Earlier this week I stood in a high-end stationery store, looking at the remaining Christmas cards and debating the possibility of purchase next year’s cards 11 months early. When I turned to the register I was confronted with a book entitled ‘Porn for New Moms.’ From the cover and the few women near me who seemed entranced by its contents, I gathered this small book wasn’t pornography in the ‘traditional’ sense, rather this book was a series of photos of mostly-clothed muscular men doing household chores like vacuuming and dishes. Apparently the book is part of a series, with other books including ‘Porn for Women’ and ‘Porn for Women of a Certain Age.’
Leaving the store and continuing through the shopping mall, it dawned on me that today we trivialize the highly harmful and addictive pornography industry with our flippant comments and jokes in that regard.
And this ‘Porn for New Moms’ book is not the only example. In the blogger and fashion sphere it is not uncommon to read or hear someone mention their obsession with ‘shoe porn,’ which is only pictures of shoes – nothing trashy about it. Leaving the grocery store, a guy in front of me picked up a used car magazine, which contains poorly taken pictures of cars in people’s driveways without a person in site, and said to his friend ‘Gotta get my weekly car porn.’
When did the pictorial presentation of anything we like become known as porn? And why are we ok with that? The more we giggle over books like ‘Porn for New Moms’ the more we send the message that true pornography is acceptable and has become so mundane that it can be joked about in public without a thought.
It seems such a shame to trivialize something that harms every person involved – from the viewers to the creators and everyone in between.