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Why This Massively Popular Porn Site Doesn’t Care if Their Content Shows Rape

By January 16, 2020 February 20th, 2020 No Comments
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TRIGGER WARNING
This post contains descriptions of porn videos depicting abusive behaviors and nonconsensual sex acts from a popular porn site.

The porn industry is often thought of in contradictive ways, in that people say porn is great for sex education but they also claim that no one would be “stupid enough” to imitate what it shows because it’s fantasy. (Which is it? An education or fantasy entertainment?)

Either way, research has shown us that consumption is not without negative effects—it can negatively change attitudes on how consumers perceive men and women, their relationships with friends and loved ones, and even the idea they have of themselves. In short?

Porn’s fantasy can alter a consumer’s reality.

Related: How The Porn Industry Profits From Privacy Violation And Voyeurism

That’s why we took note of what activist and founder of non-profit New Reality International, Laila Mickelwait tweeted in response to a wildly popular Pornhub video.

Recognizing the harms of normalizing incest and rape is not a priority of Pornhub, whose official Twitter support team responded to Mickelwait’s tweet by saying, “Hey Laila, this was made by a consenting and very creative sex worker.”

But if that’s the only means by which they measure the harmfulness of their content, it’s an incredibly low bar to set. Here’s why.

Podcast - Figures - Light

The problem with consent being the measure of acceptance in porn

Consent is an interesting, complicated term in the porn world.

The use of “consent” as the ultimate justification for any treatment of porn performers or the creation of any type of content is quite common and can prevent accountability when things go wrong on set, or a video turns out more violent than expected.

Only taking consent into account means overlooking when content is forcibly made of performers after they’ve consented to certain sex acts before the shoot starts but are forced to do others they might not be okay with. We’re not saying that’s what happened in the popular video above, only that it does often happen in porn production.

Related: Hey Bella Thorne, The Porn Industry Isn’t As Sex-Positive As You Think It Is

Not only that, consider how only factoring in the consent of performers becomes especially problematic because it allows the fetishization of sexual violence and fantasized nonconsensual sex acts to be viewed as acceptable content for millions of people around the world—like in the case of this video above—even though the film was made with consent.

If consent is so important to the porn industry, why is it that are so many videos that specifically highlight these fantasized situations where acts are nonconsensual? These videos train consumers to be aroused by violent or nonconsensual behavior. How is that healthy?

Consider the popular fantasized rape video above, as well as other videos on Pornhub that depict underage-looking performers being taken advantage of. And Pornhub has no plans to take any of this content down.

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Nonconsensual porn on Pornhub right now

Earlier this year, Motherboard published a report on 22 girls who were suing a company called Girls Do Porn for, “ruining their lives” by distributing videos of them they were coerced into filming and signing contracts while under the influence of alcohol and pressure by the men involved in filming.

What’s the relationship with Pornhub?

Girls Do Porn is a premium viewshare partner for them, one of the most popular channels on the site, meaning the videos, some of which were found to show 11 of the 22 girls who came forward, were viewed millions of times on the site.

Related: How Porn Gets A Free Pass To Profit From These 5 Unacceptable Categories

The case was brought to trial, and in the past two weeks the indictment revealed that the owners and some of the employees of the company have been charged with sex trafficking or “conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force.” Yikes.

Pornhub has since removed the videos on their official channel, and marketing indicators related to them, but only after the site owners were charged even though the lawsuit has been publicly going on for months. Scattered videos of the trafficked girls that have been uploaded by other users have not been removed.

In response to issues like this one as well as Mickelwait’s tweet, Rachel Denhollander—the first woman to publicly condemn abusive Olympic gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual assault—tweeted:

This was in response to Mickelwait’s tweet about the popular incest rape Pornhub video.

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The true message porn sells

Denhollander’s message captures the essence of what porn is capable of. Sell any possible fantasy, but at a cost: normalization and perpetuation of nonconsensual sex acts in a society that is already increasingly approving of sexual violence.

Related: Their Private Photos Were Shared Non-Consensually To Pornhub, And Now These Women Are Fighting Back

Especially in an age where #MeToo has highlighted that sexual assaults are not rare, why is our culture still allowing the porn industry to fuel unsafe ideas about sex and consent? In a society that tries to ensure the ethical means by which they get their coffee, chocolate, clothes, and cosmetics, why is there unconditional support for an industry that continually profits off the sexual exploitation of real people, consent given or not?

As a consumer, you have a say. Show that you’re fighting for real love, not whatever the porn industry may have you think it is. The first step starts with you—refuse to click.

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