Scorn. Forlorn. Corn. Torn. Shorn. Thorn. Born. Horn.
It rhymes with those. And starts with a “P”. I am not going to write it here because I am already puzzled by those websites that my blog data thingy tells me are citing my blog — but then I click on them (because I am so narcissistically excited that someone cited me) and really they are just scorn sites trying to get me to click on them.
Let’s talk about it.
According to my favorite book, The Brain That Changes Itself, that which is currently available online does indeed change the make-up of the purveyors’ brain.
In other words, it’s not your grandfather’s thorn.
If I remember my now months-old reading of the book correctly, contemporary thorn is scientifically formulated (really) to alter the pleasure centers in your brain so that you need more and more of it to reach your (ersatz) happy place — and it needs to be more and more graphic. It also directly affects the aficionado’s temperament, a la elicit drugs, and prompts him (yes, usually HIM) to seek ever more nasty, and often violent, outlets for his actual intimate activities.
It is no accident that people become addicted to internet corn. Think big tobacco.
If you weren’t already disgusted by the industry, does that help?
Why, one might wonder, would I be bringing up scorn? I’m glad you asked. My son is 9 — I said NINE — and one of his “friends” has been encouraging him to head on over to the interwebs and find himself some good scorn.
Apparently, this “friend” thinks it is about time.
Of course, my son has had some accidental run-ins with forlorn already — simply by clicking on a link placed below his favorite car game — I said CAR GAME — and ended up seeing way more anatomy than he’d ever expected.
Someone told me not to worry about it, that “boys will be boys” and “a little horn never hurt anyone.”
Spoken like a man who isn’t too concerned about all those daughters and sisters and nieces and mothers and wives posing for horn who have been oppressed into accepting a decidedly abhorrent and vicious patriarchal view of an entire gender.
And don’t come back with, “Oh, but so many of the torn stars these days choose to do it because the money is good and they love it and they’re their own bosses and it’s their way of asserting their independence. It’s the new feminism.”
Right. That argument stands with me about the same place as the one where we look at pictures of children in post-earthquake Haiti, semi-naked, missing limbs, with bloated bellies, and exclaim, “Oh, but they’re such a happy people.”
It’s what we say to make ourselves feel better about letting something so heinous get this far.
Boys will not be boys when it comes to torn. We are not talking about a natural curiosity about the female form, an innocent investigation of the other. Nor are we debating whether or not our sons should be allowed to abscond with the lingerie section of the Sears Catalog circa 1976. We are talking about modern internet torn sites, with surgically altered women allowing themselves to be photographed while some man or animal or plastic object is abusing them, that are just 1 to 2 clicks away from cartoon sites and tractor games aimed at children.
Uncool born industry. Uncool.
So what is a mother to do when her son’s friend is encouraging him to check out some internet born?
Well, there’s the talking, of course — lots of talking. I offered up the sister/daughter/mother/niece/wife speech referenced above. We talked about how what he accidentally saw bares no relation to love. We covered respect for women, oneself, and ones sexuality. We explored patriarchy and oppression.
He might find Naomi Wolf and Gloria Steinem in his Christmas stocking this year.
But he will not look at corn. I draw the line there. And not because I plan to spy on him at all times, lording over him with a Bible in one hand and tales of blindness and hairy palms in the other; but because I plan to drum this truth into his beautiful little head: he is and always has been a respectful person, one who is kind and genuine, one who treats all people with dignity — and viewing thorn (other than accidentally or maybe if you are in the FBI), strips all people involved — the models, the producers, the vendors, and the viewers — of that dignity.
And he is just not that boy.