The Value of Porn

By
April 8, 2004

Recently, there has been a fair amount of coverage on women
making pornography for women: straight, lesbian and bisexual. The
motivation behind this, obviously, is that women like porn too. And
they do. The demand is rising. Thankfully it’s other women stepping
forward to supply the demand.

Unfortunately, for acknowledging their own interest in porn,
women are now facing a new wave of criticism from anti-porn
feminists. Traditionally considered a male-only interest, porn made
by and for women is drawing the attention of feminists who disagree
with pornography no matter who produces it. Period. They believe it
has no value whatsoever in society, regardless of who’s behind the
camera.

To watch women attack other women because they make porn is
detrimental to women’s rights as a whole. We have historically been
made ashamed of our bodies and our sexuality. How will we ever
convince the world that every woman owns the right to her body and
what she does with it, when there are other women standing up
saying she doesn’t?

What’s wrong with materials published for no other purpose than
pleasure? And why shouldn’t women take a larger role in one of the
few arenas where the economy isn’t suffering horribly, while at the
same time making sure women, as the primary subject of most porn,
receive better treatment?

For the record, we’re only talking about porn made for and by
consenting adults: not child pornography or snuff films (where
someone dies.)

Many of us, or our mothers, were part of the women’s rights
movement of the 70s, resulting in countless women feeling more
comfortable with their sexuality. Are we now to revert to the
belief that there is something inherently degrading in showing our
bodies for other’s pleasure and our own?

One of the largest criticisms of the porn industry is that by
nature of the business, women are exploited and devalued. But women
pornographers are overwhelmingly saying that changing this fact is
one of their primary reasons for entering the business.

Women have too long been told that our sexuality is evil, is
dangerous, is bad, and/or wrong. The Weekly believes it is a
good thing for women to embrace their sexuality and their own
pleasure, and to communicate that with others.

Yes, sexual violence is a horrible crime. But pornography by
itself does not create or perpetuate the problem any more than a
gun by itself kills someone. There are women out there who have
been victims of some type of sexual assault who nevertheless enjoy
porn, because they can separate the consensual from the
non-consensual.

What is “obscene” is subjective by definition-our senses are
offended in different ways depending on who we are as individuals.
If you’re not into it, don’t watch it. But let’s all refrain from
telling anyone that her sexual expression is wrong unless she’s
actually forcing it on someone else. We all need fantasies to deal
with the present reality.


The Value of Porn was published on April 8, 2004 in Editorial

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