Queer Porn Star Accused of Pedophilia for Breastfeeding Baby
By Diane Anderson-Minshall
Weeks after queer porn star Madison Young had her baby, she created an art exhibit titled “Becoming MILF.” The concept, according to Jezebel.com, was to explore how Young now embodies a contradiction, the dichotomy to end all dichotomies — that of the Madonna and the whore. At the show’s opening, she served up self-made breast-milk shakes and displayed a baby quilt made of burp cloths and porn star panties. Turns out not every feminist porn star agrees. According to Salon.com, a series of sex worker Twitter wars ensued, the controversy tapping into “culture-wide mommy issues.”
Porn star Furry Girl (who is known for her, um, stage name–like features) criticized Young for publicly breast-feeding, tweeting that only “creeps and pedophiles” are interested in seeing a porn star breast-feed and insinuated that exposing her child to such an audience was abusive. Girl called Young a “a revolting person” and dubbed her defenders “baby fetishists” and “pedos.”
Of course Young (née Tina Butcher) is already a well-known feminist porn star, director, author, and the founder of Femina Potens, an ever-evolving, queer and trans nonprofit gallery and performance space in California that the San Francisco Chronicle calls “the most happening art space in the city; a revolution in art and sex.” She’s curated the gallery for years, mixing envelope-pushing women’s sexuality exhibitions and spoken word shows from lesbians like Annie Sprinkle with less kinky feminist projects from literati like Michelle Tea. Young’s shown up on such outlets as IFC and the History Channel and in MSNBC’s Brian Alexander’s book America Unzipped, which has a whole chapter on her art and work.
So what was this controversial display of pedophilia that Furry Girl imagines? According to Salon, Young posed for a black-and-white photograph dressed up like Marilyn Monroe while clutching her daughter to her bare breast, nonchalantly breast-fed on a video, and then announced that she would nurse live and in person at an upcoming event meant to promote “health awareness for our queer, kinky, and sex positive communities.”
At the event itself, Young discussed breast health, while other presenters talked about breast cancer, antiretroviral drugs, and safe sex. “It wasn’t a sex party; it was an adult sex-ed class hosted by sex workers,” writes Salon’s Tracy Clark-Florey.Furry Girl, an actress in vegan porn, tweeted that context is at the root of her argument, though she no longer wants to comment on the debacle. Meanwhile, Young returned to social media in hopes of ending the Twitter mommy sex wars: “The only one sexualizing this image of me breastfeeding is you. Which makes me feel truly disgusted and violated.”
Our society is seriously screwed up in sexualizing a female body’s parts that are being used in a way they’re meant to function, to the point it feels it needs to control and limit their use for that function, based on the last couple generations being indoctrinated to believe that babies should drink formula because it’s healthier, because breasts = sex toys, therefore breastfeeding = dirty.
Madison Young is a personal hero of mine and this exhibition and the talk surrounding it makes me perversely excited about the possible conversations that this will generate on an academic level (sex education- sex workers- the intersection of porn and motherhood- the whore and the madonna- the woman and the lady- mother and child- spectacle and the private- social media and personal relationships-)
but on a more personal level it bothers me that people are making one dimensional statements about Madison and what she is trying to achieve- for me she is actually delving into more complex systems of gender, power, relationships surrounding women and how these are still areas of controversy.
still i think i’m actually going to write more about this later on-sies- hopefully post it somewhere
I enjoy all of this commentary. And agree with it. I also hate that female breasts in general are made to be so sexual while male breasts are not. Women are made sexual objects, their bodies are made objects so when a child is involved (even though in this case it is about are and NUTRITION), it becomes pedophelia.
People irritate me.
WHAT THE FUCK?!?!
I really like what i’ve seen from Madison Young, and this is dumb shit.
I watched this unfold on Twitter when it happened. I used to support some of Furrygirl’s work but this was so awful. So awful. I can’t support anything someone who is okay to attack people straight up like that does. A lot of her tweets were ad hominem attacks on people and just disgusting to me.
The things she said to anyone disagreeing with her statements were sick and ugly. I was so sad.
I get the initial reaction. A couple of times last summer I saw little kids running around naked and thought ‘oh! No!’
And then I thought, well, THAT’S fucked up. That my first thought is naked = sex. Even on a two year old.
That is not ok. Look, guys, I was felt up as a kid, I am so totally not ok with paedophilia (not that you have to have been felt up to not be ok with it, jeez). But you know what else i’m not ok with? A society where we pre-suppose sexuality where there is none. Where innocents - women, men, children, everyone else - have to adjust their behaviour to not be blamed for the horrifying actions of a few.
HOW is this a problem, but Bratz dolls are not sexualising kids. A boob is FOR FEEDING BABIES. It also happens to be well sexy. But it’s not like the minute someone becomes a mother, they are Pure and/or Frumpy, and therefore not sexual.
It makes me so MAD.