In many video stores, race organizes the pornography shelves: Asian, Black, and multicultural. Asian/American women comprise their own special genre in American pornography. Race determines Asian women's sexual subjectivity, practices, and roles, showing pornography as important for understanding racialization as a sexual process. We cannot understand the hypersexual bondage of Asian/American women without looking at, and seriously studying, pornography. Through Orientalism in stag pornography, the enactment of yellowface-a form of Asian minstrelsy-by "real" Asian women in the 1950s, and the performance of polymorphous perversity on Internet and video by contemporary porn megastars, I show how pornography helps us to understand racial formation. Sexuality is a racialized process, and racialization is a sexualized process. In early and Golden Age pornography, we see visual manifestations of racial difference. In the contemporary scene, Asian/American female porn stars Asia Carrera and Annabel Chong use their sexuality in pornography to comment on the profound complexity of their racialization, and use their racialization to comment on the bottomless fluidity of their sexuality. As such, we need to study pornography not only to understand Asian/American women's racial formation, but also to recognize the ways in which it recasts pain, pleasure, power and the political. It does so through a reminder of the unreliability and unknowability of the experiences of race, sexuality, and representation. Keeping open the complexity of images as well as the experience of their production and consumption helps me to formulate a theory of "race-positive sexuality" that takes seriously the challenge of defining sexuality in terms of Asian/American feminist women's practices in pornography.
Celine P. Shimizu,
Queens of Anal, Double, Triple, and the Gang Bang: Producing Asian/American Feminism in Pornography,
Yale J.L. & Feminism
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjlf/vol18/iss1/10