‘Johnny Anglais’

Benedict Garrett, aka, ‘Johnny Anglais’, a “male teacher who moonlighted as a stripper and appeared in pornographic films has been found guilty of unacceptable professional conduct but left free to continue teaching.”

He was also given the opportunity to put his point of view across in a CiF piece, and earlier this year he took part in a debate on porn at Cambridge University.

I probably shouldn’t supply oxygen to the fire that is his fifteen minutes of fame, since the one thing that is blazingly obvious about all this is that he really, desperately wants people to pay him attention, but as he is getting all this mainstream coverage, it’s worth having a look at what he’s saying. It won’t take long to rattle through, since he spends most of the porn debate telling us what an Awesome Nice Guy (TM) he is. The rest of his arguments are disingenuous to say the least, downright contradictory in (important) places, and (unsurprisingly) have a lot in common with the ‘Dumb MRA’ piece tackled on this blog a while back.

The first thing to say is that Johnny isn’t being completely honest about why he was reprimanded; there were also concerns about his “over-familiar” classroom manner, he “regularly communicated with year 10 students about matters unrelated to school using text messages, emails and Facebook.”. If he was such a wonderful teacher, why did pupils choose to risk getting into trouble by reporting seeing him in a trailer for a porn film? Perhaps some of the pupils themselves were also concerned about his “over-familiar” classroom manner?

Johnny says that porn made him a better ‘lover’ (well, we’ve only got his word on that!), and claims that before he accessed porn, he “never really knew what a vagina looked like and I certainly had no idea how to pleasure it or what a plethora of different sexual positions that I might choose to employ there are.” There’s nothing remotely creepy about reducing a woman to a disembodied vagina, or a passive object to be manipulated into his choice of ‘positions’ is there? But don’t worry ladies, he has “also grown to respect women and all human beings”, and degrading women is “really not [his] taste”, so there’s nothing to worry about there then.

But, despite claiming that decent sex would have been practically impossible for him without porn, he also claims that he learnt virtually nothing from watching porn:

“Equally, I don’t learn how to treat fellow humans through horror films or shoot ‘em ups. Whilst pornography taught me some things, it certainly never replaced more important lessons learned from good parenting and decent teaching.”

So, porn taught him how to ‘pleasure a vagina’, but didn’t teach him anything about how to treat a woman? You would think this dissonance might set a few alarm bells ringing somewhere. The sex acts in porn may all be real in that they really happened, they weren’t faked with CGI or prosthetic body parts, but the rest, the scenarios, the responses (but not, I’m willing to bet, the pain, discomfort or distress) are performances. Wouldn’t being able to work out that the ‘set-up’ in porn isn’t realistic clue a viewer onto the idea that the ‘pleasure’ isn’t either? He’s been a porn performer, you think he’d realise that the “plethora of different sexual positions” were more about granting the camera access than anything else.

In talking about “good parenting” (implicitly saying that nice, middle-class white boys don’t commit rape) he is following the MRA line that violence against women is something stupid men do, almost by accident, because they’re too ignorant to realise or know any better; but violence against women is committed deliberately and calculatedly, by men of all types, from all backgrounds.

He comes up with a ‘what about the poor men’ argument, claiming no one ever talks about the exploitation of men in porn. Funny that, we did, just last week! Funny, also, that he claims we are insulting women’s intelligence by saying they are being exploited by the porn industry – is he insulting men’s intelligence? Does he want to take men’s agency away? He also comes out with the, ‘but all work is exploitative’ argument, as if a working a 10 hour shift was equivalent to a prolapsed anus.

