State of the Culture: Death, porn, and collectivism

By Jonathon Van Maren

In case you needed another reason to oppose the porn industry,  The Independent is reporting that women are “regularly” forced into pornography in Japan.

Women in Japan are being exploited by the country’s multi-million-pound pornography industry, it has been alleged.

More than 130 cases have come to light over the last four years in which young women have been exploited, coerced or conned into performing in the adult entertainment industry. Many are raped or forced to engage in sexual acts without using protection.

Activists and lawyers held a conference this week to highlight growing concerns about the issue, Japan Times reports. Advocates said that women are often approached by people pretending to be modelling scouts and offering modelling contracts. However, once the women have signed them they later realise that they are not commercial or fashion modelling contracts but that they in fact commit them to engaging in sex work. If they try to leave the arrangement, they are reportedly threatened with legal action.

Advocates say that at least one woman has committed suicide after becoming a victim of such a scheme.

When you click on porn, that is the type of thing you’re supporting: Sex trafficking. And it’s not just in Japan, either. Where ever pornography establishes itself as an industry, coercion, rape, and degradation are close behind.

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Andrew Coyne in The National Post continues to be brilliant on the euthanasia file, penning another column on the insanity of industrialized suicide and the proposed expansion of medical killing:

Not only would doctors be permitted to kill their patients on request, they would be obliged to, or provide “effective referral” to others who will. And while the committee suggests that those seeking assistance in killing themselves should be required to get two doctors to certify they met the criteria, the criteria are so open-ended it is hard to see in what circumstances they could say no. In any event: the consent of two doctors? Where have we heard that before? What if none are available? How long could it be before the Supreme Court rules on the inequity of denying “access” on these grounds?

Indeed, no sooner had the report been released than advocates were pushing to expand its bounds. For example, should eligibility be restricted to “mature” minors? Could it, in law or conscience? As Dr. Derrick Smith, chair of the physicians’ advisory council of Dying with Dignity Canada, told the CBC, “obviously a five-year-old is not going to be able to give consent for something like that, but should we allow a substitute decision maker like the parent to say, ‘Johnny’s had enough suffering. I think it’s time that we assist him to terminate the suffering.’”

Well, of course. Once you have normalized suicide, from a tragedy we should seek to prevent to a release from suffering we should seek to assist, it is logically incoherent — indeed, it is morally intolerable — to restrict its benefits to some, while condemning others to suffer interminably, merely on the grounds that they are incapable of giving consent. So it is that assisted suicide has gone, in the space of a year, from a crime, to something to be tolerated in exceptional circumstances, to a public service. Perhaps you see this as progress. But I cannot help feeling that a society that can contemplate putting children to death has somehow lost its way.

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Speaking of having lost our way, does this title from Breitbart really surprise anyone? They recently reported that a Convicted Sex Offender Leads Transgender Rights Effort in North Carolina.:

The homosexual leader of efforts in North Carolina to allow men to use women’s bathrooms is a convicted and registered sex offender, according to documents made available to Breitbart News.

Chad Sevearance is president of the Charlotte Business Guild, which describes itself as “a network of LGBT professionals, business owners, employees and individuals in the Charlotte area who meet to nurture a network of business contacts; encourage fellowship and support among community business, professional and charitable pursuits; and provide and promote positive role models in the LGBT community.”

Sevearance and his group have taken a lead role in seeking the right to allow males to use the restrooms and showers of females, including those of little girls, which is described by advocates as nothing more than non-discrimination measures. Sevearance was quoted in the Charlotte Observer saying that because a recent bathroom “non-discrimination ordinance” bill did not pass, “someone can ask me to leave a restaurant because I’m presumed to be gay or transgender.”

In 1998, Sevearance worked as a youth minister and in that capacity allegedly lured younger men to his apartment to spend the night where Severance showed them pornography and tried to talk them into sex. One boy testified that he woke up to find Severance “fondling him.” Severance was convicted on one charge of sexual molestation of a minor.

As a result of his 2000 conviction, Sevearance must register with the police on a regular basis for a minimum of ten years. His most recent mug shot and registration took place at the end of last year.

