Pornography

Some Male College Students Want Campuses to Censor Porn

Notre Dame student bravely responds, "Give Me Pornhub or Give Me Death."

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NotreDame
Matthew Rice / Wikimedia Commons

A movement to ban porn is gaining steam on some college campuses—and it's mostly led by male students.

Jim Martinson, a senior at Notre Dame, penned a letter to the campus newspaper in October asking the administration to install a porn filter so that students wouldn't be able to access websites like Pornhub and Redtube on the university's wifi. Martinson's argument against porn is threefold: He claims it is immoral, it warps men's brains, and it dehumanizes women. As he wrote in his letter:

Pornography is the new sex education, providing a disturbing script about what men find sexually appealing and what women should do to please them. Notre Dame's sincere efforts to educate students about consent and other aspects of healthy sexuality are pitifully weak in light of the fact that by the time students arrive on campus, many have been addictively watching pornography for years.

Porn is not acting. The overwhelming majority of contemporary pornography is literally filmed violence against women—violence somehow rendered invisible by the context.

More than 1,000 students signed his petition to ban porn, according to Inside Higher Ed. What's more, he is now in contact with students at other campuses working on the same issue. As The Daily Beast reported:

Georgetown senior Amelia Irvine, a conservative firebrand, told The Daily Beast that Martinson's letter inspired her to push for something similar at her Catholic university. She plans to recruit support over the winter break and start an open letter or petition in the spring.

Students at secular schools like Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania also said they were excited by the idea, but were still figuring out how it could work on their campuses. At Princeton and Penn, students said they were already tabling and handing out fliers about the dangers of pornography on campus.

"I'm excited and I think we can really get this done," Martinson said. "And I'm also confident that if we do get it done at Notre Dame, that other universities will follow suit."

The Daily Beast correctly noted that some of Martinson's claims are dubious. There's scant evidence, for instance, that porn makes men behave more violently toward women, or rewires their brains in some fundamental way. If anti-porn students don't want to consume it, that's fine—but they shouldn't force this choice on everyone else.

Notre Dame is a private institution, and administrators would be within their rights to restrict students' access to pornography. They could block access to other websites that may conflict with religious doctrine as well: They could stop students from accessing websites that were pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage. Most people would probably recognize such restrictions as fairly obvious abridgements of free expression, legal though they may be. Banning porn websites is no different. Thankfully, few colleges have indicated that they will acquiesce to the demand.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education told The Beast that Notre Dame would earn a "red light" rating—mean that the campus is highly restrictive of speech—if it banned porn.

"Most pornographic, sexually explicit, and offensive material is protected under the First Amendment," wrote a FIRE spokesperson. "As such, any institution that claims to protect free speech should not treat pornography substantially different than other protected speech."

The best argument against banning porn on campus, though, was articulated by Notre Dame student Jeffrey Murphy, whose editorial in the student paper, "Give Me Pornhub or Give Me Death," is worth reading in full.

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103 responses to “Some Male College Students Want Campuses to Censor Porn

  1. I really question whenever it is said that such-and-such college is a private institution. No government money at all goes into it?

    1. Are people who receive welfare not private individuals?

      I wouldn’t mind if funds were withheld form institutions that don’t respect free speech and other important freedoms (or better yet, get rid of federal education funding entirely). But I’m not convinced that government support means government control is appropriate.

      1. “But I’m not convinced that government support means government control is appropriate.”

        I think it’s a pretty lack and white thing. If the government is throwing money at it, it should be held to the government restrictions of the Constitution.

        Otherwise, the governments just continue to circumvent the Constitution using a third party. The gray areas should be abolished.

        1. I just think the mechanism should be loss of subsidy. You don’t respect free speech, etc, no federal funds at all.

          I guess doing it through courts is more practially possible right now, but I’m just not wild about the idea.

          1. The first amendment, the free speech you allude to, forbids the government from restricting speech. It was not intended that individuals or corporations had to do the same.

        2. Go help us if grey areas are abolished!

        3. Receiving federal money in and of itself should not make you or any institution an agent of the federal government. As well as the fact that what counts as a subsidy is not straightforward. If applied consistently, there probably is no private person or institution not under federal control, which is an absurd and undesirable situation.

        4. I think it’s a pretty lack and white thing. If the government is throwing money at it, it should be held to the government restrictions of the Constitution.

