Saturday, 19 March 2011

'Do you watch Porn?' The Wanted Heat magazine fail.

Oh 'Heat' Magazine. I always liked 'Heat ' more than the other trashy magazines. Mainly because at times it can be just so funny. The way it mocks the celebs, I don't mean in a 'Who wore it best?' malicious kind of way which I hate, I mean in a way which actually shows how clearly the tide has turned. Before it was the magazines running to them, now it's completely the other way, which means these mags can pretty much say what they like. The best thing I read was when 2 girls from 'heat' went on Michelle Heaton's hen do. They were talking about how Michelle Heaton stood up and gave a tearful speech about how much it means to her to have all her friends there and how much she loves them. The 'Heat' girls wrote 'We sat there feeling really awkward because we don't really know her.' HAHA!

Anyway, Jamie bought me a copy of 'Heat' yesterday. When I was flicking through, I stopped when I saw the large quote alongside a 'The Wanted' interview which said 'Porn? I don't need it anymore!'. I had to find the context. It got worse as I read on. Not only did the boys from 'The Wanted' come across as a bunch of pricks ('The Wanted' fans - they may not be, they just came across that way in the interview) but it was 'Heat' that had actually asked the question at the end of the interview 'Finally, do you all watch porn?'

Now. At what point did it become appropriate for an interviewer who works for a magazine that primarily targets young teenage girls to ask their teen idol 'Do you all watch porn?'


What the fuck is going on in the world. What happened, what turn of events, what madness caused the knock-on effect for the porn industry to become so normalised that it's an okay topic to raise in a magazine for teenage girls and young women. Let's face it, the majority of these readers are going to be teenage girls who have never had sex. Lots of people will skip over that interview (as I would have done if it had not been for that quote) but 'The Wanted' audience of screaming teenage fans will read every bit of that interview. The boys all said yes they watch porn. The girls will think 'this is great, this is fine'. Then these virgins/sexually inexperienced young girls will watch porn, see how women are treated or how they act and think that is is how sex is, this is what women have to do in order to be hot and be good in bed. They will not know any different.

Now. My opinions on the porn industry. It's been a difficult relationship I have had with porn, it bothers me a great deal. Once upon a time one had to go to a great deal of effort in order to watch porn. Now, if I want to see five men gang banging a woman at the same time, all I have to do is type it into google and hey presto! AND there's a good chance I won't even get a virus (ahem, computer virus)! So basically people who should not be watching porn, are. I worry the most about the young kids. I think if grown adults are watching it, it is less harmful, as they have had sex, they know that pornos are in no way realistic and they say NOTHING about a normal/healthy sexual relationship. But a young girl or boy is not going to know that. They are going to think 'this is how I should act, these are the noises I should make, this is what I should look like, these are the things I have to do in order to be a good fuck'. To me it feels like a total restriction on sexuality to have this idea of what sex should feels like you don't have the choice to say you're not into this or that. And what's sexy about that? Also, if children/young people have been watching mega hardcore porn before the age of 16, isn't actual sex going to be a real let down when they actually get it? When they realise it's nothing like the porn material they're used to? What happens to their sex lives? To their relationships? How they see women?

I met Cindy Gallop last year after I discovered her website 'Make Love Not Porn'. Her argument is that the porn industry is never going to go away so why don't we make good porn that shows good sex, between people that have chemistry and doesn't degrade anyone. I am inclined to agree. So much porn shows so much violence and misogyny and this is why I worry about it being so normalised with young people.

I was talking to a friend the other day. I don't want to offend her because I know she will probably read this, but she told me about how her boyfriend and his friends had all had sex or done something with a prostitute. She said really casually 'you know so they were all out and thought why not pay £15 for a blowy?'. Now, I don't know how she really felt about it, like she was making light of it so that it wouldn't bother her, but I had to reign it back in. I was like 'Woah there! This is not okay! This is not normal!'. If my boyfriend told me he had had sex with a prostitute I just don't think I could be cool with that. And I don't think I should have to be cool with that if I don't want to be.

Because the porn industry has become so normalised, I feel like I even have to apologise for having this opinion, like I must never question it or I'll be seen like some sort of stuffy prick. If anyone thinks that then don't worry, my opinion will not matter, the porn industry is not going anywhere fast. And if anyone wants to say 'Oh it's the women's choice blah blah and it's fine and it's great' then ask yourself this 'Would you be happy if it was your Mum, daughter or sister having a close up filmed of their gaping fucked arse jizzed on by 5 men?'.

Something has to change. Something with the porn industry...I don't know how when it's all over the internet but it just should not be allowed to be seen by people under 16 or even 18. I'm not being a prude, I just don't think this bodes well for normal sexual relationships and for the safety of women.

Found this fantastic article in 'the Guardian' about men who have started a site against pornogrphy. Amazing to see men at least questioning porn use, which people seem so afraid to do these days. Really, really interesting. Have a look Extract - "Kimmel remains open-minded about pornography – what's needed is a much broader conversation about it, he says – but the picture he paints in Guyland is nonetheless troubling. "Pornotopia is the place where [young men] can get even," he writes, "where women get what they 'deserve' and the guys never have to be tested, or face rejection. And so the pornographic universe becomes a place of homosocial solace, a refuge from the harsh reality of a more gender equitable world than has ever existed. It's about anger at the loss of privilege – and an effort to restore men's unchallenged authority. And, it turns out, that anger is worse among younger men."

Anyway, what I'm trying to say here is 'Heat' magazine, what the hell. Please don't contribute further to this normalised porn culture, we just don't need it. And I fear for the knock-on effects for the throwaway casual nature in which you bring it up in your magazine. Come on, have SOME responsibility.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Opening night at KochxBos gallery, Amsterdam

I had the most wonderful weekend in Amsterdam at the opening of my solo show at KochxBos gallery. Thank you to everyone who came, I had the best night and I hope you all did too!! Thank you Hans and Esther at KochxBos for all your hard work and support.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench team up for film highlighting the need for gender equality

I almost forgive Dench for saying that she was not a feminist. Quote 2 years ago "No, I wouldn't call myself a feminist at all, really. I don't know what a feminist is. I believe in women having a say."

Monday, 7 March 2011

Women Inc, Amsterdam

Wow, I had the most amazing and wonderful time in Amsterdam at the Women Inc conference. I spoke on two occasions and had my cock series in one of the meeting rooms. Everyone was so lovely and welcoming. Thank you everyone :)

If anyone is in Amsterdam, I have an exhibition opening at KochxBos gallery on March 12th at 4pm. Please come for a party and I will hopefully be there too. Can't wait.