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Okay, so I recognize that this website will probably just descend to the lowest common denominator on this thread. I hope not.

 

But is porn right or wrong? Is it sexist? Can there be non-sexist forms of porn? Is it a gender issue or a labor issue? Should porn be paid for, or is it better to not pay for it? Is there a difference between porn and erotica? Should porn be outlawed? Isn't Catherine MacKinnon an idiot? etc etc et cetera.

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Porn weirds me out, but I don't have a problem with it. If the actors are consensually engaging in these acts, what could be wrong with it? Any argument as to why porn is sexist would also point to intercourse itself being sexist, so the blame would not lie with the pornography industry. And what about homosexual porn? How could it be sexist? I would even dare to say that bisexual porn would transcend socially-prescribed sexual labels.

As for the issue regarding the legitimacy of payment, I prefer not to pay for anything, so no, if possible.

 

On a side note, I have never seen more porn shops on one road than I did on Interstate 70 between Kansas City and St. Louis. There were at least 6 or 7.

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Porn weirds me out, but I don't have a problem with it. If the actors are consensually engaging in these acts, what could be wrong with it? Any argument as to why porn is sexist would also point to intercourse itself being sexist, so the blame would not lie with the pornography industry. And what about homosexual porn? How could it be sexist? I would even dare to say that bisexual porn would transcend socially-prescribed sexual labels.

As for the issue regarding the legitimacy of payment, I prefer not to pay for anything, so no, if possible.

 

On a side note, I have never seen more porn shops on one road than I did on Interstate 70 between Kansas City and St. Louis. There were at least 6 or 7.

 

I think that porn can be arguably wrong where bums fight for food "consensually" - oftentimes, a lack of education or opportunities leads many down the usage of porn. Also, as per sexism, intercourse itself may or may not be sexist, but porn itself is sexist by nature in which the VAST MAJORITY of people who want to view it are male - therefore, the sexual acts exploited are always going to be geared towards that audience. In a way, porn is just as sexist as... say... football.

 

Also, considering gay and bi porn as being sexist, I think the issue is kinda being ignored when gender roles ultimately defines what is perceived as sexual orientation. Bi and gay relationships aren't discouraged because it's a guy-on-guy, but merely because sex itself is limited to the penis/vagina mentality - to quote American Dad, "If two men have sex, who has the vagina?".

 

I think that there's a simple gender role in sex that is assumed by heterosexuals, and oftentimes gay and bi porn is bashed because while it's explicity breaking sexual norms, it's breaking social gender norms even harder.

 

However, who buys porn? Turn off your filter on google and search for it there.

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However, who buys porn? Turn off your filter on google and search for it there.
No lengthy movies available.
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Also, as per sexism, intercourse itself may or may not be sexist, but porn itself is sexist by nature in which the VAST MAJORITY of people who want to view it are male - therefore, the sexual acts exploited are always going to be geared towards that audience.

I'm sorry, but how does this equate to sexism? The population of males, females or minorities in an activity does not mean that a given activity is sexist or racist. It means that participation in that activity on the part of that group is generally rare. An activity can only be "sexist" if structural barriers exist to exclude women or men. And while for the example of football this may be true, porn exists for men and women. Just because there's (arguably) a smaller market for female-focused porn doesn't mean that it's inherently sexist. Men and women can both enjoy porn.

 

Besides, there are no exclusionary attributes that can be associated with activities unless the activity itself is structured against a certain group. For example, women are forced into a segregated basketball league, the WNBA. Thus, professional basketball is sexist. But golf isn't racist just because golf clubs often exclude minorities; that just means that a lot of racist people play golf. Similarily, porn doesn't structurally exclude or oppress women, and so isn't sexist. But porn is centered around a lot of sexist people.

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I'm sorry, but how does this equate to sexism? The population of males, females or minorities in an activity does not mean that a given activity is sexist or racist. It means that participation in that activity on the part of that group is generally rare. An activity can only be "sexist" if structural barriers exist to exclude women or men. And while for football this may be true, porn exists for men and women. Just because there's (arguably) a smaller market for female-focused porn doesn't mean that it's inherently sexist. Men and women can both enjoy porn.

 

It's Capitalistic oppression and exclusion, if you want to be fancy and technical about it. Most of porn profits don't come from women - they come from men, therefore, the market, and the job benefits themselves are geared towards that ideal market. Hot women porn stars are in more demand than men - it's an economic fact.

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Okay, so I recognize that this website will probably just descend to the lowest common denominator on this thread. I hope not.

 

But is porn right or wrong? Is it sexist? Can there be non-sexist forms of porn? Is it a gender issue or a labor issue? Should porn be paid for, or is it better to not pay for it? Is there a difference between porn and erotica? Should porn be outlawed? Isn't Catherine MacKinnon an idiot? etc etc et cetera.

