Opinion

Porn hurts everyone

Pornography: the forbidden word. In my experience growing up in a Christian home, I almost never heard it mentioned. If it was, it was quickly stepped around and soon forgotten. Growing up, my parents did an excellent job protecting my sister and me from what was and was not appropriate for us to see or know about. I lived in my comfortable little bubble for a long time. As parents of a little girl, they did what was right. However, when I discovered the Internet, I quickly learned that the world was not all butterflies and roses, and there were people out there who put sex on the Internet for other people’s viewing. I was confused and knew that, of course, this must be wrong, but I never truly knew the depth of it; I didn’t understand what truly made it wrong.

Later in life, I realized that pornography was not simply something people watched just for viewing or curiosity’s sake, but for their own personal pleasure. At my high school, we had chapels dedicated to helping the student population understand how dressing immodestly affected guys and how pornography was wrong. Once a year, we were separated and given the familiar speeches, and then, we went back to our daily routine. They were discussing what we had talked about; no one ever thought that those things would affect the opposite sex too.

In college, I realized how wrong this thinking is. I realized that pornography is not only viewed by men, but by women as well. And, upon doing further research, I found that pornography is a drug, that the addiction is prevalent and it is terrorizing men and women of all ages.

I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t fallen into the trap myself, or that I haven’t seen the awful side effects it can have on me as a woman, but I have also come out of it. I write this not because I feel like I need to get some sort of deep, dark secret off my chest. Instead, I write in hopes that I can help shed some light on a very bleak subject, one that shows little to no sign of getting any better.

So here is the reality of the situation, and whether you choose to give this any thought or validation is your choice, but if I need to get anything off my chest, it’s this. Pornography is not only addictive and unhealthy for your brain, but it also creates unhealthy pathways and destructive habits that prohibit you from connecting with people in the present.

Pornography is pretty much the epitome of the word domination. It devalues women as human beings, objectifies them and completely disregards who they are as people. All they are there for is to look pretty and moan. Men on camera are given a difficult if not impossible standard to live up to. The camera is almost never on his face, and almost always on his genitals. Needless to say, no one who is actually in pornography wins.

Pornography was something that hurt me, not only socially, but also emotionally. I started believing in my value and myself less and less (which, let’s be honest, is already something that is hard for us to do), and I started becoming fearful of men and their intentions toward me. I fell into the trap of addiction and struggled to climb back out. What I thought was good was actually eating me alive. The addiction starts small, but it rapidly grows as the desire for more videos and more intensity increases.

If you get nothing out of this column, then at least read this: next time you are tempted to watch pornography, ask yourself “why am I watching this, and who is it hurting?” Because here’s the thing: not only are you disrespecting the men and women who are in the videos, you are disrespecting yourself.

Carlson is a junior majoring in family & human services. She can be reached at carlsonkm@jbu.edu.