Dealing With a Troubling Reality

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This year I had the privilege to attend the the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), which is held annually at the United Nations, and listen to various speakers addressing multiple issues of women’s rights and the threats women still face today.

Little did I know I would end up in a room with about 60 women debating and talking about the dangers of pornography. Let’s face it, this is an awkward topic and one that I would not normally feel comfortable talking about.  After listening to this presentation, however, I realized that we all have to get out of our comfort zones and start talking about this issue that seems to be swept under the rug.  

Who knew our culture might actually look back with nostalgia at Playboy magazines, and see them as a symbol of simpler times.

Now we must deal with the fact that pornography is everywhere and everyone is watching. It is as easy as typing “porn” into Google in order to access countless videos. The porn industry is not only robbing children of their childhood,  but may be the cause of domestic abuse against women.

Children go online and don’t know what they are getting into. Young boys think maybe they will get to see boobs, but what they end up seeing instead is traumatizing. The reality is that forty percent of pornography videos display violence against women. Some studies suggest boys are getting addicted to porn at as young as seven years old.

One reason for this might be that people often go back to the person or thing that caused them trauma in hopes to come out with a different reaction. For instance, abused people often go back to their attackers. This is the same with porn addictions in young boys. They experienced trauma from what they saw and then they keep going back and back.

The porn industry may also be ruining sexual encounters for young people. No longer is it cool to fumble around in the back of the bus, now young men feel pressure  to perform like porn stars.

Not only is the porn industry affecting children, but also adults. The videos that display violence against women make people believe that it is okay to treat your partner like that. In addition, this not only causes viewers to be abusive, but the women in the videos themselves are being abused.

On the bright side, there are some suggestions and solutions proposed to change this damaging culture. From changes as small as requiring actors in porn videos to use condoms to as large as making videos that display violence against women illegal to produce.

Nothing will ever go back to the good old innocent days of a centerfold in a magazine being the most shocking thing, but with new stricter laws things can get better.

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