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Proviso Probe

Saturday, August 12, 2006

ETHICS, Melrose Park & Girls Gone Wild connection

Claire Hoffman (LA Times) wrote about her experience with Joe Francis, founder of Girls Gone Wild. Francis attacked Hoffman at a Chicago area club with a Melrose Park cop watching.

h/t to the Chicagoist (Sarah Dahnke)
It seems that the bigger issue at hand is not “Is Joe Francis a sleazy, violent, yet well-endowed rapist?” (The answer is yes.) It is more, “Why are there so many young women perfectly willing, make that CLAMORING, to take their clothes off and go crazy in front of a camera?” Do they honestly think that being filmed while taking a shower with three other girls will bring them instant fame and fortune? Or is our society so bombarded with softcore porn a la Myspace that we have effectively blurred the lines of decency?

In the article, Hoffman interviews Vicki Mayer, a sociologist and Tulane University assistant professor, who studies this sort of thing, and she concludes that “the owners of these companies who are contracting cheap labor and free talent for a media product" are the real winners in these situations. Well said, but it still remains a mystery as to how Francis has been able to tap into a seemingly unlimited supply of inebriated college-age girls who will do absolutely anything on camera in exchange for a trucker hat.

I guess my reaction is that I'm shocked that people are shocked.

What sort of "decency" can society enforce? What sort should it enforce?

And is there a connection between the extreme individualism of Adam Smith economic theories and the chipping away at societal sexual norms? If the individual can do whatever s/he wants to get rich (provided one doesn't produce detectable evidence of illegality) why should one allow arbitrary rules to restrict one's sex life?

In Against Love Laura Kipnis suggests monogamy is a way of society convincing the individual that society's goals for the individual are her/his goals. Kipnis suggests that people who cheat on their partners are subversives against a societal order they find objectionable. Are Francis and the girls who go wild also subversives challenging society's dominant ideology?

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