RMD believes in presenting all sides of the discussion. Here are some other points of view in the Stockholm discussion:
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by Kota Ozembwe
When 15-year-old Shiao-Shiao accepts the offer to join the harem of a mysterious and wealthy American, she dreams of a life of wealth and luxury. She soon discovers that wealth and luxury come at a price.
Directed by Stanton Audemars & Max Harper
In this dreamlike recreation of the unsettling erotic literature of novelist Kota Ozembwe, Stanton Audemars and Max Harper defy artistic and erotic boundaries to bring the genre of the erotic film into unexplored territory. A hypnotic, pioneering film that joins the traditions of magical realism, psychological thriller, and pure erotica, The Shattered stands as an unparalleled achievement of independent erotic film.
Pornographic Dreams and Polygamist Awakenings: The Love Poems of an Underground Pornographer
by Stanton Audemars
In this vile, misogynistic collection of crude limericks, disgusting poetry, and soulless sentiments, Stanton Audemars shows the world exactly why pornographers should stay away from poetry. A great read for sexist sociopaths, but everyone else should stay away.
She Stole My Voice: A Documentary about Lesbian Rape
Directed by Justine Chang & Armand Kaye
The controversial documentary that challenges what we think we know about rape, She Stole My Voice has been praised as daring and honest by some and derided as crude and pornographic by others.
Note: This film contains highly explicit depictions of lesbian rape based on actual lesbian rapes. These depictions are highly explicit and graphic and should not be viewed by persons under the age of 18.
From Jared Roland, CEO of RMD Global
When you work in the publishing and distribution of books, movies, and art, I believe that you have a higher responsibility than, say, a vendor of ice cream or soft drinks. You have a responsibility to protect freedom of thought, to bring forth the uncomfortable ideas that challenge the status quo, to recognize that what is popular is not always what is right.
Every publisher and distributor has a right to choose what to sell. Sometimes we choose not to sell something because it doesn’t meet our quality standards. Most publishers, for example, reject well over 99% of submitted manuscripts.
At other times, we are faced with a harder choice. We have a product that we know is good, but will be controversial – a work of art that will challenge and upset many, but will ultimately leave the viewer with some deeper understanding of the human condition. I faced that dilemma when I first was asked to publish Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love. I knew it would be controversial, and I knew that there would be a lot of negative knee-jerk reactions. I knew that some people would probably not only refuse to buy Stockholm, but would probably refuse to buy anything with the RMD imprint (and we have received many emails to that effect). But ultimately, I knew that “Stockholm” was brilliant, challenging, and upsetting. It deserved to be seen by anyone brave enough to explore it. My choice was between taking the easy path or taking the right path. It was a choice between bravery and cowardice. To me, the choice between bravery and cowardice is no choice at all.
Amazon is a company that I, and many other small publishers, hold in the highest regard. They have a history of treating small publishers with the same respect they accord large, corporate giants, and the same cannot be said of any other bookstore or distributor. So I believe that they should be given every benefit of the doubt. I believe that Amazon mistakenly assumed that Stockholm was merely an exercise in pornographic entertainment, something along the lines of “Rapelay.” The title Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love is not meant to be flippant. That’s what the game is: an exploration of one of the most important ideals in modern America, something that challenges the very foundation of our male-female interactions. I consider it to be one of the most important works of art produced in the last decade, and I am proud to represent it.
If you believe that “Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love” should have the same right to be heard as “Lolita” and “120 Days of Sodom”, please sign the online petition to Amazon.
From Stanton Audemars, Director of Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love
Before I talk about Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love, I’d like to talk about the show Friends. In this show, the character Rachel, over time, inexplicably falls in love with the docile weakling Ross. Given a choice of plenty of men, she chooses the weakest one. And now millions of American men and women think that’s how love is supposed to work. And just as many think that is how a man is supposed to act: weak, docile, doting, and overly domesticated.
Today, plenty of other shows and movies are doing the same thing. By portraying men as weak and docile, they suggest to us that men are supposed to be weak and docile. By portraying love as sacrificing the dominance of spirit that makes a man, and instead opting for extreme domestication, they trick us into thinking that love is supposed to be domestication.
