There is an accepted theory that while pornography is generally repulsive, there isn’t much we can do about it without limiting the freedoms of people to take part in personally harmful or immoral things. You can’t legislate morality, some say. I agree with that to a point, but we don’t have to turn our public sphere over to the purveyors of porn either. Pornography isn’t going anywhere, but does it have to grow at the speed of light? With two daughters, one of my main challenges will be figuring out how to slow and limit the invasive nature of pornography in their lives. One way is to continue to expose what pornography is and most importantly, what it isn’t. Most of us know what porn is. The old adage applies; you’ll know it when you see it. But defining what it isn’t can be more difficult. One truth that should be driven home again and again (no pun intended) is that pornography is not liberating to women.
Izabella St. James, former girlfriend of Hugh Hefner, has written a tell-all book, Bunny Tales , full of behind the scenes shenanigans at the Playboy mansion. Early sneak peaks at the contents of the memoir are anything but flattering to Hefner. Some of St. James’ claims include urine soaked draperies, filthy living conditions and humiliating sexual experiences. These stories are far from the image Hefner has tried to portray in his reality series which depicts a life of luxury and opulence with freedom galore. This facade is not an unusual tactic. There is an entire movement of pro-pornography feminists who want you to believe the world of porn is all wine and roses.
Pornography benefits women, both personally and politically. ~Wendy McElroy, “feminist” and author of XXX: A Woman’s Right to Pornography
This is the generic theory of pro-porn feminism. Women have a right to be sex workers if they choose and the ones who choose it are empowered and happy human beings. We should support them and their right to be individuals. Legally, it’s true that women have a right to choose this path. Women also have a right to become smokers, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Smoking is dangerous and will kill you. But you have a right to smoke. I’m not going to stop you or suggest the government intervene. But I am going to educate my children that smoking is bad for them. How deceptive and irresponsible would it be for the cigarette industry to advertise how good cigarettes are for you? (I think we’ve been down that road.) And yet, here are the pro-porn feminists suggesting that working in porn is a very good option for women! (If you don’t mind the AIDS, herpes, painful sex acts you must do if you want work, the short career window or the overinflated pay myth.)
McElroy defends pornography as legitimate work for women and even calls it personally and economically beneficial! But behind the smoke, mirrors, soft lighting and pretty makeup lies an ugly truth that can’t be airbrushed away. St. James describes a life of humiliation and servitude.
Every Friday morning we had to…wait while he picked up all the dog poo off the carpet — and then ask for our allowance: a thousand dollars counted out in crisp hundred-dollar bills from a safe in one of his bookcases. We all hated this process. Hef would always use the occasion to bring up anything he wasn’t happy about in the relationship. Most of the complaints were about the lack of harmony among the girlfriends — or your lack of sexual participation in the “parties” he held in his bedroom. ~Bunny Tales
You too can become a silicone-stuffed Bunny and get $1,000 a week (which you have to beg for while standing in dog-doo).