CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

All Porn, All the Time

Jun 27, 2007

Pornography is now everywhere in the Western world. We cannot escape its clutches. Whether in advertising, pop music, magazines, the Internet or prime-time television, pornography has gone mainstream.

What used to be regarded as the domain of sleazy men who frequented seedy parts of town to get their lust fix has now become fashionable, acceptable, and expected. The examples are everywhere.

In today’s paper there was a story of a woman who bought what she thought was a brand new mobile phone. To her horror, she discovered it was loaded with 135 files of hard-core pornography, some of it featuring bestiality.

Last week the Advertising Standards Bureau ruled that a Nando chicken ad featuring a near-naked pole dancing stripper going through the motions, then eating with her family, was not a problem, and even had the gall to argue that it was “not incompatible with family values”. Tell me about it: this is everyday life? Strippers doing their thing, then sitting down with the husband and kids over a nice chicken dinner? Spare me.

Of course the ASB is absolutely useless anyway, since it is just made up of the advertising industry. It is a self-regulating body, in other words, which is hardly likely to do any serious policing of itself. One might as well expect the tobacco industry to tell us cigarette smoking is harmful.

A number of authors have noted the pornification of our culture. And they have not all been conservatives, nor even religious. Ben Shapiro is, but his 2005 volume, Porn Generation, is an important indictment on our lust-driven society. Some decidedly non-conservatives who have also discussed this issue include Pamela Paul in her 2005 book, Pornified, and Ariel Levy in Female Chauvinist Pigs, also from 2005.

The really worrying thing is how our very young children are being prematurely sexualised and victimised by this tidal wave of sleaze. When you have mainstream retailers marketing g-strings to seven-year-olds, you know we are in big trouble.

Thus the move by the Prime Minister to stamp out porn- and alcohol-fuelled sexual abuse of children in the Aboriginal community needs to be seen as just part of a larger problem. All kids need protection from porn, as do women, and even men. Men too are victims of this trash, and problems of sexual addictions are growing at alarming rates.

Paul Gray, writing in today’s Herald Sun (June 27, 2007) is also concerned about our obsession with sex. He argues that we have moved from being a culture of sex repression to sex obsession. The sexual libertarians favour all sex, all the time. “The point of today’s Left-Liberal creed is that sex has got to be OK between everybody.”

But in today’s hyper-sexualised culture, it is men who tend to be the big winners. The love-em-and-leave-em philosophy especially applies today to blokes. “These are great days for men. Once, most males had to cajole, seduce and even marry a girl to get her to agree to something naughty. Now, the work’s all done for men by the magical powers of culture, fashion and social expectation. Yes, the high priests of the libertarian religion have done their work well.”

Consider the case of a recent Melbourne shooting victim: “James Douglas, father of William Street shooting victim Kara Douglas, spoke out against the media’s focus on the private life of his daughter. ‘Who cares if she worked as a lap-dancer?’ Mr Douglas said. ‘I’ve been told half the young ladies do it to put themselves through university.’ I sympathise with Mr Douglas. The point is, our world has changed so much that commercial exploitation of the female body’s erotic charms has come to seem unremarkable. Lap-dancing and pole-dancing, once part of a shadowy world of sleaze, are now a normal part of our sunny Australian landscape.”

The mainstreaming of pole-dancing is but one example of how pornophilia has taken over our lives. “Here’s the really good part, for men. Increasingly, this activity is not just in the nightclubs. It’s in the physical fitness routine of ordinary women out in the suburbs. Even teens are getting in on the act. Look at the ads. One Melbourne studio urges women to ‘unleash your inhibitions’ and ‘feel empowered’ through this male fantasy-oriented method of physical exercise. This particular studio offers pole-dancing and lap-dancing lessons and private tuition in ‘the art of striptease’. Another national company advertises dancing classes, as well as ‘install-them-yourselves’ poles, for doing it at home.”

Gray concludes, “Many of us still care about the women and young girls in our lives and even about the ones we see on the street, but don’t know. There’s no doubt in my mind that apart from being the victims of violent men, these women are the victims of misguided libertarian thinking. This is the thinking which has said, since the ’70s, that ‘sexual repressiveness’ is the only evil, when it comes to sexual morality. But there are worse evils than repressiveness. One is believing that the dream of every girl and woman is to be a porn star.”

But that unfortunately is the sad truth: for many girls and young women today, they have been so saturated by a porn-soaked culture, that they feel the only way they can really be a woman is to dress and act like a porn star. Indeed, one porn star even wrote a best-seller entitled, How to Make Love Like a Porn Star.

When books such as that become best-sellers, then popular culture has pretty much hit rock bottom. And we are all paying a high price for such a sewage-ridden culture.

www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,21974198-5000117,00.html

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11 Responses to All Porn, All the Time

  • No doubt the so-called sexual ‘repression’ of a previous era/generation was not the problem claimed by the sexual libertarians. Certainly previous generations had more respect for human sexuality than does the present.

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria

  • And yet there is still some outrage at the lenient sentence for the ‘rapist’ of the ten year old girl in the UK who was prancing around in a g-string.

    Perhaps trying (or wanting) to have it both ways?

    Jeremy Peet

  • Hi Jeremy,

    I think there should be outrage at any lenient sentence given to any rapist of any person anywhere. Rape is always wrong.

    The pity is that it doesn’t wake us as a nation up to the realization that hardcore pornography and acting out sexual fantasies usually originates with soft-porn which is now fueled by our sex obsessed culture.

