Many people think of Pornography as a business where men and women consensually agree to perform sexual acts and get them recorded for the public to view. Fair assumption. Afterall, that is what you have been told all your life, haven’t you? If you spell out the dangers pornography poses to any millenial or for the fact, anyone hooked on to it, they would justify it by saying that it is only affecting their own self and not someone else, hence it is their right and they have all the freedom to look at it. Again, a fair assumption since that is what you have been brainwashed to believe. I digress, the truth is far from this and before we delve into it, I need you to ask yourself, would you ever support slavery? Would you ever support sexual trafficking? Would you ever support rape? Definitely not but how does this relate to pornography? Let’s see.

When you watch a pornographic film, you assume that every woman is giving her consent to engage in such an act. However, the facts beg to differ – repeatedly. As FightTheNewDrug states,

According to anti-trafficking nonprofit, Rescue Freedom, in 9 countries, 49% of sexually exploited women said that pornography was made of them while they were being sold for sex.
 

 

 

This means that while you were browsing through hundreds of videos, you may have well watched someone being raped in real life, someone being tortured mercilessly, someone being drugged and fed into the darkness. To testify to this, Rescue Freedom quotes several stories of which one goes as follow:

In the Netherlands, a court found four people guilty of kidnapping asylum seekers and forcing them to take part in pornography. Three victims from North Africa were kidnapped by a small criminal gang and held in a shed, where they were forced to have sex with men and animals on tape. Luckily, one of the victims escaped and was able to alert police.

And yes, you have a valid argument when you think to yourself,

I’m not doing or supporting any such act intentionally, I would never watch such a video if I knew that it was produced by said exploitation and human right violations.

But, you do help those producers continue their exploitation, don’t you, even if it is unintentionally? You do continue watching despite knowing that even if you stumble upon one video produced by a sex trafficker, it inevitably contributes to their operations as your mere watching is a source of revenue through advertisements if not paid subscriptions?

Forget this, many of these women may have even consented but have you considered what type of consent it is, whether it would qualify as coercion which falls into the definition of sex trafficking?  A case of such a woman was shared by FightTheNewDrug a while ago who was manipulated into signing a contract which she terms a “death warrant.”

And for these very reasons, it is essential to consider that why is it that we boycott multinational brands when instances of them using child labour appear even though it is not being done in all of their factories? Because we believe that even exploitation to the tiniest of extent is immoral and deserves to be shunned.

Similarly, I ask you, shouldn’t we care to lend the same standards to the pornography industry where the stakes are far worse?

Shouldn’t we break the chains of sexual trafficking?

You have another question by now,

Why is that the majority of women never speak up if they are being wronged in cases where they are not held as captives?

A study in 2006 sums this up pretty well by stating, “Our findings show that aggression in the context of adult videos almost never meets with some sort of negative circumstance or comeuppance for the perpetrator. Rather, it is either merely absorbed by the characters (and therefore the perpetrator “gets away with it”) or it is reinforced by a favorable reception from the victim.”

Its the same dilemma as you would find in victims of sexual assault and rape in real life, some choose to come out and speak up while some are too afraid to be shunned by society and the very industry they dreamed of making a career in, some are even afraid for the threat of their life looms.

However, we could analyse and take use of those “minority” of women who have spoken up or even hinted at doing so. The stories of 3 adult actresses are shared below as quoted by CollectiveShout,

  1. Princess Donna: “I was crying and crying, which was not against their shooting rules. There was a male dominant and a male videographer and a female photographer. I kept looking to her to save me.”
  2. Alexandra Read: (After being whipped and caned for 35 minutes) “I’ve never received a beating like that before in my life. I have permanent scars up and down the backs of my thighs. It was all things that I had consented to, but I didn’t know quite the brutality of what was about to happen to me until I was in it.”
  3. Regan Starr: “I got the *** kicked out of me. I was told before the video – and they said this very proudly, mind you – that in this line most of the girls start crying because they’re hurting so bad . . . I couldn’t breathe. I was being hit and choked. I was really upset, and they didn’t stop. They kept filming. You can hear me say, ‘Turn the f*cking camera off’, and they kept going.”

Violence

Do we need to quote further victims and incidents? I think not, it is quite evident now that pornography fuels sex trafficking and abuse so what do you do now? There’s the tricky part. You see, pornography is an addiction for many – a disease, a drug that pentrates through your brain molding it into something unnatural and to get rid of it is not easy. To see your way out, your must make use of every tool at your disposal that can help you get past it and even if it doesn’t happen right now, remember that it is a step of a long journey. You just need to start trying.

 

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