then again, maybe not
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October 04, 2005

Victimizing Ourselves?

Blah blah anti-porn feminists. Is anti-porn anti sex? I don't think so. I definitely know plenty of women who don't like porn but do like sex. That's a big duh, right? Not really. The Andrea Dworkin, Katherine McKinnon school of feminism creates a continuum that starts at pronography, runs through heterosexual sex and right into rape, and rather quickly. And somehow throughout the last twenty years we all bought into it. If you don't like porn you don't like sex. And somehow if you do like porn, or "raunch" in any way, you're a Female Chauvanist Pig and you're holding women back. Swell. How is it possible that with over 30 years of mainstream feminism we're still stuck with the virgin/whore dichotomy? Is the progress that we're doing it to ourselves now? Great.

What I don't understand is this. Smart women on both sides of this debate are treating each other like they're stupid. But they're not. I know Ariel Levy isn't trying to shove me back into the kitchen and steal my shoes. But she needs to understand that I'm not trying to reduce myself to a walking vagina either. You can be smart and a feminist, and empowered and not exist only in your head. My choices about what I do with my body are just as much a result of my feminist upbringing as my idependence and career.

But don't listen to me, listen to Kara Jesella.

"In other words, raunch culture isn't all about fake boobs, and the women who embrace it aren't all FCPs. Purchasing the Aerosmith DVD with all three Alicia Silverstone videos on it (which I did) or being the pleased recipient of an old copy of Playboy as a Christmas gift (that was me, too) might not be, to use a word that Levy and the FCPs both love, 'empowering,' but that doesn't mean I'm disempowered. Participating in raunch culture may not always be a feminist act, but that doesn't make those engaging in it antifeminists -- or deluded."






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