When anti-porn activist Gail Dines visited Australia recently, the airwaves vibrated with furious debate. Feminists, cultural theorists, politicians and pro-porn lobbyists came out of their cubicles to gnaw again on that juicy old bone, ‘the protection of the innocents – also known as ‘kids today, and what’s best for them’.
The thesis outlined in Dines’s book Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality is that those of us raised in the print-based culture of the 1970s and earlier have little idea of what we’re up against when it comes to raising kids with a healthy, respectful approach to sex and sexuality. As Dines herself jokes, the era of Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler magazines was the Good Old Days. Let’s call it the ‘fluffy bunny-tail period’ of porn, when boys kept tatty magazines under their mattresses, or guiltily discovered granddad’s treasured antique girly pics in the back shed. By contrast, according to Dines, today’s ubiquitous and hugely profitable online porn industry is dominated by visual material that’s blatantly degrading, violent and brutal, especially towards women. Not to mention the fact that it’s accessible to any child capable of a four-letter Google search. Of primary concern to Dines is that the visual and aesthetic codes of porn have infiltrated mainstream culture, and that they’re shaping our ideas of what’s beautiful, sexy, permissible and ‘normal’.
to KYD subscribers. Subscribe today »
Reasons to subscribe to Kill Your Darlings:
- Save up to 25% on RRP
- Free access to online editions
- KYD delivered direct to your door four times a year
- Be first to know about competitions, news, events, workshops and giveaways
- A whole bunch of warm-fuzzies for supporting independent Australian publishing