Porn, Porn for Everyone! – An interpretation of the female gaze

This is not necessarily another blog post about the negative effects the porn industry is having on society. It’s not solely on the sexual objectification of womyn in the porn industry; although this is clearly a widespread, continuous issue. It’s not directly a feminist criticism of how harmful porn is towards womyn and sexuality. This post is a declaration, a proclamation, a demand for the porn industry to evolve and transform. To reflect and promote a diverse, healthy representation of womyn and sex through embracing the female gaze. This is about EROTIC INTELLIGENCE!

Pornography can be defined as “the portrayal of explicit sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual excitement and erotic satisfaction” (wiki). However, is it truly erotic satisfaction? Mainstream porn is easily accessible. You can go to your friendly Google search engine, type in Porn and voila! Before you will be displayed a number of free porn websites you can curiously penetrate. Now, the initial perception may be the appearance of choice and difference. Don’t be fooled. There may be a colorful array of categories before your eager eyes but it’s practically the same, mundane performance.

These are some of the main characteristics of mainstream pornography:

  • Oppressive gender roles are intact.
  • Dominance and submission power relations are performed, often serving the male character.
  • ‘Dirty’ talk is necessary (Most of the time targeted at the more feminine character).
  • Lesbian sex is NOT really lesbian sex! Rather it is constructed through the heterosexual, commercialized male fantasy.
  • Male cum on the female face (Yes, I’m sure most womyn enjoy this depressingly instilled act).

I cannot stress the last characteristic enough. I don’t believe the idea of porn is the problematic issue here; rather, it’s the way it’s depicted. The subject matter and visual content not only caters to the seemingly insolent male ego and pleasure, it completely eradicates womyn out of the sexual experience. She stands alone as object. Not human. The focus is not on the whole man in most mainstream pornographic videos but on the penis. However, the penis is active, moving, exerting, spilling, procuring. The whole man is not necessary. The whole womun is exposed; yet composed of chronic emptiness.

A commercial perspective for this poignant situation is that if males are the main consumers of pornography, then we must primarily tailor the content to their virtual voyeuristic desires. I have written and researched numerous essays, articles, theories on pornography throughout my academic career and for my own personal endeavors. My inquisitive mind led me to question approximately 100 men through survey research design on what they thought about mainstream porn. These are the prevalent answers I received:

It’s an easy release, I don’t take it that seriously.

It’s one-dimensional, but it does the trick.

I don’t sexually objectify [womyn]. I’m not sure why porn videos show this frequently. Does it matter?

[Womyn] in subservient positions don’t always excite me. Sometimes I get bored watching this.

As you can see, it does not seem climatically satisfying or realistic to them. I’m not negating the idea of fantasy, a form of sexual escapism. However, that is not what is being displayed here. Why should porn be this easy, inadequate, dead-end masturbatory session? Surely, it can incorporate creative and innovative imagery and story-lines which transcends, provokes, and entices us both mentally and sexually. Most porn focuses on gender roles where womyn are usually extremely dominant or subservient. There is no complexity or intricacy in the design. Calling womyn and the occasional man a slut, dirty, a whore along with belittling the vagina to a ‘pussy’ doesn’t stimulate my emotive or cognitive self. Our minds are connected to our sexual organs. Some of the best orgasms begin and are manifested in the brain – located primarily in the hypothalamus. Sexual arousal is a mosaic phenomena. Therefore, why shouldn’t the visual stimuli be more satisfying to the mind?

I do not believe most men are particularly erotically charged by mainstream pornography. If I am wrong, then men must be universally obscene, one-dimensional, obtuse, semi-misogynistic, prosaic creatures. I choose to be optimistic.

I will now provide solutions to an essentialized issue. The porn industry needs to change in these areas:

  • Portray womyn and men as equals by implementing strategic and elicit actions. Don’t let the sex organs dictate perceived and conditioned gender roles.
  • Display diversity in an all-encompassing, healthy manner and language. Don’t continue to use words like ‘gang bang’ or ‘fucking a 18-year-old pussy.’
  • A creative, sensual, variation with a flair of intellectualism to appeal to a wider demographic. This surely would generate more revenue for the business and allow womyn to participate in consuming porn.
  • Focus on female pleasure and do it naturally.

The porn industry must attract a wider, more diverse audience by instilling creativity, intelligence, passion, and inspiration in their imagery and content. I’m not proposing a Danielle Steel novel or that porn to be interpreted exclusively through the female gaze.

I am demanding integrated, intensified, compelling, sensational, mentally stimulating, emotively triggered, raw, organic, explosive ORGASMs from viewing pornography!

P.S. Free of charge!

