Some of our opponents try to deter us by claiming that porn is not important. Often they go on to suggest that we must be motivated by some hidden agenda, personal defect or boundary issues:
Silkheat: “I am finding myself wondering why you focus on this issue when there are so many more important things to look into.”
belledame222: I just think–jesus fuck, don’t people have anything -else- to do with
their time and energy?… this- shit…is so much how-many-Patriarchs can dance on the head of a
pin, trying to find a way to fit one’s personal distaste or (yeah okay)
even triggers into a rigid “feminist” procrustean bed. you know, it’s
just -none of your business,- nonopoha, what does or doesn’t get most
Alternately, some opponents suggest that since they personally don’t need or want concern for themselves, it is somehow improper for us to express concern about anybody:
as someone WITH PTSD
(full disclosure, not from anyone forcing porn or sex on me)
can I just say I hate hate HATE
how it’s waved like a fucking banner
over the porn issue?
YOU CAN’T DISAGREE WITH US. LOOK AT THESE POOR WOMEN WHO HAVE PTSD!!
I HAVE IT AND I DISAGREE WITH YOU.
Also, even if I didn’t, I am not some emblem or some shiny jewel to wave at people. I am a survivor of some terrible things.
doesn’t make me pitiful. I don’t need your fucking protection. I have
my opinions, my coping devices, MY THERAPIST, to help me decide what I
need to see and avoid.
The scale and reach of porn’s cultural influence is hard to overstate. Porn revenues exceed the box office for mainstream films. In April 2007, more than a third of the US Internet audience visited “adult” sites (ComScore Media Metrix). The average American first sees porn at age 11.
Today’s top selling porn films specialize in depicting aggression and abuse. Magazines like Hustler make fun of domestic violence. Studies show media like this tends to make viewers callous about women and rape.
With this in mind, when we see researchers make statements like, “The bottom line is clear: adolescents in this sample and in the
United States are experiencing high rates of violence and depression,
with a growing number of them committing suicide,” we think concern about the role of porn is appropriate. The study in question surveyed 8,080 public high school students 14 and older in New York City. Reuters reported on it in, “Suicide attempts by teens linked with assault” (6/4/07). Some excerpts:
…dating violence — being hit,
slapped, or intentionally hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend — was
common, with 10.6 percent of females and 9.5 percent of males having
experienced it at least once in the past year.
…boys who reported having been
sexually assaulted at least once in their lives were nearly four times
as likely to have attempted suicide.
…girls who were recent victims of
dating violence were 61 percent more likely to attempt suicide, the
researchers report in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent
Suicide is a leading cause of death among teens, they note…
Overall, the researchers found that 11.7 percent of girls and 7.2
percent of boys reported having tried to kill themselves at least once
in the previous year, while 9.6 percent of girls and 5.4 percent
reported having been sexually assaulted during their lifetime.
Some people may well be surviving the pornified life without help. Some aren’t.
Video Presentation: A Content Analysis of 50 of Today’s Top Selling Porn Films (explicit language)
Ana Bridges: “…I’m going to begin to talk about what it is that we
found after looking at these 304 scenes in these 50 top selling
pornographic films. In total in the 304 scenes we coded a total of
3,376 acts of aggression. That ends up averaging…to an aggressive act
every minute and a half. The scenes on average contained eleven and a
half acts of verbal or physical aggression…”
Bridges: “So how many scenes didn’t contain aggression? About 10%.”
What Porn Is: Selections from Mainstream Porn (explicit language)
“Two in the Seat #3” is a 2003 release from Red Light District… The two men who…enter the scene begin a steady stream of insults, calling her “a dirty, nasty girl,” “a little fucking cunt,” “a little slut…” The men spank her, and her buttock is visibly red. One man asks, “Are you crying?” which leads to this exchange:
Claire: “No, I’m enjoying it.”
Man: “Damn, I thought you were crying. It was turning me on when I thought you were crying.”
Claire: “Would you like me to?”
Man: “Yea, give me a fucking tear. Oh, there’s a fucking tear…”
in Minneapolis: “Pornography in the home is insidious. Girls pick up
the message, they act it out, they don’t know why they feel suicidal
Exposure to Pornography as a Cause of Child Sexual Victimization
Playboy, Hustler magazines all “covertly” normalize adult–child sex and
promote sex with children (Mayne, 2000, p. 25). There are many
examples–particularly of cartoons in Hustler–that quite blatantly
legitimatize incestuous and extrafamilial child sexual abuse. Many of
them trivialize child sexual victimization by repeatedly making jokes
about this crime…
A Review of Pornified: How Pornography Is Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families
Many of Paul’s interview subjects said porn use made them more
judgmental of their real-life sex partners. One thrice-divorced
34-year-old subject, who had been watching porn since age 10, said that
he would break up with any woman who wouldn’t give him the kind of
pleasure he saw men getting in porn films. If the woman takes too long
to reach orgasm, or doesn’t enjoy swallowing semen, she’s history.
(pp.92-93) Other young men said they wanted their girlfriends to be
“slutty” and submissive. (p.94)
Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture
Female chauvinist pigs are women who have internalized sexist values to
such an extent that they imitate the most irresponsible and aggressive
kind of male sexual behavior. They have convinced themselves that it is
feminist and empowering to have numerous casual, exploitative sexual
encounters, and they show contempt for women they perceive as too
“feminine” (meaning emotional, vulnerable and modest)…
Testimony in Massachusetts: Porn Confuses Young Men about How to Behave
There was an article in the New York Times last week about sexual
harassment in schools, how there’s a whole new area of litigation
that’s opening up with young girls who are sexually harassed. If you
read that article on the front page of the Times last week, you’ll find
that guys are saying that they don’t know what to do, what they can do
and what they can’t do, what’s acceptable and what isn’t acceptable. As
I read that, I said to myself, it’s obvious where they’re learning on
one level what is and what isn’t acceptable. In other words, you could
take some of the dialogue out of these kids’ mouths right out of a
discussion of pornography that I’ve had on numerous occasions…
American Association of University Women
According to the report [“Hostile Hallways: Bullying, Teasing, and Sexual Harassment in School (2001)”], based on a national survey of 2,064 public
school students in 8th through 11th grades conducted by Harris
- 83% of girls and 79% of boys report having ever experienced harassment.
number of boys reporting experiences with harassment often or
occasionally has increased since 1993 (56% vs. 49%), although girls are
still somewhat more likely to experience it.
- For many students sexual harassment is an ongoing experience:
over 1 in 4 students experience it “often.”