Saturday, December 04, 2004

i DONT like pornography.

for what its worth, these are simply some ideas i have about pornography - and what it could also stand for, because a lot of our lives and actions are lived out in symbols.

first, the most obvious aspect: all pornography is an insult to life.... sex is a celebration of life, of the creative force, of divinity. to reduce it to an experience where people are just about human, and indulging in decadent warped fantasies in undeniably an insult to life. its sort of saying "hey life look - im not big enough to spit on you directly (i cant even grasp in entirety what youre about) so im going to deface your symbol". its pathetic. theres this smallness, furtiveness ..... meanness associated with porn. its for people who are so small that they cannot celebrate LIFE. i cannot say it well, but i think thats one brilliant para in atlas shrugged..... it describes how two people have sex not as an act of celebration, but as something where they are mutually belittling themselves and each other...

second, if you look at statistics - more men see/read pornography than women. and of all the pornography ever made, some 90+ percent depicts women. lesbian or gay pornography is very marginal. so pornography is a thing driven by markets that are a). male, b). stereotypical . that means pornography is like the worst form of advertising - it shows what you fantasise about, and also influences what you will fantasise about. the people talked about or shown in porn are often selected for deviant characterestics... like an extra big penis/ bust or whatever. they are made into freaks and their dignity is stripped by making them sex objects. not only the person in the film, but also the audience is less "human" for watching it. pornography is like ditchwater - whether weve been in contact with it for a second or for a life time, we come out the dirtier for it. let me simply say, i dont think loving life is like wearing silk clothes - to be assumed for specific occasions. its a permanent fixture - your mental skin. you make it more difficult for yourself by dabbling in dirt.

pornography being the warped thing it is, by watching it, i think we reinforce the behaviour of people making the movies and trying to live out their perverted fantasies. the doer and the deed are not that distant - we become silent collaborators. we dont even have the dubious courage of that person who stood up and stripped before the camera. were trying to play dirty by second hand means so that we may have the "goods" without paying the price. as i see it, thats exploitation twice over on all scales : moral, economic, spiritual, mental, physical.....

look at the person in the movie. porn isnt about celebrating the body and the nude, its to make a mockery of the dignity that two have. the concept of the power and strength of the nude is way beyond the scope of porn. have you felt awed by david? by the greek and roman statues? have you felt the same reaction seeing porn?

you know, sex is so closely linked to SO many parts of our lives. see thats why the emphasis on sexual cleanliness for mental cleanliness. the link between sex and your mind - the politics of the mind are so strong... look at the most common political systems - capitalism and socialism. have you noticed sex is also defined in their principles? yeah - they tell you what you can own, what you can buy, whom you should vote for - and sleep with. read whats written between the lines: its very interesting!

theres this concept that im only hazily aware of..... something im yet to fully appreciate, but i think the outlines are very promising. let me try and put it into words: here goes.....

if you look at ancient peoples attitude towards sex - any cultures: greek, roman, indian, egyptian - the impulse and its associations were celebrated and honoured. the premium was on the thing of creation, re-experiencing god (which is why the so-called heathen religions worship sex - starting with our phallic shiva). it was a reminder of feeling love, responsibility and whole spectrum of things like that. but now if you look at it, the impulse is shamed - "sex is dirty" - and the object or outlet it paramount. as in whom are you f__ing - (thats the accepted rule :you have to screw if youre aroused) is it a man or a woman? if its a man, shit you’re gay! (who the hell said thats unnatural??) if its a woman, does she have the impossible physique you fantasised about? never mind if you cant remember the last 20 women you slept with, you SLEPT and thats primary...

can you see this around you ? its happening.... sometimes the media sound like theyre psyching you into some kinda sexual incontinence!! i think that term - sexual incontinence is actually biblical or something, but its perfect! i came across it in this lovely book, dante's "inferno".

the way they looked at sexual urges in those times was brilliant. it was so commonsensical and healthy... media conditioning runs deep.


that was the unemotional part. this is the emotional reasoning -

1. as a woman, i object STRONGLY. the woman youre seeing in that movie is someones mother, wife, sister, daughter - and shes my kin. she is already being exploited in so many ways, how dare we do this to her in this intensely basic parameter as well? social systems take a long time to change, yes, but pornography is such a simple thing to stop promoting. what gives you 2 minutes of cheap kicks is costing someone else their life. dont fool yourself. the price is nothing less. can you imagine that womans kid trying to make sense of the world saying, “yeah, my mom’s a porn actress”? children deserve better.

2.porn is tool of peer pressure. youre cool only if you "do" porn.... get real. i think peer pressure is a really dirty game: people who dont have the courage themselves feel so defensive that someone else does to refrain from doing something, that they resort to really dirty means. marketing to the rescue again : in reality im a smaller and dirtier person than you for doing something, but that makes me feel defensive and your integrity makes me insecure. so ill pretend that im actually doing something ultra cool, and that you are so "yknow, stuck up" that you wont join me - you dont belong. social ostracism and isolation are very real and powerful weapons that most of us cant handle. we’d sell their souls to "belong".

