“Tell me what happens the first time you see a woman naked.”
“The first time you see a woman naked will not be like you imagined. There will be no love, no trust, no intimacy. You won’t even be in the same room as her.
You won’t get to smile as she undresses you and you undress her. You won’t get to calm her nerves with nerves of your own. You won’t get to kiss her, feeling her lips and the edge of her tongue. You won’t get to brush your fingers over the lace of her bra or count her ribs or feel her heartbeat.
The first time you see a woman naked you will be sitting in front of a computer screen watching someone play at intimacy and perform at sex. She will contort her body to please everyone in the room but her. You will watch this woman who is not a woman, pixelated and filtered and customized. She will come ready-made, like an order at a restaurant. The man on the screen will be bigger than you, rougher than you. He will teach you how to talk to her. He will teach you where to put your hands and he will teach you what you’re supposed to like. He will teach you to take what is yours.
You must unlearn this. You must unlearn this twisted sense of love. You must unlearn the definition of pleasure and intimacy you are being taught. Kill this idea of love, this idea of entitlement, this way of scarring one another.” ~ Author Unknown
It was said by Martin Luther King Jr. that our lives begin to end the moment we become silent about things that matter—yet somehow the issues that matter are the ones in which we remain the most silent. We fear repercussion. We fear rejection, shame.
We’ve been led to believe we do not hold the power to make a difference, and so we feel small, afraid and unworthy.
But our voices are powerful beyond measure. Our voices carry the weight of change. And we must learn to use them, courageously, fearlessly, for the things that matter.
We must allow ourselves to feel anger and outrage for the injustice of this world.
We must feel it until it burns so fiercely into our hearts that we can no longer remain silent.
We must allow ourselves to be affected by the lies in this world that corrupt the hearts and minds of our children.
One of the biggest lies our boys are being taught is about pornography—that it’s an important foundational stone of their sexual development. They are being taught pornography is normal. That it’s a healthy exploration of their sexuality—or worse yet, that it’s their rite of passage into manhood, that it makes them more of a man for viewing it.
But pornography is no longer a simple centerfold in a Playboy magazine. It has become a dark world rampant in misogyny, exploitation, human trafficking, rape, violence and child sex slavery. It is no longer something we can tolerate as normal and healthy. It is no longer something we can pretend is acceptable, and choose to remain silent about.
These are the things our boys are not being taught about pornography, but desperately need to know.
They need to know what they see on the screen—what they may think of as “normal” sex—often constitutes violence, abuse, and rape. While not always the case, many of the women they see are victims of human sex trafficking. They need to know of the $32 billion dollar per year industry that is human trafficking. According to statistics given in an episode of Extreme World by Ross Kemp there are an estimated 2.5 million illegally trafficked people on the planet at any given time. 75% of these people are women and children, and 90% of them are forced into the sex trade, such as “Alice,” the woman he interviews, who was forced into sex slavery from the age of nine in Kenya, and then trafficked to the UK at the age of 15 as a prostitute.
Kemp says, “Many of the girls work seven days a week. Some brothels open at 9 a.m. on a weekday and don’t close until the early hours of the morning. Some of the girls have sex with 40 men in a day, sometimes more. The conditions they work in are truly horrendous. One girl I heard about had an abortion in the morning and serviced 12 men in the afternoon.”
Many women are lured by traffickers with the promise of education, employment and better opportunities, only to be kidnapped and raped, the footage later sold to pornography businesses for use on the web, such as the case documented in The Porn Industry’s Dark Secret where a mentally handicapped girl was beaten, whipped, suffocated, electrocuted, mutilated, choked before being forced to partake in pornography. Her photo was then used on the front cover of a famous porn publication.
Our boys need to know the association between pornography and pedophilia. According to Recovery Coach, Melissa Killeen, there are more than 100,000 websites offering child pornography. She estimates there is more than one million pornographic images of children on the Internet, with 200 new images posted daily. She also states the fastest growing demand is for images depicting the worst imaginable type of abuse and images of the youngest children.
In many cases, children are filmed being raped and abused, the footage being sold for use on what’s known as the “Dark Web” or “Deep Web” corner of the net. This was reported in an article titled, 5 Things I Learned Infiltrating Deep Web Child Molesters, the story of one woman who went undercover in an online community of child molesters. In this article, she tells of a community of 90,000 registered users on a website called 7axxn, dedicated to child pornography, where the moderator of this site admits to raping her own children and posting the videos for the community to watch. Our boys need to know many of these websites are owned and operated by the same people who create “normal” pornography sites. Which means every click on these “normal” sites is unwittingly funding the child pornography industry, child sex slavery, human trafficking and pedophilia, as shown in How Watching Porn Supports Sex Slavery.
They need to know long-term pornography exposure, like any long-term addiction, changes the structure and function of the brain. The effects are the same as drug use, where the brain soon begins to tolerate the level of stimulation and demands a higher dose in order to achieve the same level of pleasure. Enough is never enough.
Author and journalist Pamela Paul, in her article From Pornography to Porno to Porn: How Porn Became the Norm quotes, “Men interviewed reported that after many hours looking at porn, they found themselves willing to look at things they would have previously found disturbing, including bestiality, group sex, hard-core s&m, genital torture and child pornography.”
They need to know pornography portrays a distorted image of sex, where women are nothing more than objects to be dominated and controlled for their pleasure. There is no love, no connection, no intimacy, no commitment. There is no mutual enjoyment, tenderness, protection or security. Sex becomes about selfishness; about immediate gratification, completely disconnected from reality. How Pornography Harms Children quotes an excerpt from Kids Online: Protecting Your Children In Cyberspace which states that “long-term exposure to significant amounts of increasingly graphic forms of pornography has a dramatic effect on how adult consumers view women, sexual abuse, sexual relationships, and sex in general.”
They need to know the majority of women’s bodies do not look like the women on the screen. According to this article titled Porn Induced Sexual Dysfunction, men who have had long-term exposure to porn report decreased attraction to their partner, inability to be aroused by their partner, erectile dysfunction and ongoing dissatisfaction with their partner’s looks, sexuality and sexual experiences—and this can even happen in their 20s.
They need to know that not every guy does it. Men are visual creatures, yes, but that doesn’t mean every man watches porn. There are men out there who know the danger of addiction, the way it will ruin their relationships, destroy their sex lives, and who understand the connection between pornography, child slavery and human trafficking.
There are men out there who have taken a stand against pornography. They have chosen to hold women in the highest respect and not degrade them through assault, rape, and abuse for their own pleasure. The epidemic of porn in our society is destroying our young men, and it is our job as parents to take control and grow them into men of integrity.
Porn is no substitute for love and relationship, and by telling our boys it’s normal and okay, we are denying them the ability to have true intimacy with a woman in a mutually enjoyed sexual relationship. It is our job to teach our sons the beauty of relationship, of intimacy, tenderness and connection. To teach them how to respect, value and cherish a woman. To teach them how to laugh with a woman, cry with her, protect her, comfort her, nurture her, make her feel safe, fall in love with her.
Let’s educate our children about sex. Absolutely. But let’s educate them with the truth of pornography. Let’s use the power of our voices. Because then, and only then, can we overpower the lies that society would have us believe. Lies that are slowly destroying our boys, our sons and the future men of our society.
It starts with us.
“I’m not interested in a world where men really want to watch porn but resist because they’ve been shamed; I’m interested in a world where men are raised from birth with such an unshakeable understanding of women as living human beings that they are incapable of being aroused by their exploitation.” ~ Jonah Mix
Author: Kathy Parker
Image: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com
Editors: Renée Picard & Yoli Ramazzina