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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

[Not] Buying It: Prostitution As Unwanted Sex, Rebecca Whisnant Jan 2017

[Not] Buying It: Prostitution As Unwanted Sex, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Noting the relative invisibility of prostitution buyers, or Johns, in discussions of the morality of prostitution, this article criticizes Johns’ behavior on the grounds that they are culpably involved in causing the typical harms of prostitution in the lives of the women whom they pay for sex. Those harms are, at bottom, the result of being habitually subjected to unwanted sex, and they are exacerbated rather than mitigated by such sex being bought and paid for. Efforts to normalize and legalize sex-buying should therefore be resisted.


Building Feminism, Resisting Porn Culture: Where To From Here, Rebecca Whisnant Jan 2015

Building Feminism, Resisting Porn Culture: Where To From Here, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

In this chapter, I discuss the key elements that radical feminism can contribute to the rebuilding of a powerful movement for women's liberation in the era of porn culture.

First things first, we need more people, more of the time, out there presenting radical feminist critique. I happen to know, for instance, that many bright and well-intentioned young people are toeing the third wave, sexual libertarian line because it's all they've been taught in their women's studies classes. And, of course, many people outside the academy have very little exposure to feminist critiques of virtually anything ...


Not Your Father’S Playboy, Not Your Mother’S Feminist Movement: Feminism In A Porn Culture, Rebecca Whisnant Jan 2015

Not Your Father’S Playboy, Not Your Mother’S Feminist Movement: Feminism In A Porn Culture, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

This chapter is about the state of contemporary feminism and how it relates to the porn culture that surrounds us. This is important because whatever porn culture is, and there are a variety of definitions, it's not what feminists, or women, or anybody with a lick of sense, ever meant by "sexual liberation." There have, however, been contentious debates between radical and liberal feminists about the relationship between pornography, power and choice. I aim to unravel some of those debates here and highlight how liberal notions of "choice," favored by self-proclaimed "third-wave feminists," confuse and undermine our thinking not ...


Feminism, Cultural Violence Of, Danielle Poe Jan 2010

Feminism, Cultural Violence Of, Danielle Poe

Philosophy Faculty Publications

For most, if not all, self-defined feminists, feminism means support for equality between women and men. The difficulty with this definition, though, is determining what one means by "equality," by "women and men," and by "sex" and "gender." For some feminists, equality requires that differences between women and men be acknowledged and valued. For other feminists, equality means that the category "human" encompasses women and men and that the differences within a sex are greater than differences between the sexes.

Feminists also differ on what they mean by "women" and "men"; these terms can be defined biologically, genetically, culturally, religiously ...


Feminist Perspectives On Rape, Rebecca Whisnant Jul 2009

Feminist Perspectives On Rape, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Although the proper definition of rape is itself a matter of some dispute, rape is generally understood to involve sexual penetration of a person by force and/or without that person's consent. Rape is committed overwhelmingly by men and boys, usually against women and girls, and sometimes against other men and boys. (For the most part, this entry will assume male perpetrators and female victims.)

Virtually all feminists agree that rape is a grave wrong, one too often ignored, mischaracterized, and legitimized. Feminists differ, however, about how the crime of rape is best understood, and about how rape should ...


Pornography, Contemporary-Mainstream, Rebecca Whisnant Jan 2008

Pornography, Contemporary-Mainstream, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Once a relatively small‐niche market, pornography in recent years has become a mainstream, technologically sophisticated multi‐billion‐dollar industry, one that plays a significant role in shaping our ideas about gender and sexuality. Like many complex and politically contested concepts, pornography can be defined in a number of different ways. While some defined pornography simply as any sexually explicit written or graphic material, others include additional criteria, such as that the material be produced for the purpose of sexually arousing its audience or that the material convey certain (typically sexist and degrading) ideas and attitudes about women, men, and ...


Letter From A War Zone: Some Thoughts On Setting An Activist Agenda, Rebecca Whisnant Jan 2007

Letter From A War Zone: Some Thoughts On Setting An Activist Agenda, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Essay is from a conference sponsored by Captive Daughters and DePaul University in Chicago.


Not For Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution And Pornography, Christine Stark, Rebecca Whisnant Jan 2004

Not For Sale: Feminists Resisting Prostitution And Pornography, Christine Stark, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Including the latest research on prostitution and pornography, this essay anthology shows how the sex industries harm those within them while undermining the possibilities for gender justice, human equality, and stable sexual relationships. From sex industry survivors to social activists and theorists such as Taylor Lee, Adriene Sere, and Kristen Anderberg, this volume addresses from a feminist perspective the racism, poverty, militarism, and corporate capitalism of selling sex through strip clubs, brothels, mail-order brides, and child pornography.


Woman Centered: A Feminist Ethic Of Responsibility, Rebecca Whisnant Jan 2004

Woman Centered: A Feminist Ethic Of Responsibility, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Feminists have been especially concerned, of course, with the particular personal and moral perils that may be associated with the sociopolitical situation( s) of women. In particular, as many have observed, the cultural assignment of women to various forms of "caring labor" can be harmful to women, both individually and collectively, by rendering them dangerously vulnerable to exploitation. Women who fail to rein in their "caring" for others may maintain relationships at all costs (including to themselves), avoid legitimate self-assertion in order to keep the peace, devote their energies to others at the expense of seIf-development, and protect even those ...


Confronting Pornography: Some Conceptual Basics, Rebecca Whisnant Jan 2004

Confronting Pornography: Some Conceptual Basics, Rebecca Whisnant

Philosophy Faculty Publications

There can be no doubt, at this moment in history, that pornography is a truly massive industry saturating the human community. According to one set of numbers, the US porn industry's revenue went from $7 million in 1972 to $8 billion in 1996 ... and then to $12 billion in 2000.

Now I'm no economist, and I understand about inflation, but even so, it seems to me that a thousand-fold increase in a particular industry's revenue within 25 years is something that any thinking person has to come to grips with. Something is happening in this culture, and ...