Has Brooke Magnanti actually seen any porn?

TRIGGER WARNING, language used in this post may be triggering

Whenever someone tries to defend porn as ‘neutral’ or ‘beneficial’ or even ‘educational’, the first thing I wonder is, have they actually seen any? It seems there are only two types of people trying to defend porn in this way, or as ‘just’ a recording of people ‘having sex’, those who’ve never seen any, or those with a vested interest in the sex industry.

Brooke Magnanti (a.k.a. ‘Belle du Jour’) has a ‘popular science’ book out, ‘The Sex Myth’ and Tanya Gold critiques it in a recent CiF piece:

In the chapter on pornography, she says the absence of the missionary position in pornographic movies proves they are dedicated to female pleasure, when I suspect it is simply because there is little to see. She insists the focus on women in these films bespeaks respect when, because they are made largely for men, they would always be the focus. She also cites a few rich female pornographers as an indication the industry is not inherently exploitative.

Let’s remind ourselves about Brooke Magnanti, she entered the top end of the sex industry as an articulate, educated, white adult, and she stayed there for 14 months until her PhD funding started. She has made a lot of money with her idealised, glamorised account of her time as an ‘escort’, and is now making another career for herself as an anti-feminist woman-hater.

I’ve tried to give a shit about maternity leave and who does the housework, and all I can come up with is, if your job doesn’t give you as much time off as you want, suck it up or get another job. If your partner doesn’t do the washing-up, same.

As if caring for small children plus paying the rent is a decadent lifestyle choice and not a necessity that leaves many women trapped in poverty and unemployment.

According to a recent review of ‘The Sex Myth’ by another academic sex-pozzer, Catherine Hakim (author of ‘Honey Money’, who has been pretty much disowned by the LSE), the book includes the “curious fact” that “women earn more than men in the porn industry.”

This is worth looking at, as it gets repeated ad nauseam; I recently deleted a comment from some stupid bloke claiming “hetero male actors […] are exposed to same dangers as women and have to do all the work.”

First of all, the real money in the porn industry is behind the camera, it is in production and distribution and in owning a porn ‘brand’, porn performers are only paid once for a scene and that material can be re-edited and re-used an infinite number of times. The majority of people behind the camera are men, and, as Tanya Gold points out, a small number of women behind the camera, making a load of money off other women’s backs, doesn’t stop it being exploitative, and certainly doesn’t make it ‘feminist’ in any way.

So, to the ‘dangers’ and the ‘work’. In terms of what this ‘work’ involves, men and women, in the mainstream of heterosexual gonzo porn, aren’t even doing the same ‘work’. Men are not being slapped, punched or choked; men are not being subjected to multiple, simultaneous penetrations; men are not being covered in saliva, semen, vomit or urine; men are not having gynaecological instruments inserted into their orifices, which are then stretched beyond natural limits.

So, what sounds more like hard work here? A male performer may get vomit on his penis after shoving it so far down a woman’s throat that she pukes, but that’s hardly equivalent.

As to risk, women are more likely to catch STIs, including HIV, than men through penetrative sex; women are at risk from Chlamydia infections in the eye due to ‘facials’; women suffer prolapsed anuses from double anals – all this before we get on to the psychological harm from being in the sex industry.

Male porn performers in heterosexual porn are paid less than female performers because they are not doing the same ‘job’, they are paid less because the producers know they could get almost any random guy in off the street who’d be thrilled to do it for free.

If the above ‘facts’ are typical of Magnanti’s book as a whole, it is nothing more than a piece of shameless propaganda for the sex industry.

3 responses

  1. Wah men working in the pornstitution industry are being subjected to ‘sex discrimination’ because they aren’t being paid the same amount as the women who routinely are being subjected to sadistic male sexual violence! Fact as Antiporn states men are not the ones routinely being penetrated by three or more penises all at the same time; men working in pornstitution industry are not the ones being sexually degraded and called dehumanising names are they? No the men who work in pornstitution industry just have to ensure their penises remain erect for long periods of time in order to ensure camera captures every second of what their penises are doing to women’s bodies. Perhaps these male actors suffer PTSD because constantly massaging their penises and swallowing viagra pills does cause them serious physical/psychological and emotional harm – or perhaps the moon is really made of green cheese!

    Brooke Magnanti and Catherine Hakim are ‘tools’ of pornstitution industry and such women have always existed doing men’s dirty work for them. Look behind these women and you’ll always discover it is the men who are the ones clinging tightly on to their male power.

    Token women are always promoted by Male Supremacist System as evidence that hey presto – look women have achieved human status and now feminism is no longer relevant because we women can supposedly enact the same socio-economic power over other women as men do over all women. But of course women on no account must be allowed to have greater socio-economic power than men.

    Brooke Magnanti’s book is nothing more than more endless propaganda and its aim as always is to maintain myth that for women becoming a ‘female porn star is epitome of women’s ambition.’ Meanwhile back the ranch it is business as usual for men because they do not have to resort to enter the pornstitution industry in order to earn money to eat. But innumerable men are the ones behind the cameras filming the pornstitution and it is men who are the ones profiting from pornstitution. Way to go boys – exploit women and claim ‘women choose to enter pornstitution therefore the women themselves alone are responsible for being reduced to men’s disposable sexual service stations!’

  2. […] don’t know if anyone, aside from a handful of so-called ‘sex positive’ sex industry advocates trying to defend…, actually believes that pornography is about anything other than women hating. The pornographers […]

  3. […] published a ‘popular science’ book about sex which was roundly criticised for being biased, inaccurate and […]

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