Shocking Groupon Porn Tour is New Phase in War on Women

Groupon has entered new territory with its deals-of-the-day: Violent pornography. Groupon, a website that typically features discounts for restaurants, clothing stores, and health services is now offering a discounted tour of the headquarters of Kink.com, the world’s largest producer of fetish pornography. The deal features a tour of Kink.com’s film sets, prop rooms and, if you're lucky, the chance to catch a live filming in progress. The films that Kink.com produces include women being bound, whipped, objectified, and humiliated. In its description of their videos, the site claims that women are “suspended and tied in rope bondage … tormented beyond all reason.”

It’s unclear why Groupon didn’t learn a lesson from the outcry against Craigslist in 2010 over their adult services section, which turned out to be a vehicle for sex trafficking. It is reprehensible that a website like Groupon would offer a deal that supports sexual violence against women.

In defense against outcries from anti-pornography groups, like the War on Illegal Pornography, who have called for a boycott, Groupon issued an email response saying, “we strive to offer interesting and exciting deals that will appeal to our customer base … We thoroughly vet the businesses we feature, which is why we take these concerns seriously. Fortunately, this business has proven to be a responsible member of their community and the tour offered in this deal is historical and informational in nature.”

It’s difficult to see how a company that perpetuates sexual violence, and is headquartered within walking distance of half a dozen elementary schools can be considered, “a responsible member of their community.”

Kink.com explains their company’s mission as a celebration of BDSM (bondage & discipline, dominance & submission) portraying it as a, “positive, authentic expression of human sexuality.” But, the company fails to realize the disastrous consequences of violent pornography, a form of media that in no way produces positive results for society.

The most haunting example of this is the case of serial killer Ted Bundy, who confessed to 30 homicides shortly before he was executed. In his last interview before his execution in 1989, he described what he perceived to be his own progression from viewing and becoming addicted to pornography that depicted sexual violence to raping and killing innocent women. He described a, “jumping off point where you begin to think that maybe actually doing it will give you that which is just beyond reading about it and looking at it.”

He then went on to draw a link between violent pornography and violent crime, saying, “I’m no social scientist … but I’ve lived in prison for a long time now, and I’ve met a lot of men who were motivated to commit violence. Without exception, every one of them was deeply involved in pornography — deeply consumed by the addiction.”

Whether or not violent pornography does, in fact, lead to violent crimes, Groupon should not be perpetuating the spread of sexual violence against women, or violent pornography at all. The company’s conception of what is morally acceptable needs to change if it wants to grow, or even maintain, its consumer base. 

To see the progress on the boycott being promoted by WOIP and sign a pledge, click here.

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