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Customer Review

71 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Think porn culture isn't a problem? You need to read this book!, July 30, 2011
By 
This review is from: Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality (Hardcover)
I am fortunate enough to have had the chance read Gail Dines' book, Pornland. Dines' describes how the porn industry operates *today*, in the 21st Century. She does this first by describing the men who created the industry as now know it: Hugh Hefner, Bob Guccione, and Larry Flynt. These men were excellent capitalists, not lovers of freedom. Dines provides evidence from women who've worked for them, and uses the pornographer's own words as well, to prove her points.

She then describes the hard-core pornography that has become mainstream today. The popular film series Girls Gone Wild depicts all women as being sexually available, Dines asserts, because women, specifically young, white women, are ready to undress and make-out with one another just for the thrill of knowing men are watching...or so one would think from watching Girls Gone Wild.

Dines also addresses how both women and men are negatively influenced by the mainstream porn industry in their everyday life. Many heterosexual women are confused by why men are so interested in having anal sex; the increased focus on anal sex in pornography might have something to do with this. Likewise, the vast majority of teenage and twenty-something women in the U.S. have taken up shaving their pubic hair. This comes directly from porn, where women are typically shown hairless (liking pubic hair on a women is considered a fetish and there is a special genre of porn for it). This change in the way women take care of themselves has resulted in nurses changing the way they do rape-crises kits; they can no longer collect samples of public hair, as they once did.

Anyone living in today's society should pick up this book, as I really did not begin to touch on the arguments Dines makes. Everything she says comes from the view of a Marxist and leftist who is fed up with the left not taking the racist, misogynist, capitalist porn industry seriously, and indeed, coming up with every possible excuse of why not to do so.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 28, 2012 4:21:39 AM PDT
I happen to be a leftist, and like many of Marx' ideas---but I totally disagree with your opinion, and that of the author, that pornography is bad, and exploits women (and men). Your comments on pubic hair shaving are ridiculous. Who cares? If I want to shave my hair off any part of my body its my choice. In fact you come across as anti choice: no porn, no public hair, etc. I think porn is great and can add a nice boost to a couple's sex. I think this author is a no-fun traditionalist who is jealous of the fun others are having enjoying porn and getting off! Too bad.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2012 7:05:49 AM PDT
Autumn says:
In my opinion, as well as that of Dr. Dines, the "choice" framework is itself problamatic. I encourage those interested in learning more about this to check out Dr. Dines' lecture on the topic here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kDcTt0emXhE

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2013 10:51:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 22, 2013 10:52:18 PM PST
M. Huls says:
Your point is well taken, but it is obvious from this post that you haven't read the book. I don't agree with it 100% and I don't expect it to change your opinion, but it is worth taking a look at it before you dismiss the author's viewpoints.

Posted on Aug 12, 2013 6:08:58 AM PDT
Kevin Walker says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2013 4:55:37 PM PDT
Under capitalism, "freedom" meaning anything other than Burger King's assurance that you are "free to have it your way" is pure smoke and mirrors. Under laissez-faire capitalism, only the ruling class has "pure freedom", i.e. the free flow of their capital wherever on earth it will get the greatest return. As for labor, the world over is and has been engaged in barring free immigration. No freedom for labor...except at Burger King if they can afford it.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2013 11:53:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 30, 2013 11:56:28 AM PDT
goth chick says:
@ Stephen Hitchcock: Bizarre and childishly foolish response on your part. Apparently, you didn't read the book; Ms. Dines cites numerous examples of the ways in which pornography exploits women. Autumn's observation re: pubic hair is extremely accurate. This book has a chapter on child pornography; the absence of women's pubic hair in these films represents a kind of "childification" of women. And Autumn was totally correct when she stated that it would make it difficult, if not impossible, to collect hair samples from rape victims. Your foolish comment about *your* pubic hair is totally narcissistic - this book isn't about *you* and *your* personal grooming habits; it's about the objectification of women. No one cares about *your* grooming habits.

Your opinion of Gail Dines is ridiculous; she's not against men and women having sex - in fact, several times throughout this book, she makes it clear that sex between men and women is wonderful and desirable. What she is opposed to is the sexual exploitation of women in these extreme, "gonzo", violent pornographic films. Oh, and by the way: you really don't sound like a true leftist - you sound more like an MRA.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2013 1:14:06 PM PDT
Autumn says:
I appreciate the support, goth chick.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2013 1:17:32 PM PDT
Autumn says:
The feminist anti-pornography movement is grounded in an anti-exploitation analysis coming from women who have been in the sex-trade. It is an individual's "choice" to view pornography, but just because it is a "choice" doesn't make it a good one.

People, especially men, may "have fun" enjoying porn, but it comes at the expense of women who have been in the sex trade--many of whom would like videos of their abuse to stop circulating. What you're saying is your "choice" to watch pornography is more important than women who would like pornography of them out of circulation.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2013 9:49:16 AM PDT
goth chick says:
You are most welcome!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 19, 2014 12:30:28 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 19, 2014 12:40:26 PM PST
I am a woman in the sex trade and I would never want any of my films taken out of circulation as i see none of them as abuse! How dare you pigeonhole all of us into your comfortable box of victims when this could not be further from the truth! Yes there are some who will perform in scenes that they will regret but then that was their own foolishness and greed driving them to accept a shoot they would not be comfortable doing in the first place! We actually do have the choice and the voice before filming to state our likes and limits and it's down to the individual to set their own levels of interaction. I have to ask, and often wonder, Would you tarnish a person working in any other industry as a poor misguided victim because they are in a sector chosen by their parents just to please their peers, and yet end up more depressed, self loathing and full of regret because they hate the choices made for them by others, pressurized to fulfill somebody else's desires??
Any person, in any industry, regardless of the work involved will feel objectified, devalued, exploited and abused if they do not wish, but still choose to participate in the work that's set before them.
Do not be so hasty in the future to insult strong, free minded, free willed and sexual without shame women like myself, who you'll be shocked to discover, do not come from damaged backgrounds filled with sexual abuse and depravity, and who choose to celebrate our natural drives in sexual expression. Predating all structured, patriarchal, modern religious societies porn was painted onto cave walls as educational and instrumental. so it's been around since the dawn of time and will remain long after we are dust and bones.
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