Michael Jackson’s porn collection reveals something we should already know

Michael Jackson

Despite the fact that five different boys made allegations of sexual abuse against Michael Jackson, and that he was charged with seven felony counts of child molestation and two felony counts of providing an intoxicant to a minor under the age of 14 in order to seduce him, a jury acquitted him of all charges in 2005. He is said to have paid out almost $200 million to as many as 20 of his victims in order to keep them quiet.

Now, seven years after Jackson’s death, buried reports from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department reveal information the public should have known all along.

After Jackson’s Neverland Ranch was raided by sheriff’s deputies in November 2003, authorities’ reports, published yesterday by Radar Online, reveal a collection of images of child nudity and semi-nudity*, sadomasochism, and numerous “mainstream” porn magazines and videos.

Much of the pornography found in Jackson’s mansion, like “Hustler’s Barely Legal: Dirty Teens Come Clean,” “The Girls of Penthouse,” “Unbelievable Anal,” and “Naughty Neighbors” is considered completely normal and acceptable by our oh-so-liberal public. Some of the imagery, reports say, were “young-themed,” depicting “teenage or teenage-looking young girls, often engaged in sexually explicit activities with males.” The concern with this material, considered tame and harmless by most of society, the reports make clear, is the way in which it was used to groom the children Jackson preyed on — to desensitize them, lowering their inhibitions in order to normalize the abuse to come.

Let’s keep in mind that, today, boys are likely to become porn users before the age of 18. Research shows that the average age a boy first sees porn today is 11 and a survey published by Psychologies in 2010 found that a third of 14- to 16-year-olds had first seen sexual images online when they were 10 or younger. An American study found that 53 per cent of boys and 28 per cent of girls between the ages 12-15 said they used sexually explicit media. Even in the ’80s, before the internet made pornography practically unavoidable, most young men had been exposed to Playboy before they finished high school, often when they were as young as 11 years old. Online pornography has been connected to an increase in coerced sexual acts (i.e. teenage boys pressuring teenage girls into things like oral and anal sex) and in “sexual attacks” by children. In 2015, filmed child sexual abuse (sometimes referred to as “child pornography”) increased by 118 per cent online, where it is a multi-billion dollar industry. Filming the rapes of girls and women to post online has become commonplace.

What’s horrifying about the discovery of this material in Jackson’s home is not only that it reinforces the fact that he was a serial predator, but that the imagery used to groom his victims is no different than that which so many children are viewing online as part of their unofficial “sex education” on their own.

It’s not only individual abusers like Jackson who are grooming children, but, in fact, the porn industry itself. The legal porn industry. Not the illegal, even more horrific industry that exists on the dark web.

If we can understand that showing children and teenagers pornography, whether it be Playboy, Hustler, or the more extreme videos we see online today that include gang-rape and many other forms of sexual violence (you know, the “normal” stuff), why is it that we continue to treat pornography as harmless? Only someone who is completely delusional could claim it is only adult men who are porn consumers, particularly when the porn industry is intentionally preying on younger customers… So how can we continue to pretend that, say, a 14-year-old boy watching a video of a woman being face-fucked until she vomits is “harmless?” And if your argument is that, well, it’s harmful to him because he is not an adult, at what point does this stop being harmful? On his 18th birthday? Why?

Despite the fact that countless media outlets across the U.S. have been reporting on the “shocking” material outlined in these reports, what was found in Jackson’s home was perfectly legal.

Jackson used legal pornography to groom boys for molestation, but boys of the same age see the same (and worse) material online, every day, of their own accord. Oftentimes they use that material to guide them in their abuse of girls. Grown men use pornography to guide them in their abuse of women and children every day. Why is it acceptable that the most sought out genre of porn is “teen” if we are not, as a society, ok with men sexually abusing underage girls and boys?

The reality is that so long as this kind of material exists, is legal, and viewed as “normal” and “harmless,” it will be accessed by children and teenagers. Putting aside the fact that it is not any less harmful for an 18-year-old to sexualize the abuse of women than it is for a 17-year-old, it’s long past time that liberals stop turning a blind eye to the reality of pornography.

Our “shock” at the material found at Jackson’s home is due to what? Are any of us unaware that sadomasochistic pornography exists (and, in fact, is very common)? Are we shocked that he had pornography in his home? Or that this kind of material is used to groom girls and boys everywhere into accepting the normalization of things like incest, rape, and violent sex? Are we shocked that male predators incorporate pornography into their predation?

This is, I’m sad to say, the reality of porn today. It sexualizes young women and children and it normalizes abuse. What men use as masturbatory material on a regular basis is, indeed, horrifying, but it’s not abnormal. Abuse, incest, molestation, rape, prostitution, and pornography exist on a continuum, and it’s time we start to recognize and address the real impact of that.

