Porn and the Hypocrisy of Pamela Anderson

Let’s face it. We’ll forgive celebrities for damn near anything, so long as they keep entertaining us. It’s a flaw in society. It’s a flaw in us, as a species. Our caveman brains will bend over backwards and even beyond that in order to rationalize our love/obsession/fixation with celebrities. We don’t care if the President himself is getting blowjobs while in office. We just want them to keep entertaining us.

However, there is one sin that even our flawed society has a hard time overlooking. It’s a sin so egregious that our brains will simply not allow us to ignore it. It is the alpha and omega of dick moves. It’s so disgusting and distressing that no amount of entertainment value can make up for it. So what is this horrendous sin? It comes down to one foul word:

Hypocrisy

We’ll forgive Olympians for cheating. We’ll forgive athletes for animal cruelty. Until very recently, we even forgave spousal abuse to some extent. We just can’t handle hypocrisy. It’s one thing to just lie to our faces. We all deal with lies. We all lie to ourselves and others to some extent. We can understand that to some degree. It’s only when someone elevates themselves with that infuriating holier-than-thou  spirit, only to be guilty of it themselves, that we get truly outraged.

This week, famed Playboy star, Pamela Anderson, joined the infamous ranks of celebrities who either are revealed as hypocrites or willingly embrace it. In this case, Ms. Anderson did the latter. She penned an opinion piece in the Walls Street Journal denouncing the porn industry that made her rich, famous, and relevant. She took a page out of the playbook of every anti-sex crusader, calling porn a “public health crisis” and decrying the effects it has on its users.

Now, it’s one thing when some sexually repressed, overly uptight, puritanical moral crusader denounces porn. We expect that from those people are are happy to ignore them. There’s no law against being uptight or puritanical about sex, nor should there be. They’ve always existed in society and will continue to exist to some degree. We can tolerate that.

What Pamela Anderson does here is far more egregious because she’s denouncing the very thing that made her successful. If she were to pay back all the money she ever made from posing naked, acting sexy, or just giving men something to jerk off to, then she’d give her words some weight. As far as we know, Ms. Anderson is still living a luxurious, celebrity-style life and isn’t planning to give it up anytime soon.

It’s asinine, dishonest, and just plain ridiculous. It’s not a moral stand. It’s a joke. That’s what hypocrisy does. It takes an issue and removes any critical, substantive context from the conversation. It gets reduced to a case study in what an asshole someone is for having the audacity to claim moral superiority over others, despite not living up to those morals.

Now I admit that, as a teenage boy, I fantasized about Pamela Anderson. A lot of men did. She’s a beautiful woman and she used that beauty to get ahead. There’s nothing wrong with that. Hell, that’s the the entire premise of my book, Skin Deep. I doubt Ms. Anderson would ever read my book, but I think it would be pretty revealing for her because it confronts the impact of beauty and how we use it to our advantage.

It’s not so much a flaw in our society as it is a byproduct of our biology. We’re inclined to be attracted to things and people we find beautiful. It denotes health, vigor, energy. To condemn us for this attraction is to condemn the very mechanisms that keep us alive.

Those same mechanisms are what drive us to these irrational rationalizations about everything from sex to religion to politics to tastes in movies. If I had a chance to talk to Ms. Anderson (and avoid looking at her tits long enough), I’d try to talk to her about why she feels this way about the porn industry now. I don’t claim to be psychic, but human biology does often utilize certain patterns.

As I’ve explained before in previous posts, and will likely continue to do so again in future posts, our brains are not wired to be rational or logical. They are wired for two primary functions: survival and reproduction. If there’s a force that hinders both, then our brains will work as hard as possible to avoid or overcome it, even if it means resorting to hypocrisy.

Being such a social, empathetic species, mental distress caused by guilt is a powerful hindrance. Guilt can impact our ability to survive in that the distress makes us incapable of fighting off a lion or a bear. It’s also not an attractive quality to the opposite sex. Nobody really finds excessive guilt sexy, either in our species or any other. So guilt causes a lot of distress.

To avoid this distress, we’ll lie to ourselves. We’ll forge thoughts, memories, and beliefs in our minds that are completely detached from reality, but they’ll make us feel less guilty and distressed so we’ll accept them. That way, our brains can function again. We can function again.

I suspect that, as an aging woman with children and multiple failed marriages, Ms. Anderson does feel guilty to some degree. She may not admit it. Admitting guilt is right up there with getting open heart surgery from a hammer in terms of unpleasant experiences. By denouncing the industry that made her rich and calling it a “public health issue,” she eases her own distress. Her brain can function a bit better now. It’s selfish on some levels, but understandable on others because we’re just not wired to accept such a distressing state. We’ll do or think anything to escape it.

Now to those who read her article, take comfort in the knowledge that it contains little in terms of actual research into sexual addiction. This is still a topic that is poorly understood. However, given the ubiquitous nature of porn, we do know enough about it to conclude that Ms. Anderson’s assertions are bullshit.

According to the American Psychological Association, pornography does not meet the same criteria for addiction that would put it on the same level as cigarettes or alcohol. It can be damaging to some individuals, but you can say that about many addictions from biting your nails to getting tattoos. While we’re all wired for survival and reproduction, there are many variations of that wiring and sometimes that wiring means porn will be unhealthy for some people. By and large, though, it’s not harmful to most.

There’s still more research to be done and for Ms. Anderson, it still won’t be enough. Like creationists, vegetarians, or Bigfoot enthusiasts, there’s no amount of scientific evidence that will change their mind. Their brains just aren’t wired to accept it. Even so, that doesn’t make this level of hypocrisy any less egregious. She can say what she wants, but she can’t expect the words of a hypocrite to carry much weight on this or any other issue.

7 Comments

Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights

7 responses to “Porn and the Hypocrisy of Pamela Anderson

  1. Pingback: Busting Sex Myths From Cracked.com | Jack Fisher's Official Publishing Blog

  2. Yep! The biggest stinking hypocrite around!! Just like Linda Lovelace!!

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