What about porn?

I am reading The Best Software Writing I, an entertaining book edited by Joel Spolsky. In page 33, Adam Bosworth says “…porn seems to be an unpleasant leading user of technology”. Looks like Bosworth thinks that porn is bad, in some way.

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a talk at uni about web searching technologies. At certain point, the speaker wanted to find an example of a website that you don’t want to show up in your search result list, and he came up with porn: “so, in order to discriminate our target sites from those undesirable, such as porn, we can use […]”. It seems that this person also thought that porn is undesirable, bad.

Why?

A few decades ago, homosexuality, dark skin, extra-marital sex and lack of religious beliefs were considered by many people undesirable traits. Today, some people still keep this view, but civilisation and, most importantly, political correctness, have converted queer, blacks, sex lovers and atheists into something more palatable for most of us. Why not porn? Why hasn’t porn been accepted as being OK? It is my feeling that porn is still considered unpleasant, undesirable and bad by mainstream social values.

Personally, I don’t think that porn is bad. Can anyone give me a reason why it should? I am not talking about exploitation of women or sex slaves, but of professional, well paid, regulated porn. Exploitation of women and slavery do exist, unfortunately, in many aspects of our world, and are not exclusively tied to porn. Banning porn because it is sometimes related to women exploitation and slavery is like banning marriage because it is sometimes related to women exploitation and slavery.

I appeal to political correctness here. It is wrong to discriminate somebody because he or she is gay, or black, or enjoys casual sex, or doesn’t believe in any god. Some of us think like this, some others just pretend to because saying otherwise is not politically correct. Of course, still some others don’t believe it and don’t pretend to either, but let’s not care about them now. I would expect that discrimination of porn producers and consumers were considered wrong, or, at least, pretended to be by most people. But it is not! We keep saying in the open that porn is undesirable and unpleasant. To me, this is akin to saying that gays or blacks are undesirable and unpleasant: a sweeping statement based in stupid misconceptions, lack of information and fear.

What are your views?

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