‘Beat the p***y up’ – the way we talk about sex with women
By Jessica Eaton
This blog contains a discussion of violent language to discuss sex, sexual violence and porn. It also contains the titles to real porn films that a lot of people may find disturbing. Please take care of yourself whilst reading this and seek support after reading if you need to.
As a massive old skool (and sometimes new skool) RnB, Rap and Hip Hop fan, I often find myself experiencing some pretty serious cognitive dissonance to try to enjoy my music without yelling at the radio or crying into my crisps.
As a younger feminist, I used to tell myself that it was okay that women were called bitches and hoes because that’s the way that artist chose to express themselves (I know, I know, so progressive).
As I got older, I started to resent the use of the word ‘bitch’ in my once-favourite songs. I stopped listening to some artists because I couldn’t stand the way they spoke about women and sex. The next challenge was dealing with the rise of female artists using ‘bitch’ and ‘nasty hoe’ to describe themselves. I thought the rise of female MCs, rappers and writers would eliminate this constant woman-hating but it didn’t. Nicki, Cardi B, Lil Kim, Missy Elliott – they made me wanna two-step and cry at the same time.
(Edit: I would just like to add that misogynistic and rape-glorifying lyrics are found in Death Metal too so this issue clearly isn’t unique to my music preferences, but I have never listened to it so didn’t know until someone told me today! Here’s a link.)
It is often the case in music that women sing about loving men and men sing about f*cking women. And it’s this that I want to talk about.
I noticed recently that the range of ways men sing, rap and talk about having sex with women has become inherently violent. They aren’t talking about ‘getting jiggy’ or ‘having fun’ or ‘doing the deed’ – I mean, they are not even calling it sex anymore. Not only that, but they are not even naming or identifying the woman anymore.
I decided to sit and think about all the violent ways men describe having sex with women these days, and came up with this list in about 3 minutes. I am sure there are many more and people will contact me with others.
List of violent terms to describe having sex with women:
Beat that p***y up
Beat it up
There are two main points here. The first is that sex is being described in very violent terms and the second is that the word ‘that’ is used in place of ‘her’ to objectify the woman they are talking about. These men aren’t saying ‘I would love to have sex with her’ or ‘I would shag her’ or even ‘I would f**k her’ – they are saying ‘I would f**k that’. ‘That’ is not a pronoun. ‘That’ is not a name. ‘That’ is used for objects. I’ll come back to this point.
The first point is the violence in the language. Hit. Destroy. Ruin. Bang. Beat up. Smash. Smack. Hurt. These are words that describe violence and injury. They don’t describe sex. They don’t describe the type of sex any woman wants to have.
When I started to search the terms I had heard and read, I easily found memes, articles, discussions and blogs using this language about women in a completely normalised way. Men saying to their friends ‘The girl next door, I would ruin that!’ or ‘She’s gonna get it hard. Beat that p***y up!’ The image of all of the guys saying they would rape the sleeping girl on the sofa. I found hundreds of song lyrics like the ones I have listened to.
Gucci Mane released a song called ‘Beat it up’ about having sex with women. So did Slim Thug. So did Chris Brown. And no, I’m not talking about one song they all featured on, I’m talking about three separately produced songs about ‘beating that p***y up’.
Here are the lyrics from Slim Thug:
Guess what? I’m f**kin tonight
Whether you know it or not, Ima beat that pussy right
Yeah I’m f**kin tonight, Ima beat it up
In song lyrics, R Kelly says he ‘beats the p***y up like Django’and Lil Wayne says he ‘beat that p***y up like Emmett Till’.
Chris Brown says he f**ks women back to sleep in ‘Back to sleep’. I don’t really know why he would want to make a woman he has sex with fall asleep but the song lyrics are creepy as shit:
F**k you to sleep, wake you up again, I go so deep, beat it up again
Just let me rock, f**k you back to sleep, girl
Don’t say no, girl, don’t you talk
Just hold on tight to me, girl
F**k you back to sleep, girl.
The issue here is that these influential men in our popular culture and music industry are openly using sexually violent references to having sex with women and then every day adults (and children) are singing along to Chris Brown riffin’ about the women he wakes up to make them have sex with him again when they are too tired. We are so oblivious to what we are listening to, this language quickly becomes the norm.
