The truth about pornography

I have been trying to write something like this for months.
I will not hesitate to at first mention that I am one of the most anti-pornography people out there. So for people who have regular cravings for the addiction, you might like to deter yourself immediately from reading this post.
US Presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently mentioned that if he gets elected, the pornography industry will definitely be in deep trouble as a part of his women’s rights campaign. Even before that, the Salafists of Egypt, a pro-Islamic political movement, publicly held the global adult film industry culpable for the increased cases of sexual harassment and rapes of the female population. They demanded the immediate removal of such erotic sites from their land in order to stop corrupting and polluting the youth.

Both these events had incurred mass public protests in the respective countries. Terming the condemnation as a violent repression of ‘democracy’, people, both males and females, thronged on the streets and on twitter bearing placards calling for riots against the associated people. They claimed that the government had no right whatsoever to tell them whether to watch pornographies or not. It ought to be a personal issue, something that the person attacked by lust must deal with all by himself.

In Bangladesh, however, a few years back the Parliament under the Awami League government did pass a law against the making and distribution of pornographies. But just like everything else in Bangladesh, no one really cares about rules. Blue films are sold at low prices on open alleys, over-bridges and of course, inside the DVD shops in the presence of well-groomed people, and sometimes even in front of the police.

But the real source of pornography, as we all know—-except the representatives in the Parliament— is the Internet. As long as the Internet sites distributing blue films are not blocked centrally, the youth will continue to be polluted by lustful desires ever since their earliest age. That single feeling may be attributed to the increase in ‘eve teasing’ in Bangladesh, where women regularly face sexual harassment on the streets of small towns and villages. The desire gets rooted inside the bodies of the viewers, and before long it becomes too late to preempt those corrupt feelings from being manifested towards the opposite or the same sex. As a result the society suffers from increased rates of rapes, adultery, post-marital sexuality and of course, prostitution.    

However, the real and permanent harm is actually done to the subjects inside the blue film. The adult film industry is one of the most thriving industries in the world. With a net turnout of around $20 billion per year it is one of the easiest and the most prolific Internet businesses around the globe. In the developed world, the actors of these films do everything deliberately and their families and friends know and approve of what they are and how they earn a living. However in the developing world with the high conservativeness, the case is far from sour. Many films show brutal rapes of women and children. Some even capture sexuality through hidden cameras in cheap hotel-rooms where prostitution and illegal sex is carried out with the approval of the authorities. Makers of such films are also known to use sexually-stimulating drugs on females in order to capture a complete intercourse with them while the females are under a daze and mostly unaware of what is happening. In Muslim-majority countries like Bangladesh, prostitutes are never allowed to blend in with the society. And so with the guarantee of a small amount of extra money they can be easily coerced to commit intercourse in front of a camera .

The global centerfold of the blue film industry is in California, United States (is that a surprise? Really?). Like me, you also might like to correlate this with the fact that the US also happens to have the highest incidences of rapes in the world. Although it is assumed that the actors of such films in the West are aware of what they are doing, a minimum of $5 billion worth of pornography is still illegitimate. Not only do these films put the actors at increased risks of sexually-transmitted diseases but violate the norms of the society severely. While politicians all over the world shout about women’s rights and invade countries (read Afghanistan) in order to improve the conditions of the female population, they are not very much inclined to stop pornographies from getting distributed. On the same road, while activists riot against women and child abuse, they can hardly see the harm the pornography industry is doing to the society and think that banning such items will actually be a repression of freedom of expression.

At the end of the day, even I, a hard-lined right wing libero-fundamentalist, think it should be up to the people to decide for themselves. Every single download of a pornography film encourages further development of the industry. Somewhere in Africa, or even in your home country, someone, perhaps a trafficked child or a destitute woman, has to pay for that film with her body. If it was the rape of a south Indian, then know that you have breached the very basic essence that constitutes a human being. Your action might seem invaluable to you right now but every single action counts. And no matter how hard-hearted or tough you are, there is a human being inside you that feels for his or her family, friends and for every creature suffering out there in the cruel world. Know that your action and inaction has the capacity to change things. It will definitely not put food to that African six year old who could have earned food for a day by participating in such a film, but it will help her to preserve her body. After all, is there something more sanctimonious and powerful than a person’s body?

