This week's Newsweek features the article XXX-ceptable which touches upon the growing American acceptance of hard-core porn.
Bill Asher [president of Vivid Entertainment Group] makes a living lucrative enough to send his 16-year-old daughter to one of Los Angeles’s most expensive private schools. And he's not at all intimidated by the school’s other parents— lawyers, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, even Andy Garcia. "It’s not seen as an odd thing that I’m a pornographer," he says. "They know what I do, and they talk to me about it, it doesn't faze anyone." When he drops off his daughter at her friends' homes, he says, parents open up to him. He estimates that an amazing one quarter of them have asked him for work. But what stuns him most are the reviews he gets. "They talk about my movies like you’d talk about Julia Roberts," he says. "They say, 'My favorite is Jenna Jameson,' or whatever. A lot of the women will say they’d like to see more plot. It’s nice to hear the advice, but it always feels strange to me to have someone's mother give you her take on our porn movies.Fascinating. I have never had a problem with porn as a genre of entertainment. Obviously, there's good porn and bad porn just as there's good and bad of every other genre. Hell, I find much of the news more disturbing than porn in general.
I have been asked how I justfy my pro-porn stance with my feminist nature. Quite easily, acutally. And, I am not alone. The last feminist orginization to which I belonged is Feminists for Free Expression.
Feminists for Free Expression (FFE) is a group of diverse feminists working to preserve the individual's right to see, hear and produce materials of her choice without the intervention of the state "for her own good."Enough for now. I need more coffee.
FFE believes freedom of expression is especially important for women's rights. While messages reflecting sexism pervade our culture in many forms, sexual and nonsexual, suppression of such material will neither reduce harm to women nor further women's goals.
Censorship traditionally has been used to silence women and stifle feminist social change. It never has reduced violence; it has led to the imprisonment of birth control advocate Margaret Sanger and the suppression of such works as The New Our Bodies, Ourselves, The Well of Loneliness, and the feminist plays of Holy Hughes.
There is no feminist code about which words and images are dangerous or sexist. Genuine feminism encourages individuals to choose for themselves. A free and vigorous marketplace of ideas is the best guarantee of democratic self-government and a feminist future.