June 17, 2013

"Sex on screen can teach us about so much more than sex."

Writes Mireille Miller-Young, an associate professor of feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in the last of a set of 6 short essays in the NYT answering the question "What's the difference between a good sex scene and a gratuitous one in films?"

The sentence above is the 4th to the last sentence in her essay. The next 3 sentences are:
At the recent Feminist Porn Awards in Toronto, Mia Gimp and Clark Matthews won “sexiest short” for their entry “Krutch,” shot on an iPhone 5 on the streets of Midtown Manhattan. The film tells the story of a disabled woman who, faced with the challenges of navigating a world made for able-bodied individuals, finds solace and erotic pleasure with her crutch. For depictions that push against sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and ableist, heteronormative beauty ideals – as it turns out, porn is now the place to look.
Ironically, my phobia is about movies depicting sex for the purpose of teaching me anything. Put that on your list of things you can't push against with porn.

62 comments:

TA said...

File it under "you can't make this up."

betamax3000 said...

Not Going to Write a Taylor Swift Sex Scene. Even if its Tasteful, Still Creepy.

betamax3000 said...

But if She Only Had One Leg....


Nah.

Patrick said...

depictions that push against sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and ableist, heteronormative beauty ideals

Talk dirty to me.

And thank you for your restraint, Beta.

MartyH said...

I would guess that people who write stuff like this are busier trying to edit other people's lives than they are living their own.

Nomennovum said...

Ironically, my phobia is about movies depicting sex for the purpose of teaching me anything.

I'm with you. Cranky crutch-fucking cripples can't teach this heteronormative sexist guy squat that he doesn't already know: he likes his porn aimed at ableist, lookist, ageist, thinist assholes.

EDH said...

"What's the difference between a good sex scene and a gratuitous one in films?"

I think that dichotomy is exactly what Parker and Stone were spoofing in the over-the-top sex scene from Team America World Police, where Hollywood includes more explicit sex than necessary for its titillation value under the guise of showing "passion" that's essential to the plot.

(And remember the YouTube clip leaves out the "water sports" and the coprophilia.)

edutcher said...

Funny how every time feminists try to be womyn, they end up sounding like weird men.

madAsHell said...

You should have a tag for watching-porn-at-work.

betamax3000 said...

Mia Gimp; “Krutch.”

Too Easy.

Patrick said...

Sexual representations in movies must be seen as part of political discourse

You would only get a sentence like that from an associate professor of feminist studies.

Patrick said...

The "next" article reads like an Onion headline:

Area woman says "Lesbian Sex in film often unrealistic."

Lucius said...

" . . .faced with the challenges of navigating a world made for able-bodied individuals . . ."

Uh, able-bodied individuals are made for this world.

One piece of teleology even Christians and Darwinists can join hands on.

--Excuse the prejudicial, intolerant, and quadroplegiphobic metaphor. I know that, in reality, racist able-people have socially constructed a world of mobility just to h8 on crippled exhibitionists.

EDH said...

Only a woman
Can touch me the right way
Only a woman
Is allowed to do what you're doing right now
All I ask is that you're a woman


LOL!

Methadras said...

So a movie about a disabled new yorker that uses a crutch to get off is now educational? Brilliant, give this person an oscar or something.

Mitchell the Bat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anglelyne said...

...my phobia is about movies depicting sex for the purpose of teaching me anything.

Preach it. Sex + academic with two-barreled name + associate professor of any kind of "studies" + NYT article containing the word "heteronormative" = rhetorical equivalent of a cold shower.

Gratuitious? A sex scene I didn't like. Non-gratuitous? I liked it. (Erotica? The stuff that turns me on. Pornography? That trash you go for, you filthy pervert.)

Mitchell the Bat said...

It's high time somebody makes a film about the guy who brings the quadruple amputee home after their date instead of leaving her in the tree like all the other guys.

bagoh20 said...

I truly pity you people who hang out in universities and have to put up with this shit all the time. I wonder if the author realizes that about half way through one of those PC-pledge-of-allegiance sentences she writes that most listeners are fantasizing about killer her with their bare hands.

gerry said...

Lessee - Ironically, my phobia is about movies depicting sex for the purpose of teaching me anything

That would make you an eroticopedagogophobe - no, that would make you irrationally fearful of sex educators, which, in this day and age, might not be a bad fear to have.

How about eroticinemepistomologicophobia? Would that work?

Henry said...

From the article:

Moreover, our culture’s anxiety around sex leaves us with no language and skills to understand what we see on screen and to decide for ourselves what makes a good sex scene or a bad one.

