The “P” word: mediated pornography

My friend was a little upset that Margret Grebowicz did not include graphic evidence of her research in her book Why Internet Porn MattersI, on the other hand, was a little relieved. Reading a book about pornography without the images seemed less daunting than reading an illustrated version of it. Granted, there is descriptive narrative in the book, but Grebowicz seems to focus more on language and power than the visuals. This is what I found most interesting in the first two chapters of the book:


Max Ernst #2This is precisely the argument that Baudillard makes, proposing that new relationships between discourse and power in the age of information, in which Internet pornography plays a significant role, affect the ability of the body politic to produce something like “meaning” at all. If he is right, this has consequences for both, the cyberlibertarian and the (let’s call it) “revolutionary fantasist” position that porn should exist unregulated by the state precisely because of its role in the production of resistant discourses…[A]ccording to Baudillard, today’s pornography is complicit in, and even central to, the production of a body politic which can neither speak nor listen in interventionist ways.



For an exploration of Marxist theory applied to pornography discourse, read Peter Prevos’s analysis of “Pornography and the Commodification of Sexual Desire.

— Alexia Raynal, Zeteo Managing Editor


Top image: Max Ernst – The Chinese Nightingale, 1920

One comment

  1. Pingback: The “P” word: mediated pornography II | Z e t e o

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