Those of us in the anti-porn, pro-sex, however you want to name it, often use terms like “fight” or “battle” when talking about pornography, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation. For some, that’s a little confusing.
I recently had a reader share one of my posts on Facebook. It’s likely she didn’t know I could see she shared it, and shared it with her own post about how it was ridiculous to say we are “battling” pornography. She suggested that anyone who calls it a battle has dysphoria, a dissatisfaction with life.
In other words, “Why fight it?”
It’s not the first time this has happened. When I first started this blog, there was a reader who ran a “Christian erotica” website. He would often comment and e-mail me telling me to just ‘give in’ to my urges and detailing what he would like to do to me. When I told him no, he told me I was neurotic. I wrote a post in response to him.
The underlying problem with both of their perspectives is that they view pornography as equal to sex and therefore a part of life.
If I had a problem with sex, which is a natural part of who I am as a human being, or if I had a problem with sexual desires, then yes, I would probably be neurotic. What’s important to realize here is I don’t have a problem with, nor am I fighting, sex. I have a problem with porn, and have taken my place fighting for women who are struggling with it. That’s my job.
Why call it a fight?
We’re not over dramatizing this with special effects and pyrotechnics. “Battle” and “fight” are words that depict an action in opposition to something. You fight a cold, battle fatigue, battle weight gain, fight with your sister…
If you are opposed to something, or against it, when you take action it is considered ‘fighting.’ It’s more than just opposing. I can disagree with something/oppose it and not fight it. We’ve all used the phrase “agree to disagree.”
If I disagree with something or dislike something and set out to change it, that’s fighting.
There isn’t really a better word for it.
For me, I fight for something. I have a problem, as we all should, with women being objectified, dehumanized, and reduced to nothing more than a plaything. I know pornography does that, therefore I fight pornography- not sex.
[Tweet “The fight against pornography is not a fight against sex.”]
As I write this right now, I am at the National Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation Summit (and next year, I am petitioning for a shorter title). There are hundreds of people gathered here to expose the harms of pornography and to equip leaders, parents, and concerned citizens to be able to engage in dialogue and further the cause.
We’re not anti-sex. This is not an anti-sex convention. We defend and fight for human dignity and believe that the porn industry promotes exactly the opposite. We defend children, because if it’s illegal to drop your pants in a park in front of a five-year-old, it should be just as illegal to target them with adult media. We defend women, because we don’t want there to ever be a time when women as all a whole are expected to be on-demand floozies.
Are there other things that can tear down human dignity? Yes. Are there other things that can influence the onslaught of human trafficking and exploitation? Yes. Can we speak to every concern and fight every battle? Of course not. For those of us here, this is the field we have chosen, the hill on which we’ll die so to speak.
Why I fight
I wrote this on Facebook the other day and felt that it adequately sums up why I ‘fight’ pornography. I have no problem with sex. I have every problem with what I experienced in pornography.
This is why I fight.
“Thirteen years ago, I hit rock bottom. I was seventeen and trying to figure out how to get into the porn industry because I felt like that was all I was worth. My good grades didn’t matter. All of my ‘potential’ didn’t matter. What mattered was my ‘value,’ and the way I saw it I didn’t have any.
I believed I was worthless, a freak, and would never be worth anything more than a body on a screen. Pornography had taught me how to be a ‘real’ woman. A nameless, dreamless, faceless body- a machine. It had broken me.
I set out on a path to find acceptance and a sense of belonging. I tried to figure out how to ‘apply’ to adult websites. I had no idea how you got into the industry. Turns out it’s not like applying to the local grocery store. I am so thankful that I could never figure out the process. That lack of knowledge likely saved my life.
In the years since, I have walked the streets with porn producers- one who was in business while I was looking to break into it. I could have worked for him. I’ve shared the stage with hookers my age. This weekend, I’ll leave for Houston, where I’ll share the stage with a former adult actress. I could have worked with these girls. The beauty of this is not lost on me.
Beauty?! You may ask. I know some may find it offensive to think such things are beautiful. But, isn’t it grace?
Thirteen years ago, I went looking for producers and a break and couldn’t find it. Now, I stand alongside producers and girls who got their break and speak out against the exploiting machine that is pornography.
We speak out against it, not because we’re super religious people who have a problem with sex. I have no problem with sex. We speak out against it, because we’ve been consumed and crushed by it, we know there are others, and want to do everything we can to prevent more.
I could be sick with STD’s, up on drugs, and fighting for my life right now. Since I’m not, I’ll fight for someone else’s.”
This, more than anything, is why I fight. It’s why I fight pornography. Why I fight shame. Why I fight silence in the church. Why I fight for women. Why I fight for grace. Why I fight for freedom. I fight because I wish someone had been there to fight for me.