By Caitlin Choveaux

Leaked photos are a wake-up call

J-Law’s hacked phone photos are not the main issue … porn is!

Jennifer Lawrence
MAY 10, 2014: Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past’ world premiere in New York.
(Photo Mike Coppola/ Getty Images)

Oscar-award winning actress Jennifer Lawrence brought up a thought provoking point of view on sexual exploitation, in a recent Vanity Fair interview, after her private phone photos were distributed online along with over 100 other celebrities.

Embarrassed by this invasion of her privacy, Jen lashed back at the perpetrators via the media, calling the hacking a "sex crime" and exploitation of her as a public figure.

"Anybody who looked at those pictures, you're perpetuating a sexual offense. You should cower with shame...I didn't tell you that you could look at my naked body," she added in her interview for Vanity Fair.

While she makes a valid point and should be praised for her courage to stand up and bring further attention to the topic of sexual exploitation of women, what she goes on to explain in her defense was somewhat disturbing.

"I was in a loving, healthy, great relationship for four years. It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he's going to look at you."

As a fellow woman, I want to say I am sorry you feel this way and so do the writers of a popular blog called Fight the New Drug.

In a loving letter to Jen they write, "We're sorry that society has been 'pornified'... [and] thinks a woman is only as good as her body, it's easy to see why you would feel like your boyfriend would turn to porn even when dating a talented and beautiful woman like yourself...We don't think that's cool and neither should you. If you were in a 'loving, healthy, great relationship for four years', should you have ever had to feel like if you didn't send your boyfriend pictures that he would have no choice but to look at porn? No person in a committed relationship should have to expect that. That's not sexy at all. And we're sorry that you felt that way."

“You should never be expected to do anything for fear of a partner turning to porn”While it is disgusting that anyone could think to steal personal photos and post them up for the world to see, the real issue is why do Jen and countless other women feel they have to compete with porn stars?

Ex-porn producer Donny Pauling*, who featured his personal story of transformation in Challenge earlier this year, now travels the world to educate people on the harms of porn.

Donny turned his back on a lucrative career in the porn industry when he became a Christian, explaining that he now sees that "pornography is an affair, you are making a sexual bond with an image on a screen".

On his personal blog DonnyPauling.net he writes, "Porn is often portrayed as great fun, happy go lucky, and victimless. The fantasy shown on screen seems fantastic. The realities of porn, however, are not even close."

Countless examples defending his position on the "soul-destroying" facets of porn can be found on his blog.

Among the personal stories, Donny also references some interesting peer-reviewed journal citations, one of which I found particularly interesting.

In the Journal of Sex Research, Julie Albright writes, "As a result of viewing pornography women reported lowered body image, partner critical of their body, increased pressure to perform acts seen in pornographic films, and less actual sex, while men reported being more critical of their partners' body and less interested in actual sex."

While Jen does not hint at lowered body image or pressure to perform certain sexual acts, it is evident that she has fallen victim to porn culture in a different way.

Fight the New Drug conclude their letter to Jen saying, "let us give you one piece of advice: never accept porn as a normal part of any relationship, or a normal part of anything in general. It is harmful material that addicts the brain, damages relationships, and pushes warped perceptions about sex and intimacy into society. You should never be expected to do anything for fear of a partner turning to porn or ever think it is normal for them to do so. This terrible thing happened to you largely because of the porn culture of our society and how the world will do anything to feed its endless appetite for sex. Real women are beautiful and real love is sexy. Anything else is a counterfeit."

I could not have put it better myself.

*Donny Pauling's personal story is in Australian edition No. 372 and can be viewed online at challengenews.org

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