Is Pornography Racist?

In her new book Pornland (Beacon Press) author Gail Dines argues that our sexuality is hijacked by the multi-billion-dollar-a-year porn industry. (See my three-part interview with Gail here, here, and here.) Dines also argues that pornography is racist. But not everyone agrees.

In the Pornland chapter titled “Racy Sex, Sexy Racism!” Dines writes that women of color are generally relegated to gonzo–a porn genre lacking any plot–which provides little glamour, security or status. According to Dines, porn racializes the bodies and sexual behavior of the performer with lines like “Saxxx tried to clean herself up [but] she was still a low-down dirty ghetto ho! So I rammed her.” Websites and videos commonly feature race-biased titles like, “Me Fuck You Long Time,” or “Oh No! There’s a Negro in My Mom.” To Dines, rampant racism in the porn industry is caused because most people working in the production-end of the business are white.

Pornography scholar Mireille Miller-Young of the University of California, Santa Barbara, sees reason for concern, but disagrees with Dines’ anti-porn conclusion. Says Miller-Young:

Surely there’s racism in the porn industry. It affects how people of color are represented and treated, but there are counter-stories–especially among women of color who are creating and managing their own product. This doesn’t get enough attention.

Stereotyped fantasies, inequality and exploitation are the norm in commercial porn. Yet women-of-color directors and web mistresses such as Vanessa Blue, Diana DeVoe and Shine Louise Houston provide alternatives that are potentially feminist and anti-racist. These counter-stories involve much more complicated representations of women of color, authored by themselves. In any case, Miller-Young points out, “If you really want to understand porn from the view of women of color you need to talk to them, not just evaluate their experiences based on the titles of the movies they appear in.”

Companies such as Heatwave Entertainment and VideoTeam (now Metro) built their brands not only on ethnic contract stars, feature films and product lines, but set the bar for women of color as viable forces in the industry. Kaylani Lei, Wicked Pictures contract star, is Asian-American; Vivid Video has had African Americans Heather Hunter and Chelsea Sinclaire as contract stars; and Tera Patrick, who is of Thai, English and Dutch descent, has been a contract star for Digital Playground and Vivid Video.

When asked about her views on racism in the industry, porn actress Sinnamon Love (pictured above) had this to say:

Current company owners like Lexington Steele and Justin Slayer produce quality gonzo featuring women of color that showcases the beauty and sexuality of women of color without racial degradation, and Black-owned video company West Coast Productions employs the prolific director Bishop, who produces some of the highest quality ethnic features with comprehensive story lines and excellent production value.

Hardly the racial one-way street that Dines (who is white) describes in her book. Says Sinnamon Love:

For Gail Dines to generalize that this type of product doesn’t exist is an overzealous exaggeration of the truth and is dangerous and irresponsible. This generalization completely disregards the efforts of so many performers, directors, company owners and production companies that put forth the energy into making a wide range of product available to the consumers who buy and enjoy these movies.

Sinnamon Love, whose newest gonzo film, Rough Sex 2, comes out under Vivid’s imprint next month, describes herself as multi-ethnic, self-identified African-American. In her words:

Ethnic female directors like Mika Tan have spearheaded [movements to produce] quality movies that showcase women of color without stereotypical roles and images. … Racism is a symptom of the bigger problem of society and porn no more contributes to that than any other form of commercial media. While there is certainly an element of racism in some adult movies, this is by no means the barometer to judge all pornography. This would be like judging all priests based on a few child molesters or all Southern white males based on a few members of the Ku Klux Klan.

So, to return to the original question: Is pornography racist? It certainly has racist elements, just like all forms of media and pop culture. But it also depends on who you ask–and we should be asking women inside the industry as well as its critics.

Image courtesy of Claudio Matsuoka under Creative Commons 2.0.


  1. annie oakley says:

    Great piece Shira! As usual, an anti-porn "feminist" is exploiting the experience of women in the sex industry to make a point, without actually consulting the women themselves about how they feel about their experiences. Dines effectively silences these women and excludes them from a vital conversation about their own lives. What is the point of a prescriptive book about porn without voices from the women involved? Thanks Shira for keeping women's real experiences as the focus.

    • I would NOT believe any words from a current porn “actress” or “actor”. I don’t believe they can see the forest for the trees.

  2. As a consumer of porn, I will attest that there are certainly racist themes out there, but if you think that this is the most significant racism going on in the industry, you're very wrong.

    You need to look at the place of both sexes in porn rather than simply looking at the woman. If you looks at the composition of the men, you'll notice that Asian men are entirely missing from the equation. Women of all ethnicities are included in porn, but only white, black, and — to a lesser extent — Latino men are featured. Asian men are absent because they're looked at as sexless beings. We're stereotyped as being smaller in stature and musculature, smaller in penis size, shy, stalkerly, geeky, and devoid of masculinity, testosterone, stamina, confidence, and sex drive. We're either effeminized by both men and women in society, or we're looked at as ugly, boring, sexless, and lacking any personality. Since these stereotypes pervade American society, they are entirely encapsulated by the porn industry — to the point that virtually no Asian men are featured in porn. But if you look around, you'll find that it's not just porn where Asian men are on the outside looking in — just turn on the television, and you'll be hard-pressed to find an Asian male news anchor, host, or TV show character.

    • Though I agree that Asian men are still woefully underrepresented in the adult industry, I do want to point you towards Keni Styles, a Thai-British performer who's recently relocated to LA and has been appearing in quite a bit of American porn–and not as an Asian male stereotype, either. Here's his website:

      Hopefully he'll serve as an inspiration for future Asian male performers!

    • Hi Phillip! In addition to Keni Styles, who I personallyhave shot with, there is another Asian male performer quickly on the rise in porn! His name is Jason Katana, http// He has shot for everyone from The Erotic Networks to Jim Powers and Ultima Video. A self-identified submissive, Jason is quickly making his mark not just in hardcore productions but in fetish videos as well. I recently shot Jason for Venus Girls and will be shooting him again in 2 or 3 movies next week. 🙂 As Lux pointed out, Keni has made massive waves in Europe and has quickly made his mark in the US as well! Look for his work for companies like Bang Bros, Evil Angel and of course bookmark his blog for the constant goings on in his life. 🙂

      • jhonny ta says:

        I met jason katana on time at a college shoot in downtown los angeles. Really cool guy. I use to have type9models as my agents and i ended up working at some college sex scene in downtown LA. I waw surprised to meet jason there as i thought i was going to be the only asian on set. He did a great job that day. At least i know he did way better than i did but i was still new to the industy.

