We’ve entered the pornography unit of my Violence and Gender Poverty course, thus I’ve been doing some of the assigned reading. The two I have read so far make me feel like an awful person because I just don’t see the harm in all porn, I just don’t. I understand that porn can be degrading to women, that there is violence that men will carry over into reality, there is obviously a huge problem with how porn-obsessed the American male populace is, etc.
Maybe my largest issue with Catharine MacKinnon’s article Pornography, Civil Rights, & Speech is her emphasis that ALL porn is violent and ALL porn is degrading to women. I have always been opposed to saying something is one extreme or the other, as you can always find examples where it isn’t the case. Another issue is that I am gay, and therefore do not watch a whole lot of heterosexual porn. So maybe a majority of heterosexual porn is violent, degrading, disgusting, etc. and I have just managed to see the more generic ones. Who knows?
This post sounded a lot more intelligent in my head, but oh well. I think i forgot some of my arguments … :-\ In the end, I don’t see porn as that bad if all it is doing is showing sex between two people. I personally do have a problem with ones that are violent, or do degrade women (or men) in them. Violence and degradation are not activities that I find terribly arousing (I don’t find them arousing at all).
I thought I had an actual view, but now I am conflicted. I thought maybe things should just be moderated – no violence, no degradation. But then I thought about fetishes and how (depending on the fetish, if your fetish is kids then you’re a pedophile and should go to jail) we should respect, to a certain degree, other’s personal tastes. So degrading individuals is bad, but there are those who enjoy being degraded, humiliated, so should you judge them and decide that they are being abused, when in fact they enjoy it? Ugh, now I’m all confused.
Maybe it’s like Justin has brought up in class in regards to prostitution and trafficking: yes, there are those who truly want to be prostitutes, but they are dwarfed by the vast number of those who do not want to be prostitutes. Trying to protect the small minority’s right to be prostitutes ultimately crushes the vast majority’s right to not be trafficked. I guess the same can be applied to pornography. If the vast majority is violent and degrading, then you need to err on that side and try and prevent it, rather than trying to protect the minority that is not violent or degrading.
What do you all think?