Thursday, 29 December 2011

What's the difference between porn and nudity?

This is a topic I see brought up time and time again. Men and women these days just don't understand what the difference is between nudity and pornography.

On the topic of banning newspaper pornography (also known as 'page 3 girls'), a supporter said: "the next logical step is to ban children from beaches and swimming pools where they can see lots of partially-clad women in the flesh" [From The Daily Star Facebook page]

Defending fully nude Playboy pornography being displayed in a shop window, a supporter said: "Assuming young children were breast fed it's not all that long in the past that they were doing more than just looking at bare breasts and there was nothing improper with that." [From The Daily Mail]

Two thing these idiots - I mean, people, have in common here. They are both defending the public display of pornography through the argument that non-sexualised partial nudity is fine. They really, honestly believe there is no difference between non-sexualised natural nudity and posed, strongly coded pornography which sole purpose is to sexually stimulate. The latter commenter really believes he can compare breast feeding with porn.

Lets just say those two things were the same, then. It is still illegal to walk around publicly fully nude, so why should it not be illegal to display fully nude and pornographic images in public then?

The hypothetical swimming pool or breast feeding situations they argued are not even similar visually, disregarding the pornographic element, to the full nudity they were defending. Secondly, would these people really support mothers breast feeding their infants publicly in shop windows and pictures of breast feeding in newspapers? The general consensus at the moment is no. A lot of people seem to think there is something "disgusting" about that (because it's natural, in a similar way big tummies and body hair is also "disgusting".) Facebook allows pro-rape groups to threaten and laugh about raping women, but bans pages on breast feeding and non-sexualised images of mothers feeding their babies.

I think that as well as being naive of the differences between porn and nakedness (good luck in your relationships by the way) that they're therefore extremely hypocritical, and well, idiots providing illogical arguments that most people seem to accept any way.

I can speculate on the reasons behind this being normalisation of sexualised women's bodies. The difference today is that if you reject porn, it's still inescapable. Day-time TV shows, billboard adverts, music videos, daily newspapers and magazines all represent women in this way. We're forgetting that this isn't natural, and doesn't mean it's automatically O.K.


The commenter from the Daily Mail also nicely added: "Are the Art Galleries to have their paintings painted over with jeans and T shirts to preserve the sensibilities of jealous old ladies?"

This is also an issue I see brought up every time I voice my apparent "freedom of speech" against the normalisation of pornography. I'm told by a stranger that I "must just be jelus" (note that they can rarely spell what they are dishing out.) They really, truly believe that everyone in the world believes the same thing that they do and the only reason they may be 'pretending' to be against it is because we all secretly love and really want to be in porn too but we can't because we MUST be old/ugly/fat/feminist; which means we're jealous.

I've been called old fat and ugly because I don't like porn. I'm 23, a UK dress size 8, and I suppose beauty is in the eye of the beholder but I'm not ugly. I'm guessing the guys sitting behind their desks thinking up defences of porn just because they use it, are much more likely to be old, fat or ugly.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Putting women in their place

Just a quick thought...

For some people they're just clichés, but for me there is something really sinister about the terms "acting like a woman scorned" and "women crying rape". The meanings are widely known and their persuasiveness is already culturally ingrained, they can dismiss and belittle a person in just a second - just like the "you're just jealous" argument which works instantly without need of argument because it is understood and cannot be disproved.