End Women’s Sexualization by Killing Porn Industry

Viewpoints

SEXUAL objectification occurs when individuals see others as sex objects rather than complex human beings deserving of dignity and respect. This is reflected when our national gymnast, Farah Ann’s performance at the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 has attracted demeaning and offensive comments from daring netizens online.

The Norwegians are not spared from this kind of subjection as well. According to regulations proposed by the International Handball Federation, their female players must wear midriff-baring tops and bikini bottoms while men can play in tank tops and shorts no longer than four inches above the knee. Such hypocrisy hits in as even in the ‘most democratic country’, their athletes are unable to opt out or disagree with the requirements, despite feeling much sexualized in the said outfit.

Clearly women in the sports’ field are not immune to harsh implications of sexual objectification. As reported by Pornhub Insights, sports-related searches are popular all year. “Volleyball” was the most searched-for sport at the 2016 summer Olympics, followed by “Soccer/Football,” “Swimming,” and “Gymnastics/Gymnast.” This has the effect of sexualizing girls, romanticizing sexually abusive interactions involving coaches and underage athletes, and overall objectifying and degrading women of all ages that compete in various sports. Doesn’t it say a lot about our porn-obsessed society?

Even in times where everyone is ‘trapped’ in the comfort of their homes, our culture’s proclivity for sexualization and objectification persists. As Covid-19 spreads and lockdowns are implemented in major cities and nations throughout the world, traffic to the Pornhub site gradually grows from March 2020. Besides, numerous videos on Tiktok and Facebook are widely produced and shared while displaying social influencers, condoning sexual gestures with lewd behaviours regardless of having full knowledge that some of their audiences might be small teenagers. Experts have named sexual objectification as the “common thread” that unites many types of sexual assault.

According to research-based articles and police investigations, porn involves criminal activities such as assault, rape, violence, pedophilia and humans trafficking. Approximately 97% of the time, women are the targets of pornographic violence. It is also reported that the average age at which domestic minor trafficking victims were pushed into pornography was 12.8 years old.

The pornographic industry that feeds on women’s sexualization is booming as its global profit and revenue exceeds $100 billion per year. The sheer volume of pornography trafficked is outstanding, with more monthly visits than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined. This filthy industry also generates more revenue in the United States than Major League Baseball, the NFL, and the NBA combined. Its businesses are thriving on oppression and unjust treatment of vulnerable children, inclusive of men and women who were forced to live in consistent enslavement, while receiving bodily harm almost each day.

As Germany continues to engage with practical measures to fight against sexualization of women, they decide to enforce full body-covering unitards for their national gymnasts in the Olympics.

Moreover, Pornhub and other similar sites are banned as a way to guarantee protection of children in their country. Similarly, our Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has taken a significant approach by prohibiting and blocking access to thousands of porn sites on the Internet in recent years. Together with enforcement of Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017, we can now deter possible predators from further exploiting our adolescents. There is no doubt that strict adherence to laws on public morality and various religious principles can also help create a safer environment for women and children in general.

Our government should wage war against corporate capitalists who enjoy stripping away women’ honor and self-esteem by removing all access to pornographic content including soft-porn materials in tv commercials, highways’ billboards, displays in shopping malls, and ultimately on all digital platforms. Every segment of the society must work hand in hand to eradicate any form of immorality if we really want to prevent cases of harassment and finally put an end to women’s sexualization.

Nur Farihah Meor Mazli
Youth & Media Exco,
International Women’s Alliance for Family Institution & Quality Education WAFIQ

(This article is initially published by New Straits Times [NST] on 2nd August 2021. Picture courtesy : NST)

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