The World of Fallacy: Deconstructing Illogical Pro-Pornography Arguments

Have you ever thought you knew everything about a subject, only to find yourself learning or understanding something about it in a new way, completely changing what you thought you knew?  That’s how I feel about porn, always. It is a multi-faceted, many-sided beast, with a divisive power as strong as the voices of its many detractors and supporters.  There are so many voices in the discussion about pornography, and the strength and volume of those voices have dragged me around and down the rabbit hole more than once, and I suspect my experience is far from unique. So why is it so hard to understand the implications of pornography? Why is it so difficult to label it as good or bad? The truth is it isn’t. It’s just that the arguments that defend pornography are exactly what everyone wants to hear because they allow us to indulge at will, but as we all know, just because we want to do things, doesn’t mean we should.

 

“If pornography is bad, then sex is bad. Therefore, everyone who is against pornography is against sex.”

Ah, the old fallacy of false equivalence; it’ll get you every time. Someone needs to tell me how pornography and sex are the same thing, I guess, because, in my mind, they’re completely separate. Maybe it’s the people for whom sex and pornography are so inextricably entwined that they feel this is a valid argument who should reevaluate. I, for one, as someone who knows many, many people who choose to live without pornography can assure the world that the reticence has nothing to do with sex, and we have the family portraits to prove it.

 

“People who participate in pornography are there willingly, they deserve their rights.”

I don’t understand why people assume that because someone is having sex on camera, they’re doing it of their own fruition. Has nobody ever heard of sex trafficking or rape culture? And since when do we, as a society, put any stock into decisions made by 18-year-olds anyway? The majority of the market is for young actresses, so we can assume that a lot of the girls that are getting into it on purpose are doing it fresh out of their high school days, which we know are rife with poor decisions that we try to dismiss as youthful ignorance later on. As for the rights argument? The only time I ever hear a group of men arguing for the rights of women, it seems to be centered on their right to get naked for them.

 

“Masturbation is healthy. In fact, not masturbating is unhealthy.”

I honestly don’t care to get into this particular debate, but I will say that if you need porn to masturbate, there might be some issues already in play.

 

“It doesn’t matter what is portrayed in pornography, it’s not real.”

Are these the same people who want to rid the world of violent video games because they’re affecting the children? Because if so, I’d like to know what the difference is in their minds. I can tell you what the difference is for me: video games really aren’t real. Pornography, however, is made with real people. They’re not faking any of the acts you see, and the effects on culture are certainly real.

 

“It’s empowering.”

For who? The actress who is statistically being abused, violated, or subjugated in some way? That’s hard to see. Maybe this argument refers to the actor doing the abusing, violating, or demeaning? That would make more sense, although I don’t see how it’s a pro-pornography stance. Perhaps it means the viewers, who get to watch women being objectified and abused while acting like they enjoy it, who is slowly learning to associate their pleasure when a woman’s’ pain and embarrassment?

 

At the end of the day, it’s all the same. It’s just a bunch of reasons to hold onto something that we don’t want to let go. And really, if you need a reason to do something, some excuse to justify your behavior to yourself and others, doesn’t that in fact prove, or at least suggest, that it’s unjustifiable?

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