McNair Scholars Research Journal


Our society believes that the social practices within the pornography industry are not important enough to be addressed. Indeed, as Gail Dine notes in Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality, “what is surprising is how many people, even those who do not like porn, insist that the carefully constructed images that are formulaically scripted and produced by the multibillion-dollar porn industry belong in the realm of sexual fantasy, not reality” (100). Problems arise from the belief that the social practices intrinsic to porn—racism, creating dirty sexualities associated with women, and popular video searches depicting “forced sex”—exist within a vacuum. This article examines the social practices of pornography, creates a concrete definition of the oppression engendered by pornography, and challenges societal social mores that reflect those within pornography. I limit myself to adult, heterosexual pornography, but I will comment on the taboo of creating “barely legal” porn and the practice of catering to the masculine gaze by the creation of the “willing lesbian” fantasy. This research acts as a literary synthesis of the writing of anti-pornography scholars, experienced actors from the porn industry, and feminist philosophers.