The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Do I Like Porn? Don’t Ask Me, I’m Just A Girl! *Giggle*

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 2, 2008

Another day, another infuriating and thinly-veiled post-feminist yarn from Samantha Brett’s Ask Sam! (her exclamation point) blog for the Fairfax Digital network. Sam celebrates the new financial year by kicking off with a bang – well, rather, a wet squib: the old “do women like porn?” chestnut. Or, as she puts it, “Why Women Hate Porn“.

Except that, uh, it seems that despite her title, Sam comes out batting for porn – so long as it’s a) cool and b) something ‘sexy’ to do with one’s (male) partner. But we’ll get to the latter later, first let’s deal with a):

Some view this newfound sense of sexual freedom as a by-product of the rise of porn star as the new “it” female profession. Think Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends, Kim Kardashian and Denise Richards to name just a few.

It’s an “it” profession for females, is it? (And would Denise Richards really be pleased to see herself described as a porn star?) I must have missed that particular careers memo.

Sam then goes on to, er, well:

As Pamela Paul, author of Pornified: How Porn is Ruining Our Lives, Our Relationships And Our Families writes: “Popular culture promotes the wild fun and whimsy of the girl who loves pornography.” She goes on to explain that thanks to pop culture, porn popular culture tells us that women who watch porn are fun, whimsy and celebrities. There’s Carmen Electra on MTV, Pamela Anderson on everything and even Kate Hudson admitting she’s a fan of striptease and a gym workout.

Sam, you can’t be a “whimsy”. But the corker is the sting in the tail of this wishy washy blog, where Sam effectively condenses all women’s sexuality to being not only heterosexually-based, but also massively boring:

In other words perhaps what we need is more foreplay, more romance, more kissing after sex and more (gasp!) story line … now wouldn’t that be porn that women would want to see …

Right, goddamn bitches, always wanting to talk after sex. Is it so shocking to Sam that perhaps the reason a lot of women do like porn is because (when done well) it can be less about romance and more about raw animal passion? I am, however, not surprised, considering Sam gave noted airtime to that ridiculous “Porn For Women” book that featured photos of men doing the washing while saying things like, “Let’s talk about feelings.”

What’s ultimately most frustrating about this b(l)og is that Sam only skims the surface of the porn debate – she doesn’t touch on porn versus ‘erotica’, she doesn’t talk about the high number of “straight” women who enjoy watching lesbian and gay porn, she doesn’t look at female-friendly porn companies, and so on. And, through it all, the not-so-subtle implication that women who are into porn do it because men reckon it’s “fun” and “sexy”. (And let’s not forget “whimsy”.)

As Tracy Clarke-Florey said, in response to Sam’s column, in Salon yesterday:

Is it really so difficult — or frightening — to consider that women watch pornography because it turns them on? So often, the explanation offered for why women enjoy triple-X fare (as if an explanation is needed in the first place) is that it’s the equivalent of a strip tease — something that turns her on only because it turns him on. This view of female sexuality as performance is in line with the mainstream view that, when it comes to a woman who watches porn (or, say, has sex with other women), it’s only hot if she does it to excite men.

She’s right – and when it comes to Sam, what else would you expect from a member of the Australian media, who only care about lesbians when they’re indulging in party pashes?

(Thanks to the exceptionally well-informed Tania for the Salon tip!)

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2 Responses to “Do I Like Porn? Don’t Ask Me, I’m Just A Girl! *Giggle*”

  1. lozzy said

    I’m just so incredibly sick of the ‘porn debate’ in general. Porn exists, some of us like it, some of us don’t. Do people like Sam Brett really think talking about it is ‘groundbreaking’? It’s always with a complete lack of humour too.

  2. Mel said

    I would just like to heap glory upon you for using the phrase “comes out batting…”

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