Fake Science and Pornography
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 94 13:13:27 PST
Subject: Fake Science and Pornography
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Boolootian)
FAKE SCIENCE AND PORNOGRAPHY
Libertarian Alliance Pamphlet No.20
By Avedon Carol
For today's assignment, you are asked to match the skills of a poetry
critic known as UCLA in interpreting the possible meaning of the
following verse by the poet James Robert Page Plant:
There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
and she's buying a stairway to Heaven.
When she gets there she knows if the stores are all closed
with a word she can get what she came for.
Got your answer yet? Wonder why psychologists at the University of
California should care? Well, it seems that, with everyone so worried
about what the impact of nasty drug/sex-oriented song lyrics might be
on impressionable young minds, social scientists have been running
around asking Led Zeppelin fans what the group's most famous song is
about and do you know, not one of them interpreted the song to be
about smoking dope? According to the psychologists, this is evidence
that kids don't listen to song lyrics.
Now, I'm not going to argue with the theory that people don't actually
spend much time giving careful examination to the meaning of rock song
lyrics - in my experience, a lot of people don't. On the other hand,
who says these psychologists have such a firm handle on rock song
lyrics? Personally, I find it astonishing that any reasonably
literate person could be so certain that the song in question is about
drugs rather than about, say, believing that things of spiritual value
can be purchased with material goods.
One might say that the psychologists have gone for an overly
literalist interpretation of this piece of verse, but, judging from an
article in the "International Herald Tribune", these people wouldn't
recognize that problem if it chewed their legs off up to the hip. They
describe as "a typical response" this interpretation by a student:
"It's about going to heaven through a stairway and the stairway has
problems along the way."
What the psychologists didn't remark on (and should have been moved to
View with Alarm by) is the fact that, after a certain age, this kind
of literalism in trying to take meaning from metaphor is a recognized
syndrome of cognitive failure - but one which, it seems, the
psychologists suffered as well since they were unable to interpret
"Stairway" themselves without first finding a concrete word to attach
material meaning to ("gold," according to these people, refers to
Despite the fact that the song contains many clues to an ironic view
of the "lady we all know" (1) and her stairway that "lies on the
whispering wind," the psychologists never recognized the possibility
of abstract metaphorical content. Even when no Led Zeppelin fan gave
an interpretation that matched their understanding of the song, they
preferred to assume that not one of them had listened to the lyrics
and tried to interpret them rather than admit that their own
interpretation might be incorrect.
There are a number of social scientists whose work I have a great deal
of respect for - they ask good questions, define their tasks clearly,
detail their results responsibly, duplicate their work before
attempting to represent it as "proof" of anything, and don't leap to
wild conclusions that are way off the scale of anything their studies
can really support.
Unfortunately such researchers seem to be getting pretty thin on the
ground lately, despite the fact that there seems to be more money and
time being given to large studies every year. So many of them reveal
shoddy, irresponsible work that you have to be a genius as well as an
expert at reading these things to be able to give any kind of
reasonable interpretation to their data. But shabby study results are
being released into popular culture at such a rapid rate that one can
hardly keep up with them.
Lately I spend the bulk of my time trying to counteract widely-held
beliefs that have taken hold in the general culture because unsafe
interpretations of raw results, some of these themselves of dubious
reliability, are being spread around by speakers who pretend to be
experts in the fields of sex, sex crime, pornography, aggression,
women, men, and other related areas.
The biggest problem is having to overcome the essentially boring
nature of explaining what's wrong with the studies in language that
won't put listeners to sleep. You can excite lots of people with
police reports of "a growing prevalence of hard core pornography in
Britain," but it's a lot harder to calm them down by pointing out
that, in fact, studies show a decline in hard core availability and
the cops are just trying to get more funding by creating a sense of
outrage and the feeling that "Something must be done."
You can impel whole rooms full of angry women to march in the streets
by telling them that "Studies in America showed that men became more
violent after watching pornography," but you might merely bore them by
trying to explain that no one has been able to duplicate this result,
and in the two studies quoted, one was not using actual pornography
but was using general release films like "Taxi Driver", and the other
couldn't find porn that fit its category description ("violent
pornography" - the only kind that was deemed to create aggression), so
they had to make their own.
The atmosphere in Britain at the moment is one in which almost
everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon to ban all that horrible
awful violent degrading porn that they just know is out there
everywhere - little realizing that under current law, that stuff is
already banned, and with censorship by the primary distributors of
skin mags (and fear of prosecution under the already vague laws), most
of what is available on the shelves is so tame that most people didn't
used to call it "pornography" - "Penthouse" is a popular example.
