William James

William James
We must get by on what truth we have today, and be willing to call it error tomorrow.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Appropriate Condemnation Of Certain Pornography


I recently saw the documentary film, "The Price of Pleasure," which takes a harsh look at the porn industry. Here is my feedback:

1. Most of the film portrays several forms pornographic media which I consider to be unacceptable and exploitative. In fact, I think it is downright shameful! These forms of porn appear to glorify the suppression of women in the most extreme and depraved ways. Women being tortured and violently raped as part of a sexual ritual of male dominance is the most common version of porn portrayed in the documentary. Other scenes portray (using adult actors and graphic simulation) sexual exploitation of children by adults. Examples are given of actresses consenting to dangerous and downright demeaning sex acts to make a little bit of money- such as: submitting to men ejactulating on their faces, being choked, being made to gag while having a penis forced too far into their mouth/throat, being suffocated, submitting to simultaneous penetration by two or three penises at a time, being violently slapped and cussed at, submitting to anal sex and immediately afterwards giving oral sex to the man who just had his penis in her anus, etc. I am angered by anyone who would choose to make these kinds of films and financially capitalize on the depraved and out-of-control sexual appetites of certain men. These appear to me to be examples of true exploitation and degradation of women. Shame on those people who care so little about human dignity that they are willing to abuse and harm for profit! If I did not have such a strong conviction about God's unconditional love for us mortals, and his desire that we all one day become perfected to live in enlightened peace and happiness, I would probably succomb to the temptation to say that these deparaved exploiters would burn in hell!

2. For all of the film's appropriate condemnation of the forms of porn described above, the film has unfortunately failed to give adequate consideration and broad evidientiary/viewpoint treatment of what I consider to be more mainstream erotic media, namely: non-violent, non-exploitative, consensual, adult-on-adult, less explicit forms of sexually oriented media. In these forms, you are not likely to see close-ups of vaginas or penises, you definitely will not see semen or an ejaculating penis, there won't be any "double penetrations" or choking or slapping, or degrading name-calling, anal sex, or domination exceeding the realm of playfulness. In fact, there is a good chance there won't be an real penetration at all- merely feigned penetration if anything. The film has done nothing, in my view, to demonstrate that the actors in this type of media are being badly treated or exploited or abused, nor that this type of media promotes or glorifies such behavior. Yet, the film appears to condemn it anyway be using the objectionable forms mentioned above as a "straw-man" argument. Just as the existence of unhealthy sexual behavior would not justify condemning all sexual behavior, so, too, the existence of true exploitation in sectors of the porn industry in no way justifies the condemnation of all erotic media.

3. I don't believe it is reasonable to expect any woman to accept without objection that her husband consumes (or for that matter, buys) the type of media described in paragraph 1 above. But I do believe that the type of erotic media described in paragraph 2 is the kind of erotic thoughts and fantasies that the overwhelming majority of men are going to have anyway whether they are watching it or not. Watching it may provide variety and enhancement, but I honestly do not think it is likely to cause most men to confuse fantasy with reality or to be rendered unable to sexually function without getting fed more and more bizzare and/or violent fantasies from the condemnable realm. So on that front, both tolerance and temperance are in order.