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I am a feminist who has never thought of "feminism" as a dirty word, despite my conservative family. I also do not think of sex a dirty word (not that I'm saying other feminists do) and am very interested in the politics of sexuality. I would appreciate your comments on sex and positive and pro-pornography feminism. I'm specifically referring to female-empowered sources along the lines of Gynomite, Body of Words, Feminists for Fornication, Good Vibrations, Carol Avendon, Annie Sprinkle, etc. There seems to be a very angry division between pro- and anti-pornography feminists.
Thanks! Adrienne

Dear Adrienne,

Yes, pornography is one of those issues that feminists can't agree upon. In general, I guess the line has been that feminists support erotica, which is based on mutual affection, attention, etc..., but oppose pornography, which is based on dominance.The other feminist stance--is that each individual feminist can make up their own mind--meaning they can indulge on it in their own lives, without, of course, compromising women who might not be choosing this profession.

Personally, I find it a difficult issue - because on the one hand I support it, both the production of it and the use of it (including all of the women and places you mention--Annie Sprinkle, Good Vibrations, etc.) however, I also understand that some women don't understand their full range of choices, and therefore, assume these positions or consume these productions because they don't think they have a choice.

In general, I find that those having the pro/anti porn debates tend to be the educated elite or even educated liberals - who want to talk about how they chose to be strippers but feminists criticized them for doing so. I don't like to engage in these discussions, because-we're basically talking about the exception to the rule -- not the norm. I know this is more of a ramble than an answer, but I hope it gives you something to work with.


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