Male feminists and porn

(163 Posts)
AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Mon 15-Jul-13 11:09:12

Can a man who believes he is a feminist be interested in porn? Or does that kind of negate his believing he is a feminist?

TeiTetua Wed 17-Jul-13 13:35:06

I'm not sure that men calling themselves feminists and not actually knowing much about it are more common than the equivalent among women. But it's probably true that we smile at the idea of women who have some aspirations to a feminist outlook, but who have yet to learn all the details, and we probably wouldn't trust men in that position: maybe we'd never trust them ever.

One thing I bet you don't hear men say very often:
"I'm not a feminist, but..."

libertarianj Thu 18-Jul-13 02:53:17

Feminist porn?

Porn where all parties are respectful of one another? Porn where the female protagonist feels able to voice her opinion that whatever is happening is causing her pain/discomfort/she just doesn't like it, knowing that she will be heard, her feelings validated, cared about and a new scene thought out?

That kind of feminist porn?

Is there such a badger?

yeah there is, it's not something i have just made up, i promise:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_pornography

CaptChaos Thu 18-Jul-13 06:15:26

So, that's a no then, thanks.

CiscoKid Thu 18-Jul-13 08:41:17

Didn't the link work for you, Chaos? I don't understand your comment. I can read it.

Beachcomber Thu 18-Jul-13 08:59:39

libertarianj what is being described in your link is not "feminist pornography" though is it?

It is not representative of many feminists' values and it does not reflect the the political analysis and critical thinking which make up the foundations of feminism as a grass roots political movement.

What is being described is "third waver pornography" or "sex positiver pornography".

I myself would call it "backlash pornography".

From your link;

Feminist Pornography refers to a genre of film developed by and/or for women. It was created for the purposes of encouraging women and their self-beliefs of freedom through sexuality equality and pleasure.

Do you want to tell me how exactly women are supposed to escape our sex based oppression by these means? The sex class is not going to find liberation from male supremacy through the means of fucking on film. Or watching people fuck on film.

Also from your link;

The overall aim of feminist porn is to empower the performers who produce it and the people who view it.

You what? pardon? 'cuse me? What does that even mean ? The third wave tendency to chuck the word 'empower' in, and think that doing so transforms an act of compliance into an act of revolution, is internalized sexism at work. That's all.

There seems to be a long running confusion in third wave feminism that being sexually liberated is the same as being liberated from sex based oppression. (There also seems to be an overwhelming lack of awareness of the phenomenon of socialization...)

Beachcomber Thu 18-Jul-13 09:02:35

And another thing.

So called "feminist pornography" is just a slick version of "women do it too" . Just more cunning because it is ratched up to the level of feminists do it too.

CiscoKid Thu 18-Jul-13 11:05:49

'Feminist pornography is porn that is generated in a fair manner, signifying that performers are paid a reasonable salary and most importantly treated with care and esteem; their approval, security, and well-being are vital, and what they bring to the production is appreciated. ' - from that link.

So, is this like the fair-trade label? People paid a fair wage, treated with respect, not exploited etc etc.

Because if porn could be produced ethically (please note I said could, not is), then feminists could not have a problem with it, right? Unless they just don't like the idea of men getting off on watching sex full stop.

And I understand the argument about a bigger picture - you could have 1 per cent ethical porn hmm and 99 per cent of uncertain origin, or some such split. But, we have non-sex industries that have splits between fair-trade and non fair trade produce, don't we? Our clothes, our food, our coffee. Feminism doesn't want us to stop buying those things, and we can all live without coffee.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 12:23:19

We seem to be moving away from the question of male feminists and porn, and more into 'feminists should really be more ok with accepting porn is feminist'. This feels a bit like a separate debate to me?

Apologies OP if it is exactly what you wanted, I'm just struggling to follow the connection to your OP, and I am normally the world's most useless thread-derailing rambler.

Why are we getting to accusatory suggestions that maybe feminists 'just don't like the idea of men getting off on watching sex'? We're back to the feminists again, not the men, aren't we.

CiscoKid Thu 18-Jul-13 12:34:18

The OP has made reference to a man watching porn. I assumed that this could lead to discussion about the nature of the material that he watches. After all, we don't know the individual concerned, and the OP has imparted little information about him, so we have to discuss the material rather than the individual. I was discussing the nature of porn, rather than a man I have no knowledge of.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 12:45:08

Ah, I read her differently.

If this thread is meant to be discussing the nature of porn, rather than whether a man can be a feminist and watch porn, fair enough.

I don't really see why, if the OP means what the OP says she means (as opposed to your interpretation), we need to discuss the material, TBH.

Our clothes, our food, our coffee. Feminism doesn't want us to stop buying those things, and we can all live without coffee.

But Feminism isn't a movement to make everything that is every wrong ever suddenly, miraculously better, is it! It's a movement to liberate women.

Similarly, the Fair Trade movement is about, well, fair trade for producer countries. Not about liberating women.

