIVES
FROM PREYING MANTIS WOMEN'S BRIGADE
MARCH 9, 1981
There is so much profit being made from the degradation of human beings. Our culture is running rampant with sick images... lies about sexuality, and it becomes worse with every day that passes. From Madison Avenue to the curtained booths of porn shops and yes, even to the headlines of major newspapers. There must be basic changes in lives and perceptions before any change will occur. We believe education is the means to that change.
However, there seems to be no profit in education against violence. We cannot afford to buy the creative minds that put together magazines like Hustler. The women working against this monstrous machine do so out of a sincere commitment to create a world where women will not be forced to live in fear.
Larry Flynt's propaganda machine cranks out 3 publications of glossy lies every month. Our words come to you on 8h by 11 inch leaflets. We cannot afford to buy the printing presses. Therefore we are dependent upon you to relay our story. We hope that you will do so in a way that will not perpetuate what we are speaking against here today.
A CELEBRATION OF FIRST
Copyright © Nikki Craft 1981. All Rights Reserved.
A STAGED PRESS CONFERNCE
AS PERFORMED MARCH 9, 1981
BY THE PREYING MANTIS WOMEN'S BRIGADE
SETTING: 2029 CENTURY PARK EAST, OFFICE OF HUSTLER MAGAZINE THREE WOMEN DRESSED IN WHITE LIE UNDER THE CONCEPTUAL ART PIECE ENTITLED "THE PORN MACHINE". BLACK TAPE IS OVER THEIR MOUTHS.
PRESS CONFERENCE OPENS
SPOKESWOMAN: We are the Preying Mantis Women's Brigade. We appreciate your attendance at our Celebration of First Amendment Rights Lie-In. As these women lie under the porn machine, the porn machine spouts the lies that pornography tells about women, men and about our sexuality. Our discussion will focus around the question of whether violent pornography does in fact relate to the violence in women's lives...."
MAN ENTERS: You are censors. You are trying to limit our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.
SPOKESWOMAN: Sir, no where have we called for the censorship of your ideas. Besides, woman hating messages are so inherent within the media that it is our ideas that have been suppressed. We are here today to express our first amendment rights. Our rights to expression. We are here today to express our anger, our outrage
Hey!... (ENTERS WOMAN FROM CROWD) ... Hey, this machine is rolling all over women.
SPOKESWOMAN: Excuse us, but we are trying to have a press conference, could you not disrupt at this time. We are trying to discuss whether violent pornography does relate to the oppression and victimization of women.
WOMAN FROM CROWD: But as you discuss this, a woman is being raped...a woman is being killed...These women are being crushed by this thing called the porn machine. Can't you see the urgency that someone act now!
WOMAN TAKES 2 WRENCHES FROM HER POCKET, GIVES ONE TO ANOTHER WOMAN AND THEY BEGIN TO TAKE THE WHEELS OFF THE MACHINE.
WOMAN #2: We must all work together. We are dismantling a monster. It appears to be slick and glossy, but it speaks lies, it means death and hate.
ENTER WOMAN #3 WITH FLAG: Freedom? Yeah, I'm all for freedom. But where is the expression of the women under this machine? Have they no rights? Where is their voice? Larry Flynt speaks of the sacred right of the First Amendment, yet when we voice our dissent he screams
MAN #1: Censors! Youre all censors! You are trying to take away our right to abuse and degrade women. After all it's just what men want to see. We are just good old boys, we don't mean no harm and it's just incidental that we profit handsomely from our strong moral convictions
Why don't you just shut-up and go back to bed, where you belong.
WOMAN #3 WITH FLAG CONTINUES: Larry Flynt wants women flat on their backs and silent. Larry Flynt maintains his rights to laugh at our terror and increase the fear that all women must live their lives by. And as he and others in the blood money empire profit...women pay ... with their dignity and with their lives. As Flynt glorifies the atrocities being committed against us he continuously fuels the fire, providing support and justification for the men who stalk us as prey after the sun disappears behind the horizon. And it is women who are not even free to walk the streets in safety in the daylight hours.
