Using the introduction to “A Taste for Brown Sugar” (written by UCSB’s own Mireille Miller-Young) and the introduction to “the Feminist Porn Book,” in 300 words or more please identify at least two popular (mis)/conceptions of pornography, and at least three ways these texts define or redefine “pornography” and/or “feminist porn”?
You must include at least five references (in any combination) to these two different texts to receive full credit.
In no less than 300 words, use Fox (2018) and Webber & Sullivan (2018) to describe how pornography is treated as a public health crisis, and some of the impacts of its construction as a “crisis.”
You must reference both of the readings at least two times.
Regardless of which topic you choose to write on, you must respond to one classmate in no less than 100 words
Center your forum post on the authors’ voices, and save any personal opinions or experiences for the peer responses.
Here is the classmates writing that need to response:
Pornography and the sex industry is treated as a public health crisis for various reasons, but not always the right ones. As Weber and Sullivan address it in “Constructing a crisis: porn panics and public health”, they “do not believe such claims are motivated by a desire to ensure the physical and social well-being of the populace. Rather, employing the language of ‘public health’, ostensibly apolitical and objective, is a well-devised strategy to impose sexually conservative moral imperatives. The fact that the public health argument is operationalized primarily by moral activists with a retrograde understanding of both health and media scholarship, not by public health professionals or people involved in the pornography industry, should be enough to give any person pause. “This reiterates the idea that laws and movements against pornography and the sex industry are lead by people with false pretenses and ulterior motives, usually because of a difference in morals or beliefs. It is clear that this is sometimes the case because they have no real evidence to back up their claims. When asked, “If porn is a public health crisis, then, what exactly are the health outcomes of watching too much pornography? That is the fundamental stumbling block of anti-porn advocates” they usually blame it on “insisting that young men are the unwilling victims of a runaway epidemic of pornography”. They do not admit that there are men actively seeking porn, or even women as well, and that it is an industry in high demand.
Health concerns have impacted the public many times before, one being the AIDS epidemic. It became a tricky situation between individual rights and public health, but ended up in “mandatory testing, reporting, and quarantine, as well as the closure of community sexual spaces such as bathhouses. It continues today in the form of mandatory testing and reporting blood bans for men who have sex with men and the criminalization of non-disclosure of one’s HIV status to sexual partners”. This wasn’t the first time the public good was seen as more important than individuals’ privacy, but things have been much more aggressive than I ever would have known by including things like, “forced sterilizations, false mental health diagnoses, criminalization and incarceration, dangerous and untested therapeutic interventions, medical incompetence, and human rights violations.”
Not addressing or attempting to help the issues is preventing it from becoming safer and actually does more harm than good. As Fox writes about in “A sex worker perspective”,“Sex workers remain stigmatized and hidden from the dominant social imaginary in ways which make it hard for others to understand us as potential conversational partners with expert knowledge about our own lives.” Making it illegal and hard for these people to get good health care just makes it more dangerous for everyone.
An example of how this problem could be fixed and the system improved is to look at how other countries are handling the situation. “Furthermore, the erasure of porn and other sex workers from the ongoing public dialogue about pornography and health prevents us from addressing the very real health crises which we do face. At present, I live and work in Australia in a jurisdiction where sex work is legalized and licensed. Unlicensed and non-compliant workers continue to face criminalization and punitive interference by the police. The Australian healthcare system provides adequate care to a greater proportion of marginalized people, including sex workers; nonetheless, sex work stigma regularly affects the quality of the care we receive.” I think the first and most important step is to allow sex workers to have a voice and put rumors to rest, which may change the way some people feel toward pornography and lead to better options for them.
1. In the introduction to A Taste for Brown Sugar, Miller-Young positions pornography as an important intellectual site to think about which option below?
2. The authors of The Feminist Porn Book argue that the descriptors of “antiporn” vs. “pro-porn/sex positive” camps that came out of the porn wars are or are not adequate to describe the complexities and nuances of feminist porn politics?
3. Webber and Sullivan argue that the topic of sex should be off-limits to public health officials and experts, as the legislation will be inherently unethical.
4. What is the definition of Illicit eroticism (Miller-Young) best described as ?
Below is the the reading files for this assignment.
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