Western Society has Stripped Sex Bare of its Meaning | Simone Hanna
Decayed and desacralized, gone are the days in which we can relish in romance without being called hopeless. An act once purely of love between a husband and wife, the artwork in which two separate souls become one entity, and the moment in which two hearts find one home. Our society has made a mockery of romance, eroding sex into a simple commodity, a product that can be bought, sold, and accessed by the simple click of a button.
Having just turned eighteen, I am entering that late, awkward stage where my peers seem to view sex as a remarkably simple and casual thing to engage in. I cannot judge them for this; I grew up in the same cultural wreck. The one where women would objectify themselves but deem it ‘liberation’, where film and television normalised adulterous behaviour, where the internet made pornography easily accessible, and where schools taught children how to have ‘safe sex’ rather than teaching them what sex is, or at least, what it should be – a personal, private and passionate act of love.
Now, if it wasn’t bad enough for western culture to normalise Pornhub – a free, easily accessible site that directly profits off child rape, sexual violence, and female abuse – young ‘entrepreneur’ Timothy Stokely’s creation of OnlyFans has given more conservative ideas of love one more nail in the coffin and changed ‘sex work’ forever.
Admittedly, I can understand why this site has so quickly become attractive to young women. Unlike your ‘traditional’ porn site, OnlyFans gives women more control over their content and preferences, giving them better choices for what they charge and gain in return, but this still does not change what it is; it is sex work. Except this type of sex work has a big, shiny bow on top labelled ‘liberty’. But, this new idea of freedom is degenerate and entirely deluded, far from empowering, and completely abandons ideas of dignity and decorum, once again making a mockery of the feminist movement.
The majority of women who are ‘content creators’ for this site are fairly young, they have grown up in a similar time to myself: the one which saw rise in a new era of celebrities and music artists who used their promiscuity as their power; where song lyrics were more sexual than ever; and the time when you could flick through a magazine without coming across nudity was a distant memory.
This was always excused as female liberation, a way to take back control of the past and rid the patriarchal views that once controlled them – women sexualised themselves and influenced the young minds of those who watched, teaching women that the way to respect themselves was by doing just the opposite of that, turning sexuality into a personality trait, glorifying licentious, profane behaviour – making a mockery of themselves and what feminism should be. Instead of teaching women to embrace their brains, they taught them how to encapsulate their bodies. So, of course, young women are going to see the creation of OnlyFans as normal behaviour; how could they not? The era they grew up in brandished hypersexuality, killed sex, twisted it into fashion, stigmatised ideas of abstinence, and made sure that liberation came from objectification.
The more we normalise sex and tarnish it by allowing it to be sold, the more we are teaching women that sex is a power they can use as they please, almost as if their promiscuity is a civil liberty. And with women more entitled to use their sexuality as power, what happens when someone comes along to call out this behaviour? They are shunned. Shut down. Told they are infringing other people’s rights. How dare they care about what other people do? How dare they care about the actions and collective mental wellbeing of society?
Things are only growing worse; young women have dismissed the dangers of what they put out online, forgetting nothing in this world stays secret, and that soft porn can only stay soft for so long. Selling your sexuality is not freedom, for it strips you of future freedoms you simply do not desire in the present. There is so much you put at risk when you decide to empty your soul online; your reputation, future jobs, relationships – all the things you may not consider important right now, you will look back at one day with such strong, irremovable regret.
Ladies, your freedom may be friend to you now, but never forget how easily a friend can become your foe. Show us what you can do with your brains, not your bodies.
Photo by orangemania on Flickr.