Blog

How Countless Porn Videos Normalize the Sexual Abuse Ellen DeGeneres Survived

By June 4, 2019 No Comments
ellen-degeneres-sexual-assault-step-father-porn-kills-love
Cover photo credit to Getty, retrieved from Heavy.com. 4 minute read.
TRIGGER WARNING

In case you missed it, daytime talk show host and comedian, Ellen DeGeneres, recently opened up about the traumatic details of the sexual assault she experienced as a teenager.

Shared on the second episode of Netflix’s My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, DeGeneres confided how her stepfather had used her mom’s breast cancer diagnosis as an excuse for his inappropriate behavior toward her.

“He told me when she was out of town that he’d felt a lump in her breast and needed to feel my breasts because he didn’t want to upset her, but he needed to feel mine,” she explained. “He convinced me that he needs to feel my breasts and then he tries to do it again another time, and then another time.”

Related: The Porn Industry Isn’t Just Selling Sex, It’s Selling Violent Abuse Of Women

According to DeGeneres, there was even a time where she felt compelled to kick out her window and run because she “knew it was going to [be] more [than him just feeling her breasts].”

Consider Before Consuming

The “me too” movement has brought to light numerous survivor accounts similar to that of Degeneres’. And, while we stand firmly with those survivors, it seems that very few of those also decrying sexual assault see that these same behaviors are frequently normalized and even fetishized in porn.

Don’t miss what we’re saying here—we do not believe porn is responsible for Ellen’s abuse. We’re simply acknowledging that fighting the toxic fantasies of the porn industry needs to be part of the larger fight against sexual assault and rape culture.

Related: Is There A Connection Between Porn Culture And Rape Culture?

To put it simply, we can’t expect for normalized abusive behavior for sexual entertainment to have zero effect on our culture, or our culture’s perception of sexual assault survivors.

Media affects our everyday lives

Consider this: Research clearly shows that the media people consume has a strong impact on them. While that impact isn’t necessarily always negative—think reading Harry Potter on a Kindle or listening to Guy Raz’s Ted Radio Hour podcast—it often is when that media is pornography.

One of the most prominent negative effects of porn is that it desensitizes the porn consumer’s brain. In other words, the consumer begins to tolerate the images they’re watching, which leads them to require greater amounts and more extreme porn in order to experience the same “high.”

Related5 Popular Porn Searches That Are Considered Sexy Online But Are Actually Really Disturbing

While this tolerance may lead some “only” to escalate the porn genres they watch, studies show that, for others, this can lead porn consumers to be more likely to support violence against women, to believe that women secretly enjoy being raped, and to be more sexually aggressive in real life. Basically, the desensitization process can even rewire porn consumer’s brains to tolerate sexual assault—even if they don’t act out sexual assault in their lives, they have been shown to be less empathetic to sexual violence survivors.

Can you see how that in and of itself is problematic?

The abuse Ellen survived is normalized in porn scenarios

“Dad seducing sex with stepdaughter, back to back scene,” 2.3 million views.

“Father forcibly f— by stepdaughter,” 694,400 views.

“She gropes her stepfather’s d—,” 3.2 million views.

“Free porn videos about real dad fondling groping unwillingly daughter.”

We wish we were making up these porn site search results, but we aren’t. A simple porn search can bring up hundreds of videos that basically portray a scripted version of the abuse Ellen DeGeneres went through as a teen. Consider how “incest” porn is one of the most popular genres in the porn world right now.

Related: “Fauxcest”: Understanding The Rise In Popularity Of Incest-Themed Porn

Ellen’s story especially illustrates that is not just difficult to talk about pornography without talking about sexual abuse—it is impossible.

And sure, the performers may be over 18 (although there’s no real way to know) playing out a “fantasy,” but you can be certain that the scenarios they portray don’t focus on that detail.

Classic PKL

The bottom line is that if we’re really going to tackle the issue of sexual abuse as a society, we need to be aware of all the places where this harmful behavior is normalized, and even promoted. The same kind of abusive behavior Ellen’s stepfather perpetrated is easily accessible for anyone with internet to watch as entertainment. How is that acceptable?

Related: Can You Tell The Difference Between #MeToo Stories And Porn Plot Lines?

This is why we’re speaking out and shining a light on the connection between porn and making fantasy out of abusive situations—normalizing abuse shouldn’t be normal, especially the abuse of minors.

A society that fights sexual assault and rape culture must also speak out against porn that depicts the same and far worse.

Porn and rape culture are connected

There’s no doubt DeGeneres is having an impact by courageously sharing her story. She’s clearly giving other survivors a platform to stand up for themselves.

And while speaking out is important in the fight against sexual assault, it’s just one piece of the puzzle.

Related: In A #MeToo World, Porn Sells Abusive Nightmares As Sex Fantasies

The fact is, porn is often overlooked as a factor in the giant puzzle of fighting sexual assault and combating rape culture. After all, studies show that societal acceptance of porn has caused a massive shift in accepting rape culture. The fact is, porn normalizes sexual violence which leads to victim-blaming, among other problematic issues.

Become A Fighter

But we can’t let porn do that if we want to make lasting progress in the fight against sexual assault and rape culture. Contrary to what porn shows, the abused is not the provoker, they are the victim. Perpetrators of sexual violence and abuse don’t live in a vacuum—there are countless things in our pornified culture that reinforce toxic and abusive ideals. And a primary culprit of that is undeniably porn.

For people like DeGeneres, we fight to make the connection of porn and rape culture known.

Send this to a friend