Porn on Uni Internet: Ban this Sick Filth?

TIM SQUIRRELL and LAURA BATEY give and receive over the merits of digital masturbatory material.

Internet internet pornography masturbation porn pornography tim squirrell university

As David Cameron’s porn filter cums ever closer, we asked two of Cambridge’s filthiest to bash one out over the availability of porn on university internet. The result is sure to get commenters’ juices flowing.

“Banning porn on university internet would have practical benefits to the lives of a large number of Cambridge students.”

– Tim Squirrell

I was going to argue this from a feminist standpoint, but last time I did that a very angry person told me to stop appropriating causes that weren’t mine to further. Instead I’m going to propose that banning porn on university internet would have practical benefits to the lives of a large number of Cambridge students.

Fuck the patriarchy (literally)

Anti-masturbation campaigns tend to be based on the premise that having a quick bash of the bishop (or forage in the lady-garden) decreases sex hormone levels and therefore reduces your sex drive. People who stop making the bald man cry for a decent period of time are supposed to have an increased libido and consequently a better chance with the people of their desired gender(s).

If we ban porn within the university, there are three possible outcomes. The first is that it reduces the number of people polishing the gherkin (or exploring the Grand Canyon) on the regular, thus creating a shaken Cava situation which is bound to end up with a greater number of people dipping their wick (or filling their sheath) in Cambridge. This has a few benefits. First, it contributes to our score in the sex rankings and could prevent our routine embarrassment in the bonking league tables, helping to erase the terrible stereotype of Cambridge students as utterly sexless. Second, in order to make the beast with two backs it’s necessary to interact with people, and this could help develop the withered, flaccid social skills of some Cantabs. Third, it could potentially lead (in the long-run) to a greater number of genius Cambridge babies, which I think we can all agree is a good thing, especially if they come from people who have in the process developed social skills which they are willing to pass on to their progeny.

An English Lit student would have a field day with this

An English Lit student would have a field day with this

The second possible outcome is that people continue to test the reel (or stroke the shag pile carpet), but that they do so, in the absence of their preferred masturbatory material, using their imaginations. This allows them to spend more time developing their fantasies as they wish, unrestricted by the patriarchal sexual framework set forward by the majority of mainstream porn. This would ideally lead to more egalitarian ideas of what it means to get it on, resulting in less disrespect towards women by male partners and the expectation of better treatment by women, not to mention removing the unrealistic (and misogynistic)  expectations of lesbian lovemaking which the majority of porn puts forward.

If neither of these things happen, the final option is that students turn to alternative media for titillation. These would include erotica, which as a written medium has a great deal to contribute in terms of teaching literary style. Students who find themselves reading this type of fiction would find themselves in a position of being able to both find some kind of release and improve the quality of their essays.

We have everything to gain from banning porn on the university internet. Let’s do it. If you get my drift.

 

 “Censorship will not improve the welfare of the performers in the industry, nor is it the way to tackle the normalized objectification of women propagated by porn.”

– Laura Batey

So apparently 30% of all data transferred across the internet is porn. Though admittedly I did find that statistic from an anti-wank website called ‘The Road to Grace’, which promises to save us all from the many moral dangers of masturbation, so it may not be that reliable. They have their own t-shirts and everything.

For those particularly stimulating lectures when having one off the wrist simply isn't socially acceptable

For those particularly stimulating lectures when having one off the wrist simply isn’t socially acceptable

At any rate, there’s a lot of porn on the internet. This has made David Cameron very upset. Poor David. Though luckily, he has a plan – a blanket ban on sexual online content, with an ‘opt-in’ option for the naughty stuff. The internet should by default be family-friendly.

‘We must protect the children, won’t somebody please think of the children’ – David Cameron

“But, Laura!” I hear you cry, “does this mean porn is banned in colleges? How will I get my rocks off now? There’s nothing wrong with porn!” But, hypothetical straw person I just made up, you are wrong. There are lots of things wrong with porn. The porn industry as it stands is looking very ethically ugly. There are serious internal problems concerning the consent of the actresses involved, with mounting pressure for women to look a certain way and perform certain sex acts. A disturbing amount of mainstream porn involves the degradation and sexual submission of women. Female objectification is socially and sexually normalized, and not just in adult media (this abomination springs to mind). It should be expected that we as individuals and our university as an institution should be committed to fighting patriarchal views of women and sex.

This doesn’t even need a caption, but it’s getting one anyway

But total censorship is not the solution.

Cameron’s porn law does not tackle the problems of the porn industry, but merely creates a ‘not in my back yard’ complacency that fails to engage with the real issues at stake. Savvy internet users can generally find a way around regulation. Just think of how easy it is to illegally download music or stream TV shows online (not that any of us would ever do such a thing, of course). If people really want to look at porn, chances are they will be able to find porn online. And if the restrictions are robust enough to censor sexual content, they will not just neatly filter away porn, but risk removing anything relating to sex issues, including LGBT blogs, sex education, and erotic art. Censorship of all porn and only porn is an unrealistic goal.

Censorship will not improve the welfare of the performers in the industry, nor is it the way to tackle the normalized objectification of women propagated by porn. These issues can only be addressed by engaging with the industry itself, to promote and strictly regulate the production of ethically-made porn in which women are seen as human beings. Sex doesn’t necessarily involve degradation, and porn shouldn’t have to. The problems of the porn industry should be tackled head on through reform, regulation and education, not swept under the carpet.