Pornography

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awoelt
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 11:35 am
I am against porn. I know the argument against it. But i do not really understand the argument for it. Could anybody help me?:poke-eye:

4 the record i mean i think it is illogical to veiw porn. like red tube and playboy. that kind of ting
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 08:05 pm
@awoelt,
Pornography is popularly conceived as text or images that intend to arouse the reader/viewer . Certainly, pornography has been cast outside of what is socially acceptable in most societies (though not all). Supporters against pornography have used such arguments as the etymological origins of the word "pornography" to display just how bad it really is. "Porne" in Greek essentially means a sex slave or prostitute while "graphos" essentially means the depiction of a certain thing. Do words like "pornography" hurt? There is an excellent article by Stephanie Ross called How Words Hurt which essentially outlines the metaphors words such as pornography and other perceptively profane words convey and attempt to undermine equality and trust in the female species.

Feminist critiques very often point out the harms in pornography. From Betty Freidan's Feminine Mystique to Rosemarie Tong's Postmodern Feminism, pornography has all together been seen as a bad reference in sexism, both in terms of men and women (even though the majority of work in feminist literature is authored by females). A feminist by the name of Catherine MacKinnon exclaimed in Only Words that, "pornography makes sexism sexy." I could go into conservatism and all that, but that is not as much abstract as it is historical social influence. Although it is important, the philosophical side is much more interesting. Not to mention, the feminist perspective offers a glimpse at the issue from within a pivotal part of the overall movement.

But in an abrupt contrast to these anti-pornography views, there are also people in full support of pornography, including an ever growing cadre of "pro-sex" feminists. These feminists acknowledge the fact that though pornography can be hurtful, there is also a liberating quality to it. Pornography, they argue, is an exercise of sexual experimentation. In response to hurtful pornography, there is in fact a calling for an equally strong sexual language (and possibly action) to counter negative pornography in popular culture. The two notions must collide to diffuse one another, otherwise the excessive balance of one side will hurt the entire issue. So say you were against pornography. That means that you are against freedom of speech. In some typical points, if pornography is prohibited in order to protect women, does that in turn have just as bad connotations? It may just end up as a sacrifice of free speech and also the negative perception of women as unequal in terms of preferential treatment.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 08:52 pm
@awoelt,
How much of the anti-pornography feeling is related to misogyny? Do some feminists consider it taboo for a woman to enjoy the passive position? Is the anti-porn feeling related also to homophobia?

If I remember correctly, for the Romans what was taboo for men was to be the passive partner. The taboo was not on homosexuality so much as passivity in sexual relations. I suppose you might call it the slave-role in a master slave relationship. Are we dealing with something like that here?

In a democratic age of increasing freedom in regards to lifestyle, is the one taboo a choice away from freedom? Zizek examines this is The Ticklish Subject. Food for thought.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 10:35 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;110743 wrote:
How much of the anti-pornography feeling is related to misogyny? Do some feminists consider it taboo for a woman to enjoy the passive position? Is the anti-porn feeling related also to homophobia?
Reconstructo;110743 wrote:
If I remember correctly, for the Romans what was taboo for men was to be the passive partner. The taboo was not on homosexuality so much as passivity in sexual relations. I suppose you might call it the slave-role in a master slave relationship. Are we dealing with something like that here?

I'm sure you could probably say the same thing today. How often does it seem as though the archetype of masculinity relies on the male side to be the active, dominant role in a relationship. Even within the context of philosophy, passivity is a negative attribute. Heck, some feminists have a beef against Gottfried Leibniz because he had related aspects of monadic passivity to the feminine character. On any sort of sadomasochistic relationship, within the context of explaining an pro-pornography position to awoelt, I would think you would have to elaborate on that in order to convey how passivity and sadomasochism link to pro-pornography. It sounds interesting though.

Reconstructo;110743 wrote:
In a democratic age of increasing freedom in regards to lifestyle, is the one taboo a choice away from freedom? Zizek examines this is The Ticklish Subject. Food for thought.

Is this really a democratic age of increasing freedom to lifestyle? A democracy can set the ideal conditions for a more restricted community (a tyranny of the majority). To compare social conceptions of homosexuality today and a few thousand years ago would be drastically different, perhaps more restrictive. If history is progressive, then I will eat my hat (which I never wear). What is the "one taboo" and how does choosing a taboo take one away from freedom? A given taboo could very well take you closer to freedom than away from it.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 10:42 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;110794 wrote:


Is this really a democratic age of increasing freedom to lifestyle? A democracy can set the ideal conditions for a more restricted community (a tyranny of the majority). To compare social conceptions of homosexuality today and a few thousand years ago would be drastically different, perhaps more restrictive. If history is progressive, then I will eat my hat (which I never wear). What is the "one taboo" and how does choosing a taboo take one away from freedom? A given taboo could very well take you closer to freedom than away from it.


