Pornhub and Its Ilk Should Be Banned, Claims Think Tank Paper

Morgan Bennett doesn't like pornography.

Bennett, who is pursing a law degree at Pepperdine University, recently decided that something simply must be done about the nefarious scourge that is internet pornography. She also decided that she knows better than the decades of Supreme Court precedent regarding obscenity, as she posed her own test in a hilariously out-of-touch paper published by the Witherspoon Institute, a conservative think tank.

According to Bennett, pornography is "a powerfully addictive narcotic," and a "massive, paradigm-shifting social harm" that's destroying the dildo-addled masses of our nation. In her mind, internet porn is dissuading people from starting families, and thereby ripping apart the very fabric of society as people tune in, strap on, lube up, and drop out. She believes porn is "almost always" the product of "prostitution, rape, sex trafficking, assault, and even murder." The way she writes about internet pornography's deleterious effects, it's a wonder that Bennett hasn't wrung her hands clean off.

(See? Now porn is tearing people limb from limb.)

Bennett's argument — and, it seems, the Witherspoon Institute's, as several of the anti-pornography materials she cites are their own — has a number of weaknesses including its appeal to the founders, the fact that she makes sweeping assumptions, the fact that she uses individual data points to prove trends, and the sad fact that she cites a Daily Mail article with the breathless title "Jamie is 13 and hasn't even kissed a girl. But he's now on the Sex Offender Register after online porn warped his mind … "

The policy piece's biggest flaw, however, is that it misunderstands the very American morality that it purports to protect. Bennett isn't saving Americans from pornography, but demanding that they abandon their moral code in favor of her own. After all, according to a Witherspoon Institute book cited by Bennett herself, "roughly 50-60% of both genders find pornography use 'acceptable.'"

As such, Bennett's real concern isn't that internet pornography is destroying America, but that the vast majority of internet pornography is no longer patently offensive to most Americans, making the second prong of the Miller test inapplicable. She wants to save us from ourselves, whether we like it or not. Why internet pornography in particular? Because Bennett believes that unlike DVDs and magazines, internet pornography is impossible to police. It's just too popular.

We can only hope that Bennett will one day join the rest of us in our moral turpitude, or at least leave us alone to wank in peace. After all, if Bennett's law career takes off, she might eventually be able to reinstate movie day at the Supreme Court. 

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Nina Ippolito

Nina Ippolito is a freelance writer and editor. Now that she's finally learned to drive, she's trying to master the other skills she missed out on by growing up in New York City: swimming, shooting, and horseback riding. Just not at the same time. Yet.

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