          Not just the Constitution. I put it to you that if they take a dime of government money they may not impose any restrictions more restrictive than current law.

          1. In order to prevent an affront to libertinism, let us undermine the notion of a private institution in every other case. What is it with the mad rush to cut off our noses to spite our faces?

            1. What is it with the mad rush to cut off our noses to spite our faces?

              Maybe to get government out of every aspect of our lives?

              You get government money, you don’t get to limit anyone else’s liberty any more than the current law. What’s unlibertarian about that? If you wish to, as if the law isn’t restrictive enough, don’t take the money.

              1. Don’t you get a military pension? What right do you have to post here then?

                ND is private and can do what they want. I’m sure someone will come along and offer alternative internet service to the wankers. Free enterprise for the win!

  2. Good editorial. But of course the censorious asshats will rise up in glorious outrage that it does not pertain to them, that they speak for women and children, that their cause is righteous. What they won’t say, because they know it is false and can be refuted, is that porn is easy to identify and filter with no repercussions. What they won’t say, because they know history shows otherwise and because they themselves intend to expand the censorship, is that the censors won’t abuse their power or be tempted to expand it to other righteous arenas.

    1. Your argument is pornographic, and must be censored.

    2. They’ll take my porn when they pry my engorged member from my cold, dead hand.

    3. It wouldn’t be altruism if it were selfish, right? Besides, this is a school run by folks who understand that buggery legally violates no vow of celibacy (so long as you don’t marry), and whose penchant for molesting same-sex children has made newspaper headlines for at least the past decade. Small wonder those men want a crackdown (so to speak) on displays that discriminate against their pet predilections. Maybe some Tom Lehrer songs like “Smut” would lighten them up. His “New Math” might enable them to earn passing grades instead of preaching ignorant prohibitionism.

  3. Wow So the college is playing parent for students over 18 and legally allowed to view porn? I can understand if a school wants to condemn such things, and block it on school computers, but to ban it for a student’s private use on their own computers? A massive slippery slope to me for what will be censored next, then after that…

    1. I think you missed the part where it was the university wifi, or where Notre Dame is a Catholic college.

      1. Well, wifi extends to personal computers…. And I just mentioned I understand why they want to ban it, but why not just limit it to their own computers?

        1. The IT department would not be pleased. I would be though, but that’s because of the voyeur aspect.

          1. At my college, you had to use their wifi or have no internet… So whatever they blocked on their wifi would be blocked on everyone’s theoretically. Unless you had your own personal wifi to use…

  4. I wonder what secret, disturbing desires Notre Dame senior Jim Martinson is repressing.

    1. Telling isn’t it? You raise a great point…

    2. I’m willing to find out.
      With him.
      In an Applebee’s bathroom.
      Easily a 7/10.

      1. I have no problem with any of that, as long as you don’t put anything from Applebee’s into your mouth.

  5. “Porn is not acting. The overwhelming majority of contemporary pornography is literally filmed violence against women — violence somehow rendered invisible by the context.”

    CONTEXT DOESN’T MATTER!!!!!!!

    1. Do you know why he thinks hat? It’s because he watches Japanese adult video. It’s been alleged that some of those videos are actually rape. And even the ones that aren’t have a bunch of dudes come out of hiding and gangbang chicks.
      It’s alright.

      1. And airtight.

    2. Where is his evidence that the majority of women appearing in porn are coerced?

  6. He claims it is immoral, it warps men’s brains, and it dehumanizes women.

    That’s what makes it so hawt. I like that he has the idea that people aren’t exposed to internet pornography until college. You know, the formative years. 18 years old is really when you have to nip that in the already fully formed flower.

  7. Give Me Pornhub or Give Me Death
    Imagine using Pornhub.
    Imagine actually streaming porn.
    You deserve death for bad taste alone.

    1. It’s sleazy if you try…

  8. From the pornhub or death editorial:

    “If you demand that Notre Dame prohibit the consumption of pornography because it violates the principles of our school, should Notre Dame, by that argument, not ban any and all material that contradicts Catholic teachings?”

    Well, obviously *that’s* not going to happen. Even Francis doesn’t care about Catholic teachings anymore, and Notre Dame hasn’t cared since the sixties. And if the news stories are accurate, many of the priests certainly have a working knowledge of porn which they’re willing to share with the young men in their charge.

    But why does this article focus on Notre Dame rather than the secular private colleges which are considering similar bans? So that a porn ban can be singled out as “religious”?

