Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Feminism and sexuality

Two articles about pornography and our society's hypocritical attitude to it.
The Power of Porn Stars: Why We Love, Hate, Fear and Want Them
Girls involved with paid sex, who gain benefit from their position as females while remaining independent, are feverishly desired, yet punished for their "transgressions."
By Virginie Despentes
Quiet Riot Girl - This is Hardcore: A feminist's journey into porn
Feminists and others have rightly called attention to the exploitation of women in the pornographic film industry. However, the first article points out that because of our society's assumption that a woman who is sexually active is also a brainless bimbo, actresses who work in porn films can't get jobs in other films, so are forced into a porn-film ghetto.

The second article points out that women can gain pleasure from pornography too; the kind of power games played in these films are part of many people's sexual pleasures, and just because people indulge in them in the bedroom does not mean they have to be acted out beyond the bedroom door. In fact, the playing of such games can resolve anxieties about power. The sociologist Michel Foucault liked S/M for this very reason.

Yes, treating people purely as sex objects is wrong; but lust in itself is natural and healthy; and by eroticising what we fear, it can be transformed into something else, something less frightening.

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