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Feminist’s Respond on Pornography (1)

stop-pornografiPerdebatan RUU APP menuntut para feminis untuk menentukan sikapnya dalam melihat pornografi dan perempuan. Tidak semua feminis mempunyai satu kata tentang Undang-undang pornografi. Anti pornografi feminis berpendapat bahwa pornografi pada dasarnya merendahkan, menimbulkan kekerasan dan menjadikan perempuan sebagai objek sexual. Sementara mereka yang pro-sex berargumen bahwa pornografi adalah salah satu cara untuk melihat sexualitas perempuan secara positif yang selama ini perempuan tidak mempunyai kesempatan untuk mengeksplorasi sexualitasnya dan pornografi bukan penyebab satu-satunya kekerasan dan objektifikasi perempuan tetapi ada faktor lain seperti budaya dan penafsiran agama. Keduanya berusaha membebaskan perempuan, namun mempunyai cara yang berbeda. Antipornografi berusaha membebaskan perempuan dengan menghilangkan tayangan-tayangan pornografi. Sementara pro-sex membiarkan pornografi ada sebagai salah satu bentuk kebebasan perempuan dalam mengeksplorasi sexualitasnya. Dua kelompok ini mempunyai kekuatan dan kelemahan yang berbeda dalam argumentasinya.

The controversy about the bill of pornography and porno action primarily focuses on the problems of representation in relationship to its harmful effects on viewers as described by the Greek philosopher Plato. According to this philosopher in the work Plato’s Republic, art is harmful, dangerous, destructive to the youth, and deceptive because fiction is often confused with reality. In the US, the anti-pornography movement and the pro-sex movement have been portrayed as two debates that were completely separate from one another. The truth is that the separation between these two feminist movements is problematic. Both movements attempt to liberate women. However, their solutions to the problems of violence against women differ. Where anti-pornography feminists believed the solution lies in getting rid of pornographic images, pro-sex feminists attempt to promote more positive female sexual identities and keep the debate open to sexual diversity.

Anti-pornography feminists were viewed as primarily against pornography and not about promoting more positive female sexual identities and diversity. They believe that representations of women in pornography promote violence against women by portraying women as objects. Women are hurt, degraded and abused by pornography. They are made inferior by pornography because this form of representation portrays them as subordinate to males. For this reason, anti-pornography feminists largely work toward censoring pornographic images and strengthening obscenity laws. This is done in the hope that eliminating pornographic images will solve part of the problem of violence against women. In the anti-pornography school of thought there are many strengths in their debate that provide a helpful way of eliminating violence against women, promoting gender equality, and conceptualizing female identity. These strengths include but are not limited to the following: (1) defining violence against women as a specific and approachable problem and recognizing that images are powerful in determining social thought and behavior, (2) distinguishing pornography from erotica in the hopes of promoting positive vs. negative images of women (3) defining violence against women as a human rights issue and using rhetorical strategies involved with race and / or violence to define the negative effects of pornography, (4) differentiating between sexual freedom and sexual justice, (5) realizing that men as well as women are victims of pornography, and conceptualizing the problem of sexuality in terms of power relationships in the attempt to give reasons and solutions for the gap in gender understanding.

Pro-sex feminists were believed to focus more on developing female sexualities in order to strengthen women’s presence in society and did not concern themselves with violence against women through representation in pornographic images. In the pro-sex feminist debate, women are conceptualized with a regained sense of power. These feminists attempt to explore the erotic, narcissistic, drive that enhances images of feminism as difference, rebellion, agency, self-empowerment, daring, excess, subversion, disloyalty, and pleasure and danger. Pro-sex feminists reject all images of powerlessness, victimization, subjection, acquiescence, passivity, conformism, and femininity. They also attempt to work toward community, accountability, collective empowerment, sisterhood, and female bonding. Their focus is on regaining power for women and reclaiming female sexual identity. Mostly they attempt to do this by questioning social constructions and taboos surrounding female sexuality and pushing the envelope of what is acceptable and what is not in the hopes of finding and gaining the power anti-feminists claim women are denied. In the pro-sex movement I find the following qualities to be strengths: (1) embracing diverse sexuality and erotica and promoting this diversity, and reclaiming women’s right to sexual pleasure and experience and giving women the right to define themselves in relationship to society, (2) suggesting that sexual violence is not promoted solely by pornography but that it is caused by men’s hostility toward women, and using cultural criticism to discuss larger social problems involved in defining sexual experience, and (3) opposing censorship in the belief that exploring pornography and creating feminist art and pornography can lead to greater understanding about pleasure and danger.

Alimatul Qibtiyah
Aktivis perempuan dan peneliti masalah gender. Ketua Lembaga Penelitian dan Pengembangan 'Aisyiyah (LPPA) Pimpinan Pusat Aisyiyah. Komisioner Komnas Perempuan. Anggota Majelis Tarjih dan Tajdid PP Muhammadiyah. Dosen Fakultas Dakwah dan Komunikasi (FDK) UIN Sunan Kalijaga.

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