I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he’s going to look at you.Jennifer Lawrence on nude photo hacking: 'It is a sexual violation. It’s disgusting' - People - News - The Independent:What I find disturbing is the apparent acceptance that her boyfriend would consume porn when away from her, and that somehow this is to be expected and not censured to some degree.
First of all I'm disturbed because it buys into a view of male sexuality which is both demeaning and also potentially dangerous. Demeaning because it implies that men are not able to say no to porn. Newsflash: men are able to say no and to avoid it, on the whole. Honestly, it's true. Part of the problem may be that men have been given a free pass on this.
There is research indicating that a number of men are ruining their ability to respond well sexually because they are rewiring their responses via porn in ways that are not conducive to good relations with potential partners. If that is so (and it makes sense as well as being indicated in research), then women who are partners should be discouraging their boyfriends, lovers, partners, husbands from porn not accepting it. Personally, I can't really see how it isn't a kind of mental-affective adultery, and all the worse because it's not even in a relational and affectionate context. And it seems to me that Ms Lawrence's response is recognising that: she'd rather he looked at her image than some other woman's).
I think that this is an important point: it looks to me (and I have to admit that I have no real insider insight on this) like it is contributing to the objectifying women by making such objectification virtually inevitable.
And that is why it is dangerous: it seems to me that the use of porn is helping to construct a set of attitudes that make it more likely that women are going to be viewed as mainly bodies to be penetrated than as friends or colleagues.
Men can and do learn continence of gaze and thought. When we are motivated by beliefs and affections that emphasise respect, faithfulness and mutuality between people of all genders, men are able to grow into gentlemen in the best sense. I have deliberately chosen a slightly old fashioned term there because I think that we have been underrating the virtues at the heart of being a gentleman: consideration of others, a spirit of service and of self-restraint for the greater and common good. These are virtues that sit ill with the consumption of porn when it is understood in its wider context.
So I appeal to Ms Lawrence and others; don't let the men get away with it, don't collude in the myth of unavoidable lust. It demeans men to pretend that we cannot control our urges -though God knows, so many men collude in their own demeaning. It doesn't have to be so..