Apr 10 2007, 04:23 PM
I agree it's disturbing, but not exactly surprising. I'm with you Crinoline, it does need a serious overhaul.
Apr 16 2007, 09:31 PM
IMO, as with any experience that evokes deep emotions, porn has the power to become addictive. sky diving, rock climbing, risk taking, shop lifting, etc... all these experiences are natural highs. they are things that people know are dangerous but do anyway because of how it makes them feel.
i dont think porn is the enemy. i think what perpetuates an addiction is the excitement and feelings attached to it. i would like to think these men know that degrading and abusing women is in fact 'wrong' but they simply dont care. i think they are just wrapped up in their own perversions that they cant see past their own desires. so the question becomes, how do you get them to care? about themselves.. about their well being and the well being of those they interact with? i think if we figured that out, we'd eliminate a lot of the problems in the world.
Apr 17 2007, 08:04 AM
I dunno, I think men who are consuming porn-stuff like "ATM" (ass to mouth-going directly from penetrating the woman anally, with no condom, and then going straight into her mouth)-I don't think it's just that they don't care. I think they truly hate women.
Did you know that the reason Betamax failed, and VHS got into all of our homes, was because of porn? Betamax refused to put porn on their tapes, so we all got VHS. Same thing is now happening with DVD, blue ray discs, etc.
Do you ever check out one angry girl's site? She has some great quotations on there-they are the things in bubbles, and if you click on them, they give you some great quotations.
I went to that porn conference at Wheelock college, and it was amazing. I finally felt understood. I finally felt like I was around feminists who weren't compromising at all. It was amazing. I brought my boyfriend, too, because he does use some porn, and I've been upset about it. We had some very difficult discussions about it, he was really defensive. But, at the conference, he really got it. He cried during one of the presentations, and was just horrified and sick by the slide show we viewed. He was a changed man by the time we left-and we only stayed for the first three hours of it. I couldn't stomach any more, even though it was SOOOO amazing to be in the presence of these powerful women who will not back down!
The first hour was a talk about how 2nd wave and 3rd wave feminists struggle to talk about this, and about some of the lies that the 3rd wavers have sadly bought into. IT wasn't a "tsk tsk 3rd wavers" kind of thing, but it was talking about how porn has become so mainstream in our culture, that it's so impossible to avoid. And how it's been repackaged and put out as this new "empowering" thing for women to do. Basically, we are participating in our own exploitation. Of course she spoke about this in MUCH better ways that I could ever! I'm hoping to buy the DVD so I can pass it around to people who couldn't make it to the conference, and so that I can see the rest of it. It was so powerful and moving.
One of the most important things I took away from this conference, was that the VAST majority of porn is women-hating. There is just no question about that. IF you look at what movies sell, what companies make the most money, the evidence is there. Of course, there is other "porn" out there-I still don't have a word for it, but I guess you'd call it feminist porn, or women-friendly porn. STuff that has emerged as an attempt to say hey! violent porn isn't cool-why can't women have porn that's good for us, too? I don't know what to call that stuff, but my guess is it's the kind of stuff that defenders of porn on this site, are talking about. I think because there is this tiny little sliver that's been carved out by women and for women, many feminists can say "not all porn is bad!" Because you can point to 2-3 websites where it's not so bad, nothing like the woman-hating stuff. But you have to remember, for the most part, men aren't going to these feminist sites. And these feminist sites or companies represent such a miniscule fraction of what porn really is.
I know I've been the angry girl on this site for a while, and lately I just haven't been reading or posting here at all. I wanted to explore my feelings about porn, and I knew it would be hard, but I was genuinely shocked to have feminists trying to sell me porn. Just shocked, outraged, and extremely sad. I feel like I have a much better understanding of all this stuff now, and I can see how all of us are struggling with these insane messages we get every day in 1000 different ways. We are all trying to make sense of it, we are all trying to find a better way. For me, porn, in any shape or form, is not that way. This has opened up so much for me and for my relationship with my boyfriend. He was so horrified by this conference, he really had no clue what he was participating in. He was sickened by it. We've had so many amazing, open talks about sexuality, how ours was formed, etc. I feel a huge sense of relief that he gets it now. He's been sending me articles, it's so funny. He is talking to his brothers about how porn is "one of the most important issues we face today."
It's really adorable. He's having to work out his feelings of shame, and arousal, and all that stuff, and it is hard work. But I'm so proud of him for doing it. And SO relieved!!! For a long time, I felt like I couldn't really stand up and say NO PORN. And now that just makes me feel sad, that I've been so brainwashed that even though I know it makes me sick, and I know it's women-hating, I was STILL kind of believing those fucked up messages!
Anyways, long ass post. I just wanted to reflect on all these life-changing experiences I've been having.
Hope you are all well.
Apr 18 2007, 03:13 PM
here we go with the self riteous maddy BS. you know, once again you have proven that your way is the only way, and that we are "compromising" our feminists beliefs bc we dont agree with your views. spare me maddy, just spare me. i am glad you had your life changing talk with your bf, and its always important to get these things out in the open, personally i think you are incredibly closed minded. you can call me an anti feminist i am going to call you a narrow minded prude.
i thinkits obvious porn needs a major overhaul (mainstream porn). and i have heard studies just like the one you cited crinoline. it doesnt surprise me. not one bit. do i think we should ban porn altogether and that it cant be changed? no absolutely not. the minute we give up on something is the minute they win. and i dont think banning it outright will do a single thing to address the fundamental problem.
"I dunno, I think men who are consuming porn-stuff like "ATM" (ass to mouth-going directly from penetrating the woman anally, with no condom, and then going straight into her mouth)-I don't think it's just that they don't care. I think they truly hate women."
as for that quote, all it shows is complete ignorance. sure, that kinda crap isnt my cup of tea, but are you saying all men who do that hate women? you make some of the broadest generalizations about people maddy its truly amazing. i think its irresponsible to show in porn, but hateful, i dont agree with that.
i think its also clear that feminists are never going to agree on the porn issue, but throwing 'anti feminist" around isnt helping anyone.
Apr 18 2007, 04:29 PM
What I'm about to post doesn't have much to do with this particular discussion, but whether you agree with the existence of pornography or not, here is a group of people that are doing it for the greater good. I have a friend that works in Ecuador doing ethnobotany and she just got a several thousand dollar grant from this group. (can you imagine reading a scientific paper and the funding group sited is fuck for the forest?) Strange, but strangley positive. Just wanted to share. Please, back to the heated debate, and I'll go back to lurking and trying to form my own opinion.
Apr 18 2007, 08:01 PM
huh. if we had this for every cause. . .
Apr 18 2007, 10:12 PM
Well, being a fan of alternative types of porn and erotica, and not being a big fan of mainstream junk (that goes for porn, tv, music, activities) I don't think that just because some men take enjoyment in the degradation of women that everyone has to lose out. I mean, I don't think that my listening to good music means that somehow I am supportive of BAD music, just because its music. I don't think Joe-schmoe frat boy's addiction to icky mainstream porn is enhanced by that sliver of women-friendly porn out there,..if anything, its off-balanced by it. The point is, there are and should be choices. The more choice, the more opportunity for people to choose wisely.
