Anti-Porn Feminist Survey

An interesting question was posed on The F Word. K asks, “I’m wondering though, what do feminists want out of the porn critique. I realise that feminism is not a wholly cohesive unit with a single direction, but still… what’s an approximate or rough kinda outcome you would like to see?”

This got me thinking. There are differences of opinion even in the anti-porn movement. What are the lowest common denominators that unite us?  These would probably be most representative of the views of the majority of women, women unfamiliar with feminism.  Additionally, is anything less than total liberation unacceptable, or is there a bare minimum that you would be willing to compromise for? So, I made a short survey to help answer these questions.

1.) What constitutes pornography?

2.) What is your ideal outcome of anti-porn feminism? How would porn change, would only softcore (Playboy, etc.) porn be acceptable, or would there be any porn at all?

3.) Do you distinguish porn from “erotica”? If so, what constitutes erotica, and would this still exist?

4.) How far are you willing to compromise (at least for the time being) to get rid of the worst elements of porn, or do you think compromise is unacceptable? Where do you draw the line?

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3 responses to “Anti-Porn Feminist Survey

  • elkballet

    What a great idea for a post.

    1.) What constitutes pornography?
    Andrea Dworkin has this covered perfectly I think: “Pornography is sexually explicit material (verbal or pictorial) that is primarily designed to produce sexual arousal in viewers.”

    2.) What is your ideal outcome of anti-porn feminism? How would porn change, would only softcore (Playboy, etc.) porn be acceptable, or would there be any porn at all?
    I personally think that because all pornography exists in a world where women in a position of subordination and viewed as sexual objects, any and all material that presents women for the purpose of sexual consumption is problematic. Ideally pornography would disappear, as the idea that human sexuality can be bought and sold at all is a horrible idea even if men and women were socially equal. I am aware this will never happen, but that doesn’t mean I can’t keep fighting for it. Part of the goal of being radical is that you move the center.

    3.) Do you distinguish porn from “erotica”? If so, what constitutes erotica, and would this still exist?
    I don’t make this distinction. Erotica can be something I couldn’t care less about, and it can also be nearly as bad as pornography. I have seen erotica about raping women and children frequently. I think words are very powerful and finding good erotica is somewhat similar to finding feminist porn, futile.

    4.) How far are you willing to compromise (at least for the time being) to get rid of the worst elements of porn, or do you think compromise is unacceptable? Where do you draw the line?
    I realistically think compromise where no representations of sexual violence are legally acceptable is realistic, but morally do not wish to compromise.

  • womononajourney

    I agree this is a great idea for a topic. These are questions that need a lot of thought, and I’m not sure I’d be up to posting my answers on a public blog, though.

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