More busybodies who should butt-out: Anti-porn Groups Demand Ban on Skin Mags

Anti-porn Groups Demand Ban on Skin Mags
Anti-porn Groups Demand Ban on Skin Mags
UPI | November 06, 2007
WASHINGTON — Dozens of anti-pornography groups asked the U.S. Congress to force the Pentagon to keep sexually related material from being sold in military stores.Pornographic material was banned from being sold in military establishments nearly 10 years ago, but Christian group American Family Association claimed that adult fare, including Penthouse and Playboy material, is still being sold in the stores, USA Today reported Monday.

Umm, we’re not talking about sales to minors here, we’re talking about adults (male and female) who are willing to put on the uniform and put up with the inevitable deprivations. Should they decide to spend their dollars on smut it isn’t anyones’ business but theirs. And, Congress should be ashamed they pandered and caved on this trivial issue.

I’m a personal little “l” libertarian on issues like this, and it’s nobody’s business what legal product is sold on base to adults. Cigarettes are still sold there, by the way, but this faux-moralism is a fun club for the holier-than-thou to wield.

Oh, and they should be able to drink at 18, too. That’s not part of this, but I just wanted to get it out there.


Comments

  1. The government is not obliged to facilitate or profit from the sale of harmful media to soldiers. There is abundant evidence that porn degrades attitudes towards women, harms relationships and trains abusers. The Abu Ghraib scandal showed disturbing parallels to porn scenarios.

    George Bush condemns the Taliban for their public whippings of women. Is it any better when Americans do it for the sake of money? I hope you will take the time to educate yourself at NoPornNorthampton.org.

  2. Everything I’ve seen simply points to there being a connection, but no one really knows if one is causative of the other or not.

    I also am supportive of “If you’re old enough to enlist and vote, you’re old enough to drink”. Either raise the age of enlistment, or lower the age of drinking–even if it is just for the military folk. Although, the current military is working to leave much of its hard drinking days behind. It makes for an interesting term of service.

    -SSG J

  3. Just as with the link of media to violence, the evidence for the link of porn to sexual violence and other problems is overwhelming. This evidence consists of both scientific studies and personal testimony. There are over 500 articles at NoPornNorthampton.org. It is now incumbent on the doubters to propose and document alternate theories for the effects. It is unacceptable to brush off the issue by saying you can’t prove causation with the certainty of principles in geometry. You will never achieve that level of certainty in human affairs.

  4. Na, busybody, you don’t get to say “You have to defend porn”. I don’t. I don’t subscribe, and haven’t even read any such material in years.

    You want to ban speech / art you deem distasteful and which you think is hurtful. You’re entirely entitled to your opinions. You are NOT entitled to impose your beliefs on others, especially when it comes to banning the sale of completely legal materials to armed services personnel.

    Military members are all adults, they’re not helpless kids who have to be protected from themselves. They’re free, or should be free, to make any legal choice they want. That organizations like yours have gotten congress to ban books should make you cringe, not jump for joy: the next book sale they eliminate by legislative fiat could be yours.

    Cigarettes are more than ‘well, we think there’s a link’ to harm, there’s concrete scientific proof down to the molecular level. And they’re still legally sold on bases. I think that smoking is a terrible personal choice for a lot of reasons, but it’s just that: a personal choice. I’m not for banning choices I wouldn’t choose; as a member of a free society, yu shouldn’t, either.

    It is a free society, you want, right?

  5. TheNewGuy says:

    I personally find porn distasteful… but I also think that adults should be able to buy/view legal products in a free society.

    You may disagree, of course.

  6. I hardly think that the images in Playboy are what incited the torture and violence at Abu Ghraib. Sure, there is hard-core violent pornography out there which objectifies people (especially women) and promotes violence by exposing the viewer to violent images repeatedly until they are no longer aroused. Playboy is not even in the same league as such material. Penthouse may be more explicit, but it’s still not exactly the violence-inducing smoking gun that caused our soldiers to torture prisoners.

    What this particular group is protesting is the sale of images of nudity and sexuality to a group of men and women who are deprived of their regular access to sexual outlets. Perhaps the people in this protesting group are saints and need no such outlet, but I’m willing to bet that the majority of people, including those in the military, need some kind of sexual release every once in a while. I’m not saying the military-run stores need to sell hard-core violent porn, but I hardly see the danger in Playboy.

