Thursday, April 09, 2009

Feminism and Sex

I toyed with calling this Feminism and Porn, or Feminism and Erotica, but since it all comes down to sex, that title won.

Last night at In The Flesh LA was great fun. I love hearing new writers read their work. Reading for an audience is never easy, so I'm in awe of new writers who are willing to do it. Also ran into long-time friend Kate Dominic who disappeared for a while. She says she's writing again! Whoo-hoo!

Stan Kent, the wonderful host of In The Flesh (along with Jolene Hui, who was sick last night) announced a terrific line-up for next month featuring seven (Seven!) readers who will discuss feminism and erotica. So you know where I got the idea for this post.

I grew up in the age of feminism. People forget how important that movement was. They seem to dwell on the negative side. There's lingering distaste for the term feminism, and many young women flatly reject it. They have no clue that their ability to choose education and a profession is the direct result of the feminist movement.

But there has been a downside, and that's the vilification of porn. Some fringe feminists, and religious fundamentalists, share the view that porn is evil. The funny thing is that the world of erotica is dominated by female writers and editors. Women are stepping into the adult movie business. The idea seems to be that those of us who dare to produce sexual content are traitors to our gender. Come on. Was the aim of feminism repression of women's sexuality, or liberation? And if it's liberation, why is it bad to take control and say, "Yes, I like sex."

We're adults, damn it. We should have dominion over our own bodies, and our sexuality. We should be able to express healthy interest in sex and not be shamed into silence by anyone. Don't tell me you know what's best for me. Don't protect me me from images and ideas you've decided are dangerous. I can bloody well make my own decision, thank you. Wasn't that the goal of the feminist movement?


catie said...

I agree completely Kathleen--what is more empowering and liberating to a human being than the ability to determine the destiny (be it for knowledge, pleasure, etc.) of one's own mind & body. Yes the porn industry can (and does) exploit both sexes, but that's all the more reason for pioneers to claim everyone's right to enjoy it. Unfortunately popular culture encourages the appearance of women embracing/enjoying their sexuality rather than concerning itself with whether or not those wants/needs are actually fulfilled. Thanks so much for your post. :)

Keziah Hill said...

Great post Kathleen. Feminism is about choice and my choice is to watch and read whatever I like.