I have HAD it with this mother*$#@ porn on this mother#@#* plane!

This is Dawn Hawkins. She is executive director of Morality in Media, which (according to its website) is “the leading national organization opposing pornography and indecency through public education and the application of the law.”

As Dawn recounts in the video below, last month, while she was flying on Delta Airlines, she noticed that the guy seated in front of her was, on his iPad, looking at porn on the airplane. (It was also six in the morning. But you know what they say: it’s never too early to start looking at porn on an airplane.)

Ms. Hawkins asked a flight attendant to ask the guy to stop looking at porn on the airplane; the attendant said there was nothing he could do about it; the guy begrudgingly stopped looking at porn on the airplane. A day or two after the incident Dawn made the video below, and has been embroiled in a bit of (coffers-enhancing) controversy ever since.

As I write this, Ms. Hawkin’s video has been viewed 172,516 times on YouTube. It’s also there garnered 570 likes, and 23,503 dislikes.

I am choosing to decide that one guy, looking at porn on an airplane, in addition to 23,503 people on YouTube giving Ms. Hawkins’s video a thumbs down, does not mean that while I was looking the other way—while I was busy alphabetizing the books in my study, or taking notes in my astronomy journal about the galactic wonders I’d seen through my telescope—our society decided it was okay to look at porn in public.

Then again, what do I know? Once National Geographic decided that no film about animals should ever go more than two minutes straight without showing a traumatizing display of horribly graphic animal violence, I knew all bets were off for our culture.

So you guys tell me. It’s still considered flat-out unacceptable to look at porn in public, right?

Now, to be clear, I’m not asking for opinions on porn itself (though I’m all ears if you care to share about that). I’m also not soliciting comments about the young and earnest Ms. Hawkins, or her organization, as entirely engaging as I’m sure that conversation would be.

Right now all I’m asking is whether or not No Public Porn Perusal is still the rule. It is, right? No one thinks that on a plane—or in a restaurant, or a hotel lobby, or … in an elevator, or whatever—it’s okay to look at porn, correct? That’s still something you’re supposed to do (because, let’s face it, trillions of people every day do do it) only when you’re very strictly alone, right? Or maybe, at most, when you’re with that special someone, or … someones, I guess. But not right out in public, right?

As most of you know, I’m hardly the Church Lady. (Speaking of which, why do I assume Ms. Hawkins is Christian?) But if you guys tell me that you have ever seen anyone casually looking at porn in a normal, everyday, public sort of setting, then … well, then that will be, for me, something that I really, really don’t need, which is one more reason to never leave my house.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is co-founder of The NALT Christians Project and founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here). His blog is here. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Andrew Raymond

    No, things haven’t changed. Although on overseas flights I have noted that the inflight movies will occasionally involve nude scenes, usually lovemaking which hardly even rates the designation of soft-core.

    Beyond that, I’d have to say that yes, anyone who peruses porn in public probably has a porn addiction or exhibitionism problem. But it’s not unheard of. I am somewhat surprised that the flight attendant refused to help.

  • Chris Constant

    I have never seen anyone looking at porn in public. But I have seen someone doing something he should also be doing in private (alone) in public. None of my other friends saw this dirty man, so of course they all thought I was making it up. Sigh.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Are you sure that wasn’t just someone enamored of your awesome artwork, Chris Constant?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Now flashers and exhibitionists I’ve seen. Quite a bit actually.

      So that’s weird. People who want people to see them are more common than people who want people to see them looking at pictures of people.

      • Andrew Raymond

        Public sex done solo, perhaps?

  • Tyler Kalevi Chen via Facebook

    Still have yet to encounter anyone watching porn in public…but I’ve seen a lot more evidence of people having danced the horizontal tango (alone or together) in public, including in the Playplace in the McD’s where I used to work. I think neither one is acceptable, really, but if I were held at gunpoint and forced to choose which one I’d rather see, I’d pick catching someone looking at porn in public.

  • Leslie Marbach via Facebook

    Dang, John. You found out my secret. What else is an iPhone for? Porn-to-go.

  • Michelle Woods via Facebook

    No it’s not right to view porn in public. I’m not a prude by any means, but that should be a private thing. I don’t understand people these days that use technology in rude ways period.

  • Sue Hulett via Facebook

    Watching porn in public, most especially if someone- anyone- else can see it, is not acceptable behavior. The flight attendant should have immediately asked that passenger to watch something else or turn it off.

  • erika

    ya know what i wonder? if “Mr. its OK to watch porn on a plane” is a Republican.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

      Not if he is a potential candidate in a county in my state. They have a “no porn” clause for membership in the GOP.

      • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

        I wouldn’t bet the heart transplant money on that.

      • erika

        and a no “infidelity”clause?

  • Kristina Rutledge via Facebook

    Not acceptable at all. I believe that what you do on your own time is your own business but not in public. Especially not in some place that is so confined as an airplane.

  • Jason Smith via Facebook

    Maybe I’m just shy or easily embarrassed, but… DUDE! What the heck, man? Watching in public? Are you kidding me? Porn is one of those things you don’t watch in public, like the republican debates or British Victorian-themed dramas… you just shouldn’t let strangers know you like /watch it.

  • Perry

    Well, if someone stuck a mirror in my face at juuuuuuuuuuust the right moment, I could accurately say that I’ve seen someone looking at porn in public…just sayin’. (**shrug**)

  • Barbara Rice

    I have never seen anyone watch porn in public, but that doesn’t mean it it isn’t being done and I just happened to be in the restroom at the time.

    That said, I find the word “pornography” to be thrown around loosely by certain people who label anything with nudity or sexual situations as porn, so it would be hard to say if this gal actually saw porn or soft-core or what.

  • Summer Mitchell via Facebook

    This is why I keep my eyes on my own paper.

  • Driftwood2K11

    Yes, I’ve seen some of my friends surfing porn on their smartphones. Little 320×480 displays of pervurpitude (that would be “perverted turpitude” but all smingled together). It never appealed to me. I mean, porn serves a purpose. It’s to get you all hot and bothered, and to release sexual tension. Where are you going to release it when you’re out in public? How do you walk with your friends when they’ve got boners pointing the way?

  • http://www.facebook.com/perry.shields Perry Shields via Facebook

    Shouldn’t watch it in libraries, either. I have heard the First Amendment cited as a defense for that, but it’s still just damn rude behavior.

    • JuliePaysAttention

      I was in the library when a man was escorted out for downloading porn from the library’s computer onto his laptop. A library, obviously, has minors present so it should be an issue there.

      I’m not a parent, but I agree that there should be certain public places where you can take your children without having to be concerned.

      Having said that, I don’t know who fascinates me more, psychologically, Hawkins or the man with the ipad.

  • Linnea Sommer

    I generally don’t have a problem with porn, as long as it involves consenting adults. But keep it at home. At one place I worked, a bunch of guys (at least 3 or 4) got fired for looking at online porn while they were at work. (Then again, they were all a few fries short of a Happy Meal anyway, if you get my drift.) There’s a time and a place for everything.

  • otter

    Porn in public?? Yuck city.

    Porn? – yuck anywhere.

    But I have to say Dawn does not come across as a very forceful advocate for her cause. Her mannerisms and speaking style convey little authority, and she picked a confrontation without an understanding of laws that might have helped her prevail. In short, Dawn, you got crushed. Instead of whining about it on youtube, go figure out how become a more credible advocate.

    As they say, “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight’.

    • Melissa Chamberlin

      hahahaha

  • laura

    Just because the woman on the plane told her to be quiet does not mean that she was not “on our side”, it might mean that it was not even 7 in the morning and that she wanted to have some peace and quiet. Or maybe the older woman did actually like porn, just because campaigning against porn is Ms Hawkin’s business does not mean that all of us feel the same way; there are plenty of women out there who like porn, even (or especially) violent, nasty stuff.

    I think that the man was way out of bounds if he was viewing porn in public, however, I think that Dawn Hawkins was way out of bounds in continuing the confrontation once the man had shut off his iPad. If she had serious concerns about the possibility of illegal pornography, child porn, she should have contacted the authorities at her next destination, as she did, and allowed them to handle it. Causing a scene on an airplane isn’t going to do anything except embarrass the man and annoy the other passengers around you. Neither of those things are going to recruit any people to your cause.

    For the record, I am a 45-year-old woman who enjoys porn (the kind of stuff that would horrify Ms Hawkins), but I would never watch it anywhere where other people might be offended.

    • Justforthetimebeing

      What about the fact that she was the one causing the disruption which could have resulted in her being removed from the plane.

      I also enjoy porn in my home and the kind I enjoy as a gay man would really horrify Ms. Hawkins.

  • Allie

    I wouldn’t say it’s appropriate, but I also wouldn’t say it’s appropriate to spy on what other people are looking at on their ipads.

  • Remy Schrader

    Well, I used to live in an apartment on West 6th Street in Los Angeles. And one day as I walked from the subway to my building, I witnessed a woman in MacArthur Park, on her knees before a man performing an act that — if filmed — would definitely constitute porn.

    So, that happened.

    And a couple of weeks ago I was at the movie theater, catching the latest Liam Neeson display of a very particular set of skills. And there were a couple of teenagers quite a few rows above us who were, as my buddy put it “totally boning.” Which, if filmed, would also totally be porn.

    So that happened too.

    Here’s my thought: porn = sex. Public = children. Not guaranteed, but possibly present. Children should not be exposed to sex. That’s my right as a parent, to determine how and when and in what way my child is introduced to sex. Because it’s sort of an electric thing. And it’s my job as a Dad to do everything I can to gift my community with a productive young adult. And sex can be very productive, no? But just like electricity, you need to route that stuff the right way. Otherwise… ZAP!

    Burns and nastiness.

    So no — porn in public is not acceptable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Laura-C-Minnick/1253018542 Laura C. Minnick via Facebook

    Sorry, I’m of the opinion that if she didn’t like what he was watching… why was she looking at his screen anyway? Couldn’t she mind her own business long enough for a flight?

    My last trip, the guy in the seat next to me was watching some really violent movie in the screen in the back of the seat. And you know what I did? I put on my earphones and picked up my book. Even slept a bit (overnight from Portand to NYC). If he wants to spend his hardearned cash on blood and guts, oh well. And if he’d been looking at porn on his iPad, it would have been even easier for me to ignore. Because it’s really none of my business.

  • Phoebe Fennell

    Ok, wait a minute. Child centered? Say what?

    I can’t watch the video, not sure why, but I’m unable to hear what she says about her experience. Could some one please clarify what “child centered” means here? Because if it was child pornography, there sure as heck IS something an airline attendant (or anyone else) can do: arrest the guy. That’s illegal.

    • laura

      She says that the porn he was watching featured “young Asian girls” and she could not tell if they were 14 or 18.

  • Jonathan Mathieson

    Porn should only be at home, alone and filled with shame… it is not some casual out in the open weekend warrior sport…. ;)

    • Diana A.

      Aw, I don’t agree with the “filled with shame” part. As for alone, well some couples enjoy viewing porn together. But yeah, not out in public and not where the kids can see.

  • Justforthetimebeing

    Porn is what it is and will entertain and offend. I think that porn can be viewed discretely in public, though I tend to keep my porn viewing in the home.

    I would like to say that Ms. Hawkins is a very nosey woman and should have been keeping her eyes on her own possessions. The simple fact that she knows exactly what he was looking at says a lot about her as well.

    • Justforthetimebeing

      I am also at a loss as to how she is so certain that it was child pornography. Whether you like it or not porn is currently, and rightfully so, protected by the First Amendment, and though viewing it in public can be in poor taste, I do not think that this passenger was infringing on her space. He was in front of her not next to her, and it would seem that she went out of her way to see what he was looking at.

  • http://www.synergebooks.com Annie Nutt

    Well, I can see why someone might get upset at someone viewing porn on a plane in their eyesight. Porn can be downright gross; my old roommates were watching lesbian porn and I caught a glimpse of it, and I’m no homophobe, but ew. My husband once saw a guy get escorted by security off of a plane (before airing) for cursing to a rap song. We disapproved of the guy getting escorted off the plane, because that violated his free speech rights. Still, if one must look at porn in public, they should have screen protectors that prevent anyone else from seeing it, so that other people don’t have to be subjected to porn.

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    Here is another case (also involving a Delta flight, ironically):

    http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-12-01/news/30464711_1_flight-attendant-flight-risk-sexually-explicit-photos

    So, yeah, some people have low impulse control, some deep rooted psychological problem, or were just never taught to ask for permission from people around you before doing something potentially offensive.

    Ms Hawkins speaks of porn being a danger to kids, but I gather she means in the sense of either being forced to participate in it or being victimized by someone who watches porn (though there are fewer incidents of forcible rape in cultures where porn is more readily available).

    Those are legitimate concerns, but I think there’s also a danger of “imprinting” on young children before they are ready to process what they see. The danger of such imprinting is that it can created a skewed sensibility in a child, causing them to fixate on a particular aspect of sexuality (or perceived sexuality) in such a way that limits their ability to enjoy the full range of sexual expression as an adult (for example, a person who fetishizes about shoes to the exclusion of having a healthy relationship with a real human being).

    Unfortunately, this imprinting can come from non-pornographic sources as well, often from innocuous non-sexual images that just happen to connect with a particular child at a moment when they are particularly susceptible.

    Since there is no way of knowing exactly when a child is in danger of such imprinting, or for that matter how any particular image — sexual or non-sexual — will imprint on a particular individual, there’s no way to guarantee a “safe” environment.

    So, yeah, try our best to keep sexual images out of view from young kids and those in early adolescence, but when they do see such images don’t freak out; treat it matter of factly and don’t make a big deal out of it. Making a big deal out of it only heightens the forbidden allure and actually reinforced any potential imprinting.

    • Melissa Chamberlin

      Thanks, Buzz. I appreciate your reply. I think that anytime we place something on a different shelf that is labeled “forbidden” we give it power.

  • Lorelei Hillman via Facebook

    My European friends think Americans are crazy to get so worked up about sex when there’s so much violence on TV. I kept trying to explain that sex is an intimate act. Several years ago my (then) young daughter got an eyeful when some guy drove up next to us at a traffic stop with a TV rigged on his front seat playing an X DVD. It seemed like a kind of exhibitionism; he wanted others to see him – shame made it better… Ugh.

  • Wally Johnsey via Facebook

    They used to sell nudie magazines in the airport news stands and I never understood why I never saw guys looking at them on the flight. Not that it would have been alright, I just thought we’d have this issue long before the invention of $500 digital porn delivery devices.

    • laura

      I was in Heathrow recently and was amazed at the huge array of spanking novels…much different than the bookstores in The States. I can’t imagine reading something like that on the plane though, isn’t the whole point of that sort of thing defeated when you are trapped in a tinc an with 300 other people?

  • Beth Markham Herring via Facebook

    @Laura, even if you TRY to avoid your gaze, it is very difficult not to see what is on a near-by screen. Are we a civilized society or not? Are we SERIOUSLY thinking that watching PORN!! in public is acceptable behavior??!!! Really?? It is NOT the same as an action movie. It truly is not.

  • Nancy Johnson via Facebook

    So to those who deride the “uptightness” of the US, should we all look just look the other way and mind our own business, no big deal, when a little masturbation gets in on the picture? Where do we draw the line? Just because many of us are more liberal than conservative does not mean we pooh pooh decadence. Looking at porn is a loaded topic, and all I will say in “judgment” is that we do impacts who we are.

    Personally? Knock yourself out, but get real about pushing your “freedom” like this. Ick. Really, ick. I think the flight attendant should have told him in no uncertain terms that other passengers’ rights were as important as his. Do basic morality laws disappear because we are airborn? And ugh! What a letch! Just because I am pro-choice, pro gay marriage, pro-progressive thinking does NOT mean I am pro-porn.

    Whew. OK. I think I’m done know. Carry on and drink your morning tea…or coffee. :^)

  • http://www.facebook.com/john10423 John Gragson

    i do not have a categorical position about porn; i don’t agree 100% with Morality in Media’s cause or even with Ms Hawkin’s ultimate conclusions in the video–but i’m floored that no one else was offended by this guy’s behavior, and that so many people seem to take offense with ^her^ calling him on it. shaking my head. and she raises (though she didn’t flesh it out much) an interesting commentary with “i couldn’t tell if they were fourteen or eighteen”… i never cared for the bright-line legal rule that all bets are off at 18, in criminal law, contract law, or with regard to personal relationships (the rule is a necessary legal evil, but this isn’t about legality). the fact is, a grown man looking sexually at an 18-year-old is not significantly different in character from a grown man looking sexually at a 14-year-old. she is also correct that some (although not all) porn is violent and degrading, and apparently the stuff the man was looking at fell into that category. and for those “why was she looking” people… are you kidding me? you have people piled up on each other’s laps in the sardine section and you’re not supposed to see what anyone else is doing?

  • Artemis Kore via Facebook

    To me, the answer to this is the one we give to children and teenagers and others who are for whatever reason learning etiquette, or some facet thereof: “there is a time and a place”. The problem with perusing porn in public–say that five times fast!–is that it makes others uncomfortable for little to no reason.

    A person’s rights should end when they infringe upon others–this is (in part) why it’s not considered okay anymore to say/do sexual things at the office.

  • Gary

    Public viewing of porn should remain socially unacceptable for the same reason we fight for gay rights…it denies others their rights. If I choose to deliberately display porn in public in a manner where someone inadvertently is forced to view it or go out of their way to avoid it then I am denying that person their right to not view porn.

    Whatever my personal opinion of it is (which is actually pretty open minded when it is not degrading or victimizing) I have no right to force my views on others. Nudity on TV? Don’t much care as there people still have a choice. But on a plane? Come on…show a little respect for others. This seems to me what the real issue here is anyway.

  • Richard lubbers

    Gary is right; this is a respect issue. It may also be a legality issue if the porn being viewed is child porn. You would not expect an airline to allow a herione addict to shoot up on a plane, a cocaine addict to toot coke on a plane, would you?

    I’m no prude, but I agree with Ms. Dawkins that airlines should have a policy banning the display of pornography. On a lighter note, can’t you just hear the flight attendant’s instructions about what is illegal to do the the airplane restrooms?

    • Diana A.

      That’s the thing. We keep trying to legislate stuff that should have been taught in the home as just plain good manners (and maybe was and is just being ignored). Unfortunately, it has become out of vogue for people to practice good manners.

  • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

    I am not at all a fan of porn, and I prefer that it be kept out of my viewing or hearing, but making a U-Tube complaint about someone watching it on a plane? She could have asked him to turn down the volume if the sound bothered her.

