April 18th 2009

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Articles from this issue:

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Ex-Treasury chief slams Government and Opposition

NATIONAL AFFAIRS: China's Rio bid: Australia's independence at stake

EDITORIAL: G20 summit: end of the "Washington Consensus"?

GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS: Can US dollar remain world's reserve currency?

OPINION: Time to put outlaw bikie-gangs out of business

UNITED STATES: Republican Party in dire need of a leader

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS: Finding the resolve to wage a titanic struggle

FAMILY POLICY: Promoting family-centred child-care

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY: Swedish social laboratory's disastrous legacy

HUMAN CLONING: SA parliamentarians misled by false science

PORNOGRAPHY: American feminist warns of long-term damage from porn

SCHOOLS: Teachers powerless to deal with unruly students

OBITUARY: Laurie Short: an Australian hero (1915-2009)

AS THE WORLD TURNS: Regulation no longer a dirty word / Great orator Obama? / Jimmy Carter II?

Tribute to Laurie Short (letter)

Liberal predicament (letter)

CINEMA: The emptiness of a loveless life - Elegy

BOOKS: SAMUEL JOHNSON: A Biography, by Peter Martin

BOOKS: SOLAR CYCLE 24, by David Archibald

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American feminist warns of long-term damage from porn

by Naomi Wolf

News Weekly, April 18, 2009
Exposure to pornography leads to serious long-term mental health problems Naomi Wolf has warned recently.

Thanks to the internet, pornography has saturated modern people's lives, leading to serious long-term consequences for their mental well-being, American feminist and author of The Beauty Myth (1990), Naomi Wolf, has warned in a recent article in the London Times (April 4).

"The ubiquity of sexual images does not free the power of Eros but dilutes it," says Wolf.

"Feminists have often misunderstood sexual prohibition. I am not advocating a return to the days of hiding female sexuality, but I am noting that the power and charge of sex are maintained when there is some sacredness to it.

"In some cultures it is not prudery that leads them to discourage men from looking at pornography. It is, rather, because these cultures understand male sexuality and what it takes to keep men and women physically interested in one another over time to help men, in particular, to, as the Old Testament puts it, 'Rejoice with the wife of thy youth; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times'.

"These cultures urge men not to look at porn because they know that maintaining a powerful erotic bond between parents is a key element of a strong family."

Wolf recalled a visit she made to Ilana, an old friend who had become an Orthodox Jewess in Jerusalem. She had abandoned her jeans and T-shirts for long skirts and a headscarf.

"Can't I even see your hair?" Naomi Wolf asked, trying to find her old friend in there.

"Only my husband," she said, "ever gets to see my hair."

Wolf recalls: "When she showed me the bedroom, draped in Middle-Eastern embroideries that she shares only with her husband - no kids allowed - the sexual intensity in the air was archaic, overwhelming.

"It was private."

REFERENCE: Naomi Wolf, "Is porn damaging your emotional health?", The Times (London), April 4, 2009.
URL: women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/relationships/article6027904.ece

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