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Tag: sex trafficking

The porn industry in the defendants’ dock

[Translated from Swedisch article]

Alyssa Ahrabare from the French organisation Osez le féminisme explains how they managed to prosecute traffickers and pornographers in a historic French court case.

Next year in Paris, the owner of a porn site will be prosecuted. It is a historic case involving 40 victims and three organisations as civil parties (Osez le féminisme, Mouvement du Nid and Les Effronté-es). It is a victory for the women’s movement, and especially for us in the Osez le féminisme group, which has pursued the issue and is a civil party to the case. Osez le féminisme (“Dare to be feminist”) is an organisation that provides holistic support to over 40 victims in both cases, including legal assistance, psychological trauma therapy, and social support, with a team of 30 lawyers, two specialist psychologists and a social worker.

The prosecution covers a range of charges: rape, prostitution and human trafficking.1 The subject of the prosecution is the French website ‘French Bukkake’, owned by Pascal Ollitrault (known as Pascal OP), which posts extremely violent pornographic videos. According to a report by the Haut Conseil à l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes (Equality Council), these cases are the norm rather than the exception, and the pornography industry benefits from widespread impunity to minimise “serious violations of human dignity”.2

The preliminary investigation was launched in 2020, and investigators soon discovered that many complaints had been filed across France for several years, but had not been followed up. In the course of their work, the investigators uncovered a system of sexual exploitation for the purpose of rape, and a judicial investigation was opened for ‘gang rape’, ‘aggravated trafficking in human beings’, ‘aggravated pimping’, ‘money laundering’, ‘concealed labour’ and ‘distribution of recordings of images relating to the execution of a deliberate attack on the integrity of a person’.

The survey revealed the grim reality of ‘Bukkake’ films. Paying subscribers were invited to participate in gang rapes based on a particularly dehumanising scenario: many men penetrated a woman (sometimes over 80 times in less than two hours) before collectively ejaculating on the victim, who was displayed on a pallet as a commodity. 500 men were identified in the investigation. Ordinary men, porn consumers who were invited to rape and torture women on camera. They have not yet been prosecuted.

The French Council for Gender Equality published a report this year on the criminality of the pornography industry, including the testimonies of victims.3

The investigation related to the “French Bukkake” case has revealed a well-organised strategy to capture victims. A man named Julien D. targeted women on social networks. He approached them under a fake female profile called “Axelle Vercoutre” and, using the myth of “happy and lucrative prostitution”, convinced them to try becoming “luxury escorts”. He then posed as a buyer, met the women and raped them. Raping victims in order to exert control over them is a common practice used by pimps and traffickers.

After the rapes, Julien D. encouraged the women to try being in pornographic films that would only be shown to limited audiences abroad. They were to go to a specified address where several days of horror ensued. The producer, Pascal OP, at first seemed nice, with the intention of forcing their consent and recording it. Subsequently, the complainants report that they were raped on camera, humiliated and tortured by filming degrading scenes. Hair analysis also shows that some of them were drugged without their knowledge.

Women were also deceived when they asked for videos posted online to be deleted.4) Victims report significant psychological difficulties after the filming. Some tried to take legal action as early as 2017, but the police did not act: warnings in Toulouse, Brignoles, Les Andelys and Reims (where Julien D. lived) were not followed up.5

At the end of the investigation in July 2023, seventeen people (producers, directors and actors) were charged with rape (often committed as part of a group), human trafficking, aggravated pimping, and hidden labour. and concealed labour.6) Several have been in preventive detention since 2020.

The trial will be held in summer 2024.7

As a result of the evidence highlighted by the investigation, the French Senate has produced a report entitled “L’Enfer du décor” (Hell behind the curtains).8

The findings clearly show that pornography is a system of violence against women. Subsequently, a resolution was signed by 255 senators (making it the most signed senate text of the French Fifth Republic) stating that the fight against pornographic violence should be prioritised. The resolution was unanimously adopted in a public session on 1 March 2023.

For the civil parties in the cases, every step of the way is a struggle. Plaintiffs do not always have the money to travel to Paris for interviews, hearings and expertise on the case. Many are traumatised and live in very precarious situations due to the physical and psychological effects of the violence they suffered. Moreover, the films are still available online. Despite countless attempts, it has proved impossible to have them deleted.

Many women are threatened or are recognised and harassed on the street. They experience both a social death and an ongoing fear that loved ones, families or colleagues will accidentally see the films. The difficulties they go through make it extremely difficult for more victims to come forward. This exposure highlights a failure of the justice system for women who are victims of violence.

Ultimately, the word pornography hides an organised global criminal system. In the videos we can see real people being subjected to humiliating and degrading acts, such as ejaculation on the face, spitting on the face, urinating or defecating on the victim.

This kind of violence is the norm: it’s what the industry calls ‘mainstream’ porn, with content showing extreme violence where women are bound, whipped, strangled to suffocation, beaten… Women are muzzled to force them to keep their mouths open and are orally penetrated without restriction. Women are given electric shocks. In any other context, this is considered torture. However, in this context, it means that international criminal networks that could be held accountable under the existing legal framework can get away with offences in the name of freedom of expression.

EU Member States, including France and Sweden, are using the “freedom of expression” argument to limit the potential protection of women and girls from online violence, particularly the non-consensual sharing of intimate images, in the proposed directive on violence against women and girls currently under discussion in the EU institutions.

The EU Council of Ministers, representing the “interests” of the Member States, has included amendments to Articles 7 to 10 of the proposed directive aimed at tackling online violence against women. These amendments significantly limit the criminalisation of non-consensual use of intimate images, stalking and expression of hatred online.

The condition of ‘serious harm’ to the victim was added, as was the condition that the offence be ‘public’, meaning that acts in private groups or forums and online pay sites will not be included. Finally, both the reasoning and legal text now state that criminalising these types of online sexual violence must be balanced with freedom of expression, academic considerations, art and science.

Freedom of expression is not an absolute right. The European Convention on Human Rights states that it can be restricted in a democratic society for legitimate purposes, such as protecting the rights and reputation of others. In the case of defamation lawsuits against survivors of sexual violence condemning the perpetrator, freedom of expression is not used as a shield. This highlights a very dangerous paradigm shift of both approach and culture.

Traditionally, the law only protects speech that is consistent with a humanistic social contract, not hate speech. In European legal culture, freedom of expression was traditionally a right that protected the weak against the strong. This right is now mobilised in the war against women.

Pornography is an attack on the fundamental rights of all women. Violence is a natural part of its economic function as the content must constantly “surprise and shock” the consumer.

Pornography has been condemned and fought in every wave of the fight for women’s rights. After the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s, feminist movements gave a voice to victims who testified about rape, kidnapping, violence and sexual trafficking. We have known this for decades. It is high time to fight. It is happening now. What we are seeing is a systematic, global violence that requires a global resistance.

As a general policy response, we call for the reaffirmation of the fundamental principles on which our society is based: the rejection of hatred and violence, and an explicit respect for human dignity. Unlimited freedom for pornocrats means trampling on the rights of the most vulnerable and discriminated against in our society.

In France, decision-makers, especially senators, have been crucial to the progress achieved so far. It takes courage to take a stand against something that has become so normalised. We expect Swedish decision-makers to be brave too. It is time for Sweden to stand on the right side of history in this matter as well.

