So this happened.

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2020 edit: This image of the girls as a happy couple is a nice epilogue.
Happy Pride Month! by sortimid

If you're new here, welcome! Have a look around! Hope you enjoy my gallery! If you're looking for more transformation (TF) art by other artists, you can start by checking out my favourites, or you can search throughout deviantart using the little bar at the top. There's a pretty large transformation community on tumblr, as well, so if you're a tumblrerer you might want to take a look!

If you've been here before or are wondering what happened, here's my account.

CMSN - De-bimbofication by sortimid
1. Some people took my commission De-bimbofication and (I assume) posted it to social media along with some sexist variation of "women should spend more time reading, less time primping" or "once you start reading, you grow principles", as if being smart and being sexy are mutually exclusive. They were leaving similar comments on the image itself, forcing me to keep replying "Nope. I'm not saying that. There is no message. Women should be free to dress and act any way they want."

Most of my artwork is obviously sexual, so people can dismiss it without reading too much into it. I suspect that, because De-bimbofication isn't clearly identifiable as "porn", people assumed it must be some sort of social commentary.

2. Other people saw those first social media posts and called out the misogyny in what they assumed was its statement (just like I'd been doing in the comments). nell-fallcard (thanks!) brought this to my attention just as things started getting nasty. She tried to support me against people making harsh assumptions about who I am without bothering to check the image's origin or context. I couldn't stand up for myself on Facebook, since it would mean connecting this account to my real life identity (something I'm not yet comfortable with) so I created a Twitter account to try and handle things there. It was tough. I was trying to understand their point of view and present my own side only to be met with mockery and derision. A few people, to their credit, actually treated me like a human being, leading to some interesting conversations. They helped me comprehend what was happening. For a while, it felt like I was alone fighting a huge, faceless, angry mob. If you ever find yourself attacking someone you've never met on the internet, please consider that they're also a real person, with feelings. It's easy to forget that.

Around this time, I got an email from a Buzzfeed editor, asking for a short interview.

3. Bimbofication is, undeniably, a sexist fantasy. I was very conflicted about this. In everyday life, I like to consider myself a feminist. Can I support feminism and women's rights while harboring sexist fantasies? What if I create work that caters to others' sexist fantasies? After all, we don't choose what turns us on. I believe erotic art is a way to indulge sexist fantasies safely and harmlessly. However, its nature as porn needs to be clear. In the end, that's what caused the outrage: outside its context, people mistook a sexist, fetishistic fantasy for a statement about the real world. It's also the reason I apologized; not for creating the image, but for unintentionally offending with its statement.

Until the Buzzfeed article was published, I was freaking out. I barely slept that first night. I realized that the stream of hatred could actually go on for days, with new people constantly discovering the image and being outraged. I also worried about Buzzfeed's portrayal. Would they present my side fairly and help de-escalate or would they fan the flames? I considered telling my audience what was going on but I worried they might go into attack mode and fighting fire with fire could make things even worse. Thankfully, the Buzzfeed article confirmed what I was saying all along ("it's sexist, but it's just porn") finally allowing me to relax (and sleep).

Once the Buzzfeed article went live, and especially after I was featured on the Philip DeFranco Show the outrage died down. Most of the comments had become positive messages of support. Thank you all! I hate it when people say "I can't answer you all individually, so I'll thank you en masse" because it sounds super pretentious but it'd honestly take days to go through all the messages. Know that I read every single one and every single positive thought means a lot to me!

4. Finally, now it seems we've come full circle. People are outraged about the outrage. They say "People are too sensitive! There's nothing wrong with drawing a slutty woman being cleansed by literacy!" which just brings us back to the beginning.

To clarify: the image IS sexist. My work IS sexist. If that turns you on, then great! Enjoy fapping! It's meant to be a fantasy! But if you use my work to justify your behavior and real-world beliefs, you might want to do some soul-searching.

tl;dr Patriarchy sucks.
© 2017 - 2021 sortimid
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koolkid1986's avatar

Keep up the good work dude, we love your work!

tl;dr- 

The OP admits it sexist, but apparently, it's ok because they did the work for profit so a stranger could fap to it.
It's "just porn" which apparently is NEVER damaging nor does it contribute to actual sexism in real life...
The internet hurt their feelings, which wasn't nice. Not nice at all, guys!
Aaaaaaand they are not brave enough to own up to the art with their real name, which speaks volumes on how well they've convinced themselves that this is okay.

