Sunday, January 07, 2007

What's Good for the Goose

Word around the Net had a post featuring the comments on Ace of Spades' blog about internet porn and how young women who wouldn't have thought of posting pictures of themselves years ago are filming themselves performing pornagraphic acts and posing naked for all the world to see. Monty, one of the commenters, had this to say:
Ladies, here's a tip: someday, you might want to get married to a guy you really love. This guy may surf the internet tubes, and may run across that embarassing
little video you did a few years ago when you still did "that kind of stuff". (Or your new guy's friends might help him out and just mail him the link or give him the DVD. 'Cause that's what friends do -- crush each other's hopes and dreams, and then laugh about it.) Your beau may not like the fact that his fiancee was famous for giving bjs to two guys at once, or dancing naked and drunk on a balcony while a group of guys groped her. I'm just saying. It's not the kind of thing that promotes the trust and matrimonial bond that makes for a long and happy marriage.

Basically, I agree with this guy. But here's the thing. I know there is porn and lots of it on the net, but I've never seen any, and I'm all over the place. Assuming the discovery was without a little help from his friends, was this hypothetical finance just playing around on the net and through misfortune found porn which just so happened to feature his lovely bride-to-be (most definitely a pitiable event), or was he actively seeking out porn and happened to find that the love of his life had beaten him to immorality? If the latter, then why is it okay for this hypothetical guy who's truly loved to be watching porn in the first place? And if it's okay for him to be viewing other men's daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers being raunchy, why shouldn't his own wife be plastered on the net for all the world to see? Why should we respect a man who views porn but not respect the women he's viewing? Honestly, guys, if you can film, view, or otherwise support the whorification of young women, don't think you are so special as to deserve a woman who would never think of acting that way herself. So, viewing porn? I'll just echo the above commenter: "It's not the kind of thing that promotes the trust and matrimonial bond that makes for a long and happy marriage." In fact, lawyers recently surveyed said that pornography was factoring into about half of their divorce cases these days. (That little tidbit was for free.)

There actually are some men who have no problem with their wives, daugthers, mothers or sisters being porn stars, prostitutes, strippers, or otherwise whorish. They're out of their minds, but at least they're consistent. However, it seems that many men enjoy viewing women behaving whorishly but would be incensed for other men to view their own loved ones behaving whorishly. O man, thy name is Hypocrite, and for once in my bleeding-heart life, I am not feeling your pain.

This isn't to say that it's okay for these young women to behave badly (although I pity them and think they may regret their youthful idiocies one day). It's just to say that if you're a guy and you want a lady for a wife, maybe you should try being a gentleman yourself. Otherwise, take what you get and know you aren't worthy of better. You're just not. Because what's good for the goose is good for the gander.


At 1/07/2007 12:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say PREACH SISTER!!!

Purity should be two-part harmony. Why should one singer get to be discordant?

At 1/07/2007 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree and I'm glad you picked up on this. In my opinion if men were responsible and wise, women wouldn't get in these situations or be tempted to in the first place. Browsing and enjoying porn should be just as shocking and wrong as posing for it; a husband who cruises the net for naked babes should be as disqualified as a woman who poses for it to a good woman.

At 1/08/2007 8:22 AM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Thanks. In my opinion it goes both ways. If a man wouldn't take his own wife, daughter, or mother for the video shoot, he shouldn't be watching other men's wives, daughters,or mothers. If he would feel angry at his own loved one for doing something so stupid and immoral, (and probably be tempted to try to stop its distribution) then he should understand and respect other men whose loved ones were too stupid at 18 or 20 to just say no to filming themselves. And since so many young women are without proper fathers to teach them to respect themselves and to protect them as young people ought to be protected, one would think that a grown man would pity such girls not drool over them.

It comes back to "If I wouldn't want this done to me or to someone I dearly love, then I ought not do it to (or participate in it toward) someone else, and then choosing to be part of the solution and not part of the problem, as they used to say.

At 1/08/2007 11:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few things:

You seem to focus on the men who are hypocritical for viewing pr0n and then go to pieces when he finds out his bride to be was once in the business.

What of the man who does not and finds a woman he believes to be chaste and has a past that she either kept hidden or has told him about and has since changed her life?

What of forgiveness and redemption? Can someone make mistakes in their youth from which they cannot recover? I've seen female bloggers who did comparatively tame modeling that they've tried to have removed by asking the site owner only to be flatly refused.

Can anyone here say they've not done something stupid when they were young that if it were on film you would die from mortal embarassment? (I'm not talking about pr0n here but count me in for dumb things when I was young)

At 1/08/2007 11:03 PM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Who hasn't done stupid stuff? I've done worse than stupid in my life, for sure, and if it weren't for redemption and forgiveness, I can only imagine where'd I'd be.

Yes, my focus was on the hypocrisy. It made me nuts to see so many guys commenting who had no problems with viewing porn yet all the while having derogatory things to say about the girls. One guy was in his late 20s, single, and said that he worried about having a daughter one day in today's world, but in the meantime he was sure going to enjoy it (porn, etc). The complete lack of disconnect that they were part of the problem was astounding, hence my own post.

