Professor Wanted to Screen ‘Feminist Porn’ for His Students to Show Them How ‘Beautiful’ It Can Be

Brown University’s 11th annual “Sex Week” planned to feature screenings of “feminist porn” as a way to “get students talking about pornography.”

Richard Kimberly Heck, who teaches “philosophy of sex” and organized Thursday’s since-canceled “Out-of-this-World Feminist and Queer Pornography Screening,” was going to lead students in a discussion and group viewing of a number of short pornographic films, Campus Reform reported.

The screening would have been part of Brown’s Sex Week, organized under the auspices of the school’s Sexual Health Awareness Group, or SHAG.

“We’ll screen some recent pornography that is at least trying to do something different from what is most readily available (for free) on the internet, at such sites as PornHub, and then to discuss whether it actually is different and if so how,” Heck told Campus Reform earlier in the week.

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“My own view, which informs my work on this topic, but which it is not in any way my purpose to ‘promote’ here, is that most pornography is indeed objectionable, for a wide variety of reasons, but that sexually explicit media need not be objectionable and can be quite positive and beautiful as well as thought-provoking.”

Heck said his “main goal” was to “get students talking about pornography and the role it plays in our society these days” in a “space where they can talk about” it without being judged.

A post on the Facebook page for the event indicated it had been canceled in accordance with the school’s  Covid 19 guidelines.

The “feminist porn” phenomenon

Feminist have fought back against what many characterize as misogynistic attitudes in the porn industry, by trying their hand at making adult films.

In 2018, The Daily Beast profiled the rise of female porn directors who are “blazing a trail for other women” in the male-dominated field.

Last March, a British TV program chronicled how five women made a feminist porno to educate their children.

The three-part series, entitled “Mums Make Porn,” followed the mothers as they watched various types of hardcore internet pornography, and then worked with experts to create an alternative product that promoted “normal”-looking women and egalitarian sex.

“We need to show kids that there’s something else than this horrible sh-t we see on the internet,” said one of the moms, 40-year-old wedding photographer Sarah Louise. “Porn doesn’t represent normal women, the actors and actresses they use mislead kids. They need to realize it’s not normal.”

“If my son treated a woman like that I would kick his ass to kingdom come,” she added.

Sarah Louise, a beautician and mother of six, said her personal goal had been to fight unrealistic porn-star beauty standards, and she was “extremely proud” of the finished product. Just by participating in the show, she added, the moms had contributed to the cause of female representation.

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“The Porn World is dominated primarily by men, so as a group of woman/mums we address our concerns, we provoke conversation into sex education and address topics such as consent, safe sex and equality,” she wrote on Facebook.

Cover image: Richard Kimberly Heck. (Screen grab)

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