Is porn or child rape the public health crisis?

Arizona wants to call porn an public health crisis. According to CNN,

Arizona state Rep. Michelle Udall, R-Mesa, introduced a resolution declaring “pornography is a crisis leading to a broad spectrum of individual and public health impacts.”
The resolution says pornography “perpetuates a sexually toxic environment that damages all areas of our society.”
Arizona would be the thirteenth states to officially deemed the consumption of porn a crisis.
Let’s contrast that with this, from CNN this past Friday:
Sierra Leone’s president has declared a national emergency over rape and sexual violence…With immediate effect, sexual penetration of minors is punishable by life imprisonment,” President Julius Maada Bio said in a keynote address on Thursday
Let that sink in for a hot minute. Thirteen states in the United States have deemed the consumption of pornography a public health crisis while the leadership of a third-world country has declared rape and sexual violence–particularly of children–the crisis.
It doesn’t take much research to find the common language of ‘objectification’, ‘damages families and relationships’, ‘increased domestic violence’, and the standard ‘link to trafficking’ used in legislation here.
Yet, no state (or city or tribe) in the United States has declared the rape of children a public health crisis. We, as a collective, continue dance around the rape of children as if it doesn’t exist except when it publicly smacks us in the face or our own private, scary sexual beginnings begin seeking the light of truth through our mind and body.
Or, perhaps another way of looking at it, particularly in some communities, is that it is so common that it’s not a public health crisis; it’s just a not-so-new normal.

The link above, leading to a story about two Florida men sharing plans via text to rape a three year old is but one example. On the same day, a joint report released investigated and written by thee Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News, shared this headline: Abuse of Faith, 20 years, 700 victims: Southern Baptist sexual abuse spreads as leaders resist reforms.

Also in Texas, ten days earlier the New York Times reported that the Roman Catholic diocese of the state released 300 names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of children. This, coming after the August 2018 report from a Pennsylvania grand jury, identifying over 1000 child sexual abuse victims at the hands of 300 Catholic priests.

This is not an American problem. Asian monasteries are part of the pipeline that moves stolen or sold boys and girls for the sexual pleasure of monks. Taliban soldiers obtain dancing boys for the same purpose. Child rape in India regularly makes international headlines. Irish, African, Russian, European, Chinese, Thai, Laotian, Saudi, Bengali, Australian, Bolivian, Chilean;  priests, monks, medicine men, doctors, dentists, teachers, grocers, electricians, soldiers, chefs, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, cousins, athletes, politicians, plumbers, artists, otherwise average or stellar citizens, regularly rape children.  And our response is a muted one. A celebrity driven #Metoo doesn’t exist for those who cannot yet find the words to express their secret pain.

The problem isn’t porn. The problem, the crisis,  is the repeated and systemically supported rape of children at places of sanctuary, home, at school, at church, at sporting events, offices and camps where they are led to believe they will be safe.  The repeated and systemically supported rape of children that is domestic violence, that embodies objectification, that shatters not just family and relationships but the sense of self and safety and the meaning of Love from the first conscious act of grooming and touch.

This is not to say that porn exists in a vacuum separate from child rape. There are thousands upon thousands of adults around the globe who buy, sell and trade child pornography. There are industries built to support and hide it, all the while expanding it.  This is not the pornography that politicians want to call a public health crisis. Why?

Let Sierra Leone lead the way.

It’d also help if we’d Stop Fucking Children.

 

 

 

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