One article I found listed every artist they could find who referred to sex as ‘beating the p***y up’ and they found over 15 current male artists using that term in hit songs. Jay-Z to Lil Wayne – they were all describing sex as harming women.
After searching for evidence on each one of the terms I listed above, I found a website discussing what ‘destroy that’ and ‘ruin that’ meant and was surprised to find how open men were when talking about what they meant. I had thought that maybe it was being used semi-consciously by men who were using it in banter, but they were using it literally. One page defined it as ‘having sex with her so rough that you cause injuries, the more physical injuries the rougher it probably was’. One man said he used it with his friends to mean destroying or ruining a ‘nice girl’ by having very aggressive sex with her or by taking her virginity.
It reminded me of a film I watched (and use in my teaching) about mail order brides and the way white, wealthy guys were buying and sexually exploiting women as servile brides from deprived areas. There was this one guy who used military metaphors to discuss meeting and having sex with potential brides. He made my skin crawl.
He is sat in a dark club when he says to the camera:
“Uh, the search and destroy mission for today is to circulate, work the room, identify a target and go for it. If plan A doesn’t work, I retreat, rally the troops and then go out and then try plan B uhh to capture the target.”
He doesn’t even say woman. He doesn’t even talk about humans. He talks about destroying and identifying targets.
This links to the second point I wanted to make – that this language dehumanises and dementalises women – it reduces them to their ‘p***y’ or their ‘ass’ that the men are going to ‘hurt’ or ‘hit’ or ‘crush’ or ‘beat that up’. They no longer converse about sex in human terms – they talk in metaphors and disconnected, dehumanised language. They refer to women as ‘that’ or they only talk about her body parts. She is there to be used, abused and hurt for their pleasure.
Where is this sexually violent language coming from?
Well, sorry to be the not-the-fun-kind-of-feminist, but its porn and societal misogyny. There is no doubt about where this is coming from. Work by people like Julia Long and Gail Dines has long told us that porn has become more and more violent, with Long (2012) arguing that over 90% of porn now features violence against women including hitting, slapping, kicking, choking, hurting, whipping and deliberately painful and extremely degrading sex acts.
You only have to look at the titles of porn films on Pornhub or X Videos to see the way they describe women in violent and degrading terms to see where this is coming from.
Here are some examples that are on porn sites today (18th May 2018):
‘Passed out slut letting me f**k her brains out’ (this film is of a clearly unconscious young girl being raped on Pornhub)
‘Unwanted painful anal’ (another allowed to stay on Pornhub despite clearly describing a rape)
‘Rip her up’ (the name of a series of videos in which women are raped)
‘Blonde babe gets brutally slapped and f**ked’
‘Beauty humiliated and ruined – BRUTAL’
‘Teen gets anally destroyed – hear her real screams and crying’
‘Heavily pregnant teen used by men’ (Pornhub allows this!)
Men’s compulsive pornography use has led to increasing numbers seeking treatment, reported the Evening Standard:
One Harley Street clinic has reported a 100 per cent rise in referrals in the past six years. The rise is partly blamed on the volume of high-speed streaming sites that offer hardcore content.
Harley Street psychotherapist Rob Watt, who managed the Priory’s addiction treatment programme, warned that a generation of teenage boys faced difficulty forming healthy relationships if their developing brains were exposed to such endless free porn.
Experts describe the neurological processes in porn users, including teenage boys:
Mr Watt said:
“Sex addicts presenting today are unrecognisable to clients presenting 10 years ago. We are increasingly seeing more people presenting with a compulsive behaviour on pornography and, in the younger generation, this is becoming more pronounced. With porn, you can find bigger, better, faster, harder consistently."
"Dopamine is the neurochemical of desire and you might as well be on coke, having one line and not putting it down until the bag’s finished. There’s a tolerance level that develops — in other words, what did it for you yesterday doesn’t do it today, and there’s some pretty dark stuff going on out there.”
Psychologists are also concerned that, in the adolescent brain, when an “arousal template” is ingrained, porn users will struggle to maintain future relationships and treat partners respectfully. Mr Watt said this developmental immaturity led youngsters to become “emotionally illiterate and socially inept”.
“Well you see what is happening in porn and you almost get worried about other peoples relationships and it puts me off having any future relationships as it is very male dominated and not romantic or trusting - or promoting good relationships.” - states a thirteen-year-old girl.
