GEM Lab coordinator Becky Holt has recently published an essay in the online journal Flow, “A Porn Studies Scholar’s Plea to Journalists.”
Becky’s piece is a provocative critique of recent porn reporting. She calls attention in particular to the ways journalists “place vulnerable children at the center of their stories” about internet pornography in a way that echoes old, familiar tropes of the virtual predator “taken straight out the moral panic playbook.” Meanwhile, the privacy and livelihood of sex workers who rely on these platforms is ignored. “In short,” she writes, “when child porn is the focus of analyses of a website like Pornhub, it becomes impossible to generate a nuanced understanding of online pornography that considers those who work in the industry.” Read it in full here.
In related news, Becky joins Heather Berg (Washington University in St. Louis) and Susanna Paasonen (University of Turku) on Friday, March 24th at 11AM for the roundtable discussion "The Boob Tube: Tracking Pornhub's Emergence." The online event is part of the GEM Lab's 2022-23 Seminar in Media and Political Theory, Video/Art/TV: Digital Aesthetics and Politics. More info/registration details will be announced soon!