The idealism in politician speeches cannot break down historical patriarchy. But porn can.
[This is part of my Debate Series — topics curated from local and global debate competitions I participated in. P.S I included my rankings of this motion at the end of this blog :)]
Since the late 1970s, the feminist movement has splintered over a range of sex related issues in an attempt to combat the dominant conservatism values (ie women should fulfil their familial duties) and standards (ie exploring one’s sexuality is not an option, etc).
Despite the dominance of conservatism, pornography also reigned to be a massive economic powerhouse in a largely male-dominated market that control, consume, and profit from this multinational sex industry.
While it was discouraged during the 70s, the institutionalisation of pornography served only to sustain the alienation of society and pornography (ie porn is corrupted lust), and formed problematic perceptions of the roles of each gender.
The media quickly picked up on it and strengthened these perceptions (in the ways we are most familiar with), and feeding unconcerned, widely incorrect nuances of the feminist movement when the crusade gained stamina (i.e. women are feeble, women innately succumb to their familial duties, etc).
Ultimately, these belittling perceptions, along with a whole slew of other factors, has separated women in the areas of employability, income, and social expectations when compared to men.
While the thesis of this article is to say that porn can bring good things to society. This comes with one caveat: the commercial industry of porn that massively serves men should be condemned.
The distribution of porn for self expression and discovery should be encouraged (and not the commercialisation that promotes shameless nuances) because it is commonly held that pornography is a man’s heroine of pleasure and not of a woman.
The encouragement of pornography synthesis with women may perhaps be the only way to reverse the effects of the collateral damage brought by the institutionalisation of porn. To an extent, this can bring upon some semblance of normalcy for women who find empowerment in pornographic images.
Here are a few main reasons why I believe so:
The fettered distribution of pornography can enable women (and men, even) to discover their sexual liberties, and pursue their sexual orientations
Condemning the institutionalisation of pornography can break down the common conservatism to provide women the full freedom and the choice to experience their sexuality without feelings of fear, compulsion or guilt.
Once that it is widely accepted that porn isn’t only a man’s pleasure but also a means for women to equally be in pursuit of the same in addition to explore their sexuality, it is only then that the common held norms and obligations expected upon women can be undermined.
In turn, women can now be fully acquainted in sexual exploration without feelings of guilt because social expectations no longer bound women to a certain path i.e. satisfying familial duties, caregiving, and sewing (the sewing part is a bit far-stretched but anything for the story, yes?)
Separating the commercial aspect in pornography and encouraging the harmonisation of it in women can crystallise the collective strength of the feminist movement from an offensive rather than a chronically defensive post.
The ambiguities of women’s sexual existence and needs provides a clear motivation on how their desires and pleasures can be guaranteed, and not only be discussed in a utopian future of a politician’s speech. This area is, overall, comparatively under-explored and underemphasised.
Doing so can indoctrinate dominant misconceptions and defend empowering ones
Once the flow of pornography as a means of expression is encouraged, this can correct the misconceptions upon women (this has lightly been discussed in the earlier paragraphs.)
The status quo has remains to harshly judge women who enjoy pornography.
The osmosis of porn and women can allow women to defend their rights to work within the sex industry, and, in the grand scheme of things, allow corporates and employment structures to reflect on their practices, defend non-gender discriminatory ones, and uphold ones that allow women to be respected (including those who are passionate about porn).
This social structural transformations can seize and expand the margins of pleasures and niches of porn for women (and men, even) to a beautiful ritual of discovery.
Women should be free to enjoy consuming pornography, and women may find empowerment in pornographic images. Enabling the synthesis of pornography and women can allow sexuality to be explored more optimistically and less repressively, and places an emphasis on exploration than judgement.
[Note: The original motion of the debate was “THBT feminist movement should actively denounce pornography”. I was assigned Closing Opposition and took 1st in this round]