Sunday 30 March 2008

Gang-rape in Australia: Obviously linked to pornography!

I'm so so so fucking angry!

An atrocious gang-rape occurred in Brisbane (Australia) and many porn apologists, in the comment thread of this excellent and compelling article (that Caroline Norma wrote), are still out there in force defending this misogynistic propaganda that is called pornography over the life of a young woman that has been wrecked by not only what must have been an extremely distressing, humiliating and painful night but also the pictures that were taken of the assault.

This young rape victim had pornography made of her.

There is no doubt that rapes and gang-rapes are occurring all around the world, especially where people are living in pornified cultures.

In her article, Norma wrote about a popular pornographic genre called “bukake” and saw this gang-rape as a possible imitation of it.

Here is the article:

ABC news radio reported on the morning of International Women’s Day that a 17-year-old girl had been raped in Brisbane. The newsdesk copywriter must have had a strong coffee that morning because she decided to include the bold description that “ten men stood over the girl masturbating while each of them raped her in turn”.

This snippet of information, plus the inevitable news that the men took photos of the girl while they abused her, provides the clues women need to understand why this rape occurred, and what it means for our lives in Australian society.

Pornography users will immediately recognise the brand of rape the men used against the girl. There is a genre of pornography called “bukake” in which men stand around a single woman masturbating and ejaculating while they wait their turn to orally penetrate her. The anti-pornography documentary Pornography: the musical features footage of bukake scenes being produced, as well as a heart wrenching interview with a woman immediately after being filmed in bukake pornography. Readers can also consult the Internet, of course - it is teeming with bukake pornography sites.

As revolting as we might think it sounds, it’s important to keep in mind that men are watching and masturbating to bukake pornography in the name of pleasure and fun. The pornography industry makes more money than the mainstream entertainment industry, so we can assume it’s not a few men that are enjoying themselves with pictures of men spraying their ejaculate all over naked women.

Consuming pornography is no longer the pastime of a few men on the margins, nor is it an activity that is marginal to the lives of men. Catharine Lumby’s recent study reports that only 7 per cent of surveyed users could imagine their pornography use to be harmful in any way.

It’s hard to believe the ten men would have perpetrated the pack rape on the spur of the moment. The girl was picked up and taken back to an inner city apartment after meeting a man in a nightclub. The man then called the nine other men to come over. It was reported in The Courier-Mail (March 7) that this inner city apartment “had been rented for the night by the group of men”. Presumably they all knew each other - they were all between the ages of 18 and 22. And they must have known each other well enough to trust that no one would feel a sudden pang of conscience and upset the highly organised operation.

How has a rape club managed to flourish in the tropical surroundings of sunny Brisbane? What is leading men to come up with the idea that getting together with a bunch of friends to rape a woman might be a fun way to spend a Saturday night?

Boys from the Melbourne suburb of Werribee hit upon the idea last year, and now, it seems, in Brisbane. Could this be a new trend? Maybe Lumby and her friends could chart the rise of rape clubs in Australian society and even predict new developments in this exciting Australian subculture. They need only look to pornography to find out what these innovations will be.

The 17-year-old girl who had bukake pornography made out of her probably struggles to exist these days. She would have been frightened out of her mind on the night the men pack raped her, and the death threats they subsequently made against her couldn’t have helped her sense of personal security.

She probably worries about her pictures appearing on the Internet, and perhaps even dares to think about the men who will have a good time looking at her abuse. This probably leaves her wondering how she’s going to get through the rest of her life. Her rape club assailants, who were apparently smiling in court during their bail hearing, now face the prospect of jail, but not the prospect of a lifetime of mental anguish.

The girl might take some comfort in the fact that Australian society lurched to offer some response to the crime. The Queensland police worked on the case for six months, and the Crime and Misconduct Commission played a part in bringing the men before court.

On the Monday morning after news of the rape was broadcast on Saturday March 8, graffiti appeared on the wall of a sex shop in Brisbane’s inner city suburb of Highgate Hill reading: “10 man rape: porn imitation?” Feminists have already planned a rally outside the court where the men will appear on April 21.

But none of this will change the conditions that foster rape clubs. Pornography has made it very sexy to hurt and humiliate women. To date there have been few acts of resistance to the sex industry. This has to change.

There is a large amount of evidence of the link between pornography and rape as you can read on my website and from books containing important research and testimonies that show the undeniable link between pornography and violence against women and girls. And while the porn industry is becoming more mainstream, the images it produces are increasingly more degrading and sadistic.

