Members of Feminist Action Mobilization (FAM) rallied today at 135 King Street to show their opposition to a Capital Video porn shop there. Signs and banners greeted afternoon rush-hour commuters at the busy corner of King and North Streets. Many drivers signaled their support with vigorous horn honking.
More rallies are scheduled for every Wednesday in September at 135 King Street. Please join in during the hours of 4:30-6:30pm. For more information, email FAM at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAM has collected a great deal of information on the harm of porn. Here is a selection:
The link between pornography use and subsequent aggression was proven so successfully by Zillmann and Bryant that their studies cannot be replicated for fear of further harming possible research subjects (Paul, 2005).
The 25% to 30% of male students who admit there there is some likelihood that they would rape a woman if they could be assured of getting away with it, increases to 57% after exposure to sexually violent images, particularly sexually violent images depicting women enjoying rape (Donnerstein, 1983, p. 7). This means that as a result of one brief exposure to pornography, the number of males who are willing to consider rape as a plausible act for them to commit actually doubles….
In another important study, Mary Koss conducted a large national survey of over 6,000 college students selected by a probability sample of institutions of higher education (Koss, Gidycz, and Wisniewski, 1987). She found that college males who reported behavior that meets common legal definitions of rape were significantly more likely than college males who denied such behavior to be frequent readers of at least one of the following magazines: Playboy, Penthouse, Chic, Club, Forum, Gallery, Genesis, Oui and Hustler (Koss and Dinero, 1989)….
The exposure of sex offenders to pornography is another area of research that is relevant to the causal connections between pornography and rape. It is well known that many sex offenders claim that viewing pornography affects their criminal behavior. Ted Bundy is perhaps the most notorious of these males. For example, in one study of 89 non-incarcerated sex offenders conducted by William Marshall, “slightly more than one-third of the child molesters and rapists reported at least occasionally being incited to commit an offense by exposure to forced or consenting pornography” (Einsiedel, 1986, p. 62). Exactly a third of the rapists who reported being incited by pornography to commit an offense said that they deliberately used pornography in their preparation for committing the rape. The comparable figure for child molesters was much higher–53% versus 33% (Einsiedel, 1986, p. 62).
11 thoughts on “Feminist Action Mobilization Holds First Demonstration at 135 King Street”
When will you be staging protests at Pride and Joy and Oh, My? It seems that your stance is now, according to the photo above, “No Porn Here or Anywhere.”
Pornography that depicts or encourages mistreatment of women (or men) concerns us no matter where it is sold. We highly doubt that Pride and Joy or Oh My stock such material to nearly the degree that Capital Video does. However, should they wish to review their merchandise in light of the arguments made by us, Feminist Action Mobilization or others, we would encourage them.
In conversations with Mark Carmien at Pride and Joy during July, he encouraged NoPornNorthampton to research and publicize the harm that porn does to women.
To what degree would those stores have to stock the pornography you object to to rate a protest? As it stands now, you’re protesting a store that doesn’t even exist, so it has no stock. To not protest these other stores–and to not know what these other stores actually do stock, smacks of selective enforcement. And what about the Cumberland Farms across the street? Have you verified that the magazines they sell conform to your vision of what constitutes acceptable pornography?
Yes, pornography is unfortunately pervasive in our society. Capital Video’s plans for 135 King Street called our attention to how misogynistic and anti-social much of porn has become.
Capital Video’s proposed location, the size of their store, their track record, and their apparent focus on especially harmful forms of porn appear to merit an especially vigorous reaction from the community. We hope our actions will make people more mindful of the products they sell and the products they consume. We can’t–and don’t want to–police every person and every store.
I recall reading somewhere that democracy is a voluntary exercise. If people can’t govern themselves, our society will work poorly. Self-restraint is what we hope to see.
Maybe you should read the latest article on the effect of porn on social violence, it can be found here: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=913013#PaperDownload
which basically says that as porn has become more available, rape incidents have decreased dramatically, over 85% in the past 25 years, citing that pornography may actually help reduce social violence.
I’m not sure I follow some of your protest signs, “women are not for sale” and “women’s bodies are not for profit” By doing just the slightest research on the porn industry you find that it is incredibly profitable for women, and they often make 10 to 100 times more than the average man. So, are you protesting a woman’s ability to profit from her own body?
And, can you please cite Capital Video’s “apparent focus on especially harmful forms of porn.” That’s a strong statement to make without having anything to back it up.
Studies show porn actually reduces social violence on women, women profit greatly from porn, and also call all the shots as to what they will and won’t do in each scene. These all sound like good things to me.
Thanks for calling our attention to “Porn Up, Rape Down” by Anthony D’Amato, a professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law. If anyone has trouble downloading this paper, as we did at first, we would be happy to email them the PDF file on request to email@example.com.
