The impact of porn culture on girls is too big to ignore

sexting

If we were to plot events that have significantly altered the female experience, one of them would have to be the arrival of porn culture and the role of technology in this advancing phenomenon.

Last month a 12-year-old boy was sentenced for repeatedly raping his sister after “becoming fascinated with hardcore porn.” The boy had typed in search terms online in order to find incest porn. The prosecutor in the case said, “Cases of this nature will increasingly come before the court because of the access young people now have to hard core pornography.”

Together, porn and technology have created an extreme — but simultaneously normalized —  wave of misogyny, exemplified by cases like the one above, alongside trends like “sexting” and “revenge porn,” wherein young women are coerced into sharing sexualized, nude images of themselves privately, which men later post online as a means to punish their exes.

Law enforcement is beginning to recognize the need to crack down (particularly on content involving child abuse), but countless women have suffered shame, humiliation, and worse, in the meantime. A 31-year-old man, Benjamin Barber, is the first sentenced in Oregon on charges of “unlawful dissemination of an intimate image.” He was sentenced to six months in jail after publishing pornographic videos of himself with a former partner without her consent to “multiple adult web sites.” Earlier this year, five boys from Newtown High School in Connecticut were charged after sharing and selling nude images and videos of their female classmates. A Scottish man was sentenced to community service after creating a fake account in his ex-girlfriend’s name on Facebook, in order to post her private nude photos. While liberals and third wave feminists have made efforts to neutralize pornography, what’s clear is that it is used by men as a means to punish women, not empower them.

I didn’t have a mobile phone when I was a young teenager. When I did get one, accessing the internet on it was a technological impossibility. In those days, you didn’t come across porn unless you specifically sought it out or found it accidentally, stashed away in a desk or closet by another man.

But these are changed times. Evidence reported by the charity YoungMinds shows that as of 2014, half of nine to 16-year-olds and 95 per cent of 15-year-olds in Europe owned a smartphone. By 2010, 96 per cent of nine to 16 year olds in the UK were going online at least weekly — most on a daily basis. This expansion in young people’s use of technology means ubiquitous access to everything the internet has to offer, including porn… Especially, porn.

In fact, a report published this year by the NSPCC shows that, today, young people are just as likely to find pornography by accident as they are to seek it out deliberately .

There is a difference between a culture in which someone has to specifically seek porn if they want to view it and a culture in which porn consumption by kids and teenagers is happening accidentally just as much as intentionally. This is a culture in which porn is simply part of growing up, whether we like it or not. One 11-year-old girl interviewed tells the NSPCC researchers:

“I didn’t like it because it came on by accident and I don’t want my parents to find out and the man looked like he was hurting her. He was holding her down and she was screaming and swearing. I know about sex but it didn’t look nice. It makes me feel sick if I think about my parents doing it like that.”

What she describes doesn’t suggest she stumbled upon something unusually violent. Aggression and violent acts are the norm in online porn —  research shows that 88 per cent of top rated porn scenes contain aggressive acts and that in the majority of cases, a man is the perpetrator of the aggression and a woman the recipient.

Even if a young person manages by stealth or fortune to avoid any direct encounters with pornography, they are still impacted by the fact their peers are watching it. Young women are surrounded by boys who learn about the female body and sexuality through pornography —  those who have hetersosexual sex are likely to have their first sexual experiences with males who have received their sex education from porn. The NSPCC report, for example, shows that 44 per cent of men reported wanting to try out things they had seen in porn. Coming into womanhood, young women have already been prevented from developing an authentic relationship with their own bodies and own sexualities. One 13-year-old girl interviewed in the study says, “[Porn] gives an unrealistic view of sex and our bodies, makes us self-conscious, and question why our bodies are not developed like what we see online.”

There is nowhere to hide in porn culture. Even if a young woman or girl avoids literal porn, its impact will reach her through her peer relationships, through the images she sees in advertising, pop culture, and the media, as well as in private spaces, when she accidentally encounters it online. Even if her own body isn’t literally laid open and bare for male consumption, she will still learn that her female body — detached from its humanity and transformed into an abstract and empty vestibule for male sexual fantasy — is readily available to her peers. She will learn that the female body is always observed, always consumable, always fuckable. This will be her norm. And if she has a problem with it, it will feel like her problem to overcome or accept, not a problem with the “normal” world around her. If she wants to feel better, she will learn to adjust herself, her body, and her sexuality in order to fit this norm.

Research published in the British Medical Journal shows that 54 per cent of General Practitioners had patients request female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS). Of those who had received these requests, 35 per cent of them came from women under 18. This is one way women adjust to porn culture. There are more.

Breast augmentation. Dieting.  Pubic hair removal. The signs are everywhere — young women, surrounded by pornified images of the female body feel their bodies are wrong and need correcting, at any cost. And there are costs: labial surgery for example, like any surgery, presents a risk of infection and bleeding but can also lead to reduced genital sensitivity. There are other types of adjustments too — increasingly we hear of teenage girls having anal sex in order to please their male partners. The idea that sex is primarily about male pleasure is pushed by pornography — we see men engaging in sexual practices that hurt women, and the “money shot” is almost always the climax in the scene.

A lack of research specifically about young women and porn culture means we don’t yet fully know what the long-term consequences of these physical and social adjustments will be for women, but some of the immediate consequences for young women’s physical, sexual and psychological health are already clear. In response to the sudden surge in demand for genital surgery amongst younger girls, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) issued new guidelines on breast and labial surgery in adolescents. It recommends clinicians screen young women requesting labial or breast surgery for body dysmorphia — a mental health problem characterized as an obsessive preoccupation with an imagined or real physical “flaws” that the sufferer believes require correction.

Undoubtedly though, a connection to porn culture will be denied and we will all be able to go on pretending as though girls are not affected in any serious or quantifiable way.

In light of this cultural reality, there are two ways forward. The first is to teach young women to claim this culture as their own — to give them the words like “agency,” and convince them that they choose and like porn culture, that it empowers them, and that it frees them. This route does not dismantle porn culture, but finds “nicer” ways to live within it. It invents “alternative porn,” “independent porn,” and “feminist porn” in order to imagine pornography itself is not harmful, but redeemable. These supposed havens of liberation offer young women a way to absorb the shock of porn culture through a narrative of reclaimation that saves them from having to assume the task of confronting the misogynist reality of porn.

The second way forward requires challenging the realities of young women — showing them that any culture in which the female body and sexuality is objectified can never be truly safe for them and can never be a culture in which women and girls can achieve full self-determination. But in a culture where porn is wholly normalized and mainstreamed, this isn’t an easy task. It requires women to see that the world around them is overwhelmingly stacked against them, and requires women to acknowledge and experience their own humanity, in a culture that is determined to deny it.

This second way is the responsibility of feminism. It is our responsibility, in the movement, to challenge porn culture and reveal it as the misogynist nightmare that it is. It is up to us to create spaces where young women can safely come to terms with the trauma of porn culture, develop strategies both for their personal survival and to contribute to the movement’s efforts to obliterate porn culture. Indeed, for many of us, assuming an active part in the women’s liberation movement has been our primary survival strategy.

People will continue to deny the existence of porn culture and the devastating harm it causes, but reality is right in front of us. Statistics tell us something about the experience of living in the young female body that cannot be ignored. Porn culture will and is changing the reality of women’s and girls’ lives. I long for a day when young women are not asking their doctors to remodel their genitals and when a quarter of them don’t harm their own bodies. I long for a day when young women don’t feel they need to trick themselves into “fitting” into this culture in order to cope. I fear this day won’t come until we reach a new age — an age beyond pornography.