*While clearly pedophillic in their purpose, considering the context, the images of children found were not described as sexually explicit or determined to constitute child pornography, in the reports, which is why I haven’t labelled them “child abuse.” They are clearly disturbing and connected to child abuse, nonetheless.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, I-D, Truthdig, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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  • northernTNT

    Do we propose solutions to this ?
    Since Pandora’s box is opened, it can no longer be closed, so I must wonder… How do we improve our sex-ed classes to ensure that students know that these behaviours are not conducive to a healthy and happy and safe sex life ?
    The interview you did with Max Dashu was excellent in this regard. Maybe such interviews should be a part of the sex-ed school curricula. Students must be taught that these behaviours are replicating behaviours of the Spanish Inquisition… that is if students are even learning about the Spanish Inquisition 🙁
    As the expectations of education change, it seems people are getting dumber and dumber, while we erroneously focus on “techie” educational pursuits.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Good questions. I do think a start would be to simply stop pretending as though porn is “ok” “normal” and “harmless.” Even for adults. Certainly sex ed that includes feminist media studies would help enormously.

      • northernTNT

        Now add religious parents into the mix, who want no sex-ed at all be given to their kids, engendering government subsidies to religious schools 🙁

  • Kendall Turtle

    I honestly think the porn industry creates pedophiles, there have been men who have quit porn who said they had looked up younger and younger women and girls until they hit children and ended up hating themselves for it.

    -trigger trigger! This is a pretty creepy story about pedophiles!!!!-

    I have OCD and for awhile I was obsessing over if I was a pedophile (even though I’ve never found children sexual haha, but that’s irrational anxiety for ya) and I read a lot of support forums for them (not to support abusing children, but support to NOT abuse children regardless of attraction) they were actually pretty bad support groups, telling them to just accept their sexuality and fantasize about children (but to not look up child porn) not question it, so that they wouldn’t end up “losing control”. But a lot of men would tell stories of viewing regular porn and then looking at younger and younger girls as sexually attractive, even to the point of finding babies sexual when they never did before.

    Not sure if there is truly a connection but since porn is so dominance based it makes sense that men would end up looking up children, the easiest humans to dominant and have power over.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Yeah, I think it does make a little sense… There are plenty of men who say that, in watching porn, they seek out more and more extreme stuff and in prostitution, for example, men always seek out the youngest ‘women’ they can find. I don’t think men are ‘innately’ attracted to teenage girls — I think teenage girls are sexualized and pornified and that men teach themselves what they are turned on through the things they masturbate to on screen. If men masturbate to girls, it trains their brains to sexualize girls.

      • Just Me

        I agree with that Meghan. Purely based on biology alone, teenage girls are not even at their peek of fertileness anyway. That happens when a woman is in her early to mid 20s…around 26 in most cases. Not 15. Plus, this doesn’t even get into the reality that younger men are also more fertile, yet society does not spend as much time focusing on teenage boys. There is no biological reason why teenage girls should be sexualized. Especially since in the real world, the teenage years are actually very awkward. Unless you are on the Disney Channel or a Jenner/Kradashian where you’re wearing full on make up everyday and using other tricks. Just look at what happens each time Halloween roles around. Halloween use to be fun. Now all the costumes, even for young girls, are about being ‘sexy’ pirate or ‘cute’ vampire. And the boys costumes are just centered around being a pirate or a vampire or whatever without any affiliation to having to look or portray a certain sexualness. I use to love Halloween. Now it’s just so weird watching 13 year old girls dress up like porn-star-wanna bes and seeing their moms and dads buying them this stuff. I don’t blame these teenage girls. They have no idea how they’ve gotten misled by our culture. They simply want to be loved and accepted and society has taught them that the way you are loved and accepted is as long as you are pretty and hot enough.

        • Kendall Turtle

          Yeah the whole “mens are attracted to teens coz youth=fertility” argument is so silly to me when we know that sperm rapidly deteriorates with age so women should be going after teens too -_- yet that rarely happens haha.

        • therealcie

          I agree, but I don’t think any of this is new. I was 14 in 1979, and I dressed up like a prostitute that Halloween. I was wearing tight clothes and makeup at that age because it was the fashion. After a year of having to lie down to zip up my pants, I started wearing loose clothes, and I rebelled by making my makeup more “goth,” although I’m not sure goth was really a “thing” at that point.

    • Zuzanna Smith

      It makes total sense Kendall, porn dehumanizes women and girls, and once you start dehumanizing one person, anyone, (except men because they are the only full human beings according to society) looks like an object that anything can be done to, even babies.

