I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means


I’m going to try to handle this one delicately.

Bear with me please.

Lately I’ve seen folks using a word more and more in a way that it was not meant to be used.

And to be perfectly honest, I’m offended.

And pained.

Because this stuff brings people down.  It can tear apart families, relationships, lives.  And it can destroy those involved in it–some by no choice of their own.

The word is pornography.

More and more I see other words attached to the shortened form of this word.  “Porn.”

*shaking my head*

I just don’t get it.

If you are not on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others like them) you might not be aware of this.  But people are actually taking pictures of beautiful plates of food and calling it “food porn.”  I saw a lovely photo of nature and it was labeled “tree porn.”  My oldest came home from college today and informed me that you can look up just about any kind of something and find that word attached to it.

Say what?

My Daddy used to shake his head sometimes and say, “I think I’ve just lived too long.”

I hear you, Daddy.  I get it.

The thing is, it’s not even a correct use of the word.  According to Oxford Dictionaries, the word is derived from the Greek words:

mid 19th century: from Greek pornographos  ‘writing about prostitutes’, from pornē  ‘prostitute’ + graphein  ‘write’

The more appropriate part of the word to use with the food and nature photos and all of the other pictures would be the “graph” part.

But I guess that just doesn’t turn people’s heads like “porn” does, huh?

This has been on my mind and heart and has bothered me for quite some time.  But yesterday I learned that Saturday, January 11 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day.  I decided I couldn’t sit on my opinions or hold my tongue any longer.


Folks, real people, are affected by this.  Each and every day.  All over the world.  And in this country as well.  Land of the Free just doesn’t exist for some.   Nor does it, I guess, for any of us.  Not really.

pic of mlk quote

There are more slaves in the world today than ever before.

I’m not judging folks who use pornography.  Not today.

But if you tell yourself that pornography and human trafficking are not related, you are kidding yourself.

Sorry.  Facts are facts.  And I’ve read enough to know that many of the human beings used in this industry are a part of this against their will.  People just like you and me–except many are much, much younger.  Some are children. They never asked for this, and they are being FORCED to produce it.

Not all, some might say.

Maybe not, but how would you know which ones aren’t?

It all just makes me sick.  And mad.  This is something we have to say no to.  Human trafficking–in this day and age?  With all the advances we’ve supposedly made?  It seems unfathomable, and yet organizations like Love 146 (read their story–you can’t do it with dry eyes, I promise), International Justice Mission, and Not For Sale say differently.  It is very real.

What can we do?

Perhaps we can begin by not taking a word that refers to something that can be demeaning and damaging and can destroy lives and using it as a light-hearted description of something that is beautiful.

Yeah, that could be a start.


I give thanks tonight for my daughter Aub who introduced me to the story of Love 146 back six years ago.  I listened and I read, and I was humbled by the heart of a young person who saw it as a problem and wanted to be a part of changing the world.  I have a long way to go, but thanks for getting me started, baby girl. 

(More information about the organizations listed above can be found by clicking on their names, which will take you to their websites.  Thanks for reading.)

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