pornographic and erotic, defined?
After going through the readings, I understood erotic and pornographic to be very different, but influenced by one another. As Audre Lorde pointed out, erotic is rooted in passion, that it functions "in the power which comes from sharing deeply any pursuit with another person." (572) Her explanation as to why this is empowering, in that it creates a standard for your own lived experiences, definitely connects with the politics of sex as discussed in feminist issues. Being conscious of human erotic connection is not on the same plane as pornography, however.
I thought Andrea Dworkin's piece was particularly powerful. While i set out reading it pretty critically, her section specific to pornography was really, really moving. By reading this section, i felt, rather than just understood as i previously have, that the pornography industry institutionalizes and normalizes sadistic treatment of women. She explained, of pornography, "It sexualizes inequality and in doing so creates discrimination as a sex-based practice." (26) Whereas erotic interaction might be a pivot of empowerment, pornography actually creates a realm of deterioration around human passion. And its clearly not this sect of media that is only consumed by those few people that make the choice. There are more X-rated bookstores in the United States than there are McDonalds. Furthermore, the influence of pornography is saturated in popular media, not secluded to specific moments in people's lives. Through our readings, I could believe that there is indeed a line between conscious-raising of erotic connection and the violent influence porn industry. Although, where does that line occur?