Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pornography Use and Other Violations: A Conversation Between Two White Men, part seven

Here are the links to the whole conversation:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

CAUTION: What follows is a conversation between two men about their abusive behaviors toward girls, women, and others. Any survivor of child sexual abuse, rape, or other form of sexual violation and objectification may be quite triggered by portions of this exchange. All violative behaviors are named as such by at least one of the two people, critically, with remorse and/or regret. Both people do not currently use pornography.

Correspondence from Aussieguy:

I'm having a bit of trouble lately, finding myself looking in lighted windows that I walk past or my eyes following women I see in revealing clothing of any kind. It doesn't even need to be clothing that will actually reveal her body, just something that makes me think it could or may or reminds me of something that would. I have weakened a couple of times just today, sneaking glimpses before looking back at my work.

Not looking at porn has continued to be obvious to me, though, and fairly easy. I have had a few occasions where I have been tempted towards finding a video with a sex scene in it to watch, but I haven't succumbed to it. I had a real clear vision of the seediness of porn the other morning. It was as I was waking up and it just flashed into my head, I don't know why, and then it was gone. Before that, I had only had a kind of political understanding of why it is wrong but I think I had a kind of moment of real empathy and understood properly what I hate about it for a second. Now I can't get that clarity back but it helps just having had that one moment.

I feel as though porn is really in the past for me. Even though I still get these impulses to look at it, I feel like my change of habit has been thorough enough to mean I will be able to resist them now. I can't say the same for objectifying women in general. I'm still struggling constantly with that and failing enough of the time for it to show in my behaviour sometimes. I think your advice about hearing the stories of women's experience of sexism is a good start and I've followed a few links from Julian's blog and read some stories there. I think I have a new round of work to do in eradicating this behaviour but I think maybe I need to keep reading and working on my empathy and understanding before it will be very effective in the long term. In the meantime, there is no harm in continuing to actively pull myself up when I catch myself at it.

That's enough for now

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