I'm sorry Maddy that you were offended that some feminists here tried to introduce you to alternative porn, but ya know, I dont think its worth any outrage. Maybe you are participating too much in mainstream culture? I know I was much angrier when I had a tv, went to sporting events, watched blockbuster movies and shopped at malls/chain stores/supermarkets. If you do any of that, then THAT is why you are bombarded with all those messages. I just avoid all that crap. Its seriously so easy to not participate in that culture, its rad.
As for those studies, I wonder what countries they've studied. It seems that there is a lot of degrading shit coming out of Japan, both in porn and in mainstream movies...and I'm not sure how poorly women there are treated. Anyone know? I also wonder if women are treated better in Muslim countries, where porn is highly suppressed. Hey, I dont wanna assume.
Apr 18 2007, 10:38 PM
I don't know if it's worth buying (unless you have a special piggy bank dedicated to porn) but I have seen parts of Eon McKay's Neu Wave Hookers and it does something really interesting. Basically, it has scenes of women trying to turn tricks with really unsavory dudes juxtaposed with them happily doing really hot dudes. The contrast is quite uncomfortable/striking for porn. The unsavory men scenes are disturbing and I would argue really a turnoff. then they are placed with these really hot consensual scenes and the difference is palpable. The nice thing is it gives you some mental space to deal with the creepiness of some kinds of sex for money so the happy porn scenes are relaxing and feel freer. It seems like the film constantly reminds the viewers that the stars and viewers choose to be there, and because of that, it feels feminist to me. When there is spanking or even sex it's clearly because the women want it and when they are not into it nothing happens. It also has an 80s aesthetic which is kind of fun. Also, the women have real bodies...
Like gb, I am all for lots of different possibilities--and think porn can be really porductive for both showing men and women different possibilities of pleasure and different types of bodies as well as imagining and playing out all different kinds of erotic stories. I am not sure about that study either. It seems like oppression and inequality teach men to disrespect women and that, to me--I don't think porn always does this--I think we model messed up power relations from the way that power is manipulated in our everyday lives and in politics. I bet that hanging out with a bunch of CEOS of big oil might also make men more likely to be violent toward women or if they spent time with religious fundamentalists of any sort. I bet seeing scenes of war makes men want to beat women, but if you showed a man a scene of two people 69ing he might just want to light a candle and pleasure himself or his partner. Did these studies ask men if they felt like intimately kissing someone? Perhaps thye were primed to think about violence and just had "yes" in their heads which they answered to whatever.
Apr 18 2007, 10:46 PM
why do i think you aren't hanging around for the replys maddy?
i think you being the "angry girl on this site." is more a matter of how you like to see yourself. i'm not trying to insult you, maddy, i just honestly think you like it that way. you don't post here much anymore, because i think you find that there are too many people who question your suppostions, and it's much more comforting to go to that other site where they think you are the bee's knees. where your word is gold and there are lots of nodding heads around you. that certainly isn't here. and that's your choice and your right. but don't leave little bombs unless you've got the guts to defend your ideas and words. but then, i could be wrong. you could be up for the debate. in which case you have my admiration.
but whether you are ready for the debate or not, here is why i disagree with what you posit:
your biggest flaw is you allow no room for greys. sadly, militants of any group like absolutes. it makes it easier for people to get rid of anyone who questions, disagrees, or has a different experience. it also makes the goods they are selling more marketable. you see it in how this was used to get us in to, and keep us in iraq. does "either you are with us or against us," sound familliar?
that simplistic view, leads you to believe all porn is bad, but the only proof you have is a dubious study. really, genital/ pulse response does not equal desire. it does not measure the man's feelings about what he is shown, yet you claim to know with absolute certainty: "even if he lies..." there could be any number of reasons his pulse rate would change and the equipment registered it. he may be embarassed. who knows, but let's grant you that subject x finds porno topic a titilating. that doesnt equate to him perpetrating violence, or even buying porn of that subject. you completely erase and dehumanize the subject's ability to use a moral compass. he is reduced to an animal, who can do nothing but respond. tsk. you accuse porn of seeing women as objects, and that charge, in large part may be fair. but do you not do the same disservice to this subject? to men? to your boyfriend?
human sexuality is much more complex than you give it, and most humans credit for. and it makes sense, b/c if you looked at it not as a simplistic binary, but as a myriad of choices, ideas, concepts. some of them, misogynistic, some not, but drawing a simple line, isnt always possible. and i will give you an eg. you say that a certain acts on film, which you outline below, are misogynistic. you fail to specifically state why, (moral reasons? health reasons? it's in poor taste? you dislike the order? or it's simply not your kink? who knows) but what if it hadn't occured to the filmakers that that act was a violation for any one fo the reasons i made up above, or that may be their kink. *shrugs* dunno. what makes it misogynistic? (for simplicity's sake lets say it's for health reasons, since the other reasons are based on personal taste, and not workable for a real clear, critical, evaluation of what is and isn't misogynistic for our purposes here.) what if in shooting said scene it was the woman's idea? or no one's? what if it just happened by way of improvization? porn movies aren't known for their detailed scripts? men don't always think about how doing something like this might be unhealthy, since their plumbing isnt the same. (while the plumbing we are talking about for the act is common for men and women, women, because of their anatomy are much more aware of what effects bodies, and health effects of insertion of foreign bodies than men are. vaginas are much more vulernable than peni.) so by any of the above it was more a matter of ignorance or insociance. i can here you screaming, " they did it because it's taboo, damn it! stop talking around it!!! now, while it may be because the director/actor/actress or even a passer by thought it was "hot" or "dirty" that doesn't automatically make it hate. i have been introduced to most of the kink i enjoy from my girlfriends. suppose the person who's idea this was got the kink from their gf?
now, having said all of this, i am not saying it couldn't be hate. but what is the objective measure you use to judge if it is misogynistic? while you throw in tattered caviats to "good porn" but it is half-hearted at best. you've made your sumary judgement on porn and you don't believe there is good porn any more than you believe pigs can fly. all porn is bad because you say it is and that's all that is to it. i've suggested semiotics, but you never even took that seriously. you'd rather stick to the black and white. it's safer not having to think, not having to question. it's easier having absolute certainty or supposed clarity.