You make excellent points. I would say that we are losing certain freedoms and gaining others. As tradition becomes more questioned, identity becomes more flexible. We have so much more self-creation to worry about than other societies. So many more products to choose from.

I don't see history as a progress. It's just that we are now consumers in relation to more possible life-styles. As long as Global Capital is allowed to run its course, we can do what we want with our free time. I suppose it's a Brave New World kind of suggestion.

I admit my theories on porn were vague. There are other criticisms of porn that touch upon the notion of the sacred. In traditional cultures, according to Roger Scruton, sex was not viewed as private property but rather as a duty/responsibility. I think the word secret is directly related to word sacred. Has pornography helped reduce sex to something like pleasure-mechanics-aesthetics? Is the death of marriage as a sacrement related to the death of a culture? Just ideas, my friend.
recon
 
Locke phil
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 11:25 pm
@Reconstructo,
If you truly think about it, Pornogrophy is prostitution but not in person. Prostitutes have existed for a long time, even though they are frowned upon.

The reason they are frowned upon is because of society's morals and religion. But some women find it okay to do because they find themselves unable to make money any other way.

I am neither for nor against it, for the same reason why I am neither for nor against prostitution. I am not for them because of my morals. But I am not against it because I know that in nature, animals have sex all the time and its not frowned upon by them.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 11:43 pm
@Locke phil,
Locke;110806 wrote:
If you truly think about it, Pornogrophy is prostitution but not in person. Prostitutes have existed for a long time, even though they are frowned upon.


Here's a situation. What if two lovers in a monogamous relationship decide to sell a video of their sex life, to make some extra money? It would be difficult to call that prostitution.
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 01:45 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;110810 wrote:
Here's a situation. What if two lovers in a monogamous relationship decide to sell a video of their sex life, to make some extra money? It would be difficult to call that prostitution.


prostitution; noun, of prostitute; noun, especially a woman or homosexual man, who accepts money in return for sexual intercourse or sexual acts. -verb, 1 to put (eg one's talents) to an unworthy use 2 to offer (oneself or someone else) as a prostitute. From Latin 'prostituere', to offer for sale.

Not diffucult at all.

But see how this dictionary and the world of words is biased.
Why especially women or homosexual men?
Because straight men give it away for free?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 04:16 am
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;110825 wrote:
prostitution; noun, of prostitute; noun, especially a woman or homosexual man, who accepts money in return for sexual intercourse or sexual acts. -verb, 1 to put (eg one's talents) to an unworthy use 2 to offer (oneself or someone else) as a prostitute. From Latin 'prostituere', to offer for sale.

Not diffucult at all.

But see how this dictionary and the world of words is biased.
Why especially women or homosexual men?
Because straight men give it away for free?



But they are accepting money not for the sex, which they enjoy anyway, but for sharing an otherwise private moment. It is difficult. I would say you would only confuse your listener if you used the word "prostitute" in this case.
 
de budding
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 04:25 am
@awoelt,
People choose to produce and 'act' in porn.
People choose to watch and enjoy porn.
People like porn.

Dan.
 
sometime sun
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 04:34 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;110875 wrote:
But they are accepting money not for the sex, which they enjoy anyway, but for sharing an otherwise private moment. It is difficult. I would say you would only confuse your listener if you used the word "prostitute" in this case.


You are the one who used the word 'prostitution', would it be sold if it were not for the sexual acts, talents?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 04:44 am
@sometime sun,
sometime sun;110881 wrote:
You are the one who used the word 'prostitution', would it be sold if it were not for the sexual acts, talents?


I didn't introduce the word. I was responding to someone else. I'm sure sex would add to its value for most. I think Ivana F---alot gets busy with her boyfriend. It's an agreeable sight.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 05:34 am
@Reconstructo,
Pornography involves replacing reality with an image of reality. So does TV and the movies. There is no real interaction between the viewer and those which are viewed. It's a bit strange. It's unnatural.

But then cars are unnatural, computers are unnatural, electric light is unnatural, I suppose even agriculture is unnatural. I suppose even books and writing is unnatural. Is pornography somehow qualitatively different from these other unnatural things? Yes I would say there is.

The element of human interaction that is normally involved when a man or woman gets aroused. Again TV and movies have the same qualitative difference. When you watch and listen to someone on TV there is no chance that they can see or hear you back. There's something strange about getting used to watching TV, movies and especially pornography. It is stranger than getting used to cars and computers and electric light.