Johnny claims that exploitation in the porn industry is rare, it’s just “corrupt individuals”. He makes the UK porn industry he worked in sound like some kind of arts & crafts cottage industry, where everyone sits around having cups of tea, and maybe fucks in front of a camera at some point. This is completely dishonest – read this write-up of the BBC documentary Hardcore Profits; the reporter wasn’t doing an in-depth investigation of porn industry conditions, he wasn’t infiltrating any dark corners of the industry, he visited the big, mainstream LA porn companies that operate entirely in the open; one of the male performers said he’d only ever worked with a tiny number of ‘girls’ who weren’t crying in the bathroom before a shoot, and female performers talked about being used as ‘guinea pigs’ and feeling like they couldn’t say no on set.

Johnny says: “your problem is not with porn per se, but with the current state of some porn.” Yeah, yeah. You know what? We’ve had three decades now of so-called ‘sex positive’, ‘sex radical’, ‘feminist’, ‘better’ porn, and we still live in a society where women are second class citizens, where large numbers of women hate and starve their bodies, where rape and physical abuse against women is still at epidemic proportions, but rape myths still prevail. This ‘better’ porn hasn’t done shit for women, the most it’s done is made a hand full of women behind the camera a lot of money.

In his CiF piece, Johnny claims: “There is no evidence to prove pornography has either a negative or, for that matter, a positive effect on society. There are scraps of research, but no proof at all.”

Well yes, proving a direct causal link between pornography and violence against women is going to be difficult, but then, any social experiment along the lines of, hey let’s show men loads of violent porn and then count how many rapes they commit, wouldn’t get past any ethics board. Human beings are complicated, and you cannot ethically raise human beings under control conditions. We live in a patriarchy, we are so saturated in misogyny that most of the time one stops noticing it, there is no ‘outside’ of that to stand in to take measurements from.

There is proof of pornography having negative effects on women and men. Women are now, in increasing numbers, getting their genitals mutilated to match the porn ideal, teenage girls now have to disassociate in order to ‘perform’ a pornified sexuality. Men become addicted and can no longer form regular relationships. There’s plenty of evidence.

12 responses

  1. Porn also reinforces male supremacist claims that women are not human just men’s disposable sexual service stations. And there is the fact pornography itself does not cause misogyny but rather it supports and repeats misogyny ad naseum. So whilst porn itself is not the sole reason why we live in a male supremacist system and why men believe they are the only default humans – porn plays a central role in the endless propaganda male supremacist system churns out. Namely men cannot possibly harm women because we women are still not recognised as human and we still do not have our inherent human rights accepted and enforced.

    Or to put another way – pornography is filmed male sexual violence against women.

    Johnny Anglais is not a competent teacher because evidence shows he has clearly abused his position of power as a teacher by attempting to engaging in ‘over-familiar approaches with his students’ meaning he has sexually harassed/physically/pyschologically harassed his students. And I’ve no doubt this male directed his predatory behaviour at female students not male ones.

  2. I am not going to respond to any of your anti-porn arguments, I spend much of my time defending my position and the right for pornography to exist. No point banging my drum for people who are clearly too close-minded to attempt to understand or appreciate.

    However, it is utterly shameful of you to accuse me of anything more than what I was found guilty of which is having been “overly-familiar” with students, Two investigations, both by the school and by the GTC, while both agreeing that it was inappropriate for me to have communicated with students outside of school, found nothing untoward or sexual in any of the content. Communication was with both female and male students. Get your facts straight before you start to throw wild accusations. I have never avoided answering questions put to me about this accusation, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, the media has been far more interested in my work in the adult entertainment than in a teacher who was largely trying to help young human beings by offering advice and a listening ear (by someone they know) in the hours outside of 8:30 to 3:15.

    Please, try making me into a demonised, evil porn-monster if that will make you feel better, but don’t go down the route of spreading lies or bending realities in order to support your own position. If you have questions or are unsure about things I have done, just ask me. I am happy to tell. But don’t make up your own malicious stories and conclusions.

  3. Clearly this is wrote by a woman who does not have a clue, You go on about porn is the reason we live in a male supremacist system, how about natural selection men have always been stronger both mentally and physically might have something to do with it and women’s natural rolls have been to look after kids. If women are not recognised as human why are you allowed to vote or drive a car or make decisions for your self? Try looking at some of the middle east countries where women do suffer and that has nothing to do with porn but with religion. So i suggest you try moving to Iran for a few years and then coming back and seeing how well your human rights are accepted.

