Harlots Parlour

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The Latest Anti-Porn Conspriacy Meme From Gail Dines and The Guardian: How LA Porn Vids Cause Mass Rape And Violence In Africa (No Kidding)

[Note from Anthony: This is actually a abridgment of a twopost series that I posted recently to my own SmackDog Chronicles blog. I’ve reduced it down to fit into Harlots’ Parlour’s size requirements (and not to piss off Caroline and the owners here; refer to the originals for the full background. Also..much thanks to Caroline for granting permission to post this..and for creating this much needed online space.]


Having followed and battled antiporn “feminist” memes for well over five years now as a sex-positive blogger, I never thought that I would see them stoop to such lows to reach for arguments for their agenda…but this time they have succeeded in lowering the bar to new depths.

It’s one thing to argue that porn is responsible for every social evil in the world…but to say that vids made in Los Angeles’ Porn Valley are directly responsible for the ongoing carnage in Central Africa?? Errrrrr…Whiskey? Tango? Foxtrot?!?!?!?

The most recent purveyor of this steaming hot mess is Tim Samuels, a British Christian writer and reporter for the BBC, who recently was featured in a currently running BBC documentary called “Obscene Profits”, which sees itself as an “expose” into the “illicit” world of the modern day porn industry.

It features all the usual antiporn memes about how porn has so infiltrated modern “Western capitalism” to the tune of several BILLION dollars, how porn has utilized modern technology such as the Internet and social networking to spread its diabolitical and damaging message, and, how all the results of the explosion of “porn culture” has basically caused irreperable damage to human relationships….never mind the far more prevalent influences of mainstream media or collective acts of violence and inequality that predated the making of porn vids.

Mostly, though, it offers up the notion that porn videos and their producers should be held exclusively responsible for actions of those who consume them….such as, for example, villagers in Africa.

What’s the connection, you ask?? Well, Samuels wrote a column for the Brit lefty journal The Guardian that attempted to spell everything out (emphasis added):

One of the unforeseen consequences of globalisation is the shocking effect that western porn is having in parts of the developing world. The village has no electricity, but that doesn’t stop a generator from being wheeled in, turning a mud hut into an impromptu porn cinema – and turning some young men into rapists, with villagers relating chilling stories of assaults taking place straight after the film’s end. In the nearest city, other young men are buying bootlegs copies of the almost always condom-free LA-made porn – copying directly what they see and contracting HIV.

Now, the fact that HIV has long since been a pandemic in Central Africa long before porn vids were bootlegged into that country, or the fact that young male villagers probably were committing acts of rape without requiring the aid of watching Big Tits at Work or Ride My Pole #28, or the fact that much of the violence in that region is mostly the byproduct of ethnic strife that has been ongoing for almost near eternity….well, those facts don’t quite matter to Mr. Samuels; it’s all about Monkey See, Monkey Fuck, and Big, Bad Porn is to blame.

The head of the country’s Aids commission says porn risks destroying all the achievements they’ve made. It’s a timebomb, he says. The concerns aren’t theoretical – I met young fathers with HIV whose only sex education came from LA, women living in the villages subject to post-screening abuse, and even a shy teenage virgin who has written to a porn outfit in California asking to star in their films (his return address was care of the local church in Accra).

But wait a minute….”his only sex education came from LA”?? You mean, that there isn’t any real alternative forms of sex ed ongoing in Central Africa?? You know, like the “abstinence only”/”save sex for marriage” nonsense put forth by most local governments there?? But, surely Samuels wouldn’t blame those authorities for their role in causing the pandemic, right?? Especially since those same forces are just as much resposible for fueling the civil and ethnic strife as well??

Ahhh, but Samuels is no right-wing censor (though he has no problem quoting from antiporn feminist censors like Gail Dines to prove his theses about how interracial porn leads directly to Black men going wild on women. He has a much more liberal solution to the issue: force those dasterly porn studios to require condom usage.

The porn producers aren’t deliberately pushing their products into Africa. But the tide of black market DVDs on sale at street markets and hardcore clips viewable at internet cafes is almost unstoppable. Surely this multibillion-dollar industry needs to take some responsibility for the human costs?

Since the only sex education some people in places such as Ghana are getting is via porn films, there is a decent argument for the porn industry to produce more films where performers use condoms. In LA, where the majority of the world’s porn is still shot, only one company routinely makes such films.

The condom-only policy adopted following an industry HIV outbreak five years ago lasted just months. If the ambition is to put more condom-using porn into circulation, which will then more likely end up in those street markets or cafes, some serious multinationals could throw their corporate weight behind this. Hotel chains – among the biggest broadcasters of adult material – have not used their immense clout to insist on greater condom use – much to the dismay of the porn-star STD-testing clinic in LA. Mobile phone firms are also surreptitiously making jaw-dropping amounts of money from showing adult content on their handsets. Could their ideas of corporate responsibility take on a latex dimension? Might it actually be that ridiculous for the porn industry itself to adopt a spot of corporate responsibility? These are, after all, major businesses replete with HR departments and plush offices nestling next to mainstream film companies. Bankroll sex safe campaigns, harness the allure of their top stars, maybe even make bespoke films for the developing world which educate as well as titillate. Doing nothing, and leaving western porn to march untrammelled into Africa and other places, is a deeply unattractive prospect.

Basically, Samuels’ argument goes thusly: if African villagers (or the public at large) only see porn films with wrapped penises practicing only “safer sex” practices (or simply depicting less “promiscuous” and “dangerous” sex acts or only showing sex for the “good” purposes of intimacy), then they will change their habits and lifestyles for the better, and the HIV pandemic (and perhaps even the rape epidemic, too) will be licked. Pressuring mainstream companies and Big Media which rely on porn for their profits to squeeze Porn Valley, or better yet, using local regulation to force studios to offer “condom only” content, would be the best way to effect this…otherwise, the scronge of “Western porn” will continue to “march untrammelled” and destroy Africa.

Gee…sound familiar?? Like, what’s going on now in California with the latest HIV porn panic?? And, note the same arguments for imposing mandatory condom usage as a means of using the porn biz as a free “safer sex” medium and a free advertiser for condom makers, too.

Problem is, though, I fail to see how importing condom-only vids into countries ruled by fundamentalist conservatives who would sooner ban such material anyway on traditional obscenity charges would cause even a small dent in violence against the poor people in that region. Never mind the fact that Africa isn’t quite the consumer market for porn that, say, America or the UK is…remember those are bootlegged copies, not legitimately bought.

But what really, really irks me most of all is the notion that somehow African folk are so….well, different that they are only capable of mocking things they see in movies. As if, Americans don’t have that issue at all?? Like people who watch, say, professional wrestling automatically want to try out the finishing moves of their favorite “heel” of “face”…or the people who watch women’s figure skating are so motivated to do triple Axels?? And sure, watching Larry Fitzgerald slice through the Pittsburgh Steeler defense on that epic touchdown run during the last Super Bowl certainly turned a lot of viewers into Olympic sprinters…right??

Ahhhh….WRONG.

If you really want to educated African folk not to believe the hype of LA-style porn, the best way to do so is just to say it to their faces…and to get the authorities involved and truly responsible to STOP the violence and bloodshed. Paternalism dressed in liberal gloss is still paternalism; and while condom usage is generally a good thing, selling it at the expense of porn performer’s will and comfort and imposing your beliefs on the public without a thought of discussion is closer to paternalism and right-wing social engineering than to genuine progressive policy.

Oh…and supporting genuine sex worker and sex education groups like Ubuntu would be a great idea, too.

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This entry was posted on 4 September, 2009 by in Uncategorized.
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