“Pornography” the alibi for hatred, torture and organized crime

Tribune le Monde, 21st décembre 2020

The methods of the pornography industry are identical to those of human trafficking networks

Pornography has no legally binding definition. However, this term hides a long list of violent and abusive acts which are severely punishable under criminal codes and by international conventions: torture, rape, abuse of vulnerability, pimping, human trafficking, incitement to sexist and racist hatred, sexist and racist insults… Words can be powerful, they can provide impunity for criminals.

All over the world, lawsuits and trials are multiplying and survivors are speaking out. In France, in September, a preliminary investigation against the pornography site “Jacquie and Michel” for rape and pimping was opened by the Paris Public Prosecutor’s Office. In October, four French pornographers, producers for “Jacquie et Michel” and Dorcel were indicted for rape, pimping and human trafficking.

What is now referred to as the “porn industry”, with billions of dollars in profits worldwide (219,985 videos are viewed every minute on Pornhub), actually conceals large-scale criminal networks of pimping and human trafficking. The methods used by the porn video production industry are sophisticated and identical to those used by human trafficking networks: grooming, trust-building, submission through rape, exploitation, coercion, and reversal of guilt. It is based on the age-old and misogynistic myth of a woman as a sexual object who is eager for self-destruction.

Violences with serious psychotraumatic consequences

The filming of sexual acts under economic and psychological coercion, sexual assault and rape, even acts of torture and barbarism are the daily reality of the pornocriminal system. It traps vulnerable women and forces them, in spite of their clearly expressed refusal or by surprise oftentimes, to participate in scenes of sodomy, double penetration, gang rapes, beatings, slapping, chocking, suffocation, urination, facial ejaculation in packs… This abuse, rape and torture, leaves women with physical sequelae (anal or vaginal tearing, infection…) as well as serious psychotraumatic scarring. A picture of a criminal system causing unparalleled violence emerges. This picture is so different from the one the people, who have an interest in making us believe that exploited women have “inordinate sexual appetites”, want us to have. 

Only complacency can lead one to believe that a film shoot with extreme acts of violence, can provide something other than physical and psychological pain to the women subjected to it.

The impact of pornography is not limited to the women subjected to violence during the shooting, but is imposed on society as a whole.

Pornography glorifies misogyny, racist and lesbophobic hatred and intolerance, resentement towards the poor, pedocriminality, humiliation and dehumanization of women and girls. On PornHub, the categories “Teen”, “Interacial” or “Familial fantasy” include hundred of thousands of videos.

A response to patriarchal ideology

In two clicks you can find racist, pedocriminal and misogynistic titles such as “black teen gets fucked by white man” or “submissive slutty schoolgirl”. A New York Times’ investigation, published on December 4th, shows that the website is flooded with videos of rapes, rapes of children, tortured women, unconscious. On December 10, MasterCard and Visa banned all payments on their website

Pornography conveys the idea that sexuality is inseparable from brutality. It legitimizes violence against girls and women since it is based on sex essentialism: the notion that women are different by nature therefore they need to be degraded in order to experience pleasure. This is the same notion found in rape apology discourse. Thus, pornography caters to the patriarchal ideology that men should dominate women in society. Spanking, choking, corrective rapes… Pornography portrays women who “stay in their place”, subjected to the power of men. It glorifies male domination since it is inspired by, and perpetuate, violence against women.

The systematic imposition of these recurrent and ubiquitous images reduces the sexual imagination of individuals, as the studies cited by feminist sociologist Gail Dines in Pornland show.

A violation of international law

Thus, where sexuality should be a continuum of experience and learning, pornography leads to a dehumanization of women that is found at all levels of society. Under the guise of freedom, “porn” is in fact the assertion of male sexual privilege, and the possibility for some to take advantage of women’s vulnerability in order to make a fortune.

Like racism, the glorification of hatred and humiliation of human beings -especially women- is illegal. Torture, barbaric acts, rape are criminal acts.  The European Convention on Human Rights places the onus on member states to effectively combat all attacks on human dignity. The impunity enjoyed to date by the “porn” criminal networks is clearly a violation of international law !

SIGNATORIES :