  3. Shira, this was a beautiful way to end this series. (Shira = song in Hebrew)

    Just as there is gangsta rap in music, there is gangsta porn. Just as gangsta rap is a small part of black participation in the music industry, so is gangsta porn a small part of black participation in the porn industry. The sensationalism of the marketing around each of those genres is why they seem larger than they actually are.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    In mainstream pornography, the domination and degradation of women is not only sexualized, but sold back to us as "sexual liberation" and "empowerment." That is, pornographers depict blatant acts of violence against women (choking, slapping, abusive name-calling, gagging with penises) as sexy, and then convince us that this is what sexuality actually looks like. Of course we all want our expressions of sexuality to be positive and liberated, but pornography is an incredibly damaging representation of sex. Women of color, as Dines addresses in her book, are typically relegated to the most dehumanizing acts in porn and are seen as hypersexual, animalistic and subservient. I understand your motivation for trying to bring to light the very few, supposedly anti-racist exceptions in porn– it is important to hear underrepresented voices. However, this also serves to ignore the mainstream porn industry which is presently abusing, exploiting and dehumanizing real, live women of color. We need to listen to women of color in porn and we also need to examine the contexts for their participation.

    • “That is, pornographers depict blatant acts of violence against women (choking, slapping, abusive name-calling, gagging with penises) as sexy, and then convince us that this is what sexuality actually looks like.”

      Not what sexuality looks like – just what the director’s particular sexual fantasy looks like. Max Hardcore or Rob Black do not market their shows as grand statements about anything.

      “Of course we all want our expressions of sexuality to be positive and liberated,”

      What do you mean, “we”? Do you speak for those women who want to see dark fantasies of B & D and rape?

      “…pornography is an incredibly damaging representation of sex” Only to the extent that sexual fantasies are.

      “Women of color, as Dines addresses in her book, are typically relegated to the most dehumanizing acts in porn and are seen as hypersexual, animalistic and subservient.” And, as the African-American women quoted by Tarrant have stated, Dines is wrong. They are insiders, Dines is not. If you look at what they said, they were citing a wide range of companies and long-time African-American performers. Lexington Steel, for example, has been one of the top male porn stars in general since the late 1990s, so his prolific work does not qualify as some token exception to the rule. “Hypersexual” and “animalistic” are insultingly synonoymous with “passionate” and “guilt-free”, which, in fact, all performers exhibit – unless they wish their careers to be short-lived. And as far as “subservient” is concerned, is there any sex act that Dines wouldn’t characterize that way?

      • “And as far as “subservient” is concerned, is there any sex act that Dines wouldn’t characterize that way?”

        Oh yeah, us sex-negative types hate all kinds of sex! Sheldon, you have got to be kidding! Except that I know you are not!

        • “us sex-negative types hate all kinds of sex”

          Well, if you didn’t, then there’d be no point in calling you sex-negative, right?

          By the way, my comment was directed at Dines, not you. Why did you feel implicated?

    • If the problem is that women of colour are relegated to dehumanizing acts and portrayed as animalistic and subservient (and what's wrong with being hypersexual, I'd like to know?) then shouldn't we be analyzing why that happens? If we've identified the problem, that's only a third of the work done. Step two is figure out why. Step 3 is figure out what to do. Otherwise we're throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

      And who said we all wanted our expression of sexuality to be positive and liberated? Yeah, it can be nice seeing a couple who really care about each other have a gentle, socially conscious lovemaking session, but that is only one tiny point on a huge spectrum of sexual appetites. What if I like playing a sub? What if I have rape fantasies? What if I want to be choked a little? Fantasies, role-playing and pornography provide ways of doing things that would be impossible due to circumstances, unpleasant or traumatizing if they were truly done on impulse rather than acted out, with "act" being the important word. High-speed car chases in real life result in damaged cars and deaths, and yet as human beings we are fascinated by fire, by violence, by injury, by death. So we simulate those chases and our pulses race as the cars explode. You can't simply ignore the scarier side of the human mind in the hopes that it will go away.

      I do think there isn't enough positive, loving porn. Sometimes you want fugu, sometimes you want tuna casserole, and it's honestly heartwarming to see people having fun and pleasure together. We have a problem as a whole culture with portraying black women and men as animalistic either while trying to be positive (unsullied noble savage, natural innocence) or negative (dangerous wild beast or caged and enslaved). We have all sorts of such stupid stereotypes embedded in media of all kinds, and maybe someday we'll finally untangle the last thread and be free of them. Until then we get to keep picking apart our media and porn is no exception. There is no story, no film, no book, no image, that you should ever just swallow whole and take to heart without analysis. Everyone has assumptions, prejudices, and issues that leak into their work and incorporating their worldview into your own without thinking about it is a very bad idea.

  5. I am sure we are all familiar with the expression, the exception that proves the rule. The author states, "Stereotyped fantasies, inequality and exploitation are the norm in commercial porn." Did Gail Dines explicitly state no exceptions exist? Is it not possible, if she did, that she would categorize these exceptions as something other than pornography?

    This accusation of silencing can be leveled on both sides. It seems to me pornography has become so thoroughly mainstreamed, the accusation that its defenders are being silenced is ludicrous. Another thing I find ludicrous is that anyone judges all pornography by the barometer of some pornography with racist elements. There is too much pornography with an all-white cast. How would that be racist?

    Generalizations are generally made about the majority of cases. They are rarely made to imply there can be no exceptions, though it may be implied the exceptions are too rare to make much of a difference. There may be many instances of women of color making a different kind of product, but do they represent the majority, or even a large minority? I doubt it. Until that becomes reality, the norm for pornography featuring women of color will continue to be racist.

  6. If one were to only read this article, they would walk away assuming that Dines fails to focus on the real experiences of women. Having read her book, I can attest that this is simply not true, and that the book further contributes to the radical- and political-feminist critique that we need more than ever.

    It's frustrating to see attempted refutations of racism in pornography with the mentioning of a few women of color who have made well with the profession. This is mall-number statistics people; yes, there are more women at the top now than ever before, but there are also hundreds of thousands of women and single mothers living in or under poverty.

    Since we are talking about real experiences, let me share mine: as a male and previous porn user, the majority of pornography that I came across was extremely misogynistic (and racist when dealing with women of color). When I hear that *some* women are making it in the industry, I am happy for them, but I always think of the majority content that I came across, which promoted, again, misogyny and racism. For example, when typing in "black porn" into google, the first response is Is this not indicative enough for Gail's claims, for an exploration of racism within pornography?

    Great book, unfortunate review.

  7. Porn definitely has racial elements. however what my concern is the blatant racism. I don’t doubt that there are much more insidious ways in which porn maybe racist but there is something much more concerning once it begins to be marketed with blatant racism. so i have to ask the question….do the consumers get off on the racism or the sex? can they tell the difference between sexual fantasy and exploitation. more importantly….are these things now so infused that most consumers can’t view one without the other. i think we need to have consumers pin point where fantasy begins and ends. so much focus on supply not enough on demand.

