[Reader-list] Re: Feminists and Porn

Yazad Jal prajaf at vsnl.com
Tue Jun 4 14:26:39 IST 2002

Off list conversation between Shohini and me on pornography, free-speech and feminism! Would love to have the viewpoints of others on the sarai list.

To critique and ask for counter-speech is not to ask for censorship. This is the critical difference between the libertarian position and the anti-censorship feminist one.

I'm not sure if I got this right. Are you saying that the libertarian position is pro-censorship and the feminist position is anti-censorship?

No. I am not saying that. The feminist position fights for free speech while maintaining a critique of discriminatory speech. The feminist project does not end with just saying that all speech has a right to exist.
I'm not sure that there is a coherent "feminist" position. I recollect feminist positions calling for a ban on pornography. That to me is against free speech. What is your view on this? We're having this discussion off-list. Would you like to put it back on the sarai list?

Feminists Against Censorship began their movement against Feminists who wanted to ban pornography. This is probably the most contested issue among feminists. Since feminists are not a monolithic block they have different positions which I think is desirable.  I can suggest many readings but you will have to wait till I get my email at home working as I have moved house. I am not sure this is getting onto the Readers List. I'd be grateful if you could post it. 

There is a very interesting feminist-libertarian site : www.ifeminists.com run by Wendy McElroy. Would love to read more about Feminists Against Censorship
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