By Melanie Walker
92% of boys will have viewed pornography by the age of 16.
1 out of every 5 12 to 13-year-olds think viewing pornography is a normal part of life.
88% of pornography contains violence against women.
We’ve seen it in the movies: little brother steals his big brother’s Playboy magazine with a sheepish grin, reading in the confinement of his bedroom. But it’s no secret that pornography has been around for ages and now becoming more accessible than ever.
Pornography has become easier and easier to view for the average-joe: you can access it on your cell phone, your friend’s wifi, and even on a virtual reality headset. The push for pornography to be normalized and integrated into our everyday life is sickening, because the truth of it all is that pornography is an abhorrent lie.
And these lies are poisoning our culture as the normalization of pornography is pushed and seeped into mainstream media. Here are some of the lies porn will try to tell you, your siblings, your friends, and your future children:
Porn empowers women.
Everyone watches porn.
Men need porn.
Absolutely, and inexcusably, I give a vehement: NO.
Porn does NOT empower women
See that woman on the screen? She’s beautiful, a fantasy, and she seems to be enjoying herself. It looks like she likes what she does, so that makes it completely consensual.
This is one of the lies porn portrays. The audience knows little about what goes on behind the camera. In real life, majority of the women in the pornography industry are lured into the making of porn, there to be drugged, threatened, beaten into submission, blackmailed, and manipulated. Additionally, many sex-trafficked victims are sold into the pornography industry.
You may say, “Oh I don’t support sex-trafficking of women! That’s awful!” But what you don’t realize is that by watching pornography, you are supporting sex-trafficking because it’s impossible to determine if the females in the making of the film consented to what they were doing.
On the anti-porn organization Fight the New Drug’s (FTND) website, it states:
Research has also found that watching degrading porn increases users’ dominating and harassing behavior toward women, and leaves the user feeling less compassion for rape victims. Porn watchers are also more likely to express attitudes supporting violence against women—which is especially scary since those who support sexual violence are more likely to commit that kind of violence in real life.
Women empowerment? Yeah, right.
When would objectification and enslavement of women ever be considered empowerment?
NOT everyone watches porn
Many will try to tell young females and males that “everyone watches porn” so it makes it OK. But let me ask this: if everyone supposedly watches porn, then why does a man to sneakily watch it at 4:00 am, fearing that his wife may find out? What about a teenage girl looking at nudes under her covers, or a 10-year old boy waiting for his parents to leave for full computer access?
Entertainment in the form of film, novels, or graphics should be enjoyed openly alone or with others’ company. Not everyone watches porn. Such a statement is an overgeneralized fallacy porn uses to trick society into thinking it’s fine. “It’s not a big deal. It’s normal.”
Sex is natural, so what’s the difference? The difference is that sex is meant to be an intimate, special action shared between two people in love. Not between you and a male or female and a computer screen.
Men do NOT need porn
This is what a real man means to me: a real man is someone who pursues a woman he is interested in. A real man takes a woman out on a date. A real man respects women. A real man is more attracted to a woman’s personality than her body.
A real man does not hide behind a computer screen in search for attraction or
synthetic “love.” To degrade men by lumping them into another twisted generalization is not creating the progressive society we desperately need.
Men are capable, thinking, and intelligent human beings. Claiming that men need porn would be as sexist as saying women need cooking skills to be successful. Men can think and can control their bodily appetites even if the media, celebrities, or even your guy friends may say otherwise.
Your boyfriend doesn’t need porn. Your husband doesn’t need porn. No one needs porn, because porn is unnatural. It’s detrimental to a person’s health and relationships, and, again, is a lie.
“Part of porn’s fantasy is that a person can live in both worlds—that they can create a real, loving relationship, but also bring in thousands of other sexual partners as long as those partners are kept behind a computer screen” (FTND).
So What Now?
There is hope through all of this. You’re not a terrible person if you have viewed pornography; however, it is important to become aware of the harmful effects of watching it. If you’re addicted to porn or know someone who is, there are many different things you can do.
I present to you: Fight the New Drug. Check out their website. Check out their free recovery program for any issues with addiction or heartache. Learn more about the harmful effects pornography has on the brain, the heart, and the world. Join their fight to shed light on this growing issue and donate. Share their articles and inform others about the many different ways pornography deceives.
As for me, I choose to fight for love. I choose a lasting relationship with my boyfriend where we don’t need computer screens or devices to help us grow together. I choose to give all my love and devotion to him and not some stranger on my television or internet. Our relationship will grow knowing that the feeling is mutual.
I choose to not watch pornography because I do not need it.
I choose not to watch pornography because it is degrading.
And I choose not to watch pornography because I don’t want to be lied to.