Source: https://www.parabol.press/porrindustrin-pa-de-atalades-bank/

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Sexual assault against the backdrop of tantric yoga: a guru arrested in France

Guru and/or sexual predator? 

Gregorian Bivolaru  was arrested and then indicted in France. In total, 15 people were indicted, including six imprisoned, following this raid. They are suspected of being involved in large-scale sexual violence within an international yoga movement accused of sectarian excesses.

“Behind the promise of controlling erotic energies, the Atman yoga school, present in around thirty countries, is suspected of having pushed hundreds of young women into orgies or into non-consensual relations with their ‘spiritual leader'”, writes Libération , which co-signed with RFI a long investigation into this issue.  

Gregorian Bivolaru, 71, of Romanian and Swedish nationality, has just been arrested in France. He is the founder of Misa, (Movement for Spiritual Integration towards the Absolute), an international group, presented as focused on the practice of yoga, a group known today as Atman.

Arrested in a house in Ivry-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris, it was in his home that he allegedly practiced ” sexual initiations”  of tantric yoga, a practice which promises to achieve ecstasy of the body and the mind.

He was indicted for four offenses: aggravated rape (in conjunction with several other rapes committed against other victims), kidnapping by an organized gang, human trafficking by an organized gang, abuse of vulnerability by the leader of a group pursuing activities that create, maintain, or exploit the psychological or physical subjection of participants. 14 other suspects were also indicted. Several women are among them. 

In total, forty-one people were placed in police custody, among them reportedly “important leaders” of the sect in France, specifies a source close to the investigation. A gigantic dragnet led by the Caimades (assistance and intervention unit in matters of sectarian aberrations), the OCRVP (Central Office for the Repression of Violence against Persons), under the direction of a judge Parisian education. Some 175 police officers were mobilized for this large-scale operation.

In 2013, this “conspiracy theorist” was already convicted in absentia in Romania for rape of a minor. Accused of pedophilia and human trafficking – which he denies – he is wanted by Interpol for “trafficking in women”.

Women under influence

Twenty-six women, several of whom were under influence, were released during the arrests. These “victims, taken from the sect, were housed in cramped conditions and deplorable hygiene” , specifies the judicial source.

This intervention follows a report, at the end of July 2022, from Miviludes (Interministerial Mission for Vigilance and the Fight against Sectarian Abuses) to the Public Prosecutor. This organization had received information from the Human Rights League reporting 12 reports from former members of Misa.

According to a judicial source, Misa, renamed Atman during its expansion outside Romania, taught tantra yoga, with the aim of “conditioning victims to accept sexual relations via mental manipulation techniques aimed at removing any notion of consent. Many women of different nationalities say they have been victims of the actions of the Misa organization and its leader.

The Paris public prosecutor’s office opened a judicial investigation in July 2023, for various offenses including kidnapping in an organized gang, a crime punishable by 30 years in prison, abuse of vulnerability in an organized gang by member of a sect, rape or human trafficking humans in organized gangs.

Hundreds of followers

The Misa has many yoga schools and other branches. This group encouraged female victims “to accept sexual relations with the leader of the group” and/or to “engage in pornographic practices paid for in France and abroad”.

As early as 2008, Misa was excluded “from the International Yoga Federation and the European Yoga Alliance for its commercial practices deemed illicit”, recalled the judicial source, who also underlines that it has already been the subject of a procedure in Italy.

“It is difficult to quantify the number of followers” ​​in France, but “it’s several hundred people” . According to the judicial source, “the investigations revealed a compartmentalized organization, following a usual procedure in matters of organized crime.”

An ashram that became a sexual prison

“The aim of the courses was to have people participate in sexual and/or physical activities (…) in conditions allowing at this stage to characterize the offense of trafficking in human beings,” the same judicial source further specifies. “The people who stayed there denounced having been forced to pay for their stay for the women by engaging in sexual video chats, and for the men through manual labor,” she added.

“An ashram was clearly exclusively dedicated to satisfying the desires of the principal accused”, Gregorian Bivolaru, “women were taken there from other establishments, and placed on hold in a first accommodation” .

It’s an “insane case, with a group resembling the mafia, pimping under supposedly philosophical trappings “, a source close to the case recently commented to AFP.

Source: https://information.tv5monde.com/terriennes/agressions-sexuelles-sur-fond-de-yoga-tantrique-un-gourou-interpelle-en-france-2677428

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GRETA publishes its third report on the Netherlands

The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) has called on the Dutch authorities to take a number of further steps to tackle human trafficking and to ensure that trafficking victims have access to justice.

In its third report on the Netherlands, published today, GRETA notably urged the authorities to take specific measures to tackle trafficking for labour exploitation and to protect child victims of trafficking.

Today’s report highlights a number of positive developments since GRETA’s last evaluation of the Netherlands in 2018. Relevant national laws and policies have continued to develop, funding for specialised bodies has increased and most municipalities have adopted anti-trafficking policies.

However, GRETA also expresses concern about the decreasing number of investigations, prosecutions and convictions for human trafficking, in particular for labour exploitation, and the length of criminal proceedings in trafficking cases.

In the report, GRETA notably urges the Dutch authorities to intensify their efforts to prevent and combat human trafficking for labour exploitation, and to strengthen their efforts to investigate and prosecute such cases. This includes taking further steps to regulate recruitment and temporary work agencies.

More victims of trafficking for the purpose of labour exploitation should also be able to obtain compensation from the perpetrators, according to GRETA.

Furthermore, many trafficking victims are afraid to cooperate with police due to the lack of specific protection for victims of trafficking from prosecution for offences they were forced to commit while being trafficked.

GRETA also urges the Dutch authorities to develop a National Referral Mechanism for child victims of trafficking, taking into account their special circumstances and needs, and to continue to reduce the risk of unaccompanied migrant children going missing from institutional care.

In addition, the authorities should pay increased attention to detecting victims of trafficking amongst asylum seekers and persons placed in immigration detention centres, according to the report.

Today’s report, which covers the period up until 30 June 2023, has been published together with the response of the Dutch authorities.

Facts and figures:

  • The Netherlands continues to be primarily a country of destination for victims of human trafficking, but it also increasingly a country of origin
  • There was a total of 4 732 presumed victims of human trafficking between 2018 and 2022, of whom approximately 60% were women and 10% were children
  • Approximately half of the presumed victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation, 25% for labour exploitation, and 10% for forced criminality; a number of the presumed victims were subjected to multiple forms of exploitation
  • Around 20% of the presumed victims were Dutch citizens; the top five countries of origin for foreign victims were Nigeria, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary
  • According to the authorities and specialised NGOs, the real scale of human trafficking in the Netherlands could be much higher than the above-mentioned figures suggest

The Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) is an independent body which monitors the way countries implement the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. All member states of the Council of Europe are bound by the Convention, as well as non-member states Belarus and Israel.

Source: https://www.coe.int/en/web/anti-human-trafficking/-/greta-publishes-its-third-report-on-the-netherlands

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REPORT ON PORN CRIME: A TOUGHER FIGHT AGAINST THE IMPUNITY OF THE PORN INDUSTRY

[Translated from French]

The Haut Conseil de l’Égalité entre les hommes et les femmes (HCE) (High Council for Equality between Men and Women) has warned of the proliferation on the Internet of content constituting offences of sexual assault, rape or paedocriminality, with too easy access for minors. It recommends stepping up the fight, in particular by making better use of the existing criminal arsenal.

