As funny as it was that pornographic movies were discovered at Bin Laden’s compound, it should be no big surprise— a lot of people watch porn. I wondered if Bin Laden had watched the type of porn that explored the taboo of having sex with women that wear burqas (I discovered this at the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo) or maybe he secretly had a thing for “decadent” Western women. We may never know for sure. What’s more interesting to me about Bin Laden and his fellow terrorists stashing porn is that porn is a powerful symbol of American civil liberties. Al Qaeda consistently denounced and sought to destroy western culture, and Bin Laden blasted how Americans “plastered our naked daughters across billboards”. His words were insincere and he was like so many others who watch porn and try to hide it. As my dad says, “people don’t practice what they preach.” In the end Bin Laden couldn’t elude America’s cultural impact or our devotion to seek justice.
But beyond being curious about Bin Laden’s porn preferences or hypocritical proclamations against western culture, I couldn’t help but draw the conclusion that porn exists in this country, as such a thriving part of the economy no less, because we have access to unique liberties. Dare I say porn is a consequence of our American way of life? I think it is and how we choose to regulate its access in the future could impact the freedoms we enjoy. Let’s not end up like China, blocking Internet access to porn along with news and information considered to promulgate ideas of freedom. I’m glad we can continue this conversation and debate about porn in a free and open society.