I want to highlight the fact that many anti-pornography, anti-commodification activists like Dines are continually being threatened by the pornographers and the pro-porn crowd. I think it's rather poignant that us feminists who question this misogynist industry get death threats.
In fact, Gudrun Schyman of the Fi (Feminist Initiative) party in Sweden received death threats because of her many feminist positions against the sex industry.
Even feminists on YouTube like myself are constantly bombarded with what my friend and fellow feminist calls 'shut up' tactics. If these pro-pornography people have an argument then it's quite difficult to hear it amidst their hatred for feminists.
The shaping of things
In her new book, Wheelock professor Gail Dines warns that the prevalence of porn is twisting our attitudes about sex
CHESTNUT HILL-- With just a few clicks of her desktop computer’s keyboard in her home office here, Gail Dines travels to a place she wishes did not exist: a pornographic website.
The images seem designed to maximize the women’s humiliation, a point that is not lost on Dines. “If you really watch it carefully, you can see that they’re in pain, exhausted, demoralized,’’ she says, looking somberly at the screen.
For three decades, Dines has been watching the pornography industry very carefully. What she has seen has ignited such a fury and sense of mission that she has made pornography a focus of her research, writing, teaching, and activism. As she has emerged as a leading anti-porn advocate, Dines has also become a target of venomous attacks:
Her critics will not be pleased to learn that Dines is escalating her campaign with a new book titled “Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality’’ (Beacon Press). In particular, she is sounding the alarm about the ubiquity of “gonzo’’ porn, an extreme form of pornography that specializes in the degradation of women and that is available 24/7 on the Internet.
“It’s hard-core, cruel, and brutal. So you’re bringing up a generation of boys who are more cruel, bored, and desensitized.’’
“Pornography is the major form of sex ed today for boys,’’ Dines says. “It’s going to have dire consequences for the boys, for the girls, and for the culture.’’
Among other things, she says, “Pornography is a backlash against women’s advancement.’’
Having viewed countless images as part of her research, Dines says there should be legislation that would define pornography as a violation of women’s civil rights and would entitle women to sue the industry for harm done to them.
Arguments like this have earned her — along with threats, hate mail, and vitriolic broadsides from the pornography industry — the inevitable accusation that she favors censorship (Dines says she does not) and that she is an anti-sex prude. At that, she just rolls her eyes.
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“I know I’m putting myself out there,’’ she says. “But this is going to take a national movement. If you’re going to be an activist, you have to be an optimist. When the public has had enough, things do change.’’