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Pornophiles Sexuality Attacked by Feminist Criticism

The essay is trying to demonstrate what makes pornography special, although it was primarily the result of the author’s polemical reaction on Željka Vukajlović’s analytical essay ’Pornographical Minds and Reactions on the Film Baise Moi’ published in the last issue of the Croatian Cinema Chronicle (27-28/2001). In her essay Vukajlović criticized the way Croatian critics approached the film Baise moi by Coralie Trinh Thi and Virginie Despentes. Radić puts aside Vukajlović’s analysis of the critics and their opinions being much more interested in the authors basic theses where she claims that there exists a special female sexuality that includes special female ways of cognition and particular female artistic practices. She goes on to say that pornography presents ’domination of the male speech over female, victory of the male subject over female’, and that female sexuality is always presented in a stereotypical way. Radić thinks that all her assumptions are incorrect, unsubstantiated, and based on a very limited knowledge of wider pornographic production. Firstly, he finds it impossible to prove that there are special female ways of cognition and specifically female artistic practices.

Secondly, contrary to Vukajlović, he claims that in fact women are those who dominate contemporary porno film and video. Women carry all the main roles, while in the scenes of explicit sex woman is almost always the dominant character regardless of the position of man, which may be only ’technically’ dominant. It is not easy today to find a standard porno film (produced within the pornographic mainstream) that would be at the liking of men and women searching for the ultimate male domination. As far as the stereotypical presentation of female sex is concerned, Radić believes that stereotypical characters, both male and female, are the key feature of all porno films.

Today’s porno production consists of films that are focused exclusively on the sexual aspect, which leaves little room for characters as subjects. Directors prefer characters as objects that can be viewed as radical functions of an equally radically minimalist dramaturgy, if we can use the term dramaturgy at all. All characters ’suffer’ from this, not only female.

Radić claims that the main motif of a ’porno film’ is not male sexuality. Its goal is to demonstrate a certain type of sexuality, which is neither female nor male, practiced by individuals regardless of their gender. Pornographic films are mostly about pornophile’s sexuality. It has been censored for centuries, particularly depriving the female population.

In the last quarter, and especially the last decade of the 20th century, prompted by the revolution in video, we witness the process of emancipation of viewers with pornophilistic sexual affinities, following in the footsteps of the liberal emancipatory efforts that have been conquering more and more space for individual freedom. Instead of giving due credit to pornography, antipornographical feminists attack it with unsustainable sophisms.

Damir Radić

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