The Trouble With Porn…

…is that even smart people like to misrepresent and attack it. Taslima Nasreen says “Pornography is exclusively for men’s pleasure” and that she is against pornography in that she is against abuse and degradation. She is, however, for erotica and provides the contrasting definitions of pornography and erotica, attributed to Diana Russell.

Pornography: Material that combines sex and/or the exposure of genitals with abuse or degradation in a manner that appears to endorse, condone, or encourage such behavior.

Erotica: Sexually suggestive or arousing material that is free of sexism, racism, and homophobia, and respectful of all human beings and animals portrayed.


The problem with these definitions is that a lot of “erotica” is sold as “pornography” and so while it’s helpful that she makes a distinction for us between what does and does not agree with in the realm of people committing sex acts on film, the real world difference between the two is distinctly fuzzy. I agree with her and share her outrage where things like unreasonable coercion, physical abuse etc… are concerned but for every piece of porn I’ve seen where a guy is over-zealously pounding a woman who is not totally into but is not going to complain for fear of ruining the shot/losing her paycheck etc… there is an artful solo masturbation scene, a loving couple who share their ‘amateur time’ on a website and there is a ‘femdom’ scene where a guy fellates and then is penetrated by his partner’s strap-on – all abuse-free, consensual sex acts that straddle (see what I did there?) the line between “erotica” and “pornography”.

In regard to her claim that “pornography is exclusively for men’s pleasure”, the porn-loving people of the world thank Taslima for her blatant disregard for their existence.

Look, Taslima, I get it, you and I are both on the same page. We both want abuse and degradation of women to stop, but opposing porn is not the way to do it. It’s far too big an industry with far too many disparate pieces that rely more on erotica than choking or gagging etc… If you want to see abuse and degradation removed from porn, then we need to remove it from society first. Men’s Rights bullshit has not come about because porn has desensitised men to the objectification of women or whatever other porn-based cause you would like to attribute to it. That kind of insanity comes about because we don’t yet live in a world where every adult individual has universally accepted agency over their own bodies. (Some) men think it’s ok to dictate what a woman can and cannot do with their bodies, (some) gay men and lesbians (and, of course hetero men) think it’s ok to deny transgender people the opportunity to transition or identify or otherwise live their lives as they see fit, (some) women think it’s ok to denounce feminists they see as polluting, diluting or otherwise perverting ‘the cause’. We simply don’t live in a world where everyone respects everyone else’s rights over themselves.

You don’t cure the disease by treating a single symptom, Taslima. It’s just not that simple. So, fire ahead, keep opposing abuse and degradation in society and in porn, but please don’t continue to over-generalise, make blanket claims without sufficient evidence and disregard the real world disparity inherent in the situations you are criticising.

Peace,
dj357

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One thought on “The Trouble With Porn…

  1. Pornography: “Yuk! I don’t like that, let’s ban it!”
    Erotica: Acceptable to a sophisticate like me, so we’ll allow that!”

    Doesn’t that sound a bit like the “moral” sermonising of the religious?

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