When not ranting from his soapbox to an empty room, Author Mel Carriere is busy getting his clock cleaned.
Invasion of The Body Snatchers
The Internet is an unstable sea, mere words stirring its calm doldrums into a raging storm. Folks get shouted down making a comment about switching biological genders, or not wanting to bake a cake to celebrate it. The villagers cry bloody murder when a woman stands on white privilege to claim immunity from crime. Anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers are demonized for fueling the Covid crisis, as if words were germs. Don't get me wrong, all of these uses and abuses of the spoken word are legitimate topics for public debate. But when one of the sleaziest markets in the world continues to exploit and debase women in images, reducing them from humans to mere sex objects, you don't hear a peep, no one lifts an eyebrow, no one hoots like that owl outside my window at dawn. Maybe since we all have our dirty little secret, it's just not something we talk about in polite society. Silence turns into compliance, so when the daughters of good men and women are turned into playthings for public spectacle, the court of public opinion is in permanent recess.
Is The Porn Industry Evil? is my working title for this introductory article on the subject. Notice I did not call it Is Porn Evil, because I am not making the argument that a woman's nude body is wicked, or taboo. How could it be? Artists, poets, and writers have praised the female form from the Willendorf Venus, to Solomon, to the present, using lofty prose, song, paint and stone. But I will argue that there is evil in the way avaricious men exploit the female form for profit, depicting it not as a work of art, a fantastic miracle of nature to be revered, but as an animalistic outlet for unrestrained sexual lust.
The porn industry has entrenched itself as an institution, it has been given the stamp of public acceptance. I don't even hear evangelical Christians expressing dismay for the way milkers of human flesh have come to dominate the Internet. Could it be because the great majority of men, Bible-thumpers included, are so thoroughly addicted to the smut that they have given it a pass? Could it be because wives and mothers have stopped trying to wean sons and husbands off the habit, having grudgingly convinced themselves that porn is a victimless form of release? Could it be that porn's slick production values - far superior to the grainy, choppy, poorly focused skin-flicks of seedy, back-alley 1970s cinemas, have given it an air of legitimacy? Whatever the case, the porn industry has exploited our indifference to the issue, taking refuge beneath the umbrella of the first amendment to thoroughly hypnotize us all, so that now decent people allow the female body-snatchers for profit to continue unimpeded, with nobody waving banners or shouting through bullhorns in protest.
Arguing from A Position of Weakness
I have decided to use my pen against the porn industry not from a position of strength, but a position of weakness. I have been seduced by its charms, and hated myself for it. I am not so much disgusted with the three-ring flesh circus, as I am disgusted with myself. Therefore, I'm not being sanctimonious or hypocritical in expressing my outrage. I have no puritanical immunity to fall back on. I have struggled, and continue to struggle, with not yielding to the stuff.
This is exactly why I have decided to set about denouncing porn on virtual paper, instead of deluding myself that it is protected art, as others will. Porn is not art, it does not appeal to the higher sense of human aesthetics. It gets a bulldog grip on the lower reptile brain-stem and doesn't let go. It changes men into animals, in so doing degrading the civilized structure of society until we are a pack of wild horn-dogs. Pornographic brainwashing conditions our young men to think that it is perfectly acceptable to gratify themselves without consequences, maybe dropping a throwaway baby here and there, then moving on.
I am not going to approach this discussion from a religious perspective, because I don't think it is a religious issue. I'm not going to preach that God will strike you blind or cause thick hair to sprout from your palms because you have pleasured yourself to porn. I'm not going to pull any hell-fire and brimstone passages from scripture.
Instead, I will try to appeal to your humanity. I will approach this from the perspective that the porn business is a slave trade. I will make the case that porn enslaves women through various means - blackmail, drugs, etc., sometimes even through physical restraint. It could be that actors in westernized nations are there of their own free will, but I posit that choice is modified by underhanded means. Even though nobody in the US is forcing anybody to strip at gunpoint, people still get into it for the wrong reasons, and this weakness is a wedge that porn drives into the vulnerable. Very few people want to expose their most intimate moments in public - desperate, runaway teens are trapped into doing so by the allure of a good payday, and the easy availability of soul-numbing substances.
