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mdegges

Feminism and porn

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I'm The Duke University Freshman Porn Star And For The First Time I'm Telling The Story In My Words

 

Saw this article on my feed today, written by a (you guessed it) porn star attending duke univ. Thought I would share it here in case you haven't read it.

 

Memorable snippets:

 

 

My entire life, I have, along with millions of other girls, been told that sex is a degrading and shameful act. When I was 5 years old and beginning to discover the wonders of my body, my mother, completely horrified, told me that if I masturbated, my vagina would fall off.

 

The most striking view I was indoctrinated with was that sex is something women “have,” but that they shouldn’t “give it away” too soon -– as though there’s only so much sex in any one woman, and sex is something she does for a man that necessarily requires losing something of herself, and so she should be really careful who she “gives” it to.

 

The prevailing societal brainwashing dictates that sexuality and sex "reduce" women, whereas men are merely innocent actors on the receiving end. By extension, our virginity or abstinence has a bearing on who we are as people -- as good people or bad people, as nice women or bad women.

 

Women's ability to be moral actors is wholly dependent on their sexuality. It is, honestly, insane.

 

She had me here..

but I got lost further on in the article.

 

 

It terrifies us to even fathom that a woman could take ownership of her body. We deem to keep women in a place where they are subjected to male sexuality. We seek to rob them of their choice and of their autonomy. We want to oppress them and keep them dependent on the patriarchy. A woman who transgresses the norm and takes ownership of her body -- because that's exactly what porn is, no matter how rough the sex is -- ostensibly poses a threat to the deeply ingrained gender norms that polarize our society.

 

The author goes on to say that society doesn't care about sex workers, that no one listens to their stories about abuse and exploitation (though she personally admits she has not faced any problems in the industry), and that sex workers deserve to be treated with respect because they're human beings.

 

 

Please do not continue to make the mistake you have made in the past of ignoring the voices of minority communities. Listen. Listen to the women who have for so long been silenced. Listen to their thoughts and their needs. Only then can we achieve solidarity and true progress within our movement.

 

What do you think?

Edited by mdegges

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I think people have a variety of messed up views about sex. It's just side-tracking to turn it into a battle of the sexes... better to aim for the root and remove all stigmas about feeling good through sexual activity.

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Isnt the part about giving sex to someone making sure that that someone is not a bad person

That's part of it, but the other part is that you are less of a person if you "give" the sex to someone who isn't a perfect ideal. Or another way, if you enjoy having sex with different people, you're bad.

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 Sex workers are shit on by the law and the media. Its bigoted and irrational. Essentially people outlaw prostitution, then they place a stigma on it. Then everyone acts like its proof of the evils of the profession when only the most desperate people go into it. 

 

However I think she is going to find herself abandoned by feminists. Gail Dines doesn't want to hear about porn stars who are happy with their careers. 

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However I think she is going to find herself abandoned by feminists. Gail Dines doesn't want to hear about porn stars who are happy with their careers. 

 

Depends on what kind of feminists. There are sex-positive feminists (I consider myself one) who have been saying what she wrote for a long time.

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i want to add another passage. I dont know if its feminism or porn or evolution .....just read..............x and y are not dissimilar . In fact they are so similar that y is called x with missing leg. If that is correct then there remain no difference in blue print . if blue print is same how can the structure erected on the basis of this can be different. Only difference must be in arrangement and for a capable mind that is no difference at all . so to say man is just the woman with clitoris enlarged as penis. Vagina stitched to be scrotum and ovaries dropped down from the tummy as testis........(Ref-man is the extension of woman)

Edited by JASKN
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This article reads more like a fairy tale than a realistic view of life, society and the porn industry.

 

The "patriarchy" (the traditional view of gender roles) isn't driving abuse and degradation in the porn industry. Also, porn is not illegal, so bunching porn performers in with prostitutes, and generalizing from there (which is the basis for her whole argument), is a non-starter. Porn performers do get legal protections.

 

Then there is the biggest false assumption: that there is nothing wrong with what she does. That the 99% of people who refuse to take the big bucks and have sex on camera, are all brainwashed by the "patriarchy" into laboring away at menial tasks to pay for college.

 

In reality, there is nothing "society" (the rest of us) can do to ensure that violence, crime, abuse, etc. withing the porn industry stays at or bellow the national average. There are things objectively wrong with porn (especially the kind she's in), and, just like everything else in life that is immoral, those wrong things will negatively impact the people involved. That's why they're immoral. Becoming a porn star doesn't justify someone victimizing you, but it sure does invite the kind of people who would. Society can't change that fact: only you can, by staying away from that environment.

