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Pornography is a left issue

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A critique of pornography doesn 't imply that freedom rooted in an individual 's ability to choose isn 't important, but argues instead that these issues can 't be reduced to that single moment of choice of an individual. Instead, we have to ask: What is meaningful freedom within a capitalist system that is racist and sexist?

Leftists have always challenged the contention of the powerful that freedom comes in accepting one 's place in a hierarchy. Feminists have highlighted that one of the systems of power that constrains us is gender.

We contend that leftists who take feminism seriously must come to see that pornography, along with other forms of sexualized exploitation -- primarily of women, girls and boys, by men -- in capitalism is inconsistent with a world in which ordinary people can take control of their own destinies.

That is the promise of the left, of feminism, of critical race theory, of radical humanism -- of every liberatory movement in modern history.


Gail Dines is a professor of American Studies at Wheelock College in Boston. She can be reached at gdines@wheelock.edu. Robert Jensen is a professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. He can be reached at rjensen@uts.cc.utexas.edu. They are co-authors with Ann Russo of Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality. Both also are members of the interim organizing committee of the National Feminist Antipornography Movement. For more information, contact feministantipornographymovement@yahoo.com or go to http://feministantipornographymovement.org/
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Robert Jensen is a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin and board member of the Third Coast Activist Resource Center. His latest book, All My Bones Shake: Seeking a Progressive Path to the Prophetic Voice, was published in 2009 (more...)
 

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