D’Amato’s paper, all of six pages long, is a variant on a familiar myth, “Porn is an outlet or safety valve for men who might otherwise do Bad Things”. D’Amato suggests that since reported rape rates have declined from 2.5 per 1,000 population age 12 and over in 1973 to 0.4 per 1,000 in 2004, while access to pornography became widely available, pornography may actually reduce social violence. D’Amato speculates this is because porn may help some people get dangerous impulses “out of their system”, and that “internet porn has thoroughly de-mystified sex.”
D’Amato’s other morsel of information come from his comparison of the per capita incidence of rape in the four US states with the least access to the Internet versus the four US states with the most access to the Internet. Between 1980 and 2000, he says the incidence of rape increased in the former and decreased in the latter. Internet access is a function of a complex set of variables, such as income, education, population density and other factors. A responsible analyst would want to control for these factors before drawing conclusions about Internet access and rape.
It is convenient that the national rape statistics cited by D’Amato begin in 1973. If we widen our perspective a bit, we discover the following:
Measuring the link between porn and rates of reported rape is complicated by changing social opinions about what constitutes a crime, and the underreporting of sex crimes. Mediawatch continues…
While the precise nature of the link between porn and sex crimes can continue to be debated, it clearly merits more than a six-page paper and the light dusting of facts provided by Professor D’Amato.
As for porn being a great career choice for women, the reality is that for the vast majority of women, the experience is nasty, brutish and short:
U.S. News & World Report, 2/10/97:
“Martin Amis: ‘A rough trade'”
As for Capital Video’s focus on especially harmful forms of porn, consider these titles and film descriptions from websites affiliated with the company:
“Use Em’ Abuse Em’ & Lose Em'”
Now on Sale at Amazing.net
I suppose there might be even more harmful forms of porn than “Mother Fuckers #03”, “Milf Bonanza 2”, “Transsexual Prostitutes #39”, “Gangbang Sluts”, “Man Whores #3” and “Office Slut Gangbang”, but these seem plenty harmful enough for me.
Porn trains people to hurt women, and most porn workers burn out quickly. Pro-porn arguments are thin and easily countered by the sorry experience of the last 50 years. Perhaps that’s why there’s been complete silence this summer from Capital Video owner Kenneth Guarino and 135 King Street owners Barry and Annette Goldberg, despite persistent media attempts to reach them. They don’t have a leg to stand on, and they know it.
Women workers in the porn film industry earm approximately 100 TIMES as much as men, according to an article in the New Yorker a couple of years ago. Maybe other women are jealous of these porn stars. It is true that some of them get into drugs and lead unhappy lives, but that is true of models or actresses or other lucrative occupations for women. There are some female porn stars who are multi-millionaires, who lead happy lives, who do what they want. Many of them give up the work after a few years and get happily married and have children. If you are a true feminist, you should not resent these women, you should applaud them for succeeding in a difficult and dangerous world.
Welcome to the debate, Professor D’Amato. I have searched The New Yorker for the article you mention, but I’m not sure I’ve found it. Please give me the link or at least the title and author of the article if you can.
It is true that Jenna Jameson exists and is wealthy, and there are a handful of other wealthy porn actresses. For most women in porn, however, their careers are nasty, brutal, short, not lucrative, and impose a high risk of contracting an STD. Here is the evidence:
U.S. News (2/10/97):
“There is a constant demand for new talent, and few actresses last more
than a year or two… Checks sometimes bounce. The borderline legal
status of the industry makes performers reluctant to seek redress in
court… The highest-paid performers, the actresses with exclusive
contracts, earn between $80,000 and $100,000 a year for doing about 20
sex scenes and making a dozen or so personal appearances. Only a
handful of actresses–perhaps 10 to 15–are signed to such contracts.
Other leading stars are paid roughly $1,000 per scene. The vast
majority of porn actresses are “B girls,” who earn about $300 a scene.
They typically try to do two scenes a day, four or five times a week.
At the moment, there is an oversupply of women in Southern California
hoping to enter the porn industry. Overtime is a thing of the past, and
some newcomers will work for $150 a scene.”
Martin Amis, “A rough trade” (2001):
“Some girls are used in nine months or a year [says performer turned
director Jonathan Morgan]. An 18-year-old, sweet young thing, signs
with an agency, makes five films in her first week. Five directors,
five actors, five times five: she gets phone calls. A hundred movies in
four months. She’s not a fresh face any more. Her price slips and she
stops getting phone calls. Then it’s, ‘Okay, will you do anal? Will you
do gangbangs?’ Then they’re used up. They can’t even get a phone call.
The market forces of this industry use them up.”
Sharon A. Abbott, “Motivations
for Pursuing an Acting Career in Pornography” (2000):
Popular beliefs maintain that the lure of “easy money” draws people,
particularly the young, to the world of pornography. This belief is
supported by trade and fan magazines that glamorize the industry by
focusing on the lavish lifestyles of its members. While the industry
cultivates the idea of porn as profitable, income varies greatly by
individual. Furthermore, rather than “easy money”, respondents reported
that most of the work is tiring, boring, and physically exhausting.
