Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America (Paperback)
  • Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America (Paperback)

Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America (Paperback)

Paperback 240 Pages / Published: 23/12/1998
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In a book that completely changes the terms of the pornography debate, Laura Kipnis challenges the position that porn perpetuates misogyny and sex crimes. First published in 1996, Bound and Gagged opens with the chilling case of Daniel DePew, a man convicted-in the first computer bulletin board entrapment case-of conspiring to make a snuff film and sentenced to thirty-three years in prison for merely trading kinky fantasies with two undercover cops.
Using this textbook example of social hysteria as a springboard, Kipnis argues that criminalizing fantasy-even perverse and unacceptable fantasy-has dire social consequences. Exploring the entire spectrum of pornography, she declares that porn isn't just about gender and that fantasy doesn't necessarily constitute intent. She reveals Larry Flynt's Hustler to be one of the most politically outspoken and class-antagonistic magazine in the country and shows how fetishes such as fat admiration challenge our aesthetic prejudices and socially sanctioned disgust. Kipnis demonstrates that the porn industry-whose multibillion-dollar annual revenues rival those of the three major television networks combined-know precisely how to tap into our culture's deepest anxieties and desires, and that this knowledge, more than all the naked bodies, is what guarantees its vast popularity.
Bound and Gagged challenges our most basic assumptions about America's relationship with pornography and questions what the calls to eliminate it are really attempting to protect.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822323433
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 327 g
Dimensions: 230 x 154 x 18 mm

"Bound and Gagged will prove intellectually productive for generations of scholars and thinkers. As always, Kipnis's insistence on articulating concerns of class and gender makes her work vitually unique withing U.S. cultural studies-and she is doubtless among the most engaging writers in the academy today."-Lauren Berlant, author of The Queen of America Goes to Washington City
"A tour de force polemic in defense of the foibles of human fantasy."-Linda Williams, author of Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the `Frenzy of the Visible'
"In Bound and Gagged, Laura Kipnis demonstrates that she is the Marx and Freud of porn."-Constance Penley, author of NASA/Trek: Popular Science and Sex in America
"Laura Kipnis is the rarest of authors. She looks at porn and makes you see it through new eyes. Bound and Gagged is fearless, unflinching and funny."-James Peterson, Senior Editor, Playboy
"Laura Kipnis's Bound and Gagged is a singularly important contribution to contemporary cultural criticism. [It] should be required reading."-Michael Berube, author of Public Access: Literary Theory and American Cultural Politics

". . . as clear a take as one could expect on the intertwining of sexual fantasy and reality. . . . rendered in language that generates a seductiveness of its own."-Robert Christgau, [unidentified review]

"[[Kipnis] blends the themes of Freudian analysis, consumer capitalism and societal taboo into a piece of sharp, insightful, sometimes disturbing social commentary."-Richard Bernstein, the New York Times

"A wonderfully insightful book about the elitism that lurks behind antiporn sentiment. By bringing class into the picture, Bound and Gagged moves beyond the predictable, repetitive argument among feminists. . ."-Leora Tanenbaum, The Nation

"[Kipnis] provides a succinct, thoughtful, and lively case for porn as a significant contemporary cultural form."-Kirkus Reviews

"Bound and Gagged is a remarkably rational book about a subject that usually sparks remarkably irrational responses."-Joy Press, The Boston Globe

"Few readers. . . will come away from Bound and Gagged with their perceptions about porn intact. . . .This original and spirited paean to the secret power of pornography makes a stimulating bedside primer-albeit one that's more likely to lead to sedition than seduction."-Autumn Stephens, the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle

"A wonderfully provocative examination of pornographic fantasies and their broader cultural meanings. . . . Bound and Gagged pokes and prods at a number of America's most tender spots-examining everything from transvestite personal ads and `fat fetishism' to the class-ridden politics of disgust." -David Futrelle, the Los Angeles Reader

[Kipnis] is a lively and engaging writer who argues. . . that we would be better off simply thinking of pornography as just another form of science fiction."-Publishers Weekly

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