Billie Eilish spoke about porn in a recent interview and displayed extreme close-mindedness.
For some reason, lots of people redefine the word "pornography" in order to make it seem worse than it is. When you ask people what they consider pornography, you'll get lots of different answers. This is usually based on their own experiences and what they've been exposed to. I consider porn to be photographs or videos of consenting adults having sex. I don't see that in and of itself to be a bad thing. I don't think anyone else should either.
Lots of people talk about porn addiction. Is it possible for someone to become addicted to porn? I believe so. However, it's important to note that porn doesn't have addictive chemicals within it the same way drugs and alcohol do. I can't even believe I have to point that out, but some are unaware of the difference. A person can become addicted to porn, yes. But that doesn't mean the porn itself is addictive.
While porn addiction is one thing people use to throw the entire industry under the bus, it isn't the only thing. Horrific acts like rape and harassment are blamed on porn a lot of times. Lots of people take their own sexual traumas and place blame on porn. I feel for these people, because they're not dealing with the root issue and, therefore, are delaying their own healing process.
A recent example of this came when singer Billie Eilish recently spoke in an interview.
Eilish appeared with her brother Finneas on The Howard Stern Show. During the interview, Eilish made some comments about pornography, her experiences with it, and her feelings towards it. She said that she began watching porn at 11 years old. Eilish said that her mother was shocked when she found out she watched porn. However, she didn't elaborate on what actions her mother took, if any. Eilish called porn "a disgrace."
"I'm so angry that porn is so loved," Eilish said. "And I'm so angry at myself for thinking that it was okay."
Eilish referred to her own trauma during the interview when mentioning her past sexual encounters. She said that she had no concept of her own sexual boundaries due to the influence pornography had on her.
"The first few times I had sex, I was not saying no to things that were not good. And it's because I thought that that's what I was supposed to be attracted to."
My heart goes out to Eilish and I recognize that her trauma is valid. However, placing the blame on porn as a whole is the wrong move.
When Stern strangely inquired about the kind of porn Eilish watched, she initially mentioned the word "abusive." She confirmed she was referring to BDSM porn and the angle in which the interview presented it was less than truthful. BDSM porn studios make sure their performers consent to the acts they engage in and a safe word is put in place. However, this is something an underage Eilish would be unaware of, since she wasn't old enough to understand.
Herein lies our main issue.
Porn is a fantasy. It's entertainment being performed by consenting adults with the intent of arousing and satisfying the viewer. There are plenty of adults who understand the difference between porn and the sex one has in real life. An underage person with barely a hint of sexual education isn't able to understand this. Therefore, porn isn't for them. There's a reason porn is referred to as "adult entertainment."
The real issue is the fact that Eilish had no adult supervision and was able to access pornography. I'm not making a comment on her parent's skills at raising their children. It would be unfair to make a judgement or jump to conclusions about such a thing. However, this is where the real issue lies. A lack of sexual education and open dialogue about these issues as Eilish got older is also a factor.
People blaming porn and the entire industry behind it for others' sexual trauma is far too common. However, I feel this is just as much of a legitimate argument as parents who blame school shootings on video games and rock music. It's a bogus criticism that seeks unrealistic instant gratification rather than constructively focusing on the real forces behind it. It also fails to validate the voices of the performers in pornography.
When people argue how misogynistic porn is, I think about how female porn stars are shut out of the conversation. I think about the hypocrisy of that. Sure, there are some who leave porn and talk about their bad experience. Should we really blame that on an entire industry? There are so many others who have great things to say about their job and enjoy what they do. What some might not know is women choose which men they will shoot a scene with. Female performers also make more money than their male scene partners.
Soak that in. Women are being paid more than men for the same hours worked at the same job. The porn industry is the only industry where a wage gap exists, at the expense of men, and gets branded misogynistic.
Sex workers should be respected. Porn is often used as a healthy form of sexual expression by consenting adults. It's not intended to be used in an unhealthy manner. If someone does take it to an unhealthy place, blaming porn only delays our ability to combat the real issue at hand.
Maybe porn isn't for Billie Eilish. That's okay. It's not for everyone. I do hope that Billie evolves her perspective and becomes more open-minded to different walks of life. I hope this will lead to her being able to heal from her past trauma and move towards a better space.