Toronto event today: Feminist Porn Awards

VVevent.jpg
I just can’t wait for all the comments about how “good feminists” don’t support pornography. Anyways…
If you’re in Toronto today, you can check out Vixens+Visionaries: Female erotic directors revolutionizing porn. The event includes feminist porn producers Tristan Taormino, Dana Dane, Angela Phong, Abiola Adams, and Jen Bowers of SMUT Magazine.
There will also be highlights of new erotic work by female directors and the first ever Feminist Porn Awards.

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60 Comments

  1. chem fem
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I think this sounds genuinely fascinating! Even if I lived in Toronto i couldn’t go though due to not having a life outside my PhD :(

  2. E
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Oh lovely, now we have something called “Feminist Porn.” What’s next, “The Battered Wife of the Year Awards”? or maybe “The Proud to be Degraded Festival for Young Feminists”?
    There is nothing “revolutionary” about pornography, and this misguided attempt to insist that it can be is absurd. Aren’t we past the nonsense?

  3. Jessica
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Ha, what did I tell you?
    Listen, I’m not going to get into the whole porn debate, but I have to say this: I don’t find sex “degrading” or “nonsense.”

  4. bookish
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Boy does this make me wish I lived in Toronto! So cool. Thanks for sharing.

  5. TheTruth
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Ewwwww. Anal Sex is GROSS!!!!!! ICKY ICKY ICKY! If that is what “feminist porn” is all about…count me out!

  6. SarahS
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Aw man, I wish I lived in Toronto. That looks so cool. My girlfriend and I were just talking the other day about how we wish we knew more about feminist porn and how to find it. We both have no idea where to start.

  7. jenn
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    When you embrace something as your own you free it from the grips of those that would otherwise define it. (Um, feministing’s logo, anyone?) And battered women in the same category as feminist porn? Seriously. Get a grip.

  8. TheTruth
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    So what makes a porn feminist as opposed to non-feminist?
    I would think that most pornography would be supported by feminists…since the pornography industry is by all accounts one of the few industries where women have power!?!?1!?!

  9. Jenna
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    TheTruth:
    Get a clue.
    Love,
    Jenna.
    All snark aside (or at least a bit of it,) many feminists are working on revamping the porn/erotica industry. There’s been some sucess, though not nearly enough. But as for porn, in general, being an industry in which women have power? Not a chance. The companies are still mainly male-owned and male-dominated, the majority of consumers are male, and most porn is definatly in support of the male gaze and does play on gender stereotypes. Power? Hah. Yes, it is one of the few industries where women actually command more money than men, but that doesn’t act to equalize all the imbalances.
    Historically, porn has been very, very damaging to women. There has been a movement to reclaim it, and excellent work has been done. However, there are miles and miles to go before the industry in general is female positive. My guess is that feminist porn will remain much like feminist film, a very small subset of the “indie” underground. It’ll be there if you know how to find it, but you’re not likely to get it unless you’re looking for it specifically.
    That being said, I’m rather intrigued by this festival.

  10. TheTruth
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Jenna,
    I’m sorry that I am more ignorant than you are. Perhaps you can refrain from mistaking my ignorance as an opportunity to insult me in the future.
    Thank you for attempting to explain the differences between feminist and non-feminist porn…I still am rather confused as to what the differances actually are.
    Sorry that I’m so dense!

  11. final repose
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I live in Toronto and guess where I am going to tomorrow? Maybe I’ll post a comment tomorrow, with a review! Tadaaaaaaah!
    I knew TheTruth was out there but I never thought it would come wrapped as a troll.

  12. Jenna
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    TheTruth:
    Problem is, I don’t believe you are ignorant. I believe you are simply being obtuse.
    Like I said, if you are capable of learning how to post on this blog, you are capable of using google.
    Here’s it in a nutshell:
    Feminist porn: Porn which does not portray, promote, or utilize stereotypical gender constructs, expolitative gaze, or highly unnatural, stereotypical appearence standards. Also, the porn would be produced by a company dedicated to equality in all levels of production, promotion, and distribution.
    Non-feminist porn: all the rest of it (which is most of it).

  13. Katie
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    actually the Truth. it can be very hard to tell, and in fact, also very hard to explain without sitting at a TV watching porn and pointing out what is and what isnt feminist. generally companies that are own by women are more feminist. there is less violence in the sex act, the woman isnt protrayed as only an object, there arent 50 dudes cumming on her face etc. you would know it if you saw it.
    traditionally, while women porn stars get paid more, they are certainly NOT in control.

  14. Raging Moderate
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    “many feminists are working on revamping the porn/erotica industry.”
    What is the goal in revamping the porn industry, and what actions are they taking to achieve this goal?

  15. David Thompson
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    I just can’t wait for all the comments about how “good feminists” don’t support pornography.
    How about something different? “Pornography doesn’t support good feminists.”