As far as forgiveness and redemption goes, I am thankful that God extends them to all those who acknowledge that what they've done was wrong and wish to repent (go the other way, make a change). I'm a Christian. I have messed up in my own life plenty and I have friends, many of whom were worse than I, but they are different people now than they were then. I personally wouldn't hold past sins against someone who was obviously different now. That's the beauty of grace of which I've been a recipient.

Unfortunately, the real world doesn't operate that way and people can pay for the rest of their lives for mistakes that they would undo if they could. That's what was so evident in that post and the comments. Some of these girls were behaving in a gross and very immoral manner by the descriptions. I don't think the guys over there would be the type to extend forgiveness, yet they didn't recognize their own need of repentance and forgiveness. There's a lot of people like that.

At 1/09/2007 9:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the issue here is one of volition. That is, some people see pr0n as a voluntary thing. That is, the women were, of their own choice, doing said things. Therein lies the justification for viewing it. "Nobody is forcing them so what's the problem?" type thing.

I don't support the drug war. I believe that it's perilous to liberty and has been largely responsible for the increasing militarism of the police and abrogation of the 4th Amendment. It is also completely ineffective. There's a certain number of people who are going to do it no matter the consequences. All of that is why I believe drugs should be either legalized or decriminalized. That said, I'd go ballistic if I found my child was taking those same drugs that I fell are fine for others but not my kid. Does that make me a hypocrite?

At 1/09/2007 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It makes you inconsistent, which is a portion of hypocrisy. The thing that makes you want your children to avoid drugs are what you should want other children to avoid. If its bad for your kids, the very same bad applies to all kids and all people. It's a matter of lacking consistency: you recognize the problem, but do not consider it applicable to anyone but people you care most about.

The next step is to decide how strongly your opposition should be voiced and what forms it should take in society. As a society we have decided in the past that while alcohol has to be tolerated (its too much a part of our culture and history), other drugs are not to be - and many are far worse than alcohol in any case. As a culture, a society we have decided that many drugs are so damaging to society and people that they are to be prohibited by law. Whether enforcing that law reduces the use or sale of these drugs or not - difficult to say for certain without eliminating the law and seeing by comparison - is irrelevant. Murders, theft, etc all continue despite being illegal.

Some issues in life are difficult to understand or see the damage in tangibly or in a manner that is scientifically demonstrable. Posing naked for a boyfriend and sleeping around is one of those issues. In issues of this sort, we have in the past relied on the wisdom of elders and tradition as a culture to be our guide, since if they are damaging, it's usually far too late to learn the hard way, and the damage to our society can advance very far before as a culture we start to back up and move away from it.

At 1/09/2007 11:26 PM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Honestly, I can't say anything better than what CT has just done.

I would say that I understand that these young girls are making their own (stupid)choices, but what kind of a person enjoys watching people harm themselves? That's what these guys were saying, Duffy. They believed these girls were doing long term damage to themselves, they believed they were somehow beneath them (they certainly wouldn't want to marry them), but they enjoy watching people do what they admitted was going to be harmful to them. When I see someone doing something that harms himself, I would want to help him stop or at least not do anything to encourage his behavior. They are encouraging the behavior all the while they are looking down on them for doing it. And I have a problem with that. I haven't brought up laws either; I've simply said "Who the heck do these guys think they are to criticize these girls and think they are better than them?---cause they're not!" Can you understand my point?

At 1/10/2007 9:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


I see your point and it's indeed well made but I think the gulf is agreeing upon that which is "bad". Yes, collectively, society has guidelines and rules for "bad" things and the is forever changing. That which was scandalous years ago is hardly noticed today (think divorce). I doubt that you'd argue that divorce is not a bad thing. However, staying in a bad marriage isn't good either.

My point is this: Just because I think something is self harmful and I don't want my kids to do it, it is not my right to stop people from harming themselves if they so choose. So long as it is restricted to self and they are of sound mind.

That is, if someone wants to become a boxer or do stupid things on shows like Jackass, go right ahead. I wouldn't want either of these for my kids and would do whatever I could to stop them.

Would you be OK if your kid decided to be homeless (by choice), a pugilist etc? Essentially, you're saying that unless you, yourself would do something then you must oppose it for everyone. I don't think that's logical. There are a great many things I have no interest in and don't approve of but it is not for me to prohibit others from doing them. I may see them as harmful but others may not.

There is a line there somewhere I'm just not sure where it is.


I've had male friends in the past that were great guys to hang out with but I sure as hell wouldn't let them date my sister. What does that say?

At 1/10/2007 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And there's the rub: using society and what is culturally relevant today as your guide as what one ought to do always leads to confusion and a never-ending push toward greater license and less restriction. The natural tendency of a society without some objective (outside, separate) guide for behavior and action is always toward greater and greater corruption and fewer moral rules.

The irony is that such a society almost always reacts by having more and more laws, in an effort to by legislation prevent the natural results of behavior from society's decay. C.S. Lewis once pointed out that the more laws a society has the more lawless it has likely become.

Basically it comes down to this: without a stable, objective standard for behavior and ethical determination, the movement is always to less, not more morality. Ultimately such a society either falls apart or is taken over by a strict and inflexible strongman who dictates how people ought to behave.

