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John Shore Headshot

I Have Had It With This Mother*$#@ Porn on This Mother#@#* Plane!

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2012-03-09-Dawn.jpg

Meet (awesomely named) Dawn Hawkins. She is executive director of Morality in Media, which (according to its website) is "the leading national organization opposing pornography and indecency through public education and the application of the law."

As Dawn recounts in the video below, last month, while she was flying on Delta Airlines, she noticed that the guy seated in front of her was, on his iPad, looking at porn on the airplane. (It was also six in the morning. But you know what they say: it's never too early to start looking at porn on an airplane.)

Ms. Hawkins asked a flight attendant to ask the guy to stop looking at porn on the airplane; the attendant said there was nothing he could do about it; the guy begrudgingly stopped looking at porn on the airplane. A day or two after the incident, Dawn made the video below, and has been embroiled in a bit of (coffers-enhancing) controversy ever since.

As I write this, Ms. Hawkin's video has been viewed 172,516 times on YouTube. It's also there garnered 570 likes, and 23,503 dislikes.

I am choosing to decide that one guy, looking at porn on an airplane, in addition to 23,503 people on YouTube giving Ms. Hawkins's video a thumbs down, does not mean that while I was looking the other way -- while I was busy alphabetizing the books in my study, or taking notes in my astronomy journal about the galactic wonders I'd seen through my telescope -- our society decided it was okay to look at porn in public.

Then again, what do I know? Once National Geographic decided that no film about animals should ever go more than two minutes straight without showing a traumatizing display of horribly graphic animal violence, I knew all bets were off for our culture.

So you guys tell me. It's still considered flat-out unacceptable to look at porn in public, right?

Now, to be clear, I'm not asking for opinions on porn itself (though I'm all ears if you care to share about that). I'm also not soliciting comments about the young and earnest Ms. Hawkins, or her organization, as entirely engaging as I'm sure that conversation would be.

Right now all I'm asking is whether or not No Public Porn Perusal is still the rule. It is, right? No one thinks that on a plane -- or in a restaurant, or a hotel lobby, or ... in an elevator, or whatever -- it's okay to look at porn, correct? That's still something you're supposed to do (because, let's face it, trillions of people every day do do it) only when you're very strictly alone, right? Or maybe, at most, when you're with that special someone, or ... someones, I guess. But not right out in public, right?

Now, I'm hardly the Church Lady. (Speaking of which, why do I assume Ms. Hawkins is Christian?) But if commenters here tell me that they have ever seen anyone casually looking at porn in a normal, everyday, public sort of setting, then ... well, then that will be, for me, something that I really, really don't need, which is one more reason to never leave my house.