  16. NBarnes
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    E: There is nothing “revolutionary” about pornography, and this misguided attempt to insist that it can be is absurd. Aren’t we past the nonsense?
    An excellent job of begging the question with the implicit assumption that the anti-porn feminists won the Porn Wars.
    And… no. You and yours have not won the Porn Wars. The Feminist Porn Wars are not over. We are not yet past this nonsense. If you want to make a serious intellectual point, seriously engage the issues raised.
    If you do not choose to treat the claims of other women with a minimum level of respect and seriousness, how do you call yourself ‘feminist’ in the first place? Dismissing women’s opinions with an airy ‘aren’t we past this nonsense’ rather than seriously engaging their claims is not feminist.

  17. Jenna
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    What is the goal in revamping the porn industry, and what actions are they taking to achieve this goal?
    a.) To create erotic entertainment which does not promote sexism and stereotypical views of sex and gender.
    b.)Producing, writing, directing, and acting in their own films, outside of male-dominated porn.
    Want more than that? Look up one of a thousand interviews and articles written by the directors mentioned above.

  18. TheTruth
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    That’s what I figured Katie… but I’m confused as to how “stereotyped” gender roles fit in. Most of the porn produced in the 70′s–>80′s I would think would not be overtly anti-feminist. While, they were usually from a male perspective (of course they did make up more of the consumer base than they do now), they rarely “Degraded” women (at least in my experience).
    I do see how degrading porn can be construed as anti-feminist porn (i.e. bukake porn, multiple insertion porn…etc)…
    But by the same token, there are now porns that are coming out that are degrading to men (Clothed Female, Nude Male pornography, Female Sodomizing Men porn are two examples of these).
    I just think it’s hard to decide what in fact is anti-feminist and what isn’t.
    As far as gender rolls are concerned, I find most mainstream pornography to be on the progressive edge when it comes to gender rolls. Sure traditional stereotypical rolls are often enforced, but by the same token, the outrageous nature of the films allow the films to take a tongue in cheek stab at these gender rolls while reinforcing them (if that makes sense). I appreciate the sometimes subtle manipulation of the gender rolls by the pornography industry (especially when video porns had plots!).
    What I was curious about when I asked the question was not the exploitive internet porns that have arisen in the internet age (i.e. male with video camera goes out and finds a 19 year old girl to pay her 1000 dollars to have sex with him…resulting in women being portrayed as prostitutes and males being portrayed as dogs)… but the actual mainstream pornography industry that releases videos/movies/magazines etc. I have seen many of the women that participate in the industry make the claim that they are very comfortable being females in the industry and do not feel exploited at all. And if you were to look at the credits of many of these releases, women are involved at multiple levels of the buisness (some actresses insist on camera women/women grips/etc…which is another example of the power the female actresses wield outside of the salaries they command…they have a lot of option to demand their working conditions/who they work with/etc.)
    As far as the assertion that I was a troll, I simply asked what is the distinction between feminist and non-feminist porn. I do not know why that was met with hostility, but I prefer a personal exchange of information when learning something new as opposed to “just fucking googling it”. I also figured that the contributors to this forum would have some great resources that they would be more than happy to share with me that I might not discover readily through the use of a search engine. I’m sorry if that strikes people as “being lazy”, but I figured that this is a good forum to ask for information.
    Perhaps, I was wrong.

  19. Posted May 31, 2006 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    NBarnes, “Dismissing women’s opinions with an airy ‘aren’t we past this nonsense’ rather than seriously engaging their claims is not feminist.”
    Case in point: “I just can’t wait for all the comments about how “good feminists” don’t support pornography. Anuways…”
    When I asked Jessica for an explanation on how she qualified as feminist a Smut Magazine picture of a man holding one of his hands over a woman’s mouth she didn’t even attempt a reply.
    http://feministing.com/archives/003220.html
    “Can you please explain to me why you think this is feminist? I don’t see the “joyful celebration of the human body” spoken of, I see the same old tight bodied porny cliches and the sixth picture down, the one with a hand held over a woman’s mouth…can someone explain to me either the alternative sexuality expressed by that or the feminism expressed by that, because I don’t see either of those two professed elements.
    Why is it so damn hard to just look at a photo clearly selling the eroticisation of violence against women and say, “That’s not pro-queer, pro-woman, or pro-sex�? I’m not asking you to give up your first born child, I just want you to see the hand over the woman’s mouth and the total lack of sex or nudity in that porn (placed between explicitly sexual porn) and tell me why that not only doesn’t bother you but is actually praised and promoted as good for women. How can that photo even be considered “pornography� unless we as a culture have come to see our masturbation desires as we see rape, less about sex itself and more about power and domination?
    NBarnes, “If you want to make a serious intellectual point, seriously engage the issues raised.”
    Good advice I hope Jessica takes.

