Hypersexuality

Let’s face it, Pornography is completely unrealistic. NO! Don’t scroll to the next blog entry yet! This has as much to do with electronic literature than anything else, and I will explain why.

After years of research, Gail Dines, a sociologist and an anti-pornography activist, demonstrates how pornography has created a negative impact on our culture and the way we see sex. In her novel “Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality,” she takes a look at today’s porn industry and what kind of message it has been sending to it’s viewers. According to the novel, 90% of boys age 8 to 16 have viewed pornography online. What kind of effect does this have on a man’s perception of how a woman wants to be treated? The men in the porn industry are portrayed as emotionless bodies of flesh that are always in control and feel no sorrow for the women they could be wounding. No matter how extreme the sexual act, they always displace their own feelings of the act upon the women, constantly telling themselves “She’s O.k., she loves this pain!”  As these adolescents see what type of male is being presented, they begin to admire these males and believe that what they are doing is perfectly alright. Dines uses the term “grooming”, which relatively means preparing for a specific purpose, to describe how boys are raised learning how a man is supposed to be. To enforce this norm, a boy’s peer groups teach him how “…any deviation from the norm will result in swift punishments, the worst of which is being called a girl.”( Dines, Gail. Pornland 60) Since, apparently, being called a female is the worst possible penalty, these well-groomed boys take any measure to maintain their masculinity. This norm also applies in the porn world where the man is almost always the center of authority. Dines makes it clear in her research that the social norm that pressures young boys from early ages carries on into the main theme of porn, which is “…to illustrate how much power he has over her.”( Dines, Gail. Pornland xxv)

Pornography not only effects men, but it effects women as well. The women in porn videos are shown as powerless, submissive, always ready for sex, and uncaring if they’re treated as “…nothing more than a collection of holes”(Dines, Gail. Pornland xxiv) (I LOVE THAT QUOTE!) Dines explains how pornography, not only provides a false image of how women should be, but it also impacts the latest fashion trends ranging from revealing midriffs to an excessive amount of cleavage. These trends are maintained through mass media and pop culture, using celebrities such as Britney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan. Even the desire to fit this fashion begins at an early age when young girls see older women dressing like this, and they begin to believe that a certain look or action is the key to social acceptance. Dines emphasizes how these images of, what we perceive as, “real beauty” will continue to maintain a social pressure on women by having them live up to these unattainable standards.

So what the hell does this have to do with electronic literature? Since elit is defined as works of literature that originate within digital environments, I feel it is appropriate to call pornography electronic literature SOLELY for the fact that it has the power to influence ideals and manipulate perception as the audience follows the *ahem* “plot”, as a normal piece of literature would. (But I am definitely not saying to use pornography to replace a good book!)

  4 comments for “Hypersexuality

  1. ebrennan
    February 19, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Love your title! hahah. This is definitely an interesting comparison, but I disagree. The reason being that pornography doesn’t really originate in a digital environment. In the same way that a movie accessed online isn’t a work of electronic literature, either is pornography. Pictures and videos are usually taken and then uploaded online. Furthermore, even pornography that is created say completely in photoshop isn’t elit because those components of the naked woman somehow originated outside of a digital medium.

  2. February 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    I think @ebrennan already adressed the main questions I have about your blog entry — whether or not there is a connection between elit and pornography. I too am not following that connect, in other words.

    But to put it a different way, your last paragraph suggests something interesting that I think you could explore more. So if, pornography is elit because it influence ideals and manipulates perception, are you saying that that’s what literature does? You also put “plot” in scare quotes, implying that it is not, in fact, plot which comprises pornography’s appeal. So if that’s the case, where does its appeal lie? And if it’s still a literary kind of appeal, does that account for similarly plotless work like (to pull a random example), The Jew’s Daughter?

    Anyway, I’m not denying that some electronic literature includes graphic sexuality, nor am I denying that some pornographic material (generically considered) might include something of literary or artistic merit. It just seems that the term itself, “pornography,” implies a very specific use for the text that automatically deflects aesthetic considerations, and I don’t think that’s fair. (Nor is it necessarily what you meant, I realize.)

  3. blogger
    February 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Your blog was very… well interesting! In my Gender and Sexuality Linguistic class we just had to read an article on Lip Service on the Fantasy Line by Kira Hall. You raised some valid points that Hall would agree with. Pornography is very degrading and makes women seem powerless. I feel that calling pornography electronic literature is a bit of a stretch, but i commend you on your try to think outside the box!

  4. asatko
    February 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    While I feel that pornography definitely enhances the male- dominant stereotype in sexuality, this stereotype was not something that was started by pornography. This particular stereotype has been a prominent stereotype in American culture for a long time. Keeping in mind that pornography must appeal to a certain audience, I feel that society influences porn just as much (if not more) than porn influences society.

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