In the natural world there is a subject behind the image. In the world of pornography, TV and movies the subject is not really there. There is no subject to see you back. A full experience of someone else as another consciousness requires that they see you back, that they are aware that you exist.

Paying someone to have sex with you actually preserves this subject to subject two way interaction. That is at least one difference between pornography and prostitution. If we agree that subject to subject two way interaction is valuable then, on this count at least, prostitution is better than pornography.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 08:59 am
@awoelt,
I doubt many men are particularly disadvantaged by the existence of pornography except perhaps insofar as its success as an industry does exploit video-centric nature of the male libido. There is zero point in viewing a pornographic film: the market itself fuels the demand rather than vice-versa. That aside, the affront to men that pornography poses is probably purely moral: it is wrong because it is wrong.

But for women, pornography could have quite a deleterious effect insofar as (especially mixed-gender) pornographic images do tend to both establish and then follow a sexual status quo that is often troubling. For sexual couples this is probably less of a concern. I think there is pressure on both parties that comes less from pornography and more from fashion literature to already be good sexual partners rather than to progress along a journey of sexual discovery together (Top Ten Sexual Tips!!! says the cover of whatever trash magazine is on display on the rack next to the checkout.).

Pornography would seem to be the thin end of the wedge here. When teen-aged girls are having surgery to alter body parts that would easily pass mustard in a porn film, porn is clearly not the issue.

More problematic might be the effects on casual sex which is, like pornography, more about self-gratification. It should be so for both parties, but men have a huge resource of inspiration that adheres to the afore-mentioned status quo. When themes of pornographic films run to things like rape fantasy, you have to wonder how much such films can alter the limits of acceptability of sexual behaviour in an arena that a lot of men already consider little more than a flesh market, and whether women have to settle for conforming to male sexual fantasies (which might appear pretty alarming in any other circumstance) in order to have a casual sex life at all.

It's impossible to generalise. Both men and woman have different limits and are turned on different things. A man acting out some porn-inspired fantasy may well be unwittingly fulfilling someone else's quite healthily, or else may be degrading that person's erstwhile healthy attitude toward sex. And because of sex's taboo nature, we have no frame of reference as to pornography's effects: How would sexual practise be different now without pornography? We'll never know.
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 01:26 pm
@Bones-O,
What I must say it is important to have seen this sport before you can comment. It appears those who have indulged in this thread have had some experience of this phenomena. By observing are we culpable in any form of coercion. The blatant truth is, not if it is damaging to the viewer but what story lies behind those thrusting, thrashing bodies. I fear many are forced into this industry and we are unwitting partners in its continuation. Its not high minded views but the facts behind the camera.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 02:54 pm
@xris,
In the interest of keeping the thread on track, what the OP (awoelt) wants to know is;

what kind of argument could you come up with for pornography.

Although the finer points of pornography and prostitution are being discussed (
all of which are very good arguments), its probably best to stick to the original topic the OP wishes to know. Otherwise, we should probably start a new thread on prostitution, etc.
 
Bones-O
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 03:03 pm
@awoelt,
Well, pornography is an industry on the one hand and an indulgence on the other, and as such is justified (to whatever extent it may be) by solely its economic viability on the one hand and its enjoyability on the other (or should that be... in the other ho ho ho). Any other justification must be a rationalisation after the fact.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 03:11 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon;110989 wrote:
In the interest of keeping the thread on track, what the OP (awoelt) wants to know is;

what kind of argument could you come up with for prostitution.

Although the finer points of pornography and prostitution are being discussed (
all of which are very good arguments), its probably best to stick to the original topic the OP wishes to know. Otherwise, we should probably start a new thread on prostitution, etc.


Actually, he asked what might be the arguments for porn, not prostitution.

And in answer to that, I'm not sure a strong case could be made for it. Pornography takes visual and audio stimuli, which our species has a drive for, and seeks to capitalize on it monetarily. It taps into something very personal - right at the biological level - to snag some cash.

We've discussed the ethics of it, it's effects and the implications for both those 'performing' and those consuming, but I'm not sure I've ever seen this question asked like this. I'm curious to see any arguments for, as was asked.

Thanks
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 03:18 pm
@awoelt,
LOL! Thanks for pointing out the obvious Khethil, it seems to get by me every once and a while.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 03:56 pm
@awoelt,
Pornography gives pleasure without disease. True, it's audio-visual and not real, but the experience of this substitute can increase a persons self-knowledge. We can find out just how cue-driven we are. We can become conscious of the shallow aspects of sex, perhaps on the way to transcending them. To observe from a safe distance might allow for a more penetrating philosophical vision in regards to sex. Reverse arguments could be made, but these are some positives.
 
 

 
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