Monday, April 1, 2019

Gender and Pornography

inner pr work outice and pornoIntroduction Throughout history women contrive been portrayed as subordinates of men or the weaker intimateity. This judge explores the depicting of charwomanhood as the weaker sexual arrangeivity d genius the discourse on porno and muliebrity portrayed in popular culture. Its purpose is to broaden the understanding of womanhood- sex activity discourse from the perspectives of obscenity and femininity portrayed in popular culture. In order words, how does the sensing of carbon black and the enactment of femininity in popular culture mark the weaker sex activity perception of femininity? thence, the purpose of this essay is clear only if the lingering question is how it bay window be achieved. In this touch, the essay advances foursome propositions. The first section tins a conceptual understanding of sex activity and femininity for analytical discourse. The second section critically explores the femininity- grammatical gender discourse deep down a legal structure and questions corresponding is femininity the weaker gender? How and wherefore femininity is portrayed in this regard come up for discussion. This leave al whizz in any case be discussed in congener to how femininity gendered roles disadvantages women. The section that follows critically psychoanalyzes the uprightness on smut fungus and femininity nexus. The third section critically explores how femininity is depicted in the media. The last is the summary and the conclusion.What is sex?Gender provoke be demarcated in many vogues. Sociologists con pitch that gender is a consequence of reputation resulting from the effect of hormones, brains or genes of two dissimilar sexes.1 However, this essay will explain Butlers perspective and views on gender. According to Butler, gender is defined as a hearty construct formed with constant cultural reinforcement and rigorous regulatory practices.2 Hence, gender is associated with how an case-by-case shell outs part in certain manners of conduct. In order words, through and through everyday practices or actions, laws, dress codes, taboos, smut and publicizing the conception of inborn maleness and femininity is developed. Butler asserts that gender operates from the cultural associations and values that the turn on dead body takes on.3 This creates the concept of essentialism. Essentialism is defined as the characteristics of persons or groups which argon broadly speaking similar in all gracious cultures and historical periods, since they atomic number 18 signifi push asidetly lured by biologic concomitantors.4 Through the course of essentialism, gender roles are created in the hunting lodge and are related to an individuals sex. Gender essentialism often creates stereotypes in relation to the behavioral pattern that should be stand for by men and women. The problem with this is that the perceptions of gender is not fixed and changes from cul ture to culture, nine to society as healthful as generation to generation and within these confines changes and evolves. Therefore, the rationale skunk affectionate constructs of masculinity and femininity being associated with a crabbed biological sex is void. Butler asserts that taken into its logical limits, the sex-gender distinction suggests a pedestal discontinuity between sexed bodies and culturally constructed genders.5For Butler, on that point is no need for a doer prat the deed further the doer be constructed through the deed.6In terms of understanding indistinguishability, the distinction between gender and sex essential be established. Hence, the concept of gender and sex has been utilise interrelatedly. small-arm sex involves the biological aspects thus distinct and unchangeable, gender is a social construct formulated by the culture in which an individual lives in.7 Therefore the chases man and woman are biologically and socially contrasting.8 The import ance posited on this distinction is that the biological fact of sex is merely a fact of interest as a result of the cultural importance link up to it.9 This categorisation usually begins from childbirth and parents are required by the law to specify whether the sex is potent or female. The traditional ideology concerning gender and sexuality involves the notion of heteronormativity which relates to the idea of heterosexuality as the natural and approach pattern behaviour in the society.10 However, sexuality is natural and normative if it if it fits into the context of heterosexuality. muliebrity Shea describes femininity as the classified set of attributes, behaviours, mannerism, interests, expectations, roles and appearances that are associated with being female.11 chthonic Butlers view of repeated acts appropriate gender-specific roles are formed. Simone Beauvoir con unravels that one is not born, but rather becomes a woman.12 She further asserts that the concept of femininity is actualised by consistently creating gender through interacting with individuals in a specific social context.13 Women can be different matters they can be wives, mothers, sapphics, heterosexuals and criminals.14 However, Butler does not bear upon that the individual can choose which gender he or she wants to decree but the script is invariably already determined within a regulatory framework and the individual is given a limited second of costumes in which he or she is obliged to make a particular choice of gender style.15 Butler describes this act as girling the girl16 it is important to line that though essential femininity relates to women, men can also exhibit essential powder-puff traits likewise women exhibiting essential masculine traits.17 This alteration of societys binary star gender roles is expound as gender nonconformity. Therefore, if a woman does not fit into this premeditated identity formulated by law and society her essence could be invisible. 