  20. Jenna
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    OK. Let’s take this step by step:
    I’m confused as to how “stereotyped” gender roles fit in. Most of the porn produced in the 70′s–>80′s I would think would not be overtly anti-feminist. While, they were usually from a male perspective (of course they did make up more of the consumer base than they do now), they rarely “Degraded” women (at least in my experience).
    Well, we aren’t specifically referring to porn from the 70s or 80s anymore than we are porn from the 17th century. Why would you think they wouldn’t be overtly anti-feminist? Have you read Hustler from that era? Scary, woman-hating stuff. And considering that consciousness-raising from that period would be in its natal stage, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t. That being said, I’m no expert of porn from that era, seeing as how the 80s were over before I turned 10. In the case of fameous films such as Deep Throat, you’re viewing a rape on film. That certainly isn’t feminist. And it wasn’t an isolated incident. However, most porn I’ve seen from that era were simply silly.
    I do see how degrading porn can be construed as anti-feminist porn (i.e. bukake porn, multiple insertion porn…etc)…
    But by the same token, there are now porns that are coming out that are degrading to men (Clothed Female, Nude Male pornography, Female Sodomizing Men porn are two examples of these).
    Anti-feminist porn isn’t just about degradation of one sex or another. that is a componant, but not the entire story. It’s more complex than that. It depends on if the porn is reinforcing gender roles, if it’s contributing to stereotypes, if it’s focusing on bodies heavily altered to conform to idealistic standards of beauty. And simply because there is now porn that is “degrading� to men doesn’t make it less feminist.
    As far as gender rolls are concerned, I find most mainstream pornography to be on the progressive edge when it comes to gender rolls. Sure traditional stereotypical rolls are often enforced, but by the same token, the outrageous nature of the films allow the films to take a tongue in cheek stab at these gender rolls while reinforcing them (if that makes sense). O.K. Read the first to sentences. These contridict one another. You might see it as tongue in cheek. However, many people don’t. The enforcing of the traditional roles is the problimatic point. The subversion is nowhere near forward enough nor progressive enough to counteract a vastly sexist viewing public.
    I have seen many of the women that participate in the industry make the claim that they are very comfortable being females in the industry and do not feel exploited at all. And many, when they leave the industry, say the opposite. Heck, Jenna Jameson had vast complaints that she discussed in her book.
    And if you were to look at the credits of many of these releases, women are involved at multiple levels of the buisness (some actresses insist on camera women/women grips/etc…which is another example of the power the female actresses wield outside of the salaries they command…they have a lot of option to demand their working conditions/who they work with/etc.) Which, although it might be a start, and might be preferable to males being in control, it doesn’t mitigate a darned thing as far as the sexism therein.
    I prefer a personal exchange of information when learning something new as opposed to “just fucking googling it”. I also figured that the contributors to this forum would have some great resources that they would be more than happy to share with me that I might not discover readily through the use of a search engine. I’m sorry if that strikes people as “being lazy”, but I figured that this is a good forum to ask for information.
    And I would assume that someone taking the time and trouble to post such long comments on so many topics in a forum that is easily identifiable as feminist might make an effort to actually look into the rudiments of feminism before posting. I’m sorry as well if that strikes me as being lazy. Perhaps it’s not. Perhaps you just don’t know where to start. However, I wouldn’t log onto a forum about the works of Kristeva and demand explainations without having even read a summary of her work, or the work that proceeded it. True. Feminism is a sticky subject and you can spend years doing the work. However, I’d suggest going to your library and picking up a book introducing you to some of the major feminist thinkers. It won’t be perfect, but it would be a start. There’s alot of ground, and alot of fields, from Biology to Psychology to Philosophy to Economics, that work with feminist perspectives.

  21. TheTruth
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Jenna, I think we have different ideas of what the feminist movement stands for.
    What my mother worked for was not a complete destruction of gender roles at all, she happens to enjoy her gender role a great deal. She enjoys being coy. She enjoys being dominant at times and submissive at others.
    What my mother did work for, was an equal amount of both political and personal power in society. That is what I see feminists (and myself) working for today.
    Perhaps you would prefer a sterile sexual environment such as the one displayed in the movie THX-1138, but that is an environment that I, and I would think many women would find rediculous.
    I find it difficult to see how as a feminist, you seem to (at least to me) maintain that sexually all must be like you.
    Also, while you are admittedly uninformed about porn in the 70′s and 80′s, the two examples you relayed are not even examples I considered. Hustler by definition was chauvinistic, and proudly so. But at the same time, it was not indicative of the porn culture as a whole. I haven’t even seen the movie “Deep Throat” so I have no comment one way or the other. I do believe however, if you were to delve into the world of pornography…you would be surprised at how much of it does not contradict feminism.

