Talk:Feminist views of pornography

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Factual inaccuracy[edit]

Once again, I thank the authors of this article for creating it to begin with, as an article on this subject was clearly needed on Wikipedia. Also, unlike the related article on Feminist views on prostitution, there was at least some attempt here to present a balance point of view (albeit, with some low-level editorializing, which I've been working to remove). However, I think that there are some strong factual inaccuracies in here regarding the positions of both sides, though this is particularly egregious in the section on sex-positive views, and betrays the author's lack of knowledge on the subject. Also, the way the article is organized is problematic – the breakdown of the arguments on both sides are often points where each side has a point of view, but they happen to disagree on the subject. The "porn versus erotica" topic being a case in point, and by the way, this distinction is one generally made by anti-pornography feminists not the sex-positive side. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 23:34, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Wow – reading this through, I take back what I said about this article attempting to be balanced. Starting with the opening paragraph:
Feminist views on pornography have often been highly critical of pornography, viewing it as a form of violence against women, while a minority of sex-positive feminists have taken a more moderate position on the issue.
Minority? Is there a citation to back this up? This is going in the next round of cleanup. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 04:09, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
It looks like that opening paragraph was the most problematic statement from an NPOV standpoint. I've totally rewritten it and removed the tag. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 04:30, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I didn't write the entire article, I just tranfered some relevant content in order to create a useful entry, while attempting to write a summary of what was already there.
I don't think it's inaccurate to say that radical feminism is a dominant current among the feminist movement, because it tends to serve as a type of social orthodoxy, as opposed to sex-positive feminism, which has a reputation for heterodoxy. When you examine the different feminist organizations, their leading activists often come from the radical feminist crowd because that group had arguably been the most vocal in its opposition to what it deems to be violence against women.
ADM (talk) 05:21, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
As I've written on the other talk pages, I do think its inaccurate, and if you're going to declare sex-positive and sex-worker feminism a minority view, then you damn well better have some sources conclusively proving that radical feminism is the majority view. (This is one of the many contentious statements you've failed to back up with proper references, by the way.) I'm familiar enough with the literature on feminism and pornography to know that such a statement is unsupportable. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 05:38, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I note with some dismay that the article divides feminists into two camps: "radical" or "sex-positive". Liberal feminism is the opposing "school of thought" to radical feminism, and the anti-pornography and sex-positive groups had support from both radical and liberal feminists. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 07:50, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Can you back that up with some citations? It is my understanding that the liberal/socialist/radical feminist dichotomy is essentially a snapshot of 1970s feminism and not really useful in describing later feminist positions. It depends also on the definition of "radical feminism". Certainly, sex-positive feminism has roots in what was broadly called radical feminism in the early 1970s, but by the late 1970s, radical feminism had largely become synonymous with an anti-porn and anti-prostitution position, a change that's well-documented in Alice Echols Daring to be Bad. Another problem with the term "liberal feminism" is that hardly anybody uses it to describe themselves. It is perhaps most appropriately used to describe the positions of Betty Friedan and NOW, as well as later legislative reform-oriented groups like the Feminist Majority Foundation. The term has also been used in regards to Gloria Steinem, though on the subject of sexuality, her ideas were largely derived from Dworkin and other radical feminists, who's ideas Steinem has always strongly aligned with. Considering that since the 1970s, the overwhelming majority of anti-prostitution feminism has described itself as based specifically in "radical feminist" ideology, and that no or nearly no feminists who have defended sex work or pornography have described themselves this way, it seems that "radical feminism" is a apt description of the ideology behind anti-prostitution feminism. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 16:56, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I've re-titled the first section "anti-pornography feminism", which is really a more accurate statement, even if largely overlaps with radical feminist perspectives. I've changed the title of the second section to "Sex-positive and anti-censorship feminist views", which is a bit unwieldy, but reflects the fact that opposition and arguments against at least some aspects of anti-porn feminism have come from beyond just the "sex-positive" part of the movement. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 22:36, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Glad Day Bookshop section[edit]