I’m not really comfortable letting something like that stand unchallenged, and that was one of the primary reasons I made Stockholm. The point of Stockholm is not that kidnapping is the true path of love. The point is that the sugar coated nonsense that TV and movies are forcing down our throat is not the only true path. Sometimes in order to see the absurdity of our entrenched assumptions, we need to see something that is so different that it truly allows us to critically examine what we once blindly assumed.
Some have suggested that to be fair, there should be two versions of Stockholm, one where a man captures a woman, and another where a woman captures a man. It’s really tempting to believe that that is the right way to approach it. After all, we have been led to believe that men and women should be seen as fundamentally equivalent. But when we really look at the actual situation, we realize that men and women do not necessarily have the same emotional makeup.
Women: How often do you see a guy that is just irritating, and you just want to have sex with him to put him in his place? He’s not super attractive or anything, he’s just annoying. And because he is annoying you just want to do sexual things to him. Not violent rape or anything, just sex.
It’s not an emotion that women feel that often, but men feel it all the time.
Men: Have you ever had it when you’re just so full of all these emotions, and you don’t even know what they all are, and you just need to cry? It’s not a common emotion for men, but many women have described that.
The male experience of real love is not always devotion, domestication, and doting. It is often dominance, possessiveness; it often even involves polygamist tendencies. How many women want to see their boyFriends or husbands have sex with another man? Not too many. But how many men want to see their girlFriends or wives with other women?
Love means something different for men and women. But right now, we as a nation have decided to use what love means for women as the official definition of love. The result is that men have to lie to themselves, and pretend to have the same kind of emotions as women. It’s become almost a comedic: women who date alpha male types constantly hear from their Friends “he’s not good enough for you.” That should not be understood to mean “he’s not successful, or smart, or strong enough for you.” It just means he’s not doting and domesticated enough for you. He’s not enough like Ross in Friends.
Now in Friends, Rachel inexplicably fell in love with Ross. But in reality, Jennifer Aniston sure as hell didn’t fall in love with David Schwimmer. Doting, domesticated males are just not attractive. Women are just as unhappy with this new way of things as men are. Look at the content of the erotic novels women read. There is a lot of kidnapping, capture, and rape. There are a lot of dominant alpha males, but not a lot of male leads that are soft, domesticated, and doting. Male dominance is not just a male fantasy. It’s a female fantasy too.
Those of you who have actually managed to win Stockholm realize it’s not like winning a game like Mario Brothers or Halo. It’s more like figuring out a puzzle, or a Zen koan. Stockholm is not meant to be purely a game. It is meant to be a simulation that challenges what you’ve been taught love is supposed to be. The point of Stockholm is not that kidnapping is the right thing to do. The point is that we need to reexamine our definition of love.
If you believe that Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love should have the same right to be heard as Friends, How I Met your Mother, and the dozens of other shows that seek to turn every man in America into a weak, submissive, domesticated, docile, unthinking, harmless pushover, please sign the online petition to Amazon.
From Kota Ozembwe, author of Concubine
When I first saw Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love, my first response was not “Oh my God, this is soo extreme.” Instead, I thought “Here is a video simulation that is almost as graphic as the average romance novel.”
I have been writing erotic fiction for a few years, but I have been reading it a lot longer. I have read a lot of kidnapping, rape, torture, forced homosexual acts, etc. I have read works like Anne Rice’s The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty in which the main character (Beauty) is forced to do all kinds of sexually humiliating things. I have read popular works by less famous writers that are even more graphic, but often just as brilliant.
Yes, Stockholm is interactive. Yes, it puts the viewer directly and uncomfortably in the role of the kidnapper. To me, that is not a reason to ban it. That is what makes it brilliant. That is what makes it Art. That is the reason it should be seen.
Love is not just flowers and nice dinners. That’s one part of love, but to suggest that that is the only part of love would be patently ridiculous. If all art was like that of Norman Rockwell, and there was nothing like Dali or Picasso or Duchamp or anything challenging or subversive or revolutionary, think how much more sterile and unthinking our minds would be. Art is not supposed to make you feel warm and fuzzy. It is supposed to challenge you.
