- Hardcover: 243 pages
- Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st edition (September 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0312136269
- ISBN-13: 978-0312136260
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,179,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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XXX: A Woman's Right to Pornography Hardcover – September, 1995
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McElroy, the president of Feminists for Free Expression/Canada and the editor of Freedom, Feminism and the State (Cato Inst., 1991. 2d ed.), advocates pornography as part of a free, healthy flow of information about sex needed by society, including women. She posits a "value neutral definition" of pornography that some may find limited: "the explicit artistic depiction of men and/or women as sexual beings." While "radical feminists" (e.g., Dworkin, MacKinnon) oppose pornography as violence, McElroy defends the right of women to consume it and to be involved in its production. A survey of 41 COYOTE (Call Off Your Old Tired Ethics) members is included. This work is useful in providing access to all aspects of a serious issue and should be read in conjunction with Diana E.H. Russell's Against Pornography: The Evidence of Harm (Russell, 1994). For women's studies collections.?Helen Rippier Wheeler, formerly of UC-Berkeley, SLIS
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The insistence that all feminists call for a ban on pornography has received several cogent replies lately. Strossen's Defending Pornography took a lively, thoroughly researched shot at lawyer Catherine MacKinnon and her followers' censorship demands. McElroy agrees with Strossen's legal arguments and takes the issue a few steps further. She asserts that elements of pornography can actually benefit women and cites historical precedent to show that an environment of greater freedom for all sexual expression better enables discussion of such important issues as birth control and venereal disease. At the level of the individual, pornography, McElroy says, "provides women with a real sense of what is sexually available to them" and "is how-to literature for those who lack real-world experience." McElroy supplements her well-researched opinions with insightful interviews with outspoken women who work in the porn industry, which may help make XXX one of the more provocative books on this issue, albeit one that is ultimately more concerned with fomenting positive discussion than raising eyebrows. Aaron Cohen
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Her in depth interviews with adult film actresses, producers and directors rebuffs accusations by pro-cencorship/anti-porn feminists that the adult entertainment industry is an enslaver of women, encourages rape (she herself was a rape victim) and that women who work in the industry are "victims of patriarchial oppression" or are "psychologically damaged".
In an unflinching and honest fashion, McElroy rightfully points out that adult entertainment empowers women since they can earn millions of dollars working in this industry and be featured as the main stars of the films or clubs they perform in. If your curious as to all of the controversy surrounding adult entertainment, read this book.
It certainly was an eye opener for me and a great read at that.
What makes this book worth reading is that it takes each of the arguments used by those who claim that pornography can not fall under the protection of free speech, and proves them wrong. Indeed pornography is a mode used by those who want to express the nature of their sexual beings and the different lifestyle alternatives enclosed within it.
On the other hand the books falls short on testimonials of those who are part of the industry and well as their detractors. Particularly, from those who like to pose for the camera and who are the "workers" of the trade. This lacking rests support to several of the claiming of the author. Nevertheless it is a brave work to stand up and defend such a despised activity which although it attracts the interest of almost everyone.