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maddy29
oh can i just say- it was $6 for the playgirl. $6!!!!! i was shocked. although it's being passed around a bit now to other curious women smile.gif

i'm not really into looking at naked people so much. I mean, it doesn't turn me on. The written stuff-even if it's poorly written-definitely does get to me though!

I agree mornington-big difference between just trying out your sexuality, etc, and feeling like you HAVE to give blow jobs in 6th grade or you HAVE to be in a threesome or else you won't have any friends, or whatever....
mornington
is that expensive? I usually pay the equivalent of $8 for the music magazine i like. and bust costs more than that...

I think a large part of teen culture is so boasty; if X is doing whatever why aren't you? To some degree that's ok and normal, as long as it's not exploited by others and there are no serious repercussions (pregnancy etc).
greenbean
"feeling like you HAVE to give blow jobs in 6th grade or you HAVE to be in a threesome or else you won't have any friends"

Has anyone honestly ever felt this way? Or actually lost friends because they wouldn't perform overt sexual acts they didn't want to?
nickclick
yeah, i could see it, even when i was that age, but those 20 years ago frenching and groping up-the-shirt were as far as we were even expected to go. i don't think i even knew what a blowjob was until high school, but maybe that was just me n' my dorky friends from my little town.

it certainly wasn't about wanting to test out my sexuality or anything like that. it was more about what my friends were doing and keeping up with them, or not being as 'slutty' as other girls were. sadly, it didn't have much to do with boys except that the boys you made out with had to be acceptable to your girlfriends.

and then i grew up with a pretty okay sense of my and others' sexualities. i was just being an insecure 12 year old. am i lucky that i'm smart enough to have seen the difference early on, and soon realize sex was about making me feel good?

of course now it's escalated to blowjobs, which i'm afraid are give-only endeavors in the junior-high set. is this gonna make girls grow up to think they aren't worthy of receiving? and are blowjobs the marijuana of sex acts, leading to earlier and more careless intercourse? especially with all this abstenince-only bullshit making having sex even more enticing?

ick i hated junior high!
maddy29
greenbean-i think one of the points of the book was that even if WE didn't experience it- many do, more and more. when i was a coach, my 12-13 year olds were giggling about how this one guy wanted one of my swimmers to give him a blow job. they were all excited and giggly and scared and stuff. i was like "well, what will you get out of that?" like fine, if you WANT to. but they had no idea about their OWN sexual feelings/expression/pleasure. it was only about what this guy wanted. and of course they had no clue that the guy would tell everyone-they were like huh? when i mentioned that. it was sad sad.gif

there is a LOT of pressure to do threesomes, make out with a girl, show us your tits, etc etc etc. jr high, high school, college and beyond. or else you are a prude.

i really don't think that book is trying to say "oh dear! look at all these kids having The Sex, and isn't it so AWFUL??!" it's not saying anything like that.

it's about living in a porn culture, where it's all so normalized. it's about how women have been tricked into thinking they are being "empowered" when they take their clothes off.
LoveMyPugs
QUOTE(nickclick @ Mar 15 2007, 09:41 AM) *

20 years ago frenching and groping up-the-shirt were as far as we were even expected to go. i don't think i even knew what a blowjob was until high school, but maybe that was just me n' my dorky friends from my little town.


Frenching and groping up the shirt and maybe down the pants (fingering) was as far as I went in junior high and that was 13 years ago. I remember feeling like a slut just doing that so young. However, I was an experimental girl and had daddy issues. I'm not bragging but I was cute and more developed then the other girls in junior high. I think this made me a target for the horny guys at that time. My parents never talked to me about sex. They never explained that my body was special and only a special person was worthy of it. Mr. Pug made me feel like this when we met. I'm glad I saved myself until I met him.

I remember one guy I was with when I was in seventh grade (13 years old) wanted to have sex and I was constantly skirting his requests. He was always meanly teasing me that I was just scared or immature.