According to new research, concern around young people’s pornography viewing in the UK is warranted, particularly as the majority of boys who watch online porn believe it presents sex in a realistic and accurate light.
Published by Middlesex University, the study of 1001 children and young people found that of those who had seen online pornography, 94% had been exposed to it by fourteen years of age. Disturbingly, many of these report having seen pornographic images by chance via ‘pop-up’ adverts rather than having sought them out intentionally. In fact, children and young people were as likely to see pornography by chance via a ‘pop up’ as they were by intentionally searching for it or having someone show it to them.
The study revealed that of those who had viewed pornography, 53% of boys and 39% of girls said they believed it presented a realistic depiction of sex.
Dr Elena Martellozzo explains,
“If boys believe that online pornography provides a realistic view of sexual relationships, then this may lead to inappropriate expectations of girls and women. Girls too may feel pressured to live up to these unrealistic, and perhaps non-consensual, interpretations of sex. This is clearly not positive for developing future healthy relationships.”
According to the research, boys in particular expressed a desire to imitate some of the behaviours they had seen in pornography. Of the 13- to 14-year-olds who responded to this question, 39% wanted to model the behaviour they had seen. Similarly, 21% of 11- to 12-year-olds wanted this too.
Further concerns were raised by girls apprehensive about the way pornography could influence boys’ perceptions of girls and their expectations surrounding relationships and sex.
“It can make a boy not look for love, just look for sex, and it can pressure us girls to act and look and behave in a certain way before we might be ready for it,” said one 13-year-old girl.
“It teaches people about sex and what it is like to have it - but I think it teaches people a fake understanding of sex. What we see on these videos isn’t what actually happens in real life,” said a 14-year-old girl.
Importantly, 48% of respondents whose teachers had talked to them about online pornography agreed that “sexual activities should be safe for everyone involved”. In contrast, agreement with this statement drops to only 37% among those whose teachers had not talked to them about online pornography.
The findings of this study suggest that sex and relationship education has the potential to help young people better understand the importance of respectful and consensual relationships. But this too must be done with care.
Chief executive of the NSPCC, Peter Wanlesssaid,
“Exposing children to porn at a young age before they are equipped to cope with it can be extremely damaging. Industry and government need to take more responsibility to ensure that young people are protected. Age-appropriate sex and relationship education in schools, dealing with issues such as online pornography and children sending indecent images, are crucial.”
About the Author: Violeta Buljubasic detests pornography and anything that resembles it. Cognisant of its devastating consequences, she believes that porn and the raunch culture from which it stems are symptoms of a ubiquitous ill that has removed sex and sexuality from their original design. Moved by the work of Collective Shout, Fight the New Drug, and NCOSE, Violeta hopes to be part of the solution to this insidious problem.
Online child safety advocate Rachel Downie says parents are unaware of about 80 per cent of what their teen engages in on the internet at home.
Ms Downie, a former teacher, told ABC she had surveyed more than 20,000 students over the last five years, asking "what's something you do on the internet at home that you know you're not allowed to do?"
The results were concerning, with teens viewing violent real-life content, such as fights, muggings and pornography that looks non-consensual.
Photo by Rachel Downie
Ms Downie said 51 per cent of children, mostly boys, had viewed pornography or other illicit material, while one-fifth of respondents admitted to bullying, trolling and stalking for fun.
For some behaviours, the children themselves were screaming out for stronger regulation.
She said parents were often unaware of how far "down the spiral kids are".
"After every presentation, and it's usually with mums, they want to come chat to me afterwards about the fact that their 12, 13, 14-year-old son is addicted to pornography.
Ms Downie said it is a confusing, unchartered time for parents, exacerbated by the demands of school and society for children to be technologically savvy.
"What we're doing is 'ping, you're 12 here's your phone', 'ping you're 13, here's your own computer' and it's happening much earlier.
Ms Downie went on to give advice to parents on what they can do:
Ultimately, Ms Downie said adequate parental supervision and keeping conversations open is the key to tackling the issue.
"If you're not checking you wouldn't know, and it's not good enough anymore to say 'hey my 12-year-old daughter is a great kid, I really trust her'.
"I'm certainly not an advocate for banning everything because that's not the world we live in, but I am a very strong advocate for your need to know what they're doing.
