A feminist analysis of pornography must include a content analysis and a representational analysis. While there is rightful outrage at the ever-increasing violence depicted in pornography, few have examined what pornography itself is trying to say. Experts might argue that real life violence is not pornography, but this is a lie. As Kappeler (1986) points out, the law deals in fact and representation related to fact and the arts deal with (almost) exclusively fiction; however, when the subject is pornography both parties claim to be experts while distancing themselves from it. When it becomes ‘real’ violence, the arts proclaim that it is not theirs and the law proclaims it is not real violence/not real pornography. But as Dworkin (1981) articulates, pornography is real and it happens to women.
Liberals are for it because it is ‘liberating’ and conservatives are against it out of concern for public morality, and feminists are forced to fit into this dichotomy (Kappeler, 1986). And so the rights of men (read: human rights) are pitted against the rights of women. Some fauxminists may claim that they are against the censorship of pornography out of concern for ‘free speech’. Some conservatives may claim they are against pornography, they use it in secret out of their allegiance to patriarchy.
QotD: “A feminist analysis of pornography must include a content analysis and a representational analysis”