Then this other guy I dated for a short time bragged that he'd had sex with 30 girls and he was only a freshman in highschool at the time. To this day I truely believe he was telling the truth. He also wanted to sleep with me and I wasn't going to touch that with a ten foot pole. He pursued me hard too and I just wasn't going to go there.

I too didn't even experiment with oral until almost my sophomore year in highschool.

It makes me laugh now to think about messing with those guys. It was such a turn on for me at that time and they didn't have a clue what the hell they were doing. I don't think any of them knew what a clitoris was. If I knew then what I know now I'd probably laugh at them.
nickclick
QUOTE(maddy29 @ Mar 15 2007, 10:49 AM) *

it's about living in a porn culture, where it's all so normalized. it's about how women have been tricked into thinking they are being "empowered" when they take their clothes off.


i'm not sure what you mean by 'porn culture' , maybe i don't hang around here often enough, but if you mean sexually open, then i'm all for it. i'd think we'd all agree that the trend (backwards) toward sexual repression is no good for anybody, especially young kids. but if you mean that particular mainstream boring pop culture type of porn, then yes, i agree it's taking over and being masked as sexually open.

i read levy's book a couple of years ago, and i dunno, i sorta agree. just because a woman participates in the mainstream 'porn culture' doesn't mean she's improving it. in fact, it may open for criticism that 'it must be okay if a woman's an editor of porn mags,' or, 'nobody's forcing these 17-yr old drunk girls to jiggle their boobs for cameras.' i kind of see them as uncle toms, playing along for selfish benefit.

our best strategy as feminists would be to say, well we don't like this crap, but we do like this... and this... and summa that...
maddy29
no no, porn culture doesn't mean sexually open at ALL. in fact, the opposite. porn/raunch culture is about normalizing and mainstreaming all things pornographic. so, it's the college women wearing playboy bunny sweatshirts, and the girls gone wild, etc. it's still all about the male gaze, and about power. it doesn't have anything to do with real female sexual desire. But, it has been packaged for us, so that we THINK it's about our desires. But it's just the same old bullshit.

I"m all for a sexually free world, but to me, that has nothing to do with porn, at least not the kind I've seen. why is porn so automatically connected with sex? Why can't we be sexually free and open without having to have videotaped images of people being paid to do a sex act?

It's funny, cause I switch between this board and Twisty's IBTP blog, and over there they are giving me a hard time for not dumping my boyfriend because he every so often watches porn. it amazes me how many differences there are among feminists, I mean HUGE differences!!!
greenbean
Ha! I didn't think anyone on Twisty's blog was even allowed to have a boyfriend at all!

I don't like the idea that sexually curious/playful girls must either be pitiful victims or morons. I can't get on board with that. Giggling with your friends about blowjobs was part of the thrill of being young imo! And seriously, its usually all talk no action.

About peer pressure--isnt that crucial for development? Its that what shapes us as individuals? Whether we cave or not? Assuming that ALL teenagers succumb to peer preasure is really underestimating them I think. I know a lot of young girls and I think they are very bright and perhaps even more proud of their individuality than past generations. Lots of kids reject that which they are being spoon fed, whether its Mtv raunch or church abstinence programs.

lilyblue
QUOTE(greenbean @ Mar 16 2007, 01:56 AM) *


I don't like the idea that sexually curious/playful girls must either be pitiful victims or morons. I can't get on board with that. Giggling with your friends about blowjobs was part of the thrill of being young imo! And seriously, its usually all talk no action.



greenbean, so much word! I am tired of this notion that anytime any woman likes or does something sexual it's about men/the male gaze. for a lot of women, it's about figuring out what they actually like and don't like -- with or without a partner. it's exploration and finding out for themselves if what they see is true.

for some women, taking their clothes off has more to do with who they are than about pleasing anyone. what about the woman for whom being naked and sexual actually feels true? does she get a voice or should she put on her clothes and just suppress her own natural desires? is everyone going to feel empowered by it? no. but there are lots of things people who claim to be empowering which don't feel empowering to me. i think that's the way it's going to be.

i think we do a disservice to teens by writing off their exploration as being just about the male gaze.




