Jonathon Van Maren

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Left-wing Bill Maher: ‘I do not think porn is benign’

'You’re talking to a libertine, but I do not think porn is benign.'
Thu Jan 23, 2020 - 12:51 pm EST
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Bill Maher Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

January 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bill Maher is the rarest breed of liberal commentator: One who still has the capacity to surprise me by presenting and defending a point of view that is very out of vogue with the progressive set. He has noted his discomfort with late-term abortion, scoffed at the idea of biological males competing against females in sports, and warned Democrats that their obsession with LGBT issues is hurting the party.

Now granted, that isn’t a very high bar. Many of those talking points would have been run-of-the-mill liberal positions only a handful of years ago, but it still says something that Maher has refused to go with the flow. Nearly every other late night host has, and few would dare to say what Maher regularly does about the insufferable wokeness of the Democratic Party.

But I was still taken aback when a friend directed me to a portion of a conversation Bill Maher had recently with podcaster Joe Rogan. While I strongly advise against listening to much of it—it is both crude and littered with blasphemous profanity—their discussion around the ubiquity of smartphones transforming childhood led them into a fascinating conversation about digital pornography, which Maher, to my surprise, is very much opposed to.

“You’re talking to a libertine, but I do not think porn is benign,” he noted. “I do not. It is not benign. Not the way it is now on the computer. I mean, it’s rapey…”

“What sites are you going to?” Rogan interjected.

“Any site!” Maher responded. “I mean, it’s domineering, a lot things I’m not interested in…even in my fantasies, I don’t want to choke anybody…that’s not rapey and domineering? I find that off-putting and gross…But that’s half of what PornHub is.”

The ensuing conversation, especially considering the libertine views of both Rogan and Maher, is an indication of just how obviously disturbing pornography has become, with incestuous and violent themes increasingly dominating popular content. Porn was about transgressing boundaries, Rogan noted, and with virtually no taboos left to smash, the industry is now creating unfathomably creepy content. 

This, Maher agreed, is obviously having a profound impact on the way young people think. How can your first date be normal, if your first exposure to sexuality was something profoundly twisted? “I’m not saying it should be outlawed,” he told Rogan, “but, I mean, if I was a parent, I would keep it away from kids…what I would tell a boy is: Son, what you’re seeing in porn? Don’t think that women really like that. Because they don’t.”

“Surely someone must,” Rogan shot back.

“Of course—someone likes anything!” Maher responded. “That’s one of the bad things about the Internet. In the old days, if you were some sort of weirdo pervert, you thought—and the world was better because you thought—that you were completely alone in the world. Now whatever your kink is, you can put it on the Internet…and in a few minutes, you’ve got a thousand people saying me too!” 

Fresh news about cruelties being mainstreamed by pornography are coming out almost by the month these days, with the most recent news including PornHub’s defence of top videos featuring rape and incest—sometimes in the same video. Bill Maher is absolutely right: Digital pornography is perverting our view of what healthy sexuality is, and women and girls are increasingly unhappy as a result. After all, they are facing men and boys who believe that what they see in porn is what women want, a misconception scholars have begun referring to as “rape myth.” Porn has encouraged and nurtured wicked sexual fantasies, and in many cases, brought them into the mainstream.

Not long ago, it wouldn’t have been surprising that a liberal like Bill Maher is opposed to pornography because it is portrays women being cruelly degraded. Noam Chomsky would agree with him. So would Andrea Dworkin and Gloria Steinem and most of the ‘60s feminist set. But these days, when using words like “pervert” can get you cancelled faster than you can delete your Internet history when you hear a door slam, the “sex-positive” Third Wave feminists refuse to judge any sexual behavior—even if it involves men getting off on women being physically destroyed on camera for the enjoyment of others.

Jonathon’s new podcast, The Van Maren Show, is dedicated to telling the stories of the pro-life and pro-family movement. In his latest episode, he interviews speaks with Dr. Charles Murray about why America has fallen apart and what we need to do about it. Dr. Murray first became well known in 1984 with the publication of Losing Ground, a piece which is credited with being the intellectual foundation for the Welfare Reform Act. Murray is a New York Times bestseller, political researcher and scholar, and the F.A. Hayek Emeritus Chair in Culture Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

You can subscribe here and listen to the episode below: 


  bill maher, pornography, rape

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