Laurie Oliva is the Community Engagement Lead for FiLiA, the UK based women’s rights and arts charity which hosts the Feminism in London conference.

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  • I agree with everything here, and don’t really have anything to add, but I’m confused by the part where people find porn by accident. Is my browser protecting me? I’ve only come across it when I was looking for it (something I did once, and not something I want to repeat). I mean, mainstream media is incredibly pornified, and I have a problem with that, too, but that’s not what people are talking about. Maybe my search terms aren’t pornifiable enough (if that’s even possible).

    • Hannah

      I’ve had it come up in pop ups when I’m watching a show on a free site because I can’t find it on Netflix.

      • Resse

        My question is did porn alter the female experience to the extent that it caused an up take in sex crimes because while the article implies so there are numerous studies tracking this very concern and the consensus is that porn consumption and sexual assault are negatively correlated. For instance the idea that there is a connection between what that 12 year old did to his sister and hard pornography is not borne out from the fact that no correlation exists between rape and exposure to types of porn. Most teenage boys, correction, all teenage boys watch porn, most do not rape their sisters. Josh Duggar was sheltered from all mainstream media exposure and internet access and he abused his younger sisters like this other boy. Blaming pornography full scale is like treating the symptom and not the disease. The pornification of society and sexual objection of girls and girlhood does exist but you can not conflate every criticism of popular culture under the sun with the banner of anti-pornography it obscures the real issues and causes.

        • SpecialSnowflake

          Nobody says pornography is the very cause of rape or misogyny. It just makes it more normal, ”blurs the lines”. Nobody says everyone who watches pornography rapes women in real life. It just makes it more ”normal”. It’s a public disease. Here’s an awesome video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsFEV35tWsg Hope you will understand it more after watching it, if you sincerely want to understand it, of course. If not sincerely then nothing will help you. Although, he only has 20 mins here to explain the whole book he wrote so he talks very quickly.

        • Hannah

          So what’s your point? There’s a connection between all these things, does that mean we should let porn continue? We should be attacking all of them and porn is a huge part of boys’ indoctrination into woman-hating. It’s a product of woman-hatred and it continues it…

          • Resse

            Is lesbian porn women hatred? gay male porn misandry? safety, dignity, fair and equitable treatment is a issue in porn producing, these are issues that require thinking and not blanket statements.

          • Tired feminist

            “Lesbian porn” is not for lesbians, it’s for men’s fantasies about lesbians.

            Gay male porn borrows much of the language of heterosexual porn. Submissive or passive men are portrayed as more feminine and vice-versa. The reinforcement of gender roles is the same.

          • Hierophant2

            “safety, dignity, fair and equitable treatment is a issue in porn producing, these are issues that require thinking and not blanket statements.”

            And clearly you are not thinking about it at all.

        • will

          “Most teenage boys, correction, all teenage boys watch porn, most do not rape their sisters.”

          Yeah, they’re just raping and harassing their female peers, coercing their girlfriends into painful and degrading acts they have watched in porn. You need to read more. You can start with pornography link under “categories” below on this site.

        • marv

          First of all you are overlooking the prior issue of porn models sexually violated in the making of porn. These women are the first ones harmed by porn. Just ask your search engine.

          Secondly there is ample evidence that viewing porn by men is a precipitating factor in sexual assault. The studies don’t blame watching porn as the “full scale” reason for violent behavior but admit it frequently plays a highly influential role:

          http://fightthenewdrug.org/the-disturbing-link-between-porn-and-sex-crimes/

    • Delilah

      I am researching the history of fashion and clothing style, and when I searched for the “origin of high heels” I got multiple listings for extreme hard core porn. sites and I was taken aback by the obvious brutality of it. Another time re: a celebrity I used to follow, when photos from the paparazzi were available, a fan account would make them available on something called “image bam” and half the time the photos would have explicit porn site advertising. That’s my experience. I was surprised in both cases!

      • will

        I have yet to do an image search that does not have some pornographic images. Literally every single image search term I’ve used eventually includes porn.

        • Delilah

          yes when I do an image search using a female name, which i’m doing often for my research, I think 99% of the time, an explicit and/or or violent porn image of women appears. Often is several images.
          This happens a lot on tumblr. also they often have a handful of teen or younger girls images– I’m getting sick of it.

          • Just Passing Through

            Yes because anything at all related to women/females/girls or women’s names on the maleternet = sexy sex and porn.

    • Tired feminist

      When I was younger I used to download music (illegally, I know) via P2P. That was until the day I accidentally downloaded porn disguised under the name of the album I was looking for (which was classical music, nothing sexually explicit). I never P2Pd again after that.

    • Meghan Murphy

      If you download torrents you can’t avoid it. There are always porn clips in the sidebars, etc.

      • will

        Download Adblock. It works.

    • I have a Tumblr, I don’t follow any porn blogs, but at least once a week a porn blog follows me (sometimes a lot more). It’s natural to want to know who followed, so I hover over their name. Almost all of them have hardcore porn in their headers. Tumblr skews young, so I can imagine lots of teenagers being exposed to porn this way.

    • linnet

      tumblr is a minefield. You don’t even have to click anything, if you mouse over a user’s name, you can get a eyeful of some pretty revolting, disgusting shit if you’re not careful

  • therealcie

    This isn’t really a new problem, the material is just easier to get hold of and I do feel it has gotten somewhat more violent. Back in the 1970s when I was a young teenager and the early 1980s when I was in high school, boys ridiculed girls for having small breasts. For years my goal was to get breast augmentation when I turned 18. I’m glad I didn’t. I discovered that even though I have a modest endowment, the damn things manage to get in the way all the time anyhow. However, it wasn’t just ignorant boys who made me hate my body. Mainstream advertising probably did the most damage.
    As far as the porn aspect goes, I had one boyfriend who wanted me to deep throat him and tried to tell me ways that I could practice, i.e. on a carrot or a banana. I refused.
    The porn I found was pretty mild compared to what is out there now. It was mostly written stuff and still shots such as in Penthouse and Hustler. I developed a rather unfortunate relationship with my sexuality. I had a terrible self-esteem and didn’t think I had the right to say no. Most of the sex I’ve had has been coercive. I really didn’t want to do it but felt I had to. After I was sexually assaulted I would find myself unable to orgasm unless I fantasized about being humiliated.
    Porn is a reflection of the way this culture sees women. We are not human, we are objects. That may sound a little extreme, but that has been my experience. Men (and even some other women) do not really see us as people.

    • Just Passing Through

      “I do feel it has gotten somewhat more violent” ..um, that is a pretty big understatement there. I kind of get the feeling you haven’t really seen much of what’s out there today. It’s EXTREMELY violent and so degrading. I mean it’s fine if you haven’t been exposed to it but no, it isn’t just somewhat more…it is exponentially more violent than the 70’s, 80’s and now even the “tame” 90’s.

      • will

        That’s true. It’s also relevant and significant that those of us who came of age when pornography was more marginal were still undermined by it and still had our sexuality hijacked and poisoned. I totally related to what therealcie has described. It does not take much exposure to embed the message that you are a servant, a receptacle and only valuable in that respect.

      • Topazthecat

        And this is really very horrifying considering how typically very sexist,dehumanizing,objectifying,woman-hating and violent 1970’s and 1980’s pornography was!

  • fragglerock

    I never felt this more acutely than in an abusive past relationship. I’m still plagued by so much regret and shame. I did what so many women do to survive, try to embody an ideal dictated by porn in which women are objectified and abused to the highest degree. Like other women, I may have fooled myself into believing I possessed some modicum of power in my sexuality but it was all a farce.
    I wish I could protect all young women from porn’s influence. I wish I could convince them of how it will ruin their lives, of how their views of themselves and other women will be forever altered. Porn in the antithesis of personhood and any action or belief based upon porn moves us away from being fully human.