Onna-Otaku
Word, lily, Word.
mornington
greenbean, you put it brilliantly. Peer pressure is essential to development - and it's not just restricted to teenagers; teen years are when it's strongest and you learn to cope with it, though.

i don't think anyone's writing off teen exploration about being about the male gaze. Personally, the way I see it, teen exploration is finding a way between what's expected of you (hey, I was a freak because I didn't make out with anyone who came my way at parties) and what you enjoy. It's just that some people resist that more than others; I think people don't pay enough attention to the large number of girls (and boys) who do.
maddy29
yeah, i certainly wasn't saying it's bad for teens or whoever to explore THEIR sexuality. my point was that in the example i gave, her pleasure had nothing to do with it. It was about wanting this guy to think she was cool, and not a prude. and she ended up not doing it, because of our conversation. because she didn't WANT to do it and felt pressure.


in terms of the book-i mean, you really have to read it to be able to make comments about it. it's not fair to read a few excepts and then make general comments about it.

i really doubt women would want to take off their clothes if there wasn't a male gaze. if you take off your clothes, and no one cares, then how is that going to be "empowering" or whatever? ok, being a naked person feels good, but you can be naked at home ALL the time. Why is it that a woman needs someone to SEE her naked for it to be "empowering?"

eta: the 4 year old i babysit for LOVES to be naked-as much as possible. this is his expression of his "true self." but ya know what? in our society he needs to put on clothes to go outside. so he wears clothes except for sometimes when he's inside. if this is the kind of natural expression lily is talking about-then what does this have to do with stripping and the like? i mean, this kid "has a voice." he tells me he wants to be naked. and sometimes he can be and other times he can't be. as an adult, obviously you get to choose when you are naked more than as a kid. But being naked because it feels good is really different than flashing your boobs to a camera, or being a stripper, or whatever else.
LoveMyPugs
QUOTE(maddy29 @ Mar 16 2007, 09:47 AM) *

i really doubt women would want to take off their clothes if there wasn't a male gaze. if you take off your clothes, and no one cares, then how is that going to be "empowering" or whatever? ok, being a naked person feels good, but you can be naked at home ALL the time. Why is it that a woman needs someone to SEE her naked for it to be "empowering?"


Maddy -

I am naked at home ALL the time. I'm naked right now sitting at my computer. I love being naked but like you said earlier, society makes it that I have to wear clothes when I leave my house. I feel a sense of empowerment when I walk in the door and tear my shirt and bra off and toss them on the floor and start cooking dinner topless. It's my fucking home and I'll do what I want while I'm in it. I do this when Mr. Pug is home and when he's not. It makes me feel natural and beautiful.
maddy29
i'm so jealous smile.gif i have two roommates, and while they are really wonderful and accepting, i think they probably don't want to see me in all my nekedness at home smile.gif can't wait to move!!!!!!

i used to have male roommates, and no a/c-so in the summer i'd come in and it'd be ohhh, 100 degrees in the house and i'd just want to rip off my shirt but noooooo can't do that!!!! at least w/female roomies i can walk around in my bra if i need to. although you never know who is gonna show up.
girltrouble

as for the peer pressure thing, growing up as a boy, i think it had very little to do with pleasure. i was teased relentlessly for being a virgin, guys in locker rooms would constantly talk about having done certain acts, and looking back it's clear they had not the slightest clue. but for guys, it was all about bragging rights, and i'd say 80% of it was bullshit to look cool in front of the other guys.