    I am not sure if you had even considered that the women who make porn do it because they like it and heres a concept for you they get paid to do it! and here’s and even bigger blow to your mind there are even women who are porn directors and producers! so don’t tell us that women are the victims here. Fact women can be just as bad as men.

    How can you say that “he sexually harassed/physically/pyschologically harassed his students”? I don’t recall reading anywhere that he harassed/ physically/psychologically his students at all. All teachers get familiar with students over time and i can tell you that a good thing as being able to relate to a teacher makes learning easier for everyone. This guy never abused his position it comes down to a few small minded people like you who don’t like what he was doing in his free time away from his teaching job. What he does in his own time is up to him if he wants to make porn films why not it does not affect his ability to teach kids.

    I wonder if you would say the same things if this was a woman that made porn in her free time and was a teacher? would you be sitting there rocking back and forth clapping your hands with joy saying this is another victory for women’s rites?

    At the end of the day what people do in there own private time is up to them and no one should tell anyone how to live their life, just as long as they don’t hurt anyone or kill anyone let them do it after all you only get to live once.

  4. Well hello there Johnny,

    “I am not going to respond to any of your anti-porn arguments, I spend much of my time defending my position and the right for pornography to exist. No point banging my drum for people who are clearly too close-minded to attempt to understand or appreciate.”

    Too close-minded to appreciate? But I went over your arguments so carefully! Don’t you have anything to say about your ‘pleasuring vaginas’ comments? They come across as really disturbing and creepy, wouldn’t you like the opportunity to clear that up, to say that you don’t see women as disembodied genitalia?

    “However, it is utterly shameful of you to accuse me of anything more than what I was found guilty of which is having been “overly-familiar” with students, Two investigations, both by the school and by the GTC, while both agreeing that it was inappropriate for me to have communicated with students outside of school, found nothing untoward or sexual in any of the content. Communication was with both female and male students. Get your facts straight before you start to throw wild accusations. I have never avoided answering questions put to me about this accusation, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, the media has been far more interested in my work in the adult entertainment than in a teacher who was largely trying to help young human beings by offering advice and a listening ear (by someone they know) in the hours outside of 8:30 to 3:15.”

    Well thanks for clearing that up Johnny, but I didn’t throw any ‘wild accusations’, I just repeated what was in the Guardian articles.

    “Please, try making me into a demonised, evil porn-monster if that will make you feel better, but don’t go down the route of spreading lies or bending realities in order to support your own position. If you have questions or are unsure about things I have done, just ask me. I am happy to tell. But don’t make up your own malicious stories and conclusions.”

    All I did here was analyse what you yourself have said in defence of porn, and repeat what was reported in a national newspaper. I think ‘demonised, evil porn-monster’ is a little harsh, narcissistic creep fits your bill better, and you do that all by yourself.

  5. Adam,

    “Clearly this is wrote by a woman who does not have a clue, You go on about porn is the reason we live in a male supremacist system, how about natural selection men have always been stronger both mentally and physically might have something to do with it and women’s natural rolls have been to look after kids. If women are not recognised as human why are you allowed to vote or drive a car or make decisions for your self? Try looking at some of the middle east countries where women do suffer and that has nothing to do with porn but with religion. So i suggest you try moving to Iran for a few years and then coming back and seeing how well your human rights are accepted.”

    As I have said elsewhere on this blog, patriarchy is not a monolith, it exists and is maintained through a whole range of factors, including religion, including porn. It also varies across time and space, in some countries women do not have the right to vote or drive (and btw, women have the right to both drive and vote in Iran, you’re thinking of Saudi Arabia there), in others we have the mainstreaming, normalisation and expansion of the sex industry.

