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Lecture

Pornography

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Department
Philosophy
Course
PHIL 2170
Professor
Samantha Copeland
Semester
Winter

Description
Monday, March 21, 2011 Pornography degrades the male vision of women in this way. When I stand among the shelves there I am standing in a maze of female images, shelf after shelf of them, hundreds of naked women smiling or with their eyes closed and mouths open or gasping. I am just one more image in a broken mirror, with its multiple reflections of women, none of them whole. • Sex and violence together do not mean all sex is about violence • Violence is everywhere and yet we have a big issue about porn • Why attack porn, only some of which may be violent? • Negative effect captured in the above caption. • Degrade – treat as less than human. Make some act/behave in a way that is objectifying • Some of Nussbaum’s objectification present – makes women look as though they’re interchangeable – capturing the feminist aspect • Male gaze being distorted here; the way in which men are being told to see women – not so much the women in the porn or the porn itself I don’t believe there are limits to what women can imagine or enjoy. I don’t want limits, imposed from within or without, on what women can see, or watch, or do. That branch of feminism tells me my very thoughts are bad. Pornography tells me the opposite that none of my thoughts are bad, that anything goes… • She likes porn, falling into male traps The message of porn, by its very existence is that our sexual selves are real. • All the sexual behaviour in porn exists. Real behaviour, possibility, etc. • If we try to suggest porn shouldn’t exist is denying we have these sexual selves. • Resisting this • Follows McKinnon – sexuality is important to women. Important that we don’t allow sexuality to be dominated or controlled – expressing ourselves in ways we can’t otherwise express. Tisdale doing the same thing, except supporting porn. What a misogynistic worldview this is, this claim that women who make such choices cannot be making free choices at all – are not free to make a choice. Feminists against pornography have done a sad and awful thing. They have made women into objects. • By arguing against objectification, they have created a platform objectification • Two ways to interpret against anti-porn feminist movement: 1. Limited choices – if we like porn we only like it because we’re told we aught to. One choice which is not a choice which is liking porn because others like porn. Curtails autonomy. 2. It’s not our ability to make choices, but our ability to make choices about everything. These images that come out in porn come out everywhere in society. How much is our autonomy curtailed? Similar to de Beauvoir where we’re stuck in a bind. Its obsession is virility, endurance, lust [not domination]. Women in modern films are often the initiators of sex; me in such films seem perfectly content for that to be so. • Two empirical claims coming up against each other • What we should look at are the power relations Power fan
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