    I am sure many travelers can attest to worse things witnessed experienced or heard…screaming toddlers, arguing seat mates, drunks drooling fast asleep on their seatmate’s shoulder, or snoring loud enough to deafen eardrums, or worse throwing up,that kid in the seat behind you constantly kicking and kicking the back of your seat. You needing to use the bathroom, and that drunk has commandeered one bathroom, and the mom with the three year old who just mastered potty training the other. You realizing that you are coming down with the flu and you can feel the snot building.

    A plane is a place of tight confines, and you are stuck trying to make the best of it for the duration. Get a book, get an I-pod, pray you are not on the connecting flight with this group of people.

  • Peggy

    John, you are not crazy. I travel with kids and I would become the ugly Mama bear should someone be looking at porn within eye/earshot of my kids. Of the small ampunt of porn I have ever seen, it is mostly based on objectifying someone. The man obviously got some arousal or satisfaction by viewing it in public. He probably has never had a true relationship because he can’t be intimate in the ‘soul’ sense of the word. You can stay in your house if you will blog more, but I think you should go ahead and venture out. Perhaps you could write something about men who can’t have anything other than a superficial relationship and what that means for his relationship with God. Or not.

    • laura

      He probably has never had a true relationship because he can’t be intimate in the ‘soul’ sense of the word.

      Based on the fact that he likes porn? Really? It’s funny how we all think that we are so open and tolerant until we come up against a kink that we don’t understand. Then we are awfully quick to get judgy. Lots of people in healthy, monogamous relationships like porn. Christian people. Liberal people. It might not be your kink, but don’t assume that those who have it are not every bit as spiritual as you.

      • Gary

        Indeed. I am in a wonderfully long term and healthy marriage of nearly 30 years…and my wife and I find no problem with viewing erotic materials. Of course it is in our own home…lol.

        • Peggy

          Exactly, you view it in your own home with your partner, who is a willing participant. There is nothing wrong with that. This guy was viewing it in public. There is some motivation to do that. Also, let’s be honest. A lot of porn is about objectification of someone.

    • http://www.zahnzone.blogspot.com LisaZ

      Is this why men look at porn? Because I would love to have a liberal Christian write about this subject and give us so more insight into it–I have seen plenty from more conservative Christians about the “sin” of it and would love to have less “sinful” perspective and more about how it affects personal relationships,etc.. So many married couples I personally know have admitted to struggling with this problem. I’m uncertain how I feel about porn in general (though I completely agree that IN PUBLIC viewing it is just plain wrong!) and about why men turn to it. And some women do too.

      • http://www.zahnzone.blogspot.com LisaZ

        I meant to paste this quote from the above commenter: “He probably has never had a true relationship because he can’t be intimate in the ‘soul’ sense of the word. You can stay in your house if you will blog more, but I think you should go ahead and venture out. Perhaps you could write something about men who can’t have anything other than a superficial relationship and what that means for his relationship with God.”

        • Peggy

          Liza, having worked in the field of psychology, I have seen pornography used mostly to separate sex from intimacy, and this has been primarily with men. This is all I mean by a ‘soul’ connection. Intimacy. I am not about censorship or telling anyone what kind of sex to have. I have just seen it used more in a negative way than a positive one

      • Gary

        We don’t “struggle with it” because we do not find it offensive or sinful. (The types we view anyway…there is much that crosses the line)

        Sexuality has gotten such a bad rap from Christianity as a whole and it just does not equate when biblically studied that we should be such sexual prudes.

        • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

          It’s like that line in Robin Williams GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM: “My men don’t have a marijuana problem. They can pretty much get all the marijuana they want…”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Caroline-Miller/500786293 Caroline Miller via Facebook

    I’m ambivalent. While I do think it’s disrespectful to watch porn where others can see it, I don’t see the point in making a fuss in this instance. On an airplane, only the people confined to the seats immediately surrounding this person are likely to catch a glimpse of porn, and if it doesn’t bother them, why should I be concerned? I’m going to go off on a tangent and say that when I studied in France, I once went to the university media library, where people could watch films at consoles. They were divided by partitions on either side, but you could walk behind a row and see what anyone was watching. Anyway, one time I went there to watch The Piano Teacher, and one scene contained footage of actual porn. I think that elicited a “merde alors” from me, but I don’t think anyone else noticed!

  • gmknobl

    I have no problem viewing this in their own private place. As long as this is not abusive towards others, go for it.

    But the operative word here is PRIVATE. It is out of respect towards others that you should keep this private, not public. This does not mean banning the nude human form or making this some sort of law which would be hard to enforce at best and nazi-like at worst, but keeping your own explicit sexual activities to yourself and in your own private space.

    It was a real eye opener for me to visit the Frankfurt airport in Germany. That culture has another view on sexuality than ours. Much more is displayed openly for everyone to see. Of course, so where men walking around with machine guns (this was in the late 70s, not today when you can see that here too). Still, the explicit content was limited to specific areas and not in the middle of the terminal nor in grocery stores. It was, to some extent, discrete.

    Oh, and by the way, what disturbed me more was not the erotic content displayed openly but the guns. That worried and upset me, a teenage boy at the time.

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      When we visited Italy, we were surprised to see the same Channel no5 advertising campaign in both the US and Rome airports, the model in the exact same pose w/the exact same product, only not wearing the exact same costume in Europe if you catch me drift.

  • Lynne Jacobson via Facebook

    And this in a society where women are considered indecent when they breastfeed their babies in public. Wait–What if women were watching porn in public-would that be different? I bet so. No one should have to be exposed to XXX rated crap or others titillation in public.

    • Diana A.

      See, this the thing. The hypocrisy of treating a woman as if she’s indecent for breastfeeding her baby in public while portions of the public wink and nod at pornography and sexual exploitation in general really floors me.

  • Mary W.

    Twice I have been stopped at a stoplight next to someone alone in a car with porn playing on a car TV system. And once I was alongside a trucker watching porn.

    No, this is not acceptable. This church lady has spoken.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

      I would think its not acceptable because it has the potential to get that driver extremely distracted. That is dangerous not only for their personal safety but for every other vehicle, building or pedestrian they pass.

      • Mary W.

        I agree, SD! Dangerous.

  • Melissa Chamberlin

    Wow, John, you can cook up controversy! Having worked in the prostitution ministry, I do know first hand, from prostitutes who have escaped their captivity, that there is very little prostitution that is consensual. I know this is not about prostitution, but it is all linked. Pornography is a gateway, and a very safe and accepted gateway for johns. Most pornography is violent. It also sets up expectations of women in general to be a certain something to a guy. None of this is about love. Our sexuality is for the expression of love. It is not dirty, it is not to be ashamed of, it is not to be avoided for any reason, as long as it is consensual. Those are some facts laced with personal opinion.

    Our society has such unhealthy views on sex. Our churches teach us it is to be between only certain people, our parents spend the majority of their lives hiding their affection toward one another, and the age of the loss of virginity is getting younger and younger. I think that all of this is a symptom of a much bigger disease that we are dealing with. We are losing touch with the soul. We have become hardened and callus in understanding that there are souls behind those women who are being objectified. That girl/woman is someone’s sister, mother or daughter. They have hearts and feelings, and there is a good chance that they have reasons that are not pretty to be taking part in porn in the first place. Prostitution, nor pornography are victimless crimes. Perhaps the actual act happening at the time is not a crime, but there is a VERY GOOD statistical chance that a crime has been committed against that sister, mother, or daughter in the past, and it was sexual in nature. I understand this gal’s stance. I get it, because I have had the privilege of knowing men and women in the sex industry and I have heard their stories and their hearts, and I see the souls behind these images. I don’t understand, any longer, how people can actually believe that this sort of life, for any woman, is by choice. Viewing porn is a choice, as is owning an ipad. We can do it all for personal gratification and convenience, but to deny the truth about how either of them are made is a choice of not paying attention. We all have a responsibility to one another…even strangers from another country, and especially young people.

    I don’t think I would have handled this the same. I would not have embarrassed that man publicly, as he is just playing a part in this disease. He probably does not know all of the ramifications involved with what he is doing, shoot, he just wants to feel good. Been there, done that. I probably would have spent the remainder of my flight writing my feelings down on paper and would have handed him the paper on my way off of the plane. That is just me, though. If the noise of the porn bothered me, I would have handed him a set of earphones on the way to the bathroom, or something like that. I am silly to believe that everyone feels the same way as I do about this topic, and I am not going to change the world on that flight, however, I am going to work through my own feelings on it, and hopefully empower my message by privately passing it on to the offender. I do this all of the time within the boundaries of homosexuality. As long as someone’s defenses are up and face needs to be saved, that will be their goal. They will not care about my message. They do not care about my message. But my message is important and needs to be heard.

    So, kudos to this gal for caring. More people need to care. My hopes for her is that she can somehow tweak her approach to more effectively communicate her complicated reasons behind why she feels the way she does. We have all been in her shoes. We have all just wanted to scream “does anyone else see this and aren’t you pissed?” But we don’t, because it doesn’t work.

    Thanks once again, John, for allowing me to work out these thoughts in my head. It really has taught me a bit about approach. It has also told me, once again, that we, as a society, need to seek compassion and not so much anger and bitterness. There is a very good chance that this gal, herself, has been a victim.

    • Gary

      There is a big difference between the harmful and degrading porn you refer to…and erotic materials that depict healthy sexuality. I agree with you that harmful porn is destructive and shapes the mind in ways that lead away from loving sexuality…I just believe that is the result of the sinful behaviors being depicted rather than the sex itself.

      • Melissa Chamberlin

        Gary, you are right. There is much porn out there that is truly about love making, it is an art form of sorts for the viewer and can be quite informative (so I am told…lol) However, having an inside view into the lives of those that are deeply affected by the sex industry, I am learning that there are sooooo many problems with porn that cannot be ignored as harmless. For me, it is irresponsible to add to the monetary gain of the porn industry. My chance of feeding the monster behind the industry is much greater than supporting an art form. I have chosen to not take that chance. I am not morally superior in this, just really convicted. I do not wish to tell anyone else what is right for them.

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      Melissa, serious question: How are we defining “porn”? There are some people who would hold any depiction of nudity is porn. Where do you think the parameters are?

    • Lymis

      I won’t argue your points, but it appears that you are taking for granted that any porn viewed on the internet is professionally produced for pay. There was a time when you could make a very solid case that any porn anyone actually got their hands on was produced in a studio purely for profit.

      That’s a lot less true now than it once was. You can discuss whether or not amateur porn happily produced by people who choose to do it and share it has underlying issues, but it’s inaccurate to make the assumption that anything on the internet was by definition produced under the circumstance you describe.

  • Cory

    I feel the question still stands: was the man masturbating? Either way, I tend to agree with most of the comments on here, but I feel that question almost has to be taken into consideration. Think of it, Paul Reubens (Pee-Wee Herman) got arrested for masturbating in a PORN THEATER! A private movie house of all places! How does he get into trouble, but this guy on a plane does not?

    • Lymis

      I don’t think so, because porn on a plane is inappropriate regardless. Porn in a porn theater is not. (Seems silly to criminalize masturbation in a porn theater, but a lot of blue laws are absurd).

      Certainly, masturbating in one’s seat on a plane is completely inappropriate, but that’s actually a different question.

      If the guy was doing research for his Master’s thesis in sociology, viewing it in public would still be inappropriate. This really isn’t about his personal motivations.

      • Cory

        Touche

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

        I am so going to get in trouble for this..but the phrase “Porn on a Plane” made me laugh, because I immediately thought of that movie involving other unwelcome stuff on a plane. The thought process went downhill from there.

        • Diana A.

          Love!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Derrick-Perry/742229193 Derrick Perry via Facebook

    Say what? I’m with Laura C. Minnick on this one especially in this situation. The last time I was on a flight, September of last year, it was IMPOSSIBLE to see what’s going on in the seats in front of you unless you’re trying. I’m on a bus now and can’t see what the person in front of me is doing if I tried. But I’m not trying. I’m on my phone minding my own business.

    I didn’t watch the whole video, but it seemed as though the person wasn’t watching a video but looking at porno pictures. Which means there were no life acts to be heard. So in all seriousness, why was she in this dudes business? The only time I have to stand up on a plane is to use the bathroom and when that time comes, I only care if there’s someone in there already…in the BACK of the plane.
    To be clear no, I don’t watch porn in public. And yes I think it is a concern when children can view those images. But this lady really needs to find another way to entertain herself then to look for people who are watching porn. And to be honest, with the very descript pompous title she gave of herself at the beginning of the vid, it looks like that’s exactly what she wanted to find.

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      Last time I flew international, each seat had a screen in the back. Sitting in a middle seat, I could see what the people on either side of me were watching, and by looking through the gap between the row of seats ahead of me, what the people in the seats ahead of them were watching.

      So, yeah, she could have easily seen something w/o being a snoop.

      • laura

        He was on an iPad, although I guess he could have had it propped up on his tray table. It seems more likely that he had it in his lap though, which would mean that she had to go out of her way to look at it.

        • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

          In your lap you have to bend your neck forward to read it; propped up on the tray it’s closer to eye level & doesn’t stretch your neck as much. I think her story is legit altho she does seem to be having a grand time retelling it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Caroline-Miller/500786293 Caroline Miller via Facebook

    Good rule of thumb – beware of organizations with the word “moral” or “morality” in them. Same applies to “family.”

  • Drew Montoya via Facebook

    I’m still trying to figure out how she could see the screen of someone in front of her. To me, her whole story smacks of something made up.

    In my experience, it’s far more likely for a crusader to tell a “righteous lie” than it is for a flight attendant to do nothing about a passenger’s complaint.

    Giving Ms. Hawkins the benefit of the doubt, I agree that the porn affectionado was being a massive jackass by looking at his collection in public like that. However, he put the iPad away in response to her complaints, yet she chose to push the matter by whispering to him afterwards. That makes her a jackass as well, in my opinion.

    • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

      That’s also true. Once he turned it off, the situation should’ve been over.

  • Jeremy

    “So you guys tell me. It’s still considered flat-out unacceptable to look at porn in public, right?”

    __________

    Right.

    • Laurie

      I totally agree Jeremy. There is a time and a place….this is not the place.

      • Diana A.

        “There’s a time and place for everything…and it’s called ‘college.’” Chef from South Park. I think.

  • Lymis

    Ironically, as far as I am concerned, the best answer to this situation can be found in what the kink and BDSM community considers to be one of the fundamental rules for their subcommunity – you do not force people who haven’t consented to your kink to participate in it, and as long as everyone involved is consenting, then it’s up to them to sort it out. In private.

    That very definitely includes bystanders and passersby who didn’t consent to whatever kinky thing you’ve decided is perfectly acceptable to you. Especially not when they are effectively trapped in the situation.

    That shifts the discussion from “is porn okay” to “do I have the right to inflict this on unwilling bystanders” – which to me, is a pretty clear “no.”

    And it also shifts it from the purely sexual – because it would be just as wrong, and for the same basic reason, for someone to loudly rehearse their sermon for next week’s morality rally, or to practice their beginner’s bagpipe lesson.

    Part of it is context. An airplane is “for” travel, not privacy, and not sexual expression. People meet partners in church, but that doesn’t make it okay to hit on someone who’s sharing the pew with you during the service. The same expectation may not hold in a singles bar.

    • Jerry

      This sums it up perfectly for me. Thanks, Errin.

    • vj

      Lymis, you totally ROCK!

    • Gail Branch

      I disagree. There is no second-hand smoke involved with viewing porn. There is no secondary harm to those around you. I wish we could spend more time looking inward for ways to more closely adhere to the teachings of Christ and less time telling unbelievers how they must behave. Jesus wanted us to lead others to him through our loving and compassionate words and deeds. Instead we seem to spend our time judging the behavior of others, which Jesus warned us against. It makes me sad and ashamed.

    • Diana A.

      Aw man! But I love practicing my beginner’s bagpipe lesson on the airplane!

      But, yeah. I agree with you.

    • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

      Totally agree. I don’t think you’re obligated to keep someone from noticing anything they might possibly find objectionable, but “you shouldn’t force people to participate in your stuff” is a pretty good guideline.

  • Errin Lee

    Porn in public is just not cool but, why do we make the assumption that what he was looking at was actually porn? Because she says it was? Once while riding the train mother of two thought that I was looking at gay porn on my iPad until I showed her that it was a article regarding Robert Mapplethorpe. She asked me about it without making a scene, she was not trying to embarrass and shame me for it. She even seemed to have appreciated the article after I let her read it.

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      “Once while riding the train mother of two thought that I was looking at gay porn on my iPad until I showed her that it was a article regarding Robert Mapplethorpe.”

      po-TAY-toh

      po-TAH-toh

      (sorry, but I think Mapplethorpe was just a big poseur and con artist)

      • Errin Lee

        of course he was, wasn’t my point

  • Scott Jensen

    The lady in this video is a pig. If you don’t want to see it then dont look over the guys shoulder. And porn is better than acting out stupid behavior. She has no idea how old these people were.

    Airlines and other public places should NOT control what someone views on a personal viewing device.

    All this stupid pig is doing is trying to promote her job, position, and her issue. She’s using social media to promote herself. That’s all it should be viewed as. john, you were smart to stir up this conversation. but lets be honest. you’re doing the same thing as she is… using media to call attention to yourself and your issues.

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      She’s not the only pig, Scott.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Wow, Scott. Angry much?

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdgalloway

      I gotta get out of this snarky mood, but I can’t help wondering if Scott found himself on a plane recently with a nosy person behind him.

      • vj

        ;-)

    • Richard Lubbers

      Scott, how can you assume to know what Ms. Dawkins’ motive was? Your ranting seems less constructive than most of the other comments. I gotta take liberties with Shakespeare, and say, “The man doth protest too much, me thinks.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wendy-Hanson-Story/557547208 Wendy Hanson Story via Facebook

    Regardless of whether or not it’s morally wrong to view porn, IT IS wrong to view it in a public environment. It should be my choice/right to decide whether or not I choose to view certain media and by viewing it on a large device such as an IPAD, it is no longer private and takes away my choice. I would guess that perhaps he WANTED her to see it and perhaps by her “noticing” and speaking up, he got the thrill he was seeking. But, just a guess…

  • http://www.hurricanes-and-trainwrecks.blogspot.com Amy

    I hate pornography for many reasons, but the most valid one is that it is demeaning and degrading to women and to men. It objectifies people and makes them simply a means to instant gratification. You see these people performing intimate acts with each other and alone and you never know what their souls are like, where their hearts are, if they like or hate what they do or wish they could escape it. You don’t know if what they do causes them pain, or if they’ve been emotionally damaged by it. Pornography is tragic and it causes deep damage to relationships, not only through the ridiculous expectations it engenders. I think openly viewing pornography in public could be considered a form of sexual harrassment, but I’m not sure if laws support that view.

