Men need to stop blaming women for their porn use

By Jonathon Van Maren

Over the past few years, I’ve gotten a lot of weird questions about porn while on my speaking tours. But one question, which has come up multiple times, is by far the most irritating. Isn’t it true, the questioner will ask, that men are looking at porn because feminism has changed women so much that they don’t feel like they can be men anymore?

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the cognitive dissonance found in that question. On one hand, we have someone (almost always a man) complaining about the impact of modern feminism among Christian women, with the general insinuation being that men cannot be men with such sentiments swirling about. But this also implies that men need permission to act like men, and that it is somehow understandable that men would flee to pornography and watch women be degraded and humiliated to assuage their injured sense of self. To sum up: Men are supposedly great and courageous leaders, if they receive permission, and if they feel that their masculinity has not been sufficiently recognized, they will watch porn that transforms women into sex objects, presumably because that makes them feel more manly again. I’m sure you can see the problems here.

Now, I understand that the impact of modern feminism has been insidious. I work full-time in the pro-life movement, and I have talked to hundreds of women who felt that their so-called “feminism” was more important that their pre-born sons or daughters. Modern feminism—to be distinguished from the ideology of the suffragettes, who were pro-life—is now very like pornography it its dehumanizing purpose. Feminism stipulates that the pre-born child is not a human, or at best the property of the mother to be disposed of as she sees fit, while the porn ideology portrays women as subhuman sex objects, whose existence serves only the purpose of satisfying men. In both cases, victimization is inevitable.

But I still cannot understand the dichotomy of a brave Christian leader who can simultaneously be a porn addict. Modern masculinity, it seems to me, has become frail and petulant in many ways, and sustained porn addiction has a lot to do with this. Matt Fradd of The Porn Effect has spoken of the impact of porn on his life, and how using the toxic material from a very young age made him impatient and immature—he had grown used to instant gratification. What I have seen is that pornography also makes men threatened by intelligent and passionate women—because they are not used to interacting with females who do not fit the porn portrayals. In fact, these women may actually be smarter than they are. Pornography turns them into scared little boys—precisely the opposite of the self-sacrificing spiritual leaders that their Christian faith demands they become. And then, the excuses: What if it’s not my weakness, my chosen addiction…what if it’s feminism that is really ruining everything?

Nope. If you’re watching porn, you’re the one who is ruining everything. Plus, let me remind you of something: If Christianity demands you be a spiritual leader, and instead you are watching porn, you’re the one failing the relationship, and you’re failing it badly. Can you think of anything less manly than whining about your partner’s behavior while masturbating to the sight of other women in private? And then, to top this off, can you imagine blaming your wife for this? This is a ludicrous idea, and it defies the Christian ideal of masculinity in nearly every conceivable way. I’m getting very tired of the stupid excuses men conjure up to explain their porn use—especially when they want to try and somehow blame women for their behavior.

Porn created a lot of these attitudes in the first place, because porn is a cancer that attacks the best masculine instincts. The marriage vow, for example—promising to love and sacrifice for that person to the exclusion of all others, and to give your all to them to the best of your ability—is simply impossible when porn enters the equation. Porn is selfish, it is cannibalistic, and it is cancerous. Marriage and porn cannot coexist, and the selfishness and petulance drawn out by porn can even have men blaming their own wives, those they promised to love and sacrifice for, for the predatory consumption they break their marriage vows to engage in. Pornography causes men to see women as threatening to their own fragile masculinity, because the women in porn are sex dolls and don’t demand love and attention and conversation and real, human interaction. The noble instincts of men: Courage, self-sacrifice, protectiveness—these are eaten away by pornography. What is left is often men complaining about why it is the fault of women that they watch porn.

That is why pornography needs to be rooted out of our homes, rooted out of our schools, and rooted out of our churches. It is poisoning our families and destroying not just men, but masculinity itself. Many Christians see porn as a rather ordinary, private sin—it’s none of my business. Well, it might not be your business but it will certainly be your problem. Do you want one of your daughters dating a boy who has been immersed in this poison since adolescence? Do you want your sister to be in a relationship with a young man who has been consuming porn stars for a decade? Men who are threatened by the intelligence and beauty of real women because they’ve been used to porn for so long?

Pornography is eating away at everything noble in masculine instinct. It’s time we woke up and started repelling this virus and reviving those instincts. The good news? Nobody has to wait for anyone to give them permission to embrace these instincts. It can start now.

 

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One thought on “Men need to stop blaming women for their porn use

  1. Pila says:

    Yes and no.

    Yes men need to stop the blame because man either controls his passions or is enslaved by them.

    On the other hand, if women dress immodestly and they do it everywhere and all the time (which is increasingly becoming a problem) then how can any reasonable person expect men to learn (or even desire) to be chaste and get married and be good fathers? Why should we expect or even want young men to get married if the women fail to dress in a manner suited to their dignity? I don’t find it prudent to tell these men to man up and marry her if she is going to pose serious problems for the husband and his friends.

    Two-way street

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