By law, you can not have pornographic videos in this country. By law,
you can't have anything that might "deprave and corrupt", which by
case law has been interpreted to mean you can't show erect genitals or
penetration by objects. The Obscene Publications Squad are currently
targetting SM porn of any kind. The major distributors will not carry
anything that contains pictures of two people together, or any
sexually-oriented magazine if the cover photo shows nipples (male or
What little is left - including the lesbian sex magazine, "Quim" (2) -
is refused by the alternative bookshops because they have been so
convinced (or just cowed) by the anti-pornography "feminist" rhetoric.
The "feminist" argument against porn, which is that it presents a one-
sided and male-oriented stereotyped view of sexuality in which women
pose for men, has created an atmosphere that encourages the
authorities to stop all visual sexual material - but what is being
stopped now is work created by women - "On Our Backs" (3) and "Bad
Attitude",(4) both lesbian magazines, are stopped at the airports.
Intellectual material like the feminist book "Caught Looking",(5)
which examines the political context of the porn debates, is prevented
from coming into the country by the Customs service because it
contains photographic examples of its subject matter - the argumemt
that the book is not itself intended as pornography and has what might
be called "socially redeeming value" cuts no ice with them.
The anti-porn rhetoric has it that women feel "degraded" and even
"assaulted" by seeing skin mags on the top shelves of newgagents'
display stands. Being 5'4", I didn't even notice they were there
until I was made aware of it by the Off the Shelf anti-porn campaign,
but according to Teresa Stratford of the Campaign for Press and
Broadcasting Freedom, "pornography places, quite literally, a
straitjacket on sexual expression", would you believe. You bet -
every time I walk into a newsagent, porn leaps right down and wraps me
up so I can't express myself sexually. But, you know, I would have
sworn those restraints were on me from other sources - not least among
them the anti-porn campaigners who insist that, because I am female, I
can not possibly have any interest in looking at potentially sexually
CLARE SHORT AND WOMENS' VIEWS
MP Clare Short managed new levels of notoriety a while back by
introducing a bill to make "page 3" photos of semi-nude women in the
tabloids illegal, and she's been running around ever since insisting
that "women" are "disgusted" by pornography of every kind. She gets
to talk about this on TV a lot, and when she does the producers have
tended to bring on an opposing point of view in the person of one of
the few women in the UK who is pro-sex and won't lose her job by
saying so on TV - Isabel Koprowski, managing editor at UK "Penthouse"
and "Forum". As soon as Isabel points out that she actually likes
pornography, Short (like every other opponent Isabel gets dragged out
to confront on this issue) crows that "the only people they can ever
find to disagree with me on this are people like you who work for the
pornographers", implying that it's significant that no one without a
vested interest ever seems to want to go on TV to contradict her.
Forget the possibility that Isabel took the job in the first place
because she liked porn - nope, it's just part of her rationalization
for having the job, and promotion of her product, they think. They
are wrong. But what Short and others like her also ignore is that the
TV stations want people with recognizable credentials, people they've
heard of, people they know how to contact - and your average porn-
reading housewife, teacher, secretary or student isn't on any media
lists and probably wouldn't want to go on TV in the first place to
become "Pro-Porn Patti" in tomorrow's tabloids and out of work by
Gloria Hunniford's research staff were wise to this by the time it got
round to having Clare on the "Gloria Live" show to promote her book of
letters from women who wrote in to support her Page 3 bill - so they
phoned up Nettie Pollard of Feminists Against Censorship (FAC) to
present the opposing view from someone who wasn't a "pornographer".
Short at first balked at this, but was told that if she wouldn't
appear with a FAC member, she wouldn't be on. So Clare went along
with it until the very last minute, by which time it was too late to
create a new item to put on the air - she wouldn't, she said, be on
with "some vituperative feminist". Funny, that - I wonder if she will
be appearing with Isabel again in future claiming that "they can only
get people like you" to oppose her. "Vituperative," huh?
But go ahead and find a way to explain the background of these things
to people after the damage is done. The television viewer doesn't
know that Isabel is the only woman Clare hasn't refused to be opposed
by, any more than the audiences at the anti-porn slide shows know that
the "horrible, violent, degrading" porn they are shown is very rare
and in no way representative of most of the porn people look at,
contrary to what they are told by presenters who insist that "this
violence is what men are really fantasizing when they look at porn".
