2022 Abstracts Stage 2

Sexuality as a commodity: Emancipation or Oppression? An investigation into OnlyFans and its effects on women’s social emancipation.

Harriet Davis, 2022, Stage 2

My aim of this project was to investigate the impacts that the platform OnlyFans has had on the sexual emancipation of women. I did this by providing an analysis of Pier Pablo Pasolini’s work on sexual emancipation and capitalism, thereby applying these concepts to the context of OnlyFans. I discussed the works of Rae Langton and Martha Nussbaum on objectification and pornography and applied these concepts to the concept of OnlyFans.

I discovered through my research and analysis of Pasolini and OnlyFans that OnlyFans can have a detrimental effect on women’s sexual emancipation in a capitalist society as it contributes to consumerism. The concept is that consumerism perpetuates the concept of ‘false tolerance’, introduced by Pasolini in his work Trilogy of Life Rejected. This is the idea that the lower classes and minorities are encouraged to be sexually emancipated, however, it is in fact all a commodity. This means that OnlyFans contributes to consumerism and therefore, does not actually emancipate women, but uses their bodies as a commodity.

In the context of objectification, Langton and Nussbaum provided an understanding that tradition pornography objectifies women and denies them of their autonomy. I concluded that because OnlyFans is done completely autonomously by the women who created the content, OnlyFans does not objectify women to the same severity as traditional pornography. Therefore, suggesting that OnlyFans is a healthier and safer alternative for women to traditional pornographic material.

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