You might want to try using a watermark that says 'ITS JUST PORN', maybe that will help in the future...
sortimid's avatar
I understand where you're coming from. I'm sorry to have offended you. I don't think "it's just porn" is some sort of magic spell that makes everything ok, but it does clarify my intent. My work is meant for adults to indulge sexual fantasies and should not inform anyone's views on gender (or anything else). That's why a lot of it is behind adult filters, even if it doesn't feature nudity or sexual themes (like the offending image).

Are filters a perfect solution? No, but it's the one we have. Yes, pornography contributes to real-life sexism. Are you saying it should be banned? I'm not sure what you want from me. Should I quit this job? Delete my art from existence?

I believe people should be allowed to explore darker fantasies. I believe art is a safe and harmless outlet for that. People fantasize about rape, that doesn't mean they want it in real life.
Thanks for you reply. I’ve read and thought on it for about a day. This is what I think. My opinion isn’t going to make you stop making sexist pornogrphic images. I don’t think art is a safe or harmless way to explore darker fantasies. After all, blonde jokes were just “harmless jokes” but it still has caused me (and surely others) a lot of frustration due to having blonde hair, a petite frame, and above average breasts, even when I was just a kid. Why did men treat me like a sex object as a child? Because they learned it from somewhere. Your art should not inform anyone’s views on gender, but it does. This image in particular is quite powerful and memorable.

To be honest, I wish things like these would stay only in people’s imagination. No matter how it is presented, art like this will and does perpetuate real life sexism and actual problems that real people deal with. And justifying it by saying it turns people on, and they can’t help what turns them on, is a slippery slope to justifying rape, child sexual abuse and animal sexual abuse. The only safe place for thoughts like those are inside a person’s head where they can’t influence society. Unfortunately this isn’t probable, and the real world is already quite tainted.

In conclusion, I don’t think you should claim to be a feminist if you choose to make art that perpetuates sexism. Sex-positivity is important, very important, but let’s not abuse that energy to justify being sexist and misogynistic. However I do understand you’ll do what you want. I feel less angry after talking to you about it, even though you’re standing by it (using an alias). I think if you really believed this was okay, you would not feel the need to hide. Especially because you’re a good artist.

I do have a question, if you are interested in answering it. I am having trouble understanding how you can consider it safe and harmless to reward people for having sexist and misogynistic thoughts (the pleasure from mastrubating is the reward.) So, how can you consider it harmless, if you know these images will be taken out of context and be shared without your control?

Thanks for talking.
sortimid's avatar
Thanks for the thoughtful reply.

I can't take back the fact that my de-bimbofication image has been used to spread hateful, misogynistic and sexist ideas. This angers and frustrates me. However, beyond denouncing them, apologizing, adding a disclaimer and trying to do better, I don't know what else I can do. I can't wipe it from the internet nor from the minds of those who've seen it. Could I remove it from my gallery? Sure. But even that might be construed as me trying to "scrub the record" and shirk responsibility.

Pornography might affect beauty standards, but not nearly as much as film or fashion. It might influence teens' perception of sex, but only because it's often the only form of sex education they have access to. That one piece went viral because it doesn't look like porn. It looks like a statement. None of my other work ever gets shared out of context. I have alerts set up, I'd know if it did. It just doesn't happen. People recognize it as porn and move on. Does that make it ok? I don't know. But I've also drawn transformations into demons and mermaids. Am I leading society towards satanism or mermaidism?

And it's not like I'm a pixie following people around their daily lives, granting them orgasms for their sexist thoughts... "Good job! Have another one!" Rather my gallery is an outlet for people to release these negative emotions away from their everyday reality, with no unwilling recipient. There's a common understanding within the entire bimbofication community that this is an adult fantasy, a fetish. For proof, I'd point to the comment sections. You won't find creepy "locker room talk". Everyone is friendly and respectful. If you do encounter catcalling and objectification it'll be on specific posts or blogs towards people who have explicitly solicited it. Anyone who steps out of line is swiftly reprimanded and/or shown the door. Additionally, for me (and surely others) spending so much time on these topics, even with smut as the starting point, has led to an examination of gender, sexuality, privilege and stigma that a lot of my "vanilla" friends haven't gone through.

Besides, for a large portion of the community, bimbofication is aspirational. Participants fantasize about becoming hyper-sexualized women themselves. This brings with it all sorts of conflicted feelings: guilt, gender and body dysphoria, etc. The community is a safe space for them to explore these desires and pursue their dreams free from judgement.

Having said all that, you're right that my livelihood depends on believing my work is harmless. “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” I'm keenly aware of that. I don't know if I've convinced you or even answered your question, but these are the thoughts that help me sleep at night. One of the reasons I'm happy to engage and appreciate you sharing your thoughts is that I want my beliefs to be challenged. Hopefully it'll lead me closer to the truth.

