The ‘Men Of Notre Dame’ Demand A Porn Filter That Won’t Work To Keep Them From Watching Porn

A brief review of the many, many stories we’ve posted on porn filters should leave you with two undeniable conclusions: porn filters are generally terrible at actually keeping dedicated pornography viewers from watching porn and porn filters are generally fantastic at turning the attempt to block porn into an orgy of collateral damage, typically to do with educational sites. This hasn’t stopped many organizations and governments from trying to save all the children and the dignity of all the women by putting these filters in place, of course, but it needs to be repeatedly noted that these attempts are routinely futile.

Rare, however, is the group that demands the porn filter to stop themselves from seeing sex acts. Rarer still is the group that does so in as insulting and sanctimonious a way possible. To see that kind of rare gemstone of silly, you apparently have to travel to Notre Dame, where “the men of Notre Dame” have demanded a porn filter from the school.

Read the whole post, if you can stomach it, but the writer kicks the whole thing off with back to back paragraphs that make it clear it’s themselves they want to handcuff here.

As the men of Notre Dame, we request that the University implement a filter to make pornography inaccessible on the Notre Dame Wi-Fi networks. This filter would send the unequivocal message that pornography is an affront to human rights and catastrophic to individuals and relationships. We are calling for this action in order to stand up for the dignity of all people, especially women.

Pornography does not come up often in casual conversation, but its effects are everywhere — even on the campus we call home. A survey conducted in 2013 showed that 63 percent of male Notre Dame students have viewed pornography on the university Wi-Fi network. National studies have demonstrated 64 percent of college men and 18 percent of college women spend time viewing online porn each week. In a given month, 86 percent of men interact with pornography.

A couple items of note here. In back to back paragraphs, “the men of Notre Dame” request the filter, and then cite statistics that indicate nearly two-thirds of “the men of Notre Dame” view pornography on the school’s wireless network. If these men, these glorious, upstanding, do-right men, want so badly to stop porn from being viewed on school property, it seems they need only to, you know, fucking stop viewing it. Otherwise, it seems clear that this isn’t “the men of Notre Dame” requesting a porn filter, but some small subset of those men attempting to force their desires on other people. There’s a word for that, I think.

Secondly, this demand to censor the network comes also with the proclamation that they are not just making it on behalf of the “men of Notre Dame” but the “women of Notre Dame.” It’s quite a bold statement to declare that the women of the student body are apparently so enfeebled that they need these dudes to speak for them, but, as with the call for censorship itself, what’s a little condescending paternalism among academic peers?

From there, the post cites all kinds of half-baked statistics that might be true but probably aren’t, along with the kinds of scare tactics typically reserved for congressional hearings on the topic of pornography. But it’s when “the men of Notre Dame” attempt to law-splain the validity of their request that apparently they turned lazy.

As the Supreme Court stated in Paris Adult Theatre v. Slayton, “A sensitive, key relationship of human existence, central to family life, community welfare and the development of human personality, can be debased and distorted by crass commercial exploitation of sex.”

That is in fact true. That’s what the Supreme Court stated in its 1973 ruling on a court case that allowed lower courts to indeed prohibit pornography from being displayed in a public movie theater, even if that theater was restricted to only consenting adults. Also in that narrow 5-4 ruling was the court drawing a distinct line from a previous case, Stanley v. Georgia, which had to do with restricting home viewing of pornography. In that case, SCOTUS struck down a conviction of a man with porn in his home on First Amendment grounds. It seems clear that Stanley is much more analogous than Paris in this case, given that we’re talking about a school campus on which students make their home while classes are in session.

So, to summarize: a group purporting to speak for all of the men of Notre Dame, but which clearly doesn’t speak for even a majority of them, requests a porn filter that won’t work but will cause collateral damage, while citing a court case that doesn’t really help their argument and insisting that they speak for women.

Sheesh, maybe the ‘men of Notre Dame’ should just stick to watching porn….

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