Pornography Does Not Have to Be Demeaning
After reading Therese Z. Henderson's letter ["LSC Porncom Ignores Community Spirit," Dec. 3], I feel the need to make both sides of the issue heard.
The most obvious reply is that if you don't like it, you don't have to go to it, whatever your reasons are. After all the years I have heard the debate, I am still unclear as to just how pornography demeans and degrades women. The idea of degradation seems to be one tossed around by those who do not like pornography no matter what the reason for their distaste. It seems to be taken for granted that pornography degrades women. However, I have both watched and enjoyed porn myself and I have not felt what I would consider to be "degraded."
As for the issue of the Lecture Series Committee forming a voluntary limited time ban, it was just that: voluntary and time limited. It was created (to my knowledge) to fit the situation at a particular time with the understanding that future populations at MIT might have different opinions from those at the time of the ban. Now that the self-imposed time is up, the policy is again being reconsidered. Your objection has been noted, I am sure, by readers of The Tech and members of LSC alike. I am under the impression that LSC's Porncom is going to consider the different opinions of MIT students and staff. If there are enough dissenting opinions, obviously the venture will not be lucrative enough for LSC, and it will end.
I agree with you that making MIT a warm fuzzy place where everyone is respected and appreciated is a great goal, but it is a difficult reality to achieve. There are many situations at MIT that detract from the warm-fuzziness.
The issue of whether or not pornography is shown at MIT would have comparably little affect on this. As with many things, it will make some people happy, it will make some people angry or upset, and most people will hardly notice the change.
Christa R. Ansbergs '98