The question I want to ask today is this – “Is porn considered socially acceptable?”

It seems that in today’s world, viewing porn is increasingly considered normal behaviour and in some circles even deemed as healthy.

On a recent Current blog Cameron quoted Russell Brand as part of his blog on the “Pornification of a Generation”.

In one of his recent video blogs Russell said, “Our attitudes towards sex have become warped and perverted, and have deviated from its true function as an expression of love and a means for pro-creation”.  Like Cameron I won’t always find myself agreeing with Russell but, on this point, I think he is bang on the money.

A BBC news online article caught my eye this week.  It detailed the sacking of three judges for viewing porn in work.

The men in question were sacked because they “viewed pornographic material via their official IT accounts”. The press release also included the statement “There’s no suggestion at all that the judges have done anything illegal; it is a question of conduct.”

The BBC’s Legal Correspondent commented:

“However, there is no suggestion that any of the sacked judges did anything illegal in accessing pornography via their judicial computers. Had they done the same thing at home there would have been little basis for dismissing them.

This is purely a question of misconduct and the misuse of judicial IT accounts paid for by the taxpayer.”

Let’s analyse this a little further.  We are all witness to a pervasive sexualisation of everyday life.  Porn has never been more easily available.  Many take the view that what “people do in the privacy of their own homes is their business”.  The Judicial Conducts Investigations Office (JCIO) and the BBC correspondent seem to be backing this view, while making it clear that viewing “legal” porn in the workplace is a dismissible offence.

Consider this – what if the judges in question had been watching BBC News videos, checking their Facebook each day, doing their online banking or booking their summer holiday– would they have been sacked?  To a greater or lesser degree, we can all identify with having used our work computers for non-work tasks.

What then, really constitutes “misconduct and the misuse of judicial IT accounts paid for by the taxpayer.”

I believe there is a moral distinction being made here.  The JCIO – in their confirmation that the judges in question did nothing illegal by viewing pornography and their tacit nod to the notion that what people do in their own homes is their business – on the one hand seem to be accepting of the entitlement to view porn but ultimately deem this unacceptable on a work computer.  They are taking a moral viewpoint.  A distinction and a moral judgment is being made between exactly what is acceptable on work computers, not simply their being used for non-work purposes.

Here’s the point – I believe at our core most people know that using porn is not something that leads to us feeling positive or edified.  I agree that viewing porn is not acceptable in the workplace.  However I would argue that whilst it may be legal and socially acceptable at home – it is not something we as a society should encourage or accept as the social norm.

Porn provides an adrenaline rush because of its immediacy but entirely lacks intimacy.

It allows the user to maintain all of the control but none of the connection.

Porn meets a physiological need but misses out on the primary purpose of physical intimacy.

Where ever you are living or working – be a voice that calls all people into their true design and destiny.  Be willing to speak truth with large measures of grace into the lives of those around you.  Tell a different story about sex and sexuality.

We would love to hear your comments below.

 


 

1 http://www.alternet.org/story/154266/why_porn_can_be_good_for_you_(and_society)