I would like to promote porn as the new platform for feministic discussions
What the hell, make it the new starting point for any artistic and civil debates! Because porn holds a unique position for critical reflection that I think we should embrace.
First, it is not considered as "high art" and not obliged to follow hierarchal criterias for "quality". This is always a necessity for effective feminist theories to be produced and given attention. The radicals, in any area, are more likely to exist outside of the academies or professional schools, I think.
Second, it is rather looked upon as something "bad". Whether you talk about production value, morality or inequalities you have porn as an example of something manifesting that which we are trying to get away from. The bad guy we wish to put as much distance to as possible. And with this comes an automatically critical approach that can be very interesting and useful in public debates.
When my collegue and I was taking the metro from the screening of "Mommy Is Coming", she told me about why she hated the non-porno movie "Enter the Void".
She agreed with the many voices talking about how great the experimental cinematography was, and that it was an interesting visual experience. But she was frustrated to notice the total lack of feminist reflection on the way the director depicted women in the movie. Hiding behind being a profound and symbolically intense movie, the director Gaspar Noé does not have to motivate his choice of treating female bodies as de-personalised and sexual objects. In general debates, if a movie is in some ways is considered to be "good" the feminist perspective has to take a step back. I hear comments like "yeah, I know the female characters weren't that interesting, but that's not really relevant to the story" or "yes it was lousy for feminist reasons but otherwise I really enjoyed it!"
I seldom hear these kind of comments when it comes to porn. Suddenly, when you deal with sex, everything is about moral and ethical evaluations! I often find this tiring, but I think it could be a good thing really. It would be a wonderful relieve to the discussions if someone (other than me) would sometimes say "oh I didn't find the way they commodified women in this porno, but apart from that I really liked and got turned on by it!". BUT, I would rather have a constant presence of inequality analysis when watching movies. Despite genre.
When watching porn together we can dissect the parts in it and confront our prejudices, desires, fears and lack of knowledge in a more intersectional way. We can watch it with open minds free from artistic hegemonical orders, and explore how we translate the sexual pictures into either offensive or arousal ones.
This as a counterpart to the way we watch movies like "Enter the Void", where we think we can get away with referring to existing movie production norms and dodge debates about feminism, class, ethnicity, ableism etc.