Yes, Pornography Is Racist (Opinion)

Posted on April 30, 2010, in Opinion, Racism

Publication Information

Title: Yes, Pornography Is Racist
Publication: Ms. Magazine Blog
Author: Gail Dines
Date: 08/27/2010

In Shira Tarrant’s blog post on race and porn, she interviews some well-known African-American performers to challenge my claim that porn is racist. There are some women of color who have been successful in pornography, but this doesn’t change the fact that porn is systematically racist. Systems of oppression are flexible enough to absorb some members of subordinated groups; indeed, they draw strength from the illusion of neutrality provided by these exceptions. Thus, the election of Barack Obama does not prove the end of racism, nor does Hillary Clinton’s success prove that politics isn’t patriarchal. As a sociologist, I am interested in identifying and explaining patterns to help understand how systems of power shape the way the majority of people live. In porn, women of color are generally relegated to “gonzo,” a genre that has little glamor, security or chic status.


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