 

well, what is the intent of pornography?

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I have a couple issues with porn, none of which are necessarily INTRINSIC to it, but still appear in it or as effects of it. I'm not arguing for or against it, just pointing out a few things that interest me.

 

First, the way it shapes gender roles. There tends towards a dominance/submission binary that, generaly (as I said, none of this is intrinsic to porn), follows a male/female binary. Not to say this stems from porn, rather, it is just the manifestation of a larger set of assemblages of power that constitute gender relations. Even in homosexual/bi porn, there tends towards a re-constitution of the dominance/submission binary. This is, perhaps, why porn disturbs me so much on a personal level.

 

Second, that whole commodification of sexuality thang bothers me to no end. Call me old skool, but I think there's something to be said for sexuality not mediated by cultural imagery (insofar as such a thing is possible). I'm sure this is a utopian goal, but, from my personal experience, kids that find porn before reciprocated sexuality tend to reify beauty and being attracted to a person as a specific set of physical traits. This, of course, relies on the idea that sexuality isn't just so-called physical attraction, something which is arguable, I suppose.

 

 

Um...yeah, that's fine. Thoughts?

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I'll be honest, I went through that stage. I was never very social and, in my younger teen years, had a really fucked up understanding of beauty, sexual interaction, gender etc. It's something I'm proud to say I grew out of, but I know that some folks just don't. I'm not willing to say that porn is a cause of some of the violent or harmful ideas about gender and sexuality that are dominant in America, nor that it's merely a symptom of them, I'd be more willing to say it's part of a cycle that raises kids thinking certain things about gender and sexuality and reproduces the same views in their kids.

 

As for the second part of your post, no, I don't.

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It's Capitalistic oppression and exclusion, if you want to be fancy and technical about it. Most of porn profits don't come from women - they come from men, therefore, the market, and the job benefits themselves are geared towards that ideal market. Hot women porn stars are in more demand than men - it's an economic fact.

I see your point, but this still doesn't mean that erotic films are sexist. It means that the market creates an incentive for sexism. The actual act of being in a porn movie or watching a porn movie isn't inherently sexist or oppressive towards women. I direct you to my earlier analogy: just because (almost exclusively) rich, white men play golf doesn't mean that golf is a sexist, classist, or racist activity. It's just a sport, and (theoretically) will only ever be just a sport. An example of an actually out-and-out sexist or racist activity would be playing "penis tag," "cowboys and indians", or joining your local KKK. There aren't many activities that are actually racist at their core - only ones that have barriers attached to them artificially by society.

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Porn is entertainment and in my opinion, strictly a business. The nature of porn is thus dictated by its market. I wouldn't say pornography within itself is right or wrong but rather a medium of entertainment with the intent to sexually arouse its audience. Based on this premise I would say:

 

Is porn right or wrong?

n/a

 

Is it sexist?

yes

 

Can there be non-sexist forms of porn?

possibly - parallel to a nonsexist society

 

Is it a gender issue or a labor issue?

a societal issue (as in, encompasses both?)

 

Should porn be paid for, or is it better to not pay for it?

I debated this for awhile... Should the women/men not be paid, then one could legitimately say that they are doing it out of free will- because they like it or in order to take back the power etc.

 

However, right now some actresses (perhaps actors) aren't being paid for their roles regardless and this is more along the lines of exploitation.

 

Is there a difference between porn and erotica?

definition wise, yes. 'how does one determine what fufills the definition' is a completely different matter. what is art?

 

Should porn be outlawed? Isn't Catherine MacKinnon an idiot? etc etc et cetera.

i don't know enough about the legal issues.

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Porn is entertainment and in my opinion, strictly a business.

 

Did the practice of pornography exist before the market? If I take naked pictures of my girlfriend, would that be considered pornography, or erotica, or something else altogether? How does this thesis explain the existence of websites run by people who have a genuine fetish for other people seeing them naked (without charge)? Webcams?

 

 

 

The nature of porn is thus dictated by its market. I wouldn't say pornography within itself is right or wrong but rather a medium of entertainment with the intent to sexually arouse its audience.

 

What is the market of porn? Sometimes its not entirely monetary, but for the most part, we can agree on this.

 

 

Is porn right or wrong?

n/a

 

If the industry of porn has detrimental effects on society, It could probably be assigned a moral judgement of right/wrong. However, I agree that this isn't too applicable.

 

Is it sexist?

yes

 

This has been disputed above. I believe the industry of porn is detrimental to both the men and women involved - although the exploitation seems to affect women more (as far as the number of participants is concerned). Is gay porn sexist? Is transexual porn sexist? These questions can not be ignored when talking about gender relations, simply becuase they undermine the simple (and incorrect) binary of male/female power relations. Also, what is the value of calling porn sexist? Many industries are sexist (advertising comes to mind). Calling them "sexist" has done very little to end the exploitation involved in them, nor has it exposed how the industry exploits people of all races, classes, and gender (which I think pornography does).