The Revitalization of the Goddess Through Humankind

As I mentioned in my previous post, Oh Goddess Divine, Where art thou: The Fear and Intimidation of the Goddess, I will provide a  psychological perspective on the annihilation of the Goddess as well as the social and economic implications of her diminishment. In my first post, I aimed to inform the reader of a brief history of ancient Goddess worship and how her elimination originated. My objectives in writing this post are to:

  • Discuss why it is important to engender a rebirth of the Goddess and uphold her existence
  • Provide discursive consequences of her extinguishment within a social, political, and economic context
  • Critically analyze the meaning of the Goddess and how her existence impacts and influences an individual’s life

My objective is not to outline a spiritual assessment of Gods and Goddesses in order to create another widely accepted cult, but to examine why humans need to create divine  beings to impersonate and perpetuate their existence and purpose. I will propose my analysis based on the ideology that humanity creates that which is worshipped, obeyed, denied, admired, and oppressed. Let’s begin with a psychoanalytic view of identification. How does one identify itself?

Primary identification: This is rooted in primitive and emotional attachments usually during the infancy stage. The infant doesn’t know itself because its brain is not fully developed, and its environment, both culturally and socially, has not affected it extensively; therefore, it identifies with its relations and objects. For example, the child needs the breast to feed itself; therefore, the child identifies with the breast–the mother–the Female figure. It becomes the breast given it doesn’t have any previous socialization and/or identification.

Narcissistic (secondary) identification: This stage is early on and provokes the loss and/or abandonment of an object. The child becomes aware of its environment, personality, relations with others, and itself. It begins the process of melancholia because it is forced to abandon the primal, emotional attachment with the Female figure. The one who fed, nurtured, and embedded it within her. Once she was the Goddess, the primal Mother. Now she must be unconsciously mourned because of the patriarchal-father head system it encounters.

Partial (secondary) identification: This stage deals with the subject identifying with someone it admires or wishes to become. This specifically contributes to the ego and the development of the character. As this stage, one is conscious of its desires and needs based on socialization, perceptions, and observations of its surroundings. Even its primal needs are to a degree predicated on a hierarchical order. While it continually mourns the loss of the primary identification–the Female figure, it requires a replacement which becomes that which exists.

The male representative is born-God.

In my last post about the Goddess, I take on a more positive, optimistic perspective of Her given I acknowledge that she possessed a historical and spiritual significance that transcended womynkind. However, Simone De Beauvoir in the Second Sex, states just the opposite. She proposes that Goddess worship and her significance was primarily created by men to represent the womun and her unexplained mystical identity. This of course reduces her connotation to that of men’s creation, in addition to a peculiarity which she possess classifying her as the Other. Keep in mind, this is a matter of perspective, meaning Simone De Beauvoir takes on a more cynical standpoint of the history of the Goddess. So what does that tell us about the psychoanalytic model I outlined above?

Essentially, because I’m not providing a spiritual assessment or an invitation to a new cult/religion, I base this model on the assumption that spirituality and subjects who participate within that realm are created by man. The lost Female figure in the model represents the Goddess – the primal one. The beginning and the end – the Alpha and the Omega. However, she is lost in a state of the melancholic unconscious because of the systematic processes which occur through socialization, subjectification, and objectification. She is the beginning and the end which one encounters, but she doesn’t perform a primary role during. She is forgotten because she is forced to be in order for the child to live within a patriarchal structure. Why does this matter to us?

To put it simply, when 2 things simultaneously exist, and you ignore or disregard one, it has a direct impact on the other. The one who hasn’t been disregarded typically formulates and creates a social order of some sort and objectifies the Other. This causes a rupture among the masses and creates identification processes. It causes disorder, chaos, and an imbalance. How is this repressed? Through that of social learning – imitation and models given to one from the time of birth, and it continues to learn and prevail. Wherever an oppressive hierarchy exists, a group of people are ceasing to abound in life’s glory. Therefore, the Goddess desperately needs to sprout from our unconscious so that we can truly reconnect with her truth. For so long, we have lived in a world ruled, occupied, and dominated by a masculine god – men. The saddening fact is that men suffer from the repressed Goddess as well. All of humankind continues to do so.

Her extinguishment affects every realm and dimension of our lives including the economic and political arenas. Laws, regulations, opinions, forums, theories, etc. are dictated by a world which is constructed without the Goddess, without that which is meant to exist on the same plane as the god. The formation of capitalism, mass production/consumerism, fascism, mass media production, white male supremacy, economic hierarchies, social injustice, hunger, poverty, marginalization, etc. are all the result of the forgotten Goddess – the female figure. Her thoughts, opinions, creativity, inventions, actions, love are suppressed, forgotten, and/or lost. Nothing is to her complete potential, and she is taught to live in fear, desolation, and adapt to a powerless persona unless it benefits the world that god – men constructed.

Whether or not the Goddess ever reached her full potential and existed in a world free of the patriarchate, she does exist. She is there in the depths of our minds, in the crevices of our hearts, in the trajectory of our souls. It is ultimately our choice if we choose to let her escape from the shackles which have been placed upon her. We must question what was (in history) in order to delegate what will be now. The Goddess is there, and once we relinquish her to abound in all of her glory, only then will we progress into a more neutralized, harmonious existence in this world we continue to occupy and consume.

