Gagged and bound. It’s no way to treat a dog

England, it is said, is a nation of dog lovers.

Imagine, then, the furore that greeted publication of an image which – well, I’ll try and describe it as I don’t have access to it.

A dog is tied to a post in a cage, but not by its neck. Its front paws have been pulled up backwards behind its head, tied together and then tied to the post so it has to stand on its back paws.

Bad enough, eh?

But there’s more.

The dog’s mouth has been taped shut. It can’t bark, can only breathe through its nose. And around that cage, a load of people stand, laughing and taking pictures as it writhes around.

Shameful, isn’t it?

And I imagine it would create a furore if it were published. But as far as I know it doesn’t exist.

The real image features a young, attractive woman, in a very short skirt, legs akimbo, buttocks resting on – divided by – the ‘post’ which is actually a pole.

If someone had described this image to me I would have assumed it was taken from a soft porn magazine, a lap dancing club, or similar.

It’s not.

If/when you get to the end of this post you’ll see it. It’s a Getty Images/Evan Agostini photograph, taken in Amsterdam at a trade exhibition. As in, a place where ‘things are ‘exhibited’ in order to make sales.

It was an ‘adult’ trade exhibition and thus aimed mostly (and please don’t do that ‘not all men’ or ‘but some women’ to this post, you can take that as read) at a male audience.

For a while now I’ve been reading, watching – deploring – what’s going on in the world women inhabit and it’s way too complicated for a short post, but it’s time to start getting it out of my head.

I’d like to talk about gender fluidity, too, because it’s become a serious concern, not just for women, but for anyone who cares about freedom of speech. But that will have to wait.

First, I need to talk about porn.

So, to you all, women and men, I address these questions:

1 Do you have:

  • children
  • grandchildren
  • nephews, nieces, cousins, younger siblings?

2 Do you:

  • teach young people
  • coach them
  • hope for a better world for them?

If so – and if you haven’t yet noticed, or have avoided noticing, the pernicious influence of online pornography, please, read on.

I’m of the generation which saw bunny girls in Playboy as porn.

I have vivid memories of seeing the magazine for the first time. I was off school, revising in my dad’s study. Being nosy – a lifelong trait – I opened a cupboard door, started poking around.

I was shocked. And fascinated. Semi-naked women with big boobs in provocative poses.

If that kind of thing, but more explicit, with a bit more exposure, is still your image of porn – you’re in for a shock.

I reached the point of ‘this must stop, something must be done,’ when I saw – and nearly ignored – yet another online petition.

It was protesting a deal whereby ‘Ann Summers,’ a chain of ‘adult’ shops supposedly aimed at women and which I assume sells merchandise like vibrators and crotchless knickers – linked up with Pornhub.

Pornhub?

You may have seen it. Your husband, father, brother, uncle may have seen it.

Your teenage son/nephew/cousin/brother/grandson, or someone male you know, is very likely to have seen it.

Because in 2016 there were 23 BILLION visits to Pornhub.

Read the introduction to this petition and you’ll see why this deal – in many people’s opinion – is a very bad idea (warning, it tells it bluntly):

https://www.change.org/p/ann-summers-dump-pornhub

On Pornhub, ‘5246 centuries worth of footage was viewed. In just one year,’ according to  Tom Farr, who wrote this piece for the Medium.* Worth reading if you care about the young in today’s world.

[*NB: There’s a video embedded in the article which I haven’t watched. My system warns me the site owner doesn’t comply with my blanket request for commercial sites not to track me.]

The article may shock you – it shocked me. I’m linking to it because I don’t want to cover the details myself for fear of attracting hate mail, or weirdo bots recording my online whereabouts and thinking I’m into violent, painful, degrading porn.

If you veered away from that one, perhaps you might read what Jo Bartosch, in mainstream (if lefty) news magazine New Statesman, has to say.

The content of these articles should concern us all.

What is porn doing to the behaviour of youngsters?

In particular to girls who feel they MUST do things they don’t want to do, but who don’t know any better. Things which may hurt them, or injure them for life?

What is it doing to young men who feel obliged to prove their virility by force, pushing unwilling girls to submit to sexual acts in the belief it’s what men do?

