0714: "Porn For Women"

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lutzo
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby lutzo » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:02 am UTC

Alero wrote:I think this thread is great simply on the basis that Porn for Women is in the comedy section of the bookstore I frequent.


^THIS^

JonScholar
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby JonScholar » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:18 am UTC

Needless to say the creators of "Porn for Women" all but completely ignored the email from said insecure individual, and continued to roll around in their gigantic pools of money.

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Noclaf
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby Noclaf » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:34 am UTC

yes! veiled reference to Battlestar Galactica Fanfic porn in the hovertext! That IS how I like my porn!

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby DarkShard » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:41 am UTC

First, I do not understand why so many people on this board have decided because the woman in this comic says that in her porn, people are fucking, that this somehow means that the author is attempting to speak for all women. If the author were to suddenly write something akin to, "I'm a woman, and when you send me a magazine about flowers it assumes I'm into that kind of thing, but I really like video games!" would there be the same assumption that the author is insisting that all women like video games and not flowers ? I certainly hope not.

elwoodlives wrote:As a twenty-something, college-educated, pretty average girl, I know a hell of a lot of women who like porn. The thing is, most of them find mainstream porn about as hot as watching paint dry, and almost as real as professional wrestling. (Seriously. Try to remember the last time you saw an orgasm on film that seemed in any way spontaneous or less businesslike than your average drive-through window experience. Now try and remember the last one had by a woman. It's okay, I'll wait.) Most of them turn to amateur or gay sources, because, frankly, they often include two or more people enjoying having sex. That's it. No hearts, no flowers, just people having fun (in bed). The stigma of porn is effectively gone in my generation, and the demand is there. The supply, though...

I really like this post because it resonates with my experience. I, too, am a twenty-something, college-educated, pretty (or so I like to think) average girl. I am drawn to porn. Unfortunately, my problem with porn is that I often can't tell when the woman involved is having an orgasm. Yes, there is lots of moaning and groaning, but it never seems to go anywhere. She moans, she groans, the guy comes . . . and it's over. It's weird for me to watch, because the whole idea that the female orgasms is so . . . missable . . . just isn't something I can get in line with. With a great deal of porn, it's all, "Oh, she's turned on, she's turned on, and . . . it's over!" I find the whole thing unsatisfying.

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Re: Porn For Women

Postby Karrot » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:21 am UTC

Poppy Appletree wrote:
Notch wrote:
Poppy Appletree wrote:A statistic of approximately one in four women being raped in their lifetime might oppose that view. :|


Fuck, really? Source?

I feel ignorant and ashamed for humanity now.


Well, I've researched it a fair bit, so I don't keep track of all the sources I see. I usually look at statistics for the UK and US, which tend to be fairly consistent - rough estimates are fairly easy to acquire by Googling, though, such as the first result for "rape statistics", which gives this.

I'm not sure that the statistic of one in four women having experienced rape or attempted rape is quite the same as one in four actually being raped. (I can't decide if they mean that the woman "experienced an attempt at rape" or that the woman herself "attempted rape," although I'm guessing the former based on the slant that the website seems to take.) Of course, there's also issues like the consumption of alcohol meaning that consent can't be given, so if a heterosexual couple both drink, then agree to have intercourse... then the man is the rapist. Double standards much?

That being said, the lack of data regarding men being raped really annoys me. What few statistics there are suggest that up to 10% of men will be raped during their lifetime (google: "Male Survivors" michigan.gov). Oh, and let's not forget, stupid movements like V-day that want to end violence against women. Who cares about ending violence against men, right? Heck, we're feminists, let's support violence against men!

If I had any faith in humanity, it would make me sad to see how discriminatory these "equality" movements are.

peanutdustbomb
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby peanutdustbomb » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:21 am UTC

Edit: I'm removing all comments made in this pornography discussion. In the future, I'll remember to keep heated discussions to 4chan.
Last edited by peanutdustbomb on Tue Mar 22, 2011 11:33 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.

deiden26
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby deiden26 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:50 am UTC

I chose to ignore all of the feminist, sexist, whatever type nonsense in this comic (at least until I checked the forums) and just enjoyed the pure, simple, hilariously blunt punch line:

IN my PORN
PEOPLE FUCK

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby boring bore » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:15 am UTC

OK, I know I'm way too late for this, but...
LuNatic wrote:Wait, so the best way to attract a girl is to offer to wash her dishes?

Apparently.

As for all the people who are debating whether Randall Munroe is sexist or not: He's not. Most educated people aren't nowadays.
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby clanders » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:20 am UTC

I saw the title, and I knew I was in for yet another bad comic.

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limerick
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby limerick » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:57 am UTC

I can't pretend to have read every comment in this thread; my attention span lasts about ten posts.

But from what I skimmed, I think a lot of you guys are missing the point.

