Friday, 28 March 2014

Pornography - Harmless Fun?

We read about the seven and eight year old girls locked in cages and being raped 20 or more times each day and our hearts weep.  It is inconceivable and horrific that such injustices exist in our world today.  We think of the young girls we know, perhaps our daughters or our sisters, and we shift uncomfortably in our seats.  This has to stop, we think to ourselves.  We might even begin to fundraise for an abolitionist charity or raise awareness about trafficking.

And yet, if we are buying or watching pornography either secretly or publicly, we are feeding the demand for this very industry that causes our hearts to break. 
This beautiful girl we met in Kolkata was around
9 years old and lived on the streets, making her
highly vulnerable to being trafficked.
Harmless?  Just a bit of fun?  Not affecting anyone else?
Now is the time to open your eyes and see the truth.
The truth is that viewing porn creates an addiction which trains your brain to expect more each time.  This distorts the way you think about sex and you begin to crave more violent or explicit experiences. 
Porn creates an ‘on demand’ consumer culture for sex which leads to sexual experiences being bought (and sold) regardless of the consequences.
The word ‘pornography’ comes from two Greek words meaning ‘prostituted woman’ and ‘writings’.  “But I’d never have sex with a prostitute” you protest.  If you’ve viewed porn, you already have.  It’s not glamorous, it’s not normal and it’s not acceptable.
Many women and children are trafficked for the purposes of making pornography.  Next time you click that button, imagine this girl is your sister or your daughter who has been kidnapped, brutally raped, probably drugged and definitely held against her will.  Your raging appetite may be silenced.
In a piece of research done by the WHISPER Oral History Project* 80% of prostitution survivors reported that their customers showed them pornography to illustrate the kinds of sexual acts they wanted for their money.  52% of these women said that their pimps used pornography to teach them what was expected of them.  This report was published 30 years ago before the age of the internet, smartphones and wifi.  How much more is pornography feeding this industry today?
Porn is deceitful, degrading and highly damaging.  So, the next time the lustful thirst for sordid sex comes knocking at your door, think about keeping that door firmly closed.  When your sons are old enough, teach them how to treat women respectfully and expose them to the dangers of porn so the next generation doesn’t sneer at the consequences.
We can do more to abolish trafficking this way than any other. 
It’s in your hands.

 *(A facilitator's guide to Prostitution: a matter of violence against women, 1990, WHISPER - Women Hurt in Systems of Prostitution Engaged in Revolt Minneapolis, MN)



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