A reporter with the Charlotte Observer confirmed for Breitbart News that the Chad Sevearance they frequently quote is the same man who was convicted for sexual assault of a minor in 2000.

The unfortunate thing about abolishing reality is that even if reality is illegal, it still won’t go away. Men are going to take advantage of our idiotic new cultural norms, and as governments try and implement laws based on radical gender ideology, it is going to be women who get hurt.

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At least some on the left are beginning to feel queasy about euthanasia. John Moore, who campaigned in favor of doctor-assisted suicide for years, writes in the National Post that Canada is going too far:

But now I find myself somewhat uncomfortably sharing the same side of the table with some of these people, even if their “I told you sos” don’t quite add up.

Assisted dying was supposed to be a matter of helping those with hours, days or weeks to live to die at a time of their choosing with dignity and a degree of certainly about the actual death itself. It was about providing autonomy to those whose decline might bring them to the point where they physically couldn’t follow through on their own plan to control their exit.

I am a quibbler. I do not believe that the working paper lays the framework for the kind of eugenics that the most hysterical critics always complain about but I do believe it goes too far. My objection to Ottawa’s framework for end of life centres on the critical difference between death and suicide. I have always seen assisted dying as the acceleration of a death that is already happening. What I fear is that we have leapfrogged over that notion to the state helping otherwise healthy people to end their lives simply because they cannot bring themselves to do it themselves. I don’t want to be brutish, but if one simply cannot abide life there are means to end it. The fact that some people find life to be unbearable is not an argument for why the state has to kill them.

I have worries about the notion of preauthorizing one’s death for a time when they are no longer in control of their faculties. I am mindful of the fact that death from Alzheimer’s may be a living hell but none of us can know for sure. Long before they reach that point, the average person would probably say they would no longer wish to live should they arrive at the point where they soil themselves. But I can never shake off a scene in the memoir Tuesdays with Morrie where Morrie Schwartz tells Mitch Albom that he takes a certain pleasure in being coddled like a baby.

To be sure, Schwartz — suffering from ALS — was fully in possession of his faculties and I don’t seek to diminish the suffering of those living in the fog of dementia. But in my arguing for assisted dying I have always maintained that the individual should be in a position of giving consent at the time of their death.

I am painfully aware of the fact that this creates what could arguably be an intolerable incoherence in a right to die framework. But if an individual cannot give consent then they are not in control of their own life.

I part company, though, with my old adversaries on the matter of assisted suicide for “mature minors.” In my many years of fundraising for Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children I have met children old beyond their years. They keep a string of beads, one each for every prick of the pin, every chemo treatment, every new aspect of their struggle. I’ve seen strings thousands of beads long running metre after metre. These kids know their bodies. They know what they are fighting. And often they know when the battle is lost. I cannot envision a scenario where a young person in concert with their parents and health providers would be pushed into an early death they do not desire or comprehend.

I don’t mean to sound grim, but at this point it seems as if Moore’s opposition may be too little, too late. With a Liberal majority government and virtually no organized opposition, Canada’s euthanasia regime is coming. What we have to do now is mitigate the fallout.

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To explain the left-wing mindset, The Federalist recently published an interesting article titled “What life as a transgender woman taught be about progressives.” It’s a fascinating analysis of collectivism:

Real consistency—one that manifests itself in the practice of individual personal choice—paradoxically appears to the Left as inconsistency. This calls to mind Margaret Thatcher’s famous hierarchy of convictions over consensus, and is understandable when considering that today’s liberals are themselves the very embodiment of inconsistency.

Gay rights advocates support Palestine over Israel. Progressives encourage a righteous contempt of authority, unless the authority happens to be a far-reaching socialist government. Career politicians speaking on climate change are transformed into altruistic scientists completely devoid of profit motive. And, of course, all fundamentalist religions are evil, so please stop Islamophobia.

The article is far too long to excerpt here, but do read the whole thing. It’s a revealing and impressive analysis of the left and the transgender movement from the inside.

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