UK

Germaine Greer: Pornography Is Like A 'Huge Wart'

23/04/2013 15:00 BST | Updated 23/04/2013 18:04 BST

Feminist icon Germaine Greer has clashed with a female porn director who claimed the adult film industry was "good for society."

The Australian firebrand compared porn to a "huge wart" on society and compared it to prostitution.

She was arguing against feminist porn director Anna Arrowsmith - a former Liberal Democrat candidate - on the BBC's Today programme before the two women debated whether 'porn is good for us' at the Royal Institute on Tuesday evening.

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Greer compared porn to prostitution

Arrowsmith said pornography kept couples together, as one partner could use it as a "stop gap" rather than having an affair, for example.

"It's also made lots of sexual acts less shameful in society," she said, adding that 30% of all online porn was consumed by women.

Greer responded: "I am not terribly keen on couples, and I don't think we need to keep them together at all costs.

"Lots of women are distressed at the thought that their husband has a drawer full of porn that he uses rather than deal with the complications of their demands and requirements," she added.

Greer compared porn to prostitution, adding: "It's not about liberating people's fantasies or anything else."

There is a role for obscenity in literature, she said, but added: "Porn is strictly speaking a way to make money."

Porn, she said, "is a separate industry which is actually massive. It actually outweighs in terms of activity, all our other cultural expressions.

"It hangs off the side of cyber space like a huge wart, and I don't find that terribly encouraging."

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Porn director Anna Arrowsmith stood for the Lib Dems in Gravesham

She added: "When I find 13-year-old girls appealing to their parents for a 'full Brazilian' because their boyfriend thinks that they're dirty because they have not actually removed their hair..I think really the girls are having to play the role..that the boys have got used to."

"We are getting further away from each other as two sexes than we ever have done before."