Like many who realize the world is seriously fucked up, I have long taken Noam Chomsky to be one of the few credible voices on things like Amerikan imperialism. Now, I am not so certain. Today I bumped into a video in which the now highly suspect Chomsky condemns pornography as being degrading to women. He cites as evidence nothing, mentioning only that all you have to do is “take a look at the pictures.” This suggests that he has been looking at some very selectively chosen pictures, probably sent to him by some women’s studies professor at MIT. That’s his first bit of dishonesty – portraying the exception as the rule. Keep in mind, Chomsky is no fool. If he is taking the exception to be the rule, it is because he wants to do so. He is more than smart enough to wonder if these pictures are representative or not.
But then it gets worse. He actually goes on to compare women working in porn to women working in Chinese sweat shops! No way is this man too dumb to realize that there is a huge difference between the two groups. The Chinese women live in a country where you have to take what you can get to stay alive. The porn stars ( I assume he is speaking of Amerikan ones, as he is an Amerikan and the only porn he mentions is Hustler ) live in a country which is far richer and which worships youth and female beauty. A country in which a good looking young woman can get paid hundreds of dollars a week to sit behind a counter and look pretty! The women in the porn industry do what they do not because they have no choice other than to do porn or starve in the streets, but because it is easier to make thousands of dollars per day lying on your back than it is to make a hundred dollars a day working in a shop or an office. And then, in typically hysterical feminist fashion, he even brings up the fact that some Chinese women work 15 hours and day and then die in a fire! When the fuck has that happened in porn? “Porn Set Catches Fire – Dozens of Women Killed,” is a headline I have yet to read. But it gets worse, more hysterical, more dishonest – Chomsky then goes on to compare porn stars to starving children! Apparently, telling a starving child, “If you let me abuse you, I will give you food,” is analogous to telling a good looking young woman, “If you do my porn movies you will make 200 thousand a year instead of 30 thousand a year.” The sheer offensiveness of such a comparison leaves me almost speechless. Exploiting the suffering of children to make some sort of lame point on behalf of feminism? Disgusting. Truly disgusting.
But this goes beyond Chomsky’s pathetic white knighting, it goes to the heart of his credibility. The man is now a proven liar. It is that simple. Unlike many online feminists, he is not a pinhead with a degree in Wiminz Studies from some minor university. There is virtually no chance that the man is simply wrong, as opposed to lying, when he draws analogies between porn stars and starving children! This then makes one wonder what else he lies about. He is clearly willing to lie in service of the anti-porn agenda, how do we know he does not lie in service of other agendas? We do not, for, unlike Chomsky, we are not experts on international politics. For all we know, he may spout quite a lot of crap when it comes to those areas as well! In fact, we should probably assume that he does lie when it comes to other matters. Why would he think it okay to lie for the anti-porn cause but not for the Palestinian cause? Surely the latter is much more important! And if you can lie for little cause “X”, you can certainly lie for big cause “Y.”
So, yes, I have just lost my respect for Noam Chomsky. From now on I will regard him as yet another dishonest, untrustworthy pundit whose every claim is to be regarded with great suspicion – and not a little disdain.