I recently asked followers of this blog to submit different posts on topics that may concern them. My good friend David wrote one, which is an interesting musing on the issue of pornography, and I would like to share it with everyone here.
This blog post is an opinion post, and it covers a variety of issues that either currently are or could be related to human trafficking. I liked his post because it’s a good discussion starter - he discusses so many different facets of society and life, and one could dissect it for many more blog posts.
I also want to note that guest blogs are not reflective of the views and opinions of I’m Aware, but are the opinion of the writer, and we also ask that you be respectful of the author of the blog. We like to have community contribution and want to provide an opportunity to have your voices heard, but if you disagree with anything on this post, please be respectful.
If you would like to write a blog for I’m Aware, please message us and we would love to consider your contribution.
Pornography, by David D.
So I was asked to write on the subject of human trafficking, sex industry, or really anything pertaining to it. I chose pornography, and today I want to write about it from a couple of different, and maybe fresh, perspectives. Firstly, I am a man. That alone is uncommon enough in the circles of anti-porn that It warrants at least a casual jaunt through my monologue. The other angle I want to approach from, besides personal experience, is that of addiction. Not a popular starting point, I am aware, but to tackle porn, which I believe to be a massive “gateway drug” for full blown sexual trafficking and purchase, you must look at both sides, and with different glasses.
Let’s start with the different ways we can view this.
First of all, we have the obvious, “porn is bad” idea. Why? Because it is immoral, it is people being paid to have sex, and it is wrong because it falls into adultery. A lot of people think things like this, and it doesn’t go further. Maybe they say things like, “women in porn were probably abused,” or, “that poor girl, she must have not had_____,” or how about, “what a slut.” Lots of opinions, but sadly, I hear very little about why a man is selling himself as well. That is what it is after all, the man and woman are both consenting adults, agreeing on something beforehand (in the more “civilized” pornography), so they are both adults making that choice. What’s the big deal? I don’t know if I can answer from a political stance, as in America at least, freedom is supposedly the ideal. Why can’t these people get paid to have sex? They legally can, but only on camera, which provides a nice double standard. Why is prostitution illegal? Lots of ideas people have on that one, so I won’t go into it, but it raises some questions about peoples standards of morality. It is very well known at this point that the internet separates you from the things you are doing to others. Facebook is rife with insults and arguments, online gaming is full of profanity and hateful speech, pornography online is easy to justify, and hide. So if porn is bad, why is it legal? Well, it used to be nude magazines that where detached and acceptable, but going to the strip club may have still gotten you in trouble. Now, whether housewives or outwardly stand-up men may look down on porn, a staggering number of men and women watch it. It is very easy to hide, maybe easier than a magazine, and your kids can’t pick it up from under your bed. But strip clubs are still looked down on, and many men who condone porn would never be caught dead in a strip club. Perhaps because they know they could be. That’s my first point. Men, and even women will do what they can successfully get away with. It is not new, or exclusive to sex. If there were no laws, men and women alike would run rampant, until someone became powerful enough to create laws. So my first point really is, morality is not what this is about. It is what some say it is about, but in the end, it is about what people can get away with ultimately. If it was socially acceptable for married men to go to strip clubs, they would.
Let’s pause and question my credibility. I am a man, I have been hooked on porn, and started at around thirteen. I knew of it because my dad told me how bad it was, and I found it because I knew. I knew it was “wrong” according to another’s definition, and it felt good anyway, which led me to question my parents. The same went for drugs, and everything else my parents told me was bad. I no longer watch it, but it is insane how available it is now, and how acceptable. I can pull out my phone, and watch endless pornography for hours for free. Why would it be free? Because it is a gateway, and there is more money to be made in a strip club, and for that matter, if we track it all the way, sex slaves.
On to point two: Victims. This is a slippery slope. I see three main ideologies about this in the public. The first is that there are clear lines between full blown victims and predators, and they are different.
Second, that there can be victims, such as a child born in a war torn country with no means to leave, but that for the most part, personal choices must be taken into account. So if I walk around the inner city, shirtless, with a swastika tattooed on my chest, and I a victim? In a slight way. Idealism says I should be able to do that, and as long as I am not hurting anyone, it is my right and freedom. Realism says, we all know what happens. So I can pretend to live in a world that does not exist, or I can live. Extreme case yes, but that’s the middle. Thirdly, there are those that say there are no victims, only volunteers, and this is usually based on spiritual ideals, such as reincarnation, karma, after-life philosophy and beliefs, and the like. So for the sake of staying reasonable and coherent for this, we will adopt number two. If there are victims, but most must take some sort of voluntary action, who are these people in this web of the sex industry? Everyone, for the most part. Small girls, children, women kidnapped, we will remove them. Women who were abused and later chose to work in the industry, we will include them, with the disclaimer that they were at some point victims. Women who never had that happen, and choose to involve themselves, they are not victims. Men, who choose to act on impulses, they are not victims. But let’s draw a distinct line here, they make choices which place them in a mental and emotion and even physical place to be further victimized. The women who pay for school by working in a strip club, or doing mild porn, they start there, but the pressure to go further and continue is staggering, and at that point, willpower, mental fortitude, and conviction all start to be worn down. Anyone reading this probably is very familiar with these ideas, so let’s not dig too deeply. More, I want to address what I see as a very large problem in the world: viewing humans as objects.