    I know the dogma on H&R that “religion” is a convenient term for “something undesirable” (like Orwell said some people use the word “fascism”). Antiporn activism being undesirable, therefore it is religious, QED.

    But under the conventional definition, plenty of antiporn activism doesn’t meet the definition of traditional religion. The most active censors are feminists who want to ban porn (as opposed to “erotica,” which is female-empowering and perfectly cool).

    1. But why does this article focus on Notre Dame rather than the secular private colleges which are considering similar bans? So that a porn ban can be singled out as “religious”?

      Because it’s a short blog post about a specific event involving specific people at a specific institution, not a comprehensive survey, book, or documentary series about efforts to ban porn on private college networks.

      It’s also worth noting that Robby didn’t respond at all to Martinson’s claim about porn being immoral, but he did respond to the claims that porn dehumanizes women and rewire’s men’s brains. So it’s not clear where you’re getting this religious persecution angle. I mean, it is perfectly clear, but you don’t really provide any support for it.

      1. “religious persecution”

        Lol, no.

        1. Notre Dame’s “religion” is feminism, as with all of our “strong liberal/libertarian universities.”

          Weirdo.

          1. Even the petition doesn’t bother claiming Notre Dame is a Catholic University. It describes the university in terms that a secular university could put in its brochures:

            “As a university that champions social justice, human rights, equality and dignity, Notre Dame ought to block pornography” etc.

            1. I suppose you may have missed Robby’s comment about “other websites that may conflict with religious doctrine” – as if Notre Dame really cared about such things nowadays.

              1. So then why did you bring up religion? Why did you base your entire initial comment on it?

                1. Because the article mentioned “websites that may conflict with religious doctrine,” dillweed.

                  1. “Dillweed” lol old school yo

      2. Who else BUT superstitious fanatics want men with guns to force you to point your gaze at what THEY imagine is artistic? Would Robbie’s article have been a word different if These States had imported enough “practicing” mohammedans to fill a college and try replacing the Bill of Rights with Sharia Law? Ireland repealed their pet antiabortion amendment! Constitutional abortion bans have been the punishment for recreational heterosexuality sought by bigots since they realized the Supreme Court had adopted the LP Roe v Wade decision. Clearly they’re upset over this in a way not even “Dr Trump’s Butt-Hurt Salve” can soothe. Seven different Republican amendments have been written. All failed to coerce ladies into quitting sex and leaving the field open to roommates majoring in divinity. It ain’t fair!

        1. I’d like to say that Hank Phillips has lost it, but I’m not sure if he ever had it.

  9. So the guy who is going to graduate in 4 months wants to deny those left behind their pleasure.

    1. So he didn’t get anything for 4 years and now he’s going to take it out on someone else.

      1. Something tells me he has crappy grades in a crappy degree and crappy job prospects, so he’s casting a net for SJW coordinator positions.

        1. And that will probably work.

  10. First they came for the porn, but I was silent –
    Since I did not want to get banned again.

    While we’re on the subject of free speech, let’s talk about Canada:

    Montreal police have issued an arrest warrant…. He is accused of hate speech and attempting to recruit others to the neo-Nazi cause.

  11. As a private college I would have thought that the school could have banned it already. No student is forced to go to the school and the student is required to pay the full price for their education and the state (nor the federal government) pays any part of it. Now the federal educations loans would be available because that is a loan to the student (and not to the school) and the student is responsible to repay that loan.

  12. Porn is not acting. The overwhelming majority of contemporary pornography is literally filmed violence against women — violence somehow rendered invisible by the context.

    Yes, shoving something into a woman’s body is a violent act, except in a certain context. That context is called a “date” and does not get the to point to shoving something into a woman’s vagina until she says she wants sex. In some communities, dates do not go that far until after marriage. In other communities, couples exchange phone numbers if the sex is good enough. What part of dating don’t these guys understand?

    1. What about when the woman agrees to having something shoved into her body in exchange for money? Or even just as an artistic expression? Don’t individual women have the right to decide what “context” is acceptable for them? Why should they be restricted to engaging in sex acts only when the context aligns with your idea of a “date”?

      1. You must remember: women are simultaneously uber-independent agents full of power and potential, and helpless airheads who must be protected, sometimes from themselves. This give them the license to instantly change their mind while being penetrated, so that a date turns into a rape (and the instant can time travel to a point hours or years later).

