Article by The Huntress vs. The Headline (Blog) /
May 25, 2011 /
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Every day I really wonder what it is that drives some particular headlines into the top 5 read in our online news providers. Are people curious as to what is actually contained within cryptic crap such as “You’re Joking, Mal” (The)? Are people genuinely only interested in gossip like “Swim Star’s Backflip On ‘Joke’ City” (AdelaideNow)? Or do they honestly think they’re going to learn something with such headlines as “Breaking Up’s Hard To Do (But Profitable)” ( )?
I am just going outside. I may be some time.
It’s no secret that I am a feminist and since media attention has been given to the SlutWalk movement there has been some interesting takes from feminists being published around the traps. Some are supportive, some have reacted with dismay and others are angry. I also read an article about the reluctance of many young women to be comfortable with the word ‘feminism’, which made me wonder why that is. I have a personal theory it’s something to do with the angry, bra-burning feminist types, which isn’t very typical of a modern feminist. Which is where I cue today’s headline.
I have utilised Lauren Rosewarne’s wise words before and today I utilise them again. A respected women’s studies professor, Gail Dines, recently wrote an article about the effect of pornography on the lives of men and women, describing how porn is decimating a generation, how young men are now unable to distinguish fantasy from reality and the continued exploitation of women within the industry. Professor Dines believes we need to completely eradicate porn from our society to prevent further damage to our culture.
Ms. Rosewarne has stepped up and disagreed with Professor Dines notion – as do I. Just because we’re feminists does not mean we have to be disgusted by porn, indeed we can “tolerate, accept and perhaps even embrace it and still champion women’s rights”. Modern feminism is not about ranting and raving about porn and how women are being demeaned, in fact by issuing a blanket ban upon it, all we are doing is attaching more guilt and shame to sexuality and masturbation, which is counterproductive not just to feminism, but everyone.
What I actually find interesting in all of this (just a random thought being thrown out there now) is that erotic art and literature was once a pastime of the wealthy and bored aristocracy. My favourite work of erotic fiction, ‘The Delta of Venus’ by Anais Nin, was commissioned by a private collector, as was her other book of short erotic stories, ‘Little Birds’. But anyone can be a collector now, which is probably kind of why no one really talks about their porn stash – it just doesn’t come with the same prestige anymore.
Back to where I was. Porn can certainly have a negative effect on people’s lives in the case of addiction. But so does alcohol and gambling. All of these are generally enjoyed by most of our community and used in an appropriate manner. While porn has undoubtedly influenced many modern men (chest waxing, herbal viagra and penis enlargers come to mind) and women (need I say brazillian waxing, Victoria’s Secret and enormous boob jobs), consuming it still remains a choice. Porn is not the sole influence upon our lives, nor upon feminism. Generally it remains as a fantasy within people’s minds and bedrooms (or offices or bathrooms or wherever) and generally we are smart enough to keep it that way. I don’t know too many men (I would like to say none, but I would be lying) who have asked their partners to go on unnecessary diets, do damaging treatments to their hair and nails and have unneccessary surgery so they can be like their favourite pornstar.
I don’t have a pretty picture to put up and round off today’s blog, so I apologise. I could find a pretty, sexy lady for you all, but I’m sure you know where to find them anyway…