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.
This short article details the initial findings from a 3-month conversation between 21 male activists who work to prevent violence against women. Using Participatory Action Research methodology, this research project investigates what men who do this work would like to learn from other men who do this work. To date, no research has been done that examines what it is that motivates and sustains men who work, as their primary effort, to prevent men’s violence against women.
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.
Sexual violence is a men’s issue. Men perpetrate the vast majority of sexual assault –
regardless of the gender of the person victimized; men too are victimized, and men are
the significant others (lovers, housemates, sons, classmates, brothers, cousins…) of
women and men who are sexually victimized. In all of these ways, sexual violence is an
issue that men confront. In spite of this, and in spite of the increasing efforts over the
past 20 years to define sexual violence as a men’s issue, men, by and large, continue to
ignore, deny, minimize, and otherwise avoid the issues of sexual violence. Sexual
violence is still conceived of as a “woman’s issue,” and men still make up only a tiny
minority of those present at events addressing sexual assault.