Speak for yourself, ivory-tower-woman. Actually the irony that this is one of six essays on the subject speaks for itself.

dbp said...

"Mia Gimp" playing a cripple?

If my last name was Gimp, I would be awfully careful not to have my name end up being descriptive.

I am not superstitious.

But having a name like that and playing a cripple is like going around all day smashing mirrors and walking under ladders: It just seems imprudent.

Nomennovum said...

Bummer. I had a brief hope that I had just invented a term for the abundance of porn videos brought on by the nexus of smart phones and the internet: Pornocopia.

Then I Binged that bitch to make sure I wasn't violating some porn copyright and found out there is a porno by that very name. Damn those purveyors of porn. They steal all the good names.

Methadras said...

Mitchell the Bat said...

It's high time somebody makes a film about the guy who brings the quadruple amputee home after their date instead of leaving her in the tree like all the other guys.


Stump porn? Already been done.

ricpic said...

Take that crutch out of your mouth, sister!

Rabel said...

Does the thigh gap principle apply to one-legged women? If so, then - SCORE!!! Mia Gimp.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

New York Times

Mireille Miller-Young

professor of feminist studies

University of California, Santa Barbara

forthcoming manuscript

queer representations, they are often appropriated and misused

Think of the appropriation of African-American cultural expressions like hip-hop by white suburban youth, who have no understanding of the struggles that hip-hop emerges from.

Sexual representations in movies must be seen as part of political discourse

As an academic

political consciousness to sexually explicit media.


It is all so predictable and tedious.

Scott M said...

File it under "you can't make this up."

Oh you could, but nobody would take you seriously.

Scott M said...

Sexual representations in movies must be seen as part of political discourse

Like most of this sort, she's got a tyranny "tell".

Nomennovum said...

At the recent Feminist Porn Awards in Toronto, Mia Gimp ...

Do you realize no sentence in the history of the universe has begun like that (or anything even remotely close to it) and none again ever will? I think that sentence is one of the funniest sentences ever written. And to think: it was written by a feminist. In The New York Times.

Baron Zemo said...

David Cronenberg already covered this in his classic "Crush."

I refer you specifically to the scenes with Rosanna Arquette.

Skeptical Voter said...

I dunno. I guess you can use any old crutch of an excuse to make a dirty movie.

Ann Althouse said...

"It's high time somebody makes a film about the guy who brings the quadruple amputee home after their date instead of leaving her in the tree like all the other guys."

The movie is "Boxing Helena."

dc said...

I hope she was using the Obamacrutch.Another crutch might not meet OSHA standards.

Astro said...

Ironically, my phobia is about movies depicting sex for the purpose of teaching me anything. Put that on your list of things you can't push against with porn.

Systematic desensitization.
And with clowns.

Ann Althouse said...

"At the recent Feminist Porn Awards in Toronto, Mia Gimp ... "

Seems related to the movie "Pulp Fiction," which had a character named Mia and another named The Gimp.

I'm going to assume this is a nom de plume adopted by a Tarantino admirer.

Feel free to adopt your own Tarantino name.

Baron Zemo said...

Sorry the correct name of the movie is "Crash."

"Crush" was a movie with Traci Lords and Ginger Lynn naked stepping on bugs in high heels.

Also a very instructive flick. Just sayn'

traditionalguy said...

This sex education requires 3D.

2D lacks the necessary depth perception.

But when your pornography says science, you've said it all.

sydney said...

Solace with a crutch. Probably not a very enduring solace.

Methadras said...

I much preferred Rosanna Arquette in Marijuana Bikini. Everything else was downhill for her. :D

Nomennovum said...

Feel free to adopt your own Tarantino name.

"At the recent Feminist Comedy Awards in Saskatoon, Shoshanna Raine and Bridget von Hammersmark won “funniest short” for their entry “Changing Lightbulbs,” shot on an iPhone 5 in the slums of Nairobi."

Carnifex said...

If I could just get Traci Lords and Ginger Lynn to step on me while wearing high heels I wouldn't be here...

What do you call a girl wihtout any arms or legs? You don't. 'cause she'd burn her face on the iron! Err...ahhh...never mind.

I re-member (wink wink) going to see "Caligula" when it came out. Very controversial. Very daring. I actually re-watched it couple years ago in a pique of nostalgia, and realized what a horrible piece of shit it had been (I was too callow to realize it on the first viewing)

Regardless, I don't care what grown ups do to each other as consenting adults, up to and including cannabalism, if that's your perv, just leave me and my family the fuck alone.

