Powerful New Interview with Pornland Author Gail Dines: Pornography and Gender Politics Within Neoliberalism
Check out this thought-provoking and informative new interview with Pornland author and feminist Gail Dines on the harms of pornography! (@GailDines)
VINCE EMANUELE: Professor let’s begin by discussing the overall scale of the pornography business. When did this trend begin?
GAIL DINES: I think if you really want to talk about the growth, you’re really looking at a $97 billion dollar a year industry. That’s a rough figure. It’s actually very difficult to come up with any accurate figures of revenue for the porn industry. If you really want to understand how the industry became so big, then you really have to understand the role the internet played in the process of demand and consumption. First of all, the internet made pornography affordable, accessible, and anonymous. Those are the three things that have actually increased consumer demand. Now what you see is a move away from the Playboy, Penthouse, Hustler soft-core, to medium soft-core pornography, towards a more hard-core industry.
And one of the reasons for this is because so many men are using so much pornography at such an early age now, that what you see is a boredom factor. So in a way the pornography industry has dug a whole for itself, because it’s gotten so hard-core so fast, that they really don’t know how to keep up with demand. Remember, we’re talking about an industry–a global industry. They don’t want to break the law. So they have limits to what they can, and can’t do to the female body. You can’t actually murder her on the screen, but they do everything else they can possibly do to her on the set. So, the industry has become huge because of the internet and a global player because of the size and scope of the industry. Once you have so much money involved, then you can have your own public relations groups, lobbying groups, you can buy politicians and cozy up to the all the capitalist enterprises. Overall, we’ve seen a massive change in the scope and size of pornography in the post-internet world.
EMANUELE: And how about particularly in American culture? If you look across the globe, do you see various cultures and nations that are dealing with this issue better, or worse than America?
DINES: Well, let me begin by saying the level of pornification and hypersexualization of this culture, and Western culture in general, has taken people by surprise. I’ve been traveling around the world giving lectures about this issue and most of the countries I’ve been absolutely do not know what to do about it, because they’re beginning to see changes int he social construction of the identities of young people and some of it is due to pornography, not all of it, but I would say a fair amount is due to the porn industry. First, in the United States, where the vast majority of pornography is made, something like 70-80% of the world’s pornography is made in Los Angeles, California. Of course, that pornography, via the internet, gets shipped all over the world.
So, think about this for a minute: there’s a handful of predatory capitalists, living in the Los Angeles area, who are actually shaping the sexual template of the Western World. This is a form of sexual colonization. It’s their imagery, and the way they think about sex. Let’s be clear, pornography is not sex. Pornography is the industrialization of sex. And just like America controls most industries, it too controls the porn industry. Now, other countries are indeed trying to get a handle on this. For example, Canada is having a lot of conferences and discussions around what to do. I’ve been to Norway where they’re talking about it. I’m going to Iceland soon to a government conferences on how to limit access to pornography, and what to do about the pornification of their society. This country, as far as I can see, is doing the least amount of any Western country. At least as far as I can see.
PLEASE READ THE REST OF THIS VERY EDUCATIONAL INTERVIEW AT THE LINK: Note: Scroll down on the page at CounterPunch to see the article. (And please don’t forget to like, comment on and share this post to help support the cause! Thanks! )
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