The above link is an article entitled “Irish Prostitutes report rampant violence against them”.
While I am a staunch believer in the rights of women not to be treated like pieces of meat and objectified, and I feel deeply for the women reporting such violence and acts of sheer mindless idiots, I have to object to some points that are made in this article.
First and foremost, we have the claim from Ellen O’Malley Dunlop of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre that these situations of “rampant violence” and situations such as “groups of twos and threes [egging] each other on for more aggressive and violent acts” is because:
“the increased aggression amongst the clients has to do with the universal availability of pornography… It’s the desensitization that goes on…”
The author then goes on to substantiate these claims with evidence of how this is so refrains from giving any evidence to support this. It’s a common argument among the lay person that violent sexual acts are the result of people being exposed to pornography. I can stand testament to the fact that this is total crap. I’ve seen some rather vicious sexual acts carried out in pornography, such as gagging, punching, choking etc… and NONE of these things are acts that I would be comfortable with doing even with my closest sexual partner.
It’s merely a different version of the “playing Grand Theft Auto makes children want to be criminals and do drugs” argument that has been going around since long before Grand Theft Auto ever hit the scene. Only someone ignorant of the facts would argue that watching something violent makes you more prone to carrying out acts of violence. Granted watching Extreme Wrestling or some other violent show gives a person some tangible examples of the application of said violence, much as watching a guy donkey punch a girl as he penetrates her from behind will give that person the example to do this, however, and I cannot stress this enough, you have to have the capability to be that cruel in the first place. I do not, hence why I don’t treat my sexual partners with violence. Not everyone is like this, however, and is it really so surprising to find that men, who seek out women for paid sexual encounters, in situations where there is little supervision of the act and the women are often vulnerable and unable to gain justice against their attacker, and who also have the capacity to be violent and/cruel, will take advantage of that situation?
The rise of antisocial behaviour in the western world is not linked to pornography, so why should antisocial sexual behaviour be also linked to it? The same factors that instill a capability in a person to become so atrociously drunk that they can barely stand and to then urinate in public, commit acts of vandalism, criminal damage and/or violence all, quite often, without having to deal with the consequences of those acts are the exact same factors that lead people to believe they can beat up women, fuck them, have their fun, and leave, all without facing justice for the injustices they have perpetrated upon women who are quite often (though FAR from always) in a situation they do not like but are unable to entirely divorce themselves from.
There is nothing wrong with watching pornography that is made by and with willing consenting participants, even if it is violent to some degree, just as there is nothing wrong with a woman consenting to have a man of her choosing (despite the impracticality of that in the real world) reimburse her, in the monetary sense, for the pleasure of being allowed to engage in intercourse with her.
The issue, however, comes when people’s rights are being impinged upon. The prostitute in an irish apartment somewhere who is being treated like a “public toilet” by a man or a group of men, is not the victim of sexual desensitisation due to the spread of pornography. She is the victim of a man/men who do not afford her the respect and rights she is entitled to as a human being. She is not a victim of society (disregarding whatever social issues may have led her to this life, which is a seperate and divisive issue I’m eager not to be distracted by) nor is she a victim of some overarching trend in society to objectify women and treat them as sub-human or second-class citizens (unless we’re in Saudi Arabia). She is the direct victim of a man/men who clearly do not have the legally required respect for their fellow human being.
People may say “monkey see, monkey do” and they may try to apply this to humans in an effort to bolster the argument against violent movies, video games and pornography, but the problem is, it’s more like “human see, human only do if it complies with his/her own inner moral compass and conscience“. People who watch violent movies and/or (non-)violent pornographyor play violent video games and who come away from the experience believing that is socially and/or legally acceptable to portray the things they have seen or done virtually, have a complete misunderstanding of the way the world works, and obviously have a different moral compass to that which legally and socially acceptable. (And, to be clear, I’m only talking about committing acts based upon this compass. It’s quite ok to think murder is ok, just so long as that does not affect the way you actually interact with other people)
One other issue I have with the article is the misleading headline. It reads “Irish Prostitutes…” when in fact, the women they speak about in the article are primarily those who end up as foreigners in Ireland.
On the whole “pornography encourages violence against women” thing, I will say again, show me the dogdamned evidence. None of these blustery, old-hat arguments linking pornography to this kind of thing have ever shown tangible, verifiable evidence for this claim and it’s getting seriously fucking old. If you beat up a woman, you cannot claim it’s because you saw it on TV or in a porno. The real reason is you are a c**t. Plain and simple.
As a final comment, I would say to any woman out there in the sex trade, you are wrong when you justify a man degrading you by saying you would rather feel the shame and have the money than to scare off the customer. Try it once. Wait for the guilt to disappear. A few hours later you will feel the benefit of standing up for your human rights. No one deserves to be treated like that, least of all by some half-wit Neanderthal who will probably finish within two minutes, if not less, and then go bragging to his drunken cohorts about his ‘conquest’. I’d like to see him and his mates take on the conquest of being used for 12 hours a day and then see how they feel.