Pornography

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Life is raw material. We are artisans. We can sculpt our existence into something beautiful, or debase it into ugliness. It's in our hands.
Cathy Better
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Pornography is the representation of the human body or sexual activity with the goal of sexual arousal.

  • [I can't define what is pornography.] "But I know it when I see it."
    • popular paraphrase of Potter Stewart, opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964)
  • Obscenity is a cleansing process, whereas pornography only adds to the murk.
  • I once stole a pornographic book that was printed in Braille. I used to rub the dirty parts.
  • PORNOGRAPHY: A two-dimensional substitute for that which the consumer cannot accomplish in three.
  • When we fall for arguments against pornography or "obscenity", we hand repressive agents the tool for censoring our speech. It is not their speech – their remarkably sexist speech – that will be censored; it is our own. Because the view that women really do own, and have a right to control, our own bodies and our own sexuality is still a subversive and modern idea, and the legislators who support "decency" legislation don't like our idea very much. These are people who believe that women's liberation is the very Devil himself. Don't let them exploit your fears to fuel their repressions.
  • Erotica is simply high-class pornography; better produced, better conceived, better executed, better packaged, designed for a better class of consumer.
  • Pornography is used in rape - to plan it, to execute it, to choreograph it, to engender the excitement to commit the act.
    • Andrea Dworkin, testimony before the New York Attorney General's Commission on Pornography in 1986
  • Feminists are often asked whether pornography causes rape. The fact is that rape and prostitution caused and continue to cause pornography. Politically, culturally, socially, sexually, and economically, rape and prostitution generated pornography; and pornography depends for its continued existence on the rape and prostitution of women.
  • Women, for centuries not having access to pornography and now unable to bear looking at the muck on the supermarket shelves, are astonished. Women do not believe that men believe what pornography says about women. But they do. From the worst to the best of them, they do.
  • Pornography is the orchestrated destruction of women's bodies and souls; rape, battery, incest, and prostitution animate it; dehumanization and sadism characterize it; it is war on women, serial assaults on dignity, identity, and human worth; it is tyranny. Each woman who has survived knows from the experience of her own life that pornography is captivity -- the woman trapped in the picture used on the woman trapped wherever he's got her.
  • The pornographers actually use our bodies as their language. We are their speech. . . . Protecting what they 'say' means protecting what they do to us, how they do it. It means protecting their sadism on our bodies, because that is how they write: not like a writer at all; like a torturer.
  • Men characterize pornography as something mental because their minds, their thoughts, their dreams, their fantasies, are more real to them than women's bodies or lives; in fact, men have used their social power to characterize a $10-billion-a-year trade in women as fantasy.
  • Pornography is the essential sexuality of male power: of hate, of ownership, of hierarchy; of sadism, of dominance."
  • Pornography incarnates male supremacy. It is the DNA of male dominance. Every rule of sexual abuse, every nuance of sexual sadism, every highway and byway of sexual exploitation, is encoded in it.
  • What's the difference between art and pornography... a government grant!
  • No one knows what pornography is. Supreme Court says pornography is anything without artistic merit that causes sexual thought, that's their definition, essentially. No artistic merit, causes sexual thought. Hmm. Sounds like... every commercial on television, doesn't it? You know, when I see those two twins on that Doublemint commercial - I'm not thinking of gum. I am thinking of chewing, maybe that's the connection they're trying to make.
  • Though watching porn may seem degrading to some women, the fact is that it's one of the few jobs for women where you can get to a certain level, look around, and feel so powerful, not just in the work environment but as a sexual being. So, fuck Gloria Steinem.
    • Jenna Jameson, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale
  • To this day, I can't watch my own sex scenes.
    • Jenna Jameson, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale
  • Pornography is literature designed to be read with one hand.
  • The difference between pornography and erotica is lighting.
  • Men may buy pornography but women pay for it – in terms of exploitation, rape, violence, and a society that sees them as disposable sexual objects.
    • Rosalie Maggio The Dictionary of Bias-Free Usage (1991)
  • Pornography is the theory, rape is the practice.
    • Robin Morgan, Theory and Practice: Pornography and Rape (1974)
  • But fantasy kills imagination, pornography is death to art.
  • Pornography is pornography, what is there to see? Movies are attempting to destroy something that's supposed to be the most beautiful thing a man and a woman can have by making it cheap and common. It's what you don't see that's attractive.
  • Pornography is about dominance. Erotica is about mutuality.
  • Erotica: The depiction of naked men. Depictions of naked women are far less innocent and are known as "pornography".
    • Richard Summerbell, Abnormally Happy: A Gay Dictionary, 1985
  • In practice, attempts to sort out good erotica from bad porn inevitably comes down to 'What turns me on is erotica; what turns you on is pornographic.'
  • What do my science fiction stories have in common with pornography? Fantasies of an impossibly hospitable world, I'm told.
    • Kurt Vonnegut, Conversations with Kurt Vonnegut (1988), Pg. 133


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