 

As far as the lack of civility she encountered online: yes, that's what someone unpopular is gonna get on the Internet. This predictability doesn't make it right, but it does make it an unconnected issue. Let's not treat something that's  been directed at anyone who has ever said or done anything unpopular on the Internet (be it right or wrong), as some kind of validation of that opinion or behavior.

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Porn as such or porn as it exists today?

No use getting into a discussion about porn in general. The only relevant issue is the specific business this woman is in. That is what I'm referring to.

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I haven't read her whole article, nor am I familiar with her body of work, so my comments address only the passages cited in the OP.

Patriarchies are less relevant today. With regard to power relationships, familial power relationships seem to have the biggest effect on how people develop into who they are (especially during the ages that they enter the porn industry). Familial relationships are varied, with most single-family households led (for good or bad) by a matriarch. I would be interested to see how many porn actresses grew up in single-mother households. Modern arguments for the existence of broader "societal" patriarchies appear to employ stolen concepts.

It is demented to tell a five year old that her woo will rot off if she plays with it. However, teaching adolescent females to be selective about who they have sex with is a lesson in empowerment. I don't see how a career in porn necessarily contradicts that lesson.

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Depends on what kind of feminists. There are sex-positive feminists (I consider myself one) who have been saying what she wrote for a long time.

 

Every feminist claims to be sex positive. In fact sex-negativity is more of personal problem than an ideology. My catholic school abstinence brainwashing was very sex positive so as long as sex was had under the right conditions. 

 

The problem that most people have with sex-work in general is that is is commercialized. not that is is sex. 

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This is slightly off topic, but I really hate the word, "feminist" and would never identify myself as such, even in alignment with the best sort. Putting "fem" in the title should imply some assertion of a fundamental difference in the conception of rights and justice as applied to each gender. It's similar to how Martin Luther King Jr. didn't call himself a "blackist," while Malcom X and others referred to themselves as "black nationalists" or something of the sort. If legitimate gender equality is the goal of self-described feminists, then they should simply day they are for individual rights, not "feminism" or "women's rights."

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The problem that most people have with sex-work in general is that is is commercialized. not that is is sex.

I'm not sure this is exactly right. I think they are morally opposed to what surely must be an acting job much of the time, as opposed to what they want to believe should only properly be a moment of intense intimacy between two people.

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The problem that most people have with sex-work in general is that is is commercialized. not that is is sex. 

Sex positive usually refers to a positive view and pretty flexible attitude towards sex. "Under the right conditions" for an abstinence program is a negative attitude with standards of repression.

 

 

 

Becoming a porn star doesn't justify someone victimizing you, but it sure does invite the kind of people who would.

Nicky wrote this but my quoting screwed up.

 

That's *exactly* the attitude the article is referring to. Why would porn invite bad people anyway? The reason is probably that law enforcement and society at large find that sex workers have it coming. Your statement even admits that *something* is worse about porn than other industries. That would only be true if sex workers receive inferior protection from rights violation. In other words, society can create better laws.

 

If I'm wrong, point me to another industry that attracts more rights violators than normal.

Edited by Eiuol

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Taking a wide integration here... I blame 50% of the ingrained cultural stigma associated generally with sex (now part of religion for millennia) on the fact of unwanted babies, and the difficulties their arrival causes.

 

Go back in your mind tens of thousands of years to the primitive tribes, one witchdoctor noted a solution to unwanted pregnancy, invoke the spirits and spew dogmatic pronouncements of "wrongness" to scare people from having sex.

 

 

Summary: Blame babies, and that first witchdoctor

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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Remember kids - Getting paid for sex is legal if you video tape it but illegal if you keep it private.

 

I'm amazed at how society has evolved sometimes.

Western collectivists, through the past 100 years, have been grabbing at all the freedoms they can. The main one they haven't yet figured out how to take away is freedom of expression.

Porn falls under freedom of expression, prostitution doesn't. That's what explains the ridiculous disparity.

Edited by Nicky

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Western collectivists, through the past 100 years, have been grabbing at all the freedoms they can. The main one they haven't yet figured out how to take away is freedom of expression.

Porn falls under freedom of expression, prostitution doesn't. That's what explains the ridiculous disparity.