    • Gary

      Recommend you don’t read Song of Solomon. One of the most graphically erotic pieces of literature ever written. And it didn’t seem all that degrading to the women in the story when I read it last.

      Just saying.

      • vj

        I would say that Song of Solomon can certainly be characterized as ‘graphic’, but it is *not* crudely explicit, which is how I would characterize porn. It uses poetic language, in the same way that movies used to fade (for example) to scenes of a wave rolling onto a beach, instead of depicting the nitty gritty physical and auditory details of a sex act on screen. And the participants in Song of Solomon are emotionally invested in one another (hence the ‘not degrading’ element), expressing their love for one another, rather than just providing physical titillation. I get the distinct impression that this is not usually the case with either the characters or the actual people in porn…

        Also, reading someone’s literary description of a private – and loving – sexual encounter is not quite the same thing as watching paid performers gyrating provocatively for the ‘pleasure’ of a remote viewer, surrounded by all the various people that work on a film set. I suppose that, theoretically, if porn was made with computer generated avatars then that would be different, but I just cannot get past the thought that those are real *people* on the screen.

      • Allie

        I recently read a definition of porn (which is the legal definition in some state or another, I can’t remember) which addresses why the Song of Solomon is not porn.

        If you lose interest in viewing or reading it after masturbating, it’s porn.

      • Leslie

        I have no problem with people watching whatever they want, but it’s a stretch to compare the Song of Solomon to, say, Jenna Jameson’s latest flick. That’s about as similar to the erotica within great works of literature and art as Monsanto is to food. When a woman says she hates porn, you can safely assume that she’s not referring to the Song of Solomon. In my case, at least, my dislike is pretty much limited to the violent, female submission glorifying variety. Don’t assume that a distaste of porn = a dislike of sex or erotica. I don’t know many women who can (or even want to) turn tricks like the porn stars.

        • Christopher

          Jenna Jameson’s latest flick? That’s Gospel.

      • Diana A.

        Meh. There’s a difference between porn and erotica.

    • http://audioarchives.blogspot.com spinetingler

      Let me quote you: “You see these people performing intimate acts with each other and alone and you never know what their souls are like, where their hearts are, if they like or hate what they do or wish they could escape it. You don’t know if what they do causes them pain, or if they’ve been emotionally damaged by it. ”

      Ahem.

      Let me repeat the important part that you wrote: “you never know/you don’t know.”

      • vj

        ‘Let me repeat the important part that you wrote: “you never know/you don’t know.”’

        But isn’t that the problem? With a written account, one at least has access to the internal thoughts and feelings of the participants (whether they are actual people or fictional characters). Even the *possibility* that participants in porn are performing as a result of duress/coercion/addiction/abuse is off-putting. And ‘sex tapes’ of actual people who were in a mutually satisfying relationship at the time are no less icky; sex should be a private, intimate experience – it’s not a spectator sport!

        • laura

          sex should be a private, intimate experience – it’s not a spectator sport!

          for you.

          No one should make you watch them having sex, or watch other people having sex, so yeah, the guy should not have been watching porn where it encroached on other peoples’ personal space. But to say what sex “should” be is encroaching on other peoples’ personal space in a different way. If I want to go to a sex club and have 50 people watch me and my partner, or if I want film myself and put it on an amateur site online, who are you to tell me that my sexual relationship is any less valid than yours?

          • vj

            Aside from posting in a relevant comment thread, I generally keep my opinions (on just about everything) to myself. My opinion is my opinion, it is not intended to validate (or otherwise) anyone’s relationship. We are strangers to one another – why do you care about my opinion? However, since you asked…

            To be perfectly honest, I think what you are describing is bordering on the temple prostitution that is so strongly proscribed in the Bible. You may or may not care what the Bible says (and you may disagree with me on what it says about this, or any, matter) – that is entirely your business.

            I make my own choices in life; I don’t expect anyone to make their life choices in accordance with what I or anyone else thinks is appropriate, and do not seek to prohibit such choices (beyond all participants/spectators being willing adults).

  • Erin McMillan via Facebook

    How is this even up for debate? Porn.In general public places. Really?

    • Keetcha

      @Erin it does seem pretty straightforward doesn’t it. When in doubt implement common sense.

  • Shelley

    You can tell she’s making up and and (enhancing) the story as she goes along. My teenager isn’t very good at that, either.

    • Drew M.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who got that impression.

      • Christopher

        Thank you.

    • laura

      I felt the same way. Her body language and vocal patterns remind me of a child embroidering a tale because she likes the attention she is getting. She is not what I would call a credible witness.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Judi-Gentry/100000425218393 Judi Gentry via Facebook

    My question: how did she know it was porn unless she was watching too. I wonder how long she watched???

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Murphy/48608610 Mike Murphy via Facebook

    Is it “wrong”? Sure, it’s certainly in very poor taste to do so. Which is why when asked, the guy, you know, thought better and turned it off. But see, this is where it ends. It didn’t need to be a youtube video that garners 150k views. This woman seriously needs better things to do with her life.

  • Amy Michael Finnerty via Facebook

    I don’t understand how the woman didn’t just jump up and point at the guy, saying, “Seriously? Here? You’re watching porn here?” She has restraint… unlike the guy watching porn in public.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Murphy/48608610 Mike Murphy via Facebook

    Oh and i love the “Who can afford an Ipad anyway?” LOL

  • Ashley Prince

    Viewing porn in public should be against the law. If this guy was sitting next to a child and a mother threw a fit, I guarantee people would have been more offended and sided with the mother.

    I am not an advocate for porn. I have seen porn tear up marriages and have seen a friend struggle with addiction. It is not good. Not to mention, I do completely agree that porn has influenced the sex trafficking business. It’s sad.

    What’s even more sad about this is how many people completely defend this. I’m sorry, did you miss the part where this was probably CHILD PORN?

    And, if watching porn at your office is not okay, why in the hell do you think it’s okay in a plane? You’re not in a cubicle. Everyone around you can see it.

    Now, also to note. This man was looking at porn at 6 AM. I think it’s safe to say that the man is addicted. This is so incredibly harmful to his life, I truly hope he ends up getting help.

    • laura

      Almost no one has defended watching porn on a plane, what we have said is that this woman took what could have been a little incident, and turned it into a big fuss because she wanted attention. As for it being child porn, she says that the girls looked young and that she could not tell if they were 14 or 18. Looking 14 and being 14 are two very different matters, and while child pornography is indeed a horrible problem, what I would assume (and this is based mostly on things like Law and Order) is that men who watch child pornography know that what they are watching is illegal and that no one would be stupid enough to do it in public and risk arrest. On the other hand, there is a lot of porn out there with very young-looking actresses, who are chosen precisely because they look underage.

  • Renae Douglas via Facebook

    Okay…uhhhhh look at porn if you want…in the privacy of your own home…but in public? Uh, ew? That’s just gross.

  • Renae Douglas via Facebook

    I completely agree with her about pornography being something that keeps the sex trafficking industry and child pornography insustry thriving…

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      Especially in all those places where they don’t have electricity or high literacy rates.

  • Eirin Hamilton via Facebook

    Didn’t Delta KICK OFF a mother for breastfeeding her infant a year ago? but PORN is ok. How messed up is that?!

    • Melody

      Agreed. The hypocrisy is complete bullshit. People get all worked up because he was VIEWING (not watching) porn on his IPAD (not his TV screen), which I’m sure nobody outside his booth could see. While I dislike porn and think it’s unrealistic and potentially damaging, I seriously doubt he was flaunting it for all to see, and though he was viewing it in public, he did so discreetly. It seems to me this woman was looking for a fight, to impose her views on him and everyone else.

      • Melody

        Also, they serve alcohol on airplanes. That’s potentially damaging, too. Yet I don’t see overprotective parents up in arms over that. Double standards strike again.

      • Drew M.

        This sorely needs a “Like” button.

  • Ogrebeast SixtyFour via Facebook

    So the guy was sitting in FRONT of her. The only way she would know what he was looking at, would be if she was being extremely nosy and intentionally was looking to see what he was doing. I’ve so had it with nibby busybodies that think they must be the moral crusaders.

    • Joshua

      Well said!

  • Laurie

    In some of the political discussion boards I visit on Facebook, some of the people assume that just because I am a Democrat, and a liberal…..therefore I am all about “free love” and “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”. Ok…..maybe the Rock and Roll, and sex with my married spouse…but definitely NEVER in public. There are things that should be intimate & personal. I don’t mind if people hold hands, or even kiss in public….but watching two people maul themselves in public always warrant a “get a room!” comment from me. It’s uncomfortable, and it makes others uncomfortable around them. I am not going to come out and say that Porn should be outright banned, but there are aspects of the porn industry that are illegal (child porn, or anything that is done with other than willing & legal participants) and outright immoral.

    What I do think the woman did do wrong was step out of line, by continuing to lecture the man, after he had stopped watching the porn. He is an adult, he was told what he was watching was offending others….so he made the right decision and stopped. Fair enough…..let it go. You made your point. To continue to hound the guy with your personal agenda (which he did not sign up for to participate in) was also stepping over the line. Chances are the original offense will make him less likely to do something like that ever again….but to continue to make the situation uncomfortable for not only him, but all the passengers around him, was wrong.

  • Erin McMillan via Facebook

    When she says he was in front of her, I wonder if she meant diagonally. If they were both on an aisle seat, it would be more obvious.

  • Rebecca

    This is one of those situations where good manners would have prevented the legality of the behavior from ever being an issue. One wonders if the man in question was raised indoors by humans or in the woods by a pack of tacky wolves. The problem isn’t that he was watching porn; it’s that he was watching porn in public, where children might have seen it, and that’s not okay. Even if there were no children present, it’s just incredibly bad manners to view pornography among others who haven’t similarly consented to view it. On the other, equally important, hand, Histrionica McHissyfit seems to be milking the crap out of this, let’s face it, tiny offense, so she can get lots and lots of attention. Don’t be this guy or that chick. They’re both obnoxious.

    • Marcey

      I agree. Same with people who pick their nose or scratch their butts. Only difference is, I see the porn guy as non-repentantly, embarrassingly, and yes, psychotically dangerous.

  • Marcey

    I am already “overprotective” and paranoid about how men look at my teen-aged daughter. If she were with me, I could not relax the whole flight. It is not a judgment thing. It is an, “is my daughter or for that matter any female safe from a person like that.” More importantly, is it ever ok to talk to men or is that really, really, all they are interested in. I did not watch her video. Her reaction has little to do with the issue.

    Any kind of pornography is degrading to human beings with souls. It dehumanizes us, all of us.

    • Gary

      I would really like to know how you define “porn”. Is there such a thing as healthy erotica in your mind?

      • Marcey

        This is not a real discussion. Even John is being silly Let’s move on. Other fish to fry

        • Gary

          LOL – I thought so. Rather cling to your stereotype than discuss it rationally.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Whoa, Gary. Maybe a tad harsh?

          • Gary

            “Any kind of pornography is degrading to human beings with souls. It dehumanizes us, all of us.”

            is a very strong statement it seems to me.

            I am by no means a supporter of this guys actions as I have already pointed out. But I am still going to disagree with extremist statements such as this one…especially when terms like “degrading to human beings with souls” and “dehumanizes” is used. I was simply trying to explore the context of her statement. Some porn does this very thing as she suggested…but when the qualifier “Any kind of porn” is used it becomes nothing but a stereotype.

            To me John…this is a part of the bigger problem within the church concerning all things sexual, and part of it spills over into the GLBT arena. That is the negative hysteria about anything sexual and the quick knee jerk reactions that have become commonplace in any discussion of these subjects. Sex is not inherently dirty and/or sinful and neither is the depiction of it or we would not have the Song Of Solomon. It is my belief that an honest discussion of these topics is both helpful and overdue.

            That being said…you have long tackled these sensitive and needed topics and my comment is not meant to be an indictment of your blog in any fashion. Quite the contrary in fact. You are one of the courageous who continue to explore these subjects out in the open where they should be.

          • Gary

            But yes…maybe I could have been a bit more tactful…lol.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            You do terrific work here, Gary.

          • Gary

            Wow – Don’t know what to say. Thank you John…I really mean that.

          • Marcey

            Glad I could be of use, Gary.

          • Marcey

            Porn is not love. Anything that remotely resembles your idea of porn in connection with the way I express love is between me and my beloved, and none of your damn business.

          • Marcey

            The above was meant for Gary.

          • Marcey

            I would really like to know how you define “porn”. Is there such a thing as healthy erotica in your mind?

            Maybe I run in the wrong circles, but I have heard that line a few too many times. Intellectualizing it does not change its character. Would you say that to a woman’s face?

            I am not a prude. I am just awake and aware, and I recognize a line when I hear one. Gary, you know exactly what you were doing. Suddenly using your other brain doesn’t change it no matter how well John Shore thinks you write.

          • Gary

            Would I say what to a woman’s face? My question about if there was healthy erotica? Of course I would. Didn’t you even read my statement above? Sheesh.

            I do know exactly what I was doing…which is exactly what I stated it to be…challenging your stereotype.

          • http://audioarchives.blogspot.com spinetingler

            “Would you say that to a woman’s face?”

            Yes.

          • Gary

            For the record…I did not ask you how you and your beloved express your love now did I? So maybe you need to come down off your “damn” high horse just a little bit.

            My question was very straight forward…Do you believe there is any such thing as healthy erotica?

            And just so we’re clear…You don’t have any idea what my “idea of porn” is. Not a damn clue.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Gary: Sadly, I do have an idea of what your idea of porn is. Please stop sending me those pictures of yourself. Especially the ones of you naked with all the Italian food. I mean, c’mon. I may never eat a meatball again.

          • Gary

            Thanks John…I am still laughing out loud.

            I needed a good belly laugh to start my weekend.

          • Gordon

            OK…I literally did fall on the floor and laughed my ass off at this one. This was hilarious.

          • http://audioarchives.blogspot.com spinetingler

            It’s Gary’s new diet plan. I hear that a DVD is in the offing.

          • Gordon

            Great! Now I will have something to watch until Downton Abbey comes back on.

          • Melody

            LOL!! Thanks for this topic’s much needed laugh!

          • DR

            So you and your husband film yourselves making love – not porn?

    • Allie

      You’re seriously asking if it’s ever okay to talk to one half of the human population? If men ever think about anything other than sex?

      Okay, try looking at your surroundings. Are there any objects in your surroundings which were invented or built by men? Are you perhaps connecting to this website on an object invented by a man? There are some bad men in the world, but I believe the evidence suggests that some men are pretty darned useful sometimes, and that they do occasionally have other thoughts.

  • Jennifer Vance via Facebook

    Well, the guy was (is) definitely uncouth. I didn’t watch the video, so I don’t know if he had the volume cranked so it could be heard or had headphones on, but either way, that is just creepy and uncivilized.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Peg-Randall-Gardner/100001429895703 Peg Randall Gardner via Facebook

    “Histrionica McHissyfit” – I love it. Also the poll choices. As for the porn – ick. And stupid. But at least he turned off his stupid, which is more than I can say for a lot of politicians.

  • Jesse Tee via Facebook

    So long as all participants are legal and consenting, i have zero problem with porn. i think that it depends upon the setting and surroundings as to whether or not viewing porn in public is okay. In most cases, no, it is absolutely NOT acceptable. However, if you’re the only one in a subway station (for example), obviously you are not subjecting anyone else to what you are watching/listening to. For the love of God, though, don’t start playing pocket pool. It’s very much like being part of the Leather community. You don’t effectively “force” others to participate in your activities unless they actually WANT to.

  • Patty Cross via Facebook

    Pornography is illegal. WHY didn’t the flight attendant have the balls to stop the activity immediately?

    • Gordon

      I don’t think pornography is illegal. It’s rude and obnoxious and socially unacceptable to view it in public, but it’s not illegal.

      • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

        Porn per se is not illegal and much of it is protected as free speech. It is illegal if it (a) involves children (b) is obscene (c) violates the privacy of one of the people depicted.

        Good luck w/finding a workable definition of (b), BTW…

        • Gordon

          Remember what Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said about pornography? “I know it when I see it.” So, porn is in the eye of the beholder.

          I’m just glad that John Shore is posting about something I actually understand today!

  • http://www.facebook.com/denise.e.byers Denise Conner Byers via Facebook

    I have no personal problem with porn between two consenting adults, either. I have no problem with people who watch porn (I have a certain curiousity, myself at times). But obviously, doing this in public when others would be able to view probably warrants, at the least, being “officially” asked to put it away for the comfort and respect of others. The only thing worse at being “forced” to glimpse someone’s porn in a public place would be to be subjected to an ongoing, shrill diatribe by this woman after the fact. Histronica McHissyfit, indeed! (love that!!!).

  • Marcey

    John, Where do you get the idea that most people do it? That just makes the people who do it feel justified, and, seriously, that is a rather juvenile justification. “Everyone else does it.” Kind of reminds me of high school boys who brag about their conquests. Then the innocents are pressured into it, thinking it is as normal as taking the bus to school. We all know if the high shool boys did everything they said they did, the species would have died out from STDs long ago.

    My pov, and maybe it is just me, most guys can’t keep their minds off it anyway, so why feed the annoying little second brain? Read a good novel instead. The cruel joke is that God gave men two brains, but only the proper circulation to use one at a time!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I promise you I didn’t say “most people do it.”

      • Marcey

        Sorry. It was “trillions” of people everday, which to me means more than the entire world population lol. For the record, I am guessing it was “tongue in cheek”. Is that ok to say?

        • Marcey

          Yes, you said everyone plus does it! lol

    • Gordon

      John Shore didn’t say most people do it. He said “…trillions of people every day do do it.” Ummm…that is sarcasm, not a claim that most people view porn. What? You don’t think John Shore knows that there are not even ONE trillion people on earth, let alone multiple trillions? He knows. Believe me, he knows.

      Now…let’s talk about masturbation.

      • Marcey

        See, Gordon wants to make this into a porn site! Use your other brain, Gordon! lol

        • Gordon

          lol is right!

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      “Where do you get the idea that most people do it?”

      Every guy + a significant number of women = “most”

      Every guy (excepting genuine asexuals) who says he does read / watch / use / consume porn is reading / watching /using /consuming that he uses as porn even if he won’t admit it to himself.

    • Drew M.

      “My pov, and maybe it is just me, most guys can’t keep their minds off it anyway, so why feed the annoying little second brain? Read a good novel instead. The cruel joke is that God gave men two brains, but only the proper circulation to use one at a time!”

      It’s just you. Most guys can and do keep their minds off it, but thanks for perpetuating stereotypes in the most offensive way possible.

