Pornography and Freedom by John Stoltenberg from the book *Refusing to be a Man*

I thought this was a really excellent explanation of why “sexual freedom” (that is, the freedom to be sexual in whatever way one wants and call it “empowering”), is actually simply sexuality without an ethical mooring. It’s only 12 pages, and I encourage you to check it out. Sorry the pages aren’t properly aligned.

TW for graphic descriptions of degrading sex acts.












About smash
Women's liberationist.

14 Responses to Pornography and Freedom by John Stoltenberg from the book *Refusing to be a Man*

  1. rancom says:

    fyi, the whole book is available here: http://www.mediafire.com/?gvhi4kckbeb3xhe

  2. ethicalequinox says:

    Thank you for posting this.

  3. tiamathydra says:

    It’s sad that so few men think outside of the male-supremacist box, because this writings by John Stoltenberg are really good but if 1 or 2 men are bringing these ideas forward, well, it doesn’t change the fact that the overwhelming majority are terrorists.
    Yes, sexual freedom as a concept remains in the world of ideas, it’s not a reality that we are living yet, and some academic assholes would have us believe that we are in ”post-modern” times, which is very telling because post-modern means that what is modern doesn’t have a place anymore in the world and it’s time to get past the modern in linear time (what they don’t say is that overcoming modernity means going back to the ancient regime). For the post-modernists who are so fond of their false delusion of ”sexual freedom” (for whom?), ”modernity” was just an adolescent stage that humanity had to overcome in order to regain the ”sanity” (read: insanity) of the ancient regime. Well, I’ll remain modern if they don’t mind, because I think we must really overthrow patriarchy, and radical feminism is the only truly modern ideology in this planet.

    Sexual freedom to me as a law student not only exists as an idea but also as a right… as Bobbio (law theorist) wrote, sexual freedom exists in two spheres, the positive (the right to voluntarily choose to have sex) and the negative (the right to voluntarily choose to NOT have sex). What is really forbidden for women under patriarchy is the right to negative sexual freedom. There are always some of us prostituted to ensure that there are always women who do NOT have this right, because it’s for sale and sex is really a male right and a female duty under patriarchy. Yes, hard to believe that the life choice of a nun is more avant-garde than that of an empowerfulized glamour diva but you better believe it.

    Studying law helped me understand that what is sold when a woman is prostituted (and also in pornography) is not only her body; it’s her right to both positive and negative sexual freedom. Prostitution is the selling of that fundamental right of ours with which comes the commodification of our bodies.

    • smash says:

      “what is sold when a woman is prostituted (and also in pornography) is not only her body; it’s her right to both positive and negative sexual freedom. Prostitution is the selling of that fundamental right of ours with which comes the commodification of our bodies.”

      Well said, tiamathydra.

  4. Lily Munroe says:

    Thank you for posting this

  5. Thank you for posting this. It’s very encouraging. I want everyone in the world to read this.

  6. Reblogged this on Shawn Driskell Diary and commented:
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  7. padawanrfboy says:

    I have been meaning to read and learn more about John Stoltenberg Someone I think I will identify with. Thank you for the post Smash. Edward

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