Odds & Ends -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood
Volume: JBMW 15:2 (Fall 2010)
Article: Odds & Ends
Author: Anonymous

Odds & Ends

Feminism and Porn

I recently read an extremely disturbing review article in the UK’s Guardian newspaper titled, “The Truth About the Porn Industry” (Julie Bindel, “The Truth About the Porn Industry,” The Guardian [July 2, 2010]). It’s about a sociology professor and feminist named Gail Dines who is crusading against pornography in her new book Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality. [I have to warn readers that this article is disturbing precisely because it describes in no uncertain terms the degradation that has become common fare in today’s smut industry. Please beware.]

The reviewer writes,

The book documents the recent history of porn, including the technological shifts that have made it accessible on mobile phones, videogames and laptops. According to Dines’s research the prevalence of porn means that men are becoming desensitised to it, and are therefore seeking out ever harsher, more violent and degrading images.

On every other issue, Gail Dines and I would probably be on opposite sides, but not on this one. She argues that pornography is not an expression of sexual liberation but an instrument of degradation. Pornography corrupts everyone it touches. She writes:

We are now bringing up a generation of boys on cruel, violent porn, and given what we know about how images affect people, this is going to have a profound influence on their sexuality, behaviour and attitudes towards women.

She’s right about that. But there is one area in which I would respectfully disagree with Ms. Dines. She says that pornography is “the perfect propaganda piece for patriarchy.” In other words, she links the degradation of women in pornography to patriarchy. I believe Ms. Dines and other feminists err by making patriarchy (=rule of the father or male leadership) a synonym for abuse. In truth, I would argue that it is the failure of men to lead that makes women vulnerable to this kind of abuse.

Biblical patriarchy is not abusive but strives toward the protection of women and children. The biblical word for it is not patriarchy, but headship. The paradigm for this is Christ himself. The apostle Paul writes,

For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body…. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her…. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body (You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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