No Mr. Porn Man, Let Me Tell YOU About Black Chicks

Source: Google Images

Source: Google Images

Adibah Iqbal spends a lot of time researching the effects of porn for an article, and thought she heard it all, but even she finds the racism within the industry shocking.

…there is a huge amount of racism within porn, not subtle racism, but full blown in-your-face racism.

When I first started ‘Pornland‘ by Gail Dines my focus was going to be on the effects of porn. But then I found something even more disturbing, while reading her book, I found that there is a huge amount of racism within porn, not subtle racism, but full blown in-your-face racism. And that’s why I felt I needed to change my article and focus on an even darker side of the porn industry.

When it comes to the women in the porn industry, we can safely say they are not treated with the greatest of respect. Statistics show that 88.2% of top rated porn scenes contain aggressive acts and 94% of the time the act is directed towards a woman. This includes gagging, slapping, pulling of hair – I think you get the picture. Horribly misogynistic, right?

It doesn’t stop there though.

I was expecting that Black and Asian women in porn would be treated with the same amount of aggressively sexist language. Erm…not really. They have it worse.

I was expecting that Black and Asian women in porn would be treated with the same amount of aggressively sexist language. Erm…not really. They have it worse.

The depiction of Black and Asian women is not only drenched in the usual sexism that you would expect to find in porn, but it is exacerbated by aggressive, often extreme racism. There are films with titles like ‘Nappy-Headed Hoes’, ‘Pimp My Black Teen’ and ‘White Guys Violate Ebony Babes’. These show there is nothing subtle or implicit about the porn industry’s stance on race.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not expecting porn to provide us with deep, complex characters. It’s porn, its aim is to arouse not educate – I get it. But given that studies show that 90% of 8-to-16-year-olds have viewed pornography online, it’s crazy that while we have to unpack what effects this will have on their attitudes to sex, we have to now consider how we view the ‘other.’ Watching videos of pornographic images that glorify racial slurs, physical violence and the degradation of black women is not a healthy image to be exposed to.

These porn titles above are prime examples of how Black women are often stereotyped as animalistic and wild – their very humanity is taken away from them.  They are hyper-sexualised beings with attitude. So the porn scenario usually centres on them needing to be tamed and controlled.  They are either ‘ghetto’ or they are ‘tribal’ or they are under scrutiny for their ‘ebony’ skin colour.

…studies show that 90% of 8-to-16-year-olds have viewed pornography online…

Nowhere is this more evident than in the porn film ‘Let Me Tell Y’all about Black Chicks’  directed by Gregory Dark, where three black women are raped by Ku Klux Klan members. During a scene, one of the Klansmen says to the other ‘Let’s f**k the s**t out of this darkie!’ Rather than feeling ashamed for including such a slur in his film, Gregory Dark comments, ‘I had these Ku Klux Klan [sic] guys riding on top of black girls as if they’re horses. That scene made me happy’.

This representation of black women has not just come out of thin air – it is important to recognise that a long political and historical representation of black women has led to this. Gail Dines, the author of ‘Pornland,’ argues the reason for this portrayal of black women as animalistic whores and jezebels in porn goes back to slavery:

‘Men have always raped women from as far as we know and they’ve hidden it, but you couldn’t hide it on the plantation, where you had first generation African women having children […] who were mixed race.  How did the white men try to legitimise it? Well, these poor outstanding, good Christian plantation owners could not control themselves in the face of the animal sexuality of these black women. The onus was placed on the shoulders of these black women, and it worked.’

Black women were seen as exotic and sexually different. Their bodies were scrutinised by white imperialists who marvelled at their large asses and dark skin. You had exhibitions where black women would stand naked on podiums while white people would pay to look at these strange ‘Hottentot Venuses’.

PORN ARTICLE

Source from Google images

Black women were animalised and hyper-sexualised in order to justify rape. Over the years, this view of black women developed and evolved to the point where they are getting their butts slapped in a Miley Cyrus video and are ‘nappy-headed hoes’ in porn films.

The representation of black women in porn is dangerous because it is perpetrating the same myths that were being spread during slavery.  These myths are then given mainstream validation, as directors such as Gregory Dark have gone on to direct pop videos for artists such as Busta Rhymes, Xzibit and Britney Spears. Which I believe normalises and sexualises these extremely racist stereotypes.

‘In Pornland, the state of utter oppression is about as hot as you can get,’ says Gail Dines. Sad but true. Because I started researching for this article ready to give you an earful about the exploitative nature of the porn industry and how, given how many young people watch porn online, we need to check our expectations of sex. But then I was led down this dark (pun intended) path, where I realised there are levels of oppression within the industry. Which really depressed me. That it’s not even enough anymore to say how misogynistic and exploitative an industry is. It’s horrifically racist too. Wow. Just wow.

Here’s a fact sheet from 4YP about pornography

What do you think? Let us know @rifemag

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