  • Lucia Lola

    Horrible.

  • linnet

    It makes me grateful I never had a daughter, though I fear for everyone elses’s daughters all the same. What a hostile environment to mature in, just awful.

  • fxduffy

    There have been so many feminist books, many of them strong and convincing, dealing with the media’s (ads, mtv, fashion mags, movies, tv shows) destructive effect on girls’ and women’s body image. Yet if you check the indexes of these books, you won’t locate the word “pornography.”

    This is not viewed as even a part of their otherwise detailed investigation and deconstruction of the media’s mass assault on women’s bodies. “Pornography” has been whitewashed by these committed, brilliant women writers from their often in depth analyses, most certainly because they cannot take the next leap into confronting male sexuality. It’s ok to go after the men behind the media for their orchestrated and commercially motivated undermining of feminism, feminist culture, and feminist identity, but it’s another thing to strike at their sex institutions.

    That’s radicals work. And since there are few radical feminists to counter the colonizing expansion of porn, it continues to insinuate itself into the lives of younger and younger girls–to intensify and doubly fortify the effect of popular culture itself.

  • Dylan Griffith

    Hello, this is actually my first time commenting here, but I found this site like a month ago, and have been reading ever since obsessively! Anyway, I’m going to post something that I think everyone on this site needs to read: https://realforwomen.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/in-response-to-owen-jones-rosie-redstockings-on-porn/

  • Dylan Griffith

    This a quote from the post: “I’m 23. Mine is the first generation to be exposed to online porn from a young age. We learnt what sex is from watching strangers on the internet, we don’t know anything else.

    Here are some of the things that I have experienced…

    having my head shoved into his crotch, and held down while I sucked him off

    being told that my gag reflex was too strong, couldn’t I work on it?

    bullied into submitting to facials. I didn’t want to. He said (joking?) that he’d ejaculate on my face while I was asleep. He wan’t joking – I woke up with him wanking over me.

    bullied into trying anal. It hurt so much I begged him to stop. He stopped, then complained that I was being too sensitive and it can’t be *that* bad, he continued to ask for it

    having my hair pulled

    constant requests for threesomes

    constant requests to let him film it

    And on every single occasion, I felt guilty for not being a ‘cool girl’. I was letting him down. I was a prude.

    THIS IS NOW NORMAL. Every single straight girl I know has had similar experiences. Every. Single. One. Some have experienced far worse. Some have given in, some have resisted, all have felt guilty and awkward for not being “liberated” enough, not giving him what he wants.

    • Monsieur Zoidberg

      A-fucking-men!

    • Resse

      This reminds me of something I was reading earlier http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2012/09/27/your-must-read-for-the-day-and-some-scattered-thoughts-on-sex/

      It reminded me of what I often hear about the effects pornography which I did not understand as it so far away from my own experience but it illuminated some stuff to help me understand where the anti porn feminists are coming from. Young women are taught that they most both say “no” and “yes,” to be submissive to men because female sexuality isn’t about makes you feel good but revolves around men and how they are perceiving you because we don’t live in a culture that promotes healthy sexual expression

      When the message is, “As the female, it is your obligation to put the brakes on sex, that is your job, and not saying no will make you dirty.” And the other broader cultural message is “Sex is something that men need and being sexy involves having the kind of sex that most pleases men.” Girls are not able to establish appropriate boundaries when sex suddenly goes from “bad” to “good.” Young girls with little or no sexual experience don’t know when to say “yes” and how to say “no.” when the expectation suddenly goes from zero to 60, and it manifests serious psychological consequences.

      • Dylan Griffith

        Yeah, the “Jill” who wrote the article on that blog is Jill Filipovic, and to be fair, she fantastic; she plays the line very well between critical of the sex industry and not being “sex-negative” (whatever that means). I think your analysis here is quite good, ‘Girls are not able to establish appropriate boundaries when sex suddenly goes from “bad” to “good.” Young girls with little or no sexual experience don’t know when to say “yes” and how to say “no.” when the expectation suddenly goes from zero to 60, and it manifests serious psychological consequences;’ that is of course exactly what the ppl here (i.e. on feminist current) are saying

    • ptittle

      We should have seen this coming. Those of us whose boyfriends took us to see “The Story of O” decades ago and whose fathers kept a copy of Xaviera (?) Hollander’s “The Happy Hooker” in the nighttable drawer. But we were fooled by the nice guys. The pacifist hippies and the folk music. Now we know that men attended Woodstock just for the party and the drugs and the ‘free’ sex. Lip service to the ideology was just that. A lie. It was probably the same for Occupy Wallstreet. And it’ll be the same for anything else that comes down the road.

      I’m sorry every young woman has to find out for herself. Your moms keep telling you men are shit. So do your dads when they tell you to be careful. But you’re oh so hopeful. Problem is the penalty for being hopeful, and trusting, is far more devastating today. Maybe it’ll make you stronger feminists. Maybe it’ll get you to separatism by thirty instead of fifty. Maybe you’ll become lawyers and legislators in time to build enough power to do something. Hopefully, it won’t kill you.

  • melissa

    Imagine how different our norms could’ve looked if the mainstream media wasn’t hell bent on drowning out and demonizing any honest, actual feminist analysis of our culture, instead of regurgitating the same unashamedly anti-woman,contradictory, willfully blind apologetics, in order to demand acceptance and celebration of sadistic misogyny as the new revolutionary, established cultural norm.

    I’m in my 20s, and I’ve gotten strongly averse to the idea of dating again because of this mess. I often feel seriously devastated for the girls and women growing up in this kid of cultural climate. Sometimes i just want to shake em by the shoulders and go “Can’t you see!We’re not the problem! ” 😛

  • Dylan Griffith

    Er, its not my description! But you should see the link in my comment below, I was quoting from it, and it is a girl my age just describing her experiences; i hope it made for food for thought and was kinda of harrowing at the same time…

  • Meghan Murphy

    Is this the part where you pretend rape culture is wholly the fault of immigrants? Stop yourself.

    • Rachael

      I had a “friend” who once said the same thing – apparently in his eyes rape was entirely due to immigration. Said person drowned his sorrows at a strip club when I turned him down. I asked if that admission was somehow meant to make me feel sorry for him or somehow more likely to date him. Needless to say we don’t talk any more.

  • Resse

    No, advertising doesn’t drive men to want porn, my desire to watch men isn’t driven by animosity. It gets complicated to explain because while some men most definitely are, the majority of porn users are men who are not and can not get sex, so they are the ones watching the most porn out of anybody and the men in the porn industry who want to make money, cater to their fantasy of the sexual humiliation of the women they know they could never have, it’s anger directed at the object of our desire. I have to ask, did porn create those men and their problem? or is it just being used in the service of what was already there? if porn were to disappear would the patriarchy suddenly stop telling men that love is about possession? that their entitled? and on it goes…I do not think so because history does not bear this out, it existed before porn and advertising.

    Having said all that about the existence of hardcore, degrading pornography. It is not even the most popular type of porn men are watching because you would be hard press to be bombarded by BDSM pornography these days unless you specifically went searching for it.

    The boy who raped his sister went searching for what was already inside his head, lets blame google for giving him the power to word search ? makes sense ? I’m not arguing, specifially for this boy in particular that what he could find the internet wasn’t bad for him, it was. I might even wonder what his home life was like, was he being abused, ect cetera, some children will need a child pyschologist, remember Josh Duggar he was sheltered massively from all media and what did he do? abused his sisters at a young age, and I’d also bring up the question of what was he being taught in his house? that women are to be submissive to men, that GOD himself has ordained men to be dominon over women, is it any wonder he was emboldened to bully them and to feel entitled their bodies. Again it wasn’t exactly porn that did that to 14 year old Josh and most porn watching teen boys do not rape anybody.

