The U.K.'s reliably anti-porn Guardian wants to blame Western porn for rape and, of course, unsafe sex and therefore the prevalence of AIDS in Africa on the basis of a few L.A.- made vids that find their way into the bush.
And speaking of bush, before blaming porn for the high incidence of HIV in Africa, perhaps the Bush gang's insistence on abstinence-only programs and withholding of condoms and information about them in Third World countries might be just a tad bit more of a problem than the "harms" of porn where that's concerned, but you won't read anything on this subject in the laughable-but-for-the-subject article I'm about to post.
The insanely retrogressive AIDS policies of the South African government and the influence of The Vatican in that part of the world might have come in for some scrutiny as well.
Rape, for that matter, truly is epidemic all over Africa as an instrument of war, most brutally in places like The Sudan, where porn is heavily suppressed under Sharia law. However, what are a few annoying, contrary facts when you have righteous opinion on your side?
No, it's all about porn, as always.
Here you go. Read it and let those folks at the ever-vigilant Guardian know what you think about this latest dose of stupidity:
Porn Turning African Villagers Into Rapists?
by Tim Samuels
I used to think porn was tremendously good fun. The adolescent thrill of sneaking a copy of Fiesta home inside the Manchester Evening News. Crowding around a PC at university as a smutty picture revealed itself pixel by pixel. Even the equine VHS shown during my first job at GQ gave everyone a good, if not queasy, lads-mag laugh. Any anti-porn voices felt like killjoy whines echoing from the outskirts of Greenham Common.
By the time I'd left the lads-mag cocoon, porn was almost part of the mainstream furniture. But the proliferation of free and utterly hardcore websites visited by kids in their global droves did spark an interest in investigating the industry. The moment porn truly stopped being fun came in a remote Ghanaian village – mud huts, barefoot kids, no electricity. The BBC series I was making about the impact of porn had led me via LA to Ghana.
One of the unforeseen consequences of globalisation is the shocking effect that western porn is having in parts of the developing world. The village has no electricity, but that doesn't stop a generator from being wheeled in, turning a mud hut into an impromptu porn cinema – and turning some young men into rapists, with villagers relating chilling stories of assaults taking place straight after the film's end. In the nearest city, other young men are buying bootlegs copies of the almost always condom-free LA-made porn – copying directly what they see and contracting HIV.
The head of the country's Aids commission says porn risks destroying all the achievements they've made. It's a timebomb, he says. The concerns aren't theoretical – I met young fathers with HIV whose only sex education came from LA, women living in the villages subject to post-screening abuse, and even a shy teenage virgin who has written to a porn outfit in California asking to star in their films (his return address was care of the local church in Accra).
The porn producers aren't deliberately pushing their products into Africa. But the tide of black market DVDs on sale at street markets and hardcore clips viewable at internet cafes is almost unstoppable. Surely this multibillion-dollar industry needs to take some responsibility for the human costs?
Since the only sex education some people in places such as Ghana are getting is via porn films, there is a decent argument for the porn industry to produce more films where performers use condoms. In LA, where the majority of the world's porn is still shot, only one company routinely makes such films.
The condom-only policy adopted following an industry HIV outbreak five years ago lasted just months. If the ambition is to put more condom-using porn into circulation, which will then more likely end up in those street markets or cafes, some serious multinationals could throw their corporate weight behind this. Hotel chains – among the biggest broadcasters of adult material – have not used their immense clout to insist on greater condom use – much to the dismay of the porn-star STD-testing clinic in LA. Mobile phone firms are also surreptitiously making jaw-dropping amounts of money from showing adult content on their handsets. Could their ideas of corporate responsibility take on a latex dimension? Might it actually be that ridiculous for the porn industry itself to adopt a spot of corporate responsibility? These are, after all, major businesses replete with HR departments and plush offices nestling next to mainstream film companies. Bankroll sex safe campaigns, harness the allure of their top stars, maybe even make bespoke films for the developing world which educate as well as titillate. Doing nothing, and leaving western porn to march untrammelled into Africa and other places, is a deeply unattractive prospect.
Oh yeah, let's not forget to retread all those lies and half-truths about the vast amounts of money being made by huge multi-national conglomerates operating out of luxurious offices in Porn Valley (as opposed to the warehouses and quonset huts where most porn companies really do operate). And BTW, the "dismay" of "of the porn-star STD-testing clinic in LA" over the failure of these vast porn cartels to use their videos as safe-sex PSAs? If, as I assume, the author refers to AIM, AIM has no stated position on any of these subjects, and the author must be telepathic to sense AIM's dismay in this matter, as AIM has never made any public statement supporting any of the nonsense above.
Porn performer health is AIM's concern. Porn content is not. That distinction is what enables AIM to get cooperation from the entire spectrum of performers and companies and preserves its non-profit status as a healthcare foundation, rather than a 527 PAC.
Nice reporting there. Guess they no longer teach journalism at the UK university where Samuels enjoyed his time in "the lad-mag cocoon."
Samuels' piece appears, by some odd coincidence, just before his new TV series "Hardcore Profits" airs on BBC 2.
While the entire article is stupid and offensive, its worst sin is the recycling of the myth that Africans belong to a lesser class of human, subject to instantaneous outbreaks of spontaneous sexual violence at the sight of a naked white woman. That's the underlying assumption of this piece, and oddly in line with the beliefs of David Duke on this issue.
Racist sex panic led to thousands of lynchings in this country. The insensitivity of suggesting that porn turns Africans into sex-crazed fiends is truly breathtaking, not to mention profoundly repellent.