Porn is said to have misguided people, destroyed lives, been a bad influence for many, given a fake sense of pleasure and hope, led to exploitation, violence, rapes, murders, scandals, been addictive for many, led to the formation of organizations of extortion and unwanted profit seeking, and indulged in many more 'crimes' against humanity. Do you know what else has done all these to the world, in much larger scales and much more horrors? Religion. Yet I don't see anybody taking away religion from others unless it is to promote their own.
This note is written in the context of what is being referred to as the 'porn ban' in India.
Last night, before I logged off my computer, I checked whether some porn websites, which I heard were on the government list, are still available with my internet service provider. I found out that all of them were not there, just a message displaying 'this website is not available on this server'. I was curious and a bit nostalgic I guess, the kind of nostalgia you feel when something you used to like and follow is no longer there, the kind of feeling close to how people checked 'Orkut' for one last time before it was taken away, just for old times' sake. I'm not a big fan of porn. Of course, I used to watch porn and do whatever was needed to be done at a younger age. But I believe that I have 'grown out' of that age. It's been quite a while since I watched any at all.
For a young boy who was brought up in a conservative society like India, porn taught me a great deal of things. It gave me knowledge on many basic things even, things which I couldn't have understood or didn't understand at all from all those 'Reproduction' classes at high school biology or those hurried lessons on sex in 'catechism' classes at church Sunday school. I admit I didn't know anything except a few words here and there, by the age of 17 or so. I believe this is the case with most kids in the society and country I live in. Ours is the nation from where the 'Kamasurta' emerged, ours is the nation which prides itself of its epics which contain incest, sexual exploitations and violence, orgies and all sorts of things which are frowned upon in the case of porn now. The world of porn is nothing compared to the depiction of devastations, events, and stories in various religious texts that we have at our homes.
Also, don't think that porn is a new thing, a product of new technology and the spread of it. It is as old as the great old civilizations and beyond. It is just that our governing bodies suppress the data from the past and show us only what they think is 'good' and 'mighty' from our histories (If someone needs some evidence in this regard, try and watch the documentary, Pornography, the Secret History of Civilization). Porn is not a product of modernity, it has adapted itself to the evolutions of new media of communication from time to time, age to age, just like religion and ideologies do.
The society around us is becoming more and more repressed, as we see it. I have seen various statistics which shows that it is in such repressed societies that porn has most consumers and I believe it to be true, seeing the people around me. And it is in these repressed societies that most sexual crimes occur. People get intrigued and aroused at the teeniest bits of things and body parts which otherwise the society has deprived them off from seeing and perceive as normal. I'm an adult, I'd rather masturbate to watching people having sex in my privacy with the money I paid for my internet than fantasising about some bit of cleavage or midriff I ogled at.
I believe, if our society didn't feel ashamed of discussing and seeing sex as a normal thing, if it wasn't considered a form of sin but pleasure, and if we tell our young people and children things the way they should be told, there would be less porn and fewer cases of 'pornographic addictions'. Yet we allow this ridiculous invasion on the privacy of an adult individual and applaud it because it is porn, because it shows the act of sex (sex is bad, against culture, ban! ban! ban!).
Let us all now wait and see what else will join this seemingly never ending list of bans. Meanwhile, rattle the chains you are shackled in, and celebrate our 'freedom' and 'independence'.
"Happy Independence Day!"