Freedom? Yeah, I'm all for freedom. But sometimes, ya know, when the sun goes down and I have to go inside my apartment and lock the door and pull the shades and pull out my 38 and place it beside my pillow... and sometimes when I hear a noise and think it just might be that man who was laughing at the woman hating Hustler cunt shots the day before...and I think he might have a gun or a knife or even chains like he saw in the cartoon
Women like pain you know. Larry Flynt lets them know for only 3.25 every month.
And I know that this man will not look at me as a human being. And I know he will not listen to my screams of terror. He will not hear, because for only 3.25 Larry lets him know that it's what women really want. We're just dying for it...And I know he will feel no compassion as his steel plummets into my flesh. How could he? To him I am a cunt, an object for his humor... and object for his gratification ... an object for his hate.
And when I see that hate in his eyes I know the world will come to an end in this room tonight. . And what a way to end a life. A statistic on some police file. A sensationalized front page story ... "WOMAN FOUND DEAD --- SLASHED 45 TIMES" ... Story, "A lone, anonymous woman was found dead in her apartment today. Victim was chained to bed and had been tortured. Tapes and film had apparently been made of the killing." -Headline: "DERANGED KILLER MAY NEED TO KILL AGAIN."
No connection to what we are talking about here today though. - But it certainly will sell a lot of newspapers won't it? And people will cluck their tongues over coffee the next morning and mutter, "Oh, how horrible," and rush off to work, never asking why.
Freedom? Yeah, I'm all for it, but you know... I guess its those nights when I'm afraid to open my window to let a bit of fresh air in that I think I can't really know what freedom even is.
WOMAN #4 ENTERS WITH FLAG: Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine remain safe and untouchable 38 floors up this bronzed, respectable skyscraper ... buffered by his money and power, surrounded by armed security guards. Safety? We know of no such security. Larry Flynt has said, quote, "I don't have to fear the Mafia, I am the Mafia." He hides behind the 1st Amendment, yet in reality hes wallowing in the crotch of American Capitalism. Its difficult to defend the 1st Amendment Rights of someone who calls for your assassination ... don't you agree?
(WOMAN REMOVES FLAG FROM PORN MACHINE AND WALKS AWAY.)
MAN #2 FROM CROWD: You talk of what this porn machine does to women. It lies about male sexuality too. I am sick of this mechanical, untrue portrayal of human sexuality. I long for loving, sensual and equal relationships with women. Hustler's irresponsible focus on violence and humiliation, on-female subservience and male insensitivity and rage only serves to further the distance between the sexes. With sales now in the millions and distribution putting Hustler beside Playboy and Penthouse in 7-11s and at your corner grocery, its imperative that men voice their disapproval as well. I will join women in their work to dismember this monster. I will do it for their sake as well as mine.
(MAN GRABS PHALLUS FROM PORN MACHINE AND WALKS AWAY)
MAN WITH CAMERA AND NOTE PAD: Excuse me, all this is fine and good, but I was under the impression that I was coming to a press conference. I do have a deadline to make and I have a few questions. Since Larry Flynt is hated by many and was actually shot in front of the courthouse in Georgia, it seems there may be a real danger that someone could act against him personally as a result of your poster. Aren't you resorting to using his tactics?
SPOKESWOMAN: We appreciate your concern for Larry Flynt's safety. However, we cannot help but wonder where your concern has been for the women who have been harmed by Larry Flynt's depictions of violence? Over the years why haven't you asked Larry Flynt these same questions? We think everyone should be able to live without fear of harm, and we will begin to concern ourselves with Larry Flynt's safety when he concerns himself with our. (Pause.)
(WOMEN WALK OVER AND LIFT MACHINE OFF THE THREE WOMEN.)
SPOKESWOMAN: For now we are concerned with our safety and the safety of other women.
THREE WOMEN GET UP AND HOLD UP SIGNS:
WE DO NOT OPPOSE NUDITY AND SEXUALITY
WE OPPOSE VIOLENT PORNOGRAPHY
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
SPOKESWOMAN: We do not oppose nudity or sexuality. We will not align ourselves with the moral majority or any group that works to repress sexuality. However, there is a difference between erotica and violent pornography. It is violent pornography that deals with violence and not sexuality. It is violent pornography that deals with the glorification of pain and torture. It is violent pornography that strips, mutilates, and murders women in the name of entertainment and free-speech. It is violent pornography that is a threat to our freedom and right to existence.
