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The only way to ‘win’ against porn is to fix our culture, not to impose bans

Micah Curtis
Micah Curtis

is a game and tech journalist from the US. Aside from writing for RT, he hosts the podcast Micah and The Hatman, and is an independent comic book writer. Follow Micah at @MindofMicahC

is a game and tech journalist from the US. Aside from writing for RT, he hosts the podcast Micah and The Hatman, and is an independent comic book writer. Follow Micah at @MindofMicahC

The only way to ‘win’ against porn is to fix our culture, not to impose bans
With the recent controversy surrounding Pornhub, talks are intensifying in the US about tougher legislation on porn – up to full-on bans. But even with the horrors Pornhub is enabling, stronger regulation is not the answer.

It’s not unreasonable to be mortified by the goings-on with Pornhub lately. Their actions in the wake of recent controversy could best be described as limp. Maybe even impotent. A complete failure to perform. All double entendres aside, the recent petition by Exodus Cry founder Laila Mickelwait isn’t the only call against Pornhub, after it faced accusations of lack of action against human trafficking and against acts of sexual assault being aired on the site. There have been recent calls for increased legislation and outright bans. US Representatives have called on US Attorney General William Barr to levy obscenity laws against porn as well. 

Despite the truly horrifying things that have been revealed to have been going on at Pornhub and across the entire world, I don’t think that it’s a wise idea to suddenly bury pornography (and that’s coming from an Evangelical). When Senator Ben Sasse wrote a letter to AG Barr to investigate Pornhub, he was right to do so. The inalienable rights to life and liberty should be protected, full stop. However, the desire for increased legislation against pornography as a whole is misguided. I’d prefer not to regurgitate the libertarian arguments I enjoy so much and skip to the truth: the government makes a terrible parent and we already have laws against the more horrifying things out there.

When it comes to the home, saying that people have the power to control what their kids are able to see is an understatement. There are myriad software options for both monitoring and outright blocking pornographic material from the home and the smartphone. If you need to, you can even access your router’s IP address and manually block keywords and specific websites. To delegate those decisions to the government is just lazy parenting. There’s no excuse on the home front. It’s a scary prospect of your six- or seven-year-old kid getting into porn – but a blanket ban isn’t the right answer. It never is, mostly because it ignores an underlying issue. Our culture’s treatment of relationships is horrid, even borderline abusive, at points.

Also on rt.com One American woman is trying to bring down Pornhub (but her fight isn't against porn)

Symptom of an Abusive Society

The key thing to keep in mind is a deeper sickness. A situation where a website as big as Pornhub has enabled sexual abuse is emblematic of a larger problem. It’s a culture which reduces the value of the human being to that of an item that has both allowed porn to go mainstream and made it a go-to escape mechanism for those hurt by that same culture.

When I talked about the appeal of the virtual camgirl Projekt Melody, I argued that toxic feminism is what created “her” appeal in the first place. When it comes to the rise of porn addiction in the West, we don’t consider the resentment that young men have to societal attitudes toward them. We don’t consider where that might originate.

People who try to use porn to fill a void in their life do so because of being badly jilted on an interpersonal level, if not abused. These days, we live in a culture that willfully subjects us to being rated on our base traits. We don’t see one another as human any more. We just see ourselves as a grouping of adjectives.

“If you have a dad bod, swipe left.”“If you’re a Trump voter, swipe left.” We look at people like items on a menu. You can complain about objectification all you want, but that's what our culture has become. Cancel culture is a part of it as well. It’s really easy to want to destroy someone’s life if you can just turn them into an adjective instead of a person. It was the future we chose, and now the effects of that future have become the present. If we live in a culture where all we see are objects instead of people, what else do we expect? Of course porn is huge. It’s just one part of a larger issue of a culture that doesn’t value human beings any more. 

Porn, and the adult industry as a whole, takes sexuality and turns it into a market commodity. We have a society that also prioritizes worth based upon sexual attraction and performance. I think it’s flat out irresponsible to blame the sex industry for all of the goings on. Should Pornhub be held accountable for any crimes committed if AG Barr does investigate them? Absolutely. We already have laws on the books to punish people who deal in human trafficking. Arrests were already made in the Girls do Porn case. Focus on that element, because, according to a Motherboard investigation, they've barely done anything to prevent future problems!

A fixation on banning porn doesn’t solve squat. It never will. It doesn’t fix the underlying issues with the culture, or with the traumas that individuals are suffering. We need to start realizing that on an interpersonal level we have created this problem, and that porn prohibitions – be it one website or the entire industry – will change nothing. If anything, it’ll create an even worse black market, there will be an inevitable Al Capone of Porn, and we still won’t learn how to value one another because we’re pretending that problem isn’t real. Second verse same as the first.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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