Pro Sports Can Help to ‘De-Normalize’ Sexual Violence

Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson recently signed a huge five-year contract for $230 million, even though he faces 22 civil lawsuits from women alleging sexual assault and abuse.

Children and adolescents often identify strongly with their sports heroes, clinging to their every word on social media, wanting to play like them, dress like them, and act like them. For this reason, it is especially important that the male sports culture—one of the most influential bastions of patriarchal privilege—takes a bold and unflinching approach to star athletes who have perpetrated sexual violence. The powerful message this sends to kids and adults is that men’s sexual violence against women is not “normal,” and will not be tolerated.

The Pornification of War in Ukraine

The trending of #Ukraine on porn sites is only a recent development of an age-old misogyny, as old as warfare itself.

Research shows that habitual users of online porn seek ever more explicit and graphic images in order to sustain the same level of arousal. This partly explains the uptick in searches for pornographic videos of Ukrainian women after the invasion. It also accounts for the horrifying genres known as “refugee porn” and “war porn.” These videos link sex with desperation and violence. But not just any violence will do. The user is mainly interested in videos that feature the utter degradation of women and girls.

Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Empire Was Built on the Abuse of Women

Hugh Hefner eventually became the darling of high society and the media. But it wasn’t luxury, sensuality or independence that Hefner was selling. He was only ever hawking old-fashioned misogyny. Now, we have irrefutable proof that Hefner’s empire was built on the horrific abuse of women.

A new documentary series on A&E, Secrets of Playboy, shows what feminists always knew: Hugh Hefner was a vile misogynist. 

Kids Learn About Sex From Porn. Comprehensive Sex Ed Could Help Change That.

For decades, Howard Stern has used his celebrity status to normalize porn and misogyny. Last month, Billie Eilish, only 20, made a shocking revelation on Stern’s show: “I used to watch a lot of porn. I think it really destroyed my brain.”

Eilish is right—research shows conclusively that pornography is harmful for young people and, indeed, all brains. But kids take to porn because they find the sexual education offered by their schools and parents to be unhelpful and unreal.

Black Women’s Histories: A Conversation with Mireille Miller-Young

Black Women’s Histories, a conversation series, will profile different feminist scholars engaging Black women’s histories and narratives during Black and Women’s History Months (February and March, respectively). This week’s scholarly conversation profiles Mireille Miller-Young, author of A Taste for Brown Sugar: Black Women in Pornography. An associate professor of feminist studies at UC Santa Barbara, […]

How Jian Ghomeshi Pulled the Feminist Wool Over Everyone’s Eyes

Reprinted with permission from Feminist Current I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been interviewed by male journalists who have been clearly antagonistic to my feminist, anti-porn position. I can usually tell within the first five minutes of the interview that these guys are very upset by my argument that porn shapes male […]

The New (Feminist) Pornographers

Pornography is one of the more controversial issues in feminism, and the Ms. Blog has published many posts on the topic. Here, a writer goes directly to a feminist pornographer to get her take on how the industry intersects with women’s issues. In her keynote address at the 2014 Feminist Porn Awards, pornographer Courtney Trouble opened by […]