LOS ANGELES — The Daily Beast has approached the porn empowerment/debasement binary from the askew angle of feminist women working behind the scenes.
Heavily focalizing Kelly Holland, the managing editor of Penthouse Entertainment, the piece published last week reveals the motivations and meditations of women who made a name for themselves in adult with their clothes on (and sometimes off).
“Holland is one of the most powerful women in the entertainment industry — adult or otherwise,” Daily Beast reporter Emily Shire wrote. “She and a few other women working behind the scenes of the porn industry as writers, directors and entrepreneurs are combating the stereotype that the only place for a woman in porn is in front of the camera servicing men.”
Previously a mainstream documentarian, Holland explains how working in porn recast her view of traditional feminism, and the anti-porn stigma often attached to it.
“The first few decades of feminism were dominated by the East Coast intellectual elite, those doing women’s studies at Wellesley,” she said. “It set in motion not an issue about women’s rights, but more of an issue of what good girls should be doing. That’s a class issue, not morality.”
She noted that porn stars exemplify a feminist lifestyle, in which they reclaim their bodies from their fathers, husbands, religious leaders and ever their “girlfriends.”
“Porn’s Behind-the-Camera Feminists” also featured Sssh.com Founder Angie Rowntree and Joanna Angel, creator of the alt-porn monolith BurningAngel, who, albeit from very different aesthetic perspectives, believe women can find sexual gratification working in porn and watching it at home.
“Porn is not one thing,” Angel said. “No one says they dislike all music because they don’t like one band.”
The piece concludes with a counterpoint offered by Shy Love, creator of Adult Talent Managers. Love, who also worked as a performer, believes that porn sometimes deprives women of agency and discourages her daughter from entering the industry.
To read the story in full, click here.