    As for men being ‘mentally stronger’ ha ha! Way to out yourself as a male supremacist. And you’re argument here is quite incoherent, you seem to be saying both that we do live in a male supremacist society, but it’s just ‘natural’, and that we don’t because women are allowed to drive cars in this country. So what are you trying to do, defend male supremacy or deny it?

    “I am not sure if you had even considered that the women who make porn do it because they like it and heres a concept for you they get paid to do it! and here’s and even bigger blow to your mind there are even women who are porn directors and producers! so don’t tell us that women are the victims here. Fact women can be just as bad as men.”

    Duh, I know women get paid for making porn. Being given money in return for allowing yourself to be abused doesn’t make the abuse ok, or can I assume you’re ok with men getting their teeth kicked in in return for $50 for ‘She Fights’ porn?

    And I am perfectly well aware that there are women producers and directors. If you’d bothered to look at the rest of this blog you’d have seen posts critical of the argument that porn is some how ‘better’ just because a woman made it.

    More incoherency here: if you are saying that women produce and direct porn, and that women can be just as bad as men (admitting that men are bad), then you are actually admitting that porn is bad in the first place!

    “How can you say that “he sexually harassed/physically/pyschologically harassed his students”? I don’t recall reading anywhere that he harassed/ physically/psychologically his students at all. All teachers get familiar with students over time and i can tell you that a good thing as being able to relate to a teacher makes learning easier for everyone. This guy never abused his position it comes down to a few small minded people like you who don’t like what he was doing in his free time away from his teaching job. What he does in his own time is up to him if he wants to make porn films why not it does not affect his ability to teach kids.”

    I didn’t, you are confusing the post with the comments that come after it, I merely quoted the news piece that quoted the report.

    “I wonder if you would say the same things if this was a woman that made porn in her free time and was a teacher? would you be sitting there rocking back and forth clapping your hands with joy saying this is another victory for women’s rites?”

    You really should try reading more than one post from this blog, or just reading this post properly, before making those kind of accusations, because you’re only making yourself look really stupid. This is an anti-porn blog, we are against all porn and against porn culture, even if a woman makes the porn, and it says so here in this very post.

    “At the end of the day what people do in there own private time is up to them and no one should tell anyone how to live their life, just as long as they don’t hurt anyone or kill anyone let them do it after all you only get to live once.”

    Well, we believe that porn is bad, and harmful, and there’s no way that you can argue that it is in any way happening in ‘private’.

  6. Adam, I have deleted your last comment because it was simply too long, boring and poorly written to wade through.

    Having comments approved here is a privilege, not a right.

    No further correspondence will be entered into.

    Bu-bye!

  7. Looks like Johnny doesn’t want to clarify as to whether or not he views women as disembodied vaginas!

    “No point banging my drum for people who are clearly too close-minded to attempt to understand or appreciate.”

    The sheer tedious arrogance of men and their Profound Words. We poor little women just can’t understand them! And on top of that, us uppity bitches won’t even appreciate his attempts to re-educate us!

    What’s to understand? Johnny enjoys porn, it gets him off and he thinks getting off is always good. Johnny likes making porn, he gets off doing it, and none of the disembodied vaginas he’s fucked has ever complained, so everything is fine and dandy! That’s hardly rocket science, hardly a philosophical treatise.

    Perhaps Johnny doesn’t want to answer any awkward questions about the porn industry? Y’know, I’d be more inclined to believe in the possibility of ‘better’ porn if it’s advocates would actually condemn the sex industry for the massive scale of the human rights abuses it commits; instead, they act like the Catholic Church and deny the existence of abuse in order to serve their own interests.

  8. […] Anglais, popped over a few days ago to leave a huffy comment after the post I’d written about him. He didn’t want to try to refute any anti-porn arguments, he just didn’t like it that […]

  9. The funniest part if this post apart from the ‘me likey porn so it must be good’ sentiments, when you realise most likely Johnny boy probably googles himself (it’s not like he’s a narcissist or anything).