Like prostitutes, a few make a great deal of money while most make a
modest or meager living…
The most common scene combines oral
sex and penile-vaginal intercourse, and pays, on average, $500. Though
the pay is high per hour, income is limited by the amount of work
actresses are offered; this money must often stretch between extended
periods of no work…
In addition, particularly at the
“professional level”, actresses must spend a major portion of their
income on their appearance. Cosmetic surgeries…are the norm in the
business… Appearances at industry parties…often require costumes…
Even the HIV testing, required every 30 days in order to work, must be
paid for out of pocket…
[P]articipants in amateur productions are often paid little, if anything at all…
Los Angeles Times: “In California’s Unregulated Porn Film Industry, an Alarming Number of Performers Are Infected With HIV and Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases. And Nobody Seems to Care” (2003):
[I]n studios in the San Fernando Valley…actors and actresses were
working on movies. They put in long hours, commonly without meal
breaks. They often worked without clean toilets, toilet paper, soap or
water. More importantly, they were exposed to a host of infectious, and
sometimes fatal, diseases…
[A]ctors and actresses are
discouraged from wearing prophylactics during filming because porn
producers believe the public wants to see unprotected sex…
The Adult Industry Medical HealthCare Foundation (AIM), an industry-
backed clinic in Sherman Oaks, administered voluntary tests to a group
consisting primarily of adult film workers. Of 483 people tested
between October 2001 and March 2002, about 40% had at least one
disease. Nearly 17% tested positive for chlamydia, 13% for gonorrhea
and 10% for hepatitis B and C, according to Sharon Mitchell, a former
adult actress who founded AIM…
For chlamydia, 101,871 cases
were reported for the year [in California as a whole], or about
three-tenths of 1%–a rate health officials consider epidemic. The
chlamydia rates in the porn world are about 57 times higher than those
“If we had the numbers you’re seeing in California, our phones wouldn’t
stop ringing,” says Rick Sowadsky, health program specialist for the
Nevada State Health Division. He says the infection rates in
California’s adult film business “are unreal. What a public health
Dr. Mary Anne Layden, The Science Behind Pornography Addiction (2004):
[Performers in the sex industry] have high rates of substance abuse,
typically alcohol and cocaine, depression, borderline personality
disorder which is a particularly serious disorder and dissociative
identity disorder which used to be called multiple personality
disorder. The experience I find most common among the performers is
that they have to be drunk, high or dissociated in order to go to work.
Their work environment is particularly toxic. One study on strippers
indicated that they were likely to be punched, slapped, grabbed, called
cunt and whore and to be followed home or stalked. Not surprisingly,
these women often work with bodyguards. This live form of pornography
causes violence and the customers receiving these Permission-Giving
Beliefs become carriers of these beliefs back to their homes, onto
their jobs, into the street, onto the school yard. There they encounter
women and children who do not have bodyguards.
The terrible work
life of the pornography performer is often followed by an equally
terrible home life. They have an increased risk of sexually transmitted
disease including HIV, domestic violence and have about a 25% chance of
making a marriage that lasts as long as 3 years.
Porn work sounds like a bad gamble to me.
Here is more data that contradicts Professor D’Amato’s claim about porn and rape:
Anthony D’Amoto is another typical sexist woman hating pornography influenced supporter! In 1998 a prison removed pornography so the imates couldn’t use it to prevent rape. And in Hawi rape increased a lot when pornography began to be openly sold in 1974. And Dr.John Court found that in Australia Queensland refused to allow easy distribution of pornography but South Australia relaxed their laws and allowed easy access to pornography. The rape rate increased 6 times over a 13 year period in South Australia but Queensland showed no increase during this same period.
And to anyone who makes the sexist woman hating ludicrous comment that women porn “stars” make more money than the men,well yes thats because when women use their bodies to serve and please the male dominated sexist society’s populaton’s pleasure in stripping,prostitution,and pornography is the *only* time women get payed more than men! When women use their intelligence and abilities and have the same qualifications and education as men,they are payed *less* money for the same job for most jobs and careers! Men get payed more when use their minds not their bodies,so once again it shows how worthless women really are in the patriarchy and women get payed the most for what they are valued for the most! Pornography continues and increases this! And about most women in pornography are victims of incest or other childhood sex abuse, even woman hater Howard Stern who has promoted pornography by interviewing many porn “stars” on his TV and radio shows,says he never met a woman porn “star” who wasn’t sexually abused as a child! Jenna Jameson falls into this category too,having had her mother dies when she was just 3,being gang raped at 16 and then raped again at the same age by another man.
Your site was so interesting and informative I had to call a friend to tell her about it. Great work
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