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Feminist porn 'challenges traditional gender roles'

The Local · 1 Sep 2009, 16:21

Published: 01 Sep 2009 16:21 GMT+02:00

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A few years ago I was asked if I wanted to make a short film on a mobile phone. The result was Come Together, a film in which a number of women point the camera at their faces while masturbating.

The film was put onto the internet and provoked a strong reaction. A lot of the reactions were negative, with comments like: "Damn, they're ugly. Could they not at least have put on some make-up." I found the comments interesting. They showed that we're still living with the age-old belief that a woman and her sexuality should please the beholder above all else.

Throughout the history of art, the image of woman has been created by men. The gaze has been a man's gaze and female sexuality has been limited to a few identities that have suited the patriarchal system (and the male artistic ego): whore, wife, mother, muse.

Now, in 2009, it's high time for a change. With this in mind I asked a number of female artists, film makers and activists to each make an erotic film showing new images of women and sexuality, images that are not created with a profit motive or for the benefit of a male audience.

We have been faced with many questions. Is there a female sexuality that can be differentiated from its male counterpart and, if so, what does it look like? Is it possible to be subject and object at the same time? How can we liberate our own sexual imagination from the commercial images we see every day and that seep into our subconscious minds?

In many ways we have had to reinvent ourselves. In order to create a new genre. And to view the world with a new gaze.

So what is feminist porn? There's no easy answer to that question. Dirty Diaries is made up of twelve very different films: soft erotica and hardcore porn, hetero and homo, provocation, penetration and visual poetry... This is just the beginning, and I hope to see the creation of more alternative images that challenge stereotypical gender roles.

Story continues below…

This article was originally published in Swedish on the Newsmill opinion and analysis website.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

00:44 September 2, 2009 by shiraz
This is a noble effort. We definitely need this though a part of me whispers "priorities". Is this a priority over investment in alleviating global warming? Or eradicating disease ? This is definitely important though in a very luxurious way.
18:46 September 2, 2009 by Lisaann
Why do we need this kind of media? and the point is????
18:59 September 2, 2009 by anthonyx26
"I found the comments interesting. They showed that we're still living with the age-old belief that a woman and her sexuality should please the beholder above all else. "

Uhh...noooo, you're confusing two distinct things here. _Porn_ should please the eye of the beholder (for both males and females viewing it). The personal sexuality of porn actors may be (and likely is) completely different than what is portrayed in the porn film itself.

Many varied imagery please the eye of many varied beholders. But even in this complex world of fantasy, does the same not hold true for both sexes...that a woman _or_ man and her or his sexuality should please the eye of the beholder (likely a partner or spouse). Afterall, people generally don't get all that excited about someone else if they don't feel a level of attraction toward that person (for either physical and/or emotional reasons).

- anthonyx26
21:51 September 2, 2009 by hilt_m

you got it in one. good comment
09:55 September 3, 2009 by Fishtank
LOL! Awesome. Sweden amazes me.
21:46 September 3, 2009 by corndog
"I found the comments interesting. They showed that we're still living with the age-old belief that a woman and her sexuality should please the beholder above all else."

No ... that's a silly conclusion. The correct conclusion is this: "PORNOGRAPHY please the beholder above all else." The whole point is to look at images that one is attracted to. Do you really not understand this?
20:52 September 4, 2009 by Michael84
she is Cute
16:02 September 5, 2009 by miss V
typical Swedish man-hater lezbian with too much extra time, and not enough brain to do anything except thinking and discussing about sex.

and regarding: "How can we liberate our own sexual imagination from the commercial images we see every day.." Men didn't do this to women... women did that to themselves. All these "comercial" images were made by women- staying young a beautiful, fashion obsessed, breast implants etc. Women made objects of themselves, it is not men's fault.
01:02 September 6, 2009 by hotlingam4u
This is what happens when one has a such a good society devoid of a higher purpose, affluent, and too much time on your hands --the trivia (e.g. feminist porn, global warming, breast feeding) becomes transcendental.
02:38 September 6, 2009 by Johnny Salami
Everybody knows Feminist Porn is all about bubble baths and scented candles.

Worse than that, when your old lady gets one of those, forget it.
02:39 September 7, 2009 by elust
It's very sad news that this has happened, as a feminist, as Swedish citizen, and as producer and director of adult movies, I feel ashamed that public money has to go to found porn productions of any kind. I've just seen that they have make a DVD and they are selling it. I want to know if the money they will earn will go back to the state!

Erika Lust (www.erikalust.com)
18:16 September 7, 2009 by Whalephant
I see no reason pointing out one of the two gender for not letting go. The truth is far more complex. Women and men, the individual feels the shallow pressure, or they don't. I believe this kind of porn serves believes, if you seek for deeper waters that is.
01:12 September 8, 2009 by Gaffel
Tack för ytterligare en klart tänk och sevärd film Mia, många är åren som har gått sedan "Gastroskopi rullen"

"Lite skäll mår man bara bra av" sa alltid min farmor, må hon brinna länge och väl!

Johnny Salami: I guess youre the one in need of a bubble bath and a candle showed up your colon..

Miss V: Is that a strange acronym for "Mr Is Indeed Sick in a Veneric disease sucking his brains dry"? No respect, I just ♪♫♫♪ in your general direction!

elust: Va kul att du känner dig som en feminist, svensk medborgare, producent och regissör Erika, men skämmas? Själv skäms jag väl mer över det faktum att du som svenska inte ens kan stava till finansiera på det engelska språk du nu valt att skriva på. Sen snälla lilla du, skaffa en svensk bolagsregistrering om du nu ska sätta dig på dina höga hästar och börja gnälla om hur svenska skattemedlen fördelas..
17:51 September 8, 2009 by Nonprophet
"They showed that we're still living with the age-old belief that a woman and her sexuality should please the beholder above all else. "

What other purpose is there in a movie but pleasing the beholder?

Who wants ugly porn stars?
05:35 September 9, 2009 by Gaffel
Nonprophet: If we for a moment would play with the tought of leaving your priced dvd collection of Disney and Private titles aside I recall your question being "What other purpose is there in a movie but pleasing the beholder?"

I might not be one of the great thinkers of our time but let me just try this one out, words like educate, enlight, upset and scare comes to my mind, do they seem familiar by any chance?

And once againg, when you ask the question "Who wants ugly porn stars?" I ask my self, if there is such a thing as a "porn star", who in the world would classify this person (that is naturally as long as it's a human and not a donkey, sheep or even a german shepherd!) as an ugly porn star?
06:27 September 9, 2009 by Amanita1
I can call my cat a poodle, but it's still a cat. Calling pornography "feminist" doesn't make it so. Feminism repudiates sexism and the sex stereotypes it preaches. Pornography does the opposite. It is, in fact, basically conservative. It's odd that Mia has to try to sell her product by misepresenting it. If pornography is so much fun, why can't it stand truth in advertising?
05:55 September 14, 2009 by Gaffel
All I can say is that im sorry for your sake Amanita1, but you just made a poodle!

You speak as if you already seen Dirty Diaries, a movie wich I have comed to understand is a mind blower, a political project consisting of 12 different shortfilms independently directed by 12 different directors.. And no, I dont call this project conservative, sexistic or misrepresented, I do hope you eventually will get the chance to see this movie, perhaps giving you a chance to reevaluate your stand!

My 2 cc //Gaffel
13:03 September 14, 2009 by Beynch
Keep all porn OUT of mainstream Sweden. Celebrate the return of decency and decorum.
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