So you’re taking a stand against human trafficking. That’s great.

But just so you know—you can’t really be against human trafficking and think porn is okay.

You’ve signed the petitions and memorized the statistics: a $32 billion per year industry in which 1,000,000 children—one million children—are sold into the international sex trade.
It’s awful. It’s sickening. But just so you know—

You can’t really be against human trafficking and think porn is okay.

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You’re supporting agencies that free women, men and children from the scum that sells them to predatory customers. That’s great.

But you can’t really be against human trafficking and think porn is okay.

You’re a college student who dreams of making a difference—of joining the fight in remote regions of the world where sex-trade is rampant or of building a heart-stoppingly poignant display to parade around the Superbowl’s next location…because you know human trafficking is a domestic problem too. You’re appalled. Enraged. Great. Good on ya! Fly to Thailand and wade into the battle or stay home and raise awareness by any means you can.

But you can’t really be against human trafficking and think pornography is okay.

magazines
Why not? Pornography is benign, right? 67% of young men and 49% of young women think so, so it must be true. It’s an easy natural high. It’s a rite of passage for boys and a reliable punch line for sitcoms. (Who hasn’t laughed at the son being caught porn-handed when his mom finds naughty magazines under his mattress?) Some counselors promote it as a marital aid, while others will tell you that the endorphins it releases can counteract depression.
It’s aspirin for existential aches.  Salt for under-spiced lives.
Of course we call it normal.  It’s a $97 billion industry fueled by normalization—and when it’s not being normalized, it’s being valorized as a basic human need. Remember those Chilean miners trapped under ground for fifty-nine days? They were given four necessities. Food, water, communication with loved ones and porn. That’s how okay—no, vital—it is.
Except for this:
When you support adult porn by viewing it, you’re supporting companies that create child porn too. You are—hear this, please—supporting those who enslave and sell children. Child pornography takes in roughly $3 billion a year. That’s three billion dollars worth of children being taken, handed over, degraded and raped.  It is one of the fastest-growing businesses online. That means more consumers and more demand.  And more incentive for trafficking.
girl
“Wait, I never said child pornography was okay! Just regular porn—you know—the normal stuff. And just when I’m bored or need the endorphin boost.”
Oh, the normal stuff! Why didn’t you say so sooner? Just consensual adults who made a unique career choice.
The number of porn actors who were the victims of molestation and rape as a child is blood-curdling. Those who got involved to feed a drug addiction or buy themselves off the street are legion too. So while you think you’re watching “regular stuff,” adults engaged in a career of their choice, there’s no telling how many of them are performing as a response to the abuse that broke them…or defiling themselves because sometime in their past they needed a roof over their heads …or participating willingly because of contorted conclusions that somehow soothe the jaggedness and emptiness of their spirits…or performing for your enjoyment because the person who bought them is now selling them for that purpose.

So no—you can’t really be against human trafficking and think pornography is okay.

RedLight
“Escalation” is a psychological term we’d do well to remember. Alcoholics don’t begin their descent into hell by chugging a gallon of Vodka. They start with a beer. And move up the alcohol-chain over time—sometimes out of curiosity, sometimes out of addiction, and sometimes because the beer’s minor high just isn’t doing it for them anymore.
Those sick people we condemn for their deviant sexual appetites and behaviors? There’s a good chance it all started with early exposure to pornography—which led to dependence—which led to escalation—which led to the kind of desensitization that allowed them to move from a mediatic consumption of mainstream porn to more illicit, boundary-pushing videos, then on to a flesh-and-blood defiling of other human beings either locally or on sex-tours to foreign places.
Though it would be inaccurate to say that every “mainstream” porn user will eventually move on to child pornography as well, it’s safe to say that every consumer of child pornography started with “mainstream” porn first.  That’s escalation.  Porn starts it, addiction exacerbates it and human trafficking fulfills its most debased desires.
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Here’s what I’m getting at.

  • Those children you’re trying to save by signing online petitions to stop human trafficking?
  • Those women you’re trying to free by planning a career that exposes and abolishes sex slavery?
  • The awareness you’re trying to raise by angrily (rightfully so) taking a stand and supporting organizations that liberate slaves from the claws of their oppressors?

Those efforts are great—they’re worthy and just.

But if you fight for all that and still think porn is okay, there’s a nullifying flaw in your righteous indignation.

Trafficking
Even in its most “benign” form, porn devalues relationship, destroys healthy sex lives, defiles human dignity and employs degradation as a means to a temporary high.
The porn industry is built on the same moral decay that spawned a global trade in captive humans. People as objects designed to meet our depraved needs. It makes the consumer complicit in the trafficking of children, women and men who are sold into unthinkable lives so consumers can get the cheap high they consider their “human right.”

Porn fuels the demand and desensitization that drive human trafficking.

So no, you cannot—cannot—be against human trafficking and think porn is okay.

~~~~~~~

 An extraordinary article for which the author researched prostitution and European/Scandinavian responses to legalizing it can be found HERE. Its premise is Canada’s current referendum about legalization, but the information in the article is crucial to a full understanding of this issue.

Other sources:

http://trafficking.org/learn/statistics.aspx
http://bit.ly/1hTkMX8


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