18Gende r PerformanceAccording to Butler, gender is performative. She defines performativity by stating gender is in no way a stable identity of locus of agency from which various acts proceed rather, it is an identity tenuously make up in time . . . an identity instituted through the stylization of the body and, hence, must be understood as the mundane way in which visible gestures, movements, and enactments of various kinds constitute the illusion of an abiding gendered self.19 She argues that gender and gender roles are social acts that an individual performs in daily life, the hegemonic versions of which underlay prevalent concepts of male as masculine and female as feminine.20 Zimmerman further contends that a persons gender is categorised based on how they perform it.21 Therefore, the way society reacts to gender actions forms gender identification. Men and women in the society are required to survey with specific gender roles tally to the sex in which they are categorized. Oakle y states that gender roles have an important impact on human lives as many reports suggests that gender are culturally rather than biologically produced22 Conclusively, individuals are taught on how they are expected to behave within the society. Traditional stereotypes associated with men described them as protectors, providers, openminded and aggressive whereas women were perceived to be weak, passive and turned on(p).23 These stereotypes have determine the way masculinity is seen as the cockeyeder gender and femininity as the weaker gender. Hence, this essay argues that feminine norms regularly relegates women to subordinate or secondary roles and execute much(prenominal) gendered roles disadvantages women in the society. This aspect of the essay focuses on gendered objectification of women. Objectification described as the act of objectifying an individual is often significantly gendered (mostly towards females) and, vital towards the process of gendering a person and rend ering them as lesser human beings.24 In western society, the printing press on females to perform an ideal expression of femininity is so thorough that it is impossible for a woman to be adequately skinny, beautiful, submissive, sexy and formulaic so as to be seen as a right(a) woman.25 Women tend to be dehumanised even in situations where they perform their gender roles according to hegemonic norms.26 Ironically, they are being dehumanised for performing their gendered roles. Objectification acts as one instauration against which the gender binary criticises womens gender performance irrespective of appropriate performance of gender norms. They are constantly ridiculed as merely weak tools for emotional and sexual gladness of other people.27 Performing gender tends to objectify women and this objectification goes beyond sexual objectification. Arguably, when a woman performs the role of motherhood, she is required to prioritise the ineluctably of her child over that of herse lf thereby treating herself as an object through which the bodily and emotional desires of the child are sustained. This can be regarded as an extremely gendered experience as society does not require fathers to give the same(p) level of care and treatment a woman gives to a child. This can be considered as demanding because it requires placing a childs needs ahead of the mothers. Although, these occasions themselves are occasional(a), their repetition and reiteration in addition to the background discourse of the better selfless mother28 provides a structure to legitimise the treatment of women as objects that nurse children into adulthood.29 This can be partially attributed to social customs which dictate that commodity mothers take care of their wards and their failure to perform motherhood brings more or less punishments ranging from social alienation to government intervention and loss of parental privileges.30Conclusively, feminist theories of objectification have class ified it as a universal problem that mainly affects women. However, they mostly define it based on the constant repetition and reiteration of episodic experiences rather than why it occurs. Wilson contendsthat By using Butlers theory of gender performativity to analyse the structure of gender it seems that we can redefine objectification as a general occurrence that is significantly gendered and also important to the very process of constituting gendered categories.31PornographySeveral explanations of smut exist from debates surrounding it. Joel Feinberg gives a broad definition of porno as sexually explicit writing