This morning when I got to work I attempted to log on to this website. I’ve been keeping my comments section open as a tab throughout my workday and slowly battling the ever-present tidal waves of spam. I’ve been working on SEO, and my plan was to tackle spam first, then to go back through all the archives and get rid of any triple-x rated pictures. Not because I don’t like raunchy pictures but because they might lump me in with websites that actually purvey porn, and while, again, there’s nothing wrong with porn, I didn’t want to get caught in any content filters.
Because this website has become my platform for trying to tell the world that talking about sex and pornography can be ok. That it’s important to think about porn beyond our consumption of it, to talk about its impact on our lives. That talking about sex is vital to our growth as human beings. That understanding people from across gender lines is a path to a better future. I want this site to be available to people wherever they are, so they can think about these topics with me.
And when I tried to log on to my admin site, I got a “This site has been blocked” message from my employer. Reason? It’s been labeled “pornography.”
I cried. In my office. Not just because this means I’m going to have to do ALL of the tedious work on my SEO from home, where I never have enough time as it is–I’d been filling in the few seconds between tasks at the office doing this before and was making some real headway without losing much time during the day. And not just because this means that all my blogging and even promotion on social media also from home at a not-as-good time of the day for getting traffic. And not just because I already feel like my list of tasks to do at home is so overwhelming I can’t handle the idea of trying to put one more thing at the top of the towering stack.
I cried because this is exactly what I’m trying to combat. Because, although I know there is a vast world of Midwestern soccer moms on a quest for prudery and that there have been too many cases of corporate workforces spending their days watching porn online… I really want to feel like I’m making some kind of difference. Like my thoughtfulness and the seriousness of what I’m trying to do (most the time, anyway) speaks louder than the terrifying word: porn.
Being blocked makes me feel viscerally how solid the wall of socially programmed intolerance really is. It reminds me how far we have to go. And it makes me wonder if we’ll ever get there.