Lately The Matt Walsh Blog has been popping up on my Facebook feed pretty frequently. So I started to follow. Although I don’t always completely agree with him, I enjoy his perspective. He’s entertaining. Anyway, one of the first posts I read was on pornography. I think you know how I feel about porn and its relation to sexual abuse. And he hit the nail on the head.
I recommend reading his whole post because there are so many great points, but I’ll brief you on a few thoughts I had as I was reading.
- I liked his main point, which is that when guys look at porn they’re cheating on their wives–committing adultery. There’s really no way around it.
- He alluded to a moral double standard for the viewer and the viewed, which I hadn’t really thought of before. Our society tends to tag porn models as promiscuous and immoral. And in the same breath dismiss porn viewers with, “It’s normal! Boys will be boys.”
- I thought it was interesting how porn is sometimes justified (unsuccessfully) by the claim that since porn involves no physical touch it’s innocent and harms no one. Oh, but it does!
- He makes a pretty spot on comparison of porn to other addictive substances, especially drugs. When you think of it that way, porn is debatably worse than any other addiction.
- My favorite quote: “Pornography is evil, empty, deadening, dirty — this is something we all know. That’s why, unless you are either psychotic or utterly despicable, you wouldn’t want your daughter to get into the porn business. That’s why most people hide their porn habits. That’s why it still isn’t considered acceptable to browse “adult” websites at your desk at work or at a table in Starbucks (although people still do, in both scenarios). That’s why you only find porn shops and strip clubs in the slummy, rundown parts of town. No matter how hedonistic and “open minded” we become, we still recognize porn as something that ought to be stowed away in the dank, dark corners of our lives. This is Natural Law, and we can’t escape it. We have an innate understanding of right and wrong, whether we want it or not.”
Like I said, go ahead and read it.
A couple years ago I attended a lecture on sex trafficking at a conference. One thing from that lecture that has stuck with me ever since was the haunting application of basic economics to the situation. The gist of the idea was that regardless of what is done to get girls out of the sex trafficking industry, as long as there is a demand for prostitution and the like, it will not stop. This principle applies to pornography as well. It won’t and can’t be eliminated until the demand for it is quelled.
Considering this principle of supply and demand, porn can’t simply be outlawed. We saw how well that worked with Prohibition. There’s too much demand. So how do we curb the demand for porn?
In November there was a petition (sorry, no link—you can’t view it after the time runs out) circulating through my Facebook feed to make porn an opt-in feature of the worldwide web in the U.S. I contributed to the trend by signing and sharing it too, but I don’t think it got quite enough signatures.
There was a little debate about the constitutionality of this and how it takes us one step closer to communism and government censorship, etc., etc. This is an overreaction, in my humble opinion. Porn would still be available, but just a little more difficult for kids to access accidentally. Think of it this way: Facebook and all other social media are opt-in and we don’t feel too communist about that. If we want it, we sign up, and if not we don’t worry about it. Same idea for porn.
I was initially skeptical of whether it’s even remotely possible to do this. The logistics behind it seem kind of daunting to my non-tech mind. However, the U.K. has actually already introduced something very similar last summer and major internet providers have been gradually implementing it. From what I gather from a recent source, things seem to be going ok with it.
But will it work? Will it reduce the demand for porn? I’m not sure. Only time will tell, but I think it’s a good start. Unlike drug addictions, I’m guessing a decent portion of porn addicts first stumbled upon porn accidentally. If accidental viewing happens less, maybe there will be fewer addicts and less of a demand.
Regardless, regulations are definitely needed when it comes to porn. Sure, there are regulations forbidding minors from buying cold medicine and spray paint, but porn? Kids can have at it (often for free) on a computer or smart phone from literally anywhere. It’s way too easily accessible. You would be horrified if you knew how many children are addicted to porn.
I could go on and on about porn, but I’ll stop here. If you’re interested in learning more, here are some links to some more information: