Tuesday, 19 August 2008

From the Auckland Women's Centre:

"The City Council injunction against the Pornographic Parade failed.

The Auckland Women's Centre is going to get a permit and police protection
to march a block ahead of the parade with a banner -

"Pornography Fuels Sexual Violence Against Women and Children."

We need your support!

Meet at the front doors of the old town hall in Queen Street tomorrow at midday."

15 comments:

Molerats said...

"Pornography Fuels Sexual Violence Against Women and Children."

Really? Where did you pull this quote from?

The ex-expat said...

I didn't. The message is from the Auckland Women's Centre. Take your nitpicking up with them.

Anna McM said...

I feel a bit funny about this one. On one hand, I'm absolutely delighted to see a bit of old fashioned feminism in the face of Steve Crowe's crass stupidity. On the other, is this statement actually correct? Is there anyone out there with more knowledge than me on the topic?

Whatever the case, I'm very pleased that someone is doing something. I'm horrified by all the people interviewed on TV - men and women alike - who keep justifying the whole thing as a harmless bit of fun.

Idiot/Savant said...

A far better response than ACC's. More speech, not less speech!

Mikaere Curtis said...

There was a guy on Morning Report last year, in a short interview who said he had done a study of sexual crimes in the USA. He said that sexual crimes had been falling in the major cities, starting around the mid-90s.

He reckoned it was directly correlated to the rollout of broadband, and the associated deluge of freely available pornography via the internet.

This may have been entirely spurious (I have not been able to find the source), but if it is true then it would seem that the Auckland Women's Centre's supposition may not be correct.

If the AWC are talking about pornography that promotes abuse against women and children, then I'd say they are right. But I'm not so sure with respect to mainstream porn.

Now, I've never been to an Erotica Show, but I would suspect that it's a pretty mainstream affair.

The problem I have with the Council's attempt censorship, is that they would censored the Hero Parade too (there was plenty of toplessness associated with Hero Parades). There were *plenty* of councillors who were against Hero back in they day, and it would have been crap if Hero was banned because of the petty "offence" espoused by a minority.

I suppose this is the nub. The Hero Parade was a celebration of freedom and sensuality, whereas BoB is a tawdry advertisment that creates an atmosphere where men feel it's OK to objectify women. And, unlike at Hero, these women are only on the bikes because it's in their contract.

Anna McM said...

Couldn't agree more about the difference between BoB and Hero.
My problem is that I'm not against porn per se. If people want to watch consenting adults going for gold, I don't really care.

My major problem is that it's an exploitative industry, and I don't think that it's an industry that women with other/better life choices tend to get into.

Also, there's a time an a place for it. A couple renting a blue movie is one thing, but porn in an environment which makes people uncomfortable, is seen by kids, is distributed in such a way that it might encourage negative views of women, is a whole different matter.

MikeE said...

"My major problem is that it's an exploitative industry, and I don't think that it's an industry that women with other/better life choices tend to get into."

I know a few women in the industry, and if anyone is doing the exploiting, its them.

ms poinsettia said...

The other issue is the Hero Parade was at night so most people who witnessed it purposely went to it, rather than a parade during the middle of the business day when many people are just going about their everyday business.

I also agree with the distinction between an event celebrating free sexuality and an event advertising a particular, narrow form of sexuality that presents women as objects for men's consumption. There's quite a different vibe - celebration vs objectification in the name of commodificat6ion. Crowe's half-assed attempt to put a 'free speech' protest spin on his parade, a la Flynt, appeals to those who want an argument for why they're going that's more sophisticated than 'whoar, boobs' but he (and them) are full of shit.

Hugh said...

Anna, porn is an exploitative industry, but then so is prostitution. Would you have similar problems with prostitutes working on the main street of Auckland during the day?

Lynda said...

I agree with what Anna has said about the porn industry and with others about their concern for the message from the Auckland's Women Centre. I don't see that the rights and wrongs of Porn is the issue here - i think the issue is, does Porn have a place in Queen St on a Wednesday lunchtime?

I am against BoB not because of the nudity. I have no problem with nudity. If i had children i would not hide from them the naked human form - but when that form is on the back of a motorbike carrying a whip or seductively sucking their finger it is a totally different story. It is not a natural form, it is an adult fantasy representation - which i think could be extremely destructive for Aucklands young boys and girls to witness.

The main issue i have with the BoB parade though is one others have commented on. It is advertising. We are bombarded with advertising constantly from every angle. Why oh why should someone get to shut down Aucklands main street to promote an event and further line their pockets with money made through the objectification of womens bodies.

Though their message concerns me - I will be there tomorrow to march. I hope that plenty of sisters, and brothers, will be there too! See you there

weka said...

There's been alot of discussion on the US feminist blogs by women who are the partners of men who use porn. Go read them and then come back here and tell me that porn doesn't damage women (and men for that matter).

This doesn't mean that all men who use porn treat women badly. But it seems pretty obvious that there is a strong correlation in society between how women are objectified sexually and how they are abused.

I think the AWC's phrasing is spot on. The use of the word 'fuels' is what makes their statement work. It's not saying porn is what causes sexual violence against women and children. It's saying that the inherent disrespect of women in porn is one thing that feeds the idea that men can do what they want to women.

artandmylife said...

I think the word "fuels" is a good choice. However I anticipate the subtlety of that will be lost.

My own view of porn tends to swing from Andrea Dworkin to the other end of the spectrum. right now I am feeling more on the Dworkin side so I'll refrain friom further comment apart from "ugh"

Hugh said...

Personally I feel that, while a lot of the pornography we have now is exploitative and objectifying, it doesn't have to be. To paraphrase Dworkin (not that I imagine she'd appreciate) pornography can survive equality.

glosoli said...

Boobs on Bikes makes me sad because the excitement about it seems so provincial, that is, the masses of people who come into the city for it.

Good on the women who protested ahead of the parade. I wish I had joined you. Pornography is one thing, the Pornography Industry is something else and that's what this is about.

Dana said...

There's been alot of discussion on the US feminist blogs by women who are the partners of men who use porn. Go read them and then come back here and tell me that porn doesn't damage women (and men for that matter).

This doesn't mean that all men who use porn treat women badly. But it seems pretty obvious that there is a strong correlation in society between how women are objectified sexually and how they are abused.


Oh please. Sure, porn has a lot of issues. But frankly I think most of the issues in porn is a reflection of society, not the other way around.

I find the language around mainstream porn, ie: calling women bitches, whores and sluts, talking about how stupid they are and how they tricked them into it is damaging. Damaging because a lot of men don't really think about the messages it conveys, but it must be affecting youth to have it presented that way.

But sex on film as innately damaging? Hardcore porn as innately anti-women? I find that completely patronising and frustrating - and yeah, I'm a woman.