In a decision handed down on 5 January 2023, the French Supreme Court (Cour de cassation) made an important clarification to Article 227-24 of the Criminal Code. According to this article, “the fact (…) of producing, transporting or disseminating by any means whatsoever and whatever the medium, a message of a violent nature, inciting to terrorism, pornographic (…) or of a nature seriously prejudicial to human dignity (…) is punishable by three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 75,000 euros when the message is likely to be seen or perceived by a minor”. And according to the Cour de cassation, this text applies “even if access by a minor to the messages results from a simple declaration by the minor indicating that he or she is at least eighteen years old”. In other words, publishers of pornographic videos must find a more effective way of preventing minors from accessing their content than simply declaring their age, or risk being prosecuted.

The problem is made all the more acute by the fact that some of the content available on these platforms falls within the scope of several criminal offences. It is against this backdrop that the French High Council for Equality between Men and Women (HCE) recently published a report on the spread of pornocriminality, highlighting the risks incurred as a result of the ever-increasing consumption of content by ever-younger users.

THE FINDING: ILLEGAL ACTS FILMED, VIDEOS ILLEGALLY DISTRIBUTED

The HCE report notes the existence of ten or so categories of pornographic videos, some of which are particularly violent, promoting misogynist hatred and rape culture. These videos include sexual assault (article 222-27 of the Penal Code), rape (art. 222-23, Penal Code), child pornography (art. 222-22) and child pornography (art. 227-23-1), all of which are punishable offences, as is the sharing of these videos on networks, as they incite violence and hatred (L. 29 July 1881, article 24).

According to the HCE, the proliferation of this type of video depicting illegal acts, and the ease with which it can be accessed, has the effect of altering the vision of healthy sexuality for consumers, who are increasingly young: 51% of 12-year-old boys consume it every month, and their first exposure to pornography begins at the age of 10. This illegal content stems from practices that are outside the law, in which pornography producers engage in pimping, sex trafficking or child pornography.

THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF THE PHAROS PLATFORM

According to the HCE, the taboo surrounding pornography contributes to the fact that platforms disseminating illegal content continue to benefit from a “false belief in legality”. There is a platform called “PHAROS”, set up in 2009, for reporting manifestly illegal content on the net: this is the “Platform for harmonising, analysing, cross-checking and directing reports”. It is responsible for centralising reports in accordance with the French law on confidence in the digital economy (LCEN) of 21 June 2004.

Article 6-I-7 of the LCEN aims to prevent so-called child pornography (featuring children), incitement to violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, and offences against human dignity, by means of repressive measures, in particular through reporting. However, despite the many reports made about them, violent and sexist pornographic content, involving torture and degrading treatment, is not removed from pornographic sites. In fact, in its report, the HCE presents tests carried out on the largest platforms displaying pornographic content: none of the content reported has been removed, even though it would qualify as “child pornography” within the meaning of the LCEN. The association Osez le féminisme had carried out the same operation before the HCE, obtaining the same result.

The findings confirm the risks of minors being exposed to pornocriminality, which is contrary to article 227-24 of the French Penal Code, which was strengthened on this point by the law of 30 June 2020, requiring filtering devices to be installed on entry to the sites in question. Platforms were thus required to put in place measures to prevent the risks of minors being connected. The CNIL, which was heard by the HCE, states that “the General Data Protection Regulation of 2016 does not preclude online age checks for access to pornographic sites”, and even adds that it might be possible to introduce checks using bankcards. Alternatively, a device for analysing facial features could also be introduced.

THE HCE’S RECOMMENDATIONS

According to the HCE, the European authorities must “take up this issue”, starting by supporting the draft European regulation on online paedo-crime. It is also proposed that pornography be included under the heading of sexual exploitation in the European directive of 5 April 2011 on trafficking in human beings. The report also recommends criminalising the illegal sharing of sexual content, particularly intimate content distributed without consent: this could be included in Article 7 of the draft directive on violence against girls and women.

UPDATE THE DEFINITION OF PROCURING

Similarly, the HCE urges the authorities to act more firmly, in particular by legally defining prostitution and procuring, so that national laws can be better applied in the event of litigation. By redefining procuring, it would be possible to take into account all forms of commodification of sexuality, particularly those present on pornographic content platforms. In addition, the HCE proposes that pornography be assimilated to “filmed sexual exploitation”, a practice that is developing as a result of the expansion of digital technology. Jurisprudence has a poor grasp of prostitution on digital platforms: a ruling of 27 March 1996 shows that the Court of Cassation has stuck to a purely physical definition of prostitution: “prostitution consists of lending oneself, in return for remuneration, to physical contact of any kind, in order to satisfy the sexual needs of others”.

MAKE BETTER USE OF EXISTING CRIMINAL OFFENCES

The Haut Conseil de l’Égalité (High Council for Equality) also asserts that it is necessary to introduce a criminal policy equating certain forms of pornography with sexist and sexual violence, based on existing offences: exposure of minors to pornography (art. 227-23 C. pén.), child pornography (art. 223-27), incitement to hatred and violence (law 29 July 1181, art. 24). The HCE also advocates training magistrates on this issue, by including a module on pornocriminality in their initial and in-service training.

FACILITATE THE BLOCKING OF SITES THROUGH THE ISP

Lastly, the HCE calls on the Pharos reporting platform to act effectively, through collaboration with the competent authorities and Internet service providers (article 6-1 of the law of 21 June 2004), in order to remove or block illegal content, by extending its administrative police powers to content that glorifies physical and sexual violence, which could be done by assimilating it to acts of torture and barbarism.

The publication of this report therefore seems to reflect a growing awareness of the dangers of certain forms of pornography and the inaction of institutional players. On 18 October 2023, the Court of Cassation ruled that a child protection association can request the blocking of Internet access to a pornographic site accessible by minors, without going through the publisher (i.e. the person who broadcasts the site): all it has to do now is ask the Internet service provider directly (i.e. the person who transmits the site, such as Orange, Free, Bouygues Télécom, etc.). This is a major step forward for these associations, faced with publishers who are often based abroad.

This article was written, when it was first published, as part of a partnership with the Master 2 in Electronic Media Law at the University of Aix-Marseille, between October 2023 and January 2024. More articles can be consulted on the website of the Institut de recherches et d’études en droit de l’information et de la culture (IREDIC).

Source: https://www.lessurligneurs.eu/rapport-sur-la-pornocriminalite-une-lutte-plus-ferme-contre-limpunite-de-lindustrie-pornographique/

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PORNOGRAPHIC INDUSTRY: SYLVIE PIERRE-BROSSOLETTE (HCE) DENOUNCES A “MASSACRE FOR PROFIT”

[Translated from French]

The president of the High Council for Equality between Women and Men (HCE) presented, on Wednesday November 15, to the deputies of the Law Committee the conclusions of the report “Pornocriminality: let’s put an end to the impunity of the pornographic industry “. The former journalist also criticized the government’s strategy regarding age control on websites offering adult content.

Women “crushed, massacred”. On Wednesday 15 November, Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, Chairwoman of the High Council for Equality between Women and Men (HCE), presented the report “Pornocriminalité: mettons fin à l’impunité de l’industrie pornographique” (“Pornocriminality: let’s put an end to the pornographic industry’s impunity”), published on 27 September, to the National Assembly’s Law Commission. The former journalist, who wants to put an end to a “massacre for profit”, described an industry with “absolutely monstrous” practices and spoke of the need to strictly “regulate” the digital space.

