Pornification of war

Humanity walks “an optimist” path to post-humanity with war, porn and money merging in a Holy Trinity

Humanity walks “an optimist” path to post-humanity with war, porn and money merging in a Holy Trinity

Doru Pop

This article was published on 19 May 2022 on Doru Pop’s blog

Since the early days of the conflict in Ukraine, Pornhub, one of the largest providers of online pornographic content, has introduced special categories such as “Girls from Ukraine” or just the “hashtag” “Ukranian (women)”. At the same time Pornhub blocked users from Russia, when they tried to access the platform they were greeted with the Ukrainian flag. 

The fact that on various porn sites searches for Ukrainian women and girls have increased dramatically is less odious than the information provided by a recent report that Russian soldiers who invaded Ukraine not only raped and murdered women, but filmed and then uploaded to porn sites some of this heinous activity. There have also been cases of online self-promotion where Russian soldiers have been encouraged by their wives to rape Ukrainian women, one of the most “famous” becoming Roman Boikovsky, about whom the Ukrainian intelligence claims that his wife Olga encouraged him to rape Ukrainian women on the condition that he “protects” himself during intercourse.

Sexist attitudes and sexual exploitation of the image of women in Ukraine are often practised under the guise of solidarity. For example in March 2022, Photo Vogue magazine published a “Tribute to Ukraine” in honour of the more than 6,000 Ukrainian artists published by PhotoVogue, but the images in the “Tribute to Ukraine” series include countless photos of young women in nude poses. Not to mention the fact that in April 2022, Hegre Art, a website dedicated to nude art photography, has created its own “Tribute” dedicated to Ukrainian models. Another scandal was sparked by Brazilian MP Arthur do Val, a supporter of Jair Bolsonaro, who, when he visited Ukraine and saw the suffering of refugees, compared war-affected women to those in his country’s nightclubs. 

Unfortunately, the ‘glamorisation’ and sexualisation of women in Ukraine has also brought countless cases of abuse and violence. Since most of the more than 4 million refugees in Ukraine were women, young girls and children, various sexual predators were active. Several dating sites in Europe began to include messages from men offering to host “beautiful, intelligent and well-groomed” Ukrainian women. In one case in Germany, a 25-year-old Ukrainian woman was raped by her host. Recently a Ukrainian refugee who arrived in Romania even accused the abbot of the Petrova monastery of sexual abuse. There is nothing more bestial than cases of traffickers directly targeting refugees in Ukraine. As the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2021 shows, it is precisely during military conflicts and wars that traffickers abduct women and girls from conflict-affected areas for sexual and labor exploitation, with these displaced and unprotected people being the favorite targets of sex monsters (here the report https://www.state.gov/trafficking-in-persons-report/).

One explanation stems from what Peter Nowak, a Canadian journalist specialising in reporting on contemporary technologies, suggested in his provocatively titled book, namely the alliance between the “shameless trinity” – war, sex and food – that influences contemporary societies. Nowak shows how the pornography industry was among the early adopters of technologies first developed by the US military, from small cameras to videotaping and then the Internet. Sadly, for all time, war, pornography and sexual violence have been deeply connected.

It’s also important to look at who are the profiteers of global pornography? A 2015 piece by NBC News quoting Kassia Wosick, an assistant professor of sociology at New Mexico State University, estimates the pornography market at about $97 billion. 60% of all porn sites in the world are hosted in the United States, and 66% of them are located in California. Looking at the top 10 nations producing online pornography we see that the market share places the United States in first place (with 24.52%), followed by the UK (5.49%), Germany (4.90%), Brazil (4.80%), France (4.01%), Russia: 4.01%, Canada (3.19%), India (3.18%) and Italy (2.64%).

Today, pornographic content companies continue to adopt the latest technologies, with the effect of making everyday life pornographic. And as the global crisis has particularly affected women in vulnerable groups, they have also been the safe victims of the advanced technologies used by the porn industry. One of the platforms that took advantage of this transition to the pornification of everyday life was OnlyFans. The site’s creator, Tim Stokely, promised its users that they would become the producers and beneficiaries of their own online porn content. And so, during the new coronavirus pandemic, OnlyFans fans grew from 120,000 in 2019 to 90 million users. Some of these were from Ukraine and Russia, the platform became a war space. “Famous” Lilu Miller, a Kiev-based model who uses OnlyFans, announced she would stop posting explicit images in protest. So is “Mizuki”, one of the cosplay image providers, while the popular online content “creator” on OnlyFans, known as Venus Blessing, has announced to her subscribers that she is in a subway station and can no longer provide them with much needed images. To show its solidarity, OnlyFans donated 500 Ethereum cryptocurrencies equivalent to about $1.5 million to Ukraine.

The war’s move into the realm of sexual digital platforms is just another manifestation of the transformations humanity is undergoing on its “optimistic” path to post-humanity.

Photo: (source: Doru Pop’s blog)

Subscribe to Cross-border Talks’ YouTube channel! Follow the project’s Facebook and Twitter page! And here is the podcast’s Telegram channel!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: