‘Minx’ and ‘Stiffed’: Dirty Pictures From a Revolution

Desire turns out to offer only piecemeal liberation, especially after people (mostly men) discovered ways to monetize it. This change facilitated the mainstream distribution of “pornographic” and sexually explicit films in the late 1970s. In the second episode of Season 2 of Minx, the magazine hosts the West Coast premiere of the real porn movie Deep Throat. The film is advertised as a celebration of female sexual empowerment. But it’s also a lot like exploitation.

One of the characters, Doug Renetti (Jake Johnson), takes inspiration from Viva’s publisher Guccine and defends the film as feminist. “This is the story of a woman seeking orgasm,” he says.

Minx Editor-in-Chief Joyce Priger (Ophelia Lovibond) disagrees. “Which one conveniently has a clitoris in its mouth?” says Joyce.

Related debates within the feminist community (often referred to as the porn wars and sex wars) have fragmented the movement and made it vulnerable to attacks from both the political left and the right, the attacks embellished by the “minx.” As the ’80s began, Ronald Reagan was soon elected president, evangelical Christians gained new influence, the Equal Rights Amendment was defeated, and many of the emancipatory promises of the 1970s fell short.

“I don’t think the sexual revolution happened in the end. It started and then degenerated,” said the cultural critic, ” “Bad Sex: Truth, Pleasure, and an Unfinished Revolution” Said. “Since then, we’ve been trying to get back to the most utopian ideas, but we still haven’t gotten there.”

Sexual liberation has an actual political dimension, as personal matters are rarely non-political. But the focus on women’s pleasure may seem frivolous, given how imperfect the effort is, the wage gap remains, albeit narrowed, and protections against domestic and sexual violence are still lacking. The same goes for shows and podcasts centered around women’s skin magazines.

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