 

Can there be non-sexist forms of porn?

possibly - parallel to a nonsexist society

 

Two men, consensually engaging in sexual acts for an audience. Under what interpretation of sexism is this sexist? Is lesbian porn sexist? This goes back to my previous questions...

 

Is it a gender issue or a labor issue?

a societal issue (as in, encompasses both?)

 

Definitely both. Is has to do with gender (power) relations and the economic motivations behind them. In 2004, there was an attempt to make an Adult Entertainment Workers union. (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/04/29/state0559EDT0041.DTL)

This would probably indicate that its a labor issue....

 

Should porn be paid for, or is it better to not pay for it?

I debated this for awhile... Should the women/men not be paid, then one could legitimately say that they are doing it out of free will- because they like it or in order to take back the power etc.

 

People don't have free-will if money is involved? Please elaborate.

 

However, right now some actresses (perhaps actors) aren't being paid for their roles regardless and this is more along the lines of exploitation.

 

This is true, but is it any different from an extra in a movie not being paid? I agree it is far more exploitative than that...but its something to consider.

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Two men, consensually engaging in sexual acts for an audience. Under what interpretation of sexism is this sexist? Is lesbian porn sexist? This goes back to my previous questions...
I asked those questions before you did and nobody answered me.

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hey krebs :wavey:

 

ill try to answer soon... but! for now, a somewhat related excerpt from Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow:

 

"Ludwig, a little S and M never hurt anybody."

 

"Who said that?"

 

"Sigmund Freud. How do I know? But why are we taught to feel reflexive shame whenever the subject comes up? Why will the Structure allow everyother kind of sexual behavior but that one? Because submission and dominance are resources it needs for its very survival. They cannot be wasted in private sex. In any kind of sex. It needs our submission so that it may remain in power. it needs our lusts after dominance so that it can co-opt us into its own power game. There is no joy in it, only power. I tell you, if S and M could be established universally, at the family level, the State would wither away."

 

This is Sado-anarchism and Thanatz is its leading theoretician in the Zone these days.

 

 

---

 

Whether I agree or not, I find it a fascinating passage...

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I asked those questions before you did and nobody answered me.

don't feel bad wiley...the author is dead, you didn't make the argument...you just vocalized a generally felt sentiment. if anything, i made my post out of tribute to you.

 

wait, i wouldn't do that really...

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yes, those barriers are surely artificial, aaron, and not systemic problems with certain activities or organizations. i mean, its not like they are even important to look at, or anything.

Hey, I didn't say that. I was saying that just because it's a systemic problem doesn't make it intrinsic to the activity.

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porn=good.

 

especially for sexually oppressed teenagers. Who can't really express their sexuality. porn gets out your sexual tension, so you dont realease it on an unwilling person.

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I see your point, but this still doesn't mean that erotic films are sexist. It means that the market creates an incentive for sexism. The actual act of being in a porn movie or watching a porn movie isn't inherently sexist or oppressive towards women. I direct you to my earlier analogy: just because (almost exclusively) rich, white men play golf doesn't mean that golf is a sexist, classist, or racist activity. It's just a sport, and (theoretically) will only ever be just a sport. An example of an actually out-and-out sexist or racist activity would be playing "penis tag," "cowboys and indians", or joining your local KKK. There aren't many activities that are actually racist at their core - only ones that have barriers attached to them artificially by society.

 

Eh - we both conceed then that the market for porn and golf --> bad stuff cuz it's geared towards a certain population then?

 

I think that's the same difference, however, I see your point. What'd I'd contend, however, is that sex, as an act, is geared towards a masculine/feminine dichotomy. For instance, when practically anyone thinks of sex, we imagine a guy on top, and a chick on bottom, or some other dichotomous relationship between masculinity and femininity. In either case, normally the one who is more masculine is more sex-pron, and thus, the market and sex in general becomes geared towards that group of people, i.e. not only do masculine people define sex, but they define what sex is perceived as as well.

 

In this way, activities like Porn become inevitable sexist because they're always going to fall under the assumptions of gender norms and roles - have you ever wondered why in all of the porn movies produced in America that a male penis is only visible 18% of the time?

 

As long as sex is geared towards a straight-male viewpoint, porn itself will always be sexist. Also, I'd still contend that porn itself establishes a system in which women are objectified, and nullified @ the same time. Because of the societal whims dealing with porn, women become sexual objects anyhow - men rarely do, if ever. In this way, porn serves as a mechanism for sexual exploitation and control - true, sex may not be sexist (redundant?), but society's interepretation of the act is what makes it that way, and porn is an outright representation of that.

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