The Woman’s POV Part IV

I’m proud (kind of) to present my last in a four-part series on Madison Young’s about searching for the woman’s POV in porn. I wrote the series over the course of a few months, and as so often happens when writing about difficult theoretical and sexual terrain, my thinking on the subject changed massively over the time I was allotted. And it’s changed again in the time between when I submitted the piece and now. Looking at an essay written even a few weeks in the past is always agonizing for me–I think, “Why didn’t I fix that sentence? Why wasn’t I more specific? I repeated that word too many times,” and so on anytime I read anything I’ve published. But particularly in these pieces where I realize I was using the terms “female” and “woman” almost interchangeably, loading them both up with assumptions and values I didn’t even think about at the time. At the time I was too busy trying to figure out how to say everything I wanted to say about the importance of giving the usually-objectified person the camera in porn and elsewhere. Allowing them access to the ownership of the creative output is massively important, and finding or cultivating viewers who are willing to take the time to perceive the differences is just as important. I needed to say this, using interview material and photos and my own experience, in not too many words and in a way that would sum up the last three articles, all of which were now in that past-tense, difficult-to-confront place in my mind.
It’s all tough. But this is important stuff and I believe very strongly that the people I mention: Richard behind the IShotMyself project, Jennifer Lyon Bell, and Kimberly Kane, are massively impressive for the work they’re doing. I just wasn’t oh so good at articulating it as well as I wanted to, which is more or less the struggle of the writer. And sometimes we just kind of fall short of our expectations for ourselves. But, hey, I still want people to think about this stuff, so, yeah, rock on, and read on

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