Pornography is big business, a thriving multi-billion dollar industry so powerful it drives the direction of much media technology. It also makes for complicated politics. Anti-pornography arguments are frequently dismissed as patently ‚Äúanti-sex‚Äù–and ultimately “anti-feminist”–silencing at the gate a critical discussion of pornography’s relationship to violence against women and even what it means to be a “real man.”
In his most personal and difficult book to date, Robert Jensen launches a powerful critique of mainstream pornography that promises to reignite one of the fiercest debates in contemporary feminism. At once alarming and thought-provoking, Getting Off asks tough but crucial questions about pornography, manhood, and paths toward genuine social justice.
Listen here to Robert Jensen’s discussion of the reach and impact of pornography in US society as a guest on WORT-FM’s “A Public Affair” program on March 9, 2007, hosted by Diane Farsetta and produced by WORT-FM.
After a talk at Stanford University to a mixed-gender audience, a man raised a similar question, this time about a double anal (the practice in pornographic movies in which a woman is penetrated anally by two men at the same time). Was I suggesting a double anal is inherently degrading to women, he asked?
I don‚Äôt remember exactly how I answered the question that evening, but I remember clearly what I wanted to say to him. I wanted to suggest to this privileged young man at one of the United States‚Äô most elite universities that we conduct an experiment. I wanted to ask him to come to the front of the room and take off all his clothes in front of the group, lie down on his back, put his legs up, and make his anus as open and available as possible. Then we would ask other men could volunteer to do a double anal on him, and he could then report back to us about whether that experience felt degrading.
It would have been inappropriate for me as an older man with a professor‚Äôs status to be so harsh to a student, and I was more measured in my response. But that‚Äôs what I wanted to say to him: Why don‚Äôt you come up here and we‚Äôll let two of the biggest guys in the room fuck you in the ass at the same time so that you can tell us from direct experience whether a double anal is inherently degrading.