A FAR CRY FROM “DADDY PORN”.

Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette began her presentation to the MPs by repeating the figures given by the public prosecutor in Paris, Laure Beccuau, at her Senate hearing in June 2022: “90% of pornographic videos contain violence that falls under the criminal code.” The president of the HCE, who denied wanting to “ban pornography”, believes it is necessary to “fight against the illegalities that it involves”.

“It is illegal to violate the integrity of the human body”, stressed Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, citing several degrading practices, such as “prolapse”, with women “so damaged that they are eviscerated, you can see the viscera coming out”. According to Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, “the degree of violence increases every year” for “click-through and commercial reasons”, in order to “win over new followers, new consumers, and make more money from advertising”.

In this case, the President of the HCE has high hopes for future trials relating to the French Bukkake and Jacquie et Michel cases: “This will prove that these are not just the ravings of specialists”, she explained, describing an industry that is a far cry from the “daddy porn”. These images, easily accessible on the Internet, have “absolutely abominable consequences for young people”, she warned. “They are rushing to the open bar of porn on iPhones from a very young age, 8-10 years old…”.

The President of the HCE is concerned about the “manufacture” of “whole generations of deranged people”, going so far as to speak of a “human tide of deranged or traumatised young people”. Another frightening fact: “85 million videos of child pornography are broadcast around the world every year, and 30% of them involve children under the age of 10”, the former journalist told MEPs.

A NEW ROLE FOR PHAROS?

“We must continue to prosecute the perpetrators, the managers, the producers, the rapists, the organisers, all those who are complicit in this illegal violent activity”, said Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette. But the President of the HCE believes that this will not be enough: “I don’t think the Internet can be totally free on footage like this”. In its report, the High Council for Equality proposes giving new powers to the Pharos reporting platform, so that it can remove or block videos containing “serious intentional attacks on the integrity of the person”.

The former journalist welcomed the adoption of a Socialist amendment to the bill “aimed at securing and regulating digital space” along these lines. This “introduces new content subject to Pharos control: the depiction of acts of torture and barbarism, and the depiction of rape”. However, the President of the HCE warns members of parliament about the use of the terms “depiction of rape”: “These could be simulated scenes”, explains Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, which could lead to confusion with cinematographic scenes, which are devoid of “real violence”. The issue could be settled at the next joint committee meeting on this text.

THE GOVERNMENT’S STRATEGY QUESTIONED Referring to a “very alarming report”, Jean-François Coulomme (La France insoumise) expressed doubts about the government’s strategy: “The bill aimed at securing and regulating the digital space led us to believe that we could base the protection of minors online solely on technical devices”, said the elected representative, who believes it is necessary to insist on sex education during the school curriculum.” “As soon as a technical solution is put in place, the possibilities of circumventing it emerge very quickly”, he said.

This concern is not dissimilar to that of Cécile Untermaier (Socialists): “In view of the number of videos you have given us, it is quite clear that a judicial response will not suffice and that we need to work on prevention”. In particular, the HCE report proposes “rolling out a plan” to ensure the implementation of “three sessions on sex and emotional education in all classes”, provided for by law since 2001. Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette has herself expressed doubts about the government’s strategy for controlling the age of Internet users on pornographic sites.

The bill to secure and regulate the digital environment gives Arcom the power, in certain cases, to block websites that allow minors to view pornographic content. The bill stipulates that Arcom, after receiving the opinion of the CNIL, will publish a “reference system determining the minimum technical requirements applicable to age verification systems”.

“We’re in for 10 years of litigation”, laments Sylvie Pierre-Brossolette, who believes that the guidelines will be “challenged before the European Court of Human Rights, the [European Union] Court of Justice and 50 other bodies”. According to her, “by the time all this has been sorted out, the guidelines will be obsolete”. The President of the HCE would have preferred to let the sites themselves define the control procedures: this would have made it possible to “observe” that their methods “are not effective” and therefore to “close down these sites”.

Source:

https://lcp.fr/actualites/industrie-pornographique-sylvie-pierre-brossolette-hce-denonce-un-massacre-a-but

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The hidden face of Wyylde

By CAPP, original French article: READ HERE

What is Wyylde?

Wyylde is a porn-prostitution site. It presents itself as a libertine site, connecting and organizing meetings and evenings between “practitioners”.

After some research, we discovered that Wyylde is the official competitor of Jacquie et Michel, a French porn “company” accused of aggravated pimping, aggravated human trafficking, torture and barbarity.

Libertine? No way. If you listen to the survivors of porn-prostitution, you will learn that libertine sites and circles are a gateway to prostitution networks. Many survivors attest to having started out this way.

We will return another day to a feminist critique of licentiousness. You can always read our posts on BDSM and polyamory.

After lifting the veil on the alleged “sexual freedom” promoted by Wyylde, we discovered that this site, formerly Netechangisme, is an instrument of pimping, serving as a platform for women victims of prostitution – just like Onlyfans can be. And besides, why this change of name? An effective marketing strategy, intended to erase the term “swapping”, very marked because of the many scandals linked to pimping and the sexual exploitation of women. What could be better than choosing a new English name to seduce an ever younger audience and transform a specialized practice, whose abuses and dangers are well established, into a so-called mainstream, acceptable, fun fantasy, “ wild”. Harmless and Freed, Wyylde? Don’t be fooled by their new branding. The protection of women and minors is not ensured on this platform: according to several testimonies, no moderation of the profiles or the site seems to be in place.

The more we investigate, the more we discover cases of procuring minors. Among the many alerts, one case, involving a magistrate recently brought to justice, was the subject of extensive media coverage: read for example the articles of Mediapart , Le Monde , or France Info . And Wyylde is not limited to a presence on the internet and social networks. In 2022, the site launched a massive advertising campaign in newspapers but also in the public space, with large posters in the street, on bus shelters and in the metro.

An aggressive promotion of their platform, which trivializes their messages on swinging and the hypersexualization of women. The public space and transport being open to all, the children were exposed and were able to discover this platform, its name and its objective. However, a simple click on their site, followed by a very easy registration (an email address is enough, no proof of identity is required) allows access to explicit and ultra violent pornographic content: images on profiles showing erect penises, penetrated women; groups to organize gang rapes in motorway service areas or racist- themed parties. We are far, very far, from the pseudo “party of pleasure” promised by the site on its advertisements, with smiles and candy pink color.

On social networks, Wyylde plays on several niches to increase its influence and reach an increasingly large audience. 

It naturally ensures its publicity in its quasi-native environment, pornography. We thus discover that one of the women promoting this site via a podcast is an effigy of Jacquie and Michel (Anna Polina), their competitor. 

More recently, Wyylde has extended its ramifications into the world of sex accounts created by women, via paid partnerships. These accounts, which define themselves as educational, liberated, even feminist, are perceived by their subscribers – women and young girls, mainly – as protected spaces. Insidiously, Wyylde can thus benefit from positive publicity with them, thwart their mistrust and make themselves known, while continuing to build the myth of a sexually “uninhibited” platform.

It is in this way that Wyylde gradually made its appearance in certain liberal spheres claiming to be feminist or displaying a so-called “sex positive” discourse, but also in the circles of radical feminists. This is also how we heard about it. We would also like to offer our deepest apologies to the women and survivors that we may have indirectly influenced, by following and sharing accounts that we thought were safe. We should have been more vigilant. 

