This month my blog is based around one quote from the article ”Is porn hijacking our sexuality? (Part 1)?”
“After all, most of us would know pornography when we see it. But there’s no definition of pornography in UK law: “obscenity” is covered by the Obscene Publications Acts (obscene material is defined as that with “tends to deprave or corrupt)… these definitions are intended to be narrow, and there’s obviously a huge volume of material that is pornographic, and yet doesn’t fulfill the criteria for obscenity”. I am no expert on U.K. law but I would argue that in many ways depravity and corruption is at the core of pornography.
In the U.S. a letter drafted and signed by 117 member of the House and Senate was sent to Attorney General Eric Holder stating that obscenity laws needed to be “vigorously enforced” because there is “Abundant evidence” that pornography causes harms such as: “violence against women, harm to children, sex trafficking, divorce and widespread addiction”. The specific research he refers to has not been released to the public, but one does not need to look far for evidence of the depravity and corruption of pornography. In fact, one can find evidence in the recent story of a fourteen year-old boy who posted a video of himself having sex with a schoolmate on Facebook. I ask myself first, why? Why is a fourteen year-old boy posting that? There’s only one explanation: The boy was simply copying what he had seen on pornographic websites. I’m assuming this boy thought it was normal for people to post videos of themselves having sex, can you blame him? With 420+ million pornographic websites on the internet it appears to be pretty normal. This cannot be what we want for our children, or for social norms.
On a personal note I can relate to this boy. I started watching pornography when I was around his age. Pornography became all I knew about sex and relationships. I knew what I was watching was not normal, but I wanted it to be. And eventually, if you tell yourself a lie enough times, you begin to believe it, and you begin to live it. It finds its way into your relationships and everyday life. Corruption. Depravity. It took me six years to recover from such harm. As a result of this harm that not only I, but many have experienced, many are pushing for more legislation.
The chaos seen in Indonesia where anti-porn laws are in place may give us insight that tells us passing laws to ban pornography may not be the answer. Or if it is, it has to be done just right. In the article “Erotica Remains in Eye of Beholder” I found the following to be of significance: “The law defines pornography as any form of expression that “arouses sexual desire” and “violates society’s values of decency.” “But the heated public debate surrounding it demonstrates the jury is still out on what those supposedly commonly held values might be.” The law is causing issues such as whether or not women should be able to wear miniskirts, which as seen in the article: “Minister’s bid to ban miniskirts using anti-pornography law angers Indonesian women” has women there protesting. I am not against anti-porn legislation, but we must be mindful of the issues any laws will bring. Anti-porn laws are set in place to protect individuals, but they cannot infringe upon the rights of others, like telling women they cannot wear mini-skirts. Yet another example of this complicated infringement of rights can be found in the article ”So, Minister, since when were the civil liberties of porn users more important than those of children?” about legislation being pushed for internet providers to block access to pornographic websites in order to protect children. The children’s civil liberties are at risk, but so are the internet providers. Thus this law has forced lawmakers into an inescapable legal paradox.
Legislation is of course not the only way to fight the porn industry. A few weeks ago I met with the founder of xxxchurch.com, Craig Gross. Craig Gross fights the porn industry in a unique way. His website offers information on porn addiction, and how to recover from it. There is also downloadable software that filters and monitors porn surfing on a personal computer. But one of the most interesting things Craig does is attend porn conventions with his associates and their controversial “Jesus Loves Pornstars” logo.
According to Craig Gross, we must ask the men and women of the porn industry themselves if we are to find insights to its corruption and depravity, as many of them would agree with me on what’s at the core of the industry. Gross mentioned that he has learned from talking to various performers that many of the industry workers would get out if they could. Just the chance to live a “normal life” is a dream for many of these young men and women. Wait? A “normal life”? I spent the past six years of my life watching video after video of these people and thinking what they were doing was normal. How did this happen? Two words: Depravity. Corruption. But we cannot blame the men and women of the industry, for it is the industry, not the people in it, that has caused the corruption. Being anti-porn does not make you anti-people-who-do-porn.