Boyce Watkins’ awful choice of words and Montana Fishburne in her own

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I usually find Boyce Watkins’ commentary at Black Voices, helpful and informative. While I don’t always agree with him, his recent piece on Montana Fishburne has crossed the line.

I’ve often wondered what I would do had my daughter called me up to tell me that she’s chosen to take the Montana Fishburne route to fame and fortune. Well, after I finished choking her, I would then help her to realize that the porn industry is a very dirty game, filled with malicious and deceptive people.

While  his latter point about the possible pitfalls of the porn industry is understandable, condoning violence against women–even in a hypothetical situation against your own daughter–is totally wrong. It’s also interesting that while Watkins exposes Brian Pumper for allegedly selling and distributing a video without Montana’s consent, he directs no animus towards Pumper. He also doesn’t call out Laurence Fishburne for, say, dropping the ball as an acting mentor to his own daughter. The only hint of aggression shows up against the woman in this, and that just screams shady.

Unfortunately, Watkins is just one of many who have passed  judgment  about Montana Fishburne. And last week, she came out with her own response. I encourage all who have been following Montana’s story to check out her letter over at Vibe’s website .

I was the one who reached out to Vivid. Brian Pumper had nothing to do with getting me started. I did my first video with him, but that’s it. I chose Vivid because they are the best in the business and I wanted to go to the top seller. And they have released other movies with celebrity girls like Kendra, Paris Hilton, and Kim Kardashian. So, I wanted to go somewhere I knew I would be safe. People have it wrong. Doing porn is not about me becoming famous…it’s about becoming successful. Porn just happens to be the industry I was most interested in, so for critics to say I’m going about it the wrong way they are missing the point. I am making a buzz in the porn industry and in the mainstream, too. It’s leading me to more opportunities, so people can’t say that I’m not going to get anywhere.

You can come from a privileged family and still love sex. People who are privileged still watch porn; people who are privileged still have fantasies. We don’t all live by the standards of other people.

Her letter goes on to mention various things about the role of race, class and gender in sexuality, some of which I virulently disagree with. But one thing that she asserts in no uncertain terms is that doing pornography was her choice. And, yes, sexual consent is fraught with many considerations, namely the overall unequal status of women worldwide. That withstanding, if reproductive justice means that a woman should be able to decide the circumstances under which she will carry a pregnancy to term, she should also be able to decide the circumstances under which she will have sex. Montana Fishburne has made her choice.

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4 Comments

  1. Posted August 23, 2010 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Is it really fair to call out her father on “dropping the ball as her actor mentor”? It sounds a little patriarchal to me. It is as if you were saying that he, and he alone, had the power to make it happen for her, but because he wouldn’t do it, she has failed (not that she has actually failed).

  2. Posted August 23, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for posting this. Based on the articles I’ve read by Dr. Watkins, this article is pretty typical of his attitude toward women. His hyperbolic mention of choking his daughter, while obviously unacceptable and upsetting in its own right, is a symptom of even more troubling underlying beliefs he has repeatedly expressed about the role that “good” women of color should play.

  3. Posted August 23, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    i really wish you would have put a trigger warning on this for what he said about choking his daughter, as someone who has been choked by her father, i found this deeply disturbing and i was surprised since there wasn’t a warning. that being said, this makes me sick because i can’t tell if he’s joking or not, and even if he’s kidding it’s despicable to joke about. i hate it so much when i hear this type of talk and i feel it contributes to the idea that there is some justification in abuse if it “teaches them a lesson.” recovering from abuse is difficult and though i have made a lot of progress personally, this hurts to see abuse mentioned so casually.

  4. Posted August 24, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Men who use pornography and sex with prostitutes does not match any constraint to do this with the daughter of the other, but how they understand perfectly well that it is pornography and prostitution, do not want their daughters involved in this activity.

    I do not consider pornography and prostitution a viable option for any woman. Thinking that a woman who opts for pornography are making a real choice is totally false. She’s just taking the position that men, the patriarchal society, through the sex industry entrepreneurs, the pimps, designate for women ever since: sexual object. Rented for penetration holes in series in prostitution and pornography …

    Feminism fight against misogyny and sexism no longer exist and prostitution and pornography is misogyny, sexism and exploitation of the body and sexuality of women. Exploration outlined and implemented in pornography as in prostitution.

    I find it sad and unfortunate that this young woman wants to be exposed this way. And even more unfortunate because it seems that her involvement in the porn world is being encouraged by a man, a boyfriend who encouraged the best she can do with your life is to start a ‘career’ in prostitution made in the pornography, using as a means to emphasize the famous name of his father and taking as an example of success the ladies Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.

    I hope this girl find her way and will not regret it bitterly later when she realized that the only place she will take with it is “the daughter of famous actor who made a porn.”

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