For a session on “pornography” as part of a media literacy class, I have previously assigned the following two readings (see attached files)
Dworkin, Andrea. Selections from Pornography: Men Possessing Women. New York: Plume, 1979.
McElroy, Wendy. Selections from XXX: A Woman’s Right to Pornography. New York: St. Martin’s Press. 1995.
During class, students are split up into groups of 3-4 people and work through an assignment sheet (see attached pdf) to discern the authors’ differing views on porn, i.e. pro-sex/porn vs. anti-porn feminists. After they worked through the questions, we all reconvene and discuss the different definitions/takes on porn. I also encourage students to share their own opinions or provide examples, which has in the past sometimes revealed interesting gender dynamics in the classroom.
I also like to show excerpts from both authors being interviewed to clarify their standpoint:
Since these readings are somewhat “dated”, I’ve also found these more recent publications on porn to be useful in generating class room discussion:
Caputi, Jennifer (2011) “The Pornography of Everyday Life” (Chapter 34, pp. 311-320) in Gender, Race, and Class in Media. A Critical Reader 3rd Edition. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Fahy, Thomas (2011) “One Night in Paris (Hilton). Wealth, Celebrity, and the Politics of Humiliation” (Chapter 33, pp. 301-309) in Gender, Race, and Class in Media. A Critical Reader 3rd Edition. Thousand Oakes: Sage Publications.
Clark-Flory, Tracy (2011, August) “When Porn meets Real Motherhood” Salon.com