The GOP: The Party of Grand Old Pornography

Some newsy tidbits are just too good to pass up. This year’s Republican Party platform, aiming high as always, declared that pornography was/is a public health crisis. To whit:

Republican delegates unanimously adopted an amendment to their draft platform Monday morning that called pornography “a public health crisis” and a “public menace” that is destroying lives.

[…]

“Pornography, with his harmful effects, especially on children, has become a public health crisis that is destroying the life of millions. We encourage states to continue to fight this public menace and pledge our commitment to children’s safety and well being,” the amendment stated.

Consider that over 1,200 children were killed by guns in 2014-15. The current 2016 listing of dead children can be found here. If that many children were being killed by observing sex (can’t think of one) or taxes, the Republicans would be so apoplectic as to be hospitalized. But pornography is the cynical choice. What voter would openly defend pornography? Or consider the child sex abuse scandals of the Catholic Church. One could as easily substitute the word Catholicism for Pornography in the platform above. Try it.

While Ted Cruz attempted to criminalize dildos and Texas; while Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia Republicans were alternately defending laws (or threatening to write laws) that would criminalize anal and/or oral sex’; Republicans, including Tom Delay, were rushing to defend pedophile and child molester Dennis Hastert—but, I guess as the saying goes, he was their pedophile and child molester.

But leave it to xHamster to reveal Republicans for the cynical, morally vacuous, lying hypocrites that they are:

“The increase in Cleveland porn traffic during the Republican National Convention is allegedly 184 percent higher than usual, xHamster reports. Cleveland is making history in all sorts of ways, shattering its previous record for porn viewership while topping out at 873,294 views. There are more people in Cleveland watching porn right now, xHamster says, than when the Cavaliers won the NBA championship…

And that brings me to the delightful apologia to “The Pearl”, first published in 1879. It was, in a sense, the very first erotic blog, but in monthly superscription form. The subscription disappeared as mysteriously as it appeared.

An Apology for our Title

Having decided to bring out a Journal, the Editor racks his brains for a suitable name with which to christen his periodical. Friends are generally useless in an emergency of this kind; they suggest all kinds of impossible names; the following were some of the titles proposed in this instance: “Facts and Fancies,” “The Cremorne,” “The all Round,” “The Monthly Courses,” “The Devil’s Own,” and “Dugdale’s Ghost”; the two first had certainly great attractions to our mind, but at last our own ideas have hit upon the modest little “Pearl,” as more suitable, especially in the hope that when it comes under the snouts of the moral and hypocritical swine of the world, they may not trample it underfoot , and feel disposed to rend the publisher, but that a few will become subscribers on the quiet. To such better disposed piggywiggys, I would say, for encouragement, that they have only to keep up appearances by regularly attending church, giving to charities, and always appearing deeply interested in moral philanthropy, to ensure a respectable and highly moral character, and that if they only are clever enough never to be found out, they may, sub rosa, study and enjoy the philosophy of of life till the end of their days, and earn a glorious and saintly epitaph on their tombstone, when at last the Devil pegs them out.

 

Latest Comments

  1. stephaniesubmits says:

    Will, you’ve put one hell of a smile on my face: the republican party “aiming high as always.” LOVE IT! In addition to demonizing pornography, the republican platform also includes gems like gay “conversion” therapy and the climate change denying push to promote “clean coal” and fracking. Porn has always been a part of human existence, in one way or another. The internet has simply made it more accessible. And for all the Pollyannas who cry “but what about the children?!” Well, kids are curious, and they will discover things anyway. Case in point, I first of saw an issue of Penthouse when I was 12, way back in 1994, before the ubiquity of the internet. And – gasp! I’m a woman who enjoys porn from time to time, and erotica more often still. Only teenage boys and unmarried men should have any interest in porn & sex, right? All others are subject to labeling from the upstanding morality police: pervert, deviant, etc. It is always easier to cast judgment on others than it is to fully understand oneself. Many in the GOP would enact prohibition on pornography, just as they would love to do with abortion and a woman’s right to choose. Prohibition inherently is bullshit, leaving gangsters to supply the booze, unqualified butchers to administer abortions, and pimps to prey on the vulnerable.

    • willcrimson says:

      Yeah, I’ve never been remotely persuaded by stories of children’s lives being ruined/destroyed by stumbling on or viewing sex. I remember my best friend’s stash of Playboy, Penthouse and Hustler—that was seventh grade. This notion that you can simply hide sex from children is the reasoning of the simple-minded. I read stories about how access to pornography has changed boys’ attitudes toward girls, along with their sexual aggressiveness, and how its changed girls’ attitudes toward their own bodies—and how this is considered a net negative. But being of a scientific bent and a skeptic, I have to ask whether studies haven’t also considered positives. The positive influence of pornography? Well, here it is. To whit:

      “The most common concern about pornography is that it indirectly hurts women by encouraging sexism, raising sexual expectations and thereby harming relationships. Some people worry that it might even incite violence against women. The data, however, do not support these claims. “There’s absolutely no evidence that pornography does anything negative,” says Milton Diamond, director of the Pacific Center for Sex and Society at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “It’s a moral issue, not a factual issue.”

      And why not? The human capacity to eroticize sex is bolted into our genes. I frankly think there’s more harm done in stigmatizing our erotic curiosity with bad science and moral fetishism than in allowing our curiosity scope to enjoy, inquire and mature on its own terms.

  2. stephaniesubmits says:

    Thank you for including an academic article to back up your perspective 😊 I am such a nerd. I feel our social policies hurt women much more than pornography ever could. There is no mandated paid maternity/paternity leave, no guaranteed sick leave, and women still make 79cents for every dollar a man earns. Those realities hurt women.
    That is what perpetuates sexism, not “Gangbang Sluts 4,” et.al.

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