[And what shall we say about pornography? As New York Times writer David Brooks
observed, "If your kid spent a lot of time reading Maxim and watching rap
videos, you'd know in your gut that it was damaging to his soul."]Neither of these are what most people, outside of the Middle-East and
North Korea, would consider "pornography".This article
illustrates why we keep pornography legal in this, and every G8 country, because
what one person thinks is tame, another thinks is scandalous. That's the
nature of free speech.[Our craven, postmodern society is blatantly
sexist and degrading. We worship at the altar of tolerance — including
tolerance for things that should be intolerable. We've even silenced
feminists who no longer decry their own objectification.]Sometime
try looking up which countries allow/disallow pornography. For the most part,
countries in which pornography is legal have high human development indexes,
democratic governments, women's rights, free speech, and educated
populations. Countries that prohibit pornography are usually at the bottom of
every list, like North Korea and Libya.
I'll politely disagree. I dont' find myself identifying with the
author at all. There are lots of different kinds of people in this world, yes,
even kinds you may not like because you are sexually repressed, like some
pornographers. Certainly I'm not saying the industry isn't full
of problems, but what industry isn't? And furthermore who is this guy to
judge those who choose to work in the porn industry?
It's too bad that the protectors of the First Amendment don't give the
same respect to the Second Amendment. My guess over the years is that some of
our more infamous serial killers have killed more people over the years than
Columbine, Sandyhook, Virginia Tech, and Aurora combined. And all of them
started with porn.
MukkakeSalt Lake City, UT"Countries that prohibit pornography
are usually at the bottom of every list, like North Korea and Libya."What an enlightened comment. Because, as we all know, pornography is the
sine qua non of all great democracies. Yes, if only North Korea and Libya
I agree 100% with the author's comments. The amount of tolerance for the
indecent in society is utterly shocking. However, on a personal level, if
someone you know and love has an addiction, let's have hope and help for
those addicted and refrain from unrighteous judgement. "Let he
who is without sin cast the first stone".
To those would defend the pornography industry:So you would be
comfortable with your spouse, child, grandchild, brother, sister or other loved
one participating in the industry?If one of them came to you for
career guidance, you would recommend the industry?If they procured a
role in a movie or spot in a magazine, you would buy a few extra copies and
encourage your friends to see it as well?You think that the career
would benefit them over time and make them a healthy, happy person? That it
would benefit their own marriages and children as well?If you have
doubts as to any of these, then why would you encourage someone else's
loved on to participate?You don't encourage anyone to
participate? You certainly do if you buy it in any form. You thereby send a
signal to the markets to produce more and to enlist more people into the
industry.If you think pornography is good, then it should be good
for those closest to you. If it is not, then think carefully about those who
are in it now.
LVIS:[What an enlightened comment. Because, as we all know, pornography is
the sine qua non of all great democracies. Yes, if only North Korea and Libya
permitted pornography.]It does seem to be a commonality, though,
doesn't it? All the G8 nations (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan,
Russia, United Kingdom, and United States of America) are major producers of
pornography. It's also legal in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Turkey, Israel,
New Zealand, Poland, The Czech Republic, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Austria,
Hungary, Taiwan, and South Korea.Countries where pornography is
illegal? China, Cuba, Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Mali,
Nigeria, Kenya, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia.So I guess you need to ask,
would you rather live in one of the countries where pornography is legal, or
illegal?Freedom and progress appear to go hand in hand with
pornography. A nation that suppresses pornography also suppresses intellectual
freedom, technological innovation, and human rights.
Twin Lights,I wouldn't suggest to my own family/friends careers
in fast food, garbage removal, extreme sports, or combat positions in the
military. I support/use these services, but wouldn't participate or suggest
participation.However, I can't say I would be disappointed if a
loved one started a successful pornography production company. If they had to
participate in the industry early on, but later moved into successful
producing/directing/management/support positions, I think that would be
acceptable as well.Some jobs are fine for the short term, but not
for the long term. A lot of people work terrible jobs in the service/vending
industries to put themselves through school, which I find acceptable, but there
are some who only seem to aspire to being a professional waiter and I would
suggest they have more ambition.Many porn stars have made this move
from participation to management as small business owners.
