This is a comment by Kim on the comment of the day: “Women’s erotic fiction is perfectly acceptable, no matter what the fantasy, but men’s pornography is controversial and borderline misogyny.”
I would disagree and say that this view is tragically naive. I don’t really read women’s erotic fiction, but the small bits I have read and have seen features many taboos and misogyny.
I mean, look at Twilight for instance. Sure there are millions of people who love it but there are plenty of people who are offended by:
- Rewarding engaging in romance with your stalker
Other common offensive aspects that come out:
- Romanticizing abusive relationships (including rape leads to romance)
- Rewarding gold digging and learned helplessness
- Ridiculous career expectations
- Remaking people how you like them
The iconic BDSM romance story, Story of O, was written by a woman and has inspired multiple pornographic films and a BDSM web site.
The reason these don’t reach the mainstream media more often is that frankly the mainstream media rarely cares about romance novels because it’s women’s stuff and they figure there’s better impact in talking about what’s made for straight white males.
There are also plenty of porn creators out there that focus other forms such as romantic pornography, woman dominant pornography and of course, just about everything you can find in regular heterosexual you can find in gay porn.
Both genres represent the expression of fantasies that parties feel are not accessible. Personally I think the major cause of the division is that society generally coaches women to aspire to unattainable romantic relationships while telling them that all they have to do get sex is open their legs (but they shouldn’t do that unless it leads to unattainable romance) while coaching men that romantic feelings are for women and that they approach sex with a conquest mentality (and that successful men should be able to have sex on demand with anyone they want).
In true capitalist fashion, we then promote this to keep up the demand for the products that we market to the unsatisfied people on both sides. Behold the wonder that is humanity.
Photo credit: Flickr / fuzzcat