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Anti Pornography Movement

Anti Pornography Movement

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Published by Erin Parker
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About the news of Anti Pornography Movement and its exposure.

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Published by: Erin Parker on Dec 11, 2009
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Anti-pornography movement
Religious objections
A protest against an adult bookstore in Uniontown, Indiana, USASome religiousconservatives, such as Jerry Falwell, criticize pornography on moral grounds. They saysex is reserved for married couples, to be used only as the Bible says, and assert that useof pornography could lead to an overall increase in behavior considered to be sexuallyimmoral.Many are opposed to pornography because of religious conventions and morals,as exemplified by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states:"Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It doesgrave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who areinvolved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials." Section 2354[1]
Feminist objections
Feminist positions on pornography are diverse. Some feminists, such as DianaRussell, Andrea Dworkin, Catharine MacKinnon, Susan Brownmiller, DorchenLeidholdt, and Robin Morgan, argue that pornography is degrading to women, andcomplicit in violence against women both in its production (where, they charge, abuseand exploitation of women performing in pornography is rampant) and in its consumption(where, they charge, pornography eroticizes the domination, humiliation, and coercion of women, and reinforces sexual and cultural attitudes that are complicit in rape and sexualharassment). Many feminists differentiate between different sorts of porn and may seesome as fairly harmless. Those that favour a complete ban on pornography are actually asmall minority, but they tend to receive more attention in the media. The majority of feminists would consider porn to be a small issue.Beginning in the late 1970s, anti-pornography radical feminists formedorganizations such as Women Against Pornography that provided educational events,including slide-shows, speeches, and guided tours of the sex industry in Times Square, inorder to raise awareness of the content of pornography and the sexual subculture in pornography shops and live sex shows.
The feminist anti-pornography movement was galvanized by the publication of Ordeal, in which Linda Boreman (who had allegedly been abused in the making of DeepThroat under the name "Linda Lovelace") stated that she had been beaten, raped, and pimped by her husband Chuck Traynor, and that Traynor had forced her at gunpoint tomake scenes in Deep Throat, as well as forcing her, by use of both physical violenceagainst Boreman as well as emotional abuse and outright threats of violence (some madeagainst members of her family), to make other pornographic films. However, in thedocumentary "Inside Deep Throat", directors Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbatointerviewed several people connected with the filming of "Deep Throat", includingdirector Gerard Damiano and co-star Harry Reems, and all stated that Lovelace was notforced in any way to participate in the film, and specifically that they never saw a gun onthe set. Dworkin, MacKinnon, and Women Against Pornography issued publicstatements of support for Boreman, and worked with her in public appearances andspeeches. Boreman's criticism focused feminist attention not only on the effects of theconsumption of pornography (which had dominated feminist discussions of pornographyin the 1970s), but also the effects of the production of pornography, in which abundantevidence has shown that abuse, harassment, economic exploitation, and physical andsexual violence are rampant. This evidence has received additional publicity because of the testimonies of other well known participants in pornography such as Traci Lords, andexpressed in recent feminist works such as Susan Cole's Power Surge: Sex, Violence andPornography. MacKinnon applies the critical test to determine whether the production of  pornography is exploitative: would women choose to work in the pornography industry if it were not for the money? Critics note that this test fails to distinguish pornography fromany other industry.Some anti-pornography feminists -- Dworkin and MacKinnon in particular --advocated laws which would allow women who were sexually abused and otherwise hurt by pornography to sue pornographers in civil court. The antipornography civil rightsordinance that they drafted was passed twice by the Minneapolis city council in 1983, butvetoed by Mayor Donald Fraser, on the grounds that the city could not afford thelitigation over the law's constitutionality. The ordinance was successfully passed in 1984 by the Indianapolis city council and signed by Mayor William Hudnut, and passed by avoter initiative in Bellingham, Washington in 1988, but struck down both times asunconstitutional by the state and federal courts. In 1986, the Supreme Court affirmed thelower courts' rulings in the Indianapolis case without comment.Many anti-pornography feminists supported the legislative efforts, but others --including Susan Brownmiller, Janet Gornick, and Wendy Kaminer -- objected thatlegislative campaigns would be rendered ineffectual by the courts, would violate principles of free speech, or would harm the anti-pornography movement by takingorganizing energy away from education and direct action and entangling it in politicalsquabbles (Brownmiller 318-321)
Many anti-pornography feminists describing themselves as "sex-radical" and"sex-positive" such as Ann Simonton and Nikki Craft and other members of MediaWatch have advocated working against pornography and been arrested for public nudityand apply civil disobedience against corporations by ripping up single copies of magazines that contained violent pornography that they insist glorify rape as sexualentertainment. They advocate rejecting corporate control of sexuality as exemplified in publications like Hustler and Penthouse, protesting particularly what they see as thedangerous conditioning practice of intermixing violence and sexuality for titillation andentertainment as in pornography and other mainstream media for the purpose of achieving orgasm.The Supreme Court of Canada's 1992 ruling in R. v. Butler (the "Butler decision")fueled further controversy, when the court decided to incorporate some elements of Dworkin and MacKinnon's legal work on pornography into the existing Canadianobscenity law. In Butler the Court held that Canadian obscenity law violated Canadiancitizens' rights to free speech under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms if enforced on grounds of morality or community standards of decency; but that obscenitylaw could be enforced constitutionally against some pornography on the basis of theCharter's guarantees of sex equality. The Court's decision cited extensively from briefs prepared by the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), with the supportand participation of Catharine MacKinnon. Andrea Dworkin opposed LEAF's position,arguing that feminists should not support or attempt to reform criminal obscenity law.Controversy between anti-pornography feminists and their critics grew when theCanadian government raided and prosecuted Glad Day Bookshop, a gay bookstore inOntario, in its first obscenity prosecution under the Butler criteria. The bookstore was prosecuted for selling copies of the lesbian sado-masochist magazine, Bad Attitude. In1993, copies of Andrea Dworkin's book Pornography: Men Possessing Women were heldfor inspection by Canadian customs agents [2], fostering an urban legend that Dworkin'sown books had also been banned from Canada under a law that she herself had promoted.However, the Butler decision did not adopt the whole of Dworkin and MacKinnon'sordinance; Dworkin did not support the decision; and the impoundment of her books(which were released shortly after they were inspected) was a standard proceduralmeasure, unrelated to the Butler decision.In Britain, the late 1970s saw a wave of radical feminism. Groups such as WomenAgainst Violence Against Women and Angry Women protested against the use of sexualimagery in advertising and in cinema. Some members committed arson against sex shops.However, this movement was short-lived. Its demise was prompted by counter-demonstrations by black women and disabled women. Pornography was seen by the latter as a very minor issue that had been prioritised by White middle-class women above thediscrimination that black women and/or disabled women were facing.

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