Object is a theatre presentation and workshop that helps teenagers to explore some of the issues around pornography.
The teenagers’ verdict
We asked a Year 10 boy and girl how Object had affected their views on pornography and relationships.
A boy’s perspective:
“Watching the play made me reflect and think about what it is like for girls in the porn industry. I hadn’t realised that what you see isn’t always reality, what appears to be enjoyable and fun for them isn’t always the case. It made me feel angry to learn that some people are pressured and forced into the porn world in order for others to make money. This seems really wrong.
“The fact this is so available to young people is also worrying. What we see is not reality and can have a massive impact on what we believe intimate relationships are like, when they are not. It opened my eyes and made me reflect and become anti-porn!”
A girl’s perspective:
“We learnt that peer pressure is given to boys as well as girls to sometimes do things they don’t want to do. Porn can normalise certain acts and situations that are not normal or not realistic to a real relationship.
“It made me think about how porn could negatively impact on someone’s self-esteem and confidence, not all girls look like porn stars and it can alter someone’s perception of what men and women should look like and behave with each other. I walked away feeling very differently about pornography and the impacts it can have.
For young people, by young people
For the 16-19 year-old Artemis students, this was a work experience placement. They had the chance to not only act, but to feed in their ideas, help to direct the performance and make it their own, as well as helping us to faciliate the discussion groups afterwards. They did a brilliant job of reflecting on the issues themselves, and then communicating them to younger teenagers on the schools tour.
Having other young people provoking these discussions was very helpful for the Year 10 students. It created an atmosphere of authenticity and openness, where they weren’t being ‘spoken down to’ about these issues but were exploring them with young people just a few years older than them, who have faced the same pressures.