There already is porn for women. It's actual porn. The idea that a guy cleaning house is porn for women is some chauvinistic view of women's desires. Because porn is porn, not defined as a representation of s gender's desires for the other gender. It's actually porn.
Where, ahem, people fuck.

The character here is calling out the idiots who think women must be turned on by men doing housework, ergo: porn.
Because regardless of what the sexist past wants you to think, women's porn IS actually porn.

Just google some guy and guy action. Because you know how there're those guys who think girl on girl is hot?
Yeah.

Goes both ways.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby LuNatic » Tue Mar 16, 2010 6:39 am UTC

CrayolaTwo wrote:
LuNatic wrote:Wait, so the best way to attract a girl is to offer to wash her dishes?

So tempting to post an image of 'The Todd' from Scrubs...


*shrug* Hey, I wouldn't turn it down!


Great! What are you doing this weekend?

j/k
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Re: Porn For Women

Postby osmigos » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:13 am UTC

Karrot wrote:
Poppy Appletree wrote:
Notch wrote:
Poppy Appletree wrote:A statistic of approximately one in four women being raped in their lifetime might oppose that view. :|


Fuck, really? Source?

I feel ignorant and ashamed for humanity now.


Well, I've researched it a fair bit, so I don't keep track of all the sources I see. I usually look at statistics for the UK and US, which tend to be fairly consistent - rough estimates are fairly easy to acquire by Googling, though, such as the first result for "rape statistics", which gives this.

I'm not sure that the statistic of one in four women having experienced rape or attempted rape is quite the same as one in four actually being raped. (I can't decide if they mean that the woman "experienced an attempt at rape" or that the woman herself "attempted rape," although I'm guessing the former based on the slant that the website seems to take.) Of course, there's also issues like the consumption of alcohol meaning that consent can't be given, so if a heterosexual couple both drink, then agree to have intercourse... then the man is the rapist. Double standards much?

That being said, the lack of data regarding men being raped really annoys me. What few statistics there are suggest that up to 10% of men will be raped during their lifetime (google: "Male Survivors" michigan.gov). Oh, and let's not forget, stupid movements like V-day that want to end violence against women. Who cares about ending violence against men, right? Heck, we're feminists, let's support violence against men!

If I had any faith in humanity, it would make me sad to see how discriminatory these "equality" movements are.


The double standard involving rape is horrible. As a male rape victim, the worst part of the whole experience came after the fact, when no one cared. My employer actually threatened to fire me if I refused to continue working with the woman.

On feminism as a whole though, I'm *very* glad for it. It's quite annoying to me how so many girls seem like helpless little dolls incapable of doing anything for themselves, and needing a big, strong man to save them. If it wasn't for the feminist revolution paving the way for the small percentage of strong, independent women out there, I might have turned to men. I'd rather have a relationship with an equal.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby cryogenia » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:29 am UTC

Coming in late to this conversation, I have to say I'm surprised there are people who were upset that the author took this on. As a woman myself? I personally cheered. I see this comic as supportive of women's rights/gender equality: porn is PORN. People fuck in it. And while I recognize that for a large segment of the population,"Porn for Women" books are just a silly joke...for me, they are an uncomfortable reminder that if I admit to liking real sexually explicit material, I will be cast out as a "slut". It's a cultural joke that men are the ones obsessed with sex, and women would rather "cuddle" while he does the dishes. Both stereotypes suck.

Also, spot on with the slash reference :)

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby cryogenia » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:36 am UTC

limerick wrote:There already is porn for women. It's actual porn. The idea that a guy cleaning house is porn for women is some chauvinistic view of women's desires. Because porn is porn, not defined as a representation of s gender's desires for the other gender. It's actually porn.
Where, ahem, people fuck.


^-- WTS. Whether or not the author of Porn for Women was in fact female, the implication of the work is that a) sexually explicit porn is for men b) women don't want sexually explicit material, they are instead turned on by attentive, non-threatening, caring men who will do their chores for them. Which may be the truth for some ladies, and that's okay! But for those of us who don't mind seeing people actually fuck, it's pretty obnoxious to have people joke about how much I must loooove boring vanilla pictures of shirtless men. Women who admit to liking porn are often told that we are "degrading ourselves", or that we're sluts, etc. Personally, I like having the autonomy to decide when I feel degraded :P

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby cephalopod9 » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:21 am UTC

And can I add, The "porn for women" series being "A Joke" doesn't make it better, or less obnoxious. The basis is still the ideas that domestic work takes the place of libido or fulfilling relationships in women, that men doing house work is a fantasy like the thing portrayed in porn and not an expected part of life, and that women are an obscure interest group (and not part of the majority that gets Porn).
DarkShard wrote:
elwoodlives wrote:As a twenty-something, college-educated, pretty average girl, I know a hell of a lot of women who like porn. The thing is, most of them find mainstream porn about as hot as watching paint dry, and almost as real as professional wrestling. (Seriously. Try to remember the last time you saw an orgasm on film that seemed in any way spontaneous or less businesslike than your average drive-through window experience. Now try and remember the last one had by a woman. It's okay, I'll wait.) Most of them turn to amateur or gay sources, because, frankly, they often include two or more people enjoying having sex. That's it. No hearts, no flowers, just people having fun (in bed). The stigma of porn is effectively gone in my generation, and the demand is there. The supply, though...

