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Female-Oriented Pornography

July 7, 2012

I notice in a few circles that the drumbeat is getting louder with respect to female-oriented pornography. As I’ve written about in the past , female-oriented pornography (or pornography designed to cause sexual excitement in women) has more to do with the written word than the image. Webster’s dictionary even tells us this (emphasis mine):

Pornography noun:
1: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2 : material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement

Unfortunately, we’ve had the mainstreaming and acceptance of female porn (in the form of books and movies) from both the secular and evangelical realms. Romance novels and rom-coms (or chick-flicks) have been tacitly accepted for a very long time, and even popularized from books into movies such as the Twilight series. 50 Shades of Grey even began as a Twilight fan-fiction. Unfortunately, it’s taken something as outwardly blatant as 50 Shades of Grey in order for people to even talk and realize that things such as books can be pornography too.

To give credit where credit is due (especially since the admonishing of women for sin in any Focus On The Family material is taboo since they believe that women don’t sin), Boundlessline.org ran an online article by Adam Holz which pointed out the truth of such matters:

Pornography, then, is not just a men’s issue. And though some might be tempted to dismiss or wink at a “naughty” story such as Fifty Shades of Gray because it trades in degrading words instead of degrading images, it’s potentially every bit as destructive in the lives of women who might be tempted to entertain E.L. James’ twisted sexual fantasies.

Of course, the redefining of it took hold right from the first comment on that blog entry (no it’s not porn it’s “erotica”). The tacit acceptance of the sins of women along with the lack of recognition of their responsibilities within the evangelical sphere is highly unfortunate. The demonstration that most evangelical leaders have no concept of the nature of women (especially their sin nature, and their sexual nature) to advise or preach in any matter regarding them is also incredibly disturbing.

Thankfully there are people who are pointing these things out, as well as the blatant hypocrisy that evangelical leaders are engaging in regarding the issue of pornography. Bettina Arndt writes:

There’s such giggly delight in the public display of women’s huge appetite for this latest girly porn.

Yet when men are caught looking at their favoured sexual material – pictures rather than words – that’s somehow very different. Men who use porn are disgusting, perverted, their filthy smut a danger to marriage and sure sign of an addled male brain.

The double-standard most certainly exists. While the use of porn is accepted and celebrated with women (it’s a best seller, popular enough for a trilogy of books AND a movie), it’s denigrated and demonized when it comes to men. We have already seen a ready example of this double-standard in R. Albert Mohler’s writings:

One further qualification must be added to this picture. Pornography is mainly, though not exclusively, a male phenomenon. That is to say, the users and consumers of pornography are overwhelmingly male–boys and men. . . The fact remains that many men pay a great deal of money and spend a great deal of time looking at and looking for pornographic images in order to arouse themselves sexually.

Bettina Arndt points out the double-standard as do others:

If men and women were the same, surely we would have the same capacity to be rational, moral beings, mature enough to handle our fantasy lives without distorting real-life goals and expectations.

But no, when it comes to sexual fantasy any notion of equality goes out the window, with men seen as incapable of making this type of differentiation while women remain uncorrupted by their own salacious, grossly unreal imaginary sexual world.

Stephen Harrington points out this double-standard as well:

“Mummy porn” is seen as fun, harmless, even liberating, and therefore exempt from critique or social judgement, whereas “daddy porn” is inherently “horrid” and “depraved”.

Evangelicals like Mohler are screaming to the rafters against the male-oriented porn, but are conspicuously silent on the female variety. They need to realize that women aren’t reading novels such as these “for the articles” (to parrot the common Playboy ploy) or watching the movie adaptations because it’s a nice storyline. So why are these evangelicals silent on such matters? Harrington concludes correctly that it’s a by-product of the feminist interests (again another proof of feminism in these evangelicals):

I suspect it has something to with the fact the 50 Shades trilogy clearly does not fit the narrative that . . . the porn industry is positioned as an engine of rape, violence towards women, and all-out misery.

Most significantly, these books are written by a woman, from a woman’s perspective and are extremely popular with everyday women. Which, of course, challenges the presumption that pornography is something done to women, never by them and/or for them.

These books . . . have also become enormously popular by nothing more than word-of-mouth. They have not been forced upon anyone, but have been actively sought out for reading pleasure by women all around the world, again challenging the idea that our sexuality is being hijacked by depraved corporate interests.

So what does it mean in the end? R. Albert Mohler and other evangelicals like him need to answer the following questions correctly or be seen as hypocritical and all their words rightfully dismissed. This will be a necessity for them to do such things and be seen as serious, and even openly repent in public in sack-cloth and ashes for the efforts they have made in the past against men when it comes to pornography, since the profitability of Fifty Shades of Grey and other fem-porn works and general acceptance of these things will only cause these things to grow in number:

1. Is pornography a male-only phenomenon or is it a person-oriented phenomenon (that means women do it too)? The only right answer is that all (men and women) participate and need to be admonished if pornography is sinful.

2. Is male-oriented pornography the only thing that’s sinful or is all pornography sinful? The only acceptable answers here are that either all of it is sinful or none of it is sinful. This writer holds that all of it is sinful. But those in power in Churchianity need to make this decision, and back it up.

