Civil Rights And Hotel Porn, Ctd

Jul 11 2012 @ 5:30pm

Robert George counters me:

Our point was not that the fight against the dehumanizing and degrading phenomenon of pornography is just like the fight against the dehumanizing and degrading practice of racial segregation.  There are important and obvious differences. Our point was that something’s being legal does not justify anyone’s doing it, even for the sake of increasing shareholders’ profits in a corporate business (which, as a general matter, management has a fiduciary obligation to do).

But since Dr. Sullivan has raised the issue of parallels between the civil rights movement and the struggle against pornography, if only to deride the idea, it’s worth mentioning one important parallel: the sickeningly widespread exploitation of women (among them many troubled or abused teenage girls who have run away from home, and many young women lured from Eastern Europe, southeast Asia, and elsewhere with false promises of honorable employment) who are trafficked into the porn production business (and often into prostitution, as well). No need to trust me or Shaykh Hamza on the reality of this vile and massive abuse of civil rights. Here’s Lara Janson, writing on the liberal Huffington Post.

Surely decent people on the left and the right can agree that the trafficking of human beings into sexual slavery is a horrific evil that we should do everything in our power to oppose.  But if we are to make any progress in the struggle, we need to take the measure of the problem and that means recognizing its connection to, among other evils, the porn business.

Human trafficking is a different subject, however tangentially related it might be to some pornography. Ending all hotel porn because of it would be like banning people from owning pets because of puppy mills. But our basic difference is in my belief in the freedom of people to watch what they want to watch and to perform in what they wish to perform. That includes porn.