“Does Porn Empower Women”? [Yeah, When They Get Their Paycheck, Says Joan Krupa]

That noted philosopher Joan Krupa pretty much hits the nail on the head.

from www.suntimes.com – There are several great reasons why female celebs line up to shoot Playboy,” says that magazine’s December cover girl, Joanna Krupa,[pictured] over at Fox News’ Poptarts blog. “Finally a woman gets paid more than a man for comparable work, she gets to set the rules, gets to be in a real teamwork with other women, as many key positions at Playboy are in fact held by women!”

In light of all this female empowerment, Krupa asks, “What is feminist about discriminating a [sic] photo shoot just because it involves female (partial) nudity that happens to give men pleasure?”

So glad you asked, Joanna!

Turns out lots of things are feminist about “discriminating a photo shoot,” although not all feminists will agree on all of the reasons, or even think of the same ones off the top of their heads!

Actual Feminist Amanda Marcotte, for instance, makes this point:

“The idea behind the ‘porn is empowering!’ argument is that women who work in porn gain power in a pragmatic way, playing by men’s rules, and feminists should support this for pragmatic reasons, because at the end of the day, women have more real power. And that would be a legitimate argument if the women involved had more power at the end of the day. But what power do they have, exactly? Joanna Krupa cites the big paychecks you get for nude modeling in Playboy, but those paychecks stop coming when you’re a hag of 23 or so . . . then it’s a false form of power.”

See, the underlying principle of feminism is equality. As things stand here in the country that produces Playboy, women and men are not equal. Men, for instance, are favored for all sorts of powerful, high-paying jobs, and often respected more as they get older. Women can sometimes make a bunch of money by taking off their clothes when they’re young and most attractive, but then they are less respected in that profession as they get older, no matter how much valuable information they’ve learned about posing naked by that point.

Also, as Actual Feminist Samhita Mukhopadhyay notes, many women are excluded from that limited-time-only opportunity in the first place, on grounds that their bodies are insufficiently pleasing even when young!

“Feminists have opposing viewpoints on pornography and other forms of erotic art, that is not a new story, but suggesting that feminists don’t get how ’empowering’ it is to fit into society’s standards of able-bodied, white thinness — well let’s just say we totally get that. I am not saying the act isn’t empowering for her. . . . But the process that empowers her is embedded in a really specific idea of what a woman should look like and the kind of woman that ‘turns men on.’ It is not the function of turning men on that is the sexist part to me, but the unrealistic expectation put on women through the production and proliferation of images like Krupa’s and the corresponding value put on women’s bodies through this very same process.”

Many Actual Feminists conclude that being photographed naked is not, in fact, a job that moves women as a group closer to equality with men in terms of employment and earning opportunities. Instead, it reinforces the distinctly unfeminist and demonstrably false idea that the commodification of certain sexuality is a form of real power.

And I haven’t even touched on the radical feminist arguments against porn — you don’t even need them to understand why a feminist would discriminate a photo shoot!

I hope this helps you understand, Joanna Krupa, why we “self-important, so-called ‘feminists’ ” don’t see your paycheck and creative input into your own nudie photos as a win for women. If you need any other questions about feminism answered, you know where to find me.

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