  8. I attended the StopPornCon in Boston earlier this year and listened to Gail Dines speak on this subject. As some have said above racism is an issue in our overall society not just the porn industry. However I also felt Dines manipulated photos and facts to further her own agenda that day. Photos of black women in animal print outfits were shown during Dine's presentation and we were told that media is portraying black women as animals by showing them this way. This then led into the segment of racism in pornography. Looking around the room of the 150 attendees I noticed that there were only two people of color in the room.

    Would this lead one to believe that because 148 out of 150 attendees of this Stop Porn Conference were white that the organization is therefore racist? I have to wonder why did they not have more minority supporters at this conference?

    Unfortunately in my opinion instead of addressing actual issues of racism and exploitation within this industry that also exists within any other industry (ie: Walmart, Target), Gail Dines makes these inaccurate blanket statements that only confuses people and do more harm.

  9. There's something I'm a little surprised not to have seen come up in porn criticism. And that is: one of porn's main raisons d'etre is to find people's buttons and push them. If there is something people are uncomfortable about, something they are self-important about, that's taboo, etc…, you can count on porn to zero in on it and make a tawdry caricature of it.

    I find this an amusing and vital trait of pornography. I think of porn as the kid in the back of the classroom blowing spit wads at the blackboard with a straw.

  10. By titling this article "Is Porn Racist", Tarrant's premise is that the porn industry is Not racist, because there are a few women of color (WOC) who have positive experiences with it. The other premise is that porn is merely what is shown in the finished product, not an industry with an incredible amount of power. Instead of focusing on the macro-level industry that is profoundly racist/ inherently capitalist, she focuses on individuals. She completely ignores the multitudes of racist websites demonizing black men's bodies. She implies that equality can come about through capitalism, provided that some individuals don't represent their product as racist. She thinks porn is a good place for women of color to try to achieve economic equality.

    • estrella,
      i don't think the title presumes any position. questioning whether porn is racist means we have to talk to everyone involved and then each individual will draw her own conclusions based on an array of facts and experiences. dr. tarrant isn't arguing that porn is a good place for women of color. she's urging us to talk to women of color about their role in porn and let individuals determine what is good for them. that's the real issue with dr. dines. it's isn't that she's wrong, but that she doesn't do enough investigating before she draws her conclusions. saying porn is racist and bad for all black women is a form of white benevolent privilege especially when dr. dines doesn't talk to any women of color in the industry. representing others without giving them an opportunity to express themselves is a problem not only in media (including porn) but also in research (including folks who write about porn). i give dr. tarrant props for directly addressing that.

      • Tarrant doesn't really believe that the porn industry is harmful. Her interview/review of Dines's book reflects that. Tarrant is more interested in being allies w/ proporn people than doing work against a capitalist industry that seeks to lure ppl into buying a carefully constructed product. Pornographers dont care about justice: they care about making a profit. Tarrant ignores this + frames Dines as antisex/puritanical in the interview.I don't give a crap that there r some wom.of color who may be benefitting from porn. I care about ending sexual violence, & I know the porn industry sustains & feeds a rape culture. Yay-porn messages are Everywhere. Dines is doing the hard work of actively fighting a powerful industry. I trust Dines, bcuz I know her priority is to end the co-optation of ppl's sexuality by the capitalist porn industry. I'm thinking about food as I write this response to you. There's crappy industrial food (soy margarine), and there's quality food (raw, organic, grassfed butter). The sexuality that the porn industry produces is like margarine: unhealthy, commodified. The sexuality that Dines is urging us to fight for is the real stuff.

        • Just as with food, there is crappy porn and there’s quality porn.

          What is the sexuality that Dines is urging us to fight for? She does not specify it, just gives us some of the usual boilerplate rhetoric about “erotic” and not “humiliating”, as if there was some agreed-upon handbook as to what that meant.

  11. Tarrant also ignores how kids have easy access to porn and how this affects their sexuality. I am a woman of color who found porn as a child while I was searching for pix of my favorite cartoon characters. Cartoon porn can be simultaneously very cute & horrible. The girls' faces in cartoon porn are attractive to kids & make it easy to be pulled into hardcore. I was pulled into hardcore cartoons as a kid, and it led to hardcore non-cartoon porn when I was older. The p.industry doesn't care about kids or ending racism. The only reason the industry would try to get rid of its own racism on a macro level is to make more $ if the hoards of primarily men stopped paying for racist porn.

  12. As Nadine Strossen says, the solution to speech we don't like is more speech, not less. Althea points out that until more people of color are in charge of directing and producing sexual explicit films, it's unlikely that racism will fade. (And of course unless the public can start supporting more progressive depictions of sex, no performers will be able to break out of their prescribed roles.) So Gail Dines' promotion of boycotting all porn or further criminalizing it is a less effective response than calling attention to black performers who are in charge of their labor and don't participate in degrading story lines—in other words, educating consumers and thereby offering them an alternative.

    What many critics of porn fail to address is the allure, for some performers, in making money off of the types of stereotypes and slurs they grapple with every day in the real world. Many sex working women have cited feeling degraded by non-sex industry job experiences in which clients (or coworkers) sexually harassed or verbally abused them, and certainly almost every woman has experienced street harassment in which a stranger calls her a whore or a slut or tells her that he likes her tits. When this type of exchange is reenacted in a controlled environment, for money, to a ridiculously hyperbolic degree, it can create a sense of control over what has previously been an ugly ambush. I would imagine some black performers are willing to play racist roles because they feel the same way: these stereotypes confront them in the real world, so why not capitalize on what they'd inevitably face anyway? I understand porn critics find this to be a catch-22 in that the creation of racist porn perpetuates racist ideas, but it's ultimately a chicken vs. egg argument, and therefore unhelpful and distracting. We need to support high work standards for all porn performers and confront racism in all aspects of our society, rather than blame porn for creating the environment of racism and misogyny that's existed in this country for centuries.

  13. Shira Tarrant’s interview is an inadequate representation of my work since she fails to engage with the evidence and the arguments I am making about race and racism in the mainstream porn industry. I urge readers to go to the online version of my chapter called Racy Sex, Sexy Racism: Porn from the Dark Side.

  14. broadblogs says:

    This makes sense to me. In "Guyland," Michael Kimmel says that men of color are less likely to consume porn, partly because they don’t like how women of their race are portrayed.

    • MOVIE, REVIEWED says:

      Michael Kimmel – in my admittedly anecdotal experience as a Black man, who knows a lot of other Black men, I’ve NEVER heard a Black man say he avoided porn because he thought it was “racist”. We just find porn that suits our desires – just like the White guys (and the women of all races) do. Myself, I prefer Japanese fetish porn – not for racial reasons, but because I’m into the fetish stuff.

