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Film Catalog » Subject Areas » Women's Studies/Gender Studies » Women's Studies » The Pornography of Everyday Life

The Pornography of Everyday Life

The Pornography of Everyday Life - Image Produced by Jane Caputi,Susan Rosenkranz.
34 min. Color. 2007.
Available as: VHS and DVD
Captioned: Yes
Catalog #: 0156
Order this title
Sale Price: $225.00 Buy VHS Buy DVD

This trenchant and provocative documentary essay will generate
thought, analysis, and discussion in a wide variety of courses in
women's and gender studies, psychology, sociology, and popular
culture. It incorporates more than 200 powerful images from
advertising, ancient myth, contemporary art, and popular culture to
demonstrate how pornography (defined as the sexualized domination,
degradation, and objectification of women and girls and social groups
who are put in the demeaned feminine role) is in reality a prevalent
mainstream worldview.

The film illustrates how the pornographic worldview is a generally
accepted discourse, a habitual mode of thinking and acting that
underpins not only sexism, but also racism, militarism, physical
abuse and torture, and the pillaging of the environment. As such,
pornography appears not only in overt, "hard-core" forms, but also in
virtually every aspect of everyday life.

As the film illuminates, even though pornography is generally thought
to be the opposite of religion, it actually is an irrational belief
system analogous to a religion. Like much patriarchal religious
tradition, pornography is shown to be misogynistic and homophobic,
and defines sex as "dirty" or debased and the opposite of the mind or
spirit.

Pornography is also shown to support the worst tendencies of
patriarchal religions by appropriating previously sacred and potent
images of women, sex, goddesses, and the feminine principle,
colloquially known as Mother Earth or Mother Nature, and then
ritually profaning and defaming them. This works not only to demean
women but to justify and legitimize male divinity and worldly
authority.

The film concludes by suggesting alternatives and by illustrating how
visionary thinkers and artists resist the pornographic worldview by
re-imagining and restoring respect to eroticism, female sexuality,
and the female divine, and by calling for new understandings of
sexuality, nature, and society.

The Pornography of Everyday Life is a superb and invigorating
cultural exploration that will stir thought and engender classroom
debate. It was written by and features Jane Caputi, Prof. of Women's
Studies at Florida Atlantic University, and produced by award-winning
filmmaker Susan Rosenkranz.

Reviews

"This film is an astonishing eye-opener! It describes the
pornographic imagination as 'the prevailing worldview' and backs up
that claim with hundreds of images from numerous sources of popular
culture. Thus, the film never claims to distinguish between
'hard-core' and other pornographically sexualized representations,
but rather shows the seamlessness of culture industries. Better than
any film I've seen or book I've read, this film decalcifies abstract
arguments about essentialism and reductionism by letting viewers see
with their own eyes both the infinite fluidity and utter consistency
of the production and reproduction of oppressions. I used this film
in a survey class on Gender and Law, and I do not exaggerate in
saying that the smog lifted before us. The law, no more than the
average citizen, ordinarily connects popular representations of
pornographic sexuality with religion, racism, environmental outrage,
militarism, and the cult of death. Many of these law students
exclaimed that this film changed their understandings of the law and
even their lives. This horizon-disturbing experience is vital for
students in all disciplines. If that is what teachers are looking
for, Jane Caputi puts it all together, with her encyclopedic
knowledge of popular culture, her insights into intellectual
histories, and her characteristic eloquence and passion." -- Ann
Scales, Assoc. Prof., Univ. of Denver Law School

"My students loved this film! Masterfully and sensitively
illustrating the connections between what Prof. Caputi identifies as
our 'pornographic worldview' and the violence perpetrated against all
things cast as feminine, this film provoked a wealth of powerful
responses and incited thoughtful critiques of images found in film,
television, print media, music videos, and the news. But what
students were most genuinely impressed with was the possibility for
resistance to such representations through feminist art and culture's
reclamation of the erotic." -- Prof. Suzanne Kelly, Women's Studies
Program, State Univ. of New York at New Paltz

"In arguing for the existence of a pornographic worldview --
something that permeates our everyday lives -- this video give us the
tools to see the connections between pornography, war, and the
destruction of the earth. But it doesn't just show the horrors of
this worldview and what it does to women, men, sexuality, and the
earth. It goes a step further, sharing acts and images of resistance
designed to invoke an alternative worldview, one in which sexuality
is restored to its original power as a creative, divine force. The
film illuminates the pervasiveness of pornography but also the
possibilities for undoing pornography and creating instead a truly
respectful and liberated worldview." -- Karen A. Foss, Prof. of
Communications and Women Studies, Univ. of New Mexico

Awards

  • National Women's Studies Association honoree
  • Popular Culture/American Culture Association honoree
  • International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature, and Culture honoree
  • Southeastern Women's Studies Association honoree
  • Filmmor Women's Film Festival (Istanbul, Turkey) honoree
  • Florida Consortium on Gender and Women's Studies honoree

 

 

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