One of our more prolific commenters says that raising awareness is overrated, and claims that “there are a lot of things you could be doing that would have a much greater impact than what you’re actually doing”. Another commenter questioned how much impact one blog in one small town can have.
Don’t look now, but some of that impact is manifesting in Raynham, where The Enterprise today profiles NoPornNorthampton’s experience. A number of citizens in Raynham object to the sexual activity taking place in a porn shop there. The Enterprise reports:
Cohen, founder of NoPornNorthampton, a nonprofit citizen activist organization, says Raynham officials may not be able to ban the viewing booths at Video X-tra, but they can impose strict health regulations.
“Absolutely,” Cohen said.
The Enterprise found that the 10 viewing booths at Video X-tra are being used by men for sexual activity. An Enterprise reporter was solicited multiple times over a three-day period last week…
The store’s booths are also promoted on a Web site used by gay men seeking sex with other men…
Raynham selectmen say there is nothing they can do, but Cohen disputes that claim and says measures can be taken to make sure the booths are not a public health hazard.
However, Selectman Donald McKinnon said this morning town officials will be talking with their counterparts in Northampton about the regulations and additional proposed restrictions on adult book stores and viewing areas.
“If Northampton has done something, we will look at it,” he said.
To all those who care about their communities and the victims of porn, don’t heed the voices of despair, passivity and confused thinking. Sharing information and strategies works.
2 thoughts on “Raynham, MA Selectman: “If Northampton has done something, we will look at it””
As the “prolific commenter” you mention, I feel compelled to respond. What I said was, “I think ‘awareness raising’ is overrated. I don’t say that it’s useless, but I get really sick of people patting themselves on the back over having ‘raised awareness’ of some problem when they haven’t done anything at all to actually *solve* the problem.”
Allow me to empasize some things that you don’t. I don’t say that awareness raising is useless. I don’t say there’s no point. But I also don’t think that it, by itself, is much of an accomplishment. For example, I get tired of people I know who have “Save Tibet” bumper stickers, but don’t lift a finger to actually save Tibet. If someone who sees the bumper sticker does take action, then it is that person, and not the person with the sticker, who deserves credit. I don’t think that ever actually happens.
The criticism of “awareness raising”was posted in the context of an entry in which NoPorn objected to the widespread unsafe sexual practices in porn films. In that context, I suggested that if the widespread unsafe sexual practices were of concern to them, then “there are a lot of things you could be doing that would have a much greater impact than what you’re actually doing.”
I stand by my statements. Raising awareness is overrated. I value *actual results.* If everyone knows about a problem thanks to NoPorn, but no one does anything to solve the problem, then NoPorn hasn’t accomplished anything.
There are a lot of things NoPorn could be doing that would have a much greater impact on the incidence of unsafe sexual practices in porn films than what they are actually doing. They’ve successfully opposed viewing booths at 135 King, which is an actual result. They may have given the people of Raynam an idea about how to get rid of their viewing booths, which is sort of an actual result. (The people of Raynam have to do the real work in this case.)
But they haven’t done anything at all to reduce the prevalence of unsafe sexual practices in porn films, and that is what we were talking about when I made those comments. If they wanted to do that, there are a lot of things they could have done with their $17 grand that might have accomplished something. But I can’t see how what they’ve actually done has had any impact.
Here is where we’ll have to crave your patience, Doug. Today’s porn industry has been developing for about 50 years. We’ve been on the case for less than one year. So far, the signs are good that we are indeed able to raise awareness and effect change, even if on a small scale. It took anti-slavery activists about two generations from the founding of our country to see slavery quashed. Hopefully it won’t take that long for most citizens to voluntarily forswear consuming or profiting from porn. But if it does, it does.