Feminist Pornography Feminist pornographyrefers to a genre of film developed by and/or for those dedicated to genderequality and social justice. It was created for the purposes of encouragingwomen and their self-beliefs of freedom through sexuality, equality andpleasure. It should also be noted that feminist pornography aims at redefiningpopular notions of masculinity and heterosexuality. Feminist porn exploresideas about desire, beauty, pleasure and power through alternaterepresentations, aesthetics, and film making styles. It seeks to empower theperformers who make it and the people who watch it.
According to theFeminist Porn Awards, the basic requirements for a film to be consideredfeminist are ethics. It includes highproduction values, body versatility, erotic sensibility and diversity. Feminist pornographyseeks to address the existing issues of sexism within the Mainstream pornindustry as well as create new scope and enable an atmosphere of independentand creative artistic work. Feminist porn can besaid to be an emerging genre of pornography that makes use of sexually explicitimagery. It strives to challenge thestereotyped and accepted representations of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age,body types, nationality etc. The makers acknowledgethe existence of a global Internet community thus respecting and acknowledgingmultiple preferences. Not only is the filmproduced ethically, the makers make sure to emphasize the importance of theright treatment of their crew members. There is an emphasis onfemale pleasure, consent and representation of marginalized groups.
Different kinds and sizes of bodies arefeatured. Emphasis is also given to theback story, dialogue and cinematographic techniques. Editors Shimzu, Miller– Young, Penley and Taormino, in theiranthology ‘The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure’, statesthat “feminist porn seeks to unsettle conventional definitions of sex andexpand the language of sex as an erotic activity, an expression of identity, a power exchange, a cultural commodity andeven a new politics”. Pioneers in Feminist Pornography:Candida RoyalleTheoriginal pioneer of feminist porn, Candida Royalle moved from acting in adultfilms to making them in 1984. She is credited with being the first person tomake porn movies for straight women.
Her Femme line of erotic movies still sellwell years after their release. She received numerous awards for her workincluding the Lifetime Achievement in Women’s Erotica award in 2006.In 1984, sheestablished Femme Productions to construct films from a woman’s perspective. It was time, she felt, for porn madefrom a woman’s perspective, with women viewers in mind, and in 1984 she foundedFemme Productions.Royalle’s movies, which had stronger storylines than other adult filmsat the time, and strove for positive sexual role modelling, found an audienceand launched a directorial career that has spanned 30 years. Royalle describesher work as “sensually explicit.” ErikaLustSwedishdirector, producer and screenwriter, Erika Lust is one of the bestknown feminist porn directors. She’sone of the pioneers of the feminist porn movement.
“It’s about creating that narrative thattells the story of one, two, three or more consenting adults, giving andreceiving pleasure as sexual equals, and giving attention to the details –like facial expressions, the hands, body positions etc not just the genitals,”Lust says. “If someone is having an orgasm, we want to see how their entirebody reacts.” The women in Lust’s movies have diverse bodytypes. Some have tattoos and full pubic hair.
Her films have an art house quality to them and many are set to indiesoundtracks.She runs Lust Cinema whichfeatures a large variety of feminist porn films by numerous directors. CherylDunyeCheryl Dunye emerged as part of the 1990’s “queer newwave” of young film and video makers. Dunye’s work is defined by herdistinctive narrative voice. She’s a writerand director.
Dunye races issues ofclass, gender and sexual orientation through her movies. Her films mostly focuson the experiences of black lesbian women. Dunye has described her early films and videos as’dunyementaries’, works in which she integrates ‘documentary and fiction,’ butthis style is present in most of her following work as well. Dunye’s narratives are pepperedwith deconstructive elements with characters directly addressing the camera andmaking ironic references to the production itself. The effect of these devices,and of Dunye’s appearance in her films and tapes “as herself,” is toblur the distinctions between fiction and “real life.
“ShineLouise HoustonA film school graduate, her works havebecome the new gold standard of adult cinema.Shine Louise Houston first got the idea tomake queer porn while working at an adult store, she recognized an under-serveddemand for an alternative to mainstream pornography, and began to createwell-crafted queer made porn. Shine’s films have been recognized among the nextbig wave of women produced porn and have been internationally screened fromAmsterdam to New Zealand. She is acknowledged as a pioneer of indiequeer porn and has won numerous awards for her work. She runs Crash PadSeries and Heavenly Spire.
Advantagesof Feminist Pornography:With the advent oftechnology and the access to the Internet by the masses and neutral to accessof any age group pornography has become the chief educator among the young onesas well as the old about sex. By depicting authentic, diverse representationsof women, men and gender queer people, feminist porn acts not only as anentertainment factor but sexual educator as well as reconstruct the society.Normalising same sex attractionas well as the importance of consent is key topic that the younger generationhas to be made aware of.
And as long as countries like India do not offerproper sex education to its students, the young population relies on theInternet and the media and their peers to educate themselves. Feminist porn makersemphasize the importance of their labour practices in production and theirtreatment of performers. Feminist porn considers sexual representation – and itsproduction – a site for resistance, intervention and change.
It seeks to bothaddress existing issues of sexism within the mainstream pornography industry aswell as create new spaces and paradigms for pornography that challengemainstream troops.