Engaging Culture

What About #MeToo And Pornography?

One of the surprising things about the #MeToo movement is how little has been said about pornography. One of the great ironies of a movement created for the safety of women is that one can find very little being discussed about the incredible threat of online porn. I mentioned this in a social media post some time ago and was promptly chastised by an angry feminist who lectured me that pornography isn’t a problem for feminists because it’s voluntary. The problem with that thinking is twofold: first – it often isn’t voluntary, as leaders working to prevent sex trafficking will quickly tell you. And second – even when it is voluntary, the impact porn makes on men’s behavior should be a serious threat to anyone concerned about women’s safety.

For instance, here’s the results of a number of studies:

– Over 40 million Americans are regular visitors to porn sites.
– The porn industry’s annual revenue is more than the NFL, NBA, and MLB combined. It’s also more than the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC.
– 47% of families report that pornography is a problem in their home.
– Pornography use increases marital infidelity by more than 300%.
– 56% of divorces involve one party having an “obsessive interest” in porn.

And what about the next generation?

– 1 in 10 kids under 10 years of age have been exposed to porn.
– It’s a problem for 10% of 7th graders.
– Pornography is just 2 clicks away on some of the most popular sites and apps your child may be visiting.

Pay close attention to those last few points. Kids today are being exposed at a younger and younger age due to their growing use of computers and mobile devices. And social media may be the gateway drug. Twitter is probably the worst, but Pinterest, Instagram, and other social sites have massive amounts of porn, and anyone can search for the most violent and bondage related material simply through a social media search. The Huffington Post reports that 80% of porn scenes contain some type of physical aggression, and many of those scenes are extremely violent and rape oriented.

So what will happen when a generation of young men who have grown up with this pornography start dating? What happens when they assume that the violent sex they’ve been watching online for years is what women actually want?

The question becomes: Why aren’t we pressuring social media companies to filter pornographic sites and searches? Google and the major social media sites have already started deleting pages they don’t agree with politically, so what could be more timely than filtering porn in an effort to assure the safety of women? (Not to mention the mental health of young men.)

If we refuse to act, I believe the greatest #MeToo crisis is yet to come.

Perhaps that’s the next step for #MeToo. If so, I say the sooner the better.

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22 Comments

  1. Phil – This is good stuff and heartbreakingly true. This is not a “left” or “right” issue; it is not a gender issue. It is an epidemic that impacts all of us who long to live in a healthier America. I believe that it is time for the socially conscious and morally concerned women of America to stand up and say, “Enough!”

  2. Phil we need to fight this battle because the next generation does matter! We will lose them if we do not stand against the utter hypocrisy. The irony of it all is the false and misleading premise of protecting women on one hand and being perfectly comfortable with them being sold out to the highest bidder on the other. What utter confusion! Thank you for shedding light on such an important topic!

  3. I completely agree. I do think it’s diacussed but not enough. I feel like a lot of the issues stem from people feeling shamed for their sexuality without a balanced perspective of what healthy sexuality looks like, and the celebration of being made to feel this way. I once heard a guy say that what caused him to resist porn was simply his dad removing any shame associated with him stumbling across it, and asking him how he’d feel if men were looking at his sisters and mother in a lustful way. His dad helped him tap into his own respect for women and make his own choice.

  4. Great topic Phil, and more awareness and conversations on this topic should be had- including the church. Every second $3,075.64 spent on pornography with 28,258 viewers. Every 39 minutes a pornographic movie is made in the US. Online porn is the fuel that’s driving sex trafficking which is estimated to be $150 billion industry.

    We need to act as you said. Especially for the sake of our children and the generations to come. The more we learn about the world of sex trafficking and pornography and the relationship between the two of them, we will have a greater understanding of the necessity to start acting in our own communities and in our churches. The #MeToo movement isn’t going far enough. It’s a mixed message- we entertain ourselves in this country with pornography and yet cry out #MeToo.

    We should get involved with the sex trafficking awareness, prevention, intervention organization and your community. I also believe we need to help men in the church -and women who are addicted to porn – it begins with us first. Thanks for the great article Phil!

  5. Phil-Once again hitting the head right on the nail!! Best book I know on this subject is by Daniel Henderson- Think Before You Look!

  6. I understand one side of the #MeToo movement and what women have to deal with when it comes to unwanted advances, etc. What is not being discussed as well is all the Instagram accounts from women which are basically soft core porn of bikinis and yoga pants. Their only goal is to use their body to get likes and followers. Then they call them ‘influencers’ and then hashtag their posts with #MeToo. Girls, honey attracts flies and bears.

  7. I completely agree. I do think it’s diacussed but not enough. I feel like a lot of the issues stem from people feeling shamed for their sexuality without a balanced perspective of what healthy sexuality looks like, and the celebration of being made to feel this way. I once heard a guy say that what caused him to resist porn was simply his dad removing any shame associated with him stumbling across it, and asking him how he’d feel if men were looking at his sisters and mother in a lustful way. His dad helped him tap into his own respect for women and make his own choice.

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