Academic journal article Gender Forum

Editorial

Academic journal article Gender Forum

Editorial

Article excerpt

1 Pornography continues to be a highly controversial topic, not only in popular conceptions and manifestations, but also within feminist politics and cultural and gender studies. The question whether the current widespread availability of "explicit" depictions of sex can be seen as evidence of an increasing liberalisation of (diverse) sexualities or of capitalist and patriarchal exploitations of gendered bodies continuously needs to be raised. While rather different in their scope and angles from which they address the subject, the articles assembled in this issue testify to the ambivalence and complexity of pornography's history and significance in western cultures.

2 In "Dildos and Cyborgs. Feminist Body-Politics in Porn from the 1970s to Posthumanism" Stefann Offermann traces the history of different -even conflicting - feminist positions with respect to pornography which have been developed from the 1970s until today, focusing on the issue of the construction of sexual and gender identities. The article highlights the diverging conceptions and strategies of "feminist and queer" interventions, which are grounded in differences depending on either essentialist or performative understandings of sex and gender. Offermann finally provides examples of current attempts at subverting the objectifying regimes of pornography.

3 Johanna Schorn's contribution "Subverting Pornormativity. Feminist and Queer Interventions" takes up on the historical tracing of conflicting feminist positionings regarding pornography with a more detailed account of Andrea Dworkin's and Catharine MacKinnon's campaigns against pornography in the 1980ies as well as sex-positivist, contemporary engagements with graphic material presented by Tristan Taormino and Jiz Lee. …

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