PODCAST: Pornifying violence against women – A panel discussion

On December 1st 2012, Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter held their annual Montreal Massacre Memorial event at the Vancouver Public Library. This event remembers the 14 women who were murdered on December 6, 1989 in Montreal by a man, simply because they were women. The event also seeks to address the fact that violence against women is systemic and happens within a context of a patriarchy culture and to take action against that system.

In this episode we hear excerpts from a panel discussion called: Pornifying Violence Against Women. The name of the panel was inspired by photos discovered of an RCMP officer this past year depicting scenes of violence against women, some of which were disturbingly similar to reports of what happened at the Pickton farm.

Speakers on the panel are: Hilla Kerner (facilitator), a collective member at Vancouver Rape Relief & Women’s Shelter, Suzanne Jay of Asian Coalition Ending Prostitution, Lisa Steacy, a collective member at Vancouver Rape Relief, Carissa Ropponen of WAVAW (Women Against Violence Against Women), Lierre Keith, a founding member of the group Stop Porn Culture, Janine Benedet, associate professor in the faculty of law at the University of British Columbia, Meghan Murphy, founder & editor of Feminist Current, Trisha Baptie, a formerly prostituted woman and the founder of EVE (Formerly Exploited Voices Now Educating), journalist Laura Robinson, Summer-Rain Bentham, a collective member at Vancouver Rape Relief, and Shani, a survivor of prostitution and a member of LaCles, coalition against sexual exploitation.

You can listen to an edited version of that discussion here:

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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  • Grackle

    Oo I’m so glad you posted this!! I had to leave the memorial early and was really sorry to have missed it.

  • Terre Spencer

    I am sharing this widely. Thank you.

    • Meghan Murphy

      Thanks Terre. Glad you enjoyed the panel

  • Mary

    I’m curious about this, because of the definition of pornography used. I’ve always considered sexually graphic and degrading writing and drawings to be pornography as well?
    I guess that if we’re working by the idea that if it doesn’t feature real women getting hurt, it wouldn’t be porn. But, in that case, what about gay porn? Would that be counted as porn by this definition, since it’s all men?
    Great podcast, though!

    • Meghan Murphy

      I don’t know that the definition of porn is necessarily that it must ‘feature real women getting hurt’… To me, it’s more about the objectification and degradation factor. I would count gay porn as porn, yes. That said, I’m primarily concerned about the way that pornography objectifies and degrades women. I know that there is some writing out there about the degradation in gay porn as well.

      • Mary

        Ah, okay. Thank you!

  • Just a side note – if you haven’t seen the movie based on the Montreal Massacre, don’t bother. It’s all about one of the male students, how he’s been struggling with guilt…just makes you want to gag. Especially when one of the (female) survivors comforts him. Same old same old.