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How This Simple Rule Could Stop the Demand for Sexual Exploitation

By May 27, 2018 January 10th, 2019 No Comments
Cover photo by Taylor Bryant. 5 minute read.

A lot of times, the discussion about why porn is unhealthy focuses on the science, the numbers, the violence, and the relationship problems that can stem from porn. These are all valid, thoroughly discussed, and worth considering. After all, this organization is an education platform that raises awareness on the proven harms of pornography, but together all that information can sometimes be a little overwhelming—what’s the most important factor to pay attention to?

The answer, of course, is the best science, but it’s also whatever you can relate to the most in a lot of cases—there’s no bad reason to join the fight against porn, and if any particular idea really grabs you, then that’s awesome. But you don’t have to dive deep into a particular issue or have a complex understanding of the underlying to science to join the fight, either.
Instead, you can focus on something much simpler, a principle to live by:

Act in a way toward others that you would want them to act toward you.

If you don’t want someone to steal your sandwich, don’t steal theirs. If you don’t want a stranger to punch you, don’t punch them. If you want someone to include you in something, invite them to hang out with you, too. It’s a rule in society that favors both people involved, and if we all followed it, we would be living in a much more healthy, welcoming place, right?

It Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated

We learn that concept of treating others well when we’re six, and file it away deep in the messy and disorganized file cabinet of our brain as something that’s useful from time to time, but not important enough to intentionally consider every day. It’s a pretty general rule, after all, and easy to apply selectively—you don’t take up two parking spaces, because you remember that time you needed a spot and someone parked right on the line. You have your friends’ backs because they’ve always had yours. You hold the door open for the person right behind you who has their hands full because that’s what you would want.

Related: The Tip Of The Exploitation Iceberg: 5 Real Stories Of Sex Trafficking In The Porn Industry

This principle is easy to apply in practical and personal situations like these, where the benefits are clear, the consequences are obvious, and making the decision to respect and care for others is usually pretty easy.

Wait, How Does This Apply To Porn?

What about when the situation is a little more complicated? It’s a lot tougher to follow this simple, important rule if it isn’t obvious that an action is actually hurting somebody, or if it’s hard to imagine that you might be on the other end of a similar action someday. That’s why it can be really hard to think about pornography as a situation in which treating others like you want to be treated even applies, but it absolutely does.

On the most basic level, dignity and respect are basic human rights. Porn, in its focus on profit over people, its exploitation, and its deception, takes dignity and respect away from performers and consumers alike. It doesn’t take a deep dive into the details to understand that porn reduces people to objects or products, often takes away their ability to live the lives they want, and can lead to and fuel serious exploitation and violence around the world.

In short: the industry itself, the content it produces, and its effects on consumers all break the very simple but important principles of respect and kindness that holds society together.

It’s A Chain Reaction

Even knowing all that, though, it can be hard to see how porn violates the rule we all know to treat people well—consuming porn isn’t really “treating” anybody one way or another, right?

Not exactly.

Think about it this way: the rising use of violence in porn has been well documented, as have porn’s links to human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and mental illness. Without an audience, though, porn doesn’t exist, because there is no money without clicks (and yes, the porn industry profits a ton even if people consume porn without paying for it on free tube sites).

Related: Force, Fraud, And Coercion: Uncovering When Sex Trafficking And Porn Production Overlap

So, clicking porn sites ensure that they make money, and money ensures that the porn industry will continue to exist, which ensures that performers will continue to be abused, mistreated, hurt, and exploited. That’s not how anybody wants to be treated, and even if watching porn isn’t harming people directly, clicking on it enables and fuels the demand for this mistreatment. See?

Imagine that the tables were turned, and that you were in a situation in which huge numbers of people you’d never met (and most likely a lot of people you do know) contributed to your exploitation. Not very pleasant, right? Well, that’s how porn violates the simple rule of respect and kindness toward others.

It doesn’t take a lot to be complicit in the mistreatment of others, just a few clicks.

Love All Around

And let’s not forget about love, either. Porn and love don’t get along, and if porn contributes to exploitation, it also takes away from real love. If we value love and want it in our lives—which, if you’re human, you do—we should treat others in a way that lines up with that desire.

This way, by doing something as simple as treating others like we want to be treated ourselves and not contributing to exploitation, we’ll help ensure that everyone is treated fairly and has the chance to experience real love. And we think that’s something worth fighting for.

FTND_RealLoveWins_v1

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