QUOTE

i really doubt women would want to take off their clothes if there wasn't a male gaze. if you take off your clothes, and no one cares, then how is that going to be "empowering" or whatever? ok, being a naked person feels good, but you can be naked at home ALL the time. Why is it that a woman needs someone to SEE her naked for it to be "empowering?"
you seem to be asking two contradictory questions here. in the first you contend being naked can't be empowering in and of itself, and in the second you seem to say that it should be empowering in and of itself.

i think it can be empowering in a simple satisfaction with one's body. i know for me, there are some times when i get naked simply because i love my body. it's not a constant, to be sure, but there are times it's very empowering. it have worked hard to get this far, and i take great pride in it. i don't think i am the only one. that said, having someone else appreciate my body is definately a plus. it's a turn on knowing they like my body. do i need it to feel good about myself. no. but it's a plus.
mornington
QUOTE(girltrouble @ Mar 16 2007, 03:24 PM) *

i think it can be empowering in a simple satisfaction with one's body.


true, gt!

so much of teen life seems to be endless bullshit. you have to keep up... whether it's the latest phone, brand of jeans or sex act. Maybe the increasing commercialisation of sex - going back to "porn culture", where it's not about pleasure - has something to do with that? just a thought...
maddy29
gt- i wasn't saying that being naked can't be "empowering" in itself, although partly I hate that word "empower" and partly I just don't see how me hanging out in my room is in any way giving me more power. It's fun, it feels good, but power? Nah.

What I was trying to say is that if being naked is "empowering" then why do you need to add a male looking at you to the equation? How would that make it more "empowering?"

does that make sense? I just said empower so many times it's completely lost it's meaning! I hate that word anyways, waaaay overused.
girltrouble

oh. i feel empowered to say " well, that makes sense." lol.
maddy29
hee hee wink.gif
mornington
pfft laugh.gif

i don't like the word "empowered" either. it seems to have so many meanings it means nothing at all.

according to wiki, "[i]t often involves the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities"... which makes sense; developing self-confidence and that. Can't we just say "i feel more confident when I walk around the house naked"?
girltrouble


i'm too lazy to do all that typing....
lilyblue
one question i keep coming back to is: why is it always "the male gaze"? i mean, i like looking at other women and i know i can't be the only one.
girltrouble

it has to do with psychoanalytic theory and (my favorite word), semiotics-- or visual language. and has to do with it being an unwanted invasion, (sometimes refered to as a form of rape), that makes the viewer the subject (or in control) and the viewed as object (or the controled). wiki has a good page on this, and even though part of it is disputed (?) it's a pretty good overview, although i find the timeline that they have a bit problematic. while they are correct that ms. mulvey was the person to name the male gaze, the gaze is the basis of pretty much any hitchcock film, particularly rear window and psycho, and freudian classics that are based around voyeurist films like michael powell's career destroying peeping tom. all of which predate mulvey's 70's book.

snippet:

Laura Mulvey, in her essay "Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema", introduced the concept of the gaze as a symptom of power asymmetry, hypothesizing about what she called the "male gaze". The theory of the male gaze has been hugely influential in feminist film theory and in media studies.

The defining characteristic of the male gaze is that the audience is forced to regard the action and characters of a text through the perspective of a heterosexual man; the camera lingers on the curves of the female body, and events which occur to women are presented largely in the context of a man's reaction to these events. The male gaze denies women agency, relegating them to the status of objects. The female reader or viewer must experience the narrative secondarily, by identification with the male.

Mulvey's essay was one of the first to articulate the idea that sexism can exist not only in the content of a text, but in the way that text is presented, and in its implications about its expected audience.

full article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male_gaze


it should be noted that since the book's release there have been film/visual theorists/ semiotic theorists that have built upon her work creating space for feminist, queer, and other minority semiotic reading of films/visual langage. additionally there have been a lot of filmakers who completely eshew the sort of gaze based film language, as well as western story telling, like julie dash in her ground breaking film, daughters of the dust or female filmakers who take male gaze and use it to their own ends, critiquing it in the process, like katherine bigelow's brutal sci-fi action noir strange days.

it should also be noted, there was a study that monitored eye paterns when looking at pictures on the internet. men, when looking at pix of any living creature look at the face and crotch area most, where women look at the face and chest. kinda changes the meaning of homoerotic doesn't it?
looktothehills
porn..hmm. I get sad after a while. It seems so artificial, and I keep thinking about the fact that those are Real people with (most likely)family somewhere and life stories.If I can turn my head off long enough to enjoy it tho, I can deal with the "softer" (not so outrageously uncommon) stuff
greenbean
I don't know if I'd use the word "empowering" to describe how I feel when I'm naked,..but "freeing" for sure.

