Year of Youth 2018

Sex in the News: How Can we Change the Headlines?

Last edited 20th November 2017

Sex in the News: How Can we Change the Headlines?

I am so bothered by the news right now. Full disclosure: I don’t watch a lot of news. I get most of my news on Twitter, like any normal person aged 35 and under with a smartphone.

But I try to follow a lot of different accounts with different points of view so I’m not limited to one side of the story.

And every side of the story right now is horrible. You’ve seen the headlines — actors, comedians, directors, senators, presidents (past and present).

I’d rattle them off, but it would almost immediately make this blog irrelevant, because every day, new names are being added to the list.

Names of (mostly) men who are being accused of sexual harassment, or worse. Accusations from (mostly) women — some women as young as 14 at the time — telling stories of horrible comments, degrading requests, and despicable actions on Hollywood sets, hotel rooms, and campaign trails.

And now, months, years, decades later, those acts are coming to light. Everyone is horrified, everyone is outraged… and me, too.

My heart is broken for so many victims of real evil. The people coming forward have every right to demand justice for the horrible things that have been said and done.

And yet, I’m surprised that so many of us are surprised, though, because as a culture, we reap what we sow. How did we get here?

Our world loves to think that anything and everything is permissible as long as no one gets hurt; loves to pretend like there’s no such thing as a real right or wrong, especially when it comes to sex and our sexuality. As long as it feels good and there’s consent, does it need any boundaries? Labels? Conventional standards?

Please, that is so backwards. This is 2017, right? But then, when people say and do things that are so obviously wrong and offensive, we’re shocked and offended. We’ve spent the last several decades as a culture accepting any and all understandings of our sexuality as healthy. It’s ironic that now we’re appalled that people have acted out inappropriately, sexually.

TV, movies, celebrity gossip all treat sex like it’s no big deal. And even worse than being no big deal, pornography distorts what sex is really supposed to be even farther.

Horrible, degrading things are done to human beings made in the image and likeness of God – and then sold to other human beings, for profit and pleasure. I understand the temptation to engage with pornography, I really do. We live in a world we don’t even have to go looking for porn, because porn comes looking for us.

It’s on our TVs, tablets, laptops, and phones. Our sexual curiosity is normal and our sexual urges are healthy. But seeking to satisfy those healthy desires with pornography is really unhealthy.

It twists our brains to a sick, disfigured place where we start seeing people who are supposed to be loved as objects to be used. So many of the allegations making headlines these days include apologies from people who claim to have ‘misread the signals.’ They thought that their actions were wanted. It’s not outrageous to assume that these perpetrators have a history of engaging with pornography; some of them have spoken about it publicly.

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