Rapes are becoming more violent. Empathy toward women is decreasing day after day. Many men and boys (who use pornography) may be having many nights like these "just between friends" around the globe: "rape club" nights that destroy many women's lives forever -- not only this poor young Australian woman, she's certainly not the only one it's happened to. Rape and gang-rape are far away from being rare!

But prepare to be thoroughly pissed off, rad fems, because, as usual (such as in the comment thread to this article), pro-porners jump in and keep defending their misogynistic crap over women's lives with such an outrageous fervor.

The pornographic videos and pictures are more important than the lives of women and girls who have been coerced into sex, raped or even gang-raped by some pornography users. These pornographic images are seen as a lot more essential to life than women's safety to pro-porners. And porn is valued over female lives in the eyes of porn apologists. The "free speech" of the woman-hating propaganda material that is called pornography matters much more than the speech of the women and girls who have been, are, and will be raped and silenced. This is so sickening I want to scream in rage!

And I do not believe in any bullshit "biological" explanation such as "if those guys did this, that just means they are 'naturally bad' people". The men and boys who do rape have been socially conditioned and influenced by patriarchal pornified culture to behave that way. I'm not saying that every single porn user becomes a rapist; I'm only saying that there is damn well a strong link between pornography and rape and there's thorough research that has been made to prove that. Rapists are not born; they are made, into a culture that implicitly condones rape in the first place.

From childhood on, many men are socialized and trained to a masculinity which encourages them to suppress their emotional reactions and feelings ("be a man" so the saying goes); then they often learn sex from pornography which reinforces a masculinity based on conquest and control. As professor Chyng Sun says: "Pornography encourages people to disregard others' pain for one's own pleasure."

When will society ever notice the undeniable connection between pornography and rape? Why do some people have to be so cruel to believe that women and girls' lives and safety matter less than this woman-hatred propaganda material (porn) that is used by (primarily) males when they want a selfish orgasm? An orgasm at the expense of millions and millions of female human beings who are raped?

An Australian piece of news described that “ten men stood over the girl masturbating while each of them raped her in turn”. A graffiti put on the wall of a porn shop in Brisbane read: “10 man rape: porn imitation?”

Caroline Norma, with a keen sense of suspicion, asked: "What is leading men to come up with the idea that getting together with a bunch of friends to rape a woman might be a fun way to spend a Saturday night?" The connection to these gang rapes, the way they are perpetrated, the pattern clearly show the link between pornography and sexual violence against women. When are people out there going to wake up and see, eventually notice this incontestable link?


Anonymous said...

These sorts of things make me feel so sad.
Of course there's a link between pornography and this rape. Where would those men have got the idea to plan the thing so efficiently, and then act out something seen so often in porn?
There's no way anyone could ever convince me that bukakke is a natural thing and the drive to do it comes from biology.
It's totally a learned thing, and we don't even need to ask the question "where would they learn this from" because bukakke only appears in porn.

"Feminists have already planned a rally outside the court where the men will appear on April 21."

I'm interested in that. I'll see if I can find more details and attend, but the next paragraph feels pretty true.

"But none of this will change the conditions that foster rape clubs. Pornography has made it very sexy to hurt and humiliate women. To date there have been few acts of resistance to the sex industry. This has to change."

Oh... Oh it happened on international womens day too. How sad...

Anonymous said...

Well said Maggie. I couldn't summon any energy to write about this. Just reading about it was enough.

Anonymous said...

Maggie, those porn apologist comments were sickening.

They, the 10 rapists, have ruined that young woman's life. For what? A few hours of their own 'pleasure'?

What happened in that apartment was an exact porn script, yet the porn apologists have trouble with the causal link? Will they not see this link unless the rapists start quoting porn film titles mid-rape?

The dude that rang all his mates and orchestrated this gang rape needs life in jail. It is bad enough that he is a rapist, but to organise a gang rape? That is conspiracy to commit a crime, as well as the crime itself.

One point that the porn apologists miss, they claim that 'porn doesn't cause these gang rapes, it was already inherent in the individual'. Well, what an outstanding co-incidence that one rapist just happens to know nine others, nine others he trusts 'won't tell'. Logic must dictate that the chances of this many rapists knowing each other is about the same as winning the lottery -- unless of course, they have been conditioned into being rapists.

The porn apologists are far more anti-male than radical feminists are. Radfems lay the blame on rape culture at the door of porn and the machismo upbringing of males. The porn apologists say "no causality between this trend of gang rapes and DIY porn, and the porn saturation. These guys would do it anyway" (sentiment gleaned from the comments). Well the increasing frequency of these gang rapes being filmed, using the porn apologist view, would indicate that there are a significant amount of 'bad apples' in the male basket. That would indicate that we need to terminate these 'bad apples' would it not?

