Don’t even ask me how this topic happened to pop into my head, it is a (fun? defective?) part of my personality to run with a topic in my head and not let it go until I follow it to its logical conclusion, and is one of the main reasons that I started this blog. It happens when there is an apparent conflict in my head, and as soon as I spot one it needs to be resolved.
The premise is this: I am one of those feminists that believes women should not be demonized because they want to take naked pictures or go into porn. Some women are exhibitionists by nature, they love it and their thoughts and opinions should not be judged differently because of it, any more than you should judge a woman stupid just because she’s blonde or a black man uneducated because of his accent. Yes it is true that there is some very misogynistic, violent and disgusting porn out there done by actresses that are drugged or have serious emotional problems, but that is an entirely different issue and certainly does not represent the entire sex industry. You can fight exploitative porn without thinking that porn itself is harmful or misogynistic in itself, and I am one of those people. When I hear stories of women getting fired because they did porn once or enjoy burlesque dancing
it sickens me.
This position being firmly held in my mind, I realized that the contradiction came up when I realized that if a close family member like my mother or my daughter came to me and told me that they were thinking of doing porn, I would have a problem with it. Well why is that? If I truly believe that there is nothing inherently wrong with doing porn, why would I not want someone I care about to do it? I should support them, not try to convince them not to, unless there is still a part of me that is actually not OK with the sex industry. So, where does the problem lie?
I suppose that it comes from the idea that I would rather my daughter, my best friend or whatever would have more opportunities at her disposal. I would want my daughter to be educated, have a job in which her mind is valued, not her body. I would never want my daughter to have to “resort” to porn, or stripping, because she feels there are no other options. I don’t want my loved ones to be objectified, but most importantly I would not want them to have such low self-esteem that they would want to be considered an object, or less important. I would never want them to feel that they don’t deserve better, or (as would be the case for a daughter) to fall into something they don’t really want to do and have to suffer the consequences of those choices later in life.
However, really thinking about it, I realized that when you think of such a situation you automatically assume that those would be the reasons your daughter/mother/best friend would go into the sex industry, and there I am making a huge mistake which is not fair to many. If my daughter really loved the sex industry, if it is something that inspires her and truly makes her happy, I think I would support her. If she goes into it empowered, proud of herself and with no less self-esteem than she would going into any other job, I would be fine with her choice and defend it to anyone who dares tell her she can’t do it. I’m sure I would never actually be able to watch it, that goes a little too far for me, and of course I will have to have a daughter to put this theory to the test, but I hope to be a better person than to ever deny my child the right to choose her own path in life.
What are your thoughts on the subject, on porn itself? What would you think if you’re family wanted to get into porn?