  22. Jenna
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Head, meet wall. The Truth. I have to leave work soon. However, I must say this. Feminism that doesn’t fight for the disassocation of gender from sex, that doesn’t fight for the creation of a multiplicity of genders, that dosen’t recognize how the arbitrary assignation of gender based on the sometimes arbitrary assignation of sex is damaging to us all, isn’t feminism. It’s that simple. You can’t believe in reinforcing the sex-gender connection and preserving a duel gendered perspective and be a feminist.
    You, quite clearly, know nothing about what you are trying to discuss. that’s why it’s frusturating trying to discuss things with you. My sexuality isn’t sterile. It’s actually pretty wild. But it isn’t constrained by gender roles. And that makes it even more fun.
    Look. I know quite well what I’m speaking of when I’m speaking of porn (at least modern porn , i.e. 90s and up). Don’t assume you know what I’ve watched, read, or done.

  23. TheTruth
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Jenna…I hate to tell you…but I’m wrong and you’re right.
    And that is The Truth.

  24. burningwords
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    I really have a problem with how feminism gets split into pro-sex and anti-porn camps. Because you can be pro-sex and anti-porn at the same time and it seems that declaring yourself ‘pr-sex’ is a way of differentiating yourself from the ‘scary’ anti-porn feminists who have been labelled prudes by anti-feminists, people who love porn, the general public etc … Often it comes across as a “I’m a feminist but NOT a prude” and, hell, feminists should not be justifying or sweetening their political position for people who are this uninformed.
    Yes, some anti-porn advocates can be read as being anti-sex but it’s not realistic to assume that of all anti-porn feminists. I’m anti-porn but I have respect for people who are making feminist porn that avoids all that misogynist bullshit because I’m not ‘anti-portraying sex’, I’m against portraying sex that objectifies women and depicts violence against women. However, since the majority of the industry is still misogynist and I really don’t see such a huge money-making industry being overly influenced by feminist porn, I’m still anti-porn. The women in misogynist porn, the partners of men who watch misogynist porn, and the women who suffer the cultural effects of the normalisation of such porn are being hurt everyday by this industry and so I can’t bring myself to indirectly endorse porn in any way (even though I have a theoretical respect for what these women are doing).

  25. Crys
    Posted May 31, 2006 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m so excited for the Feminist Porn awards and only wish I could be there! “The answer to bad porn isn’t no porn, it’s better porn” Annie Sprinkle. Tristan and others are answering this call!
    Here in Vegas, we’re organizing a national sex workers’ rights conference, and porn is part of that discussion. People who produce and consume porn should not be judged on morals that suspiciously line with the conservative right.

  26. Posted June 1, 2006 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Uhm, how can one have porn without the “exploitative gaze”? Isn’t that, by definition, what pornography sells?
    Cheers,
    TH

  27. Posted June 1, 2006 at 1:24 am | Permalink

    And I’m genuinely curious–I don’t mean that as a contrarian question. If you’ve got an answer but don’t want to post it in a forum where half the people reading will jump on it, please feel free to email me the answer. I’m genuinely having a hard time figuring out how any porn, with the possible exception of gay porn or porn made for women, can be feminist.
    Cheers,
    TH

  28. Posted June 1, 2006 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    Some of you may find the following post, and the responsive comment it elicited, of interest:
    http://feministlawprofs.law.sc.edu/?p=373

  29. delphyne
    Posted June 1, 2006 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I’d like to know why this “feminist” porn is still all about sexually objectifying women.
    You’d think at the very least, it would be giving equal time to objectifying male bodies but to me it looks exactly the same as all the other crap out there. Can someone please explain to me why this is.
    Why does the “feminist” porn awards have a picture of a woman’s naked legs wide apart? Are all the women who watch “feminist” porn sexually attracted to othe women?

  30. Jenna
    Posted June 1, 2006 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Uhm, how can one have porn without the “exploitative gaze”? Isn’t that, by definition, what pornography sells?
    This is going to be hard to articulate, especially considering I’m only on my first cup of coffee.
    I do understand that exploitative gaze is what most porn currently sells, but I don’t believe it has to be approached in that fashion.
    Does gaze have to be expolitative? No. Absolutly not. Not even when the focus of the gaze is people engaged in sexual activity does it have to be exploitative. The difference is in the objectification and how that operates. Clearly, you can’t develop a full and meaningful connection with the people in the film. However, you can view them as fully people, retain the understanding of them as human and as deserving of respect. And I do believe that the way the film is made influances that.
    Look at it this way. If you watch a really crappy hollywood flick, one common criticism is that you feel no connection to the charechters. On the other hand, well-written and crafted flicks tend to form some sort of connection between the viewer and the charechters. Porn operates under the same conditions. The gaze doesn’t have to be distanced and superior. It can be empathetic and engaged.
    Hope that made some sort of sense. Must have more coffee.

