Freedom of Choice

In Anecdotes on December 6, 2010 at 1:26 am

Talking with a friend the other night we were discussing the recent craze concerning airport full body scanners that reveal people who go through them as naked.  Supposedly the pictures were supposed to be deleted right away (automatically) but since there are images already online that clearly did not happen.  Therefore, there are now issues pertaining to human rights and privacy, and of course the fact that naked photos can get online.  The images are x-ray looking (bluish tint) and blurry but there’s a way to clean them a up so that they look more like photos than scans…Anyways, as we were discussing this he mentioned that a porn star had stripped down naked in protest of the scanners.  (In Germany the Pirate Party stripped down to their underwear in protest of having the scanners be installed in airports) He then asked me what I thought about pornography and whether or not the woman stripping down was an expression of independence and freedom, etc. 

Now I’m all for people asserting their rights and maybe getting a little risqué in their methods to prove a point but perhaps because it has to do with a woman who makes her living as a porn star, I was a little biased against the idea.  She may not have an issue showing off her body for everyone to see, but not everyone wants to see that.  So, what do I think of pornography? It’s a disgusting industry and I wish that no one would ever even think about getting into it.  Using your body as a sexual tool or being used as a sexual tool is in no way liberating or empowering whatsoever.  Pornography is about buying into the basest characteristics of the patriarchal system under the pretense that it’s the woman’s choice.  In reality it’s just another way that men control society and women are there for their needs.  

Why do women get involved in the industry? There are different reasons I’m sure, and probably overlapping ones as well, but off the top of the my head I’d say it’s for money, due to a sexually abused past, and needing to feel ‘wanted’ no matter the cost.  Being a porn star can be extremely lucrative I’m sure, since it’s a widespread industry and with technology it’s everywhere and so much easier to access.  Why we allow it to be so simple is beyond me.  People are repugnant. 

Our culture is in limbo it seems, where women are becoming more and more equal and standing up for their personal rights as human beings, but on the flip side we have all these trashy reality TV shows that glorify pornography and promiscuous living – like that show about Hugh Hefner and the Playboy mansion.  Can that man please die already and stop having sex with girls who could be his grandchildren!?

I was in Paris over the summer and spent a rainy afternoon in the Centre Pompidou, Museum of Modern Art.  On one floor there was a large exposition on feminist art and one room was dedicated to pornography.  The placard on entering the room read: The pornographic discourse is part of the strategies of violence that are exercised upon us: it humiliates, degrades; it is a crime against humanity. As a tactic of harassment it has another function, that of a warning, it orders us to stay in line and keep those who would forget in step; it calls upon fear. 

It calls upon fear


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