    It is sad that we don’t actively do something about the root cause of rape, sexual obsession and porn related family breakdowns by eliminating the sexual garbage that invades our T.V., Supermarket Shelves, Petrol stations, Internet and Cinemas.

    Cheers to Bill in the fight for right that you are waging in this nation. (Even if I don’t agree with you on everything)

    Jay Rusty, Melbourne

  • Jeremy – there is never ever an excuse for a man to rape a young girl. *She is ten years old.* He would never have known what type of underwear she was wearing if he’d kept his filthy pedophillic mits to himself. There should be more outrage over this and I believe the judge himself should be investigated as he is a pedophile sympathiser.

    This girl is in no way responsible for what happened to her but she will suffer from this for the rest of her life.

    Melinda Liszewski

  • Hi Jay, I thoroughly agree with all that you say, even the point that you make in saying that you are not in agreement with Bill on all issues.
    I think Bill would agree that it is your right to hold an opinion even if it is contrary to his.
    I have a 19 year old daughter who dresses conservatively but is also very much aware of modern fashions.
    Her mode of dress is not the same as in my younger years nor is it the same as her grand parents standards.
    The way she dresses is not an invitation for rape.
    I really object to people making excuses for their inability to control their actions by pointing to others fashion sense or lifestyle as an instigation.
    Has Australian standards sunk so low that people no longer are capable of controlling their urges?
    Is it possible now that children can be held responsible for instigation of crimes against them?
    As a young man I too had urges and I was attracted to young women, but I conrolled these urges and I realised that perceived actions were a sin.
    Jim Sturla

  • Jeremy has been misrepresented. It doesn’t sound to me like he was blaming the girl. The ‘wanting to have it both ways’ comment meant that society by and large accepts preteen girls wearing g-strings whilst also complaining about lenient sentences. In other words, permissive in attitudes toward dress, whilst conservative in attitudes toward crime.

    And Jim, your daughter may dress conservatively by today’s standards, but still be immodest by the standards of her grand parent’s day. It’s the old ‘frog/lobster being slowly boiled to death in the saucepan’ analogy again. The question we need to ask ourselves is: are dress standards more godly today, or less godly, than they were say 50 years ago?

    Ewan McDonald, Victoria.

  • Is it any wonder we see an increase in the vile and inexcusable crime of rape when we are taught that we are just rearranged pond scum? Some evolutionists have even claimed that rape was also a behaviour that evolved so that men could propagate their genes more widely. One of them was tied in knots trying to justify why rape should be considered “wrong” under his own belief system—see interview.
    Jonathan Sarfati, Brisbane

  • Hi Ewan,
    Thoroughly agree that the dress standards of 50 years ago were more conservative than they are today, but so were the dress standards of 200 years ago. Dress standards chang with fashion.
    At the turn of the 20th Century it was illegal to swim in the daylight hours on a public beach and having seen the neck to knee swimming costumes worn I can assure you that they were far from stimulating.
    Are you saying that the crime of rape has increased due to fashions changing?
    What scripture gives us direction regarding God’s standard of dress? (The apostle Paul tells us that woman should dress in a conservative manner so as not to draw attention tp themselves and to disrespect their husbands.)
    I still dp not advocate provocatove fashions, but I feel that it is more an issue of self control than one of stimulation.
    Jim Sturla

  • Jim, whilst I do agree that self control is definitely a prime consideration in the prevalence of sex crimes, 1 Cor 10:31-32 actually encourages Christ followers to not cause anyone to stumble, by anything we do. I think that particularly as a Christian, it is my responsibility to not “conform myself” to the world’s standards, but to set a godly example in my dress, and not assume that if I wear something provocative, someone is capable of “controlling themselves”.
    Victoria Kalapac

  • Hello Victoria
    The verses that you quoted were directed to Christians and not to non-Christians.
    I do not agree with the dress of many of the young adults these days (not just teenagers) but I do feel that their presentation is not an open invitation for rape based on the excuse that a person was tempted more than they could bear.
    We must realise that fashions change, my families sense of fashion is entirely different to yours so I cannot say that the way I dress is biblical and yours is not even though by modern standards it is conservative.
    Unfortunately the bible does not give a clear indication of the way to dress and the OT even condemns the wearing of cotton and wool together.
    Sex crimes have been prevalent in all times, we only have to look back to to 1945 when the Russians conquered Berlin to see rape and atrocities, also the results of Japanese conquest of China and Taiwan.
    I cannot agree with you that the change of fashions will increase sex crimes, if this were the case the “mini skirts” of the 70’s were outrageous.
    I cannot accept the fact that the way a girl dresses is an excuse for non-control.
    Jim Sturla

  • Jim, thanks for your reply. A few things: I realised that 1 Cor 10:31-32 is directed towards Christians, hence as a Christian, my own convictions of not causing others to stumble even in the attire that I wear; secondly, I do not know whether your family and mine differ in the clothing we wear (I’ve not met you, so I can’t judge this); thirdly, in no uncertain terms do I excuse rape, or will ever excuse rape – regardless of what a person is wearing; and thirdly, I never asserted that change of fashions will increase sex crimes – an increase in such could be attributed to a combination of numerous factors (eg proliferation of pornography, increased sexual messages transmitted via media, a general degradation of morality and conscience, and the list goes on…). Please don’t misrepresent me – I would never be so ignorant as to say that rape happens because people don’t dress appropriately.
    Victoria Kalapac

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