Sir: I must take Thomas Swann (letters 11-SEP-2006) to task over the statement “All pornography, be it violent or otherwise, bolsters the idea that women are objects and not human beings.”
I will give Mr Swann the benefit of the doubt, and presume that he doesn’t pretend to have read, watched, or looked at “all pornography,” and that this statement is thus made from a position of relative ignorance. It certainly ignores the large amount of pornography made for and by women.
Take, for example, Anais Nin, or the Herotica series, or the popularity of the Black Lace line, or Cliterati.co.uk… It would be tiresome to try to list all the pornography that gives the lie to the objectification argument, but one particular example, Lost Girls by Alan Moore & Melinda Gebbe (Top Shelf Productions Inc. Aug 2006), should suffice.
The answer isn’t, I fear, as simple as “less pornography”, but probably includes “better pornography”, which values female sexuality as part of a full life. I agree that the objectification of women as receptacles of male desire only (to wit, the appearance of apparently every female celebrity under 30 in “their” underwear in lads mags, page 3, and the vast majority of porn, etc. ad nauseam) leads to dysfunctional views of sexuality being promoted. But let’s not keep dressing up prudery as liberal concern for women; it is as dysfunctional as the lads mags.
I sincerely hope that this isn’t the only reply to Mr Swann, or at least there are some woman answering. I’d hate this to become another debate amongst guys about women’s sexuality…