PS. Is pseudonymity convenient? Absolutely. You won't find many adult artists working under their legal names. It's a result of the way society treats pornography and sex work. When I first started it was also partly shame, though I don't feel guilt, nowadays. Most of my friends know what I do. However, I'd rather not expose my very religious family to my work. I also cherish the ability to have my art judged entirely on its own merits, regardless of my race, gender or physical appearance.
RedeemerofDark's avatar
tl;dr I ahree with the people her about how well you handled frankly i am in a whole league of my own never thinking to deeply about bimboification and even when I did I never actually thought about it as sexist. And thinking about it now I don't think it does necessarily (I know that sounds crazy) cause bimboification a good chunk of time is not saying women HAVE to be bimbos. Just that one becomes one for a variety of reasons (being a bitch, misunderstanding, accident, asking for it, etc.) And honestly in the transfomartion community though I have not stated so I never used it as porn...sure I fapped to it (if that's porn then disregard my statement but I have fapped to things of just sexy women and nothing more...*le shrug*)...but I thought about it deeply to. The holy grail of my deep thinking on said simple concept is the concept of "is transformation ever wrong and when to draw the line if it is" as well as "is it wrong if they are in a better place after the transformation?" Ponderings on things not meant to be pondered on aside I am glad you got through it and hey you did go viral which was pretty neat they do say "any publicity is good publicity" not to disregard what you went through as it sounded like you went through a lot and again I am glad you got through it *hugs*
oh my god I am still seeing stuff about it... on social media apps like line and tumblr.. and they take the image waaayy out of context.. it is infuriating when people do not take the time to understand what they actually posting about... and people literally use other people's artwork to increase their own popularity.. its disgusting!

rant aside, I love your work. I am a fan of your "study break" and "halloween" Issues as well as your many other short works!
sortimid's avatar
Eh. It happens. There's a lot of people out there, every day a few more discover my image.

On the bright side, everyone who's taken the time to check out my gallery and the rest of my work has been very friendly and understanding. Not much I can do about people who don't bother.
sortimid's avatar
Sorry to hear you were targeted. I know it sucks :/ I feel ya too.

For what it's worth, it's not about you, and people will move on. It's not a logical thing: some are calling your work racist, others are being racist towards you, it's just an stupid mob.

Thanks for sharing! Glad to see you seem to be doing ok. Feel free to message me if you'd like.
Vestiphile's avatar
I'm jealous...I want people with way too much time on their hands to flip out about my art. :(
Love your work!!!
sortimid's avatar
For what it's worth, I don't consider it an experience particularly worthy of envy, but thanks for the kind words!
Vestiphile's avatar
You handled it more gracefully and diplomatically than I would have, for sure. :]
Cheers.
SecretYuri's avatar
I'm one of those people who get offended by the image at first glance, but after reading your disclaimer I found out your a really cool person! Sorry for the trouble you have to go throughDead (RIP)  
sortimid's avatar
Thanks for the kind words and for being understanding! 
Hey, I just wanted to thank you for this post, and for addressing the subject in such a calm, constructive, and nuanced way. I know how hard it can be to be the center of a shitstrom, and how easy we are tempted to respond to harsh words with harsh words.

I, too, took your picture as a (problematic) social commentary when I saw it, and I can now redirect to this post the people in the same situation :)
sortimid's avatar
I'm glad you think so! Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts and share your kind words! It means a lot!
BoundlessTacos's avatar
Hey sortimid, I found your art being talked about via the Philip DeFranko Youtube channel. Just thought I would drop by and give my support and watch you as I like your art xD 
keep doing you lol
sortimid's avatar
Hey there! Thanks for the kind words and support, you beautiful bastard ;)

Hope you keep enjoying my work!
bruiser128's avatar
The problem is that traditional ideas of 'what is female empowerment' and 'what is sexist' loose credibility in the modern world where people are more open to fetishes that can and ARE labeled as demeaning by those old terms. 

Which is why their has to be discussion about how to modernize feminism with these new norms. 
sortimid's avatar
The words retain their meaning. The two are not mutually exclusive. What was sexist is still sexist. However, that doesn't mean it's immune from being fetishized. People harbor fantasies that are unhealthy, illegal, impossible or just plain inconvenient. As long they remain fantasies (or happen between consenting adults) it's perfectly fine.
bruiser128's avatar
I was using fetish in referring to things associated with BDSM 
actually. 
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