Archive for June 12th, 2013

Anti-porn Feminist Gail Dines Testifies In Favor of Porn Industry Record Keeping that Ensures Performers Are Over 18 Years Old


Here’s interesting testimony by Pornland’s Gail Dines from a case against the U.S. government by the porn industry. The porn industry plaintiffs — “The Free Speech Coalition” — are objecting to the “2257 law” that requires them to verify that performers in porn are over 18 years old, and to keep records of that verification. (Note: The article is from a porn industry news website.) ~~ Go Gail! Keep telling the harsh truth about porn to keep the good laws in place! 🙂

[XBIZ] — Antiporn feminist Gail Dines and veteran photographer Barbara Nitke both gave extensive testimony during the fourth day of the trial for Free Speech Coalition vs. Eric Holder, which is being held in the courtroom of Judge Michael M. Baylson at the James A. Byrne Federal Courthouse in Philadelphia.

Representing FSC and 16 other plaintiffs in the case are attorneys J. Michael Murray and Lorraine Baumgartner, while attorneys Kathryn Wyer, James Schwartz, Hector Bladuell and Nathan Swinton are representing the U.S. Justice Department under President Barack Obama’s attorney general Eric Holder.

The New York City-based Nitke testified in support of the plaintiffs, while the Boston-based Dines testified on behalf of the Justice Department. Free Speech Coalition vs. Holder involves federal record-keeping law 18 U.S.C. § 2257, which the plaintiffs allege places an unfair hardship on companies or individuals presenting any sort of erotic depictions.

The proceedings began at 9:15 AM, and Dines was soon called to the witness stand by the defendant’s side in the case. Although Dines is originally from Manchester, England and speaks with a British accent, she now lives in Boston (where she is a professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College). Dines, who is the author of the antiporn book “Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality” and was a founding member of the antiporn organization Stop Porn Culture, told the court that she has spent 25 years studying adult entertainment. “All of my academic career has been devoted to the study of pornography,” Dines testified.

Dines said that she studies the adult industry closely and reads both XBIZ and AVN in order to “get a picture of what the industry really looks like…. I interview people in the industry. I also have many contacts in the industry who tell me what’s going on.” AVN’s Tom Hymes, who testified for the plaintiffs earlier this week, was present in the courtroom this morning — and Dines said that she was well aware of his work. Dines described the adult industry as an industry that “shapes cultural values and cultural norms.”

But Dines does not study the adult industry because she is favorable to it; she has been vehemently outspoken against it, in fact. A frequent guest on the BBC, she is considered a go-to person when the BBC and other media outlets are looking for an antiporn voice to interview.

Because of her antiporn efforts, Dines has been compared to law professor Catharine A. MacKinnon and the late Andrea Dworkin (two other feminists known for their vehement opposition to porn). And during her testimony today, Dines set out to paint the industry in a negative light and was quite critical of porn sites that use the word “teen” as a marketing tool.

Dines testified that between the “Playboy/Penthouse/Hustler days” of print media and the digital era, porn went from bad to worse. Porn “has become much more cruel, much more body-punishing” and often involves “some form of physical or verbal violence,” Dine testified. Dines said that during the digital era, there has been a major shift from Internet adult paysites to a domination by adult tube sites — and in a tube site-oriented environment, Dines said, the teen genre of porn has become increasingly prominent.

Dines described adult tube sites like PornHub and RedTube as a “gateway into the entire porn industry,” adding that people who use tube sites can find an abundance of porn in the teen genre. “I have spent many, many hours on tube sites,” Dines testified. Dines also said that free tube sites often lead to pay sites but said that the adult membership adult site model isn’t nearly as profitable as it once was. Dines said of membership porn sites, “They’re losing money like crazy…..It’s very hard to make money now from the production side.”

Dines testified that she has spoken to “child protection agencies” about the teen genre and finds that genre disturbing because it is “normalizing young women, very youthful-looking women as objects for male use…chipping away at the cultural norms that define children as off limits.” And Dines said that the type of imagery she typically encounters in the teen genre includes “the bobbie socks, the pink … the pastel colors, light makeup … cartoon figures on her t-shirt,” whereas in the “regular genres” of porn, one typically hears terminology more along the lines of “bitches, whores and sluts.”

Dines cited other imagery she finds is common in the teen genre: “the hair on their head is done up like a schoolgirl…..You’ll have them with teddy bears, lollipops.”

With the teen genre, Dines testified, female models are not curvaceous or voluptuous; they are likely to have smaller breasts, she said. When asked about the college porn genre, Dines said, “College porn is the one subset where you get women who are more curvaceous.”

Gay porn, Dines said, has its own version of the teen genre: “in gay porn,” she said, “it’s called twinks.”

At one point during her testimony, Dines described adult production companies as “sweatshops.” Judge Baylson jumped in, saying, “You mean a sweatshop where people work for low wages?” But when Dines was unable to clarify why she considered adult production companies to be “sweatshops”—a word with an extremely negative connotation—Baylson decided that her reference to “sweatshops” was unnecessarily inflammatory and asked that it be stricken from the record.

During much of her testimony for the Justice Department, Dines implied that part of the porn industry — especially the teen porn genre — is trying to appeal to men who have sexual fantasies about under-age women. But when attorney Murray cross-examined Dines, he immediately set out to discredit her testimony and paint her as a zealot whose disdain for the adult industry is obsessive and irrational.

Murray asked Dines if she had described herself as an “antipornography activist” and an “antipornography advocate”; she acknowledged that she had described herself that way. Murray asked Dines if she had described Playboy founder Hugh Hefner as “society’s most influential pimp”; she acknowledged saying that.

Murray also inferred that part of Dines’ disdain for porn comes from a disdain for capitalism. Murray asked Dines if she has a problem with capitalism in general; she responded that in her view, it creates problems and leads to major wealth inequalities.

Citing some of Dines’ own research, Murray noted that the top three genres of online porn are (1) MILF, (2) gay and (3) teen. Murray said that based on Dines’ own research, “67-75 percent” of Internet erotica doesn’t fall into the teen genre.” And Dines responded that the figure was “a bit lower than what you’re saying.” Dines also said that the teen genre was larger when one factored in “allied terms” such as “tiny tits.”

Murray used the terms “MILF” and “cougar” more than once in his cross-examination of Dines. Murray did so to counter Dines’ claim that the porn industry is trying to normalize sexual fantasies involving under-age girls. If MILF and cougar erotica is so prominent in online erotica, Murray set out to demonstrate, it makes no sense to paint the adult industry as one that encourages sex with minors.

When Dines was giving direct testimony to one of the Justice Department’s attorneys, she said that she knows people in the adult industry who assist her with her porn-related research. “I interview people in the industry. I also have many contacts in the industry who tell me what’s going on.” And during Murray’s cross-examination, Dines asked her who those industry contacts were. Dines replied, “They won’t allow me to speak their names. They ask me not to disclose their names…..They’re nervous about coming forward …. They’re scared of retribution from the pornography industry.”

READ THE REST OF THIS STORY AT THE LINK BELOW: (And please don’t forget to like, comment and share to spread the word and support the cause. Thanks! :-))

Note: As mentioned, the article is from a porn industry news website. But there is no graphic imagery at the print version of the article page, which is the one we’ve provided below.

ARTICLE LINK: http://www.xbiz.com/news/news_piece_print.php?id=163704


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