Reading Andrea Dworkin’s book Pornography: Men Possessing Women has got me seriously thinking about how all porn objectifies women, even porn masquerading as ‘female-empowerment porn’. Especially porn that prides itself on being liberating to women.

I’m reading the book on my Kindle and I’m about 22% of the way through it now. I find it an easy read: It’s succinctly and articulately written and its arguments cannot be easily flawed. Dworkin isn’t afraid at any point to call it for what it is. Her writing style is academic and her vocabulary is visceral, it doesn’t shy away from vulgarities when they’re appropriate to describe and analyse the level of debauchery towards women in the porn she’s analysing throughout the course of the book.

I’ve thought of my own example of how supposedly ‘female-empowering’ porn is sexist to women. The first example that came to mind was cuckolding. ‘Cuckolding’ or ‘cucking’ is when a woman embarrasses and humiliates her partner, a man, by having sex with another man, usually a group of men, in front of him. First of all, if you take a quick look on any mainstream porn site, you’ll see that the ‘cuckolder’, the ’empowered woman’, and the ‘cuckold’, the humiliated man, are often white and middle-aged.

You’ll also notice that the man or men doing the ‘cucking’, or having sex with the woman in front of her long-term partner, are black and have huge dicks. This fetishisation of black people is racism. Black men are some sort of exotic sexual desire in this context, which is usually reinforced by the size of their penis. That’s all their worth in the porn. It also reinforces very damaging racial stereotypes about black people.

The premise of this porn is that the man watching his partner get fucked, because that what it is, it isn’t sex, gets sexual gratification from being humiliated by the fact that his partner is cheating on him in front of his very eyes and he cannot do anything to stop it but watch.

“Cuck” has become an insult in Internet culture on sites like 4chan or Reddit. Not only is a ‘cuck’ someone, a male, who gets cheated on by their partner, a female, but it has a wider, less immediately sexual connotation. The word ‘cuck’ can be stretched to describe a man who is perceived to generally let women ‘walk all over him’, by taking advantage of him, stopping him from standing up for himself, desecrating his values and personal beliefs and generally being made to be weaker in the relationship. It’s awful to be seen as a cuck, it’s unsightly, how could a man ever submit to the will of a woman, even slightly?

Cuckolding is sexist to women, not men.

I’ve realised something myself. There’s a word to describe a man being humiliated and overpowered by a woman. That’s cuckold. How about a female-specific word for a woman being humiliated and overpowered? There isn’t one. It’s perceived as normal that men overpower and dominate women. How about a term to specifically describe a woman that is cheated on by her man? There isn’t one.

Again, it’s because this is perceived as normal. To the point where, culturally, it is expected that men just cheat on women and that’s just the way it is. Boys will be boys, after all. I hate that fucking phrase with a passion, and anyone who excuses morally-outrageous, feral behaviour by saying it, especially in such a blas√© way. Where does that leave the women? They are supposed to put up with it, it’s their burden. There’s no accountability in the male: It isn’t their fault, it’s their nature.

Women in ‘cuckold’ porn are essentially rape-meat. The way they are ‘treated’ by the strange men in the videos is not loving, nor considerate, nor ‘sex’, it’s ‘fucking’ and at that, it imitates rape. It’s violent, for the sole purpose of male gratification. There is no pleasure in it for her, only pain. She is the object of the porn, the main focus of attention, it’s about the woman being fucked – for the sole enjoyment of all men involved. The man being ‘cucked’ isn’t the one being humiliated. He gets to act as if he is the one being humiliated. He enjoys a fetishised version of what it would be like to be humiliated and embarrassed.

The entire time, it’s the woman who is suffering for the enjoyment of the man. The man does not endure any real embarrassment or humiliation at all, especially since he can still draw pleasure from it.

In my opinion, there is no such thing as Feminist porn.

Image from Pexels.com