LETS TALK ABOUT: PORN//SAMANTHA CAMARDO

Photo Citation: https://unboundbox.com/blogs/magazine/list-of-the-best-feminist-porn 

Disclaimer: The feminist pornography debate is multifaceted and contains different opinions and ways of thinking. This blog looks at ideas from mainstream, heterosexual pornography from a critical perspective and offers ways in which we can still view porn without having to deal with the controversial issues that are often seen in the films. What follows is meant to spark a discussion about mainstream pornography and feminist pornography. 

As feminists, it is easy for some to reject the porn industry and everything it represents. Pornography offers unrealistic representations of body types, shapes, sizes, and what healthy sex should look like (Jensen, 2007). Depending on the film, it can also depict women as submissive and it usually focuses on the importance of the male orgasm. Similarly, Fritz and Paul (2017) found that mainstream pornography contains significantly more depictions of female objection than feminist pornography. While there may be differences of opinions, if there were one thing we could all agree on, it might be that porn has not always been based on gender egalitarian ideals.  

Some might say, “it is just acting” or “it is just a fantasy.” It would be naïve to think that all men or women who view porn seek out porn that inherently degrades women. However, it would also be naïve to think that porn has no effect on society and its viewers (McKenzie, 2011). McKenzie (2011) goes on to say that there is a very real possibility that generations of young men and women have and will come to view the degradation of women as a very normal part of sex. Even if it is imaginary, when we gain sexual arousal from films that humiliate and shame women, it has the potential to change not only the society’s view of sex and women, but also the mindset of individuals who consume it (McKenzie, 2011). By becoming more aware of this, we can acknowledge that porn can sometimes perpetuate harmful ideas about sex, and therefore we can avoid that kind of porn. Rather than completely censoring people’s opportunity to explore their sexual desires, why not push people in the direction of websites that contain “female-friendly” videos that depict mutually enjoyable experiences?

Feminist pornography has steadily grown and stands in opposition to the mainstream pornography industry. It is known for its interest in deconstructing stereotypical portrayals of female sexuality and trying to construct more diverse representations (Liberman, 2013).

Some might be wondering, what makes porn feminist porn? Here are five rules from https://everydayfeminism.com/2013/09/feminist-porn/:

1. Both the male and female actors or even their characters, should be treated as equals
2. Male-female sex should not be presented as something that men do to women or that women do for men.
3. Sex is something that people do (most of the time) in the context of a larger relationship. It should reflect the relationship the characters have.
4. Kissing, touching, and hugging are just as important as the lovemaking is. 
5. Sex is not something a couple does for other people but as something they do for themselves—they should be enjoying the sex, not just going through the motions. 

Growing numbers of women are directing and producing films where the focus is on the female orgasm and satisfaction compared to most typical mainstream porn directed by men (Kort, 2010.)  Kort (2010) also believes that women who are making these films are actively removing the misogyny from porn. Fritz and Paul (2017) believe that feminist pornography may be giving different and possibly better sexual scripts compared to mainstream porn. Feminist pornography films focuses on consent, communication, fair pay, and safety during sex. Overall, more porn sites are teaming up with content providers to feature porn made by and for women. 

However, there are caveats to all of this. Feminist porn might still be inherently objectifying. And why should we assume that the women who perform in porn films are being degraded? There is still the potential possibility that these women are empowered through this type of work. I don’t expect the entire porn industry to change overnight but the concept of feminist porn has the potential to empower women on their own time, in a field that has historically been dominated by men.

~Written by Samantha Camardo



References:

Jensen, R. (2007). Getting off: Pornography and the end of masculinity. Cambridge, MA: South End Press.
Kort, J. (2010). Review of 'Getting off: Pornography and the end of masculinity'. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 36(4), 383-385.
Liberman, Rachel Anne.  (2013). "The Politics of Mediating Female Sexual Subjectivity: Feminist Pornography and the Production of Cultural Variation" Journalism & Mass Communication Graduate Theses & Dissertations. 20. http://scholar.colorado.edu/jour_gradetds/20
McKenzie, S. (2011). Why the new 'porn norm' s hurting women. The Sydney Morning Herald,
O'Connor, R. (2013). What does feminist porn look like? https://everydayfeminism.com/2013/09/feminist-porn/














1 comment:

  1. Great perspective! I really enjoyed reading this!

    ReplyDelete