April 14, 2017

Q & A: Why Do Feminists Defend Porn That Puts The Performers At Risk?

Print More
Wait a minute, that was real!

Wait a minute, that was real!

As it turns out, people (including feminists) have a wide range of reactions to porn and different kinds of porn. Ideas about sex and porn are complicated. As you pointed out, the sex in porn is real. Some porn is described as “ethical porn” and is supposed to be guided by principles of ethical practices on and off set. Other porn is described as feminist porn and is supposed to be guided by feminist principles, both in how the porn is made and how the porn is shown. It’s unclear how often each kind achieves its goals as at least some research shows that even some feminist porn ultimately shows sex in pretty similar ways to mainstream porn.

Performers Are Speaking Out

Others point out that there’s a sizable difference between porn and Hollywood, as Hollywood movies often involve stunts and the actors not really getting hurt. In porn, people are actually having sex (as you pointed out) and sometimes there are indeed some difficult and scary situations that happen on-set. Increasingly, a number of porn actors and actresses have shared stories about being sexually or physically assaulted on-set, or being asked to engage in sex acts that were not originally part of their contract. These contract and employment issues are serious ones that the industry continues to grapple with. And of course they are not the full story, as some porn actors and actresses describe a professional workplace, work that they find fulfilling and that supports them and their families, and they take seriously the right to experience their bodies and lives the way that they want to.

To learn more about these varying perspectives on porn, sex, rights, and feminism, check out books like Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein, Coming Out Like a Porn Star by Jiz Lee, Pornland by Gail Dines, as well as the film Hot Girls Wanted, which is available on Netflix.

Comments are closed.