jump to navigation

So much porn, so little time… January 29, 2006

Posted by Winter in pornography, the adventures of mind the gap.
trackback

Next month’s discussion night is on pornography. When we talked about this, way back in the summer, the group decided they wanted to view some pornographic material and then discuss it together. They didn’t want to frame the discussion with any particular feminist perspective on pornography, they just wanted to watch some and then talk about it. Having set up the discussion nights to serve the feminist needs of our members, we readily agreed. Only recently did we realize that this event posed a few problems.

Problem: What pornography?

In the first instance, to what kind of pornography do we refer? After all, the world of porn is no more monolithic than any other form of cultural expression and there are many subcultures within the genre. What do we want to look at? Just hetero porn? If so, do we want low brow, cheap stuff or something flashy with Jenna Jameson in it? Do we want old or up-to-date, European or US? Do we risk watching something extremely disturbing? Do we want to consider BDSM porn? And, do we want to compare it with homo or lesbian porn? If so, we have the same set of problems. What kind of homo or lesbian porn exactly?

In the end, we decided to start with cheapish hetero porn of the kind probably viewed by young men and teenage boys. This, we think, is probably what most people watch. Then we decided to compare it with some middle-class “It’s not porn it’s art” type film, such as Emmanuelle or 9 1/2 weeks.

Lesbian and gay porn, we decided, is a separate issue and raises a different range of questions, so we’ll put that can of worms to one side for now. We will return to it later, however.

Problem: Anyone got any old porn?

Surprisingly, we soon discovered that feminists do not have large supplies of cheap hetero porn in their houses to bring to discussion nights (this doesn’t mean we have no erotic material), which opened the next problem of acquiring some. How do we lay our hands on some porn? While R and myself going in quest of porn in Cardiff sex shops would undoubtedly result in hilarious adventures to recount here, I wasn’t sure it was a good idea and, knowing our luck, we would surely run into people we knew and never be able to look them in the eye again (“Oh hello, we’re just getting pornography for our feminist discussion night… Of course, you just stumbled in here by accident, it happens all the time … Yes, it is a very clean shop isn’t it… Well, see you at the seminar next week”). Also, a quick scan on the web alerted me to the rather high price of porn DVD’s. In the end, I found an oldish film on DVD for £4.99. The title will be revealed when we write up the actual event (No it’s NOT Deep Throat). My friend who works at the library has offered to get us some middle-class erotica stuff, so I think we’re finally sorted.

Problem: Where can we hold the event?

We usually meet at the Quaker Meeting house in Cardiff. Do you think we can we view pornography there? No, it’s not really appropriate is it? So, we’re going to have to hold the discussion in someone’s house and, because it’s a woman-only event for obvious reasons, we’re going to have to eject the men in our lives (yes, some of us do have men in our lives) sharing the property, for the duration of the event: “Can you go out please because we’re having a group of feminists over to watch pornography? That’s great, thank you.”

Problem

Now people searching for porn on google will get this website listed on their results. Sorry to disappoint you but you have reached a feminist blog. Nothing to see here chaps … move along please.

Advertisements

Comments»

1. Dangereuse Trilingue - January 29, 2006

You might like a quick read through Barbara Wilson’s detective novel “The Dog Collar Murders”. It is set in the 70s US feminist scene, and evolves around discussions of feminist attitudes to porn. The attitudes are recognizably 70s (for ex., the only vaguely erotica-friendliness comes from a part of the lesbian contingent), but it is still quite nice.

Oh, and don’t worry about Google — the French blogosphere is fairly buzzing with porn at the moment. (Keyword: Garfieldd)

2. Winter - January 29, 2006

Thanks for the reference. I think it would be interesting to hold another discussion entirely on different feminist attitudes to porn

Do I dare type that keyword into google?!

3. Andygrrl - January 30, 2006

Oooh, looking forward to hearing about your meeting. I’ve been trying to formulate a post on porn for weeks and I’m going round in circles. Might have to do a stream of conciousness thing…

4. Winter - January 30, 2006

Oh, I see. Interesting controversy.

5. Louise Whittle - January 30, 2006

Have you considered getting a speaker from Feminists Against Censorship? I was a member when it was first set up in the early 90s.

I think it is an excellent idea organising a meeting on the various different feminist perspectives on porn.

BTW: A thought provoking book, “Caught Looking” edited by Feminists Against Censorhip Taskforce, has a montage of pornographic images alongside some interesting essays as well. I am not sure if it is still in print but it is worth a read.

Louise

6. Ole Blue The Heretic - January 30, 2006

I think that you will find each one of you have different and sometimes are polar opposites on porn.

Some, like me, think that there is a difference between porn and erotica.

7. Winter - January 30, 2006

Thanks for the reference. The montage would be useful for the mtg. I’ll see if I can track the book down.

I think we’ll start with this meeting gauging peoples’ feelings and responses to the actual material. Then perhaps we’ll organise one to talk about the theoretical perspectives. To be honest, I think this topics going to run and run.

8. Winter - January 30, 2006

I’m sure you’re right Heretic, but it’ll be interesting to find out. I suspect we’ll end up falling into camps on the subject.

I agree that there’s a difference between porn and erotica, but making that differentiation is the difficult part. We’re going to look at material labelled as belonging to both genres in the meeting and talk about it.

9. Maia - February 1, 2006

I wish I was in Cardiff, your group sounds so exciting, and I want to be there for the discussions. I’m looking forward to a summary (and your later topics on the awesome poster look fascinating too).

10. Winter - February 1, 2006

Thanks Maia. I wish you were in Cardiff too. We need all the help we can get!

11. Bitch | Lab - February 8, 2006

We laughed and laughed over this post — hope that doesn’t offend. We just thought it was funny — my partner and I — about all the logistical problems involved.

Does anyone produce a most viewed list of porn videos/dvds? I should think that, if what you want to do is get a grip on what images people tend to see that would be one way — not a perfect way, but a way.

12. Winter - February 9, 2006

Don’t worry. It’s meant to be funny and we’ve been laughing a lot ourselves.


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: