Prostitution, Pornography,and the Pondering Pig.

I see where Belladonna has posted her thoughts on pornography. In her post, she confronts her own ambivalence about the subject – her personal distaste, her belief that pornography can be addictive for some, but also her deeply held belief in free speech as a key American value.

Her analysis makes sense to this pig, but she comes at it from a different perspective than I do. I’m not a bit ambivalent about pornography.

I feel there are some cosmic issues buried beneath its skin, so to speak. My intuition tells me that pornography breaks, batters and burns the humans posing in front of the camera, creating fountains of shame and feelings of worthlessness — enough sorrow for a lifetime of repentance –and the pornography consumer is okay with that. It’s the price those souls must pay for his pleasure. Their loss will be his gain.

I am not talking about Sin with a capital S here. That’s God’s department and he is a forgiver. I am talking about human hearts. I am talking about the hearts of eight year olds, eighteen year olds and twenty-eight year olds. I am talking about the guys too, although I have less compassion for them because I am one.

Some young guys may have a different perspective. When I was young I thought Playboy Magazine’s Playmate of the Month was a definite advance in human society and when, along about 1971, the Playmates began to show pubic hair, I thought I was living through great times. Now that’s freedom of expression! More to ogle on the wall while hanging out down at the print shop. I would just love to talk with those Playmates today and see how they feel about that episode in their lives. (How about that for a blog project?). Maybe I’m completely wrong. Maybe they look back on that time, when millions of guys used their photograph for secret purposes behind locked doors, as a high point of their cute little lives. I just doubt it.

Playmates were and are socially acceptable, normal, heterosexual cheesecake girls. Not scrungy models for pornography, which was that creepy stuff with closeup shots of human organs entangled. In those days I assumed pornography was made for socially inept freaks and was just an odd byway of society. It was an object of curiosity to me but not desire. I didn’t know a single guy with a pornography collection. And, come to thing of it, I knew some really socially inept freaks.

San Francisco psychiatrist Melissa Farley has done a lot of counseling to prostitutes. She writes she has never yet ever met a woman who chose prostitution (or pornographic modeling) as a career because she thought it would be fun and rewarding. I believe she said without exception every prostitute she worked with had been sexually molested within the family as a child.

So I believe (but I have no conclusive proof) that pornographic models are mostly kids and young adults who have already been battered into numbness in homeless homes, loveless laps, and hopeless couplings. Kids who are already seriously into soul-dulling drugs and who need access to a lot of money to get more of them. Kids who own nothing but sorrow and nothing left to lose.

Like most pigs, I have a heart and a mind as well as a penis. And my piggish mind tells me these two “coupled” industries – prostitution and pornography – are just two more examples of the powerful preying on the weak, the winners enslaving the losers, and the fat cats once again lighting their cigars on the bodies of the hopeless and helpless.

And it just freaks me out and I start getting mad, and I storm around the Pigsty until that frustrated feeling goes away. And then I sit down and try to forget it by reading some foolishness about how John Carter of Mars saves the beautiful Dejah Thoris from certain destruction by the Toad-Monsters of Illyria. Is there a relationship here?

And I keep hearing that little kid crying in the jungle. Or on the streets of Las Vegas. So I think, “I know. I’ll give more money to the International Justice Mission or somebody like that. They’ll save the kids with their lawyers and undercover investigators and white hats.” (I like these guys, this is not satire) They do a great job, but it’s no good. I don’t get that warm feeling of satisfaction I’m craving (see Christian Hedonism and thanks Phil Plympton) from looking at my stupid Visa statement.

There has to be more. Something we can DO to make the world right again. And don’t tell me I should go pray. Because I already did that. And you know what He said? Go read Psalm 10. So I did. I should just quote the whole thing here, but here’s a link instead.

Somehow I don’t think God’s plan is for us to pray for Him to “break the arm of the wicked” and then go mow the lawn. I think that’s the whole problem, in fact. Did the Christian Abolitionists pray to God to end slavery and then go to Bermuda on their Christian Luxury Prayer Cruise (thanks, Spoke for that unforgettable image) Did they go watch TV, secure and comfortable in their knowledge they had done all they could have done? No, they started the Underground Railroad!

What’s wrong with us? What’s gone wrong? I feel like something big has gone wrong, including in me and I’m just starting to see it again.

I hope I’m not making anyone uncomfortable here. If I am, I’ll drop everything and make tea and little sandwiches. And then we can do a nice Bible Study and all feel better.

Screech! Little sweat drops fly off the Pondering Pig’s forehead like in old-time comics.

I know there’s a million holes in this argument. It’s okay if you want to point them out. But, please, is there anybody out there who thinks I might be right?

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10 thoughts on “Prostitution, Pornography,and the Pondering Pig.

  1. I’m trying to figure how “catholic” came into this discussion, besides the mention of shame and guilt. I know those are great stereotypical come-backs. I need to remind the old fence person that it was the followers of the great reformer, John Calvin, that came up with the notion that all (read, ALL) humans are born depraved and only those slated for the perly gates, those predestined for salvation, would make it. They are also the root of the recent Christian Reconstructionist movement which pushes for change to old testament law as law of the land. By those protestant standards, we’d all be slated for stoning just for this discussion.Other than that, this is the best blogging I’ve seen in a long time. You are all pretty good at it. Keep it up. I’ll be back after I take the cue and “ponder” the real subject some more.Thanks,Allen Wyatt

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  2. So, this guy, the broken fence person, is trying to justify himself and his non-chalante attitude towards porn, used to date “fat ugly chicks” and he could have “used some good porn in those days”. I think I’m going to be sick.This isn’t some old broken fence. This guy is just proving what Leonard and The.Chronicler and Spoke are saying as well as what the women are saying too. Too many men are driven and motivated by looks and, yes, images of what women “should” be rather than who they truly are.Women aren’t “Chicks” no matter what the jargon of today or yesterday might say. They aren’t dames or broads or skirts, as they used to say. They are women, period. Sexual urges are private and maybe some people have to take care of them in a, well, personal manner. That doesn’t justify a whole enterprise that exploits and abuses people and makes itself available to our children. Someone’s sexual lonlieness doesn’t come close to justifying the debasing and belittling of human beings, no matter how economically desperate they might be.I want to copy here something I read from Leonard’s earlier post, because it says it better than I can:”What’s wrong here is not people choosing to be naked and screwing on camera. Nor is it about other people watching. It’s about slugs manipulating children and psychologically hurting people to make a buck. It’s about people thinking that it’s ok to let people make bad choices and not feeling in any way responsible for tolerating, no, ignoring the fact that people get hurt and killed for other people’s pleasure.”I guess that says for right now what I have to. Keep this post open for a while, as I’ve told some other bloggers about it and you will definitely get some comments from them. This is a good forum. Keep it up. Good work Pondering Pig.Thanks again,Allen Wyatt

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  3. Hey Folks!Something I keep hearing from a commentator here (I’m assuming all those pseudonyms are the same person)is that this is some sort of ideal world or society where if people are mad enough or hurt enough, well, gee, something will change. Or that Pornography is ok for young guys and people that date ugly fat people. While I’ll agree that free will and choice are wonderful things, worth fighting and dying for, some things are just plain wrong. I’m not even going down the theology road. The.Chronicler did that well enough.In basic humanistic terms, the objectification of human beings is totally and unequivocably wrong. An athiest could tell you that. Jean Paul Sartre, maybe the most moral athiest of the last century believed that and taught that.Then, to justify profits from this obviously and blatantly insulting business, even if it’s legal, adds another moral wrong.Morals aren’t solely about religion, as some people mistakenly think. No, morals have to do with how we treat each other as human beings rather than some relationship with God(though that can come into the discussion as well).Societies are obligated, through social contract, to make laws and decisions to protect the weak no matter how old or young they are. Whether people believe in a social contract or not is irrelevant, as it doesn’t make it any less real. Being a part of a society, locally, nationally or globally, doesn’t just bestow rights and freedoms, it secures and protects. I read somewhere else on this blog where someone mentioned the difference between freedom to and freedom from. I believe that part needs some discussion in this forum as well. We might be free do be and do as we please, but we also have the right to be free from persecution and the right to be free from vile and offensive behavior.Pornography is hardly hidden these days. It is obvious everywhere, especially here on the internet. The fact that we can discuss this freely is a gift, but the fact that we have to discuss it is more like a curse. I’m not saying we shouldn’t. It’s just the down side of the freedom issue that, unfortunately, must occur in a free society.Some may say “You’re free not to look at it.” To which I reply, “Good. I won’t You are free to keep it to your self and don’t rub our noses in it.”I haven’t touched on the Pondering Pig’s subject en-toto yet. The wrongs done to humans in the name of free choice, whether it be porn or anything else, are many and inexcusable. Simplifying the issues to be just personal choices is irresponsible and without cogent thought for the rest of the people affected. This is when the notion of “Social Justice” becomes “Social Just Us”.Mike Morrisson

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  4. Hi Ponderer and all others,I’ve been following this post, but haven’t commented so far because I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around what exactly it is that disturbs me in the blog entry. However, I first want the audience to know, lest some in the audience (ahem, Leonard) see the following as an attack on my father and get sidetracked, that it is absolutely not an attack- I think his heart is very much in the right place. Injustice and lies and harm have to be fought wherever they are found in life. And like many others here have said, when people are harmed by other people’s actions, greed, or lies, something needs to be done. However, there are so many issues to be thought about that have been unmentioned in these blog comments, but which are important to think about before jumping to conclusions. Let’s start however with his comment of “I would just love to talk with those Playmates today and see how they feel about that episode in their lives. Maybe I’m completely wrong. Maybe they look back on that time, when millions of guys used their photograph for secret purposes behind locked doors, as a high point of their cute little lives. I just doubt it.” For a moment let’s set aside the “cute little lives” part- why don’t they just have lives? Why do they have to be “cute little lives?” Anyway, not knowing much about the lives of women who pose, as is probably the case for most of the readers here, I took Pig up on his thought and did a little research on the Post-Playboy lives of Playmates. What I didn’t find was “regret” in any of the biographies or interviews I read. I just saw the normal range of life activities. Yes, I only looked at info on a random 30 of the 600+ women who have been Playmates, (Wikipedia has bios on many of them) so it wasn’t a detailed study, but what I read didn’t support Pig’s contention. To be fair, a couple of them got into drugs. But most of them didn’t, and went on to have fulfilling lives. For example, one became the mayor of her town, one became highly active for the rights of animals, another the environment, and many became housewives with children (without any higher rates of divorce than seen elsewhere). See the bio of Karen McDougal, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karen_McDougal , for example. Pre-Playboy, she studied tap, dance and ballet, was a high school state champion at clarinet playing, majored in Elementary Ed, taught preschool, and was/is an avid motorcycle rider. Now, post-Playboy, she has a goal of opening a learning center for children, but has it on hold while she pursues her acting and modeling career. She is an advocate of breast cancer awareness. She describes herself as “more mature now and less shy — that happens when you pose nude — but I’ve always put the feelings of others first. I’m just very nurturing and love to take care of people.” To me, she sounds like a woman pretty happy with herself, and yet she also says that “she would pose nude for Playboy again even when she is 40 years old.” Pig, I use her as one example. But she really doesn’t sound like someone who is “broken and battered” and filled with “fountains of shame and feelings of worthlessness — enough sorrow for a lifetime of repentance.” Your use of a psychiatrist who counsels prostitutes as a reference to why Playboy models must have a “broken” background is flawed. Almost by definition she talks with messed up people- not healthy ones. It would be like extrapolating that all teenagers have messed up backgrounds because someone who works with runaway teenagers says that all teenagers they’ve worked with have messed up backgrounds.But enough of that. Not presented in any particular order, but here are things I’ve pondered. What about the following:- There is a jihad against this country by some, one of the reasons for which is because, in their belief system, we have a degraded country where ordinary women like me have no shame and tempt men and make them have lustful thoughts by …not wearing a burka to cover up every last inch of skin. This is such an evil to them that they are willing to kill us heathens over it. By their standards, the only possible thing I could/should be is, as you stated about Playmates, “a fountain of shame and full of sorrow.” And yet I’m not. As I don’t buy into their beliefs, I don’t buy into their shame. Please weigh that when you think about models who pose naked. Maybe you are right and they do feel shame, but maybe you’re not, and they don’t.- Regarding the topic of shame that has come up throughout the blog comments. Our western culture, and many other cultures of the world, has a long history of treating women as property with value only in as much as they can be “sold” for, where the father needs to protect his property in order to be able to get as much as he can for her. Think of the practice of bride-price. As property of her father, a young woman in days past, in many cultures, was expected to keep herself “pure” in order that her value not be diminished, and thereby bring dishonor to her family. Her promiscuity would say to the local village that her father must be weak and out of control, in that he couldn’t keep “control” of his property. If she was found to not be a virgin at the time of her marriage, the husband, depending on the culture, could refuse to have her as a wife and/or demand the bride-price back, bringing great embarrassment to the family. Her “shame”, if she had pre-marital sex, was in the great dishonor she would bring her family. Many cultures today still go so far as to perform female genital cutting of their young daughters to try and ensure that the girls won’t have any sexual desires and thereby possibly bring dishonor to the family. In our own US culture we still see attitudes today of “boys will be boys” whereas pre-marriage women are still seen by some as either virgins or sluts. As of yet there is no phrase “girls will be girls” with the same meaning, nor is there a groundswell change in attitude stressing the need for boys to be responsible and control themselves. Could vestiges of these property attitudes have been passed down over the centuries and be the reason why some females have shame about sexual feelings, and be the reason why they are expected to feel shameful for doing things like pornography, rather than there being any actual shame in it, and why many men feel they need to “protect” women? Just a thought.- “I am talking about human hearts. I am talking about the hearts of eight year olds, eighteen year olds and twenty-eight year olds. I am talking about the guys too, although I have less compassion for them because I am one.” This comes after the paragraph about humans being broken who are in front of the porn camera. I’m sure that this is just poorly worded, but it sounds like P. Pig is not as concerned about what is happening to the heart of the eight year old boy in front of the camera, as he is about the heart of even a twenty eight year old woman who made a conscious decision to be in front of the camera. It must be that it is just poorly worded, because this sounds really dreadful and paternalistic. As if human females need extra care and will be hurt more than the human males in the same situation. I beg to differ. An eight year old of either sex in front of the porn camera is horrific and their lives are equally likely to be made hundreds of times more difficult for having experienced it. I would suggest that you don’t let the mother of your new grandson hear of this attitude of the souls of boys not being as important, or you will be in hot water for sure.- Why in society do so many men feel the need to think of their daughters as “Daddy’s little girl” (even when they are grown women) who need to be “protected” from the bad boys and men in the world? Doesn’t say much for how they think of their daughters. To me it seems that that attitude teaches the daughters that they are helpless and weak and sure to be fooled by the first creepy sweet-talkin’ guy who comes around. Wouldn’t it instead be better to think of teaching daughters how to think and how to evaluate a situation, how to take falls and still get up with pride, to have self worth, and, therefore, to protect themselves?” Like what the fathers do for their sons? Notice that we don’t have an expression “Daddy’s little boy”. It’s taken for granted that boys will learn how to be self sufficient and learn how to recover from life’s bumps and bruises and don’t need particular protection.- Spoke mentions that seeing a Hustler picture of a woman with her legs over her head when he was young made him see women as objects of pleasure for many years. If, however, as a thought experiment, as a child he had stumbled across a magazine with a centerfold of an erect man, would he have gone through life with less confidence thinking that men were supposed to be objects of pleasure to women?Don’t mistake me here with my ruminations. I am absolutely against exploitation of humans of any age or gender. Anyone who tricks, lies to, or forces someone into doing something that they otherwise would not have done, particularly with the intention of making some kind of gain off it – prestige, money, lust fulfillment, whatever- needs to be caught and punished by law. But we, as a society, also need to take a long hard look at our cherished beliefs and not jump to conclusions about a need to “save” people from themselves, when they may or may not need “saving”.

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  5. Chronicler, you make some good points but some I must dispute. You state:“But Playboy is really not at the “hard core” of this issue, and it’s being used, unwittingly perhaps, as a slippery slope argument to justify other behaviors. If we’re not careful we may just excuse away, shrug off and rationalize in another area: ‘Well maybe that chick likes being sodomized by a roomful of men, and who are we to save her?'” Chronicler, I certainly hope that you meant that research such as mine on Playmates COULD be used by someone as a slippery slope argument to justify other behaviors, NOT that it IS being used, as you state. Pondering Pig wanted to know what Playmates thought, I answered him based on bios and interviews where the interviewer asked similar questions. As you recognize, I was not researching very hardcore porn depicting violence against women. That is quite likely an entirely different issue in terms of the way the women involved feel about themselves. However, without research, that is just my assumption. And there is a saying about assumptions.You are right to warn against a nonchalant attitude when you see something happening in real life that looks like something illegal is taking place. By all means, intervene if safe, or if not, call the police right away! Likewise, if you are referring to porn gang rape images (I can’t tell from your comment whether you were referring to real life or porn), let me just say that if there were to be a film or magazine article that glorified lynching of black men there would be a huge outcry about it being a hate crime; the same should absolutely hold true for images glorifying violence against women. If the courts decide that, due to First Amendment reasons, such violent images have to be allowed to be produced (this IS currently a Pennsylvania court case), at a bare minimum the industry needs to be TIGHTLY regulated. Perhaps we could demand that substantial changes be instigated in the industry. For example, CGI (Computer Graphics Imaging) be required to create all intercourse/penetration images. In this day and age with our advanced CGI there is no reason for any human to be subjected to the very real threat of sexually transmitted diseases and possible internal and organ injury for a paycheck. Period. Make porn producers get OSHA work practices inspections and licenses, and seals of approval from watchdog groups for every movie made and magazine pic taken, and have it put in large letters on the magazine cover that “No human was in any way injured in the making of these images. These are staged images only. Computer graphics are responsible for all penetration images.” I can hear the porn producers screeching now. “As the father of two daughters, I can wholeheartedly say that the Pig’s attitude toward ‘daddy’s little girls’ is totally valid. That is an assumption that such an attitude implies he thinks she is weak or something to control.”“The Pig’s attitude toward “daddy’s little girls is totally valid“?? I’m sorry, either you misread or I didn’t make myself clear. With “daddy’s little girl” I was referring to a certain class of fathers, not my own father, that put their daughters into ivory towers; who want their daughter to come running to them every time they feel they’ve been hurt in any way, and then will go threaten the poor person who looked cross-eyed at her; a father who will spoil his daughter and not expect any responsibility of her because “she’s his little girl and she’s perfect.” Such an attitude toward their daughter prevents her from learning how to healthily handle adversity. A child, girl or boy, needs to learn how to stand on their own two feet and be able to stand up for themself. They need to learn how to be able to recognize a bad situation and stay out of it, or get out of it if they are in it. My father is NOT a “daddy’s little girl” type of father. Thankfully. Does he love his daughters wholeheartedly? Absolutely. But he has also always believed in the full potential of his daughters. Maybe “daddy’s little girl” has a different meaning to you than to me. I was not referring to the natural love a parent has for their child, and the normal desire of a parent not wanting their child to be hurt. “I also have a son. Sons and daughters are different. If you are not a father and don’t have sons and daughters, then you cannot fully understand a man’s heart toward his children, and I would be careful not to make assumptions.” Maybe it’s not meant this way, but I see this is as a patronizing and dismissive statement. OF COURSE in many ways sons and daughters are different. I don’t have to be a parent to know that. That doesn’t mean the girl should be babied while the boy is taught how to get up after a fall.”Girls are far, far more likely to end up as sex slaves and the exploited ones in this business. This is a fact. So in that regard, girls are more vulnerable.” Yes, girls are more likely to be sex slaves than boys. However, see previous statements. The girl who is raised knowing she has self-worth and the ability to say “no”, I believe, is not more likely to be a sex slave than a boy. Unless she was forced into it, and that’s an entirely different issue which I’m sure you will be hearing about much more from P. Pig.”Quite frankly, even the soft-porn Playboy bunny is exploited. Say what you will about her, but men giggle and call her names like bimbo, and perceive her to be stupid and cheap.”To use your phrasing, quite frankly, some men call BLOND women bimbos and perceive them to be stupid and cheap. So should a woman dye her naturally blond hair brunette just because some men think hair color influences brains? Of course not. Such a lack of respect is not her problem, it’s a problem with his upbringing. Likewise, boys giggle when they see the hint of a breast through a girls shirt. In gym class they will snicker about “need some fries with that shake” if a classmate’s breasts jiggle in the long jump. Again, she is not, and should not, be held responsible for their poor manners. The boys in this situation need the guidance of an adult to teach them about respect. The problem of some men having a lack of respect for women is hardly limited to Playmates.

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  6. Side note here to Mr. Pseudonyms and others. I’ve noticed that there is a tendency to use what I suspect are song lyrics or quotes in your comments. Could you please credit the musicians/author when you do? As we don’t all share the same life experiences and have the same knowledge base, I’m never sure if they are lyrics, quotes from something else, or your own thoughts. Thanks.

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  7. Enough you two. Just because P. Pig is not around to moderate while he’s off house hunting doesn’t give the two of you the right to start a schoolyard poke-fest. He wants a thoughtful blog, not one where people have their defenses up and are yelling at each other. Mr. Many Pseudonyms, I’m sure you knew you were dropping a baited line, and Chronicler, you rose to the bait. Quit it.

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  8. Hey you two wranglers, very glad to read that you are keeping it much more civil! Phew! My husband came across some interesting blogging that is relevant to this conversation between the two of you. It’s David Plotz’ “Blogging the Bible” posted by Slate Magazine. Particularly his commentary on Leviticus 15, 18, 19 & 20. http://www.slate.com/id/2145574/ See what you think.

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  9. Hey Chronicler, I appreciate your zeal for the things of God. You have a lively spirit that keeps on chugging away … and you won’t be steamrollered by opposition. Good for you.

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