June 22, 2012

Speaking Up: Contacting Radio Station About Their Promotion of Porn

Sharing Shawn’s story – this is something you can do too! Challenge the pornification of our society wherever you see it happening!

There is a local radio station morning show that interviewed a porn star as a guest this morning. I sent them the following letter:

I thoroughly enjoy your show. I guess I’m part of your target audience—white, male, 43, college, married, more children than brains (ha ha—4). I can’t listen every day, but I listen often.

I was disappointed by your interview with Alexis Ford. Here is why: I see the sex industry now as the modern equivalent of the slave trade. Here are the connections:
• those who enter it are usually the most vulnerable;
• those who profit from it do not see their workers as real;
• those who work in it become less healthy and begin to see themselves as things, not people,
• those who are subject to it often come to defend it;
• and those who use the industry’s “products” don’t really see the workers as real so that the user can enjoy the product and can convince themselves that it is not really wrong.

I believe that those who enter the sex industry are the most vulnerable. They are never the healthy and well-adjusted. While Chris Rock is joking when he notes that a father’s duty is to keep his daughter off the pole, I think that we laugh because we see that women and men who are involved in this started because they were very, very vulnerable.

I believe that those who profit from it do not see their “slaves” as real. Promoters, club owners, publishers, film makers, etc do not really care about their slaves. They keep them on, use them, lie to them, and make their money until they are thrown away.

I believe that those who work in this industry, the slaves, become less healthy in every way because of this work. Many suffer physically, but I believe that all suffer psychologically. I believe that the dissociation that is essential for the work does terrible damage to them. I believe that, over time, as they are treated as objects that they come to believe that all that they are are objects.

I was surprised to learn that many Blacks resisted emancipation. I’m sorry that I don’t have a source for that or a number, so I don’t know how accurate it is, but I believe that I learned that this was the case. I believe that many Blacks grew so accustomed to slavery, believing that it was alright, that they did not want to leave their owners. They even defended it. There were certainly years and years of transition. It could be that some Blacks still don’t see themselves as full citizen, as real as others. I think that the voices of the Abolitionists were loud because they had to cut through the falsehoods of the owners and those who, losing sight of their humanity, accepted slavery. When I hear strippers or porn stars defend what they do, to me it is the voice of slaves who strip or slaves who are raped in movies defending their slavery.

Finally, those who use sex industry products are using slaves. In order to use those products (usually as sex surrogates for fantasies of power, control, and escape), those workers must not be real people. They cannot be seen as someone’s daughter, as the baby that a father and mother once held in their arms. This act of willingly denying the humanity of another is a terrible thing to do. It does damage to one’s psyche, mind, heart, and soul.

I know that your job is to entertain, and you are great at it. What I really enjoy about your show is the banter. You are funny, but you are also genuine. You genuinely seem to respect one another and, in general, your audience. That for me is why it is so ugly to see you tacitly support an industry that destroys everyone who is involved with it by robbing them of the genuine, of the real, deep, and abiding human connection that makes life rich and wonderful. When you promote the sex industry, you make what is awful, what is modern day slavery, seem titillating and normal.

Shawn in Elon

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