      2. I agree that porn artists and prostitutes also have the right to consent to sex as part of their work. We just met. That’s why you didn’t know the range of encounters that I call “a date”. Let me put it this way, there’s no moral difference between working for cash and working for food, but I do follow the law as a matter of general principle.

        1. Conversation is more productive when you say what you mean rather than the opposite.

          1. The way I interpreted the quote, the quoted person thought that sex is violence and the context of “porn” makes it socially acceptable. The irony is that porn artists actually sign those contracts before having sex that SJW’s want to incorporate into every date.

    2. That context is called a “date” and does not get the to point to shoving something into a woman’s vagina until she says she wants sex.

      “Says she wants sex.” You’re living in the ’90s, man. Nowadays, a woman has several years after you shove something into her vagina to declare that it was violence, regardless of what she said immediately before the inserting. Much good will your “date” do you then, young Skywalker.

  13. Students at secular schools like Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania also said they were excited by the idea

    And there’s all that is worst in mankind in a nutshell. I get not wanting to see it, and I get thinking it’s bad for people, and all the other objections, whether they’re borne out by study or not. But that the word “excited” can be applied to the idea of banning something is particularly repulsive to me. There’s an element of the human race that derives gratification from denying others their agency/free will. I dearly wish for such people to be consigned, Dante-style, to the very Hell they sought to control.

  14. Notre Dame is a private institution, and administrators would be within their rights to restrict students’ access to pornography.

    Provided it allows those who signed up for a different deal the ability to leave with a full refund.

  15. It’s interesting watching history rhyme.

    Circa 1994, we had the Republicans taking over the House with the specter of Clinton being impeached hanging over a government shutdown.

    Whether Clinton was guilty or Trump isn’t, that isn’t the interesting parallel. The interesting parallels are the minuscule size of the difference between the two sides in terms of the budget and the distractions that played out in regards to impeachment.

    Gingrich wasn’t any more invested in impeachment than Pelosi, and, really, the impeachment turned out to be a distraction and a drag on getting his Contract with America both voted on and passed. Pelosi is pretty much in the same position today.

    The very, very last thing Pelosi wanted right now was a radical House progressive screaming that “We’re going to impeach the “motherfucker””–certainly not with a government shutdown hovering in the background. The idiot calling for this doesn’t even want to wait for Mueller to report his findings. That makes the impending impeachment proceedings seem even more ridiculous than they would otherwise–Trump can clearly demonstrate now that they don’t care whether he’s actually guilty of anything. It also makes it less likely that Trump will shift an inch on the budget. Why should Trump compromise with Representatives who are screaming, “We’re gonna impeach the motherfucker” in public?

    1. If the government shutdown and impeachment becomes all about hard feelings over 2016, it’ll be like the Lewinsky distraction squared. The Democrats want to go full retard, and try as she might, Pelosi can’t stop them.

    2. Funny, isn’t it? It’s almost as if people refuse to learn from history ….

      1. Wel, they did learn to hate history in school.

      2. I wonder if Dems can expkan why Robert Murller deserves more respect than Ken Starr got from the Dems.

        1. Because Trump

  16. The ultra-woke students at Notre Dame should shut this asshole down for appropriating Andrea Dworkin culture.

    -jcr

  17. Ah, the (morally superior) far right meets the (morally superior) far left and together they apply their morally superior opinions on others. OK, define “Porn”? And in the pregnant pause of no answer lies the reason for free speech.

  18. A movement to ban porn is gaining steam on some college campuses?and it’s mostly led by male students ‘male’ feminists.

    There. Fixed that for you.

  19. Students at secular schools like Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania also said they were excited by the idea

    Careful, folks. Getting excited by an idea is the gateway to porn.

  20. Notre Dame? More like No Naked Dames. Am I right?

    1. You are correct. Ha ha.

  21. The furor over access to porn is only practice censorship.

  22. porn is literally violence? Do they not realize that a) the women get paid and b) they can leave any time they want? Idiots. and prudes.

    1. a) the women get paid and b) they can leave any time they want?

      Women don’t get paid if they leave before the money shot.

  23. Girls watch porn, too.

    1. *does Kramer impersonation* “but not every day

      1. Slams money on counter, “I’m out!”

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  25. The nation could use a lot more Hillsdale Colleges.

