NoPorn Northampton talks back
Yikes. Adam Cohen checks into comments at this post and leaves a whole lotta links to his site. I was going to just answer in comments but I really love the irony that his front page features this picture of my old law firm. I spent almost two decades of my life in that building and since I wanted to steal it for the blog, it seemed only fair to respond in a whole post.
So thanks for dropping by Adam with your answer to my question about your funding. For those who been following along, his answer is, "We paid it, Libby, with our personal funds, the same funds with which we bought our home and buy our groceries." I'm impressed it only took two whole days to come up with that voluminous response. And how nice to have an extra $21,000 to spend on enforcing your morals on the rest of the community and have all this free time to spend on your cause. Not everybody is that lucky.
As far as your "evidence" in the many links you left, you would make a better case if I didn't have to click through two or three screens of your blog, to maybe get to a source link. Near as I can tell your arguments are based on outdated studies from other towns, Gloria Steinem's opinion and Linda Lovelace's book in which she repudiates her willing participation in a movie that she got paid pratically nothing for, and eventually grossed millions. No chance she did that to cash in on the money when she didn't get a cut of the profits.
In addition you offer up blurbs from S&M videos to "prove" that porn promotes violence. It's called role playing Adam and there are many thousands of Americans who enter into such conduct consenually. I know this because I've spoken to dozens of them in conjunction with another project. I've also met workers in many different aspects of the sex industry who enjoyed their work. They were all normal, decent people, but most of them didn't have an extra 20 grand to fritter away on a personal campaign to prove it. How many workers have you talked to Adam, before condemning them?
I might also note that you failed to account for the S&M shop that operated on Pleasant St for many years that had no adverse effect on the neighborhood. I know, because I lived in that neighborhood. It eventually went out of business for lack of trade. And therein lies the real irony.
In trying to force the business off the site, you have merely increased their visibility and their likelihood of success. It's a stupid place to put a porn shop. No one local would go there and take a chance on their car being seen by the neighbors. Negotiating Noho traffic to get there wouldn't be worth it to out of towners, when there's a huge store just off the highway in Enfield. If they had been simply allowed to open without any fanfare, I'd bet they would have been out of business in six months.
Nonetheless, misguided as I think it is, I fully support your right to protest the store. But I also claim my right to object to your hysterical fear mongering, based on the most marginal of "evidence," and your judgemental moralizing.