3. Are they willing to stand forcefully in action on their answer in #2. This means in the case of Albert Mohler if he answers that all pornography is sinful, banning all female-oriented pornography (these novels, other romance novels including “Christian” ones, and rom-com movies) within the walls of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as well as directing the instructors to teach forcefully against it, AND preaching much more forcefully against the fem-porn than he ever did the male variety. If the fem-porn gets a pass, then that means the male-porn gets a pass, too, and the unbanning of these things need to occur within SBTS and openly preached FOR.

Anything less than accomplishing these things is hypocrisy from these people.

14 Comments
  1. Sis permalink

    I would think that the Twilight series might be equivalent to a Victoria Secret catalog instead of actual pornography.

    I also think that the difference in treating men different from women might be because men don’t seem to mind so much if their wife is reading this stuff, in fact it might even get the wife to try out some new ideas; whereas men looking at porn tends to be a replacement of the wife. The wife gets ignored in bed while the man is up looking at porn. I think they are both sins, but the response of the spouse to the sin seems to be different.

  2. Thanks for commenting and reading:

    I would think that the Twilight series might be equivalent to a Victoria Secret catalog instead of actual pornography.

    I think people’s actual lines on what they will allow and won’t allow vary (I knew women in my past that were quite liberal about it and women that hated if she even thought you looked at an actress on TV lustily), so it’s kind of hard to pin an objective definition on pornography. As Webster’s says, it’s anything intended to cause sexual excitement, and that can be a number of things.

    While there’s a certain level of societal acceptance to possessing a Victoria’s Secret catalog in the open, I would think most women would object to men looking at such things. As well, I would think Mr. Mohler would count it as pornography. So, I try to go off of a parallel definition to such things. Besides (and I hate to use the phrase the rest of the manosphere uses since it’s so crass), if something like Twilight causes the gina tingles in women, it’s probably safe to call it pornography. After all, it’s not hard to find evidence that Twilight obsession sexually excites women, as well as causing strain on marriages. (another article that presents a parallel between Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey)

    I also think that the difference in treating men different from women might be because men don’t seem to mind so much if their wife is reading this stuff in fact it might even get the wife to try out some new ideas;

    They may not be thinking about it enough to see it as a sexual threat to their marriage. Maybe there’s just not enough interest to find out, and perhaps it goes back to the lack of knowledge of the nature of the opposite sex. I know I really didn’t think much about these things until I saw how women were reacting to the Twilight series (especially the so-called Twi-moms) and decided to dig a little deeper. I know myself and most others will probably grow a lot more concerned, especially as the Fifty Shades trilogy fills up homes and the first movie comes out into theaters. The issue will get too big to not notice when that happens – assuming that it will get addressed.

    whereas men looking at porn tends to be a replacement of the wife. The wife gets ignored in bed while the man is up looking at porn.

    As I’m sure you well know, I disagree with this assessment, mainly because the wife would have to be willing and ready while he is looking at porn to qualify as a “replacement of the wife”. Now there are cases of addiction where this is true, but I’m sure they are very rare in the number of total cases. While I’m sure there are different reasoning processes behind the issue related to both women and men, I would be interested in knowing how you came to this assessment. Good to learn and all.

  3. an observer permalink

    Sis,

    Fascinating that the very first post is an attempted reframing. Pity about the false assumptions, though.

    1. Vic secret pics can be obtained for free, via the internet. Whereas, women made the Twilight author a multi millionaire.

    2. Most married men have little influence over their wifes intake of culturally prescribed toxicity.
    Reading about bdsm is enough of a tingle for most women. By this point, they have already emotionally divorced their husband. Only the court order remains.

    3. A satisfied man is unlikely to seek a two dimensional substitute.

    4. Women are the sexual gatekeepers. Many women gloss over their husbands need for sexual release. Partly, this arises when a woman fakes sexual interest long enough to marry a beta schlubb. The subsequent sexual deferral and loss of interest comes from the womans side of the bed.

    5. Womens sexual sin is ignored. Mens sexual sin is highlighted and used as justification for frivolous divorce.

    http://dalrock.wordpress.com/?s=frivolous+divorce

    So many logical errors in such a short paragraph. Impressive.

  4. an observer permalink

    Bskillet,

    This is the double standard:

    Victorias secret catalogue: Not ok.
    Edward Cullen bedsheets: Ok.

    Tumblr: Not ok.
    Ereader of Twilight series: Ok.

    Male sexual drive: Not ok.
    Female sexual drive: nudge, nudge, wink, wink. Bskillet.

  5. Dude, I’m not bskillet. I’m ballista74.

  6. an observer permalink

    Got it.

  7. @Sis

    I also think that the difference in treating men different from women might be because men don’t seem to mind so much if their wife is reading this stuff, in fact it might even get the wife to try out some new ideas;

    Any material which is apt to make a wife sexually aroused and want to have sex will be welcome to her husband, in most cases. (But switch the sexes and that statement is no longer true.) A husband might be willing to overlook the mummy-pron if it means that he is thrown a crumb more often.

    whereas men looking at porn tends to be a replacement of the wife. The wife gets ignored in bed while the man is up looking at porn.

    Negating the previous statement.

    Any material which is apt to make a husband sexually aroused and want to have sex will be unwelcome to his wife, in most cases. The phenomenon is as ancient as the hills: for how many decades now have we had the comedy cliché, “not tonight dear, I have a headache”? Women get their kicks dreaming of being swept off their feet and dominated by a high-status ‘alpha': men more often than not will be happy with any sex they can get.

    I think they are both sins, but the response of the spouse to the sin seems to be different.

    Exactly. …And not just the spouse, but the wider culture (and sadly the church) also.

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