Did everyone else know this? Have I been in the dark? Apparently so because this interview didn’t seem to make waves at all, but when I read it I got legitimately creeped out by this legitimately creepy portrayal of a man who is, apparently, legitimately creepy.
It’s not even the beginnings as a “hillbilly” or him losing his virginity to a chicken that he later killed. It’s not even his anger at his mom’s alleged promiscuity that creeps me out. OK, that does creep me out, because I never understand how kids know about these things or how they come to the conclusion that it’s something they should be upset about.
This is an interview with well, a shell of a man. From what I have read about Mr. Flynt and his rage and his tantrums and feelings of entitlement, he seems to be all burnt out by this point. A lot of the first part of this centers on a description of him that bears witness to that: “Now he is lolling almost lifelessly in a chair. His head is barely able to look up at mine, and his hand is barely able to reach up to shake mine” or “His face is round and entirely unlined, making him appear to be a gigantic, gnarled baby.” Take your pick. Either way you end up with a huge version of this:
The bits about him molesting his daughter, and his reluctance to own his (obviously low) opinion of women was what really struck me though. For a man so hell-bent on breaking taboos and busting open doors and putting women on his covers in meat grinders you’d think admitting that he lowkey hates the ladies wouldn’t be an issue. I mean, does he think his readership will dwindle? Are the guys who picked up Hustler to see the gang rape or the 18-year-old getting penetrated by 50 and 60 year old men going to say, “Whoa, I can’t have anything to do with this guy. I love women!”? Probably not.
And I am not a puritan by any stretch of the imagination. I can understand the allure of a gang bang, please believe me. I am also aware of the allure of the silver fox. I just know that it’s not sexy when somebody is clearly portrayed as lacking agency, and that person, in these scenarios, is the woman involved.
The irony here is that he made a fortune portraying us as creatures who enjoy being raped, beaten, sent to concentration camps, etc, and is now an almost lifeless creature himself. I don’t know if I believe the saying that “What goes around comes around” but perhaps, in his case, it is a little true. This man seems to have spent all his life force trying to show us the very recesses of human sexuality only to become this intensely repulsive human being. Curious, isn’t it?
He seems like one of those folks who feel bad about their desires so they justify them by harping on the fact that it’s OK for them to exist and to share them with the world when that’s not even the issue on the table. People like that always sound like they’re trying to convince themselves more than anyone else, which makes me wonder why feel like you have to do that in the first place? We’re all adults, right? And we all have the freedom to say what we want, right? Own it!
It’s not like it’d shock anyone, Mr. Flynt.
He reminds me much more of Jabba the Hutt in person. I met him around 1999 and his motor skills were bad then, too. I think they’ve always been much worse than The People vs. Larry Flynt led people to believe.
Larry Flynt mistakes riding the wave with creating the wave. He is not the wind.
You know, I’ve been reading Tits and Sass since y’all were featured on The Rumpus, but this just kind of makes me sad. His disability is a punishment for being an asshole? What about everyone else with a disability? I’m pretty disappointed in this piece.
I agree with Megan. While I understand the metaphor you are trying to create, what you are doing is disabilist. Larry Flynt would still be a creepy, awful person even if he had the “perfect” (i.e. non-disabled, mainstream-ly attractive, not-fat or “too” thin) body (which goes to show the fallacy of the idea of a “perfect” or “ideal” body). His looks and abilities reflect nothing on his character. Please don’t oppress others in your attempt to bring to light Flynt’s oppressive and misogynist behavior!
This article also left me with a bad taste in my mouth (excuse any pun 😉
Larry’s story is a lot more complicated than this. We all have the right to our own opinions, but there seems to be an awful lot of very one-sided slandering and misinterpretation used in the tone of this article, while it lacks any verified facts or information. The purpose may have not been to inform, but if it’s solely to slander, why should we care…because you are maintaining your “right to freedom” of speech? That is ironic (if you knew anything about Larry you would know what I am saying here).
Porn is an industry. The Flynts did not get to the top of that hierarchy (whether anyone likes it or not) without a lifetime of risk-taking, effort, and some amount of know-how, endless dedication, and sometimes very tough times…regardless of what his personal lifestyle may or may not be like or have been like when he was destitute as a child “losing his virginity” to a chicken, as you say.
His success is hardly based on his opinion (you say “hatred”) of women, but his love of money.
This is judgemental and uninformed malarkey that is based purely on assumption and fails to make a statement about anything that matters to an industry worker or a woman.
For example, Larry is far from “lonely” in his wheelchair. In fact, his wife, with whom he has maintained a strong relationship with for many years, takes a huge role in maintaining many aspects of the business now that he is bound to a wheelchair, and many other of his family members and friends have worked with him closely over the years as well.
Please do some further research before condemning anyone who is disabled so ignorantly just because you disagree with their behavior. It’s a bit absurd.
If you’re going to single out pornographers you should at least single out people who are abusing their employees and creating a business out of illegitimacy and law-breaking or worse….but please do your homework before letting these kinds of opinions fly.
[…] a writer says she pities people who don’t get Twitter, but then I remembered that it was this piece, which is horribly disableist, and I don’t want to open that can of worms right now (hint […]
To echo others: this man is clearly a creep, but he what makes him a “repulsive being” is his douchey, misogynistic behavior- not his physical appearance or lack of ability. To give anyone that kind of label on the basis of their body is offensive and disempowering to disabled people or simply to anyone who’s physique is not socially accepted; to imply that physical impairment later in life is some kind of karma for being an asshole is just kind of silly.
That Flynt is known for “encouraging people to chuckle and masturbate over scenes of the most horrific unfreedom – women being gang-raped, young girls being molested, “bitches” being shaved and slaughtered in concentration camps” ought to be enough to qualify Flynt as “legitimately creepy.” As someone who works with people with disabilities, I can safely say that this imagery is way, way creepier than someone with a wheelchair and difficulty speaking.