One of the best days of my life was spent on a beach in Portugal with my best friend. We decided to be topless since its acceptable there, and went frolicking in the ocean. It felt sooooo good, both the physical sensation of the waves against my bare chest AND the emotional aspect of it,..just being happy and safe. The beach wasnt crowded but there were some men around, and I honestly didnt feel like I was being oggled by them.

I really think that its because of the Puritan view about the female body that makes it so dangerous to bare yourself in America.
maddy29
I don't think it's so much about the Puritan thing that makes it DANGEROUS-it's asshole rapist MEN who make it dangerous to be a naked or topless woman...

i agree about skinny-dipping, it just feels amazing to have nothing between you and the water. i love it.


looktothehills-that's how i feel about it-i can't dissociate myself enough from it being an actual person with feelings and stuff. although with regular acting i don't really feel that way-i can disconnect and just enjoy a movie or whatever, without thinking much about the "real person." but when it's porn, i can't disconnect that. i start thinking, well, who is this woman? does she want to be there? what has her life been like? etc etc.

and yeah, it's all just fake. it either makes me laugh or cry.

RE the male gaze: i think the thing about the male gaze is that we're all taught to see things through that lens. so when we notice a hot woman or whatever, we're seeing it through that male gaze, which we've been taught through media.

i was watching some movie on IFC the other day, and the sex was so refreshing. it was just two normal people being together. they were natural, no fake boobs, no weird shaving patterns, just people. and, they didn't spend more time with the camera on her boobs, or her butt, or whatever. it was weird to me at first-because i'm soooo used to the woman getting more air time-and having lots of gratuitous (sp?) boob and ass shots. this was just like, fun natural healthy, it didn't gross me out AT ALL. i don't have any problem with that at all. it just FELT so different to me.
thereshegoes
i don't know why i'm delurking in the middle of this heated conversation. but i think some of the reason there's so much dissent in the feminist world about this has to do with the ways sex can be experienced.

rape is very non-empowering. much of "the male gaze" can re-trigger those feelings that sex=degradation and can reinforce ideas such as those presented by twisty, that "men hate you". sex can become just a societal trap to keep you in that moment of fear and powerlessness. if you are a survivor, this kind of sex culture can be very unpleasant (and I speak for myself here, I am a survivor, which has made me very un-sexual, which definitely lead to me being unpopular in jr high through college with certain groups as i wouldn't give into certain pressures-i always felt sex was something i had to perform, rather than enjoy). A lot of feminist takes on sex culture comes from this standpoint.

having said that, after a while, one would want sex to seen enjoyable rather than threatening, and even though i can certainly see how the Girls Gone Wild et al are being exploited for male pleasure and financial gain, there is something refreshing and, i don't know, empowering about having the feeling that your body and libido are important. men seem to like that feeling a lot. if it just happened in a vacuum without the exploitation and the baggage of sexual assault, maybe things would be different.

maddy29
i don't think it's a heated discussion smile.gif But glad you delurked!!!

pointybird
I actually use and enjoy porn. The kind of porn I like tends to involve "typical" male fantasy stuff, 2 girls and 1 guy, or 1 girl with several guys, or whatever (I'm a woman). The reason I like it is this - it ties in with the kind of stuff I fantasise about. And the girls seem to be quite natural looking, quite into it, whatever. It's mostly European made. But at the same time, I do feel a certain amount of guilt - I don't know the background of these girls, don't know their motives etc. Also, I read that the only industries where women can reasonably expect to way outstrip men in terms of wages are porn and fashion modelling. This kind of suggests that you have to look and/or act a certain way to be valued by (male, GGW-loving) society. I know it's really just economics, but it is kind of depressing. But having said that, can we still criticise a woman who can make 200 times more money by lap dancing/ porn modelling/ porn acting than she could as a waitress? Of course, I'm not saying that these girls could only be good for waitressing otherwise, I'm sure a lot of them are intelligent, competent people. It's definitely a dilemma.
maddy29
I've been reading a bit at this site: http://www.oneangrygirl.net/antiporn.html

