Our Porn, Our Selves and the sex-positive, pro-porn campaign

by Violet Blue on May 31, 2010

Last Friday I found out about the upcoming anti-porn feminist conference being held in Boston next month (June 12-13), and I decided I’d had enough. So did a lot of other women, and men, and people of all genders and orientations who are pro-porn and support a woman’s right to choose, explore and enjoy porn.

We women are tired of people trying to control our sexuality by telling us what we should or shouldn’t like sexually (porn) based on what someone else thinks is best for us. It’s like keeping women in a perpetual state of being children about sex. And women who say they are feminists make it worse by discounting all the women who find porn to be an empowering sex toy. Or if not, to at least give us the benefit of the doubt that we can make that decision for ourselves, thank you very much.

The beginning is this Facebook page, Our Porn, Our Selves (short URL: http://vbly.us/proporn). I’ll be launching the website in the next day (likely by tonight).

What’s most exciting is that tomorrow (June 1) I’ll be announcing a cool and fun pro-porn contest, with fabulous prizes.

How can you help? Glad you asked! You can “like” the Facebook page, as it’s a starting point, and when I launch the contest and site you’ll have a way to add your support with media — this isn’t about money. I also made a fun video I think you’ll like; edits are almost finished. I’ll also have badges for people’s websites and blogs, and the video will be shareable: stay tuned, it’s on the way. Another way you can help is that if you have a service or product you’d like to donate to the ten prizewinners for their sex-positive creativity, please email me (violet @ tinynibbles) as I’ll be partnering with cool businesses and brands for the prizes.

Here’s our pro-porn manifesto:

WE who declare that organizations such as Feminists Against Pornography do not speak for us.

WE who want the world to know that organizations such as Feminists Against Pornography do not represent feminists as a group.

WE who believe that every woman has the right and power to enjoy her sexuality as she decides.

WE who believe that to tell a woman how she may or may not enjoy her sexuality in any way is to deny that woman of her rights over her sexuality.

WE who state that any woman who attempts to control the way another woman enjoys, explores or expresses her sexuality is in fact creating a world that is harmful for all women.

WE who state that we are women, and we like pornography.

WE who state that as women, we are not harmed or threatened by the creation or viewing of pornography, and we wholly support the rights of any gender to view, create and enjoy pornography without judgment.

WE who want a world in which pornography is simply a sex toy enjoyed by all genders and sexual orientations, where women and men view porn within their own self-defined healthy sexuality, without being considered sick, twisted, wrong or mentally ill, and that men who enjoy pornography are no more likely to beat their wives, rape women or become peadophiles than anyone else in society.

WE hereby declare ourselves as adult women capable of making our own choices about our bodies and enjoyment of explicit visual stimulation for our sexual health and well-being.

WE hereby demand that our voices be heard.

Photo by xcodyjamesx.

{ 18 comments }

1 Quenby June 25, 2010 at 11:59 am

Many fabulous points have been made here. Sexuality and gender are fluid; why would a certain branch of feminists want to ignore something so healthy and empowering, especially since women have long been taught that their sexuality is evil, destructive, and sinful? By denying women pornography (one with a female gaze in particular), mainstream pornography (catering to the heterosexual male gaze) is only perpetuated. If there is no feminist porn, or an attempt to change the norm, then it assumes that women’s and men’s sexuality are necessarily constitutive. Yes, there are valid arguments on both sides of the feminist spectrum, but, I’d prefer to be involved with changing oppressive norms, rather than formulating new ones or strengthening old ones.

2 Soren June 7, 2010 at 11:12 pm

Another issue to consider is whether or not someone is consuming porn consciously and looking for hidden messages about sexuality. I think it’s a lot more important to examine your intake of entertainment (because it’s not like non-porn entertainment is a bastion of egalitarian thought and respect for women – quite the opposite) critically than it is to make sure it aligns with a genre or canon (be it pro- or anti-porn, feminist or otherwise).

3 K June 2, 2010 at 6:51 pm

I go to a university that has women’s college and in order to be in the female dorm I had to take a women’s empowerment course. During the orientation they quickly told us that they would not try to turn us into “crazy feminists”. Contrary to this though, we still got all(/only) the extreme arguments like history=his story so our language is holding us down so we should talk about “herstory” instead and the word “mammal” is misogynistic since mammal refers to mammary glands which refer to breasts and since women have breasts they will be associated to animals.
Also during this course they pointed to demeaning images and said men would never put themselves in such a meaning position. When I said I’ve seen images of men in such positions they automatically assumed I was looking at gay porn. After I said it wasn’t gay porn they just passed it off as it must be different in Asia.
Summary-Feminists groups are going to be crazy even if they claim they won’t be.

4 Redme June 1, 2010 at 10:42 am

You mean you do not think that the way to empower women is to decide what is best for them?

5 Chris Rogers June 1, 2010 at 7:35 am

I can’t have been the only one who noticed that the acronym for Feminists Against Pornography is “F.A.P.”

Urban Dictionary go! = http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=fap

At least that’ll provide a little levity for those fighting against these ridiculous FAP-ers.