  15. The entire frame of the question is a big part of the problem. Why do people think they can judge an entire medium in such distinct terms as racist or not racist? Imagine, for a moment, if someone made the unequivocal statement that magazines are racist and sexist. I mean, there are plenty of examples out there to support the claim, but how do you think the folks at Ms, or Bitch, or Curve, etc would respond to being told such a thing?

    As a trans woman of color who's been in the mainstream industry and independently directed a groundbreaking film, I can say two things. First — yes, I have seen and dealt with racism in the industry, it's incredibly frustrating. However, racism is not unique to porn. I probably dealt with as much or more racism at my University.

    Second, by blaming the medium ("Porn is racist") rather than the behavior ("Racism exists within the porn industry"), it suggests that it's not even theoretically possible to create a porn film that isn't racist. In an attempt to make a more exciting claim (because let's face it, the latter claim is kinda obvious – racism exists everywhere) it lets the people engaging in racism off the hook by suggesting that reform is not possible and limits our options only to abolitionism. I will not accept that.

    Are books racist? Is higher education racist? Is the tech industry racist? Is porn racist? If those are the questions being asked I'd probably say yes, yes, yes, and yes. However, a broader frame is incredibly useful here. People have written books analyzing and critiquing racism, started ethnic studies departments, and made porn films specifically to counter existing racism. Should we call them racist too because they share a racist medium? To do so misses the point. It leads those of us committed to fighting racism to squabble among ourselves, angrily debating the legitimacy of each other's work and activism, rather than focusing together on tactics to change the dynamics we all clearly oppose.

  16. Interesting piece. I'd like to check out Dines' book as I'd be curious as to how she looks at porn beyond the "gonzo" films/scenes, and how race is used across the many *different* fantasy landscapes of porn. In my book HUNG: A Meditation on the Measure of Black Men in America, I do an entire chapter about performer/producer Lexington Steele, the complicated racial imagery that porn utilizes, and most importantly, the ways in which many different forms of desire get represented in the films. It's not as simple as calling porn "racist" because of its use of specific images and constructions.

  17. Kudos for including queer porn director Shine Louise Houston!

  18. Jairalee Jones says:

    Hey I just wanted to comment cause I happened to come across some porn with women of colored and I would have to say the abuse a lot of them were taking was beyond what I usually see with white women or any ther race for that matter. in defense I would also like to point out that it was black men who were the ones abusing these black women. However that is not to say it wasn't a white guy playing directer telling them to act out these sex scenes this way.

  19. Jairalee Jones says:

    Which is important to note because indespite of our new black president I see the media as trying to continue rascism in more subtle ways. Shit I hate saying this stuff because I probally sound ike some racsist cracker but largly what I'm seeing is the media refueling black anger trying desperatly to keep us divided. Take a lot of these twitter toics for example #thingswhitepeopledo #notallblackpeople and some of the cramercials on tv like that taco bell add, how racist would that cramercial look if the black guy and white guys role was reversed. As a white person it takes alot to offend me because hey we deserve a lot of the guilt we get but the only way that cramercial could not be racist is if the people in it are all black or all white. I feel that Taco bell cramercial was a specific comment towards white males that is too far rascist to be funny even towards white people, in my opinion.

  20. Jairalee Jones says:

    but once again I agree Black women seem to have a raw deal in porn. for me personally I liked being spanked, some good old fashion hair pulling but seriosly some of what I saw crosses a line. full out strangling women for porn theres no excuse for that.

  21. Jairalee Jones says:

    ok 1 last thing, I must appologize there appears there is also a bunch of white guys beating the shit out of women of color too.

    • I produce Fem Dom videos where Women (White, Black, Asian and Latin/ teens or MILFs,) Dominate and take advantage of men in sexual scenarios. The men I use are White, Black, Asian and Latin, and often I pair same ethnicities or opposites. Please take a look at my scene in Vivid's Rough Sex 2 where I dicuss the need for more Ethnic themed kink to show that the dynamic of Black BDSM does exist within the community and merely needs more representation on film. If you aren't seeing Black Men dominating women of different races, you merely need to seek that out. BDSM is not about race, its about sex. While some people both on camera and in their personal lives, I'm referring to civilians not porn performers in this reference,) do enjoy "race" play in their sexual play, race certainly is not a mainstay decision for BDSM or D/s play for everyone.

  22. Yes, porn is racist. There is porn of Amerikan soldiers raping Iraqi women and Arab on Jew porn, to take merely two examples.

    Why would anyone argue porn is merely fantasy, when we know mainstream commercial media affects the way we think–otherwise companies wouldn't pay so much money to advertise. Even for those of us that make an effort to dissociate from the mainstream media still find ourselves influenced by it. This can only be more so for a media format that one conditions oneself to orgasm to.

    • As someone who has written about Jewish porn stars, I'm curious about what you call "Arab on Jew" porn. Where is it located and how exactly is it racist?

  23. Of course there are counter examples for almost everything, but the truth is, most mainstream pornography is racist and the counter examples probably wouldn't even fit into the "mainstream" category. What are the majority of porn users looking at? Mainstream porn- it's the most accessible…you can often get it free on the internet. Since the mainstream pornography is overbearingly racist and sexist and most porn users watch mainstream, these racist and sexist images often stay in the users heads. It becomes the norm. Think about a little boy or girl (not having any sexual experience) stumbling upon these images. They might think that's how they need to act in a sexual situation. Overall, pornography a toxic industry and Gail Dines does a great job analyzing the ins and outs of it. This was a bad review in my opinion… does not give Dines enough credit for her amazing work.

    • I'd certainly agree that a lot of the good stuff is outside the mainstream and that there's a lot of mainstream stuff that's really messed up. However, Dines doesn't complain about mainstream porn, she complains about porn, period, end of sentence. Her anti-porn pledge doesn't ask people to stop watching mainstream porn, or racist porn, but all porn.

      I can't speak for others but I don't think anyone is claiming that mainstream porn is free from racism, other systems of oppression, and/or working conditions needing to be improved. I wouldn't even make that claim about the non-profit industry. The counter examples are being used to show that from a feminist and anti-racist perspective porn worth watching exists. And an abolitionist anti-porn perspective advocates abolishing these feminist and anti-racist ventures along with everything else. My point is that makes about as much sense as abolishing Ms Magazine because Cosmo, Seventeen, and other mainstream magazines are sexist.

    • How do you know that most mainstream porn is racist and misogynistic? Have you made a detailed tally? Has Dines?

      In both cases, the answer is no.

      Until such a tally is made, “innocent until proven guilty” applies.

