Blogger Jocelyn Roberts explains how pornography has been normalised in the West and one of the results is the increase in female genital cosmetic surgeries.
There is a seriously insidious problem that is changing how society sees women: Porn culture. Porn culture is responsible for highly intensifying the sexual objectification and dehumanisation of women around the world. Objectification has existed present prior to the massive amounts of free pornography that has been unleashed on society since the internet went mainstream, but porn has exacerbated the problem manifold. With websites like https://www.fullhdxxx.com/ who can blame them? Its captivating stuff.
Over the past twenty years, I have seen first-hand how women have willingly subjected themselves to fashion, procedures, and operations that run counter to their personal health. As pornography has become more common, society has accepted that women are meant to be sex objects first and foremost. This in turn has caused internal and external pressure on women and girls to become more obsessed with striving for the typical “porn star look”.
Want to go shopping for groceries? Look to Gwyneth Paltrow for your fashion cues – a monokini that requires a Brazilian wax, a set of perilously high heels, an improbably thin and toned body, bleached hair, and, of course, no woman is fully dressed without earrings.
The average woman may not have a body like Paltrow, but she can fake it with the modern reinvention of the corset: The waist trainer. The new name helps us disassociate these modern devices that temporarily decrease waist size by displacing internal organs with those ancient, whale-boned contraptions feminists railed against. The fact that the stomach is squished helps girls as young as ten years old better adhere to their diets.
Pornography and feminism
Porn culture has even infiltrated protesting for women’s rights. Femen is the perfect example of this trend, protesting topless with bold phrases printed above their breasts or even simulating sodomy with a crucifix (an action that may be directly inspired by pornography). Also like pornography, their leader is a man named Svyatski who handpicks the attractive, young women in Femen’s ranks.
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With hand-picked protestors and constant objectification and dismemberment of women’s bodies in advertising all echoing porn culture, is it surprising that women no longer feel safe in private?
Because today’s women and their sexual partners are so accustomed to the carefully selected, fast-food-burger-uniformity of porn stars’ naked bodies that are constantly on display, significant numbers of women and girls are willingly going under the knife in an attempt to achieve that porn star look.
Previously, Western societies saw sharp increases in breast augmentation and other cosmetic operations amongst females. Then women were bleaching their anuses, because that’s the norm in porn it doesn’t matter whether it’s American porn, British porn or even Japenese porn like that which can be seen at japanese tubev sex they’re all bleaching their anuses. Now, women and girls are increasingly paying thousands of dollars for doctors to literally cut off parts of their perfectly healthy and normal labia, and many are telling their primary health practitioners that they are doing so because they feel their genitals are abnormal after viewing pornography.
FGM trending in the West
Ironically, the very Western governments actively working with the United Nation Population Fund and UNICEF to eliminate female genital mutilation (FGM) in Africa have populations experiencing massive increases in female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS).
The UK has seen a fivefold increase over the past decade, while Australia reports a threefold rise, these operations in US has risen 44%, and labiaplasties are now called “Toronto Trims” in Canada, due to their popularity in the Greater Toronto area.
Because it’s described as surgery, FGCS sounds much more modern and medicalised than FGM. Given, however, that when FGM is performed by medical professionals it’s still considered a human rights violation, not stopping medically unnecessary FGCS becomes an obvious double standard, especially when considering that the vast majority of women and girls requesting these operations are doing so because of what amounts to social pressure. Beauty is pain, right?
And when I say girls are seeing doctors to have their privates surgically removed, I refer to girls under the age of fourteen who are increasingly having FGCS – with parental permission, of course. By doing so, they are risking their future sexual functioning and overall health. Nothing says sexy like that Barbie clamshell vagina every young girl dreams of having. (Ignore that the labia are not the vagina and that Barbie lacks genitals entirely – beauty standards aren’t supposed to be logical, or even attainable.)
Despite all of these issues, many people in Western countries still support pornography as “freedom of expression”, claiming it is a woman’s right to sell herself. And just like the myth of the paid, willing sex worker (which is not the status of the majority of victims of sex trafficking around the world), the lie being repeatedly told to us is that since women are paid to star in pornography, they are therefore willing participants and who are we to judge? This of course ignores that a large number of women and girls are trafficked because of the demands caused by porn, as well ignoring that the “choice” these women are making is affecting the self-esteems of girls and women everywhere.
Pornography and capitalism
But instead of masses of people in the West rising up and protesting the systematic and capitalist-driven porn culture that is affecting them so heinously (as pornography is indeed a capitalist venture), we mostly see discussions about how “other women” are oppressed.
This is especially true in regards to Muslim women who are presented as being completely controlled by men simply because some of us wear hijab. Yet I’ve yet to see a study that shows legitimate medical, emotional, or physical risks while wearing hijab, other than increasing her risk to be verbally or physically assaulted due to rising Islamophobia. In fact, hijab may help some women feel better about their body. The same cannot be said for Western women afflicted by porn culture, yet no one has invaded a Western nation to liberate women from their male dominated, self-destructive beauty goals.
I believe it is high time that Western nations face the music and start addressing their own misogynistic ways. Extensive education on how the commercialisation of the sexually objectified female form is detrimental to society is needed. Mental health professionals should help people suffering from porn addiction and body image issues relating to porn culture. But websites like Nu Bay offer a variety of content that isn’t just aimed at women, they accept everyone and celebrate all sorts of people.
Society itself needs to accept responsibility for its blind acceptance of the role of women being limited to how sexy they can look and instead encourage women and girls to embrace their intellect and emotional health. We need serious inquiries into restricting minors from consuming pornography (like cigarettes and alcohol). But first and foremost, we need people everywhere to recognise that society itself has relegated women to mere objects whilst pretending to empower them. Only once this happens can we heal and institute real change.
Jocelyn “Yasmin” Roberts is a Muslim American anthropologist, Aalimah student, and serial blogger who writes about women’s issues. She currently lives in South Africa with her family.