In this short paper, I will outline a perspective on anti-pornography activism, provide a brief overview of tactics, and offer a few comments about tactics and actions. For the purposes of this paper, I will focus on pornography. But as has been discussed throughout this conference, the distinctions between pornography, prostitution, and sex trafficking are shallow and tenuous. There is more alike between these issues than there is different.
I hate pornography. I hate what pornography does to women, what it does to men, what it says to men to do to women and other men.
Pornography has a profound influence among men and boys.
Most everyday users of pornography are heterosexual males. Looking at, and masturbating to, pornography is the routine practice of large numbers of men. And most of the commercial pornographic industry caters to heterosexual men.
As a child of the early 90’s, internet porn grew up alongside me. Most American homes had dial-up modems on my thirteenth birthday; by the time I left high school, we were all but completely wireless. Pornhub and Xtube didn’t exist in 2005, yet they were two of the ten most popular websites on the planet on the day I turned eighteen.
What are the impacts of pornography exposure or consumption among children and young people? And what can be done about it? These questions are the focus of an Australian Government enquiry, "Harm being done to Australian children through access to pornography on the Internet". In the submission here, Dr Michael Flood summarises the research evidence and outlines key strategies for preventing and limiting harm.
Pornography is transforming boys’ and young men’s sexualities. It has an increasing influence on how males (and females) think and feel about sex and bodies, the kinds of sex they want to have and do have, and their sexual and intimate relations. This presentation begins by mapping the evidence regarding key areas of pornography’s influence. It then explores the social and educational strategies which can be used to minimise the harms of pornography consumption.
Since its original publication in 1989, Refusing to Be a Man has been acclaimed as a classic and widely cited in gender studies literature. In thirteen eloquent essays, Stoltenberg articulates the first fully argued liberation theory for men that will also liberate women. He argues that male sexual identity is entirely a political and ethical construction whose advantages grow out of injustice. His thesis is, however, ultimately one of hope—that precisely because masculinity is so constructed, it is possible to refuse it, to act against it, and to change. A new introduction by the author discusses the roots of his work in the American civil rights and radical feminist movements and distinguishes it from the anti-feminist philosophies underlying the recent tide of reactionary men’s movements.
A growing body of international scholarship documents that significant proportions of children and young people are exposed to pornography. Different studies define ‘pornography’ in varying ways or allow research participants to do so, and some do not distinguish between different kinds of pornographic media (videos, internet sites, and so on) or between accidental and deliberate exposure. Nevertheless, it is clear that large numbers of young people, particularly boys, are growing up in the presence of sexually explicit media.