    I do not believe porn is enforcer of male supremacy, like the controversy where girls are trading nude pics to boys in their schools and having them passed around and shamed by the very same boys, iphones are not responsible they only more clearly expose a dynamic that was already there.

    • Rachael

      I’d counter this, but really, it’s such a waste of time arguing with someone who believes the right to watch surpasses the right of women to be safe.

    • Tired feminist

      Oh my fucking god. Porn is not an object like a phone. The women in porn are real. Porn IS violence in and on itself. Even if you keep in denial about how porn affects women outside of it, you still have no way around the fact you’re jacking off to real abuse of real women. Just get rid of porn. It’s not that hard.

      Advertising drives people to buy stuff. If it were true that the media and imagery we consume didn’t affect our behavior, no business would care about advertisement, let alone spend large amounts of money, time and specialized human resources on it. So it’s naive – if not bad faith – to argue porn consumption doesn’t affect sexual behavior.

      • Resse

        I did not argue that porn does not affect sexual behavior, it it can effect addictive patterns of behavior, exposure can induce unwanted thoughts in obsessive compulsive personalities, some get educated of different types of sex acts, some want to try those acts and it goes on, what I argued is that there is absolutely no proof, none whatsoever that pornography as an entity is and by its self turning people into violent offenders or sexists. Which is not to say that there isn’t the existence of sexist porn but creating and seeking out that type of porn is different then porn = willing misogyny existence or even enforcing it.

        As far as the women in porn being harmed, we have safeguards in place, rape and assault is illegal. the industry takes it seriously, more seriously then the military and and college campus by far. Necessary because social conservatives, a coalition of feminists and the religious right would be calling for their heads and have a enough clout together to shut them down permanently…I’ll go a head and say, yes for a matter of fact many women in porn would make porn if presented with other options, many have been in the first place, they could have gotten a regular job, they could have done prostitution anonymously. I mean it is very patronizing to ask of a pornstar “Isn’t there something else would rather be doing? what did you want to be as a kid? would you want your child to do this?” One wouldn’t patronize a fast food worker so.? I think not. Not saying there isn’t addiction, childhood abuse, lack of education, yes there is but is the answer really to wage a war on porn creators and actors or to treat the problem and not the symptom.

        • Tired feminist

          Ok I stopped reading your comment when I reached “pornstar”. You have no fucking clue of how the porn industry works.

          Why exactly are you here, if I may ask? Don’t say “to debate and offer a counter-perspective” because that’s what every MRA says. Why are you *really* here?

          • Resse

            I’m not trying to change core beliefs so much as wanting to introduce some nuance to the debate, I’m not trying to undermine beliefs I’m trying to understand them and I have had my opinions challenged and rerevaluated reading this site. My very first comment on here was in regards to the fervent transphobia I saw in the comment sections I couldn’t believe there were feminists out there using rhetoric identical to right wing bigots. I am in agreement with the values and sentiment expressed here but I don’t agree with absolutely everything. By the way I am not MRA or a man.

          • Tired feminist

            Your comments show you’re not at all in agreement with feminist values and sentiments…

            And of course you’re a guy. Who else would defend porn so stubbornly?

          • will

            “I’m […] wanting to introduce some nuance to the debate”

            Well you are failing. You are performing the exact devolution of comments that everyone ignorant, puffed up, patronizing MRA asshole does in response to feminist articles by women. There is plenty of nuance here. You are actually dumbing things down. Maybe all that porn is rotting your intellectual function.

          • Tired feminist

            Puffed up is actually a great adjective to describe a MRA, haha.

        • Dylan Griffith

          Excuse me, but James Deen was awarded by the sex industry after the sexual assault allegations, got 12 nominations for the AVN awards ceremony, despite no less than TWELVE women accusing him of sexual assault. The Frisky, a pro-porn/lib-fem site if there was one, ran an article of it under this headline, “James Deen’s career wasn’t really hurt by all the sexual assault allegations against him,” link here

          http://www.thefrisky.com/2016-11-29/james-deens-career-wasnt-really-hurt-by-all-the-sexual-assault-allegations-against-him/

          I consider (1) that “the industry takes it (sexual assault) seriously, more seriously then(sic) the military and and college campus by far,” a totally NONSENSICAL statement, these people who make and produce this shit are misogynists to the core, as the James Deen case clearly proves, ergo, (1), has been refuted. Now, onto (2) your claim that, what “I (i.e. Resse) argued is that there is absolutely no proof, none whatsoever that pornography as an entity is and by its self turning people into violent offenders or sexists,” well, like i say, sexual assault has gone up in the UK, by 150% in ten years, so there may very well be a causal link, (cite me stats PROVING otherwise please), and your claim misses two key points, firstly that the industry upholds and reinforces disgusting and grotesque sexism, and promotes rape culture (no getting around that mate), and secondly, that I believe, contrary to you, that porn does CAUSE boys/teens, who would otherwise not have committed violent, predatory acts, to yes, internalise patterns of behaviour that are predacious and deeply harmful, ergo, I am arguing the opposite side of your claim, porn drives UP rape and hate, and i believe the stats and the world around us backs ME, not you, up

    • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

      Go to pornhub, there are pages and pages of “incest porn” on the front page, no search terms needed.

  • Just Passing Through

    I did too lol. And I’m still not sure what it means.. I’m kinda old.

  • Meghan Murphy

    “Tame”?!?! Just because porn isn’t technically BDSM porn doesn’t make it “tame”… I mean, are gang bangs tame? Facial abuse? Calling a woman a whore?

    • Resse

      Well there is lots of different kinds out there, the vast majority readily available are not anything which is on that list. If you want to see that you have to go search for it, If it has to be itemized under it’s own specific category that to me is not indicative of it being the porn most men are watching or otherwise it would be upfront. Clicking on a major streaming site and typing in the words facial abuse got me three pages of hits, typing in two different more generic terms both resulted in 48 pages and the videos are as properly advertised. Gang bang was higher at 45 pages, did not depict rough degrading treatment and verbal abuse but only regular group sex which is more surprising then even I was anticipating.

      Not saying it is not out there to be had but am skeptical it is the most available and popular.

      • Si Llage

        Why not share links to examples of the porn you masturbate with so we can all take a look at how egalitarian and non-sexist it is?

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    Those are toooootally real women that responded. /s

    • melissa

      lol

    • Just Passing Through

      I know lol. Those comments were 100% men responding to “reassure” other questioning women that like alllllll women are on board being turned into face-fuck-gag machines. Look we are all doing it and just looooving it! One dead give away is “female here”…. yeah, right.

  • Tired feminist

    Not getting convicted for rape is not the same as not raping.

  • Tired feminist

    “Everything is shit so you can’t complain that porn is shit!” lol.

  • will

    “porn does not address underlying issues of social consequence”

    Of course it does. You get off on choking, face abuse, anal, gang rape, bukake in a context where women are being killed by their male partners weekly, not to mention rape stats. Yeah, just keep telling yourself that those facts exist in their own discreet vacuums and that there is no women hating in this cultural landscape.

    • Resse

      I have never in my life watched a gang rape, that is evil not to mention illegal, you can’t the difference between pornography and reality which is why, while porn can be educational one most also be educated about porn.

      • Tired feminist

        You can’t tell the difference between porn and reality because porn IS reality, stupid.