Child abuse=Pornography viewing & making

It hurts me when my juniors nowadays ask me how many pornographies I see every week. It fills me with an anguish too terrible to bear to see how their young minds, which were supposed to be filled with facts and fancy, are now being made to absorb corrupt feelings and sexual fantasies too harmful for the society at large. I was awestruck to hear one of my tutored students telling me how one of his friends’ younger brother, who studies in class three only, is already watching blue films on a regular basis along with his elder brother.

It also saddens me when I find out that brothels are sprawling in the country. Like many others, I will firmly attribute them to the easy availability of pornography everywhere on cell-phones, handy cams, computers and laptops.I was shocked when one of my friends told me that, during his physics class the girl sitting in front of him was watching pornography on her friend’s cell-phone. I was even more startled to realize that the girl in this case happened to be my cousin!

You might call me a ‘bachcha’(the Bengali word for baby) just like many of my friends do, but I will proudly proclaim that I have never seen porn in my life and never intend to do so.

And I do think that my not seeing really matters to the world out there at large.

Just do it before it gets too late!



6 comments on “The truth about pornography

  1. Agreed. There is nothing redeeming about the porn industry and its growth is a terrible indictment of how awful global society has become. That said, isn’t prostitution legal in Bangladesh? My understanding is that it is. So there is work to be done, not just with the porn industry but also with the thinking of Governments too…

    • The issue of prostitution is a much debated one. How will you feed and clothe the prostitutes if you ban their profession altogether? And more importantly even if their profession was banned, will they ever be able to mix in with the society? Particularly in highly conservative Muslim majority countries like Bangladesh? It is not at all possible to ban the profession. For instance, I read about a prostitute recently named Henna, barely 18 years old. She works in a brothel in a Hindu-dominated region in Tangail, and she was never allowed to integrate into or mix in with the wider Muslim-majority neighborhoods outside her brothel (although saying that Muslim men did not take use her service will be sheer hypocrisy).

      I remember an incident that happened almost 3 years back. I was walking through the densely overcrowded footpath of industrial Mohakhali and all of a sudden a police van was standing beside an extremely small, shabby-looking, cheap hotel. The policemen went inside and ushered out groups of females in burkhas and saris and kameezes. It was clear from the women’s face & their rapid breathing that they had been just pulled out of orgasms and sex. After the females were run off by the police, the males were lunged out —-most of them civil and old—-who were then also run off. None of them were arrested though. After all aren’t the jails in Bangladesh already cramped with people?

      Anyways, glad to know you agree with me 🙂

      • Your points are good ones and indicate the circularity of the issues. I think that as long as you have prostitutes you will have porn – one drives the other. It is very difficult to know how to deal with either – especially as you can’t pull someone out of it without them being despised by society around them. Very difficult.

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  2. I do not know about your age , but i wanted to congratulate you for a very mature write-up. Indeed these are difficult times when the world has become so open and free. Imagine a jar slowly getting filled with water … after some time you do not have a choice but to figure out a plan on how to prevent the water from flowing all around .. of-course you can not stop the jar from filling up. Same is the crisis we are talking about. Let us face the fact .. no Government except a few can completely ban Pornography. See there is a very very thin line between erotic and porn. To understand , respect and segregate the later from the former one needs education and maturity. Child porn , torturing /raping young kids is brutal and pathetic and should never be supported by never buying or downloading such stuff. Who so ever does that was either a victim of the same or is a brutal sadistic psychopath. Trust me , it is the person who has to take a decision at the end of the day as to what he likes or disikes , what he should or should not do. No Government , Law can enforce such restrictions … We all have to grow up , become mature human beings and respect human lives.

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