  31. Posted June 1, 2006 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Why does the “feminist” porn awards have a picture of a woman’s naked legs wide apart? Are all the women who watch “feminist” porn sexually attracted to othe women?
    That’s actually a great point. Luckily publications like Sweet Action Magazine and the Suicide Boys Flickr and Myspace groups (as well as all the “boys kissing other boys” areas on the latter site directed toward girls AND boys) are starting to even things out for the rest of us.
    As supportive as I am of feminist porn, that very quality (assuming all women are sexually attracted to other women by default) is what a lot of it has in common with frat boys…I can appreciate a woman’s body, but eating pussy is about as appealing to me as a head cheese sandwich. No offense to anyone, of course! ;)

  32. e.d.
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    Porn is meant to bring you off, not to save the world, and consumers of porn are not trying to save the world by feasting their eyes on glistening skin. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s just buying a fantasy to use. And that necessitates exploitation. You don’t want to watch a long, drawn-out drama in which you become deeply emotionally invested for two hours before they finally strip down. You want a little bit of plot to make it mean something, something kind of taboo to feed your arousal for the exotic, and then sex. That is inherently exploitative; you’re exploiting people to get yourself off. So either we need to have a more expansive view of the nature of exploitation, or we need to have a drastic upheaval of sexual arousal; so that exploitation becomes unsexy, and we can only get off to completely unexploited characters and themes. But that in itself tastes paradoxical in my mouth.
    Sometimes I wonder if what everyone really wants is just to exploit and be exploited equally; be that very little or quite a bit.

  33. Jenna
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    so that exploitation becomes unsexy, and we can only get off to completely unexploited characters and themes. But that in itself tastes paradoxical in my mouth.
    This is just scary. So, in your book, sex and erotica = expoloitation. That’s exactly what we need to change about our approach to sex and porn. Look, you don’t need, deserve, or have a right to porn any more than you need, deserve, or have a right to a sexual partner. You can get off perfectly well without it. And, yes. Exploitative gaze should stick in your craw to such an extent that it becomes a turn-off.
    Unfortunatly, this assocation of sex and exploitation is so engrained you get people like e.d. who can’t imagine the appeal of sex without it. Sad.

  34. kd
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    LMAO at this entire discussion…

  35. kd
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Here’s the facts about porn for those of you (**cough**Jenna**cough**)that seem to be blanking out the simple truth. Guys buy/rent porn to get off, there is no other reason. Guys want to see women get it in every hole by any number of guys and girls at the same time. Good looking women with big tits, and nice asses, gaping holes etc… The industry caters to its’ customers – and the customer base wants nothing less than a woman getting it every which way. The industry has and will always cater to the hands that feed..
    MEN.
    It just doesn’t matter if there are 5 guys or only 1 guy cumming on that girls face. It doesn’t matter if the girl is having a real orgasm or not. It doesn’t matter if women directed it, wrote it, produced it, own the company, whatever. All that matters is that after your “femminist” porno flick is complete, is that it will sell to its’ MALE audience – providing for him that which he sought in pornography.
    There is nothing about pornography that will better any cause of women anywhere. It all ends up in the same hands, and at the end of the day, regardless of “good intentions” you upstanding women of “feminist porn” will only survive if you cater to the desires of your predominently MALE customers (ie. get down and take 3 cocks at once, and swallow…)
    The only 2 winners here:
    1. The ORIGINAL porn industry that will benefit from any positive exposure these awards will generate.
    2. The massively MALE majority of pornography consumers who will now be watching “fetish” films depicting a “feminist” taking it up the ass.

  36. Jenna
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    So, if I understand you correctly, KD, people should avoid attempting to make a positive change in society, should appeal to the lowest common denominator, and should ignore any markets that are being underserved or not served at all.
    And I have news for you. WOMEN who enjoy erotica don’t want to see what your hypothetical, pathetic “men” want to see. Feminist men, who care about women, don’t want to see it either. Men who are active in their support of the patriarchy are the one’s who want to see that, men incapable of having a healthy, mature relationship with women (and I’d guess with anyone).
    I can understand that they desire things that degrade the humanity of and disrespect the women involved. That doesn’t mean we have to throw up our hands and just give up.
    And I am unsure of the efficacy of feminist porn. But I respect the attempt to produce it.

  37. big annie
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    “There is nothing about pornography that will better any cause of women anywhere.”
    Why can’t people take it for what it is: fucking entertainment.
    Unless I’m missing something here, I just want to say I enjoy porn myself.
    Unfortunately, most of what I’ve seen involves skanky women and ugly-ass men. It’s usually poorly produced, filmed in a tastelessly decorated condo, and seriously lacking in meaningful dialogue. In otherwords, there is no foreplay.
    I really don’t know what this conference is about but I know what I’d like to see and I suspect some of the contest winners are producing porn that turns women on.
    I also enjoy reading/writing erotica. When it’s well done it’s hot.

