I am really sad to say that the semester is over. I can’t recall enjoying a course this much. I would wait by the computer on a Monday or Tuesday to get my assignment and I couldn’t wait to get started on that week’s lectures. I would watch the 2 or 3 lectures, read the articles assigned and post my thoughts.
Dr. Halavais presented the coursework in a professional manner – no easy task since the subject was pornography. I learned more this semester than I expected. Not that I had much expectations – I had no idea what I was in store for! I was pleasantly surprised.
I am not a prude and I happen to be very outspoken. I say what is on my mind. I enjoy writing as well, so the assignments were not torturous and the subject matter did not bother or offend me. I enjoyed it.
I did not expect to learn so much about the history or laws regarding pornography. I cannot pick a specific subject matter that I preferred. Nothing stands out. The overall experience and knowledge I obtained speaks volumes, yet is hard to put down in one post. You would have to read my entire blog to see what I got out of the class.
To zone in on a few topics that fascinated me were the obsurity of defining such terms as pornography and obscenity, how different people view such material in terms of what they consider to be offensive and the courts struggle to draw the line for legality sake.
I learned that pornography dates back to pre-historic times and cave pictures, that pornography shaped technology, and that it was the Adult websites that were the first ones to test out online payments. They were the ones in essence that tested the waters with everything.
What blew me away was the fact that big companies, such as AT&T, Marriot and General Motors all have their hand in pornography! No one knows, it is not publicized but they promote it by either supporting or carrying certain pornographic content or owning companies that do. They are capitalizing on the industry which generates billions of dollars annually. A number that made my jaw drop. Pornography is not going away, not when it generates that type of money.
I found out that not all porn stars were forced into their career. Not that I gave it much thought. The whole idea of choice was brought up and debated. It is argued that some chose this career out of desperation, there was nothing else for them to do. I heard for the first time “gay for pay” a term used for straight male actors performing in gay movies for the higher salary. I found out not all woman in the industry are treated like low-life sluts. There are some that actually garner respect from their directors and co-actors. They call the shots and say what they will or will not do. This, I must say, impressed me.
We learned about the zoning rules and what the counties can and cannot limit in regards to adult businesses. With the explosion of the internet brings more problems in terms of what is considered under community standards – whose community are we referring to? Who can control it? Should it be controlled?
It was not all fun and games, nor adults only. We covered such topics as sex trafficking and child pornography – two disturbing elements in the adult business. How do we prevent this, how do we protect them? How much should be covered by the First Amendment? Child porn is obscene – it is not legal, yet child porn is also considered to be when a child stumbles upon indecent material. So how do we prevent that from happening? There are many who argue both sides of the issue.
I found more websites than I care to admit. My husband wishes I found more! I wanted to understand my husbands obsession and was upset over his appreciation of the industry! I was jealous and wanted to be all he ever needed. In the end, this class made me realize he is not alone nor am I. I realize now that by him viewing the material does not mean that he does not love me or that I am not enough. He was exposed to porn as a young man and once that happens you are sucked into it – almost like an addiction. I cannot fault him for it. I like to read erotica – I enjoyed reading Penthouse forum in college. I laughed at it and sometimes was aroused by it. I grew out of it though, he hasn’t – but that has nothing to do with me!
I want to thank Dr. Halavais for such an interesting class. I don’t think I was ever sad to see something end like I am with this course. I think the layout of the class was wonderful. I just wish I had time to read and respond to everyone’s post – a difficult feat considering there were 400 students that took the class. I enjoyed getting feedback from others. I think the way Dr. H. framed the outline and managed the topics were magnificent. I think this class should be offered in every college. As a parent, I did not know the extent of the problem pornography posed on the internet. I knew to protect my children from online predators, but had no idea about the extent of other damaging aspects. I thank Dr. Halavais for pointing out all these dangers and becoming more pro-active in spreading the word.