Let me tell you a little story. A few weeks ago, my boyfriend Radu and I were visiting his parents. On one evening, we decided to watch a movie together. Radu picked the movie “The Shape of Water”. It was the movie that won 4 Oscars this year, including “Best Motion Picture of the Year”. So it must be a great movie from many points of view, right? Great cinematography, incredible storytelling and brilliant acting. That’s what I expected.
Well we all sat down on the sofa and started watching the movie. One of the first scenes shows a single woman living alone and her morning routine. She wakes up, she puts some eggs in a pot to boil while she goes in the bathtub to masturbate. Yes, you read that right (in case you have not seen the movie yet). And yes, we were watching this movie with my boyfriend’s parents. And I was speechless. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t enjoy watching movies with nudity or sexual content, but watching this with my boyfriend’s parents made me feel incredibly uncomfortable.
We kept watching the movie anyway. After all, it’s an Oscar movie and one or two inappropriate sex scenes should not matter much. So I kept watching it…until the next sex scene. This involved a husband and a wife, but it’s not what you would expect. This man is a pretty despicable character and I’m already not a fan of the movie. The scene shows them both in bed, he is on top of his wife. The scene is neither glamorous or flattering for any of them. It has no romance in it either. While they are having sex, the woman tell her husband that his hand is bleeding. She wants to stop having sex. But he doesn’t. So he puts his bleeding hand over his wife’s mouth to shut her up while his blood was dripping in her mouth. All so that he would get the chance to be satisfied.
Does this sound at all disturbing to you? Because I felt very uneasy watching a sex scene that showed a woman clearly being abused by her husband. And yes, the parents were still there. I was so mad and disappointed at this point that I just said “I don’t want to watch this movie anymore”. I went into the other room, I watched something else alone and then I went to bed. The following day they all reported that the movie in itself was pretty disappointing anyway so I didn’t miss anything good.
And now I want to ask you this: have you watched a good movie lately? If you did, was it the type of movie that you can also watch with your parents or little brother? Or did it include violent scenes that were very graphic and disturbing? Did it have a lot of explicit sex scenes? Did any of these scenes seem out of the blue or made you feel uncomfortable? Do you think there is a problem with that?
I do! I think that society is becoming more and more sexualized every day. And this can be seen in any type of content: books, music videos, movies, Instagram posts and so on. All these contribute to the sexualization of our society.
Think about it. Are the movies you are watching now as the movies you watched 5 or 10 years ago? Have you noticed how many movies now include inappropriate and explicit sex scenes? Just think about the rise of 50 Shades of Grey, Game of Thrones and…almost any movie or series you can watch now. The problem is that is has become much easier to find movies with weird or overly-explicit sex scenes in them than movies without them.
And I am asking myself: what is happening to our society? Are we becoming so obsessed with sex that it permeates everything we do? Have we become so saturated with good and decent content that we need something very shocking and degrading to make us want to watch it?
Are writers and producers so lazy or creatively challenged that they create bad stories and then add special effects, violence and sex just to make them interesting or shocking enough for people to watch? Yes, I know – you may be thinking about their creative license. You could say that creators can create what they want. That’s true. But WHY are they creating this bullshit and serving it to us as art???
Technically, a creator of any sort – writer, director, producer and so on – has the right to create something in any way they want. I get that. But works of art (or whatever they are making now) are supposed to be well-executed, not just executed in any way a creator wants. For example, I can type an article just by randomly smashing my fingers on the keyboard and claim that I was doing something creative (creative license). But would that be a work of art? Is that something well-done that anyone would admire? I guess not. Well, all the renowned or aspiring creators of any sort should be no different.
Part of the story?
You might say that those violent fights or explicit sex scenes are included in movies and books because they need to be there. They are important because they show us the true nature of the characters and this is the only way to illustrate it. No other type of interaction or dialogue could describe the character well enough to do it justice.
So it’s not that creators want to include scenes were female characters are raped with no reason. No no, these scenes are included and filmed in a very explicit and degrading way because they have to be done and they have to be done in that way. Well, I would actually buy this argument – if it were true.
But if you take the time to analyze the movies you watch you will see that the sex scenes often make no sense. They do not add to the story any more than commercials do. And the same goes for books, ads, music videos and anything else now. So why do writers put them there?