"It's about being a grown-up and being the boss and getting your techno power back and saying, 'look we're going to set some boundaries around this stuff at home'."
Ms Downie said having those conversations with children and teens was crucial to building helping young people cope in the real and emotional online world.
Opening those lines of communication and setting boundaries should be done earlier, than later.
*Warning- this blog post contains graphic descriptions of violence in pornography*
One of the more common defences of pornography is that it is not ‘real’, that it is merely a fantasy. But this is not the case. Fantasy occurs in the mind.
The filmed sexual aggression of women by men in pornography is anything but a fantasy, and for the women being brutalised on camera, it is very real.
A pornographic scene of a woman being choked cannot be produced without an actual woman being choked in front of the camera, for the enjoyment of male viewers. When acts of sexual violence, humiliation and cruelty are carried out on the bodies of real life women, they cease to be fantasy and becomes a reality.
Some consumers of pornography argue that female porn performers enjoy violent and degrading sex acts. However, various porn performers have spoken out about the violence and trauma they have endured in the pornography industry. One of these women is actress Nikki Benz.
Earlier this month, Benz filed a lawsuit against porn production company Brazzers, its parent company MindGeek, and two fellow actors for sexual battery, over an incident during a shoot in 2016, where she was allegedly “struck on the face, head and breasts hard enough to cause her to bleed”. On Twitter, Benz claimed she was stomped on, and the director himself participated in choking her. “I guess rape scenes are in now huh?” She tweeted.
Racquel Rosario Sanchez wrote of the incident:
While [Benz] had consented to working with a co-star, Ramon Nomar, on a particular shoot, the director, Tony T. inserted himself in the scenes, as if he were an actor, participating in abusing Benz. She said she called “cut” several times, but was ignored, as Tony T. said to her, “Open your eyes bitch… Open your f*cking eyes.” Water was poured on the walls and floor in order to cover up her blood. Benz’ suit explains: “[Tony T.] would film with one hand and choke Benz with the other hand. Nomar stomped on Benz’s head. Between Tony T. and Nomar, Benz was hit, slapped, choked, and thrown on the ground and against the wall.” Read more.
Just last month, two female porn performers, Leigh Raven and Riley Nixon spoke about the brutal violence they endured on a porn set in a YouTube video.
Raven described being forced to endure acts of extreme violence by her male co-stars, including being hit very hard across the face, fellatio so rough it caused her to choke, painful intercourse leaving her with tears streaming down her face and being choked to the point of almost losing consciousness, before her male co-star ejaculated all over her face.
“It wasn’t a fake slap — it wasn’t a slap that we typically use in porn to make things look a little bit more intense than they actually are. It’s very painful and it definitely stunned me. I, you know, saw stars, so to speak...I was squeezing his leg, his left thigh, I think, as hard as I could while pushing away and wincing in pain and tears coming down my face, and he would smack my hand away, say some sort of ‘dumb white bitch’ comment and how I needed to take the whole dick.” Read more.
While there are women choose to enter the pornography industry, some do so without a full understanding of what they are in for.
In an interview earlier this year, Dr Gail Dines of Culture Reframed responded to a recent spate of deaths of female porn actresses:
“Just because they’ve signed a contract doesn’t mean they’re consenting to what goes on at the porn set. A lot of them are not prepared for what’s going to happen to them. A lot of them are young, they think they’re going to be a ‘pornstar’ like Jenna Jameson was. They’re not prepared for the violence."
“What I do know, because I’ve been doing this work for many years and worked with many women who are in the porn industry and have exited it, is that given the violence that happens to their bodies, given the diseases they get, they come away with PTSD because they’re raped regularly on the porn set."
“So many women I’ve spoken to have said to me ‘you know if you asked me two years ago, I would have given you the best story you’ve ever heard about how great it is and how empowered I felt’. It’s all bullsh*t. It’s a way to protect yourself psychologically, from the violence that’s being done to you.”
OPINION: Psychologists here say we're in the middle of a porn crisis.
Just last year an Australian study found 100 percent of boys surveyed were exposed to porn, and 85 percent said they viewed it daily or weekly.
In the US, six states are declaring pornography a public health crisis. Even The New York Times is calling on officials to ban it.
But while it's easy to tell the government they should be doing something, this is one of those issues where actually, it's what you do that counts.
