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Feminists and porn

In the freshly printed Overland 207, long-time feminists Gail Dines and Sharon Smith debate the priorities for today’s women’s movement, and where exactly porn fits in:

Gail Dines

Without doubt, the porn question has, since the 1970s, been the most controversial and divisive issue in the women’s movement. Radical feminists see the production and consumption of porn as a form of violence against women, while liberal, and many postmodern, feminists argue that it is an issue of sexual freedom, fantasy, choice and, in some cases, sexual liberation. The battle is actually one based on theoretical differences, since radical feminists situate their arguments within a wider social theory that owes much to a left-wing analysis of the role of images, culture, ideology and power in capitalist society.

Read ‘Porn and the misogyny emergency’.

Also available online is Toufic Haddad’s essay on the Arab Spring so far, ‘The Arab Revolutions reloaded’:

By now, it is the stuff of legend: Muhammad Bouazizi, fed up with police harassment and poverty, douses himself in kerosene and sets himself alight in front of the local municipality. And so it began, more than one year ago in the ruin of a Tunisian backwater called Sidi Bouzid.

Just like that the dry forests of the contemporary Arab order were set ablaze – flames rising from Morocco in the west, to Bahrain in the east, Yemen in the south, to Syria in the north. Three hundred million people seemingly on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

Heads would roll, pyramids crumble. Commentators worked overtime for the most appropriate analogy to describe what was unfolding. Was it 1848, 1968, or perhaps 1989? If historical metaphors failed, colours, fabrics or seasonal allusions lay ready.

Overland 207 will be in stores within the next fortnight. If you can’t wait that long, subscribe now.

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