Today, I attended a discussion/seminar on Human Rights at Durham Law school in the UK. The seminar started off being about discourse surrounding abortion and specifically how Human Rights discourse can help or affects such things.
This has been a major feature in recent political and theoretical discussions due to the tragedy that occurred in Ireland recently (if you aren't sure what I'm talking about click here). The discussion was of course very interesting, but the topic of conversation slowly evolved from an issue of abortion to that of pornography, prostitution, and the like. It came about when discussion started revolving around the idea of autonomy. However an interesting question was posed, one that I know is controversial among feminists and I have seen and heard arguments from both sides of the issue.
The question is this: Is it possible for a woman to become empowered or liberated through a medium such as pornography or prostitution?
This question is obviously not a simple one, but I think it is one that would be great for a discussion and I would love to hear what people think on it. I definitely encourage discussions on it (hopefully in the comments below!) but stress to be respectful and patient with everyone as this is not an easy question or topic to discuss.
To start with, I think it is important set out what certain terms mean; most importantly what it means to be empowered/liberated. What context is this to be taken in? Is it possible for their to be individual empowerment/liberation while perpetuating a victimization of other's with similar characteristics?