She has some really great stuff-I thought this quote was great-this guy is speaking at the pornography and feminism conference i'm going to this weekeknd:

"People routinely assume that pornography is such a difficult and divisive issue because it's about sex. I think that's wrong. This culture struggles unsuccessfully with pornography because it is also about men's cruelty to women, and about the pleasure that men sometimes take in that cruelty. And that is much more difficult for everyone to face."



-Robert Jensen, "A Cruel Edge"
girltrouble

my problem with that statement is that it's an absolute. and it think it falls into the trap that shegoes was talking about. i've said this before, i really think there should be a feminist porn that isn't all hearts and flowers. i think that porn need'nt be about men's cruelty to women, as that quote implies. it seems to say a man and a woman having sex on camera is automatically an act of hostility, and i think that's nonsense. don't get me wrong, there are types of porn that are unmistakably misogynistic-- "gonzo" porn being a very obvious one. but i don't think you can tar all porn with one brush.


pointybird
Girltrouble, I agree. All porn is not about men being cruel to women. I don't believe porn is always, without doubt, exploitative. I assume some of these porn actresses are having fun, or at the very least, pretending to have fun and not really worrying about it that much. So, can we totally negate their experience? Is it really any different than say Helen Mirren pretending to be The Queen?
maddy29
i agree too. i mean, there is porn that isn't all woman hating. but i think for the most part, it is bad. pretty much all the mainstream stuff i've seen is fake boobs, shaved crotches, women having loud fake orgasms, etc etc. and i've never seen any harder stuff thank god!

one thing about porn-how often do they have safe sex? use condoms, dental dams, gloves, etc? I haven't seen a lot of porn, but i don't think I've ever seen anyone put on a condom. How is that ok?

i have another ? that's been bopping around my head lately-how is having sex for money on camera (porn) legal, while having sex for money NOT on camera (prostitution) illegal? what is the difference?

I still feel frustrated with the lack of language. I hate saying "porn" cause it really encompasses SO MUCH with just one tiny word.
nickclick
QUOTE(pointybird @ Mar 19 2007, 07:06 PM) *

Girltrouble, I agree. All porn is not about men being cruel to women. I don't believe porn is always, without doubt, exploitative.

although i'm no expert on the variety and extensive-ness of porn available, i agree, it can't all be bad, and it shouldn't all be lumped together. but there's got to be a descriptor for that common, male-dominated, ugly hairy guy-on-waxy fake young barely legal girl porn, that GGW nonsense, those Bada-Bing strip clubs like everywhere, and our acceptance of Hooters as a 'family restaurant' kind of porn that's seen as the norm by many, and not even viewed as porn by others, but especially by those who don't look further, and by any 10 year-old with a cable subscription, internet access, and/or a 7-11 within walking distance.

oops, x-posted with maddy, and i think we're saying the same thing - a need for new language.
maddy29
nickclick-yes exactly. I'd like to be able to say "while I can't stand XYZ porn, I'm ok with ABC porn."
Onna-Otaku
To answer one of your questions, maddy, they ALWAYS wear condoms. They just cut out where they put them on, or they're very sly about it. Then they slip 'em off really quick too. They're crafty. But in almost all porn you see, condoms are a must in the industry, and so is HIV testing, done very often.
I heard once about a porn type that doesn't have you use condoms, but you have to get tested for HIV once a month. But I don't really know anything about it, but all porn I've ever watch, they were wearing condoms.

I don't get it either, about porn being leagal but prostitution not being. Maybe because they aren't selling themselves to the person they're sleeping with...? I dunno, I've always thought prostitution should be leagal any way.

