Can pornography be made unpopular?

This is a repost from a blog belonging to a friend of mine. I rarely get into morals on my blog, but this is something that I think is really important and I was excited to read it and find an organization that’s approaching the problem in such a thoughtful way.

My friend Cam has started a cause called Fight the New Drug (FTND). That “New Drug” is pornography, and their approach parallels the fight against tobacco.

This is about changing the messaging. For example, if smoking is a way to rebel against authority, then parents and medical experts saying Don’t smoke!only reinforces the rebellion. But if smoking is succumbing to executives at Big Tobacco, then smoking isn’t a form of rebellion at all, it’s a form of conformity. What rebellious kid wants to conform to Big Tobacco executives? That’s the message of The Truth campaign.

Become a Fighter - Fight the New Drug

Fight the New Drug

Imagine a similar change of messaging around pornography: Pornography isn’t glamorous, it isn’t sexy. Love and romance without pornography is glamorous and sexy. By making the negative externalities of pornography more visible, it would become less appealing. While organizations like CP80and Lighted Candle Society fight the supply-side of pornography, FTND fights the demand-side.

I’m very excited about this approach.

Mary Eberstadt at Stanford’s Hoover Institution calls pornography the “new tobacco” and said:

Yesterday, smoking was considered unremarkable in a moral sense, whereas pornography was widely considered disgusting and wrong — including even by people who consumed it. Today, as a general rule, just the reverse is true. Now it is pornography that is widely (though not universally) said to be value-free, whereas smoking is widely considered disgusting and wrong — including even by many smokers.

Can we change minds again?

Columnist Kathryn Jean Lopez said:

…I’ve been flashing back to something Traci Lords once said: “I have to thank Ed Meese for saving my life.” At 18, her career as a porn star ended in a federal raid. How many Tracis are on a computer near you today? And who else is porn harming? It’s a question that our society — which in its rhetoric and culture says it cares about women and children and lives and love — needs to grapple with. If Eberstadt’s comparison is right, the time [is] coming. The shrugs will cease. Yet I hope the turnaround comes, not because the government has made porn highly inconvenient, but because we have decided we want something better. (Smoking Is Out, Porn Is In.)

Seth Godin said you can’t fight an ideavirus (”pornography is okay”) by “challenging the medium in which it spreads.” Instead, you must counter “one ideavirus with another one.”

You don’t counter racism by making the act of uttering racist statements against the law. You do it by spreading an idea (racism is hateful, wrong and stupid) that keeps the racist from expressing his ideas because all his friends will shun him if he does. (“Thinking about this war”.)

Here is some of the FTND messaging, paraphrased:

1. Educate people about the negative effects of pornography and let them choose their pornography involvement for themselves. We do not contest the legality to produce pornographic material.

2. Just because it’s legal to smoke cigarettes, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Similarly, porn can have devastating effects on you and your loved ones.

3. Although pornography consumption can lead to powerful addictive behaviors, we don’t contest people’s right to view it.

4. People need to be educated about the negative effects of pornography on individuals, families and businesses.

5. We fight against the demand for pornography. Through education, we believe people will no longer want to use porn and those with addictive behavior will seek help from professionals.

6. People addicted to porn often feel they have no options. We’re letting people know that they have a choice.

7. We want to infuse more sexiness into the world. Two committed people together — that is sexy. A lonely, addicted person sitting in front of a computer is not sexy.

Please make a $10 donation to FTND to become a “fighter”. Ten dollars from 1,000 people is better than $10,000 from 1 person. The money will be used to develop messaging campaigns to fight the demand for pornography. This will be a grass-roots movement to make pornography unpopular.

I’ve put in my $10 and I’m hoping many, many more friends will as well.

And, like my friend Richard, I have also made my donation.

nashville revisited (and bobby flay is an egomaniac)

So, I was wrong. One of the counselor’s at work (a fellow foodie) corrected me. Bobby Flay actually won the throwdown at the Loveless Cafe.

While we’re on the subject, though, (for those of you who watch Throwdown) can I just say how obnoxious I think the premise of this whole show is? It is totally obnoxious.