I don't see much room for common ground here. I don't find the 1st
Amendment inconvenient, even when people use it in a way I never would. One of
the most precious rights we have in this country is the right to disagree.
Mukkake,I would easily suggest at least a beginning career in fast
food for my loved ones. And, if that truly is where their heart is, it can lead
to a good job/career. My dad was in the military and I have friends who have
been/are. I understand the risks, but I am proud of them and would recommend it
for those so disposed.You are talking about PRODUCTION of
pornography (the folks behind the scenes). Let’s stick to the
actors/models. Many very successful actors/models in mainstream media have no
affinity for or interest in the production side.So please consider,
would you be happy with your loved one being an actor/model for pornography as a
career? Would you encourage their participation? Would you be proud of them
and ask your friends and other family members to support their career by
purchasing and viewing their work product? That is, when your young loved one
comes to you and you think “what a good looking kid” would you then
actually suggest to them a career in pornography to trade on those looks?Please be serious and answer the direct questions posed.
“Why do we keep ambushing ourselves as a race? Where's our sense of
duty to each other?”First, because sex is the second most
important driving force of life. Starting with the young people, it becomes a
search for answers to the secret world hidden from us by our adults. Then it
becomes the exciting and wonderful experience that is better than eating. In
adulthood it may change a little but it seems to never go away. Second, because of the first reason, it is commercially valuable. It can make
the advertising of the most dull products exciting and interesting. One might
ask, where does pornography leave off and advertising begin? Sex is pounded
into our senses at every opportunity by billboards, newspapers, and other media.
Solutions have to include education and truth from the early
awakening for children and a new look at advertising. As one who suffers daily
by the overload of advertising, truth and reality would be a good change.
Twin Lights:[Please be serious and answer the direct questions posed.]I did, please read it again:[If they had to participate in the
industry early on, but later moved into successful
producing/directing/management/support positions, I think that would be
acceptable as well.]If it launches them into a successful career
than, yes. Not as a permanent career, just like fast food, gymnastics, or combat
aren't acceptable to me as permanent careers.
MukkakeSalt Lake City, UTIf they had to participate in the industry
early on, ..., I think that would be acceptable as well.I think I
appreciate your tolerance and acceptance, but you and I have a vastly different
view on what we would be proud of our daughters doing.
There are women in marriage who turn cold or very cool. At this point the man
has these choices. 1. Put up with it, 2. Ease the pressure and stress by viewing
other women undressed, 3. Seek the company of another woman.Given
that choice 3 is an option, and the fact that many men aren't willing to
put up with choice 1 for too long of a time, the case can be made that viewing
pornography can and does help prevent infidelity and save marriages.There are women who are very hurt that their husbands view pornography. If
these women are loving wives, they they have a case. If not, they need to be
aware of the root cause of their problem and deal with it.
cjb: I'm stunned by your comment. You would make the pornography viewer a
victim? You would absolve him of all responsibility for his own bad decisions by
blaming another person? Doesn't that make him, in essence, a slave?
Doesn't that mean someone else is in control of his life?Is
there anything more cowardly than a person who will excuse his weaknesses by
blaming them on someone else?Of all the comments made on here, and
there were plenty of inane ones, this was by far the most offensive.
Re joe5There is one other choice, divorce. Which of the choices
that I pointed out would you recommend?
You forgot "counseling".The unfortunate thing is that
pornography is not speech - entertainment of a vile sort, perhaps, but not
speech. I don't believe we have an Amendment protecting "free
entertainment". I don't believe there is a natural right to produce or
peddle "entertainment" that the community believes to be harmful.
It's unfortunate that we don't have judges who are intelligent enough
to distinguish between entertainment and speech, or who aren't willing to
wade into the conflict between those who wish to preserve decency and those who
wish to destroy it.I'm also pretty sure that pornography
consumption is not what led to the industrial revolution.I like what
Ben Franklin had to say: "Sin is not harmful because it is forbidden, but it
is forbidden because it is harmful."
