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Monday, September 19, 2005

Tristan Taormino interview at Suicide Girls + Female Chauvinist Pigs

I missed this Suicide Girls interview with Tristan Taormino when it went up in August but I'm reposting the last 2 Q&As here because it at least speaks to some of the female empowerment the sex industry is offering. And I do realize it's more complex than that but if I have to read another overly fawning review of Female Chauvinist Pigs I'm going to freaking scream. There were some valid points but overall there are so many gaps and, as Jennifer Egan points out, no attempts to look at women are who are transcending or reframing both feminism and sexuality into something new and different. But I guess according to Levy's logic I am just a female chauvinist pig, right? I'm just not really sure how her argument is different than 1970's claims of "false consciousness." And that's not to say I'm equating myself with Sheila Nevins or Paris Hilton or any of her examples, but the whole premise feels icky to me and rings false. There HAS to be some middle ground, or other ground, for those of us who are feminists and want the right to be sexually aggressive, both in our personal lives and our culture. It's just not as simple as Ariel Levy or Pamela Paul wants to paint it (or the other side, but I'll deal with that another time).

DRE: Last year I spoke with Richard Kern and he said that it seems like girls are a lot more willing to take their clothes off now. What’s your impression?

TT: Certainly I think when you’re planning to take your clothes off and you’re going to do it in a really public way, all women have to know that those pictures or that video is never going to die. It’s going to be out there forever.

DRE: I don’t know if all of them realize that though.

TT: That’s what I think. But there are more opportunities for women to take their clothes off and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Again when you are approached by someone like SuicideGirls you know that this is done in with a feminist sensibility and ethical way. You’re going to have input and control and say over how I look or how I’m represented or what I want to do and what I don’t want to do. There’s just more women in positions of power. I mean when you think of just being in the porn industry and how many more actresses now get to work with female directors; female producers and I think that’s stated in a different environment and one where women feel like they have more power.

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