British Feminists: ‘Degrading Sex Acts Are Empowering’

Brits, especially women, are in an uproar over new regulations cracking down on certain sex acts in pornography. They have taken to the streets to stage things like face-sitting protests, whereby porn lovers act out moves that the British government is trying to ban.

These pro-porn ladies claim that barring certain acts like spanking (and a lot of other stuff that should never be mentioned in polite company) is not just a crackdown on free speech, but is sexist. They argue that the new regulations target female sexual enjoyment in a disproportionate way. Lawmakers argue that they are trying to protect children from harmful and violent content, children who might, say, get confused as to what spanking is all about when they get their hands on readily available porn. Lots of others got in on the action via Twitter with the hashtag “#PornProtest”.

Where to begin?

Well, we can begin with how impressive it is that the British government is taking on the entertainment industry’s most vile yet powerful division.  Globally, the porn industry takes in nearly $100 billion in profits a year, with hotel chains and cable companies all getting in on the action. Porn is a behemoth and their allies in the libertarian and socially liberal wings of each party in America are bullies about keeping it legal. They don’t care about the psychological or physical health of those who make or consume the material, only profit and unstrained sexuality. Never mind, for example, that pornography is increasingly being exposed as a major facilitator of human trafficking, even in the most peaceful and developed nations worldwide. Even the Huffington Post acknowledged that, “you support trafficking when you watch porn.” Human trafficking disproportionally affects women and children, but for pro-porn advocates, it’s all about free speech and sexual freedom, at whatever cost.

And what is that cost?

Well, apart from abetting another vile multi-billion global industry (sexual slavery), porn has made walking sex slaves of everyday people whose numbers we don’t fully know. It’s hard to a put a number on how many men are addicted to pornography. Seventy percent of men admit to using pornography monthly, and most were first exposed as boys at the (average) age of 11. Nearly half of children are exposed to porn in an average year, two-thirds of whom characterize the exposure as “unwanted.” Nearly half of American households report that porn creates a problem in their household. A recent German study found a clear negative correlation between consumption of Internet pornography and marriage rates among young men. Porn is a silent destroyer, pulling everyone that comes in contact with it down like quicksand. Before you know it, people are defending sexual spanking as feminist expression.

But the British government isn’t even trying to ban pornography. Only the most violent and grotesque forms. And people are protesting even that.

As one sign-bearing protestor outside of London’s parliament put it: “Vulvas Don’t Kill People, Revolvers Do.”

Fine. But governments have a legitimate interest in cracking down on the glorification of violence against and degradation of women in pornography and in protecting men and children from a form of media content that warps their minds. Spanking is most certainly not feminist expression, but censuring the portrayal of a grown woman being spanked is. The British regulations are pro-woman, man, and child, and it would behoove our own government to follow suit in protecting children from insidious sexual content.

Originally published on

Ashley E. McGuire is the founder and editor-in-chief of AltCatholicah, a 2011 recipient of the Phillips Foundation Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship, and the first ever Richard John Neuhaus Fellow at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children.

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