Twin Lights - I agree with your comments and completely understand your
questions to get others to think. Those that seen porn as a viable
business and a right of our freedom of speech do not share our views about the
sacredness of life and the value of the individual. To compare participation in
the production of porn to waiter jobs and serving in the military and collecting
garbage and then lumping them all together as "services" is pretty
indicative of this fundamental difference.I agree completely with
the author of this article and appaud his clearly stated views. The
fact that we are free to choose in our nation does not make all choices equal.
We are free to make destructive decisions as well as enlightened ones. Comparing
free countries to oppressive ones is not impressive.
Thank you for telling it like it is.
@Utes Fan:"However, on a personal level, if someone you know and love
has an addiction..."I think we need to stop talking about (i.e.,
condemning) the user and turn the discussion to the producer. And I don't
mean the guy in the back room with a cigar in his mouth and clicking away with a
camera. I mean the people who take their clothes of for the camera. And who
might that be? Women of course. 99 percent of pornography involves naked
women. Therein lies the real root of the problem... the elephant in the room
that no one pays attention to.
@joe5:"cjb: I'm stunned by your comment.""Is
there anything more cowardly than a person who will excuse his weaknesses by
blaming them on someone else?"cjb speaks essentially the truth.
What he/she is saying is that there exists in marriage an understanding (mostly
tacit) of unrestrained intimacy. When that is gone/denied/withheld/lacking
someone is at fault.And it's not a weakness. An expectation of
something being denied or withheld, for whatever reason, does not constitute
I guess a few people do actually defend pornography, not just as free speech,
but then they blame someone else for their chosen indulgence and they minimize
the consequences of that choice. It is very telling of who is
who.Everyone who participates in pornography, in any way, is a
perpetrator, except children who are shown it before they are old enough to know
better. The victims are the ones whose families and relationships are ruined by
it, and those who are raped or murdered by crazies who are fueled by
pornography. Doesn't that make you who speak up for it proud? Great article!
The Tim Clarks of Rome said the same thing as they toured the Sistine Chapel in
the 1500s. Now I don't equate raw porn with the Sistine Chapel, but in his
own words "erotic art" is indistinguishable from filth. It's so
subjective . . . who's smart enough to be the benevolent dictator on this
point? Is Tim? I don't think so. Or is it better to just let people make
their own judgments?
Tim the author, Did you know the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas is owned by
Marriott? Do you know that the Marriott family is perhaps in the Top
5 purveyors of porn? Who should we go after, the consumer or the
supplier? I'm glad we have the First Amendment. It is a double
edged sword but essential to our liberty.
Can anyone that is arguing to get rid of porn define porn for us? The article
defines it as Maxim Magazine, so the writer of the article would ban swimming
suits, seeing as Maxim does not have nudity. And rap videos, any particular
reason for rap videos? So anyway, stated defining what porn is. Tell
me what you would have the government censor. Irony guy, you are not
off base at all, during the Bush administration the statue of Justice was draped
to hide her breast. I saw the replica of The David in Vegas. Very impresive,
actually. Some of these people commenting would put pants on him. Just as some of these people would tell women, and men, how to dress, and when
they can take their clothes off. Someone asked if people would
advise their daughter to be in "porn", whatever that is. That question
is really beside the point. A person makes the choice to be in porn for
themselves, it's not about if I give them permission, or advice. Again, some conservatives show they really do not understand freedom.
Marriott Hotels rent or rented the hard core videos for quite some time. Now you
are saying they are wrong for doing so?Why all the concern for what others
are doing on their own time and in the privacy of their own homes? Live your own
life and let others do the same.I find pushy religious believers more of a
problem than playboy magazines at the local public library.
"Again, some conservatives show they really do not understand
freedom."People are free to choose whatever they wish. However,
they cannot escape the consequences of their choices. And pornography has
devasating consequences for all involved including society as a whole.
Irony Guy and Mark - You really don't know the difference between the
beauty of the human body and exploiting it for personal gratification? You have
demonstrated the problem well.
