By Pascal -Emmanuel Goby. Ethics and Public Policy Centre
They say the first step is admitting you have a problem. I think many readers of this article will respond with outrage, and many will see it says things they already knew to be true—and I think these two groups will largely overlap. The most powerful obstacle to confronting a destructive addiction is denial, and collectively we are in denial about pornography.
Since it seems somehow relevant, let me state at the outset that I am French. Every fiber of my Latin, Catholic body recoils at puritanism of any sort, especially the bizarre, Anglo-Puritan kind so prevalent in America. I believe eroticism is one of God’s greatest gifts to humankind, prudishness a bizarre aberration, and not so long ago, hyperbolic warnings about the perils of pornography, whether from my Evangelical Christian or progressive feminist friends, had me rolling my eyes.
Not anymore. I have become deadly serious. A few years ago, a friend—unsurprisingly, a female friend—mentioned that there was strong medical evidence for the proposition that online pornography is a lot more dangerous than most people suspect. Since I was skeptical, I looked into it. I became intrigued and kept following the evolving science, as well as online testimonies, off and on. It didn’t take me long to understand that my friend is right. In fact, the more I delved into the subject, the more alarmed I became.
FRANCE’S MICHEL HOUELLEBECQ leads something of a double career. A novelist of Prix Goncourt–winning distinction, Houellebecq is also his country’s best-selling author abroad and, on many accounts, currently its best. He is also reliably a prophet of current events: his third novel, Platform, featured an Islamist attack on a Thai sex resort and was published just days before 9/11; a later novel, Submission, which imagined France’s election of a Muslim party president, appeared the day of the Charlie Hebdo attacks and seemed a novelistic auger of the gruesome wave of terrorism that roiled France during the next few years. Whatever, Houellebecq’s 1994 debut novel, turned out to be equally prescient, though it took more than two decades for its prophecies to take shape. A commentary on male sexual frustration, Whatever, as the author of a New York Times essay argued in 2018, is a psychological account of involuntary celibacy and the violence that erotic isolation breeds.
Michael Voris of Church Militant does not mince words. He reminds me of those Franciscan friars who went around parishes giving missions. They were the fire and brimstone preachers of fifty years ago.
In video his ‘Confronting Toxic Femininity‘, Voris focuses on the difference between men and women and their response to moral and social issues. Men, he says, have the inclination to assess the truth of the issue; women have the inclination to let their feelings rather than cool objective assessment govern their first reaction. Compassion and sympathy are the best qualities of the female. But, says, Voris, when women let just their feelings determine their reaction to social issues, they degenerate into toxic femininity where truth is abandoned.
I must give a trigger warning about the verbal aggression that will disturb some in the watching. Watch it at your own risk.
Jason Ball gained some national notice when he staged his coming
out in 2012 as the second Australian Rules player to do so. He maintained the
continuity of this national action by throwing himself into the LGBTI cause. Wanting
to do more to correct the attitudes of Australian society, he joined the
Greens, putting himself forward as a candidate for the federal seat of Higgins traditionally
a super-safe seat for the Liberals. In the 2016 federal election, he succeeded
in eating into the margin of Liberal MP Kelly O’Dwyer, showing there had been a
demographic change in the electorate favouring the left. Buoyed by the results,
and full of confidence, Ball pushed on with preparations for the 2019 federal
election. But, alas, Ball’s imprudent behaviour seems to have destroyed any
chance he had.
In July 2016, Ball, unable to control himself, had a bout of
furious sweaty sex with a campaign volunteer in a toilet cubicle of a gay nightclub.
This tawdry behaviour might have gone unnoticed except for the momentum of the
#metoo movement. The Australian’s Chip
Le Grand, supporting Ball with some euphemistic journalism, has favoured us
with an account
of the incident (23 Jan 2019).
Karen Straughn is a popular youtuber who talks about men and their place in modern (feminist) society. An attempt in 2012 to explain why men are retreating from (feminized) society and avoiding marriage has drawn 1.9 million views and 33,000 comments. Her views are not what your average finger-wagging feminist wants to hear, and what should frighten the life out of the average young woman who wants it all, including marrying a reliable man and having children.