Over at the Front Porch Republic, Mark T. Mitchell points out our cognitive dissonance pertaining to our heady embrace of pornography (okay, word choice) and sexual permissiveness in spite of the current feverish trend to keep at arm’s length all those accused of acting, well, like they live in a pornographic and sexually-permissive society. He writes:
We have mainstreamed porn and then are shocked when we find men willing to act consistently with the logic of porn. We have extolled the absolute freedom from any restraint and therefore we have given up the moral authority to claim that porn is unhealthy culturally and harmful to both women and men. We revel in our freedom to offer up bodies as objects of consumption and then are shocked, SHOCKED!! when bodies are consumed.
Mitchell is by no means letting swine (boar, by the looks of him) like Weinstein off the hook. Rather, Mitchell wants us to see that, instead of these men (and women) merely acting like rogue agents in this psycho-sexual drama, these students of the school of modern sexuality are forming valid syllogisms of action according to the logic of porn, as unsound as the premises may be.
Speaking of logic, this leads him to lay out the following either/or:
It is simply impossible to coherently hold these two claims: 1) humans have inherent dignity and therefore deserve respect, and 2) pornography is harmless, perhaps even beneficial, and is a measure of our liberality, open-mindedness, and the empowering nature of the market.
Despite our ostensibly theoretical acceptance of the first claim, we live according to the second claim–that is the claim to which we have attached flesh and,er, flesh and bodily fluids. We cannot coherently accept both as true; we definitely cannot coherently live as if both were true. By trying to believe and act in a contradictory manner, however, we become both victim and perpetrator. Thus, accusing others, regardless of the end of the casting couch on which they may be, for acting consistently to the reigning mores of the day without examining our own part in perpetuating those very mores reeks of self-righteousness, hence the reference to the Puritans, though I am not sure that such a reference is quite fair–and I am by no means a fan of the Puritans.