  • Liza Chigos via Facebook

    First, Patty Cross, pornography is not illegal. It is for adult consumption only, but not illegal.
    Second, the guy obviously has an issue with personal restraint and I pity him. Some people do have an addiction to porn and sex and other prurient pursuits and lose the ability to discern appropriateness.
    I spend a lot of time in airplanes and airports and have never seen anyone watching porn or viewing pornographic images…if I did I would remind them to keep it private. Of course, he may have been getting off on her reaction and so this was mission accomplished!

  • Karen Miller

    How are we defining pornography? I didn’t watch the video as videos crash my computer. Did the woman describe what she viewed? Jessica Simpson is on the cover of Elle magazine and she’s nude. Is that pornography? What about Sports Illustrated’s Swim Suit Edition? I know there are some people who would consider that pornography. I don’t. This woman may think a picture with a woman’s breasts exposed is pornographic. I’m more inclined to believe this woman is over-reacting than to think the man was actually viewing naked people having sex.

    However, I do find it difficult to believe someone was watching a pornographic movie, with full nudity and actual intercourse. However, if his seatmates were asleep and there was no one watching him, I can understand how it could happen. Is it socially acceptable? No. But once again, everyone has their own opinion about what constitutes pornography.

    I, for one, would rather sit next to a man watching porno on his Ipad than sit next to someone holding a screaming baby. I can close my eyes to the porno but there’s not a darn thing I can do about the screaming baby. There are many things that can make a flight absolutely miserable. Having a seatmate looking a porn is far down the list.

    My answer to your poll – I wouldn’t do it myself, since who can afford an iPad?

    • Melody

      Right on, Karen. My sentiments exactly.

      • Marcey

        Please. Have you ever tried to calm a screaming baby? I am guessing not. Is there an anti-population agenda going on behind the scenes her of which I am whoa-fully unaware? You obviously don’t have a daughter you are concerned about. Wow.

        • Marcey

          here

        • Melody

          Wow. Angry much? Who said anything about anti-population? You seem to be looking for fights at every turn around here. No, I don’t have a daughter, but I have been a child, and I can say there’s no excuse to justify overprotective behavior just because you’re a parent. You really need to calm down.

        • DR

          I’m beginning to get a sense you’re just here to troll. The conclusions that you draw and the words that you put into peoples’ mouths as they (attempt to) make their point is getting ridiculous. It’s pretty transparent.

          • Gary

            Nailed it.

          • Melody

            Or she just has a really big chip on her shoulder. They usually go hand in hand, though.

    • Valerie

      The porn he was viewing involved obviously underage girls. Thoughts?

      • Gordon

        I don’t think we can know that. The only way to know if he was looking at child porn would be to confiscate his tablet or computer, which could only happen after a legal complaint was filed and he was arrested. I hate to be put in the uncomfortable position of defending this cretin, but I don’t think it’s fair to jump to any conclusions about what he was viewing.

        Bottom line is this: Boys and girls, don’t be viewing no porn on airplanes or anywhere else where someone other than you can see it. Got that? Good.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        I didn’t hear that.

      • Ashley C

        Unless we are talking literally ‘kiddie’ porn, there is no way for us (or Ms. Hawkins) to know the age of the participants. And if it was OBVIOUS child pornography, then the airline workers should be jailed as accessories, because that is most DEFINITELY illegal.

  • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

    I’m not a big fan of porn. My ex was heavily into porn (still is, for all I know) and it was one of the secondary factors leading to our divorce. I think there is a right context for it — that being that all the players are willing adults, that it does not involve degradation of any of the participants, that it does not involve children or violence. I’m not naive and I’m not a sexual prude. Ever since some guy in a cave first picked up a piece of charcoal and drew a naked lady, humans have been drooling over visual images of naked people. But in the last half-century it has become something I see as a serious issue. The caricaturization of the women involved, the violent images as men’s magazines fought back against the women’s sexual revolution and the explosion of niche-slash-fetich marketing has made it an industry grossly out of control. I think porn teaches us to devalue ourselves and our partners sexually, it encourages us to rely on graphic images for satiation rather than intimate relationships with a loving partner.

    In the context of a secure and safe relationships, I think its perfectly fine of partners enjoy viewing images together that stimulate the imagination and the libido; its when people have such a problem that they can’t be stimulated without it, or when they are so consumed by it that they’re looking at it nearly all the time, or when they are drawn to images that are violent or that victimize.

    But even if its just garden-variety porn, the time and place for it is AT HOME IN PRIVATE. Not in a public place where others might be offended by it or even worse, where children might be exposed to it. That guy was a complete schmuck. He was wrong, the flight attendant was wrong not to ask him to stop looking at porn in a public setting.

  • Ogrebeast SixtyFour via Facebook

    @Patty Cross – Pornography is not illegal except in a very small portion of the country that is run by people with Puritan Prudishness Syndrome. Did the guy show poor judgement? Most likely. The only thing that made this into such an issue is the woman throwing a hissy fit about it aboard the plane. She could have just discretely mentioned it to him instead of creating a scene, which is what prudish people tend to do.

    • Joshua

      Well said.

    • Ashley

      Hardcore pornography distribution IS illegal as well as child pornography. Obscenity is NOT protected by the First Amendment.

      • Gary

        “Hardcore pornography distribution IS illegal…”

        Prove it. You are just being silly now.

        Gee whiz…take a breath will ya? Your going to hyper ventilate.

  • Matt Muecke

    I’m a firm believer in finding peace in letting people be who they are, up until in affects anyone around them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/anna.lind.thomas Anna Lind Thomas via Facebook

    For my master’s degree I did a lot of research on porn. I get a little frustrated sometimes when the debate is focused on our own feelings of whether it’s “right” or “wrong” to watch it – over the reality of what we’re actually watching. Over 90% of women in porn have been sexually abused – most as children and nearly just as many currently in porn use drugs in order to do their job “convincingly.” Many experience unimaginable abuse – physical and emotional – on and off set. That to me is the real tragedy – that we’re all so consumed by our own sexual desires to consume pornography – we have no problem doing so at the expense of sexually abused, drug addicted, suffering women. I even reviewed an interview where Jenna Jameson – the most vocally proud woman in porn, who was raped as a teen – contributed that to getting into the business in the first place, and in a recent interview cried over her fear of how her children may perceive her. This isn’t the case for ALL women in porn – but statistically, it is for most. Something to definitely think about it. I’m not posting all my references here … but here’s a good site from a woman who used to be in porn – http://thepinkcross.org/pinkcross-blogs/shelley-lubben

    • Ashley

      LOVE this post!!!! How many times has Jenna Jamison–what a beautiful lady, though she doesn’t really think that of herself– how many times has she attempted suicide?? Used and abused and thrown out when the next porn star becomes more popular. We should ALL be ashamed of ourselves that we continue to allow this to go on! It’s exploitation– It’s bullying!! It’s sexist! It’s racist! It’s everything vile about humans.

  • Gordon

    OK…so I watched this video. Wow. She was watching this guy’s iPad REALLY closely. Here’s what I think:

    A) The guy should not have been watching porn on an airplane where someone could see it.

    B) Ms. Hawkins should not have been hovering over his shoulder (sort of like a hawk might do….) watching his scrolling through his pictures.

    Both people are obviously rude, obnoxious and sort of silly and comical in their own way. As to which one is dangerous…that’s what we should be voting on. My vote is with Ms. Hawkins.

    • Joshua

      To me, her invasion of his privacy makes her the guilty party and the older lady correct. His viewing such grotesque material in public only serves to embarrass him. I agree with you, Gordon, both are incredibly rude in their actions. But Mrs. Hawkins is definitely the party of whom I trust the least.

      • Ashley

        I’d stand behind Dawn any day over ANY porn watcher. I’m happily married now but if something were to happen, I’d make sure I never had a relationship with anyone who actively uses porn.

  • Valerie

    Having read her blog right after it happened you are missing some facts here that are relevant to the story. 1. She is Canadian and was on a flight going to give a lecture about CHILD slavery and pornography. 2. The porn the man was viewing was CHILD pornography, which is illegal. 3. She caused quite a scene on the plane until he was embarrassed into putting away his Ipad. 4. No one else on the plane supported her, NO ONE.

    Here is my opinion. 1. The fact that she was going to give a lecture made her particularly sensitive to subject. 2. CHILD porn is never NEVER acceptable. 3. She should not have caused a scene but she did get her point across. 4. I cannot believe that there was not a single person on that flight willing to stand up with her and get this slimeball arrested as soon as they landed.

    Now of course that is just my opinion but there it is. As far as viewing pornography in public: there are places where that is acceptable and a plane at 6 am is NOT one of them.

    • Gary

      Considering child porn is and very much should be illegal…I find it very odd that no report to the police was made. How did she substantiate her claim that it was indeed child porn? Does she have proof…or is it just her opinion of what she saw? A lot of 18 year old girls look much younger.

      • Ashley

        Gary, does it matter that they’re 18? What if it were your daughter? They are all someone’s daughter.

        • Gary

          Quit the bullshit Ashley…no one is defending the porn industry here and you know.

          The bigger problem is Christians who have totally lost their connection with the primary command…to love others.

    • Valerie

      I’m sorry let me retract some of what I said. I read a similar story from another advocate but the similarities make me question this woman’s story.

      • Ashley C

        So, which parts are true and which were from the other story?

    • Allie

      That no one on the plane supported her suggests to me that they believed she was behaving inappropriately. How hard is it not to view someone else’s ipad? It’s a tiny screen. And I was raised to be polite and deliberately avoid looking at other people’s screens (and before screens, papers) even when they were in my line of sight. Weren’t you?

      There are plenty of Asian sites featuring tiny young women who might appear underage to an American white lady. But it sure would take some intense staring at someone else’s tiny screen to determine the probable age of someone in a porn video.

      He was inappropriate, she was inappropriate. But he’s stopped viewing porn, and she hasn’t stopped having a hysterical fit. What exactly does she want at this point?

    • Barbara Rice

      At the beginning of her video, she said she didn’t know if the actors were over or under 18. They appeared young, which is not the same thing as being young. By the end of the video, she said they were under 18. There are plenty of porn movies with actors who look very young; there’s no way she could have determined their age.

      I’m not surprised no one on the plane supported her. She was trying to embarrass another passenger who was being quiet and not interacting with anyone else. She had no proof that what he was doing was illegal; after he gave in to her demands, she continued to berate him. And in all the flights I’ve been on, I’ve never been able to see what someone ahead of me was doing unless I actually stood up and leaned over their shoulder.

      I’m not saying she’s a harridan, but her communication and social skills are severely lacking. No one’s going to take the side of someone annoying another passenger just because she doesn’t like what she said he was allegedly watching.

  • Gary

    This just hit my facebook wall and it seems like it would go well in this discussion.

    The first testicular guard “the cup” was used in hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize their brain is ALSO important.

    I thought this sounded crazy so I looked it up. The helmet was not mandatory in hockey until 1979. Not that this promotes or disputes anyone’s statement…but considering the topic, and the timing of it hitting my wall, I thought it was funny as hell.

    • Marcey

      Thank you. I’ll take it.

    • Mindy

      I’m stealing it for my wall. thanks, Gary!

    • Ashley

      Hahahaha!!! This is just too good! Thanks for the humor!

  • http://quick.look.see@gmail.com quick

    I have nothing against porn–I’ve enjoyed my share, but I don’t think it is OK for it to be viewed out where it is easily seen by others. I think it should be enjoyed in private.

    In the university library where I work, we occasionally get someone (In all cases that I know of it was not a student.) who ends looking at porn on our computers. When this happens, we show those folks to the door.

    To me, it’s not about whether or not porn is inappropriate, but rather when is it appropriate. It’s about being respectful of those around you. Sort of like when I am around children I’m especially mindful not to cuss.

    • Mindy

      What quick said. No one lives in a bubble. If you can see your screen, and there are other people around you – particularly other people belted in to a seat from which there is no escape for the next three hours – then you can assume at least some of those other people can see your screen as well. If I’d been on the plane directly behind the guy, that likely would have meant that one either side of me would have been my daughters. Whom I would prefer not to watch porn, thankyouverymuch. Whether I agree with the woman’s handling of it or not, my opinion of anyone who would do that is very low. Probably a narcissistic sort of fellow – as long as he’s happy, screw the rest of you. Pun fully intended. :)

    • Diana A.

      This is about where I stand on this issue.

  • Joshua

    Though I know that the exploitation of women is a very significant issue, this situation is not the source of pornography distribution. The gentlemen viewing it in public was definitely inconsiderate of others, but his actions cannot be regulated by law in my opinion. She attempting to make the demand for pornography illegal when the action of producing pornography, or at least child pornography, should be unacceptable by law. In this respect, I agree with elderly woman: if you don’t like something someone else is looking at, don’t look at it. As far as no one caring, I highly doubt that. Many do care about the moral conscience of our society; nevertheless, we cannot regulate the moral compass of others. We have laws that help and protect society, but those laws are not to curtail moral ineptitude of people. To extend those laws to what people can and cannot view, I find, is not the role of government or society. Yet, I cannot help but admit that you could probably find a weakness in my argument as I even find somethings that people view morally unconscionable and have no place in private or public. I’m simply a human on equal standing, if not lower, with my fellow friends on this planet.

  • Leslie

    Interesting discussion. I agree that it’s not the best idea to watch porn in a public area, where anyone can see it (whether they want to or not), but that woman definitely could have responded differently. Personally, I’m not a fan of porn, but I’m not a prude, either. It’s just not my thing. I disagree that sex and porn are one and the same, because the kind of sex I have is nothing like the porn I’ve seen. But, that’s just me. To each, their own.

    I recently came across a couple of people, Marnia Robinson and Gary Wilson, who have a very intelligent perspective on porn and its effect on the brain. Just to clarify, they’re both liberal atheists, so there’s no judgement, moralizing, or sex negativity involved.

    Here’s their blog on Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow

    Here’s a great video series Gary Wilson created on porn and the brain: http://yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-series

    Here’s their general sex & relationships site: http://www.reuniting.info/

    • Ashley

      Great info!!

  • navide

    I just watched the video and so many thoughts are going through my mind.

    First of all, to be clear, I think pornography is demeaning to women (and men) and destructive. I won’t even go into child pornography, because that is way beyond demeaning and destructive, it’s crippling the soul of defenseless children (while some – not all, I know – adults choose to be involved in pornography, children have no choice)

    This said, in this case my emotional reaction has been mixed feelings.

    On one hand, I understand Ms. Hawkins and her shock in seeing pornography on a plane. On the other I’m a little bothered by the fact that she obviously intensely looked at what the guy was watching (it almost seems an invasion of privacy, too). I’ve been on planes many times, and it doesn’t seem that easy to see what people do in the seat in front of you (and I doubt he was waving his iPad up in the air). It’s also interesting that nobody at that point said anything. It seems to me that if someone is bothered by something but stays quiet for whatever reason, when someone else brings it up, they’ll join in.. (maybe it’s just my impression) Where were the people sitting next to him? Maybe he was sitting alone and thought he was in a private enough setting to watch whatever he wanted?

    Well, the guy – probably begrudgingly, but still.. – did turn off the iPad. Which is what she wanted to begin with, right? She continues to attack him, though. She said it was in a much lower tone of voice, but obviously not low enough for a woman sitting TWO rows up from them not to hear her. And I do consider what she was telling him an attack. As right as she might have been, what she was saying (and probably also “how”) would have put anybody on the defensive (including the 50 yo woman). Personally, I would have appreciated it more if she had calmly and kindly invited the guy to her conference, rather than accusing him to contributing to the downfall of our society. What was she expecting him to say? “Oh, well, thanks! Now I’ll stop watching porn”.

    I do think, however, she did the right thing to report it if she thought it was child pornography (see my contradictions here?)

    I may be wrong or delusional, but I still don’t think it’s normal for people to watch porn so blatantly in public places. And although it needs to be addressed, Ms. Hawkins seems to think that because of this experience of hers, the phenomenon is pervasive and widespread.. like it’s something that happens on every plane, all over the place (although she did say she travels a lot and this apparently is the first time it happens to her.. of all people!)

    I didn’t read the other comments, so forgive me if I repeated someone else’s thought.

    Thanks for always challenging us, John. :)

    nat

    PS~ This doesn’t apply to this case, but I have to add something about the definition of pornography. I mean, in this case it seems to be an accurate assessment of those images (also considering Ms. Hawkins job/mission) However some people, to me, have a very messed up idea of what porn is. Keep in mind I’m from Florence, Italy. And I’ve heard people say that the statues in Florence are pornography. I’ve also known of homeschoolers who would cover pictures of art masterpieces on school books with post-it notes, because the subjects of the art were naked. Now, That is scary to me…

  • Marcey

    Ok, so I just spent some time with my golden retriever and I realized I never should have taken part in this silly conversation. Sorry if I offended anyone. I guess I will just never understand guys. But my dog, he is always there for me. And stop; don’t even go there. I promise to leave you alone. God bless us, everyone.

    • Ashley

      Marcey, I appreciate your comment. Some people need reality checks. It’s not okay to use porn. And especially, not in public.

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    I just remembered back to my grade school days when a teacher reprimanded a classmate for chewing gum: “Did you bring enough for everyone?”

  • Michelle Brooks

    was in a similar situation, not on a plane, but in a book-store/coffee-shop… couldn’t let this golden moment pass… so as Ranger (my service animal) & i walked by, i asked, “i will bet good money, this is as close as ya get to the real thing, eh?” 

    the laptop was slammed shut by that person, then he got up and left… the other customers applauded… i expected to be confronted outside, but Ranger IS a really big dog

  • http://www.facebook.com/KathyBaldock Kathy Verbiest Baldock via Facebook

    if this woman actually SPEAKS on this issue and is an expert, she NEEDS to find a better way to have this conversation that is productive with others. I am not a fan of porn; it is a reality. The way she handled it is pretty immature for the status she has in her “industry”. She has some learning ahead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rickmcopy Rick Middleton via Facebook

    Could it be maybe possible that she’s trying to grandstand on this issue? Like, maybe the guy was looking at the SI swimsuit issue, and the story becomes bigger (as she parks herself in front of a camera to vent) that “people are looking at erotica on airplanes”? It is not uncommon for people with axes to grind to make every story The Worst Thing Ever.

    • Ashley

      Actually the SI issue is quite stupid. It’s nearly porn. Looking at women in swimsuits ( and naked with only body paint) is not a sport. Where are all the real men??