  • Matthew

    I don’t disagree with what you are saying, although I have a different perspective on it. I don’t think that targeting the mainstream porn industry is the best solution. For me, your piece underscores the need for sex education focused on consent, sexual equality, sexual abuse, rights, etc., to give children and adults the right tools to navigate the realities of the world around them. The only reason I don’t see that someone watching a woman being “face-fucked until she vomits” is harmful is because, if someone can watch something like that and get pleasure out of it, I think the damage has already been done. Maybe proper education would mean that, coming across material like that would make the person recoil in disgust. I don’t think anyone would try to make the case that rape or sexual abuse are more frequent than they were before the explosion of pornography accessibility on the internet; I think that cases of rape and sexual abuse are just reported more than has happened historically. For child sexual abuse, for instance: access to children was easy going back a few decades because no one was worried about their kids being victimized — they just didn’t think it would happen. On a Saturday, the kids might leave the house and their parents were likely to have no idea where they were all day long or what they were doing, whereas few parents would let their kids do that now. In 1928, Albert Fish literally walked into a family home on the pretense of hiring one of their sons, said his niece was having a birthday party that day and the family just let this man they had just met walk out of their house with their 10-year-old daughter. That would be far less likely to happen now. So even if we’re talking about it more now, it’s not happening more often. So pornography — even if it is being used to justify or facilitate rape — has not, in my opinion, *caused* or worsened the problem. Targeting the porn industry to restrict what is legal will not make porn go away; it only gives organized crime a broader spectrum of what illegal materials they can sell.

    • Meghan Murphy

      I don’t agree that this is an either/or thing, though… I definitely think education is key, here, which is why I write that we need to stop pretending porn is ‘normal’ or ‘harmless.’ At the same time, I think the porn industry needs to be held to account. They are a multi billion dollar industry and an enormously exploitative, unethical one, at that…

    • marv

      Well then, corporate advertising doesn’t lead to mindless consumerism and ecological damages either. It’s odd how constant exposure to propaganda has no substantial harmful effect.

      Liberals love laws that guarantee free speech and accumulation but not women’s human rights in the face of pornography. In porn sets, women’s pleasure is simulated and their humiliation authentic.

    • Sara Marie

      I’m irritated by your response. I don’t think you “get it” at all.

      Women experience many instances of coercive sexual behavior by men that we wouldn’t necessarily consider rape. Women may well go along and have sex, or types of sex, they don’t really want to have, for numerous reasons, including cultural and social pressure, as well as pressure from the individual man. Heterosexual women, particularly younger straight women talk about how “all” men are into anal; this wan’t the case even 10 or so years ago. Now it’s just assumed that part of “sex” is anal. Anal has been mainstreamed, in large part by the porn industry.

      “The only reason I don’t see that someone watching a woman being “face-fucked until she vomits” is harmful is because, if someone can watch something like that and get pleasure out of it, I think the damage has already been done.”

      What about the women IN the porn video? Doesn’t she have a right to get the video removed from the company’s website if she no longer wants it up there? As it is now, it is very, very hard and in some cases virtually impossible to get one’s porn videos removed from company websites. Once the contract is signed and they have the material, you have no recourse to get it removed.

    • radwonka

      “The only reason I don’t see that someone watching a woman being “face-fucked until she vomits” is harmful is because”

      I stopped reading there.
      Why don’t you stop those men who rape women huh? Ha right, it is “not harmful” huh?

      F*ck you, you rape apologist.

    • natalia

      “The only reason I don’t see that someone watching a woman being
      “face-fucked until she vomits” is harmful is because, if someone can
      watch something like that and get pleasure out of it, I think the damage
      has already been done”

      Are you just dumb? There would be no “damage done” and there would be no one watching women being face fucked still she vomits, if fucked up men stopped creating it fucked up misogynistic bs., if fucked up entitled men weren’t hell bent on normalizing, endorsing and legitimizing sadistic misogyny as a preference. Yes that’s fucking harmful. Its harmful to women in and out of porn. Misogyny will always be fucking harmful. Fuck off with your apologia.

  • I am so grateful to you, Meghan, and others like you for opening my eyes to all this shit. The sex industry propaganda is hard to shake off, but once you start seeing it for what it really is you can’t unsee it.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I didn’t intend to imply that only liberals use porn, or that liberaI meant to imply that liberals see themselves as very progressive, forward thinking, and ‘open-minded’ in terms of their embrace of pornography. Liberal feminists, for example, spend an inordinate amount of time either avoiding discussing the harms of pornography or explicitly arguing that porn is harmless. It’s hypocritical, coming from people who claim to oppose male violence, sexual assault, rape culture, etc. In our society, the progressive position is seen to be acceptance of pornography.

    By ‘porn users’, I mean ‘people (men) who seek out and use porn as a masturbatory tool.’ I have no idea what a better way to describe this would be.

    • Cool Cool

      I appreciate your response. I am also very opposed to porn and agree that a lot of liberals don’t seem to recognize the correlation between porn and behavior like rape, violence, etc. Unfortunately, it seems that while Liberals embrace the free-speech aspect of it, conservatives are also too addicted to the stuff to put up a fight to regulate in any way. We don’t really have any organized opposition to it from either side of the aisle.

