Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Murphy the conservative

On Meghan Murphy's post about banning porn there is a rather interesting comment:

Lillian says:  (

Under the Harper Conservative government in Canada, there was a similar argument advanced in regard to online surveillance, by saying that if you were against this proposed legislation, you were advocating child pornography. This is where there is common ground between the far right conservatives and those who are abolishonist anti-porn advocates. One can be fervently anti-porn, and not be an abolishonist. The analogy of murder laws has been used here, but there have been murder laws for millennia and they have almost always had wide support. There is not clear and wide support for the criminalization of most forms of porn. And some people think there is a big difference between what they deem as more violent and abusive porn, and what they believe are less harmful kinds of porn. In my view, while I might be able to discern what others see as a difference, I think that the vast majority of all porn is a type of violence and subjugation of women in general. Under different definitions, there have been rape laws for millennia too. How effective have these laws been as an effective deterant on rape and murder? Indeed, the death penalty has not been shown to be a deterant to murder. But porn is not murder, nor is it the same thing as rape, even while it shares many of its violent characteristics. Criminalization (banning) is not an effective tool in regard to eliminating porn and its harmful effects on women or men.

Meghan Murphy Says:

OH REALLY?? REALLY? The Harper government wanted to ban sexist, violent pornography in order to advance gender equality??? Bullshit. The abolitionist movement applies to prostitution, for the record. There is widespread support for the ban in Iceland. Porn is not murder, but it is a human rights issue. The comparison was not to show that porn is the same as murder and you’re breaking comment policy rules (check the ‘say things that are true’ rule) so I’m giving you a warning. And yes, laws against murder and rape are a deterrent. Not the death penalty, no one is arguing for the death penalty (But, surprise! Derail!). Porn participates in, perpetuates, sexualizes, creates, and advocates for a rape culture.

So much to parse here.

Murphy's response:
  1. Does not deny that Harper's policy agrees with her views, but implies he has other nefarious goals (Maybe he wants to collect all the porn they find?) or somehow isn't a true believer in the cause despite doing exactly what she wants.
  2. Inserts some pedantic correction about what "abolitionist" applies to.
  3. Denies comparing porn to murder, rape, and slavery when the entire point of Murphy's article was that porn can be dealt with in the same way and we'd soon see porn with just as much derision.
  4. Accuses the commenter of derailing after writing an article touching on nearly every social ill there is.
  5. Restates tired "rape culture" line that is perfectly unverifiable and nonsensical.

Murphy later replies again to Lillian:

Meghan Murphy Says: (

You’re not being vilified, Lillian. You keep repeating the same thing over and over again and it’s annoying. You also exaggerate, by saying you are being harassed by other commenters when you clearly are not. You also put a lot of effort into derailing the last thread, so excuse my skepticism/sarcasm re: your intentions.

Is there a little bit of hypocrisy here?

Murphy would have to work hard to be any less persuasive.

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