Harassed by Porn in London

By just walking from my home in South Kensington to the nearby tube (three minutes walk) there are occasions when I am confronted with offensive imagery at least three times in those three minutes. The red London phone boxes are littered with porn postcards, the newsstands have 'adult magazines' dotted all around them and sometimes a copy of the Sun is flying down the street. Oh, and something especially inauspicious; some young lad walking toward me will have a t-shirt with porn on it. There may be a fourth or fifth occasion when porn is lifted into my face. And this may be when I am actually sitting in the tube. The aforementioned Sun “news”paper retails for about ten pence and has a daily readership in excess of eight million. Very often The Sun and other ‘lad’ mags are read openly on the London Tube, and sometimes these ‘reading’ materials are used as instruments of provocation.  
Two days ago, I was sitting in a corner of the crowded circle line tube carriage; crowds of people lined the tube. The man next to me was over forty, gave me a stare and moved his “news”paper closer to yours truly. As a reflex I moved my head, as he moved this nasty picture closer to me, and gave me a flirtatious smile. I was careful not to give a reaction, that can only motivate further ‘inappropriate’ behaviour. He shot me a puzzled, ‘aw-what-did-I-do-wrong’ look but continued to put the pages of his porn rag at an angle to me. Clutching my bag, I got up and moved to another part of the tube. It wasn’t as if my clothing had invited this; I was wearing a long summer skirt and had a silk scarf tied around my neck, this same outfit prompted this reaction from a friend ‘you look like an extra from Little House on the Prairie in that skirt.’  And it's not as if I haven't seen this happen to other women on the tube.
But what if a small child had been with me and some indecent fellow had started pushing dirty pics in front of us?
PS - There are times when all of us can access porn completely innocently. Many years ago, when the internet was not as ubiquitous as it is now, a friend of mine followed a link with ‘latin-mass’ in it, and well, the nude ladies photographed on this website would have been arrested had they walked down the street.
Recently, I added the blog ‘Splintered Sunrise’ to my blog roll, only to discover that same day that this blog has links to some dodgy sites, and that the ‘Catholic’ (??) writer of ‘Splintered Sunrise’ holds views on pornography that are completely contradictory to that of Mother Church. The Apostolate of the Laity blog has done a thorough review of some of the dubious  stuff-and-nonsense on the ‘Splintered Sunshine’ blog. I’ve taken ‘Splintered Sunrise’ off my blog roll, and added Apostolate of the Laity instead.

Comments

  1. Hello Mary! I deeply sympathize. Much as I miss London in many ways, the one thing above all I cannot abide there, which makes me feel constantly degraded and fearful for my children, is the pervasive porn. But it must be said that London is not alone in this - most large towns / cities have similar features to the ones you have mentioned nowadays. And it is not only a matter of discomfort but of influence - a sinister tool which has done incalculable damage to an enormous number of people, psychically, spiritually, and by addicting them to all that it implicates, to the ability of whole generations to form stable loving committed relationships. It is interesting that high-profile examples such as Ashley Cole have recently led to the admission that this can be a pathological condition, a genuine addiction which needs treatment. Now, how long before they begin to do something about the porn which causes such dreadful afflictions?

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  2. Thanks Mary, I'm glad it was useful. Thanks for the ad on blog roll. Good blog too.

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  3. Splintered Sunrise has never actually claimed to be Catholic in any of his posts on the Catholic Church or anything else, although people have assumed he must be. Who knows?

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  4. Yes Garibaldy, that's very interesting. I suppose it's just that Catholic journalists publishing in the mainstream press like Damian Thompson call it a 'Catholic' blog. I heard about it on the Holy Smoke blog. The author of Splintered sounds like a Catholic with 'progressive' views.

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