It is said that the very subtle cues and messages that we receive from mainstream media and our peers, influence our personal perception of each other and ourselves. Many people will deny this and say that in today’s society, we are free from media’s influence that the subtle messages and cues no longer exist. The problem with this claim is that these people are insisting that every person on this earth lives in a social bubble where the messages that we receive have little influence in our lives. There is nothing wrong with having influence, we need influence to make our choices easier. It is human nature to be influenced by an outside force. The main problem is what the outside force is, whether this outside force is trustworthy and whether that trusting the outside force is a good idea.
Men influence women through means of controlling their minds and bodies. This is still happening in today’s society with the century long attack on female reproduction and the sexual slavery of women. This results in women who are more dependent on men and seek male wisdom instead of female wisdom. The lowering of women’s wisdom and their value as human beings occurs when pornography and other misogynistic media becomes the worshiped.
Pornography is an example of male oriented influence being perpetuated on women, of women’s wisdom being treated poorly and degraded. The ideas that are presented in pornography are very misogynistic and degrading to women. The origins of pornography do not begin with women being “in control.” The roots of pornography begin with being created by men for their carnal consumption, to degrade women, to lower women to objects. Pornography is for male eyes. Often times, men will force women to view this degrading material and to force their conformity on women. It is a fact in our society (i.e. Patriarchy) that women are second class citizens. We are only allowed a certain amount of power because men have allowed us to have power, the same power as a dog. Men will keep reminding us, however, of our supposed place in society, by the use of pornography, prostitution, rape and many forms of violence and torture. Many men will either deny doing any harm to women or will flat-out say that women enjoy being tortured and abused with the use of their phallus. They will have happy, smiling women to back up their claims, to make their abuse seem “natural” and “normal.” Pornography as mentioned before is the propaganda of their empire, pornography is the Soma of our generation. What is once considered “soft core” pornography and quite possibly some elements of “hardcore” pornography have seeped into the mainstream media. It is never wrong to say that we live in an image based, consumer-culture society-and images are a far easier way to consume a message. This message that is in these images are very impossible to avoid and is the main part in our society.
There are too many examples of pornographic images and pornographic influences in Western culture. Lingerie football is an example of or violent pornographic culture. Lingerie football is a sport with only one purpose: To sexualize violence against women. What I mean, is that the athletes (female; decked out in lingerie) are very violent and aggressive to one another. One of the other noticeable traits on Lingerie football is that the athletes wear no padding except for shoulder pads and helmets. If these types of traits were implemented into professional MALE sports franchises like Canadian Football League, where the male athletes must wear man thongs as part of their “uniform” there would be an outcry from football fans all over North America. Why would there be an outcry? There would be an outcry because football is a “manly” sport. No women allowed on the field. They are too delicate for such an aggressive sport they all say. The only way that they can market a “woman’s sport” is if they put them in the most humiliating outfit possible, the lower them into a spectacle. The erasure of their humanity becomes reality the minute men set eyes on them, in their horrifying uniforms. Women participating in a male dominated field such as sports are seen as a threat to society and therefore must be humiliated through their bodies, through male constructed sexuality. This is pornography in a more recognizably mainstream context, humiliating the caste class (women) to gain control. Women become the victims in our porn culture. Men become the aggressors and enforcers of porn culture. This is the “balance” in our society or what white men consider to be a “balanced and equal society”. To women who live in this society and must deal with the consequences of questioning the patriarchal status quo, this is an obvious lie. One cannot be happy or equal under a slave-state. One who lives in this society suffers for questioning her master.
It is very difficult to prove that pornography does not influence male perception of women or even how women view themselves. We can only look at the percentage of rape in our society, how prostitution has risen and the increase of male violence as the only evidence that pornography has a very negative effect in our society. The evidence is incriminating and there is no possible way to speak away the evidence and the components of patriarchy as an “inevitability” or “natural” or even more hilarious “a conspiracy.” This should be considered evidence that patriarchy as a whole needs to be dismantled. This will result in women being free from the confines of male slavery and domination.
There is often the common misconception of women who make “free choices” in patriarchy. The common misconception is that if a woman makes the “choice” to take part in very misogynistic activities such as prostitution or pornography without male influence, that she has made the choice on her own free will, we should not question it. That the woman has in some strange, post modernist fashion, “reclaimed” this horribly misogynistic activity. In the basis of reality and patriarchy, this is not so. There is simply no universal evidence that can prove this claim as correct. If this claim was true, then there would be no rape or any form of male violence. There would be no women in poverty. Women would not have to live with the shame of being sexual. Women would freely choose who to sleep with. This is not the world. Patriarchy can easily adapt to any social change. Patriarchy has a death grip on society. No matter how much neo-liberals have “reformed” patriarchy’s main institutions (Pornstitution, the church, the state, government, industrial civilization), patriarchy is still there. A powerful force like Patriarchy cannot be reformed, it thrives on the old traditions of female subjugation. it would be impossible for patriarchy to be anything positive women.
If anything needs to be learned from history and from daily observations in society, is that women can never hold the same place of power as men under patriarchy. Women can never feels safe in a violent culture and while pornography is the daily entertainment of men. Women are never safe when violent men are our leaders, relatives and co-workers. Women can never be free under fear, violence, poverty and despair which is Western society. The only reason that women have never been completely wiped out from the earth yet is that women are strong enough to fight back, to keep the possibility of female extinction at bay. Women need to end the possibility, indefinitely. This can only happen through female revolution.
Porn as a cause of rape by Diana Russell
Men and Porn by Edward Marriott
Censored Truth by Ann J. Simonton