I note that unfortunately a recent set of edits has made the section Feminist_views_on_pornography#Glad_Day_Bookshop_controversy entirely one-sided. There is substantial disagreement between supporters of Dworkin and MacKinnon on one hand and their feminist and LGBT critics on the other over the role that the Canadian Butler decision played in the crackdown on LGBT materials in Canada in the 1990s. This article gives Dworkin and MacKinnon pretty much the only commentary on the subject and editorial "last word". To say this flies in the face of WP:NPOV and WP:CONTROVERSY is to put it mildly. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 17:09, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Stanford Encyclopedia articles[edit]

I just wanted to note the following articles in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy on this topic:

They give a pretty good summary of the feminist debate on the issue, though the first of the two is perhaps is a little light when it comes to the sex-positive position. In any event, I think it summarizes the general issues at hand better than this article does, and I hope to soon get around to substantially rewriting this article using the Stanford Encyclopedia articles as a template. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 01:13, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Unbalanced tag[edit]

After re-editing the article and consolidating the sections in a more coherent way, I see now that the section on sex-positive perspectives is relatively brief, largely quite poorly written, and doesn't really state the case of this perspective very well at all. There are problems with the anti-porn section as well, but, but not nearly so bad, and by consolidating the material properly, I've been at least able to put together a section that gives the basics of the anti-porn feminist argument. The sex-positive section is probably in need of a total rewrite. The "unbalanced" and "factual inaccuracy" tags should remain in place in that section is rewritten and a fair summary of that perspective is present in the article. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 22:32, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

How I think this page should be organized[edit]

Right now, the page is organized such that it lists anti-porn feminists and their list of issues, then sex-positive feminists and their set of issues. I think the sections on anti-porn and sex-positive feminism should focus on the core ideas about pornography that each of these feminisms espouses, then a following section on specific issues, where specific points of disagreement and debate are fleshed out. For example, legal regulation is an area where both sides have some very strong opinions (not to mention, as is often the case, there are more than two sides). Also, I think a "History" section is called for.

So it might be structured like:

  • (Intro)
  • Overview
    • Anti-pornography feminism
    • Sex-positive feminism
  • History
  • Specific issues
    • Women in pornography
    • Social effects
    • Sexual objectification
    • Different types of pornography and erotica
    • (etc)

There could probably be a better title than "Specific issues", but I can't think of it at the moment. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 17:26, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

"Too many quotes" tag[edit]

I tagged this, because this article is starting to become a bit of a quote farm. I admit I've been part of the problem here, since I've been using a fair number of quotes to quickly expand the article, and the article was already heavily reliant on quotes to begin with.

It is clearly the case that feminists on both sides of the issue have said many quotable things – "Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice", "In practice, attempts to sort out good erotica from bad porn inevitably comes down to 'What turns me on is erotica; what turns you on is pornographic.'", many of Dworkin's statements, etc. are often well-known and/or summarize certain strands of feminist thought on pornography very well and should be in the article. However, other things like MacKinnon's views on why women go into porn or Dworkin and MacKinnon's arguments concerning the effects of the Butler decision are the kinds of things that should be succinctly summarized rather than directly quoted. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 15:58, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

I don't think there are too many quotes, anyway, instead of taking out quotes, why not adding more text? Anyway the article is incomplete.

This article is also poorly structured and it doesn't explain the issues clearly. This section: "Women reduced to sex objects: Anti-pornography feminists hold the view that pornography contributes to sexism, arguing that in pornographic performances, the actresses are reduced to mere receptacles—objects—for sexual use and abuse by men. They argue that the narrative is usually formed around men's pleasure as the only goal of sexual activity, and the women are showed in a subordinate role. Some opponents believe pornographic films tend to show women as being extremely passive, or that the acts which are performed on the women are typically abusive and solely for the pleasure of their sex partner.[2] MacKinnon and Dworkin defined pornography as "the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women through pictures or words". [3]" should be broken in two different sections: one about the issue of sexual objectification in pornography, in general, and another one about the type of sex that is shown in the movies (women shown in a subordinate role, narrative formed around men's pleasure as the only goal etc).

