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Can women be sexual and feminists at the same time?

Can you be sexual and a feminist at the same time?

This is a tough question to answer. Typically, feminists argue against the sexualization of women because it makes women seem more like sexual objects than as living and breathing human beings. Pornography, Playboy, Girls Gone Wild, and companies just like it make millions, even billions of dollars a year exploiting women to horny men for a profit. At least in Playboy they get paid decent money, GGW gives them the awesome salary of a t-shirt and hat that promotes GGW. Porn is known for its mainstream "movies" that typically show women being sexually degraded (gang bangs, tricked into sex, or being peed on or the "pop shot" which consists of a dude ejaculating into her face or mouth). But to what extent is sexuality and women intertwined with exploitation? There is not a clear answer for that. Even some women in porn do not feel that these acts are degrading. Retired porn superstar Jenna Jameson defends the porn industry in her autobiography. She obviously does not feel it is degrading to women. She also considers herself a feminist. Is she wrong? I say no. I do think that representing women in a way that makes them sexual objects to be humiliated and punished is wrong. It gives this message to men (especially young men) and they get it in their head that porn and the real world are the same thing so they get mighty disappointed when the women they meet on a day to day basis are not Jenna Jameson. But I do not think sexuality in itself is wrong. A woman who is sexual and confident is empowering. Owning your sexuality and not being ashamed about it is a positive message to women who are told that hey can only be virgins or sluts and have no in between. Am I saying that every woman should be a porn star? No, and neither does Jenna Jameson in her book. One of the aspects that attracted me to feminism was the diversity. There are all kinds of feminists, and all of them have their own unique views and stories to contribute. I think that someone who is a porn star and a feminist has just as much to offer as a student majoring in Women's Studies. One thing I find interesting is how commonly Jenna Jameson is attacked in the media, while the men involved in porn seem to get off without being noticed. I mean people freak about porn. Everything from protests, petitions, and death threats are aimed at the women in porn. But why? Because the anti-porn people are really concerned about the women in porn, or because they are freaking out that women in porn are being sexually "promiscuous" without any apologies? Nothing pisses off crazy right wingers like a woman using her vagina how SHE wants. Do I necessarily agree with porn, no. Do I think it is my business to tell these women what to do with their vaginas? Absolutely not. The business is regulated, all the actors are regularly tested for STDs. I am not defending the porn industry, I feel that a lot of porn is sadistic and masochist towards women, but I do not think this why people freak out. If it were, they would be trying to just revise how porn is done, not eliminate it all together. Obviously, they have an issue with women having sex for profit on camera. It is weird how people are all against porn and the like when women are calling the shots, but yet how much shit does Joe Francis or Hugh Heffner ever get for their involvement with the porn industry? Women are the ones who are attacked. Women are the ones who are called sluts and immoral and are told they will burn in hell. Women are the ones who get the most shit for being involved with porn. Now that I do take issue with.

Comments

Juliette Maughan's picture

As I always say...

Women are the gatekeepers of sexual morality, well they are expected to be. Thanks for posting this contribution because this is a topic that fascinates me.

I agree that women can embrace their sexuality and still consider it sexual empowerment. Where the lines are blurred is whether there is a false sense of empowerment where some women may embrace or adopt an open sexual lifestyle but may do so without considering their risk.

Indeed, a balance should be achieved.

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