In my experience most men do not generally fantasize anything
resembling real violence in their sexual fantasies, whether or not
they use pornography. True, I can't read their minds and find out
what they are really thinking, but then neither can Clare Short, who
apparently thinks she can. Ken Livingstone, MP, says that "The boys
back at school looked at porn and snickered over it and they were
thinking about rape." In fact, there seem to be a whole lot of women
who are sure they know what men are thinking, and men who are sure
they know what other men are thinking, when they look at porn, and
what those men are thinking about is doing violent and horrible things
PORNO AND SEXUAL THOUGHTS: AN UNSCIENTIFIC SURVEY
Okay, so what are men thinking when they look at porn? Well, they
might be thinking it would be nice to be in the sack with someone who
doesn't act like she's doing them a favour (which for some men would
be a novelty). They might be thinking how neat it would be to see a
lover really getting hot with them. They might be thinking about
having a woman so crazy for them that she'd do anything they wanted
and love every minute of it. The way people assert that they know
what men are thinking about when they look at porn, you'd think
someone had done a study on it, but no one has, since everyone already
knows what everyone else thinks. The main finding of the Home Office
report on pornography was that there isn't much research to tell us
anything. I've given this a great deal of consideration myself, of
course. Let's look at responses of some men in a completely
unrepresentative sample in the preliminary stages of a survey with no
Q: "What kinds of sexual fantasies do you have?"
A: "I mostly fantasize about being with my lover, things we usually do
together, me going down on her, her going down on me, fucking, the way
she calls my name, the sounds she makes when she gets off."
"A maternal woman, with a big backside and big breasts and a round
belly, and she does things to me ... I don't do anything. She kind of
coos when she talks to me, and she takes my clothes off me and she
touches me and plays with me."
"Being tied up, looking really cute and helpless. Not being able
to get free by myself."
"Being with two women."
"Anything ... The idea of a woman who wants me, I'll do anything
"Women in sexy underwear, suspender belts, stockings, high-heels.
That turns me on."
"You know - sucking, fucking, the usual."
Our researchers were disappointed by the mundane nature of these
fantasies, how "vanilla" (i.e., ordinary and boring) most of them
were, and particularly the fact that none of them were "tops" (i.e.,
dominant in an SM relationship).
Q: "Do you have any unusual fantasies - things you've never done,
things you wouldn't want to do in real life, or things you don't think
other people fantasize?"
A: "No. I've done everything I ever wanted to do. I'm not interested
in anything kinky."
"I wish I could find a woman who wanted to tie me up."
"I fantasize anal sex sometimes, but I've never been with a woman
who wanted to, and I'm not sure it's that good an idea to try out."
"I fantasize about having several women treat me like a
plaything ... they have sex with each other, mostly ignore me, but I
just sit there and watch, and they sometimes grab me and play with me.
I can't imagine how I could put this into practice."
"Nothing unusual, nothing I haven't done, really ... but in my
fantasies, I'm good at it. So that's different from real life, I
Our researchers became depressed.
Q: "What kind of pornography do you like to look at?"
A: "It doesn't really do much for me. I don't like just pictures."
"Films of people having sex."
"Pictures of women in leather, looking dominating. Or pictures of
women in silky underwear tied up, and I can imagine I look like that."
"Written stuff ... stories about people having sex. Ordinary sex,
I mean. Cunnilingus, fellatio, intercourse."
"Pictures of really slim women with small breasts."
Our researchers fell asleep at this point. When they woke up, they
marvelled at how much more boring and less adventurous the sample's
fantasies were as compared with the fantasies of the researchers, who
were all female. Far more interesting fantasies reported by well-
known science fiction professionals have not been included in this
SURVEYS AND REAL SCIENCE
The "survey" above constitutes what is known as "anecdotal evidence",
and is completely unusable as a real indication of how people other
than the specific individuals quoted experience sexual fantasy, of
course. No broad generalizations can be made about what the larger
group of "men" fantasize or how they use pornography. By sheer
accident, you will note, there were no men who answered by saying that
they have fantasies about spanking or involving couples/groups in
which they were not the only males present - and yet, we know, men do
have such inclinations and there is a market for pornography that
appeals to such tastes.
A variety of social factors skewed the sample in the first place, and
a prejudice of the reporter eliminated variant data that did not fit
in with the stereotype needed for the above reports - that is, I could
have included examples of male dominance that just didn't happen to
have been reported in the specific conversations I quoted from, but I
decided not to. By factoring out "irrelevant" data (famous male-
dominant sf writers), I was able to "prove" that men have either
submissive fantasies or "ordinary" fantasies, for the most part. Or,
to put it bluntly, no responsible social scientist would even bother
to report from data of this type, let alone take it seriously.
