Sunday, January 23, 2011

prejudice prevails against porn

It's been more than a year since I last posted here. Since then, I've been busy writing my book about NEW PORN, which I submitted to a publisher in Norway last fall. Just before Christmas I heard back from my editor with praise for my writing, but with a declination to publish it, finding it too narrow of a topic. I submitted to another publisher who immediately read it with enthusiasm but who also said he didn't think there was much of a market for it.

You've got to wonder why: is it because the Norwegians are so sexually liberated that they have no need to read about feminist porn, or could it be the opposite: that prejudice prevails against pornography in Norway as I've argued here: Highbrow and Lowbrow Pornography: Prejudice Prevails Against Popular Culture.

When I conducted my research on feminist porn while on sabbatical from my position at St. Olaf College in Minnesota, serving as guest researcher at the Centre for Gender Research at University of Oslo in Norway (2005-06), pornography was still censored there. When Candida Royalle had some of her porn sent to me from the US, it was confiscated by the Norwegian customs, and not released to me until I could prove I had ordered the films for scholarly research. On Monday mornings, giggling colleagues at the Centre would ask me what porn I'd watched over the weekend, and friends and family would only hesitantly ask me about it.

During my sabbatical, the Norwegian Media Authority changed their policy for regulating porn after a half-day workshop with me, during which I presented them with the criteria I have developed to evaluate quality in porn, making it possible for Norwegian women and men to sell and purchase good new porn previously censored.

I think there's still a need for my book in Norway (as the second publisher commented in parenthesis), but the time may not be ripe for it.

I think it is here in the US, and that's why I'm now in the process of translating my manuscript. Stay tuned for updates on that.
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