Analysis Of Pornography: A Form Of Oppression To Women

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2.2 Pornography - A Form of Oppression to Women?

Academic literature on pornography (e.g. history of production and regulation of pornography) is extensive, and tends to focus on the male consumption of pornography. As afore-discussed, the evolution of the market of pornography couples with technological innovations could imply an increasing trend of men and women participating the production and/or consumption of pornography. However, many research on pornography such as Malamuth, Addison and Koss (2000) and Paolucci, Genuis and Violato (2015) have significantly demonstrated a positive correlation between consumption of pornography and harm to women. For examples, Paolucci, Genuis and Violato (2015)’s analysis on the impacts of pornography
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Dworkin, 1981; Dworkin and MacKinnon, 1988; Mackinnon, 1989) since 1980s have overwhelmingly stressed on criticising of pornography as a form of oppression to women. By examining the ‘effects’ of pornography on its male consumers, radical feminists have frequently amplified that negative effects, namely violence, sex addiction, intimidation, child abuse, and women as sexually objectified by men, of pornography have facilitated men for reinforcing the notions of patriarchy and masculinity. In order to comprehend the ways in which radical feminists such as Andrea Dworkin (1981) and Catherine MacKinnon (1989)formed their arguemnets of pornography as oppressive to women, it is viatal to acknowledge the theory of sexuality that has put forward by scholars (e.g. Haslanger, 1995) and radical feminists (e.g. Mackinnon, 1989). Accoridng to Haslanger (1995), it is vital to refer to social factors when defining gender (masculinity and femininity). In this sense, female’s sexuality (femininity) is socially regarded as submissive and male’s sexuality (masculinity) as socially superior, thereby, the theory of sexuality indicated that social implications of sex (gender) are established by the notion of women as sexually objectified by men for fulfilling their desires. (Haslanger, 1995). Therefore, this sexuality theory connoted that gender (masculimity and femininity) is hierarchical determined and this hierarchy is …show more content…
Within the debates on pornography, radical feminists, also known as anti-pornography feminists, deemed pornography as intrinsically exploitative that both the production and consumption of pornography should be censored. According to Ferguson (1984), anti-pornography feminists viewed that pornography as highly tied to the notion of ‘sexual objectification’; men are considered as ‘subjects’ and women through male gaze, are deemed as ‘objects’ within heterosexual sexual relationship. This notion of ‘sexual objectification’, as Ferguson further claimed, not merely connoted the submissiveness of females’ sexuality, but it also permitted male ‘sexual terrorism’ towards women within the production and/or consumption of pornography (Ferguson, 1984: 108). In order to defend females’ sexual freedom under the male gaze and the visual stereotypes of women which reinforced women’s place in society, anti-pornography feminists believed that the opposition to all sexual practices (e.g. prostitution; pornography) are necessary because they offered men a means to normalise and legitimise sexual violence against

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