Noam Chomsky on pornography

Pornography is humiliation and degradation of women. It’s a disgraceful activity. I don’t want to be associated with it. Just take a look at the pictures. I mean, women are degraded as vulgar sex objects. That’s not what human beings are. I don’t even see anything to discuss.

(Interviewer: But didn’t performers choose to do the job and get paid?)
The fact that people agree to it and are paid, is about as convincing as the fact that we should be in favour of sweatshops in China, where women are locked into a factory and work fifteen hours a day, and then the factory burns down and they all die. Yeah, they were paid and they consented, but it doesn’t make me in favour of it, so that argument we can’t even talk about.
As for the fact that it’s some people’s erotica, well you know that’s their problem, doesn’t mean I have to contribute to it. If they get enjoyment out of humiliation of women, they have a problem, but it’s nothing I want to contribute to.

(Interviewer: How should we improve the production conditions of pornography?)
By eliminating degradation of women, that would improve it. Just like child abuse, you don’t want to make it better child abuse, you want to stop child abuse.
Suppose there’s a starving child in the slums, and you say “well, I’ll give you food if you’ll let me abuse you.” Suppose—well, there happen to be laws against child abuse, fortunately—but suppose someone were to give you an argument. Well, you know, after all a child’s starving otherwise, so you’re taking away their chance to get some food if you ban abuse. I mean, is that an argument?
The answer to that is stop the conditions in which the child is starving, and the same is true here. Eliminate the conditions in which women can’t get decent jobs, not permit abusive and destructive behaviour.

22 thoughts on “Noam Chomsky on pornography

  1. sagor October 3, 2016 at 09:41 Reply

    Just because someone is an adult and consented to some form of abuse in workplace doesn’t mean he is not abused. If no better options are present for his survival then he/she is as helpless as a child in such cases. All dangerous/degrading/ sweatshop jobs are plain abuse in these cases.

  2. Kendall October 3, 2016 at 11:10 Reply

    I screen shot this and put it on Facebook and only women are liking and sharing it and I’m getting absolutely no response from any men.

  3. John Doe October 3, 2016 at 11:35 Reply

    Okay, I’m calm.

    Let me try again.

    Isn’t arguing against pornography “PC” though? ;)

    • Francois Tremblay October 3, 2016 at 13:50 Reply

      PC is about using non-offensive words to describe people, not really about political positions, as far as I know.

      • John Doe October 4, 2016 at 05:10 Reply

        Ahmed Mohammed, that kid who everyone said built a bomb out of a clock, who suing just about everyone for defamation. I am so proud of him. There need to be more people who openly take a stand against hate speech.

  4. Sundazed October 3, 2016 at 16:55 Reply

    Some great responses there.
    I agree with him 100% on this. It don’t matter to me how much someone is consenting to be part of something I find is degrading. Its still degrading what is being done to that person, even though the person has consented.
    Also the word consent is a bit weird in itself. Because consent is usually a term we use when we agree to do something we don’t really want to do.

  5. Sundazed October 7, 2016 at 02:13 Reply

    “Consent is something we expect from inferiors, not from superiors. ” what a great line! That’s truly it. And i dislike any society that is based upon the fact there are inferiors and superiors at all.

    Thx for the link.

  6. Sundazed October 7, 2016 at 02:23 Reply

    I’m going to start using it :)

    I bet I will have to defend the words at times though. We live in a time where the word consent is driving a lot of laws in terms of sexual harassment, rape and so on. And I understand where they are coming from. No means no so if the person has not ‘consented’ to having sex.. yes its a crime if one still have sex with that person. I would say rape.

    But if one look up the word and how its used in day to day society, one reason often given is that “someone consented to be searched by a police officer” and in all honesty. I want my sexual partner to be more excited about their sexuality than I would be to be searched by a police officer.
    If I were to find myself in a situation in which someone says to me “ok I’ll consent” in terms of us having sex. The moment would be pretty much over for me heh.

  7. Kendall October 7, 2016 at 13:44 Reply

    Ugh I got in this huge discussion with my friend today where she was saying a man isn’t going to jail even though he had 1000+ pictures and videos of CP (disgusting I know) because he wanted to start a family, she then goes on to say that he should NOT be allowed to have children, I then asked her if she thinks someone viewing CP shouldn’t be allowed around children, why do we allow men who view violent rape porn to be around their older daughters? She went on to say that it isn’t the same thing at all because acting, I don’t really see how it is different at all. I wanted to ask your opinion on it. Do you think that men who view rape porn are probably dangerous to women just as much as CP viewers are towards children?