  • Dylan Griffith

    Now, I understand the response to what I posted below is that “changes in attitude, though bad and negative in themselves, cannot and should not be taken as indicative of leading to an increase in the levels of sexual violence.” This is perfectly true, which is why I quote you this,

    “The empirical evidence remains the subject of ONGOING DEBATE and investigation. But in the absence of sufficiently conclusive evidence that pornography causes crimes of sexual violence, many liberal defenders of pornography continue to view censorship as unjustified.”

    So, they ppl, social scientists accept that porn can and does have a positive correlation to do with negative attitudes towards women, acceptance of rape myths, etc, we need to PROVE causation, otherwise porn *isn’t bad*; all I can say, is that if a positive correlation has been proved, and more ppl are accepting of “rape myths,” does this not constitute harm in and of itself? And to your last point, about me making it sound “‘violent pornography’ is the majority of porn men are consuming, that’s where we misunderstand each other, it is not,” well, this is simply too clean cut and neat. Real world: I used to watch porn; and i used to go on PornHub. And i can tell you, the content was rough, and i was not looking in particular for that at all. Another time, i clicked on the site, and as I’m sure you know, pop ups come up when you try to click on the page, so you can scroll down and navigate the page. anyway, this time, instead of taking me to, say, LiveJasmin, it took me to “18&Abused,” and whatever ppl have to say about “free agents making rational choices”, or all porn not being violent is irrelevant; this is a form of PROPAGANDA, i didn’t want to see those images, didn’t seek them out, but now i have seen them, will never un-see them, and this is the continuum my friend, and we would be foolish to deny it….

    • Resse

      You said it your self, correlation does not equal causation, so while there very well may be a correlation to negative attitudes towards women, wouldn’t the overwhelming prevelance of sexism in the first place be what’s driving the correlation? it is the very foundation of therape myth it’s self, sexual women, “slutty whore” women (porn) are dirty, worthless and get what they deserve ..I.E of course they have a negative view of women in porn (having sex on camera) they have a negative view of women and female sexuality in general but to prove causation you would have to argue and prove that porn CREATED these attitudes, does that sound right to you?

      If there was a “significant positive association” between walking alone at night in a miniskirt and getting raped would you then conclude immodest dress is the problem? If we discovered a correlation existed between traditional views of femininity and the acceptance of rape myths, which it probably does, would that justify the view that long hair and make up is bad and that having a traditional feminine appearance is acquiescing to rape culture>

      It is not that discussing the effects of oversexualization on young women and the socialization effects of porn on young boys is simply not allowed but that antiporn is putting the wagon before the horse. (And let it be said that I don’t believe porn is completely and can only ever be a instrument of sexism)

      • Dylan Griffith

        To your last point, “let it be said that I don’t believe porn is completely and can only ever be a instrument of sexism.” I both agree and disagree; agree, because, no, i don’t think their has to be eroticisation of inequality when the act of coitus is depicted between a man and women. Disagree, because pornography is propaganda, and has instrumentalized women’s bodies, cut their bodies up into parts, because then they are easier to consume and abuse. Lets say “feminist porn” were to be created; its existence is doomed to futility. i know you didn’t rise that, but some do, “not only does it not exist, it cannot logically exist. If a depiction of sexuality featured zero power dynamics of any kind (violence, degradation, verbal aggression, racism, etc.) and emphasised personality over prettiness or the lack thereof (which no pornographic video have done or will ever do), it would not be called pornography.” what can be do confront the sexism and misogyny in pornography? for a start, we can condemn it. secondly, we have to understand that in its current incarnation, it must die, and ppl have to understand WHY, i don’t want to ban, i want to educate

        also, see this link here, its very interesting, https://rageagainstthemanchine.com/2010/12/20/get-on-the-fucking-ball-janitors/

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    So but this runs counter to your claims of a negative correlation. Care to share the studies you have to back up your claim?

  • Dylan Griffith

    Thanks!

  • Sabine

    I just hit 40 and feel the same. It was bloody awful enough for me dealing with men’s twisted, pornified sexualities when I was in my teens and twenties let alone with what they may well have mutated into now. A lot of middle aged men will have continued using porn and become desensitized to what they are watching in the same way the younger generations have. Although they might be more accepting of “normal” female bodies due to porn culture not having been so mainstream when they were growing up. The obsession with anal was around two decades ago along with jizzing on women’s faces, vile “sex talk”, pulling hair, forcing your head down and on and on. I remember vividly being spat on from behind by my long term, committed and besotted boyfriend when I was 22. When I was in my early thirties someone tried to put a pillow over my face on more than one occasion – marvellous for my self esteem! I can only imagine how fucking dreadful it must be for young women today now that porn has become so much more violent, outright nasty and depraved. The older and wiser I get the happier I am to be without a male partner. The whole set-up is so vastly overrated and skewed in favour of men. The search for another “half” is not romantic, it is pointing to a profound lack of self-love and the belief that we need a partner to feel whole. Very, very sad.

    • radwonka

      Im so sorry that happened to you :/
      These males need to be burned alive.
      Men are a lost cause at this point. They dont want sex, they just want to abuse women. “orgasm” is just an excuse to justify their behavior (when it should be worrying that abuse can lead to orgasm… but people are fucked up…). No one cares when a murderer is “happy” to kill, but the same people suddenly defend pornsick males because eroticized abuse makes them “happy”. Hypocrisy at its best. It shows that people never truly cared about victims.
      And I agree, culture teaches us that women are “half empty”, if not just disgusting, if they dont have a pornsick partner. Cultures teaches women that we are ugly, stupid, need men, etc.
      And women internalize this shit when we could be much more stronger, independant and happy without males brutalizing us.
      The whole situation is really sad and hopeless. *sigh*

    • -Asphyxia-

      I agree with 99% of what you say aside from this: “The search for another “half” is not romantic, it is pointing to a profound lack of self-love and the belief that we need a partner to feel whole.”

      I don’t think it’s sad to want to have a partner (I dislike the terms “other/better half). I don’t know, it could be that I’m just really lonely because I’ve never had a serious long-term relationship and haven’t dated in about 4 years. I’ve also chosen to remain single b/c he *really* fucked me up and broke my heart…(I’ll spare the details.)

      Anyway, your comments from when you were 22 remind me of some experiences of when I briefly dated a few men…

      The one from 4 years ago: He “said” he would rather read erotica than watch porn, but when I went to visit him, he literally grabbed my head, shoved his cock in me until I was gagging and gasping for air, all while calling me a whore. He apologized, how nice! *eye roll* The kicker was that he wanted to try anal sex – except he was the recipient, thank god. I was totally down for it and enjoyed doing it, but then he blamed ME when he got a rash on his dick and accused me of having a yeast infection. Of course, I didn’t, and he was allergic to the lube. Suuure…You just read “erotica,” as if it’s better.

      Another guy I didn’t like that much and couldn’t bring myself to break up with b/c I didn’t want to hurt his feelings: He literally tried anal on me w/out any warning, preparation, or lube. I should have dumped him then, but instead I didn’t talk to him for a few days.

      Last scenario: This guy was actually IN a porn (I didn’t know this until recently.) I guess it’s accurate to say he raped me; he stopped by my house when I was really drunk and started to kiss me, I kept refusing, and he just pushed me on my bed on all fours, pulled down my pants, and fucked me (not anally). Within the past year he borderline stalked me, so I told him off and haven’t spoken to him for nearly a year.

      Wow, I don’t miss my 20’s…

      • Wren

        Oh Asphyxia, I would define all of the experiences you’ve described with these “boyfriends” as brutal rape. I’m incredibly sorry that you’ve had not just one of these experiences, but several. Have you ever tried going to a counselor who’s trained in trauma?