  38. Posted June 2, 2006 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Wow KD, not really sure what to say to this…so you mean it wasn’t really me who bought the porn that currently turns me on? It happens…deal with it.
    See, this is why aforementioned publications struggle to stay afloat – just when the mainstream is beginning to be open to new ideas, you get the other feminists who try to speak for everyone.
    I’ve found in many conversations with “traditional” men that they too actually get off on other material besides the typical fare. You can compare this to the 5 Hollywood blockbusters of the year, their numerous copycats, and then the independents. If it’s there, and readily availablle, even a fine film connoisseur will be tempted to watch a trashy flick in an air-conditioned theater on a summer day.
    Every generation is exposed to what is “supposed” to be “hot.” Do you really think the typical male-published look of the 70s and 80s would go anywhere in a current publication? Absolutely not…yet it did for a lot of guys, at one point. Just because some people feel the need to be sheep doesn’t mean you have to play along with it.
    Quality smut hold up through the ages,

  39. Posted June 2, 2006 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    (apologies for the numerous typos!)

  40. KD
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    “So, if I understand you correctly, KD, people should avoid attempting to make a positive change in society, should appeal to the lowest common denominator, and should ignore any markets that are being underserved or not served at all.”
    You have not understood. My point was that you will not be doing anything good for women by producing “femminist porn”. In fact, It will likely cause a significant division in your own ranks. Not to mention, a pornography business limiting the degradation of women targeting male customers will not succeed against the original industry that gives men EXACTLY what they want.
    And I have news for you, women (feminist or otherwise) and feminist men account for near zero of the porno buying market, that’s why you see 6 guys on one girl in mainstream pornography. It’s all about customer (Ahem..) satisfaction, if the majority of the porno buying public wanted non-degradation of women in their material, that’s what we would see – obviously, they want the opposite..
    “That doesn’t mean we have to throw up our hands and just give up.”
    Why not? it’s a complete waste of time in the context of feminist value. Not to mention you’re guaranteed to fail due to lack of sales. (provididng this material would be sold under the banner of “feminist porn”)
    Feminist porn will do nothing good for women, nor will it sell under that heading, and true to form.
    What’s the point?
    “And I am unsure of the efficacy of feminist porn”
    Can you say “bankrupt”? I hope whoever aspires to make this material has the money in the Bank…

  41. KD
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    “Wow KD, not really sure what to say to this…so you mean it wasn’t really me who bought the porn that currently turns me on? It happens…deal with it.”
    I said the vast majority of porn buyers are of the 6 guys on 1 girl, male variety. Nothing more, nothing less.
    See, this is why aforementioned publications struggle to stay afloat – just when the mainstream is beginning to be open to new ideas, you get the other feminists who try to speak for everyone.
    I am about 120,000 miles away from anything resembling a feminist. Oh, and the “mainstream” porno buyers are the previously mentioned 6 on 1 males – and any new ideas on their part involve just how many more cocks can you shove into a womans existing holes beyond what’s already been done…
    “I’ve found in many conversations with “traditional” men that they too actually get off on other material besides the typical fare…”
    We’re talking about men here – it usually doesn’t take a whole lot. Men also bore quickly, hence what was “good enough” in the 70′s-80′s (ie. a couple having sex) is now not getting the job done. Hence, the industry has progressed along the lines of what sells ie. more cocks, in more holes. This is a trend that will continue.
    “Every generation is exposed to what is “supposed” to be “hot.” Do you really think the typical male-published look of the 70s and 80s would go anywhere in a current publication? Absolutely not…yet it did for a lot of guys, at one point. Just because some people feel the need to be sheep doesn’t mean you have to play along with it.”
    It’s funny to think that while in the 70′s porno was purely vile to the mainstream public – while depicting little more than a man a woman having straightforward sex. Now in ’06 we have a mainstream much more accepting of pornography – while pornography is now depicting 6 guys shoving their members into every possible orifice a woman offers, ending with a climactic sextuplet blast of semen to the face.
    I shudder to think what will be going on 20 years from now…
    “Quality smut hold up through the ages,”
    Until it get’s boring…

  42. Posted June 2, 2006 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I get what KD’s saying and I suspect others do too; the sick, sad way the multibillion dollar pornography industry is right now is not threatened by the oft mentioned but never seen Loch Ness Feminist Pornography that boosts acceptability of prostitution fuckumentaries as a whole while not so much as scratching the paint on the sexist vehicle that is pornography industry’s products.
    Men who justify wanking themselves to Gag Factor, Bang Bus, Max Hardcore, Barely Legal porn by saying, “I can have these films of women smearing shit over their faces and breasts because women have Playgirl” think it’s kinda cute some girls want to make their own girlified porn. They think that for about five seconds and then it’s back to all-night wanking to images of crying Asian women gagging on dicks rammed down their throats til they vomit.
    When Walmart’s exploitation and sexism against women employees is brought up no liberal suggests critics should just turn away from the world’s largest private employer and start their own organic co-operative grocery store as a way of dealing with the abuses of women’s rights going on inside Walmart. Starting an organic fruit stand in the Walmart parking lot not only isn’t a threat to Walmart, but it does nothing for the women stuck inside the sexist corporate behemoth while customers who quickly tire of your plain offerings find their way to the pesticide-full tropical fruits selling for a third what your sustainably-grown apples sell for.
    The general feel of this thread is that women as consumers of pornography deserve more consumer choices, but since this is a feminist blog I would like to see more feminist analyses of pornography as a whole than the consumer ones that are dominating.

