Porn In The Library

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Camila Martinez
Writer

Photo by Amanda Excell

Some like it in the bed. Some like it in the bathroom. And some like it in the library.

It’s no secret that porn is the second largest entertainment industry in the world, and thanks to the folks in the San Fernando Valley, it has quickly reached many corners of American society–libraries included. So if you catch a lad having a wank in the library, try not to be surprised.

The deal with access to porn via library computers has increasingly been called into question. Yes, we all know about porn and the endless wonders of the Internet, but whether it should be accessible in libraries is another matter.

Here’s my take: as a young woman beginning her college career, I could care less about adult entertainment–it’s vile, insensitive and full of grimy producers who want to make some bank. But, when it comes to viewing porn via Internet access in libraries, it’s not acceptable.

I am passionate about First Amendment rights, and generally speaking, porn still deserves to be cataloged and each individual has the right to access its content. Remember the protesters from Westboro Baptist Church, who in November 2009 disrupted the funeral of a fallen soldier with signs that said “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” and “God Hates Fags”? However offensive and disruptive to the community these assholes were, they still had their First Amendment right to protest and say whatever they wanted. Access to porn, and many other things on the Internet, is like this. Adult entertainment is frowned upon in our society– and accessing it in libraries is furthermore a social taboo.

Porn in the library is a whole other animal. This is where people come to learn, explore, and culture themselves in the many books, magazines and computers the library has to offer. You can almost think of it as the community’s open house. Anyone can go in or out. This is not an elite institution (although it should indeed be treated with just as much respect); it’s for everyone. And everyone includes children, teenagers, and even elders. So why would someone want to come here and have a “go at things?”

The reasons still remain yet another enigma that maybe some anthropologist or ballistic politician would like to take on. As for the library, employees and management have already filtered the Internet to avoid websites that have illicit behavior. Most libraries don’t seem to take the issue incredibly serious, but since they do get federal funding, they are required to install filters for the Internet. Some libraries can even temporarily suspend the filter–where there’s a will, there’s a way.

The homeless man who was accused of allegedly fondling himself while watching porn at Laguna Beach Library obviously had no shame, but his lack of consideration and First Amendment rights do not get to trample over everyone else’s. Libraries aren’t made to give out freebies to horn-dogs. Some might call it desperate, others may call it audacious. Call it what you want.

University libraries are supposed to be bastions of free, unadulterated information. You come to college to explore independently, make your own decisions and venture into uncharted waters. The Davidson Library offers that, as does every other library on any other college campus. And naturally, I respect that. I love being in the library, be it for midterm cramming, book-hunting or just some quiet time. So if someone with nothing better to do decides to pull up “Girls Gone Wild” or “Playboy,” not only is it a sign of utter disrespect to the library and its patrons, but also a lack of consideration and common sense. Who has the balls to look up porn in a library? The library always filters their Internet, and they sure as hell can see what you’re doing.

It’s tragic, really. What is it in porn that people can find in real life today? What are they searching for? Why is something that desensitizes and objectifies intimate relations so sought after?

I don’t believe there is any value to watching porn. If you want to use the library and research the effects of porn on society, be my guest. But don’t tempt yourself.

7 COMMENTS

  1. You’re a female so of course porn has no value to you. You shouldn’t understand it. That’s like being a female cow in a pasture and trying to understand why the bull is mounting everything he sees. If you don’t have a penis it makes no sense.

  2. In general I agree with you,but the examples you gave are really not good. first I am not from USA but I don’t think that freedom of speech includes offending anyone. I don’t think :”God hates fags” is a point of view,it’s expression of hate. Thinking about purpose of freedom of speech – it is designed for anyone to be able to say what they think. I mean – THINK, not to use it to hurt people.
    And about homeless masturbating in the library while watching porn – maybe for him it was the only way to perform some sexual pleasure.
    You would allow to profane somebody’s funeral but not homless watching porn in library – it’s quite perversive don’t you think?

  3. Dave Stanley – well I still can make a sense without a penis, men and women are not different species just genders, and it’s really sad that boys are socialised to use women in sex not making love. And your comment is offending. I would erase it. Mainstream pornography is a disaster.

  4. I work in a public library near you, and FYI, the internet computers are NOT filtered, except in the kids’ area.

    On occasion a patron will view offensive material on the screen. If it were child pornography, which is illegal, we would call the cops and let them deal with it. But in fact it is always just porn, some more extreme than others. What we do is go over to the person, speak in a voice audible to others in the area, “remind” the patron that they are in a public library, that the material they are viewing is not really appropriate for a public place where children and women etc. are easily exposed to the material. The rare patron who continues will then be reminded again, and a library staff will stand there, perhaps with a second staff member, and sort of make an issue (without telling them it is not allowed) and eventually make it uncomfortable enough that the patron will cease and desist, and leave.

  5. I’m a guy, and even I see you as a pig. You’re giving our gender a bad name, thus furthering male stereotypes.

  6. I’m a girl and I don’t think porn is a terrible thing. Some people really gotta masturbate. HOWEVER I don’t think its right to jack off in a public setting. That’s pretty weird. The keyboards are already covered in gross stuff from random people, I’d rather not add semen to the list.

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