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cindy-Wood/1130734009 Cindy Wood via Facebook

    This video was was not made by a hysterical woman. She was restrained and articulate, though passionate about the cause that she has invested her life working for. I agree with her way of trying to address the situation on the plane, and after she deplaned, and I agree with her belief that porn is abusive, especially if it involves children.
    I am appalled that another woman actually tried to silence her.
    Many here have given the male passenger too much credit. He might have turned off his iPad for take off. Anyone that disrespectful of those around him to watch porn on an airplane, surely didn’t care about this woman’s objections.

    • Ashley

      Well said!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/cathy.elings.sysel Cathy Elings-Sysel via Facebook

    Are you kidding me? Why isn’t that illegal? The guy should have been arrested by the US Marshall on the plane. I mean isn’t porn illegal, like pot, in most places? And of course you shouldn’t do it in public. What if I got naked with my husband in public. We’d be arrested that’s what. Public space is not private space. You don’t live in a one way bubble where you can see out and no one can see in. That’s why it’s called being out in public. What if the guy whipped it out and peed in the middle of the plane? I’m sure they’d do something about that/1

  • http://www.facebook.com/KathyBaldock Kathy Verbiest Baldock via Facebook

    THanks for posting this John–I just sent her this note:
    Dawn,
    Just watched both your videos and would like to lend you some insights. I do work as an advocate for full inclusion of the gay and trans Christian community in the church. We may not agree on many issues in the social justice arena, but clearly, we both are at the edge of engaging issues.
    I say this as kindly as I can–you need help in communicating your beliefs with others. THe things we each do are emotionally charged. I am a VERY strong Christian and if I had been sitting next to you, I would have talked to you about HOW you attempted to engage the situation.
    From the moment you opened your mouth, i could have told you the disaster it would become. When you have a message to give, you need SOME level of relationship. Yours was not a “stop now, someone will die if you do not stop” message. It was a beliefs and values message and raising your voice to a person in the way you did would probably not have been at all productive.
    I imagine this is not an infrequent situation. You might want to get some training on how to better deal with it so that you EVEN honor the human standing in front of you TOO. YES, even him.
    If you want to be more productive and effecting in direct engagement, there are skills for that. Seek out the help of professionals. In my opinion, and from LOTS of experience here, your message is an honorable one, but the way you did it does not work.
    I hope this is something to think about. Reach out to me if you would like insights.
    Kathy Baldock
    CanyonwalkerConnections.com

    • Phil

      Kathy, please let us know if you get ANY kind of response. THanks for reaching out…

  • Ashley C

    Okay, I have no problem with porn. I really don’t. But viewing it in public is not only rude and idiotic, it’s illegal in most if not all 50 states. It’s not exactly a clear-cut set of laws, but if you are looking at porn on a plane (or anywhere else) and someone’s kid walks by and sees it, the parent can press charges. At that point, you are a sex offender in most states. So, yes, I went with ‘wrong, because what are you, stupid?

    Even if it weren’t illegal, I look at it the same way I do watching movies or videos with a lot of profanity on my phone in public. If it is something that will likely offend others, then there’s just no good excuse for subjecting them to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john10423 John Gragson via Facebook

    in most states viewing porn on an iPad where someone else could see it would be at the least public indecency. (here it’s called “obscene and sexual materials and performances.) it’s perfectly legal for adults to view porn in private.

  • Michelle Mema Brooks via Facebook

    was in a similar situation, not on a plane, but in a book-store/coffee-shop… couldn’t let this golden moment pass… so as Ranger [my service animal] & i walked by the table, i asked, “i will bet good money, this is as close as ya get to the real thing, eh?” [i have a booming-teachers-voice that doesn't do 'whisper']
    the laptop was slammed shut by that person, then he got up and left… the other customers applauded… i expected to be confronted outside, but Ranger IS a really big dog.
    yes, we have the right to view what we choose, as long as it’s legal… but there are times and places for viewing.. public places are NOT the place.

    • Will

      Good for you. You made someone’s pathetic existence even more pathetic.

      • Gary

        No doubt. So much for Christian compassion.

    • Ashley

      Porn induced erectile dysfunction is now pandemic. No, I’m not talking about “performance”anxiety. Why do we call it “performance” anxiety anyway? Why do men feel that they’re “performing”? What are they circus animals? I’m sick of the porn industry exploiting the male libido! Porn is emasculating men. The truth be told, porn users suck in bed because they don’t truly know how to connect with a woman the way a woman wants and needs– and guess what, they know it and turn back to using porn. It is really sad.

      • Leslie

        True. When you need progressively stronger stimulation to respond sexually (and find yourself with erectile dysfunction looooooong before middle age) that is not a sign of normal sexual development. That’s a sign that something has gone seriously amiss. I feel sorry for the guys in my generation (mid-twenties) and younger. Most boys going through puberty today have already “hooked” to porn before their brains have even gotten an opportunity to get excited about real girls. It’s a shame.

        It’s also shame that the medical community hasn’t yet acknowledged the existence of porn-induced ED. This presentation by an Anatomy instructor and neuroscience enthusiast was really enlightening to me: http://yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-series

  • Michelle Mema Brooks via Facebook

    was in a similar situation, not on a plane, but in a book-store/coffee-shop… couldn’t let this golden moment pass… so as Ranger [my service animal] & i walked by the table, i asked, “i will bet good money, this is as close as ya get to the real thing, eh?” [i have a booming-teachers-voice that doesn't do 'whisper']
    the laptop was slammed shut by that person, then he got up and left… the other customers applauded… i expected to be confronted outside, but Ranger IS a really big dog.
    yes, we have the right to view what we choose, as long as it’s legal… but there are times and places for viewing.. public places are NOT the place.

    • Soulmentor

      I agree. If DOING porn in public is illegal, why wouldn’t viewing it be?

  • Peter Weeks via Facebook

    As with some other writers, I found it interesting that she was able to see quite clearly the images he was viewing in the seat in front of her. I can’t recall ever having been able to see what someone in front of me on a plane has been doing. She had to have been sitting forward in her seat (where was her seatbelt?), peering through the gap, or around the side if in an aisle seat, or standing up looking over the back of his seat.

  • Philip Healey

    Publically doing things that should remain in private is always a problem. However, I dislike people saying what others should or shouldn’t view/read/hear/etc. There was a time when Lady Chatterly’s Lover, by D. H. Lawrence, was considered porn. If I had read it in public, where someone looking over my shoulder might have been able to read it too, would I have been doing wrong? Too much of what is one person’s porn is another’s art. Unless you are making others see it, or making it impossible for them to avoid seeing it, no one should complain. If it really is in public, is it really porn? I wouldn’t trust Ms. Hawkins or Mary Whitehouse or the like to be my guide. Censorship does more harm than good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cindy-Wood/1130734009 Cindy Wood via Facebook

    Perfect, Michelle!

  • Wayne Johnson

    “A woman disagreed with me. A WOMAN, of all people” o_O

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlYrOZCSuA8

    i’m gonna get in so much trouble :D

    • Diana A.

      Meh. This woman isn’t terribly offended.

    • Barbara Rice

      Ha!

    • laura

      Ha! Brilliant.

  • Marcey Schwarz via Facebook

    love it, Michelle!

  • Tava Clark

    I agree that Ms. Hawkins’ message is valid, but perhaps the way she handled herself is the very thing that sabotaged her efforts. Had Ms. Hawkins approached the flight attendant prior to engaging in a very dramatic scene with her fellow passenger, she might have had a different result. It is clear to see that Ms. Hawkins was very upset when she did not receive any support from other passengers, but if she really did get emotionally charged (an assumption I am making based on her own accounts of the situation), she was probably seen as the “crazy lady yelling on the airplane.”

    Is pornography in public okay? In my opinion, absolutely not. But we also have to ask ourselves this question – is verbally attacking another person public okay either? This answer is a little more complicated, but should always be in our minds when approaching others.

    • Joshua

      Good analysis!

  • http://manalive7@blogspot.com Allen

    I’d guess that our culture is more offended by Dawn Hawkins and her reaction than to anyone viewing porn in a public place. I understand that it is not uncommon for men to view porn on computers in public libraries. Some slopes are indeed slippery.

    • Lymis

      It’s not uncommon, but it’s also not generally tolerated. I know some librarians, and it’s a constant issue. It’s not that it’s something everyone is overlooking.

  • Beth Markham Herring via Facebook

    Eirin–so true!!!!!! So messed up!!!!

  • fedup

    Um… When are people going to realize the “Porn” in and of itself is NOT the issue.

    There is a deeper issue in the heart of men ‘and women’ that porn just happens to ‘console’ the pain/wound/issue, like a drug. Like any addiction, the drug is not the issue. Eliminate the drug, and your still left with a broken person. Heal the person and the ‘drug’ will disappear. Even Ms Hawkins hinted at that in her video.

    Just my $0.02 of unprofessional thoughts…

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    It was weird for me seeing this late last night… I mean, in regards to how desperate some people are for pornage…

    I was watching some episosdes of the Angry Video Game Nerd last night – not something I subscribe to, but I’d followed a link and decided to watch a few episodes because I’d seen him skewer some things in a hilarious fashion before. The AVGN is an Internet persona who reviews retro video games from the early NES/Sega/Atari era and picks out the really badly-designed and stupidest ones to rant over in a screaming-rage fashion for humor. (If you ever look him up, be warned – his favorite word starts with “F” and rhyrmes with “duck” and he uses it a lot). Last night, I decided to watch his episode on Atari Porn

    That is, bad attempts at “adult” games for the Atari 2600 system made by third-party manufacturers. Oh, man – it makes me shudder a bit to think that when I was a tiny child in the early 1980s and happily playing Donkey Kong and Pac-Man on my first gaming system, that some people were horny enough to get hot over 4-bit pixelated “boobs.” (Don’t even get me started on how comical the “nude male characters” were rendered)!

    I mean… yeah, if people were that desperate for pornage then, it doesn’t surprise me that some people are desperate enough to risk dirty (not in a “fun” way) looks on a public place like a plane to get their desperate fix.

    • Lymis

      That’s actually an interesting point. My stepdaughter and her fiance play a number of video games along the “quest for treasure and slay the dragons” sort – and just about every female character in them could be characterized as “young women in bondage gear” – and it’s generally impressive that they can stand upright, all things considered.

      My guess is that Dawn Hawkins can tell the difference between actual porn and a video game, but sometimes you never know with some people. I’ve had people give me very rude looks for kissing my husband goodbye in public, generally far more of a peck than all the straight couples around us doing the same thing. Some people have their own interpretations of things.

      • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

        Here is the AVGN episode I was talking about – Not Work Safe but less so for the badly done pixel-”porn” and more for the character’s mouth. (Don’t worry, the Nerd is just a persona, an acting job – if an actual person was that angry all the time, they’d have had an anuresum by now)! http://cinemassacre.com/2007/08/22/atari-porn/ The men in these games! The men! Floppity-floppity…

        By the way, “Screw Attack Productions” ISN’T a porn reference, it is a reference to the Metroid series – which is a perfectly work-safe/general audiences series of games about an interstellar bounty-hunter who saves galaxies from biological corruptions, energy sucking aliens and things of that nature. Samus Aran is a badass woman, too – and one who spends most of her time in a clunky mech-suit and wasn’t revealed as female until her second game. (I’ve only played part of one Metroid game myself, though, I just know some of the mythos).

        Modern video games do have a little more… realism… if you can call it that. You started in and I immediately thought of Soul Calibur. I have Soul Calibur II for my GameCube – it’s a fighting game where you beat the crap out of characters with swords in pursuit of the shards of Soul Edge, an evil, soul-eating sword that various characters want either to destroy or to wield, depending upon if they’re good, evil or indifferent. Ivy… oh, gah, Ivy. She has two costumes: One has her looking like a stylized version of one of the Founding Fathers, the other is – leather bondage-gear. Also, she should think about getting back-surgery. Fans of the Soul Series make fun of this – mercilessly. For added fun, GameCube version of II – the guest-fighter for that port is Link, from the Legend of Zelda series. One of Link’s moves in that game is an amusing grab that lets him jump on another character, ride their shoulders and spank them with his sword. 0_o – It’s a playful move, but gets… really weird if you play a friend as Link vs Ivy in her scanty-costume.

        Not all video games are “porny” at all, I assure you. A lot of Nintendo’s stuff is rather innocent, as they primarily market themselves as a family company (kind of the Disney of video games) – not that they don’t have mature titles. My favorite series is The Legend of Zelda series – and while it has a few things that make you raise your eyebrows (in a “wow, clever that they got away with this” way, typically played for humor), female characters are generally dressed realistically – either plainly or in royal attire. Nearly-naked tends to be reserved for fae-fairy-type entities, for which that is a typical fairy-tale depecition. Then there’s a RPG I’ve been playing, “Wild Arms 3″ which has a young woman protagonist dressed in… Western-style petticoats – not skimpy or sexualized at all.

    • Michael

      custers revenge? classic. its not even fun to play. just stupid.

    • http://atarihq.com Marty Goldberg

      There were no “4-bit pixelated boobs”, as there were no 4-bit home consoles. The 2600 is an 8-bit system. Bitness was a later marketing term and has nothing to do with a chip’s actual graphics cabilities. For instance, the Intellivision is actually a 16-bit system but of course has nowhere near the capabilities of the Sega Genesis.

  • Eva

    Wow. You guys are really deep. And intellectual. All I could think was ‘why look at porn if you’re not going to…you know… Bring it to it’s natural conclusion’. I mean, its not like watching The Office or The West Wing. It’s kind of ‘viewing for a purpose’ isn’t it?

    But I just don’t get porn anyway.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Um. I’m thinking you do.

    • Michael

      i agree with john lol. i never understood guys who watch porn just to…watch it. seems pointless. actually i kinda hate watching porn, its almost like a chore. i have to, otherwise ill get you know..overwhelmed and be distracted all day. but its not like i want to waste my time that way.

  • Will

    Dawn Hawkins and porn in public.

    Both are rude and distasteful.

    Which one is more harmful to humanity as a whole?

    After looking at her webpage I’d say that Dawn is way more harmful.

    • EmilyS

      Well said.

      I’d thought from the headlines and hoopla that he was watching hardcore VIDEOS with full penetration and SOUND effects. But then I watched her video and listened to her rant. Looking at photos of some youngish women dressed in bondage gear does not equal full on porn. Tasteless and unappealing to most of us, yes, but so long as he wasn’t obnoxiously flashing the crowd, it wasn’t really worth drawing the attention of the entire cabin to what this man was looking at on his iPad. In fact, after her outburst, no doubt every single pubescent boy within hearing range was making frequent bathroom or stretch the legs trips past this guy’s seat… I’d have been that 50 year-old woman telling her to knock it off.

    • http://johnshore.com Slick

      I absolutely agree. Thank goodness for the lady who stood up and told this lady to zip it. It is embarrassing to watch the aftermath of Her Highness being dissed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamie-Marie-Lynaugh/1410948008 Jamie Marie Lynaugh via Facebook

    No, it is never okay to view porn in public. It’s just totally inappropriate. However, she handled it terribly. The guy stopped looking at the pictures, that should have been the end of it. But she took inappropriate behaviour as a personal affront, couldn’t control her anger, and set out to humiliate the man (just in case he wasn’t humiliated enough already). And that is never okay, either. Frankly, i applaud the woman who stood up and put an end to what was surely an uncomfortable experience for all.

    • Soulmentor

      What woman “who stood up and put an end to ……” That’s the second comment that had a similar reference but I see no such reference in John’s story. It sounds like another woman on the plane shut Ms Hawkins down, but where is that reference? Or do I have to subject myself to the video? I’m not going to bother.

      • Diana A.

        It’s in the video.

  • Jenna

    Ms. Hawkins, you can think whatever you want, but geez. If you are going to be an activist for anything, have some tact. There is a time and place for everything, and publicly shaming another person is NOT the way to get them to stop something or come to your side.

    And wow, way to project onto other people, Ms. Hawkins. You know what probably made the other passengers really uncomfortable? Some woman yelling about porn at 6 AM, probably mostly because it was 6 AM. Time and place for everything, right?

    You were completely inappropriate, and though I stand for no sex trafficking of people, I don’t stand for what you did. That woman had every right to stand up and tell you to stop harassing that man. You don’t know what her beliefs are, stop projecting onto her.

    And how dare you judge another person’s happiness or not by one single interaction with them. YOU DON’T KNOW THESE PEOPLE. It can’t be said enough.

    A quiet, private talk, something like, “Excuse me, could you please shut that off? This is a public place, and that bothers me.” That would be far more effective, and respecting of everyone’s rights.

    It actually worries me the kind of impact you’ve had on this man for shaming him so thoroughly. Your actions have consequences, Ms. Hawkins. Learn them.

    • Beth

      Well said Jenna! I agree with you wholeheartedly!

  • http://twitter.com/dland Dave

    iPad dude was rude.

    Self-righteous chick was rude.

    They met, and rudeness abounded.

    And that’s more of a problem than all the porn on all the planes in all the world, as far as I’m concerned.

    • Michael

      amen brother.

    • Diana A.

      Good summary!

  • Christopher

    It could have been a movie like “Come Undone” or “Brokeback Mountain” for that matter. Had loon attacked me for watching a movie she decided was pornographic because it showed..say…men kidding, I’d have taught her the meaning of “smote”.

    • Christopher

      Kissing, not kidding.

  • Christopher

    Okay. So after watching her video, all we have is the word of a woman on an anti-porn crusade going all RWNJ on some guy and everyone one the plane is looking at her like she’s a cuckoo bird.

    Two things come to mind.

    First, The Salem Witch trials. No, not because she’s a witch. But because if you go on a crusade to find witches, everyone becomes a witch.

    And second, there is a holier than thou, rolier than thou Baptist charlatan in my town who believes two men kissing is pornographic.

    IMO this woman just hit the amoral morality ATM and she’s just in it for the money.

    Keep polishing that piñata, Dawn. You just might hit the gusher.

    • Drew M.

      Well said!

    • Gary

      Yeah I’m inclined to agree with you. Even if her intentions are pure…her methods are destructive to both her cause and to Christian influence in the world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jamie-Marie-Lynaugh/1410948008 Jamie Marie Lynaugh via Facebook

    Agree, Peter. As i was listening to her, i was trying to visualize the situation, and i was visualizing her peeping through the gap, sitting up and looking over etc. etc, because i have never been able to see what the person right in front of me was doing or looking at. And he wasn’t looking at a video, as some seem to think, he was looking at pictures, so it’s not like she heard anything. She went out of her way to see what was on his computer.

    • Ashley

      She saw it upon taking her seat.

  • Susan in NY

    90% of women in porn have been sexually abused. Well over 50% are addicted to illegal drugs. Those of us who view porn are watching deeply hurting drug addicts.

    I have no answers, but I am reposting Anna Lind Thomas’ comment here because I think she said it so well.

