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Clarissa Smith is reader in sexual cultures at the University of Sunderland , UK. Her research has focused on the texts and contexts of sexually explicit media, and sexual practices. She is a founding member of the Onscenity Network, and involved in various initiatives focused on young people and sexual health. Her specific areas of research include audience use and understandings of pornography, the production and consumption of“amateur”and more mainstream pornographies, aesthetics, and the legislative environments in which these occur. Smith is the author of One for the Girls!: The Pleasures and Practices of Reading Women’s Porn, which offers a uniquely multidisciplinary approach, focusing on text, production and consumption, testing many of the“common sense”and cherished claims about the role of pornography in society. Along with Feona Attwood and Martin Barker, she is currently undertaking the analysis of results obtained through the Porn Research questionnaire, pornresearch.org. Feona Attwood is a professor at Middlesex University, UK. She is the editor of Mainstreaming Sex: The Sexualization of Western Culture and Porn.com: Making Sense of Online Pornography, and the co-editor of the following special journal issues: Controversial Images (with Sharon Lockyer, Popular Communication); Researching and Teaching Sexually Explicit Media (with I.Q. Hunter, Sexualities); and Investigating Young People’s Sexual Cultures (with Clarissa Smith, Sex Education). A t an antipornography conference at Wheelock College in Boston in 2007, Gail Dines described the gathering as “the resurgence of a new national movement to liberate women from misogyny and oppression,” and the moment for the launching of a new organization, Stop Porn Culture.1 The notion of a “porn culture” has become an important rubric for the range of campaigns and writings that have sprung up in the first decade of the 2000s. These include the evangelical crusades of Emotional Truths and Thrilling Slide Shows: The Resurgence of Antiporn Feminism Clarissa Smith and Feona Attwood XXXchurch.com, whose slogan is “Jesus Loves Porn Stars,” and Michael Leahy’s Porn Nation tours that focus on porn addiction, both launched in 2002; the launch of the UK group Object that campaigns against “sex object culture” in 2003;2 popular books by journalists such as Pornified by Pamela Paul and Female Chauvinist Pigs by Ariel Levy, both in 2005; and a range of policy reports, beginning with the Australian discussion paper, “Corporate Paedophilia,” by Emma Rush and Andrea La Nauze in 2006. These declamations of concern over the rise of a “porn culture” join numerous confessional narratives by reformed or rescued insiders, such as Shelley Lubben’s account of life in the porn industry, which purports to offer the “truth behind the fantasy” of a trade in flesh.3 All of these accounts present their interventions as driven by alarm at the spectacular new visibility of pornography made possible first by video and reaching its apotheosis through the Internet and other mobile technologies. Antiporn feminism has re-emerged within this “new” culture of visibility and while it continues to label pornography with tendentious definitions like “sexually explicit material that sexualizes hierarchy , objectification, submission, and/or violence,”4 it now sets this in the context of a “pornified” or “sexualized” culture—“a different cultural moment” in which “porn has taken over the culture.”5 Books such as Gail Dines’s Pornland (2010), Karen Boyle’s Everyday Pornography (2010), and Melinda Tankard Reist’s Getting Real (2009) focus on the ways in which culture is increasingly debased by the seeping of pornographic practices, styles, and experiences into the mainstream. In this context of cultural change, they also argue that there is “a new receptivity” to antiporn arguments in which women report that they “feel that they’ve been really naive,” have “been duped by . . . all these glamorizing messages,” or have had “an inchoate sense that something was seriously wrong,” while men confess their “compulsive use” of porn and its toxic effects on their relationships and sense of self.6 In this essay we focus on three areas of discussion: how the re-emergence of antiporn feminism and its formulation of the pornography “problem” builds upon but also differentiates itself from earlier versions of antipornography feminism, and how it may be seen as characteristic of sex panic scripts and conservative common sense views of sex; how gender, bodies, and representations are presented in their arguments; and how the particular model of “healthy” sex inherent in these arguments has much less to do with gender than with a view of the world that is highly suspicious...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781558618190
Related ISBN
9781558618183
MARC Record
OCLC
828140733
Pages
432
Launched on MUSE
2016-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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