I came to this story (Warning: images NSFW) via The Rumpus, a new site devoted to culture matters, literature, etc., put together by my friend Stephen Elliot (and for whom I may be doing some writing in the future--early stages on that). It's an interesting story that concerns the intersection of porn and the mainstream, and how it's becoming easier for porn actresses to not only cross over, but continue to do their adult work even while becoming mainstream figures as well.
But there's a problem with part of Susannah Breslin's argument. Here it is:
While some feminists like to spend their time caterwauling about the supposed sexism of AA ads, it bears mentioning these ads were conceptualized and shot by Kyung Chung, who, it also bears mentioning, is a woman. Previously, Chung got feminist knickers in a crack-splitting twist when she shot herself for a Manhattan AA billboard. Gee, it's a good thing feminists are ripping their hair out and clawing at their eyes and pulling down the drapes over supposedly sexist ads shot by a woman, or I'd have, like, no self-esteem.Replace Chung's name with Phyllis Schlafly's, and replace the idea of sexually explicit ads with the argument that women ought to shut up, stay home, and pop out lots of babies, and you see the problem with the argument. Women can easily be anti-feminist, and in fact, many are.
Now I'm not saying that Chung is anti-feminist, nor am I saying that Breslin is either. I'm not even going to get into whether or not the AA ads they're talking are particularly exploitative--I'm not in a position to make an argument about that, and there are lots of people more qualified than I am to do so. It's irrelevant to my problem with Breslin's post. My point is that we really don't want to base an argument on "she's a woman so she's obviously not sexist," because that can lead to all sorts of irrational arguments.