The homoerotic bonding is evident. The gang rape is male bonding, over the bodies of females, to 'defeat the common enemy'. Nothing says misogyny like gang rape. Nothing says misogyny than the symbolic humiliation of bukake.

I am not sure when the rest of the female population is going to wake up to rampant misogyny sanctioned by society. We are already at 1 in 4 to 1 in 3 females will be raped within their lifetimes. When does critical mass occur among females? When rape is 1 in 2, or 99% of the female population?

Debi Crow said...

I feel the same as Sparks, I just can't do it at the moment. This story is so horrific and so saddening, I just have no words. x


Stormy says it all for me. Just one very important point, pornography dehumanises both women and men in different ways. Women are dehumanised and become 'men's sexual playthings and as such it is okay to inflict sexual violence and sexual degradation on women because they aren't human. Porn teaches men to view women as dehumanised beings and therefore emotions such as empathy and respect for women's humanity are irrelevant. The same conditioning was used by the Nazis to dehumanise any group considered to be inferior.

The same brainwashing is being used in porn but because patriarchy believes men are superior to women, it is far more effective given men's socialisation into believing male and masculinity is always superior and opposite to female and femininity.

Men group raping women is not just endemic in Australia it is happening worldwide but the media and society continues to hide this fact. The evidence is there but far too many women and men too, refuse to see the truth. Is it because it would be too painful to see just how women globally are being dehumanised by pornography, the sex industry and men's insatiable demand for profit and male sexual pleasure.

Anonymous said...

"Men group raping women is not just endemic in Australia it is happening worldwide but the media and society continues to hide this fact."

Over here, when you talk about things like gang rapes its assumed you're talking about other countries.
The other day I brought up that poor girl who was raped by over 200 men and only one of them got convicted a man asked me "Which country did this happen in" and I said "Gold Coast. Australia" as he knows I live there. (The conversation took place in Brisbane the city of the rape mentioned in this article.)

And he was like "Wow. Thats bad" (Somehow it happening in other countries is not so bad? I don't really understand exactly.)

We're so keen to say "Look over there, look at those other countries. They're the shit ones. Australia is fine" but that just isn't the case. It happens here as well and it happens so often.

Phio Gistic said...

"Pornography encourages people to disregard others' pain for one's own pleasure."
Horrifyingly enough, I think the pain and destruction is part of what they like about it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Maggie, and everyone here, for your support on Onlineopinion. I think you and your website are just brilliant. As men's porn-generated gynocide descends upon us, it's good to know that women have somewhere safe to come. I'm sure women in droves will be coming to join us any day now...
Caroline Norma

Maggie said...

Caroline Norma, you're very welcome!

I loved your article. Congratulations! Don't listen to what porn apologists say; they just don't know what they're talking about. They've obviously been negatively influenced by pornography's negative effects. And their level of denial also proves the point of your article somehow.

Thank you for your kind words about my website. It's important to keep safe spaces for feminists and pro-feminists, where misogynists and pro-porners cannot roam free as they please.

"I'm sure women in droves will be coming to join us any day now."

I hope so!

Anonymous said...

Caroline - the article mentions a feminist rally being held at the court. Do you know any details about that?
I'm not in Brisbane, but I'm not too far away and I think I'd like to be there.

Also: Thankyou for writing that article.

Maggie said...


I'm really hoping Caroline Norma will come back here and answer your question.

But, in case she doesn't, I found an email address for her (via using Google Australia and typing "Carolin Norma"):

She's an OnlineOpinion Forum (where she posted her article) author and a PhD candidate at the Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne. You find both these informations out via googling "Carolin Norma" (Australian pages only).

I suggest you email her and ask her the question about the feminist rally, and also check back here in case she comes back and comments.

Maggie said...

Sorry, I meant via googling "Caroline Norma", not "Carolin Norma". Please excuse my typo.

I hope these informations help. :)

Anonymous said...

Thankyou very much Maggie.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I just thought I'd send you a message you let you know that I got in touch with Caroline Norma and met her, and her girlfriend on the 21st.

Thanks for googling her details for me.

We had a lovely chat. It was really good to talk to antiporn people in the real world.

Maggie said...

I am very glad you made it to meet Caroline Norma, Cellycel! :D

Congratulations and I'm glad I've helped.

Maggie said...

Well done, Cellycel!