6 Epiphora May 31, 2010 at 3:35 pm

I’d already joined the Facebook page, but I look forward to the other ways of spreading the word!

7 Lucy May 31, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Ooch, quick typo alert! “…no more likely to beat their wives, rape women or become [peadophiles] than anyone else in society.”

Love the power behind this manifesto! Thank you, Violet!

8 Iamcuriousblue May 31, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I think “sexual objectification” is in the eye of the beholder, and if you really want to pick nits, all gut-level sexual attraction, much less all porn, has an element of objectification. Therefore, I find it very suspicious when various kinds of alternative pornographies are claimed to be “non-objectifying” in a way that other porn isn’t. Its true that some porn might very well be able to communicate a sense of the performers sexual subjectivity (real or in character) better than others, but that doesn’t make it wholly non-objectifying.

As for “degrading”, that’s *really* in the eye of the beholder. Often feminists who go on about degrading porn have a basic problem with BDSM or rough sex altogether.

On the subject of “real feminist” views on sexuality, really, there is no such thing, and the quest for a “true feminist” standpoint that transcends differences on other issues (eg, freedom of expression, race, religious views, etc) is ultimately a fools errand.

9 inspired May 31, 2010 at 2:17 pm

@Garnet Joyce
This is an excellent and important point.

@iamcuriousblue:

I agree it is not always a neat dichotomy- i used it here though in order to simplify what I was saying, maybe not the best idea on my part. However, I do not think that all arguments which site problems with pornography are so “all or nothing.” The ones we hear more often are, but that is because dichotomous arguments make for more drama (like when some feminists declare any woman who defends porn as an anti-feminist, which causes a backlash and so forth.) What I often hear from other feminists is that they have trouble resolving their desire to look at porn with their beliefs that women should not be depicted as objects or degraded. I think many feminists are unaware how porn can be empowering, and yes, often just by virtue of the word “porn” and what they associate it with. That is why I think there should be a more inclusive conference on this, not dismissing either side, but considering several stances. I realize this is rather idealistic though, because I know how feminism usually works against itself through feuding among groups over what constitutes “real feminism”…still, I for one would find it fascinating if it ever did come about.

10 Evey May 31, 2010 at 2:06 pm

AWESOME! I was lucky to be raised in a really open minded community where my parents pushed me to learn about sex, my parents openly talked about things like porn and toys. It made exploring my sexuality so welcoming.. I didn’t have to fight any preconceived notions about sex. I’m down for supporting anything that gives other young women the same opportunities!

11 elsie May 31, 2010 at 11:46 am

I think this is a great idea! I am behind you 100%

12 Iamcuriousblue May 31, 2010 at 11:06 am

Inspired:

I think the “mainstream porn/feminist porn” dichotomy is far from a neat one. (I’d say most of the porn linked to by VB would be classified as “mainstream porn” by many “feminist porn” diehards, as well as by most anti-porn people.) In fact, the way that this is used in some feminist arguments is simply a complete rehash of the old “porn vs erotica” rhetoric employed in classical anti-porn feminism. And when anti-porn feminists talk about “mainstream porn”, its simply part of a wedge strategy on their part. Their goal, of course, is to get rid of all of it, and they’ll simply continue to trot out the worst examples of misogynistic porn they can find in order to discourage people to defend porn more generally.

13 MissMar May 31, 2010 at 10:48 am

We as women do have the right to choose what we want to watch in porn. There should not be individuals trying to take control of our eyes and our fingertips to look up porn or watch it in the comfort of our own places. Women are having a huge gain in how porn is being marketed and I will gladly ‘like’ the new facebook page.

14 Garnet Joyce May 31, 2010 at 7:44 am

There is definitely porn that is exploitative of women, however there is also a lot of porn that celebrates women’s sexuality. I say that, as women, it is important for us to be consumers of porn because we can help to shape the market to be more sex positive and woman friendly.

15 inspired May 31, 2010 at 7:42 am

While I absolutely support your pro porn campaign, I do think certain arguments by anti porn feminists should be considered- not the generalization “all porn is bad”, but the way in which women are treated and portrayed in much of mainstream pornography. I also think it is imperative that any conference on women and porn include the ways in which porn is evolving, mostly outside of the mainstream, to empower women and gender queer individuals. I used to be adamantly anti-porn before I discovered just how woman- and sexuality-empowering it can be depending on where you look. If only we could have a forum addressing both sides of this issue!

16 Dangerous Lilly May 31, 2010 at 6:57 am

Sounds like a great project! I don’t care who they are, nobody should be saying that women as a whole should be anti-porn. What the hell?
I’ll lend my media support where I can!

17 Amy May 31, 2010 at 6:42 am

Can we do a pro-porn feminist conference for the diaspora of sexual women in the world? Or is there already one I don’t know about? There are a lot of us who want porn for women.

18 Ruby May 31, 2010 at 6:05 am

Hey, Violet! Just wanted to drop this link off for you to check out – I did a video responding to some anti-porn feminists (your bosom buddy Antiquelens’s chum NuclearNight in particular) and thought you might find it interesting :)

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