Pornography censorship harms marginalized communities • The Tulane Hullabaloo
The porn industry is absolutely huge, raking about $ 97 billion in worldwide sales. Compare that to the movie industry, which made about $ 41.7 billion on the same scale. Such a magnitude would suggest that in all the pornography available on the Internet there must be at least one element of pornographic content that is not as harmful as anti-pornography activists claim. Nevertheless, the prevailing feeling among these activists is that pornography is a vector of degradation and oppression of women.
While there is certainly pornography where women are subordinate and portrayed as submissive, there is also a whole area that portrays women in a completely different light. To immediately reject all porn due to individual experience is irresponsible and damaging to queer and female content creators who are actively working against the narrative.
I am by no means anti-feminist – I consider myself a strong supporter of the movement – but the feelings of some feminists towards pornography lack intersectionality to include all genders and all sexualities.
Criticism of pornography is largely heteronormative and lacks nuance in recognizing that pornography can be a safe space for many. Especially in the queer community, pornography is the first step towards accepting their sexuality.
As is the case in most situations, heteronormative attitudes in society crush the perspectives of the queer community. Censorship of pornography would essentially be censorship of queer voices because pornography is one of the main safe spaces for the LBGTQ + community.
The assumption that violent pornography creates violent behavior and attitudes – especially towards women – is also unfounded. Although research has been conducted on the subject, the results are largely correlational and not statistically significant to name pornography decisively as an influence on sexual violence.
Similar debates have arisen, such as the controversy over the influence of violent video games. But as with pornography, no hard data has shown that violent video games cause violence. But the intransigence of society in connecting violent media with violent actions has caused a rupture in our confidence in the scientific method. We need to take our preconceptions into account when criticizing pornography, lest they harm communities that potentially benefit from wide accessibility to such content.
While the United States has seen an increase in sexual violence following an increase in accessibility to pornography, some statistics have shown the opposite effect. Countries like Japan, the Czech Republic, and Denmark – all with little to no restrictions on pornography, as well as fairly high rates of consumption – have statistically decreased sexual violence over the years.
Rather than criticizing the industry as a whole, consider the factors that can play into the visuals they so often come across when consuming pornography. Viewers should take a conscious, analytical approach to pornography: consider ethical pornographic websites or pornography produced and directed by female and gay creators rather than the usual sites.
Pornography is by no means a perfect industry, but vilifying it to the extent that some activists have done so is incredibly damaging and ignores those who rely on the industry as a means of income and as a safe space for those with sexuality. does not correspond to societal norms. The controversy surrounding pornography has exposed a major problem in our communities – most people don’t understand how their internalized biases impact how they view pornography, not just as a single piece of content, but as an industry. .