Robert W. Peters, co-author of “The Slave and the Porn Star: Sexual Trafficking and Pornography”, states, “The relationship between, pornography, sex trafficking, and prostitution is real and cannot exist without one or the other”.
On a more personal level, pornography degrades, dehumanizes, and corrupts our views of women. Pornography also fosters the attitude that women can be disrespected primarily as a sexual object used for pleasure, i.e. women are just a commodity in the male-controlled business world.
Catherine Mackinon, a professor at Harvard Law School states, “Consuming pornography is the delusional experience of easily-bought sexual intimacy, thus helping to create an addictive hunger to continue to purchase, objectify, and possibly act out in life what is seen as real in pornographic imagery.
In a very literal way, pornography is a form of destructive socialization that replaces lust for love and promotes the lie that frequent and impersonal sexual activity can improve an individual’s self-esteem, primarily in men.
And along with its very profitable cousins - prostitution and human trafficking, pornography treats men as desperate characters to be economically exploited for their loneliness and their social shortcomings. Men, in fact, are as much victims of the “sex for profit” businesses as women.
Free Speech / Choice and Free Markets - regardless of the repercussions?
Should pornography be illegal? When it comes to criminals involved in child pornography and human trafficking, the answer is certainly “yes” – along with very long prison terms for these worst of all humanoids. However, if you believe “normal” adults should have free speech and choice, regardless of the harmful emotional effects it has on their lives (not unlike cigarettes, most drugs and some guns), then the answer is a less clear.
Yet the moral ground is often very confusing. For example, the libertarian ideology of the free markets – as well as our institutionalized big lobby money legitimacy in the current American capitalist climate - gets in the way of our moral compass and the mental health realities of what is good and bad for our society.
In fact, in the current mentality of “business freedom is always good” mentality, we now see very big and legitimate global businesses make billions of dollars a year off of pornography - as well as tobacco, war like civilian weapons, and alcohol.
Ironically, some of these multinational businesses fork out millions of dollars in political donations to organizations and politicians that too often talk about “family values” as being a big focus of their electability.
Boycotting Corporate Pornography: Leisure means "Lust"
Marriott International (symbol MAR)
Hilton Worldwide (symbol HLT)
The so-called hospitality businesses are all major hotel chains that offer in-room X-rated movies delivered to the hotel by one of two major independent distribution companies:
LodgeNet Interactive (symbol LNET) is the nation's biggest pornography distributor to the US hospitality industry.
Analysts say these in-room sex movies generate more money for the hotel chains than revenue from the hotels' mini-bars. "The 5 percent or 10 percent of revenue that the hotel chain gets, that's pure profit to them because they have no added technology cost," says Dennis McAlpine, an entertainment industry analyst. "They didn't put in the wiring system, they didn't supply the programming."
"Here's Johnny" Holmes
Cable and satellite companies channel pornography into millions of homes and take approximately 80 percent of the pay-per-view dollar that gets spent by the consumer, according to Bill Asher, president of Vivid Entertainment, which produces and distributes pornographic movies.
Privately owned pornography Vivid Entertainment provides audio content to satellite radio company Sirius Radio (symbol SIRI).
Originally, AT&T's (symbol T) cable division, AT&T Broadband, distributed to subscribers an explicit porn channel called The Hot Network. But AT&T sold its cable company and its network connection to pornography to Comcast (symbol CMCSA, which recently made a bid for the assets of Time Warner Cable, now owned by Charter Communications which also sells tons of pornography through their adult movie offerings.
Spectrum is the name of the two cable businesses under the Charter Communications corporate name (symbol CHTR).
If the Comcast – Time Warner Cable buyout passes regulatory approval, Comcast will certainly be one of the biggest Wall Street listed purveyors of smut in the world.
A hotel chain that said “No to Pornography’'
Omni Hotels (privately held) was the first hotel chain to announce that it would no longer offer adult pay-per-view movies in its rooms. The company's statement noted that it made the decision "in response to what it perceives as a growing need for corporate America to support pro-family issues." Based near Dallas, Texas, Omni has hotels and resorts throughout North America.
In a past New York Times article, Omni's president, Jim Caldwell, said that his company's decision to remove the sex-videos would cost it an estimated $1.8 million per year. The company stated that "[t]he anticipated loss in revenue demonstrates the company's commitment to the issue. Omni Hotels also removed adult magazines from the gift shops at its owned and managed gift shops.
And more recently, the primarily Mormon-run Marriott hotel chain has decided to slowly phase out its in-room pornography offerings. We have not confirmed that claim since this article was written.
Evidently, when it comes to pornography, free market capitalism and “family values” morality are on an inevitable values collision course. But then again, where are the right wing Christians when it comes to pornography addiction profiteering?
And what about the "family values" Republican Party when it comes to hospitality industry lobby money and the Wall Street pornographers? Where is their indignation then?
Still, it’s always good when hypocrisy is exposed – and honesty reigns.
Partial list of publicly-traded Wall Street pornography producers and distributers:
Marriott International - symbol MAR (international hotel chain)
Hilton Worldwide - symbol HLT (international hotel change)
LodgeNet Interactive - symbol LNET (runs pay per view movie operations at hotel chains)
AT&T (owner of Direct TV) - symbol T (international media conglomerate)
Comcast - symbol CMCSA (national entertainment conglomerate)
Charter Communications - symbol CHTR (national cable conglomerate)
Sirius Satellite Radio - symbol SIRI (North American satellite radio business)
Rick's Cabaret - symbol RICK (nationwide strip club operator)