One of the things that I’ve always found somewhat amusing is the Christian right’s semi-obsession with pornography. If you grew up in the evangelical church as I did, you know how terrified Christians are when it comes to talking about sex. That is, unless it has to do with the “evils of pornography” and what sex-crazed dogs men are for looking at it and wanting to look at it. Then you can’t get them to shut up. And always somehow, the women who actually are in these movies always seem to get a pass with them (not to mention the ever-increasing number of women who look at porn). It’s just the men who are the sex addicts, not the nympho slut-monkey women who actually do porn.
The latest example. Former Miss America Kirsten Haglund pontificating about pornography:
“It portrays an unrealistic view of women and that, perpetuated, destroys relationships,” Haglund said. “Unrealistic expectations destroy relationships.”
“Practice makes permanent. If you continue to practice doing the same thing the wrong way it’s going to become addiction, it’s going to destroy your life,” she said. “If you can start just one or a few times a week making the right choice … I believe that guys have that self-control, because I’ve seen guys recover from it.”
Yes, sex addiction, like any addiction, can destroy your life. I would imagine getting paid to have sex with literally hundreds of different guys would pretty much destroy any romantic relationship you’re in or thinking about getting involved in.
Oh wait, we’re just talking about men looking at porn, not the women who actually do porn. My mistake. The men looking at the porn are the sex addicts. Not the women taking money to have sex with……whoever……and who would have to have pretty much an insatiable sexual appetite to be in a profession like the porn business for any length of time. They’re not the sex addicts. Just the men who watch them are.
“It’s a very complex issue. It involves the sexuality hyper-sexuality of women and girls at younger and younger ages, but then for guys too it feeds into sex addiction and all of these issues,” she said. “It’s an issue of feminism with the way that women are portrayed and why we continue to hold them up as sexual objects in the media, so there’s a lot of problems represented here in advertising.”
No, it’s really not that complex when you break it down. People who participate in pornography are prostitutes. Legal ones. They’re getting paid to have sex. And the porn industry is legalized prostitution. It’s not complicated. And the only reason it’s legal is because the sex is being recorded and sold as a product which protects it as freedom of expression under the 1st Amendment.
“It’s really a reflection of our own brokenness in this country with why we choose to see women that way and why we demand that of advertisements and fashion,” she added.
No one is putting a gun to the heads of these women who CHOOSE of their own volition to have themselves portrayed in movies or advertising sexually. This is how THEY SEE THEMSELVES. Note the lack of accountability from Miss America toward the women who actually participate in exploiting themselves. It’s society’s fault. It’s the fault of men and their sex addictions. Not the women.
And yes, sex sells. There’s a reason prostitution is called the oldest profession in the world. This is nothing new and is hardly exclusive to our modern culture and age.
“One of the biggest things that I learned … is that the image that you see in the magazine or in the photo shoot after is so different from what you went in there to the photo shoot looking like,” Haglund said, noting that she would ask photographers not to retouch her face.
“They see people in the broader media defined by what they look like, both men and women, and they achieve all of their success, admiration and praise — and love because of their body,” she said. “So [young men and women] say, ‘How can I get that same love, how can I get that same attention?’”
Agreed, it’s tragic. But I find it hypocritical at the same time that a Miss America winner is lecturing about people being affirmed and validated because of their body and how they look. I’m pretty sure you have to be quite attractive to win a Miss America contest (which Kirsten is, click the link below). And not just in the face. Isn’t part of becoming Miss America getting into a bikini in front of the judges and the TV audience? I’m pretty sure it is. And I’m guessing there are probably not a few sex-crazed-porn-addict guys who wouldn’t mind seeing what she looks like underneath that bikini.
But I’m just a guy, so what do I know? So much for not being a stumbling block.