October 24, 2018

1,000 Students at Notre Dame Request University President Install Filters to Block Pornography, Cite Human Rights Issue

80 male students penned an op-ed yesterday, now going viral, requesting that the university filter its wifi and submitted a petition to the president for over 1,000 signatures from current and recently graduated students and faculty.

In “The Men of Notre Dame Request a Porn Filter,” the students make a powerful case for why the university should take this step.

“This filter would send the unequivocal message that pornography is an affront to human rights and catastrophic to individuals and relationships. We are calling for this action in order to stand up for the dignity of all people, especially women.

As a university that champions social justice, human rights, equality and dignity, Notre Dame ought to block pornography using the technology available to us. Doing so represents both an attempt to eradicate pornography from the campus culture and, more broadly, a strong stance against sexual assault, sex trafficking and other human rights violations. We have come to expect our school to be a driving force for cultural change in our nation, and pornography is a cultural issue that needs changing.”

In solidarity with their peers, today, a group of female students wrote a response, “Women of ND Response to Men’s Request for Filter,”  joining in on the call for the President to provide filters.

Every human person is worthy of the utmost dignity and respect. Pornography use at Notre Dame threatens this respect by preventing men and women from encountering the full personhood of one another in friendships and relationships. How? Pornography propagates a mindset that people, especially women, are mere sex objects.

Men often say they are capable of separating “real life” from pornography, and that it has no effect on how they see and treat “real women.” However, the reality is that the brain is flexible and plastic, and pornography trains men’s minds to look at women as tools — bodies to surfeit sexual desire and then be discarded. Pornography sucks the energy and will out of men to see and respect women comprehensively: mind, heart, body and soul. What we do affects how we think, how we feel and how we view others. It is immature to pretend otherwise.

Both articles cite reams of social science and neuroscience research laying out the public health harms of pornography.

Dawn Hawkins, Vice President of NCOSE, was at Notre Dame tonight speaking to students as part of their annual awareness campaign to educate on the harms of pornography (White Ribbon Against Pornography Week) and caught some of these student leaders for a Facebook Live discussion of what they are trying to do.

Show your support for these students by encouraging them on social media! Share the FB Live or send out a couple of tweets.

.@notredame hardcore porn doesn't need to be accessed on university wifi. Please listen to the 1,000+ students and faculty asking you to filter it. Click To Tweet From the women of @NotreDame: Every human person is worthy of the utmost dignity and respect. Pornography propagates a mindset that people, especially women, are mere sex objects. #Filter #WiFi Click To Tweet

National Center on Sexual Exploitation

Founded in 1962, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national organization exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation such as child sexual abuse, prostitution, sex trafficking and the public health crisis of pornography.

Further Reading