There is, however, real truth in the above "survey". The men were
real people who were undoubtedly trying their best to be as honest as
possible under the circumstances (i.e., being grilled by crazy women).
Some of them were men who look at pornography regularly, but none of
them were reporting fantasies that involved any violence toward women.
This does prove that there are some men, at least, who don't seem to
equate sexual fantasy with violence against women. What it doesn't
tell you is that there are other men who do.
Anecdotal evidence is now being used heavily by both "feminist" and
traditional anti-porn crusaders to "prove" that women detest
pornography, pornography is the cause of violence against women and
child abuse, and that men have violent thoughts about women whenever
they look at porn. The Meese Commission relied almost wholly on
reports by women who had been assaulted by men who used pornography in
some context and men who said they had been somehow corrupted by porn.
The Commission also discouraged testimony that was contrary to this
prejudice. The Minneapolis hearings on pornography had statements
from one woman after another whose "evidence" consisted largely of
saying "I was raped, and I think porn was responsible" - in cases
where pornography had nothing to do with the rape, to anyone's
Those same hearings contained testimony from two women who both said
that they had been exposed to pornography in the form of "Playboy",
"Penthouse", and "Oui", and that from these magazines they "learned
that the relationship between men and women is one of violence". (No
one at the hearings asked how they could get that from the
aforementioned magazines.) The Campaign Against Pornography and
Censorship (6) provides male speakers who will attest that they were
"branded by pornography" and that porn caused them to have "degrading"
thoughts about women.
Additionally, Catherine Itzin placed an article in "Cosmopolitan"
explaining how pornography "causes" violence against women and ran a
survey alongside it asking women if they had been assaulted and if
porn was involved in the assault. (Interesting tactic - first tell
people what their answers should be, then ask the questions.) (7)
Consistent with most studies on groups of women, about 25% said they
had been sexually assaulted. About 14% of these women said
pornography was somehow implicated in the event.
Itzin calls this study "proof" that porn causes rape, but of course
this rather ignores the 86% of these assault victims who may know men
who read pornography, may read porn themselves, but cannot say that
they have ever been victim to any violence in which pornography was
implicated. (Perhaps more importantly, and like most studies of this
nature, it ignores the largest single factor in rape reported by women
in surveys - as opposed to police reports, where records of rape are
skewed by what is legally considered rape at the time. Most studies
show that 40% of female rape victims were raped by their husbands. In
England and Wales, until this year, marital rape was treated as
protected violence, and therefore not a reportable crime.)
What is missing from data of this kind is controls - something to
measure results next to. If the only evidence about porn you listen
to comes from violence victims who will try to implicate porn, you're
leaving out, for a start, all those battered and sexually abused women
and children whose assailants don't look at porn, to say nothing of
all those porn users who don't assault people. Here's a piece of
anecdotal evidence about what men think of when they see nude women,
from a well-known peeping-Tom:
Is lust acceptable? I like to defend those poor, unappreciated
prurient feelings; I think they're kind of, well, sweet. And, at
best, awesome. I remember one of my first experiences with sexual
longings; it was in the winter of 1957 and I was trudging home from
school in the slush and twilight. I happened to glance up at an
apartment window where I saw a young, blond woman, in the nude,
admiring herself in a full length mirror. I stood there for what was
probably a full minute, totally transfixed by the sight. I
experienced beauty, awe, tenderness, and the feeling of being utterly
blessed. This is one of my most treasured memories. (8)
VIOLENCE, RAPE AND REALITY
But Catherine Itzin spends a lot of time trying to convince women that
pornography has made our lives such a walking nightmare that we can't
travel safely on the streets, despite the fact that most rape occurs
inside the homes of the victims. Although it is undeniable that rape
- even stranger rape - does occur in the streets of this country, the
portrait of terror that Itzin continuously paints is wholly
inconsistent with reality. Most women, at most times, are pretty safe
walking through London alone - something I've been doing for years
now, travelling home on the underground all by myself at closing time,
On the other hand, I'm glad I'm not a young male, the most likely
victim of street violence. Some anecdotal evidence drawn from my own
friends: Martin Smith was walking back to my house from the off
licence in broad daylight last summer and a complete stranger smacked
him upside the head and knocked his glasses into the street - Martin
spent the rest of the evening in pain, nursing a shiner. John Brosnan
and Alun Harries have both been assaulted by strangers on the street
in the time I've known them, and Martin Tudor spent most of Follycon
(the British Science Fiction Convention of 1988 in Liverpool) taking
painkillers for similar reasons. The only woman I know to have been a
victim of violence in this country during that same period was one
woman who is alleged to have been assaulted by her husband, in their
Itzin would have you believe that life for women, in every respect,
has become worse over the last 30 years because pornography has become
more available. Men don't respect women such as herself, who are
authority figures (""Doctor" Itzin", she stressed pointedly at the
1990 annual general meeting of the National Council for Civil
Liberties). People make rude remarks to her and disagree strenuously
and stuff like that, because she's a woman, you see, and they don't
respect her because of pornography. Ms. Itzin apparently harbours the
belief that men never say rude things to other men.
