(The People's Organisation against Pornography) is an organisation
without ties to political parties or religious groups, based on
voluntary work, which wants to organise both organisations and individuals,
women and men, in the struggle against pornography. We started up
in 1985 around one main demand: ELIMINATE
PORNOGRAPHY for the right of all women and men to have a
sexuality free from degradation. Today we have around 500
individual members, around 20 local groups and around 100 member
Creating Public Opinion
Folkationen mot Pornografi works mainly with creating public opinion.
To create debate about pornography we often give our presentation
using slides, "What do you REALLY know about pornography?"
(for adults) and "On milk cartons, pornography and MTV..."
(for teenagers) in all contexts imaginable, for example to political
organisations & youth sections, women's organisations, trade
unions, at work places, schools, open meetings, youth clinics &
youth centres, penitentiaries (both men's and women's), garrisons
and many different places. Furthermore, we often show our video
film about child pornography, "Vems rätt?" (Who's right?)
which takes the UN's child convention as its starting point.
To create public opinion we also call
on authorities and try to take part in the public debate. We also
cooperate with other organisations in for example boycott actions
against shops that have pornography to buy or rent, and we have
contact with organisations working against pornography in other
The different local groups of Folkaktionen
mot Pornografi work independently with what is most important in
their town, so the concrete work that is done might be very different
from one town to another.
In the debate in the media Folkaktionen mot Pornografi is often
portrayed as a group of puritanical prohibitionists. That is an
effective weapon against us, for who wants to be seen like that?
In fact pornography and puritanism
are two sides of the same thing: hypocrisy. In pornography words
like taboo, shame, sin and secrets are constantly emphasised. There
are innumerable examples of porn magazines called "Censorship",
video companies or porn clubs with names like "Taboo"
and men's "entertainment" magazines saying "secret
pages" and "the
most sinful you've ever seen". The talk about being
liberated is there to withhold what pornography is really about;
cynical men who only want to make money out of women's bodies. Pornography
is not about nudity, but about oppression.
Folkaktionen mot Pornografi's views
on legislation have hopefully been made clear in this pamphlet.
The Child Pornography Act is an example of the difficulty to right
societal wrongs through legislation. On the one hand legislation
is necessary and good. The Act fills a normative function, i.e.
as a statement on the part of society that these acts are not societally
accepted. Every pornographic picture/film that is not
produced is one instance of
abuse less against the women and children in pornography's
pictures. Every porn film less is one porn film less for men to
use as inspiration for more abuse. Legislation also has other consequences.
The police have greater possibilities in their investigations when
the phenomenon is prohibited. And so on.
On the other hand the experience of
the Child Pornography Act shows that only a small part of all child
pornography disappeared. When the Act came into force many people
thought that the problem was solved and stopped working. Which resulted
in the porn industry once again being able to work undisturbed.
One cannot cure a symptom like
pornography if one does not confront the fundamental condition:
women's and children's lack of human dignity in a society built
on male domination. And however well an act is phrased, it is people's
attitude which decide how well it is observed.
That is why Folkaktionen mot Pornografi has chosen to work mainly
with creating public opinion. The only demand concerning legislation
that is included in our platform is that the word sex is to be added
in the paragraph about prohibition on showing disrespect because
of race, religion etc.
We want to create debate about what
pornography is. We want to point out the links between pornography
and men's other sexual violence against women and children; rape,
battering, incest and other sexual abuse. We want to discuss what
sexuality is in our society and why it looks the way it does in
different times and different societies.
Work on Different Aspects
mot Pornografi wants to view pornography in a larger context and
work against pornography on different fronts. That means for example
to discuss pornography from the perspective of women's and girls'
health.The biggest threats to the health of women and girls in the
world are not diseases, accidents or war but men's sexual
violence. That applies to all women and children, but particularly
those who are exploited in pornography and prostitution. It is also
a fact that pornography stretches the limits for our sexual acts.
Today physicians warn that more and more Swedish teenage girls are
made to accept being subjected to sexual acts which in pornography
have been described as natural but "advanced" with
physical as well as psychological harm as consequences.
We also bring up pornography from
the perspective of the prevention of crime. We point out the links
to rape, battering, prostitution, incest and other sexual abuse
and how pornography normalises men's sexual violence against women
We work against pornography from a
legal point of view that women and men are not equal before
the law. If they were it would not be legal to buy women in pornography
and prostitution in Sweden. It is also a legal issue since most
sexual abuse against women and children is never reported to the
police, and since of the reported cases so very few lead to convictions.
And we bring up pornography as a question
of equality. Pornography is a sexualisation of inequality and is
therefore contrary to all struggle for equality.
There is no "soft porn",
just like there is no soft apartheid or soft nazism, as Ebon Kram,
the former president of the women's shelters, usually says.