Lecture 1

Pornography and Female Sexual Agency

Josephine Ho

National Central University

To come to Japan and talk about pornography carries a special significance for me, because Japan is reputably the biggest producer and exporter of pornographic materials in East Asia. Millions of youths in the region have found affirmation and satisfaction since their initial sexual impulses with the help of Japanese mangas or AV films. What's more, it is not only the boys who make use of such materials; lots of girls also benefit too. The other day, one of my colleagues was telling me how one of the prominent lesbian writers in Taiwan nurtured her queerness with all the manifest and latent perversions in Japanese BL mangas, not to mention the many Taiwanese gays who have found their identity, mediated through the many gay erotic mangas produced here in Japan. Still, as important as these erotic/pornographic productions are for the development of sexual selves of today's youths, there is a persistent antagonism against sexually insinuating or sexually explicit materials "in the name of" the youths themselves in most countries and regions. In tonight's lecture, I would like to first address how anti-pornography discourses drew upon gender and generation assumptions, and then go on to point out how a new female sexual agency, most visible among the young women of East Asia, is now progressively complicating the gender/sexuality system that the anti-pornography stance relies upon.

Western researchers have shown that the modern sense of "pornography" (literally "writing about whores") in fact began with a concern to regulate social life through, among other things, regulating and studying prostitutes. What we now refer to as "pornography"--pictures, writing, or other material that is sexually explicit--did not raise social concern until dramatic social changes in the 19th century brought on a general trend of the "democratization of culture," to which the culturally and politically powerful responded by limiting the circulation of certain questionable texts.[1] The first anti-pornography discourse was notably framed in a protectionist language that carried strong class, gender, age assumptions against the so-called obscenities. It was believed that only adult (esp. middle-class and educated) males had enough intellect and moral fiber to keep themselves safe from the harm of pornographic materials, while the pure and feeble-minded sexless young women and children must be shielded from ever coming into contact with such material. Significantly, other contemporary measures in the 19th century, such as penile rings for boys who got involuntary erections at night and thorough clitoridectomy for girls with strong masturbatory impulses, painted a completely different picture about the youths' seemingly uncontrollable sexual desire.

Feminist anti-pornography discourses in the 1970s gave up on vague moralistic labels such as "obscenity" and instead conducted gender/power analyses of both the nature and presentation of pornographic materials and the oppressive industry that produced and disseminated them, thus moving pornography from the realm of morality and representation to the realm of politics and inequality.[2] The move, while creating powerful and insightful critiques of gender stereotypes in sexually explicit materials, also affected the grounds for discussions of female sexual agency. For if the concept of obscenity allowed some room for debate due to differences in meaning interpretation, the feminist critique of pornography often carries such a resolute political imperative that little room is left for alternative views. Formulated mostly in a formalistic and essentialist framework, the critical strategy lent itself easily to gender-only analyses of unfamiliar sexual images as simply exemplifying gender inequality and male domination, even having the power to spark fantasy, to incite lust, and to provoke aggressive action. Thus, as concrete acts of male violence against women, as male supremacy in its most graphic embodiment, pornography, in the eyes of its most severe feminist critics, affords no room for female sexual agency at all. As Andrea Dworkin puts it, "The pleasure of the male requires the annihilation of women's sexual integrity.[3]" According to this logic, only the elimination of pornography could increase women's erotic self-determination.[4]

While female sexual agency can only be expressed, according to anti-pornography feminists, as a loud "no" to sexual images and sexual expression, other feminists point to an extremely complex relationship between female sexual agency and pornography. Although pornography does not always meet the needs of women and its content is often sexist and degrading for women, its existence at least provides a fantasy space for the ineffable sexual feelings and impulses in women.[5] Admittedly, such a fantasy space is filled with contradictory impulses of unconscious anticipation, gratification, and even aggression, mixed in with the undercurrents of nightmares, fear, and disgust, but these entangled forces are by no means distributed neatly along clear gender demarcations.[6] Sexual fantasies, arousal, and satisfaction have been known to work in mysteriously circuitous ways. What is more, there are numerous women who enjoy pornography, who enjoy their own feelings of sexual potency, who enjoy taking the initiative as well as taking charge of the sexual act. To deny such female sexual agency as pure fabrication or false consciousness, to denounce such sexual activity as a mere imitation or duplication of male sexuality, is to flatly deny the power that these women have forged out of their own experimentations and struggles in the sexual realm.[7]