  43. pamps
    Posted June 2, 2006 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    fwiw, i don’t think porns (general) insistence on decent physiques vs. flabby yucky physiques (excuse the technical terminology) is necessarily anti-feminist.
    with some exceptions (ron jeremy comes to mind), both male and female porn stars tend to have at least half-decent physiques for the simple reason that most people, porn purchasers included, would rather view nekkid attractive people. that’s not hard to understand.
    the primary difference between the man/woman thing, is that male porn stars are chosen for one particular physique thing more than anything else. i think we all know what appendage i am referring to. so, a male porn star can be in possession of a relatively rubbish physique apart from that. ron jeremy comes to mind.
    in the case of women porn stars, most of the porn purchasers are men and this also explains why they would rather look at attractive physiques. while there is some variance (certainly) in what people consider attractive (and plenty of niche porn to appeal to the all the variance), most would rather see jenna jameson nude, than roseanne barr.
    i don’t think that physique aspect is anti-feminist. i think it’s just realistic. women don’t go to chippendale’s to see jason alexander nude. same idea

  44. delphyne
    Posted June 3, 2006 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    “That’s actually a great point. Luckily publications like Sweet Action Magazine and the Suicide Boys Flickr and Myspace groups (as well as all the “boys kissing other boys” areas on the latter site directed toward girls AND boys) are starting to even things out for the rest of us.”
    Oh they’re *starting* to are they? My god that’s sad. At least Playgirl featured men back in the day – the copy I saw had Burt Reynolds with his dick out – but this new genre of “feminist” (and it so deserves those scare quotes) porn which features women is just a joke, unless you’re catering for lesbian women (and so far the loudest proponents I’ve heard are heterosexual women).
    What’s this all about really? Are women so scared to confront men (maybe even their male partners) that they’ll pretend to be consuming “feminist” porn which doesn’t even depict the sex they find sexy? That’s just incredibly pathetic.

  45. delphyne
    Posted June 3, 2006 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    “That’s actually a great point. Luckily publications like Sweet Action Magazine and the Suicide Boys Flickr and Myspace groups (as well as all the “boys kissing other boys” areas on the latter site directed toward girls AND boys) are starting to even things out for the rest of us.”
    Oh they’re *starting* to are they? My god that’s sad. At least Playgirl featured men back in the day – the copy I saw had Burt Reynolds with his dick out – but this new genre of “feminist” (and it so deserves those scare quotes) porn which features women is just a joke, unless you’re catering for lesbian women (and so far the loudest proponents I’ve heard are heterosexual women).
    What’s this all about really? Are women so scared to confront men (maybe even their male partners) about their porn use that they’ll pretend to be consuming “feminist” porn which doesn’t even depict the sex they find sexy? That’s just incredibly pathetic.

  46. Posted June 3, 2006 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Delphyne, I can only speculate why this is the case. There are so many factors, but I remember as a child attending naked pool parties with my parents in the 70s (East Coast)…it was compeletely normal for the kids to be paddling on one end, and the adults on the other with their cocktails. This was also around the golden age of Playgirl. I don’t know…blame the Reagan administration? Porn, like many movements, tends to take 4 steps forward and 3 backward.
    I know what I find sexy, and always have. It was very distressing in my teen years to not have any material to which I too could also get off (this was before the consumer’s “internet”). Add that to the numerous other ways I felt like an outcast…what’s a girl to do?
    I remember that Sweet Action received a letter after their first issue from an 80 year old woman who basically said she’d been waiting a long, long time for a publication like this. Can you imagine?? My mom (and dad!) also love the zine. There IS a market for this sort of thing, and always has been. If you look at their models and photography, you’ll see a lot of the look and feel that made the 70s spreads so delectable.
    A lot of the same hurdles women have had to deal with over the years also apply here; the fear of male frontal nudity in film, finding a publisher to print this material (I kid you not), and perhaps general ignorance of mainstream girls. These women have grown up basically not knowing such outlets exist. Their choices are limited to porn aimed at men, or gay men. “Risqué” behavior to them involves messing around with another girl, usually for the pleasure of men. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this in itself, but how many frat guys are willing to make out with another guy for a girl’s pleasure? Exactly.
    My female cousins and I were very perverted as pre-teens, creating coloring books of the male anatomy, writing stories, etc. We were completely obsessed with sex. I don’t think this is terribly unusual, but when girls hit their teens, they’re expected to conform to certain rules in terms of their sexuality (DUH!).
    I’m ecstatic that the generation immediately behind me is 100x more free to express their own sexuality, mainly because they were lucky enough to grow up with the internet. If I’d had access to photos of naked, skinny punk rock boys smeared with blood (to each her own) when I was a teen, my quality of life would have been so much better.
    Isn’t it delightful that a 12 year old girl can sneak a peek at her secret Pete Wentz cell phone “wiener” pics before resting her head for a fantasy-filled slumber? Thankfully for this generation, the privilege is no longer available only to boys with access to their dad’s Playboys.
    Oh, and FYI: if you ever go to Rome, check out the book stands near the Termini. They have an incredible collection of inexpensive mint-condition Playgirls from the 70s, as well as other publications like Viva, Oui, etc. I can’t guarantee this is still the case, since it was about 3 years ago, but it’s worth a look.