“Hi, I’m Bobby Flay and I’m going to come to your establishment and make a similar product and show that in just a week I can do it better than you can, even though you’ve been doing it for years.”

What a punk!

The only redeeming quality the program has is that you get to see these super cool places that are famous for whatever it is they make…which is how I knew about the Loveless Cafe.

another installment of "the gospel of friendship"…according to me

This post is sponsored by my recent reflection on just how much I am missing/going to miss my Utah friends since, by the end of the summer, they will have all left me for cities east of the Rockies.

Once upon a time, people would have classified me as “nice”. I was actually kind of a pushover. I remember many times doing whatever I could to make people like me. In fact, that lasted right through high school. I had so many insecurities all the time. My main concern was my social life and how to get people to like me. This is probably also why I never dated…but that’s an entire post of its own.

Sad, but true. And even though I had a great group of friends in high school, I never quite felt like I fit in. I was always trying way too hard. In fact, I would venture to say the same for most of my college life. I found the friends I wanted and tried to make myself one of them. The ironic thing is, I think had I just figured out who I was and been myself, I probably would have had the same friends, it just would have been a lot easier.

And the I grew up (about three years ago…some of us mature at a slower rate than others).

It’s not that I don’t care what people think about me anymore. I do. Or, I should say, I care about what the people I care about think. Did you follow that? But it’s not about whether they like me as much as it is whether I’m a good person.

One of my favorite things about who I am today is that I am okay with people not liking me…as long as it’s based in reality. Not everyone is going to like me. And I am not going to like everyone. And do you know something? There’s nothing wrong with that.

Yes, I’m sometimes too honest with people, but I don’t intend to be mean. So, if someone wants a friend who is going to always say exactly what he or she wants to hear, I’m not your girl. I’m not going to rip a hole in you on a daily basis, but if I think you are being immature and you ask for my opinion (ask being the operative word) I’m going to give it to you…okay, and sometimes when you don’t ask. The same thing goes if I think you are being irrational, rude, mean, caddy, selfish, stubborn, or obnoxious. And I expect the same thing from my friends. I am also going to tell you when I think you are being too hard on yourself, you are doing a great job, you look great (I don’t generally say the opposite of this one, but I don’t lie, either), or I admire something you’ve done. And you will always know that I am being sincere. And I’m not going to agree with you just because we’re friends.

What I’ve discovered is that my friends are kind of self-selecting. Those of us who appreciate “hard truth” and can handle disagreements that don’t resolve (not arguments, but literally having differing opinions) tend to find each other and we can stick together because there is a certain level of trust and understanding. One of my favorite things is when a friend tells me something that I know is hard for them because they know it will hurt me, but they do it anyway because they know that it will help me (this is very different than saying something hurtful that is totally unnecessary). If you can’t be honest with your friends, what’s the point?

Now to my point…if you are always living in fear that you are being left out or that this person doesn’t like you as much as she likes this person, you are wasting a lot of time and energy (and are probably being treated like a doormat). Just figure out who you are and be genuine and you will find the right friends for you. I don’t think everyone should be or needs to be like me, but I know that my close friends will be like me (to an extent…although I’m glad not everyone is quite as blunt as I am).

And if you feel like you are having to make too much effort (some effort is always necessary in friendship) to get someone to like you, you probably are and they probably won’t, so let it go. It’s much easier to figure out who you are and find friends that fit, than it is to find friends and try to make you fit.

Lastly, I’ve discovered (yes, because no one else has ever written about this before) that generally, the people you like also like you. And the ones you don’t like, generally don’t like you either. Weird, I know. So why is it so hard for people to be okay with that?

dear you…inspired by the emotional roller coaster i’ve been riding all day

From the top…

Dear Job,

The truth is I’m pretty much over you. While the position of glorified secretary was exactly what I needed for the last year and a half, you have now outstayed your welcome…or I have outstayed mine, as the case may be. I’m tired of rarely needing to use my brain. I’m tired of feeling guilty because my actual work takes very little time…or thought. I’m tired of being surrounded by the inefficiencies of academia. I’m tired of working for a “not-for-profit” type of operation. Yep…I’m done. But, I refuse to leave a trail of chaos behind, so I am going to work my tail off for the next five weeks or so. But, I must say, May 9th will be a good day. Although, I will miss several of the people with whom I work…though not all of them.