  • Meghan Murphy

    These are all EXCELLENT suggestions. Thank you, Independent Radical.

  • Kendall Turtle

    I agree that it is definitely NOT the sex part that draws men (and even some women, like myself, I was a regular porn user since I was 11) if that were the case they could just watch people have sex and not escalate to more violent depictions, violence would have never been a part of mainstream pornography if men were getting off on just sex.

    I’m sure transgression is part of it, but I think dominance is a pretty big contributor too. When we are identifying possible serial killers we watch to see if they kill small animals because that’s a sure fire sign that they will escalate to hurting larger animals and then humans, this wanting to cause pain is purely based in wanting to dominate, not transgression. Transgression may be the lure, but dominance is the addiction I think.

  • therealcie

    None of it was underage material or even graphic depictions of sex, but I discovered my father’s collection of girlie magazines when I was 12 years old in 1977. When my father caught me looking at them, he told me I shouldn’t be.
    The early Playboys were pretty much art style photos. Playboy got smuttier as time went on. Penthouse was definitely smutty, but not nearly as demeaning in its attitude as Hustler and some of the grittier girlie magazines.
    I learned from looking at these magazines that women were seen as nothing more than sex objects, and it disheartened me. I was a sensitive girl who wanted love. Over time, I was treated like a piece of ass by boys. Most of my early sexual experiences were coercive. I had also been taught by my family that it was not ladylike to speak up, and, inadvertently, that I had no right to voice an opinion, that I was to comply without protest.
    I learned later that my mother hated my father’s magazines, but she felt like she had to put up with them, because even good men have their “needs.”
    My father was a good man in most regards. He never cheated on my mother and he genuinely loved my brother and me. However, his belief that women were created inferior to men by a patriarchal deity and his belief that pornography (even comparatively mild pornography such as those magazines) was okay harmed me, starting at a very young age.
    Sex has always been problematic for me, rarely pleasurable. It kills me that I found my loving, caring partner not so long ago, only to be losing him now to slow and painful disease processes.

  • Si Llage

    Cool Cool watches “Girls Gone Wild” for the articles.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    Barf.

  • Zuzanna Smith

    Honestly I couldn’t get past the image of the little girl who was made to play act the horrific sadomasochistic murder of Jon Benet Ramsey. I think that is child abuse.

    • Sara Marie

      OMG. I hadn’t read of that. That’s truly horrible.

    • Nancy Lee Segal

      Was there a film about the case ? If there was and a child had to portray this evil I completely agree with you.

      • Zuzanna Smith

        I don’t know, all I saw was that photo and I bugged out.

  • Kendall Turtle

    I had a weird experience with my cousin over a period of time that disturbed me a bit, I feel like it may be a bit extreme to call it child sexual abuse because she was perhaps 6 or 7 years old at the time and had herself been abused by her uncle, I feel she was play acting her abuse out on me to cope with what was happening to her.

    I wouldn’t say that caused me to have my obsession over pedophilia (I say this because I’ve also obsessed over many other fears I have, like murdering someone or killing myself, classic OCD stuff) but it could have been a contributing factor to my development of OCD, I try not to analyze what caused it too much because that too can become an obsession, haha.

    I think it makes sense that a csa survivor would have such a fear, it probably happens often. I’m sorry you had to go through such an agonizing experience, with the abuse you endured and then the fear afterwards. I hope you found solace when such fears emerged and aren’t still plagued by them.

  • Sara Marie

    One aspect of porn that most bothers me is that women are shown as *always* wanting “it”, “it” being whatever the sexual violation is. Whatever women are doing, at work, at school, babysitting, as children, we always want sex. This in itself is an assault on women’s integrity; this tells men that whatever women are doing, wherever we are, we ALWAYS want sex. And when we say “no,” it can’t possibly be because we’re actually NOT interested.

    The scary thing is the extent men have internalized these attitudes. Men say they can tell the difference between “fantasy”, ie that in porn and the “real” off-screen world, but judging by their attitudes and behaviors, I would say that is very much not the case.

    I will never understand why some men think women always desire sex, or sexual violation, no matter what. I mean, I heard a story from someone about a man who, while in the military in the middle east, would break into people’s houses and rape the women. This man was shown to be psychologically normal, and he stated that the women WANTED IT. Of course, the women had never met him, didn’t know him from jack, and were certainly not interested in being RAPED by this stranger. But men like him believe all women want to be violated all the time.

    • Tobysgirl

      Men constantly PROJECT their own states of mind onto women. They then think this excuses their behavior. What is normal in our societies is, essentially, mental illness. Christians think they are being persecuted if anyone disagrees with them. Vietnam attacked the United States, don’t you know. Aggressive bullies will always say that they were assaulted first. I have no idea how to counteract these absurdities except by not accepting them and refuting them as much as possible in public.

