Military Still Selling Porn on Bases Despite Law (explicit)

In 1996, Congress banned sales of sexually explicit material on military bases, but many say enforcement has been lax. According to USA Today, magazines currently approved for sale include:

Celebrity Skin
Penthouse
Playboy
Playboy's College Girls
Playboy's Lingerie
Nude

The Pentagon says they have barred about 67% of 473 "titles" reviewed. Nadine Strossen, head of the ACLU, says the ban violates soldiers' First Amendment rights. However, a US appeals court disagreed in 2002. As the sponsor of the law (Rep. Roscoe Bartlett, R-Md.) observes, soldiers may still view porn, but the military need not and should not facilitate this.
...[Bartlett] says the military is skirting Congress' intent. He notes the material also could contribute to a hostile environment for female military personnel. "If soldiers want to read that stuff, they can walk down the street and buy it somewhere else," Bartlett says. "I don't want (the military) to help."
Some believe that Playboy is benign. Says "Tiny Shrink", commenting in a debate on the subject:
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... I hardly see the danger in Playboy.
Others defend the military's sale of porn as an example of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, or mere matters of taste. We invite you to look over these samples from Playboy and Penthouse and judge if you feel their messages are harmless or not. These images are reproduced from Against Pornography by Diana Russell:

























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". Ironic that we might effectively lose at home what we fight for abroad.


See also:

2005: "No more hotel porn for Swedish government officials"
On 4/6/05, The Local, "Sweden's News in English", announced that Swedish civil servants, soldiers and politicians would be required to choose porn-free hotels whenever possible.
"In the military, we have been working to curb attitudes that are degrading to women, which in no way can be accepted," [Major General Åke Jansson] said.

The initiative stemmed from discussions with Swedish women's organization ROKS, which claims that x-rated movies lead to increased abuse of women and widespread degrading attitudes towards them.

"We talk to a lot of abused women, and in many cases it turns out that men's interest in porn is linked to the abuse," head of the ROKS campaign Tina Olby told AFP...

...the military will not stop at just hotels in its drive to wipe out "unacceptable" attitudes towards women, [Jansson] said.

"We have also decided to halt the sales of so-called men's magazines in all stores" on military bases, he said.
Testimony in Minneapolis: Role of Porn in Child Sexual Abuse; Pornographers Perpetuate, Profit from Dysfunction
Playboy ran one cartoon of a little girl getting dressed and saying derisively to an old man in a robe, "and you call that being molested!" The old man standing there looking very inept and foolish, INADEQUATE.

This cartoon accuses the little girl of being the seducer, and gives her all the power, and believe me, a 10-year-old girl who attempts suicide, sometimes successfully, rather than sleep with Dad or Uncle again, has no power.

Hustler Cartoons: Racism, Misogyny, Anti-Semitism, Homophobia, Pedophilia, Incest, Ridicule of Disabled People... (explicit)

Porn and a Hostile Work Environment
I got to the point where I couldn't put up with it any more. And being one of the only two women on the job, and being rather new at it and not knowing that I had any alternatives, I got pissed off one day and ripped all the pictures off the wall. Well, it turned out to be a real unpopular move to do. I came back in at lunch time and half the pictures were back up again. They pulled them out of boxes and stuck them on the wall and proceeded to call me names, and just basically call me names or otherwise ignore me...

[Catharine MacKinnon:] Do you have any idea, just to enlighten it for all of us, what their stake in it was, why they kept putting it up over and over?

I, for a long time and, you know, this might not be right, but this has been my sense. I mean, I have encountered pretty much hostility in the last six years being the only woman on the job doing men's work. On that particular job, I was a legal threat because I had replaced one of the other men who was causing trouble, who was one of the good old boys. And I think they were doubly angry at me on that job and they wanted to get rid of me.

Testimony in Massachusetts: Porn and a Hostile Work Environment in Carpentry
Working as a woman in a non-traditional job (union carpentry) I have encountered many covert and overt aggressions. Pornography on a job site is one of the more blatant ways a woman is told that "this is a male domain;" "Go Away."

...When I was working on the Mass. Avenue Bridge (the only female on the bridge) I was in an environment which was exceptionally hostile. All the crew shared a common table saw which was placed in a central location. Periodically one or more of the carpenters would use the saw and then return to the area on the bridge where they were working. When I approached the table saw one day the whole crew became quiet and watched me. Nailed to the table directly in front of the saw was a playing card. The "playing card" was an explicit close up of female genitalia with a large 16 penny nail (this is basically a SPIKE) nailed into the vagina. When I saw it some of my coworkers started snickering and laughing.

Pornography and Male Sexuality
...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]."

 
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