VIDEO ESSAY: Prostitution and pornography: Have they always existed?

Also available as a podcast, this video essay provides a historical overview of prostitution and pornography and the position of women based on the work of, amongst others: Gerda Lerner, Marilyn French, Sylvia Federici and Andrea Dworkin.

It shows that rather than prostitution being the oldest profession, for most of human history it was unknown – the very idea inconceivable. It wasn’t until the establishment of the patriarchal system that prostitution was introduced as a key means of dividing women and dividing women and men, so that the elite men could more easily control the ordinary people. Similarly, pornography was introduced as propaganda and instruction manual. It justifies women’s second-class status and incites violence against women and girls. It trains men and boys to be cruel. It teaches women and girls to hate themselves.

Podcast

Duration: 33.14 minutes | File size: 32.1 MB | Play in new window (with option to download file)

Video essay

This is a re-recording of the first presentation at the webinar we hosted on 14 June, Porn, Prostitution and Violence against Women.

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