Dirty Words: The perversion of the English language

Consider for a brief moment a world dominated by female pronouns, female centered language, and female linguistics being used as the norm in society. How will this affect the power structures of our culture? Humans continue to ignore and overlook the power and implementation of language in the world. This is not going to be a lesson on languages per se, but how gender specific language, performativity, and linguistics produce meaning to objects and people, specifically womyn in our society.  My intent is to educate and enlighten people to understand the power of language, and how the English language can be oppressive to humankind. Furthermore, my main intent is to raise awareness so that people can QUESTION, PROBE, and ANALYZE dominant discourse.

  • The the usage of male pronouns to stand for gender neutrality is invalid and should be eradicated. Rather than using ‘He’ to suffice for both genders, use ‘S/he’ or ‘He/She’ or ‘She/He.’
  • Fireman, policeman, mailman, chairman. These are gender specific titles attributed to both genders. Use ‘policeperson,’ ‘chairperson,’ ‘mailperson’ and so forth.

Language constructs the foundation of power relations in our society. The male pronouns are typically used to refer to both womyn and men; therefore, people perceive it as being gender neutral. That is not logical reasoning. How can something that is blatantly not neutral be perceived as being so? Why weren’t the female pronouns used which actually have the male spellings associated with it? (S-he, for example). You may inquire: Why should we care? Well, like I stated above – language is the foundation of power structures in our society. It creates and constructs a hierarchy which we conform to unknowingly. This is primarily advantageous to the male species, and womyn have not defiantly and actively questioned this oppressive form of westernized language.

During the nineteenth century, Nietzsche warned against the mistaken tendency to take grammar too seriously: allowing linguistic structures to shape or determine our understanding of the world…(Barad, 2003). This has obviously been ignored because words are simply powerful, and language is a highly effective way of communicating meaning and associations of the world in which we occupy. The use of language functions in politics, religion, culture, sexuality, education, and economics; therefore, making it impossible to disregard.

The Oppressive Embrace of Gender Specific Language

Performativity in the social sciences include the daily behavior (or performance) of individuals based on social norms or habits. Philosopher and feminist theorist, Judith Butler, has used the concept of performativity in her analysis of gender development, as well as, in her analysis of political speech (Gender Trouble). (Barad, 2003) states, “performativity is precisely a contestation of the excessive power granted to language to determine what is real.”

For the sake of my argument and intent of this post, I will focus on Judith Butler’s work dealing with the philosophy of language and linguistics. Her foundation predominantly relied on Foucauldian theory. Foucault simply believed power is exerted throughout society through discourse by the dissemination of knowledge. This then controls and constructs people’s’ realities and beliefs within a society including language and linguistics in relation to gender construction.  The exclusion of female centric language and linguistics is detrimental to the female species in all disciplines and practices. Furthermore, it limits womyn in possessing or gaining autonomy and agency in the public arena where they can have a direct influence and impact on society.

The way language, linguistics, and meaning has been constructed in the English language is through the male. The way HE speaks. The way he perceives the world around him. The way he thinks and behaves. To accept and conform to the ludicrous idea that the English language is gender neutral is invalid. For example, performativity represents meaning through the visual fields such as pornography. ” Pornography makes the world a pornographic place through its making and use, establishing what [wo-men] are said to exist as, are seen as, are treated as, constructing the social reality of what a [wo-man] is and can be in terms of what can be done to her, and what a man is in terms of doing it” (MacKinnon, 1993).

How can we operate in a truly egalitarian society when the history of the human language is male formulated? This is a perturbing question that cannot be ignored if we as a human race believe womyn and men are equal in their rights. Language, the way we communicate through representation, semiotics, meaning should be independently expressed through the female species.

Womyn should no longer be represented and perceived as:

Masochists, Subordinates, Objects, Secondary citizens, solely mothers/wives, seducers, temptresses, mistresses, etc. These are titles and descriptions of the female species through a man’s experiences and consciousness developed and incorporated in the English language to signify the subordination of womyn. So how do we construct and constitute the social reality of what womun is through language? Perhaps, we must unravel and form an original approach to the English language through womyn’s own consciousness and experiences? One unsettling criticism of this is how can one undo centuries of oppressive and limiting language that has constructed an entire gender? This is truly the insurmountable challenge I propose to womyn and men. One suggestion that I use in my daily life is changing the spelling of words to be legitimately gender neutral.

Some examples include:

S/he, Him/Her, Womun, Womyn, God/dess, Chairperson, Sistory (History). There are many more and you can utilize this change in the English language. It’s  powerful and delivers a vital and revolutionary message that womyn desire to possess agency in the world they occupy and represent themselves as an independent entity.