Apr 19 2007, 07:43 AM
QUOTE(greenbean @ Apr 19 2007, 12:29 AM)
I'm sorry Maddy that you were offended that some feminists here tried to introduce you to alternative porn, but ya know, I dont think its worth any outrage. Maybe you are participating too much in mainstream culture? I know I was much angrier when I had a tv, went to sporting events, watched blockbuster movies and shopped at malls/chain stores/supermarkets. If you do any of that, then THAT is why you are bombarded with all those messages. I just avoid all that crap. Its seriously so easy to not participate in that culture, its rad.
just want to pop in and argue that just because we don't like or participate in something that the majority of people do, doesn't mean we shouldn't concern ourselves with it. mainstream crap affects the way the people who do pay attention to it react, what they spend their money on , how they treat us, and what they in turn may create.
i don't personally buy 'girls gone wild' videos, but because so many do i feel it's party to blame or at least a gross result of a society that young women jiggling their boobs for anyone with $9.95 is so commonplace and seems so harmless, and how images trickle down to stuff marketed to 12-year old girls. i don't need to participate in that culture to know how it affects the one around me, that i can't completely separate myself from.
that said, i'm not suggesting we burn every 'ggw' video, porn mag, hooters restaurant. i'm suggesting we respond to it somehow, either by creating healthier alternatives, as said here, or just plain ol' awareness that we're here and we don't like it.
Apr 19 2007, 08:05 AM
"is more a matter of how you like to see yourself. i'm not trying to insult you, maddy, i just honestly think you like it that way. you don't post here much anymore, because i think you find that there are too many people who question your suppostions, and it's much more comforting to go to that other site where they think you are the bee's knees. where your word is gold and there are lots of nodding heads around you. that certainly isn't here. and that's your choice and your right. but don't leave little bombs unless you've got the guts to defend your ideas and words. "
thank you girltrouble, you said what i was thinking far more eloquently then i ever could. i dont know maddy if you think you are more "enlightened" then us, or what is going on, but frankly the condescending attitude is getting old. if you rather have people agree wtih all your ideas and theories, this is not the place, which personally is why i like bust.
and GB, i totally agree with the whole maybe she is participating too much in mainstream culture. the way i see it maddy is that basically, you are kind of just the run of the mill yuppie who doesnt like what she sees in the life she participates in, but is too cowardly too really get out there and see the wider world and what it has to offer, so its just easier to sit back and criticize the only thing you know.
what GB said definitly has a point, go out and see what else there is to offer, or at the very least respect the ideas and opinions of those that do. you would think we were trying to defend something as horrible as rape when you speak about "no compromises' when it comes to differentiating between mainstream porn and what women like us find erotic.
Apr 19 2007, 09:04 AM
that's why i love the lounge too, katie. i remember a bit a go someone posted something about guns thinking there would be some sort of outrage, but what followed was a really interesting discussion. busties are a very interesting, smart lot, and the they like to come to their own conclusions. that's why i liked having maddy around when she was here more. yes, i find her hardline feminism (a nice way of putting it), alienating, and i will bet dollars to donuts that sooner or later that community that nods their heads in agreement now will turn on her eventually. that's what always happens. *shugs* but she needs to feel it's sting before she gets it, and that's ok. i understand the need to see things in black and white, i just know too well, this ain't the world we live in.
katie, you also mentioned one thing i wanted to take on too. this business of "uncompromising" and her rejection of the third wave. it strikes me that what is going on here is a kind of, and i say this hesitantly, but i simply don't know how else to say it, a rejection of the 3rd wave is a kind of conservative backlash, not just for the sake of pornography, but also to bring it back to a upper/middle-class white focus. and i think you were eluding to this a bit katie. it's kind of a political version of the disco backlash. not this may seem like an odd thing to compare it to, but remember what disco was primarily about: not a modernization of ballroom dancing, but rather, a taking over of the minorities (plural) of pop culture, a kind of seduction of the other. let me make my paralells more clear: the disco was a space for the minority, but was welcoming to anyone. it was fully democratic at its best: gay, black, latino, all were welcome to add it's flavor to the "melting pot". the backlash that follows, was less a matter of hating music, that at that point, really did suck (major labels codified, commodified, and watered down the creativity, much as they do to hip-hop today, but to a greater degree), musics have their hayday and pass quietly all the time. think of grunge, or to some degree, punk. but disco required something much stronger, stadiums of people burning records, crushing them with bulldozers, etc, but the subtext was a racist and homophobic one. what followed after disco? white, metal hairbands. mtv played practially no black (or any other person of color), artists until jacko arrived on the scene, and later hip hop, (the revenge of disco, on some level).
but back to the point: what is the main virtue of the third wave that the people at maddy's conference attacked? it's inclusive. the third wave seeks to include the narritives of women of color, women from the third world, women of different religion, transgendered women, and , yes, femmes, label them as feminist, and to incorperate them on their own terms. this is, in effect, a taking over of the miniorities. a (white) (upper/middle class) woman doesn't have the right or the understanding of the particulars to prescribe (or dictate) solutions to their problems. so to attack, undermine, or to call them corrupt, is a backdoor attack, to jettison not just a 3rd wave view of pornography, but rather the 3rd wave as a whole, in favor of a less complicated world view-- that of the privilaged white woman.
Apr 19 2007, 09:23 AM
you know i never thought of it that way girltrouble, but you are absolutely right. i dont even know if its a conscious attempt to be honest, i just definitly agree with the idea that it is a conservative backlash. there always has been, however, a very vocal anti porn contingent (andrea dworkin, catharine mackinnon-both women whose writings and ideas i respect mind you) i do think that it is getting louder as a response to the inclusive 3rd wave. inclusive in that, we are trying to incorporate feminists and women of every stripe, and those that are pro sex/alternative lifestyle/NON mainstream porn are included in those groups. as are ALL the different opinions of women of every race, and what their experience is as a woman in this world. there is no room for fear of the unknown, racism, xenophobia, sexism or (i am about to make up a word here) "judgementalism" in this third wave, and i think its a huge step for feminism.
the thing is, its always easier for simple-minded people who have trouble grasping intricacies of any subject to revert back to black and white dichotomies when dicussing said subject. its either good or its bad, there is no room for any inbetween, and anyone who doesnt see your view is "anti' whatever you are. these are the same people that find it easier to be around their own kind, bc then they dont have to be confronted with the obvious flaws in their logic constantly.
you know girltrouble i did no know really anything you mentioned about disco, and clearly you know your stuff. the conclusion you came to made for a great analogy. its always easier to just sit in your little world and not get out and even TRY to understand other opinions or ways of life and when some people are forced to the consequences can be disheartening at best.
Apr 19 2007, 12:33 PM
well, i like some forms of alternative porn/sex culture, but i don't know that it's fair to assume all anti-porn stance is conservative/racist/classist etc.
i think a lot of women in that strain, esp. Ms. Dworkin, come from a background of sexual abuse (i include myself in this) and just find it triggering. i think the anger is probably a way of working through that. i know when i first started working through my sex "stuff"-i couldn't even go to burlesque or read feminist porn anthologies without getting freaked out.
i don't think that gives anyone an excuse to be hostile or insulting, though.