    • Just Me

      Totally agree Sara Marie. I will only add that when men grow up watching entertainment where women are shown as “always wanting it” and loving their sexual objectification, when an actual real woman, in the real world, convey’s real needs or says “no’, attempt to shame women, or become angry or even violent themselves. Because they have grown up believing they were entitled to a woman flattering them, going along with whatever they wanted or just spreading her legs because he acknowledged her presence. And when she doesn’t, he feels at a loss of control and like he’s not getting what he was told he was entitled to get. An emotionally intelligent man is able to process a ‘no’, and not react with anger to it. He may be hurt or disappointed, but he will understand that other people (that women) deserve autonomy as much as anyone else.

      And I completely agree that a lot of men don’t know the difference between’ fantasy’ and ‘real’. Because men today expect, act or ask for things they are seeing in porn. Most women I know don’t ask their boyfriends to dress up like Ryan Glossing from the Notebook. But everyday men want their partners to dress up like their fantasies or perform sexual acts they see the women in porn doing. And if you say ‘no’ to them? You are either called a sl*t or a pr*de who is denying him what he wants.

      • Rachel

        You’re so right. also – I can honestly say, even being grabbed by the throat, my hair pulled hard, or rough blowjobs, even having both sides of my mouth pulled and stretched with fingers from the side, some of the worst requests I’ve had from boyfriends were dress up ones. School skirts because “what man doesn’t get excited by a school girl” and also pink socks – they grossed me out more than anything. When I came home shopping and my ex asked me if we could do it with pink socks on, unfortunately I’m way past the point of pleasuring men (even though he was violent with me and threatened violence quite a few times – I was terrified of him), I could not bring myself to put the friggin socks on. And I stared a fight because I could not, for my own sanity, allow a guy to have sex with me whilst fantasising about a teen, let alone another woman. It’s so insulting on one hand anyway “sure darling, I’ll be your glory hole while you fantasise about whomever you like”, but then it’s also disgusting. Sure enough when I checked his porn history later in the day, there was a young looking girl with pink socks engaged in a threesome with another young girl and a grown fat man.

        Sometimes I think I should’ve stayed with him because his porn was less on the illegal side. Even though I was terrified of him. Because I’ve found even the decent guys are into creepy stuff. At least I had an attraction to this guy. I have to say the porn stuff has cut me the deepest out of anything, and some pretty messed up stuff happened violence wise. But then, when I think about it, his porn was getting more violent, and no matter how much I tried to override my grossed out feelings and do what he wanted, he still kept his porn, and it still got more violent and I’m sure it would eventually get so extreme it would branch out to teens and more violence and god knows what else.

        • Meghan Murphy

          Ugh how awful, Rachel. I’m so sorry.

    • Ara Moon

      Yeah. A male friend of mine recently made some objectifying comment about a woman and her clothing, pairing it with “she knows what shes doing” to justify all the sexual attention that it got her.

    • natalia

      “One aspect of porn that most bothers me is that women are shown as *always* wanting “it” ”

      A lot of porn doesn’t even bother with the “wanting” bit anymore. A lot of the rape and abuse porn centers around the extreme suffering and them wanting no part of it. categories like “painal”, “punish…”, “destroy…”, “facial abuse” etc is all about complete physical, emotional, psychological breakdown of women and girls.Now that women are getting down with the whole masochism thing, that’s not even enough for them anymore as it seems. “Wanting” abuse isn’t abusive enough anymore. Physically brutalizing submissive masochistic women isn’t misogynistic enough anymore. they have to find something worse. They keep amping it up. The scariest, sickest part about this is, its NO WHERE NEAR a tiny minority. These themes are mainstream. These things gets tens of millions of views in a within less than a month with overwhelmingly positive rating and comments in mainstream porn sites like pornhub. This is what 10 year olds are growing up watching.How this is any different from grooming is beyond me.Doesn’t seem far off from how children prostituted grow up normalizing,internalizing and desensitize themselves this kind of treatment.i used to often come across comments under these videos going something like ” porn has given me fetishes i never though i’d have”. Misogyny is learnt behavior, not an innate preference, let alone an identity.

  • melissa

    These are great ideas. about this bit though…”(you have a legal right to produce graphically violent images, but you don’t have a right to actually commit acts of violence to produce such images).” wouldn’t liberals just compare it to wresting or violent sports on TV? its violence committed on film technically. how do you get around the First Amendment in the US? it would possibly be less difficult in other countries.i wish there was some way of getting a complete ban on all violent porn like they do with child porn and animal abuse porn, like in this article suggests.

