This reply is from a friend of the SLLU. He also recommends this addition to the debate: http://www.dsp.org.au/dsp/porno.htm
...the extract below seems to conflate the experiences of women in pornography with that of children.....althought the quote provided from Jensen only refers to women.
There is undoubtedly similarities and some "intertwining" - but I think there is a case to separate discussing pornography involving adult women ( and men ) and that exploiting children.
Extract from Blog -
"Consent and choice have been central notions in debates around wider commercial sexual exploitation of women and children (pornography, prostitution, lapdancing, trafficking and so on), and are at the forefront too, with regards Second Life. Both concepts are intertwined, and, as Robert Jensen, in his book
'Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity' notes,
"A meaningful discussion of choice can't be restricted to the single moment when a woman decides to perform in a specific pornographic film but must include all the existing background conditions that affect not only the objective choices she faces but her subjective assessment of these choices.".
These are serious issues to address , but I don't agree with quote from Catherine McKinnon about all (adult) pornography
And this quote from Catherine Mckinnon-
"Pornography is the perfect preparation - motivator and instruction manual in one - for sexual atrocities" Catherine McKinnon.
Personnally I think a much deeper discussion needs to take place on issues relating to sexuality rather than just demanding the eradication of all pornography and prostitution.
Sexual images can be both positive and negative. They can challenge the old stereotypes of women as passive and sexuality as dangerous, presenting instead erotic imagery of women's sexuality as pleasurable and active. Pornographic images can also represent violence, abuse and degradation.
How to deal with the two sides of sexuality and its imagery in today's society has been hotly contested among feminists. Is censorship of pornography the most effective strategy or does it only deal with the images and not the acts of violence directed against women? Or does censorship throw the baby out with the bathwater — sweeping away positive explorations of sexuality through the imposition of a new repressive morality and bolstering the campaigns of the traditional conservative opponents of women's liberation?
..........Both Dworkin and MacKinnon have also argued that women who participate in or enjoy pornography or have heterosexual sex are brainwashed or programmed into these activities by men. In order to maintain this view they have to virtually obliterate the idea that women are active agents in the choices they make about their lives and their sexual activity. Dworkin and MacKinnon instead reinforce the idea of women as victims, as passive and helpless, needing to be guided into an understanding of the "errors of their ways" by those who "truly" understand the nature of sexuality.
.............Arguing against censorship of pornography does not mean condoning, ignoring or de-prioritising campaigns around the often violent and usually misogynist portrayal of women in capitalist society. We have a responsibility to counter in the most effective way images which are exploitative and sexist — not by seeking to have them banned, but by initiating a much more wide-ranging debate about sex; by campaigning for better sex education in schools; and by creating more informed and responsible social attitudes to the expression of sexuality.
However if we are going to effectively fight sexism we can't just focus on sexually explicit portrayals of women. The establishment media, advertising, education system and other institutions, as well as the right-wing moralists who also campaign against pornography, all reinforce women's traditional roles. All objectify and degrade women.
..........We need an analysis of violence that empowers women, not one that reinforces the view that women are inherently powerless, timid, non-aggressive and submissive. Feminism should be a critique of this society, of a society that promotes violence against women in many forms, not a blame-the-indvidual, knee-jerk reaction that looks to the capitalist state for the solutions. Instead, we need a mass, feminist movement that allies itself with all those fighting the system of social relations which perpetuates violence, competition and oppression.
link to full document -