[intrinsicforce sends multiple asks to thatisnotfeminism:
Intrinsicforce: I did some research on pornography in law school, and a pretty large portion of the women in porn enter into it under some kind of coercion or duress. I would say that the misogyny is transparent on screen. For example, Linda Lovelace, the actress in Deep Throat, was forced to perform at gunpoint by her husband who profited from her work. Women are getting waterboarded, electrocuted, whipped, forced to eat shit, etc. on screen and men are jerking off to it.
Yes, some women do sex work because they are poor. But, then again, isn’t it misogynistic for a group to take advantage of another group’s economic disadvantage to fulfill demeaning fantasies for the purpose of sexual release? I think the fact that people can point to a man offering a homeless woman 50 dollars to get gang-banged on film and say it’s a fair transaction, with no exploitative intent on the part of the man, is pretty sexist in and of itself.
I think the fact that porn is so prevalent and destructive today makes it difficult to defend the industry as a whole, even if some have been provided a pleasant experience. Porn conditions men to think about sex a certain way; so, even if a man is not gangbanging a girl on film, the fact remains that he is having a huge number of orgasms to images of violence against women; thus, associating violence against women with feelings of intense pleasure from a very young age.
Furthermore, the problem with pornography is that it is considered “protected speech” under First Amendment analysis despite lacking any serious political, social, scientific or artistic value that traditional protected speech has. That means that a woman who was brutally raped on film for the profit and pleasure of men all around the world will not be able to prevent the publication of that film. She’ll live her life knowing men are jerking off to her suffering, thinking she liked it.
I think the main flaw in liberal First Amendment analysis is the assumption that the marketplace of ideas will weed out all the “bad” and “ignorant” ideas. However, in a society where minorities have extremely limited ability to even express themselves without fear of physical harm — much less flood the marketplace with criticisms and scorn for sexist, racist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. speech — that system just does not work. People get shot for speaking up in North Carolina.
I do not think that First Amendment analysis will change much regardless of which party dominates the elections. American constitutional analysis places very little emphasis on equality when it comes to the First Amendment. Most people would rather preserve the right to spread harmful and inaccurate information than to prohibit a person from selling a film of a woman being tortured. Equality has no substance in First Amendment analysis, even though it is supposedly a core American value.
You should have seen the expressions on my classmates’ faces when a professor suggested that women who have been harmed or coerced in the creation of pornographic films should be allowed to sue for damages as well as for the removal of the films from distribution. They reacted as if he was suggesting no one could ever express a non-liberal opinion on the economy again. Of course, the law was struck down, because who knows what accountability in the porn industry could lead too, right?]