Since this is my first official post, I figured I may as well start off with an issue that people hold very strong opinions on: PORNOGRAPHY!
As a feminist, I find the current state of mainstream (and most non-mainstream) pornography to be abhorrent. Most feminists would agree on the same “problems”: women are objectified and often degraded, sex is not portrayed in a way that is conducive to women’s enjoyment, all scenes and actions are clearly designed for the benefit of straight men, these scenes/actions teach men how to be selfish- sometimes cruel- partners, porn perpetuates negative beauty/body standards, it is heteronormative and dismissive of all sorts of varieties/tastes/preferences in an individual’s sexuality, it is too fake. The list goes on and on and on.
OK, so porn, as we know it, right this minute, is pretty bad.
Here’s where I diverge from many other feminists: I don’t think it has to be bad.
I don’t think that pornography is inherently bad for women, or for anyone. Sure, it totally sucks now- but the same things can pretty much be said for all forms of media that involve visual representation of sex acts in particular or gender in general. Now, that’s no excuse to tolerate it, it’s just puts porn on the list of things that could use some revolutionizing, in my opinion. And, I would argue, that creating a space for “feminist” porn could even have a bigger value than say, feminist TV or mainstream movies.
And now, you radfem readers are probably pulling your hair out screaming “WHAAA???”
Give me a second, I’ll explain:
Why the importance? Sex is very intrinsic to nearly EVERYONE’S EVERYDAY LIVES. Yeah, you won’t die from lack of sex, certainly not lack of porn, sex is up there in the priorities like food and friends and housing for most people. And here’s the thing- people of all genders are empowered by having a healthy understanding of their sexuality(ies). This is something that I should hope, all feminists can agree on. So porn, as a concept, could be considered a tool that would help everyone learn how to embrace and enjoy sex.
What if porn attempted to teach us some different lessons? Instead of learning that we should have breast implants and need to fake orgasms, we were actually learning the kind of awesome stuff “Our Bodies Ourselves” was putting out there…just in video form?
It stands to reason, that if pornographic material somehow magically became totally egalitarian/inclusive and started showing us real people having really good sex that they were actually enjoying themselves that then….wait for it…people would learn to be better, more honest lovers of others and themselves. And imagine what could happen if suddenly it presented diverse bodies, ethnicities, and ages WITHOUT the insulting characterizations we currently get (see: granny/fatty films)? Maybe, just maybe, we could shift societal beauty standards and help people of all shapes/types believe that they deserve to have sexual fulfillment as well! I know, call me crazy…
So, I guess I’m just asking a lot of dangerous questions here, but I’d love to hear some constructive suggestions and answers- and please- without any hate or judgment, K?