Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Feminist Sex Wars
Sexuality has always been one of the central issues of feminist activism and scholarship. In the 1980s, fierce debates about the representation of sexuality, and pornography in particular, overshadowed other sexuality-related topics. These conflicts are often referred to as the feminist sex wars, the center of which was located in the United States. Feminist voices against pornography are still heard today, most recently in Europe, although with diminished intensity. Pornography remains one of the most hotly debated issues within feminism, one that attracts highly polarized reactions. Certain aspects of the anti-pornography feminist stance stemmed from the cultural feminism of the 1970s. This stream of feminism praises women's culture, characteristics, and values such as women's bonding, empathy, and care. Conversely, anything connected to the “male principle” is rejected and denied. Sexuality was framed as essentially male and therefore profoundly bad. Within this discourse, male sexuality is singled out as a main ...