I really like this post because it resonates with my experience. I, too, am a twenty-something, college-educated, pretty (or so I like to think) average girl. I am drawn to porn. Unfortunately, my problem with porn is that I often can't tell when the woman involved is having an orgasm. Yes, there is lots of moaning and groaning, but it never seems to go anywhere. She moans, she groans, the guy comes . . . and it's over. It's weird for me to watch, because the whole idea that the female orgasms is so . . . missable . . . just isn't something I can get in line with. With a great deal of porn, it's all, "Oh, she's turned on, she's turned on, and . . . it's over!" I find the whole thing unsatisfying.

You know what's ironic? I find Ultimate Fighting Championship is actually kind of hot. So professional wrestling of sorts is More convincing and engaging than mainstream porn. For me at least (which it seems I need to clarify because otherwise every statement ever will be taken as an attempt to represent the entire planet).

The thing I really don't get is how eager so many people are to explain why actual porn specifically for women just can't work forever. Because they definitely know it to be true factual fact, and you can totally tell by all the times they really seriously tried (so hard).
I mean, there's lesbian porn for womens, made by people in a feminist mindset, that look like they'd be pretty decent if I were into that. (there's links and discussion in the porn thread over in the LSR forums)
And straight dudes will show off in gay porn even,
but you ask for Porn for Women and you get this bull crap. (I am pissed off at a lot of people in this thread now too, but instead of screaming my head of, I'm just going to end on this thought: think about all the places you see boobs, promenently displayed, the shape of them through clothing, things shaped like them, etc. now imagine that all switched with testicles. I'm only sort of trying to make a point, mostly I just find it amusing.)
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Re: Porn For Women

Postby Mavketl » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:42 am UTC

sliverstorm wrote:ANY of you guys think the comic is sexist? :lol: Let me share something with you all.

I worked out where this is headed a few days ago.

People are arguing Randall's comic is sexist. After all, it stipulates that women do not like that kind of thing.

If Randall's comic stipulated that women do like that kind of thing, it would also have been sexist.
You're onto something here! It is commonly known that sexism hardly exists anymore in our society, so people really have to look for sexism where there isn't any so they can get their daily amount of complaining! Or maybe not.

sliverstorm wrote:Thus, the only way to avoid being sexist is to avoid making statements about women at all. This is a horribly unfortunate outcome. First example that popped into my head is roses. How will a guy ever come to the idea of giving a girl flowers, unless he's a poet? He has no idea they might like them, because his father and mother and his friends have not said anything sexist to him along the lines of 'girls like flowers'. Now, I'm sure there's girls out there who don't like flowers, but I've known a ton that really do like them. So ladies, who do not like flowers, why not just take one for the team. Let them buy you flowers. It's not that terrible is it :shock:
Maybe it seems like a silly example, but it's the logical extension.
Wait, what? Making statements about all women (or men) is sexist? Don't be silly, assuming half the world population has the same preference is necessary to keep this world going. The flower industry would suffer horribly if we don't say "girls like flowers" every once in a while, for one. I can only imagine what would happen to the car industry once we also forego "men like cars"... very soon, nobody will be driving anymore.
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby Czhorat » Tue Mar 16, 2010 9:47 am UTC

cryogenia wrote:^-- WTS. Whether or not the author of Porn for Women was in fact female, the implication of the work is that a) sexually explicit porn is for men b) women don't want sexually explicit material, they are instead turned on by attentive, non-threatening, caring men who will do their chores for them. Which may be the truth for some ladies, and that's okay! But for those of us who don't mind seeing people actually fuck, it's pretty obnoxious to have people joke about how much I must loooove boring vanilla pictures of shirtless men. Women who admit to liking porn are often told that we are "degrading ourselves", or that we're sluts, etc. Personally, I like having the autonomy to decide when I feel degraded :P


That's one interpretation. The other is that it's a fantasy of women to have more male involvement in things like housework because, as a rule, men do far less of that kind of work then women do. Run a google search on "division of household chores by gender" and see what I mean. Earlier in this thread, I mentioned that men who lose their jobs spend, on average, an extra FIVE MINUTES per day doing household chores (and either 2 or 4 hours, I forget which, watching TV). The Porn for Women books can be read as a jab at male unwillingness to engage in what are considered typical female tasks, and as such I find it worth at least a chuckle. And no, I find nothing wrong with women enjoying sex or sexuality or porn. To say that Porn for Women makes the statement that they shouldn't is, in my opinion, missing the point.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby yet another steven » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:03 am UTC