Still, the feminist anti-pornography position generated a wealth of arguments and critical vocabulary that have not only sedimented into common knowledge in the West,[8] but also are quite frequently adopted and cited to strengthen the fumbling protectionist stance in East Asia regarding state policies on pornography. Furthermore, what began as a debate on the meaning and effect of cultural artifacts are now increasingly dealt with in juridical terms, as exemplified by Dworkin and Mackinnon's proposed ordinance for the city of Minneapolis in 1984, that would have allowed women to take civil action against anyone involved in producing and selling pornography, on the general grounds that they, as women, had been harmed by it.[9] Likewise, reducing sexual issues to nothing but issues of gender inequality,[10] mainstreaming women's groups in Taiwan choose to consolidate around specific state-oriented themes and issues, with a clear priority scale that cedes the terrain of female sexuality to outdated anti-porn rhetoric, or to a demonized capitalistic market said to be collaborating with patriarchy.[11]

Taiwan is probably unique in East Asia in that feminist sex-radicals have, since 1994, actively intervened in the general trend of a commodity/consumption-driven liberalization of sexual attitudes and practices, and at the same time resisting the backlash launched by conservative religious and women's groups in regard to emergent expressions of sexual agency. The much-disputed publication of my book The Gallant Woman: Feminism and Sexual Emancipation (1994) created a dissenting voice beyond seemingly unified anti-pornography, anti-sex feminism. And feminist sex radicalism has since become the only voice that addresses and resists increasing state control of erotic/sexual matters. In fact, it is through this radical stance that we are able to recognize the sexual agency of a new generation of young women actively exploring their relationships with erotic/pornographic materials as they construct their sexual selves.[12]

The signs of such sexual agency are clear. Despite the arrival of cable television in Taiwan at the end of the 1980s that made x-rated images accessible to all, feminism-informed women were not content with such private gratifications and felt they needed to break through the silence, isolation, and shame surrounding sexual matters. They made two ground-breaking moves through Isle Margin, a left-wing cultural journal, in its March 1994 issue. For the first time in Taiwanese history, women's own erotic and sexually explicit stories, written with clear feminist intentions, were presented in a section titled "Medusa's Voice" to sound off women's right to and need for a sexual voice. Many of those pieces were considered outright pornographic and blatantly irreverent to existing moral values. The Journal also for the first time incorporated a lesbian publication to complicate the usual heterosexual assumption about women's sexuality. Such discursive productions of feminist pornography had profound implications for younger women. In 1995, women students in National Taiwan University congregated "to explore their own erotic feelings and sexual agency" by showing a selection of adult films at the women's dormitory. Adopting the same vocabulary as that of "Medusa's Voice" and The Gallant Woman, the film-showing was a move well-informed by feminist ideals of collective action and "our bodies-our selves." Although the girls eventually capitulated under fierce public outcry and re-framed the activity as a "critique" of pornography, the film-viewing itself marked a collective show of sexual self-determination. Similar activities have since become a very important gesture of asserting marginal sexual identities in Taiwan. Gay, lesbian, and queer groups on and off college campuses have all included such collective activities as a means of self-affirmation and protest against the sex-negative social context.

For younger Taiwanese girls who are not yet comfortable with graphically explicit materials but are already feeling the pull of erotic impulses, they have their outlets too. Imported and translated Japanese mangas provided numerous easy-reading romantic/erotic tales in which young readers could rehearse for future entanglements. The good taste demonstrated by such Japanese mangas in handling the many steamy erotic scenes[13] (showing only clothes on the floor, clenched fingers, and painfully ecstatic faces) is contrasted only with the numerous fu-rin (不倫, extra-marital affairs) relationships and other "perversions" (ranging from homosexuality to various brands of incest) depicted in the story lines. As such erotically potent yet at the same time morally unorthodox elements are regularly present even in mangas geared toward elementary school children, it is hard to see how the mangas would contribute to "solidifying patriarchal gender and sexual stereotypes," as orthodox feminist anti-pornography discourses contend. Of course, "traditional" romance novels are still in favor among teenage girls, yet today's Harlequin romances or Taiwanese local romance novels are already of quite a different breed. In fact, they include so many scenes of steamy sex that they have already been labeled as "pornographic" by state-oriented women's groups and women politicians who demand that the romance novels be subjected to some kind of rating system in the future.[14] At the urge of the women's groups, Taipei city government is now reviewing new ordinances that would mandate that all mangas and body image publications be subjected to a rating system and be required to conspicuously display the rating on the cover of each publication. Resistance movement by manga fans is now under way too.