I want to talk about pornography.
- Explicit porn being promoted on Instagram
- How to talk to your kids about porn
- Is free pornography destroying our brains?
Except, it's sort of an awkward topic, particularly on TV when kids might be watching, so I've come up with a solution.
For the next couple of minutes instead of the word 'porn', I’m going to say the word 'corn'. Just tell your children we're talking about corn.
When I was young, you never saw corn. Maybe some kid would bring his dad's corn to school and you’d pass it round, but it was pretty tame. Some of them were still wearing their husks.
Now as you probably know, corn is everywhere. You don’t even have to buy it from a dairy, you just open your laptop or phone and it’s there ready to go.
As a guy it's tempting and easy - like grabbing a cold beer out of the fridge. But it's this easiness that I want to talk about tonight.
Next time you start typing "cornhub" into your address bar, take a moment and remember this.
You are slowly destroying your own ability to have normal sex with another normal human.
Here's what clinical psychologist Dr Mark Thorpe, who deals with this stuff all the time, said.
"We are in the middle of a crisis. There is an extreme amount of sexual problems with young men under 25 - and that manifests as erectile dysfunction; delayed ejaculation; diminished libido with real life partners, not screen; and an avoidance of genuine relationships."
That's right, every time you go online to get off, you're making your own corncob look more like this.
Yep, that thing in the top left corner. Photo credit: The Project
The more corn you consume, the harder corn you're going to need.
Here's Dr Thorpe again: "The brain and internet porn are geared towards it, so there is the natural tendency to slide into more and more difficult things.
"It's a bit like what you mentioned with drugs, you need greater hits you need greater variety so it goes more and more into aggressive, difficult, punitive content."
These are real people in these videos.
Somebody's daughter, someone's sister. Some of them do a good job of looking like this is their first-choice career, but don't kid yourself.
At least admit that by using corn we're effectively helping a huge corporate to make women and girls do things they don't really want to do, so that men like us will feel good for a few seconds.
Take some ownership of what this is doing to New Zealand kids.
It is estimated 88 percent of online pornography is violent. By supporting this industry we're supporting our latest form of sex education, where boys learn that slapping, choking and hurting their girlfriends is a form of intimacy, and girls grow up thinking they're meant to act like the women in the videos because that's the only sex they've ever seen.
If hearing this stuff makes you want to make a change, I've been working with Dr Thorpe on a set of tips to move on from porn.
It's on The Project's Facebook page. If you're worried about it showing up in your history, just turn on your private browser first… pretty sure you know how that works.
And look, I'm not going to tell you what to do when the curtains are closed. But I am asking you not to consume pornography with your eyes wide shut.
The internet is messing with us in ways we'll never fully understand, but finding another way to get yourself in the mood is one huge thing you can do to have a positive impact on yourself, your relationship and on your children.
Jesse Mulligan is a presenter on The Project
Read full article here.
Twenty Victorian men arrested over child exploitation material depicting torture of children and newborn babies
***"Trigger warning: child exploitation''
Twenty men across Victoria have been arrested over child exploitation offences, with police seizing photos and videos of children and babies being tortured.
Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton told the Herald Sun that each month hundreds of Victorians shared millions of images of child abuse material.
“We know there are links between this type of online activity and contact offending, so it’s important that we target anyone prepared to source this type of material in any way,” he said.
Source: Victoria Police
Mr Patton said the material showed children, and even newborn infants, in sexually provocative poses and in pain.
Writing in response to the Royal Commission into institutionalised child sexual abuse, Collective Shout co-founder Melinda Tankard Reist said:
There is deep distress in the community that defenceless children are used in such evil ways. But the broader culture that encourages the abuse of the children goes unaddressed. The same loathing that is directed toward child sexual abuse has not been extended to the mainstream promotion of paedophilic fantasies for profit.
Melinda Tankard Reist pointed out that this abuse of children was also driven by a culture that normalises and eroticises child sexual assault.
We’ve exposed mainstream retailers for their promotion of child sexual abuse. Bookworld was forced to withdraw hundreds of rape and incest titles, many of which portrayed the rape of girls by their fathers as erotic and desirable.