With much impatience,


Dear Coworkers,

I was referring to the job, not you. And if you are reading this, it’s because you know it exists, which would be a clear indication that you are one of the people I am going to miss.



Dear Nev,

Sometimes you really, really, really hurt my feelings. And sometimes you are really grumpy. And sometimes those two things, combined with PMS, will cause me to cry intermittently all day long. I realize that in your world, fiscal responsibility is the end all be all of goodness in a human being. However, I do not live in your world. I live in my world.

With a tear-stained face and puffy eyes,


Dear BFFs,

Thanks for wanting to go to lunch with me today and sitting through all of my tears. Thanks for chatting with me online and being sympathetic even though your situation is similar…and perhaps more difficult than my own. Thanks for letting me rain on your respective parades. Thanks for being good listeners. It’s a good thing we have the internet, or all of your relocations would be too much for me to handle.



Dear Ticket Scalpers,

I think you are evil. I know that’s harsh, but I really do. I know many of you have justifications for why you did what you did today, but I really do think it’s wrong, especially for an event held in celebration of our nation’s birthday. Especially when the people most excited to see Mylie Cyrus are kids and tweenies. Especially when this is an event that some families go to every year as part of their family tradition and now they won’t be able to, unless they are willing to pay 2-10 times the original ticket price. Especially when I was online right when the tickets went on sale and I couldn’t even get one. I hope some of you reconsider.

Just remember, Karma’s a b#@!$ and She generally gets her revenge.

And to those of you who are considering purchasing tickets from scalpers, I hope you will take the opportunity to think about the value of money and what you are teaching your children by doing so. Mylie Cyrus is going to be paid either way. Do you really want your children growing up believing that one show was so “important” that is was worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars?


A girl who is totally disgusted by the things people will do to make money

Dear Birth Mothers,

You are amazing women. Thank you for being so absolutely and completely selfless.

With all the sincerity and love I have,


Dear Siblings,

Thank you for being fabulous! Thank you for listening to me go on and on…and on today, and attempting to understand me through all of my tears. Thank you for knowing me so well that when you answered the phone, you knew something was wrong before I even started talking. Thank you for your sound advice…and sitting on the phone with me much longer than I’m sure you wanted to. And thank you for being honest with me, so that when you agreed with me today, I could feel totally validated in my anger, frustration and hurt feelings. Thank you for providing me with beds and couches to crash on, places to visit, and, occasionally, income. I feel pretty blessed.


Your sister, who really hopes that she gives you guys as much as you give her

Dear Eyes,

I am really, really sorry about today. I know you never give me any grief. You don’t even have any vision issues. But I manage to cause you pain frequently enough. But really, it’s not me, it’s my over active tear ducts. Blame them. I’m sorry you are going to be so sore and swollen tomorrow. I am going to try really hard not to cry anymore…but I’m guessing it’s not going to work. I know that’s not the most positive way of thinking, but I have to be honest. Just know that your pain is my pain, too.


The girl with the Scandinavian genetics that really bug her from time to time

Dear WWs’ Scale,

Please be nice to me tomorrow. Pretty, pretty please.


The girl who is back…finally…with lots and lots of support

Dear PMS,

Why is it that you always, always come when I have a bad day; a day that I could normally handle without too much grief…or any tears? I’m sick of you.

With no love…especially since your existence is not doing me any good whatsoever,



I flew back to snow. Snow. It’s April TOMORROW! What the hell is this? I can’t believe I’m actually considering staying here TWO MORE YEARS.

In case any of you wanted to start making a list of all the ways California is better than Utah, you can start with the weather.

*I’m sure some of you are thinking, “If you hate it so much, why don’t you move?”…the answer, “Because I made some poor choices and ended up needing to move home with my dad…and he chose to move here from California about four years ago.” So there you go. I know that some of you love it here. I won’t argue with you. I just don’t feel the same.