If more and more young women are no longer hesitant about coming into contact with commercially produced erotic/pornographic material, they are all the more happy to take advantage of new advances in communications technology and assume an even more active role in sexual self-expression. Many young women in Taiwan are using versatile digital cameras to create and stylize self-portraits(素人自拍)which are stored and displayed in personal web photo albums for the viewing pleasure of anybody who cared to click the "enter" button. The albums will of course include some photos taken in the half-naked or other seductive postures, as sexual selves have come to constitute a very important part of individual identity in the vast ocean of net citizens. Erotic uses of the email, on-line chat rooms, interactive webcams, or the newest haptic (sense of touch) technologies have created a kaleidoscope of choices and channels through which women's deepest wishes and darkest desires are constantly negotiated and played out in the virtual space, transcending boundaries of gender, age, nation, physical form, etc. And to the dismay of many women's groups, the more adventurous young women are also becoming entrepreneurs in the production and distribution of sexually explicit images and discursive productions. Many are filling BBS boards and blogs and facebook pages with numerous stories telling their sexual encounters and adventures to the last detail. Others have joined the line-up of "underwear anchorwomen"(內衣主播)in combining on-line news reporting with strip-tease. Still others are using webcams to stage live shows(真人秀)where paid viewers could watch the girls' every move as they go through their most intimate life routines (including taking showers, getting dressed, and even going to the toilet). Recently, the new generation of cell phones equipped with digital cameras and photo messaging services are also helping young women collaborate with cell phone operators to start their own business of sending on-the-spot photos(自拍美人), some of which are obviously adult material, to their paid subscribers.[15] In fact, new technological creations are applied to entrepreneurial endeavors in the production and transmission of sexual images as soon as they become available, and this trend seems to be sweeping across East Asia.

As this new female sexual agency inserts itself into an Asian context that is generally without the benefit of the legacy of a wide-spread sex revolution accompanied by feminist delineations of its positive meaning for gender revolution (as is in the case of the West),[16] it has greatly alarmed state-oriented women's groups which, out of traditional gender and generational concerns, are taking it upon themselves to rid the society of such demonstrations of confused social values. To be more precise, the term "pornography" and its well-established unlawful status is now used most often by mainstream women's groups in Taiwan to label such expressions of female sexual agency that obviously falls outside the marital, reproductive model.

Here, Taiwanese state-feminists needed another transformation in the meaning of pornography in order to mobilize the whole society against such autonomous displays of female sexual agency. Obscenity sweeps launched by opportunist politicians, sensationalized by the smut-thirsty media, and cheered on by the morally righteous have long solidified the disrepute of pornography in Taiwan. But in recent years, seizing upon the general fear and resentment surrounding high-profiled serial rapists[17] and other criminals of violent acts against women,[18] mainstreaming women's groups have successfully highlighted one specific dimension of the possible ill effects of pornography: it is said to "cause" violent crimes against women, as attested by many rapists' own confessions under interrogation. While the causal relationship is still to be verified empirically, the gravity of pornography's social consequences has however become consensus.

If pornography is believed to lead to violent crimes against women, then any girl who stubbornly insists on functioning in the world of erotic-pornographic materials has proven herself to be in grave need of re-education at halfway schools or other correctional facilities. Under the rubric of pornography, police are now cracking down on the non-commercial personal photo albums on the web, arresting innocent young people who are simply trying to assert their sexual selves, and sending them to prison for "disseminating obscene materials" according to the criminal code. Interactive webcam shows have ground to a halt because such shows are believed to legitimize peeping-toms and could lead to greater danger for women in general. Internet service providers (ISPs) have been forced to turn over private information concerning its users in exchange for not being prosecuted as helping with the dissemination of pornographic materials. Authorities are now even studying how to monitor and restrict images sent through the cell phones, and the phone companies are unlikely to put up too much of a fight, considering the terrible stigma that may be piled on them for putting kids in touch with pornography.

When mainstreaming women's groups and state-feminists make their case against "pornography" these days, they still describe it as this monstrous product that is being churned out by a humongous and lucrative industry. Yet the actual measures that are being executed in Taiwan are often directed not at some evil, male-dominated porn industry, if there is still such an industry, but more at individuals who are asserting their own sexual selves while actively changing the rules of the erotic game. In other words, a new kind of porn struggle in East Asia may be arising between anti-pornography women's groups who--reverting back to a (this time not patriarchal but) motherly position of "protecting children and teenagers"--have acquired the power to push for legislation and to supervise police performance, and the many (young) women who insist on constructing a different, positive relationship with their own sexuality through erotic/pornographic images. As a result, a new relationship has also emerged between pornography and female sexual agency in Taiwan: it is no longer a relation of opposition, where pornography necessarily violates or negates female sexual agency; instead, pornography is now the label that identifies, and thus may be used to indict, spontaneous demonstrations of non-marital, non-reproductive female sexual agency.