    .”Of course, violent porn will still exist, as child porn does, but at least it won’t be readily downloadable by young men who are thinking a lot about sex and just learning how to relate to women. Also, banning such porn makes it clear that sexualized violence is unacceptable in our culture. ”

    http://thechronicleherald.ca/letters/1262027-reader%E2%80%99s-corner-why-don%E2%80%99t-we-ban-violent-adult-porn

    Is there any way of completely criminalizing all violent porn production and curbing the ones on the internet we already have? some kind of hate speech or obscenity law ?maybe I’m sounding a bit authoritarian but my god, have we had enough. its just a shitshow right now. how do you fix any of this otherwise? also would be interesting if there was a way to raise the age of consent for porn acting to 21 instead. hit em in all multiple ways until mainstream porn is at-least reduced to more or less dull limited videos of dull limited sex between atleast 21+ year olds.

  • Independent Radical

    “There was a study done that said out of the top grossing porn movies,
    88.2% of the contained acts of either physical or/and verbal violence”

    I’ve heard of studies showing that over 80% of pornography SCENES featured verbal or physical aggression (often both). If over 80% of SCENES feature aggression its quite likely that 100% of videos (which feature multiple scenes) do. Therefore it’s an important distinction to make. Having violence in the majority of videos (I refuse to use the word “film” for pornography) is actually (unfortunately) somewhat typical of the mainstream media. The majority of films have some type of violence in them, but if the majority scenes had violence in them, that would be terrifying. Film would basically be an onslaught of violence with the plot typically being totally secondary, like in pornography and I daresay pornography is driving film in that direction.

  • lesbear

    Laura, I’m also a CSA survivor and I’ve had the exact same fear as you. I don’t know if all CSA survivors experience this, but I think you may be on to something. I know that being inadvertently aroused by descriptions or depictions of CSA is common among survivors, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that sometimes led to developing sexual feelings towards teens or children as well.

    I work at a women’s clothing store and fortunately like 85% of my customers are old enough to be my mother so I don’t feel uncomfortable helping them in the dressing rooms, but when we get younger customers or mothers shopping with their teenage daughters for dresses I definitely feel uncomfortable sometimes.

    • Melissa Cutler

      Cosign from another CSA survivor. Thank you for speaking out about this.

    • northernTNT

      Also women who’ve only known violent parental ” love” (sexual or non sexual), tend to get married with lovingly violent males. I have eschewed this by saying no to the whole damned thing. End the patriarchy.

  • Hannah

    Maybe put pictures of diseases genitalia (especially penises) like they do with lungs on cigarette boxes.

  • Melissa Cutler

    Jackson may be dead, but the children he abused will be coping with that knowledge for the rest of their lives, and for a long time were doing so without any public acknowledgement that their abuse was real and happened to them. They were basically told by the courts and the court of public opinion that what they know to be true about what happened to them was, in fact, not. That they had fabricated memories. These new revelations matter if they help dispel the general idea that “creative geniuses” are God-like and to be revered no matter what evil they commit, and if they help further the knowledge of law enforcement personnel about the minds and tactics of abusers. AND, most importantly, these revelations matter if they help Jackson’s victims process what they went through. CSA survivors matter, and getting to the truth of what happened to them will always matter, even long after their abusers are dead.

  • Melissa Cutler

    “The heartbreaking and very dangerous ideology of reactionary liberalism is that the sex industry offers an alternative to sexual repression; but the fact is that it peddles sexual repression far more effectively than the churches are able to right now.”

    Never heard it put quite that way before, but it’s brilliant. I absolutely agree with you.

  • TamarindWalk

    True, it is important to know the truth. But we need to deal with the living, not the dead truth.

  • Ara Moon

    I second that. Although my lack of interest in men has been long standing, and only worsened after a few instances of sexual and physical abuse. I am also no longer attracted to men.

  • Rachel

    I feel so awful for you and other girls who had to grow up with this shit. I’m also included in that, but it’s harder to feel bad for yourself. That’s what the world does to us, makes us feel guilty for having feelings of aversion to “normal” porn. Gross. You know, when you said they say they’re asexual. That’s exactly how I feel much of the time these days and I suspect many women (who have either the strength, or just haven’t been brainwashed so much to stand against porn), feel also. I would love a normal, safe and happy sexual relationship and sexual feelings towards men. But it’s just gross and dirty and disgusting to me. I don’t want any man’s hands over me, if he’s a porn user. And I mean porn in any way shape or form (not erotica, but then I don’t think erotica as it should be even exists anymore). It’s so sad and wrong that so many women are unable to experience good sex. And no, for any men reading, this “good sex” can not be read about in any male magazine, or even female magazine. Not only is every woman different, but an orgasm is but all its about. With the mass sexual abuse of women and girls in our society, an orgasm is the last thing I want.

    • Tangelo

      I agree with you : if a man is using porn or goes to strip clubs or even hints at believing that paying a woman for “sexual” access is fine by him, I would not only not want him as an intimate partner, I do not want him as a friend.

