I have been reading a number of blogs and discussions recently where people argue/discuss from the positions of ‘opposite poles’. It’s almost as if they fear balance; as if they fear that a halfway-house or more than one opinion represents compromise, failure … or a threat.
Let me give an example:
I love to read life stories, especially those relating to personal victories over fear, oppression etc. In one account, a former adult actress bravely told how she’d come to the point of realising that she needed to leave acting because she had no concept of intimacy and she needed to discover what intimacy was. This lack of understanding wasn’t a result of being in the adult industry, but was a reflection on her own make-up and life story. She wasn’t ashamed of her involvement in pornography; it had given her a good income and she was pleased to have been part of the sex industry. However, she was clearly fearful that people may have misinterpreted her departure from the industry as some sort of ‘spiritual enlightenment‘ and was very clear in setting her blog readers straight that her decision to leave was as personal and adult as the decision she’d made to enter the industry in the first place. She definitely did not want to be associated with such an act. Unfortunately, she was quick to hit-out at other former adult actors who now worked to help other actors leave the porn industry.
I think her fear seems to have arisen in a mismatch of expectations and understanding; a different starting point. To her the adult industry was something she’d enjoyed and therefore, there was no trap and no sense of helplessness. She was in the position to decide on her own destiny with reasoned clarity.
But there are people who are not so fortunate, people for whom the adult industry was something they had ‘landed in’ through a need to earn money to survive, or because they had been abused as children and so saw an opportunity to expresstheir anger and frustration, perhaps even get back at others.
And therein lies a difference!
There are people who entered the sex industry because they were vulnerable and then felt trapped and helpless with no way out. These people have very different needs to those who made a conscious choice to work in the industry and there are many stories from former porn stars that wholeheartedly endorse the support they initially received and continue to receive from people committed to helping them ‘escape’.
It’s a matter of perspective; the point from which one starts.
We all find ourselves in life situations where we
- arrive through personal choice
- arrive through a voyage of discovery
- arrive without wanting to be there
- feel trapped
… and depending on which of those routes we have taken, our reason for leaving or wanting to leave will be different.
And the type of help we want or need will also be different:
- Some will need a helping hand to guide them out
- Some will need a hand to drag them out and provide ongoing support
- Some will be in a position to choose to leave for themselves.
So, we will run into problems if we
- try to pull someone out who doesn’t want to leave (we will be met with resentment)
- leave people in who need a helping hand (we will leave broken and damaged people to the mercy of themselves and others).
Which brings me back to my original point of balance.
In any situation there is a range of people types, with a range abilities (from 100% to 0%) to make an active choice for themselves and thus a range of needs.
Just because we can make a decision for ourselves is not a reason to attack those who try to help individuals who can’t. If we slag them off, then surely we are guilty of being just as over-zealous in our behaviour or opinion!
Is our anger really focussed at what they’re saying/offering, or are we afraid?
Our life story can be a real source of inspiration and help to others. We have all arrive at where we are in life through our own route of discovery and life experiences; good and bad.
But each story is unique. Each of us is unique and therefore, I see no problem with a multitude of different options when it comes to help, support and yes, even escape.
I guess the problem is that when we’ve found something that works for us, we want to share it with others, so that it might be a help to them too. When we do that, we run the risk of being interpreted (or misinterpreted) as right-wing or over-zealous in a world that seems to have lost the ability to see things in balance.
After all, if someone comes to us with an offer of help or a wy out, we can listen and then choose to go with it or reject it. If we’re not given a choice, then we have no choice.
Surely, the beauty of a rainbow comes form its multitude of colours. Perhaps we need to be able to see the value of those colours and be less threatened by them.