    And I totally agree about the cigarettes. Let’s continue to have the military-run stores sell a product which we can prove to be physically harmful, but let’s protest a product which is relatively innocent, compared to the daily bloodshed and violence we expose our soldiers to by keeping them in Iraq.

  7. I take offense to the fact that someone is willing to take away freedoms from the very people who have/are fighting so that they can keep theirs.

    There are much more important issues that need to be addressed.

    Bemused-who doesn’t like porn

  8. The House Whisperer says:

    Who buys porn? Don’t they have internet there?

  9. I tried to read the Bible once but it was so full of violence and other sinful things that I just couldn’t handle it.

  10. Porn transforms the environment it’s in. For example, a particular incident was reported in the men’s jail during the Diablo Canyon anti-nuclear blockade. While most of the activities had a strong feminist consciousness, once 800 men were separated into the prison and prison authorities distributed pornographic literature along with other reading material, “that atmosphere began to disintegrate,” as one of the participants put it. His account continues: “Some courageous and concerned men began to see what was happening and, within a few days, succeeded in changing the jail environment back to something very close to what it had been in the camp itself [prior to the blockade].” A statement was read which, in part, defined pornography as “a disastrous pattern in which gender and sexuality are formed as weapons of power and control–in which men are formed into nightsticks, in which we become terrorists of the flesh.” He reports that the pornography subsequently either disappeared or went underground, and that men talked about the role of pornography in their lives, making connections to other forms of exploitation and domination they were there to protest.

    People on the bases will still be free to consume porn. The government, however, does not need to take an active part in selling porn or otherwise help distribute it.

  11. NO PORN NORTHHAMPTON
    I’ve been trying to figure out how to join this discussion and I think it sort of comes down to this:
    Of all the issues with our society, military and country you could have chosen THIS is what you’re spending your time and effort on? I mean, even with your (in my opinion) warped point of view you can’t find something more meaningful to work on. People both military and civilian are dying out there and you’re worried about porn?
    I was a United States Marine. I and every Marine I knew had a porn COLLECTION, and yet we were and are normal functioning members of society.
    As someone above has pointed out cigarettes and alcohol CERTAINLY cause more problems than porn, yet you go after the porn.

    P

  12. Anecdote about prisoners, who already have issues about societal norms, noted. Still, an anecdote, not proof.

    It’s dramatically disingenuous for you to say “[t]he government, however, does not need to take an active part in selling porn or otherwise help distribute it” when you know very well which very captive audience you’re attempting to deprive of something that’s legal.

    The better question is why the government should be in the banning business at all. (Answer: it shouldn’t, that’s called freedom of choice).

  13. NPN: Yeah, take away the pr0n so that soldiers in harms way, already jacked up on adrenaline, fear, frustration, etc. can be tempted to find relief in other ways…like the violent behavior you claim is going to happen BECAUSE of the porn.

    Regardless of the politics in question regarding if the troops should/shouldn’t be there or if they are really defending any freedoms at all in this conflict is irrelevant for this discussion: they’re there in harm’s way. They are adults, and just like any other adult, should be free to purchase what’s available to adults. The government is not “actively promoting” pornography any more than it’s actively promoting Marlboro cigarettes or Colgate toothpaste. The store on-base is stocked with what’s reasonably in demand. You can correctly say that the military is facilitating sales of these magazines, but unless the government is actually profiting from said sale or buying them for the troops to give away for free, there really is no legal grievance, just a moral one.

    So, let me ask you, are and your Moral Majority willing to take a bullet for your beliefs? Like blocking a shipment convoy en-route to a base in the streets of Baghdad? Because if you’re not willing to endure the same risks they are to be able to say what they should and shouldn’t do, STFU.

  14. Hmmm. So killing for imperialism/oil is okay but porn is not. THATS good.

  15. I’m not a supporter of porn, but I hate it when people use science to somehow justify what in their hearts is a moral, not scientific judgement.

    First, the “porn leads to violence against women argument” is not cut and dry. Porn is more accessable than ever before and yet, while the number of rape victims per 1,000 people in the US in 1973 was 2.5, in 2005 it was 0.5. (That is according to the Justice Department)

    If porn was fueling rape, you’d expect to see the opposite trend.

