Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans on talkRADIO - Porn is not Liberating. Audio and Transcript

Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans, member of OBJECT’s management committee, was recently interviewed on The Wright Show, broadcast on talkRADIO 23/10/2018.

The topic of discussion was the latest House of Commons Women and Equalities Committee report, published 23/10/2018, which concerns the sexual harassment of women and girls in public places.

The report highlights the link between pornography and sexual harassment, both symptoms of a problematic society. It proposes banning people from viewing pornography on public transport - in a recent blog post, Lily Maynard recounts telling a man on the bus to stop viewing pornographic images in front of her young daughter. Other recommendations include stricter laws on revenge porn; clamping down on the pervasive pornographic material on social media; and consulting women’s groups before licencing strip clubs. The committee argue that the impact of pornography is a public health crisis, on par with the dangers of smoking.

Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans is interviewed by Matthew Wright, after an introduction to the topic is given by Kevin O’Sullivan. She speaks brilliantly on the harms of pornography, rebutting the classic pro-pornography arguments put forth by Matthew and Kevin.


Audio

Listen to the full audio recording here:



Porn is not Liberating

Pornography teaches young people to adopt a sexuality which is based upon male dominance and female submission; the supremacy of men and the degradation of women. Unlike smoking, the harms of pornography are not hidden from view, like tarred lungs and cancerous tumors - they are clear to see. Real women are used and abused - pornography is filmed prostitution. Are Matthew and Kevin - like many men - really so blind that they struggle to see the harms of pornography? The harm of women being raped, degraded and beaten before their eyes? The harm of teaching children and teenagers that this is how men and women should relate to each other? Surely you shouldn’t have to come from Mars to be able to see pornography for the poison it is?

Matthew draws an analogy with the theory that video games might encourage violence. Whether or not there is any truth in this, the fact is that video games are not films of real-life events. Real soldiers are not shot, real aliens are not dismembered and real dragons are not slain. Pornography, in contrast, is not a fantasy. Real women are raped and tortured on camera. Yet, when men like Matthew and Kevin consider the potential harms of pornography, these women are apparently invisible to them; they seem only to consider the impact on the viewers of pornography - and even then, only really focusing on the ‘benefits’ for men - only thinking of their own orgasm and sexual gratification, as they have perhaps been taught to do so via pornography, amongst other means. Such is the depth of male sexual entitlement.

Matthew’s views on women were already know to me. The last time I saw him on TV, he was discussing whether or not disabled men should be provided with prostituted women to abuse. He said, “Well, why not? If it puts a smile on his face?” He is simply unable or unwilling to see prostituted women as humans, including those used in pornography.

Matthew even has the nerve to claim that pornography could be a form of liberation for women’s sexuality. Sexual behaviour is learnt, not innate. Pornography teaches extreme male-inflicted violence, abuse and violation to be the norm in a heterosexual relationship. This is not liberation.

“What [pornography] says, to young girls – and to young boys, who are also affected by it - is that it's really cool, for a boy or for a man, to be dominant; to pull a woman's hair; to ejaculate all over her face; to call her terrible names; and the woman will really enjoy it. That's the message that boys and girls are getting. That is not about sexual liberation – for boys or for girls.”

- Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans, talkRadio (2018)

Pornography is not liberating. It is a method of control, distorting the sexuality of youth; enforcing male dominance and female submission; eroticising inequality between men and women. We OBJECT.


Further Reading

Heather Brunskell-Evans (Ed.) (2016) The Sexualized Body and the Medical Authority of Pornography: Performing Sexual Liberation. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.


PornHannah Harrison