Discussant: NEMURA Naomi (Associate Professor, Nihon University) (Ito Sensei relayed the comments and I recorded them in Chinese here.)









Response by Ho:

I would like to thank Nemura Sensei for her careful reading of my paper as well as her insightful discussions. Let me answer her three questions as follows:

I agree that upon first sight and viewed in isolated shots, many pornographic scenes will seem utterly shocking and unacceptable for viewers, just as gay sex scenes are considered utterly distasteful to many. The natural response is: such scenes will impact negatively on our society. But I think we need to bear in mind several important points. First of all, there is a long complicated detour between images and reality. Pornographic images work mostly on our unconscious desires, the operations of which we are only beginning to explore. To draw a straight line between images and reality is to over-exaggerate the power of images and deny the obvious power of the subject to manipulate such images, which brings me to the second point. If we begin with the belief that all pornography is degrading to women and is a shameful, disgusting thing, then we have foreclosed on ever finding out how men and women really see or feel while viewing pornography. I know of many women who enjoy and make good use of existing, albeit often times sexist, pornography. Does that mean they will tolerate all kind of subjugation in real life? Absolutely not. In fact, such sexually experienced women often demonstrate more power to assert themselves against subjugation than the sexually timid women. On the other hand, I know of many men who do not enjoy certain kinds of pornography, the same way as you responded to those images. It is still unclear what kind of subject position a viewer might assume while watching porn. The only thing we are sure is that it does not follow rigid gender lines where men identify with men and women identify with women. In fact, sometimes women imagine themselves as the rapist in the scene, and men imagine themselves as the rape victim, and most often people switch from one role to other roles during the viewing process. But if we maintain a morally righteous attitude toward porn and decree that viewing pornography is a shameful conduct, then we will never know the truth about our own fantasies, our own fears, our own enjoyment, etc. Having said that, I can answer Nemura Sensei this way: I think a clear gender division between porn for men and porn for women is probably impossible to assert, not until we have created a social milieu in which people are free to assert their fondness for sexually explicit materials. Then we will have a chance to hear what they say about how they actually use porn.

By the way, I am not really interested in finding out what men are watching. I am more interested in finding out what women are watching and how they manage their sexualities. I don't think it is feminism's job to reform men and make them become nice family men. I am more interested in the many ways that women are transforming, empowering themselves. And in that respect, I think the meaning of porn is contestable and can be manipulated to women's advantage.

As to Nemura Sensei's second question, whether there are similarly subversive images that border pornography in Taiwanese popular culture, of course there are. And sometimes they suffer criticism or government ban too. But in recent years, with the development of the LGBT movement, more and more sexually marginal materials are becoming available. The interesting thing is, marginal sexualities often find erotic content in the most unlikely places. For example, many gays have found useful material while watching propaganda films about life in the military. On the other hand, a lot of pornographic materials are quite subversive themselves as they parody the erotic possibilities in highly serious cultural materials. We don't have to look very far for subversive elements.

As to the third question concerning the sex industry and our resistance to it. I don't think our relation to porn is necessarily limited to that of "resistance" or "antagonism." As a sexual subject, I would like to see how I can better "manipulate" it and take advantage of it. Porn industry, like any other industry, will have to take into consideration the opinions of its customers. Since there are so many women who are into enjoying porn, the reason they have not had an impact on the industry is because they have not been able to make their presence known. If we continue to hold such self-righteous attitudes against porn, it is unlikely women will want to speak up about their fondness and enjoyment of porn. In other words, to have a positive influence on the porn industry, we have to help women express what they like or want to see in porn, and that calls for a very different attitude toward porn, which we have yet to work hard to foster.

How do male liberals in Taiwan feel toward the porn industry? Well, a few of them have written about it along the lines of freedom of speech, but not much in social action. The most resistance action actually came from gay men groups; they have fought bravely against obscenity laws and raids against bookstores. As to women, well, the conservative women and their groups have certainly done a lot to the porn industry: they have been creating laws to wipe out sexually explicit materials and their production, thus making it all the more difficult for the development of a sex-positive environment. Other women, sex radicals in particular, have on the other hand united with the gays in the struggle against such impositions. Young readers of Japanese mangas sometimes join in too to defend their right to read, for obscenity sweeps against pornography often extended to their favorite reading materials too.