and pictures designed only and plausibly to induce sexual excitement in the reader.32 Dworkin and MacKinnon state that The dogmatism and contempt dirty word promotes, with the acts of antagonism it fosters, diminish opportunities for equality of rights in employment, education, property, human race accommodations and public services.33 This critique states that porn is more than just a sexual fantasy but rather recognised discriminatory acts against women with change effects.34 Williams asserts that pornography as a genre proves to be more to the highest degree gender than sex.35 Under UK law, there exist no definition of pornography sooner it relies on the concept of obscenity.36 Hence, pornography is regulated under the Obscene Publications take on 1959 and 1964 and Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 which establishes the criminality of pornography on appropriate pornography and appropriate sexual expression.37 Section 1 of the OPA 1959 states an member shall be deemed obscene if its effect or the effect of any one of its items is, if taken as a whole, tends to adulterate and corrupt persons who are likely, having regard to all relevant circumstances, to read, see or hear the matter contained or embodied in it.38 Therefore, the threshold test drawn from the case R v Hicklin39 is whether the tendency of the matter charged as obscenity is to deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences, and into whose hands a publication of this sort may fall.40 In regards to this, section 63 of the CJIA 2008 outlaws the self-control of an extreme pornographic image. It states that an image is pornographic if it is of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal.41 Justice Stewart in the case Jacobellis v Ohio42 commented on obscenity, stating that I know it when I see it.43 Hence, what this depicts is that what may be perceived as obscene to a group may be normal to another. The deductions that can be made from the above Acts, shows that, Article 10 of the Human Rights Act 1998 will permit any action that does not violate the law against obscenity. This is rendered problematic as the messages pornography relays should not be protected under free speech, neither should the effect it ultimately has on gendered roles especially on femininity.44 Hence, this essay contends that any form of pornography is unwholesome in the society as they send negative messages approximately gender roles. Scoular opines that pornography is a political controversy of womens inequality rather than a sexual tomography for joyousness.45 However, Dworkin argues that the way pornography is seen to be sexual depictions and representations about sex indisputably emphasizes how the society views femininity.46For the purposes of this essay, four elements of subordination of femininity will be discussed. These are hierarchy, the dynamic of confidence and submission, violence and objectification. Foucaults concept of texts of pornography and society can be used in explaining the concept of hierarchy.47 Men tend to define feminine sexuality through images and writings.48 Fiedler states that pornography is produced mainly by men for men, using womens bodies as objects for male pleasure.49 Men through pornography te nd to portray the female gender role as lacking(p) and how it should be performed. Such characterisation has an adverse effect on feminine roles in the society as traditional social norms usually associates masculinity with certain traits ( say-so, world power, superiority) opus femininity with (submissiveness, weakness, inferiority).50 According to Dworkin Pornography is the material factor of sexualizing inequality and that is why pornography is a exchange practice in the subordination of women.51 Pornography is initially presented as a sexual imagery for erotic satisfaction, but in-depth assessment depicts that it is rather a political statement portraying feminine inequality. Scoular supports by asserting that, pornography is a goodly depiction of feminine subordination and inequality, societal degradation and emphasising the phallocentric hierarchical power of men over women.52Inequality is sexualized the relationship between masculinity and femininity is that of dominance and submission, which is constantly played out during sexual intercourse, which defines sex as a man being possessive or domineering and a woman submitting to a man.53 MacKinnon believes that pornography is an ideal representation which displays masculine dominance and feminine submission, and describes it as a political campaign by the strong against the weak (males against females) that legitimizes, sexualizes and permits abuse against women.54 Masculine dominance and feminine submission also exist in soft-core pornography for example Vogue Magazine or Calvin Klein commercials where women are depicted as being desperate to be taken and used by men.55 It is noteworthy that the dominant and submissive representation is not limited to only heterosexual pornography but also lesbian pornography. Arguably, some women prefer to play the submissive role, however, this is due to the mentality instilled by the sexist power structures that they are meant to enjoy these acts56. Deckha conten ds that