September 16, 2012

Ecoporn. What next?

On and off throughout the article, I noticed that the author had a tendency to rant- as if he got on a point and just wanted to spew and vent, and I was having a really hard time getting past some of it-especially when he went so far as to say that the models that we are shown in nature viewings-fighting other animals, fighting other males and breeding with the females just so the females can reproduce more males- were meant to "arouse fear in women and to promote the sense of needing men's protection." Through these parts I think he began to lose his validity and steer away from the argument on which he was making, which was the fact that humans tend to take advantage of nature by photographing and documenting the "outside world" in ways that aren't necessarily natural or accurate. I would like to know, if the author does not want programmers or people to watch documentaries which portray animals doing what they do every day-which does in fact, consist of eating, mating, fighting, and hunting-what else would he like us to watch? Would he rather us remain ignorant and not show any type of interest in the world around us in order to keep the purity and sanctity of the animal planet in tact?

In terms of agency in this article, it was easy to see that the agency was nature portrayed and equivalent to that of a woman. What could have been said more directly however were distinctions between how one agency gets abused more than another and how they are manipulated and exploited by the act or other form of rhetoric. Now I do realize that throughout most of this article the author made clear examples of how nature was exploited, such as how when the sharks were forced to leap out of the water using fake seal lures just to get a good shot. I also understand that he mentioned how women are often forced into sexuality and tend to be dominated by the male in normal porn. But what was his real point in bringing these things into focus? Was he really trying to bring light onto how Animal Planet and PETA are liars and Walt Disney is apparently an eco-porn-woman-dominating-pervert? Or was he trying to get the message through that our forms of rhetoric are very effective in being manipulative, whether it's through women or nature?

I think he went a bit too far and dramatic to compare manipulated shots of animals and call it equivalent to the rape and abuse of a woman. At most I would call what some nature programs do to animals as "bullying" and "cheating".

Kari K

1 comment:

Joel Bergholtz said...

I applaud you for calling the author out on his tendencies to stretch the comparison too far. I felt like the connection between how we portray nature and women had a lot of good angles, but he seemed so emotionally attached to the comparison that he missed some opportunities to explicitly situate it within rhetoric or define its agency. Ultimately though, I think there is a real connection between how these animals are exploited- such as your chosen example of the seal luring the shark -and how women are exploited in pornography. In both situations, they are being used in a morally dismissive way while claiming just the opposite. Neither the animal or the woman is doing what they are doing because they enjoy it, yet their entire purpose is to give off a vibe that they are happy, everything is okay, and the wrongdoings that are happening are to be accepted. We know we are not witnessing the shark in its true raw form just as we know we are not witnessing the act of sex in its true raw form, but because of the authors ability to sweep it under the rug-and the authors ability to convince the consumer that its okay to be swept under the rug -we accept it. It is an interesting dilemma that ultimately points the finger at man's laziness/unwillingness to take the morally superior route.

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