Girls girls girls: interview with Becky Goldberg
In her 2002 documentary Hot and Bothered: Feminist Pornography, filmmaker Becky Goldberg makes a seeming paradox totally plausible with an uncensored look at women who perform, direct, produce, and sell feminist pornography. Screened at LadyFest East and LadyFest LA and winner of the "Best of Fest" at the Lost Film Festival, the documentary took two years to make and is Goldberg's directorial debut. The director talked to iris about her childhood in Nebraska, her thoughts on Catherine MacKinnon, and why porn might (pleasantly) surprise a lot of women.
What led you to make a documentary about feminist pornography?
The main motivation behind making the film was to dispel many myths. I wanted to show that women are sexual beings that use pornography, I wanted to show that the pornography industry is not the man's world that is assumed, and there is space for a female and feminist voice. Just because it is sexual doesn't mean that women are not interested. Lastly, I wanted to show that as consumers of porn, we have a say in what kind of films are made by buying products that we believe in.
Do you consider yourself a feminist? What does that mean to you?
I definitely consider myself a feminist. At the base of feminism, my interpretation is that it is the idea that the sexes are equal. What I like about the movement is that it is always changing, encompassing so many different types of people and beliefs.
What's good about pornography? Why do people watch it?
Porn is a great outlet for expressing sexuality and sexual exploration.
In a culture where people are so closeted about sex, porn is something you can enjoy in your own home and use as a sort of educational tool for seeking out information about sex and yourself.
What has been your relationship with porn throughout your life? How is it different now for you versus, say, when you were younger?
I grew up in Nebraska, a very conservative part of the United States. Sex was never discussed, let alone porn. It was just assumed to be a no-no. It wasn't until I moved to New York that I began seeing sex shops and billboards with half-dressed women on them. It got me thinking about the huge divide between the culture where I grew up and the culture I was now living in. Sex just seemed more open. I took advantage of New York being so much more liberal and started looking for...