Thursday, March 5, 2009

Feminist porn? Keep searching!

by Emily Sullivan

Feminist porn. If you’re planning on asking Josh about it, space out an hour or two in your schedule. Does it really exist?

I thought I had the answer. I thought I had found it in the Suicide Girls, a website founded by a woman and a man that is popularly considered feminist. The site features alternative women—dyed, cut hair, and all sorts of body modification. Among its goals, in accordance with the title of their latest book, is redefining beauty.

Here’s what I found compelling about the Suicide Girls:

The women are perceived individuals (more so than your average porn star), if only by virtue of their body mod—they are not the indistinguishable, busty blondes of Playboy.

SG (technically) includes women of all shapes and sizes.

The women are given their own pages and blogs. The site includes a chatspace. There seems to be a real interest in making these women 3-dimensional humans, instead of just objects.

The women are sexy because they are powerful. They don’t pose with men, and some don’t take off more than their tops .

The more I talked about it, however, the more I realized it doesn’t quite hit the mark. The shitty truth is that Suicide Girl porn is the same thing as mainstream porn, just targeted at a different demographic. Solicitors of the site aren’t there because they appreciate knowing more about the women they’re jerking off to, they’re there because they like tugging it to nipples that are pierced. When the women are placed in powerful sets or poses, it harkens to S&M more than feminism.

Whether you want to call it porn or erotica, it doesn’t change the fact that women are being objectified. Each of my conversations gravitated from the Suicide Girls as feminist porn towards the ethics behind pornography in general because, I found out, the Suicide Girls do not escape any of the dilemmas that pornography brings up. The objectification of women, women marketing their bodies as a function of an abusive, patriarchal system, and the myriad of problems feminists decry apply just as much to Suicide Girls as they do to Playboy.

Keep searching, Josh!

3 Comments:

At March 5, 2009 at 3:56 PM , Blogger TommyD said...

Emily, if you're looking for pornography that doesn't objectify people, you're going to be looking for a very long time. Porn is inherently a medium of objectification. It depicts the women and men who appear in it (possibly, the men even more so) as objects for the sexual gratification of the viewer.

By "feminist" or "positive" porn, they mean pornography that portrays women's pleasure as equal or greater than men's, and that does not degrade women's sexuality. Still, by consuming pornography at all, you have accepted that it is being produced for your arousal and excitement--not the actors'.

 
At March 5, 2009 at 4:35 PM , Blogger Courtny said...

Good points, Tom.

For those looking for porn that emphasizes women's pleasure and contains a wide range of different performers (different races, ages, and sizes), check out Feministe's collection of links:

http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/07/23/feminist-porn-sex-consent-and-getting-off/

Love,
Courtny

 
At March 7, 2009 at 4:45 PM , Blogger Roscoe said...

Ya, pretty much anything you are beating it to is degrading. It's not so much about what's going on in the movie, it's what is going on in your head as you get off. And while one could say that amateur porn or something like that is watching two loving people having sex, it's still unclear as to how you perceive them and the act. It's purely physical to the viewer, I would argue.

On that note, just like there are arguments that sex outside of marriage can be loving and not inherently lustful or whatever is bad about it, maybe there is something to this:

www.beautifulagony.com

wikipedia that shit, it's kinda interesting

 

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