Apr 19 2007, 01:01 PM
I don't have much to add... except word nickclick! and i enjoy reading everyone's differening opinions, I'm definitely learning!
greenbean just made me think of something though... coming from personal experience. I used to live in a muslim country, and while porn is outwardly supressed, with satelite tv and that it's actually fairly available and quite widely watched. Just from casual conversation, the impressions "young people" (sorry, I hate that term) were getting from porn were dreadful - not just for the men; the expectations young women had of sex were completely skewed, taking the madonna/whore dichtonomy to a whole 'nother level as it were. And I don't think it helps when the outward culture can be quite degrading towards women as well, particularly younger women. (I noticed that a lot of older women were treated fairly well, but younger women - even if they wore the hejab etc - were still hooted at in the streets, insulted etc for walking past. Street harassment was rife over there, so much so that I hated to walk out on my own)
Apr 19 2007, 05:51 PM
Yeah mornington, thats what I suspected. I have a feeling, similiar to what Lapis said, that porn generally reflects how a culture already feels about its women, rather than culture reflecting what it views in porn.
Nickclick, I know what you are saying but I'm saying that by participating in/exposing ourselves to mainstream culture really doesn't help anything, it only makes us angry and depressed. I just get the impression that the only way to fight mainstream culture is to ignore it, and be an example for others to ignore it. Of course, thats how subcultures form and get popular and then people with money buy it up and repackage it and then THAT becomes mainstream and we have to go through the whole cycle again.
I care about how pop culture affects young girls to an extent, but not really. I feel like by enforcing the notion that girls are all victims of marketing and mtv only supports the idea that girls are not smart enough or strong enough to think and fight for themselves. As feminists we are (I hope) believers that most girls are brilliant and amazing...yet it seems that we tend to reduce them all to naive, gyrating airheads. Why? Do we really think that low of girls? And is it really that commonplace?
Yeah, I know there certainly are some "girls with low self-esteem" out there who grab onto pop culture and mimick what they see for attention. But fuck 'em, seriously. I've spent to many nights in the past shaking my head at insipid Dr. Phil shows about eating disorders and teen promiscuity. Did it really make me do anything about it? Nope. Just put me in a bad mood. There are always gonna be dumb kids and dumber parents out there trying to keep up with the Jones' and glorify conformity. I just think there are much more fight-worthy feminist concerns out there, like how well are our girls being educated and are their reproductive choices protected. Me: Broken record, I know.
I too am dismayed that there is a backlash against third wavers, but feminism has always had a conservative contingent. Even the Suffragettes had a split in idealogy: while they agreed on wanting the vote, they certainly didn't all vote for the same issues! Many suffragettes voted for prohibition in fact, and even more disappointing, powwerful suffragettes by and large were against black suffrage. Hmmm.
P.S. Funny note Girltrouble: that huge redneck disco bulldoze was done on the day I was born. heh.
Apr 19 2007, 08:16 PM
sigh, yet another puter monitor drenched in my evening tea.
thanks grean bean /sue-doe-sarcasm
i agree with you bean, it seems so much of that conservative feminism never gives women much credit for being thinking autonomous sentient beings. and i always think in any movement. "what kind of me do they want? do they want the creative, can't color inside the lines, funny happy me, or do they want the, don't think, just conform into our idea of what you should be, me. if it's the latter, no thanks. feminism should encourage our most beautiful, happy, i am who i am selves. i can't help but get irritated that feminists are expected to shun their femme selves infavor of some homogenized imaginary womanhood. and while i can appreciate, and have even posted in threads like "i'm a feminist but...." i don't think a woman should ever have to say "but...." feminism to me means you can be who ever you want, it is, and should be limitless, so if you wanna be super mom and bake cookies, more power to you, if you wanna be a body builder, or a gaffer or a welder or whatever, if it makes you happy, then that is a feminist act because you are living up to what you see as your potentual. what i or anyone else thinks be damned.
Apr 20 2007, 07:16 AM
Hey all-I haven't read through all the responses, but did skim quickly. Sorry to see that some people are responding in the same old way. Not surprising, but too bad. Which is why I don't post here much, because the discussions tend to go to the same old place.
I do find it fascinating though, that some posters are so defensive about my words. They are just my opinions, my feelings, and the things that I'm learning. It's sad that people think these means I'm judging them, and get so angry about it, but that's your shit to deal with, not mine. So yeah, I don't post here much. I've found some other great places where I can discuss some of this stuff, and it feels much more productive. Not to diss Bust, because I think this site has many wonderful parts to it-otherwise I wouldn't have spent so much time here.
Oh, and GT-no one at these other site's thinks I'm the "bees knees." LOL!! They are questioning me and pushing me and forcing me to look at things too. Things that are VERY uncomfortable and difficult for me to look at. You guys are the ones who just want everyone to agree with you! You are the ones who can't handle it when someone questions you! (not talking about everyone, some seem to have a really good understanding of this stuff, like nickclick)
Gotta work now!
Apr 20 2007, 07:49 AM
aah! i dunno if i have a good understanding, if what you mean is some sort of particular knowledge, but i am trying to be understanding of both sides.
yes, when i was an impressionable youngster i certainly steered clear of the mainstream, since things i was into, like art and books, were not what was, or probably ever will be, mainstream cool. so as an outsider i sort of avoided the self-esteem pitfalls all set up around teenage girls. but i have to credit my 'weird' interests, my early feminist conscience, and my supportive parents. not all teens have those.
i'd bet most of us around here close to my age (31) would admit we clung to things like Sassy magazine because it was like a lifeboat in a sea of blonde perky cheerleader Seventeens. but i saw many girls around me doing crazy shit to be those Seventeen girls.
ugh this is starting to sound like a bad punky brewster episode, but you all know what i'm getting at. same shit i said before - commodification of mainstream porn makes those all too common images hard to resist. bigger brick walls for feminists to break down.
i will say though, that i don't ever mean to judge what gets people off, because hey, maybe not everyone likes what i jill off to either....
but pisses me off that mainstream porn tells mainstream men - these particular assets about women are sexy. and then Cosmo et. al. (don't know if it starts or ends here) sells lots of mags telling women - these particular assets are what make you sexy (and it's your responsibility to be sexy for men).
but pulling all that crap off the shelves is not going to stop that cycle. telling those men, anyone, what they can get off on isn't gonna either. i agree greenbean, creating enough of an alternative will eventually catch on, and show its flaws.
Apr 20 2007, 09:42 AM
well good maddy. if they are pushing you, making you think, then good. and if you find what they say more provocative then what you find here, then by all means, go where you are being fed. personal, meaningful growth should be the goal for all. i do hope that you did not take what i said personally, as i went out of my way not to attack you, for my part i think having someone who doesn't agree with me a very good thing, to find my own personall growth, and your ideas still make me want to find solutions to some of the contradictions you pointed out in my logic, and i personally look forward to your responses when you have more time to speak to our points, but that said i find myself very curious to find out how they are making you think. what points are they bringing up that you find most challenging. for my part i would love to hear what they said to similar posts to the one you left here.
Apr 20 2007, 10:15 AM
greenbean, I should of added that this was western porn - with the exception of some of the music channels coming out of turkey and lebanon, which makes mtv look like a decent alternative. It was basically porn.
