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Transgression 2.0 Chapters 6 and 8. By Bridget Carrigan 4/9/2013 CMC400 Ted Gournelos. Ch 6 Making Bodies Visible Post-feminism and the Pornographication of Online Identities By Sarah Neely.

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Transgression 2 0 chapters 6 and 8
Transgression 2.0 Chapters 6 and 8

By Bridget Carrigan



Ted Gournelos

Transgression 2 0 chapters 6 and 8
Ch 6 Making Bodies VisiblePost-feminism and the Pornographication of Online IdentitiesBy Sarah Neely

  • “this chapter will explore key issues raised within the debates on post-feminism determining their efficacy in relation to the representation of online identitites, arguing that gender inequalitites and the continual quest for visibility in these online spaces is representitive of more than just a general pornographication of culture, or mainstreaming of sex (Mcnair 1996), but is also representitive of what Angela McRobbie refers to in her most recent book as “youthful female phallicism,” which functions as a form of “post-feminist masquerade” whereby women's achievements at work are diminished by a mask of femininity and a concentrated emphasis on the presentation of an appropriate and desireable feminine self” (Neely 102-103).

Transgression 2 0 chapters 6 and 8

  • “Cyberfeminism”-

  • false utopia of gender equality

  • this virtual reality reflects real body problems

  • Pro ano bulimia sites

  • differences in women's representations online and men's

    Berger's influential thesis: “Men act, women appear.” men participate online while women appear (bodies shown, what she looks like rather than what she does)

    Active female participation: still related to body issues

The pornographication of culture
The Pornographication of Culture

  • DQ

  • Karen Boyle: “Commercial sex is not sex for its for its own sake, its sex for money”, author Neely argues, “it is becoming additionally difficult to tell the difference between the two” (102).

  • “...Mainstream Media frequently employs a porn aesthetic that is closer to traditional porn representations than a lot of contemporary porn.”

  • Loaded magazine ad aug 2010. “Bukkake” porn genre reference

  • Lee and American Apparel as well

    Other media representations:

  • Miley's pole dance teen choice awards(pole-dancing used with sense of “amnesia” to the origins of movement---from strippers to teen celebs and housewives)

The pornographication of culture1
The Pornographication of Culture

  • Porn Humor: American Pie, Superbad,

  • The Girls Next Door:

  • “gave viewers priviledged insight into the everyday lives of hugh heffner's girlfriends. As Diana Negra explains, the program is consistent with a general normalization of porn where none of the “seedy stuff” is allowed to sully the enjoyment of light entertainment” (Negra 2009:100).” (103)

  • PB bunny is on large range of merchandise, lots for kids (clothing, pencil cases...)

  • Kids don't know what bunny means.

  • Pencils were very successful but people didn't like children loving them.

  • “This refelcts the general reality of popular culture's amnesiac engagement with the pornographic, in which contexts are emptied and appropriation is seen as interpreted solely in the eyes of the beholder” (103).

The pornographication of culture2
The Pornographication of Culture

  • How do you define Femininism?

  • Feminism: interpreted in popular culture as anti-sex/anti-men—silenced or seen as extreme viewpoint which makes it an invalid viewpoint (104)

  • Do you agree?

  • Women as objects and subjects: in control and desiring objectification vs. being objectified

  • DQ 2: Is it empowering or no?

The sexualization of self in popular culture
The Sexualization of Self in Popular Culture

  • “Stripping a la Bulging Brides becomes the modern-day equivalent of what learning how to cook a good chicken casserole was for the bride-to-be of the 1950s. What is percieved as sexual functionality is only yet another prerequisite added to the list of desireable characteristics for young women” (105).

  • DQ Is this true? Which are “more important” to M/W?

  • Gail Dines: Women are either fuckable or invisible.

  • “Although the rhetoric of “sexiness” has been decorated with the rhetoric of empowerment, it only guarentees visibility and is more often met with the derision of misogyny. The repeated scrutiny of women in politics in relation to their percieved sexiness is testament to this” (105).

  • Palin's “hotness” undermines her credibility.

