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Catastrophic Success

As if there weren't enough political opinionating out there, I, too, now sing the body bloglectric. Let me FEED you![XML]

Location: United States

Friday, November 19, 2004

Really? Are you kidding me with this?

"Comparing pornography to heroin, researchers on Thursday called on Congress to finance studies on "porn addiction" and launch a public health campaign about the dangers.
"Internet pornography is corrupting children and hooking adults into an addiction that threatens their jobs and families, a panel of anti-porn advocates told the hearing organized by Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., chairman of the Commerce subcommittee on science."

Just say no to Pr0n!

"Mary Anne Layden, co-director of a sexual trauma program at the University of Pennsylvania, said pornography's effect on the brain mirrors addiction to heroin or crack cocaine. She told of one patient, a business executive, who arrived at his office at 9 a.m. each day, logged onto Internet porn sites, and didn't log off until 5 p.m.

Layden called for billboards and bus ads warning people to avoid pornography, strip clubs and prostitutes."

There is not a single reference to personal responsibility in this entire article. Instead, just like foul-language and violence on television, this image is purveyed of Cheney-esque fatcats in a smoky room plotting and planning the best way to "corrupt the children" and turn them into mindless zombies incapable of resisting the allure of the "evil, vile pronographers!" There is not a single moment given to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, a rational adult can chance across a pornographic advertisement or spam and NOT be reduced to a drooling puddle of testosterone ready to rip, rape and tear through society. "The titties told me to rape!" Bullshit.

Personally, I am not a big porn guy. I could take it or leave, but I have seen it, and I do come across it in my travels through cyberspace, and I don't objectify women any more than any other sexually healthy male. I don't run rampant at night sexually assaulting any woman I see. I have sexual urges, of course, and those are satisfied by my wife, myself or my imagination. It is ridiculous to assume that a chance porn-sighting will forever corrupt our children and irreversibly turn our culture into a cesspool incapable of decency and subjugating base instincts. We are rational beings. Passionate, yes, but rational all the same. We use the power of our minds to make decisions every single day. Just as I can watch football and not tackle the first person I see, play Halo or Grand Theft Auto and not shoot the first person I see, I can see a picture of a naked woman and not screw the first person I see.

I understand that a boundary must be erected between adult material and children. I agree. It is, however, the responsibility of the parents to guard that wall, not society. Every brick of that wall that is assumed by society absolves parents of that responsibility. And its a cumulative process. The more responsibility for rearing children that is taken by society, the easier it is to justify removing more and more responsibility from parents. I have two young daughters and I monitor closely what they see and hear. That is my job as their father. I also encourage an environment of learning and questioning. When my elder daughter (3 years old tomorrow) wants to know something, or doesn't understand something, she asks. So far, the subject matter has been pretty tame, but tricky stuff does come up ("What is heaven?" after hearing the word in the "Knick-Knack Paddy-Whack" song) and stronger questions will come up in the future. I'm sure that the issue of sex and porn will come up. When it does, it is my responsibility to explain it in ways that allow her to assimilate the information in such a way that she can healthily deal with porn-spam if she should ever see it.

As parents, our ONLY job is to prepare our children to be functional (at least) and productive (we hope) members of society. That means instilling the mores and values that continue that society. It also means preparing them for the times they encounter the less pleasing or less visible elements of society. That means everything from how to avoid being a victim to self-defense to how to safely own and operate a gun, car and computer to seeing violence and sexual content in the media. If we accept as true that our children can be corrupted by a salacious image they may only see for a moment, we might as well give up on parenting and turn our children over to state-run indoctrination centers that will program them to be happy little robotic servants of the state subject to the whims and desire of their basest instincts and just hand in the keys to the kingdom we have guarded these past 229 years. At that point society can no longer function because there is no one to run it. There will be those who can use their brains and it is they who will become the rulers deciding what will be programmed into our little child-bots.

Beware the path of protection in the name of the children. To quote Terry Goodkind, "lightning awaits you down that path." When you remove the expectation of personal responsibility, then no one is accountable for their own actions and that only benefits the natural dictatorial tendencies of the government, because who else will make those moral decisions you don't want to bother yourself with?