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Amateur porn - is it wrong from a feminist perspective?

(89 Posts)
Bennifer Wed 08-Jun-11 13:46:30

Just a general question. There's obviously porn that is "professional" in a sense, and it relies on the exploitation of women. What about amateur porn that's done between consenting couples who put stuff on the internet (or couples we assume are consenting)

PS, I don't want to include amateur looking porn that is professional in this category

dittany Wed 08-Jun-11 13:58:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bennifer Wed 08-Jun-11 14:08:43

I suppose I'm trying to get at is whether porn is wrong if women aren't being exploted? Is it intrinsically wrong to watch two people having sex?

dittany Wed 08-Jun-11 14:11:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bennifer Wed 08-Jun-11 14:13:09

I don't use porn (though I've seen it). I think you're making assumptions there that go beyond the orginal (ok, second) premise

Is it wrong to watch two people having sex (not a performance), and why assume the viewer is male. Is it wrong per se to watch two people having sex if they're happy for you to watch?

MillyR Wed 08-Jun-11 14:17:18

I would say that it isn't wrong to watch two people having sex if you know them both well and so can be certain that they have consented to both having sex and to you watching it.

I would also say that there are some simulated sex scenes on TV, such as in Sex and the City, where I would feel that the mainstream TV/movie industry offers those actors a degree of protection from exploitation. I am not saying it that there aren't problems with mainstream viewing, but I do not think it is comparable to pornography.

I also think that porn actors simulating sex scenes as part of the porn industry, and such actors are vulnerable to exploitation as it is part of a career that also involves hardcore pornography, and that this is then not okay to watch, even if the level of sex shown is similar to that in mainstream TV programmes.

dittany Wed 08-Jun-11 14:17:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

celadon Wed 08-Jun-11 14:18:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

dittany Wed 08-Jun-11 14:18:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bennifer Wed 08-Jun-11 14:23:33

I suppose I'm trying to deconstruct from first principles what it is that makes porn wrong.

I see a distinction between the two main anti-porn arguments

1) That the people in it (usually the women but not always) are in some way being abused and therefore the performer is damaged.
2) That it is somehow intrinsically wrong to watch people having sex in that it objectifies them. It could be said that this then damages the user and his family.

The first seems quite empirical whereas the second argument is more theoretical, (and I'm not sure I buy the second argument). However the problem with the former is that if the empirical anti-porn case is important, then it's impossible to know either way whether someone is or is not being abused

Bennifer Wed 08-Jun-11 14:24:25

My opinion on porn is that I'm not particularly concerned with it either way, I can only worry about so many things, and war and poverty and higher on my agenda.

dittany Wed 08-Jun-11 14:26:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bennifer Wed 08-Jun-11 14:38:22

I think you're taking a more what I would call theoretical approach. You say porn objectifies women turning them into fuck objects. What's so bad with that? Football turns men into football objects. Pop music turns singers into song objects? What is it about sex that makes it worse?

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 08-Jun-11 14:38:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

motherinferior Wed 08-Jun-11 14:42:13

What about porn made by lesbians for lesbians? Where does that fit in? I mean, obviously it's objectification in that sense but it's not for the male gaze (I am not talking about faux-lesbian porn made for het men, obviously).

I don't like porn, fwiw, but am also aware that some of my dislike comes from feeling very physically inadequate by comparison, which is not necessarily a particularly political perspective.

celadon Wed 08-Jun-11 14:57:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

vesuvia Wed 08-Jun-11 15:00:21

motherinferior wrote - "What about porn made by lesbians for lesbians?"

That is a variation on the theme of "porn made by producers for consumers".

I focus my attention on the conditions under which the porn is made e.g. presence or absence of consent, exploitation, violence etc.

Non-consensual, exploitative, violent porn made by lesbians for lesbians is a bad thing and is as bad as such porn made by others for anyone else.

Bennifer Wed 08-Jun-11 15:01:29

celadon, does porn only become bad when a man watches it?

motherinferior Wed 08-Jun-11 15:01:54

Yes, but my point is that if this is porn being made by lesbians for lesbians, it isn't being made for men. It's not portraying women for the male gaze. It's being made for women who get off on seeing other women having sex. So is it a direct equation to mainstream het porn, or not? I think it probably isn't. Suppose I film myself and a female lover making love, and we enjoy watching it, where does that fit in?

Bennifer Wed 08-Jun-11 15:04:15

vesuvia,

That's my objection to it. I can draw a parallel (a bad one admittedly) to a hypothetical drug.

The hypothetical drug, if taken in moderation, did no harm to the user, but did if taken to excess. However, some of the drugs were made in a process that exploited women. Would that drug per se be bad? Or only the drug that used exploited women? Or the drugs that were taken to excess and harmed the user and people around him or her?

motherinferior Wed 08-Jun-11 15:04:59

So you're saying, Celadon, that it's the male watcher that is the damaging thing not the conditions of its production?

dittany Wed 08-Jun-11 15:20:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bennifer Wed 08-Jun-11 15:27:23

Dittany,

"Footballers aren't objects. They aren't reduced to their genitals, they are admired for their skill".

Why aren't footballers objects? He's admired for his legs and what he can do with them. Most people don't think too much about what his favourite TV show is, or about his deeper emotional state. Footballers are objectified. The difference is that it isn't about sex with him. What is it about sex that crosses a line? Are fashion models ok because they keep their clothes on?

(PS, you're not read what I wrote when you say I don't see the harm in porn, as if people are being abused then I object to it, and have stated as much)

HaughtyChuckle Wed 08-Jun-11 15:30:05

"Footballers aren't objects. They aren't reduced to their genitals, they are admired for their skill".

tbh in this day and age their skill is the last thing anybody is interested in, after how many affairs have they had, how many hair products and gillette contracts can they get.

not the same as a porn star though people don't really even need to see there faces there viewed as dime a dozen so the compariosn is not the same really.

I think If you definately know both parties have consented, like in Closer they other this couple make lots of filsm for money, their mutually happy, and its their life tbh but this is few and far between, most women go into that linme of work because they've been influenced to do so.

Bennifer Wed 08-Jun-11 15:38:52

I agree with the footballers thing isn't a brilliant comparison given how much they're paid, etc, but I was trying to make a deeper point about objectification and whether it's wrong per se.

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