 

The current trend of focusing on "privilege" and ethnic/religious/racial/gender identity above all else is their most recent, and possibly most successful attempt. 

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Nicky wrote this but my quoting screwed up.

 

That's *exactly* the attitude the article is referring to. Why would porn invite bad people anyway?

The reason why I said that the porn industry is immoral is because most porn is excessively violent,degrading or both. Most porn isn't just sex on tape, it's a malevolent representation of sex.

I don't have a problem with either the mere filming of sex, or the romantic artistic representation of sex. I have a problem with what the porn industry does with sex.

The reason is probably that law enforcement and society at large find that sex workers have it coming. Your statement even admits that *something* is worse about porn than other industries. That would only be true if sex workers receive inferior protection from rights violation. In other words, society can create better laws.

Such as?

If I'm wrong, point me to another industry that attracts more rights violators than normal.

I don't see how that would help my case.

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Such as?

"The reason why I said that the porn industry is immoral is because most porn is excessively violent, degrading or both."

"Becoming a porn star doesn't justify someone victimizing you, but it sure does invite the kind of people who would."

 

If you meant consensual violence, perhaps as in BDSM, then fair enough. But the second sentence suggests that porn attracts rights violators.

 

My request for an example wouldn't help your case, but it would prove me wrong.

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425    8

The reason why I said that the porn industry is immoral is because most porn is excessively violent,degrading or both. Most porn isn't just sex on tape, it's a malevolent representation of sex.

I don't have a problem with either the mere filming of sex, or the romantic artistic representation of sex. I have a problem with what the porn industry does with sex.

I don't disagree that most porn is a malevolent representation of sex, but I disagree that violence in and of itself is a reason for that.

"He took a step forward and her shoulders fell. She huddled lower, closer to the table. He let her wait. Then he approached. He lifted her without effort. She let her teeth sink into his hand and felt blood on the tip of her tongue. He pulled her head back and he forced her mouth open against his.

"She fought like an animal. But she made no sound. She did not call for help. She heard the echoes of her blows in a gasp of his breath, and she knew that it was a gasp of pleasure. She reached for the lamp on the dressing table. He knocked the lamp out of her hand. The crystal burst to pieces in the darkness.

He had thrown her down on the bed and she felt the blood beating in her throat, in her eyes, the hatred, the helpless terror in her blood. She felt the hatred and his hands; his hands moving over her body, the hands that broke granite. She fought in a last convulsion. Then the sudden pain shot up, through her body, to her throat, and she screamed. Then she lay still.

"It was an act that could be performed in tenderness, as a seal of love, or in contempt, as a symbol of humiliation and conquest. It could be the act of a lover or the act of a soldier violating an enemy woman. He did it as an act of scorn. Not as love, but as defilement. And this made her lie still and submit. One gesture of tenderness from him—and she would have remained cold, untouched by the thing done to her body. But the act of a master taking shameful, contemptuous possession of her was the kind of rapture she had wanted. Then she felt him shaking with the agony of a pleasure unbearable even to him, she knew that she had given that to him, that it came from her, from her body, and she bit his lips and she knew what he had wanted her to know."

This, of course, is a very violent sex scene written by Ayn Rand for The Fountainhead.

The problem with most porn, in my opinion, is that it treats sex far too casually, as something you just do with whoever is attractive and available. There is one website, called X-Art (obviously don't search for it if you don't want to see, you know, porn), that—while not perfect—goes a long way towards producing videos of sex that do not have these problems. Though we know that the people in the video are paid actors, the way they act towards one another is not at all like how porn stars on other, more "mainstream" porn sites act towards each other. The actors for X-Art tend to treat each other, and the act of sex itself, as important values, not as casual receptacles for momentary amusement.

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The reason why I said that the porn industry is immoral is because most porn is excessively violent,degrading or both. Most porn isn't just sex on tape, it's a malevolent representation of sex.

 

That hasn't been my experience at all. I'd bet you a substantial sum of money that if we picked any mainstream aggregator porn site (youporn, xvideos, etc.), then the vast majority of videos on the main page would not involve any blatant violence or degradation. When I have visited such sites, most of the videos were just people have sex.

 

 

The problem with most porn, in my opinion, is that it treats sex far too casually, as something you just do with whoever is attractive and available. 

 

That's the central feature and functionality of porn. It's a quick satisfaction of the sex drive that doesn't bring with it all of the complications of real-life sex. As long as viewers understand the difference between fantasy and real life, this isn't necessarily a problem.

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