Elisabeth Moreno, Ministre déléguée à l’égalité Femmes-hommes, à la diversité et à l’égalité des chances.
Laurence Rossignol, Sénatrice PS
Madlala-Routledge Nozizwe, Embrace Dignity, ex-Minister & MP, South Africa
Clémentine Autain, Députée LFI Aurélie Trouvé, porte-parole d’ATTAC
Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, Présidente de la Cité Audacieuse
Mélanie Luce, présidente de l’UNEF,
Danielle Bousquet, Présidente de la FNCIDFF, ex-présidente du Haut Conseil à l’Egalité
Céline Verzeletti, Secrétaire confédérale de la CGT
Sandrine Rousseau, économiste et femme politique EELV
Albane Gaillot, Députée du Val-de-Marne
Benoît Martin, Secrétaire général de l’UD CGT de Paris
Laurence Cohen, Sénatrice PCF du Val-de-Marne
Diana Johnson, Member of Parliament, UK
Muriel Ressiguier, Députée LFI
Hélène Bidard, Maire-adjointe de Paris à l’égalité femmes-hommes
Raphaëlle Rémy-Leleu, conseillère de Paris EELV
Danielle Simonnet, Conseillère de Paris, LFI
Sylviane Agacinski, philosophe
Christine Delphy, chercheuse CNRS et militante féministe
Gail Dines, Présidente Culture Reframed
Céline Piques, porte-parole d’Osez le Féminisme !
Claire Quidet, Présidente du Mouvement du Nid,
Claire Charlès, Présidente des Effrontées
Muriel Salmona, psychiatre, présidente de l’association Mémoire Traumatique et Victimologie
Françoise Brié, Présidente Fédération Nationale Solidarités Femmes
Ernestine Ronai, Présidente Observatoire des violences faites aux femmes en Seine Saint Denis
Sophie Binet, Chargée de la commission femmes mixité de la CGT
Ghada Hatem-Gantzer, Médecin-Cheffe de la Maison des femmes
Gilles LAZIMI, médecin, militant associatif, professeur de médecine générale
Melissa Farley, Prostitution Research, USA
Rachel Moran
Emmanuelle Piet, Présidente CFCV (Collectif féministe contre le viol)
Marie-Hélène Franjou, Présidente de l’Amicale du Nid
Lorraine Questiaux, avocate au Barreau de Paris.
Planning Familial 75
Suzy Rojtman, Porte parole CNDF
Rosen Hicher, Survivante de la prostitution et militante féministe
Noura Raad, Coprésidente Réseau Européen des Femmes Migrantes (ENOMW)
Florence Montreynaud, écrivaine
Ensemble !
Geneviève Couraud, présidente d’honneur de l’Assemblée des Femmes
Anais Defosse, avocate au Barreau de Paris,
Sabine Salmon, présidente nationale de Femmes Solidaires
Carine Delahaie, rédactrice en cheffe de Clara Magazine
Alice Schwarzer, auteur et éditrice d’EMMA
Monique Dental, Présidente fondatrice Réseau Féministe “Ruptures”
Quentin Dekimpe, Avocat au Barreau de Seine-Saint-Denis
Claire Desaint, co-présidente de Femmes pour le Dire, Femmes pour Agir
Catherine Sophie Dimitroulias, Présidente de l’Association des Femmes de l’Europe Méridionale (AFEM)
Esther Fouchier, Présidente du Forum Femmes Méditerranée
Sandrine Goldschmidt, Présidente festival Femmes en résistance
Marie-Paule Grossetete, coprésidente CLEF (Coordination Française pour le Lobby Européen des femmes)
Lilian Halls-french, coprésidente Initiative Féministe EuroMed IFE-EFI
Robert Jensen, Professeur émerite, Université du Texas
Huguette Klein, Présidente de Réussir l’Égalité Femmes-Hommes
Mie Kohiyama, Présidente de Moi aussi amnésie
Séverine Lemiere, Présidente Association FIT une femme un toit
Maïté Lønne, porte-parole Innocence en danger Belgique, survivante de pédocriminité et traite des êtres humains
Nelly Martin, Marche Mondiale des Femmes France
Frédérique Martz, Présidente de l’institut Women Safe
Catherine Morin Le Sech, co-présidente CQFD lesbiennes Féministes
Flor Pousse, Las Rojas
Roselyne Rollier, Présidente Maison des Femmes Thérèse Clerc à Montreuil
Alexine Solis, survivante de la pornographie et militante féministe
Yves Scelles, Président de la Fondation Scelles
Judith Trinquart, Médecin légiste – Addictologue, Secrétaire Générale Mémoire Traumatique et Victimologie
Edith Vallee, présidente de l’association Matrimoine de Paris
Marjolaine Vignola, avocate au Barreau de Paris.
Alliance des Femmes pour la Démocratie
Féminicides par compagnons ou ex, collectif féministe
Zéromacho
Frédérique Pollet Rouyer, Avocate au barreau de Paris
Rachel Beaufort, Présidente, ISALA ASBL, Belgique
Chiara Carpita, Présidente de Resistenza Femminista, Italie
Irene Fereti, Greek League for Women’s Rights, Grèce
Annette Lawson, Ambassador, NAWO (National Alliance of Women’s Organisations), UK
Solveig Senft, Networking manager of SISTERS – for the exit from prostitöution! e.V., Allemagne
Marcus Svensson, Sakkunnig Realit Check / TALITA, Suède
Grégoire Théry, CAP international, Belgique
Persson Olga, President, Unizon, Suède
Linda MacDonald , Co-founder Persons Against Non-State Torture, Canada
Megan Walker, Executive Director, London Abused Women’s Centre (Canada)
Maria Dmytriyeva, Project Manager, Democracy Development Center, Ukraine
Jeanette Westbrook, Survivor of Non-State Torture, Trafficking, and incest, and child Pornography
Teresa Ulloa, Director at CATWLAC, Mexique
Terry Forliti, Breaking Free, US