Men are usually seen as perpetrator. He is, and there is no way around that, but it is more fragile than that. I wish life was as black and white as sometimes we all try to make it, but it is not. So let’s talk about what is done in this case. Usually, men are branded as bad, and women as victims. This implies that men are stronger than women mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, which is false. Boys grow up thinking they are bad, and women, that they are objects. But the end result is the same; men are objects to the sex industry, and in porn, just as much as women. I won’t be ridiculous here and say that woman’s pain and suffering does not outweigh the men’s in this sick equation, so that’s not where I am taking this. But if we trace the use of porn, to the strip club, to the hooker, to the sex slave, to the child molester, we find a pattern. Men are cows, to be milked. For what you may ask. For money. Women are cows to, to be eaten, so the consequences are far greater. But to stop women from being consumed, we can fight and fight to stop men from doing this to them with force, or we can cut off the consumer. It sounds like cannibalism, and rightfully so. These boys, from young age, are told what a “man” is supposed to be, to look like, to speak like, and to act like. Now it looks like six pack abs and a bruiser mentality, but more than what they are told is what they see: Sex, everywhere; their fathers, telling them one thing, doing another; their peers, telling them they are weak for not having done the same things, basic peer pressure. So what happens when peer pressure changes from daring a kid to jump off the town bridge into the river, to daring that kid to look at his dad’s 1960 playboy, to watching porn, to coercing a girl to kiss him, to collage date rape? Not that this sequence is mathematical, but it’s a vague idea of the different things these kids get pressure to do. The bottom line is, these boys are trained by an entire society of consumers, to view women as a product. Let’s even get audacious here and ask why men are not only expected to, but shamed, if they do not buy a proper wedding ring, house, and Valentine’s Day gift? Is there anything loving, thoughtful, or compassionate about those things? Sure, for a lot of people, but for a lot of others, nothing at all, it is status, and it feeds it. Men are taught to purchase women, even in casual dating. He didn’t buy her flowers? He only got her a ring with one diamond? He didn’t take her to Ruth’s Chris? Now I am all about chivalry, but only when done from the heart, and not in a condescending way. So women are taught to treat themselves like objects. If they don’t look good enough, they won’t get the date, or the right ring. They must act a certain way, be something they are not, to satisfy a sickening and self-loathing feeling in a man who somewhere in his gut knows that he doesn’t really want those things. But after you see so many clean shaven, anal loving, fellatio enthusiasts who only beg for more, it becomes very hard to desire a real woman.
Let’s talk about Psychology 101 for a moment.
Men!! As a biological creature, what is his primary directive? Well, find food, find water, and find a way to perpetuate his species. Obviously we are a little more complex than a wolf, so our mating season, calls, and cues are very different based on everything from culture to religion to morals to size to personality. So it’s not so cut and dry, but it is traceable. Men in cultures past were closer to soldier ants. They had no guns, or electricity, so they spent their considerable energy, speed, strength, and strategic minds completely to fulfill some basic prime directives. Imagine a clan of almost prehistoric humans. The men hunted, or fished, or herded, which meant they must constantly be alert of newer grazing lands, hunting grounds, and stocked waters. They had competitors, other tribes that they must fight or parlay with, giving them a beautiful outlet for aggression, energy, and mental need for conquest. That’s psych 101. Men always find something to be good at, unless in modern society they crumple themselves into a ball and hide. But while men were doing all of this, the women were making very tough choices back at camp. Which children get to live, was actually common. Was there sickness, and how do we deal with it. How do we make fine instruments? They allowed men to run things externally, but like lions, the men needed to look large, intimidating, and in control. But the old saying that the man is the head, and the woman is the neck that turns him goes a long way here. Let’s fast forward to a time when hunting, fishing, and farming are done with ease, and you now have Renaissance. Then more, to combine farming and machines doing almost everything. It seems to me that all of men’s prime directives are in the bag, and he has lost a lot of use. Now I’m not talking about scientists and doctors, I’m talking about the average working man. He suddenly had lots of spare time and energy. Where should it go? Well, opinion here, but I think men turned that aggression and energy towards women.
Back to the point.
Porn eats men and women alive. Men are not all strong willed when it comes to this, in fact, the wonderful drive to make babies is now saturated and watered down beyond recognition, and the energy that once made children and built empires, is now directed towards satisfying primitive needs. A few men are intellectuals, and they choose not to live in baser things, but let’s not pretend that they are the majority. I don’t know a whole lot of men who can turn down such masterful instinct manipulation. In fact, few people. McDonald’s is very good at triggering all of those, when you see all that salt and fat and sugar and your body says, “Well, this is all of the best stuff in nature, right here.” Most people don’t get far enough to know they are being tricked. And speaking of Tricks, why are men called that by the sex industry? Because they are 50% of the game, maybe more. Probably more. How many men have been crushed, families ruined, because of this. How many women, bought and sold. How many slaves were? Well, it’s easy now, you don’t have to look in their eyes until you get jaded enough and saturate yourself to the point where you have no compassion. And that IS the result. The sex industry and all of them for that matter, abuse humans. It’s not fair to say that the guy running a porn factory is worse than the guy who makes an executive and removed decision to destroy a mom-and-pop shop, or the guy who sells diabetes to the common folk. They are all hurting humans, for profit. The people who allow this, receive what they want, on a primitive level, instant gratification. But I don’t believe for a second that this is what people truly want. So if we don’t look at that, how can we look at Trafficking? This is not only about sex, in fact, it has almost nothing to do with it. Sex is simply a very easy thing to sell. And it takes only a few generations of supporters and justifiers to bring us here, where porn is acceptable, and drinking raw milk is not.
So my point is, in a nutshell is, instead of attacking the people involved, we should focus a little more on helping all of them, and when you shift public opinion, done one small innocent boy who pulls a girls hair to tell her he likes her, or a small girl who wants to play outside at a time, then you start finding results. You can try to cut off limbs, but this is a monster we are dealing with, you have to not only remove its food, you must teach its food to fight back. In fact, the first step is convincing the victims that they are food in the first place. And no living thing wants to be food.