How pornography has become the reference for everything in our digital world. By Nikolas List
Our digital world puts women in 2 categories
Why is it that, apart from a few politicians, it’s hard to find any woman older than 35 in the media? More and more, it feels that every direction you turn, in the street, in ads, on tv, magazines, everywhere you look, you’re constantly hit over the head with images of attractive 20-year-old white women in suggestive poses? And once women are past 40, they’re completely off the grid. As Gail Dines put it, our digital 21st century world puts women in 2 categories: “fuckability” or “invisibility”.
37% of internet’s content is porn
They told us at the dawn of internet that it was going to bring “the age of information”. That was bullshit. It only brought the age of pornofication. 37% of internet’s content is porn. And the rest of the media has lined up on that model. That might explain why every single female news show host on tv looks like a porn star.
The beauty sickness epidemic
Our world is now hit with a grave epidemic of “beauty sickness“. Statistically, more women would prefer to be run over by a truck than be fat. White women, when asked why they voted for Trump and Melania, said it was “because he’s such a successful businessman and she’s so pretty.” It gets worse. A sales rep from Botox explained to me a few weeks ago that the latest trend for women is to have their lips botoxed at the same time as their vagina. This is becoming more and more common. How far is this going to go?
The absurdity of politically correct feminism
Why is it politically correct to criticize the Muslim veil as a symbol of “women’s oppression” and yet nobody points out the Western women walking around in short skirts, high heels, flashy nail polish and lipstick, exposing their expensive Victoria Secret underwear underneath their tight clothes? Are these women making a political statement? The only statement I can see from this dress code is “Fuck me right here, right now”. This might not be the healthiest environment for children to grow up in.
Why is it that life in our world is feeling more and more like an episode of Californication and that we now have apps like “Tinder for teenagers” and tv shows like “Hotter than my daughter”? More and more young middle-class girls and women are caming, opening accounts on sites like “chaturbate.com”, happy to make a few bucks by masturbating in front of millions of viewers in exchange for money. As Ran Gavrieli points out, “with smartphones and internet everywhere, we now have 90% of 12-year-olds watching porn on a regular basis. Young girls get the message from our porn influenced mainstream culture that if you want to be worthy of love, first you have to be worthy of sexual desire. And now, the definition of sexual desire equals being like a pornstar.”
Pornography has become the ultimate reference for everything else
I’m not saying that pornography is the problem. Pornography has been with us since the dawn of humanity, ever since men have been able to paint images in caves. That’s just human nature. Nor is this a feministic rant. I believe that men and women are equally responsable for this pornified culture we all live in now. Men might have invented the game, but women have happily played along. The huge problem, as I see it, is that our whole society, on every single level, considers pornography to be the ultimate reference for everything else. And the consequences of this have been disastrous, one of those consequences being that our value as human beings has been brought down to 3 things: our sex appeal, our salary and our status on Facebook.
How to break out of this pornified conundrum? For women, I would recommend watching Renee Engeln’s excellent TED talk “Beauty Sickness” (see link to video below). For men, realize how unhealthy it is to be constantly hit over the head by ubiquitous images that address your lowest instincts. Engeln’s tip also applies here: stay away from media that stimulates those instincts and feelings. Schopenhauer recommends surrounding yourself with art. Remember the Odessey: the Sirens were beautiful but dangerous creatures that lured the sailors with their beautiful voices to their doom, causing the ships to crash on the reefs. Odysseus plugged the crew’s ears with wax and ordered them to bind him to the mast of the ship. Orpheus, who was on board, started playing his lyre so beautifully that the music completely drowned the Sirens’ song, helping the crew move past the Sirens and attain safe waters.
RENEE ENGELN, “An Epidemic of Beauty Sickness”, TED, 2013
SCHOOL OF LIFE, Alain de Botton, “Porn Addiction”
SCHOOL OF LIFE – Schopenhauer
RAN GAVRIELI, “Why I stopped watching porn”, TED
GAIL DINES, “Growing Up In A Pornified Culture”, TED.