This is clearly one of those subjects that allow many different perspectives. Let's try a few:

If you're a tired mom whose male partner doesn't do much around the house but still expects sex every night when you're too tired to be interested (see zusana's post above), obviously booklets like porn for women are funny, and it's more important to challenge those stereotyped notions than to worry about whether it is a fair depiction of female sexuality. To this person, the booklets are about housework, the thing that bothers you, and not about sex. This also seems to be the viewpoint that eeeeaaii keeps trying to hammer into us, insisting it's the only valid viewpoint.

If you're a sensitive male cartoonist who fixes his own food and cleans his own house, and who has a number of female friends whom he respects and who tell him they actually do like sex the same way that men do, you might get annoyed with these coy references to an outdated set of perceptions of gender that simultaneously pretends to be feminist.

If you're interested in buying and selling, you may recognize that "porn for women" is commercially very cleverly done and respect the skill with which it is pulled off: good pictorials that succeed in conveying the intended impressions. In zusana's post I cited earlier, it strikes me that one of the things she likes about the booklets is the sense of forming an exclusive female club that denies access to men but provides a sense of power and of belonging to women:
It's an in joke, not something forced on women from men who just don't get it.

It's the same sentiment that I feel makes many women like "feminist" shows such as "sex in the city". That's clever marketing for you.

All of the above interpretations can make sense, depending on where you're coming from. I think it's completely useless to discuss these issues as if we have to agree on a single moral viewpoint, or on what is or is not sexist. Also arguments who is stupid and/or misunderstanding things seem very counterproductive to me.
Last edited by yet another steven on Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:17 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:22 pm UTC

Has anyone claiming to be offended actually looked at some of the examples from the book?

Each photo has a caption, and one for a photo of a man wearing a sweater reading the paper says, "Ooh look, the NFL playoffs are today. I'll bet we'll have no trouble parking at the crafts fair." Another of a man in a car says, "Hold that thought a second, I want to pull over and ask for directions."

It's satire, just like those "powerthirst" videos are a caricature of stereotypical male values. Anyone who picks up this book and thinks it's intended to appeal to women as "porn" is dillusional. I would pick up the book and show it to my grandmother. The comic, and this thread, make a big deal out of absolutely nothing but a joke.

Here's some more examples. Looking up "porn for women" to find this link was risky; I had to be careful not to click on any number of links to plenty of actual porn sites for women.
Last edited by uncivlengr on Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:28 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:27 pm UTC

uncivlengr wrote:The comic, and this thread, make a big deal out of absolutely nothing but a joke.

And yet your comment about the comic took me three times longer to read than the comic itself.

Of course, it couldn't possibly be that jokes are sometimes worth discussing...
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:36 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Of course, it couldn't possibly be that jokes are sometimes worth discussing...
Except that the book is so clearly not intended to represent what the author feels constitutes women's porn, that discussing how it's a misrepresention of what women want in porn is not worhtwhile at all.

Did you look at actual examples from the book before making your initial comments in this thread?
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby Karilyn » Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:52 pm UTC

Yeah, don't know the specific brand name.

But I've certainly seen assorted porn that is made by women for women. While it varies a bit, from what I can tell, the primary difference between "women's porn" and "traditional porn" is that the women's porn stars real-life romantically engaged couples.

Frankly, I greatly enjoy it.

Love-Making > Fucking

Figures that a man like Randell wouldn't get it. Really now, don't try to represent women when you don't know what the fuck you are talking about.
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:26 pm UTC

uncivlengr wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Of course, it couldn't possibly be that jokes are sometimes worth discussing...
Except that the book is so clearly not intended to represent what the author feels constitutes women's porn, that discussing how it's a misrepresention of what women want in porn is not worhtwhile at all.

The comic does not rely on the pictures in that book being presented as literal porn. In fact, the major objection here seems to be not so much that the book misrepresents women's fantasies, but that it portrays them as lacking a sex drive beyond the caricatured one on which the book is based.
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby yet another steven » Tue Mar 16, 2010 1:53 pm UTC

Karilyn wrote:Figures that a man like Randell wouldn't get it. Really now, don't try to represent women when you don't know what the fuck you are talking about.


You're way too quick to jump to conclusions. You may disagree with the sentiment expressed in the comic, but it is actually quite emphatic and well-considered. Do you realize that the comic is not actually talking about your favourite "porn for women" at all? The kind of "porn for women" this cartoon discusses contains as much love-making as it does fucking, namely none at all. The word "fuck" is not used in this cartoon as the opposite of love-making, but simply to refer to explicit sex acts being shown.