3. how a society treats women is a very simple indicator of how the society really is. basic anthropology. sexuality and sexual politics are like signals of a much bigger picture. what im seeing scares me. stop proliferating the symbols until they become problems themselves - it makes solving the other issues much more complex and difficult.

4. when people see porn and then talk of having meaningful relationships or celebrating life and all that.... it leaves me amazed. how do they smooth out that blatant dual standard?!! what, because its "down there" and not always visible it doesnt count? outof sight is out of mind? i really, honestly, dont get it.

this whole argument is the truth. i would say it every time and any time a discussion came up on porn. it could be my best friend or a stranger, but i will NOT keep quiet about porn if silence is agreement or consent. its beyond being personal - its partly about an ideal...

thats about the sum of what i think about porn. it feels instinctively a very, very bad thing.


feminist issues



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10 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello m,

You make a lot of sense. I understand your emotions, but I prefer the "unemotional part".

I am actually a little thrilled that you've dared to raise some uncomfortable questions. I can only hope you will follow through to find answers that will, to say the least, shock you. But since you are in the mood to ask questions, I urge you to ask one more. Flip it around. What will happen if these rotten men are somehow completely prevented from watching porn? If you want the answer to this one, I suggest an analogy. Think of the role the UN played in averting war (in the pre-Bush era of course). Likewise, as much as porn is a symbol of "sexual incontinence", it is equally a highly effective tool to curb it. So what will happen if it "ceases to exist"? Get the drift? I should write about this in greater detail.

An old friend(also a male member of the contemporary generation wallowing in "sexual incontinence")

4:53 am  
Blogger Loonie said...

waw!
I definitely agree with this.
Well..watching porn i guess are signs of sexual immaturity and i guess most men and now a lot of women are that way!
Sad..how human percives stuff.
Wonderful post!

7:13 am  
Anonymous Charu said...

excellent post - I keep wondering about why porn (and in fact any sexual behavior that is deviant) exists in so-called open and modern cultures - as in, if sex - even mention of the word - is taboo, I can underatand boys / men turning to porn - repression and all that - where it is freely available (I dont mean the act itself! I mean it is easier to talk about it and accept it as a part of life), why does porn thrive?

and what you say about peer presure gets even more scary now with mobilephone cameras -voyueristic porn - can it get any more dangerous? caught in the soft porn trap will now be unwilling and unsuspecting participants

as for the emotional part, er, yu have gotten too emotional :) the wife/mother/daughter most often knows what she is doing -

12:19 am  
Blogger m. said...

how strange. i had replied those comments but its disappeared - swooshed into cyberspace i guess! may this meet a better end!....

@charu: thank you. how true.. there shouldnt be porn if people were able to discuss sex healthily right? so maybe thats what this whole thing indicates? mainstream culture is totally repressive!

at least where kids are concerned, they would turn to porn because thats usually the only source of information (however wildly distorted) that available to them. nobody around them wants to talk about sex in an honest open way. the adults obviously have a load of issues in the way we deal with the subject of sex.

oh yes. the wife, mother, daughter may know exactly what shes doing. she may still not have a choice and just have to go through it all the same so that they can support their families. its a world of no-choices that we've handed many women.

4:46 am  
Anonymous SloganMurugan said...

Your points are valid but it is a basic necessity for men to jerk off. We men need porn. We don't expect women to understand it just like men will never understand what women want. And we agree that it should be tastefully made.

So as long as there are men around, there will be a good market for pornography.

8:29 pm  
Blogger lost clown said...

I'm in love. WHile that's not exactly how I would argue it, I agree wholeheartedly.

And the comments saying men need it: porn as a mainstream thing (as in most men use it) is only about 40 years old. We can thank Hefner for bringing it out from something that people were ashamed to look at to something that is rammed down our throats. And I know plenty of men who have the ability to jerkoff without using porn. That arguement is b.s.

There is much documentation into the fact that when a porn theatre/shop/outlet moves into an area that the amount of sexual assaults in that area goes up. Yeah, porn's doing great at curbing men's urges. Sure. That's like saying if everyone had guns there would be no gun violence.

I could go on forever, and I one day will, but not here.

Porn is NOT sex and it HURTS women.

12:00 am  
Blogger m. said...

@s: and as long as there are people with ethics around, there'll be a fight against porn.

@p: sympathetic response my left foot!

@clown: hey. thanks for dropping in - and speaking up :)

9:57 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi M,

When you did raise your concern about porn, I would like you to look at the possible reasons for pron to flurish so much.I for one will not accept your point that, "the way they looked at sexual urges in those times was brilliant". I dont think,the urges were handles. My opinion, based on the data I gathered(yes data)is, the age group of people watching porn-early teenage-high, early 30s-very high.40-50 high, 50+ average.

