Over at her blog, Ren linked to this screed by Heart, on porn and what it "really" depicts, means and says:
I responded over at Ren's and thought it might be interesting to Xpost here:
Blonde whore forced to suck c*** then f***ed!!....The 11 words at the top of the page tell us what pornography is about. It is about men forcing their bodies inside of and onto the bodies of women. It is about men forcing women to do things they do not want to do. Especially, the words communicate the interest men have in watching women being raped. We all know a woman is depicted in the film those 11 words advertise, but she is a dehumanized woman. She has no name; she is a generic “blonde,” a generic “whore.” The understanding and agreement between the maker and advertiser and the consumer of pornography is that nobody cares about the names, identities or lives of “blondes” or “whores” or any other woman being raped by men in pornography and nobody wants to know any of that. The agreement is that the porn consumer should be free to order up a constellation of body parts and the pornographer should stand ready to provide them. The agreement is the pornographer will provide images of rape and violence which humiliate and degrade already-dehumanized women whose names we do not know. The agreement, especially, is that this will be sexually titillating and exciting to the consumer. This is what real men want to see: “blondes” and “whores” being raped. Available for cash, at the click of a link.
I just... if these people had a shred of objectivity I'd just say to them
"okay, so I read that line ("Blonde whore forced to suck cock, then fucked," given that the context is *ACTING* not real force) and have absolutely no negative reaction to it and possibly a positive one. If the reaction is supposed to tell me all I need to know about how truly vile porn is, then what happens when my reaction is not the expected one? What happens when I'm thinking it would be hot to watch her, or to be the one doing the fucking, or to be her?"
The only answer they can give really is "you're fucked in the head," which is really not convincing to me given that pornography is such a successful industry. It seems really, well, freaking ODD that an entire industry would spring up out of misreading women's pain.
Yeah, there are sadists in the world or various stripes. And yeah, we've all got a cruel side. But wow are you saying something weird about humanity (okay maybe just about men omg wtf I said it I'm defending men take away my sister card now) when you're assuming that entire industries centered around sexuality function on stirring up dormant sexual sadism.
ETA: Actually, yes, I can see industries designed to stir up aggression, and I do think that rough porn is in part designed to do that (I still suspect it's also partially about shock/spectacle, "oh my look at THAT!", and not always consumed or produced with only aggression in mind.) But to me, stirring up aggression and stirring up hate are not the same thing. Wanting to forcefully fuck is not the same as wanting to rape.
Of course for some people those concepts are linked, and of course that's worth thinking about. And it's understandable to hold the position that if they're linked at all in anyone whatsoever, then it's irresponsible to create any media appealing to this. I don't hold that view -- I don't think media producers of any kind are obligated to never create anything that might have a bad influence on the worst of humanity -- but it's not an internally incoherent one.
What is incoherent to me is the notion that we all ought to react the same way to media, such that anyone senses upon seeing it what the truth about it really is.
I tend to think that when something stirs up a lot of debate, that's because there's a complicated phenomenon at hand, not because most of the world has blunted its instincts.