    Anna Lind Thomas said this, right here in the comment section of this blog.

    >>>For my master’s degree I did a lot of research on porn. I get a little frustrated sometimes when the debate is focused on our own feelings of whether it’s “right” or “wrong” to watch it – over the reality of what we’re actually watching. Over 90% of women in porn have been sexually abused – most as children and nearly just as many currently in porn use drugs in order to do their job “convincingly.” Many experience unimaginable abuse – physical and emotional – on and off set. That to me is the real tragedy – that we’re all so consumed by our own sexual desires to consume pornography – we have no problem doing so at the expense of sexually abused, drug addicted, suffering women. I even reviewed an interview where Jenna Jameson – the most vocally proud woman in porn, who was raped as a teen – contributed that to getting into the business in the first place, and in a recent interview cried over her fear of how her children may perceive her. This isn’t the case for ALL women in porn – but statistically, it is for most. Something to definitely think about it. I’m not posting all my references here … but here’s a good site from a woman who used to be in porn – http://thepinkcross.org/pinkcross-blogs/shelley-lubben>>>

    • Michael

      be that as it may, not watching porn isnt going to make people stop getting abused. if it would, id be all for it, and deal with the sexual frustration on my own. being as thats not the case though, being as im powerless to stop the abuse, i see no problem venting my sexual energy in the only way i can without a girlfriend.

      • Susan in NY

        Am I missing something, Michael? Porn is the only way you can “vent your sexual energy” without a partner? Really? What did people do before TV? Come on, give me a break.

        If people did not buy porn, there would be no porn industry. Estimates vary, but the porn industry nets conservatively around three billion dollars annually. If consumers shunned porn in all its forms, the industry would die.

        Of course that is unlikely. What you could do, if you were so inclined, is make your opinions known to the corporations that work in the industry. Tell them that you want the actors and actresses to have a union (or similar industry group) that will protect them from abuse, provide addiction counseling, provide complete, comprehensive mental health coverage, provide decent wages, include them in profit sharing from their work, provide comprehensive health insurance for the worker’s entire family…you get the idea. Don’t forget coverage for dental and eye glasses.

        At least then you would know that you had done your small part. You would no longer be powerless – but rather you could play a very small part in changing the industry to help both you, and those you are suffering.

        • Susan in NY

          correction

          and those WHO are suffering.

          • Ashley

            There’s no”like” button or I’d “like” your comments, Susan.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            That really was good, Susan in NY.

      • Melody

        I agree with Susan, Michael. As much as I disagree with how Ms. Hawkins went about this, I think something’s wrong if porn is your only sexual outlet. Not trying to be judgmental, but there are other ways, you know. Unless you’re speaking hypothetically.

        • Michael

          would you care to suggest alternative methods? im all ears.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Wait. Are we talking about different … functional modalities of masturbation?

            Well, personally, I would vote for …. you know what? Never mind.

    • Soulmentor

      I have the prefect solution for the suggestion that we are supporting suffering women by watching porn.

      Watch gay porn.

      • Michael

        hilarious soul mentor. and in answer to your question susan what did people do before porn? they got married when they were 16. they had sex with animals. they raped women. they did quite a large slew of things that are not good for themselves or for society. i dont like porn any more than the next guy, id choose a real girl once a month over porn once a day. but thats not an option for me. i didnt abuse those girls, i didnt tell them to get into porn, hell i usually only watch homemade porn anyways, but i certainly dont feel responsible for their suffering, even if i am sympathetic for it.

        • DR

          Wow.

          You know rape isn’t about sex, it’s about power, domination and control – right? People rape with or without porn. It has nothing to do with sex though sex is the weapon of choice.

          • Michael

            that is one small more or less irrelevant detail in a still valid argument.

          • DR

            You’re not actually suggesting that rape being rooted in power/violence – not sex – is a “small, irrelevant detail”, are you? You can’t be in this day and age.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            “Remember: Rapists don’t watch porn. So watch more porn today.”

            No. Copy fail.

        • Susan in NY

          Michael,

          The above is really not very nice at all. People still get married when they are 16, and some people use animals inappropriately. But rape?

          Make your point, but don’t be a jerk and put rape in the same category as sex.

  • Ashley

    I think Ms. Dawn seriously over-reacted to the situation given that she would have had to have been seriously nosey to see what the man was watching anyways. But still… porn does not belong in public. It creates an uncomfortable atmosphere for people who are not so increadibly horny that they just have to get a quick look at something naughty right this instant. Of course we DO have all sorts of shows with scantily clad young ladies running around flaunting all but 2% of their bodies on tv now so maybe the guy just got confused. :)

  • Nancy Johnson via Facebook

    I am surprised at how easily we humans all become quiescent sheep who are afraid to draw attention or get involved in situations in public. I know we are not talking Kitty Genovese but still. Good for Michelle to have the confidence to say out loud what others were too intimidated to say. Brava for your bravery, girl!

    • Chris Constant

      I just don’t see any evidence of her claim and I see all kinds of red flags that make me skeptical of her words.

      • Soulmentor

        Huh. To be further ignored.

        But to Nancy a bove, Kitty Genovese?! Lord, how you just dated yourself (and now me). How many readers here will have no clue?

        As for porn in public……NO WAY!! NADA. I like buzz’s solution, tho I’m not sure I’d do it. It’s great fun to think about however.

  • charles m

    what if it were video of a real murder? or some other intensely emotional experience….

    I am fine with it being the persons right to do whatever he wants to PROVIDED IT DOESNT INFRINGE ON OTHERS- If the guy was reading a book with the same subject matter the answer is obviously that there is no problem, since the media doesn’t attract its own attention by its form. the same could be said for people who like to be loud when intimately involved- do the neighbors have a right to their peace as well?

    some people got upset with the Ice T song “Cop Killer”, or the film “Natural Born Killers” for the same reason- It points at a society wrapped up with personal gratification over social responsibility I guess.

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      There’s a scene like this in the movie Manhunter (the first film version of Red Dragon, which introduced Hannibal Lector to the world). The hero, a criminal profiler, is going over horrific crime scene photos on an airplane when a child seated near him catches a glimpse of the images.

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    So I’m thinking, if the objective really is to shame the guy into never viewing porn in public again, maybe the correct approach would have been to say in a very VERY loud voice: HEY, WHATCHA WATCHING? IS THAT PORN? I LOVE PORN! DO YOU LIKE PORN, TOO? WOW! HOW OLD ARE THOSE GIRLS? THEY BARELY LOOK LIKE THEY’RE FOURTEEN! DO YOU LIKE PORN WITH YOUNG GIRLS IN IT? ISN’T IT REAL HARD TO FIND PORN WITH YOUNG GIRLS BECAUSE BECAUSE IT’S ILLEGAL? ARE THEY BEATING EACH OTHER WITH WHIPS? I REALLY LIKE PORN WHERE YOUNG GIRLS BEAT EACH OTHER WITH WHIPS — I GUESS YOU MUST LOVE IT, TOO, HUH?

    • Gary

      I know this is meant to be funny…but sadly there are too many who believe the proper response to others is to attempt to publicly shame and scorn them.

      • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

        I exercise every morning after dropping my wife off at the bus stop so she can go to work. After exercising, rather than change into street clothes (which I would just have to change out of the next day when I go to the gym) I put on the clean set of sweats I’m going to wear while exercising the next day.

        If I have any errands to run or shopping to do, I do ‘em in my new sweats. It makes sense and it cuts my laundry by 50%.

        Now, if someone objected to my wearing sweats in public and tried to shame me, my response would be, “Yeah. So?” See, I have neither shame nor pride when it comes to wearing sweats in public; I figure as long as I’m comfortable and my naughty bits, pot belly, and hairy back are thoroughly covered, it ain’t nobody else’s business and if somebody thinks it’s their business, well, they’ve just demonstrated they’re the type of people I don’t need to pay attention to.

        Conversely, if I was wearing a T-shirt with an arrogant / hateful / threatening message on it — let’s say “Death To All Humorless B / tards” as a phrase I picked just off the top of my head — then I had better be prepared to back up my reasons for wearing such a shirt where humorless b / tards and / or the people who love ‘em congregate. It would bee like wearing a Jimmy Dean All-Pork Sausage T-shirt at a meeting of the Jewish-Muslim Friendship League.

        So the bottom line is this: If you (rhetorical) can’t answer a personal question with “Yeah. So?” you are probably doing something wrong.

        • Gary

          Hmm…yeah probably a good rule of thumb and I thought he should not have been doing so on the plane.

          HOWEVER….

          My comment was about the busybodies like this self righteous indignant prick of a woman who thought it was her place to attempt to publicly humiliate this man. To me…that was far more of a public disgrace than the few bondage pics he was viewing. At least his actions only caused people to think HE was a jerk. Her actions caused people to think all CHRISTIANS are jerks, or worse yet, perhaps this was the way Jesus is.

          • Ashley

            He publicly humiliated himself. He exposed his own sickness. And did we just see a comparison of wearing sweats in public to watching porn in public?? Really? Those two things are equal? Watching porn in public is a sign of emotional detachment– this guy has serious issues. He needs help.

          • Gary

            Perhaps he has serious issues…perhaps not. I challenge you to prove such a silly statement to me based upon him viewing a few bondage photos. you don’t know why he had them. He may indeed have an addiction, or he may have been mildly curious as to what the silly fuss was about this whole bondage fetish.

            But by your own words this guy “needs help”. Sadly what he received was NOT help but an effort to publicly crucify him. How do you know that if he was as “emotionally detached” as you believe him to be…that this disgraceful woman did not drive him to suicide when he got the chance?

            Honestly…your extreme reactions here and the unloving behaviors demonstrated by this woman and apparently supported by, totally you disgust me. I am so fed up with your kind of “Christianity”.

          • Gary

            typos…grrrr

          • Ashley

            I know this is just a news article but the comments from psychologists might apply here. http://www.ksl.com/?nid=960&sid=18273566

          • Ashley

            I’m sorry. There are people in this world who have been sexually abused who could be just as “set off” to commit suicide by believing they’ll have to adjust to seeing all out porn every where they go. Alcoholics have problems. I’d like to see them all get help. I don’t want them getting behind the wheel and killing people. Am I sympathetic to their issues? I sure am. But there’s a stopping point for some.

  • LSS

    A guy really “needs” to watch porn in public? all he has to do is buy a screenprotector that limits the viewing angle on his ipad. I assume these exist for tablets as they do for monitors.

    Then it’s hardly public anymore.

    Agree with the people who said porn industry’s morality problem is abusive treatment of the actors.

    Could not do the survey but i think options involving never leaving the house are a bad idea: you could get a vitamin D deficiency if you stay inside too much.

    • Diana A.

      “Could not do the survey but i think options involving never leaving the house are a bad idea: you could get a vitamin D deficiency if you stay inside too much.”

      This!

  • Soulmentor

    Lots of comments about porn here, but would Ms Harkins have been similarly offended it it was merely blood and guts violence the man was looking at? I think we all know the answer.

    We don’t get a clear cut answer about whether Ms Hawkins is a religious wing nut, but WHAT is up with the sexual focus of those people as they ignore economic, political and violence immorality going on all around them that causes far more social damage?!! To hear them rant on, one would think sex is the ONLY “immorality” and certainly the worst one. A certain political figure with a nasty internet name comes to mind.

    I also agree with the observations, variously stated, the Ms Hawkins was obviously deliberately looking for trouble and when people do that, they usually find it….because they WANT to. That strikes me as a lot worse than nosy or rude. It’s troublemaking by someone who needs to get a life of her own.

    I also checked the “stupid” choice.

    • Soulmentor

      correction: Ms Hawkins…….arrrggghh

      • Ashley

        Why do you think we ignore other social problems because we speak out against the sickness that pornography is? Yes, violence, gore–ANY kind of predatory behavior- and that’s what all of it is– is just wrong! She was NOT obviously looking for trouble. How do you even try to make that point? Do you think, if he were looking at pictures of the Grand Canyon she’d have said something?? What??!! That comment really makes no sense to me. All would have been avoided if he could’ve curbed his sickness until he was in private.

  • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

    No, I don’t think watching porn in public is acceptable, at all. If you can shield your screen such that other people can’t see it…well, then you’re not really watching it in public. Definitely not cool.

    I’ve never actually watched porn, because the idea of two actual people paid to have sex for other people to watch is something I find really, really squicky. I do read smut though, and I’d be irritated if someone looked over my shoulder and got me in trouble on a plane for reading some steamy novel. (Though, a video is a lot harder to avoid looking at than words on a page or a screen, so that will never happen unless I’m actually sitting next to The Church Lady.)

    • Gary

      Smut? Not to nit pick but why the term “smut” for erotica? I mean after all…I doubt if the steamy novels you read are any more graphic than the Song of Solomon.

      • Diana A.

        I don’t know, Gary. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be caught reading the Song of Solomon on the plane. I might be embarrassed to be caught reading other forms of erotica however. Call me weird!

        • Gary

          Social conditioning…not a good substitute for an internal Spirit controlled conscience.

          • Ashley

            Fantastic comment, Gary. I’d like to borrow it!

          • Diana A.

            Thanks, Gary. Love you too!

          • Gary

            Not quite sure how you mean this…but my comment had no malice intent.

          • Diana A.

            Yeah, I know. I just felt dissed/criticized /something.

          • Gary

            My point, though not stated clearly so forgive me, was that feeling guilty about something often has to do with social conditioning rather than God’s leading. We are raised to view many things as sinful that I believe are not sinful unless abused. Hence my comment about social conditioning simply meant that not all things we “feel guilty” about are necessarily wrong in God’s eyes.

          • Ashley

            So when it comes to porn…those who feel guilt about watching it, making it, purchasing it, using it…should they feel guilty? If so, is it guilt from social conditioning or is porn wrong in God’s eyes?

          • Gary

            Well…He obviously approves of the extremely graphic sexuality portrayed within the Son Of Solomon.

            It seems to me that you insist on lumping all erotica together under the umbrella of porn and then judge it all based upon that which is clearly abusive/exploitative.

            I don’t.

          • Ashley

            What is the definition of erotica? Was Song of Solomon meant to be erotica?

          • Gary

            Well considering the content…why would you believe it was meant to be other than a public celebration of sexuality? I do not characterize abusive and/or exploitative porn as erotica. Which leads me back to one of my earliest questions for you. Do you believe there is such a thing as healthy erotica?

            I do…and SOS is a terrific example…there for all of us to view and enjoy.

          • Diana A.

            Re: the Song of Solomon.

            So much depends on which translation you read–assuming that you’re not reading it in Hebrew. I will tell you that the translation from The Jewish Publication Society is far more openly erotic than many of the other English translations I’ve read.

          • Diana A.

            I see your point and I agree with it. I’d like at this point to distinguish between feeling guilty (that is, “I feel that what I am doing is wrong and that I should not be doing this.”) and feeling embarrassed (“Man, I wish I hadn’t been caught doing this because being caught doing this makes me look bad.)

            There was more to this comment originally but I decided that it was TMI. Suffice it to say that embarrassment and guilt are not the same thing–though they are cousins. :-)

          • Ashley

            Good point, Diana. As for the Bible, Song of Solomon is the Bible’s only Book dedicated to love with a moral to the story. I don’t choose to change the Bible into something perverted. I’m a Christian. I do try very hard to practice what I “preach”. Although I really don’t preach much. There really is a lot to the Bible that can be described as perverse– when not taken for the whole.

          • Gary

            @Ashly – you said “I don’t choose to change the bible into something perverted.”

            This comment is ludicrous. Sorry but it totally reveals your ignorance of both the book and of God’s perspective on sexuality. Perhaps you should have counseled God before He inspired the SOS as apparently He did not know the graphic description of sexuality was “perverted”.

        • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

          Okay, you’re weird. ;) Hey, you said to.

          Now that I think about it, I wouldn’t actually be embarrassed to be caught reading erotica (or smut, whatever you want to call it) on a plane. Mostly because if someone wants to criticize my reading material, that’s their problem.

          • Diana A.

            Yeah, I can see your point.

          • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

            Now if my *mom* caught me reading it, that’s a whole different story!

      • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

        You know, I hadn’t actually thought of it. I don’t think any of the stuff I read is on the level of The Song of Solomon in terms of poetry or artistic merit, so calling it erotica makes it sound highbrow, when it’s not. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing—it’s just that I’m reading sexy brain candy, not erotic poetry. (I tend to read urban fantasy, which is often pretty fluffy, non-serious, and full of sex scenes.)

  • http://rindle.blogspot.com Lyn

    Okay, I haven’t watched the video and I haven’t read all the comments, but here’re my thoughts. Viewing pornography is a sexual activity, at least for most people. You really shouldn’t be viewing it in any setting where you wouldn’t, for instance, masturbate. Doing it in a public setting tacitly involves everyone else in your sexual activity without their consent. If it’s in a setting with children, it involves them in your sexual activity without their consent, which they cannot legally give anyway, being minors.

    I suspect a lot of people will argue the “But think of the children!” argument, which is important, but let me take a different tack. There are a lot of women (and men) out there who have been the victims of rape, sexual assault, or molestation when they were younger. Such people find certain forms of pornography to be triggering. In the privacy of their own homes, with their loved ones, they can seek safety by being very selective in their viewing (assuming they view pornography at all) and acting immediately to turn off anything that triggers them. They can seek comfort in their familiar environment, call on people who know their situation to offer them support to ameliorate the effects of being triggered. Now take one of these people and put them on that plane, maybe in Ms. Hawkins seat. They didn’t choose to be exposed to this porn. They didn’t vet it to make sure it wasn’t triggery. They didn’t consent at all to partaking in this man’s sexual activity. They’re in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable environment, not in control. They do not have their support resources around them and may have hours before they can get in touch with anyone.

    Why does anyone think this Phillistine has the right to impose his sexual behaviour non-consensually on every passenger on that plane, including possibly children, rape victims, sexual assault victims, and survivors of child molestation? Would the reaction be the same if Ms. Hawkins had noticed her fellow passenger was masturbating instead? Would they be singing the same tune if it had led to someone suffering a severe flashback?

    I mean, I’m all for being sex-positive, but let’s have a little common sense here. To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. On a plane among hundreds of strangers whose histories you do not know and whose consent you do not have is not the time for be engaging in a sex act, even one as discreet as watching porn.

    • vj

      Lyn, you have so much wisdom – thanks for sharing it!

    • Leslie

      Exactly. What many people can overlook in this issue is the emotional/psychological impact that porn can have on rape survivors — particularly if they don’t expect it/haven’t consented to watching it. Being “triggered” is definitely akin to experiencing the entire trauma all over again. No one should be subjected to that.

