Rosemary McLeod; Porn and violence closely linked, not a novel discovery

Stuff co.nz 16 March 2017
Family First Comment: Significant comments from this (female) commentator:
“..much more degrading images are now freely available everywhere, with the result that some young men’s brains get hard-wired with images that degrade women, and none that celebrate affection. We thought feminism had won the battle for equality only to find young women, who now excel academically, are targets of misogyny that reduces them to sex dolls for male amusement. The pity of it is that many young women think this is OK. Some boast of being prostitutes to support themselves through degree courses, and somehow we’ve come to think this is OK. It’s OK, in other words, to be a high achiever so long as you demean yourself at the same time. No harm done. I don’t believe it.”
Nor do we!
http://www.porninquiry.nz

Nothing has changed since, as far as I can see, except that much more degrading images are now freely available everywhere, with the result that some young men’s brains get hard-wired with images that degrade women, and none that celebrate affection.

We thought feminism had won the battle for equality only to find young women, who now excel academically, are targets of misogyny that reduces them to sex dolls for male amusement.

The pity of it is that many young women think this is OK. Some boast of being prostitutes to support themselves through degree courses, and somehow we’ve come to think this is OK.

It’s OK, in other words, to be a high achiever so long as you demean yourself at the same time. No harm done. I don’t believe it.

The big arguments against porn used to highlight opponents like Patricia Bartlett for ridicule in the 1970s. Yes, she had been a nun. Yes, her favourite film star was Deborah Kerr, and yes, some of what she said was silly.

But we have come to see that the prevalence of porn – she didn’t know the half of it – and its easy accessibility to young people hasn’t had a cheerful outcome.

A report resulting from a Ministerial Inquiry into Pornography in 1989 reached a conclusion that is still relevant: “There is enough evidence that pornography may have harmful effects on male attitudes and behaviour,” its report said, “And it is clear that pornography harms women directly, but (sic) presents them in a stereotypical and demeaning way.”

It has always been an unpopular view that porn can harm people. It is not a fashionable liberal stance, and I once agreed with it. That was before children could see acts of nastiness we never dreamed of at the push of a button, and young people could become addicted, with unfortunate effects on their future relationships.

If porn is callous, as I think it is, the same callousness is evident when groups of schoolkids arrange fights and record them on their cellphones.

Porn and violence are closely linked, yet we react as if this is a novel discovery.

Of course porn-driven fantasies are talked about wherever young males get together to swap wishful accounts of sexual conquest, and gross each other out with what they’ve seen online.

Of course they target young women, and fantasise about getting them drunk and comatose so they can act out what they’ve seen.

Visual information is more powerful than words, and as I found when I had to view R18 material for work, it is intrusive.

Its images can unexpectedly cut through into ordinary life for some time, and I can see how frequent viewing could normalise what in reality would be criminal behaviour.

Lately it’s been Wellington College and St Pat’s Silverstream where distressing attitudes have been disclosed.

Other schools have dealt with similar scenarios, and those that haven’t must know it will happen on their watch sooner or later.

For all we know this will be normal in the future, and nobody will care. But I feebly hope not.
READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/90413396/rosemary-mcleod-porn-and-violence-closely-linked-yet-we-react-as-if-this-is-a-novel-discovery

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