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Feminist Battle Over Pornography

Women Battle Over Merits of Porn

Twenty percent of men and 13 percent of women say they've viewed online porn . . . at work! And of all the websites out there, 12 percent are pornographic. Clearly the Internet loves porn, but can a feminist?

At least one group would like to end the obsession and they're holding an anti-porn conference next week in Boston. The anti-porn camp believes that porn culture degrades and humiliates women by reducing them to sexual objects. But not all feminists agree. Sex columnist Violet Blue has countered the crew with her website Our Porn, Our Selves. In her pro-porn principles, Violet Blue explains that she and her supporters "declare ourselves as adult women capable of making our own choices about our bodies and enjoyment of explicit visual stimulation for our sexual health and well-being."

Based on the demand of porn, I think it's safe to say it's not going anywhere. And if women (or men) want to enjoy porn as part of their sexuality, they should have that choice. In fact one in three porn viewers are women. Still it's true that as a result of the porn industry, women are exploited — either in the making of it or because some of it contributes to sexual objectification that pervades society. Maybe feminists who identify as either pro or anti-porn can work together to stop that.

If you're curious about porn or erotica, check out our resident sexpert Charlie Glickman's advice for beginners.

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