    • lk

      “And I mean porn in any way shape or form (not erotica, but then I don’t think erotica as it should be even exists anymore).”

      At this point, I think most erotica has just become another form of pornography meaning that its not about engaging in fun, healthy sexual fantasy but its about domination, sexism, racism, and etc. There is an erotic site I go to where people post fictional erotic stories, drawings and audios. Now the site has the stories broken down by categories and I avoid the gross categories like interracial (which is usually just racist), nonconsent/reluctance (fancy erotic talk for rape) and bdsm. I used to go to the safe categories like romance and erotic couplings, but the stories in those categories are filled with offensive name-calling (usually only the women being called names) and domination/pain. Yeah, because nothing screams romance like being called a b*tch, sl*t, f*ck toy and etc….

      And if you dare comment on any of the stories about how name calling is not a turn-on, you are going to get a lecture about being a repressed prude.

      One guy posted a romantic (that was his description of the story) audio story about a sex fantasy and a few minutes into it, he called the female character in the story a sl*t. An anonymous commenter said he had a great voice and the story was good, but that the misogynistic name calling was a turn-off and offensive and he should either give listeners a warning in the description or just get rid of it completely. People replied to her comment by telling her that something is only offensive if you choose to take offense to it, that she wasn’t comfortable in her sexuality and so on.

      • Rachel

        I completely agree with you, and the story you just told confirms erotica as a form of porn now. I had some trouble for a while discerning between porn and erotica, and was wondering if I was being a “prude” in labelling the more soft porn types of material, such as zoo, fhm etc as porn, and maybe I should call them erotica despite my ill feelings towards them. Then I came across a quote by Gloria Steinem which outlined the difference between the two as erotica being about fun, equal erotic/ sensual between people. And porn being about the male gaze. So even a soft porn magazine isn’t erotica because although the woman consented to being in aagazine she’s still being gazed AT, by numerous men who’ve never met her, and don’t know her, and vice versa, and having fantasies projected ON her. So I was happy Gloria cleared that up and made that distinction. I probably didn’t explain it very well, but it made the distinction clearer for me in my head. And honestly, I doubt if there’s any form of erotica anymore without the porn wand being waved over it. The reaction of the people in your story just Confirms that, and confirms how deeply engrained women’s lower status and status as an object has become in society.

  • Rachel

    It’s disgusting. I hate that the “teen” stuff, even if technically legal, is seen as normal for men. What is wrong with them?! It’s not normal to lust after children and teens that resemble children. I’ve noticed over the years how much more childlike the “ideal woman” has become. If a girl has a slight curve in her hip or start of breasts, she’s fair game with men, even though you can tell she’s clearly a child. I’m not meaning to include women who are naturally petite in here by the way, because there’s still a difference and you can tell a fully grown woman as opposed to a growing teen girl, even if they have similar figures. And isn’t it amazing, that men would still be likely to lust after the teen over the grown woman any day. They like to pretend it’s that the looks of a teen are “better” (well yes after you’ve jacked it to an image 50000 times you’ll find your train your brain to think that way bozo), but to me, it’s far more telling what the men are after with teens – power and domination. They like the innocence and it makes them feel more powerful. I can totally understand why women would feel disgusted by that. I hope more women take a stand. We deserve so much more than being second class citizens.

  • Rachel

    Ha ha sorry I had to laugh at this analogy – good giggle for a Sunday morning. You’re so spot on though. God they’re really stupid!

  • Meghan Murphy

    “But running with your analogy nevertheless: I am subjected to corporate advertising day in and day out and yet have not succumbed to mindless consumerism; I am subjected to propaganda and still have the ability (and thankfully the freedom) to be able to seek out facts and alternative points of view. Those that do succumb to mindless consumerism and who blindly follow propaganda do so because they either have not been given the tools to navigate the propaganda and advertising or because their culture promotes it, or both. In either case, the problem started before they saw the advertising or propaganda. Where propaganda and advertising most succeed are in contexts where information and education are also controlled, so your response actually serves to underscore my point: whether it is tools or a cultural shift that are needed, education is the most effective tool in addressing the issue.”

    Uh, no… I have been subjected to corporate advertising throughout my life and have most certainly been impacted by it, in terms of how i feel about my appearance and body, fears about weight gain and ageing, and more generally, the feeling of wanting to buy products, etc. I am not stupid and I push back against this constantly. And no, I was not born with self-hatred or some kind of desire to buy wrinkle cream — that’s ridiculous. I find it amusing how many men explain, exactly as you have, in defense of pornography, when pornography is compared to advertising or propaganda, that they are not affected by ads and media, as though they are simply too smart to buy into it and those who do are stupid or flawed. You are in denial and/or are lying.

