Screw and Al Goldstein are long gone now but I still remember the fights and furor brought on by Screw's content.
Note: Nothing about this essay is safe for viewing at work. I guess my blog is not safe for work too. So sue me.
Pornography is ancient and the controversy over its value or lack of value in human lives continues. I reproduce this cover, which is a caricature of publisher Al Goldstein. It illustrates the editorial tone of the magazine better than any words I could write.
I am ambivalent about pornography. I like to look at dirty pictures. Some of what appeared in Screw made me sick. I appreciated the social satire and Goldstein's crusades for free speech.
I love Cartoon Art. I am a fan of vintage pornography. You can see a gallery of SCREW covers by Milton Knight.
Feminists have been in a long dialogue about the depiction of human sexuality.
"Pornography is about dominance and often pain. Erotica is about mutuality and always pleasure."
Gloria Steinem "Erotica vs Pornography", in Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions (1983)
Andrea Dworkin, Pornography, Men Possessing Women
“Prostitution, perversion, and pornography are intertwined with independence and radical politics in the history of outstanding women. Radclyffe Hall, Colette, Anaïs Nin, Kate Millett, Erica Jong--all of these women used the money they made from writing about sexuality to make it possible for them to live as rebels, dykes, feminists, artists, or whatever deviant and defiant identities they assumed.” Pat Califia, Some Women
I miss Al Goldstein. Rest in peace. It is true Goldstein was a Dirt. It is true that much of what he published was disgusting. A great deal of it was funny. Very funny. Nothing Goldstein published was as obscene and pornographic as this video below.