    The church and the pornography/prostitution (which come had in hand) industry are both global entities with good PR that try to sell themselves as being good for the people let’s compare…

    Patriachal religion:
    Widely accepted and practiced belief systems which purports that people-largely women and children-are objects to be kept for abuse and subjection-by mostly men.

    These belief systems promise; paradise a fufilled life and afterlife which will result in becoming divine, gaining approval and status among peers etc. (which mean different things to each gender) more to the point satisfies a man ego and libido. 

    They have created and enforce discourse that decides what is ‘truth’ and what should be considered ‘moral’ (power and freedom of speech and gets access to it) how to view the world especially women, how to think and behave based on doctrine, social beliefs and constructs. 

    For a price-of course- 10% of your estate, volunteering time and energy and faith to  studying and teaching (indoctrinating) people to the  faith and defending, excusing the effects of your faith, subjection and degradation instead of what it promises, attempts (and is often successful) to strip an individual of their personhood, integrity, dignity  and their sense of self in other words their soul.

    Pornography/Prostitution:
    A widely practiced and normalized ’employment’ system which  is founded on the belief system that people- women and children mostly- are objects for sale to sexually service the often abusive whims other people-mostly men.     

    This system promises better orgasms a more fufilled sex life which will result in gaining approval and status within peer group, becoming a sex god or goddess (which different things for each gender) or more to the point to please mans libido and ego. They have created an enforce discourse that decides what is ‘sexy’ and what should be considered  ‘rights’ (freedom speech-a form of power and who gets access to it) and how view the world especially women, how to think and behave based on media, social beliefs and constructs. For a a price-again- your credit card and bank accounts, time and energy to promote and defend your beliefs and practices and their effects and to use the product, subjection and degradation instead of what it promises, attempts (and is often successful) to strip individuals of their personhood, integrity, dignity  sense of self and for many women and girls and some boys and men their will to live. 

    (see what I did there?)

    The dark(er)side of both sides:
    -Self-interested, does little to protect those it uses but will shield their own and has plenty of money to ensure this.

    -Often arrogant and self-entitled and tries to sneak into politics.

    -Figureheads and other representatives have a tendency to be horrible people in both their personal and proffesional lives. (If I had to choose between Larry Flynt or Jerry Fallwell side I’d choose death)

    -Tends not to take kindly to dissent will malicously and personally slander, threaten mischaracterise those who oppose it. 

    -Offers freedom that looks alot like servitude and/or offers a possible and vague possibility of a pay off.

    -Throws human rights and basic decency out the window hides, excuses and justifies abuse, murder, falsehoods and other malicous acts on a mass scale

    -Uses discourse to enforce heirachy and misrepresent and attack marginalised groups, women and people of colour (often women of colour)   

    -Uses or manufactures special cases to create the illusion that they are not a farce (i.e marginalized people within either construct support and appropriate it for their own benefit)

    -Rife with misogyny, racism, classism etc. in general (too much to list)

    -Getting people to believe them despite all this.

    -*your example here*

    Both pillars of the patriachy need each other, they need each other so desperately it’s rather vulgar. They have more in common than they think, they go about their ideology differently but they share a common goal-power and control and women, children of all races are the ones who suffer the most. Niether side has the interest of those most vulnerable so if you must pick sides pick theirs because people in power most certainly aren’t going to. 

  10. […] Johnny, I did accuse him of “[viewing] women as disembodied vaginas” so it’s perhaps not surprising that he got confused. The meaning of ‘to view’ and […]

  11. […] this is the norm of a massive global industry producing the mainstream of heterosexual pornography. Sex industry advocates like to pretend that it’s just the occasional ‘bad apple’, and any way, any abuse […]

  12. […] on her blog where she does a comprehensive roundup of men’s own views on pornography. While some sex industry advocates will try to argue that porn is just ‘fantasy’ that has absolutely no affect on real […]

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