By Jen Thorpe
Most of you will have read about the arguments around pornography in feminist thought. The major debate has two sides and there has been very little developed on the middle ground. On one side the argument goes that pornography objectifies women and is thus oppressive; on the other side the argument goes that women are encouraged to be passive in sexual situations and pornography could encourage their sexual subjectivity.
My question when it comes to debates of pornography is always ‘how much power do you have to make new meaning?’ If new ‘feminist’ porn is an act of redefining women’s sexuality, and an attempt to reclaim a traditionally masculine space that consumes women, how do feminist pornographers intend to make new meaning? How do they plan to break free of the lenses through which their films will be made?
On the other hand, is there a point in denying women’s interest in becoming actresses in pornographic films, or appearing in pornographic magazines? If we argue that porn is wrong, surely we tell some women that their sexual desires are wrong, and so subject them to as much social regulation as those making patriarchal porn?
I’m undecided, but would love to know what you think?