Billie Eilish on Pornography and a Culture of Disgrace

A call to all those who are sick and tired of the degradation and have the fury to fight for liberation

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In an interview on the Howard Stern show a few weeks ago, the musician Billie Eilish made some important comments about pornography:

“As a woman, I think porn is a disgrace. I used to watch a lot of porn, to be honest. I started watching porn when I was like 11... I think it really destroyed my brain and I feel incredibly devastated that I was exposed to so much porn.” She said when she started watching it, she thought it was a form of sex education, but that it teaches women to think that abuse and degradation is supposed to be enjoyable during sex. “The first few times I had sex,” said Eilish, “I was not saying no to things that were not good. It was because I thought that’s what I was supposed to be attracted to.” As she kept watching, she got more into more and more violent pornography, which gave her nightmares that she suffers from to this day. But she didn't just expose this as a point of personal preference, but from the harm it does overall: “I’m so angry that porn is so loved, and I’m so angry at myself for thinking that it was okay,” she continued. “The way that vaginas look in porn is fucking crazy. No vaginas look like that. Women’s bodies don’t look like that. We don’t come like that.”

Billie Eilish is one of the most well-known pop stars and influential artists to exist in the U.S. right now. She has almost 100 million followers on Instagram, is one of the youngest artists to win a Grammy and is one of the most successful artists of her time. She's written songs about mental health, has spoken up against Donald Trump, about climate change and most recently on the attacks on abortion.

These comments are a breath of fresh air within a culture that is saturated with sexual commodification, “getting in” on the oppression of women by being a “bad bitch” or the constant twerking and violence against women in hip hop music. It is also an indictment of the dominant culture that Eilish is the only celebrity with her level of influence to speak up about this.

Billie Eilish in concert

 

Billie Eilish in concert   

Her comments also concentrate a horrific reality.

Think about a whole generation of youth growing up in society whose humanity gets destroyed by watching porn. Whose livelihoods get distorted and manipulated by a culture that pornifies everything. That teaches them that loving someone else means abusing them or getting abused, that arousal and pleasure comes from inflicting or receiving pain and domination, to the point where young girls harm themselves or commit suicide because they are not “pretty” or “good” enough. Where your first intimate/sexual experience is mortifying and it is the norm to get choked, slapped, or spit on during sex. Where “rape play,” bondage and treating someone like an animal is considered sexually appealing. Where women are considered “cumdumpsters.” Where it’s considered being a “simp” or weak for genuinely loving someone else and a “pimp” for not caring about a love interest. Where you are reduced to body parts and that intimacy should be humiliating, dehumanizing and degrading. Where you don’t even know how to function as a human being, where you find meaning to how “desirable” you are to men, where being a good sex object is the epitome of your existence and you cannot see beyond it. Where everything you do is calculated by how it will sexually attract a guy, where you see other women as your enemy for liking the same guy you do, where how you look, what you wear is put on display at every turn, where “getting ahead” or “getting on top” means sexualizing yourself, where being “one of the guys” means fucking over women and saying nothing about how wrong that is and losing your humanity in the process of taking away others’ humanity.

All of this is seen as normal and acceptable, where if you’re not doing this, you’re seen as “vanilla,” “prude” or that something is wrong with you. In reality, it is truly intolerable to have to live like this.

Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry that stretches all around the globe and is part of what is called the “global sex industry” or the “global sex trade.” It literally makes a profit of billions off of the sexual degradation and violent subordination of millions of young women and girls. To get a fuller deeper understanding of the horrors of this, read: “The ‘Industrialization’ of Sexual Exploitation, Imperialist Globalization, and the Descent Into Hell” by Raymond Lotta.

We revcoms are calling forth a new generation of defiant women and men who are sick and tired of the self-degradation, pornography and the dehumanization of women and the oppression of humanity that this is a part of. Who need to become enraged when they recognize the bullshit idea that “owning” your oppression equates to liberation. Who are unleashing their fury against this kind of shit as a mighty force for revolution, and increasingly rooting it in a scientific approach to reality—the scientific approach of the new communism forged by the revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, Bob Avakian (BA). Repudiating this revolting culture as part of getting to the root of the problem, this system of capitalism-imperialism and sweeping it off the earth once and for all.

