A VCR and VHS tape. (Pixabay photo)

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

Just Posted

An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Victoria High School seismic work, expansion a year behind schedule

Greater Victoria School District now targeting September 2023 for reopening of historic school

Elk Lake Drive area resident Michael Blayney protests a proposed multi-building development for his Royal Oak neighbourhood, outside Saanich municipal hall on Monday (June 14). (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Demonstrators protest 11-storey development on Elk Lake Drive in Saanich

Saanich locals gather at municipal hall to protest development, public hearing goes Tuesday

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is calling on Transport Canada to rescind its ban to Feb. 28, 2022 on cruise ship stops in Canada, to allow planning to begin in advance of a reopening of the cruise industry next year.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority seeks end to federal ban on cruise ship stops in Canada

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO hopes cruises will resume by 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read