Sex appeal is empowering

In her letter, âÄúâÄòBoobs & BoozeâÄô doesnâÄôt respect womenâÄô in the Oct. 12 issue of the Minnesota Daily, Melissa Ludescher said the article âÄúBoobs & BoozeâÄù in the Sept. 29 Daily was crude. I agree with that; however, not all pornography degrades women.

I have friends who have been strippers or acted in porn, and IâÄôve met women who have sex for money. IâÄôm also a feminist who leads and participates in several student groups and organizations. IâÄôve lobbied for womenâÄôs rights in Washington, D.C., and I study gender at the University of Minnesota.

Sex trafficking, rape, sexual harassment and assault are all major problems. ItâÄôs impossible to measure the trauma these crimes inflict upon women. And certainly, the way some porn paints women as submissive to men is appalling. But not all porn, nor all sex work, does this.

Despite the fact that women are still paid less than men in the workplace, sex appeal is something men pay big money for âÄî something they canâÄôt provide for themselves.

Having this leg up empowers some women by putting them in control of their bodies, sexuality and economic standing. Acting in porn or dancing at a club is a conscious choice that some women make for this kind of power.

Do all women participate by choice? No, and the fact that some are forced to is despicable. However, if a woman chooses to use her body for her own sexual empowerment, she should be free to do so without judgment.

ThereâÄôs plenty of pro-women porn out there, both queer and heterosexual. You just have to look for it. Whether you choose to or not, IâÄôm going to continue getting my rocks off to the âÄúta-tasâÄù of other consenting, empowered and sex-positive women.