I say this with all seriousness not to defame the author or make a pointed
accusation. But the thing that worries me is that often times the most ardent
pushers of causes like these turn out to simultaneously be the same individuals
who consume this content and struggle with addictions the most. I think
it's great to discourage consumption of dangerous or hazardous materials,
it's just generally discouraging when those who are most outspoken about
these issues end up to be the biggest hypocrites.
"People are free to choose whatever they wish."Congrats,
Ima, if you do not believe that government should be involved in banning and
censoring books and movies then you might be someone that understands freedom.
But do you care to defend this statement, "pornography has
devasating consequences for all involved including society as a whole."Really? First of all will you define "pornography"? And next,
can you really back up the claim that it has devestating consequences for ALL
involved? Including society? Personally I would much rather be a part of a
society that allows free expression, then one that bans it. As someone has
already pointed out the societies that ban it are rather backwards. "You really don't know the difference between the beauty of the human
body and exploiting it for personal gratification?"Well, jeanie,
why don't you explain it to me? And while you are at it, tell me what is
wrong with personal gratification. Basically, define "porn" for me. And
would you have it baned?
@wrzSo you're blaming women for men looking at porn?
Mark - No, I would not have it banned. Some people want it, and that is their
choice. But, I would make access to it much, much more difficult so otherwise
innocent and weak people do not accidentally stumble into it and get hooked.
Maybe you are not a parent, maybe you are, but it is clear we
believe differently about this issue. Where can I take my teenage boys who I am
raising to believe that some things are sacred? ....to the mall? Nope, Victoria
Secret wins there. To the grocery store? Nope you get to wait next to magazines
parading the female figure. Are these things "porn"? No, but anything
that turns a human being into an object for personal gratification is wrong. Our
current society is hostile to young men who would choose to use their freedom to
believe in decency and morals. Personal gratification is wrong at
the expense of others.
"No, I would not have it banned"jeanie, then what are we
talking about? Victoria's Secret? Really?
@atl134:"So you're blaming women for men looking at porn?"Are you saying (implying) that women are not involved in creating porn?
jeanie,Regardless of how one feels about porn, physical attraction
is a part of everyone's life. How we deal with those impulses are a huge
part of our development, but they're always going to be there. We can
either put those feelings in perspective and learn how they can function in a
healthy and productive manner or we can run around hyperventilating and feeling
persecuted every time we walk past Victoria's Secret. If you want to do
the latter, that's your right, but it might just be possible to have
"decency and morals" while disagreeing with you.
Mark, it's not all or nothing. It's just much less easy access for
those who, in a stronger state, would choose not to be involved.KJB1
- I am not talking about any difficulty in having physical attraction, I'm
talking about exploiting physical attraction. There is a difference.
wrz has a good point. There are no shortage of women who take their clothes off
for the camera for free. The desire to feel sexy for some of them is probably
similar for the desire to view it for others.
So while we see all these different ideas about what is porn and what is not,
and what should be regulated and what should not, has anyone considered what
this is doing to school children?Washington State 2004 - a third
grader is suspended from school for having 'pornographic pictures'.
These pictures were tags he had taken off clothing in a Victoria's Secret
store. Murray High requires cleavage to be covered, yet a male
teacher who tries to enforce the policy, or male students who complain about
females student not complying with the policy, can be charged with sexual
harassment.Our children are caught in the web of our inconsistency.
Defend your 'rights' to fixate on sexuality all you want,
you are still contributing to the harm of our kids.
While research on the effects of pornography on the whole is inconclusive, I
personally find most of it to be cheaply made and so out of touch with reality
that it lacks much of an appeal. I do fear that early exposure of pornographic
materials--particularly hardcore pornography depicting sex acts--should be kept
away from younger children. Kids, and even adolescents, whose ability to
separate fiction from reality is underdeveloped, should not be exposed to these
gross and tawdry exaggeration of sexual relationships.With that
said, I think violence in films and video games is a much larger issue to
address. When the time is right, I want my kids to someday have sex; I never
want them to go around blowing people up.