Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Why All Feminists Should Be PRO-SEX Feminists

Female sexuality has always been a touchy subject even since the 60's when sex became "kind of okay". But there seems to be no logical reasoning behind it. Male sexuality is so deeply engrained into our culture that we have naked women on the front page of magazines, ready for young boys to see so they know exactly what to expect from women in their adult years.

Second wave feminism in the 1970's challenged these ideas surrounding female sexuality. Women were protesting for abortions, and in 1974 The Pill became readily available for young single women in Britain. Feminist writers such as Angela Carter appeared in the mid to late seventies publishing works explicitly exploring female sexuality; in such work we would see female characters who wanted to be dominated, menstruation was discussed like the norm that it is, and females actually enjoying sex.

In the 1980's sex-positive or pro-sex feminism became widely recognised following many protests against sex work, pornography and BDSM by some feminist organisations. Pro-sex feminism is the belief in the sexual liberation of women, following on from what was discussed in the late 70's.

Sex Work
Many feminist organisations disagree with sex workers such as strippers, exotic dancers and prostitutes. Sex-positive feminists believe that both men and women can have positive experiences in the sex work environment, providing that environment is not linked to abuse or trafficking. It is generally accepted by pro-sex feminists to not stigmatise or discriminate against sex workers, male or female.

A lot of feminists find pornography to be sexually discriminatory to women, and a lot of women forbid their husbands or boyfriends to watch it as well as campaign to make pornography illegal. However pro-sex feminists believe that criminalising pornography violates female freedom of speech. There is nothing specifically degrading to women about pornography, and it is watched and enjoyed by men as well as women across the world. Also, professional pornography (as opposed to home-videos and revenge-porn) involve actors who have consented to be in the film.

BDSM is the practice of bondage and sadomasochism and, like pornography, is enjoyed by both men and women all over the world. The mantra of the BDSM community is "safe, sane, consensual", meaning that true BDSM has to involve consent. With that said, discriminating against women who have chosen that lifestyle from themselves is more demeaning to their sexuality than the practice itself. Some feminists view BDSM as glorifying misogyny and rape, however roles in BDSM are not fixed to gender - males can be the submissive and females can be the dominant.

Overall, the sex-positive view of feminism is the one that will push the movement forwards. By restricting female sexuality and the exploration of this sexuality, is effectively pushing feminism back to pre-second wave. As a movement and as a community, man or woman, feminists should strive to move forwards towards complete equality. With the complete disregard for female sexual liberation from members of our own community, there is no hope.

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