Rebecca Whisnant on ‘Sex-Positive’ Feminism

Rebecca Whisnant on ‘sex positive’ feminism:

Now think about it: in this cultural and political context, a feminism that acquiesces to certain key male entitlements, while simultaneously presenting itself as bold and liberated and rebellious, is likely to be appealing to many women. A version of feminism that supports girls’ and women’s desired self-conception as independent and powerful, while actually requiring very little of them as far as confronting real male power, will similarly have wide appeal.

On adaptive preferences:

The basic idea is simple: if I can’t have something (or think I can’t have it), then it behooves me not to want that thing. Conversely, if I’m going to get something whether I like it or not, then I’ll be happier if I can get myself to want it and like it. So people adapt their desires to fit their situations, rather than vice versa, thus minimizing the pain and cognitive dissonance of continuing to want something that they don’t think they can get: “if you can’t have what you want,” as the saying goes, “then want what you have.”

The concept of adaptive preferences is indispensable to understanding the self-reproducing dynamics of oppressive systems. In particular, I think it can help us understand the new brand of feminism[. . .]

Quoting a blogger on that certain strain of liberal feminism:

“Fuck-me feminism … is a school of thought that suggests [women] are empowered by reclaiming and controlling our own sexual objectification, by reclaiming the power of pornography and the sex industry for ourselves, and by flaunting our desire and willingness to have sex. In other words, being a man’s sexual object can’t hurt me if I want to be objectified; pornography and the sex industry can’t degrade me if I enjoy it or if I profit from it; being used for sex can’t devalue me if I’m using him too; being regarded as nothing more than a pussy to fuck can’t dehumanize me if I want him to fuck my pussy.”


Rage Against the Manchine’s Series on Pornography

Porn Part One: How I Became a Rad Feminist

Porn Part Two: The High School Years

Porn Part Three: Porn Ruins Sex

Porn Part Four: Half of the Big Picture

Porn Part Five: The Other Half of the Big Picture

Porn Part Six: Stockholm Syndrome

Porn Part Seven: It Takes Two

Porn Part Eight: Rights vs. Privileges

Porn Part Nine – The Opposite of Dudeishness is Not Prudishness

Some other notable posts:

“Get on the fucking ball, janitors”, about ‘feminist porn’

“You’re doing X in spite of Y. Right on. Now how about we remove Y so we can all do A through Z?”, a post about agency, individualism, and class politics

“The Challenge!”, the search for ‘feminist porn’ continues


Rebecca Whisnant Articles

“Beyond Multiple Choice”

“Not Your Father’s Playboy, Not Your Mother’s Feminist Movement: Contemporary Feminism in a Porn Culture”


Robert Jensen Articles

Below are some notable articles by Robert Jensen.

“Pornography is a Left Issue”, written with Gail Dines

“A Cruel Edge: the Painful Truth About Today’s Pornography and What Men Can Do About It”

“Blow Bangs and Cluster Bombs: the Cruelty of Men and Americans”

A list of all of his articles on pornography can be seen here.


“Pornland”: Gail Dines on C-SPAN

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3


Video: Feminist Antipornography Conference, 2007

Rebecca Whisnant, “Not Your Father’s Playboy, Not Your Mother’s Feminist Movement: Contemporary Feminism in a Porn Culture” (text of speech can be read here). (Video length: 45 minutes)

Gail Dines‘ presentation on contemporary pornography (Video length: 1 hour)

Robert Jensen on men’s choices to consume pornography (Video length: 25 minutes)

Presentation by Ana Bridges, Michelle Chang, and Robert Wosnitzer, on their content study of pornography, comparing violent acts in male-directed films and female-directed films. Partial transcript here. The study was also published in Psychology of Women Quarterly which can be downloaded here as a pdf. (Video length: 1 hour 10 minutes)


Purpose of This Blog

Hello! I have started this blog to promote feminist critiques of pornography. Rather than supplying original content, this blog will serve as a well-organized link dump for articles and blog posts written by feminists on the topic of porn.

Browse and learn!