The section Harm to women during production should also be broken in two subsections: one about why women enter into porn (poverty, drugs, abuse, coerced by somebody else etc) and another one about the exploitation that happens during the filming of the scenes (harassment, women forced, coerced into performing etc). 123username (talk) 16:57, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

No, its pretty clear that there are too many quotes, and its pretty clear that many can be summarized. Wikipedia is pretty clear in its stylistic guidelines and I suggest you read the section linked to under the tag.
"Poorly structured" compared to what exactly? The article was an absolute mess when I first encountered it, and I've been trying to clean it up. I think the structure is much clearer than before I edited it and, more importantly, more reflective of the core arguments made by each side in the published literature on the topic. I want to emphasize that this article is pretty far from its final form (which is why its so heavily marked up). I intend on rewriting the anti-porn section for clarity, however, I haven't gotten to that part yet, as I think an accurate representation of the sex-positive and anti-censorship side (which was given short shrift when you and ADM put together the earlier version of the article) is what the article is most in need of at the moment.
I don't think your suggest to break the "Harm to women" into two topics is a good one. The reasons you list about why women enter porn "(poverty, drugs, abuse, coerced by somebody else etc)" are based on pure stereotype, and I challenge you to show any kind of study demonstrating that this is the case. (And, no, Farley's studies of prostitutes were not done on this population of sex workers and are not applicable.) If anti-porn feminists state this is the reason they think women enter porn, than that of course needs to be stated, however, considering that there really is no body of literature on the backgrounds of porn performers, building an entire section around this is not called for.
Finally, I really urge you to do some solid reading on the topic. I don't just mean google around for articles that support your particular points of criticism, but really look at some websites and books that give an overview of the topic. The articles linked to in the Stanford Encyclopedia are a really good place to start and give a good overview of the core anti-porn critique. This article is not about your or my pet criticisms of either side of the movement, but an accurate summary of what is published in the established feminist literature on the subject. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 18:35, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Another source[edit]

This source looks promising:

Pornography and Social Policy: Three Feminist Approaches by Barbara G. Collins.

I haven't seen it yet, but it looks like it might summarize several feminist views on pornography, at least, circa 1990. If so, then I might use it to help structure the article. Unfortunately, my university does not give me access to this article, so I'm going to have to make a trip to the library before I can read it and start using it here. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 18:47, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Catharine MacKinnon and Pornography Victims' Compensation Act[edit]

I asked for a source for her support for Porn Vics' Comp Act since I don't recall reading of that anywhere, the 1991 version of the bill did not remedy the porn considered as violating civil rights, it did penalize obscenity which many anti-porn workers did not oppose, and WAP was against the bill. I don't say she couldn't have supported it, but it seems dubious, unless she thought it was as much as could be gotten from Congress and unless also she disagreed with other anti-porn workers on obscenity. Thanks. Nick Levinson (talk) 03:20, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

I've double-checked it and you are correct, and I've now noted that in the article. Note that she hasn't consistently opposed obscenity-based legislation. I believe she is on record as having had supported the Communications Decency Act. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 06:24, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

NOR re Porn Victims Comp Act[edit]

Not OR in either case. Laws passed by Congress are well known to be nationally applicable (unless otherwise specified and that's rare for any subject). The point was important because the Dworkin-MacKinnon bill was introduced in localities only. As to the objections, the link in the section to the WP article on the FFP-supported bill gives readers access to the sources. A blurb on a topic that's also covered by an article shouldn't repeat all the sources lest it become a maintenance burden; thus the intra-WP link instead. Thanks. Nick Levinson (talk) 08:00, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Some thoughts for the Anti-pornography lobby[edit]

