Pornography – Can we please get Real?

I came across a website some time back called www.oneangrygirl.net. This website designs and sells ‘Feminist’ T-shirts (some of them can quite make you chuckle). The home page reads that the girl is angry because “something is very, very wrong with how our culture treats women and girls.” Good enough. However, the ‘wrong treatment’ according to this website starts and ends with Pornography.

Essentially, oneangrygirl slams pornography for the same reasons that many other ‘feminists’ will — because it degrades women, because it perpetuates violence against women, because it creates an unreal and cheap image of women in the minds of men, because it ruins families, because it fosters prostitution. So, oneangrygirl’s solution is to gather support to stop pornography altogether because once pornography goes, so will all the problems, apparently.

Hmmmmm….

I think that all the anger has somehow managed to cloud oneangrygirl’s head. And onesensiblegirl will explain with reasons why she thinks so:

I will start with the basic definition of Pornography. Pornography is any material that causes sexual excitement in people. This definition is broad enough to encompass anything. I could look at a sculpture of Atlas can get sexually excited. Or, one could look at pictures of naked girls (or guys, as the case may be) and get excited. Pornography, thus, is not so much about the means, but about the ends. (since there are many means that could cause sexual excitement, and thus be called pornography, but the end is the same) Therefore, when you slam pornography, what you’re essentially slamming is the act of getting sexually excited. Or if I should be more complete — what you’re slamming is the man’s ability to feel pleasure. This is absurd.

Any object is considered pornographic if it creates sexual pleasure or provides sexual stimulus to one. That is the purpose that pornography serves.  Going by that if you say pornography is wrong, you essentially imply that anything that creates sexual enjoyment is wrong. And the only reason (if any) to back that up is that sexual enjoyment is wrong.

Pornography serves an innocent purpose. There’s nothing wrong in getting sexually aroused. Now WHAT exactly excites one sexually is a matter of the person’s values and values people can choose. Thus, one might say that getting aroused by one thing speaks of wrong kind of values and getting aroused by the other speaks of the right kind of values — however, one cannot deny that there IS a choice. And this choice is for each individual to make on his own. Others cannot (and should not be allowed to) dictate it.

Coming to other issues:

Pornography does not degrade women. Firstly, the women in pornographic films don’t seem to be miserable in their situation, especially not in sex videos that couples make of themselves — both individuals seem to be enjoying the act of having sex and being filmed. If anything, the women are always shown in control, enjoying the act and most importantly, even desiring — behaviour that is completely NORMAL when it comes to an act like sex.  Secondly, IF it does, then I don’t see how men are spared — since pornography involves both sexes, doing pretty much the same acts. It would be silly to conclude and say that women suffer degradation.

To be blame pornography for perpetuating violence against women is at best a stupid argument. 6 decades ago, even in America, women were not allowed to vote, were laughed at and alienated for wanting to study or pursue a career, could not own property, had no respectability without a husband, had no choice when it came to their husbands, or how many children they could have — essentially, women suffered physical, mental and emotional violence, without the existence of pornography of any sort. However, according to one angry girl, today, even in the absence of these factor,s women suffer violence because of video clips of couples enjoying a roll in the hay.

If pornography seems to create a cheap image of women in the minds of men, that’s implying that any woman who enjoys having sex with men and is comfortable about posing nude in front of the camera is cheap — since this is what women in porn clips are doing, nothing else. This would include almost all of our actresses today, including the really talented ones.

That pornography ruins families is a trite excuse for banning pornography. Pornography only ruins families as much as drinking, gambling, cheating, over-working, insensitivity, time, insecurity and about 100-odd other factors. A marriage is only as strong as the individuals in it. And if the partners are not willing to keep it intact even the most trivial factor is enough to ruin it.

Connecting pornography to prostitution, of all things, is out-of-this-world. The connection itself is so far-fetched, that it’s actually irrelevant to argue this on a factual basis. But here’s a go: Firstly, let’s deal with the concepts individually. Prostitution entails the sale of sexual service for money. In a free society, individuals are free to earn a living in any job or manner that they see fit, as long as they do not initiate any force against other members of the society. Therefore, what is wrong in earning a living from Prostitution? If an educated man/woman decides that he/she would like to make extra money by getting paid for having sex, nobody has any authority to stop him/her.This same argument holds good for Pornography. Individuals are FREE to CHOOSE to indulge/engage in Pornography or Prostitution.

A large part of one angry girl’s anger is centered around the assumption that pornography fosters prostitution. This is the part where one angry girl’s anger has really messed up her thinking. She links Pornography to Prostitution to Human Trafficking. All three are unrelated. Any individual in any corner of the world is free to choose his occupation/profession. However, forcing an individual into any kind of profession is against the law. If an individual wishes to be a porn star or a prostitute, there is absolutely nothing wrong. The fact that people are being forced into pornography or prostitution is a problem of law and its implementation and not because of the entities of Pornography and Prostitution themselves. The solution lies in bettering the implementation of law and order, raising general education and awareness levels and also in legalizing the Porn industry — so that, like all other industries,  they can be identified, and held accountable when caught flouting the rules.

The basic mistake that one angry girl makes is this: Blaming man’s circumstances for his choices, for his actions and for the consequences he has to suffer. I’m not sure if this is a mistake, mistakes happen because of lack of knowledge, and one angry girl declares that she is ‘unwavering’ on her anti-porn stand, knowledge or lack of it. Circumstances are not causes. If they were, college drop outs would never become business moguls, a sexually molested child would never go on to become one of the most influential television personalities ever, a girl living on a mattress in her mother’s car would never have gone on to become a two time Oscar winning actress, a girl from a remote Indian village with no electricity would never have become a NASA astronaut and a African-American-part- Muslim-christian could have never become an American president.

Blaming pornography for the problems mentioned above is like blaming McDonald’s because you’re fat, blaming MAC because you think you’re ugly, blaming the SATs because you didn’t crack them, blaming the rich because you’re poor.

The prostitutes and the porn stars crying their sob stories on OAG’s website made their choice because it brought them the money they wanted. Now that they regret their choices, they expect other people to come to their rescue. This is like: We’ll do what we want to get what we want, now that we don’t want it, you make it go away. It is essentially, shirking the responsibility for their own choices and actions. And as long there are one angry girls, they will get away with it.

My advice (though unsolicited): Learn to define what you’re fighting for in clear terms first.Define: Pornography, Prostitution, Sex, Choices, Circumstances, Consequences, Degradation. Learn its implications, and learn to establish the connections clearly. Understand where the problem lies and then offer a solution.

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