by Robert Jensen

[This essay appeared on MerionWest.com, https://merionwest.com/2021/09/16/a-certain-terror-a-white-male-perspective-on-being-an-ally/. A version was first presented to an online Diversity and Inclusion gathering in August 2021.]

Although the rather inelegant term “allyship” had not yet become part of the social-justice lexicon, I first bumped into the complexity of being an ally in 1988 when I belatedly started to take feminism seriously.

I was following a feminist anti-pornography group that challenged men’s use and abuse of women in the sexual-exploitation industries. …


by Robert Jensen

[This essay appeared on Resilience.org, https://www.resilience.org/stories/2021-08-25/restless-and-relentless-minds-thinking-as-a-species-out-of-context/. A version was presented as the keynote address for the online conference on “Changing Configurations and New Directions” at Ajeenkya DY Patil University in Pune, India, on July 27, 2021.]

Abstract

The stability of the Earth’s ecosystems, and hence the future of the human species, depends on people recognizing and responding to multiple, cascading social and ecological crises that can easily overwhelm our imaginations. We need to cultivate restless and relentless minds to deal with unprecedented analytical questions and moral challenges if we are to go beyond the failed approaches of…


by Robert Jensen

A few months after I had written an article critiquing the ideology of the transgender movement, a comrade from a progressive group told me he wanted to understand why I was challenging trans activists, whom he saw as being political allies on the left. I outlined what is now called the “gender critical” feminist argument, which rejects the rigid and repressive gender norms in patriarchy but recognizes the material reality of human sex differences. …


[An edited version of this essay was presented at the online conference on Interpersonal Violence Interventions — Social and Cultural Perspectives at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, June 10, 2021.]

In my book The End of Patriarchy: Radical Feminism for Men, I suggest that when we evaluate a political project or a social practice we should ask a simple question: “Is this likely to help people create and maintain stable, decent human communities that can remain in a sustainable relationship with the larger living world?” …


https://www.feministcurrent.com/2021/03/28/pornographic-distortions-the-struggle-for-intimacy-in-the-21st-century/

[An edited version of this essay was recorded for presentation at the online Canadian Sexual Exploitation Summit hosted by Defend Dignity, May 6–7, 2021. Some of the ideas are drawn, and updated, from my 2007 book, Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity, which is available as a free PDF at https://robertwjensen.org/books/getting-off/.]

Let’s start with the world according to pornographers:

Sex is natural. Pornography is just sex on film. Therefore, pornography is natural.

If you do not accept the obvious “logic” of that argument, you are a prude who is sex-negative.

Any questions?

But what about the intense…


Dignity: A Journal of Sexual Exploitation and Violence/http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dignity/vol6/iss2/6

Begin with the body.

In an analysis of pornography and prostitution in a patriarchal society, it’s crucial not to lose sight of basic biology. A coherent feminist analysis of the ideology and practice of patriarchy starts with human bodies.

We are all Homo sapiens. Genus Homo, species sapiens. We are primates. We are mammals. We are part of the animal kingdom.

We are organic entities, carbon-based creatures of flesh and blood. Whatever one thinks about the concepts of soul and mind — and I assume that in any diverse group there will…


When a European graduate student emailed to ask if I would participate in an assignment to “do an interview with one of my favourite authors,” I said yes. My books have not exactly been best-sellers, and so I was an easy target for anyone describing me as a “favourite author.”

But beyond my gratitude for someone noticing my writing, I was intrigued by the questions. And when I suggested we might publish the interview, I was even more intrigued by the student’s request to stay anonymous. She wrote that she was “extremely unsure of having my name on anything online…


by Robert Jensen

Author’s Note: An abridged version of this essay was recorded for an upcoming presentation at the online Gender Equity Forum (Forum Jämställdhet) sponsored by the Swedish Women’s Lobby (Sveriges kvinnolobby), February 2, 2021. This first appeared at https://merionwest.com/2021/01/04/from-pornography-to-agriculture-challenging-hierarchy/.

We live in a world in which people and other living things are broken by routine exploitation and violence. Entire societies seem broken beyond repair. Life itself seems to be in danger of breaking forever.

Acknowledging this is difficult not only because of the depth of the pain in a broken world but because we know that much of…


Land Report, Issue 127, Summer 2020, pp. 16–21. https://landinstitute.org/learn/land-report/

by Robert Jensen

Lessons from the lives of Rex Russell and Thelma Woerz: Early farm experience teaches how to get things done with whatever tools and resources are available; seize opportunities without giving much thought to whether you’re qualified to take on a challenge; and an understated sense of humor is a great asset.

Mentor, Kansas, a small community a couple of miles south of The Land Institute, hasn’t had a post office since 1995 and these days is more a suburb of Salina than a town. …


by Robert Jensen

The political left, and much of mainstream feminism, is characterized by an analysis of how systems and institutions shape our choices, a critique of capitalist media, and a commitment to a scientific/materialist worldview. But when faced with radical feminism’s compelling critiques of patriarchy, leftists and many feminists routinely abandon those principles. Radical feminist critiques of prostitution, pornography, and transgender ideology should be part of a consistent, coherent left analysis.

For the past three decades, I have been involved in a variety of political movements in the United States that critique the distribution of wealth and power. …

Robert Jensen

Robert Jensen is an Emeritus Professor in the School of Journalism and Media at the University of Texas.

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