ETA: My husband informed me that actually, nowadays, they don't use condoms, but you have to be tested for stds everytime they want to be in a show. If you don't have a current test, you don't work.
maddy29
Hm, yeah, I was really surprised when you said everyone uses them! I mean the porn I've seen it was very obvious that there was no condom. To me this says a lot.

Even if you have a "current" test-that means shit. Many (most) STD's take time to show, especially HIV. That is just insane to me that people are paid to basically play Russian Roulette on camera-all in the name of "sex."

Not to mention the public health issues this raises! The spread of HIV and other STD's is a big deal- and they are promoting unsafe sex as well as paying people to take risks with their health.

Most of these people probably don't have health insurance to be able to treat diseases-HIV is an incredibly expensive illness. And what happens when they can't work?

There's really no reason that condoms aren't used-why would that take away from any viewer's pleasure? I mean, is there a reason?

I think it's an interesting distinction- porn vs. prostitution. I think porn is the same as prostitution, in terms of paying someone to have sex with someone. Obviously there are big differences-for the consumer in prostitution actually has sex with the person he/she pays. In porn-the consumer is viewing video of other people being paid to have sex.

Ok, I feel like I'm onto something, but I'm also a bit stonediddy smile.gif

Let's invent a new language about this stuff-our own Bust list. Yaaaaaah.
Onna-Otaku
I said that because that's the way it was a few years ago. My and my husband would watch to see, "oh see? he slipped the condom off...". Now tests are more accurate, and quicker, so it isn't as nessecary.

If a woman doesn't feel safe in the industry, she can quit. Don't come at me with sex-slave type situations, because thats comepletly different case. If a woman, or anyone for that matter, doesn't want to have sex on camera, or sex at all, they can do something else. Its not that hard to find a job.

I always thought that femminism was about having a choice. I choose to be a stripper, for many reasons. I don't think that makes me not a femminist.
lucizoe
I've rarely seen condoms in the more mainstream hate-fucking kind of porn, personally, but I never looked too closely because the dudes were so, um, icky. It's been a really long time since I've seen any of the mainstream porn (and the partner doesn't watch it, so he's not a good resource here), so maybe that's changed. That would be cool.

I'd say feminism is about ending sexism and institutional misogyny, since the "choices" women make in current societies aren't really all that free when we're all so heaped up with baggage.
Onna-Otaku
Maybe so. Maybe all the choices I make are due to this view thats been heaped upon me by the society. I don't know. What I do know is that although it is important to not treat women as sexual objects, it is wrong and misleading to deny them as sexual beings.
nickclick
i'd guess the legal porn vs. illegal prostitution thing has to do with physical safety, of both the buyers and sellers. but there are fine lines, especially if porn video actors aren't using condoms or whatev.

last weekend i attended my first burlesque show. i was torn between not being cool with these women being 'sexual beings' not for only themselves but for the pleasure of the audience that paid $15 each, and loving their costumes/makeup and the sexual freeness. granted, this kind of entertainment is more tongue-in-cheek than the mainstream hate-fucking (i like that one!) penis power (how's that?) porn. but it's roots are not so innocent as they may seem today in contrast. i did like though that it was fun.
erinjane
I have seen condoms in quite a few mainstream films, by the big name companies, but not in the lesser mainstream stuff. That's about all I know about the condom issue though. I agree they should be mandatory.

maddy29
What do people think of this definition of pornography:

"Pornography today is a multi-million dollar industry that is growing exponentially through the web. Sociologist Diana Russell defines pornography as "material that combines sex and/or the exposure of genitals with abuse or degradation in a manner that appears to endorse, condone, or encourage such behavior." The word, pornography, is drawn from the Greek words porne (female captive, slave or prostitute) and graphos (writing or drawing). Thus the etymology of the word links graphic portrayal of women with bondage and inequality with men.