    Do rapists use porn? Probably. But they also use air, food, cars, lamps, toothpaste, mainstream films, television and hosts of other things. Any studies claiming a connection between porn and rape from that direction are suspect.

    If you want to argue that porn is wrong because it objectifies women, that it is against a moral code or even if you want to say it lacks any artistic value…knock yourself out. But please don’t try and hide behind incomplete science to meet a moral end.

    And if a lonely 18 year old private on some base in germany wants to have a beer and look at nudies, why does anyone care. Please people, if you are outraged that your tax dollars are going to help support something immoral, I’m sure you can find something bigger to complain about. The war, the tax-breaks to big oil, congressional perks — these are just the tip of the iceberg.

  16. The government owns the exchanges on base. They can ban what they wish.

  17. This just in: every rapist is hopelessly addicted to oxygen and water. We’d better ban them, too.

    -j

  18. To make this discussion more concrete, here are some examples from Playboy and Penthouse. Judge for yourself if the messages from these cartoons, text and images are as harmless as air and water.

  19. I you don’t like it, don’t buy it. If you disapprove of the imagery, the content, the publisher, whatever, feel free not to buy it.

    And, these images are harmless. No image has ever gotten up off a page and caused harm to anyone. What has been proven to harm is busybodies banning things they don’t like, not because they can prove harm, but because their sensibilities are offended.

    You’re not convincing anyone of the merits of your position here; indeed, you’re reinforcing the mental stereotype I have of people who think banning legal products they don’t like it a good idea.

    I’m a LOT more afraid of people who think this ban is a good idea than I am the images you’ve cherry-picked out of porn mags.

  20. If porn has no effect, how do explain these research findings?

    Dolf Zillman (Indiana University) and Jennings Bryant (University of Alabama), Journal of Family Issues, Vol. 9, No. 4, 518-544:

    Male and female students and nonstudents were exposed to videotapes featuring common, nonviolent pornography or innocuous content. Exposure was in hourly sessions in six consecutive weeks. In the seventh week, subjects participated in an ostensibly unrelated study on societal institutions and personal gratifications…

    Pornography consumption had a most powerful effect on evaluations of the desirability and viability of marriage. Endorsement of marriage as an essential institution dropped from 60.0% in the control groups to 38.8% in the treatment groups…

    The most astonishing effect of prolonged pornography consumption on family values, however, concerns the desire to have children… [E]xposure to pornography reduced the desire to have children, and it did so in a uniform fashion. Male and female respondents, students and nonstudents alike, wanted fewer children on the average. The desire to have male offspring dropped 31%. The desire for female offspring, being lower overall, dropped by about twice that margin: 61%. This reduction proved specific to gender. Male respondents expressed little desire for female offspring altogether. It’s the desire of females for offspring of their own kind that, after consumption of pornography, shrank to one third of its normal strength…

  21. Let’s also recall that securing the rights of women in Afghanistan and Iraq appears to be a point of pride for George Bush. He has specifically criticized the Taliban for “public whippings of women”. They do it for their religion. We do it for money. Ironic that we might effectively lose at home what we fight for abroad.

  22. You cannot really be this ignorant, can you? Have you even read any of my replies to you?

    You cite one sociologist’s study with an association between porn and the utterly horrible endpoint of not wanting to get married and have children. And before you start celebrating, read the definitions of association, and causation (hint, they’re not the same thing). If that’s the horrible endpoint of reading a lot of porn, it’s probably safer than the nightly news.

    Your idiotic and nonsensical linkage of legal porn in the US and public floggings of women by a theocratic bunch of 14th century thugs in Afghanistan is a) a total non-sequitur and b) not helping your case. In fact, the Taliban had very very strict prohibitions against porn, but they still beat women in public. Given your really high standards of sociologic study, there’s a case right there FOR porn, and not against. Seriously, did you even think about that when you wrote it?

    Do yourself a favor and stop embarrassing yourself here. Your points have gone downhill from the hole you started in, have not convinced anyone of the rightness of your ’cause’, and frankly have me convinced you haven’t thought out any of this.