A Letter to my Son about Porn: Harriet Pawson & Cindy Gallop for TED

Thanks to Katheryn Trenshaw on Facebook for this link.

The direct path is http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/02/letter-to-son-about-porn/

And the direct path to Cindy Gallop’s TED piece is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FV8n_E_6Tpc

And this is the link to the website Cindy talks about: http://makelovenotporn.com/pages/landing

I have a general wariness about gender-focused protest (e.g. aspects of V-Day), because I think there is an often-realized risk of polarizing and over-simplifying complex cultural issues, with divisive effect. For myself, I greatly enjoy and value male and female energies, and I find energy, aliveness, creativity and connection through the mixing and merging of the two….I also see all of us – whatever our gender – as shaped and influenced by our cultural context. We cannot stand outside this reality, although we can recognize and own it – and bring an intention to reshape ourselves and so our cultural context in helpful/healing ways. There is no place in my way of seeing for fault/blame-based ways of making sense of human behaviour. For me (and I think by definition for any therapist who works within the person-centred approach with any depth of understanding), that is a broken model.

However, if I had a son, I would like him to read this and watch Cindy’s talk. Or a daughter. This content feels relevant and important for all of us.

Lindsey Talbott, Therapist

Palace Gate Counselling Service

Link | This entry was posted in Gender & culture, human condition, parenting, person centred, pornography, sexual being, TED and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A Letter to my Son about Porn: Harriet Pawson & Cindy Gallop for TED

  1. Thank you so much for this post Lindsey!

    This is where I have taken MakeLoveNotPorn since that TED talk back in 2009 which unleashed such an extraordinary response globally – I wrote this for Ireland at the request of the Irish Journal, but it applies to every country, everywhere:

    http://www.thejournal.ie/readme/column-embarrassed-to-talk-about-sex-and-porn-ireland-this-is-your-wake-up-call-853199-Apr2013/

    • Hello Cindy, Just read this with a sense of excitement, hope and aliveness, thank you. I agree it applies everywhere. There’s lots that resonates with me, and one line that jumped out was: ‘The answer to all of this is not to shut down, censor, block, control, repress. The answer is to open up.’ That way of seeing feels central to how I myself make sense of the task of living, and also to how we see/work at this service (in terms of the journey we seek to support/facilitate in our clients, and also in ourselves). Obviously that’s in rather a different context to the one you are working in – but ultimately this is all the same question; how can we live within our own awarenesses and with each other in a way that is loving, enhancing, growthful, connecting, and thereby shape societies/cultures that reflect that? In my experience, developing our abilities to lean into opening is right at the core of this, and can help us move beyond powerful cultural models of shutting down, blocking, controlling and repressing. That idea that there are only two motivating emotions? Love and fear? I see the task as moving from a (culturally dominant) fear base to a love base. And that this is a cultural task, a human task, that will be accomplished only by individuals making that journey within ourselves – and taking that out into the world. Obviously what that looks like for each person, and where it takes us, is utterly personal. Like you, I/we as a service and as individuals have encountered considerable cultural resistance to these ways of seeing (which in our case has played out in the form of a bitter 18 months of conflict – which, at its centre, is about fear-based ‘story’, and a clash between ways of seeing). The antidote to that comes in the shape of the change and growth we see in our clients, and experience in ourselves and our small community. By the by, a university contemporary of ours saw my post on my F/B page, and remembered you with affection (I don’t recall that you and I ever met). Thank you for the work you are doing, and for your comment – part of the point of this blog (and the internet, in my view), is so that those of us – who in our many different fields/ways/contexts are working towards similar ends -can make connections with each other and so expand the work we do. Go well, Lindsey

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