      Anyone can watch whatever they want in the privacy of their own homes. In public, however, we all have a responsibility to be mindful of those around us.

    • Andie

      So well-stated! Thank you!

    • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

      I definitely agree with this. It’s really deeply inconsiderate to expose people to things that are likely to shock or offend and possibly traumatize or trigger them, when they’re stuck on a plane with you. It’s even more inconsiderate not to say “oh, sorry” and shut the thing off once someone lets you know it’s bothering them.

      I think that’s true not just of sex, but of violent media too, even though watching horror movies isn’t a private or sexual activity. If you’re watching a bloody horror movie next to me on a plane, in such a way that I can’t help but see it, I’m going to be rather freaked out by that, and I’d really rather you didn’t.

    • Ashley

      This is a good post. I happen to think one can be sexually positive without the use of porn. I believe we’re perfectly equipped to have sexual relations with our partners without the use of artificial means, especially when those artificial means seem, to me, to do society more harm than good. If one feels the need to masturbate, can it not be done without porn?

      • http://rindle.blogspot.com Lyn

        Oh, sure you can be sex-positive and not use porn. Or maturbate wnd not use porn. For me personally, most of the porn I’ve seen hasn’t been all that arousing– the people look bored or constipated or in pain, they’re in positions and situations that can’t be at all comfortable or easy to maintain, they do weird things like get naked except for knee-high Pippi Longstocking-style socks or leave their underwear on all scrunched to the side (ouch) or tear perfectly good clothing off their partners, and their motivations (when there’s sufficient “plot” to know their motivations) are generally laughable. It just isn’t that “hot” so it isn’t something I’m into.

        My husband has never really been into it, either. They ended up turning off the porn flick his best man rented for his bachelor party after the first five minutes and watched Flight of the Navigator instead. As the first full-time employee of the first Internet service provider in our state, who’s worked in the Internet industry ever since and has had to work on a couple of child porn trafficking cases with the local FBI office and has also had lunch conversations with a local “amateur” porn star (and her husband Vinnie) on what was and wasn’t acceptable to put on her commercial web page, he’s not likely to ever get interested in porn, either. So, not something that’s ever graced the tv screen at our house.

        On the other hand, humanity has been making porn (and sex toys) for a LONG time, so I don’t really see porn as a general thing as being unnatural (as far as human sexual expression. Most people would say man-made stuff is by definition in some way unnatural). Now, that doesn’t mean that the current porn *industry* isn’t exploitative and that it hasn’t been pushing the envelope on the sex acts portrayed, but there’s a lot of amateur porn being produced by people, sometimes specifically and only for their lovers and sometimes a couple deciding to have a little fun on film (or electrons). Nothing in this story would indicate whether or not the man was looking at commercial porn. The pictures could have been from his wife or girlfriend or from an independent businesswoman who’s discovered selling bdsm-related pictures of herself is lucrative work or from a really sleazy porn-house production or some even sleazier child porn photographer or Asian sex slave market. We don’t know. So, we can’t really comment on the exploitative nature of a man looking at porn without knowing what sort of porn he was looking at, how it was produced, whether the woman was coerced or desperate or underaged or completely willing, and so on. What we *can* comment on is whether looking at porn in public is acceptable, whether continuing to let someone look at porn in public when someone has voiced a complaint is acceptable, and whether publicly accusing someone of taking part in exploitation without solid evidence is acceptable. I would say no in all three cases.

        • Ashley

          Porn to me, in general, is exploitative. An independent business woman finds a lucrative career— is exploiting sexual libidos.

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com Lyn

            I’d disagree. Commercial porn may be exploitative, but not all porn is produced for a profit. There’s no way of knowing whether this man was looking at for-profit porn.

          • Gary

            Good distinction Lyn. I think this is the point that often gets lost in these discussions. Commercial porn is highly exploitative both of the actors and those who subscribe/purchase it. I still lean libertarian in my thinking towards it…but I fully recognize the problems associated with it.

          • Ashley

            Does it matter what type of porn he was looking at really? Exploting libidos is exploiting libidos. It doesn’t matter if it’s for profit or not.

          • cat rennolds

            By the way, can I just add that regardless of which human appetite or tendency we’re dealing with, there is a difference between exploitation and honest profit. I mean, I walk by a Krispy Kreme first thing in the morning and my salivary glands go off. Totally involuntary. But I always have a choice about whether or not to walk in and buy any.

            On the other hand, when you put a box of breakfast candy at a 3-year-old’s eye level with a smiley character on it, that’s exploitation.

          • Diana A.

            Agreed. Good example!

          • Ashley

            Very good distinction, as I read this again. I really don’t know which actors/actresses are coerced, forced, etc into making the porn that’s being watched— so I don’t watch at all.

  • EmilyS

    In this discussion I think it’s important to note that what Ms. Hawkins actually saw (in her own words) were about 8 PHOTOS of youngish Asian women posed as if engaging in BDSM activities (no mention of any penetration, just simulated whipping — because it’s a photo, no actual movement/whipping involved, it’d be too blurry).

    This guy could have been looking at them because he’s an editor for a kink magazine and was reviewing images before they go to print, OR because his girlfriend sent him a number of naughty pics of herself (and a girlfriend) and he was glancing through his email, OR because there were funny captions at the bottom that Miss Nosey Parker couldn’t see that put the “porn” into context, OR — probably most likely — because he has a poor sense of what is appropriate to do where.

    That being said, this guy’s 8 photos had no moving images, no sound. And provided they were not inspiring him to add his own movement and sound — not a big problem on the disturbance level. Basically the digital equivalent of a book with naughty pics and a lot of romance novel covers have those, too.

    As a mom of two kids under 6, I get way more alarmed by the DVD movie choices that a lot of passengers decide to watch on a long flight. A laptop open a few seats up on the aisle with blood and gore splashing across an 18″ screen is hard to ignore, even if without the sound. I personally think that has a far worse potential impact on my kids than if they’d caught a glimpse of some bondage pics while craning around seat backs. Were the latter to happen, the proper response, in my opinion, is to inform your kids that the photos were of a bunch of grown-ups playing strange Halloween dress-up. And then discreetly ask the fellow to turn his iPad to something else. He’d get it (hopefully), the kids wouldn’t give it much more thought, and you’d be done.

    It’d be quite a bit more awkward to ask someone a few seats up on the aisle to maybe turn off the 2 hr “Kill Bill” movie that they brought with them for the long flight… Though since my kids tend to jockey for the window seat before vegging out on our own collection of Thomas videos loaded up on my laptop, they don’t tend to notice much of what everyone else is doing. An example that perhaps Ms. Hawkins could learn from.

    • Gary

      Excellent. Very well written and I agree with you completely.

      • EmilyS

        It’s occurred to me since, that the one thing that *would* tick me off as a mom is having to explain to my kids why a woman on a plane was making a scene over something called “porn.” “What’s porn, mama?” is not the question I’d be thrilled to have to answer at 6am or at any time of day.

        Yeah, thanks for introducing that lovely 4-letter word into my 3 year-old’s as yet relatively limited lexicon! Wanna go for some real humdingers and start shouting about underage sex, masturbation, etc. Say those words super loud in front of my kids and face my wrath!

        • Ashley

          Well, you could always just tell them that it’s adults playing strange Halloween dress up!

    • Ashley

      Wow… as a mom of two children under 6 I’d think you should be getting alarmed. Love Jesus?? Did Jesus say we should exploit mens’ libidos?? Did Jesus say we should exploit the girls in pornography–even if they agree to being exploited? What is wrong with this world? We should be looking out for each other. Are you aware that using porn contributes to the increase in child pornography? Are you aware that most of the people in porn have to drug themselves to get through it? How can we continue to sit back and think this is okay?

      • Ashley
      • EmilyS

        Ashley, you clearly have some very strong feelings on this subject as witnessed by 26 posts in 2 hours. Mine are a bit more tepid, but such as they are, I stand by them. :-)

        • Ashley

          And you bothered to count my posts. Yes, I have strong feelings about this. I have children. Mine are older than yours. I’d really like for my boys to see women as the “total woman” they are– not as sexual parts. I’d like my daughter to eventually be with a man who hasn’t had his views shaped by porn. Thanks, Emily. I stand by feelings as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kelly-Withee/100001922106189 Kelly Withee via Facebook

    No way should you look at it in public!

  • Ashley

    For this to be a blog about Christianity– the way Christianity is supposed to be– we sure don’t practice what we preach, do we? It is wrong to exploit and use people and that’s exactly what the porn industry does!

    • Gary

      “-the way Christianity is supposed to be-”

      Ashley…the moment you make such a divisively charged and condescending statement you make yourself largely irrelevant in the conversation.

      No one here is defending “the porn industry” now are they? So let’s get a grip on what we are really talking about shall we?

      I think most everyone here has agreed that it was stupid, insensitive, and wrong for this fellow to be viewing his photos in public. (Not real sure exactly HOW public his viewing was considering the outrageous behavior of his attacker) We are dealing with a self righteous zealot who took it upon herself to humiliate this person publicly rather than either a. reach out in compassion or b. simply ask him to stop it discreetly. If you believe this is how Jesus would have us deal with “sinners” (using that term lightly) then you need to read your bible again, especially the parts in the gospels where Jesus Himself encountered “sinners”.

      • Ashley

        Jesus was NOT too happy when he drove the marketers from the temple. Yup, even Jesus ( as a human) had emotions and wasn’t afraid of showing them.

        • Melody

          There’s a big difference between being emotional but informed, and being emotionally ignorant and stupid.

          • Ashley

            Dawn is most definitely informed. I appreciate her passion.

        • Gary

          LOL – Marketers from the temple…you mean the ones who were using religion to abuse others? (Sounds kind of like this woman to me) The Pharisees I am sure applauded their business.

          Jesus encountered many people suffering in circumstances far worse than viewing some erotic photos. I challenge you to give me one example of Him responding to them in this fashion.

          Disgusting, sickening representation of Christ this woman was.

          • Ashley

            Wow Gary, I’m going to have to not correspond with you further.

          • Gary

            Not at all surprised. You might have to actually THINK to engage me.

          • Gary

            I am going to walk away from this thread for a little while. I would recommend you do the same thing.

          • Melody

            Good, do us all a favor. We don’t need you spewing ignorant drivel in the name of “Christian love.”

          • Ashley

            I’m spewing ignorant drivel?? Are you speaking to me? If so, what ignorant drivel am I spewing?

          • jersey

            the ‘ignorant drivel’ of not applauding porn.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            For anyone reading along, on my blog here “jersey” was previously using the name T. Krasner. (And before that “redlo.” And before that “c’mentista.” And before that “PCH.”) Because that’s how honorable Christians behave, see.

          • Diana A.

            Won-der-ful.

          • jersey

            you really don’t get it, do you?

          • Ashley

            Jersey, why have you had different names here?

          • Ashley

            I’m not attacking, I’m just trying to understand.

      • Ashley

        I appreciate your comment, Gary. But there are people here defending porn. I don’t believe Ms. Hawkins should be addressed as Nosy Parker or any other derogatory comments either. She saw his ipad. She noticed his ipad because it had porn on it. I was a flight attendant. I’d have asked the man to turn off his ipad. I think she received the reaction she did because people don’t want their flights to be interrupted. Thanks for your comments, Gary. Oh,,, and Dawn is not SELF righteous. She is righteous.

        • Gary

          Righteous?? Bullshit!! She is an arrogant blowhard on a personal crusade and she is willing to hurt people along the way. Nothing even resembling the fruit of the Spirit in her actions.

          You need a new definition of “righteous”.

          • Ashley

            ‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’ Edmund Burke

            Way to go, Dawn.

          • Leslie

            Gary, porn isn’t going anywhere. Okay? Obviously, what that woman said was highly unpopular and will never be taken seriously. But, the fact remains that the abuse most women endure in porn (both as children and adults) is very real. I think that must make Jesus sad, too.

            Now, before you start lumping me in Ms. Hawkin’s mold, I’m not interested in regulating anyone’s viewing habits. Nor am I interested in trying to ban porn. But, try to consider that porn can be triggering for women who’ve experienced some sort of physical or sexual abuse. Instead of lashing out at women who have strong reactions to porn, try to consider that being triggered or otherwise affected emotionally in might be at the heart of it.

            A little compassion (both for porn users AND people who are uncomfortable with porn) goes a long way.

          • Melody

            What about violent movies or serving alcohol on planes. Conveniently, everyone is ignoring the abuses of those. Why? Because sex is viewed as somehow more sinful. So violence and alcohol are okay, but not porn, even though the man wasn’t flaunting it. I maintain that Ms. Hawkins was looking for trouble.

          • Ashley

            Had he been looking at photos of the Grand Canyon she wouldn’t have noticed nor said anything. Sex is most certainly not sinful. http://www.yourbrainonporn.com

          • Melody

            Way to evade the point. Violence in movies and alcohol can be potentially damaging, yet I don’t see you up in arms about these. I did NOT say sex was sinful; I said Christians like you tend to view it in a MORE sinful light than these other things, simply because it makes YOU uncomfortable. This is the same reason homophobia and sexism exist. My take on Ms. Hawkins’ and your views: “That guy is looking at porn photos! Ewwy, I don’t like porn! I believe all kinds of unproven schlock because I don’t like it!”

          • Ashley

            I’m sorry, Melody. I didn’t intend to evade. I think we’ve become desensitized to all of it. This story was about porn though so I was only commenting to it. Christians like me don’t see sex in a more sinful light. I think porn is exploitation and yes, degrading to both men and women….gay/lesbian or straight– black, white, yellow, all of us. It really isn’t unproven schlock. There’s lots of information about the harms of porn available.

          • Melody

            Okay, Ashley. I’m sorry, I overreacted (this is a touchy subject, after all). I don’t feel that porn exploits men, but I dislike it and think it potentially damaging. However, I view porn the same as alcohol: everything in moderation. Addiction is bad; watching it once in a blue moon (not as your primary form of getting off). The thing that really sets me off is people seeing it as somehow worse than the other things I mentioned. They’re all bad for children to see. And as far as I know, there were no children in sight, which is why I believe Ms. Hawkins overstepped her boundaries. Again, sorry for insulting you.

          • Melody

            *Meant to say, watching it once in a blue moon isn’t so bad in my opinion, even though it’s not my thing. I think demonizing it, saying ALL porn is bad is just as bad, because then someone who watches it will watch it on the quiet and become addicted, because he or she gets a thrill from the secrecy.

          • Melody

            Lastly, I’m very skeptical of “anti” sites, hence the “drivel” comment. Usually they are factually inaccurate and not scientifically proven. I can’t believe for one minute that someone would have ED by watching porn on a regular basis. People have all different ways of getting off, and the only cause for sexual dysfunction would be flat-out addiction to porn, not porn itself.

          • Leslie

            Melody, yourbrainonporn.com isn’t an “anti” site. It was written by a liberal, atheist Anatomy instructor and neuroscience enthusiast who also happens to be a man. There is zero religion or moralizing. There is zero discussion on the perspective of porn actors. He discusses only basic addiction science that my own Neurology instructor in college would’ve agreed with.

          • Ashley

            Thanks, Melody. I was amazed when I’d heard of porn induced erectile dysfunction and still am. There are many people out there struggling with it. I think we’ve (society) become almost “hypersexual” to the point of not knowing what normal sexuality is any more. Google porn induced ED and you’ll see what I mean. Here’s a good scientific study. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3050060/?tool=pubmed There are those who have become addicted from the very first time seeing it.

          • Leslie

            Look, I’m not saying I would’ve done that in her situation or even that I agree with what she did. (I wouldn’t have and I don’t). I’m just saying that there’s no need for all the attacking. We’re adults, right? We can discuss this in a calm, rational manner (and that, of course, goes for Ms. Hawkins, too).

            As for violence vs. sex, I agree that we as a society handle those very strangely. My religious mom had no problem with Kill Bill, for example, but she all but freaked out at the small love scene in, like, Titanic. I won’t argue that that’s totally ridiculous. Buzz made a great point in another comment that if someone is watching a war movie and they’re sitting next to a war veteran with PTSD, they’d be a jerk not to turn it off if the veteran asked.

          • Ashley

            Thanks, Lesley. I think we’ve (society, collectively) have been desensitized to violence and gore and now we’re trying to add porn to it. I’ve been studying the porn industry. They will stop at NOTHING to get our children hooked on it. Children are viewing porn in libraries these days….because of adult freedoms. Porn stars are now being used on xbox live and playstation live to lure our children. We have to take a stand. Our children will inherit what we’ve left them.

          • Leslie

            Ashley, I generally try to avoid discussing porn because people can have strong feelings about it all around, haha. But, I agree that it’s a shame we’ve become desensitized to violence and sex. I genuinely do see violence as just as big a problem, and avoid overly-violent movies. While I agree with much of what you and Ms. Hawkins say, I think there are more effective ways of saying it. Attacking/shaming/moralizing are not effective, which is one of the reasons I like yourbrainonporn.com (they’re liberal atheists!). Discussing these things is great, but creating a “war on porn” won’t go over any better than the war on drugs. What you resist persists :)

        • laura

          Loud indignation against vice often stands for virtue in the eyes of bigots. ~J. Petit-Senn

          • Ashley

            One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion.

            Simone de Beauvoir

          • Gary

            Wow – Great quote. Going to have to use it myself.

          • Ashley

            Righteous indignation— anger not seen as a sin in the Bible… Jesus was loud when he needed to be.

          • Diana A.

            Both statements can be true. That is, there are people who are quick to point out the vices in others in the hopes of distracting people from their own vices. At the same time, not everybody who speaks out against wrong-doing is doing so to distract others from their own bad behavior.

          • Gary

            Indeed. And I would like you to show me where Jesus used it. You will find the ONLY examples are when the self righteous and/or religious were abusing others. He NEVER used it when encountering those caught up in sinful behavior.

          • Ashley

            What was Jesus doing when he turned the tables in the Temple? The marketers were turning the Temple into a den of thieves??

          • Diana A.

            My pastor did a sermon on this a week or two ago. So, his explanations are still fresh in my mind.

            1) The Jewish Temple was designed with a court for Gentiles who were worshipers of Yahweh. This is where the marketers set up shop, thus disrupting worship for the Gentiles.

            2)Not only was the marketing disruptive to the Gentiles, but it often was exploitative of Jewish people who were poor. These poor people would bring their offerings to the temple only to be told by the priests that their offerings weren’t pure enough to be acceptable to God. Darn. But of course, the marketers were selling “Temple-approved animals,” guaranteed to be pure enough to satisfy the Lord.

