Thursday, August 09, 2007

Contra Smut

With all the Catholic and Christian blogs out there, you'd think there would be more discussion of pornography. We talk about abortion, capital punishment and war all the time, but porn? Not so much.

Considering how widespread pornography is, especially on the Internet (I recall reading that 2 of every 3 websites contained sexually explicit images) it's clearly time for a change. Engaging the culture as Catholics and other Christians should means engaging every part of that culture, including pornography. Think about it, it alone comprises several facets of the culture of death, including but not limited to abortion, contraception, sexual abuse, rape, violence, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sexually transmitted disease, divorce, avarice, lust and so forth. Pornography is also one of the leading causes for divorce, according to several studies conducted in the USA and Canada.

So let's get started. There's the Serenellians, who are named after an Italian man who raped and killed a young girl after following impulses he felt after watching pornography, after which he repented and returned to the Church. There's this article by a former porn 'actress', who describes in painful detail her experiences in the sex industry. And here's an article written by a Kansas Bishop on the dangers of pornography. These three are good starting point.

One thing I know most people are not aware of is the drug and alcohol abuse that so many women involved in the sex industry fall into. Especially as people become more and more desensitized to pornography, they become less aware of the consequences of pornography and prostitution (which is what porn really is), particularly upon the women involved. Sure, there are the few women who voluntarily work in the sex industry out of desire and do not become involved with substance abuse, but they are in the minority. Most of the women in porn are there because of poverty, familial estrangement and prior sexual abuse. And once they're in, it becomes harder and harder to come out.

And yet in our enlightened/benighted culture, we're becoming gradually less and less resistant to the spread of pornography. Many people my age do not see it as an evil, but just another thing Europeans do better than us (seriously). And can you blame them? What's left of the feminist movement is more preoccupied with careerism and restrictions on birth control than an entire industry founded upon physical and psychological rape. Community leadership has balked under 'freedom of speech' and 'artistic expression' arguments for the last 20 years. Church leadership has failed catastrophically, on sexual ethics as a whole, and nonetheless the evils of pornography.

What we really need is young adults especially taking a stand on pornography, since we're the ones who have grown up in a society permeated by it. We haven't bought into this artless naivete about smut like older generations because we didn't have a chance to be naive about it (by age 12, most boys have seen sexually explicit images). We need to pressure our ecclesial and political leaders into addressing, at the very least, the issue and its effects upon society. So look up your local mayor, bishop, or MP, and let them know.

1 comment:

Jeannee said...

God Bless you for this!