After months of campaigning against Amazon in 2010, they finally delisted ‘The Paedophile’s Guide to Love & Pleasure”, a book written by an actual paedophile endorsing sexual crimes against children. Amazon continues to attract criticism for its sexualised content involving children and babies, including sexy nurse outfits for toddlers.
Australian sex shops sell replica vaginas for men’s use, modelled on the bodies of little girls and promoted as “fresh” and “innocent” with intact hymens. Chemist Warehouse sold the ‘Virgin Palm Pal’ men’s sex toy until we exposed them in 2015.
Major retailers sell sexualised clothing for girls, including padded bras, and advertising features children posed and styled in increasingly adultified ways, inviting us to see them as older than they really are.
Service stations around the country sell ‘barely legal’ style porn magazines featuring girls with braces and pigtails.
As Melinda Tankard Reist concludes,
We are destroying the cultural norms that once taught male adults that children’s bodies are off-limits to sexual use. We cannot fully address child sexual abuse until we reject a culture that glamorises it.
For #MeToo to truly be a reckoning for male sexual entitlement and cultural norms of sexual harassment, abuse and assault, we need to talk about porn.
In fact, it seems rather extraordinary that pornography hasn't figured much in the current #MeToo moment. We've heard a lot about how pop culture shapes harmful sexual scripts, but ignoring the role of porn in shaping pop culture is faintly ridiculous.
Pornography is ubiquitous. While more than three-quarters of Australian men report having watched pornography in the last year, younger cohorts are even more likely to consume pornographic material and use it habitually - on either a daily or weekly basis.
The increasing accessibility and acceptability of pornography have been mutually reinforcing.
A smart phone is now the dominant way in which (mostly male) consumers access online porn, thus moving pornographic content from the private realm of the home to virtually anywhere in the public sphere - including workplaces.
The workplace connection is more than mere speculation. Many online porn sites show their traffic is highest during standard working hours, suggesting access to pornography while at the office is relatively unremarkable. Which reminds me of an aside made by a sports journalist, some years ago, about a fellow colleague in the press box:
"tabbing between his match report and a constant stream of hardcore pornography ... The thing that initially staggered me was the sheer audacity of it, that the presence of both female and male colleagues, who were sitting metres away with clear views of his screen, hadn't been enough to deter him and that he felt perfectly comfortable doing it in full view. Welcome to Blokesworld."
The #MeToo movement has shown that we are quite capable of understanding the way movies, music and the mainstream media are implicated in shaping social norms of sex and sexuality. If we can manage this, then surely we can understand that the material most men masturbate to also deserves scrutiny.
So, for all the men who have been asking what they can do in light of #MeToo, here's a place start: stop linking your sexual arousal to women's sexual subordination. Stop watching porn.
In the end, the porn industry is concerned with profits, not our kids
pic: Scythers via Getty Images
A French pornography performer has taken to Twitter to slam parents for failing to teach their children about sex. After receiving messages of a sexual nature from boys as young as twelve, Nikita Belluci wrote,
“I’m getting sick of educating your kids. There is a complete lack of teaching and prevention, and it’s not our job to educate your kids.”
“Reflect on what your kids are doing in private, and the consequences of that.”
When asked if the porn industry had a responsibility to depict healthy sexual relationships, Jeremy, who has been barred from the Adult Video News awardsafter multiple rape allegations, disagreed.
“I like what you’re saying, but what would you do? It’s not my call to tell a filmmaker ‘you can’t do this, you can’t do this, none of this’...you know, like, who are we to do that?” Jeremy concluded with a message to parents, “Watch your goddamn kids.”
Jeremy got one thing right - mainstream pornography is not where one might find healthy or positive approaches to sexuality. Rather, porn is a “distortion of respect-based sexuality” and a poor educational tool, one that routinely fails to depict consent, safe sexual practices or mutually pleasurable sexual experiences.
As Meghan Donevan put it in ‘Freedom Fallacy: The Limits of Liberal Feminism’, pornography
“portrays sex as an encounter predicated on submission and domination…in a fantasy world where women are always ready for sex, enjoy all types of sexual activity, including aggressive and degrading acts.”
Despite this, pornography has become the primary means of sexual education for young people, with porn serving as the introduction to intimacy for many children, and parents reporting feeling powerless to stop it.
