Sexing it up? Women, pornography and third wave feminism

Melanie Waters*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


In Third Wave Agenda (1997), Leslie Heywood and Jennifer Drake describe third wave feminism in terms of its engagement with the legacy of questions that have been overlooked, oversimplified or unresolved by the work of the second wave (1997, 23). There are few questions that present themselves to a new generation of feminist thinkers quite as forcefully as that of pornography. Despite the current reinvigoration of academic interest in the politics of pornographic representation — as well as the questions of sexuality, identity and personal autonomy that circulate around it — third wave feminism’s contribution to the pornography debate remains largely unexcavated. In this chapter, I will analyse the vexed issue of pornography through the lens of contemporary feminist thought, evaluating the extent to which the diversified approach of third wave feminism might function as a corrective to ‘prescriptive’ second wave accounts of female sexuality and its construction within Western culture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThird Wave Feminism
Subtitle of host publicationA Critical Exploration
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780230593664
ISBN (Print)9780230521742
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2007
Externally publishedYes


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