Because we say it and we will always say it again: the so-called “libertine” sites, like Wyylde, are traps for women and obvious gateways to porn-prostitution. There are men who invent a bisexual tendency in their wives to fulfill their fantasies. There are also men who force women and spouses there or who manipulate them into accepting practices that they deem a priori unacceptable.
Wyylde also does a lot of promotion around candaulism. Candaulism is the act of “OFFERING” one’s partner to others. It is not only a reifying practice, but it is based on hypocrisy. Make no mistake about it: it is actually women who are generally offered, exchanged, treated like commodities.

Contrary to its official presentation, Wyylde is not just a simple dating site for “libertines”. Like porn sites, profiles are sorted by skin color and weight. It can be navigated by means of categories, including of course BDSM, gang bang, hardcore… but also cam sex, with the broadcast of live videos of “exhibitionists”, some of whom are underage – a copy of the camgirls porn sites.

Wyylde has nothing to envy to Jacquie et Michel.

It is very clear to us that the women remaining on this site are already very alienated from porn culture – and for some, are victims of prostitution.
Several testimonials relate the dangerousness of the site for women, especially for single women.

What men are looking for on Wyylde is no different, in practice, from what they are looking for in prostitution: a way to penetrate and submit when they want, how they want. The only difference is that on Wyylde, the man pays his subscription and the victim pays him too. Women looking for free relationships, men looking for hookers.

Full article on Wyylde by CAPP: READ HERE

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Sex Trafficking of Women for the Production of Pornography

Donna M. Hughes
Co-founder, Citizens Against Trafficking

Women used in the production of commercial pornography in the U.S. are often subjected to
violence and coercion during filming. Often they protest and try to stop the filming or back-out
before filming begins. Their protests are ignored or they are pressured by their agent or the
director to continue. Their experiences of coercion and trickery often meet the criteria for sex
trafficking.


Sex trafficking is a federal felony. Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation,
provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act which involves force, fraud,
or coercion, or in which the person involved has not attained 18 years of age. Sex trafficking is
punishable by up to 20 years in prison or life in prison if there are aggravating circumstances.
Since the passage of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) in 2000, almost all federal sex
trafficking cases have involved prostitution. The use of adult victims in the production of
pornography has not been investigated. I believe this is an area that needs much more
attention by activists and law enforcement.


In cases of sex trafficking involving minor victims there have been numerous accompanying
charges for production of child pornography because the perpetrator has taken naked images
of the victim. To be a federal crime, the perpetrator does not have to use the images for
commercial purposes, nor is there a need to prove that force, fraud or coercion were used
because the victims are minors.


For our purpose, we are interested in demonstrating that there is sex trafficking of adult
women (over the age of 17) in the production of commercial pornography in the U.S.


I reviewed the testimonies of women used in the production of pornography to see if their
experiences met the criteria for sex trafficking. Several of these testimonies came from the pornography industry. She is now working to assist other women to escape pornography and hold the sex industry accountable for the harm it does to women

Force or Coercion


If any force or coercion is used to compel a woman to engage in a sex act that is filmed for
commercial purposes, that meets the legal criteria for violation of federal law. This
interpretation of the TVPA was first used in a BDSM (bondage and sadomasochism) case in
which the perpetrator, “slave master” Glenn Marcus filmed the torture of a victim and placed it
on his subscription-based web site. The Supreme Court upheld the forced labor and sex
trafficking conviction on May 24, 2010.

Most women entering the pornography industry don’t know what they will be subjected to.
Like most victims of sex trafficking, they need money and are looking for opportunities. The
agents, directors and producers take extreme advantage of these often naïve young women.
Their first experience making commercial pornography is often brutal and traumatic.
Madelyne knew nothing about the business or what was required, but was eager to make
money because she was broke and in debt.


She was “terrified” when she arrived at the studio to shoot her first scene. She said, “I tried
backing out and wanted to go home and not do porn at all.” She was reminded that she had
signed a contract so she couldn’t back out. “I was threatened that if I did not do the scene I was
going to get sued for lots of money.” “I experienced rough sex scenes and have been hit by
male talent [pornography actors] and told them to stop but they wouldn’t stop until I started to
cry and ruined the scene.”


She told the agent that she had “no limits” on what
she would do. Later, she said she had no idea what that meant. She signed a one year contract.

Madelyn’s description of her experience qualifies as coercion. Even if a victim initially consents
to sexual activity, she always has the option of withdrawing her consent and the activity should
stop. If her wishes are ignored, sex trafficking is occurring.

Alexa wrote: “My first movie I was treated very rough by 3 guys. They pounded on me, gagged
me with their penises, and tossed me around like I was a ball! I was sore, hurting and could
barely walk. My insides burned and hurt so badly. I could barely pee and to try to have a bowel
movement was out of the question.” 7


Sierra Sinn wrote: “My first scene was one of the worst experiences of my life. It was very scary.
It was a very rough scene. My agent didn’t let me know ahead of time… I did it and I was crying
and they didn’t stop. It was really violent. He was hitting me. It hurt. It scared me more than
anything. They wouldn’t stop. They just kept rolling.”8


Both Alexa and Sierra Sinn’s experience describe the use of force in the production of
pornography. If the women protested or asked the actors or directors to stop and they did not,
this qualifies as force and is sex trafficking.


Preying on Drug Use or Addiction is a Form of “Non-violent and Psychological
Coercion”

The William Wiberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 added a new
type of coercion that can be used in sex trafficking cases. Preying on a victim’s drug use or
addiction (whether pre-existing or created by the trafficker) will, in and of itself, form the basis
for convicting traffickers under the TVPA.


Many testimonies of women used in the production of commercial pornography describe their
drug and alcohol addictions and how the pornographers manipulate them.
When Madelyne wanted to back out of doing her first pornography scene, in addition to being
threatened, “I ended up taking shots of vodka to get through it. …Porn producers provided
alcohol and drugs for me.”


Madelyne added: “As I did more and more scenes I abused prescription pills which were given
to me—anything I wanted–by several Doctors in the San Fernando Valley. I was given Vicodin,
Xanax, Norcos, Prozac and Zoloft. The doctors knew I did porn but still gave me any prescription
pills I wanted. All I had to do was tell them I needed them to get through hardcore scenes. … In
preparation for a scene in which multiple men ejaculated on Madelyne’s face, which she didn’t
want to do, “One of the crew members offered me vodka and beer.”

“My agent forced me to use a driver because he knew I was always wasted. About 75% of the
women who make porn have to have drivers because they’re addicted to drugs and alcohol.” 10
When Madelyne could not longer perform in porn scenes because “No one wanted to hire me
because of my drug and alcohol problem was out of control,” her agent suggested she go into
prostitution and stripping.
Madelyne suggested that the doctors might be receiving kick-backs from the pornography
producers.

According to Alexa: “There was always alcohol and drugs readily available on the sets….
Whatever you wanted, they would or could get it. In fact, the set I worked on for two videos,
the stars had their own ‘doctor’ with them! I would see the doctor giving out pills or giving …
injections.”


As anti-sex trafficking activists, we should be pressing the Department of Justice and the U.S.
Attorney in California to investigate the sex trafficking of women for the production of
commercial pornography by preying on victims’ addictions.