"Pornography is the theory, and rape is the practice." This statement is obviously rubbish for two reasons. In the first case a who has just masturbated over some porn is incapable of rape. 'Porn is the theory, prostitution is the practice' would be more like it. Pornography has always been the poor man's prostitution as prostitutes are expensive while porn is cheap. Also if, as is claimed, pornography is central to the oppression of women then presumably these feminists would rather live in countries with no pornography? Then logically they would rather live in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan (no porn) than Holland or Denmark (porn freely available). Thought not. And these important arguments deserve mention in the article in my opinion.  SmokeyTheCat  •TALK• 11:45, 11 July 2010 (UTC)

Okay, now I understand that you're asking for editorial help. However, for this kind of research, I nominate you to do it. Find an independent and reliable source. And, since this is an article on feminist views on pornography, that source needs to be a feminist source. So, find a source that is independent, reliable, and feminist. Maybe several.
I agreed with the reversions of your post, and if it's decided to revert it again and take this reply with it that's fine. That's because as you worded your post it was just stating your point of view. At the top of this talk page it says not to use the talk page for that.
By way of disclosure: I disagree with your point of view. For one thing, what you offer as logically following doesn't, on rape, on leaving a nation, or on choice of nations. For another, I don't know what you mean by "a who" (with your re-reversions, I assume you proofread it). And, for another, you're opposing only some of the feminist arguments against porn; there are more, although you're free not to disagree with all of them.
Nick Levinson (talk) 16:27, 12 July 2010 (UTC)

Commentary made by Gail Dines[edit]

The truth about the porn industry

She seems to give a mundane view on the feminist anti-pornography point-of-view. I don't know how to elaborate this into the article. --Komitsuki (talk) 17:11, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Done. Thanks. Nick Levinson (talk) 21:06, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Concentration on post-1970s thinking[edit]

The impression given here that feminist thinking about pornography started with the 1970s is misleading. There is no shortage of sources that show otherwise. See Militant Discourse, Strange Bedfellows: Suffragettes and Vorticists Before the War, and Crying 'the horror' of Prostitution: Elizabeth Robins's 'Where Are You Going To … ?' and the Moral Crusade of the Women's Social and Political Union for example. (And, while I'm at it, a few moment's Googling also finds Jeffreys, S. (1982). "'Free from all uninvited touch of man': Women's campaigns around sexuality, 1880–1914". Women's Studies International Forum 5: 629–645. doi:10.1016/0277-5395(82)90104-2.  edit).

It's also quite possible that there may have been feminist pro-pornography views expressed during that time period; but so far, I haven't found any documented examples. -- The Anome (talk) 16:33, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

Good idea. I haven't checked your sources but I assume you did. Write and edit. Thanks. Nick Levinson (talk) 19:18, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
There wasn't much feminist writing on the subject of pornography before the 1970s. Until then, most pornography was literary and opposition to it came from traditional "decency" groups. Some of the stuff you're talking about Anome belongs in the Feminist views on prostitution article, as well as a Feminist views on sexuality article that still needs to be written. As for some the earliest feminist writing on pornography, that's covered in Alice Echols "Daring to be Bad". (And for an early example of sex-positive feminism, Betty Dodson comes to mind.) In any event, this article so far doesn't really give a historical overview of the feminist conflicts around pornography, though I would argue, this is better covered under Feminist views on sexuality, because the "Feminist Sex Wars" were about a range of issues: pornography, sex work, BDSM, transgenderism, etc. Iamcuriousblue (talk) 00:20, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you! I hadn't heard about the Alice Echols book: I'll take a look next time I'm at the library. -- The Anome (talk) 13:58, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Moved tags here from page[edit]