Still, porn producers here enjoy a get out of jail free card, being that it's awful hard to prove any of this in a court of law. Outside the land of the free, however, it's impossible to overlook the widespread crime taking place in impoverished countries, where the victims of illegal human trafficking often wind up in some form of porn.
Lighten Up Mel?
I am sure there are rational arguments that can be made against my thesis that the porn industry is evil, and against my motivation in taking up this crusade. I will attempt to identify a couple of these at the onset, then address them in later installments.
Lighten up Mel, porn keeps men home. Instead of cheating on their wives, men use porn as their outlet for sexual release. Ditto on oversexed teens with raging hormones, who get their rocks off flying solo instead of sniffing the trails of young, naive, vulnerable women. Porn is doing us a favor by keeping the menfolk down on the farm, rather than going out to plow the seed of unwanted babies.
This pro-porn argument sounds reasonable upon its face, but I would counter that while porn may be calming the savage in some, it fuels the beast in others. Virtual images could awaken suppressed desires that find an outlet in reality, in the form of sexual aggression against women. Many sexually-frustrated young men teeter on the brink, and porn may be the push that sends them over the edge. Porn delivers the mistaken impression that all women want it, and are willing to submit on a moment's notice, without any wooing, without any emotional commitment, without any loyalty to the pair bond. When the Internet is bombarded by this message of unconditional sex, the institution of marriage becomes an archaic joke. The outcome is that today, instead of the nuclear family, husbandless baby mamas now raise our kids.
Perhaps those of you who disagree with my anti-porn proposition are going to cast a shadow on my motivation for getting up on this soapbox. Are you really against porn, or are you just trying to fill an empty niche, to exploit a topic for personal gain that nobody else is writing about, as other subjects of your blogging dry up?
And so what if I am? I answer. Want to make money on the Internet? Sex sells. A homemade porn site that just copies and pastes pics from all over the web will get millions of hits, so the word porn alone in my subject line could very bring me a few thousand views, though I doubt it. But If evil men are making billions pimping women's bodies, why begrudge me a few pennies denouncing them? I intend to use the word porn in every article I write about it henceforth, in hope that a few lonely, but noble souls will stumble across them, then decide to no longer support an industry that turns humanity into a herd of rutting pigs in the mud.
I guess I won't be making any money anyway. The word porn in my title has flagged the content filters here, meaning ads have been turned off. Not only will I be unrewarded financially, I will probably be preaching to an empty room too, as this article probably won't be featured, either. That's okay, my higher power tells me to keep going - my higher power being the truth that somebody should be talking about, but nobody is.
A Little too "Father Knows Best?"
In my uncompensated campaign against porn, I am not denouncing sex, or even premarital sex. Neither am I voicing support for the traditional ideal of heterosexual sex. People can have fun taking their clothes off with whoever they want to, and it is none of my beeswax, as long as both of them, or all of them, are consenting. What I intend to do here is point out that not all of the players in porn are consenting, making this an evil industry that violates the sacred principle of free will.
Maybe the problem is just with me. I search for like voices on the Internet, and I don't find many who support my position. People who express an anti-porn platform in forums get shouted down, the advocates of porn claiming that there is no evidence to prove that it contributes to sex crimes against women, or leads to the deterioration of relationships.
Has pornography become so thoroughly entrenched in Western Culture that people so blithely succumb to its proliferation, without putting up a fight first? Well, I intend to put up a fight. I see it as demeaning, degrading, destructive to the dignity of women. Silly me, but I think of women as more than sperm suppositories. Call me old fashioned, but I think of sex as an act of love, as well as a symbol of social contract that best takes place in private. A little Father Knows Best, maybe, but I don't believe the stability of society is promulgated when sex becomes a spectator sport.
I intend to further investigate this topic, and report my findings. Admittedly I am starting with an anti-porn bias, because the other side is biased too, biased in favor of billions of bucks. My litmus tests will be whether the porn machine employs coercion for its participants, whether it contributes to crimes of sexual aggression, and if it is destructive to the family institution, if such a silly thing can be said to exist anymore.
To exploit your sense of decency in this matter, maybe I should conduct another litmus test too. Would you still support porn if it was your daughter up there on the stage, being passed around by strangers?