I think, to a certain degree, it is fairly normal for the majority of teenagers to want to be "like everyone else"... i'm basically agreeing with nickclick, that commodification is the problem, and enough of an alternative needs to be created (which, tbh, is why I kindof like the suicide girls - at least the idea behind it).
gt, i heart you. you've knocked feminism on the head for me. It's whatever makes you happy - and not recieving any shit for doing that. I think the conservative feminists can do a lot of damage, because like a lot of extreme conservatives of any bent, they're the ones who make the most noise; when (unfortunately) feminism is a percieved minority, there are fewer people to shout louder than them, and so they're the ones who get heard, and turn people off third-wave feminism. Although at the same time, I think they're entitled to thier opinions on porn or whatever, I just wish there was more acknowledgement of there being some women-friendly porn out there.
Apr 20 2007, 11:13 AM
Also, I wasn't looking for a debate. I was posting what my experience has been in the past few months, and about going to that conference. I've learned a lot about myself, and about feminism, and about life, and I'm excited about it. I thought people might be interested, I guess not. I thought I'd give it another go here at BUST, now that I understand where my anger was coming from. But I think the people who post in this thread, in general, like porn and are extremely defensive about it, and don't really want to look any further than what they like.
With that, I'm really out. Disappointed, but not surprised. Take care of yourselves! I wish you all the best.
Apr 20 2007, 11:49 AM
maddy, gt has just said she was interested in knowing what else you'd experienced and learnt from the other sites. I would too!
just my two pence, but the people here who like porn seem to generally like alternative, woman-friendly porn. Is it not possible to separate the woman-friendly and commercial/mass porn and have a discussion? (maybe what defines woman-friendly porn?) It seems to me that people are willing to do that. I'll admit I know bugger-all about porn, i don't watch it simply beause I don't enjoy it, but having said that, I've never seen any woman-friendly porn. I'm just genuinely interested in the debate, and I enjoy reading your views when they're not so defensive (and when others aren't attacking you - katie, I thought what you said was a bit harsh).
Apr 20 2007, 12:09 PM
The only reason its harsh is because Maddy pulls this crap all the time and its just old. I mean this is the same conversation we had with her MONTHS ago when this thread first started and shes still not getting it, so really I was just out of patience with her. It's nothing new, and it's not even just this topic that she does this with. She IS judgemental, despite what she says, and she IS closeminded, so I just call it like i see it in this case. At this point shes just dismissive. We have all agreed with her point in terms of the idea that most mainstream porn is bad, but she refuses to look outside the box. In the end its her that will be more hurt then anyone else. She is also very manipulative in that she tries to turn it around and accuse us of getting defensive and not getting it, or looking at her point of view, when nothing could be farther from the truth. Case in point, how GT specifically asked for her experiences with the other sites (which I too would like to see) and she says that is a defesive move without even addressing anything that would force her to actually articulate what those sites say. Its just all too convenient thats all, and has been for months. I am definitly not against hearing both sides in this debate, that is what this thread is for.
In any case, women friendly porn. well, all you really have to do is go to a women friendly porn shop, or visit one online. as we discussed previously, awhile back, beautifulagony.com and ifeelmyself.com came up. not that beautifulagony is porn per se, but its along those lines. I think also its hard to definitively specify what is necesarily "women friendly" when taste in porn varies so much. I would classify it as anything that doesnt make me seethingly uncomfortable. for instance, 5 guys jerking off on a girls face, yeah thats not women friendly and incredibly dehumanizing for me to watch. stuff like that i dont think is women friendly. maybe an interesting question is "is there a woman friendly way to even portray that situation or is it inherently anti woman?". hmm who knows.
Apr 20 2007, 12:47 PM
QUOTE(maddy29 @ Apr 20 2007, 01:30 PM)
Also, I wasn't looking for a debate. I was posting what my experience has been in the past few months, and about going to that conference. I've learned a lot about myself, and about feminism, and about life, and I'm excited about it. I thought people might be interested, I guess not.
i think we're all interested, 'cuz why else would we be posting in this thread?!?!??? but the nature of these boards is to learn from each other, inherently causing debate, or discussion, but minus personal attacks all around please. that's never gonna open up any interesting debate.
Apr 20 2007, 01:03 PM
ok said i was out, but i lied
(I'm just going to ignore katie, fyi. I can't address someone who is just attacking me personally.)
The experience I've had on other sites is that feminists aren't trying to show me how great "some porn" can be. It's feminists who are willing to really look at what the VAST majority of the porn industry is. You are all SO focused on the stuff you watch-and THAT'S NOT WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. That is like .001% of the porn industry. Fer god's sakes. Take a look at the top 100 selling porn films-I betcha you won't find one single "woman-friendly" film. Even in the top 1000, I bet.
On the other sites, women don't call me a prude or judgmental, when I say I find porn absolutely disgusting. In fact, they push me to look even further into that. They aren't trying to sell me some bullshit about stripping being "empowering" They are challenging me a lot about porn, but also about femininity, gender roles, etc. They don't call me a bitch when I say that high heels are evil. They don't call me the feminist police when I argue that feminism is about ending oppression, not just "women doing whatever makes them happy." So basically, they don't call me names or attack me. They state their opinions, and ask questions, and challenge me, but there's no name-calling. I feel like they have really helped me pull my head out of my ass, and forced me to take my blinders off, about a lot of things. I feel a huge sense of relief. I can state my opinion, and my feelings, and they are listened to and considered, not thrown out and ignored.
Whereas on this site, I've been called names, harassed, not listened to, told I was a prude, vanilla, judgmental, manipulative, etc etc etc. So yeah, my experience on these other sites has been a lot better. (Not saying everyone here sucks or anything, of course not. )
And truthfully, I'm not sure why people post in this thread and others. It doesn't seem like most people are actually interested in talking about this stuff in any open kind of way. I mean, some people are fine, sure. But most people just get defensive and freak out, and aren't willing to look at all sides of this stuff. So yeah, I'm not really sure why you are all here, other than to jump on my ass whenever I say something you don't agree with.
None of you even asked about the conference or showed any interest in it-you just jumped on what you didn't like about what I said, and responded to that. It seems that some people are more interested in stirring shit up then in actually learning.
Apr 20 2007, 01:15 PM
Oh, and greenbean- I"m not offended that feminists here told me about certain types of porn. I wanted to explore all this stuff, and even though I didn't enjoy any of the stuff I've seen, I wasn't offended by anyone here referring me to certain sites. That being said, please don't tell me what I can and can't be outraged about.
GT-I wasn't the one who brought up that study, so don't freak out on me about it!!! Also, I have never said all porn is bad. I don't know where you pulled that one from, but it wasn't me. Seriously, I've always tried to differentiate between the majority of porn (woman-hating) and the small percentage that is women-friendly, or whatever. I don't really have any interest in talking about that little niche though....at least not now. Why do you always have to start with a big attack on me? Then you PM me something nice, it's very confusing.
The conference really wasn't dissing on third wave feminism, it was applauding it for being more inclusive, but there were critiques, too. I don't think I described that lecture very well, it was really more about trying to join together the good parts of both "movements" (not that I even identify with either or any particular "wave"). It was talking about what the radical feminists are missing, and what the third wave "sex-positive" crowd is missing. It wasn't saying one was better than the other. It was saying how can we work together to stop the pornification of our culture.