This seems more like a case of "you don't understand Randall" than a case of "Randell [sic] doesn't understand you".
Last edited by yet another steven on Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:09 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:07 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:The comic does not rely on the pictures in that book being presented as literal porn. In fact, the major objection here seems to be not so much that the book misrepresents women's fantasies, but that it portrays them as lacking a sex drive beyond the caricatured one on which the book is based.
Huh? The entire premise of the comic supposes that the book is being offered to women as literal porn, because the main objection made in the comic is that the book didn't contain literal porn. Meanwhile, the entire premise of the book is that there's nothing remotely pornographic about the images.

If you don't find the caricature funny, that's one thing (I personally find the stereotypes too tired to be funny, but I watched a lot of Home Improvement growing up), but the comic isn't a valid criticism when it's clear the book was misportrayed.
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby Czhorat » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:08 pm UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
uncivlengr wrote:
TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:Of course, it couldn't possibly be that jokes are sometimes worth discussing...
Except that the book is so clearly not intended to represent what the author feels constitutes women's porn, that discussing how it's a misrepresention of what women want in porn is not worhtwhile at all.

The comic does not rely on the pictures in that book being presented as literal porn. In fact, the major objection here seems to be not so much that the book misrepresents women's fantasies, but that it portrays them as lacking a sex drive beyond the caricatured one on which the book is based.


Which does not appear to be the point of the book at all. To think so requires an incredibly literal reading of the title to assume that this is the only acceptable porn for women AND to ignore the societal issues of unequal sharing of housework and such.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby yet another steven » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:48 pm UTC

uncivlengr wrote:Huh? The entire premise of the comic supposes that the book is being offered to women as literal porn, because the main objection made in the comic is that the book didn't contain literal porn. Meanwhile, the entire premise of the book is that there's nothing remotely pornographic about the images.


You make a good point. However, I don't think the premise of the comic is that the book is actually being offered to women as literal porn. The way I read it is: real male-centred porn shows women doing things men would like them to. The premise of the book is to turn this up side down by showing men who do things women would like them to.

This is quite possible without leaving the porn setting, and it is precisely what regular women's porn does. However these books also do a strange translation, where the domain is shifted from sex acts to domestic chores. Doing the inversion backwards we would end up with magazines showing women changing car tyres, intimidating thugs in the street, become important politicians, etc. But such books don't exist.

Why this shift? I think the point that the comic makes, correctly, is that the women's porn booklets, partly because of their name, pretend to be a simple inversion of men's porn, but then they turn out to have this weird domain shift as well. This clearly communicates that while men's desires are centred around sex, women's desires are centred around household chores.

Now obviously the books are intended as parody and it may well be that the above is reading too much into it. Also, there are of course many women who are rightly annoyed by men's laziness, to those women it's going to be a welcome relief to see cute men being made light-hearted fun of.

But I think the comic is based on a perfectly reasonable interpretation of what these books mean. The two viewpoints are both valid.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Mar 16, 2010 2:57 pm UTC

yet another steven wrote:You make a good point. However, I don't think the premise of the comic is that the book is actually being offered to women as literal porn. The way I read it is: real male-centred porn shows women doing things men would like them to. The premise of the book is to turn this up side down by showing men who do things women would like them to.
No, the book doesn't try to do that at all - there's plenty of porn for women that actually tried to appeal to them, as my search for the book indicated. There's nothing foreign or mysterious about the concept of porn for women; the fact that there's considerably less available relative to "male centred porn" is a matter of economics, not mass ignorance.

This book is analogous to labelling a bunch of pictures of impressive computer gear as "geek porn", or a delicious looking chocolate cake as "food porn". There's absolutely nothing pornographic about these things, and people who label these things as such are not intending them to be viewed in a sexual manner. That a person used the word "porn" in a sarcastic, non-literal manner doesn't change the premise of the media itself.

We can agree that the book is a parody of "something", though, and so the point remains that the comic doesn't pick up on either of these views - it still views the book as intended to be a literal source of porn for women. It's clear that the woman in the comic picked up the "porn for women" looking for images in which "people fuck", and was disappointed to the point that she felt a letter to the author was required.
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby yet another steven » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:42 pm UTC

uncivlengr wrote:
yet another steven wrote:... The premise of the book is to turn this up side down by showing men who do things women would like them to.
No, the book doesn't try to do that at all - there's plenty of porn for women that actually tried to appeal to them, as my search for the book indicated.

Now you're just not reading carefully: the book does in fact show men who do things women would like them to. I wasn't specifically talking about sexual acts.

uncivlengr wrote:This book is analogous to labelling a bunch of pictures of impressive computer gear as "geek porn", or a delicious looking chocolate cake as "food porn". There's absolutely nothing pornographic about these things, and people who label these things as such are not intending them to be viewed in a sexual manner.

