Robert Jensen – "Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity

A related interview by MediaMouse with Robert Jensen:

In this lecture, author and professor Robert Jensen explores the realities of pornography. His analysis is rooted in a framework of sexual violence rather than seeing it pornography as an issue of expression or “fantasy.” Consequently, his insights place pornography in its appropriate context within patriarchy.

In order to arrive at this analysis, Jensen approaches pornography as if it were any other
type of media and seeks to understand it as a form of mass media. Assuming that it is a form of mass media, Jensen goes on to ask what that tells us about sexuality, masculinity, and ourselves.

It’s a similar analysis to the one presented in his book “Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity”.

18 reacties

  1. This was really interesting. I came away with a different view of pornography this weekend after listening to Robert Jensen and Andrea Dworkin.

  2. I used to think that the right was full of end times lunatics until I realized that the Jensens (Derrick/Robert), Chris Hedges, DGR and other collapsitarian buffoons are even worse. Here's a guy who claims that "porn is what the end of the world looks like!" Yeah, if I only I had a nickel for every time I felt that watching a creampie or a money shot evoked imagery of the apocalypse…Antiporn crusaders seriously need to get a life.

  3. "The trend moves toward increasingly more cruelty and degradation…"

    Franz Kafka: "Sade is the godfather of the modern age."

  4. I can't believe this guy was shouted down as an "Incel" at a committee last year in the DePaul Humanities circle. Consider also: Jordan Peterson's fans are also referred to as "Incels" by protesters at his respective events. What unites a left leaning feminist commentator like Robert Jensen and a Conservative leaning speaker like Jordan Peterson? It seems to me the overlap is sexual ethics.

    All this shows me is that the third wave postmodern feminist generation wants to abolish any kind of sexual decorum (with the sole exception of consent). They want us to live in libertarian "let it all hang out" culture. A world where the rite of initiation obligates wild beer parties, porn worship, twerking, and one night stands. A world that superficially resembles a Marquis de Sade influenced fantasy, but without any coercive violence or harm (consent makes all the difference!). A raucous hedonistic utopia…

  5. Years later hes on a self destructive path. Hes the result of Kirk Franklin if he decided to hate himself instead of love himself.

  6. I don't like the part where he considers the idea: 'does this porn affect how men behave' because even if you cannot prove it does, he ignores how its existence, its content, makes women feel, how it affects them. When we do have evidence that this culture is traumatising them. To paraphrase Andrea Dworkin, the existence of porn is to humiliate, dominate and ultimately subordinate women, as if to say "bitch, keep looking down, because whenever you look up you are going to see your legs spread".

  7. Great question "Why are men's sexual fantasies like this?" The routine humiliation and degradation of women.

  8. He is not against men or healthy male sexuality. Men survived for thousands of years without access to pornography. It is in no way necessary to watch porn to be a man. What porn has become depicts unrealistic, unhealthy behaviour and reinforces false depictions of female pleasure.

  9. why doesn't this have more views? his book is the most disturbing thing i have ever read. i couldn't even finish it.

  10. This guy is basically demonizing male sexuality.  Does he seriously believe that men being visually stimulated by women is a result of the patriarchy, culturally constructed, and therefore subject to moral evaluation?  That's utterly insane.  You're telling young men that they are evil abusers, immoral, and unacceptable to a just and decent society for having what are normal, healthy sexual feelings.  He's essentially arguing that normal sexual feelings constitute "sexual violence." 

    He also seems to assume that women are damsels in distress, as if they are children with no agency of their own. Is Robert Jensen stuck in the 19th century? 

    And why are we to believe that sex work is different than other forms of work?  90% of workplace injuries and deaths afflict men, not women.  Is it not their bodies?  Is it not a gender system which produces the social pressures and identities which would lead them to believe they had to destroy their bodies and backbreaking and dangerous jobs in order to play the provider role that women want still want and expect?  That's a curious conception of "privilege."  I didn't realize obligations were privileges. 

    We're supposed to think sex work is different because we're 19th century bigoted moralists trying to normalize our fucked up sexual and psychological issues by turning them into a bigoted ideology?

    Tell me, wasn't Emmett Till a "street harasser?"  Is it possible the violence afflicted on him was in part spurred by the very same morally righteous bigoted chivalry that Mr. Jensen himself subscribes to?  And why does Mr. Jensen believe that women play no role in the imposition of the very same masculine identity that he identifies as the root of women's oppression?  Women aren't half the culture?  Men's identities aren't powerfully shaped by their perceptions of what women want and expect?  

    Porn is an industry, as Mr. Jensen says, but then again so is demagoguery.  This guy's argument is utterly absurd and in a sane world he would be protested and kicked off campus.

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