I congratulate the BILD newspaper for stopping to use photos of nude women
A commentary by Thomas Schirrmacher
(Bonn, 11.05.2018) When I was quoted in a teaser on the front page of the BILD paper, the largest newspaper in Europe, on Jan 30th 1999, I couldn’t get myself to proudly pin the page on my wall, because a misogynistic topless photo protruded into the quotation. When the BILD once presented a pope with a BILD-Bible and the photo of the presentation was flaunted on the front page, even then a nude photo was placed directly below it.
In March 2012 the BILD got rid of the daily nude “BILD-girl” on the front page, after more than 5000 of such title pages. The interior part of the paper, though, showed almost daily nude “BILD-girls”, or else women were pictured nude in articles, or photos of the newest Playboy editions were reprinted. But there were hardly ever two nudes in one issue. In addition there was plenty of traffic on the porn page of the BILD, together with the “BILD-girls” and much hype over the election of the nude “BILD-girl of the month” and “BILD girl of the year”.
On March 12th, 2018, the BILD announced in a very bawdy article, that they would henceforth “show no own topless-productions of women any more”, because they increasingly had the impression, “that women perceived these pictures as offending or degrading”. The paper would supposedly invent “a new style of photography for women”, which meant de facto BILD-girls in bikinis and sexy underwear. It also said, that it was thought impossible to completely dispense with topless photos, as for instance in the case, when Kati Witt appeared in the Playboy, but one would in the future be “more careful and reflective” in this regard.
As half-hearted as that may be, and as much as it may just follow the general trend, because especially women don’t want to see total nudity any more, which therefore has no longer any advertising effect on them – I nevertheless congratulate the BILD for this decision.
The less pornography, the better for the dignity of women, the better for gender equality, the better also for the self-confidence of all who don’t look flawless.
For this I want to adduce four reasons:
- Several recent inquiries show: The frequency of sexual encounters decreases noticeably in the Western world, while the frequency of auto-sexuality (masturbation) strongly increases, in proportion to pornographic depictions.The sexual revolution kills just that, which alone was called “sex” in former times, namely sexuality in pairs.
- A summary of all available surveys worldwide has just substantiated, that there is a close correlation between a high consumption of internet-pornography and the jump of “erectile dysfunctions” among under-fourties. Again: Pornography kills sex. More and more young people cannot do “it” any more without pornography.
- Parents today explain “the facts of life” to their children usually only regarding contraception, and genuine consultation is as rarely found as in previous generations. They rather refer to school, young people magazines and pornographic depictions in the internet. “There you’ll see, how it works.” Therewith they refer to all that, which dominates the internet pornography: Sexual violence, sex without condom, misogyny etc. That’s the only “sex education” many teenagers get. According to opinion polls conducted by the Federal Agency for Civil Education, more than 50 percent of the male youths state, that the internet is their most common or sole source of information regarding sexuality.
- Last not least, ironically Pamela Anderson, together with a rabbi, in Wall Street Journal, declared pornography, and thus her own life, to be the gravest error; she then urged society to turn their back on pornography. Shelly Lubben had already backed out earlier, and more and more people formerly involved in the porn industry are now pressing accusations.
Thomas Schirrmacher published on the subject of pornography:
- “Aufklärungsformate im Fernsehen: Die Ironie der sexuellen Revolution”, pp. 202-208 in: Die Medienanstalten (Hg.). Programmbericht 2014: Fernsehen in Deutschland: Programmforschung und Programmdiskurs. Vistas: Leipzig, 2015. ISBN 978-3-89158-610-5
- “Internetpornografie”, pp. 141-160 in: Berthold Wald (Hg.). Freiheit und Bindung: zur Ambivalenz menschlicher Sexualität: Vorlesungsreihe der Katholischen Fakultät. Bonifatius: Paderborn, 2015. 250 pp. ISBN 978-3-89710-510-2
- “Producing Child Pornography in Order to Reduce Child Molestation?”, pp. 361-363 in: Ileana Rogobete, Alexandru Neagoe (Hg.). Contemporary Issues Facing Families: An Interdisciplinary Dialogue. Bonn: VKW, 2013. ISBN 978-3-86269-083-1
- “Internetpornografie – Verbreitung und psychologische Folgen”, pp. 115-133 in: Friedhelm Jung (Hg.). Orientierung in orientierungsloser Zeit: Festschrift für Paige Patterson zum 70. Geburtstag. Lage: Lichtzeichen Verlag, 2012. ISBN 978-3-86954-077-1
- Interviewtexts pp. 218, 220, 223-224, 239-241 in: Petra Grimm, Stefanie Rhein, Michael Müller. Porno im Web 2.0. Schriftenreihe der NLM 25. Berlin: Vistas, 2010. 978-3-89158-523-8
- “Sie glauben, Frauen sind allzeit verfügbar” (Interview on the book ‘Internetpornografie’). Bild der Frau Nr. 39 vom 20.9.2008; pp. 30-31.
Books by Thomas Schirrmacher on the subject of pornography:
- (mit Christa Meves) Ausverkaufte Würde? Der Pornographie-Boom und seine psychischen Folgen. Hänssler: Holzgerlingen, 2000. ISBN: 978-3-7751-3544-3; https://www.thomasschirrmacher.info/buecher/ausverkaufte-wuerde-der-pornographie-boom-und-seine-psychischen-folgen/
- Internetpornografie … und was jeder darüber wissen sollte. Holzgerlingen: Hänssler, 2008. 217 pp. ISBN 978-3-7751-4838-2; https://www.thomasschirrmacher.info/buecher/internetpornografie-und-was-jeder-darueber-wissen-sollte/
Translations of the book ‘Internetpornografie’ into the Romanian and Russian language:
- Internetpornografie (Romanian): Thomas Schirrmacher. Demnitate pierduta – Pornografia pe internet. Adevaruri, pericole, evolutie. Oradea (Romania): Scriptum, 2011. 208 pp. ISBN 978-973-1813-36-3; https://www.thomasschirrmacher.info/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/demnitate-pierduta-txtw.pdf
- Internetpornografie (Russian): Tomas Schirrmacher. Pravda o pornografii. Übersetzt von I. W. Proswirjakowoj, Lektoriert von W. S. Rjagusowa. Bonn: VKW, 2010. 170 pp. ISBN 978-3-86269-007-7; https://www.thomasschirrmacher.info/ethik/prawda-o-pornografii/