  24. Hi Shira,

    There is a similar discussion happening over at Byron Hurt's Facebook page, in which one Black man is making that case that because he has spoken to a Black director of pornography, and some Black performers in pornography, and because they report experiencing very little racism, that we ought to conclude that racism isn't a problem in the international pornography industry/prostitution/trafficking/sex slave market. And to those who believe I'm artificially compressing experiences, please read all of what follows.

    Here's my response:
    To Anthony Springer – "As one whose interviewed a handful of black porn stars, including some black female directors, I've never heard anybody say the industry doesn't have some racist elements."

    First, on racist-misogynist elements here. As Pearl Cleage says, on matters of sexism and racism, it is for men/whites to maintain a posture of listening rather than a posture of defence. I recommend you reread Aganju's comments and analysis again, as it is damned sharp and on point, imo. And she's lived as a Black woman in this racist-misogynist society so soaked in pornography and other racist-misogynistic media that I believe you'd be wise to listen to her as much as you seem to listen to (if not fully hear) the women actors and directors you've interviewed in the pornography industry.

    On the matter of racism and misogyny and the pornography industry:

    Can you tell me what percentage of the 53 billion dollars annually earned by corporate pimps through the production and marketing of pornography is directed by Black women? I'll go out on a limb and say less than one thousandth of one percent. So whatever you heard from the people who you picked to speak to about a white male dominated globalised industry, doesn't speak much to the reality of most women in it. It'd be like you stating that you've interviewed some Black actors and directors in the non-pornographic film industry, and some reported to you that there's no much racism. So what? What does that have to do with all the racism that everyone else experiences?

    Can you tell me you've seen one website or genre of industry/corporate-produced pornography–I'm not speaking here of some fringe site operated by Black women that is about as representative of the industry as Barack Obama is of the color of our presidents historically–that is neither overtly racist or overtly sexist? I'm not asking you to post it here, or to post it anywhere. I'm asking if you know of any. A simple yes or no will suffice: corporate-produced and mass-distributed pornography?

    I know plenty of survivors of pornography and prostitution and you interviewing a few people tells me not a whole lot about them or their stories and experiences. That's what academics and social scientists call "anecdotal evidence". In this case it is being mediated through a man who has not been forthcoming in owning what his own levels of investment are in having visual access to images of exploited and raped women.

    I know nothing about what you asked those people, how you asked it, and how free the women you spoke with were/are to really speak their minds. Do you get that trauma survivors don't just sit down for an interview and speak about the matters about which we hold the most shame and self-contempt? About which women of color have been told, repeatedly, ought to be a source of their shame and self-contempt? Do you know if they spoke the whole truth to you what the consequence to them might be? Do you know if they'd get beaten for saying anything negative to you? Do you know if word would get around in their circles to not hire them? If you say "I know they wouldn't be beaten for speaking the whole truth and I know there would be no negative economic impact to them", how do you know that?

    As an ex-prostitute and close female friend of mine said: "Don't ask a girl or woman on the street [or in pornography] what she thinks of the business. Ask her twenty years after she's gotten out."

    [part two of my reply follows]

    • "Can you tell me you've seen one website or genre of industry/corporate-produced pornography–I'm not speaking here of some fringe site operated by Black women that is about as representative of the industry as Barack Obama is of the color of our presidents historically–that is neither overtly racist or overtly sexist? "

      There are plenty of 'mass-produced' websites that hawk feminist porn and instructional/educational porn. Adam & Eve is a large company – praised by Vanessa Blue – that distributes Nina Hartley's "How To…" series as well as Candida Royalle's "Femme" series. Then there are a whole host of lesbian-oriented porn sites, heralded by Girlfriends Films, Sweetheart Video, Triangle Films and Greywood Entertainment, whose website is nothing but women kissing each other. None of these sites are amateur, or 'independent' in the tokenistic sense. The Feminist Porn Awards – held each year in Toronto – covers the spectrum, including others I have omitted. Each year, they award a performer or director with an 'Emma' – named after Emma Goldman, the famous anarchist, socialist and unrepentant sex worker.

  25. Because part of doing that work requires such intense levels of dissociation and denial about the impact of the trauma, physically and psychically, that she may not be able to give you a very complete answer while she's doing the work. In exactly the same way that anyone in any traumatic environment who is required, economically or interpersonally–such as by a pimp, to be there, will not be able to tell you the whole truth of their experience. That you assume otherwise about women in prostitution-pornography only tells me you are going to hear what you want to hear and not factor in what those women won't tell you directly. And that those silences may be saying more than what they express in words to you. And if you think they're being "completely honest" with you, how would you possibly know that? Through what means of apprehension? I'm not calling any woman you've spoken to a liar. I'm saying you're in no position to tell me when someone is able to tell you the whole truth about an industry that profits off of rape and pays women more to be serially sexually assaulted, or, at the very least, grossly exploited, in front of a camera than to do anything else in society.

    Now, given that we're talking about a globalised political and economic phenomenon which necessarily involves trafficked and enslaved children and women, what case are you making for the industry's existence as something that might only be a little bit racist? Given that most females who are in either/both begin at age fourteen– in the West, what are you saying about the health and welfare of and for those in it? Given that 1.3 million South Asian Indian children alone are enslaved and being used/abused by men, many from the West, and that one in three Indigenous North American women is raped in her lifetime, and that population of raped and sexually exploited people is disproportionately poor and homeless, and/or pimped and procured, what are you here to say about how unracist and non-misogynistic and non-classist the pornography industry is?

    And might it likely be the case that Gail Dines, who has been speaking with women about this, women in and out of these industries, for decades, might know a good deal more about who is harmed and how and why, than do you?

    For more see here:

    From the second website, above, a statement, by women of color who have escaped systems of sexist/racist/classist exploitation and abuse. I'll close with their words and will ask you, Anthony, what do you have to say to them about how your position on this matter helps achieve for them meaningful justice and freedom from rape and other gross sexual assault? And what do you have to say to the women and girls in India, whose bodies are being pimped, procured, trafficked, and enslaved, and photographed and distributed to male "consumers" right this minute? You want to make a case to me that those phenomena are unrelated? I welcome hearing you try to do so. I'd argue that to be humane, as a man, is to be fully accountable to Aganju, to the girls and women working in Apne Aap, and to the women of AWAN-Canada, and to every other woman who is negatively impacted by pornography and other systems of racist-sexist harm and exploitation. Here's a portion of their statement. Please let me know what you think and feel about this.

