A Black Feminist Perspective on Pornography

This is a really interesting article by Chitra Nagarajan.

There was interesting research done a couple of years ago asking communities in eastern Congo about the causes of sexual violence. One of the points people raised was the impact of pornography, especially given community methods of sex education had fractured due to the conflict. Porn – a lot of it produced in America – was the primary way young people learned about sex. We need to look beyond where we live and see the impact that this Euro-American capitalist exploitative industry has in other countries…

…I was invited to come and speak today because the voices of black women are not often in the debate on pornography so I want to end with talking about why. I wonder whether it is because we do not believe pornography is as important as white feminists do. That is not to say that we do not think that pornography is not important – we do – but the realities of our lives are different.

We have so much that we need to fight against – the sexist, racist, heteronormative immigration and asylum system, negotiating that line between not playing into racist assumptions of black communities and violence while speaking out about violence against women and girls in our communities, police brutality, the racism and sexism our children experience and trying to find ways to build their sense of possibility while reflecting the reality of British society, the hyper visibility of black women in the public sphere as objects for discussion and debate – by black men, by white men, by white women but not by black women and of course the poverty that black women continue to disproportionately experience.

7 thoughts on “A Black Feminist Perspective on Pornography

  1. no idea how it is in America, actually, just from movies but….. It seems to a normal thing there and watching porn, privately at least, quite high….Not what i could say from Europe, at least part where i’m from!! We just don’t have time for this, we gotta actually live our lives, work, study, party whatever!!!From female point of view, of course. Moreover, the amount and popularity of porn here, don’t make a girl act more sluttily just to be likeable for guys…And as i’ve heard, europeans have a better style in dress-up and fashion, too!!:PP

    In Europe, the countries that have prostitution legalized, makes not much difference with countries that it isnt…it’s just a matter of attitude..As much as i’ve seen!!

    About black women, we don’t have them much here, in my country, so mostly i’ve spoken of the white women here and their lives!!
    In more financially improved or simply more easily reachable countries, as Switzerland, Italy, Holland, France might have more issues with this, including the worst result – prostitution. Again, it’s the matter of commandment! There are simply so many stupid/ and or rich or just guys with low morals, that tend use those services quite a lot and it’s actually disgusting for me to think about, and even as i’ve seen those girls on the streets and roads before, it’s crazy!

    Ok, this article was about pornography but obviously those two are connected to each other:PP The more you exploit it, the easier it is to get an idea of trying this(or any part of this, even if simply posing nude or other ways to earn money with, that includes sex and sexuality and might be considered as immoral!

  2. Hi kittykat,
    Consumption of pornography in at least some parts of Europe is pretty high. The UK (where I am based) is above average. Germany is apparently the world leader in consumption of porn. There is some info on stats here.

  3. I’m really pleased you liked my piece. I was trying to highlight information and stories that are not prominent in the feminist discourse around pornography.

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