Thursday, May 15, 2008

Utility of pr0ns

This is a message I sent to a self-proclaimed "radical feminist," whom had the passage " You don't use porn. I'm serious that I really do not want to get close to people who embrace how the sex industry exploits and harms women." in her profile.  I felt the need to query. 


First: I'm going to assume that the questions that I'll be forced to answer in order to send you this message pertain to either my valuation of trust, love, or some other aspect of dating and how it would effect us should be pursue such a course. However, I have no real intention of ever communicating with you again outside of this query (nothing personal, but hey, who knows?), so I imagine that forcing me to communicate very specific concepts with you is kind of silly. I read it as: the only way that I'm going to speak with you is if I know exactly how you feel about something, and if you're not willing to answer those questions, then you're not worth my time. I guess that's your decision, though. Your questions may have absolutely nothing to do with what I mentioned above, but you'd definitely be the first person I've seen on this site that didn't. 

Anyway. I was wondering; is it possible for pornographic materials to be used as a constructive tool instead of the vile and base thing that they are perceived as? I tried to phrase that in a neutral fashion but may have failed.

I ask for a couple of reasons, but first and foremost because I was wondering if you, a self-proclaimed radical feminist, could enlighten me. I do not mean that in a condescending fashion. One of the ways that I view pornography is as, so to speak, a means to an end. As I haven't slept in a long time, I'm having trouble coming up with a solid metaphor, so I'll be blunt; its drastically easier to view women outside, above and beyond any sexual bounds if certain criteria are met. I consider myself to have a rather low sex-drive; however, it is difficult to ignore various urges and impulses that I take as biological. However, after sex or a session with pornography. this impulses are reduced dramatically to the point where they don't really enter my awareness for a long period of time. 

I recognize the damage that the pornography industry inflicts upon women (and, really, I imagine the men as much if in a different direction), although it partially helps to release myself from various aspects of my psyche that I'd imagine do without. I view it as a means to an end, so to speak, and I guess my question to you (after three unnecessarily long paragraphs) is this: is using the digital incarnation of naked women as exploitive as it would be imagining similar things during a conversation that is steered in a sexual direction? ie, viewing women in real life as objects.

A final thought to consider. It isn't one that I necessarily agree with, but it was a concept injected into a conversation a friend and I were having. The issue is that our school newspaper was running an ad on the back cover, full-size, for a local strip club. I took issue with this for the same reasons that I imagine that you would, but my friend asked an interesting question: isn't anyone on stage, film or print being exploited in some way? Nobody gives a shit about the actual human that's delivering stand-up comedy, only his jokes. The same goes for characters in movies, sitcoms, or television shows. They're being objectified as equally as women in a strip club in a way. I wondered if you'd care to comment on that.

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