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This is something I’ve been waiting to see for a looonnnnggg time.
After reading NPR’s story “In Porn Industry, Many Balk At Condom Proposal” about how the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has been lobbying to make condom use mandatory in pornographic films, I responded with a blog post wondering what the big deal was: Why do many Americans feel that porn stars deserve any STDs they contract? If we can fake a t-rex in Jurassic Park, why can’t we photoshop a condom out of a shot?
The NY Times article, “South Africa: Condoms Star in a Sex Film With a Message” by Donald McNeil, Jr., details how South Africa now has its very first all-black porn with condoms!
The film, entitled “Mapona” meaning “naked” in Sotho, marks an incredible step to help encourage the use of condoms in South Africa (and hopefully everywhere else) and decrease the transmission of AIDS in a country with the most serious AIDS epidemic (6 million infected with about 1000 dying per day).
Producer Tau Morena says,
“This film has a gentle message about safe sex. I’m not making any grand claims – it is hardcore adult entertainment – but at the same time here’s a way to spread education and information… The great thing with South Africa is that there is no status quo with the way pornography is shown. We have a chance from the beginning to root out exploitation. In our case, a woman was paid more than the men.”
I don’t plan on watching the film, so I can’t attest to gender equality in the films, but at least it’s a step in the right direction?
So let’s move beyond whether you hate porn or you don’t – that’s not the issue here.
There is the thinking due to America’s puritanical heritage, that when you dabble with naughty things like sex, you get what you deserve. That same sentiment is shared towards porn industry workers. Despite the vast health risks (HIV, pregnancy, STDs, HPV, etc.) porn industry workers have little-to-no health care or medical support, and are discouraged from using condoms on the film set.
For years, a group called the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has been lobbying to make condom use mandatory.
Alen Cohen from NPR writes that condom-less porn means big business for porn companies.
Most porn producers agree that these health risks are serious, but they don’t think condoms are the solution. CEO Steve Hirsch says Vivid Video tried it before, for nearly seven years. “When we became a mandatory-condom company, we saw sales drop by about 20 percent,” he says.
Hirsch fears a condom mandate would wipe out the region’s multibillion-dollar adult film industry. He says that California, where unemployment tops 12 percent, can’t afford to lose more jobs.
“People will shoot in Europe; people will shoot in Mexico. People will go to other places to shoot,” Hirsch says, “and you’ll see an industry move out of this state.”
If we can fake a t-rex in Jurassic Park, why can’t why photoshop a condom out of a shot?
Read/Listen to the NPR story here.
Taken from an NPR story by The Kitchen Sisters.
With her 8-year-old son, Chris, who spoke Igbo, serving as interpreter, Daphne Mae Hunt taught Nigerian women a method of birth control that was in keeping with her Catholic faith.
In the 1950s there was a big push for birth control within the local government. The average woman in rural Nigeria was having eight or nine children. The Catholic Church wanted to be seen as a leader in the community, but wouldn’t support condoms. So the church endorsed the Billings Ovulation Method, a form of birth control that involves a woman monitoring her monthly menstrual cycles to determine when she’s fertile and when she’s not.
With a backpack full of pictures and charts, Abani and his mother would set off and go from door to door. It was Abani’s job to begin the conversation in Igbo.
“Everything starts with a greeting,” Abani explains. “I would say, ‘Good afternoon, mothers.’ You greeted a woman who had children in the plural. It would be followed by an apology from me because I was about to discuss something sacred, taboo.
“I am greeting you and saying that what I am about to tell you could be offensive because I’m about to break taboo. But this is what my mother wants me to tell you. What my mother’s bringing to you, she says, is a thing of glory, a thing of goodness, a thing of independence. And I hope you can listen.’ ”
“And here I am, this 8-year-old boy who they’re having to ask questions in Igbo for me to ask in English. But my mother didn’t think twice about it, because this is what women needed,” Abani says. “If the Catholic Church was going to ban condoms, she was determined that they would find this birth control information somehow.”
“It never struck my mother as odd that a young boy would discuss a woman’s menstrual cycle. She would always say, ‘Every good man needs a little bit of woman in them.’ “