She’s Not Just Someone’s Daughter, She’s Somebody
When talking about why you shouldn’t watch pornography it’s not uncommon for someone to say “that’s someone’s daughter/sister” as a deterrent for watching it. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with this phrase, but I think we can do better than it.
One of the fundamental issues with pornography is that it turns people into objects. The person on screen becomes an object of lust, and the person watching becomes simply an object trying to fulfill some sexual desire. Pornography takes everything great about being a human-being, dreams, hopes, personalities, etc. and reduces us to a puddle of raging hormones and primal urges. For someone to fully recover from pornography they have to reclaim their humanity. This is where our phrase from above comes in.
“She’s someone’s daughter/sister” places more of an emphasis on the people she might matter to than it does her. It’d be better to say “She is somebody” because all of a sudden the human isn’t the father or brother out there who loves his daughter/sister, the human is the person you’re watching. This causes the one looking at pornography to see her for who she really is, a person, with dreams and hopes and personality…a person who needs to be treated like a person, not like an object.
I’ve been someone who has used the phrase “that’s someone’s daughter/sister” in order to urge others to not watch pornography. It’s not a bad phrase, but we can do better. Reminding the porn user that the person they’re watching is a person, not an object, is better. Reminding them that the person they’re watching is valuable because they are a human being is better. If we want to help others win the battle against pornography we have to help them reclaim the humanity that they’ve lost, and reminding them that the person they’re watching is a human is a step in that direction.