I squeed about the Mayhems yesterday, and here is Maggie Mayhem talking about porn, anti-porn feminist Gail Dines, and politics (link is NSFW for the pics on the blog, but the post itself is all text and SFW). It’s pretty rad. I found this point particularly relevant to my own feelings about the porn debates –
“6. Despite being a Marxist, Gail Dines repeatedly favors women with academic credentials over women without them. Ivory Towerism doesn’t exactly fit in with Marxism in a time when a college education comes at the expense of a lifetime of debt. This means that only women who can afford tuition for graduate education and receive tenure are real “porn academics” and the study, research, and real life experiences of people performing in and making porn are nothing more than bouncing and saying, “Porn is empowering! Porn is fun!” Then again, a woman who prides herself on not researching her fellow panelists shouldn’t be expected to create anything more than a caricature of anyone who makes her job more difficult.”
I strongly believe that we need to stop privileging certain forms of knowledge over others, because that kind of academic wankery is counterproductive. It’s ridiculous. And it silences so many people.
This is one of my primary concerns in my own academic engagement with the topics of sex work and pornography – I am wary of relying too heavily on peer-reviewed, academic sources and ignoring the voices of sex workers and porn performers themselves. I think it’s easy to do in academics, because that’s how we are trained to research our topics. And I understand that there are reasons for that, but I think it’s frequently misused.