The danger of pornography is in its addictive quality and its power to corrode real flesh-and-blood relationships with objectified, idealized fantasies. Most pornography is designed as a masturbation tool for men, in which the pleasure of sexual stimulation becomes associated with isolation and degrading depictions of women. "

(from http://mcc.org/abuse/pornography/definition.html)

This was given to me from someone on Twisty's IBTP blog. Oh those women loooove me over there! Hee hee smile.gif Some are great, actually, and others are predicting the end of my relationship and telling me not to post. Nice!
thereshegoes
i am sure that condoms break the fantasy for a lot of guys. i've seen a lot of porn without them, for sure, but maybe that's just artful editing. some guy once explained to me why guys, even the "progressive" guys, like the MAN porn over the feminist porn---they have that kind of sex with their girlfriends already, with the condoms and the cunnelingus, and porn is an outlet for fantasy where all women are just begging for the pleasures of coitus with their penis.

that's some honesty.

nick-i feel the same way about burlusque---i am always happy to see th eplus sized gals tho. i sometimes think if i had more body confidence it would be healing to do it
sukouyant
I dunno her definition frames the argument before it's even begun, and attempts to close the debate using a fact that might not even be relevant to current discussion.

Modern concepts of slavery and prostitution are different than ancient ones, considering that those were times when prostitutes could wield more power, prestige and influence than other women (check out Theodora ). The idea of "the degraded whore" is a relatively modern bias.

The second part of her argument makes a lot more sense to me and gets to the truth of her fears & concerns.

(But frankly the only thing that bothers me about pornography is the social illegitimacy of the work which makes it easier to exploit its performers. I think her arguments hurt those people.)


QUOTE(maddy29 @ Mar 21 2007, 10:33 AM) *

What do people think of this definition of pornography:

"Pornography today is a multi-million dollar industry that is growing exponentially through the web. Sociologist Diana Russell defines pornography as "material that combines sex and/or the exposure of genitals with abuse or degradation in a manner that appears to endorse, condone, or encourage such behavior." The word, pornography, is drawn from the Greek words porne (female captive, slave or prostitute) and graphos (writing or drawing). Thus the etymology of the word links graphic portrayal of women with bondage and inequality with men.

The danger of pornography is in its addictive quality and its power to corrode real flesh-and-blood relationships with objectified, idealized fantasies. Most pornography is designed as a masturbation tool for men, in which the pleasure of sexual stimulation becomes associated with isolation and degrading depictions of women. "

(from http://mcc.org/abuse/pornography/definition.html)

This was given to me from someone on Twisty's IBTP blog. Oh those women loooove me over there! Hee hee smile.gif Some are great, actually, and others are predicting the end of my relationship and telling me not to post. Nice!
maddy29
yeah, i was surprised to see that degradation and stuff was part of the definition of porn. I thought "well, if that's how you define it, then YEAH i'm against it!" But I don't think most people define it that way.
nickclick
QUOTE(maddy29 @ Mar 21 2007, 11:33 AM) *
The danger of pornography is in its addictive quality and its power to corrode real flesh-and-blood relationships with objectified, idealized fantasies. Most pornography is designed as a masturbation tool for men, in which the pleasure of sexual stimulation becomes associated with isolation and degrading depictions of women. "

yes, her definition is obviously biased. and i don't care if men individually may become isolated and jerk off to "degrading depictions of women." i avoid those men.

my problem is that these depictions are what's defining porn, and what's quickly seeping in as what's sexy, becoming more commonplace, offering no alternative in the mainstream. and this is exactly what she does!

crinoline
I just learned this from one of my psych classes:
Several reputable studies have shown that the more porn men watch, especially mainstream and degrading porn, the more they support violence towards women.
Men who have a high exposure to pornography are extremely more likely to become aroused by images of women being raped or hurt in other ways.
Even if they don't admit it on the verbal test, their bodies show increased states of arousal.

This tells me that pornography needs a severe overhaul. Pornography as it is now is teaching men (albeit sometimes subconsciously) from a young age that women enjoy being disrespected and harmed.

I guess I don't really have an argument, or really any ideas on how to change things. I'm just appalled.
opheliathemuse
That's incredibly disturbing.
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