30 April, 2010

"The internet is for porn" (sic).

Have you seen that Rowan Atkinson skit where he's the devil welcoming people into hell, and segregating all of the sinner groups? He just goes through the list: murderers, liars, thieves, the guys that owned Enron, , ..." and then he does a double take and exclaims "oh snap there are a lot of you!" Even the devil is shocked by the sheer number of philanderers. Well, here's a smooth segue: porn is a massive problem and tonnes of people's lives are ruined by it. Oh snap.

I'm not making this up. Porn is men's worst kept best kept secret and that's a problem all on it's own. Let me tell you a relevant and shocking story: A woman bought a Playboy and was surprised/disgusted at the contents: especially when she got the interview with John Mayer. The article uses fairly graphic and embarrassing language. But it was interesting.
(the link is http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s2848775.htm#comments).

... did you read it? Don't get caught up on Mayer - I don't want to talk about Mayer, but he says something that gives a better idea of the problem at hand:
"Internet pornography has absolutely changed my generation’s expectations. How could you be constantly synthesizing an orgasm based on dozens of shots? You’re looking for the one photo out of 100 you swear is going to be the one you finish to, and you still don’t finish. Twenty seconds ago you thought that photo was the hottest thing you ever saw, but you throw it back and continue your shot hunt and continue to make yourself late for work. How does that (porn) not affect the psychology of having a relationship with somebody? It’s got to."

Creepy, right?

The problem isn't only that every other guy I know can't get enough of it but also the fact that it seems to have seeped into our everyday lives, and it's starting to show, and more surprisingly, we just don't care very much.

the pornofication of culture.
This thing effects culture at large.

It has been referred to as 'the pornofication of culture'. Yuk.

Perhaps we're starting to catch on. Both yesterday and the day before I caught new articles online about the issue of music videos being too sexual. Here's a quote from one:
"The pornification of pop means children may be encountering very adult ideas about sex at an age when they're developmentally ill equipped to deal with them...
Last year in Britain's Daily Mail newspaper, writer Penny Marshall told of a 12-year-old girl who was suspended from school for posting a pornographic poem on its intranet. The poem read like a call girl's ''graphic boast''. But the girl was merely trying to write a Top 40-style song. ''What I wrote didn't seem so bad when everyone else writes and talks like that too,'' she said.
"There are plenty of grey areas here. For instance, I like Lily Allen's song It's Not Fair, a painfully honest account of a one-sided sexual relationship, and I think it might be reassuring for a teenage girl to hear this. My chief objection is the way so many [music] videos depict women as being endlessly sexually available, in the style of porn."
Sorry, long quote. But look at it: you've got a 12 year old writing stuff that could've originated from the journal of a prostitute - and she was merely drawing simple inspiration from stuff she hears every day on the radio, and can see on the telly every Saturday morning with a PG rating.



the stats.
Some straight up disturbing stats on the porn industry's size and accessibility:
"The pornography industry has larger revenues than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined. 2006 Worldwide Pornography Revenues ballooned to $97.06 billion."
The annual budget for America's occupation of Iraq for the entire year of 2006 was a whole ten billion less than that.

And yes, you read billion.

A total of 4.2 million websites contain pornography. That is 12 percent of the total number of websites.
In 2005, Hollywood made 603 movies. The porn industry in the U.S. made 13,588.

Pornography ruins us.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/internet-porn-nearly-cost-me-my-marriage-man-tells-forum/2005/08/07/1123353212143.html

The way we think is changed, spoiled, perverted.
I get the impression that there is a lot of talk flying around that suggests porn only encourages a "natural" thing but it actually changes our perception of natural things and makes it unnatural. Someone suggested to me once that some people only have issues with breastfeeding in public because of the overly sexualised perception we have of a woman's body - and the availability of porn and its creeping into our everyday lives will only accelerate and exacerbate the problem. Even Mayer realizes that this stuff changes us - and not for the better. I'm picturing marriages/relationships that suffer a kind of ADHD thing worse than ?uestlove's Twitter account.

Porn is the extreme and obvious deep end of the “what messes up our opinions on how we should look/think about our bodies” pool. The shallow end consists of subtler and more mainstream things like music videos, teen mags and prime time television. It’s all steeped with negative body image and objectification. But I don’t have creepy stats or Mayer quotes about any of that so for the time being I’m sticking with porn.

So what do we do about it?


How do we curb the pornofication of culture? Is there any way we can reclaim our innocence, at all? Are we even willing to? Porn isn't growing for free - those billions of dollars come from us buying the stuff. I wonder how much money we could raise if we all stopped buying porn during OWSOMS? A million dollars? Half a million? Ten thousand? Maybe when you're entering your credit card details into one of those 4.2 million websites that offer the stuff you could think about where the money goes - and instead use it to sponsor one or five mission projects overseas.

As Captain David Collinson says, it's just a thought.

1 comment:

kristopher j said...

Great to hear this side of the argument. There's no doubting that the "pornification" of culture is an injustice. You'd be ignorant to think that all of the women (and men) in porn pics/vids are happy with their life and participation. We can't however ignore the fact that porn is addressing a need, that it fills a void, that like Mayer, many (many) men are caught up in the trap. Let's work on both issues, the injustice that causes women (and men) to be involved in this industry and also the desperate need that drives this addiction.
Thanks Sean for a balanced and insightful take on this issue. I dare any man to stand up and say they've never been caught up in the world of porn at some point...