  47. Posted June 3, 2006 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and I concur that a lot of what’s pushed as “feminist” porn is crap (or rather, not at all to my liking). But I guess if it helps promote the material I personally find hot, that’s fine with me.

  48. delphyne
    Posted June 3, 2006 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    “Isn’t it delightful that a 12 year old girl can sneak a peek at her secret Pete Wentz cell phone “wiener” pics before resting her head for a fantasy-filled slumber? Thankfully for this generation, the privilege is no longer available only to boys with access to their dad’s Playboys.”
    Actually that’s creepy as hell. Exposing children to pornography is classed as child sexual abuse. Little boys grow up with all sorts of weird ideas about women because of what they’ve seen in pornography.
    There would be nothing stopping anybody making material that supposedly appealed to heterosexual women. The point is, it’s not about that, it’s about women wanting to get in on men’s action by sexually objectifying women further down the ladder than them. Because women are too afraid to confront men’s use and abuse of women in pornography they join in with it instead. You should read Ariel Levy’s “Female Chauvinist Pigs” for a good analysis of this phenomenon.
    “Feminist porn” is an oxymoron.

  49. FrenchKiss
    Posted June 4, 2006 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    I think the porn industry is far more forgiving of women’s physical imperfections than the fashion industry.
    Clearly there are women who choose to be in the porn industry, just as there are women who choose to be prostitutes. Trying to prevent adult women from willfully entering the sex industry is far more anti-feminist than “feminist porn.”
    As for why they chose an image of a woman with her legs spread for their poster- I believe it’s depicting the viewer of these films, and isn’t meant to titilate. If it showed a guy sitting in an adult theatre groping his groin, it wouldn’t seem representitive of pornography aimed at women viewers.
    If a feminist is pro-sex but anti-porn, she should at least consider equally degrading for the men in the industry as she does for the women. Otherwise she is validating the notion that boys will be boys, but women who do it are trashy sluts.
    And by the way, some women (myself included) happen to really enjoy anal sex. I don’t see why it should be inherently degrading for women. It almost seems like it should be the other way around, since they’re the one’s putting their members in my butt.

  50. Posted June 4, 2006 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    I must have been one hell of a creepy kid, because that would have been a pleasant diversion for me. And you know what? I turned out just fine, thank you.
    It’s one thing to intentionally expose kids to pornography, but to deny that some of us had rather fertile imaginations at a young age is ridiculous. It’s also unrealistic to think you can protect kids from any kind of exposure to such things, even if you don’t have a computer…how many of us found our parents’ copies of “The Joy of Sex” under their beds (or, for upcoming generations, “The Guide to Getting It On”)?
    The fact that kids will have strange ideas about what constitutes “normal” sexuality when exposed at a young age is a given, just like any other form of entertainment. A few glances of Hustler in the 80s, followed immediately by my Duran Duran obsession was enough to steer me away from macho men, even to this day. As a matter of fact, I’m playing the “tiniest violin in the world” for all those 16-year-old boys who discover that women aren’t all silicone, landing strips, and bukkake fanatics; they’ll get over it, really. You’re never going to stop younger people from seeking it out – wouldn’t it be nice if they were at least aware of a variety, and if the girls had equal opportunity? Kids are also just as likely to get weird ideas about sexuality from completely random experiences that one might not connect to sex.
    If you don’t like to see hot naked men with erections, then don’t look. A lot of us do, and it certainly has nothing to do with a “fear of confrontation.” If anything, I think a lot of feminists are afraid to confront their own pornographic desires, since it goes against everything they were taught (I’m sure I’ll get a lot of shit for this statement). I too used to be anti-porn in high school, because the mainstream publications were the only exposure I’d had to the subject. It was the thing to do back then for a young feminist…but at the same time, I was confused in that this sentiment seemed to be incompatible with my raging sexual fantasies. Sure, I felt there was a level of degradation, but I was mainly against porn because there was nothing meant for me!
    As far as Ariel Levy, just because she seems to think I don’t have a mind of my own, doesn’t make it so. Actually, I take that back…I’m grateful there are people to tell me that I cannot differentiate between material which “supposedly appeals” to me, and everything else!

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