Any persecution some carpet munching fem-studies twat gets from that view is strictly her own paranoia.

Oh..and don't scare the kids or the animals.

Anthony said...

Anglelyne said...

...my phobia is about movies depicting sex for the purpose of teaching me anything.

Preach it. Sex + academic with two-barreled name + associate professor of any kind of "studies" + NYT article containing the word "heteronormative" = rhetorical equivalent of a cold shower.

Gratuitious? A sex scene I didn't like. Non-gratuitous? I liked it. (Erotica? The stuff that turns me on. Pornography? That trash you go for, you filthy pervert.)


D-A-I-D daid.

Carnifex said...

Ps.

The girls wear the high heels...not moi.

hawkeyedjb said...

sexism
racism
homophobia
transphobia
ableist
heteronormative

Add in a couple more (maybe Capitalism and Lookism), run the Buzzword Generator, and you too could have a published article.

Carnifex said...

I prefer a pump :-)






I started to say mule, but I din't want to get the furries, or fuzzies, or wwhatever the hell they call themselves, all stirred up.

Carnifex said...

that goes back to the scaring the animals part

Carnifex said...

Now scarring the animals...that's another story. (where's PETA when you need them)

Anthony said...

BTW, I was under the impression that 'twat' was a term not to be used in polite company, on par with the C-word; however, a 32-year old friend of mine had never heard it before, so I'm wondering if I can feel free to use it in a sentence occasionally.

E.g., "Just run the damn code, you stupid twat".

Icepick said...

"What's the difference between a good sex scene and a gratuitous one in films?"

ADOLESCENT ANSWER: Ones with really hot chicks getting naked are good, tasteful and artistic. Ones that lack this are gratuitous.

ADULT ANSWER: Pretty much all sex scenes in movies or TV are gratuitous. Really, who didn't know Captain Kirk was gettin' some when they showed that scene of him putting his boots back on? It pretty much never advances a story, or makes a point that can't be made more artfully in other ways.

Icepick said...

Feel free to adopt your own Tarantino name.

Too late, I've gone the James Ellroy/CB4/Magnum PI route.

Signed,
Stabmaster Icepick

Nomennovum said...

Feel free to adopt your own Tarantino name.

"At the recent Ms. Feminist Non-Beautyist Pageant in Yellowknife, the hirsute 350lbs.Sheba Candie won “Ms. Congeniality” for her answer to the question “What should be done about the challenges of navigating a world made for able-bodied individuals who have been raised is a society of sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia and ableist, heteronormative beauty ideals?”

Nomennovum said...

Nope. I can't beat the original.

betamax3000 said...

I Thought I Captured the ableist, heteronormative Male Sexualization of the Feminist Protaganist in The Following Line from the Taylor Swift post:

"The Digging Took Longer than she Expected, but She Has Always Known that She is Determined: Once She Begins a Task She Knows She Must Finish it. Sweat Gleams on Her Thighs."

Who does the Sweat Gleam For?

Carl said...

Nothing on the screen can teach anyone anything, except to beware of weirdos who work in Hollywood.

By definition, it is all fake, scripted. (If it weren't, it would be, or could be, a documentary.) It's all revolutionary truth, not bourgeois truth -- no connection to actual reality.

As propaganda -- stuff to make you believe other than what your lying eyes tell you -- it has power and value. As instruction, it has none whatsoever. THat's why it's the fetish of those who believe reality is a consensus delusion, and if enough people can be convinced to vote for unicorns, they will appear.

ironrailsironweights said...

Any sex scene is a good sex scene if the woman actually looks like an adult woman. Tragically, you won't find that outside of vintage porn. God damn it.

Peter

The Godfather said...

When I was in law school (class of '68, so it's ancient history), my Con Law professor said that the "redeeming social value" standard should invalidate all anti-pornography laws, because all porn teaches us something about human relationships, and that has redeeming social value. I confess that I am not an expert on porn, because I seem to have missed the lessons on human relations (except for Deep Throat -- that was very moving and changed my life).

chrisnavin.com said...

You lost me at 'feminist studies'

jr565 said...

Gay sex on screen can teach me that I find gay sex on screen gross.

jr565 said...

and gay sex on screen with Michael Doouglas playing LIberace teaches me that old gay men should not have sex

William said...

Feminist Porn Award. Do they have no sense of irony. I would rather eat the cookies at the Feminist Baking Contest than watch the winner of the Feminist Porn Award.

Ann Althouse said...

Movie sex can teach you to have sex in positions that let cameras get a good angle. I admit that.