Yeah, but that's not the point I was trying to make. If you publish a magazine about "geek porn", then you raise the expectation that your magazine is going to show the stuff that geeks most like to see, and pictures of impressive computer gear would fulfill those expectations. Analogously, if you see a book called "porn for women", while I agree this does not necessarily imply that it has to show sex acts that women like, but it does suggest that it will show what women most like to see. The fact that this then turns out to be men doing chores is part of the joke, I'm sure, but I can understand why Randall might not think it's funny.

It's clear that the woman in the comic picked up the "porn for women" looking for images in which "people fuck", and was disappointed to the point that she felt a letter to the author was required.

Yeah, because she felt offended by the suggestion that this was what she as a woman would most want to see, not because she thought this was intended to get her off.

Anyway, that's my interpretation; yours certainly does make sense too but I like to give Randall the benefit of the doubt :D It's strange how people in this thread have such a hard time agreeing on what exactly either the books, or the comic, try to express! As I indicated in an earlier post, I really do think that there are multiple different consistent interpretations, and it's impossible to argue conclusively that one of them is "the right one". (It is in itself a weak point of the comic that it is so easy to read something into it that is decidedly unfunny.)

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby Czhorat » Tue Mar 16, 2010 3:47 pm UTC

yet another steven wrote:
It's clear that the woman in the comic picked up the "porn for women" looking for images in which "people fuck", and was disappointed to the point that she felt a letter to the author was required.

Yeah, because she felt offended by the suggestion that this was what she as a woman would most want to see, not because she thought this was intended to get her off.

Anyway, that's my interpretation; yours certainly does make sense too but I like to give Randall the benefit of the doubt :D It's strange how people in this thread have such a hard time agreeing on what exactly either the books, or the comic, try to express! As I indicated in an earlier post, I really do think that there are multiple different consistent interpretations, and it's impossible to argue conclusively that one of them is "the right one".


I can't believe we're still arguing this. A few thoughts:

1) The "Porn for Women" books are pretty clearly marketted as humor.
2) The intended audience pretty clearly is made up of actual women; There are very few heterosexual men who would buy a "joke book" with pictures of buff half-nude guys in them.

So, the joke is either, "ha ha, you woman, you don't have a sex drive" or "ha, ha, men are silly and don't like to vaccuum." From the context it seems VERY clear to me that the intention is the latter, that the books are not meant as a serious portrayal of what appeals sexually to women, and that today's comic is taking a joke very, very literally. The comic still did make me chuckle, but let's not make this out to be something that it's not.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby ishkabibble » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:02 pm UTC

I liked the comic. "Porn for Women" books are SUPPOSED to humorous, but they aren't because they use unoriginal and lazy comedy. The "men don't appreciate chocolate/craft fairs/cats/ or the HORROR of menstrual cramps" trope stopped being funny for me and many of my female friends a long time ago. I am ok with skewering the belief that jokes about shoes and housework are enough to make me buy something.

However.....

eeeeaaii wrote:Randall is a man. He's a man, people. The stick figure is a woman, but HE is a man. So she is basically mouthing his words, saying what he thinks. And what does he think? He thinks he has the right to judge what women do and don't fantasize about. They should be thinking about sex, not chores.

Shut up Randall. If you're going to try to do anything at all for feminism, then address your comments to YOUR OWN GENDER. Women have had enough thousands of years with men telling them what they should wear, what they should think about, and what they should care about. Leave 'em alone, and while you're at it, do your own share of the fricking chores. If we (men) all did that, then no woman will even understand the humor in the book, because there won't be anything to joke about.


Seriously? By this logic, male novelists shouldn't write female characters, male journalists shouldn't cover the Secretary of State, male photographers shouldn't shoot female models....and really, this is about patriarchy, not just artistic expression, so perhaps we should ban male politicians from passing domestic violence legislation and outlaw male gynecologists because a MAN just isn't CAPABLE of UNDERSTANDING my cervix?

I LIKED this comic. All on my own, with my very own opinions stemming from my very own lady brain. The character's sentiments are similar to my own. I see zero evidence that Randall is presuming to speak for all women, just like I see zero evidence that his male characters are attempts to speak for all men. You sir, however, have graciously assumed the mantel of Male Champion For Women Against Chauvinism And Other Things You Know Offend Women. On Behalf of All Women, you are telling Randall he doesn't have the right to speak on Behalf of All Women. Do you honestly not see the irony?