Fraud

If a person is compelled to engage in a commercial sex act (which includes the filming of
commercial pornography) through fraud she is a victim of sex trafficking. Using fraud means
tricking someone into doing something she didn’t anticipate.
Madelyne wrote: “The worst scene I ever did was during my first couple weeks in the business.
The agent who handled all my bookings called me the day before the scene and said it would be
similar to a solo masturbation scene. Then he added that there would also be about 10-15 guys
masturbating to me and ejaculating on my body. In the pornography industry this type of scene
is known as a ‘Bukakke.’


He said it would be quick and easy money. When I arrived I saw a
massively long line of men outside the studio. I recognized very few of them….most of them
were strangers I had never seen before.”Once inside the studio Madelyne learned that the men
lined up outside had been recruited by an ad in the LA Weekly to come and ejaculate on a
young porn actress’s face. She called her agent and protested, saying there were at least men waiting for the scene. “My agent told me that I had to do it and if I can’t, he would charge me and I would lose any other bookings I had because I would make his agency look bad.


These actions to compel this woman to make pornography constituted both fraud and
psychological coercion.


Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking Online Petition on Sex Trafficking in
the Pornography Industry


More anti-trafficking organizations and activists are investigating and raising awareness about
sex trafficking in the production of commercial pornography. The Florida Coalition Against
Human Trafficking has launched an online petition urging FBI Director Robert S. Mueller and
Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. to investigate the pornography industry for use of sex
trafficking against women and girls in the production of pornography. (The full text of the
petition is in the appendix.)


Women used in the production of pornography are victims of sexual violence and coercion.
They deserve the attention and support of anti-trafficking activists and law enforcement. In
your work to educate others about sex trafficking, remember to discuss sex trafficking in the
production of pornography.

NATIONAL PETITION TO INVESTIGATE
POSSIBLE LINK BETWEEN TRAFFICKING
AND THE PORNOGRAPHY INDUSTRY


WHEREAS, Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking (FCAHT), through evidence
uncovered during research and investigations, has identified potential sex trafficking
victims inside the pornography industry.

FCAHT has found indicators that:

  • teen girls, boys and women are being recruited into the pornography industry
    with fraudulent promises of legitimate jobs at exaggerated pay rates;
  • once these victims are recruited and arrive at the trafficking destination, they
    are being held there by means of debt bondage, physical force and psychological
    coercion;
  • their pay for work performed is given directly to their “agent” or trafficker and
    these debts are deducted before any money, if any remains, is given to the
    victim;
  • the victims are given the “choice” to perform “privates”, which is illegal
    prostitution, to pay off their debt;
  • if the victim attempts to leave and/or speak out against the industry, they are
    physically and emotionally threatened to hold them captive and to keep them
    from seeking help with law enforcement agencies;

WHEREAS, the United States has identified the above actions to be indicators of sex
trafficking which is illegal per the United States Trafficking Victims Protection Act and
Reauthorizations of 2003, 2005 and 2008;
WHEREAS, the pornography industry is a legal industry inside the United States and as
such, must submit to the laws of the TVPA and Reauthorizations of 2003, 2005 and
2008;
WHEREAS, spokespersons for the pornography industry have openly admitted in public
forums that they do not follow the laws of the United States;
WHEREAS, the pornography industry, in the United States alone, produces 89% of the
entire world’s hardcore pornography websites with earnings between $2.8 – $13 billion a
year, making it is one of the most profitable industries in the United States;
WHEREAS, FCAHT takes the stance that these indicators should be evaluated for
further awareness and possible action;
THEREFORE, I add my name and voice to those of countless American citizens calling
upon our United States Government to immediately join with the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking in efforts to end the exploitation and trafficking of teen children and women in the pornography industry and stop modern-day slavery in the 21st century.

Specifically, I call on FBI Director Robert S. Mueller and Department of Justice Attorney
General Eric H. Holder, Jr. to:

  1. Initiate an investigation of these indicators to determine if, in fact, sex trafficking is
    taking place inside the pornography industry and, if so found, to take possible legal
    action against the pornography industry per TVPA and Reauthorizations provisions.
  2. Work with the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking to establish and enforce a
    human rights-based code of conduct, including zero tolerance for forced labor,
    servitude, debt bondage and illegal commercial sex acts within the pornography
    industry in America.

Source

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‘Wife’ of alleged BDSM sex cult leader charged with child grooming offences

ABC Investigations / By Elise Worthington

A bald man wearing a black T-shirt
James Davis is facing almost 60 charges.(Supplied)

A 22-year-old woman who was involved in an alleged BDSM sex cult has been charged over sexual activity with minors and morphine possession.

Key points:

  • The woman received bail after appearing before Blacktown court 
  • She is facing 12 charges including transmitting child abuse material
  • The 22-year-old was one of several women who called themselves “slaves” to a man who is now facing dozens of charges

The woman was arrested yesterday in Blacktown, in Sydney’s west, and charged with six counts of using a carriage service to prepare or plan to engage in sexual activity with a minor and five counts of transmitting child abuse material.

The charges carry a combined maximum prison sentence of more than 25 years.

The arrest comes as part of an ongoing AFP human trafficking investigation code named Operation Saintes which began earlier this year after a Four Corners investigation into the group.

The woman’s partner, 40-year-old James Davis, was arrested during a dramatic AFP raid on a rural property near Armidale in March where he was living with several women he called his “slaves”.

Mr Davis was a prolific user of social media before his arrest, calling himself a “patriarchal overlord” and publicly boasting of his “alternative lifestyle”.

The women in the group shared on social media that they had signed slave contracts, wore collars and claimed they were living in a consensual BDSM master/slave relationship with Mr Davis.

Social media posts obtained by the ABC reveal several women, including the 22-year-old, joined the group while they were still teenagers and in high school.

Sexual assault support services:

The AFP raided the rural property where James Davis lived with his partners in March after the ABC provided information to police.

Mr Davis is now facing 58 federal and state charges spanning 20 years including rape, assault, animal torture, child pornography and kidnapping offences, along with several counts of using a carriage service to prepare or plan to engage in sexual activity with a person under 16.

The AFP spent more than two days scouring Davis’ property at Yarrowyk for evidence and confiscated illegal weapons, ammunition, filming equipment and hard drives which were being forensically analysed. 

Police now say during the raid they also discovered an IV bag containing 30 grams of morphine which they allege was stolen from a hospital.

The woman appeared before Blacktown Court House on 12 charges including possessing the schedule 8 drug. 

The ABC can reveal she was registered to work as a nurse but had restrictions placed on her registration earlier this year. 

The conditions included that she must not supply, check or administer any drug of addiction, or work without supervision.

The 22-year-old was granted bail this afternoon under strict conditions including not accessing the internet or going within 500 metres of children.

AFP Detective Superintendent Craig Bellis said police were continuing to investigate and asked anyone with information to come forward.

“AFP investigators have worked tirelessly to investigate this matter, and further analysis of material seized in March 2021 search warrants has resulted in these charges against a second person.

“The AFP will not rule out further charges in this matter.”

The matter is due back in court in January. 

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-11-30/wife-of-alleged-bdsm-sex-cult-leader-charged/100661006

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Robin d’Angelo: a regulatory strategy

Written by CAPP International, translated from French with DeepL.

At a time when the debate on pornography is beginning to gain momentum in France following the opening of an investigation against the Jacquie & Michel website, and the subsequent arrest of several pimping “producers” thanks to a tip-off from three feminist associations, the filmed prostitution lobby is organizing to fend off the blows of abolitionists.