        • -Asphyxia-

          Hey Wren,

          Yeah. Prior to any of those experiences, I had an acquaintance drive me home from a show, and he – totally sober – basically forced himself on me even though I said no and didn’t want to get pregnant (he laughed at me). So after that ordeal, I went to the Rape Crisis Center for awhile. It helped initially, but as time progressed, the counselor and I both kind of realized there were more issues going on that had been for years, so I felt like I needed to see someone else to address those. (Depression, anxiety, self-harm, non-existant self-esteem, drinking, blah, blah blah. I kept bringing that stuff up at RCC instead of my experience with that “friend.”)

          In retrospect, I would consider those incidents rape. At the time I didn’t, except for the last one with the idiot who was in a porno. I mostly just left all of them thinking, “What the fuck just happened?” and felt bad about myself…

          I feel like the older I get, the more Radical I’m becoming. I’ve only recently discovered this site and have been lurking around for months. I’m glad I did, because I feel like a lot of people – and men especially, duh – just don’t get it. They don’t SEE it, or maybe they don’t want to…

          I’ll be brief here and not go too far into my personal woes, but lately I’m considering calling the RCC again or going back to a regular psychologist because I feel like my past and current experiences with men are effecting my ability to trust them – emotionally and physically. I’m just sick of feeling like a piece of meat to strangers and people who I thought were my friends. I don’t even want to invite certain guy friends over for fear they’ll make a pass at me, so I only see them in public.

      • Rachel

        Thanks for sharing your story – I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that! How horrific. When you said “wow I don’t miss my 20s” I completely agree – of course, no one believes me when I say that in real life because apparently all women want to be perpetual teenagers (as if that’s the epitome of being the perfect woman) because apparently we lose our looks after this age and are no longer attractive to men. Well fuck that! Any man who sees beauty in young women as the epitome of perfection and can’t see beauty in women of all ages is not the type of man I want. That’s a media and porn brainwashed man. They shouldn’t even be looking at teenagers as sexual, but rather as kids. Like they would the teenage boys. I’m happy to be out of my 20s and past all that bullshit – even men and women at work make comments about being In my early 30s and getting married and kids before its too late. Uh no. I’m not interested in tying myself to a bloke like that and I’m not interested in going back to the years of being sexually dominated (not usually really because they like the look of young women but usually because they know they’re easy to manipulate and control). Good riddance. Glad you made it through your 20s and got out of the haze!

    • -Asphyxia-

      P.S: In regards to choking and suffocation, my username has nothing to do with that AT ALL. It’s the name of a purple (my fav color), old school Urban Decay nail polish. I think maybe a lipstick as well… 😉

      • hellkell

        UD has brought that color back in honor of their 20th anniversary.

    • Rachel

      Ah thanks so much for this comment! So sorry you had to go through all that sex shit! And they wonder why women become “prudes” over time and aren’t so enthused to be having sex. We just come out of the porn haze! Gross. I look back at the things some of my exes used to do also – no idea how I thought that was good sex. I actually don’t know if I’ve ever had good sex. I remember coming home from shopping one time and my ex was all over me being “sweet” and obviously wanting sex. He asked if I’d put some pink socks on for it. I felt disgusting and an argument broke out of course (dangerous because he used to be mentally violent – using inadvertent threats or stories to instil fear in me, and I was terrified of him being physically violent), sure enough when he fell asleep and I checked his history, there was porn with girls with socks on. It’s not violent. But it’s disconcerting. Plus it’s not nice for your self esteem because sex isn’t about you and him connecting at that point – it’s a free for all, and you’re just the masterbation toy that he uses while he fulfils his fantasy of his porn flavour of the week.

  • Meghan Murphy

    What is your point?

  • Meghan Murphy

    Because people are not products and objectification is dehumanizing.

  • -Asphyxia-

    Um, I get what you’re saying, but…I grew up Catholic, and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. I will say, overall I had a good experience – no creepy priests, angry nuns, I found religion class intriguing, though I questioned all of it. It’s an extremely sexist religion, and then there’s the Virgin/Whore complex. There’s the ongoing joke that Catholic girls are actually more “wild” and the “most promiscuous” in comparison to the public school girls. Anyway, I took a couple of women’s studies courses in college (I really wanted to get a certificate, but I honestly would leave class so depressed I just decided to read about it on my own), and one was about women’s bodies, health, sexuality, and disease. Great class, don’t get me wrong, but my TA for that course asked us to divide into 3 groups in the room: Virgins, non-virgins, and those who would rather not say. Looking back, (and my gut told me at the time) I think that was really inappropriate, b/c your classmates’ sex lives are none of your business. I was also an insecure 19 year old Virgin so I went into the non-disclosing camp.

    My point is, in that class we started talking about religion, and I made a comment that I attended Catholic school from kindergarten to 8th grade and here’s the fascinating thing about it: In my general experience, teachers and priests aren’t outright sexists, but obviously a lot of the scripture is. As far as home life and the general teachings of school/church, I always got the impression it was more about what *wasn’t* said that was the most damaging. Does that make sense? The Virgin/Whore thing is really, really enforced, and I’ve always been ashamed about sexuality b/c of it.

    Catholics don’t talk about sex, and as far as my parents are concerned, I am a 31 year old Virgin…(Sorry that was so long-winded.)

    • radwonka

      Yeah, I know religions are anti feminists, I just think that pornsick males are much more violent since they directly hurt and groom women. Pornsick males also believe in that pure/whore dichotomy which is why they love to degrade women: they think that they “soil” women through violent and degrading sexual acts (and vice versa, they refuse to go through the same degradation because they think they are superior). This is how they keep hierarchies intact. But it is just my opinion.

  • Tired feminist

    No one is saying Islam doesn’t perpetuate rape culture. Stop implying that we are.

    What I *am* saying is that rapists being released of all charges are not an uncommon thing. Courts often fail to do justice for rape victims and therefore stats of rape convictions aren’t the most reliable of evidences. Legal system sides with the powerful, not necessarily with justice.

  • Dylan Griffith

    It shouldn’t be part of the “entertainment” that is a part of the “entertainment” industry; and the reason is, because it commodities and commercialises the seal act, it dehumanises. secondly, I never said anything about it sex appearing in films – you think I’m against or want to ban that? – but that is a separate issue to pornography; Hollywood and the sex industry are two separate things. thirdly, i don’t think sex is ‘entertainment,” at least not in the way you seem to be using the word, it is ENJOYMENT, it is orgiastic, it is exciting, it is compelling, it is thrilling – again, it is all of these things – but it is NOT “entertainment,” it isn’t a game, it isn’t something that men “get” and women “have,” it is more like an musical production between two (or more) collaborators; would i like to see something like that on film? sure, but that isn’t the mainstream porno industry, and you know it isn’t, and the industry needs to be critiqued, the cultural power it has is colossal, and it damages ppl…..

  • -Asphyxia-

    Does anyone know of any documentaries or books that discuss how women in porn are REALLY treated and effected by it emotionally, mentally, physically? I’ve seen Hot Girls Wanted and a lot of other stuff on Netflix, YouTube, etc, but I feel like they sugarcoat everything and don’t tell the truth.

    When I first saw hardcore porn, I was 14 and at an older friend’s house. I was too insecure to say I didn’t want to watch it, and I was so disgusted, appalled, and ashamed afterwards. I thought it was so disrespectful to both parties involved in the video…I am SO glad I am not a teenager now.

    • Wren

      Anything by Gail Dines is a good place to start.

