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Feminism: Sex and gender discussions

Great Article about Feminist Pornography

12 replies

Grennie · 31/10/2013 16:29

"Beginning in the Thatcher and Reagan-dominated 1980s and continuing to this day, the rise of pro-porn feminism has accompanied a general shift within feminism in which individualism has replaced what was once a collective struggle. In a typical statement, Jennifer Baumgardener wrote in 2000: “Feminism is something individual to each feminist.”

It's as if every choice that a woman makes is feminist, simply because she makes it. The fact that her “choice” may have been limited by sexist, racist, or other social structures is conveniently ignored, and the impact that her choice might have on other women is never questioned.

But unequal social structures do exist, and they often limit choices and alternatives available to women. In Canada and the US, women continue to earn 25-30 percent less than men. Like all averages, this number is subject to variation, so that middle- and upper-class white women earn more (in absolute terms and relative to white men) than do women of color, for example.

For an educated white woman who can afford to produce her own pornography and write books about how “empowering” it all is, the pay gap can be brushed off as a minor inconvenience. For a woman of color without a college education, like Belmond, this gap can mean the difference between having to sell her body vs working long hours to make ends meet.

“I thought it would be glamorous and exciting to be in porn,” Belmond explains. “I thought it would be this thrilling lifestyle. I’d read books about porn, like biographies, and I thought if I could just avoid some of the bad things, I’d be able to make all this money. But like almost all of the women in porn, I left with nothing. And now my pictures and videos are on the internet forever, for everyone to see and for the industry to keep making money off of.”

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Grennie · 31/10/2013 16:31

"The Feminist Porn Awards, an awards ceremony that takes place ever year in Toronto, lists three criteria that can qualify a film as “feminist” — a woman and/or traditionally marginalized person had a hand in the production, writing, direction, etc of the work; it depicts genuine female pleasure; it expands the boundaries of sexual representation on film; and challenges stereotypes that are often found in mainstream porn.

How “feminist porn” expands the boundaries of sexual representation is unclear, given that the 2012 nominees included films like Submissive Slut and Babes in Bondage 4. But a woman having a hand in the writing, production, or direction of a film? By that standard, even some of the mainstream porn industry could be considered “feminist.”

In fact, the introduction to The Feminist Porn Book makes clear that: “Feminist porn is also produced within the mainstream adult industry by feminists whose work is funded and distributed by large companies such as Vivid Entertainment, Adam and Eve, and Evil Angel Productions.”"

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Childrenofthestones · 31/10/2013 16:39

" The Feminist Porn Awards, an awards ceremony that takes place ever year in Toronto. "


I wonder what Big Red's take will be on this?


Grennie · 31/10/2013 16:52

The Feminist Porn Awards were posted about on a thread here thsi week in a complementary way. I didn't actually know anything about them. So thsi was illuminating.

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WhentheRed · 31/10/2013 17:42

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FloraFox · 31/10/2013 17:45

Thanks Grennie that's an interesting article.

Also no idea what the other post is about.

Grennie · 31/10/2013 17:45

Neither do I red!

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MotherBlackCap · 31/10/2013 17:50

Can you even HAVE Feminist porn?

WhentheRed · 31/10/2013 17:51

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WhentheRed · 31/10/2013 17:52

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Grennie · 31/10/2013 17:52

Mother, I don't think so. But some in FWR have argued you can. This article directly adresses that better than I can.

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MiniTheMinx · 31/10/2013 19:40

Feminist Porn is a contradiction in terms.

However, again this argument makes clear that the exploitation of women in porn is a class issue. More complex I think is the reasoning behind its proliferation into every area of life from super market shelves to pop videos. We aren't sold what we demand, rather we are brainwashed by media to desire certain things. Sadly many young women watch this women hating crap and desire to be treating like crap and many men are only too willing to oblige, having been socialised to want the same thing. The sex positives are a bankers wet dream.

DadWasHere · 31/10/2013 23:01

Can feminist porn exist? Hrmmm. The lowest denominator to me would be:

it depicts genuine female pleasure...

I think no one would argue that? At bare minimum that is what is required. Anything and everything after could not compensate for the loss of it. But I think even that has a big catch.

the 2012 nominees included films like Submissive Slut and Babes in Bondage 4.

-and there it is.

An individuals free choice and enjoyment of a sexual practise does not necessarily empower them- a drunk is not empowered by desiring and taking a drink. Free choice is empowering, but what you do with that need not be, either to yourself or your gender or society at large.

Trouble is if you carry that cart too far in the opposite direction you arrive at the other extreme, the denial of validity of individual sexual expression and agency, the BS that sparked the porn wars in the first place. I think feminist porn can exist, but I also suspect 'feminist porn' can be mistaken for being feminist when it is not.

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