A VCR and VHS tape. (Pixabay photo)

Rickter Scale: Children in the eye of the porn storm

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column

After 30 years and thousands of stories as a journalist, not much surprises me, and even less sends shivers through me.

A recent interview with two counsellors at Pacific Centre Family Services Association was a rare exception that had me shaking my head on the drive back to the office.

Hearing there are six-year-old kids addicted to porn and teens who can’t function sexually without watching sex on a screen will do that to you.

READ MORE: Disturbing sexual, criminal trends with Greater Victoria youth on the rise

My first experience with what was considered prurient happened when I was seven. A nine-year-old at the park made a fortune selling peaks at a faded, grainy photo of a bare-breasted woman that he kept folded in his wallet between pay per views. I couldn’t justify the cost – a week’s allowance for me – but a friend assured me it was worth every penny.

What passed as mainstream porn such as Playboy Magazine in the ’60s remained relatively static until the ’70s and the debate over whether pubic hair could be shown. Anything in print more graphic in nature was mailed from Europe in a plain brown wrapper. A dead giveaway to postal workers, according to a friend who borrowed regularly from the hefty collection acquired by his buddy, the mailman. Blue movies, as they were called back then, were illegal, and required a 35-millimetre projector.

Then technology raised its affordable head with the dawn of the VCR, although they ran about $1,600 a pop in the early 1980s. Some locals may recall the firestorm when Red Hot Video opened in Victoria, or how they made as much from renting VCRs as they did renting tapes.

READ MORE: Population growth on West Shore strains wait lists for family services

Well, today’s technology has blown the lid off porn at warp speed, releasing an X-rated genie to kids who can walk the talk on their phones with a couple of clicks. If what they watch is how they get their education on the birds and the bees, Mother Nature and the rest of us are in a heap of trouble. What’s available today is like giving a child the keys to a Ferrari before they can handle a tricycle. Much of what’s available is a demeaning, disgusting portrayal of women as nothing more than pleasure machines. It accelerates from bad to worse times 10 when children don’t have a parent to sit them down and explain the ins and outs, someone to guide them through the minefield, someone to define the boundaries of fantasy, what’s healthy, what’s respectful, and why kids need to dip into that pool a toe at a time until they’re mentally, emotionally and mature enough to take that leap off the diving board. Otherwise, there will be consequences to be paid by all of us further down the road.

In the meantime, we can find comfort knowing there are women like Mia Golden and Jennifer Munro, who dedicate their lives to pulling as many kids as they can back from the edge of the cliff, extending a helping hand to children at risk. They continue to do their absolute best, despite the scarcity of resources available. It makes you wonder how many more children will take that tumble before the rest of us plug in to the damage unfolding in front of us.

Rick Stiebel is a semi-retired local journalist.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Rickter Scale

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore woman’s dog found in Colwood more than two weeks after going missing

Isla went missing on March 10 and was found 17 days later

Saanich police ticket two speeders before 9 a.m., Saturday

Officers still actively enforcing road safety amid COVID-19 pandemic

PHOTOS: Painted fence in Langford shows thanks for essential workers amid COVID-19

Community members finding unique ways to show their appreciation

Duncan man asks community to donate RVs to essential workers in need of quarantine

Ryan Oakley creates a Facebook group to help coordinate the effort

Antibody tests could be the next step in fighting COVID-19, Island doctor says

The blood test could show if a person is recovering or has recovered from the virus

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read