A few weeks ago AP published the story ‘Porn offers window into Iraq’s chaotic politics’, basically saying that the availability of porn in Iraq is a mirror of the level of freedom and security in the country. According to the article, the fact that porn can be found openly on many street-corners is a sign that the security situation has improved (and that the government and police have more pressing issues to deal with, seeing that pornography is still officially banned in Iraq).
The article was printed by several media outlets and I’m sure it received a lot of clicks on all the different websites. And while I’m normally very liberal when it comes to topics such as pornography (I am in no way for banning it) and prostitution (I still haven’t made up my mind about that yet), the article got me thinking.
In the 60’s Denmark was the first country in the world to legalize pornography. And taking into consideration the time and the mindset of people I’m sure that it was a big and positive step on several levels. Things were changing, women were becoming sexually liberated and expressing one’s sexuality was generally seen as a good thing. With that in mind I can definitely see how the pornographic “revolution” was a good thing.
However, the Iraq of today is not Denmark in the 60’s. Iraqi women have gone from being some of the most liberated and well-educated in the Arab world to having to cover up and stay at home if they want to stay safe. And while this may be purely speculation, I have a feeling that most of them don’t have easy access to porn very high on their list of hopes for the future.
And even if they do, I’m not quite sure the porn out there is what they’re looking for. Porn stars with Middle Eastern background are high in demand. There are entire websites created just to point out which actresses actually have the right background and which don’t (funnily enough, one of these websites currently has the warning: No Porn for Muslims During Ramadan). But when you read what the films are about, a lot of them feature women wearing a veil or a niqab and descriptions like: “Just like people love public sex for the element of surprise, getting a blowjob from a girl covering her face under a burqa gives you the thrill of who the sexy chick is or how she looks”.
Again, this may just be purely speculation from my side, but somehow I’m guessing that’s not the kind of liberation the women of Iraq are looking for.