Beyond Explicit: Pornography and the Displacement of Sex by Helen Hester

By Helen Hester

Develops a singular characterization of the pornographic as a cultural concept.

This unique contribution to porn experiences goals to interrogate formerly untheorized alterations in modern understandings of the pornographic. Helen Hester argues that the phrases “porn” and “pornographic” are at present being utilized to an ever-expanding diversity of fabric and that this variation in language utilization displays a much broader shift in belief. She means that we're witnessing a doubtless paradoxical circulate clear of intercourse inside modern understandings of porn, as a number of different elements come to steer the concept that. utilizing examples from media, literature, and tradition, and discussing the increase of notions resembling “torture porn” and “misery porn,” Hester’s argument levels from sexually specific German novels and British coverage records to a dialogue of the ameliorations among ecu and American variations of pornographic movies. She concludes that 4 elements in particular—transgression, depth, prurience, and authenticity—can be obvious to steer the way in which that we take into consideration porn

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Catherine MacKinnon has noted, for example, that the testimony of one of the women who spoke against pornography in the Minneapolis civil rights hearings “was published by Penthouse Forum without her knowledge or permission, selling her assault for sexual use” (12). Indeed, MacKinnon’s work itself often has been seen as venturing perilously close to that which it most despises. Parveen Adams and Mark Cousins remark of Only Words— MacKinnon’s study of pornography and hate speech—that “several reviews and comments have been struck by the appearance of passages in the book which are ‘pornographic’ ”(63).

But in the privacy of writing, it was the only choice that gave me the pleasure of writing, that greedy, arrogant pleasure: it was the only choice that enabled me to triumph over my subject by showing it, remaking it, The Sex Wars 29 turning it into something that we define and use rather than letting it remain something that defines and uses us. (36) This remark seems to me to offer as much of an insight into the pro-sex feminist position as it does into Dworkin’s mindset and writing practices.

214). He is therefore able to position the anti-pornography strand of the feminist movement within a “more general enterprise, one which I will call the redemptive reinvention of sex” (214). I argue that this redemptive urge also can be detected within the work of certain pro-sex feminists. In her essay “Desire for the Future: Radical Hope in Passion and Pleasure,” Amber Hollibaugh suggests the following: Feminism must be an angry, uncompromising movement that is just as insistent about our right to fuck, our right to the beauty of our individual female desires, as it is concerned with 26 Beyond Explicit the images and structures that distort it.

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