The movement started at Notre Dame but has quickly spread to other universities.
Republicans and radical feminists have all but abandoned it, but the fight against porn has an unlikely new champion: college men.
Combining the energy of the #MeToo movement with a moral fervor, students at universities across the country told The Daily Beast they are working to get pornography off their campuses.
The effort started at Notre Dame University in October, when 80 male students penned an open letter requesting a porn filter on the campus WiFi. Since then, lead letter-writer Jim Martinson said, he’s received emails from more than 40 students at other universities who want to install a filter on their own campuses.
Georgetown senior Amelia Irvine, a conservative firebrand, told The Daily Beast that Martinson’s letter inspired her to push for something similar at her Catholic university. She plans to recruit support over the winter …
Newly intensifying anti-porn campaigns are mixing conservative and liberal principles, science, and ideology.
In 2010, Arkansas psychologist Ana Bridges and colleagues scrutinized 304 scenes that they would deem in a scientific journal to be “popular pornographic videos.” The researchers were looking for aggression. It was not rare; 88 percent of the scenes contained what the experts deemed physical aggression, defined in the academic journal as “principally spanking, gagging, and slapping.” Nearly half contained verbal aggression, usually from men toward women, who “most often showed pleasure or responded neutrally to the aggression.”
To sociologist Gail Dines, a self-identifying radical feminist and “anti-porn advocate,” these findings added to a body of evidence that she deemed conclusive. Dines believes that non-coercive pornography cannot exist in a capitalist society, where sex-based media will always lead to an industry that becomes a violent manifestation of structural inequalities. In The Washington Post this weekend, Dines wrote …
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An industry that should be banned for its harmful distortion of sex—or something we should look to reform? Our contributors debate
Because the practicalities of porn are so unpleasant, its defenders tend to resort to either broad free speech arguments or narrow technicalities about the impossibility of a ban. Porn, we are told, may be dismaying, but it is part of the great commonwealth of utterances that must be permitted in a democracy; and in any case, the internet renders censorship futile. Both may be true. Neither is relevant, however, because pornography is not an utterance. It is a video record of act. That act is exploitative, deeply misogynistic, profoundly racist, routinely abusive and, if consent means anything at all, largely coerced.
What is shown in porn is not simply sex. In pornography, women are “sluts” and “whores” to be “destroyed,” “forced” and “taught a lesson”—that is, deep-throated until …
In this weekend’s New York Times Magazine there is a long profile of a new kind of pedagogy unique to our particular stage of civilization. It’s called “porn literacy,” and it involves explaining to young people whose sexual coming-of-age is being mediated by watching online gangbangs that actually hard-core pornography is not an appropriate guide to how the sexes should relate.
For anyone who grew up with the ideals of post-sexual revolution liberalism, there is a striking pathos to these educators’ efforts. The sex education programs in my mostly liberal schools featured a touching faith from the adults in charge that they were engaged in a great work of enlightenment, that with the right curricula they could roll back the forces of repression and make sexuality a place of egalitarian pleasure and safety for us all.
Compared to those idealists, the people teaching “porn literacy” have accepted a sweeping pedagogical …
It is time to ban pornography.
Nothing can shock us except this suggestion. We find it perfectly acceptable that smut, no matter how bestial or misogynistic, should be widely available. We even think it a moral imperative, a dictate of freedom. It does not trouble us that children can view acts of rape, real or simulated, with a click of a mouse, but if someone proposes that we prevent them from doing so, dirty old Uncle Sam begins to shudder. Respected citizens stand up to object. Gallant young civil libertarians come riding into town, ready to defend the imperiled modesty of Lady Liberty.
“Ban” strikes us as a nasty word, conjuring up memories of McCarthyism, the Spanish Inquisition and the third-grade teacher who washed your mouth out with soap. We tell ourselves that bans are never really effective, that it is too hard to distinguish between what should be banned …