  • Sex Dolls, MILF tshirts,

  • Hotness while necessary for visibility is devoid of real power or political agency

The sexualization of self in popular culture1
The Sexualization of Self in Popular Culture

  • Make-over shows

  • Narrow definitions of femininity and underpinned by commercial imperatives

  • All shows have in common the idea of taking a woman's body as a project to be undertaken/improved rather than something for other women to identify with


Cyberfeminism and online utopia
Cyberfeminism and Online Utopia

  • Utopian possibilities for internet and cyberspace in regards to feminism

  • White heterosexual males outnumber everyone in the online community. Females are “lurkers” who observe online behavior but don't participate

  • Internet- seen as place with limitless possibilities-- binaries of gender didn't need to apply—identities separate from living bodies


  • Loss of body is fetishized

  • Girl who does internet feed of operations and sells body parts online after

  • a/s/l-- chatrooms

  • Screennames in chatrooms often after bodyparts: babe, boy, man

  • DQ: First e-mail addresses, screennames, AIM


  • “fantasy place” limitless,

Cyberfeminism and online utopia1
Cyberfeminism and Online Utopia

  • Orbach: more places to obsess over body and body image

  • eating disorders, self-harm, body-modification

  • problems with argument: self inflicted harm and modifciation are apparent across many cultures

  • “her points about the painful bodily realities that often underlie the performance of identity are particularily salient within a consideration of online identity

    Social Networking sites become place for women to choose how their bodies are represented

  • empowering avatars, sexy pictures

  • Studies show projected selves differ greatly from our “real” selves

  • Sexualized images become normalized

  • representations therefore become more extreme

  • subcultures (furrygirl) while breaking from some norms is still very similar to other porn other than hair

  • Connection from soft-porn in our culture to promiscuity in girls

Gender and the internet
Gender and the Internet

  • Nicole Cohen has argued that women are passive consumers, men are active agents or creators of media

  • studies have shown inconclusively that more blogs were penned by women/men

  • A-list blogs penned by men

  • Top rated men's blogs technology. Top rated women's blogs related to sex(109)

  • Post-feminist sites: smart and sexy girls.

  • Symbiotic relationship between consumerism and femininity

Everyone s a pornstar
Everyone's a Pornstar

  • Porn-aesthetic and actual Porn

  • Belle De Jour- real stories from a call girl

  • Free women/agency with all markers of success (money, clothes, impeccable grooming)

  • Difference between Pretty Woman and Belle—we are actually expected to believe Belle

  • “The more personal, the more private the disclosure, the more authentic and legitimate the source”

  • Riot Grrl Movement

  • grew out of U.S. Underground punk scene in 1990s

    Which: activism commercialism agency commodification

Everyone s a pornstar1
Everyone's a Pornstar

  • Alt Porn

  • Suicidegirls-- beauty redefined

  • tattoos, piercings

  • girls submit portofllio of photos which are then decided on

  • all shapes and sizes

  • run by “misogynistic man”

  • “self-representation”

  • still conforms to normal conventions (blonde, geek, punk rock etc.)


    Visibility and Participation don't ensure equality

    web allows the opportunity to give false representation, like suicidegirls, while hiding the real motives and creators

Ch 8 sick stuff
Ch 8 Sick Stuff

  • Law, Criminality, and Obscenity

  • -Julian Petley

  • Darryn Walker wrote Girls (scream) Aloud and posted it online summer 2007

  • Charged with offense of the Obscene Publications Act (OPA) from U.K.

  • What is illegal online is not necessarily legal offline and vice versea

  • Obscene: “If its taken as a whole such as to tend to depraveand corrupt persons who are likely, in all circumstances, to read, see, or hear the matter contained or embodied in it” (136).

Girls scream aloud
Girls (Scream) Aloud

  • WARNING! This story contains explicit imaginary descriptions of the rape torture and mutilation of five of the sexiest girls in pop today.

  • Darryn Walker Girls Aloud

Transgression 2 0 chapters 6 and 8

  • Possibility of surveillance on internet influences behavior (Foucault's model of panopticon)

  • Was G(S)A more offensive than other literature available online?

  • Not arguing its literary merit, rather its depictions of sex and violance are just as graphic as others, and it is not fair to just be deemed by some to possess no literary merits

  • Who has the right to judge?

  • The Kristen Archieves

  • Published GSA

  • Explicit warnings about material within the “Just Putrid Stories”

  • in warning: “these stories have been placed behind this page so no one will stumble upon them by accident”

  • If parents regulate their childrens internet activity they have no chance of finding the story. Must search with words like murder, rape etc