A very UN-glossy look at popular culture... and whatever else takes my fancy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

As if you didn't need another reason not to read free papers...

Flipping through a copy of The London Paper on the tube the other day (I know, I know I’m asking for it! But it was such a long journey and it was discarded so temptingly on the seat next to me!) I came across something that irked me somewhat. Turning to ‘The London Love’ section (yep, definitely doubly asking for it), I found the problem page column displaying a letter from ‘Jodi’ of Sratford. “I have found pornographic material on my boyfriend’s computer. I hate it….” She states, before asking “what can I do to make him get rid of it?”

A selection of readers (and journalists’) answers go like this: “You can’t and you shouldn’t”, “Nobody should feel ashamed of sex”, “Boys are visual creatures… and so often need an outlet”, “Accept that you’re in a minority of one, drop the control freakery and move on.”. In short, they tell her to accept it, that she can’t change it, that she is the one in the wrong for snooping and feeling paranoid and that maybe she should try watch it with him and force herself to like it.

Now, I am a female who is both bisexual and visually aroused, and thus have seen plenty of erotic images and film that turned me on hugely. But this doesn’t escape the fact that I find a vast amount of pornographic material hugely misogynistic and upsetting. How would this boyfriend feel, I wonder, if he were to be confronted with a video of a young man being banged over a pool table by 10 hairy gorillas as they laugh, hoot and tell him to “take it like a dirty whore” whilst the camera closed in on the expression of physical pain on his face and his battered and sore genitalia? Would he agree if he was told that he was being silly and a control freak for not finding it all harmless fun, and would he be expected to join in and watch it with his partner?

Why does it seem to be almost taboo to discuss the fact that pornography can be degrading and disgusting? Why is it fashionable to welcome it with open arms, and dismiss those who raise questions about it as silly, prudish censors? But really, who are the real censors here – the ones expressing their genuine feelings of discomfort? Or the ones telling us to just accept it and shouting down any debate and discussion on the subject?

Surely the right to have the freedom to express our thoughts and feelings is equal to, if not greater than, the right to make and consume the “art” we choose?


  • At 4:06 PM, Anonymous Phil said…

    Indeed, the right to express one's thoughts and feelings is guaranteed -- which is why you have no call to cavil about those who did so in the column's responses! (Funny how things work that way, eh?)

    Moreover, in admonishing those individuals for voicing their preference, you are guilty of enacting the very "censorship" of which you accuse them. This qualifies as both irony and fallacy.


Post a Comment

<< Home