“Porn is now a multi-billion dollar global industry, with revenue anywhere from the $2 billion mark to upwards of $90 billion per year depending on your source” according to Tom Farr.

A powerful global force, unpoliced to a large extent simply because it’s online and international, is adversely affecting lives.

It demeans and exploits women and girls.

It affects men, whether young or older. It can damage families, spoil relationships and affect people’s working lives as men become ‘addicted’ to its extreme stimulations.

“As porn consumers become desensitized from repeated overloads of dopamine, they often find they can’t feel normal without a dopamine high. … They experience strong cravings and often find themselves giving more of their time and attention to porn, sometimes to the detriment of relationships, school, or work…”

Fight the New Drug (link below)

So far so calm.

Now it’s time to get angry!

When some people in this world get turned on by watching men forcibly damaging unwilling female orifices, or watching a father molest his daughter – and this criminal filth is overtly available online – isn’t something seriously WRONG!?

Think of the abused participants: exploited, trafficked girls. Drug addicts. The vulnerable, poor, dependent on aid.

Whatever your politics, think about the people you care about who may already be, or may become exposed to this degrading, inhumane stuff.

We must protest, speak out about this in whatever ways we can. Write to the people who represent us in governments, if nothing else.

I mean, if you wouldn’t treat a dog this way …

 


Links

I make no claims for these sites, they are just ones I have come across when trying to find anti-porn research or campaigning organisations. There are, it seems, many groups – and Twitter is a good place to find campaigners.

UK’s National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children advice to parents – PDF with some useful links:

https://www.nspcc.org.uk/globalassets/documents/advice-and-info/online-pornography-keep-child-safe.pdf

Actively campaigning against the selling of sex including porn:

http://www.notbuyingit.org.uk/

Scottish-based women’s organisation with a useful website:

http://www.womenssupportproject.co.uk/content/home/1/

American site ‘Fight the New Drug’ which claims to be research based:

https://fightthenewdrug.org/overstatement-to-label-porn-a-public-health-concern/

Mumsnet always good for an honest opinion:

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/_chat/3164750-Ann-Summers-teams-up-with-Pornhub-not-OK

https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/in_the_news/a1467052-Why-you-shouldnt-support-legislation-blocking-internet-porn

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21 Responses to Gagged and bound. It’s no way to treat a dog

  1. hughcurtler says:

    I clicked “like” but only because there wasn’t the appropriate option.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. seer1969 says:

    Well that was a blast of harsh reality among the rural idylls! I anticipated the effect on children of being exposed to the adult world when the net first became available to them, but, ignoring the warnings of many, the tech creators of our futures went ahead and produced phones that could access it, so no longer were the minority of parents who cared able to filter content on the home computer since they were pressured by peers and child-nagging to get them a phone ‘like everyone else has in my class’. Some parents held out for years, understanding the risks, but most succumbed eventually and said goodbye to their child’s childhood. It’s like sending a four year old off to spend the evening in Soho or Amsterdam’s red light district, saying ‘I’ll pick you up tomorrow sometime’ I said at the time in my usual farsighted, if over-creative, manner, and lo and behold, it has come to pass; the kiddies know all about the most extreme porn. The full repercussions will be felt decades hence.
    I find it pathetic that having come this far technologically, as a species many are still so unevolved as to use it for voyeurism, a vice that doesn’t appear to exist in other species.
    I just add that the dog scenario almost drove me away as images of abused animals and children always do, but I have heard that it isn’t uncommon in reality, and you could, if you really wanted to, craft your search in youtube so that you would find many examples of extreme abuse porn, including kittens and stiletto heels, in these cases I understand women are the abusers.
    It’s far too painful to think about what might be going on somewhere, anywhere. Once without the worldwide communications of this linked world we would have been none the wiser what perversions were going on in the next town even, but now we have graphic detail without filters, including war porn, which seems to be the favourite genre of the media these days, the more traumatised children pulled from the ashes of their lives the better.
    Oh and, not all males, and some females, is, I think, the accurate description of this aberration. I’ve never felt the slightest need, and note that increasingly in the output of both US and UK film, no matter what the subject matter, there has to be a sex scene, where two people, often apparently professional colleagues, find it impossible to not grab at each others clothing, ripping it off in such haste it’s almost as if the kettle’s boiling. Actors of both genders seem perfectly happy with this part of the job. So porn now is mainstream and is part of the daily diet fed to families.
    Dinosaurs existed and evolved for 300 million years, we’ve been around for 20,000 and deserve extinction already. But where’s the giant meteor when you need one?

