In her essay, "Erotica and Pornography," Gloria Steinem starts out by pointing out that humans, selfly proclaimed lords over the animal kingdom, are the only animals that have the mental capacity to separate ideas. Just as humans are the only animals to develop language, planning, memory, and invention, they are the only animals that struggle with their own separation of "work" and "play." They"re the only animals that have adapted sexuality to something more than a procreational tool. It is a pleasurable, empathetic bridge to strangers. It's often primarily a way of bonding, giving and receiving pleasure, and communicating emotion.
She goes on to state that this exploration of sexuality has been greatly corrupted by the confusion of erotica and pornography. In man's quest for pleasure, he has become degenerate, looking past the deeply personal, mutually consenting expressions of love, and has resulted to pain, torture, and bondage to fulfill his ultimately sadistic desires. Women everywhere need to break free from this downward spiraling chain of abuse and vulnerability. Women have a right to explore their own sexuality without succumbing to the domination of men. Sexuality is human, free, separate, and so are women.
Erotica v. Pornography Exists? A Response to Gloria Steinem:.
The lone widow of 21 years sits on the southern porch of her second-story downtown apartment. Thin traces of wetness stain her weathered cheeks. Her apartment bears the markings of a recent visit from her grandchildren, but now she remains alone. All to herself, she reminisces the times she spent with her Jim, hiking, camping, river rafting, being intimate, bearing three children, raising them until - one day, when Jim got sick. Then Jim died. And she was alone for the first time in her life, with three kids. .
Ah, but all is well! Back to the present, she can just go down to the local adult movie store and pick out some "erotica" to fill the gaping hole inside her.