females who claim to enjoy performing a submissive role do so because they have been brainwash into believing that it is required of them to do so.57 The argument as regards to lesbian pornography is that, even with the absence of men, this still represents the patriarchal power structure through the representation of the butch lesbian controlling the femme lesbian.58 As explained earlier, there is a possibility that without the influence of the sexist power structure, these individuals might have different opinions as to what they actually prefer. Therefore, the constant repetition and reiteration of these constructed identities of masculine dominance and feminine submission tends to be classified as the norm in the society.According to Dworkin, not only does pornography cause violence against women, it is violence.59 ferocity towards women either in physical or psychological form tends to be the norm in modern society. Men believe that they can level these acts, either a s a means of enjoyment or an arrogance of masculine dominance. Feminists believe that images of women being bound, tortured, offendd, degraded or murdered for sexual stimulation and satisfaction creates a psychological link between sexuality and violence, and teaches men that women are easy targets, masochistic, hypersexual, and a sexual plaything, who derive pleasure from being pushed around, and that violence in itself is a sexual turn-on. Such portrayal teaches women to feel passive and helpless and to assent to victimization.60 Reports from a research conducted in America on the commonness of verbal or physical aggression in pornographic contents show that of the 304 scenes studied, 88.2% included physical aggression and 48.7% of scenes contained verbal aggression with the perpetrators usually the male and the female being the victims.61 Because of the way femininity is portrayed, people tend not to be interested in the fact that women are actually hurt even in unwarranted po rnography. Cole compares this by stating that just as behind a faade of marital bliss there could be a battered wife, likewise, behind the appearance of consent and pleasure in pornography, there could be rape and violation.62Furthermore, numerous debates have emanated concerning if there is any correlation between pornography and sexual violence. In the case of Coutts63, Jane Longhurst died during asphyxial sex with a man that had a tendency for extreme pornography involving rape, necrophilia and asphyxiation. After this incident, the CJIA 2008 was implemented to throw away the possession of extreme pornographic materials.64 From this, it can be perceived that this act was created because pornographic contents could influence people to commit sexual abuse. Barry emphasises that pornography can significantly influence human behaviour and numerous behavioural scientists support this position as witnessed in their dealing with sex offenders.65 MacKinnon also opines by stating that th e subscribers of violent pornography are also interested in practicing it.66 Andrei Chikatilo, who was a Russian killer, responsible for the murder of over 53 women and children beatified pornography to be the cause of his suicidal behaviour67. The evidence above depicts that, there is a strong link between violence and men who outlook pornography.Fredrickson and Roberts define objectification as being treated as a body (or collection of body parts) valued predominantly for its use to (or consumption by) others.68 MacKinnon asserts that pornography tends to objectify women, exploit their sexuality for mens pleasure, and portrays sex roles in which women are inferior, go against or subject to physical abuse.69 Dworkin describes sexual objectification as occurring when a human being, through social means, is made less than human, turned into a thing or commodity, bought and sold.70 Women tend to be inhumanely objectified and displayed as objects for the sexual satisfaction of men. For example, both men and women magazines are based around eroticised images of women viewing them as sexual objects basically used to satisfy or provoke the desires and prudence of readers. The editor of a UK magazine Esquire stated in an article that women were objectified in various publications (both male and female) stating that we provide pictures of girls in the same way we provide pictures of cool cars. It is ornamental.71 By using pictures of women primed for sexual pleasure amongst advertisement of fine cars and good scotch portrays women as commodities that can be advantageously bought. Arguably, a reason why people fail to link acts associated with pornography is because such acts are seen as ordinary in the society. Society tends to define the images portrayed by pornography as normal and ordinary, therefore, if pornography is seen as the ordinary, it cannot be harmful to women. In recent times, concerns have been raised about the objectification of women in society. Clare Short a former Labour M.P introduced a fragment of draft legislation advocating for the ban of Page 3 of The Sun theme which Caroline Lucas had criticised for normalising the notion that womens primary function is to titillate men.72Therefore, this raises awareness of the backward, damaging