Look, I get that you are aware of gender dynamics, and you want to do your part to dismantle the patriarchy. And, in all seriousness, that is an admirable and commendable intention. And if YOU find the comic offensive, that's cool. But my opinions are different than yours, sir. And I find your presumption that you KNOW what offends me as woman far more patronizing than anything Randall has ever written.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby yet another steven » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:04 pm UTC

Czhorat wrote:So, the joke is either, "ha ha, you woman, you don't have a sex drive" or "ha, ha, men are silly and don't like to vaccuum." From the context it seems VERY clear to me that the intention is the latter, that the books are not meant as a serious portrayal of what appeals sexually to women

I agree, and this is actually exactly what I was saying. The books do not pretend to portray what appeals sexually to women, but the parody relies on the suggestion that the books will show what women most like to see, like the geek porn example above. Depending on how you look at it, that can be either funny or offensive.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby yet another steven » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:08 pm UTC

ishkabibble wrote:... all kinds of things that I was hoping someone was going to say...

This! And the stuff below this post too!
Last edited by yet another steven on Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:23 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Porn For Women

Postby ishkabibble » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:13 pm UTC

Karrot wrote:That being said, the lack of data regarding men being raped really annoys me. What few statistics there are suggest that up to 10% of men will be raped during their lifetime (google: "Male Survivors" michigan.gov). Oh, and let's not forget, stupid movements like V-day that want to end violence against women. Who cares about ending violence against men, right? Heck, we're feminists, let's support violence against men!



Why do you assume it has to be one or the other? That working to stop violence against women means ignoring (or, according to your post, actually encouraging) violence against men? I've been to a few V-Day events and can't remember a single male burned in effigy. Yes, there are SOME feminists that are anti-men, but there are many, MANY feminists who want to partner with men in ending sexual violence, including sexual violence against men. feministing has posted several articles regarding the deplorable lack of resources and recognition for male rape: feminists and men should be allies, and I'm sorry if you've encountered people who think otherwise. Ending sexual violence isn't about women vs men, it's about people vs. assholes.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:31 pm UTC

yet another steven wrote:
uncivlengr wrote:
yet another steven wrote:... The premise of the book is to turn this up side down by showing men who do things women would like them to.
No, the book doesn't try to do that at all - there's plenty of porn for women that actually tried to appeal to them, as my search for the book indicated.

Now you're just not reading carefully: the book does in fact show men who do things women would like them to. I wasn't specifically talking about sexual acts.
You argued that the point of the book was to give women an equivalent perspective as that which men have in traditional "male centred porn" - does your definition of "male centred porn" include any asexual act that men would like to see women do?

yet another steven wrote:Yeah, but that's not the point I was trying to make. If you publish a magazine about "geek porn", then you raise the expectation that your magazine is going to show the stuff that geeks most like to see, and pictures of impressive computer gear would fulfill those expectations. Analogously, if you see a book called "porn for women", while I agree this does not necessarily imply that it has to show sex acts that women like, but it does suggest that it will show what women most like to see. The fact that this then turns out to be men doing chores is part of the joke, I'm sure, but I can understand why Randall might not think it's funny.
But you wouldn't complain that this "geek porn" magazine unfairly protrays geeks as only interested in computers, despite the fact that most "geeks" have diverse interests outside computers and technology? It's called "Porn for Women", not "Absolutely Everything that Every Woman Wants, at the Exclusion of Anything Else".

Even if the title did suggest that, it should still be evidently in jest. If someone makes a joke as clearly as this book does, the fact that someone misunderstood it as some sort of serious commentary is their fault, not the author's.

yet another steven wrote:Yeah, because she felt offended by the suggestion that this was what she as a woman would most want to see, not because she thought this was intended to get her off.
We're evidently still confused by the concept of satire; it's not intended to literally portray the desires of women... not their sexual desires, not their asexual desires. It's photos of attractive men with humour derived from captions that contradict fairly standard male stereotypes, nothing more.
Men don't like asking for directions, so let's show a guy willingly asking for directions. Men want to watch the Superbowl, so here's a guy who'd rather go to a craft fair. Ha ha.

That the author chose a provocative title to resell a fairly tired theme doesn't change that.
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Re: Porn For Women

Postby ishkabibble » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:42 pm UTC

BlueNight wrote:Whereas (most) men live in a world of material things and tasks to be performed, (most) women see such things as secondary to relationships and experiences. Thus, a man would find it stimulating for a random woman to randomly come up to him and initiate sexual acts, while a woman finds it stimulating for she and a man to build a relationship (no matter how basic), and as the culmination, perform those same acts.

(What I said above is a basic formulation not taking into account statistical outliers.)



Just to clarify, there's huge variety within the romance genre. Some progress the way you describe, but some start with a strictly sexual premise (eg one night stands, "friends with benefits", "I hate you but you're hot so I will ignore my dislike in the interest of a great lay," etc.) that morphs into "something more." Some romance novels are super chaste, of the "and then they embraced [end chapter]" variety, but some are penthouse-forum-graphic. But you are correct that all romances (at least all that I've encountered) end with some kind of committed relationship. And I wouldn't say the relationship aspect is "stimulating" as much as it is satisfying (i.e. you know everything is going to work out in the end.)

