GOP platform's new anti-porn stance unexpectedly mirrors Bachmann's pledge

Categories: Politics, Sex
porn bachmann.jpg
Caroline Frantz and David Shankbone on Flickr
Bachmann's extreme anti-porn stance has somehow found its way into the GOP mainstream.
-- Michele Bachmann pledges to ban "all forms of pornography" if elected president
-- Bachmann pledge: Black families were better off during slavery than they are under Obama
-- Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch: "There is a way to have a more 'forcible rape'" [VIDEO]

While running for president last year, Michele Bachmann became the first candidate to sign a pledge to ban "all forms of pornography." Her extreme anti-porn stance was viewed as an outlier within the Republican Party, as the GOP's 2008 platform didn't even mention porn writ large and instead focused entirely on cracking down on child pornography.

The GOP's anti-porn crusade had steadily waned since 1992, when the party's platform called for "a national crusade against pornography." In fact, in a March piece scrutinizing the GOP's stance on porn over the years, The Atlantic's Conor Friedersdorf predicted that "The language in the next GOP platform won't go beyond child pornography. And if it does, it'll turn out to be the last gasp of an anti-porn movement that cannot win." But with details of the GOP's new platform emerging this week, it appears Friedersdorf was wrong and Michele was actually a year ahead of her time.

Yesterday in Tampa, the GOP approved a platform that for the first time in party history calls explicitly for a crackdown on sexually explicit material involving adults, which is roughly a $10 billion industry.

"Current laws on all forms of pornography and obscenity need to be vigorously enforced," the platform says.

The GOP's approval of the unexpectedly tough language is fraught with irony. For starters, the GOP is the party of deregulation, right? So we're left to assume that morality policing is a higher priority for Republicans than remaining true to the party's keep-hands-off-businesses credo.

Secondly, earlier this year, the party's official presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, accepted the maximum possible individual campaign contribution from Daniel Staton, the board chairman of the company that owns Penthouse.

And finally, considering the hot water Republicans find themselves in with women these days, it's strange the party's platform would call for a porno crackdown that would certainly piss off men if ever reflected in law. Men make up 75 percent of porn site visitors, and Xvideos itself does about 4.4 billion page views per month -- about 10 times as many as the New York Times and three times as many as

From Reuters:
Anti-pornography activist Patrick Trueman said the language in the Republican platform would bolster a broader push against the type of sexually explicit material that is sold by convenience stores, by hotels via pay-per-view television programming, and satellite and cable TV providers.

The widespread availability of Internet pornography has made it harder for a generation of young men to find intimacy with their wives, he said.

"It's a growing problem for men in their 20s," Trueman said. "It's changed the way their brain maps have developed. This is the way they get sexually excited."
Blame Credit for the platform's tough anti-porn language has mostly gone to Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council. But Our Favorite Congresswoman should at least get a hat-tip, shouldn't she?

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I thought this was the "government out of people's lives" party? 


This is a tough one.  I agree with some of the concerns, but I do not agree with the general attitude of banning 'everything' and witch hunts, etc.  I do agree that young men are becoming addicted to porn because it's so easy to has become a way to fill the void of no partner rather than having to deal with real-life people and all their flaws.  It's been my experience that many young gay men are no longer coming out because their world has been shaped by videos of straight, college-aged athletes taking their clothes off - again - this was something, in the past, that we as gay people had to get past.  We had to come out and see other gay people to realize that we are all body types, and as much as I agree with freedom of expression, this is giving young gay men a very warped view on what a gay man looks like, and creates body image problems as far as what that means for himself.  These are young men who now don't feel good enough to come out, or even try to meet someone in real life, because they are certain they'll be rejected.  Of course, this is not porn's fault alone, but I do think it does show in personal ads with very unrealistic expectations (physical expectations, affluence, high levels of education and income) men make up less than 10% of the population, and when you actually get out and see them, hardly any look like the men in these videos (same for the 'lesbians' in porn) - they're not in the videos because they're gay; they're in the videos usually because someone who is an addict will do anything for money.  

I don't believe that outlawing anything will help - US history has shown the results of that.  It's a tough issue particularly for gay men because so many now remain closeted and hiding, and so it's impossible to know how to talk to someone who has chosen this isolation from the rest of the community.  

Donna Hatcher
Donna Hatcher

the strip clubs are full of the GOP here in Tampa she really should be preaching to her choir.

Brie MacDougall
Brie MacDougall

I find most porn is done in ways which serve to objectify all women, not simply the ones who choose sex work as their career. So I do have my own objections to how our mainstream society depicts women in porn (and men too, usually very young ones , basically boys, particularly when depicting barebacking.) But I don't think porn prevents intimacy with their wives, NOR do I think we should ban things just because I find them offensive, or because a man not be as intimate with his wife because of a choice he made. GOP, you are not my daddy.

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