Kat Banyard on Sexual Violence

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One misconception that screams for redress is, that rape has anything to do with sexual desire. Kat Banyard in a recent Little Atoms episode is a post-post-feminist feminist – someone who doesn’t take equality for granted – and an anti-porn feminist. She tackled the relationship between porn and rape in a brief letter (Note: UK context).

In 2007 a Ministry of Justice–commissioned report cited the following findings: a meta-analysis of 30 studies showed watching porn increased aggressive behaviour in the viewer; a second meta-analysis of 46 studies showed it made viewers more likely to commit sexual offences and experience difficulties in intimate relationships; and a third meta-analysis of nine studies showed a significant relationship between watching porn and holding attitudes supporting violence against women. Porn isn’t a medical solution, it’s a public health crisis.

Absent from Neil Denny’s interview with Banyard, though, was a discussion of anti-censorship feminism or sex-positive feminism. I think Banyard makes excellent points about the reality of prostitution and misogynistic tendencies of mainstream media and heterosexual porn. But, I’m reluctant to lump all media into that category, and definitely averse to censorship. I’m not sure stigmatizing all forms of sex-related business is optimal either, because such legalistic remedies such as zoning as Banyard discusses in the case of lap dance clubs, only drive business underground.

I’d like to hear Banyard again, but taking on an interlocutor from the anti-censorship camp.

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Filed under: Human Rights, Podcasts Tagged: censorship, kat banyard, little atoms, neil denny, porn, pornography, post-feminism, prostitution, sex-positive feminism


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