At 1/10/2007 7:58 PM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Duffy--this may not apply to your situation, but reading your comment to me, I couldn't help thinking about people who are friends with people whom they know to be in some way dishonest or unkind or what have you. But when that person finally does something nasty to them they are astounded, "I never thought he would do that to me."

You still haven't addressed my point that a man who behaves impurely has no business looking down on women that do.

And the whole pornography issue is huge, of course. I haven't begun to hammer at all the various points. CT has obviously argued some of them quite well already. We could also talk about recent studies that show that porn viewing is an addiction with brain responses resembling those of addicts. We could talk about the larger impact to women (in terms of respect) and to the health of families in general and how it has seemed to drive some of the violence against women. But for now I just really want to emphasize the double standard that was so evident.

At 1/11/2007 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read Swap by Sam Moffie.

At 1/11/2007 9:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

CT: I agree with you. As George Will noted, "social change is autonomous". That is, people are going to do what they want irrespective of the consequences from society or the law (generally). Homosexuality has been around for ages and now the genie is out of the bottle, so to speak. There is not return to status quo ante. That said, we have to deal with what we have. It is not realistic to say gay people cannot get married, should remain forever chaste and just go back in the closet quietly. It's simply not realistic irrespective of the moral aspects. Likewise, pornography isn't going anywhere. It's something we have to deal with and making it illegal would be patently absurd at this point. In my view, the only thing we can do is shine a light on that which is wrong or bad and live your life as an example to your kids (and others) without high horse moralizing.

"You still haven't addressed my point that a man who behaves impurely has no business looking down on women that do."

I think the difficulty here is that pornography is a very slippery slope. These days Playboy is positively tame and most men would hardly flinch if they found out their prospective mate had once posed for the magazine. A great many would probably brag about it. Remember that Dr. Phil the arbiter of morality and family and such has a Playboy Playmate for a daughter in law. People are hypocrites all the time for all kinds of reasons. We tell our kids not to lie but we lie to them routinely. Telling them the unvarnished truth would often be very damaging.

"We could also talk about recent studies that show that porn viewing is an addiction with brain responses resembling those of addicts."

More than that the danger is that young people without a firmly founded idea of what normal sexuality and sexual relations are (or are supposed to be) get a very warped sense of things based on what they see online. In my view, the web has also brought really extreme, deviant behavior more towards acceptance. By giving people total anonymity there is no stigma to looking for, say, Santa having sex with reindeer. Any person who had to look for that information by any means other than the internet would likely just stay home and not seek that out.

"We could talk about the larger impact to women (in terms of respect) and to the health of families in general and how it has seemed to drive some of the violence against women. But for now I just really want to emphasize the double standard that was so evident."

I'm wary of the connection between pornography and violence however. AFAIK, studies have been inconclusive. I've seen studies that suggest prostitution lowers the incidence of rape. I don't know if that's true either but it's possible. Even if if is, is that something we want to legalize? (We already do to an extent and the areas that do allow it have not yet crowned Mammon as their living God.)

At 1/11/2007 5:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd argue that we have a responsibility and a duty to move away from immorality that society inevitably moves toward without an objective anchor. To fail to do so is by its very definition immoral and wrong. The fact that this is difficult is irrelevant, it is our duty and our responsibility as citizens, parents, and human beings.

At 1/12/2007 7:52 AM, Blogger Anna Venger said...


So you do agree with me. These guys ought not be criticizing and feeling superior to women involved in the same immorality as they--they should marry them and brag about them! I knew I was right!

Of course, that is just as often not the reality. While there may be those who are proud of their wives for baring all, many men seem to feel perfectly justified being scum buckets all the while they look down on women of similar moral character. That double standard hasn't died out. I have a problem with that. While my personal preference would be to raise the bar for both sexes, at least we should be consistent and not condemn women for immorality that we aren't condemning men for.

The internet has coarsened us and made perversion more mainstream by it's sheer accessibility. As we are flooded with imagery through television and computer screens that people used to have to drive elsewhere for, we've defined immorality and deviancy down, which is what I think you were saying also. I don't think we are the better for it.

At 1/14/2007 11:58 AM, Anonymous Julie said...

I agree with Pamela! Preach it Sister!

Here via the Carnival. Your comments are almost as interesting as the post. :)

At 1/14/2007 2:37 PM, Blogger CyberCelt said...

I would not worry so much about the men or the women as they are of age whenever they are being or viewing porn. It does bother me that the old double standard still applies.

When I see those commercials for "Girls Gone Wild XIV," my thoughts are: "What will they tell their kids?"

At 1/14/2007 9:32 PM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

The Girls Gone Wild producer is in trouble because some of the girls are under age and the FBI is checking out the porn producers in LA to make sure they are verifying that the girls aren't minors because there've been instances in the past where they were.

Also when I was younger I thought 18 was old, but now that I'm older, I think the old minor until 21 wasn't such a bad idea!

If girls aren't considered mature enough to decide to drink, legally, before 18, I wonder how they could be mature enough to make a decision like participating in pornography at 18.


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