By Beth Winze
For the last two weeks, all that my timeline on Facebook has consisted of, is people posting articles calling the women of the Christian culture to say no to Christian Grey. The claim is that the book endorses a level of sexual provocativeness including: sexual abuse, rape, sexual identity crisis, and a lack of consideration for the female gender. I do wish to address several problems and holes I find in the Christian culture raising a ruckus over this.
~Disclaimer: This is one of the hardest pieces I have written to date and it does include several disturbing facts about the porn industry. I do not advise you to read this if you are not prepared to read alarming facts or children to continue. This was a spiritually warring article, but I feel that this is a very real problem that needs to be addressed because of recent debates~
The looming issue I have is that this is the first time that Christians have addressed the porn and erotica industry in a massive attempt to shut something down. The sad part is that this is a fictional fantasy that a British author decided to pen, but the porn industry around the world, is not kept within the binding pages of a book. There are real men and women in the world that are enslaved in a multi-billion-dollar industry where viewers play out their fantasies on digital screens for a $1.99 a month. This is where my heart lies in this matter. Movies like this have been around for decades. The porn industry has made leaps and bounds every month and more websites allow explicit videos to rein the Internet. But most of us go about our days ignoring the fact that somewhere in the world there are eighteen year old girls sitting in dark bedrooms waiting for the next opportunity to use their bodies to make cash. And that is the most sickening part.
A new trend called #refusetoclick is bringing awareness to this very real issue. I first heard about their website two months ago, and have been following them since. They have shed light on the dirty and obscene part of our culture that most Christians wish to ignore or stay oblivious to. The website lists several facts that I wish to share below:
85% of young men and nearly half of young women watch porn on a regular basis.
Hald, Gert Martin. “Gender differences in pornography consumption among young heterosexual danish adults,” Archives of Sexual Behavior 35 (2006): 577- 585.
In 9 countries, almost half (49%) said that pornography was made of them while they were in prostitution.
Farley, M. “Renting an Organ for Ten Minutes: What Tricks Tell us about Prostitution, Pornography, and Trafficking.” (2007)
The $100-billion pornography industry is fuelling the appetite for children as well. Teenage girls now make up the biggest slice of viewable porn.
Watson, Connie. “The Globalization of Sex.” CBC News. CBC/Radio Canada, 18 June 2009. Web. 06 Jan. 2015.
A Google Trends analysis indicates that searches for ‘Teen Porn’ have more than tripled between 2005-2013, and teen porn was the fastest- growing genre over this period…[reaching an] estimated 500,000 daily in March 2013, representing approximately one-third of total daily searches for pornographic web sites.
￼ Dines, Gail, and David Levy. “Good Cop Bad Cop: Corporate Political Strategy in the Porn Industry.” Web log post. Organizations and Social Change. N.p., 13
If those facts don’t chill you to the bone then I honestly don’t know what will. It is so prevalent in our society that we create labels like, “boys will be boys” and “they’re just curious”. Our society is looking through glasses that portray sex as strictly for pleasure in whatever way you can get it and no longer in the context of the sacred gift for marriage.
Jefferson Bethke, one of my favorite Christian poets and authors addresses this issue in a short video. He paired up with #refusetoclick to address our society’s porn problem.
I think that the matter at hand here is not whether or not you should read or go see 50 Shades of Grey. I think the real issue lies in the heart of society. What is it that has caused this book to blow up in such a massive manner? Why are Christians now just standing up to argue against a fictional erotica, when we could be trying to stop the very real porn industry? I believe that if you feel this strongly against 50 Shades of Grey you should be using your platform to instead argue and stand up for the men and women trapped in the pornographic world. We should be encouraging spotlights onto the world in which sexual fantasies are “fulfilled” so that the light can chase out the darkness. We have voices, so that instead of throwing anger towards E.L. James, we should be using this controversy as an opportunity to call out and stand up for a real problem in today’s society. Solving fictional problems are easier then solving real world problems, but what are we as Christians called to do? Whether or not you choose to partake in the 50 Shades of Grey following be aware that this is only causing the hard facts of an enslaved world to come to surface. And it is our duty as Christians to make sure we stand up for the least of these. There are several amazing videos that continue to address this issue on #refusetoclick ‘s website. I have copied the link below so that if you desire to learn more about how to bring awareness and help stop this industry, you can.