Gail Dines: “The porn industry has run out of ideas, short of a killing a woman”

Framingham, MA – from www.metrowestdailynews.com – The topic of Sunday breakfast discussion this month: pornography.

Author and activist Gail Dines told the audience at Temple Beth Am that pornography has gotten more hardcore in the 25 years she has studied the subject, is easier to obtain because of the Internet, and is spurring teenagers to imitate sex scenes that objectify women far more than pornography typically did in the past.

“This generation has become desensitized. The porn industry has run out of ideas, short of a killing a woman,” the Wheelock College professor and founder of the activist group Stop Porn Culture, told the crowd of more than 50 people at the Pleasant Street temple hall.

The audience showed up for the temple’s monthly Brotherhood Breakfast. They got butter, bagels, coffee and a serious discussion of extreme sex in the 21st century.

“This probably isn’t what you want to hear on a Sunday morning brunch,” she said.

Eric Solomont, president of the brotherhood, said he invited Dines to give a talk after reading a book review of her recent book, “Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality.”

“This is a sensitive topic. It’s brutal. It’s not meant for children,” said Solomont. No one under the age of 18 was permitted to hear the talk.

Dines’ study comes at a time when the pornography industry has boomed to an all-time high. According to TopTenReviews, an online website dedicated to research, the pornography industry generates more revenue than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined.

And according to Dines, pornography today is anything but a girl in skimpy clothing.

“By 11 years old, boys have seen pornography in the U.S., and it’s not your dad’s Playboy either,” said Dines. “They’re looking at really hardcore porn that’s replaced intimacy with violence, and they don’t know the difference.”

While introducing the topic, Dines pulled visuals from mainstream media, showing women in sexually suggestive poses, with little-to-no clothing – and with little-to-no identity.

“These women have no biography, they have no name, they have no future. They’re replaceable,” said Dines, after showing a popular Sports Illustrated image of eight similar looking women in the same white bikini.

“This is what’s shaping the identity of our kids and grandkids.”

According to Dines, young girls are being taught to be sexually submissive “play things” for men through mainstream images and through the pornography videos they’re stumbling across.

“The first form of sexual education is hardcore pornography,” said Dines, who referenced a porn scene she came across during her research of three men having intercourse with one female simultaneously. “It’s reshaping the way children view sex.”

Dines’ research included interviewing convicted child rapists and surveying the Internet. She got involved with the topic when she was 22 after attending an anti-pornography “slide show.”

During her talk yesterday, one female audience member walked out of the room saying, “I’m not going to listen to this crap.”

For Karen Spilka, mother of two and state senator from Ashland, the issues Dines presented were not something that she could walk away from.

Spilka responded to Dines’ failure to get legislation enacted some 15 years ago that would have dealt with pornography and children. Dines said her effort was stymied “when the porn business came to town.”

“I’d like to take you up on that legislation,” said Spilka.

She suggested incorporating Dines’ findings into local Parent-Teacher organizations. “It’s hard to regulate the Internet because there are no boundaries, but we could try to put reasonable limitations on (pornography), as a state.”

Whether the state takes up pornography as an issue, Daniel Bendell, father of twin 13-year-old girls, the subject matter starts at home.

“I have what I consider to be good girls, but the result the media has on them – I can’t take it for granted,” said the Framingham resident. “As parents, most of us are aware of what’s out there, but the frank nature of the discussion brought it to the forefront.”

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