Testimony in Los Angeles: “it was harder to tell their assailants that they enjoyed the rape than enduring the actual assault”

Members of the Los Angeles County Commission for Women heard testimony about peoples’ encounters
with porn at a hearing on April 22, 1985. This account appears in In Harm’s Way: The Pornography Civil Rights Hearings (p.342-343).

Testimony of Dr. Pauline Bart

I’m Dr. Pauline Bart. I’m a visiting professor of sociology in women’s studies at UCLA, the school from which I obtained my Ph.D., and a visiting scholar at the Law School at UCLA. In the fall, I was [a] visiting scholar at Harvard Law School… [M]y last study was based on interviews with 94 women who had been raped, or whom somebody had tried to rape…

…[M]any of the women who were raped [in my study] were told, some with a gun or a knife at their neck or their head, that they were going to enjoy it, and they were told that they had to tell their assailant how much they were enjoying it. One such woman who was a professor of philosophy was told to “have an orgasm” with a gun to her head… [T]hese women told me that it was harder to tell their assailants that they enjoyed the rape than enduring the actual assault itself…

…[A] potential rapist tried to pull my 75-year-old mother into his car in Santa Barbara, telling her what a good time he was going to show her, and she was able to get away and memorize the license plate number of the car, and went to the police, and they didn’t believe her, and they did pick up the man, and it was only when he skipped bail that even the people she knew, her friends, believed her… this is the message that pornography sends out…pornography is pro-rape propaganda…

…Diana Scully, a professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University…hsa been talking to rapists who are imprisoned… She wrote a letter to Gary Meltzer, the City Attorney of Los Angeles:

…violent pornography trivializes rape and encourages men to think of violence as a part of normal sexual relations. It also provides the language which men can and do use to neutralize and justify their sexually violent behavior. When rapists I studied told me that despite the injuries they have been inflicting on their victims, “She enjoyed it,” they were describing the same image projected in pornography…

See also:

Robert Jensen: Liberate Sex from Porn (explicit language)
“Do you like to gag? Beg for it. Say please. Say please gag me some more… Your throat is so good.”

Lizzy Borden: We don’t shoot “all the lovey-dovey stuff that there’s not a big market for” (explicit language)
“Yeah. She’s really going to get hit. She likes it. It’s good. Sometimes, it makes you more horny when you’re getting hit. It makes you more, like, more tingly down in your genital area. You should try it. You should hit your wife a little bit…”

Martin Amis: “A rough trade” (explicit)
“Rocco has far more power in this industry than any actress,” said Stagliano, pleased to be pulling one back for the boys (generally speaking, men are the also-rans of porno). “I was the first to shoot Rocco. Together we evolved toward rougher stuff. He started to spit on girls. A strong male-dominant thing, with women being pushed to their limit. It looks like violence but it’s not. I mean, pleasure and pain are the same thing, right?”

Porn Use Correlates with Infidelity, Prostitution, Aggression, Rape-Supportive Beliefs
In 1995, the Journal of Communication reported on a meta-analysis of 24 different studies. Researchers found that “A relationship between pornography consumption and believing rape myths exists. Rape myths pertain to erroneous and potentially harmful ideas regarding rape, for example, that victims of rape are partially to blame for the crime, rapists should not get tough sentences, or rape is not a serious crime. This study found that violent pornography increased the acceptance of rape myths, and nonviolent pornography increased the acceptance of rape myths when compared to a control group.”

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