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SOC2070 -Course Manual Week 9.docx

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University of Guelph
SOC 2070
Norman Dubeski

SOC 2070, Week 9 Course Reader A FEMINIST OVERVIEW OF PORNOGRAPHY, ENDING IN A DEFENSE THEREOF By: Wendy McElroy Anti-Porn Feminism: - Page Mellish of Feminists Fighting Pornography has declared “there‟s no feminists issue that isn‟t rooted in the porn problem” - MacKinnon denies that porn consists of words and images, both which would be protected by the First Amendment (she considers it in and of itself – to be an act of sexual violence) - Porn is viewed both the core issue of modern feminism and inherent violence, because it lies in radical feminist ideology, which Christina Hoff Sommers calls “Gender Feminism” - Gender Feminism: looks at history and sees an uninterrupted oppression of women by men than spans cultural barriers (to them the only feasible explanation is that men and women are separate and antagonistic classes, whose interests necessarily conflict) - Brownmiller “from prehistoric times to the present, I believe, rape has played a critical function, it is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear) - Another tenet of gender oppression is that sex is a social construct, Radical Feminists reject what they call “sexual essentialism” – the notion that sex is natural force based on biology, which inclines women toward natural tendencies, such as motherhood, (they spring from ideology) - Men construct women‟s sexuality through words and images of society, which the French philosopher Foucalt called the “texts” of society - Men commercialize women‟s sexuality and market it back to her in the form of Porn (through porn men defines woman sexually – a definition which determines every aspect of her role in society, to end the oppression, patriarchy and its texts must be destroyed) Liberal Feminists: - Liberal feminism is a continuation of the 60‟s feminism called for equality with men, who were not inherent oppressors so much as recalcitrant partners to be enlightened - Equality did not mean destroying the system but rather reforming it through such measure of affirmative action - The stress was upon the act of choosing rather than upon the content of any choice - They share the general liberal bias towards free speech, but they in flux on pornography - Some liberal feminists would sacrifice free speech for the greater good of protecting women Pro-sex Feminism: - A growing number of „pro-sex‟ defended a woman‟s choice to participate in and to consume pornography - Nina Hartley, are current or ex sex workers who knows first-hand that posing for porn is uncoerced choice which can be enriching - “a woman‟s body, a woman‟s right and insist that every peaceful choice a woman makes with her own body must be accorded full legal protection, if not respect” - They often overlap with liberal feminists , both express concern over who will act as censor because subjective words, such as „degrading‟ will be interpreted to mean whatever the censor wishes Critique of Anti-porn Feminism Specific accusations hurled at pornography include 1. Degrades women 2. Leads directly to violence against women 3. Violence against women in that; a. Women a physically coerced into porn b. Women involved in the production of porn are so psychologically damaged by patriarchy that they are incapable of giving informed or „real‟ consent Accusations stand up under examination? 1. Degrading is a subjective meaning, the bottom line is that every woman has the right to define what is degrading and liberating for herself. - The assumed degradation is often linked to the „objectification‟ of women: that is, porn converts them into sexual objects, but objects don‟t have sexuality; only beings do 2. A cause-effect relationship is drawn between men viewing porn and men attacking women, especially in the form of rape, - But studies and experts disagree to whether any relationship exists between porn and violence, between images and behavior, even the pro-censorship Meese Commission Report it was unreliable connection 3. A. Not one woman of the dozens of women in porn with whom she spoke to reported being coerced, Every industry has its abuses B. although women in porn, appear to be willing, anti-porn feminists know that no psychologically healthy women would agree to the degradation of porn. Therefore, if agreement seems to be present, it because they have “fallen in love with their own oppression; and must be rescued from themselves” - Anti-porn feminists claim that if a woman d
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