There’s a big divide between the more radical of feminists and the femme-light, or sex positive feminists. It’s largely based on the fundamentally flawed views of choice ascribed to by the femme-light side, and the belief that porn and sex are one and the same.
“After looking at adult porn a long time, they get bored. They want something different. They start looking at children. Then, they can’t get enough of it.”
– David G. Heffler, Psychotherapist who counsels child pornography offenders
Porn and sex couldn’t be further apart. Sex is an activity between consenting adults, porn is “a job”. A job that exploits women right across the globe, a job that the porn industry and the femme-light branch of feminists like to paint as just another choice in the litany of choices that modern women can apparently make. But tell me this. If a woman could earn the same amount of money as a librarian or a shop assistant, as she earns being penetrated by multiple men, in multiple orifices, on camera, how long would the porn industry continue to function as it does?
Actually it would be rather interesting to know just how much porn would be made if women could earn decent wages flipping burgers. Because if we knew that then we would get a better idea of just how many trafficked women are enslaved, and forced to perform for the camera. Yes, that’s right, the link between porn and trafficking is undeniable, and very hard to pin down. You just never know which of the “porn stars” you are watching, might actually be a slave.
Assuming that pornographers and distributors are prepared to pay women to be degraded in their movies is pretty short sighted. They are driven by profits, like every other industry on the planet. Why pay wages, or per scene fees, as happens where filming porn is legal, when you can simply buy the woman herself for a one off fee? Furthermore, assuming that the conditions women are employed under – where it is legal – are ethical or even liberating …. that beggars belief.
“Experimental research shows that exposure to non-violent or violent pornography results in increases in both attitudes supporting sexual aggression and in actual aggression.”
– Neil Malamuth, Psychologist
To believe that “porn stars” are making the liberated decision to perform, much like Meryl Streep, or Nicole Kidman, shows just how out of touch the so called sex positive feminists are. In a small but poignant study released in 2010 it was shown that more women in LA porn have STDs than legal prostitutes in Nevada. There are no laws requiring “performers” to wear condoms or to have thorough STD testing, and the obvious truth is that condoms aren’t particularly sexy to look at, so why use them if you don’t have to?
The physical damage female “porn stars” are subjected to is often severe, it’s a well kept secret in the industry. The repeated anal penetration of women is resulting in anal prolapse, and most frighteningly, one new genre of porn where women are actually required to have the prolapse on camera. One can only imagine the long term damage that does to a woman’s body, let alone her mind.
“In a worst-case scenario, a gonzo director will take a girl to a hotel room and have their friends shoot a cheap scene in which she is humiliated in every orifice possible. She walks home with three thousand dollars, bowed legs, and a terrible impression of the industry. It’ll be her first and last movie, and she’ll regret it – to her dying day.”
– Jenna Jameson, former “porn star”
Porn is increasingly violent, and child porn is growing every day. The degradation of women just keeps on marching downwards, and yet many of the so called sex positive feminists would have us believe that it’s all just a choice women make in this liberated society. However the liberation women supposedly feel when they are in front of the camera is quickly stripped away when they enter the workforce and one of their fellow employees discovers their background. Women are sacked and shamed for having a past in porn, which seems to highlight a distinct lack of liberation rather than the unshackling of sexual taboo that is lorded by “sex positivity” champions.
Sex is a part of being human. The majority of humans enjoy sex, with other consenting adults. Feminists who oppose porn are no different. They oppose porn because of the long term damage, both physical and emotional, that it leaves in women’s lives, but lead normal sex lives. If you are someone who thinks that opposing porn means you are a person who just “doesn’t support other women’s choices” or someone who “just needs to get a leg over” then you are a part of the problem.
“Girls I’ve talked to in the porn industry have told me they got hurt by an ex boyfriend, were adopted, never felt loved by family, or had an absent mom or dad. So porn became their “revenge”, or the thing which would make them think they are becoming empowered, when they are actually very weak and broken.
– Jessica Mendes, former “porn star”
To claim that feminists who speak out about porn are sex deprived man haters, and to label yourself as a Sex Positive Feminist, shows very little critique of porn and the roots of feminism. Porn is not liberating women, it is enslaving them, both those in the “industry” and those whose husbands and sons become addicts and begin demanding “pornified” sex.
Believing that porn abuses, dehumanises, and destroys women’s lives isn’t a radical notion, it’s the only possible conclusion one can reach after reading about the experiences of women who have managed to escape from the sex trade. On the other hand, believing that those who oppose porn are somehow opposing sex, and the sexual freedom of women world wide, shows an extreme form of social blindness, one that the porn industry themselves perpetrate in order to keep their profits rolling in.
“Porn is now so deeply embedded in our culture that it has become synonymous with sex to such a point that to criticize porn is to get slapped with the label anti-sex. But what if you are a feminist who is pro-sex in the real sense of the word, pro that wonderful, fun, and deliciously creative force that bathes the body in delight and pleasure, and what you are actually against is porn sex? A kind of sex that is debased, dehumanized, formulaic, and generic, a kind of sex not based on individual fantasy, play, or imagination, but one that is the result of an industrial product created by those who get excited not by bodily contact but by market penetration and profits? Where, then, do you fit in the pro-sex, anti-sex dichotomy when pro-porn equals pro-sex?”
– Gail Dines, Author of Pornland