Why is pornography socially acceptable now?

I’m increasingly alarmed with the degree to which internet porn is considered normal, acceptable, and good. In particular, people talking about it on irc. People that seem, otherwise, to be perfectly well adjusted and respectable. However, I’ve also heard porn discussed at technical conferences as though looking at porn online was a fundamental part of being male, and that there’s no real difference from, say, reading the news or checking your stocks. From the platform. I think that the speakers in question were just trying to play to the crowd, but that says something as well. What alarms me is that there is no longer any social stigma attached to it. When people make comments about their own pornography habits without any trace of shame, it tells me something about their assumptions about me, the world, morality, etc.

Perhaps these attitudes about pornography predate the internet, and I was just unaware of them. Perhaps our culture at large really sees pornography as a completely acceptable form of entertainment. Perhaps I’m just old fashioned (something to which I readily admit, with some pride). But I find this attitude to be shocking and unacceptable. Pornography is an addiction, and a sickness. It is an industry that exploits people on both sides of the camera. The culture that accepts it as normal, acceptable, and even healthy behavior has its priorities turned around to an alarming degree.

On a related note, the degree to which porn is marketed to me, ever day, hundreds of times a day, via spam, is a further indication that this is just assumed to be ok. The fact that porn web sites are available in such enormous numbers (evidenced by the results almost every time I mistype a URL) is an indication that there are customers to be had, in their thousands or millions.

So, if you find my views on this matter vaguely archaic, I can only reply that archaic is good, in many, if not most, contexts. (Please reference the “Smarter People Than Me” criteria.) If you take offence when I refuse to help you with your Apache configuration issues, having found out that it is for a porn site, please take it personally – you are involved in an industry that is despicable, and this rubs off on you. If you find that I bounce every piece of email you try to send to me, or users on my servers, perhaps it is because you, or your ISP, or someone on your ISP, is distributing pornography, either via their web site, or via unsolicited email. And if you make pornograpy-related jokes on IRC, and I seem not to get it, it’s because it wasn’t funny.