    URL to the statement by Aboriginal women in Canada:

    • I don’t even know where to begin here. Perhaps here; As someone that has been in the adult film industry for over 17 years and has made a career as a performer, agent, director, producer, sex worker, writer and educator, I find deep resentment towards your attempt to align illegal sex trafficking of minors with the legitimate porn industry. Your attempt at equating what I do for a living – voluntarily, with those of children that are clearly being exploited by individuals and systemically by social or economic status in their countries only undermines the efforts of those that would help to get those children out of situations that are harmful to their overall being. Your anti-porn attitude would have you believe like so many that “no woman in he right mind would do…” and therefore that we would have to lie or hide our truths in order to justify our involvement in porn because you cant understand that some of us actually enjoy what we do and don’t need a fix, a pimp or some tragic background or history to make it so.

      Your commentary that porn profits off rape is invalid here, as there is no documented statistics that porn leads to rape or violence. While your statements about the numbers of South Asian Indian children and Indigenous American women and their rape statistics are valid in and of themselves, you went on a tangent in attempting to tie them to pornography. The illegal sex trade in a 3rd world country is not synonymous with the legal sex trade in the United States. Someone that photographs a child for the purpose of rape is certainly not the same that someone that photographs me, a 36 year old woman with 3 children, 2 degrees from USC, a great relationship with my parents, a loving relationship and home, signs a model release, provides 2 government issued IDs, collects a pay check, receives 30-40 1099s at the beginning of the year and pays taxes on that income! Please don’t compare myself and the over 2000s working ADULTS in the “mainstream” porn industry with that of an exploited CHILD. There is a BIG difference, and if you don’t know what that difference is yet, I invite you to come to one of my production sets, either as a performer or as a director so you might see exactly what the difference is. Until then, until you have real world experience as to what these truths really are then I suggest you separate your arguments instead of drawing a correlation between 2 completely different worlds.

  26. Feminist anti-racist pornography is an oxymoron. As for mainstream pornography, why should it be different than anything else in the mainstream? This culture is thoroughly corrupt, sexist, and racist. Pornography in general is more likely to be an exemplar of all that than an exception.

    • "Feminist anti-racist pornography is an oxymoron."

      Can you explain that a bit more? I've talked with some folks who would say, if it's feminist and anti-racist then we should use the word "erotica" rather than the word "pornography." In that case, it's pretty much an issue of conflicting language use.

      Or do you believe that it's literally impossible to depict people engaged in sexual activity while also challenging misogyny and white supremacy? If so, why is that so? Is it the fact people are engaged in sexual activity? An issue of whether it's sold or not? Makes a profit or not? Uses video or not?

      As someone who makes pornography from a feminist and oppression-aware perspective and uses porn to call out and address important community and political issues, I'm pretty interested in what people have to say on the matter. Do you have any ideas how this work could be done better? Or would you simply tell me to get rid of all the sex in my films and turn them into documentaries and short films?

      • "I've talked with some folks who would say, if it's feminist and anti-racist then we should use the word "erotica" rather than the word "pornography." In that case, it's pretty much an issue of conflicting language use."

        My very first comment on this series made that point. Since I was ridiculed for distinguishing erotica from pornography in that way, I quoted Gloria Steinem elaborating on the distinction, which I think is a critical element of the dispute over pornography, but the defenders of pornography prefer to ignore it, or pretend it is distorted or meaningless, or as Sheldon described my language two days ago, "great poetry, to be sure, but useless as a matter of public policy."

        • Neither you nor Steinem have applied the distinction to make judgments over particular XXX-rated films whose advocates maintained met the definition of “erotic”.

          The credibility of this distinction would be enhanced if you viewed several of the films cited by, say, the Feminist Porn Awards of Toronto and then wrote a detailed review saying why film A is erotic but film B is pornographic, even though both are rated XXX.

        • Thanks for clarifying, I wasn't around here back when the first post went up. Even looking at that comment now, is the larger paragraph a quote? I didn't see quote marks or a citation.

          In any case, the porn-erotica distinction is something I've always struggled with. Please let me go over some ways the practicality of it has fallen apart for me. To begin with, it's a distinction that simply doesn't matter to a lot of people. For example, I organized my premiere screening and the first theater I was working with turned me down based on the sexual content. They had originally said it was okay, so I tried talking with them about it. I even had a discussion with them about the difference between porn and erotica and sexual material informed by a feminist consciousness — they didn't care and specifically didn't want to review or evaluate the material. In their eyes, it's all porn and could reflect negatively on them.

          Similarly, I've tried to get my DVD covers printed by a local printer, but had to go with an out of town printer because after calling a dozen places, about 3/4 turned me down outright — again not caring about whether it's erotica or porn. The remaining 1/4 just couldn't offer competitive prices. Again when I was manufacturing DVDs. 2 months into negotiating a deal and organizing materials I sent everything off to a manufacturer and made my payment, only for them to tell me that because of the content of the DVDs they didn't want my business.

          Along the same lines, whether it's erotica or porn doesn't make a difference to 2257 reporting laws. Any government laws, restrictions, or prosecutions of "porn" apply just as equally to "erotica." So when anti-porn feminists declare that egalitarian porn is an oxymoron, all the politicians and government hears is that all sexually explicit media needs to be restricted and controlled. Take for example the recent anti-porn restrictions in Australia which have banned women with A cup size breasts or women who ejaculate from performing in porn — all justified by politicians applying feminist anti-porn sound bites.

          And in the end, even among anti-porn feminists the distinction between erotica and pornography is extremely slippery. Gloria Steinem wrote in "Pornography and Erotica: A Clear and Present Distinction," about how porn is exploitative and erotica is egalitarian. Yet she spent almost 1/3 of the article lambasting BDSM as the quintessential example of exploitative porn. That has more to do with personal biases against sexual minorities than actual understanding of exploitation in such relationships.

          In my film, for example, there is a scene between me and my (then) partner, who asks me explicitly to slap her face. I asked "Are you sure?" and she says "yes, please," then I do so. Steinem's interpretation would say that qualifies the scene as pornographic. Even some of the comments here in this discussion explicitly name face slapping as a major part of the problem with porn. However, all I see is a relationship where each party feels confident in naming their sexual needs and having them met. So I would call my work "erotica" but there would still be anti-porn feminists who call it pornography (and theaters, and printers, and dvd manufacturers, and the government — who all consider it pornography as well, even if it didn't have the face slapping). I imagine that asking people to sign the anti-porn pledge and not watch porn or date someone who does very well could be construed to include my work.

          The main conclusion I'm forced to reach is that when anti-porn feminists attack "pornography," it impacts erotica as well as pornography, even if that is not the intention. Just like when you say that feminist and anti-racist porn is an oxymoron, I expect the vast majority of readers will take that as an indictment of the work by women of color cited in the article, as well as anyone else trying to make feminist and anti-racist media that you would characterize as "erotica," but most everyone else calls porn.

          • "The main conclusion I'm forced to reach is that when anti-porn feminists attack "pornography," it impacts erotica as well as pornography, even if that is not the intention."