Also, porn isn't sex. Porn isn't human sexuality. So why is GT talking about the complexity of human desire? I'm talking about porn, big difference.
Apr 20 2007, 01:48 PM
porn is, in some instances a reflection of human sexuality, and maddy frankly, i feel attacked personally by your whole attitude about being "compromising". in fact i am genuinely interested in that conference and what you learned, i just thought the way you went about talking about it was condescending.
Apr 20 2007, 02:05 PM
maddy, i think the point GT was making with porn and desire, is that porn wouldn't be made if people didn't see something they desired; it's a case of supply and demand there. And people find different things desireable, so there are different acts in porn. However, I think there is also a degree of taboo - people are curious about what other people don't talk about.
also, yes, feminism is about ending oppression, but to me, that does involve doing what makes you happy.
katie, thanks for the recommendations, but i'm not looking for porn - just to talk about it. and perhaps you too could compromise that maddy is entitled to her opinion - as maddy is (I hope) willing to compromise that you can hold yours. Without the name-calling on either side.
Apr 20 2007, 02:41 PM
oh i was just trying to give examples of things mornington, in case you wanted to look and maybe get an idea. some people might not consider it woman friendly, but i think that is what makes this discussion even more interesting.
Apr 20 2007, 04:27 PM
Maddy, you asked why "we" (I guess you mean those of us that aren't as outraged about high heels as you want feminists to be) even come on these threads. Um, I for one am on here to learn from other peoples opinions and to grow as an informed woman,..but I'm also here to remind other feminists that we are a diverse bunch with diverse backgrounds and lifestyles.
I never said you CAN'T be outraged by whatever does that to you, I just dont appreciate that you have to tell us how WE'VE outraged you, and then expect us to trot off with our tails between our legs. Sorry! Doesn't work that way. You say that you didnt want to start a debate, and that just wanted to reflect on your experience at that conference. Well, fair enough. I'm just doing some reflecting myself. I think that if I sound defensive, its because I want to stress that my opinion matters, even if it isnt what those other feminists want to hear. Let me see if I can make my opinion more clear. Maddy, you said:
"The experience I've had on other sites is that feminists aren't trying to show me how great "some porn" can be. It's feminists who are willing to really look at what the VAST majority of the porn industry is. You are all SO focused on the stuff you watch-and THAT'S NOT WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. That is like .001% of the porn industry. Fer god's sakes. Take a look at the top 100 selling porn films-I betcha you won't find one single "woman-friendly" film. Even in the top 1000, I bet."
Ok, right, I understand your concern is how disgusting and degrading mainstream porn is. I think that is something a lot of us are concerned with and aren't sure exactly how to curtail it. It would have been great if you shared with us some of the solutions you've learned at the conference, but so far you haven't. It seems you were more concerned with telling us how those other feminists are SOOOO great and won't back down and arent compromising. I didnt hear any solutions other than educating your boyfriend why hes not allowed to watch porn...which I'm not opposed to, its your relationship and thats important to you...but that is a personal solution for you and not the reason I get defensive.
I get defensive because you continue to dismiss the importance of alternative and woman-friendly porn, simply because of the numbers. I can't stress enough that THIS is the solution: ALTERNATIVES!!! Its doesnt matter how small. We need alternatives in all our choices, whether its our cars, shopping centers, music...its dire. Take music for example. Look at who tops the charts. Justin Timberlake? Akon? Elliot Yamin? CRAP CRAP CRAPPITY CRAP. Total brain-numbing crap. But what is the solution? LISTENING TO BETTER MUSIC. And sharing better music. Some people will thank you for exposing them to it, others well say "No thanks, I like crap" and some will just ignore better music cuz its only .001% of music, so, you know, it must not matter.
Another note, I *am* here to learn more, and that is why I asked about the study Chrinoline mentioned, and if anyone knew more about porn and other countries. Mornington talked of Muslim countries, and I appreciate being able to learn from her. I am still interested in Japan's culture, because I have seen some icky stuff come from there and would love to find out more about their modern culture, the good, bad and ugly.
Frankly, I didn't ask about your conference because it seemed like just a bashing of the "evils" of sexualized culture and I've been through Catholic school already.
Apr 20 2007, 08:54 PM
lol... maddy, i do like seeing you here, so i pm'd you, but i don't think i was attacking you, rather, just talking about the things you brought up. and in all honesty, both you and i have had our freak outs on this site, so it's not that it's just you being attacked. *shrug* i must admit that i find it funny that you say i am on some sort of attack when you put these backhanded and/or condesending comments in your posts, perhaps you don't realize you are doing it, but it seems rather apparent to me. here, let me quote your post that started this whole thing:
I went to that porn conference at Wheelock college, and it was amazing. I finally felt understood. I finally felt like I was around feminists who weren't compromising at all. It was amazing. .....I couldn't stomach any more, even though it was SOOOO amazing to be in the presence of these powerful women who will not back down!
The first hour was a talk about how 2nd wave and 3rd wave feminists struggle to talk about this, and about some of the lies that the 3rd wavers have sadly bought into. IT wasn't a "tsk tsk 3rd wavers" kind of thing, but it was talking about how porn has become so mainstream in our culture...
One of the most important things I took away from this conference, was that the VAST majority of porn is women-hating. There is just no question about that. IF you look at what movies sell, what companies make the most money, the evidence is there. Of course....
... but I was genuinely shocked to have feminists trying to sell me porn. Just shocked, outraged, and extremely sad. I feel like I have a much better understanding .... so proud of him for doing it. And SO relieved!!! For a long time, I felt like I couldn't really stand up and say NO PORN. And now that just makes me feel sad, that I've been so brainwashed that even though I know it makes me sick, and I know it's women-hating, I was STILL kind of believing those fucked up messages!
emphasis (bold,italic) is mine
to me it seems rather apparent. you have a particular view of porn, and not everyone agrees with you, and maybe you are ok with people not agreeing with you, but the way you phrase it, it comes across as, "well i know better than you" and holier-than-thou. now, you may not feel that way i perhaps i should have given you the benefit of a doubt, but we do have history, so i may have just assumed that is what you meant.
as for why i was going on about different human sexualities, it's because you seem to see mainstream porn as a monolithic authority of heterosexual views and norms. and even mainstream porn is anything but monolithic, but further, you brought up a specific case of what you thought was misogynistic porn, so, taking your eg, i disected it and attempted to point out how it isnt as simple as you make it out to be. for example, i don't think violent porn is automatically woman hating. hey, i like bdsm. you don't. but i think domme or sub power when talking about bdsm is way more complex that simple binaries. and bdsm isn't always leather, whips and chains, sometimes it's verbal tones or a look in the eye, and what may look one way to the viewer is radically different for those participating. that's why i suggest that instead of using generalities, we use specifics, instead of using over arching assumptions, we figure out systems for evaluating and judging meaning in porn. i say this to you, and it never seems that it is something you are interested in. you would rather throw out your broadsheets, and never really talk about things. meh. maybe we're just talking past each other. i hear what you say, but i just don't agree. i don't need to call you names or "attack" but if you are going to accuse me of doing so, then engage me. don't dismiss me.
