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mot Pornografi

The People's Organisation against Pornography

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Osynlig rutaMenypil  Preface
Osynlig rutaMenypil  The example
Osynlig rutaMenypil  The industry and its product
Osynlig rutaMenypil  The allusion
Osynlig rutaMenypil  The politicians & the Legislation
Osynlig rutaMenypil  Society
Osynlig rutaMenypil  What to do
Osynlig rutaMenypil  About FmP

To The Swedish Women's Front

The texts from the back covers of pornographic films we quote in this pamphlet are all taken from films that are distributed in ordinary video rental stores, not from specific porn shops.

"She's got long, blonde, straight hair.
A sweet, childish smile.
Slim waist. Soft, firm breasts.
She is purity. Youth. Innocence.
It sounds like a description of Barbie
- and that is just how Savannah is.
The cute kind of doll
that it is every girl's dream to own.
To cherish.
Instead it is the boys who get hold of her.
'Get them rags off, Barbie!
Get your ass out, Barbie!
Down on your knees! Spread your legs!
Zip up my flies, Barbie!
Keep quiet, Barbie, don't talk
with food in your mouth!'
Never before has such a sweet and pretty
doll been taken so hard by real men..."

Text from the back-cover of the porn film
"A Virgin on the Run".

I don't give a shit what I sell – as long as I
make a profit.

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The Porn Industry & its Product

The porn industry
and the sex traffic taken together constitute one of the world's largest industries. And Sweden is one of its favourite countries. The restrictions on pornography are very few, and pornography is sold everywhere; in foodstores, at newsagents, in video rental stores and at petrol stations.
Photo of a toy jewel box     The porn industry works deliberately, cleverly and professionally. Just like people in advertising the people who run the porn industry know their task: to influence people.
     Just like all businessmen, the men behind the porn industry want to make money. One of the prerequisites for the porn industry is the contempt for women already existing in society. They combine this contempt with the curiosity and also ignorance about sex that there is in a puritanical society. Men buy women to use as sexual objects, that is the business concept of the porn industry, which they then vary in different ways. And the more they can stretch the limits of what we think is normal, the more they can sell.
     Leif Hagen is a Norwegian porn producer who moved to Sweden in the mid-80s, after he was banned from carrying on a business in Norway. He launched what was then a very clever business concept: his "men's 'entertainment' magazines" were also to work as mail-order catalogues. Others soon followed his example. In these magazines there are often girls/women on "pin-up pictures" and in special picture features with captions to go with the pictures. The captions allegedly include "quotes" of what the girl/woman is saying. Sometimes she is saying that she particularly likes "bondage" (mainly pornography where men tie women up and use/abuse them sexually), anal sex, "fistfucking" etc.
     The captions, which are made to look like brief "comments" to the "innocent" pictures, touches upon everything that there is to buy on the porn market. And on the advertisement pages at the back of the magazines there are magazines and video films available by mail order which include all this: piss, shit & anal, bondage, fistfucking, rubber porn etc.

Pornography is spreading
When mail-order business became more and more common in the "men's 'entertainment' magazines", all sorts of por-nography became accessible all over our country. Pornography is no longer something to be found only in the porn shops of the bigger cities; it can reach every little town and every little cottage in the country.
     Since more and more people started buying their own video set, the sales rates for men's "entertainment" magazines/porn magazines have gone down slightly. On the other hand, other magazines, for example the music magazine Slitz, have become more pornographic. When the video rental business ten years ago made a count of the number of videos people rented, one out of four was a porn film (1). The rates have hardly gone down since then. Furthermore, the number of videos for sale and not only to rent have increased over the years.
     On top of this, more and more people get pornography straight into their living-rooms, more or less against their will, via the cable channels on TV.Photo of ball
     Research carried out by Folkaktionen mot Pornografi (The People's Organisation against Pornography) and one of the reports the book Tre rapporter om pornografi (Three Reports On Pornography) (1993) by RFSU (Riksförbundet För Sexuell Upplysning) (the Swedish Association for Sex Education), show that almost 100 per cent of 15 year-old boys in Sweden today have used pornography, most of them more than once, many are already regular consumers. Among the girls of the same age between 55 and 60 per cent had already come in contact with pornography.
     In recent years pornography has also come to be distributed through CD-ROM, different BBSs (electronic bulletin boards), and on the Internet. This development has made the spread of pornography – including child pornography – quicker and harder to control.

Pornography and the viewer
The word pornography is derived from the greek words porne, which means "prostitute", and graphos, which means "writing, etching, drawing". Pornography thus means to depict women as prostitutes, commodities, sexual slaves.
     The photographs used in pornography are constructed so that the consumer can fantasize that it is him using the girl/woman in the picture. Even if there is a photograph showing a couple - man and woman – the photograph is taken with the intention of including the spectator as the important part. The woman's sexual parts are turned towards the viewer, open to him; the man who is actually there in the picture is only playing a minor part, he is using the woman while not taking away the power to control from the spectator. This applies in general, but of course there are exceptions, photographs which do not fit into this concept. But the focal point for pornography is the perspective of the viewer.
     The texts and the pictures in pornography are supposed to inspire fantasies in the viewer/reader about what he can do with the objects/women, in order to get more, and more, satisfaction. Fantasies that he can then choose to put into practice.

Masturbating to contempt for women
We live in a strongly hypocritical society. This means that even though there are hardly any restrictions at all on selling pornography in Sweden, it is not allowed to publicly speak or write about what pornography actually is. That is why there is hardly ever any mention of how men and boys use pornography: to masturbate to (and/or to "make themselves horny" before either having sex with a partner or abusing someone).
     The american sociology professor Diana Russell has written:

"Because men's viewing of pornography frequently culminates in orgasm, the lessons of pornography are learned much faster and more tenaciously than when they view non-pornographic media." (2)

     The male ejaculation/orgasm becomes closely connected to images of degraded women. Just like we all learn to get turned on by memories of past sexual experiences, the consumer of pornography learns to associate sexual desire with degradation of women; the degradation in itself becomes sexually arousing.

Power, violence and control
Photo of a dollThe women used in pornography are objects. Replaceable objects. While masturbating, the man can flick through the pages of his magazine, let hisgaze travel across one body after the other. The women have no desires or wishes, no will of their own, each and every one of them is there for him. He, the viewer, has the power to pick and choose; watch, use and discard.
     Pornography signifies power and control, sexualised domination and subordination. Pornography objectifies women, i.e. asserts that women are objects – for men to use. From that perspective we can get closer to an understanding of the commercial child pornography as a mass phenomenon. It is easier to objectify children than adult women. And to dehumanise women and children, to objectify someone, is the first stage in the process of violence. When women and children are no longer looked upon as human beings, the violence they are subjected to in pornography becomes "normal" – violence becomes a turn-on.

     And so the porn industry can sell even more.

1. The Magazine "Film & Video", nr 7/8. Up arrow
2. Diana E.H.Russel: Making Violence Sexy. Teachers College Press, USA 1993, p.18. Up arrow

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© Photo: Gerda Christenson.

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