Is Sexual Liberation, Women’s Liberation?
What causes this seeming desperation in poor Filipino women to get married to foreigners? Is it a liberating move in the sense that women are given responsibility of their own sexuality?
Sex-positive feminism holds that sexual freedom is an essential component of women’s freedom. As such, pornography and prostitution if “freely chosen” are not necessarily bad for women, if sex-related professions are de-stigmatized.23
Among the feminists who critique sex-positive feminism is Catherine MacKinnon. MacKinnon believes that sexual liberation has benefited men rather than women.24 Sexual practices such as prostitution and pornography, she argues, do not end women’s oppression as sex-positive feminists claim, but only exploit women.
Considering these two opposing views regarding the sexual liberation of women, the question is where we can classify the situation of impoverished Filipinas online, who want to get married to foreigners: whether they have truly been emancipated now that they can liberally express their own sexuality, as men do, by freely choosing to get into dating websites; or are they only participating in men’s objectification of women by gratifying men’s sexual fantasies through the use of their own bodies?In contrast to the “sexually liberated” women sex-positive feminists describe, the impoverished Filipinas are not in the position to express their sexual liberties. They are first and foremost concerned with getting themselves, especially their families out of poverty.