fighting for free hearts

Women, My Porn Use Was Wrong

Whenever i read in the news about another alleged episode of sexual harassment perpetrated by a man against a woman i am always struck by the reality that the world remains a dangerous place for women.

It remains a dangerous place in a way that simply is not dangerous for me as a man.

This is true regardless of whether the allegations are true or not; although, history has taught me that they usually are — true, that is.

My first real experience with the horror of the sexual mistreatment of women came when i was a reporter for a local newspaper.  i was assigned to the courthouse, and one of the biggest cases i covered involved allegations by a woman at a nearby, prestigious university who contended that she had been raped by a male student whom she met at a party on campus.

Sitting in a packed courtroom for days on end listening to testimony was gut wrenching. But even more troubling were the comments i overheard whispered among those attending the trial, or spoken more loudly in the courthouse hallways.

The woman, they said, was “sleazy,” and “morally loose,” and she was trying to “bring down” a perfectly good guy who would never do something as horrible as rape a woman. An endless line of character witness — the male student’s priest, his hockey coach, his New England prep school teachers, and on and on — told the judge that he wasn’t capable of such a crime.

He may not have done it. But then again, he may have.  The truth, however, is that he was capable of such a crime. All of us are. In our brokenness we are capable of hurting each other in profound ways.

The jury acquitted, and he walked out of the courthouse — amid tight security — a free man.

But he wasn’t innocent. None of us men are.

We men have contributed knowingly and unknowingly to a culture of hatred and abuse against women.

We simply must own that.

One of the primary ways we have done this as men is to participate in, and perpetuate, the objectification of women for sexual purposes that is at the core of porn culture.

i am personally horrified when i think of my contribution to this problem. Through years of heavy consumption of pornography, i am guilty. Although i no longer indulge with porn, i have to admit that during those many years, i hurt women.

i hurt my wife most deeply, of course, but she was certainly not the only woman affected. All of the women in my circle, and countless women i will actually never meet, felt the impact of my porn use. They felt it when men talked about their bodies; or stared at them lustfully; or made them feel that their only worth was how they looked; or dismissed and ignored them because they did not meet a certain, impossible standard of sexuality created by porn culture.

They felt it because my involvement with pornography affected how i talked to women and it was one more contribution to the pornification of society. They felt it because i was one more man failing to offer legitimate, healthy strength in relationships. They felt it because i was one more man who was silent when other men started talking or acting in hypersexualized and demeaning ways towards women.

Pornography is the hatred of women writ large on society. This is true even if women are into it, as some women say they are. Willing involvement in porn does not change the fundamental reality that porn culture mistreats women.

The culture itself is built on that, and it sets in motion a ripple effect of increased sexualization that always takes advantage of women as porn becomes more mainstream.

To every woman who will ever read this: i am so, deeply sorry for adding to the hatred you face in a dangerous world.

Whether it is overt or subtle, the misogyny you experience is wrong. You have inherent dignity and worth, and you deserve honor.

i strive to be a man who is different from that abusive porn addict i used to be.

i strive to show you, women, the respect you deserve.

i strive to value the true beauty women possess.

To my brothers, the men who will read this: we must use our strength in ways that bring Life, Honor, Peace, and Goodness to the women of the world. We must fight for freedom and reject porn culture.

The dark reality of porn culture is that it breeds hatred of women.

This is one step toward the Invasion of Light.

 

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