  • Meghan Murphy

    I think there are probably ways we can target the exploiters in the porn industry too — i.e. by targeting the wealthy companies who produce porn. There are limitations we can place on the industry that would hurts profits and if men aren’t profiting from porn, they have less incentive to make it.

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah I was born in ’79 and when we were in grade 8/9 we just all wore our dad’s clothes… The whole grunge thing ya know… I think I wore my dad’s overalls and a plaid shirt around my waist for at least a year. ha. I started with the makeup/tight clothes thing more like 97ish? Makeup definitely wasn’t a huge thing when I was in high school, though, beside, like Twig 🙂 Maybe this casualness was specific to Vancouver during that time?

  • radwonka

    It is not ignorant to understand why watching something harmful IS harmful and has terrible consequences.

    “I’ll let you know that if your goal is to change my mind as opposed to just coming across as a fool”
    Huh? I already know that rape apologists don’t change their mind though.
    When something is banalized, when abuse is banalized, they’ll always use this opportunity to use weakass excuses such as: that “boys will be boys” or “it’s too late anyway” or “that’s how things are we can’t do anything about it” or “be nice to men otherwise they’ll be more violent” or “that’s human nature” or “men won’t change” ETC ETC ETC
    *shrug*

    Again: When was the last time you tried to stop porn producers, porn actors and porn viewers huh?

    Or do you just spend your time on feminist sites explaining that something isn’t harmful because it’s banalized (which is a fucked up stance, since ALL the women, every women, who are hurt and abused are still human beings. And every women deserve justice. Women aren’t an abstract concept. Maybe you should think about it).

    It looks like you care more about men than justice … maybe … you just don’t want your bros to be held responsible. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • Meghan Murphy

    Yeah we all wore docs and combat boots too 🙂

  • Wren

    “My point is that the way to achieve the cultural shift necessary is to educate, not legislate”

    Sooo…should we make rape legal again? Child abuse? How about slavery? Cause you’re saying that if people KNOW they shouldn’t do it,they won’t.

    And that is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard.

  • Rachel

    Oh thanks for your reply. Sometimes a post hits a nerve and I leave so many comments and worry about taking over or being too frank, but I guess you never know who is reading and can relate. I agree, even the more benign entertainment made for kids has stupid references to porn and sex and women as objects. Kids have no hope. They learn what a “real man” and “real woman” are from day dot. I actually hate watching most TV and movies because even if I think it’s safe (like Friends for example is quite tame for these days) but it’s still riddled with sexist stereotypes and monster brain dead men.

    • genny

      I find that most tv shows are incredibly sexist, specifically Everybody Loves Raymond, which is all about Ray trying to constantly guilt his wife into maintenance sex. Just yesterday I saw an episode of King of Queens where Doug was asked by his buddies if he thought about other women while having sex with his wife and Doug says seriously, no, he only thinks about Carrie and then they all just start laughing because they all know that men think about porn while they use their wives bodies as toilets. The only show i watch anymore is my XFiles collection because Mulder and Scully had a relationship based on intellectual equality and respect. They don’t make tv relationships like that anymore.

      • Rachel

        It absolutely disgusts me that this shit is so mainstream and women are supposed to feel safe and secure, and sexual with all of this stuff hanging over their heads. If they say anything to disagree of course they are just insecure and prudish. It’s no wonder why there’s the idea that women are less sexual than men – just take one look at mainstream media and see a pretty strong libido killer for women.

  • Just Me

    I don’t agree with that. I’ve seen some porn..erotica..whatever you want to call it that I think was a very healthy expression of sexuality between a man and woman. It’s rare and far in-between, but it does exist. Sadly, it’s usually something a woman has made, for other women. But I suspect that even those conditions are nicer for men to work in too, not just women.

    Humanity will never over-ride people’s desire to express themselves sexually or their bodies. I see it more as a long process that with each small step, takes us to a healthier place. If women begin their own personal journey and process of exploring and expressing their sexuality, even in the confines of a patriarchal cultural, it’s my believe that eventually, they will begin to see what does and doesn’t work. What is or isn’t healthy. What makes them feel good vs what makes them feel objectified. But it does require education and deprogramming from society norms. It does require some amount of questioning what exists in the world vs what should exist in the world. But perhaps I only believe that because that’s how it was for me. There is no way to eliminate the fact that our cultural will always have a foundation of a patriarchal culture and that the majority of sexual entertainment is primarily built from a patriarchal viewpoint. But that doesn’t mean other forms of sexual entertainment can’t be created that contradict or challenge the norm. Women (and men) have to learn a new way to do things and that only happens through trial and error. I’m hopeful it’s possible. But change does take time.

  • Mint Tea

    “Life goes on in real time, not in the past”

    Not for many victims of trauma, it doesn’t. Metaphorically speaking, of course. And your obliviousness to that is what makes your comment so funny, in a sad sort of way.