I am responding to our chat with Ms. Taormino, the big question being: should pornography, of any sort, exist? There are, as I see it, two major arguments for the negative stance: that pornography of any sort is norm-generating and therefore destructive.
I say this because there is an unavoidable choice associated with the content of porn. My worry here is that this element of choice automatically, unavoidably, inherently makes a normative statement, at the expense of unrepresented sexualities and sex acts. I don’t mean that each specific porn is doing potentially harmful norm-generating work (though that could be argued), but that the entire body of porn probably does NOT represent some forms of sex and sexuality, and that this misrepresentation is why porn is possibly inherently bad. Each porn, furthermore, relies on the assumptions the pornographer him or herself relies one in their life.
I think this concern is analogous to that expressed by Judith Butler in her essay “Is Kinship Always Already Heterosexual?” Confusing title aside (it deals in Levi-Straussian anthropology, hence the title), one of the core arguments in this essay is that the gay marriage activism campaign buys into a heterosexual system, at the expense of acceptance of even more alternative conceptions of love and marriage. This is similar to my concern with porn and especially “feminist porn”… simply altering an existing institution to make it more palatable might not deal with the very real problems inherent to the institution.
But this may be an improper analogy. Be that as it may, I just don’t want us to proceed as if porn is automatically good and acceptable in any mode.