Published on LolaPress, by Monika Gerstendörfer, not dated, as a re-worked section that appeared in the magazine ‘Terre des Femmes’, circular letter of 4/1995, Translated by Zari A. Harat.
In the past few years, the issue of violence against women has been repeatedly presented in the media. Discussions concerning this topic present two opposing fronts.
On one hand, there are those (mostly feminists),who denounce the portrayal of women as weak, helpless, a bit stupid; as those whose heads are only used to apply make-up. Special attention is given in viewing them as sexual entities, who are not only viewed as objects of desire, either to be rescued, oppressed, raped or dominated, according to whim. Critics, both male and female contend that this imagery has a decisive influence on the role assigned to women which furthermore directs how men, and younger men treat women; this being negative.
On the other hand, promoted by the media itself, so-called liberals, and leftist males state that freedom of speech is to be treasured, and that censorship should be silenced when it forbids viewing of certain films and depictions. Politicians demand that media should reflect on it’s role in this matter and take responsibility for it’s action. This is a problem!
Many simply claim that there is not scientific justification to prove that the representation of mysogynism, sex and crime portrayals tend to lead to violence. They advocate the opposite, that pornography reduces some of so-called male aggression. This is however false.
It is true that science after extensive research has created more questions than answers, however there is proof prior and after such work that violence – or the consumption of pornography deadens emotions. This deadening of emotions removes empathy, or the ability to show compassion for feminine victims (for example rape victims). The lack of empathy for victims of sexual violence is a basic problem in our society, and this factor contributes to perpetuating this situation.
The Western World’s responsibility: … (full long text).