The Pornography of Everyday Life
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.