Banning Rape Porn Won’t End Rape Culture

Welcome to another quickiesode of Unscrewed, an episode where we get you in and out in 15 minutes or less, like the perfect, mid-party boot-knock.

This week, host Jaclyn Friedman weighs in on xHamster’s controversial decision to banish rape porn as a means of addressing outrage while showing solidarity with victims of sexual violence. Oh, and not only did they kibosh all their rape porn — if you type in that term on their site, you are now met with this shaming response: “If you are searching for this category, probably it’s time you consulted with a professional psychologist.” (Then they link to a free online therapy website.)

Jaclyn explains why this ban is problematic as hell, if an admirable impulse — especially in the midst of the Brock Turner case, the latest reminder that rape culture is part and parcel of our society, but actively denied as a phenomenon. She shares a wonderfully brilliant rant, for example, on how we don’t assume that people who love horror movies actually want their throats slit . . . which is to say, people who like rape fantasies don’t actually want to harm or be harmed. Inducing fear in oneself — be it sexual or otherwise — is about touching the void and knowing you can return without actual harm; it lances psychological blisters.

Fantasies are a fraught thing — it’s tricky not to project one’s personal aversions onto other people (you like what?! where?! using that?!), but ultimately, policing people’s imaginations is not the solution to combatting sexual violence.

(In addition to this socio-sexual conundrum, you’ll also get some intel on whether or not you should pee before sex, Jaclyn’s thoughts on Jewish hair, and a hilarious outtake from the eponymous “Sex Object” episode, which features Jessica Valenti’s new memoir by the same name.)

Get thee to the glory below:

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Juicy tidbits from the show:

The “Jewish Hair” episode from the Jewish Women’s Archive podcast, Can We Talk?

The “Sex Object” episode with Jessica Valenti

Porn Site xHamster Is Shaming Users For “Rape” Searches

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Full new episodes of Unscrewed go live every other Tuesday, with quickiesodes boasting outtakes, advice for listeners who send in their sex/uality questions, and other delectable tidbits airing in between.

Have burning quandaries of your own? Tweet @jaclynf (use #Unscrewed) or drop her a line at unscrewed@jaclynfriedman.com. And yes! You can even use your handy-dandy smartphone, personal computer, or laptop and record yourself asking your question; she may just include it in the next episode.

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Lead Image: Jake Mazonson

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