By Tammy

I haven't always hated pornography. There was a time when I blamed women for their limited choices instead of blaming patriarchy.

Porn was just there and I never really thought much about it. When I came across it, it made me nervous, especially in the presence of others. But I thought that was my problem. Other people obviously didn't have a problem, hell, they left it on their coffee tables. Was something wrong with me?

Actually, something was very wrong with me. I'd never thought about how women are treated in society and because of pornography. I'd never thought about the abuse inflicted on the women in the pictures. I'd never thought about the correlation between pornography and rape, incest, and child sexual abuse. I'd never thought about how men treated me, individually and collectively. Actually, I'd never thought about much of anything at all.

Then I went to the library and came home with a few books. Thankfully, others had begun to think long ago, and they taught me to question how I know what I know. (I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, "Question Everything You Think", good advice.) How did I know that porn was "harmless entertainment", that it was "free speech"? What proof did I have that women choose to pretend to be spittoons because it was "liberating" for them and they enjoyed it, not because they needed money to feed themselves and their kids? And most important of all, how did I know I was "supposed" to enjoy the acts depicted in pornography?

Patriarchy, which uses pornography as very effective propaganda material, taught me those things. I wish I had learned earlier that there was a different way, a happier, more productive and effective way, to live my life. But at least I did learn.

Has anyone ever asked you to perform an act they saw depicted in pornography? How did that make you feel about your sexuality? Women have the right to say yes as well as no, but pornography tells us there is something wrong with us when we object to being treated like objects. Being positioned and used for the sole gratification of another. My sexuality is about me, not men, women, pornography or society. Pornography teaches that my sexuality is about everyone and everything other than me. It steals my sexuality and sells back to me a warped caricature of what it once was.

I worry. When women are scared, fighting, angry or at least debating, I don't worry. Today, women are buying and selling out (literally and figuratively) to patriarchy and pornography. It's hard not to think women have lost and then get depressed. But I know that truth and change are a hard sell and that keeps me angry. Besides, I don't have time to be depressed; there's too much pornography to BURN.


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