Skeptic Con

February 25, 2009

Women Degrading Themselves

Filed under: culture war,Sexuality — skepticcon @ 11:54 pm
Tags: , ,

It’s often said that women who participate in pornography are degrading themselves, but I fail to see how this is so.  What’s degrading to some people is not necessarily degrading to others.  Like it or not, saying, “A woman who has sex on camera for money is degrading herself,” is purely a subjective opinion.

The point is that she’s comfortable enough with that level of “degradation” as long as she’s being compensated.  How is this different from what all of us do everyday?  How many people have drawn the line at certain jobs they would not do, regardless of the money?  How many women draw the line at stripping or working at Hooters.  How many people would never “degrade” themselves by sitting in the audience of a Jerry Springer show?

We’re talking about a matter of subjective opinion.  With porn stars, there seems to be this added element of sexual degradation.  Because a woman’s sexuality is usually viewed through a hallowed lens, it’s seen as much more depraved, much more horrible, when the female body is the subject of the perceived degradation.  Again, this is still a matter of subjective opinion.  Plenty of people will also tell you that women degrade themselves if they masturbate, use a sex toy, show too much skin, get a tattoo, dance the wrong way, or have casual sex.

I once saw a grown woman on the reality show Fear Factor eat a block of rotten cheese that was literally crawling with maggots.  Gagging and puking, bile and drool hanging from her mouth, she choked it down, chewing live maggots, on camera for a chance at winning fifty thousand dollars.  Just a chance of winning.

Contrast that with a female porn star, a woman who has sex on camera for a regular paycheck.

Now, I’m almost positive that there are women out there who would not eat maggot-ridden rotten cheese on national television for a chance to win fifty grand.  In fact, I would bet there are female porn stars out there who would think that eating maggoty cheese on Fear Factor is beneath them.

My intent is not to be an apologist for pornography.  However, in my opinion, there are absolutely more disgraceful things a woman can do to herself.  Me personally, I’d take the porn star home to meet Mom before the woman who was willing to gorge herself on rotten cheese and maggots.  I’d have more reason to distrust a woman who’s cheated on someone she loved than I would a woman who’s worked as a prostitute.  I even tend to think most porn stars and prostitutes have more self-respect than the drunken twits who perform sex acts for free on Girls Gone Wild videos.

But again, that’s just an opinion.  At least I can recognize it as such.  I see far too many moralizers, conservative social crusaders, and pop psychologists on TV stating an opinion and yet treating it as moral truth.  I have a wild idea: Perhaps adults should be deciding for themselves what does and does not degrade them.

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