            Is that our fault, or is that situation created by those who deny the distinction has any meaning?

          • It's not about fault, it's about impact. I'm not looking for someone to blame, I'm saying that statements like the one you made are consistently interpreted in ways that hurt the people you claim to support. Even if we were to say the blame for the situation lies with those who purposefully or ignorantly assume that anti-porn feminists are using the most common definition of "porn," it's still a situation that you have control over. You don't even have to change your language to do so.

            For example, your above comment led me, and presumably a great number of other folks, to assume you meant any sexually explicit material is automatically racist and sexist. But it now seems your intent was to suggest that if it truly is anti-racist and feminist it ought to be called erotica rather than porn. It would not be hard to make your meaning explicitly clear and prevent that misinterpretation.

            However, that was only one section of what I was talking about. My major problem with the distinction is that I've found the distinction to be used as a way to enforce sexual norms formed within personal biases. Without any specific criteria to distinguish porn and erotica (like Sheldon asks for above), I've found in practice it becomes "porn is that icky stuff that you like, erotica is the lovely stuff that I like."

            I've seen the porn-erotica distinction used to suppress films with queer sex, kinky sex, and fisting. I've seen it used to protest a safe sex pamphlet on fisting, as well as the aforementioned small breasted women and female ejaculation. I've never actually seen it used to suppress violent media. When violent media has been challenged, I've always heard it discussed as an issue of "violent porn" as opposed to just regular, presumably non-violent, "porn."

            Regardless of fault, if I saw my rhetoric being misused like that, I'd want to do something about it — at least to challenge and correct that mis-usage. And I'm somewhat concerned and perhaps disillusioned when you simply cast it off as not your fault. It leads me to question if you truly do support erotica when you don't seem to care that your rhetoric is having as much or more of an impact in independent queer feminist producers than on monolithic mainstream porn (who have their own infrastructure of manufacturers, theaters, and lawyers and can easily surmount the challenges I've been faced with).

            Hell, I'd probably be an anti-porn feminist if I could consistently rely on the porn-erotica distinction to distinguish exploitation from free sexual expression. But I see it used against material I support too often to even consider relying on it.

  27. What's most important here is the porn industry as a whole and the effect of that industry on real human beings. That's what we should focus on.

    I'm not exactly sure how much porn is consumed on the internet but I know it's public fact that internet porn does constitute the vast majority of porn that is used. And as Cameron has made clear, racist, sexist, and misogynistic porn is by far the most accessible. This means that most of what people are watching is sexualizing domination, hierarchy, violence, etc… And women are the ones who have to pay the most.

    Kenny made the point that this then becomes the norm because it is the mainstream. If most porn consumers are watching material that sexualizes these things, then those things will most likely be sexualized in real intimate relationships. The violent and sexist behavior in porn has been found to be acted out in more and more relationships.

    It is the effect of porn AS AN INSTITUTION, an industry AS A WHOLE, and its effect on real human beings that is important.


    It doesn't matter if there is non-racist porn.

    It doesn't matter if there is egalitarian porn.

    What matters is that THE MAJORITY of porn sexualizes behavior that shouldn't be sexualized and that this translates into a more pornified culture where violence against women increases. The porn industry does NOT deserve to be maintained simply because there are a few examples of "nice" porn. I will never criticize someone for what they do in their own bedroom because it's none of my business, but I will criticize a capitalist industry that profits from material that perpetuates the fear and domination inherent in capitalist patriarchy.

    • MOVIE, REVIEWED says:

      So, basically you're calling for censorship because you don't like other people's fantasies.

      That's a problematical position.

      Also, where is your evidence that pornography causes violence against women?

      Isn't there fairly widespread violence against women in every patriarchal society – which is to say every country in the world?

      Pornography is illegal in Iran, and Somalia, and Afghanistan,and Saudi Arabia – and it goes without saying that there is fairly widespread violence against women in all of those countries.

      Finally, the claim that you are for sexual freedom but against pornography is bogus. Since pornography provides a sexual outlet/masturbation aide for the unpartnered, and for those in sexually dissatisfying relationships, in effect banning porn is a direct attack on their sexual freedom.

      • The porn industry is ruled by heterosexual men, just like Hollywood is ruled by heterosexual men. Their perception of women is seductress or sweet school girl. Thus, women are always portrayed as some sort of fantasy, pornographic or not.

        With that being said, most women in the movies have big breasts and perfect bodies to uphold that male fantasy of the perfect woman. Don't believe me? Read M. Butterfly, and you'll learn how fantasy can interfere with reality.

    • One hundred years ago in the US, there was no pornography, and certainly no porn industry.

      So how did that work out for women? Were they better off then then they are now?

      • you are straying away from the point. we should be focusing on what is happening now, to women and men and all genders because of pornography. our sexuality is being capitalized to say the least. It was an entirely different time 100 years ago and it wasn't just because there was "no pornography," which I'm not even sure is true. read "Getting Off" by Robert Jensen if you want a lot of well supported stats on the problems of pornography. it's overwhelming.

      • C'helle Egalité Griffin says:

        Pornographic images have been circulating in the US for well over 100 years. You make a non-argument. But let's suppose you had been correct–what of your "unpartnered" and "those in sexually dissatisfying relationships" 100 years ago? The logical extension of your argument would assume that their sexual freedom could only be guaranteed by fostering a pornography industry. Face it; there is no male right to sex. There is a right to pursue sexual partnerships, but there is not a right to simply have sex or to have your imagination catered to. If there were, then that would predicate not only a fostering of a pornography industry, but pornography by mandate. It would also mean institutionalizing rape. Your position is untenable.


    Hey, Nicole, remember when DillDill screamed that out?

    I took that statement at face value and politely inquired if that were true during a time when there was no porn industry. Not only was I NOT straying from the point DillDill was raising, I was addressing it head-on. I took what he said to its logical conclusion. If you don't like the conclusion, then you need to take it up with DillDill, not me, OK?

  29. the comment above that begins with the assertion that "In mainstream pornography, the domination and degradation of women is not only sexualized, but sold back to us as 'sexual liberation' and 'empowerment.'" takes it for granted that images of women enjoying sex are, BY DEFINITION, degrading . . .
    . . . it's obviously foolish to claim that porn never involves degradation [so in fact do lots of other genres] but to insist that it is essentially and inescapably degrading is to prejudge precisely what needs to be determined, and — in fact — to deny women the right to call their own sexual shots, which can hardly count as empowerment

  30. This is awesome, and thank god for people like Miller-Young and Sinnamon Love! Love this quote:

    "In any case, Miller-Young points out, “If you really want to understand porn from the view of women of color you need to talk to them, not just evaluate their experiences based on the titles of the movies they appear in.”'

