KCET, LOS ANGELES
Transcript of "Ray Asks"
Moderator Ray Suarez: Today we begin a three-part series on pornography and violence in America. We are also interested in the question of which of them is most important to American life and also to the extent which they overlap.
The connection between actual violence against anyone, rape, and watching violent videos and pornography will be examined in next week's program.
Our panelists were introduced in video introduction, so let us proceed. Professor Ian-Lamb, which does play the most significant role in our lives, pornography or violence in media and materials?
Ian-Lamb: I would say definitely it's violence. American consumers spend more than $25.3 billion on video games. The best estimates indicate that 85% of them are extremely violent. They feature war, gang killings, hit-men, or even torturing animals. . ..
Suarez: Professor Schreiber did you want to say something.
Schreiber: But many of these videos objectify women. They're objects of desire and sometimes brutally killed in a pornographic way.
Suarez: Well, we're really going to get into the weeds I see. But we'd better get on with it. When horror and violence, say in film and video, get sexualized is that porn?
Schreiber. Of course it is. It's called "torture porn." women meet grisly fates in such a way that seems designed to titillate.
Ian-Lamb: I don't know, if female victims are used for food or are killed for political reasons, I don't think that's porn. I grant you there is sometimes an overlap but it's not often in so-called torture porn. I think Abel Ferry is an exception.
Suarez: Well, we're really in the weeds. But I might just as well really confuse the issue by asking if the photos taken by U.S. soldiers in the Abu Ghraib prison facility were pornographic.
You both remember the series of photographs taken by US soldiers in 2004 that showed U.S. war crimes . You know, prisoners were being tortured seemingly without purpose to the delight of the guards. Many poses prisoners were made to adopt were sexually degrading.
Ian-Lamb: That does seem to cross the line. It is certainly more "torture porn" than almost everything in the cinemas. But, look, let me make my point: the pornography industry generates between $10 and $15 billion a year in the United States. By comparison, the Hollywood box office generates about $10 billion a year.
That's straight porn. . .
Schreiber: No it's not. That's absurd, stupid! A lot of it contains violence against women. I've analyzed the best-selling porn videos to see just how widespread the degradation of women has become. My research shows that aggression against women was present in 88 per cent of the scenes.
Ian-Lamb: The problem with you Professor Schreiber is that you just don't know what porn is. Let me define it for you. It's simply material whose primary purpose is designed to cause sexual arousal. Violence plays no role in that.
Schreiber: You're an idiot Mortimer. Don't you know how many people get off watching s/m depicted? Don't you know how Freud connected sex with violence?
Ian-Lamb: What? You're not an idiot, you're an imbecile! Freud said that two basic drives are sex and aggression. He never connected them in the way you imply!
Suarez: I'm afraid gentlemen that we've gotten off the track!
Ian-Lamb: See here, Henry, I suppose the next thing you'll do is drag in penis envy and castration anxiety into trying to show that violence is at the root of all pornography!
Schreiber: I might just do a paper on that. Of course, if I do you, you won't understand it. Where did you say you got your Ph.D? At some vocational-tech school?
Ian-Lamb: Yeah, well Mortimer, it took you 17 years to get a full professorship at Mickey Mouse Yale, and you're questioning my intelligence?
Schreiber: Where did you say Stanford is located? On some farm…….
Suarez: Sorry to interrupt Professors but we're out of time. Until we meet again, this is Ray Suarez, wishing you the best of goodbyes and I promise that next weeks program will be just as stimulating.