One for the girls! : the pleasures and practices of reading by Clarissa Smith

By Clarissa Smith

We often give some thought to ladies because the sufferers of pornography instead of its shoppers. no matter if showing in motion pictures, peering provocatively from the pages of magazines, or posing on specific Web-sites, ladies are thought of the dehumanized gadgets of unseen lascivious male audience. yet in her debatable new publication One for the Girls!, Clarissa Smith debunks this delusion and demanding situations ladies to learn, watch, and revel in pornography on their lonesome phrases. concentrating on the British journal For Women, Smith appears at its readers’ responses to male pinups and erotica and explores the intricacies of women’s specified reactions to pornography.

“Clarissa Smith has completed anything unique together with her new proffering from her masculinities repertoire. Smith’s textual content is groundbreaking, multidisciplinary and—equally importantly—extremely readable. it's the final element possibly that actually units this paintings aside, as One for the women has very much to provide either the expert educational and the overall reader. Clarissa Smith’s obtainable type permits readers with little past wisdom of severe concept, cultural stories or the Eighties pornography debate, not to in basic terms comprehend those discourses, yet to advance a powerful seize in their impression during this context.”—Michelle Parsons, Transition Tradition
 
 

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Thus, while the focus of this book is quite narrow – on one magazine, its production, consumption and textual formation – its implications and the research paradigm I employ here could be usefully extended to other instances of pornographic representation and uses. qxd 28 7/2/07 16:50 Page 28 | ONE FOR THE GIRLS! Notes 1. ’ (1995: 102) It should be noted, however, that Playgirl did survive for at least two decades. The magazine was printed in the UK under licence from its American owners and thus never seemed to reflect the particular concerns or interests of British women.

The pleasure needs to be accompanied by the disavowal of man’s natural sadism and the transference of this fantasy on to the woman in the image and all women such that her/their victim status is effaced. Particularly interesting is Dworkin’s apparent faith in men’s willingness to recognize and join in the narrative of a set of photographs – a response already conditioned by the producer. It appears nothing will prevent a reader responding accordingly. There is no space for a reader’s boredom or revulsion or just unwillingness to spend the time looking at those particular images.

Each of these depend upon claims of what may happen: despite the optimism, psychoanalysis singularly fails to deliver an account of porn reading that is not merely suggestive of possibilities. To illustrate this failure more concretely I draw on a recent study that sought to reposition the psychoanalytic account of men’s use of pornography through a focus on pornography’s textual strategies to efface sexual difference. Kaite’s Pornography and Difference traces ‘the dominant themes in pornography’s regime of representation’ (1995: 19).

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