Together, we will analyze the way the media have communicated on the subject since the opening of this investigation, in order to pinpoint the strategy of the defenders of porn-prostitution, notably through the example of Robin d’Angelo.

Robin d’Angelo is a journalist who has “infiltrated” the porn industry in order to write a book on the subject. Some abolitionists relay his work to show the misogynistic violence that is commonplace in the industry.

Don’t get me wrong: although he’s helped expose this violence, this man is no ally, because he’s a regulationist. His goal? To make you believe that there is such a thing as “good porn” and “bad porn”. This idea obviously runs totally counter to the values of abolitionist feminists, for whom “ethical” porn doesn’t exist.

In all his interviews, Robin asserts that he believes this activity should be “regulated”, not “banned”. He argues that we need to create laws, supervise and protect “actresses”. These are exactly the same arguments as those hammered home by associations such as STRASS, which maintain that there is a difference between “forced” and “consenting” prostitutes.
In this debate, one of the trump cards played by those in favor of regulation is to blur the definitions of rape and pimping, by communicating in such a way as to make them ever more confusing.


For example, porn producer Nikita Bellucci posted on her twitter account the news that her colleague Pascal OP had been arrested for rape and pimping, candidly proclaiming that the industry needs to be cleaned up. It’s hard to believe her sincerity when you consider that she and her husband had known about the facts for a long time, without ever having denounced them… With this statement, we rather get the impression that Bellucci is brandishing this sordid example in order to better dissociate herself from the caricatured portrait of the pimp using violence to physically coerce women into prostitution, thus reinforcing the archaic belief that rape can only be defined by violence.

Yet the legal definitions of rape and pimping are very clear:

“Pimping is the act, by anyone, in any manner whatsoever:
1° Helping, assisting or protecting the prostitution of others ;
2° Profiting from the prostitution of others, sharing the proceeds or receiving subsidies from a person who habitually engages in prostitution;
3° To hire, train or divert a person with a view to prostitution, or to exert pressure on them to prostitute themselves or continue to do so.”

As for rape, it is defined by the penal code as.

“Any act of sexual penetration, of any kind whatsoever, committed on the person of another or on the person of the perpetrator by violence, constraint, threat or surprise”.

Consent is not mentioned.

  • This notion, often invoked by feminists who want to combat rape, but also by defenders of the prostitution system, is problematic. Indeed, when you consider the subject of prostitution and porn, it becomes clear that consent can be monetized and manipulated – particularly in a situation of control – that it is conditioned by our social construction based on sexist stereotypes, and that it can be the consequence of traumatic arousal.

It’s clear that regulators brandish consent to make you forget the constraint that leads women to say yes, a yes behind which lies a whole system of domination and pressure: patriarchy, capitalism.

  • It’s in the very nature of porn-prostitution to buy the yes of its victims, to make them consent, thereby suggesting that they alone are responsible, and to use this to prevent them from denouncing the intrinsic violence of this activity.
  • But back to Robin. In a recent interview on Konbini, he recounts the sexism and violence he witnessed on the Jacquie & Michel and Dorcel shoots he attended. In particular, he recounts how producers manipulate women to force them to “consent” to certain practices, for example, by taking them by surprise during the scene, then insisting, often to impose sodomy.

Robin makes it clear: “actresses don’t have the option of saying no”. So he describes rape, but without ever uttering the word. He also cites the reasons why the women he has met do porn: need for money, to feel valued, to please a boyfriend…

So we have a man who is clearly aware of the damage porn does to women. It would be easy for an uninformed audience to see him as a well-meaning man, eager to denounce an unfair situation and bring about change…

  • The interview starts to become problematic when he admits, with a mixture of embarrassment and amusement, to having taken part in certain scenes. However, he denies having shot penetration scenes, which he presents as the most dangerous for women. An insidious way of mitigating the violence of bukkake, the theme of the scene in which he admits to having made an appearance. Bukkake is a very popular practice in porn which consists in ejaculating as a group on a woman’s body, often her face or breasts. The aim of this practice is clearly to use women as “vessels”, to humiliate and dirty them.

At the start of the interview, Robin introduced himself as a pro-feminist and explained that he had been inspired to infiltrate the porn industry because he felt disturbed by the contradiction presented by watching porn that he identified as degrading to women. However, when he talks about it, bukkake seems to be acceptable to him, although he doesn’t go into detail and passes over it quickly.

It’s at the end of the interview that it becomes clear that his apparent criticism of gender-based violence in porn is very superficial. Indeed, he ends by saying that, in his opinion,

“porn is just a mirror of society and those who want to censor it want to make the mirror disappear as if it will destroy the image it reflects of them.”

We note the use of the word “censorship”, a pejorative term that designates an “arbitrary or doctrinal limitation of everyone’s freedom of expression”.

Speaking of censorship, he presents porn under the guise of fiction, a simple cinematographic work, an artistic means of expressing creativity. This is pornographers’ favorite technique for concealing the fact that, unlike action films in which scenes of violence are produced by special effects and acting, porn “actresses” actually suffer the abuse inflicted on them: strangulation, beatings, penetrations causing anal and vaginal tears, etc…

It’s surprising that Robin should present things this way, after going to such lengths to highlight the power imbalance between men and women in this industry, and the physical damage caused by repeated penetrations and other violence inflicted on “actresses”.

The ambiguity of its positioning is thus obvious from this final statement.

  • To sum up, porn-prostitution is a hotbed of misogynist violence, but the solution is not to “censor” this violence, but to try to improve the “working” conditions of “actresses”. In the end, it’s back to the myth of “good” porn and “bad” porn, “good” pimping and “bad” pimping, etc….

Pour faire passer cette idée – dont dépendent d’immenses profits pour l’industrie pornographique ainsi que le maintien d’un privilège masculin archaïque, la stratégie de Robin d’Angelo est la suivante : il commence par dénoncer des violences qui ne peuvent plus être niées maintenant que la parole des survivantes de la porno-prostitution se libère, faisant croire qu’il se range du côté de ces dernières, avant de conclure que la solution réside dans une meilleure réglementation du secteur pornographique.

It’s striking that all the media reporting on the Jacquie & Michel affair chose precisely the same angle.

  • On September 11, 2020, the newspaper 20 minutes published the testimony of Karima, one of the first Jacquie & Michel victims to speak out.
  • Barely a few days later, a second article appeared in the same daily newspaper, containing several more of the dozens of survivors’ testimonies that followed Karima’s story. The facts of psychological and sexual violence recounted by these women were chilling, but the journalist nonetheless managed to conclude his article… by promoting Onlyfans, presented as a “safer” platform for those wishing to launch into “sex work”.
  • As for Elle magazine, in its September 18 issue it published a double-page article entitled “porno mais réglo”, extolling the virtues of so-called “feminist” or “ethical” porn. The article only hints at the “all-too-frequent abuses in the porn industry”, without a word for the victims, and presents the solution as better salaries, “a more humane environment, and above all better supervision”. Here, the main argument in favor of this type of “porn” is that more and more women are consuming it, and this demand must of course be met.

Nowhere did we read that attempts to regulate prostitution have always failed, nor that studies have proven that desireless penetration, whether on camera or not, is a form of violence in itself, with serious physical and psychological consequences.