    • Lisa Tremblay

      I agree with Wren that anything by Gail Dines is good. For a documentary film, I recommend The Pornography of Everyday Life by Jane Caputi. The film exposes porn’s pervasiveness in everyday life and talks about the consequences of porn for women, men, sexuality and the earth. It also presents acts and images of resistance where sexuality is restored to its natural power.
      If you like memoirs, I suggest Indecent: How I Make It and Fake It as a Girl for Hire by Sarah Katherine Lewis. Lewis deconstructs sex work, describing what it has been like for her to work in massage parlors, strip clubs and pornography.
      Robert Jensen wrote Getting Off: Pornography and the End of Masculinity in which he describes the trends in pornography, its role in women’s oppression, impacts on men and women and his vision of masculinity.

      • -Asphyxia-

        Wren and Lisa T,

        Thank you for those suggestions. I will definitely check them out!

  • Hierophant2

    ” no, porn does not address underlying issues of social consequence”

    Why am I not surprised that you consider violence against women, misogyny and racism to not be “issues of social consequence”?

    What a fucking asshole.

  • Wren

    Holy shit thank you for writing this! The discrepancy between research in psychology/sociology and criminal justice is super interesting. Where is a good place to look for related articles in criminal justice? Any recommended website?

  • Resse

    I have had my opinions challenged on here and I’ve learnt some as well but I don’t see it as converting people to my opinion I think it’s important to debate because getting on the same page will only help each other to achieve the goals we both have common.

  • Wren

    I’m gonna look up that research. I’m starting to think that porn is neither the creator nor the result of men’s violent tendencies towards women, but acts as the legitimizer. It’s just a big fucking green light to rape.

  • Resse

    I don’t have time to go searching for studies that already confirm my bias but I do remember reading them, if you have creditable sources that say something different I welcome them but general consenous is that studies linking pornography and violence are unreliable and inconclusive as you earlier stated, seems to true to me I believe if there was substantial proof one way or another we would not be having this discussion.

    • Tired feminist

      But you do have time to pester women who know more about the subject than you and ask them for proof while not giving any of yours.

      What a fucking asshole (2).

    • Dylan Griffith

      I didn’t “go searching for studies that already confirm my bias,” I went to Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, one of the best sites on the web, and I quoted from this passage, “5.1 Does pornography cause harm to others? The empirical evidence;” if you read the whole article, you will see both sides are argued, so hardly a biased source. As for “substantial proof one way or another,” well, the question for me is, does porn, especially, but not exclusively the more aggression kind, alter/trigger something in the boy/teenager, and does this happen to boys that would otherwise have never have thought about such things, and ergo, drive up sexual assault and coercive behaviour? I think the answer is “yes,” but i don’t know what you would count as “substantial proof one way or another,” can’t i just appeal to the culture you are living in all around you?

  • Resse

    What you said about seeing things you don’t want to see and never unsee as acting as a sort of propaganda is a very interesting point to consider. On one hand can 18&abused not just be taken as a consensual sexual fantasy that it is, do we, can we police people’s fantasies including the women who want to be qoute “abused” which isn’t what it describes. I understand the confusion since relations between sexes are fraught with thousands of years of history it can be hard to untangle. I am not blind I know that women hating men love degrading porn, their desire for it drives the porn industry certainly defined. And worse of all, I do think it is expressed to act as propaganda on purpose. It’s the old arguement, yes technology can be used for evil but does that make it inherently bad? perhaps it is the industry that needs to change? it will not change by it’s self, not as long as it’s run by men.

  • Meghan Murphy

    No. Objectification is about cutting women up into parts — it is about sexualizing body parts. It is not about ‘sexuality’.

  • MicahMooreNabob

    In fairness, a lot of women who think porn is empowering are probably talking about erotica. That said, you’re on to something—something that needs to be tackled by some serious discussion regarding the value of “sex-positive feminism” and what “owning your sexuality” means in an inherently patriarchal and misogynistic society. There’s something very dubious in suggesting you’re “owning your sexuality” particularly when the terms of that sexuality (and ownership) are dictated by men.

  • will

    I strongly recommend this article in it’s long form. For some reason (sabotage?) the link to Sagepub is not working, but at least here’s an excerpt. Link to full text is at the end of the article. Hopefully it will come back online soon.

    http://women.deepgreenresistance.org/resistance-culture/radical-feminism/but-what-about-feminist-porn/

  • Tired feminist

    Yeah, I think it was Dworkin who said that the question “does porn cause rape?” is nonsense because porn itself is rape. I also remember a talk by Gail Dines where she said pornographers were running out of ideas of violence to meet the demand. Porn consumers grew so accustomed to the violence that they need always more and more of it to get off. So yeah, it goes both ways. Porn is created by demand, but it also creates demand.

    The good part of it is that the opposite is true… if we manage to end demand for porn, it will cease to exist.

  • SpecialSnowflake

    I know. I linked the video so Resse could understand the very basis of what feminists claim about the effects of porn on society. Something like understanding of the process like this in general.

    I felt the same about the laugh of the audience. Zimbardo himself didn’t laugh though. It seemed to me like he was serious about it and they took that as a joke. He was talking about human trafficking and prostitution as a public disease in his another talk. But regardless of what he thinks, the value is in this theory because as you say it’s true and correct. That’s how I percieve it.

  • Prem Nidhi Dasa

    Nothing advances the Illuminati’s satanic agenda like porn. Open’ sex, free sex, communal sex. and perverse sex are promoted in the interest of separating the spiritual component out of intimate relations. When you do that, you reduce a human being down to the stature of a lower animal, which is fine with the Illuminati, because that’s how they want you to view yourself. When you stifle the attributes of character, morality, integrity, honor, and love, you are much more pliable and useful to those who wish to control you. Sexual attraction is mostly a function of a woman’s fertility. By undermining marriage and family, occult social engineers have turned a reproductive activity into a lifetime preoccupation and panacea, better to divert, degrade and control the masses.

    • Tired feminist

      Go away with your conservative misogyny. You don’t seem to understand feminist critique of porn, or feminism in general.

  • jm dawn

    You say my points are off-base because to you they resemble the same charges that are constantly leveled at feminists. But then why aren’t your points off-base because they resemble the same charges that are constantly leveled at the sex industry (the women didn’t really consent, they had no choice, they can’t enjoy the sex they have, they’re being degraded, dominated, abused, etc.)? Only because you’ve substituted a charge of slander for an argument, screened out (Removed) anything that doesn’t fit your worldview, and failed to follow your own reasoning to its conclusion.

    Your Chomsky quote doesn’t distinguish the sex industry from any other, and neither does your dual structural / individual critique (nor does the point about a company owning the performance; release contracts are standard for artists / performers in mainstream entertainment).

    “On the individual level…[w]e recognize…that female performers in the porno industry very rarely have given their full consent to be there”

    You’re collapsing the individual level back into your structural argument with talk of “full consent,” as in fully free from structural coercion. If a female performer can sign a car lease, she can sign a model release, unless you presuppose that what she’s doing on a video shoot (or, in your formulation, what’s being done to her) is so terrible that she’d have to be coerced to do it (or that money is coercion only in this sector of the economy). Why not just go on twitter and ask a porn performer if that’s the case? You seem to not want to take their opinions on their own experiences into account unless they have a sad story to tell.

    The MacKinnon quote, as you used it, misses that the women in porn, far from being passive, are — when on camera — much more sexually aggressive than average; the most cliche porn setup is a woman seducing the pool boy / pizza guy. Your argument also misses that two performers choreographing a sex scene for a prospective audience at the behest of a director / cameraman is very much a collaborative effort. And, no, in this case they aren’t quite equals, but that’s because the man is mostly a prop while the woman is the feature attraction.

