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Opinions of Thursday, 8 February 2007

Columnist: Aryeequaye, Mantse

Porn is here to stay

For the longest time our society has suppressed the most basic of human expressions under the guise of preserving morals. Anybody who grew up in this country; if they are sincere will agree that we are not as morally upright has we’ve been conditioned by religion to think that we are. There has been a significant shift in social attitudes, behaviors and institutional regulations surrounding sexuality since I was old enough to stand and pee.

One hundred years ago the idea of sexual politics would have been unthinkable. That obviously points to one phenomenon -- we are evolving as a people and our preferences are tagging along. If we are willing to accept capitalism and all its add-ons then the noise about Ghanaians producing porn for commercial gain is another progression of free expression and entrepreneurship. We can’t continue to pretend we are a Christian nation that abhors pornography, because even the so called religious institutions who are supposed to be showing the way are a part of the phenomenon however disguised it is. Pornography has been here for the longest time, there is actually an old school word for it: ‘blue films’. Far too many Ghanaians struggle with a deep division between the two fundamental pillars of their identity -- spirituality and sexuality. The pastor tells them that to live “pure and sanctified” lives and they are supposed to give up sexual activity outside the institution of marriage, and yet their bodies and souls cry out for a way to express and fulfill their natural passions.

Our society has always been like this, the only reason people are screaming against our people commercializing their sexual exploits is because technology has now exposed this society to many things that would have been supposedly unthinkable some years ago. Everyday large quantities of porn movies are imported into the country and the market absorbs them as quickly as they come. If that doesn’t say something about our deep seated need to feed into sexual imagery, some other out-of-this-world explanation just might pander to the whims of all those people pretending this nation was chipped out of some heavenly land. This generation must begin to confess that we love God, and we love sex, too! “All great truths begin as blasphemies.” Well, many in the church would call this statement blasphemous. But it is true. We were created with wonderful, healthy, natural drives -- sleep, hunger, thirst, and sex. “And ‘God’ saw that it was good.”

There are people living in Accra who have been producing and exporting porn since 1995 (that’s when I came into contact with it). It will not stop; infact the Ghanaian porn industry is going to grow probably bigger than our traditional movie production. The simple reason being that, there are more people willing to invest and the returns there are super. The minute we stop being hypocritical with our views on sexuality everything will make sense and we wouldn’t have to continue to live in denial.

- Mantse Aryeequaye, JIVE

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