Audience Q & A:

Question 1: In Taiwan, is the rating system targeted at sex or does it include violence too?

Answer: Both, but most vehemently against the so-called obscenities in pornography; namely, scenes that expose genitals or nipples. It's funny how the police and the justices are hooked unto those specific body parts. Violence is tolerated unless it gets too graphic, but Hollywood films that are known for their depiction of violence often pass through the censors. So I guess there are other factors that enter into the rating consideration.

Question 2: In Japan, there is a huge difference in sexual attitudes between people who were born in the 1960s and the later generations. The transformation seems to have taken place in the 1980s. Is there such a generation difference in Taiwan too? Is it more open after the lifting of martial law in 1987?

Answer: Taiwan has seen a period of dramatic transformation in the 1980s when extra-marital affairs became obvious and love motels are established on every corner in the city, not to mention a host of other emergent sexual phenomena. The availability of cable television also made a lot of sexually explicit materials accessible in one's own living room. Such developments in the sexual culture not only reflect upon but also are conducive of liberalizing attitudes toward sexual matters. So to answer your question, yes, there IS a huge difference in sexual attitudes, not in the least helped by the rise of the internet in the 1990s that enabled the younger generation to access sexual information and establish sexual liaisons with a much wider circle of contacts than ever imagined by people born in the 1960s. So, the younger generation IS much more open and easy with sexual contacts, and that worries the older generation who are now building more laws to "protect" the young. Is the society freer after the lifting of the martial law? Well, yes and no. Yes, because there is now more freedom of speech, political speech mostly. But no, because that freedom does not apply to sexual speech or sexual expressions. In fact, there are now more laws regulating people's sexual expression than any time in the history of Taiwan as the short-lived openness right after the lifting of the martial law in 1987 came to an abrupt halt in the early 1990s.

Question 3: Is there a local porn industry in Taiwan?

Answer: Not really. Criminalization of porn is the main cause. Just last month, the so-called first local AV stars released their work to the public, and they were arrested within a matter of days. That explains why it is very hard to have a local porn industry in Taiwan and why Taiwan has done so well copycatting cultural materials. We certainly have done it very well with pornographic materials from Japan and all over the world.

Question 4: Are all regulations of porn materials to be considered the repression of sexual agency? You mentioned that porn has been instrumental in helping gays and lesbians assert their identities. How does that work?

Answer: Let me answer by making this point. Pornography is often thought to be this terrible, evil, worthless thing that we should eradicate from the face of this earth. But for those people who value or prioritize their sexual freedom or sexual identities, pornography is their cultural heritage, however pale an image it may be for the real people who live those practices and desires. To ban pornography is to deprive them of the only cultural site where they can find some vague reflections and images of themselves. If the culture of the aborigine tribes are sacred and should be preserved, then the same kind of respect to porn, the cultural artifacts of sexually marginal people, needs to be there too. After all, such cultural resources and the ease with which they could be accessed are what sexual freedom and sexual identities are made of. Most of the time, people think about pornography in terms of the gender oppression that it involves; it's time to also think about the sexual deprivation that results from continued stigmatization and criminalization of sexually explicit materials. By sexual deprivation I mean the lack of information, lack of access, lack of experience, lack of discussion and exchange in regard to sexual matters. And for us women, that kind of deprivation has long been a lived reality, with all the shame and guilt and fear that result from such deprivation. If such long-term deprivation does not constitute repression of sexual agency, I don't know what does.


* Delivered on May 28, 2003 as IGS Evening Seminar, Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, Japan

