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< Back to question How do feminists view pornography Show more Show less

Feminist views on pornography range from condemnation of all of it as a form of violence against women, to an embracing of some forms as a medium of feminist expression. This debate reflects larger concerns surrounding feminist views on sexuality, and is closely related to those on prostitution, on BDSM, and other issues. Pornography has been one of the most divisive issues in feminism, particularly in anglophone (English-speaking) countries. This deep division was exemplified in the feminist sex wars of the 1980s, which pitted anti-pornography activists against sex-positive ones.

Pornography harms women Show more Show less

Feminist opponents of pornography argue that pornography is harmful to women, and constitutes strong causality or facilitation of violence against women. Anti-pornography feminists have tried to have pornography banned in many countries.
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Pornography encourages the sexual abuse of women

Pornography is a cause of rape and other forms of violence against women - "Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice." Anti-pornography feminists charge that pornography eroticizes the domination, humiliation, and coercion of women, and reinforces sexual and cultural attitudes that are complicit in rape and sexual harassment.
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Proponents


The Argument

Pornography—especially pornography that depicts violent acts, domination, or rape scenes—encourages viewers to act violently toward women. It eroticizes brutality and can desensitize its viewers to the point that they may become inclined to act out their violent sexual fantasies on real women. When women are portrayed in pornographic films as enjoying unconsented sex, it reinforces the idea that women actually want sex regardless of what they say.[1] This encourages men to ignore protests toward their advances and proceed without consent. Thus, pornography harms women because it encourages sexual abuse and even goes so far as to normalize it. While it may not be a direct cause, it lowers inhibitions toward rape, which can cause someone who is predisposed toward a desire to rape to do so.[2]

Counter arguments

Violent pornography is a small subset of pornography as a whole, so even if violent pornography does encourage violent sexual behaviors, it should be categorized separately from the rest of pornography. It is unclear how strong the correlation between pornography and sexual assault is, and it is even less clear if there is any line of causation between pornography and sexual assault. Sexual assault, after all, existed long before pornography.

Premises

Rejecting the premises


References

  1. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/feminism-rape/
  2. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3791317?casa_token=5raNdlVBUEQAAAAA%3AvmwnpXNw4Wzs5XbkuIeR5A6fpSAPkK7GXVG-t76DNg8kTDGIx52gNtdfeJK4SXOCWGvvFM2N3zPX7U67OKU0vhPFDJ8G-Od2pkOj4rumMY1lzLGCl-6_&seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

This page was last edited on Tuesday, 8 Sep 2020 at 22:02 UTC

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