A while back Laya posted the following claim:

It’s no secret, and no coincidence that Jews have historically been at the forefront many important movements of proactive social change. We know that in such movements as socialism, the women’s movement, civil rights and environmentalism…

Muffti at first took issue with the truth of the claim, at least stated as broadly as it was. Muffti, however, thought that he would complement Laya’s claim by honouring some Jews who have been involved in other interesting movements, in particular, porn, similar to what you’d see at websites like teeni xxx.

1st award: Reuben Sturman (the ‘Walt Disney of Porn’). Sturman started as a comic book dealer but realized that porn outsold comics at a 10 to 1 rate. By the late 1960s he was the single largest distributor of pornographic magazines. Unfortunately, Sturman’s general shady reputation and refusal to pay tax landed him in jail where he died in 1997. The new Sturman is another Jew by the name of Steven Hirsch, who runs the Vivid Enterainment Group, one of the largest producers of porn dvds in the world.

2nd award: Al Goldstein, founder of the infamous Screw magazine. Goldstein is a bit of rags to riches to rags story as far as the porn industry. He was a Jewish Shadowy version of Larry Flynt: all the outrageous, boundary pushing porn with none of the screw-over-republicans-and-fight-for-free-speech of Flynt.

3rd award: Jewish Playmates. While it’s hard to tell for sure, there have been several Jewish playmates. While Playboy is hardly at the vanguard of envelope pushing porn, it’s still good to know that Jewish girls are just that hot that they can once in a while grace the pages of a magazine known for its fine (though very particularly typed) taste in beautiful women. The ones we know of are (according to wikipedia!): Cindy Fuller (May 1959), convert Nikki Ziering (September 1997) and most recently, Lindsey Vuoulo (November 2001). And these are just the ones we know about.

4th award: Jewish Hardcore Porn stars. Lindsey Vuouo claimed that what she did with Playboy wasn’t really ‘porn’ because the word conjures up:

penetration, urination, and things like that.

(Note: Dictionary.com defines porn as: “Sexually explicit pictures, writing, or other material whose primary purpose is to cause sexual arousal.” Take one look at Lindsey’s pictures and ask yourself what else there primary purpose could possibly be?)
In any case, the oiled up shiney playmates have couterparts in the hard core industry, including such stars as Nora Louise Kuzman (Traci Lords), Ellen Steinberg (Annie Sprinkle), Nina Hartley, Natasha Zimmerman (Courtney/Natasha/Eden), Bobby Astyr, Herschel Savage, Seymore Butts (Adam Glasser) and loveable old schmo, Ron Jeremy all of who have starred in adult movies that are watched by millions on sites like videos hd xxx to name just one of the more popular ones.

(Cute anecdote from Herschel Savage, in an interview with Screw magazine:

[While at a casting meeting] This guy looked at the girl and said, ‘Take your top off.’ She did. He then puts up his hands and says, ‘Your tits are too small. I can’t use you.’
“I got so angry. I said, ‘That’s not the way you talk to a person. If you don’t like the way she looks, just say you can’t use her right now.
“We’re in his basement and he’s standing behind the bar. All of a sudden he puts his hand behind the bar as if he’s going to get a gun. I keep talking, telling him how to behave with people. I know I lost the job, but I couldn’t let him get away with that. The girl was crushed.

What a mensch!)

What’s interesting about all this, to get back to Laya’s original comment, is that Jewish involvement in everything from social change to pornography doesn’t tend to highlight the particular characters jewishness. If anything, many of them are quite hostile to religion. Trotsky never advertised being a jew (for obvious reasons), Betty Friedan never connected Judaism and feminism per se, Chomsky (!) certainly isn’t one to go about connecting his Judaism to any of the various social action movement he is a part of, and Traci Lords never billed herself as a Jewish porn star (Lidsey Voulu seems to be an exception, as she mentions being a jew frequently in articles and even debated Shmuely Boteach!). Members of the Kibbutz movement were anything but religious. This makes one wonder if the religious aspects of Judaism have anything to do with alleged Jewish over-representation in these various groups and industries. Muffti’s guess, as none of you who know him will be surprised to find out, is ‘no’, and the attempt to tie the religious aspects (as opposed to the cultural perhaps) of Judaism to such involvement is a gross oversimplification. (To forestall objection, Muffti is NOT sayign that there are no religious jews interested in social change, etc. Its just that there is no reliable connection bewteen the level of religious involvement and the tendency towards participation in the movements Laya mentioned.)

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