I shall relate this intention to watch porn with people misbehaving with female gender regardless to the age group.

Teenagers watching porn is rather understandable as this often is a case of curiousity and harmonal.

with other age groups I see, that their physical need is not met in their relationship because of the various reasons,of htem one I see is rules and models set for the wife in Indian culture as I dont know any other culture.

1:17 pm  
Blogger m. said...

anon: when i say that the olden attitude towards sex was healthy, what made it so, was that people were open about sex and sexuality, acknowledging that it was as much an issue to be thought about as any other in a relationship. and from such a foundation people could also look at sexual rights and responsibilities. if we deny sexuality in the first place, there would be no scope for further discussion of any kind.
if what you say is true, that older men watch porn because they are not satisfied with their relationships with their partners, i would consider it another instance of patriarchal conditioning crippling people. we are taught that were not supposed to be bothered about anything beyond a). are we in a sexual relationship, b). are we getting lots of sex. which obviously, is far from being adequate. especially men, are allowed no space or freedom in patriarchy to acknowledge their emotional needs, let alone work out ways to fulfill them. patriarchy is as oppressive for men as for women in lots of ways.

5:01 am  
Anonymous StarWatcher said...

Hi,

Coming in two years late from your link in your Abuse of Male Privilege thread, but I couldn't *not* speak to those who see no harm in porn.

Apart from the spiritual harm you so rightfully explain, there is the very real physical harm done to the women who are making porn.

Porn is not the depiction of a lascivious version of sex. Porn is actual, physical harm perpetrated upon women's bodies, in the guise of sex. Anal raping with little or no preparation. Not simple blowjobs, but forcing the penis down the woman's throat until she gags and chokes. Simultaneous two-penis penetration, either vaginally or anally. Slapping, punching, visciously twisting nipples. The list goes on and on.

Add to this, most women (about 95%) are not doing this voluntarily. Women and children (it's very easy to make a 12-year old look like a 16-year old) are sold into sexual slavery; it's a multi-million dollar business.

Thus, when any man "chooses" to watch porn, he is fueling a multi-billion dollar machine that enslaves and exploits women, and ruins their lives. One is too many.

Biting Beaver and her friend Dim Undercellar (now Dubhe) have several excellent posts on this subject --

Orgasms and Slaves

Orgasms and Slaves, II

Shattering Wishful Thinking

This one starts -- From the CIA itself:

"An estimated 45,000 to 50,000 women and children are trafficked annually to the United States."

"INS Rome has identified over 20 members of Asian organized crime groups who are trafficking and smuggling Asian women and children though Italy to the United States for prostitution and/or pornography."

"Russian individuals—likely with Russian organized crime connections— are importing women from Russia, Ukraine, the Baltic States, and Central Europe for the sex industry, namely for stripping, escort services, and prostitution. INS agents in New York claim there are many cases involving the trafficking of these women by freelance criminals for stripping or escort services. Frequently, the women’s passports are taken by the trafficker and they are not free to leave..."

The title is "International Trafficking in Women to the United States: A Contemporary Manifestation of Slavery and Organized Crime", and contains a robust 80 pages (Eight Zero!) of paragraphs suspiciously similar to these. Strippers and "Porn Stars" are trafficked, into the US, and put into "mainstream" establishment and publications. Your "legit, mainstream" porn provider can give you no warranty on their legitness. Caveat Emptor.

The sickest part? We've known about it at least since this report was issued, in 1999.

So what's your number? How many women have to be raped and enslaved by the sex industry before you decide that your orgasm at their expense is not worth it?

Asshole List

Acceptable Losses / What's Your Number?

Excerpt -- There is no way for you, or for any other consumer of Porn, to know the true ages of the girls in your dirty pictures. There is no way for you to know the girl's histories, you CANNOT know if the girl you are masturbating to is, in reality, a sexual slave from Austria who has a gun pointed at her head just off camera.

And there is always a possibility that that girl is a child, or a slave. Of that, there can be no doubt because it has already happened, and it continues to happen.

Tracy Lords starred in 77 full length movies before she reached 18. Seventy-seven movies. Seventy-fucking-seven. She was a child of 15. A freshman in High-School. MILLIONS of men, around the world, masturbated to this child, to this little girl being raped by 3 or 4 men. Millions of men and women alike got off to images of a 15 year old girl.



All of you men -- and women -- who believe that porn is "okay if the woman consents", read these posts. Get it through your head -- 95% of these women do NOT consent. You are not viewing a freely-consented to fantasy; you are viewing actual rapes and violent degradation.

Think about it.

M -- I apologize for carrying on for so long. But I think you might want this information to hand.

9:17 pm  

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