“The pro-porn crew are the true freedom fighters. Freedom from responsibility!”
- someone who shall remain anonymous…
Right then, let’s talk about that…responsibility. We’ve been called idiots, sickos, rapists, rape enablers, mysoginists, johns, whores, and all sorts of other things, and ah yes, irresponsible…
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had sex with anyone against their will, never pressured or coerced anyone into sex against their will…in short, I’ve never raped anyone. I’ve never abused a partner or molested a child. Why is that? Well, for as much ugly, rough, degrading and yeah, on occasion, violent porn as I watch and make, I know that doing such things to unconsenting people is wrong.
Wow, imagine that? I know it is wrong, and wow, apparent slave to my sex drive and porn sick perv that I am, I can still grasp that. I can tell the difference between right and wrong, consent and force, reality and fantasy. So, I must ask, if this horrible, degrading porn makes people rapists and abusers…why am I not in prison?
Answer, because porn doesn’t make anyone do anything. Porn cannot make a person rape, abuse, disrespect, or otherwise hurt anyone any more than a song, book, artwork, video game or television show can. Who needs to be held responisble for these sort of acts? The person who committed them, that’s who. Not the porn, not the pornographer, but the person who committed the act.
Yes, it’s easier to blame the porn (or the song, book, artwork, video game or television show). It’s quicker, it’s cleaner, it’s nicer to think that the porn made someone do it rather than that a person, a human, is capable of these things all on their own, with or without porn…but the ugly truth is, people don’t need excuses for their bad behavior, much as they’d like to use them. Marylin Manson no more caused the Columbine Shootings that porn makes people rape and abuse. Rape and abuse occur places the world over where porn is illegal. Thousands of people use porn, of all kinds, and they do not abuse anyone. Porn cannot make anyone do anything, and I believe that when tossing around words like responsibility, it is far more responsible to hold people accountable for their actions than blame those actions on anything and everything else.
What it comes to, you see, is some vices are more virtious than others:
-In the US, There were 16,885 alcohol-related fatalities in 2005 – 39 percent of the total traffic fatalities for the year. This averages out to one alcohol-related fatality every 31 minutes. An estimated 254,000 persons were injured in crashes where police reported that alcohol was present — an average of one person injured approximately every 2 minutes. In 2005, 21 percent of the children age 14 and younger who were killed in motorvehicle crashes were killed in alcohol-related crashes.
-Number of 100% porn-related deaths? 0.
-Researchers have found that one fourth to one half of men who commit acts of domestic violence also have substance abuse problems. A recent survey of public child welfare agencies conducted by the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse found that as many as 80 percent of child abuse cases are associated with the use of alcohol and other drugs and the link between child abuse and other forms of domestic violence is well established. Research also indicates that women who abuse alcohol and other drugs are more likely to become victims of domestic violence and that victims of domestic violence are more likely to receive prescriptions for and become dependent on tranquilizers, sedatives, stimulants, and painkillers and are more likely to abuse alcohol.
Now yes, you can find testimony that porn might cause abuse, can aggravate abuse; can give people ideas, but facts? Numbers? Not quite as solid. The research is a bit greyer. There are lots of words like “perhaps”, “possibly”, “may be”…and are often also linked with other factors, such as the above mention substance and alcohol abuse… the words used are nebulous, "some", "may"...these pleas are also not ones of logic, of fact, they are worded specifically to pull at the emotions, to gain a gut reaction, to get at your feelings. Not your mind, not solid fact, but heavily relying on your gut, your protective instincts, your moral center...it's impassioned, but is it proven fact? An absolute like 16,885 alcohol-related fatalities in 2005? No, it is not.
So, this begs the question, should we make alcohol illegal? Impose more regulations on its production, sale and consumption then we already have in place? Should we, due to the fact that so many others consume and use alcohol irresponsibly, take it away from those who can merely have a beer or two and remain responsible citizens? Should we rally to keep booze out of our grocery and liquor stores, out of the homes and hands of responsible adults? Should we vandalize, protest, and harass the purchasers of alcohol, and the bars and eateries that sell it? It’s been tried, you know, and all it did was create an illegal, underground crime-ridden market for alcohol, it stopped no abuse.
Or is alcohol fine and okay because even anti-porn advocates like a gin and tonic or glass of wine from time to time (or perhaps even a joint or other illegal substances)? Even though it is a factor in cases of domestic violence, child abuse, rape, and a leading factor in date rape and cases of rape on college campuses?
Responsibility? Is it the fault of the alcohol, or the abuser? Does the blame rest on the shoulders of the brewery, or the abuser? Does it rest on the media, who advertises the alcohol, the movies, which show booze as a fun, sexy, party thing, or the abuser?
The answer is obvious, isn’t it? The booze didn’t hit, harm, rape, kill, molest or disrespect anyone. The abuser did.
And so the same it is with porn. And most porn users are responsible about their behavior, just as most consumers of alcohol, and even more illegal substances, watchers of action movies, players of video games, fans of music, and other possibly “uncouth” products. Adults have the option to use both these things, and the majority can do so responsibly.
So really, are we so irresponsible, or do we merely possess the common sense to place the responsibility where it actually belongs rather than chase shadows, revel in moral panic, or seek to crusade against something we, personally, do not like, understand, or find “icky”.
Think on that, for a moment, while you consider putting the responsibility where it belongs, on the offender. Not on the porn, not on us, but where it really goes. Then think about, over a glass of wine perhaps, if you really deserve the right to call us irresponsible.