Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The conflation of porn and prostitution with sex is an issue that needs to be addressed. One of the main problems with porn and prostitution is that they take sex out of the context of human relationships. It sells a version of human sexuality which is assembly line- put together submissive Asians and anal and you get submissive anal asians #49494. So from popular culture, people are getting either the pornified version of sex(all women like facials, women love ass sex, pounding away without foreplay makes women hot) or the whole sex is an act of true looove and fulfillment- but real sex- where different people have different likes and dislikes, where women have a point of view(i.e. subjects, not objects) is not really represented. So when people have the knee jerk reaction that any person who raises an objection to porn for any reason doesn't like sex that further marginalizes real sex. Just because I say porn is racist or that some porn is filmed in bad working conditions or the reduction of women in porn to holes might be degrading to women doesn't mean I hate sex. I just don't like porn.

Also about prostitution, the women have their own likes and dislikes, but they are paid to shut up about them. Even if you like giving blowjobs to strange men(although I personally don't think that the number of prostitutes and the number of women who love giving blowjobs to strangers are exactly matching up there- I think there are more prostitutes than women who like sleeping with strangers), sometimes you just don't feel like giving a blowjob to that jerk. Can we really say with confidence that most prostitutes give up the money they need to survive because they aren't feeling that particular sex act that day? Is that really promoting an healthy idea of sexuality that women have sex just because they have to to survive instead of for fun?

Next- why just because one women loves it doesn't make it ok.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Audre Lorde: Sadomasochism in the Lesbian Community

Sadomasochism in the Lesbian Community:
— Media Watch
An Interview With Audre Lorde and Susan Leigh Star

Without a rigorous and consistent evaluation of what kind of a future we wish to create, and a scrupulous examination of the expressions of power we choose to incorporate into all our relationships including our most private ones, we are not progressing, but merely re-casting our own characters in the same old weary drama…SM is not the sharing of power, it is merely a depressing replay of the old and destructive dominant/subordinate mode of human relating and one-sided power, which is even now grinding our earth and our human consciousness into dust.–Audre Lorde

Leigh: How do you see the phenomenon of sadomasochism in the lesbian community?

Audre: Sadomasochism in the lesbian-feminist community cannot be seen as separate from the larger economic and social issues surrounding our communities. It is reflective of a whole social and economic trend in this country.

Sadly, sadomasochism feels comfortable to some people in this period of development. What is the nature of this allure? Why an emphasis on sadomasochism in the straight media? Sadomasochism is congruent with other kinds of developments going on in this country that have to do with dominance and submission, with disparate power; politically, culturally and economically.

The attention that Samois is getting is probably out of proportion to the representation of sadomasochism in the lesbian community. Because s/m is a theme in the dominant culture, an attempt to “reclaim” it rather than question it is seized upon us as an excuse not to look at the content of the behavior. For instance, “we are lesbians doing this extreme thing and you’re criticizing us!” Thus, sadomasochism is used to deligitimize lesbian-feminism, lesbianism and feminism.

Leigh: So you’re saying that the straight media both helps amplify the phenomenon within the lesbian community and that they focus on lesbians in particular as a way of not dealing with the larger implications and the very existence of the phenomenon in the world?

Audre: Yes. And because this power perspective is so much a part of the larger world, it is difficult to critique in isolation. As Erich Fromm once said, “The fact that millions of people take part in a delusion doesn’t make it sane.”

Leigh: What about the doctrine of “live and let live” and civil liberties issues?

Audre: I don’t see that as the point. I’m not questioning anyone’s right to live. I’m saying we must observe the courses and implications of our lives. If we are talking about feminism then the personal is political and we can subject everything in our lives to scrutiny. We have been nurtured in a sick, abnormal society, and we should be in the process of reclaiming ourselves, not the terms of that society. This is complex. I speak not about condemnation but about recognizing what is happening and questioning what it means. I’m not willing to regiment anyone’s life. If we are to scrutinize our human relationships, we must be willing to scrutinize all aspects of those relationships. The subject of revolution is ourselves, is our lives.

Sadomasochism is an institutionalized celebration of dominant/subordinate relationships. And, it prepares us either to accept subordination or to enforce dominance. Even in play, to affirm that the exertion of power over powerlessness is erotic, is empowering, is to set the emotional and social stage for the continuation of that relationship, politically, socially and economically.

Sadomasochism feeds the belief that domination is inevitable. It can be compared to the phenomenon of worshipping a godhead with two faces, and worshipping only the white part on the full moon and the black part on the dark of the moon, as if totally separate. But you cannot corral any aspect within your life, divorce its implications, whether it’s what you eat for breakfast or how you say goodbye. This is what integrity means.

Read the rest of the article here at Media Watch.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Rebecca Whisnant on Feminism and Pornography

This is an excellent video presentation by Rebecca Whisnant:

Purpose of this blog

The purpose of this blog is to discuss Prostitution and Pornography from the perspective of a few WOC feminists. As a collective we feel that there is not enough holistic and realistic discussion about the harms of sexual capitalism.

Additionally, we acknowledge that neither the predominant radical feminist positions, third wave feminist positions, liberal feminist positions, their successors the post-feminists and even the current WOC feminist positions adequately address the issue.

This blog is written as a collective.

We reserve this space specifically for our own writing and comments will be moderated at will.