Women cannot wait for the definitive results to come in. No matter what these images arouse in men ... no matter if there is a direct correlation to their actions against us, we as women cannot tolerate these images of ourselves as willing victims. Jews, blacks and others are not expected to tolerate such blatant racist hatred. Are we expected to walk ourselves into the chambers of sexual torture? Are we expected to sit nice and silent, quiet and lady-like as our sisters one by one disappear before us?
There are atrocities being committed in this country and the sooner they are seen within the political context from whence they come the better. And the sooner that the undeniable connection between the support that publications such as Hustler provide for those committing these vicious crimes, the closer we will come to dealing with the problem.
MAN: But I buy Hustler for the articles, not the pictures. They are anti-smoking, anti-government and pro-environment. They even let us know how our mother earth is being raped and destroyed.
SPOKESWOMAN: Hustler's pitiful attempts at social concern on certain issues cannot be balanced by their woman-hating, racist and ageist policies. Hustler runs cartoons on child molestation, and sells child sex dolls in their ads. Then they run ads from the National Council on Child Abuse. Hustler is not rational.
MAN: But then their purpose is profit--not rationality.
SPOKESWOMAN: We do not want censorship. What we want is corporate responsibility. As drug and automobile companies must prove their products safe for the market _before_ its released, we ask Larry Flynt to prove that what he prints does not lead to acts of violence--that the source of his profits does not incite the rape and murder of women and children.
PRESS REP: But there is no concrete proof that violent pornography leads to direct acts of violence. Even though it has been recorded that soon after one publication ran a photo depicting a woman's breast wrenched between a pair of pliers that a murder victim was subjected to the same torture...it could be a coincidence. Even though many of the same torture methods being used by pornographers are being used on women it could be just a coincidence.
SIGN IS HELD UP THAT SAYS, "WHAT CAME FIRST THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG?"
WOMAN: Today we will prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that violent pornography does lead to acts of violence. Take heed Larry Flynt for today we officially declare war on your vicious porn machine by calling for the national destruction of your publication from newsstands through individual and group actions. We ask that women and men across the country join us in a direct systematic retaliation against a system that seeks to destroy our bodies and our lives.
Hustler Magazine has been tearing up women long enough and now it's time for women to tear up Hustler. The difference is that Larry Flynt's call to violence has been directed against human beings and our call to violence is directed against property and objects to protest his malice against us
SPOKESWOMAN: These women have been reading Hustler Magazine for six months now. They are fed up!
TWO WOMEN SITTING ON THE GROUND BEGIN BREAKING EGGS AND POURING HERSHEYS CHOCOLATE OVER PILES OF TORN UP COPIES OF HUSTLER. ONE WOMAN PICKS UP AN AXE WITH RUNNING RED PAINT AND AXES THE PORN MACHINE.
(AS ALL THE ABOVE IS GOING ON)
SPOKESWOMAN: The Preying Mantis Statement of Purpose
WE HOLD THESE TRUTHS TO BE SELF-EVIDENT...
That until women are created equal,
we refuse to hold mankind's laws,
objects and positions of power
to be sacred,
and vow to use our creative energies
to examine every alternative available
in order to create havoc
and by any means necessary
work to topple the empire that profits
from the rape, death, and
of 53% of the population
of the United States of America.
[ After this staged press conference Preying Mantis returned to Santa Cruz and immediately destroyed 550 copies of Hustler Magazine on newsstands and in convenience stores throughout the town. Using community education and applying pressure on the individual stores owners and managers we were successful in getting Hustler removed from 28 stores in less than a month and a half. We illustrated what a community can do to fight commercial sexual exploitation with some concerted efforts. --Nikki Craft ]
See also the MUSH AWARD and the Preying Mantis Homepage and the Larry Flynt Wanted Poster.
Nikki Craft's Homepage