The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Marquis de sade, feminism and Moral Pornography.

Our learning objective was to:
- understand the term 'moral pornographer' and evaluate its relevance in The Bloody Chamber.

A debate between Gail Dines and Anna Arrowsmith highlighted two very important arguments as to whether Pornography objectifies women, or in fact poses as a way to weaken the industry and interject with women's views.

Gail Dines says that women are without a doubt 'systematically descriminated against' with pornography adding to this and 'shaping the way men think about women'. This allows people to believe women's objectification is acceptable within society, believing porn to be 'the commodification of sexuality'. She also hit out at Anna Arrowsmith claiming that Pornography certainly does not empower women and in fact as an empowered woman herself, she feels she has a 'duty' to use her 'privilege to fight for women who are descriminated against'. And it seems clear that Anna Arrowsmith 'misrepresents the lives of women in the industry'.

However, Anna Arrowsmith refuted this with her argument in which she believes women can change the way they are seen in society by having a say within the Pornography industry. She argued specifically that 'anti-porn groups in fact encourage women to see themselves as victims' when they could instead take a very passive and involved approch to change things. Although her argument was rather contradictory, I personally feel, she did make a vaild point that 'if you hand over all sexual imagery to men, you hand over that power'.

What is a Moral Pornographer?
  1. Uses pornographic material to show that all genders can possess a sexual licence.
  2. May uses pornography to critique current relations between men and women, and the physical abuse experienced by women in phallocentric cultures.
  3. Employs pornography to show women who grab their own sexuality and fight back, who also may be powered by their own violence.



  1. I agree with the point you made about how of women hand over all sexual imagery to men, that you also hand over control. However, I do also see the opposite side to this argument in the sense that it can also be seen to be down to the patriarchal society we live which influences this choice made women, leading to their objectification.

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  3. Thanks for the blog. It's helped me catch up on what I've missed.

  4. i agree that Carters role as a moral pornographer is essential to feminism, i still feel that your argument about how pornography is a male past-time, and how it is not aimed towards women is ridiculous, it was actually published in the papers yesterday that out of a survey of 200 women 67% percent of them admitted to watching porn. i feel that perhaps during carters time, pornography was a male dominated area, but in modern times it can be used to strenghten the femminist movement.
    Ray T

  5. Brilliant blog Sophie, covering all the aspects of what we did in class and have clearly stated all the three answers to what is a 'Moral Pornographer'. Like Jess, I agree with Arrowsmith's point 'if you hand over all sexual imagery to men, you hand over that power'. However, supporting Dines' view, one may percieve that Arrowsmith's being a Pornographic film maker and shifting the camera angles to the man is ineffective in viweing women as being opressed by the force of partriarchy; but instead victimises and objectifies them. Carter as a writer, takes in role of a 'moral pornographer'. She ranges the use of
    violent and vivid imagery in order to illustrate women being physically abused in phallocentric cultures. Additionally, in The Lady of the house of love, Carter reveals a woman's sexual licence as the Countess preys on young men. Similarly, although girl's mother is not a victim of patriarchy, she grabs her sexualtity and fights back.