            3) It gets worse. Not only were the offerings brought by the poor usually deemed insufficiently pure, but pagan money (the normal coins of the realm) was also considered impure. Luckily (?) there were money-changers right there in the temple who would be happy to take the evil pagan money from the Jewish person and give them the pure temple coins in exchange–for a “small processing fee” of course.

            So yeah, the priests, marketers and money-changers were abusing/exploiting others. So, it comes back to the question. Is all porn inherently abusive/exploitative? Or is it possible that some porn is not inherently abusive/exploitative. Gary stands on one side of the issue and Ashley stands on the other. And neither one of you is likely to change the other’s mind.

            Stalemate.

          • Gary

            It seems pretty clear Ashley that what was going on was exactly what I said it was…and if you don’t see it read Diana’s explanation again.

            As for our stalemate…perhaps. Though I don’t exactly see myself as “standing on one side” since I have agreed many times that there is much abusive and exploitative porn and have never defended such. But it is the typical church response to sexuality that is a perversion of God’s creation.

            Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath water…this is a great example of such.

  • Ashley

    Porn induced erectile dysfunction is pandemic these days. These poor men are being exploited by the porn industry. In fact, you’re being emasculated. What other industry does this to our brothers and sisters? http://www.shelleylubben.com http://www.donnypauling.com and google porn induced erectile dysfunction. Men, you don’t have to have a “big member”, you don’t have to “perform”…you’re not circus animals.

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      Well, actually the entire advertising and marketing industries are based on convincing people they are Sadly Lacking and can only find satisfaction through product acquisition.

      • Ashley

        Yes, it’s really sad.

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    I think we’re all agreed that at the very least the guy was inconsiderate bordering on aggressively rude. People fly in airplanes in order to travel quickly; they are willing to sacrifice personal comfort & freedom of movement in exchange for fast, safe, and as much as possible, stress free transport.

    An airliner — unless chartered by a group of like-minded souls — is an environment where it behooves all of us to be a little more considerate of others in order to reduce that stress.

    If a passenger starts watching a violent war movie on his lap top only to have his seat partner say, “Excuse me, I’m a vet with PTSD, would you mind not watching that?”, well, that passenger would have to be a real jerk to refuse.

    Ditto looking at pictures of spiders while sitting next to an arachnephobe, or cobras next to someone who can’t stand snakes. Show a little consideration for your fellow human beings.

    Conversely, there are environments where one should expect things to be pushed past the norm. If skimpy / revealing / outrageous costumes are offensive to you, attending the San Diego Comic Con may not be a good idea. People who do attend SDCC know the type of environment it is and are not compelled to attend.

    (And even here there are limits; the con staff is fully capable of saying something has gone too far over the line & require either a cover-up or the wearer to leave the premises. Which admittedly is hard a hard request to make of a porn viewer at 35,000 ft.)

    I think the overwhelming majority of people who look at porn are not sick, are not dysfunctional, are not potential abusers or rapists. I think the overwhelming majority of people who watch porn just like to look at the dangley bits, partially out of curiosity, partially out of boredom.

    This guy was first and foremost inconsiderate of others, just as he would have been if he had been looking at pictures of medical procedures, human waste, or meat packing plants.

    • http://rindle.blogspot.com Lyn

      I agree, though, to my mind, a person shouldn’t even have to dredge up their personal tragedy to a stranger. They shouldn’t have to say “I have PTSD because I’m a vet / saw my dad commit suicide / was sexually molested as a child / was caught in a collapsing building during an earthquake / etc.” All they should have to say is, “I’m finding that really upsetting, could you turn it off?” and someone who isn’t a troglodyte would answer, “Of course. I’m sorry I upset you.” End of interaction.

      Considering the ratio of women who have been the victim of rape, sexual assault, and sexual molestation is estimated to be as high as one in four, no woman asking someone in charge to ask someone to stop looking at porn in public should be subjected to “There’s nothing I can do.” The proper response is, “I have no idea why this man thought this was acceptable. I’ll speak to him immediately.”

      Same goes for images of violence, gore, human suffering, what-have-you. Same goes for people suffering from phobias not being further exposed to images of the trigger object without being lectured on how their phobia is irrational. Believe me, they know.

      I have no idea what happened to basic human decency, but it seems that in our rush to personal freedom, we forgot courtesy and respect. This isn’t a matter of someone being a prude or being pc or anything else. It’s that we haven’t walked in these people’s shoes and we really don’t know what they’ve dealt with, but we can still respect their humanity by complying with their requests with graciousness.

      So, yeah, I’m with you.

      • tempus_aeterna

        I have a very strong stomach a major interest in forensics and ancient DNA work. This often leads to me reading some very interesting articles (sometimes with fairly graphic pictures) in public places. I try to be aware of what might offend others, but it’s totally impossible to predict that or be completely aware of the fact that someone might see something over your shoulder that makes them uncomfortable. I have friends who are artists and they often have similar problems when they are doing research in public places. I think that if you are not making a big deal about what you are looking at, then it is up to others to politely say, “that is making me uncomfortable, can you stop looking at it/reading it/whatever”. If that happens, if you are in a crowded public space, like an airplane, you are respectful of the other person and put it away without question as you don’t know what you are triggering in the other person. It’s again about being sensitive to your neighbor, but not so much that you are living in fear you might offend someone. It’s also about being sensitive to everyone in the space. The rest of the people are going to be annoyed, but accepting if the 2 year old throws a tantrum on an airplane at 6am, they aren’t going to be so understanding if a grown woman throws a tantrum over what should have been a polite request.

    • Leslie

      Excellent points from both of you. I agree that people should be considerate of potentially triggering other people — especially in a public setting. I knew someone whose father committed suicide and I can’t imagine how she copes with all the potentially triggery things that go on in the media everyday (all the teen suicides in the news, violent movie trailers, ect.) No one should have to relive that kind of trauma, but they shouldn’t have to divulge it to the seatmate they’d met 10 minutes ago, either.

  • cat rennolds

    Porn does not categorically exploit women. It MAY….it CAN…but it doesn’t have to. If I love my body and am proud of it and want to show it off, and make good money, I’m not being exploited.

    Porn exploits MEN. If it’s there, and they can see it, they can’t help but look. Men are physically wired for visual stimulation. it’s like alcohol – it’s fine for those who can handle their liquor, but it’s a deadly drug for those who can’t.

    • Melody

      Hmmm…looking at it from that perspective, maybe I should retract my statement that it doesn’t. We tend to look at it from the perspective of the actors, not the viewers.

    • Leslie

      This site (http://yourbrainonporn.com/your-brain-on-porn-series) looks at porn solely from the perspective of men trying to recover from porn-induced erectile dysfunction. There is no discussion of “morality,” religion, or the perspective of the actors.

      • Ashley

        Exhibitionism. Although many say it’s because they’re self-confident, it’s more often than not, the opposite. Not saying that’s the case with everyone.

    • Michael

      to true cat to true.

    • jersey

      Women are exploited. Period. To allow access to your vagina for money and risk disease and pregnancy and do it all for public viewing shows you have an emotional/psychological issue that needs healing. Most women who do this have sexual abuse of some sort in their childhoods/ backgrounds or were subjected to adult sexuality in some way early in life. They repeat the same pattern of being exploited sexually they experience in childhood by getting into porn – erroneously thinking they are ‘running the show’ by being paid. No. They are being ‘run’ by their untreated and unresolved traumas and porn movies and the porn industry is the vehicle that exists to exploit this dysfunction.

      • Ashley

        I agree.

        • Michael

          not all porn is made for profit. i for one prefer user uploaded porn made by couples because they want to. theres are plenty of porn sharing websites out there for this exact purpose. i dont think porn is inherently exploitative of either gender, providing. sure the for profit industry is exploitative of both, but thats not the entire industry, its not even necessarily the largest part.

          • Gary

            Be careful Michael…this subject tends to bring out a lot of intolerance for a balanced perspective…LOL

            FWIW I agree with you though.

          • Michael

            to true gary, Im heavily considering unsubscribing from this thread because i m getting blown up with a lot of comments and many of them arent as open minded and kind as im accustomed to on this site.

          • Ashley

            I still think watching someone else have sex is wrong, whether they choose within that moment to upload it because they’re exhibitionists is irrelevant to me.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Ashley: is this your way of telling me you want me to quit emailing you those pictures of me? Because you can just tell me, you know, right out. You don’t have to be subtle about it.

          • Gary

            Laughing my ass off John.

          • Diana A.

            You’re awful, John! ;-)

          • Ashley

            Hahahahaha!!! John, you ARE a very handsome man…but as a nurse, a surgical nurse, I’d recognize a penile implant any where!! I am, of course, kidding!!

          • Gary

            And what YOU think is wrong is irrelevant to all of us.

            I would have thought you would figured out that declaring a behavior as an absolute wrong or sinful is kind of out of place with most here.

            Get a grip…just because you have severe sexual hangups does not mean I am not going to stand up to you and your disgraceful perversion (slander even) of God’s creation.

          • Diana A.

            Gary, I like you. I agree with you on a lot of things. Even on this issue, I think that much of what you say is true. Yet, I also see Ashley’s viewpoint and agree with much of what she has said as well.

            In a way, your comment above comes across to me as an attempt to shame and intimidate Ashley into silence. That bothers me. She has the right to her viewpoint and you have the right to yours. She has the right to express her viewpoint and you have the right to express yours. I can understand you disagreeing with her viewpoint and certainly you have the right to say so. But consider that she has good reason for feeling as she does just as you have good reason for feeling as you do. Silencing her isn’t going to change her mind.

          • Gary

            Silence her? Hardly. Perhaps get her to consider her statements? Absolutely!!

          • cat rennolds

            I disagree with her, but I don’t find her thoughts irrelevant. Nor do I think she necessarily has sexual hangups because her sexual mores are different than mine….anymore than I believe that I have unresolved issues because my sexual mores are different than hers.

          • Gary

            The point I was making is that there is a difference between determining what is right for herself and deciding that she knows what is right or wrong for everyone else. That is what is irrelevant…not her personal choices. She has every right to them…but thus far she has not acknowledged anyone else’s right to disagree with her on this subject.

            I also find the moral objections to homosexuality irrelevant when they are used to try to control everyone else. Sexual hangups…ok perhaps not. However she referred to acknowledging the graphically sexual nature of the SOS as perverting scripture. Frankly that is something that I take offense at.

          • Ashley

            I do declare using porn as an absolute wrong. My husband and I have taped ourselves– for our own viewing “pleasure”… ( I covered one eye..I do recognize my body ain’t exactly what it used to be after having kids!) I don’t consider a loving couple taping themselves love making to be porn– at all, unless they post it on the internet for others to view– then I feel the act of love making has been perversed. ( Not a word, but I’m not a writer.) I don’t remember slandering God’s creation, if you point it out to me, I’ll address it, if you’d like.

          • Gary

            Still speaking in absolutes I see…sigh. This is why I said your view was irrelevant…not irrelevant to you but to me.

            As for my statement about slandering God’s creation…it is in the context of referring to the acknowledgment of the graphic portrayal of sexuality in the SOS as changing “the bible into something perverted”. since it is blatantly obvious to any who has studied the text that the sexual references are both graphic and abundant, declaring that stating such is “perverted” is slandering God’s creation. There is NOTHING perverted about describing sexuality graphically unless of course you believe God is perverted.

          • Ashley

            The sexuality described in Song of Solomon stems from the love of the couple. There is nothing perverse about it… I think I may not have made a previous point clearly..however, I can’t find that post. Please point the post out to me so that I may attempt to clarify.

          • Allie

            “Perversion” is what other people like to do sexually. “Love making” is what you like to do sexually.

          • Gary

            Bingo Allie!!

          • LSS

            This blog is so educational. I had no idea there was opensource porn.

          • Ashley

            Perversion is me watching people doing whatever it is they do sexually. Why can’t some things remain private?

          • cat rennolds

            it WOULD be perverse, if you did it, because you dislike it and believe that it is wrong. just like it’s perverse for women to perform in porn if they see it as shameful, or for anyone to allow it to become a destructive factor in their real sexual lives.

            that doesn’t make it innately perverse. there was nothing wrong with Adam and Eve running around starkers until AFTER they learned what guilt was. they only put on clothes to try to hide from God because they felt small and vulnerable and suddenly separate. and THAT’s the mistake. We aren’t separate from God or each other. Privacy makes intimacy sweeter and modesty is for self-protection, but those are gifts, not straightjackets.

            as long as nobody makes people watch it who don’t want to, or forces anybody to participate who doesn’t want to, or exposes children to things that aren’t age appropriate, then it’s up to each person’s conscience to decide for themselves.

            that’s like saying fire is bad because it burns and so everyone should always use a microwave to cook with. No grilling, no bonfires, no fireplaces. Or that food is dangerous because some people have bulimia, and restaurants should be outlawed and people should only eat in private.

          • Gary

            Perfect!

          • Michael

            how is that your decision to make? your not the oxford english dictionary, you dont decide what the word perverted means. why cant sex remain private? i could ask you why it cant be shared from one willing giver to one willing recipient. and who are you to tell either person that they are wrong for it?

          • Michael

            hilarious. LSS

      • cat rennolds

        I don’t know as much as you obviously do about the large commercial pornography industry. I am willing to accept your evaluation of the conditions that pertain there. Given 2000 years of Christian indoctrination of sex as evil, far too many women think, well, I’m already evil, it might as well do me some good.

        But what I am telling you is that if a woman does not see sex or her own body as inherently bad, then she doesn’t have to have unresolved personal trauma or power complexes in order to share it cheerfully and willingly with whoever she chooses, and do whatever she finds necessary to keep herself safe and healthy while she does it.

        that doesn’t always mean it’s a good idea, but that’s different than a sweeping moral judgment on *GASP* PORN = ALWAYS BAD!!!! It’s bad IF you believe it is bad and then do it anyway.

        and I will tell you all a shocking little secret from a bisexual female: You CAN tell good porn – ie, made by happy people who like what they’re doing – from bad porn. Although you have to watch their FACES.;) I only like good porn.

        • Ashley

          I’ve been a nurse for many years. There are many patients post op who hide their pain very very well. They smile through it, especially when their children are present. I’m not sure I’d be able to recognize someone happy to be doing porn verses someone coerced, forced or just not wanting to be there. I can’t distinguish their pain in their eyes when they’re acting. So, in case, I don’t watch it.

          “Travel is a major staple of my life. It seems it’s all I do. I’m not sure the effect it’s having on me. I guess I haven’t taken the time to reflect. Obviously that’s one of the major problems. Reflection. I close myself off. Not wanting to let what’s in the mirror of my life stare back at me. I never take the time to feel the effects of my choices. Maybe it’s because I would be ashamed, maybe afraid. I realize I have avoided my pain for as long as I can remember. It’s what I’ve been taught. Be strong little one…Things can only get better. As life goes racing by me, all the while my soul goes on with sickness. Yes, sickness. It feels like it’s ailing. Because the one that should be nursing it is too busy trying to succeed and be accepted. I’m certainly scared that if I try to fix what has broken in me, so long ago, I may not succeed. So I go on faking that I am whole, proud, and strong… I almost laughed aloud when I turned my head down to wipe my tears on my shirt and saw the pen I was pouring my pain through. It’s a Radisson Hotel pen. Point taken.” (Pg. 418)

          ~~ Jenna Jamison

          “Sometimes everything seems so surreal. Nikki used to call me her ‘Gypsy.’ I always laughed when she said that, because I know it’s not only from all my travels. My heart is a gypsy – continuously searching for a home, fighting within itself, wondering whether it is weak or even right for that matter to be searching in the first place. Loneliness is what it feels like. I don’t really know what the urgency is I feel: Loneliness or complete heartbreak? But I fight it, saying it can’t be broken. I still have hope that I will find peace within myself, and that must be what it’s about. – Confusion. – ” (Pg. 419)

          ~~ Jenna Jamison

          They are all my sisters and brothers. In case they’re in pain, I can’t and won’t compound their pain no more than I would hand a loaded gun to someone who’d suicidal. I just can’t.

          • cat rennolds

            That’s a position I can completely respect. But by the same token, I respect the rights of these women to MAKE these choices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rickmcopy Rick Middleton via Facebook

    Also an incredible coincidence that this very strange event happened to the national director of a morality advocacy group. It’s like she was just handed a one-in-a-million opportunity to talk about the very issue that her organization is working on.

    • Ashley

      If you’ve paid any attention to news headlines, watching porn in public places ( including libraries) is truly on the rise. As the porn industry continues to attempt to “mainstream” we’ll see more and more headlines. We have become a “hypersexual” culture. Many of us don’t know what “normal” sexuality is any more. Raquel Welch recently spoke about this. Look at our good men. Men who wouldn’t have crossed a street to go into a store to buy a “smut” magazine are now “addicted” or at least grossly obsessed by it. Neuroscientists have studied the brain and have found that porn is actually “rewiring” brains. There are also studies demonstrating cerebral cortex shrinkage secondary to using porn. I don’t think this is a coincidence. I think many people are confronted with images they don’t want to see.

  • Diana A.

    Okay, I finally watched the video and I now have more compassion for Dawn Hawkins than I did before I watched it. I can see why she might have reacted as she did. Maybe she did overreact, but I can see her point. I do think the guy was stupid for watching porn (or something that could be mistaken for porn) on the plane.

    This is such a tough issue for me because I am pro-freedom, even the freedom to watch porn (so long as the porn participants are consenting adults–which may be something of an issue.) But, I’m also against the exploitation of women (and, as Ashley has been pointing out, of men), and it does seem as though porn is one way in which this happens. So, I’m torn.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      I found Dawn really quite extremely likable.

      • Diana A.

        Yeah, I kind of got that impression. I wish I had better internet so that I could watch these videos on it instead of trying to do so on my DROID–which can also be kind of slow on some connections. Oh well.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          She just seems so … earnest. Which isn’t all that common a trait, really. And she also seems so young. She just has that whole sort of . . . robust idealism that time seems to inevitably wear away. So it’s always a little stirring—if only in a wistful, almost nostalgic kind of way—when you see it.

  • Shelley Krasean Flavell via Facebook

    Jamie- it was a personal affront to her.

  • Marcey

    Soulmentor, I agree the violence is horrible. As an aside, be careful when you use the word “arrrggghh.”. The last time I used that my youngest daughter came down with Bell’s Palsy. Just so some people might understand, Bell’s Palsy is a condition where the 7th cranial nerve becomes inflamed and paralyzes half the face. It results in the affected person’s only being able to talk out of one side of the mouth and the eye won’t close all the way, so a patch is usually worn. Very pirate-like. (I find this explanation tedious and off-subject, but apparently necessary. I am trying to have more patience with myself and others.) Soulmentor, disregard my advice if you don’t experience immediate karma like I apparently do. lol