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How do feminists view pornography Show more Show less
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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.

Feminism should be sex-positive Show more Show less

Sex-positive feminists view many radical feminist views on sexuality, including views on pornography, as being equally oppressive as those of patriarchal religions and ideologies, and argue that anti-pornography feminist discourse ignores and trivializes women's sexual agency.
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Pornography can liberate women from traditional representations

The idea that pornography is violence against women' can be seen as code for the neo-Victorian idea that men want sex and women endure it. Pornography challenges the ideas that women do not enjoy sex, or only enjoy 'vanilla' sex or sex in relationships. In addition, pornography sometimes shows women in sexually dominant roles and presents women with a greater variety of body types than are typical of mainstream entertainment and fashion. Anti-pornography feminists are also critiqued as intolerant of sexual difference and is characterized as often indiscriminately supporting state censorship policy and are accused of complicity with conservative sexual politics and Christian Right groups.

The Argument

Pornography allows for an escape from the outdated misconceptions about women and sex. Traditionally, women were supposed to be seen as uninterested in sex. If they portrayed too much curiosity or interest, they could be labelled as promiscuous. It was clear that a woman’s interest in sex was to be strictly for the purpose of procreation, the pleasure was for men alone.[1] Pornography allows for a new perspective on sex and gives women the opportunity to free their repressed sexuality. Instead of reinforcing the traditional views that women only engage in sex for romance, to please their partner, and to have children, pornography introduces the modern concept that sex can simply be enjoyed as it is.[1] Pornography allows women to redefine themselves through exploring their sexuality without shame.[2]

Counter arguments

Many anti-pornography feminists believe that pornography actually keeps women in their traditional roles instead of freeing them. This sect of feminists believe that pornography was created to objectify women, and that women in pornography are simply sexual objects to the men. [3] These feminists believe that pornography is simply a perpetuation of traditional gender roles, and that the female experience is not accurately displayed. [4]

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3704419
  2. https://www-jstor-org.ezproxyemc.flo.org/stable/1229282
  3. https://secularhumanism.org/1997/09/a-feminist-defense-of-pornography/
  4. https://www.theroompsy.com/psychology-sex-identities-society/The%20Problem%20With%20Porn:%20Heteronormativity%20&%20Gender-roles
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 8 Sep 2020 at 22:57 UTC

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