Does Pornography Presuppose Rape Myths?

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Rae Langton and Caroline West have argued that pornography silences women by presupposing misogynistic attitudes, such as that women enjoy being raped. More precisely, they claim that a somewhat infamous pictorial, “Dirty Pool”, makes such presuppositions. I argue for four claims. (i) Langton and West's account of how pornography silences women is empirically dubious. (ii) There is no evidence that very much pornography makes the sorts of presuppositions they require. (iii) Even "Dirty Pool", for all its other problems, does not make the presuppositions that Langton and West claim it does. (iv) Langton and West misread “Dirty Pool” because they do not take proper account of the fact that pornography traffics in sexual fantasy.
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Archival date: 2020-05-01
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