    As to the part that has you upset:

    I asked, originally, why everything except actual sex can be part of the entertainment industry. Since the entertainment industry is a commercial enterprise, your answer — that it would commercialize sex — is redundant. It’s not a sufficient answer. *Why* can’t you commercialize actual sex, when sex-themed entertainment is everywhere, *unless the sex act were sacred or some secular version of sacred.* The point is that if sex is the only thing that, for you, can’t be entertainment, that in itself is an admission that it’s something to which different rules apply. And so your justification for those different rules has to be spelled out, since it’s clearly not coming (explicitly, anyway) from a paradigm of religion as unquestioned law.

    Your other answer was something like sex isn’t entertainment in the sense of a game, it’s more like a musical production between collaborators. But of course a musical production can be loud, shocking, brash, dissonant, edgy, punk, or any number of things. Musical collaborators can make interesting music while holding ambivalent or even negative attitudes towards each other. And of course good music has both tension and release; by scrubbing sex of any power dynamic that makes you uncomfortable or that you find politically objectionable, you’re robbing it of tension.

    It was with reference to this (plus the reply you copied re: feminist porn, which had the clear meaning that a woman’s choice to engage in sex that looks like porn isn’t really a choice) that I concluded you had softer, more traditional views about sex, i.e. that women, but not men, need protection from the wrong kinds of it. You also talk about how women and men need to be equals, but you don’t explain what you mean by equal. What conditions are needed for the women in your group-sex scenario to be considered equal to each other, and equal to the men? Will your group-sex session have a referee to make sure the men don’t get too frisky in a way that eroticizes inequality?

    Finally, there’s nothing wrong with caring and committed relationships (doesn’t have to be marriage), and I’m unclear why attributing to you the view that sex belongs within the confines of such a relationship should make you furious. If you’re going to have sex, that’s the best place to do it, I think. This conversation was about sex as entertainment, or why sex can’t be entertainment. I still haven’t received an answer that doesn’t rely on some version of the idea that sex is just too sacred for that.

    • foamreality

      ‘What conditions are needed for the women in your group-sex scenario to
      be considered equal to each other, and equal to the men? Will your
      group-sex session have a referee to make sure the men don’t get too
      frisky in a way that eroticizes inequality?’

      How do you judge any inequality? Or do you just not bother? Its what the porn industry always says. And why porn star James Dean can rape a woman on camera and nobody notices or cares. ‘Its not ok to judge’ is the ONLY defense the porn industry has ever used. But its not obvious why filming a violent a gangbang IS ok! You havn’t explained where your own line is. When exactly are we allowed to say it goes to far? Society makes ethical judgements all the time. Your image of a referee in a bedroom is patronising and simplistic, and it tries to portray radical feminists as christian prudes (again) . Would you say the same thing about radical feminists blowing the whistle on child pornography they found online? Abuse of women and children is never ok. We should be judging it and calling it out when we see it. You havent told us how far we should be allowed to go. Whats your absolute limit with porn? Is simultated child pornography ok? (care to answer that?)

  • OedipaMaas

    I’ve read “feminist” sex articles that unironically mention “surprise anal” as if it’s some pesky inevitability and not straight up rape! It’s like we’re so desensitized to this culturally or resigned to it that no one wants to name anything for what it is. I have a lot of casual sex too and I just want to relax the way men get to and not have to be hyper vigilant about my pleasure/consent/bodily integrity.

  • foamreality

    As a parent trying to educate my kids about sex, I can tell you why its so damn hard. Its not lack of education thats actually the issue (it often can be missing of course) – I can talk all about respect, safety and pleasure in sex, make all the feminist arguments and pitfalls and joys around relationships and sex. Its not because parents and teachers are boring prudes, hopeless fuckwits that dont know what to say or do because they are terrified of vaginas and dicks and think sexs should just not happen – its because they cant get a word in edgeways when the porn industry is shouting over them giving that impression to kids. And its not just porn – no parent or teacher in the world can stop a 3bn pound advertising industry working every minute of every day to make kids want the latest fashion product. Porn is the same, it’s misogynist fantasies are now ubiquitous in mainstream TV and literature too, not just ads. It is is there all the time screaming ‘look at all the cool rapy funtimes you could have if you just embrace mens fantasies!’ So yes, if porn stopped, it would help fix an awful lot, including educating kids, because porn demands IT be the educator when teachers, feminists and mothers speak up.

    • Reese

      I don’t think if porn was outlawed we would suddenly have sex education in schools. I don’t think if porn disappeared it would effectively end rape culture (Hello) I don’t think think if porn disappeared we would have a sex positive culture or that item number 1# on the culture would be to teach girls to love and respect their bodies (Hello, a very large segment of our society would still be teaching us their bodies belonged to their fathers and husbands etc)
      I’m not saying the porn industry isn’t misogynist or could even be going so far as to spread misogynistic propaganda on purpose. But we can teach our kids have to be media literate like we would or should with the stuff we see on TV. It’s a big, complicated world and we have got propaganda coming at us whether it’s from the church pew or the slick magazines or our own families or whatever. So educate your kids, block things they aren’t to see and tell them what’s not real, be there for them if they have questions. I still watch porn because …maybe as damaging as it can be for a young man, it doesn’t have to be that way for him or anyone else. And the what the wider culture is tells him about women is just as damaging

      • foamreality

        Nor do I think it would end the need for feminism. Duh . It would just MASSIVELY help at not reinforcing it. The porn industry is a multi billion dollar industry. It doesnt care what women say. You cant compete with it. You have been brainwashed by its culture. And now you are working for it .

      • marv

        Porn shits in the viewer’s head to the point where it isn’t perceived as shit. A thick darkness covers the mind which becomes normal thinking and feeling, often regarded as light.

    • Reese

      You are mistaken about the Stoya instance, it happened off of set when Dean did not respect her safe word. Dean harassed different women on set, in much difference circumstances then “Nobody knew they Stoya was being raped because if you get a camera involved your magically not able to distinguish between consent” that’s a bit facetious.

      If something like that did happen or were to happen, I would think there was something wrong with the people involved, the production company protocol etc …. I know you are the type to believe because pornography as a type of sex work that it is inherently coercive…

  • radwonka

    lol xD

  • radwonka

    pornsick people love to write long essays, which in the end are always derailling (ie “focus on culture! no no not my porn! culture yaknow? porn isnt part of culture!” bs)

  • Topazthecat

    I’m so sorry he did this,that is *so horrible* and of course men choking women in addition to all of the other woman-hating,violent and degrading things they do to women in pornography, is disturbingly,sadly very common as you know.

  • Rachel

    Yes. I was confused by that comment – the last bit came completely out of left field. Weird comment. Also very uneducated comment. I guess these comments aren’t banned as a reminder of what we’re actually dealing with day in day out, on the site and in real life.

  • Rachel

    I thought she was as well – however, she came out in the last year or so supporting That Emily model girl from blurred lines video, promoting self objectification by women.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Yeah, she’s really lost the plot, unfortunately…

  • Rachel

    So glad you found FC, especially so young, and that you’re questioning your previous views on porn. You can’t blame yourself for thinking that, because that’s how you’ve been groomed through society. I too always identified as a feminist, but unfortunately found liberal “feminism” first and forced myself to be ok with porn and men’s lust for as many women and girls as possible…except that I really wasn’t ok with it at all.

  • ptittle

    AND she gets the sexy guy.

  • ptittle

    or legitimating sociopaths. i.e., males.

  • ptittle

    One of these days one of us needs to unpack THAT name – ‘adult image filter’ ‘adult videos’ ‘adult magazines’. What a damaging ‘euphemism’. When did ‘adult’ come to mean ‘male psychopath’? How did ‘male psychopath’ come to be considered ‘adult’? (Even the equivocation of ‘adult’ with ‘sexual’ is sooo problematic.)