31 December 2007

Porn Shown in Halifax Bar Directly Leads to Sexual Harrassment

The story below, which appears in today's Chronicle-Herald, goes a long way in demonstrating the immediacy of the negative effects that porn can have on men when it comes to their treatment of women. A study conducted in the 1980s by Dr. Diana Russell was the first major research conducted into the causal relationship between male pornography consumption and violence against women. You can read the results of that study here.

Woman ‘disgusted’ by porn on bar TV
Cheers regular says couple of male patrons tried to force her to watch
By CHRIS LAMBIE Staff Reporter
Mon. Dec 31 - 5:36 AM

A 24-year-old Halifax woman says she felt sexually harassed when male patrons of Cheers Bar and Grill tried to force her to watch pornography on one of the bar’s television screens early Saturday morning.
The woman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said she’s a regular at the Grafton Street establishment.
"Around 2 a.m., they thought it would be a good idea to put porn on the television," she said.
"I saw a crowd of people around the TV screaming. I went over to talk to one of my friends and this guy, who I didn’t even know, grabs me and tried to force me to watch it. When I was disgusted, he started saying really vulgar things to me. It was pretty bad sexual harassment that ensued because of the porn that was on TV."
The woman said she tried turning her back to the screen, which was showing a man and a woman having sex.
"One guy, who was very into it, grabbed my shoulders to turn me around."
The woman said she told the man he was acting inappropriately, but he didn’t stop. So she decided to get out of Cheers.
"But even as I decided to leave the bar, on my way out two other guys grabbed me and tried to force me to watch it, too."

The story clearly highlights that pornography results in forms of violence against women. Sexual and physical harrassment is completely unacceptable, and those who were responsible for the porn being shown on the bar's TV and those responsible for ensuring the personal security of patrons should be held accountable. I would encourage readers to lodge a complaint with Cheers and let them know that their actions were unacceptable and that they have contributed to the problem of violence against women.

4 comments:

Kate P. said...

Reading a few of the "what did you expect?" comments made me sick.
As if a woman who goes to see her favorite band perform is asking to be sexually harassed.

People range from criticizing the bar for having the material on, to criticizing the women, to being somewhere in between and but defending porn.
No where does anyone raise the question: Where did men get the idea it was ok to grab a woman or say derogatory things to her? Why did their behaviour escalate when the material was put on?

The best of luck to her in this case. Unfortunately, I have a feeling it'll be a very difficult road trying to get someone to take her seriously.

Kate P. said...

P.S - Just to clarify, I definately feel Cheers is to be held responsible for this. But the way in which people rolled their eyes at Cheers as if it were a person you can't expect much from, and seemed to ignore the men within it's premises who acted this way seemed very odd.

Joshua said...

It is infuriating to read that article. I know of similar things that have happened to other women and one has to seriously look at how men learn to behave in this way.

This is absolutely disgusting, both for how long the porn was on and how the men physically forced her to watch and, the comments that followed..I don't even want to think about what would have transpired in a more private gathering. Charges need to be laid although I fear they will not.

White Ribbon Campaign - Halifax said...

I think that the "you can't expect much from" Cheers argument is one that a lot of sources will cite. It's a bar, of course things like this will happen there. It's called making excuses in an attempt to de facto justify the unjustifiable.