April 2, 2013 (LiveActionNews.org) - When I was a teenager and well into my 20s, Kurt Vonnegut was my favorite writer. I still appreciate his work, although now when I revisit it, I find things that bother me.

One particular passage (I forget in which novel) found Vonnegut describing a porno shop. For those of you who are significantly younger than I and/or don’t read ancient history, this was a place that existed before the internet, when in order to acquire pornographic materials one had to go out in public and purchase them. With money. Dark, scary times.

Anyway, Vonnegut described the shop as “a silly place, all about love and babies.” (I am relying on memory, but I believe this is far more accurate than not.)

I remember being blown away by that. I was struck by how enlightened and how true it was. How Vonnegutian. He was right, I thought. Porn wasn’t about shame or hurting people. It was a natural consequence of the fact that men found women desirable and lovely. It meant that men loved women and wanted to participate in baby-making acts with them. That was what porn was about.

I felt a smug sense of righteousness that I was so enlightened now. I understood porn, while most people grossly misunderstood it. It wasn’t porn that was perverse; the real perverts were the people who didn’t realize that it was, deep down, “all about love and babies.” They were the real perverts – those who, instead of indulging their natural, healthy, loving, lusty natures, twisted something beautiful and simple into something negative and mysterious and even ugly.

“Porn keeps families together,” I used to say, half because I believed it and half to shock people. I would explain that pornography kept people’s marriages alive. Couples could watch porn together and get turned on and then have healthy consensual sex. Men could watch porn and indulge fantasies without “actually” cheating. Meanwhile, the people acting in the pornos could make a living and do something fun and healthy and not at all perverse.

Porn was natural. Porn was necessary. Porn was, in a way, wholesome. I believed all this.

Then I saw some porn.

You have to remember that the internet, around this time, was dial-up. It consisted of AOL Instant Messenger and e-mail, and a fraction of what we now call at the internet. Each page was delivered to you at roughly the speed at which water boils at medium heat. And it was difficult to log on secretly in the middle of the night because the sound of the modem dialing up (don’t worry about what this means) was a cacophony of screeches, blips, and hisses, sometimes lasting several minutes, guaranteed to wake everyone in your home, and possibly your neighbor’s home.

Also, if I’m not mistaken, you still had to pay for porn back then. With money.

So I was about nineteen years old when I first saw actual porn. And that whole business about porn being all about love and babies? Yeah, not so much.

I was with a bunch of friends at my boyfriend’s house when someone put in a VHS tape (you can google that if you need to) of some porno. There was a time not so long ago when a young man could never have imagined playing a pornographic video in a room full of young ladies. Those days are gone. Because FEMINISM. Because women are no different from men, right? And we are expected to look at the porn and shrug and be “cool” with it.

This is the new thing. This is what is expected of post-feminist women. We must be “cool” with porn, or, at the very least, “okay” with it. To be anything else would be hypocritical as feminists. We want “equality,” right? Well, there it is: women behaving just like men. Namely, by wantonly having sex with whoever. And by finding nothing at all disgusting about watching another woman be assailed by unfamiliar genitals for money.

So I sat there and I looked at the porn. I didn’t see love or babies. I didn’t really even see sex, not as I understood it. I saw violence.

I immediately thought back to the pornographic magazines I’d found in my friend’s dad’s closet when I was a kid. I remembered the violent imagery, the disgusting jokes, the little cartoon that made light of rape. I thought I’d stumbled upon something from the fringe, something dark and out of the ordinary. And I was surprised when, years later, I found out that the magazine – Hustler – was considered pretty mainstream and had about a zillion subscribers.

Later, I put it out of my mind. I was enlightened and Vonnegutian now.

Except the reality – the actual porn – was proving Vonnegut wrong. These weren’t beautiful ladies being caressed lovingly by men with passion in their smoldering eyes. These were 19-year-old girls with fake breasts and zero body hair being pummeled like desirable pieces of willing meat.

You know that saying, “If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…”? This looked like humiliation. It quacked like humiliation.

But what does abortion have to do with porn? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s column.

Reprinted with permission from LiveActionNews.