  • 1. Walter Kendrick, The Secret Museum: Pornography in Modern Culture (New York: Penguin, 1987, 1988), pp. 18-28, 84-92; and Lynn Hunt, "Introduction," The Invention of Pornography: Obscenity and the Origins of Modernity, 1500-1800, ed. by Lynn Hunt (New York: Zone Books, 1993), pp. 12-13.
  • 2. Gayle Rubin, "Misguided, Dangerous, and Wrong: An Analysis of Anti-Pornography Politics," in Bad Girls & Dirty Pictures: The Challenge to Reclaim Feminism, eds. by Alison Assiter & Avedon Carol (London: Pluto, 1993), pp. 36-38.
  • 3. Dworkin, op. cit., 47. For Dworkin, even lesbian porn needs to be dismissed for it affords men the opportunity to colonialize the lesbian through invading "the private sanctuary of women with each other."
  • 4. MacKinnon, Feminism Unmodified, p. 140.
  • 5. Eileen O'Neill, "(Re)presentations of Eros: Exploring Female Sexual Agency," in Gender/Body/Knowledge: Feminist Reconstructions of Being and Knowing, eds. by Alison M. Jaggar & Susan R. Bordo (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 1989, 1992), p. 70.
  • 6. Elizabeth Cowie, "Pornography and Fantasy: Psychoanalytic Perspectives," p. 152; and Lynne Segal, "Sweet Sorrows, Painful Pleasures: Pornography and the Perils of Heterosexual Desire," pp. 65-72, both in Sex Exposed: Sexuality and the Pornography Debate, eds. by Lynne Segal & Mary McIntosh (London: Virago, 1992).
  • 7. It is important to observe exactly what other kinds of female agency are affirmed, if sexual agency is excluded. For the preference signals not only the priority of certain social realms for feminist struggles but also the priority of certain types of feminists who should set the agenda for the whole movement.
  • 8. The American Heritage Dictionary offers the following definition for the word "pornography": "Pictures, writing, or other material that is sexually explicit and sometimes equates sex with power and violence" (italics added). The last part of the definition obviously reflects the influence of the feminist anti-pornography stance.
  • 9. The civil-rights ordinance was vetoed twice by the mayor of Minneapolis, and a similar ordinance enacted in Indianapolis was struck down as unconstitutional by the district court and then by the Seventh US Circuit Court of Appeals. Still, the strategy is now further broadened, at lease in the Taiwanese context, to include many more collateral but liable parties for making sexual information available and accessible, especially through the wide-ranging internet. They may include internet service providers, webpage design programmers, bulletin board operators, search engine portal companies, and even academic researchers of sexuality.
  • 10. "The personal is political" is now more often than not understood mostly in civil and judicial terms. Tani E. Barlow has also noted the same tendency in her essay, "Asian, Gender and Scholarship Under Process of Re-regionalization," Journal of Gender Studies, Ochanomizu University, Tokyo, Japan5 (2002): p. 8.
  • 11. This observation is made by my colleague Naifei Ding in our on-going discussion about Taiwanese feminisms.
  • 12. This is also true for other regions of East Asia where economic prosperity has brought on a commodity culture that affords many opportunities for self-fashioning and self-expression, as well as an internet and communications network that greatly facilitates the circulation and dissemination of information, not to mention facilitating frequent and multiple erotic interactions among previously unlikely parties.
  • 13. The very explicitly sexual Japanese mangas circulate along a very different path. They are rarely available in the popular bookstores where long lines of girls stand around, indulged in romance-oriented reading materials. Instead, the real graphic presentations are sold mainly at newspaper stands or stationary stores where more young men can purchase them in an inconspicuous manner.
  • 14. Like Dworkin, mainstream women's groups and women politicians believe sexual insinuations and sexual explicitness are one and the same thing since they both incite sexual desires, and thus they are all pornography. See Dworkin, op. cit., 9-10.
  • 15. Tokyo-based J-Phone announced in Nov. 2002 that at least one million of its subscribers have signed up for its Sha-mail photo messaging service. So long as there are capable networks and handsets, and amenable data pricing, the compelling functionality of such handsets will provide an added reason for consumers to make use of images (sexual images included). See http://www.cellular.co.za/news_2002/112602-jphone_movie_sha.htm.
  • 16. Although Taiwanese feminist sex radicalism has done a lot to complicate the erotic/sexual scene, its efforts are often circumscribed if not negated by the state-feminists who would use state regulations against pornography to discredit alternative views on sexually explicit images and discourses.
  • 17. One convicted serial rapist had demonstrated good behavior, studied in prison, and managed to pass the entrance examination to the best university in Taiwan in 2001. However, he has not been able to enter the university because his parole application has been repeatedly denied by the parole board under pressure from mainstream women's groups who believe "once a rapist, always a rapist."
  • 18. The brutal murder of a Democratic Progressive Party feminist, Peng Wan-Ru, in 1996 and the kidnap/killing of the daughter of a famous TV personality, Bai Xiao-Yan, in the following year sparked national fear and anger to such a degree that the Taiwanese government was faced with a real legitimation crisis which could only be alleviated by gestures of establishing more stringent laws. Peng's case was never solved, but the kidnappers/killers of Bai had confessed to the consumption of pornographic materials before their execution.