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German Young Socialists Want the Government to Fund 'Feminist Porn' on TV

keypad with a nude girl on it. Internet pornography

The Young Socialists in Berlin, Germany's capital, want the government to subsidize "feminist porn," including BDSM (bondage, domination, sadism, masochism), for television stations and individual purchase.

"Film funding also promotes 'The Dream Ship' and Nazi documentaries. We don't want to prescribe specific practices either. It's about someone applying for state funding," Heike Hoffmann, a 20-year-old history student who is a deputy head of state for the Young Socialists of the German Social Democratic Party (SPD), told Welt.

Hoffmann suggested that the government should pay for pornography on the grounds that it is not endorsing the actions, but presenting educational information to the people.

Welt noted that Berlin SPD is considering an application for porn funding on the basis that "people want to inform themselves about sexuality, about porn."

Hoffmann admitted that "the majority of teenagers do not go to YouPorn with the intention of learning something," but rather "to masturbate," which is "not out of an interest in knowledge." Even so, she argued, "there will be an exchange of information" and "the information is more subliminal."

When asked if she wanted pornography in schools, Hoffmann admitted that is not her party's intention. "No, it's about putting them on the Internet, and teachers can reference them. It does not mean that we watch it in the classroom," she explained.

Hoffmann isn't requesting government funding for just any kind of pornography, but "feminist pornography," which she defined as "pornography off the mainstream, which shows a variety of personalities, without putting them in a box. A pornography where contraceptives and mistakes are normal."

She contrasted this with "sexist pornography," which "depicts unrealistic lust."

"At least my experience says, guys often think, 'I want to be like this guy in porn,'" Hoffmann said.

The young socialist pushed for consent and communication in porn. Welt asked her if that means "in the movie one asks, 'Do we want to do that now?' and the other says, 'Yes?'"

"That's unsexy to ask, of course," Hoffmann admitted. Even so, "in one of the films that we saw at the workshop, occasionally throughout the act, one protagonist moans to the other, 'Do you like that?'"

The young socialist said even BDSM fits under this kind of pornography. "There are sequences in SM films in which the actors talk normally. As the audience is shown: This is consent and setting, which is exactly the same in feminist pornography."

She drew a firm contrast between this and sexual assault. "Sexual violence should not be portrayed. A rape, a sexual assault," Hoffman said.

Under this definition, "feminist porn" would include homosexual acts between men. "You can also call yourself a man feminist. The feminist label is like a TV seal. If 'feminist porn' is on it, then the film has just a kind of consensus, then there is always just working conditions, no moonlighting." This would be like having a trusted logo on a product, like the "whole wheat" logo on a loaf of bread.

When asked if this was a "naming problem," Hoffman admitted it could also be called "sex-positive porn. We've said feminist porn now, because it's mostly done by feminists and for feminists."

The young socialist admitted the goal of promoting feminist porn cannot be "to change sexual preferences." Instead, it is about enabling more justice in pornography.

"Feminist porn costs money through fair play," Hoffmann said. "But I think it's important that this porn is available as well as the mainstream porn. It should not be that people can not afford this porn, or the price is too high to buy a DVD."

She noted that many young people consume Internet pornography because it is free. "We believe that when there is more feminist porn, people become more thoughtful about their sexuality. This will prevent sexual violence and avoid sexism," the socialist argued.

Furthermore, Hoffmann called for not only lowering the legal age of consent for pornography (now 18), but for creating a two-tier system for televised depictions of sexual intercourse. "We do not say we want to completely abolish the age restrictions. The application says it happens anyway, so we downgrade. I am for two stages. One starting at 16 and one starting at 18."

Welt suggested, perhaps mockingly, "vaginal sex starting at 16 and pee starting at 18?"

Hoffmann agreed with something like that, noting that in Germany "beer and wine are legal starting at 16 and vodka starting at 18. There is a reason, because we say, high percentage is more dangerous. For example, for SM and BDSM porn, you need more expertise to know that there is no sexual violence but consent. So what would be for me, for example, starting at 18."

The SPD is considering this application, but that does not necessarily mean Berlin will be subsidizing "feminist porn" any day now. Hoffmann represents the youth arm of SPD, and the party is no longer in a governing coalition with Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union.

Even so, it is a turbulent time in German politics, and the government might find these arguments convincing.