The GOP Picked a Hypocritical Moment For an Anti-Porn Crusade

I don’t believe in kinkshaming – sexpert shorthand for demeaning people for their personal sexual proclivities. Whatever turns people on is their own business, as long as they honor consent.

Although the most recent news cycle has spawned thousands of “golden showers” jokes, the act Trump is claimed to have enjoyed is not the problem. The problem is a narcissist who, despite his own sordid history, believes himself to be holier than thou. Worse still, perhaps, is the “family values” party that ushered him into office with nary a peep about his legendary personal and political perversity.

Long before #goldenshowersgate started trending on Twitter this week, we had abundant evidence of Trump’s extensive, troubling past with women and girls. The debate audience audibly laughed when Trump famously said, “No one respects women more than I do,” but there’s nothing funny about the way that DJT has triggered and terrified millions of women during the last 18 months.

Let’s go though some of Trump’s greatest hits, vis-à-vis misogyny, one more time. His ex-wife accused him of marital rape. He was caught on tape saying of women, you can just ”grab ‘em by the pussy… and when you’re a star, they just let you do it.” He was accused of rape by a then-13-year-old girl (the suit by “Jane Doe” was later retracted). At least 14 women have accused him of sexual assault.

A few seemingly noble Republicans backed away from him shortly after pussygate, but this was short-lived, and by November 9th, they were mostly on board again – with a vengeance. I guess they forgot that they had wives, sisters, mothers, and daughters.

And now we face a surreal, Orwellian hypocrisy: Under the management of the most sexually lurid POTUS in history, a serial cheater, one who literally bragged about the size of his penis at a national debate, we may see the biggest crackdown on porn we’ve experienced in decades. Yes, the War on Porn is back and it is likely to work hand in glove with the War on Women. The GOP hopes to make it bigger than ever – and they desperately need a diversion from the Misogynist-in Chief. The revived anti-porn agenda began last summer, when Republican’s worked anti-porn language into their convention’s platform.

GOP-led state legislators and Republican governors are also in on the act. Anti-porn laws are being passed in states across the country. Perilously, Republicans got Trump to sign an anti-porn pledge last summer – as if this would erase all he’s said and done. The hypocrisy of this is beyond egregious, because Trump himself appeared in a softcore porn video made by Playboy. In the video he’s opening a bottle of champagne, surrounded by Playmates who are later seen dancing, frolicking and sensually touching themselves and one another. And as a pageant owner who profits off the objectification of women bodies, signing an anti-porn pledge is beyond sanctimonious – it’s sick.

The issue here is hypocrisy, not porn. Watching porn has never been proven harmful to its ever-bigger audience. Doing so actually has numerous benefits, especially for couples.

It’s true that mainstream porn can be very problematic in terms of its representations of women’s bodies. But the industry is expanding, changing, and becoming much more inclusive. Feminist porn embraces people of color, queer performers (and directors), and women of various sizes, shapes, and ages. It’s porn for everyone – not just straight men.

If Senator Jeff Sessions is confirmed as Attorney General, we can expect the anti-porn legislation currently sweeping the states to become national policy. This infringes on free speech laws, but with a conservative Supreme Court, anti-porn crusaders have a good chance of winning the day.

The venal, transparent overreach the GOP will surely backfire. In the early 2000s, the party made gay people into their targets in a campaign to distract Americans from the two unfunded wars that the Bush administration lied us into. But a few years later, we elected Barack Obama, and in 2015, same-sex marriage became the law of the land. The pendulum swings quickly back in the other direction, that of justice – so the GOP might want to mind their own business this time.

Stefanie Iris Weiss is a New York City-based freelance writer who writes about sexuality, politics and subcultures. Her most recent book is “Eco-Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable” (Random House/Crown Publishing).

Tagged as:

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

The GOP Picked a Hypocritical Moment For an Anti-Porn Crusade

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close
Close