Anti-Porn Activist Discusses Effect of Porn on Women (News)

Posted on October 31, 2011, in News, Sex Trafficking, Sexual Violence, Women

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Gail Dines, professor of women and gender studies at Wheeler University in Boston, Mass. and internationally acclaimed speaker, brought her “Stop Porn Culture” campaign to the University of Northern Iowa on Oct. 19.

In her speech, Dines outlined the role of women in today’s society and attributed much of the blame to pornography and greedy, insensitive large corporations that will go to great measures to make a profit.

“Much of American capitalism is on the shoulders of young women hating what they look like,” Dines said, making a firm call of action to the “MTV Generation” to move away from the “hypersexualization” of the American culture.

Dines’ speech drew more than 200 guests, many of whom were UNI students. Benjamin Crew, associate professor of sociology, anthropology and criminology, began the presentation by outlining the “pornification” of American culture, noting the transformation of American culture since the 1970s. Crews said that casual references to pornography in sitcoms had gained social acceptance.

“More students learn about sex from porn than any other source,” Crews said.

Following the introduction, Dines said that there has been a rapid increase in racy images portrayed in the media today. She displayed magazine covers from Vanity Fair to MuscleMag to Sports Illustrated, explaining how women continue to fall victim in porn culture.

“Never before has a generation been bombarded with so many images,” Dines said.

She discussed the sexual portrayal of women in the media and blames large corporations looking only to make profits by choosing not to harbor feminism in their realm of concern.

“Media strips us (women) of our identity…it (media) makes us all interchangeable,” Dines said. “If you are a woman, you are only an object of sexual desire.”

According to Dines, there are two types of women in the media: invisible and visible. In order to gain visibility in the world, women have to resort to “ritual subordination,” which is a sign of dominance.

Dines continued on to say that, with the trend in magazines and TV shows becoming more racy, the trend of women wearing fewer clothes has become accepted in modern culture.

The widespread use of pornography and child pornography was also addressed during Dines’ speech. Women in the porn industry are beaten and battered, according to Dines, and the industry continues to go downhill. Women in”gonzo porn” are subject to vomiting, bleeding and a number of health risks due to the extreme sexual activity they encounter.

Sophomore business administration major Julie Svendsen said that some of the details concerning the porn industry were “cringe-worthy.”

“You don’t see the miscarriages and hemorrhoids, the rectum replacements and the true realities these women in the porn industry have to deal with,” Svendsen said. “It’s just disgusting.”

Svendsen felt the speech was “empowering for women.”

“It makes me more skeptical of what I do, say, watch and buy,” Svendsen said. “Pornography brings out the ugly in people, plain and simple, while the media is doing nothing to stop the dehumanization of women by promoting racy and provocative images to make a buck.”

Those interested can get involved in the “Stop Porn Culture” campaign by visiting stoppornculture.org, where training on becoming an anti-porn activist can be found along with other helpful links.

Find Article Here: http://www.northern-iowan.org/anti-porn-activist-discusses-effect-of-porn-on-women-1.2658155#.Tq6vGfQ829N

 

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