Porn and Feminism
Pornography: - noun - the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
Feminism: - noun - the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
I have always maintained that I hate porn. I think that some things of a sexual nature are best left to the imagination. I’m not a prude and I’m not a whore... I just fall somewhere in between.
I’m not afraid to go at it on the dining room table, but I sure as hell wouldn’t want anyone to videotape it. What goes on between myself and my husband is something that is so truly intimate that I could never fully express it, not even to my closest friends.
Whenever a porn has been loaded into the VCR or DVD player, I immediately feel the urge to wash my hair, or clean the lint between my toes. And this doesn’t just relate to what would be classically categorized as porn. I’m uncomfortable with some sex scenes that are in mainstream media. Soap operas, any movie Angelina Jolie is in, it doesn’t matter.
I think I subscribe to the “Dynasty” movement. All I really need to see is the “fall-into-bed-making-out-like-mad” moment, and I get it. They’re gonna fuck. Cue the commercial. I’m done now.
I feel as though women are completely objectified. It’s all tits and ass. Any action movie that has a chick in it—you’re gonna see her boobs. Any porn that you see—the chick’s clothes fall off during the opening credits. It’s a little ridiculous to me.
For years, women battled for equality-- the right to vote, the right to own property, the right to earn a fair paycheck, etc. To this day, in most industries, women do not earn the same wage as a man... But in porn they make significantly more. I guess on some level that should seem empowering.
But what twinges at my soul are the following questions: Is sex the only thing that women are more skilled at than men? Is that why they get paid more?
Men and women, gay and straight—you’re watching the woman’s reaction in a porn. The cry of ecstasy, the eyes rolling back in the head, etc. It's not the man, but the woman in the porn movie that's turning people on.
Shouldn’t we as feminists be insulted? That we have to lay on our backs, or better yet—stand on our heads and contribute to the money shot in order to be valued more than a man?
And then there’s the obvious problem of what happens to some of the women trying to get into the industry. Quack directors who are out to make the most eye-dropping film ever very often take advantage of the women. They are abused, beaten, and in some cases, raped. And it’s all on film. People get off on it. The rape fantasy has never even turned a screw in my brain, and it’s because I believe it is truly sick to even hint at it.
I once watched a documentary on some people who had been in the porn industry. It was horrible. Take Annabel Chong for example. You might remember her as the woman who decided that she wanted to fuck 300 guys in a row in the “World’s Biggest Gang Bang.” She was supposed to make $10,000 for it. After 230 men she announced that she would only be doing 21 more guys, because she was in a considerable amount of pain. She stopped at 251, with the infamous Ron Jeremy “bringing up the rear” so to speak. It is one of the top-selling pornos of all time. Oh, and the catch-22, she was never paid.
Another story was of a woman who went into a filmmaker’s studio to make her first film. She was told that they would “break her in gently.” She was then double-penetrated against her will--they sold the video. She later found out that she was HIV positive and won’t show her face for fear of reprisal from the director. She was banned from the industry because the director claimed that she had gone into the film knowing that she was HIV positive. We might never know the truth—but one of the men involved in her DP was John Holmes. He would later die of AIDS related encephalitis. His diagnosis was traced back to 1986-- BEFORE this woman’s movie was made.
If this is supposed to be empowering, count me the fuck out.
It doesn’t matter to me that these are rare stories. For every Jenna Jameson (who later told some pretty screwed-up tales) there are a thousand women who were used, abused and not paid for their work.
The porn industry is a slap in the face of what women during the Suffrage Movement starved for.
Censor is a married 26-years-old with a son.