QotD: “I think there’s a couple of problems or issues with ‘feminist porn’ and various reasons why it doesn’t live up to what it promises”
In the 60s, 70s and 80s the trend in the feminist movement was that it was largely anti-pornography, it was critical of pornography for various reasons…And starting in the 80s, 90s and basically since then the trend in the feminist movement has been more liberal, more accepting of pornography, sometimes even going to the extent of promoting pornography or being pro-porn. So ‘feminist porn’, as far as I’m aware, is a recent development and what it is, is that it is currently a niche within pornography where it’s directed usually by women who consider themselves feminists. It’s more oriented towards female pleasure, it typically has a female consumer in mind whereas mainstream pornography tends to have a male consumer in mind. There’s allegedly more emphasis on real pleasure, breaking down traditional gender roles, non-traditional sexuality, so more experimentation, more ‘female-friendly’ sexuality, if you will. And the reason why I put it in quotes is because I actually don’t think it delivers what it promises.
I think there’s a couple of problems or issues with ‘feminist porn’ and various reasons why it doesn’t live up to what it promises. One of the issues that I had when I was researching this was that I found that many of the people who call themselves feminist pornographers have ties with and often work within the mainstream industry, which is extremely exploitative, extremely abusive, [and] extremely sexist. So when I found that out that was already ringing bells in my mind or setting off red flags.
One of the other issues is that this very promising talk about breaking down gender roles and showing non-traditional sexuality, which means more ‘female-friendly’ sexuality and made with a female consumer in mind, [and] some of it may genuinely be made with a female consumer in mind but I don’t think that it is as new and subversive and edgy as it’s made out to be. Some of the titles that I have seen have been things like: ‘Submissive Slut’ or ‘Babes in Bondage 4’, things that you would really find in the mainstream industry, things that are frankly very sexist, very traditional, very male-dominated. I don’t see what’s new or radical about it.
And I don’t see a lot of people asking some of the more radical questions, like: What are the kinds of people that get into porn? Why do they get into it? What’s their background? Is it really just something that they do because they want to explore sexuality or is it because they don’t have other options? And if it’s that [the latter] then why don’t they have other options? And why are most of these people female?
And I don’t see a lot of people who are involved with this asking questions like: Does sex need to be a commodity? Does it need to be something that can be bought and sold on a market? Is buying sex from somebody else really something that we have a right to? Or is it just something that we’ve grown used to and something that we feel entitled to because of this male-dominated society that says certain things about sex?
There’s just various ways in which I don’t think feminist porn lives up to the promises that it makes.