As I talked about in my post on Jiz Lee's contribution to The Feminist Porn Book, I find that listening to folks who work in and produce porn to be one of the best ways to understand how so many of the arguments from anti-porn feminists just don't hold up. Once we listen to the folks who are actually doing this kind of work, it's easier to understand that this work can be inextricably intertwined with not only straight-up feminist work, but also social justice work around race, class, queerness and the like.
Sinnamon Love has been in the industry for almost twenty years and, as a black woman, she has the nuanced, complex insight into the industry that one would expect from somebody so experienced. Racism is rampant in porn (as it is in film, and society in general, of course), and Love gives us all sorts of insights into how her work from inside the system has helped to fight the good social justice fight around race, and in doing so she touches on how "feminism" sometimes needed to take a back seat because of the intense need to de-stigmatize black women's sexuality:
"I’ve set a goal to enjoy my work so that my fans will enjoy it as well. I find myself more concerned with the representation of black women’s sexuality than making a statement only about my gender. Perhaps this is because so many people fight the good fight on behalf of (white) women and so few are fighting for black women like me. For example, there are countless examples of white women’s sexualities portrayed in porn, but very limited images of African American women. And when you do see black women in porn, they are often stereotyped or demeaned."
I encourage y'all to read the entire piece in The Feminist Porn Book, as it is packed with so many insights that it was tough to pick the ones I wanted to talk about here. She covers 19 years in the industry in just a few pages! It's also a thoroughly "positive" piece, talking about the practical ways that Love has worked to change things in the industry.
Sinnamon Love's site
The Feminist Porn Book