“I shall not today attempt to further define [pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it...”
This expression became one of the most famous phrases in the entire history of the Supreme Court, uttered by the late Justice Potter Stewart, back in 1973. It seems that the term “pornography” cannot be well defined, and even today has no legal definition. If a Supreme Court justice had trouble defining the nature of sexually explicit material, how easy is it for any of us to ‘know it when we see it’?
Pornography: The representation in books, magazines, photographs, films, and other media of scenes of sexual behavior that are erotic or lewd and are designed or intended to arouse sexual interest. This is one of the most used definitions to date. Why is it important to get a handle on what pornography is today and understand all of its ramifications? Because pornography:
- Destroys marriages and tears families apart
56% of divorces involve one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites”
- Contributes to the demand for sex-trafficked persons, including children
Twelve is the average age of entry into pornography and sexual slavery in the U.S.
- Costs businesses millions in lost revenue and hundreds of work hours
70% of Internet porn traffic occurs between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., when most people are at work
- Damages the identities and self-esteem of our youth
A child or adolescent directly exposed to pornography experiences lasting negative or traumatic emotional responses.
- Rewires brain chemistry, especially in children, compromising the ability to form healthy intimate relationships
Our definition of pornography starts with the often overlooked and culturally accepted objectification of women by Victoria’s Secret with store window posters and TV ads; and goes all the way to the other end of the spectrum, to the violent, inhuman sexual abuse of women, men, and children too easily found on the internet today. And the truth is as long as we continue to tolerate ‘mild’ forms of pornography, then what was once described as ‘hardcore’ is no longer as easy to ‘know it when you see it’.
She’s Somebody’s Daughter. A new phrase that offers a powerful way to begin a long overdue national conversation about the truth of pornography, no matter where on the spectrum your definition lies. Three truly beautiful words that become the starting point for heart-piercing and life-changing conversations to take place. She’s Somebody’s Daughter. A true phrase that encompasses all the dignity and honor that should be attributed to every woman, and every child, today and every day.
She’s Somebody’s Daughter. He’s Somebody’s Son.
To truly honor, value, and celebrate a person for who she, or he, is…would you know it when you see it?