    So classic! It reminds me of Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinist Pigs — all about how porn and sex work is the end of the wrold as we know it, and hardly a single interview with a sex worker.

    Of course sex work is an easy target, if you're looking for sexism and racism. But once you delve a little deeper (no pun intended) into the world of porn or anything else, it becomes a lot more complicated — and that's probably why Danes et al never talk to actual sex workers. She would have to actually consider the truth of her totally biased social commentary. Also, love this quote from Love:

    "Racism is a symptom of the bigger problem of society and porn no more contributes to that than any other form of commercial media."

    So true! Porn is just an easy target.

  31. (White)Porn actresses report receiving less wages in their career if they ever participlate in an 'interracial' film. How is that not racist?

    • It would be racist if it were true.

      Nina Hartley has appeared in dozens of interracial flicks and has not reported this, for example. Who has?

      • Aaah but she is intelligent and has carved out a niche for herself that most other porn actresses can't compete with. She is lucky, thousands of others aren't.

    • Sasha Grey, who is currently appearing on Entourage on HBO and was a featured star in Steven Soderberg's The Girlfriend Experience, has appeared in Interracial Films. As as company owner and contract director Belladonna. Along with AVN Female Performer of the Year Hillary Scott. As well as one time Vivid and Wicked Contract Girl Julia Ann, and one time Vivid Girl Raylene… I could go on. While white performers might have once been told this, this is certainly not true any longer as more and more women are crossing over to "the dark side." It is not to say that they might not "save" their "First IR," for a bigger paycheck.. but they certainly aren't being paid less… but rather being paid MORE for doing it. Now that speaks of racism in a sense, but not in the context in which you speak.

    • where can i find this statistic? i have heard it before but do you know where i could find the actual reference?

  32. Nina Hartley is not only intelligent, but as a socialist, she is concerned with the fate of all workers in her industry. If she knew of a practice where white women were, as a rule, paid less because they appeared in interracial films, she would not keep quiet about it.

    She won the first ‘Emma’ from the Feminist Porn Awards in Toronto. The FPA doesn’t give out that award to spotlight a pretty face.

  33. The porn industry, as with any other industry, is regulated by it’s consumers. As long as there are masturbating racists there will be racist pornography. Denying them racist porn will not stop them being racist, and the lack of racist porn available will not affect those who avoid it already (on account of them not liking racist porn in the first place).

    Speaking of masturbation, this article is pure intellectual self-stimulation and reading the comments here I would extend the same judgement to those. Let’s all give ourselves a big pat on the back for having something to say about something we don’t really understand.

  34. “Oh No! There’s a Negro in My Mom.”

    Can I just say I actually absolutely love this title. It feels like a damn parody of 50s life. It seems like an intentional throwback to the days of ‘dad in his den reading lad mags with a corncob pipe, a smoker’s robe, and no pants.’

    It sounds like it could also be a slick sitcom skit off of Chappelle show making fun of interracial babies being the result of racist housewife fetish fuel. (like a reversal of the Thomas Jefferson slave position) Chappelle-as-a-child-in-whiteface/greasepaint comes in as mom is going “Ooohh ho hooo my IT IS TRUE!” and delivers the titular line.

    Really, you could just have a lot of fun with this title. It delivers on many tastelessly hilarious levels.

  35. Gail Dines, like other members of the anti-porn movement, does not understand consent, does not understand the nature of fantasy, has very little handle on issues of (self-/other-)representation, and badly misunderstands sexuality generally. She also presumes as a white persyn to speak for (and over the voices of) people of color, which is not okay. Her anti-porn crusades are not worth our time; this attention should be given to Shine Louise Houston instead.

  36. Ms. Lovegood says:

    “Is pornography racist?”

    Jesus christ, this is actually a question, a debate?
    Yes. A thousand times, yes.

    Anja Flower: Please, oh please, tell us all what is “okay” and “not okay”, please call all of us out, spell person wrong, and then claim to understand Gail Dines entire knowledge about sexuality, her knowledge of consent, and how she understands “fantasy”, as you call it.

    How can you possibly claim to understand what another human being knows? Do you even fully understand what consent means, what fantasy is, yourself? Do you even have a handle on issues of whatever the heck it is you are talking about? Do you have personal chats with Gail and all of the members of the anti-pornography movement? What is your evidence that proves any of the things you claim to understand?

    Then you claim, after speaking for a whole movement and for another human being’s personal beliefs (not to mention a human I’ve doubt you have ever met in person, then again I do not know), that it is “not okay” to speak for persons of color. Did it ever occur to you that there are women of color within the anti-pornography movement? You realize you are speaking for them, right, by oversimplifying their beliefs? Or is it just okay to oversimplify the beliefs of others that you just don’t like? I wouldn’t even do that to this article, although I do think the whole debate is ludicrous and insane. I would never assume that Shirra’s reasons for writing it are simple.

    There are complex reasons why people believe what they do. Maybe you can learn something by not making assumptions and ridiculous generalizations.

  37. Why is it that black men complain about discrimination in porn? I mean there are like 100x more black men in porn than Asian men. If anything it is the latter that experiences more rejection in the American porn industry. A ton of white women have and continue to do interracial so why all the fuss? Menu styles is the only male of Asian descent to become a prolific performer in straight porn here in the west. Yet he is British Asian not Asian American! He’s big here now in American porn but that’s only because he was already popular in Europe. So the fact is that not one Asian male has become prolific by starting his porn career in America. Now if that’s not discrimination then I don’t know what is. Please I would like to hear anyone’s comments

  38. porn is fucked up. anyone who disagrees with that statement needs help. the idea of porn isn’t bad, two people having sex. but the industry goes about their business in an extremely degrading way. they basically reinforce all negative stereotypes about sexuality, sex(male/female), domination and of course race, probably plenty more too.

    im guessing the reason is because their main audience(the ones who actually pay for porn) is older white males.
    A business is a business, if the day were to come where blacks ruled america, you would quickly see business trying to please black stereotypes as much as possible because the main consumers would be black.
    business care about making money first and foremost

  39. I believe that porn definitely has racial elements. From my understanding The porn industry is mainly ruled by white heterosexual men, just like Hollywood is ruled by white heterosexual men. Their perception of women is seductress or sweet school girl. Thus, women are always portrayed as some sort of fantasy, pornographic or not. With that being said, most women in the movies have big breasts and perfect bodies to uphold that male fantasy of the perfect woman. Women of color, as Dines addresses, are typically relegated to the most dehumanizing acts in porn and are seen as hypersexual, animalistic and subservient. I think this article has good intentions of how people ignore the mainstream porn industry which is presently abusing, exploiting and dehumanizing real, live women of color.

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