    • Francois Tremblay October 7, 2016 at 14:35 Reply

      “Acting”! Yea sure. It’s all special effects right? ;P

      “Do you think that men who view rape porn are probably dangerous to women just as much as CP viewers are towards children?”

      It’s been shown that porn addicts develop more negative attitudes towards women and more positive attitudes towards rape, so yes. Some of them also evolve into child porn addicts as well, although I don’t think it’s a large percentage.

      Besides, there isn’t really any foolproof way of determining whether a porn video was the result of rape or sexual assault… unless you’re the female performer, I guess.

      • Kendall October 7, 2016 at 14:45 Reply

        Yes exactly what I was thinking… I just don’t understand why we can infer that people who watch CP are more likely to abuse children but then give a pass to men that watch rape porn like… what… they aren’t watching it for the “acting” they are watching it to see a woman being hurt, just like someone watching CP is but with kids instead… It was crazy seeing the excuses people make for “normal men with a kink”. She IS anti porn though, but she still makes this distinction, it’s very odd to me.

        • Francois Tremblay October 7, 2016 at 14:52 Reply

          I mean, the children could still be acting too right? What’s the difference? If a person is so stupid as to believe that normal pornography is just acting, maybe they’d believe child porn is just acting too.

          • Kendall October 7, 2016 at 15:00 Reply

            She said they KNOW children aren’t acting because the age of consent in the US that everyone is taught, that kids can’t consent… I explained to her that a lot of pedophiles think the age of consent is bull and want to liberate children sexually and she said it doesn’t matter how they feel it still is wrong and makes them more dangerous than men who watch rape porn because they “think it’s all acting and fantasy” she doesn’t actually think it’s acting but says those men do so it isn’t as bad… the mental gymnastics >.< ouch my head.

            • Francois Tremblay October 7, 2016 at 15:07 Reply

              Reality isn’t important, it’s how you feel about something that’s important! Trump’s campaign slogan! :)

  8. bacopa October 7, 2016 at 17:41 Reply

    Look, I’m a dude who never wanted my sexuality to be what porn told me it was. I have largely avoided porn and recently have decided we need to “do something” about porn.

    While I think the abolition of porn is a good idea, I still support “workplace safety” regulation of porn production. Porn performers are independent contractors, but no contractors are made to take the risks they take.

    Furthermore, simple enforcement of chain of custody laws from the 1990’s could shut down tube and sharing sites. USC 2257 demands the “consent” and documentation the pro-porn liberals used to support.

    I really don’t think its possible to get rid of porn without the overthrow of male hegemony. I do not believe this overthrow can be achieved by peaceable means.

    • Francois Tremblay October 8, 2016 at 00:13 Reply

      That’s not true, though. There are plenty of places where pornography is banned, mostly for religious reasons.

      • bacopa October 9, 2016 at 20:15 Reply

        Well, they ban porn, but I think they ban it because it presents a “liberal” model of male domination of women rather than their traditional methods of domination.

        I would love to see porn hemmed in by the laws I mentioned, but I don’t think we’ll see the full overthrow of the porn system until there are nuclear armed women’s movements. All of my Nuclear Friday posts are meant to help make that happen

        Any feminist movement without The Bomb will never really get to the goal. Their feminism will be nuclear capable or it will be bullshit.

        • Francois Tremblay October 9, 2016 at 23:47 Reply

          “Well, they ban porn, but I think they ban it because it presents a “liberal” model of male domination of women rather than their traditional methods of domination.”

          Yea, exactly!

          “I would love to see porn hemmed in by the laws I mentioned, but I don’t think we’ll see the full overthrow of the porn system until there are nuclear armed women’s movements. All of my Nuclear Friday posts are meant to help make that happen.”

          Uuuuh… okay.

          inches slowly away

          • bacopa October 13, 2016 at 17:57 Reply

            Well, they say “Smash the Patriarchy”, and stolen and repurposed nukes are the hardest smash there is. A nuclear armed women’s movement would have a strong negotiating position.

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