Apr 25 2007, 01:35 PM
Apr 25 2007, 01:39 PM
This thread is so deja vu, it is not even interesting anymore.
Apr 25 2007, 02:01 PM
i have to say there are some good points raised in the conference, but i think it will be easier to get rid of misogynist porn if there is an alternative, than if we just argue "no depiction of sex ever". people like naked people too much.
i understand the argument that all sex media is contingent on the objectification of women, and that men cannot be objectified under the patriarchy, but good looking naked people will always be fun to look at.
("playgirl" does NOT count as "good looking naked people")
Apr 25 2007, 02:12 PM
Who the heck is arguing for no depiction of sex ever???????????????
GGG-watch the first video, maybe then you'll have something to say.
Apr 25 2007, 11:16 PM
i have to say i am disappointed in you.
i have honestly wanted to hear what you had to say, and have heard your points, and thoughtfully wrote my reaction to them, only to be again dismissed by you. but really, if you are going to say shit like this:
I can state my opinion [on other sites], and my feelings, and they are listened to and considered, not thrown out and ignored. the least you could do is treat people the way you want to be treated, and oh, i don't know, actually do some listening and considering? me thinks you need to check y-o-u-r-s-e-l-f.
if you aren't really going to even bother to reply when someone takes the time to respond to one of your posts, then why come here?
just to post links? chica, we have pornbots and trolls for that. we don't need you to fuel that fire. i didn't click on the links because i have dial up, an old puter, and i don't bother with audio or video on my computer. i don't click on any links. but more to the point, if you are seriously interested in having your ideas listened to and considered, shouldn't you at least be able to state them for yourself, not just post a link?
meh, since you don't think i have anything i have to say is worth listening to or considering, i think the least i can do is offer you is reciprocity.
laters chickie. i'm done witcha. it's aaaaaaaaalll yours.
*switches maddy's profile to ignore.*
Apr 26 2007, 01:37 PM
QUOTE(maddy29 @ Apr 25 2007, 04:29 PM)
Who the heck is arguing for no depiction of sex ever???????????????
well, then i guess i don't get what you are arguing for, as you seem to be against alternative/feminist porn. . . what sort of depictions of sex would you feel comfortable with?
you know, as i am trying to understand where you are coming from, 15 question marks is a little strong.
Apr 26 2007, 02:31 PM
I have to admit, maddy, i kinda thought you were arguing towards 'no porn' as well. I'm with thereshegoes as far as being confused as to what you're feelings are on what you want.
Apr 26 2007, 03:44 PM
maddy, i really think that the reason the debates occur here is because you state your opinion on porn (porn bad, in simplest of terms), other people begin to discuss alternatives, and you want to stay on the topic of 'porn bad'
it's like...okay, i'll try and make an analogy. there are cheap, bad sex toys on the market. they leach chemicals, smell gross, and are slimy. we'll call them the 'mainstream porn' of the vibrator world. they suck, and lots of people don't like them. the solution is twofold: one, stop buying the crap (don't watch the mainstream porn) and two, educate yourself on the good sex toys, and use that knowledge when shopping (figure out what porn is woman friendly/doesn't make you uncomfortable, and watch that). if you don't like vibrators in general, fine, just don't go on like all vibrators such because there's a majority that do.
i've watched degrading porn that is completely uncaring about the health of the naughty bits of its participants (a penis going directly from a girls ass to her vagina, for example). it made me uncomfortable, i never wanted to see it again (i got it for free from someone who had got it as a gag birthday gift, and me and my friends watched it and played 'yell at the porn like it's a sporting event') it was the shadier underbelly of gross mainstream porn, i think. but i've watched documentaries on like in porn, and i'm guessing that since the cbc didn't have any vested interest in portraying porn in a good light that the majority of people who were there because they wanted to be, along with a few interviews with people who had decided they had enough and got out of porn gave a pretty good idea of the more reputable porn distrubuters, which is people choosing to be there and getting out when they don't.
also, yeah, vhs won over betamax because of porn. you know why? demand for porn is never going to go away, because no matter how many feminist conferences on porn there are, or however many discussion threads there are on the web, there are horny men working at oil camps and teenage boys and girls and people of all genders who are genuinely turned on by it, so it comes down to our personal consumption, and not trying to force our views on porn on others, or belittling and saying people are anti-feminist because they aren't anti-porn vigilantes. so everyone grow the fuck up and show some respect, and maddy get off your horse and talk without equating porn-watching with woman hating, and have a nice debate like adults, or don't say anything at all
Apr 27 2007, 09:14 AM
A good deal of commercially produced porn appears to show contempt for women's health and women's pleasure, which is disturbing. This very prevalent kind of porn appears to both signify and reinforce greater social stereotypes about women as unimportant, powerless, and worthy of unsolicited degradation. It also reinforces bad health habits. What are my options to protest, when faced with this socially acceptable strain of sexism? Is it unacceptable to decry "bad porn" for what it is?
Apr 27 2007, 10:13 AM
i dunno if i totally agree with tyger's analogy and conclusion of - if you don't like it, don't buy it - because, as girlbomb said, and i agree, the bad stuff reinforces bad stereotypes and promotes bad behavior.
i don't believe, though, that stereotypes as girlbomb described start or end with mainstream porn, or crappy rap videos/lyrics, video games, etc. for that matter. these things are all results and products of a society that accepts those stereotypes.
i do agree with tyger's solution of finding healthier alternatives and promoting them.
i know this was a topic either here or somewhere else in the lounge, but what do you all think of suicide girls? is that a healthier alternative? a step in the right direction? a bunch of the same old same old? or such old news that it's not worth discussing?
Apr 27 2007, 11:23 AM
I think Suicide Girls started out as an empowering alternative to nudie mags. It had that "Pin-Up/Art Vibe" to it, that made it more than a skin rag, but has deteriorated into playmates with a few tattoos.
Apr 27 2007, 01:18 PM
i remember people arguing in the old lounge in sayyyy 2003, about suicide girls, and i think the strongest argument people had was that it still depicted thin, conventional, white-bread beauty. i don't know if that makes it unfeminist, but i didn't really find it progressive. it seemed to be the same old shiz with tats and hair dye.
i also took issues with the economics of suicide girls, the spooky guy seemed to be really making a bundle but not paying out very much, and regularly insulting the girls. maybe in order for porn to be feminist, it actually has to be made by feminists.