{{Unbalanced}} {{Disputed}} {{expert-subject}} {{expert-subject}}

These tags have been up quite a while, and they are pretty much uglifying the top of the article. It's been unbalanced and disputed since the fall of 2009, the last activity of any type on the talk page here was last summer, so whatever is unbalanced and disputed doesn't seem to be going away. I don't know what it is, am not familiar with the article, but I think the idea of these particular tags is to facilitate some discussion and not just hang around on the top of the article for years after discussion has died away. Expired. Herostratus (talk) 03:36, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm not an expert but I have some familiarity with the subject and have just read the article, doing a few minor edits. I don't see an imbalance or a factual inaccuracy and if a fact is missing it should just be added without a tag. I don't see a need for what the tags seek. I agree with removing the tags. (I think the better approach would have been to leave them on the article but propose their removal on the talk page, so the article would remain categorized according to the tags for perhaps another week-plus while input was reinvited.) If there's no objection, I'll probably disable the tags in this Talk topic/section soon. Nick Levinson (talk) 16:55, 2 April 2011 (UTC)
I've now disabled the templates. Nick Levinson (talk) 01:47, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

tags within the article[edit]

I propose deleting tags from two sections, Sex-Positive and Anti-Censorship Feminist Views and References.Two tags claim a shortage of sources. The one section has 13 and the article has 36, so that doesn't seem to be a problem today. And one tag also says it's incomplete and inaccurate, but I don't see how and it's been a while, so please tell us how now or do the editing you have in mind. Nick Levinson (talk) 17:06, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

I deleted the templates. (I think someone's prior attempt failed because Wikipedia automatically saw their removal as blanking an entire section, without noticing that the section had subsections, which were left intact, and then someone else reverted probably on the ground of section blanking, a misunderstanding.) Nick Levinson (talk) 02:24, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Globalize[edit]

My view is: globalize this article or change its name to "American feminist views on pornography"! More than 90% of the views in here are of American feminists, and the rest are from a few select countries. And btw 75% of the world population lives in Asia&Africa! And the views outside the Western World are way more negative, with very much support among mainstream feminists for strict legal prohibition of pornography, let alone overwhelming and strong opposition to it.

If globalizing is not possible (understandable, it's extremely difficult), then the name must be changed or the article somehow integrated with other articles on American feminism, or other such articles. But this article, in its current state, is simply not one to be titled "Feminist views on pornography". 123username (talk) 08:52, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
The only solution, within your discussion, is globalization of the article's content. Wikipedia would not normally create a separate article on American views unless, because of volume of content already entered, there was too much content on the subject and dividing by nationality would make it fit our per-article length limit. Since the subject, American or global, is notable, an article on feminist views on pornography should remain as a separate article. However, if you have sources, go ahead and globalize. Nick Levinson (talk) 19:53, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

NPOV isues with Rape of children section I removed to talk page.[edit]

The following text comes from the section "Rape of children" which I removed for NPOV and factual issue: Rape of a prepubescent child followed "habitual" consumption of child porn "within six months" although the men were previously "horrified at the idea", according to men in prison interviewed by Gail Dines.[1]

The above text suffers from the problem that comes across to me as endorsing the argument that viewing child porn leads to child rape among men who would not have otherwise commit child rape. If someone think sit belongs back in the article then I think it needs to be rewritten to clarify that this is Gail Dines argument and not necessarily accepted by everyone. --Cab88 (talk) 05:59, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

The additional opinion you describe does not have to be attributed because it is not stated in the passage you removed. What is in the passage is from men in prison interviewed by Gail Dines, and attribution to the men and to Gail Dines is given. Whether porn causes violence is already covered in the article, e.g., by the argument that "censorship has never reduced violence". I'll be reverting momentarily. Nick Levinson (talk) 20:01, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Make feminist pornography its own article?[edit]

I noticed the feminist pornography section could use more detail and I was thinking of making it a standalone article. Any thoughts on this idea?

Also - should it be called feminist pornography and erotica?

