Laura excerpts some wonderful material from a City Journal article by Kay S. Hymowitz, and adds some thoughtful comments of her own. As I've discussed before, often following Laura's lead, a lot of Generation Xers, broadly speaking, are willing to risk the label "conservative" if that's what it takes to maintain a healthy, child-friendly home and marriage. In Hymowitz's words, they--we--are "nostalgic for the childhood that boomers supposedly had....growing up in the aftermath of America's great marriage meltdown, [it is] no wonder that young people put so much stock in marriage and family, their bedrock in the mobile twenty-first century." That's the sort of language that sets many libertarian liberals off...yet the desire for security, stability and domesticity is real, in so many very ordinary yet meaningful ways. As Laura puts it, "it might be corny, but I just think [it's] just smart."
Hugo Schwyzer is a brave blogger. Besides having of late shown his colors as a pro-life feminist and an advocate of gay rights who is nonetheless willing to defend those who critique it on Biblical grounds, Hugo has put up two very excellent posts on how pornography exploits both the women trapped in it and the men who consume it (though obviously in very different ways). A representative excerpt:
"Like in so many other areas (abortion, plastic surgery) we frame the debate about pornography in terms of choices. Women should have the choice to work in porn. Men should have the choice to work in porn. Women and men should have the choice to consume porn as well. As long as everyone (performer, producer, marketer, consumer) is over 18, where is the harm? The harm is in my soul when I view it. The harm is in Lara Roxx's [a performer in a pornographic film that was unknowingly infected with HIV] body right now....You can say she has some culpability, and I agree, she does. But the only reason the money is so good for young women in porn is because men are willing to pay quite a bit to see girls like Lara naked and exposed and penetrated. I confess that in the past I have been guilty of that very sin....When men like me lust after girls like she who is called Lara Roxx (she's 18, I'll be damned if I'll call her a grown woman), we scar our spirits and tarnish our relationships with all the other women in our lives as a consequence....The fact that many young girls and women choose to make themselves objects of desire does not lessen for one second my obligation to look past that veneer and see them as my younger sisters whom I need to honor, love, and care for....Porn kills many things: innocence, hope, trust, health, bodies, spirits. I know it is hip today to proclaim it harmless, but the unfashionable fact is that this is an industry built on distorted fantasy, loneliness, and despair. And we on the left need to stop hiding behind the First Amendment issues and articulate this untrendy but vital truth."
Powerful stuff. But of course, as always, read the whole thing.
Tuesday, April 20, 2004