Stockholm challenges. It offends. It makes us rethink our assumptions about love in a way that cannot, and should not, be ignored. It examines only one part of love, but it examines it brilliantly. Banning it, while letting the dozens of inane and uncreative erotic films on Amazon remain, would be like replacing the challenging masterpieces in the Louvre with a bunch of pretty photos of sunshine and flowers.
If you believe that Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love should have the same right to be heard as Anne Rice’s The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, and the thousands of other romance novels that actually glorify kidnapping and rape, sign the online petition to amazon.
From Justine Chang: Co-Director of She Stole My Voice: A Documentary About Lesbian Rape
When you discount a view, any view, without really considering it, you run the risk of doing something stupid or dangerous. For example, the law enforcement officials who have laughed off lesbian rape as either impossible or harmless have discounted, and continue to discount, the devastatingly traumatic experiences of untold numbers of women.
Now I don’t like Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love. To be honest, I don’t much care for any of the films or writings of Stanton Audemars. I think they are disgusting, misogynistic, and almost always sociopathic. I don’t think that any person should buy a single film or book of poetry with his name attached to it. In fact, it often pains me to be represented by the same publishing company that has seen fit to produce his materials.
But, to be honest, there are a lot of things available for either sale or view that I don’t like. Mein Kampf. Anything by Rush Limbaugh. The ridiculous Victoria Secret ads that suggest that all women secretly want to be harem slaves. Books like “The Game” that teach men to manipulate women.
And to me, as a social researcher, those aren’t even the worst. The worst are the feminist writings that contain insidiously dangerous sentiments. The section in The Vagina Monologues that calls a lesbian statutory rape between an adult woman and a teenage victim “a good rape.” The dozens of feminist theorist who, like so many law enforcement officials, suggest that women are incapable of rape, and in doing so marginalize the very real experiences of so many women.
Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love is misogynistic and sociopathic. But it is honest. It warns the viewer, and lets the viewer know that he or she should be critically examining what is on the screen. It is disgusting, but it is not insidiously dangerous the way so many other works are. And as much as I disagree with the content, I cannot honestly say that Stockholm is the worst thing out there, or even one of the worst. It’s not something that will subtly convince people that something is okay when it isn’t (like The Vagina Monologues). As much as I hate it, I believe that Amazon has made the wrong decision in banning it.
If you believe that Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love should have the same right to be heard as The Vagina Monologues and the dozens of other literary works that actually support certain types of rape, please sign the online petition to Amazon.
From Armand Kaye: Co-Director of She Stole My Voice: A Documentary About Lesbian Rape
As both a creator and an aficionado of documentary films, I have often had the opportunity to look behind the pleasant façade put up by governments and corporations. It’s ironic. Films like Supersize Me and books like Fast Food Nation have shown the real actual health damage that junk food contains. Cardiac disease kills many times more Americans that every violent crime put together, and yet Amazon and every other grocery store continues to sell junk food. Films like Who Killed the Electric Car show the kind of corrupt and environmentally devastating actions taken by companies like GM, and yet we still spent billions of taxpayer dollars to try to save GM.
I think that Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love has been targeted because it is an easy target. It’s easy to attack a film with an unpopular view. It’s easy to get a film banned just because it challenges a viewpoint that we as a nation dogmatically and unquestioningly hold. It’s easy to refuse to hear an upsetting viewpoint.
To me, picking an easy target is the very definition of bullying. We can ban a film, refuse to hear it, and then pat ourselves on the back because we removed The Unspeakable Evil. Meanwhile, the real evil – junk food companies, environmentally destructive corporations, corrupt financial institutions – continues to thrive. It’s just that those fights are a lot harder.
People say that if you don’t like Stockholm, just don’t watch it. I disagree. If you find it upsetting, maybe that’s because it is challenging an assumption you have been holding blindly. We all owe it to ourselves to critically examine those assumptions we hold dearest. It’s the difference between an adult and a child; it’s the difference between a thinking person and a zealot.
If you believe that Stockholm: An Exploration of True Love should have the same access as pernicious and potentially lethal junk food, or mass produced and environmentally destructive products, please sign the online petition to Amazon.