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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 harms female performers and models

The production of pornography entails physical, psychological, and/or economic coercion of the women who perform and model in it - even when the women are being presented as enjoying themselves. In addition, much of what is shown in pornography is abusive by its very nature, and is becoming increasingly violent and dehumanising. Women who perform in pornography are brutalised in the process.
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The Argument

Pornography creates an evironment that is abusive, dangerous, and harmful to the female performers and models. The pornography industry pays performers less and less as the industry gets more saturated and remains without heavy regulation, oversight, or unionization. Many women take pornography jobs as a quick way to pay the bills and end up trapped in the industry as a result. As a result, they often end up having to do demeaning things or suffer abusive treatment. [1] Additionally, female pornography performers often suffer emotional damage as a result of their work. Having sex regularly as a performance rather than as an intimate experience can stunt emotional development and make it difficult for performers to have long-term intimate relationships. [2] Female pornography performers also face the issue of job stability. Their place in the industry is largely contingent on their youth and appearance. Because performers are rewarded for being young, they are more likely to enter the industry before they can develop professional skills outside of pornography. That, in turn, creates an environment where young women are drawn in and made reliant when they are young, then they are pushed out of the industry and into the troubling position of being jobless without the adequate job skills necessary to readily find new work.

Counter arguments

The vast majority of female pornography performers take their jobs willingly, and consequences like bad pay, low job stability, and lack of non-sex-work job experience are theirs to face. There are many jobs other than pornography that have high risks that people willingly choose to take on. Pornography should not be treated differently than other high-risk jobs that people willingly consent to. If someone values sex solely as an intimate experience, then they should not get involved in an industry that does not share that value. If a person is emotionally harmed by working in pornography, and they are willingly consenting to be a porn actor/actress, then that is their own responsibility and not an issue with the job itself. There are jobs other than those in the pornography business that can be taken by individuals without previous work experience.

Premises

Rejecting the premises

Proponents


References

  1. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/09/26/making-sense-of-modern-pornography
  2. https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2012/11/11/does-pornography-deserve-its-bad-rap/pornography-does-lasting-harm-to-performers

This page was last edited on Monday, 14 Sep 2020 at 22:29 UTC

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