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s been there all the time, festering, I know, and I used to get so distressed thinking about people in places like rural Zambia where they never had phones or tvs getting the internet for the first time and using it for porn – which some people of course do. And it is the men, in those cases – and the women already carry such heavy burdens. It’s not just a waste of the beneficial opportunities but a terrible reinforcement of existing prejudices. But it’s there – what can be done? And I really do wonder, what makes people WANT to see the worst of this stuff? And why don’t the world’s governments sort something out? There seem to be two obvious answers, one being people are making a big profit, the other – well, I’ll leave that for now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. seer1969 says:

    I guess I should also add that in Denmark until last year when it was made unlawful due to much opposition voiced online, your dog description was an accurate account of how female dogs were treated in animal brothels run for the perverts of Europe by excessively ‘liberal’ Danes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ardys says:

    I will add this to my consciousness, along with gun control, illicit drugs, alcohol abuse, poker machines and other things that seem to attract the extremes and bring out the worst in a significant portion of society. Being aware of it is the first step, after that one can make a personal difference through discussion and support of controls that will protect those who either can’t help themselves, or would hurt others in the pursuit of it. I am watching the students in the US as they move bit by bit and steadily through the extremely complex situation of gun control. If enough of us are aware and speak out as you have done, Mary, we can begin to make a difference.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ardys and a relief to hear someone say I’m not stupid/whispering into a full force gale. I agree about those students – change will come… they are making it happen despite the accusations of being politically manipulated by the Democrats. Great to see their nascent power.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ardys has worded much of I would like to say far more politely than I’m inclined to. And, as this is not my blog, I’ll reign it in. There is such a long list of B.S. being perpetuated under the auspices of it always has been this-that way, despite it never being ok at all, only the agenda to perpetuate more powerful than the opposition. Your voice, and that of others gives me hope. My blog-friend Kate, who recently, sadly passed away fought so hard to create awareness and change. Her blog is http://cloudsmovingin.wordpress.com/. She led me, sometimes uncomfortably, to front line of things I need to know about things that need to change. It seems you are taking her place. The world needs people like you, and a Facebook group I follow called Mad F*cking Witches, who hold nothing back in their assault on all things B.S. particularly patriarchal norms. By myself, I feel powerless, but I find comfort that I am among voices, shining energetic light, calling out the truth, confronting and pushing back the darkness that is the evil which seeks to feed off us… that I hate even mentioning, so I package these words in love and light for the highest good, no harm be done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thel says:

    After reading all of the comments, all I can add is that the internet amplifies the best in us and the worst in us. The new normal.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Bread and butter(milk) | MEMOIRS OF A HUSK

  8. Yes, the internet is the new normal as has just been said.

    And the brutal truths you’ve written about make the old normal of the magazines you once found seem quaint. I remember at my all boys school, long ago, some enterprising individual auctioning off a single copy of such a magazine, one cutout page at a time, to a curious gang of us one morning break. In great secrecy and some excitement it was as close to a sex education as we ever got in that place. If you don’t count the biology lab diagrams of the reproductive systems of mice and rabbits we’d been shown, which we didn’t.

    My point being? Well teenagers are curious and will find ways to find out what they’re either not told or told is forbidden, which we did. But it would have been much more difficult then to put ourselves in serious harm’s way by doing so. And now it isn’t, as what you’ve written clearly shows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There’s finding out what’s … well, I don’t really know what to say any more. Finding out how to do serious harm, yes, that’s what it is. And doing serious social harm. So why does society allow it? One for long term consideration. But filthy lucre is going to make it almost impossible – or is it? Thinking of those school students and gun control.

      Like

  9. Fiona Unwin says:

    Very good piece. I have very little knowledge of experience of porn ( like a lot of middle class women of my age, possibly) but I read Dworkin’s book and was horrified.
    I think it gives men unrealistic expectations and is not liberating for many women.

    Liked by 1 person

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