(Adelle Frank (talk) 15:31, 14 July 2012 (UTC))

A new article is a good idea if something topically similar doesn't already exist; I didn't check. If it does exist, please edit that. If you create a new article, what you title it depends on what content you include, especially in the lede, which is a summary of the article as a whole.
Redirects may be helpful, if they don't already exist. For example, for the longer title you suggest, perhaps create a redirect from "feminist pornography", another redirect from "feminist porn", and another from "feminist erotica", to catch what visitors might be likely to type when they search for an article on a subject you write about.
Best wishes. Nick Levinson (talk) 16:24, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Hello I noticed there could be more added to this section. I would like to add more info and a few changes to inform more audiences about what feminist pornography and what it is. What do you think, let me know. Thanks. HannahSims (talk) 21:40, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

What is this garbage?![edit]

Sex-Positive and Anti-Censorship Feminist Views[edit]

This section should be removed or rewritten. It relies far too heavily on what is obviously original research. This is due in part to the lack of citations but also because it reads as if a conclusion was already settled upon and we are now seeking information that can support that conclusion. The claims made in the section are subtly biased in favor of a pro-pornography point of view. I also object to the gratuitous use of "anti-" and "pro-" labels for which there are no citations. These are placed in such a way to suggest these viewpoints are the general consensus of the feminists they describe. They aren't. The way this section is particular is written makes it sound as if being against pornography is harmful and sexist against women, which is a strange way to paint prominent feminists without giving any references. It is not agreed-upon in any of the few sources that are provided that anti-pornography is synonymous with being anti-sex, pro-censorship, or in favor of the sexism against women who work in the sex industry. The whole of the article suffers from this editorializing language, and I would like to discuss improvements that can be made and if such bias claims need be included at all.--Ongepotchket (talk) 21:00, 25 January 2013 (UTC)

It appears fairly close to what would be written if sourcing was relied upon. It lacks adequate sourcing. Some statements probably can be sourced and others probably would be rewritten but not much; perhaps some names would be changed. Since the article has to be neutral and other sections decribe feminist antiporn positions, the section in question here should reflect the other side, thus one side, albeit with some neutrality in phrasing, as long as the article as a whole is neutral in POV. Whether an editor conceptualized offline by starting or ending with a conclusion in mind hardly matters because Wikipedia is not a research project or design and most editing on substance in all of Wikipedia is probably by editors already familiar with subjects they're writing about and thus already having concluded on points for which they then seek sources. Literature that I've read in the field is not far from what that section says, although I don't have the lit handy at home. I think sourcing would solve all the tagged problems. Nick Levinson (talk) 20:25, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Feminists on gay male porn[edit]

We need to include a section on this. Feminists have been largely silent about it and that is notable, since a feminist ban on pornography includes gay porn, even though there are no women involved. JRhorstman (talk) 19:01, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Erm well it's hard to make a case for the notability of the absence of something. It can be done of course, but you need to find a notable and reliable source(s) saying what you're saying, for a start. Herostratus (talk) 21:21, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
The absence of a discussion should not require a citation. JRhorstman (talk) 22:52, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
It doesn't need notability for inclusion in an existing article (notability is for the subject of an entire article), but it does need due weight, and silence does not qualify for weight. Possibly Catharine MacKinnon and/or Andrea Dworkin argued for an essential similarity between porn with women and porn with men only, but I don't remember where. Nick Levinson (talk) 16:12, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
Also, there may be feminists who have argued against that similarity, and, in accordance with sourcing and if reporting one side, reporting both sides is necessary. Nick Levinson (talk) 16:24, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Tags[edit]

There are a bunch of tags above the article, but I'm not seeing any issues raised on the talk page. Could someone clarify? In general it isn't helpful to tag things like this without an explanation of the perceived problem in a bit more detail. Hobit (talk) 18:26, 24 September 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Bindel, Julie, The Truth About the Porn Industry: Gail Dines, the Author of an Explosive New Book About the Sex Industry, on Why Pornography Has Never Been a Greater Threat to Our Relationships, in The (U.K.) Guardian, Jul. 2, 2010, section Life & Style, subsection Women, as accessed Jul. 17, 2010.