Feminist Porn Awards Celebrates Six Sexy Years

The Canadian feminist sex store Good for Her is presenting the 6th Annual Feminist Porn Awards. The Feminist Porn Awards honor pornographers whose groundbreaking work offers a fresh perspective on the sexual expression of women and everyone who finds themselves under-represented in mainstream pornography. Nominations for the awards opened on December 1, 2010 and will close on February 15, 2011.

In order to be considered for a Feminist Porn Award, submissions must meet at least 1 of the following criteria:

1) The work depicts genuine pleasure, agency and desire. These movies may also include a focus on connection, communication and collaboration between the performers and/or between the performers and filmmakers.

2) The work expands the boundaries of sexual representation on film, challenges stereotypes and presents a vision that sets the content apart from most mainstream pornography. This may include depicting a diversity of desires, types of people, bodies, sexual practices, and/or an anti-racist or anti-oppression framework throughout the production.

Full submission requirements are here, http://www.goodforher.com/files/images/Submission%20Requirements%20and%20Submission%20Form%20FPA%202011.pdf.

Gender Bias, Marking, and Hand-Written Exams.

I have barely done any marking yet, but this struck me as I was distracting myself with observing my colleague marking hand-written exams: I (bored) picked up an exam, read a few notes, and made the following comment: “listen to this, her grammar is terrible:……”. Then it struck me – why did I assume the author was a girl?????????? Answer: pretty, neat, round handwriting…….

So, here’s my worry: we know how implicit bias acts in the context of judging CV’s, reviewing papers, judging comments, etc; when identical papers/CV’s/etc are labelled as originating from either women or men, they are generally judged to be of comparatively lower quality when marked as originating from women. That is why it is so important that these things are (ideally) done anonymously. Now my experience with this exam paper suggests that, despite not knowing the author’s name, I had made a very quick, unconscious judgment about the gender of the author based on her handwriting. This judgment may not always be accurate, but it if it is accurate often enough (and a quick flick through the pile of papers resulted in many papers that me and my colleagues unhesitantly judged to be either male or female), then this is a very pernicious way in which exam-marking can be distorted by implicit bias…

And most exams I have seen are handwritten, which suddenly makes this quite a worry? Thoughts?