Pornography and the fear of men

24Aug06

Welcome to new “Agent”WLNow, who has written this moving piece:

As I sit in the library now, I’m watching a group of men huddle around a computer, clearly looking at pornographic pics. Remarks alternate between “she’s so young!” and “she’s an ugly bitch—could be my grandmother.” I have also heard them say “look at that fucking bitch,” and rate how much they could ejaculate with each girl. Some wouldn’t do much for them, but some would make them go “straight up” (illustrated with hands).

Now they left. The group plans to come back with another library card to get more computer time, as well as “pick up some girls.” (Apparently, they’re into the booky type). My mom is a librarian, and ever since my early childhood days I have considered the library a place of relaxation and freedom—but the Internet changed all that. Or rather, the people viewing the Internet did.

* * *

After I typed this message, I went back over to the computers, only to find the guy next to me looking at (you’ll never guess). Porn. Hard-core porn. Anal shots and then videos: a woman sucking a dildo and another woman tied up in a harness being penetrated by a penis while she screamed. And the guy next to me knew I was looking, knew I could see, but didn’t care. He would minimize the screen when a man or child walked by, but not when I, an adult female, could clearly see what he was getting off to.

What wonderful “speech” he was hearing.

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6 Responses to “Pornography and the fear of men”

  1. WLNow:
    Such a beautifully written piece, I certainly visualised myself there – and still feel icky in my stomach.

    Libraries are sacrosanct, and certainly should NOT be used in this way. I would suggest writing to the Head Librarian and voicing your concerns (include your narrative!). Apart from the misogynist angle, those jerks are tying up the PCs for people doing legitimate research. I would also suggest that the library get Internet control software installed on their machines, to prevent such misuse.

  2. I agree with SC this should not be allowed in libraries. This must have been a horrible experience for you. Of course Sparkle*big trap would have caused a scene, but I understand that not everyone is in the same mindset as me. In my library (when my pc has been out of action), I cannot even access some feminist sites! Right now I am so angry I can’t think of anything else to say but *&%$£$£&*

  3. I have also experienced this kind of abuse in the Library of the Univerity where I studied, this was in 1992!!!
    I reported it to the librarian as well as complained and asked for the Uni policy on Porn via their IT system. I was not received warmly by the powers that be for making this request. There were several young men around the computer viewing Porn and despite my complaints they were allowed to carry on as it was ‘their booked time’.
    So, some 14yrs later such abuses are still happening. I agree with SC & sparkle, that letters of complaint should be sent to the Library and also ask for their policy on IT usage by the public.

  4. Thanks for the responses. The whole thing is complicated by my mom being a public librarian. *sigh* I really wish I HAD said something, but beating myself up will not accomplish anything. I have made a promise to myself to say something next time this happens–because sadly, it will.

    I have also experienced this kind of abuse at my school library. I looked into their technical policy, and it said no harassment of any kind was allowed by computer-viewers, even to passerbyers. Well, I talked to the head librarian, and she said I had to point out each pornography-viewer, and then she would ask him to move to the back of the library or leave! I haven’t done this since; there are so many of them it seems pointless. Plus, it puts all the efforts on me, as one lawyer I contacted about this pointed out.

    I’m going to check into the policies’ of the public library, however. And writing letters not only to the library heads, but also to newspapers is good. (I know the librarians take these things seriously from what my mother has said).

  5. A brilliant, realistic observant piece of writing which sums up the disgusting attitudes we all have to tolerate under the patriarchal umbrella of ‘laddish behaviour’.

  6. Definetley complain to the library and writing to local newspapers is also a good idea.

    Libraries are free, public spaces and should be welcoming not to mention safe for all. Having pervy, retarded fuckwits looking at porn in the vicinity of others who will find this offensive and harmful should be stopped.


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