  • Above all, it’s striking how quickly the media diverted the public’s attention from these revelations to instantly offer them an alternative presented as revolutionary. The observer’s reasoning is thus short-circuited before the conclusion can be drawn in his or her mind that porn-prostitution is filmed rape, because of the constraint it implies for the “actresses”. Rape is essential to the production of the pornographic images demanded by consumers.

The words of survivors, now too numerous to be ignored, are misused to make them seem like a new wave of revelations in the wake of #metoo, putting them on the same level as those of victims of sexual violence in sport or cinema, for example. It’s as if porn “actresses” could be protected in the same way as figure skaters, and that all it would take to put an end to rape in this field was to raise awareness.

The strategy deployed by the defenders of filmed prostitution, from Nikita Bellucci to the editors of Elle and Robin d’Angelo, lies in superficially criticizing the obvious sexism of this milieu, pretending to be indignant about the violence revealed by the victims as if we were only just discovering it, and then using the “ethical porn” model as a decoy to avoid questioning the industry itself at all costs.

We can therefore measure how far we still are from the demands made by abolitionist feminists and, in the first instance, by survivors of porn-prostitution.

WHAT SURVIVORS WANT:
Survivors are calling for an end to the commodification of bodies in all its forms – the only real way to put an end to this unbearable violence.

To this end, they are trying to inform the general public about the disastrous consequences of pornographic practices, not only for the “actresses” – whether “consenting” or not – but for society as a whole.

They insist that content presented as “ethical” is nothing but a scam, both a new loss leader and a front to whitewash an industry that continues to enrich itself on the most despicable macho violence.

They try to dismantle the notion of consent, because they know the mechanisms that construct this famous “consent” based on economic pressure, manipulation, traumatic terrain and sexist societal constructs that lead women to believe that their value lies in their degree of “fuckability”. They also understand that “consent” in no way alleviates the physical and psychological consequences for women who are victims of the violence of repeated unwanted sexual encounters filmed and broadcast on a large scale, with no possibility of controlling these images for the rest of their lives.

Feminist abolitionists are calling for real reflection on what it means for society as a whole, and for new generations in particular, to agree to place our imaginations and fantasies in the hands of profit-hungry industrialists.

Finally, they alert us to the danger posed by lobbies who use every means at their disposal to keep public opinion on their side, using well-honed communication techniques, as the examples cited in this article show. Any intermediate proposal between the current situation and the total abolition of porn-prostitution is a scam.

Written by CAPP International!

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French porn industry ‘systemically violent’ say Senators in scathing report

The French pornography industry systematically uses violence against women, according to a report presented Wednesday by four French Senators, after six months of auditions following several high-profile arrests of producers and directors.

The Senators want the issue to be taken seriously by the public, and for the government to make the fight against the “commodification of bodies” a political priority.

The aim of the report, which the authors titled ‘Porno: hell behind the scenes’, is to “alert the government and public opinion about violence perpetuated and spread by and in the pornography industry, as well as on the sexist, racist, homophobic and unequal representations that it generates.”

The four Senators, from four different political parties, started their mission in February after several porn actors, directors and producers linked to the video platform French Bukkake were arrested as part of a larger investigation opened in October 2020 into human trafficking, gang rape and pimping.

Three other men were arrested in Paris on Tuesday in connection with the probe.

Violence ‘not faked’ on screen

The Senators – Annick Billon, with the UDI centrist party, part of President Emmanuel Macron’s ruling coalition; Socialist Laurence Rossignol; Alexandra Borchio-Fontimp with the centre-right Les Republicains; and Communist Laurence Cohen – found that online pornography has become increasingly violent, and it is being seen by younger and younger people.

“Sexual, physical and verbal violence are massively widespread in porn,” write the authors, who say it is systemic. The violence is “not faked, but very real for the women being filmed.”

The report says the line between ‘professional’ and ‘amateur’ pornography producers has been blurred with the advent of new platforms that allow people to upload their own videos.

The result, they say, is a free-for-all for producers, who often recruit economically and psychologically vulnerable young women to coerce them into doing acts on camera they might not otherwise agree to.

Some producers will force women to sign contacts ceding their image rights in perpetuity, forcing them to pay “between 3,000 and 5,000 euros, or ten times what they obtained to film the scene” in order to take them down.

And even then, once the images are out on other streaming platforms, they are “almost impossible to remove, preventing these women who were filmed to excersie their ‘right to be forgotten’”.

Of the report’s 23 recommendations, one is to impose on platforms the obligation to respond directly to removal requests from the people filmed, and not just from the owners of the videos.

Scepticism of ‘ethical’ pornography

The two major French pornography platforms, Dorcel and Jacquie et Michel, said in November 2020, after the first revelations of the investigations into the French Bukkakhe case, that they were willing to put in place ethics codes.

Others in the industry have talked about contracts detailing what sexual practices particapants are willing to do or not do.

But the Senators dismissed such proposals as window-dressing for a deeper problem of violence that needs to be addressed more systemically.

“Faced with the systemic extent of pornographic violence, and given the nature of sexual consent that can be reversed at any time, these ‘marketing’ measures do not convince the authors,” they write, adding that productions with more respectful practices are rare in the consumption of pornography today.

Protecting kids

Beyond violence on sets and onscreen, the Senators also focused on who is watching pornography and how it “normalises sexual violence of women”.

According to the report, two thirds of children 15-years-old and under, and one third of those under the age of 12 have been exposed to pornographic images, voluntarily or involuntarily, and each month, nearly a third of boys under the age of 15 visit a pornographic website.

Often the first introduction to sexuality for children, pornography “builds an eroticisation of violence and domination relations, which become norms,” the authors write, adding that it “multiplies and encourages sexist, racist and homophobic stereotypes”.

A large number of recommendations focus on the issue of age verification for pornographic websites, which has proven to be legally tricky, even as several French associations have filed lawsuits against the major platforms.

Only 18+ allowed

A law passed in July 2020 requires pornographic websites to put in place age controls, but the Arcom media watchdog in charge of enforcing it has been ignored by the major sites, including Pornhub, Tukif, Xhamster, Xvideos and Xnxx.

The Senators would like to see Arcom given more power to register infractions and impose “dissuasive” sanctions.

Currently, agents must first get a legal ruling to be able to order Internet service providers to block sites in France that do not put in place age limits.

Another focus for children should be better sex education in schools to address issues of pornography.

Since 2001, primary, middle and high schools are required to provide at least three sessions a year on relationships and sexuality, but the report highlights the fact that the law “is absolutely not applied.

Students often receive just a few science classes dedicated to teaching reproduction” at the end of middle school.

Parents have pushed back and schools have not put in place adequate programmes, but the Senators say it is important to teach about sex and relationships instead of letting children learn it from pornography.

Ban pornography?

Early on in the audition process for the report, the Senators met with members of feminist organisations that fight against pornography and prostitution.

France has generally had a rather abolitionist approach to prostitution, making pimping and solicitation illegal, but not banning it outright.

Throughout the audition process, the Senators drew links between prostitution and pornography, but do not go so far as calling for banning pornography.

However, they write: “wishing to open everyone’s eyes on the global system of violence against women, the authors question the existence itself of the pornography industry”.

And yet, with some 19 million people visiting French pornography sites each month, the public and political debate will not be so much on banning, but creating a framework in which productions come under more scrutiny, and distribution platforms take more responsibility for who sees what.

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