She also doesn't seem to realize that the reason people laugh at the
remarkable things she says is that they are laughable. I mean, does
she really believe that there was no violence against women 30 years
ago? (For the record, she says she does.) Did Hugh Hefner invent
rape, or what? And for that matter, how many women had doctorates 30
years ago? Get real folks, women were given so little credibility
back in those days that even all the experts on being a housewife,
having a child, or being a lesbian were men. (9)
30 years ago, if you got raped, you didn't tell anyone. Today, people
are aware of rape, they talk about it, sometimes the police even take
reports seriously, and in some countries marital rape is actually
treated as a serious crime. Maybe pornography even has something to
do with that - is it really any accident that a higher percentage of
victims are likely to report rape in countries where hardcore is most
widely available? We read sexual material, sex is part of the public
discourse, and now we actually say out loud the things we all hid in
secret before, and one of them is the fact of violence against women.
Do you feel more frightened because there's more violence, or do you
just feel more endangered because you know about it? We keep hearing
of rising rape rates, but is it the number of rapes that is going up,
or just the percentage who report? And when people quote numbers to
you, are they really bigger than previous numbers, or do they just
sound bad because you didn't know how bad it really was? Last year
when I was in the States, an anti-porn activist attempted to shock me
with the "rising" frequency of rape by telling me that "there's a rape
reported every six minutes in the United States". "Really? Are you
sure that number is correct?" She was, and she quoted all sorts of
reports to prove it. The problem with this statistic is that in 1977
the frequency of reported forcible rape in the US was one every three
minutes - twice the new, "higher" rate.
Anti-porn campaigners will tell you that there are more rapes in areas
where porn is widely available and widely consumed. This is not
exactly true, but there is an illusion of truth in that high rape
rates are consistent with other factors (principally, a high
percentage of divorced men in the population) which happen to coincide
with high porn consumption where it is available (that is: divorced
men appear to consume a lot of porn; rape rates are high where the
percentage of divorced men is high, whether porn is available or not;
rape rates are low even where porn is widely available when the
population does not contain a high percentage of divorced men. You
get to guess why). What is true is that (a) victims are more likely
to report rape, and (b) the police and courts are more likely to treat
more kinds of rapes as serious crimes, in countries where pornography
is legal and widely available.
So, since porn has become more widely available (10) we have seen an
increase in rape awareness - people recognize that women do get raped,
even when they aren't necessarily "bad" women, and that the figures
are a lot bigger than anyone admitted before. As women have become
more aware of the threat of rape, we have become more fearful. But is
the danger really any greater? Surveys that ask women about their
experience do not really reflect a higher likelihood for women to be
raped, but we do appear to think we are in more danger than we were
before. This is good if it means that women are forewarned, of
course, and it is helpful to victims if they are not made to feel like
People - and particularly women - are far more sympathetic to and
understanding of rape victims than they were 30 years ago. But is a
new fear of leaving the house helpful, or is it just paranoia? Female
fearfulness went down in the late '60s and up again by the late '70s.
The implication was that women were "fooled" by sixties liberationist
rhetoric into believing they were entitled to equality of public
freedom with men, but now we "know better" and think it wiser to hide
behind the illusory protections offered by patriarchy and the state.
EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ...
Throughout the '80s, we saw an increased willingness to condemn
promiscuity for a variety of reasons; AIDS, the fear of rape, high
divorce rates and other factors gave people with a repressive agenda
an excuse to trumpet their cause loudly once again. Even some people
who were noted sexual libertarians in the '60s were "re-evaluating"
the situation and coming to the "mature" conclusion that monogamy was
a Good Thing. Feminists who once condemned marriage were finding it a
reasonable alternative to the uncertainty of less "stable"
relationships. Worst of all, if traditional, institutional,
heterosexual marriage was being embraced, it could no longer be
treated as a factor in sexual violence, and therefore a new villain
had to be found: pornography.