While parents certainly have a responsibility to be engaged and to monitor their children’s internet access, it’s hardly a fair fight. Parents are going up against a massive almost $100 billion industry, one that has successfully embedded its product into mainstream culture. Media, advertising and popular culture have become increasingly pornified, Playboy is a global empire and porn performers are household names. Billboards for sex industry venues including strip clubs and brothels are positioned outside schools and government owned public buses are emblazoned with ads for live-streamed sex shows. Parents need to be vigilant, yes, but it’s impossible for parents alone to counter the dominant messages of a porn culture.
The porn industry also aggressively markets its product to children in a number of ways. These include studying children’s common keystroke errors in order to direct them to porn sites, and making pornography based on children’s favourite cartoon characters. The industry has also opposed measures like age verification on pornographic websites that could limit children’s exposure - and impinge on their profits.
According to the porn industry, when children and young people are harmed by their product- and they are- this is merely due to parental neglect, and not the dehumanising and abusive content they consistently churn out. Based on this logic, it is parents, not pornographers, who are responsible for pornography’s harmful impacts on kids.
In deflecting responsibility for harm to parents, the porn industry can continue unimpeded, releasing content like “punished teen”, “extreme teen humiliation” and “crying teen gangbang”, all categories found on Pornhub, the largest porn site on the Internet. The only problem with pornography premised on the humiliation, cruelty and abuse of women for men’s pleasure, then, is that children are accessing material intended for adults.
Performer Belluci rightly condemned the inappropriate behaviour from boys as young as twelve who approached her for nude photos and sexual favours. But where do twelve-year-olds learn to relate to women in this way? Where do they learn that they are entitled to women’s bodies, and that women exist for their sexual use and enjoyment? What industry grooms and shapes young people’s sexual expectations, attitudes and behaviours in this way?
This very disrespect of women is sanctioned in pornography. In porn, it is considered appropriate for men to view women in terms of male sexual gratification- that’s the point. But the porn industry can’t have it both ways. The sexually harassing and abusive treatment of women that is endemic to mainstream pornography can’t be unacceptable in the ‘real world’ and simultaneously endorsed when it takes place on a porn set. The abuse and degradation of women is either a barrier to women’s rights and humanity, or it isn’t.
In the end, the porn industry is concerned with profits, not our kids.
We were recently contacted by one of our supporters, author and freelance writer Jas Rawlinson, who had concerns about content she had come across online. Seek.com, which promotes itself as Australia’s no. 1 jobs, employment, career and recruitment site, was hosting ads calling for ‘male models’ with no experience required, with the promise of making up to $900 per hour. Jas did some digging, and found some disturbing content and information.
Jas recounted what she found in a blog post at www.thoughtsfromjas.com:
It was August last year when I first came across a ‘models wanted’ advert, offering extreme amounts of money to teen boys/young men for – you guessed it – no required experience.
Jumping onto the advertiser’s website (let’s call them ‘SS’), I noticed there was – unsurprisingly- a real lack of information about who their company were and what they offered. Likewise, their social media also showed little information, with barely any engagement or followers – so I decided to do a reverse Google image search of the teen boys featured on their page.
In barely any time at all, I was lead to another social media account with the exact same images – only this time, the young boys were advertised with terms such as ‘youthful’, ‘fresh faced’, ‘milky skin’ and ‘twink’ (a gay slang word that refers to slender, underdeveloped young men with ‘little to no body hair’).
Digging further online, I discovered that not only was the ABN of ‘SS’ also connected to gay pornographic services, but that the images used on Facebook were censored versions of the real photographs – which featured older men performing sexual services on the young men.
When the ad popped up again this month, I was told by SEEK’s Customer Service Fraud and Compliance Analyst, Sarah Grigg, to contact the ACCC instead. Only when I mentioned that the police had been notified – along with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner and organisations such as Childwise – did they then change their tune – eventually, removing the ad.
However, the fight to prevent ads of this nature being uploaded continues, as I again found the ad listed only a few days later (after reporting it again, the ad was swiftly removed). SEEK have vowed to try to do more to prevent this business from getting around their systems in the future, but it has to be said – why did they allow a gay pornographic service to falsely advertise to teenage boys in the first place?
There are millions of online sites where people can seek, or sell, sexual services. Teen boys should not be being targeted on a mainstream employment website.
Have you noticed advertisements of this nature on SEEK? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to let them know.