  26. Quote: “Porn is not acting. The overwhelming majority of contemporary pornography is literally filmed violence against women — violence somehow rendered invisible by the context.”

    So the snowflakes only want to ban heterosexual porn? Gay porn would be okay? Figures!

    1. Nope. Homosexual porn dehumanizes women by implying that they’re not needed for sexual gratification.

      1. Women tend to not really believe that male homosexual orientation even exists, instead seeing men being Gay as a fashion statement or affinity group. The idea that there are men over whom they have no sexual influence must frighten them.

    2. “So the snowflakes only want to ban heterosexual porn? Gay porn would be okay? Figures!”

      Why would porn with two women in it be any less violent against women than porn with only one woman in it?

  27. Sure they should censor porn. Have you seen what passes for porn these days? We need higher quality porn. Censor out the crap.

    1. LOL! Maybe the government should institute a mandatory Porn Quality rating regulation? (sarc)
      One to Five stiff up pointing penises or one to five soft downwards pointing ones.

  28. No surprise here. The American male, for years, has been feminized and wussified into a blob of nothingness. That they don’t like porn is completely understandable.

    1. If they don’t like it, fine. Don’t watch it. It might even be a sign of maturity not to be much interested in viewing it. Wanting to block everyone from seeing it is something else. That male students would take the lead in wanting to stop their classmates from watching it is what seems weird. What percentage of the students actually support this is the real question though.

      1. Perhaps he’s just taking this stand to get some SJW pussy. You know, like high school boys who join the drama club.

    2. I don’t want to censor it but porn is for losers. Real men have live experiences, they don’t pound their pud to dirty pictures.

      1. Real men have live experiences

        Or they don’t, but they make that decision themselves, for their own reasons.

        Boys have sex to prove they are “real men”.

  29. Isn’t the vast majority of porn traffic via mobile phone? Do the college kids plan on on trying to get cell service providers to censor the internet, too?

  30. Where do people get the idea that sexual pleasure is one-sided?

    1. From unenjoyable sexual experiences?

      Where do people get the idea that sexual pleasure always has to be mutual and equal? What’s wrong with giving someone else pleasure?

      1. Don’t let the Objectivists hear you saying that.

      2. In related news:

        The unexpected birth of a baby boy to a woman who has spent the last 14 years in a vegetative state has sparked a sex abuse investigation at a Phoenix nursing facility.

        Staff at Hacienda HealthCare were reportedly unaware the woman was even pregnant “until she was pretty much giving birth,” a source familiar with the situation told KPHO. “From what I’ve been told she was moaning. And they didn’t know what was wrong with her.”

        The baby, a healthy boy, was delivered on December 29.

        1. So, farming babies in brainless clones WOULD work. Science fiction is right again.

          1. 🙂

  31. In related news, the agency that brought us the Abu Ghraib pics is now lead by women.

  32. A very Soave and deboner article by Robbie. But back when the LP first published its Roe v Wade, Legalize Drugs, End Censorship platform, Denmark was about the only place girls could model butt-naked for publication. Even Canada still had primitive and superstitious forms of coercive shakedowns masquerading as civilized behavior. Can anyone here point to a legalization plank in looter kleptocracy platforms of that time, when the First Amendment was nearly 200 years old? Libertarian spoiler votes. Were it not for libertarian spoiler votes scaring the Bejeezes out of lawmaking mystical bigots, those wankers would indeed be imposing their medieval customs at gunpoint abetted by courts and law enforcement. Then again, God’s Own Prohibitionists today shriek that porn is a “public health crisis” just like birth control and plant leaves.

    1. Do you also write under the name Dr. Bronner?

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  34. Meh. Ed Meese was Attorney General when I was first entering college.

  35. From my reading on the subject, I think there are some potentially negative psychological repercussions of porn. It’s not that people physically abuse women or whatever, it’s far more subtle stuff. Studies seem to indicate that it does somewhat warp peoples perceived views of how sex should work… And IRL it ain’t like in porn! It also seems to disincentivize people to actually go out in the real world and try to find a mate, which is more or less a negative. There were some other odds and ends I’m not remembering right now.

    But the bottom line is, it’s kind of like alcohol or weed… It’s not THAT insanely bad, AND even if you wanted to, you’re never going to be able to suppress it. So it’s simply not a worthwhile thing to go after.

    That’s all just practical considerations. There’s also the fact that people should be able to do WTF ever they want.

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