Also, not all romance readers read the genre for the porn, or even the "emotional porn," aspect. Romance novels are escapist fiction just like mysteries or Sci-Fi - and are read for much the same reason: a compelling story that lets you unplug from reality for a while. Romance novels just guarantee certain narrative features (specifically the Happily Ever After) the way sci-fi novels guarantee aliens or time travel or sexy vampires or whatever.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby Sprocket » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:57 pm UTC

the zedmeister wrote:
Hungry_Myst wrote:Even as a joke the "Porn for Women" series is sexist because it re-enforces gender stereotypes, whether those stereotypes are positive, negative, very or hardly harmful, etc. is irrelevant because they are still stereotypes. It suggests that men never clean or perform any sort of household chore while women do (to the point of fantasizing about it), that women do not desire sex or posses any sort of functional libido, and just generally reinforces the idea that men and women are fundamentally different.


Yes. Exactly.

And props to Randall for recognizing that.
OR it's a JOKE I could make a book called "porn for cats" and have it all be pictures of fish and people knitting! And some cats might be all "meh, yarn, that's such a stereotype, I'm not into yarn at all, and I'm offended by the notion that we cats are all so stupid as to be placated by balls of string! Not to mention the implications that all cats are sexless oafs and that you all think it's FUNNY that spaying and neutering us leaves more interested in string than sex!" and other cats would be like "ha...that's funny...I do wish my human did more knitting around the house...now on to the actual porn section."
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby uncivlengr » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:03 pm UTC

ishkabibble wrote:Look, I get that you are aware of gender dynamics, and you want to do your part to dismantle the patriarchy. And, in all seriousness, that is an admirable and commendable intention. And if YOU find the comic offensive, that's cool. But my opinions are different than yours, sir. And I find your presumption that you KNOW what offends me as woman far more patronizing than anything Randall has ever written.

To be fair, eeeeaaii made no comment on what offends anyone one way or another, only that Randall shouldn't feel like he personally needs to stand up for women.

I don't think it's fair to say the the views expressed are merely the fictional views of a "character" - xkcd is pretty evidently autobiographical in nature, especially in preachy comics like this.
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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby yet another steven » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:14 pm UTC

At the risk of discussing this to death, I'll try to explain what I wrote above one last time.

uncivlengr wrote:You argued that the point of the book was to give women an equivalent perspective as that which men have in traditional "male centred porn" - does your definition of "male centred porn" include any asexual act that men would like to see women do?

No; what I'm trying to say is you expect an inversion of the usual male centred porn; this inversion could be very literal, "just exchange the roles of men and women and replace male fantasies by female fantasies"; but it can also be slightly more abstract, "men's porn is about what men most like to see; let's make women's porn about what women most like to see." If you don't know "porn for women", you first expect it to be a literal inversion, like the girl in the comic. But when this turns out not to be correct, the second most obvious interpretation is that "porn for X" means "stuff that X likes to see best".

But you wouldn't complain that this "geek porn" magazine unfairly protrays geeks as only interested in computers, despite the fact that most "geeks" have diverse interests outside computers and technology? It's called "Porn for Women", not "Absolutely Everything that Every Woman Wants, at the Exclusion of Anything Else".

True, but if you sell a book "porn for X", showing pictures about Y, this entails the suggestion that Y is at the heart of the desires of people in group X. This is correct if X=geeks and Y=computers, so there would be no need to be offended. However it is certainly not universally true for X=women and Y=men doing chores.

If someone makes a joke as clearly as this book does, the fact that someone misunderstood it as some sort of serious commentary is their fault, not the author's.

I don't think anyone understood it as a serious commentary. I just think that, depending how you look at it, it is quite reasonable to find the parody offensive.

We're evidently still confused by the concept of satire; it's not intended to literally portray the desires of women...

Ah, come on. I never said it does. The satire lies in the juxtaposition (whoah! Cool it there) between what the title suggests, which is that the book will show something at the core of female desire, and the actual content, which is men doing chores. I think we got that pretty well from the start.

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Re: "Porn For Women" Discussion

Postby ishkabibble » Tue Mar 16, 2010 5:25 pm UTC

uncivlengr wrote:I don't think it's fair to say the the views expressed are merely the fictional views of a "character" - xkcd is pretty evidently autobiographical in nature, especially in preachy comics like this.


If the comic stemmed from a conversation with a female friend, that is, if a woman FIRST expressed this sentiment and Randall said "ha! that's a good point!" and THEN wrote the comic, would you still have the same objection?

And my earlier question remains: since Randall is a man, should he be prohibited from EVER using female characters in his strips?


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