Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pornography and Silence

1981, 1982 Harper Colophon edition
Susan Griffin
Pornography and Silence: Culture's Revenge Against Nature
Original price $5.95, purchase price $2.95
Worn paperback with split spine

Although I don't entirely agree with Griffin, particularly in her view of pornography as by definition violent and dehumanizing, I do think she makes some good points about how images can be damaging.  (She's the first writer I own to quote Key on subliminal advertising.)  The links between pornography and racist propaganda, especially as seen in Nazi culture, are fascinating.  She argues that porn is actually anti-erotic, punishing sexual expression and pleasure.  Certainly, the examples she gives, as in The Story of O, advocate the abuse and silencing of women.  She argues for a culture that will celebrate the body in union with the mind/heart/soul.

It's not a fun or pleasant read most of the time-- both Christians and leatherfolk will probably be offended by parallels between Christ's crucifixion and the "ritual" of BDSM-- but I think it's worth reading once or twice, and drawing your own conclusions.

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