The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Letter to the Editor: Pornography is no "Victimless Crime"

2 min read

The following letter was written in response to “Sexclamations” (Feb. 7, 2008, the Bullet):

Dear Editor:

Wasn’t it cute to profile those funny little websites for kinky people with weird pictures of women positioned as food?  Cannibal fetish!  Tee hee hee!  Gosh darn, there is so much freaky stuff on that there internet thing!

I suppose it is part of the liberal arts experience to expose ourselves to the entire range of, ahem, human endeavor, broadly defined; but we must do so with a critical eye and with responsibility.  February 7th’s Sexclamations column achieved neither of these, and in the case of that column it was a serious failure.

On Thursday January 31st, a woman Kelly Besedick spoke at Intervarsity Christian Fellowship’s Large Group meeting about her work with victims of sex trafficking in Southeast Asia.

She has started a company, “Wonderfully Made,” that employs rehabilitated women and girls in the design and production of jewelry for the Western market.  In the several years that she has been engaged in this so far, she has seen hundreds upon hundreds of girls age 6 on up mentally and physically scarred from being raped multiple times a day and forced to have abortions if impregnated, for years on end.

Not to mention simply the practice of being bought and sold on a bar in a smoky club.  The vast majority of women in this sex industry are forced into it because it is one of the few ways for a young female to earn money, and families sometimes send their girls off to the city to prostitute them so there will be food on the table.

The market for these women is men from all over the world, including Virginia.  How does word about places, numbers, addresses spread?

By internet sites and blogs; by millions of individuals connected finding fetishes and desires in common through websites like the “Muki’s Kitchen” mentioned by KJ Adler last week.  The internet has served to connect and legitimize so many kinks of human behavior and interest, and perhaps the greatest arena of this is sex-related.

When we say that pornography in America today is a “victimless crime” and condone it, we encourage not only the debasement of women and men, but we encourage the literal market and psychological backing of the sex trade and other overtly violent sex crimes.

For every person like the German man Adler mentioned,who gives consent to be eaten, or consent to have sex with dozens of people, or to be filmed, there are hundreds who did not give consent or were coerced.  Even if an individual consented to whatever act, do we have to exploit them for it?

Next time Ms. Adler is browsing the internet, I hope she finds more than just titillating sleaze sites.  And next time you, the readers, are getting your rocks off by your computer late at night, think twice about the sites you are patronizing.

Thomas Roberts is a junior.