Funny how these discussions seem to come back to a similar formula in the end, isn't it!

Clumsily written there, well done Buff hmm

CiscoKid Thu 18-Jul-13 13:33:42

I am guessing as much as you are as to the OP's true intent, so I may be wrong. But how can we discuss a male feminist watching porn without discussing the nature of porn itself? If you want one without the other, the OP might has well have asked for one word answers - 'yes' or 'no'.

If that is what you wanted, OP, yes (it is possible) to you first question, and depends (on which strand of feminism you are referring to) to your second. I don't think it leads to much of a discussion though.

Beachcomber Thu 18-Jul-13 13:37:12

Lots of feminists don't agree with pornography no matter how sparkly, cuddly, fair trady, consenting and pollyannaish it is. Porn is just filmed prostitution and so called 'feminist porn' is just the filmed version of the happy hooker.

Feminism is about challenging the status quo and the sexual hierarchy. It is about questioning sex roles and shining a light on the all pervasive domination/submission dynamic that places men as higher status than women. Filming that dynamic is not a feminist act.

Anyway, 'feminist porn' is a niche market drowning in the mass of violent hardcore misogynistic women humiliating abusive crap that makes up most porn - and this is the porn that most men consume.

I doubt the man mentioned in the OP is seeking out 'feminist porn'. And even if he did it still wouldn't be an act of solidarity with women to watch and wank to it.

Beachcomber Thu 18-Jul-13 13:42:41

And any woman who thinks she is making 'feminist porn' might like to think about the etymology of the word pornography.

libertarianj Thu 18-Jul-13 22:49:38

Lots of feminists don't agree with pornography no matter how sparkly, cuddly, fair trady, consenting and pollyannaish it is.

but lot's of feminist do agree with it too

Feminism is about challenging the status quo and the sexual hierarchy. It is about questioning sex roles and shining a light on the all pervasive domination/submission dynamic that places men as higher status than women.

and how does that have anything to do with women making erotica for other women to enjoy? confused

Anyway, 'feminist porn' is a niche market drowning in the mass of violent hardcore misogynistic women humiliating abusive crap that makes up most porn - and this is the porn that most men consume.

ah so now you do acknowledge there is feminist porn! but is it really niche when you have masses of very popular erotic art sites like x-art, femjoy, joymii, met-art etc which are feminist approved and can be enjoyed by both men and women. There's nothing violent, misogynistic, humiliating, abusive about any of those sites. It's extreme porn which is a niche market. check out porn forums and search engines and you will see the most viewed threads/ popular searches are predominately softcore erotica.

LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 22:52:15

I think the 'how does that have anything to do with' bit has been explained upthread, several times? confused

Btw, the quotation marks mean she doesn't agree. They're not for randomly scattering through phrases, they're for showing you mean to quote, not agree. smile

HTH.

TeiTetua Thu 18-Jul-13 23:14:01

Anyone who intends to produce or use pornography, but who wants it to seem nice and not nasty, is likely to call it "erotica". I don't think that necessarily makes it more benign, and perhaps it's less honest. Really I think Dworkin and MacKinnon did the world a disservice by having a campaign against "pornography" while leaving any questions about sexually-oriented material of other kinds unanswered. When does porn end and erotica begin (or vice versa)--who the hell knows? Is it just "If I like it it's erotica, anything else is pornography"?

libertarianj Thu 18-Jul-13 23:16:22

I think the 'how does that have anything to do with' bit has been explained upthread, several times? confused

err no it hasn't, it's just been stated as a matter of fact. No logical explanation just assumptions.

and i didn't say she agreed with it, i said she acknowledged it...

LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 23:19:12

Oh, I thought it'd been explained.

Which bit didn't you follow?

I don't think she 'acknowledged' that there is 'feminist porn'. I think that's why she put it in the quotation marks.

I'm just guessing, of course. I wouldn't want to speak for her. It's just, that's a basic function of that much-abused punctuation mark.

FrameyMcFrame Thu 18-Jul-13 23:39:15

The porn industry involves trafficking and exploiting women and children for the profit of men.
I can't see how this can be compatible with caring about the welfare of women.

libertarianj Thu 18-Jul-13 23:42:31

Which bit didn't you follow?

how women making porn for the enjoyment of other women has any bearing on what she claims is the higher status of men over women and the sexual hierarchy?

well she did acknowledge it, as she said it was niche market? otherwise what on earth was she referring too?

LRDYaDumayuIThink Thu 18-Jul-13 23:46:52

Yeah, that bit's upthread.

SinisterSal Thu 18-Jul-13 23:50:20

that's not what you get when you type 'porn' into a search engine though. I would expect cuddly fluffy feminist porn to be high up there in the rankings if that was the mainstream, rather than the niche.

libertarianj Fri 19-Jul-13 00:10:20

oh right you mean that bit up-thread where she slates third wave feminists and states how misguided they are? ok

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