September 17, 2012

Barton's "Ecoporn"

I couldn’t read Barton “Ecoporn” without thinking of Campbell’s feminist writings because Barton opened up with a similar man vs. woman theme. Just as nature is portrayed in literature as feminine, Barton compared women to nature and the people who manipulate it (ecopornographers) to men. When I look at a postcard or an advertisement for a vacation spot, I am of course aware that they are trying to make the environment look as perfect as possible, but I never consider what animals or natural habitats were destroyed to make it look so perfect.

Barton asked, “But do all forms of pornography necessarily objectify the complex beings they represent?” I think that all forms of pornography do objectify the complex beings they represent. Even in the seemingly most innocent situations, such as the shark being enticed to jump out of the water, the shark is doing something it would not have naturally done. This is where the connection between ecoporn and typical pornography is made since the viewer is under the impression that the objectified party normally would have done what they did had there not been cameras there.

Barton continues, “Could not ecoporn be defended with the argument that it, along with standard pornography, has the capacity to empower as well as to degrade?” I think standard pornography does have power to empower as well as to degrade, but then comes the question: who does it empower? Since one party is being degraded, the one doing the degrading naturally is empowered. Man has control over nature because man manipulates nature, therefore nature is degraded. This is just a transfer of power.

The entire article was eye opening because when I watch nature shows, it always seems as though the animals are ignoring the cameras and that I am truly watching them go about their natural daily lives. But as Barton says, “the more desperately we try to discover Nature, the more we see our “most exquisite instruments” staring blankly back at us.” That leads me to believe that nothing we can capture with technology can accurately portray our lives because we know we are always being watched. 

1 comment:

Drea Fetchik said...

For the idea of empowerment and degrading i guess it all depending on the eye of the beholder, because something that you might find empowering might be degrading to another person and vis versa.
And I like how you said that we can never truly be ourselves because we are always being watched, but even if there isn't technology watching us, aren't we always being watched anyways. We have people trying to step on, over, around, etc. us and us to them. Also i slight side note there was an interview asking Kelly Osborn(sp) about the camera always being there in her house (when they and there show) and she said after a while she forgot the camera was even there. Just some food for thought

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