Sex sells and distracts
I would say that it’s either to attract people or to get away with a bad story. For example, if you are a car manufacturer, you can sell your cars in two ways.
Scenario 1: You make really good cars so you go with that. You talk about and show how your car is superior to others. You mention the type of engine it has, how efficient it is, the safety features it includes and so on. Basically, you tell people what type of car you make and what makes it a great car. Or you can do something totally different.
Scenario 2: You can sell the car by hiring a beautiful woman to pose with the car and star in a commercial. You find a woman who is fit, tall and preferably blonde. You have an entire team of people in charge of makeup and hair to make her look flawless, dress her in a bikini and have her stand near the car. The men that see this commercial will think “If only I had that car then maybe I would be able to seduce a woman like her”.
It doesn’t matter that you can barely find a woman that looks like her in a thousand women. Actually, even that model doesn’t look like that when she wakes up in the morning. Anyway, you can sell you car by not even talking about the car. Isn’t that great? Just look at the ad below.
I’m sorry, but I do not see the art and creativity in this ad. I see a beautiful woman being used to sell cars to men who fantasize that owing this type of car will make them more attractive to women. And this is not happening just with car ads. Women are now being used to sell anything from sandwiches to champagne and jewelry. And that’s just crazy to me – not to mention insulting and degrading. So I’m not buying the “creative license” crap.
You could also say that we as a society are becoming more “sexually liberated”. In the past we were ashamed of our bodies and sexuality. Now we want to enjoy it. So much so that men and women are paid to fake having good sex while others are filming it and streaming it online.
Since when does sexual liberation have anything to do with prostitution, exploitation and degrading and dangerous behaviours? Oh, and let me remind you that in most cases women are presented just as sex toys used by men to get satisfaction.
I’m sorry, but I cannot understand how porn, nude selfies and pictures of women twisting their bodies in weird positions so they look fit and sexy are necessary or in any way connected to your sex life. Well let me tell you something: you can accept your body and enjoy your sexuality without having to live in a pornified society. And by the way, let’s talk about the cost and effect of this “liberation”.
Let’s talk about porn since it influenced all types of content we consume: our pictures on Instagram, our favourite TV shows and movies, our books and everything else. In a world where a music video seems to be the intro of a porn video, I can only assume that porn lead to the sexualization of everything we watch, see and like on an app.
The effects of porn
I don’t know what you know about this, but the use of porn is widespread and it usually has some terrible effects on everyone involved. Here are some of its effects:
- Men who watch porn feel less satisfied in their relationships and less attracted to their partners.1,2,3
- It destroys intimacy and real love. Many couples break up or divorce and porn often has something to do with this. The couples that watch porn together are more likely to end up in separation or divorce.2
- Some men end up having erectile dysfunction in their 20s. That’s right. The use of porn affects them so badly that they are unable to have sex with their girlfriends anymore.3
But one of the most important effects of porn is that it shows women as a tool men use to feel pleasure. If you see this often enough, you learn that women are inferior to men. You begin to see them less as human beings, and more as tools to use to get satisfaction. Of course, you do not consciously decide that women are inferior – the same way you do not consciously decide that you are attracted to a certain person or that you need to wear clothes in public. This happens on a subconscious level and it has deep and devastating effects on our society as a whole. This is why women are often mistreated, disrespected and abused. Some men begin to hate women to the point where they attack, beat, torture, rape and kill them in horrific ways.
Yes, that’s probably something you would never do. You don’t have to. Just make sure that you never vote for a female president. Refuse to hire women as CEOs in your company. Pay your female employees less. Go to a club and get a girl drunk just to score. Go to a strip club. Watch porn. Or just treat your girlfriend like a sex object. That will do it. Even better – have children and subtly show them that your wife is inferior to you and you are “the man”. Also, make sure you have an internet connection your kids can use whenever and however they want and never bother to warn them about porn. That should keep our society from evolving in the next decades.
It may not seem like a big deal to you now but believe me, it is. Did you know that almost every men watches or has watched porn? Do you know that even men in stable relationships continue to watch it and they sometimes choose it over sex?
