Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Credo Overdue

Some-one recently asked why Chelt Fems was opposed to mainstream porn and whether we were concerned that our pro-choice stance might exclude Catholics...

I put this response together, but annoyingly in the short time between her posing the questions and my getting round to posting a response, she left. Anyway, ever the recycler, here they are...

With regard to our pro-choice stance excluding Catholics and other religious groups opposed to abortion, to be honest, they’ll have to work with us where they agree and opt out where they don’t.  One of the core demands of the second wave movement was free contraception and abortion on demand.  I understand that there are arguments around some women feeling that abortion is sometimes a response to a society that doesn’t support care givers, and obviously, provision of childcare sits alongside access to on demand abortion.  Nonetheless, having control over our own reproduction is fundamental to most feminists, and if there are those who disagree I would respectfully suggest they dip out of campaigns they don’t want to support or perhaps find another group.  Some Catholics also have a problem with LGBT people, and I wouldn’t hesitate to tell them where to go!

Secondly, mainstream porn is harmful to the actors, the audience and society.  I firmly believe there is data that demonstrates people’s ability to enjoy sex is affected by porn and that it normalises violence against women.  I also think this area is woefully under-researched; as one would expect the epidemic of VAWG warrants less attention and funding than hair loss or weapons.  Aside from this, I’ve a wealth of personal experience and anecdotal evidence that suggests to me that porn is deeply damaging. 

With poor and patchy sex ed in schools, this strikes me as a toxic combination; it horrifies me to think that kids are growing-up thinking that pain and humiliation of women are a necessary part of sex.  I have had some really interesting conversations with people in Chelt Fems about other forms of pornography, and agree that it can be argued some porn can act as a platform for women to celebrate their sexuality.  To be honest without going into more depth than I’ve time for, I’m not convinced, but am open to the idea hence my caveat of ‘mainstream.’  
This has made it very clear to me that at some point we need to agree a credo of some sort.

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