This system has patriarchy and male supremacy woven into its core, it has the subjugation of all women everywhere in its foundations. Patriarchy goes back to when society began being divided into masters and slaves... and it’s continued all the way through to today. We need to break all the chains that keep this system going and bring into being a world without the oppression of women, and the exploitation of all humanity.

Announcing New work by BA, SOMETHING TERRIBLE, OR SOMETHING TRULY EMANCIPATING:

 

The reality is that we don’t have to live this way. People can find meaning and humanity in treating each other as full human beings, by throwing this degrading culture and the system that allows it to thrive, in the trash. Finding meaning by fighting for a world where no one has to go through this, fighting for a future free of all this degrading shit, by fighting and getting organized for an actual revolution to overthrow this system—uprooting the oppression of women as a part of ending all oppression everywhere.

Imagine living in a world where women aren’t constantly on display and viewed as sexual objects, or see themselves as sexual objects. Where, to quote BA, "Women can walk down the street and look every man in the eye and fear nothing." Where young boys aren’t being trained in “guy culture” but are trained in a culture that is uplifting and fighting to break all the chains. Where instead of getting into porn at a young age, people are getting into art and culture and treating each other as equals and comrades, and not tolerating sexually or verbally abusing women and differently gendered people nor treating them as sexual objects, but coming together to propel society forward towards human emancipation. Where the full equality between women and men is institutionalized, where people are struggling out in society for more and more people to be taking responsibility for overcoming all tradition’s chains and going to work on uprooting patriarchy and male supremacy within the realm of politics, ideology and culture. Where abolishing the oppression of women is one of the most important objectives of the future society and is given full backing by the government and the state.

The basis to radically change society in this direction resides in what Bob Avakian sums up in “Why The World Is So Messed Up, And What Can Be Done To Change This—A Basic Scientific Understanding”:

The economic base (the mode of production) is the foundation of society, which sets the ultimate terms and limits for what can happen in a given society; but it is in the superstructure where revolution can and must be made, by overthrowing the existing state power and system of political rule, and establishing a radically different state power and system of political rule, in order to move forward to transform the economic base, the social relations, and the superstructure as a whole, including the political institutions and processes as well as the culture and ideology.

Or to put things in basic and simple terms: In today’s world, to fundamentally change society, you must seize power—overthrow the existing state power and establish a new state power.

Raise your sights!  Come together today and be part of fighting for this future. Be part of getting organized NOW to actually make this revolution. To fight for all people who hate injustice and love humanity, to take responsibility for uprooting male supremacy in all spheres of life, for women here and all over the world as part of getting to a world free of all exploitation and oppression. That is a future worth fighting for, and that is a future that is possible.

Join the Revolution Club, which upholds and lives by these Points of Attention (POA). POA #2 states, "We fight for a world where ALL the chains are broken. Women, men and differently gendered people are equals and comrades. We do not tolerate physically or verbally abusing women or treating them as sexual objects, nor do we tolerate insults or 'jokes' about people's gender or sexual orientation." This is a concentration of the kind of world we are fighting for and the kind of world that is possible, this is a reflection of the new communism forged by Bob Avakian.

If this is the kind of world you want to fight for, then you need to be a part of this revolution.

In This Rare Time When Revolution Becomes Possible…

Heart-felt appreciation for all – new readers and long-time supporters – who helped reach our $30,000 goal. This is a hard-fought-for advance that many, many people contributed to and made happen in a time when this can make all the difference. An important part of this advance is that some donors decided to become sustainers, giving to revcom on a regular basis, and it's crucial to continue to expand this sustainer base.

There is no site like Revcom.us in the world today… where people in this country and internationally can get introduced to and connect with the leadership we have in BA… where people can get a lively scientific analysis of major developments in society and the world, how they relate to the system we live under, what the interests of humanity are, how revolution is the only solution, and how people can and are moving to build toward that revolution. Our bilingual site reaches thousands of Spanish-speaking people the world over.

So again, a big thank you to everyone who contributed! Continue to extend the reach of revcom.us in any way you can. Call on others to donate and become sustainers of revcom.us