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mot Pornografi

The People's Organisation against Pornography

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in English:

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

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The People's Organisation against Pornography

Photo of a toy topFolkaktionen
mot Pornografi

(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 organisations.

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 countries.
     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.

Sexual Politics
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.

Opinion Work on Different Aspects
Photo of a rabbit musical boxFolkaktionen 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 and children.
     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.

Today The People's Organisation against Pornography in Sweden doesn't exist anymore. If you have questions about the text in the pamphlet or want to know more, you are welcome to contact Kvinnofronten (The Women's Front) at the e-mail address kvinnofronten@sverige.nu or visit our home page: www.kvinnofronten.nu

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© Photo: Gerda Christenson.

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