We have come to the point where people are so addicted to porn that they need to check into a clinic to get help. And some of those patients are as young as 8. Can you imagine this? Our great society is so messed up that we have 8-year-old kids that are so addicted to porn that they need to get medical treatment.4 Do you see how messed up this is? If this does not scare you, I do not know what will.
The problem is that we have come to the point where pornographic or pornified material has infiltrated our society in such a deep and insidious way that it has many powerful, hidden and lasting effects. The books and movies are all just an effect. Can you imagine someone writing 50 shades of Grey in a society where porn or sexualized video or pictures would not exist? I can’t!
Maybe you don’t care about this. Maybe you think it is not important. But believe me, it is. I have thought this over many times in my head. I have read about this and looked at what the science has to say. And it does not paint a pretty picture.
I don’t know about you, but I want to live in a world where:
I, as a woman, can walk alone at day or night without being afraid that I would be raped or attacked.
I want to be in a relationship with a partner that loves and respects me and we engage in healthy and safe sex without using porn as a cheap substitute for a sex life or a meaningful relationship.
I want to live in a society where women are no longer eye candy, sex toys and prostitutes. I want to see women being respected and appreciated for all the skills and abilities they have. I want to see them treated as people – humans that have souls, minds and bodies. I want women to finally be given more opportunities to work and contribute to our society in a way only they can.
I want to live in a world where I don’t have to be scared that my daughter will be forced to perform the sex her boyfriend saw in porn. I want boys to know that women are remarkable and they deserve our respect and admiration.
I want to live in a world where men rise up above their tendencies and animal instincts and hold themselves up to a higher standard. They can respect themselves enough and women enough to never pay for sex or force someone to have sex. I want men to understand how devastating porn is to everyone and choose to stop using it. I want men to learn how to behave with their partners and make them feel safe and appreciated and truly loved and desired.
I want to see men feel good about themselves not for masturbating alone in their rooms while watching women being used and faking to enjoy it. Rather men should be proud of themselves for flattering, seducing and treating a women the right way. For making their partner feel respected and cherished and appreciated for all that she is.
I know that most people will just brush over my words like they don’t matter. If you are not one of them, if you actually read and think about what I’ve written here, thank you. You are already making a step in the right direction. It means that you are smart and good enough to think about the way you live your life and the world you are creating every day.
Do you want to change something?
Now it is not enough to read an article about this topic. And doing something about this is not always easy, but if you want to contribute to this world and help make it better, here are a few things you can do:
- Watch less porn and then give it up. Only you can make that choice for yourself and nothing I say will force you to do that. But giving up porn is one of the best things you can do – for everyone, especially yourself.
- If you are addicted to it (if you cannot go one or two weeks without watching any porn), read about this. There are articles, support groups, books, apps and websites that can help you. Any addiction can be cured.
- Educate yourself on what really happens in the porn industry. Read about the way women are treated and why they do this and the conditions they live and film in. This will be eye-opening and it will help you see the reality behind it.
- Choose the type of content you consume. Pick the videos, books, movies and Instagram posts that are decent and portray women in a good and respectable way.
- Choose to rise above what the world is forcing upon you. Porn, books, music videos and movies with naked women used as eye candy are good for their business, so they will continue to push it. But they are not good for you, your family and the society we live in.
- When choosing a movie, read about it on IMDB. You can see its rating and find out if it includes violent or sexual scenes. You can watch great movies with no degrading content.
Remember that we create the world we live in. We do that with everything we watch, say and do. Every word, click, like and behaviour shapes us and our world. And a world where women are objectified all the time is a sad and pathetic world. I refuse to live that way. So I will do my best to help create a world where women know their own value, men respect and love women for who they are and engage in meaningful and great relationships. Is this the type of world you want to live in? Be a part of it. Let’s create this world!
1. Daily Mail, Men who regularly watch pornography are less happy in their relationships, study finds – Read more
2. Verily, How to Talk to Your Partner About Porn, and Why Everyone Needs to Do It – Read more
3. Your Brain on Porn, Studies linking porn use or porn/sex addiction to sexual dysfunctions, lower arousal, and lower sexual & relationship satisfaction – Read more
4. Daily Star, Inside a porn addiction clinic with patients as young as EIGHT – Read more