and hypocritical media treatment of female bodies and the society becoming more gracious of the plight of womens objectification.73Gender essentialism also exists in objectification. Collins believes that black femininity is differently delineated from white femininity.74 Black women are mostly presented to be breeders, raped for pleasure and profit of their owners in interracial pornography which is a recreation of the colonial slavery a period when black women were used as sex objects for the pleasure of white men.75 This also reflects the hierarchical dust of race as Walker states, that where white women are depicted in pornography as objects, black women as depicted as animals.76 T he portrayal of black women as animals reiterates their lesser status in the society. Therefore, whilst white women award gender objectification as gendered oppression, black women deal with both racial and gendered oppression. A critique against obscenity laws in the UK, is the inability to protect women from the violence and objectification which pornography portrays but rather focuses on what is regarded as prurient interests.77 Conclusively, the way masculinity is portrayed in pornography influences male attitudes towards the treatment of women as the weaker gender. Jensen highlights that the sexual violence and cruelty that characterizes much pornography, and to the evident pleasure that men take in viewing this material, evidence that there are serious problems with our understandings of what it is to be a man today.78 Additionally, the similarity between the portrayal of masculinity in reality and in pornography is that to be classified as a real man, one is supposed to be a ggressive, dominating and controlling. Green asserts that in gay pornography, where there is a female absence, there is a disceptation that one of the men performs the role which patriarchal sexuality assigns to women the role of receptivity, passivity, subordination. This confirms that, we can have women without having any females.79 The portrayal of masculinity in pornography has an influence on how men view women in society. Hence, it can be cerebrate that pornography certainly plays an important role in the construction of femininity as weak.Popular CultureJames Rosenau defines media as a label that is presently in vogue to account for peoples, activities, norms ideas, goods, services, and currencies that are decreasingly confined to a particular geographic space and its local and established practices.80 The mass media is one of the most universal and powerful vices influencing how men and women are viewed in the society. Intertwined through our everyday lives, the media inte grates messages into human consciousness at every opportunity. Different forms of media take aim images of the sexes, which disseminates biased, stereotypical, and limiting perceptions.81 Hence, this essay argues that all forms of media sends negative subliminal and stereotypical messages about female gender roles in the society and the portrayal of an ideal woman as shown in the media is harmful. In recent years, the representation of femininity in the media has constantly exploited women merely portraying them as trophies to be win or objects to be shown off. It has also established a standard of peach tree that women are compared to either by men or by the women themselves. Swami asserts that In patriarchal societies, the roles and privileges accorded to women are inferior to those assigned to men, and as such, sexism plays a central role in the continuing oppression of women.82 Reiterating the sweetie ideals are authoritarian (BIO) hypothesis, the existent patriarchal struc tures and attitudes influences the relationship that exists between sexist attitudes and the endorsement of beauty ideals and practices.83Craft asserts that physical features such as attractiveness and thinness are the requirements for women in news media rather than intellectual capabilities expected from their male counterparts. (Craft, 1988 Sanders Rock, 1988).The media creates an imagery of two that of women that exist namely the good women and the bad women. A good woman is supposed to be respectful and mainly focused on taking care of her home. Subordinate to the male gender, they are usually represented in films as victims, supportive wives and helpers. Though, women who defy the traditional roles are represented positively, this is done either by making their alienating career lives like Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show, whose career engagement in family matters was well portrayed while her career as an attorney was alienated. or feminizing careerwomen so as to ordain the m with the traditional aspect of femininity. The producer of the show Cagney and Lacey Barney Rosenzweig complained, These women arent soft equal. These women arent feminine enough regarding the characters of the actresses thereby illustrating the medias bias towards favouring traditional femininity. Faludi asserts that for female gender to be considered as successful, it is necessary to portray the traditional stereotypes of femininity and maintain an identity symbiotic on the male gender who

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