It's Time to Ban Hard-Core Porn

Ross Douthat makes the case in the backdrop of the MeToo movement
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 11, 2018 10:09 AM CST
   (Getty/Urupong)

(Newser) New York Times columnist Ross Douthat floats a controversial idea on Sunday, one that he sees as a largely unaddressed aspect of the MeToo movement—he wants to ban hard-core porn. His launching point is an article in the New York Times Magazine on how the ubiquitousness of porn is leading to a “porn literacy” movement whose advocates try to explain to teens that, no, those porn scenes are not a real-world guide on how the sexes should interact. Porn seemingly produces the kind of man the MeToo movement has sprang up against, one "shaped by unprecedented possibilities for sexual gratification and frustrated that real women are less available and more complicated than the version on their screen," writes Douthat.

Critics will see any kind of a ban as unacceptable censorship, but Douthat doesn't buy the argument. Porn, after all, is "just a product—something made and distributed and sold, and therefore subject to regulation and restriction if we so desire." Reducing the availability of the hard-core stuff could go a long way in reducing its power over shaping the libidos of the younger generation in all the wrong ways, he argues. We don't have to go along with every aspect of how tech is taking over our lives, and the "moral stakes" involved with porn make it an opportunity to prove that point. "Feminists should take it. We should all take it. It is not only decency but eros itself that waits to be regained." Read the full column. (Read more pornography stories.)

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