Sort-of-Mighty Aphrodites


Joanne McNeil interviews Audacia Ray, author of the new book Naked on the Internet, about sex work, sex blogging, and alternative porn. Here's one exchange:

Q: You got a great quote from ex-Suicide Girl Molly Crabapple: "Degradation means posing for some vile rich dude who's insulting you the whole time. Empowerment means a fat wallet later." Obviously you talked with a lot of empowered women, but did any of your interviewees strike you as degraded? Would any of them describe themselves as such?

A: Well, in that quote, Molly kind of does describe herself as feeling degraded in some ways. The point of me asking that question about empowerment versus degradation is that I find it much, much more complicated than one or the other. Sometimes when I hear people talk about female empowerment, I almost think oh, god, here we go again. And I feel terrible about it, but that is such a boiled-down essentialist way of looking at it. It's much more complicated than: Yay! Boo!

Ray also discusses the drop in porno DVD sales, a topic we've raised on this blog before.