Mail order porn easy to get

November 29, 2016

I did many profile pieces of early feminists and others connected to the rural communities of the Canadian Prairies for Western People, the insert magazine for The Western Producer. I also did the occasional article for the newspaper itself.

I believe everyone who lives or has lived on the Canadian Prairies reads or read The Western Producer. I know this because I got word from many people, often via my mother, who read my pieces in the farmers’ newspaper.

The following article is definitely dated not because pornography has gone away but because I assume very limited numbers who use this material are still ordering it for home delivery.

I assume just clicked on the computer and a few other clicks get this stuff right up on the screen for viewing.

It is such a shame that the pleasure of sexual activity but consenting adults is so often defiled by pornography. In the 1980s, when I was working for the Manitoba Action Committee on the Status of Women, we learned that some women end up being literally killed so men and some women can gawk at these women’s degradation.

Here is the unhappy story:

The Western Producer

Thursday, April 19, 1984

Mail order porn easy to get

by Tanya Lester

Winnipeg (Special) — Triple X-rated pornographic videotapes can be obtained through the mail by Manitoba residents, the federal government’s special committee on pornography and prostitution was told here.

“Uniformity of the law is important as pornographic materials do no stop at provincial or municipal boundaries,” Lois Meabel of the Manitoba Women’s Institute told the committee. The videotapes can be ordered by mail from British Columbia, she said.

Neabal explained that pornographic films and videotapes are easily available in most Manitoba towns where an “amazing” number of homes are equipped with video cassette recorders. Pornographic magazines can be obtained “anywhere that sells magazines” in rural area, she added.

“We have all heard of Tylenol in the United States,” Neabel said. “It was taken off the shelf after a few deaths. The fact that child murderer Clifford Olsen was found with a suitcase full of ‘kiddie porn’ — including photographs of his victims — should be enough to give us a warning on pornography, for removal from the shelves.

A link

Neabel lined pornography with spouse battering, sexual abuse, child molesting, rape and incest.

“They all involve the abuse of power, and lack of power, ” she said.

The Brandon woman also refuted the freedom of expression argument often used to defend pornography.

“One’s rights and freedoms are guaranteed until these rights start to infringe on the rights of others,’ she said.

“What sort of behavior is being defended as freedom of expression if women in pornographic materials are bound, gagged, tortured and raped?”

The MWI and several other groups, including the Manitoba Action Committee on the Status of Women (MACSW), agree on a definition of pornography and its distinction from erotica.

“For our purposes, we have defined pornography as verbal or pictorial material which represents or describes sexual behavior to be degrading or abusive to one or more of the praticipants in such a way as to endorse the degradation,” MACSW’s Penni Mitchell told the committee. She was quoting the definition used by Helen Longino, in Take Back the Night.

“Erotica, on the other hand, represents images in which the participants are not degraded or abused and are presented as participating equally and freely,” Mitchell said.

Voting Behavior

Before MACSW presented its rcommendations to the committee, Mitchell warned that women will vote, in the upcoming federal election, according to which politicians show a sincere desire to take definite steps against the pornography industry.

“We have been prostituted sexually, economically and socially by the pornography industry for too long already and we want to make it clear that we will refuse to support a political party which considers only our votes and not our safety, our dignity, our equality and our liberation to be a valuable commodity,” she said.

Favor sex education
In an interview after her presentation on behalf of the MWI, Neabel said her group is in favor of sex education being taught in the schools as part of a life style or skills program. And the MWI is not about to launch a campaign against books on the school curriculums, she said.

Three resolutions concerning pornography will be before the MWI annual convention to be held in Winnipeg in early May.

“I would like people to educate themselves about pornography and decide what they see to be right and wrong,” Neabel said.

She said this can be done if people “open their eyes” to what is going on around them on television, in movie theatres, or newsstands, and by checking videotapes available in their own communities. They can also borrow written information against pornography, she said, from MACSW, the Manitoba Advisory Council on the Status of Women , and the YWCA. They can discuss the issue with friends, too.

After people are educated on the issue, Neabel said, they should let their views be known to provincial and federal governments. As well, to her knowledge, there are no municipal bylaws in Manitoba against pornography.

–END–

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