Gail Dines

/Tag:Gail Dines

Daisy Dukes And 50 Shades Of Moral Panic

I didn't think I'd comment on these issues. I had promised myself that I'd concentrate on writing, but there's been some developments that are just too juicy not to comment on. The first involves a bit of moral panic over shorts for girls sold at Target. One mum decided they were 'sexualised' and complained on Target's FB page, which created a bit of media storm. What is interesting is that a number of women are now writing that the complaint was overwrought, a case of a conservative mum seeing sexualisation where it does not exist. The clothes in question were [...]

The Problem With ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’

It's a publishing phenomenon. It's erotic fiction. Or is it porn? It's the tired old distinction. The double standard. If women like it, it's erotica. If men like it, it's porn. Whilst critics like Gail Dines and Melinda Tankard Reist are the most recent to make a lot of noise about the popularity of porn, or rather, male-oriented porn, they remained silent about a similar boom in female-oriented porn. Oops, I mean erotic fiction. Doesn't female-oriented erotic fiction deal in the same atrocious sexist stereotypes as male-oriented porn? I haven't read Fifty Shades of Grey and honestly, I am unlikely [...]

Beyonce, African Dance And Sexualisation

Something's been nagging me - it was the inclusion of Beyonce in Gail Dines's list of inappropriate role models. On the surface Beyonce seems an obvious choice but a closer examination suggests some politically incorrect assumptions. As I have argued many times, sexualisation implies a deviation from a norm. But what is the norm? The more I look at it, the more the 'norm' looks like white, middle-class values. So when you look at a Beyonce video it looks sexualised from a white perspective. But when you look at it in the context of the tradition of African dance and [...]

Resisting Sexualisation Isn’t Moral Panic: It’s Politics – A Critique

I dislike ideological double-speak with a vengeance and this is a perfect example. It comes from Gail Dines (surprise, surprise) and Julia Long. In an article called Resisting Sexualisation isn't Moral Panic: it's Politics Dines and Long indulge in the kind of ideological apologetics worthy of any person of faith. The double-speak begins from the beginning. To suggest feminists who oppose the pornification of society are stirring up a moral panic is to confuse a politically progressive movement with rightwing attempts to police sexual behaviour. Here Dines and Long make a false distinction between morality and politics. Politics is morality [...]

Porn Is Not A Dirty Word: Bettina Arndt

Bettina Arndt has entered the debate - or should I say, re-entered, given that Bettina has long commented on these matters. In today's Sunday Age she has written Porn is not a dirty word, in which she defends porn (sort of). Bettina has been writing about sex for most of her professional life. She is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist, so she knows her stuff. Her most recent book is called What men want. In the article she is dismissive of Gail Dines (and therefore, Melinda Tankard Reist) as  indulging in "scaremongering". She argues that in her experience, most [...]

Cambridge Union Debate: This House Believes Pornography Does A Good Public Service

The Cambridge Union debates are famous. Here is an excellent debate entitled: This house believes pornography does a good public service. It features Anna Arrowsmith, an articulate female porn director speaking in the affirmative and Gail Dines for the negative.

The Porn Wars: Conflicting Sexualities

All too often in the debate about porn, the issue really seems to be about something else. In the current wave of anti-porn concern the real issue is competing sexualities. Not just men's versus women's, but transgressive sexualities versus a contested 'normal' and 'correct' sexuality. The recent criticism of gonzo porn is a convenient Trojan horse. Nearly everyone, including myself, finds violent, misogynist porn profoundly problematic. Of course it should be condemned. The problem is that once we accept the Trojan horse and open it, we find that the anti-porn campaigners object to a great deal more than gonzo. Melinda [...]

Fuck For Forest

I hadn't heard of Fuck for Forest. Very European (it originated in Norway and expanded to Berlin). And very much an extension of that continent's tradition of sexual radicalism; from the theories of Otto Gross and Wilhelm Reich in 30's Berlin, to the neo-Reichian flowering of the 60's and 70's. This is the new generation of the sex-positive counterculture. I've consistently made the point that the Anglophone reaction to nudity and sexuality seems unable to escape Puritanism. I just can't see the likes of people like Gail Dines or Melinda Tankard Reist having much currency outside the Anglosphere. Seems Europe [...]

X-Rated Ethics

The Utne Reader recently published an article entitled X-Rated ethics: socially sustainable sex could save the economy, the environment and our society. While Gail Dines and Melinda Tankard Reist sound the alarm bells, this article paints a completely different picture. Interesting. Brooks-Gordon’s research has convinced her that there is huge latent demand for an ethical sex industry. Not only do most clients want to feel wanted, she says; many would be relieved to know that the sex workers starring in their favorite porn film, dancing onstage at their club, or available through their escort agency are there by consent, are [...]

The Porn Wars: Addendum

I'm suffering from a nasty head cold and I'm not thinking clearly... There was an important point I forgot to make. The problem with the anti-porn argument is twofold: simplification and false causation. The simplification occurs by assuming that all porn is the same. The reality is that porn is enormously diverse and caters to every group. As I said in my response to Cordelia Fine, the most graphic pornography I have ever read was in a Melbourne based radical lesbian magazine. It detailed an episode of female-female anal fisting in the showers of the women's dressing room at a [...]