Pornography perpetuates sexism


Hannah Xu

I remember back when I was in elementary school, when I first started to be an avid user of the internet, I ran into my very first pop up ad. All I was really trying to do was find more funny viral videos. After I had seen the beauty that was Fred or the sneezing panda on Youtube, I wanted more.

So, there I am, in the “computer room” (remember when we had those?), typing “videos” into Google. And of course, at the time, I didn’t know that there were certain websites that would have certain pop-ups automatically open whenever I tried to click a link.

I sit in the oversized leather office chair, innocently browsing. I click, I see, I scream. What I opened was NOT a website meant for the clueless, because before I even try to open anything, up pops a Gif of a woman and a man engaging in sexual activity.

I later learn that it was an advertisement for a free porn website. I don’t recall a lot of the experience – I had exited the ad before I could even blink – but what I do remember was a lot of red faces and a lot of… choking?

Of course, as I grew up, I learned that pornography and websites that provide such “services” are rather typical. There are literally hundreds of them. And plenty of social media contain porn as well, such as Tumblr and 4chan.

Despite all glimpses into porno-culture, I can’t say I’ve found the appeal to it. Or maybe it isn’t just me. For all the porn that lingers on the internet, all of it seems to be the same – excruciatingly dominant men having their way with submissive 30-going-on-17 women.

Keep in mind that I can’t speak for all women, but to me, abusive sexual tendencies and a barrage of slapping, choking and hair-pulling is not particularly arousing. And isn’t it strange how all violent behaviors are pitted against women?

The problem with porn isn’t that it makes an industry out of sex. The problem is that it normalizes unsafe sex, perpetuates an inaccurate idea of what women enjoy and appeals to the primal side of people – the side that makes violence against women almost… okay?

Here’s what you are taught in porn: porn is for men. Despite the fact that women get just as aroused as men and turn to porn almost as often as men to satisfy their needs, much of the content produced by pornography companies features sexual acts unappealing to most women.

This only serves to deepen sexist ideologies.

Before, it was shameful for women to even express their sexuality.

Now, even though it is (more) okay for women to open with their sexuality, there is nothing being catered to their wants. Not only that, but they are being exposed to sexual acts that, when practiced safely can be arousing, are desensitizing hurtful actions against women.

People have already acknowledged that women aren’t just objects to use, so when will the porn industry learn that as well?