...are the ones that make the biggest difference

12.31.2005

Why are you doing this?

Part of my nightly duties includes giving at least 2 baths to patients. Sometimes that's easy, sometimes finding a willing participant can be difficult. A couple of weeks back, I had to bathe a lady because she was having problems with a drainage bag. She's alert & oriented, but has had multiple abominal surgeries in a relatively short period. The doctors apparently used the same incision site several times and now it is taking a very long time to heal. So I was in her room at about 4am giving her a bath after the nurse had finished reapplying her dressings and fixing the drainage back for probably the 3rd time that night. On the other patient's tv was an infomercial for a pornographic video set. I will be circumspent because I don't want a bunch of hits based on the search term, but its basically "Young Women Gone Crazy" or "Females Devoid of All Inhibition." This is a company that has been around for a number of years and started out, from what I understand, making compilations of girls drunkenly displaying their assets for the camera at bars and frat-parties - spur of the moment stuff. Anyways, the curtain was closed so all I heard was the audio, but I've seen brief snatches of it as its been on in other patient's rooms (it seems to be on every morning about 4 or 5am). This latest video set is not the usual drunken debauchery. Instead, the producers have whisked (apparently) dozens of girls away to an island location for some Olympic-style pornographic games with plenty of depraved variations.

I know porn exists, I know many, many men are heavily involved in it and have even looked at it myself, thankfully not getting "hooked" in any way. So usually when this kind of thing presents itself I just dismiss it as yet another example of our fallen world. But this night was different, largely because of the patient I was working with. She is in her early 60's and, according to her chart, battled drug addiction for a goodly portion of her life. And she told one of the other aides (a woman) that she had also worked as a prostitute to support her drug habit. The juxtaposition of this woman, hurting in body & soul, burdened from a lifetime of being used by men, laying in a hospital bed with practically no family and who will almost certainly die alone, and the women who willingly subject themselves to that kind of degradation for some stupid video was especially acute. I can understand why this woman, as it happens with so many women, got caught up in the humiliation and degradation of prostitution. I've known several people who were drug addicts and the horror of that dependency can drive people to insane lengths to feed their habit. But these women on the screen, the one's exposing themselves or putting on female-on-female sexual displays for what? a few bucks? the approval of some guy with a camera? or some lonely schmuck who can only find a glimmer of emotional fulfillment from his DVD player or internet connection? I don't get it. What is missing in them that they are willing to humiliate themselves, to abuse their bodies & souls in this way for what can only amount to a fleeting feeling of acceptance and approval? What is wrong with them? Moreover, what is wrong with the men who rely on these sexual crutches? I think this is the real crux of the matter. If men didn't want it, if they didn't watch it, then this kind of thing would not exist. So why do so many men seek fulfillment in watching an endless parade of women degrade themselves? Why can't they connect with a real woman? Why do they abuse their body and souls with this kind of depravity? What is wrong with our society that we produce people like this and that so many consider this "normal"? How have we so disempowered women that they willingly subject themselves to these things?

I know I'm only echoing questions that have been voiced many thousands of times by people far more astute and well-spoken than myself, but I could not help but see this differently after getting to know someone who has lived that reality.

1 comment:

Ephrem Christopher Walborn said...

Loneliness to lust is a short trip. I have no idea whether that's a typical answer, but it's mine. People cheapen themselves, settling for the available.

The few times I've been around the stuff the first thing I experienced was curiosity. Curiosity quickly gives way to disgust. Disgust that people trade in their bodies for cash, and that the people watching are so willing to participate in such objectification. It's a very sad, cynical affair.