Opinion

The Politics of Porn

The Politics of Porn

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Life in Egypt has changed for women. How they are perceived, treated and addressed have skewed dramatically. This much we already know. What we should be concerned with more heavily, however, is “why’’.

What foreign influences have sparked the insidious influences of sexual harassment and whatever indicates the perception of women as objects rather than humans? Is it the simple ‘spontaneous’ collapse of morality or the purposeful result of exposure to negative influences?  Is it the triumph of leading psychologists who claim that our bestiality is more intrinsic than our humanity? What does it prove; are behaviors of sexual harassment and abuse exclusive to the Egyptian society or are they a result that is simply spawned if the influences are present irrespective of other societal dynamics?

In a research paper entitled The Social Costs of Pornography, issued by Dr. Mary Anne Layden, director of the center for sexual trauma and pathology, Pennsylvania University, contemporary pornography is claimed to be the leading media influence that shapes sexually abusive behaviors. From the solid perspective of a researcher, a recovering addict who has dealt first-hand with many addicted individuals whose lives have been wrecked by this vicious addiction, I could not agree more. I believe that pornography in its contemporary form is the most prominent teacher of harmful beliefs that serve as the basis for all sexually abusive and violent behaviors. Of course, there are individuals who practice acts of sexual abuse inspired by societal and cultural dynamics other than that of pornography. The issue is not plainly simple. However, pornography is an influence that leads to only one consistent set of harmful and degrading beliefs.

Think about the matter thoughtfully, why wouldn’t a heavy pornography consumer feel less sensitized towards the horror of rape if violent pornography is depicted pleasantly in the context of two supposedly consenting adults having the kind of sex they fancy—which happens to be a woman getting forcefully violated and feeling happy about it? Why wouldn’t that spark a behavior that is considered criminal? The industry of porn, like numerous profitable industries, survives by maintaining a ”positive” image in front of the public. A claim as serious as that accusing pornography of molding criminal violent behaviors and relating it directly to rape and sexual violence can be debunked by saying that such a claim is absolutely rubbish, that the viewer knows that the actors are ”acting,” and that the sex is ”choreographed.”

In a sense, an industry like that of porn has its way of tampering with the most logical natural notions and conditioning you to pre-dictated perceptions. That’s a nicer way of saying that it brainwashes you.

If a nation is witnessing a spike in crimes of sexual violence and rape and a sociologist clarifies a tie between the behavioral deviance and the core pornographic influence, a pro-porn psychologist who probably benefits from the survival of the porn industry might give a ”There is no evidence to pornography triggering criminal behaviors. Contrarily, pornography is a harmless outlet that succeeds in alleviating tendencies for acting out violent sexual proclivities.”

If a nation is witnessing a spike in the number of individuals suffering from sexually compulsive behaviors and a neuroscientist clarifies the tie between internet pornography and neuronal changes that happen in the brain’s structure, indicating damage and problematic behaviors, a pro-porn so-called sexologist might say ”this relation is based upon theoretical claims and there is no evidence authenticating its validity.”

It is not the objective of this article to prove that porn is addictive or not – I believe it is though. The objective, however, is to briefly highlight the politics of porn, how every multi-billion industry has its way of debunking each claim with skill even if it is true.

One of the effective strategies that the porn industry utilizes is pushing innocent-looking porn stars into fancy talk shows and let them chant the mantra of ”Porn empowers my sexuality. I have never felt so in control. Porn is liberating.”

This strategy is effective because, simply, people no longer have firm beliefs that guide them. We build our beliefs based upon the words that we hear with no ability to foresee the true intentions. This strategy is also effective because many of us do not think twice about what we hear and decide to research the authenticity of this claim. False claims rely upon the utter ignorance of the receiver. Educated and analytical individuals find it hard to unwittingly repeat like a parrot each word they hear.

What has always guided me to discover the falsehood of many claims is the holy question that precedes a thoughtless ”Amen to that!” The question of, ”what if it’s not true?”

The porn industry goes to great lengths to maintain the positive image. They hold AVN awards similar to the notion of Oscars and Golden Globes. They depict actresses, who are motivated by money, to fake pleasure in reaction to perverted and hurtful sexual practices. They demonize opposition, and, as I mentioned, use their marionette actresses to betray women by portraying porn as fun, awesome, liberating and heavenly. A foundation like that of the “Pink Cross” assists women to find financial support and shelter in case they want to get out of the porn industry. When you do hear about what motivates many women to seek working in pornography, you will be truly shocked. A growing number of documentaries reveal the reality about working in the pornography industry, with several former porn actresses dedicating their efforts to raising awareness with regard to the truth about this insidious industry. Shelley Lubben is one such example.

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Contemporary pornography conditions viewers to act upon what they are viewing. No healthy woman in her right mind would enjoy forceful penetration, gagging, choking, a facial or any of the ill practices that only serve the interests of a male-dominated industry. Yes, there are women as well as men who have their “own” sexual preferences that are desired in a relational context. Yet, stereotyping such preferences as what “all women” crave on a general basis and conveying this to male viewers is purely catastrophic. Women need love, they need appreciation, respect and care. Women fancy intimacy and partners who exhibit the ability to give love in return of receiving it. Porn-influenced males walk around carrying the most harmful notions about women and sex. For them, it is more of a competitive sport where you have to score and ass kick the competition. It’s a self-centered practice that starts with an erection and ends with a climax. And in the process, a women’s sleek body is nothing more than a fine mean to a pleasing end. How sad, degrading and inhumane that is.

WWE, reality shows, pornography, Hollywood and other entertainment industries treat us as lab rats. They push the envelope, pull our instinctive strings, and purposefully hide the truth. They know that humans are malleable, and that sex sells. They have studied human nature and know very well that when a nation gives away its value, honor and morality, it becomes very easy to manipulate. In their eyes, they see in us an opportunity for an ever-steady stream of demand. Just like oppressive regimes who take their people for granted. They distort, lie, steal, and betray with no fear of a reaction. At a certain level of utter rage and frustration from brutal injustice and greed do people revolt, however, setting a standard and standing united against injustice; at a certain level people come to terms with a hidden truth when they decide to question an authority claiming holiness. It’s an unchanging premise; every deceptive authority, industry, institution or party needs flawless PR to maintain the psychological warfare that ensures its survival.

The internet provides a plethora of resources in the form of research papers, articles, interviews, TED talks, and educational programs that explain the truth about the porn industry from the perspective of ex-producers and porn stars, ex-addicts, authors, scientists, and catalysts for change.

If accidental exposure to pornography can start with typing porn into a given search engine, accidental exposure to the truth can start with typing other queries to track down informative resources. One of the most resourceful websites on this matter is www.pornharms.com; a website released by MIM (Morality In Media), an American non-profit that is mainly concerned with raising awareness with regard to the harms of pornography on individuals. This website is the aggregator of a huge number of informative research papers that will help you better understand the catastrophic effects of contemporary pornography consumption.

So, start today and educate yourself for the sake of your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your loved ones.

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Opinion

Muhammad Hazem Sherif works as a digital marketer and is interested in writing about the workings of addictive behavior and recovery in a manner relevant to how we behave daily.

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