I absolutely cherish my 15 month old daughter Junia. She has become my obsession. As I play with her during the day or pray with her before bedtime I often find myself imagining what kind of person she will be when she is older.
Maybe she’ll be a teacher. Or perhaps she’ll want to be an engineer. She loves animals already, maybe she will become a vet. Or is music going to be her passion?
I never look at her and think: I hope she poses in a porn magazine.
Martin Daubney was once the editor of Loaded, a British magazine that pushed the envelope of soft-core porn (much like Maxim). Now this man who once defended pics of scantily clad women confesses he has changed his entire worldview You can read a brief excerpt from the article here or you can find the full article here though I do warn you it includes a few racy pictures)
Back then, it never once occurred to me that we were objectifying women or doing any harm. I fiercely denied that Loaded was a ‘gateway’ to harder pornographic magazines.
It was in my own interests to do so. If we were classified as ‘top shelf’, we’d have been put in opaque plastic bags like the pornographic magazines, which would have been commercial suicide.
But such thoughts came home to roost five years later in 2009, when I finally grew up and became a father.
It had such an effect on me and changed my views so forcibly that within a year I’d quit a dream job that, for me, had become a moral nightmare.
When I look back now, I see we were severely pushing the envelope of what was considered decent.
We were normalising soft porn, and in so doing we must have made it more acceptable for young men to dive into the murky waters of harder stuff on the internet. And, for that, I have a haunting sense of regret.
He goes on to speak out powerfully for the need to create ways to shield children from pornography:
Anybody who coerces a woman, or, worse, forces or threatens them to take part in porn should be jailed for many years.
Let’s be clear: you can’t ever ban pornography. Like tax and Tory U-turns, it is painfully unavoidable and lots of consenting adults consume it of their own free will. But we must tighten up the current laws to make it unavailable to children, as it can be so damaging.
It sells boys the debasing view of women as one-dimensional fakes: fake boobs, fake hair, fake nails, fake orgasms and fake hope.
How will these tainted children be able to interact with real women later in life if the first ones they ‘meet’ are on-screen mannequins? By allowing children free access to pornographic images, the next generation of young men are becoming so desensitised, I genuinely fear we’re storing up an emotional time-bomb.
Porn objectifies women, demeans and cheapens them, because it sells a fantasy where men are always in control and get what they want.
But real life isn’t like that. In porn, women cry, ‘yes, yes, yes!’ but in real life, they often say, ‘no’. Not all men have the intelligence or moral fortitude to understand they cannot take what they want.
Today, it’s never been easier to get your hands on porn of the most grotesquely graphic nature, yet absolutely nobody admits responsibility.
And most shocking of all is the total lack of moral accountability displayed by the internet pornographers when it comes to supplying their product to minors.
If, as a magazine editor, I strayed outside of the rules, I’d be taken off sale, fined and lose my job.
Likewise, if a newsagent sells an over-18s magazine to a minor, he can expect to lose his licence and be closed down.
Yet the internet pornographers laugh in the face of this, and the internet service providers (ISPs) wash their hands of the problem.
It’s like saying supplying a drug is ok so long as you don’t manufacture it. There’s no accountability, and it needs to be cleared up, fast. Isn’t it time the ISPs were held to task?
If found guilty of being the highway that gets porn to children, they should face massive fines and risk of closure.
The Mail has been campaigning for new rules forcing all internet users to opt in if they want access to pornography — and I couldn’t be more emphatic in my support. We also need to make sure that these controls apply to smartphones as well as computers.
Looking back, I think magazines like Loaded did give young men a ‘taste’ for soft porn that led to deeper and darker desires. But we operated in a bygone, almost innocent age compared to today, when internet pornography is being pumped out on an industrial scale — straight into the bedrooms of our children.
The internet and its morally redundant pornographers have changed all that. It is time our policy-makers cried ‘enough!’ and banged them to rights.
Two years after my exit, I can finally admit that I was part of the problem. By speaking out, in some tiny way I hope to be part of the solution.
Pornography is a horrible, disgusting evil. Sadly, it is something that has touched the lives of pretty much every man I know, or at least the ones I’ve talked with it about. Very few of us make it through our teen years free of porn (I didn’t). It scares me to think how much more is available now then even when I was a teenager.
It scares me to think that my daughter will be growing up in a world where millions of boys are taught to objectify women.
Porn is not an isolated evil. It is connected to the growth of sex trafficking in our world. One thing we talk about often at meetings of Freedom and Restoration for Everyone Enslaved is that if men did not buy women, there would be no forced prostitution. Yet along with that, men do not just wake up one day and decide to buy a woman. Porn is a factor for it teaches men that women are objects to be used for his enjoyment. Like any other addiction, eventually a stronger dose is needed and stronger doses are more and more available in the form of women and girls forced into prostitution.’
When gun violence of tremendous proportions happens we (rightly) question the role the availability of guns plays. Why not question the role of the ubiquity of porn plays in violence against women?