We know it’s there but how has it become so embedded in our society? The porn industry has successfully manipulated its way into mainstream society without large scale opposition. There have been notable exceptions (Whitehouse, Longford, Dworkin, Dines) but in the main we have wilfully turned a blind eye to the prevalence of porn. Perhaps, even more shockingly, liberalism has become the bastion for the freedom of the porn industry to purvey its trade virtually unrestricted in the western world. Well let’s have a further look at this. Here is one definition of liberalism:
[Liberalism is the] concept that the preservation of individual liberty and maximization of freedom of choice should be the primary aim of a representative government. It stresses that all individuals stand equal before law (without class privileges) and have only a voluntary contractual relationship with the government. It defends freedom of speech and press, freedom of artistic and intellectual expression, freedom of worship, private property, and use of state resources for the welfare of the individual.
The freedom of the individual is paramount based on the premise of natural goodness. Whilst we all have capacity for great goodness this is far from the full story. Interaction with porn will show anyone with eyes open the twisted nature of much human thinking and many human relationships. The boundary of individual freedoms is the welfare of others. This is where liberalism asks itself the most challenging question- Is it better to restrict the right of the individual for the benefit of others? In the case of porn this question has been lamentably ignored. As the evidence of the harm of porn has gathered the governing elite have been silent. Shame on them.
I am aware of porn designed for females and gay porn but what follows is solely focussed on (the vast majority of) porn designed to appeal to heterosexual men.
‘As men fall deeper into the mental habit of fixating on these images, the exposure to them creates neural pathways. Like a path is created in the woods with each successive hiker, so do the neural paths set a course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time these neural paths become wider as they are repeatedly travelled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with women are routed…With each lingering stare, pornography deepens a Grand Canyon-like gorge in the brain through which images of women are destined to flow…All women become potential porn stars in the minds of these men’
Dr William Struthers, Wired For Intimacy, p8
It is utterly outrageous that Liberalism that has done so much to champion the equality and dignity of women should be in bed with the porn industry. That Larry Flynt is considered a hero for challenging the restrictions of the state in order to peddle pornography is a vile contradiction. You may think I’ve gone a little too far. I always like to ask myself the following question when opposing a particular viewpoint- What are its redeeming features? Well, in this case, there are none. What do they care about- the end user, the porn actors or the children who might discover their material? This is a multi-billion pound industry that is so financially valuable that the authorities dare not intervene. It requires a grassroots movement who will protect children, reject violence against women, will help men trapped on the internet for hours on end and are prepared to be castigated as haters of sex to make our voice heard. It’s because we have such a high regard for sex that we reject pornography- the shortcut to misery. We will campaign to protect our human dignity by refusing the worst excesses of a greedy and amoral business that seeks to destroy sexual pleasure and replace it with sexual degradation and slavery. Supporting the rights of pornographers to make money isn’t ‘progressive’ it is complicity in condemning a generation to misery.
For a more detailed blog on the lies of pornography read @jjmarlow here
For CARE’s resources on this issue click here