Apr 27 2007, 07:51 PM
wasn't there some blow up where the women who supposedly owned and ran sg were found to be figureheads?
i dunno, how i call it is, if it's different then it's good if it's just...(fill in the blank). the problem is we are told there is one beauty standard and if you don't live up to that then you are not/less desirable. so even if its just piercings. that's not a mainstream idea of beauty, so it broadens our concepts of beauty. that, however, only goes so far, and shegoes called it. it has to be about doing right by the people making and starring in the films too. there has to be some ethical higher ground, and if what she means by
in order for porn to be feminist, it actually has to be made by feminists.
she isn't saying that the producers need to be female, but rather take feminist ideas to heart, and treat the women in the movies respectfully, they try to use their resources to train the next group of film or porn makers whatever craft they've learned.
but i wonder if it might be a bad idea to ask for the moon. ie that they do it all. blaxploitaion started not as a way to exploit blacks, but to speak to an audience that had previously been ignored, and while it grew into something that some say exploited them, it was always a thing that on some level always supported black artists, even when the people on screen were reinforcing stereotypes, they put many black people behind the camera to work, forged new audiences that would support them, and trained young black people skills to be in film. when the NAACP essentually put an end to blaxplotation, they put an end to all the good things too. it wasn't still spike lee came on the scene years later that a new generation of blacks became interested in film production.
personally, i feel this way about tranny films, my inital reaction is, anything that broadens our ideas of beauty (and well, i do benefit from it) is good, but how much good is done when they use every insulting name to refer to transexuals, how much good is done when the t-girls in front of the camera, are getting piss money and the guy shooting them on a shoestring budget is making hundreds of thousands. i read an interview with a former ts pornstar who when asked why she suddenly disappeared at the height of her success, she said, "the business changed. we went from this business where everybody was doing well, i was making about 5000 per film, as were all the girls i knew to 200 to 500 a film over night, and i just thought, this person makes all this money, why can't we all make a living? i wouldn't work for so little pay and they found there were a bunch of girls who didn't know any better and they went to them."
to me, that's that higher purpose, that higher ground. i don't see why you wouldn't want to take care of your employees, they are doing you favor being in your films. they could always make their own. but, then i am such a lefty, if i was making porn i'd probably encourage them to unionize just in the hopes that the idea would spread to mainstream porn...
ETA: yay for girl bomb! good to see you on here again!!!((((((gb)))))
Apr 27 2007, 09:25 PM
well i think porn is so often an exploitative business, rather than an artistic community. most mainstream porn makers are more about the buck than craft. it's like a sweatshop of sex.
i also think most porn uses women's bodies without thinking of women as the audience. that makes them somewhat disposable. most alternative porn that directly reaches for a female audience treats women with dignity.
i also have to add that it is hard for me to think of any porn as personally "empowering" if i would not be allowed into the paradigm of sexiness. that's why i can see burlesque and annie sprinkle as empowering things, as they would accept me, but not "suicide girls"-as i know i would not make the cut. it is hard to be empowered by yet another cultural message that i am too fat and ethnic-looking to be sexy.
Apr 28 2007, 03:05 AM
i get what you're saying, shegoes, but mainstream movie making is no less about the buck than the craft. i think we limit ourselves by simply dismissing porn as porn and throwing up our hands. i can think, i think, of 3 asian directors who started by making porn, who make some of the most interesting films right now. it's kind of funny, one of them makes disturbingly gory/violent movies (takashi miike, audition, ichi the killer, doa series), another makes disturbing/disturbingly interesting meditations on violence and buddism (kim-ki duk, the isle, 3iron, spring summer fall and spring), and the last makes disturbing movies about japanese life, (kiyoshi kurosawa, pulse, bright future, cure). if nothing else asian porn has become a training ground for really great film makers. my point is that if the end product is disposable, the act of creating the film should, or doesn't have to be.
and while i might be inclined to agree with you about how porn uses women's bodies without thinking about women, what makes alt porn's approach more dignified? is it, a more femme pov(flowers, candles, emphasis on romance)? if that's the case why do i hear women talk about how much they like gay (as opposed to dyke) films because of their directness and roughness? or is that the same thing as why guys like mainstream 'girl on girl' (as opposed to dyke) films? what makes it more respectful? is it the roles? is it because women are portrayed as equals? cool, but what if you are a submissive woman? i ask not because i think i know, but rather i don't know.
and again, while i understand what you are getting at in your last para, and i feel the same way (hey, i'd never make the cut no matter what the physical criteria, by reason that i was born a boy, and still have a 'dingus' that i rather like), so do i dismiss everything that makes things a little bit better until the (porn) world can see me as every bit the woman as jenna jameson, or do i cheer when that concept of mainstream beauty is broadened even a bit, and work to love myself personally, and encourage people i know to be honest about what they find sexy/beautiful(etc), and promote/create porn that already sees me as sexy/beautiful(etc)?
having been a guy, i can tell you, there are all sorts of things that many guys think are sexy that are left out of that mainstream porn straightjacket. but, and i say this not to excuse guys, but rather as a matter of explaining my truth, and understanding of masculinity first hand-- masculinity is a very fragile thing. think about it. what does it take to make you think you might not be a woman, or woman "enough?" i am not talking about insecure about being a woman, but that you are not a woman at all? for all the macho bluster we are used to, it takes very little to impune a man's masculinity. the result is a rather reactionary manhood where (most) guys are always worried about being perceived as being a man, and agree/say/do almost anything to be part of some imaginary concoction of what it means to be a man. and part of this bargain with the devil is a kind of silence. a silence about, in terms of our conversation here, what they find attractive. women that are not stick figures, that are ethnic, that are smart, and can hold their own. in many ways they opt, for masculinity's sake, to wear a mask. i say all of this with your last para in mind. is it not good when that mask gets another crack in it's exterior, and men can be even a little more honest about what they find attractive?
Apr 28 2007, 02:28 PM
remember a few years ago, chyna (the wwf wrestler) posed for playboy, and she made a statement about feeling empowered because she was the first woman with her muscular athletic body to do so. at the time i thought it stupid, but i guess it's little steps that kill stereotypes.
Apr 28 2007, 05:21 PM
it's late, and I'm not really thinking properly, so this might seem a bit... holey.
on the SG thing - as nickclick said, it's little steps. I think the popularity of SG goes to show that there is a massive market for "alternatives" to the stereotypical porn look. Yes, the beauty it depicts is still relatively conventional, but... it seems to me to be at least a step in the right direction. It isn't feminist by a long way - certainly there seems to be a lot of mystery surrounding the guy who owns it, and I think there is a degree of exploitation - certainly now. And going by what GT said, I think every crack in the mask is a good thing. Put it this way, my bf is into SG. I'd rather he was into that than "mainstream" porn of the blonde/big tits variety.
I think portrayal of women as equals is the major premise for feminist/good porn, but I'm not sure how that would work for submissives, as GT said. I suppose then you would be have to be aware of the director, company etc that produce the film for it's feminist attitudes.
also... for some reason the SG merchandise reminds me of victoria's secret stuff. or is that just me?
Apr 29 2007, 11:49 AM
*delurks* i love this thread.
there's an article in today's ny times magazine about online porn. it's kinda long, so i've only had a chance to skim it, but what i've read so far has been interesting:A Disciplined Business