Anti-porn campaigners warn women that the possible dangers of sexual
violence are too high a price to pay for freedom, whether it be
freedom of expression in general or the specific right of women to
explore their sexuality. We should cower once again in the "safety"
of marriage rather than risk the fear of sexual assault, we are told.
Pornography "gives men ideas", you know, and those ideas are of no use
to women. Anyway, porn is just "pictures of women for men", and shows
"no mutuality" - and you know, they are absolutely right about that,
where the UK is concerned, because the existing censorship doesn't
much allow you to show anything else.
How can you have mutuality if you can't show people together? How can
you portray men sexually if you can't even show erections? Anti-porn
"feminists" say this is an innate trait of pornography, but it
certainly isn't a factor in the porn available in Europe and America,
where plenty of porn shows mutuality, cocks, female sexual
assertiveness and such. The much-deplored "imbalance" British women
find in porn is an artifact of censorship, not of human sexual
interest in sexual material. In other countries, women consume
pornography; they don't do it here because there's nothing to buy.
So, once again, everything you know turns out to be wrong. Big deal,
you knew that already, right? Just a new detail in the fabric every
day - porn doesn't cause rape, Eli Whitney didn't invent the cotton
gin, and there was a female Einstein, after all. Just remember that
the next time you read yet another "study" or hear someone else
describe their fantastic analysis of the real meaning of "Madame
1. Ah! Margaret Thatcher.
2. "Quim", BCM Box 2182, London WC1N 3XX.
3. "On Our Backs", 526 Castro Street, San Francisco, California 94114,
4. "Bad Attitude: A Lesbian Sex Magazine", P.O. Box 110, Cambridge,
Masssachusetts 02139, USA.
5. Kate Ellis et al. eds., "Caught Looking: Feminism, Pornography and
Censorship", The Real Comet Press, Seattle, 2nd edn., 1988 (Real Comet
Press, 3131 Western Avenue, No. 410, Seattle, Washington 98121-1028,
USA. Tel: 0101-206 283 7827.
6. Catherine Itzin's anti-porn group, an offshoot of the Campaign
Against Pornography. CAP wants legal bans on porn; CPC wants to use
Dworkin-MacKinnon type legislation to make pornographers liable to
"civil rights" suits when women are raped. I leave you to imagine the
legal workings of this process and who the chief witness would be.
7. Ms. Itzin did not wonder whether the effect of reading a magazine
which tells women they have to starve themselves to death in order to
attract men could possibly have any negative effects on women.
8. Comic artist Steve Stiles in "BSFAn" (Baltimore Science Fiction
Association fanzine), No. 18, Winter 1990-91.
9. Itzin is not wrong in thinking that women are treated with less
intellectual respect than men are; she's just wrong in thinking it is
worse, not better, than it used to be.
10. For about five years in the UK, actually. Then the Obscene
Publications Acts came in and made hardcore fairly difficult to get.
It is perhaps no accident that this did not happen in the US, but
marital rape became a crime instead. It is only now, 15 years later,
when sexual issues are being fought over once again in the UK - around
the issue of pornography - that the courts are beginning to treat rape
in marriage as a crime.
11. For a hilarious interpretation of Flaubert's text, see Andrea
Dworkin's "Intercourse", Secker and Warburg, London, 1987, in which it
is proved that women are destroyed by enjoying sex.
This is a slightly edited version of an article that first appeared as
"Ask Mr. Social Science" in "Pulp" No.19, Summer 1991.
Avedon Carol is a member of Feminists Against Censorship, and is not a
free market capitalist. She is co-editor, with Alison Assiter, of "Bad
Girls and Dirty Pictures: The Challenge to Reclaim Feminism", Pluto
Press, London, 1993.
Feminists Against Censorship can be contacted at:
BM Box 207, London WC1N 3XX, United Kingdom
Tel: +81 552 4405 | Fax: 71 731 5950
The Libertarian Alliance can be contacted at:
25 Chapter Chambers, Esterbrooke Street, London SW1P 4NN, UK
Tel: +71 821 5502 | Fax: +71 834 2031
Tel: +71 821 5502 | Fax: +71 834 2031
© 1994 Peter Langston