February 24, 2016

Cosmo Calls a Torture Porn Site “Ethical”…

This last December, Cosmopolitan published an article about how to know if the porn are watching is “ethical.” This isn’t the first time that Cosmo has promoted pornography, but its attempt to label porn as “ethical” reaches a new level of social irresponsibility.

Let’s get one thing straight: no industry based on an individual being sexually exploited, objectified, and often assaulted, for another individual’s pleasure can be rightly considered “ethical.”

The recent Cosmo article, “9 Ways to Know You’re Watching Ethical Porn” offers noxious advice such as: “Be aware of the performer’s age if possible,” and “Don’t make snap judgments about the content,” and even “BDSM porn can be the most ethical porn out there.”

Cosmo links to various pornography sites at the bottom of the article, and the magazine praises a popular torture sex (BDSM) company, Kink. Cosmo claims Kink is extremely ethical because “Kink.com has performers fill out an extensive questionnaire about everything they are willing and not willing to do.”

What Cosmo fails to mention is the fact that Kink has faced four lawsuits this past year claiming unsafe working conditions. Three of the lawsuits claimed that they contracted HIV through the company’s negligence on set, and another lawsuit claimed that the company didn’t protect an actor from being assaulted.

Further, Lily LaBeau, a porn performer has claimed that the now infamous James Deen assaulted her while actually on set at Kink.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, LaBeau discussed that one night in 2012 she began filming with Deen for Kink and:

…he would have known from working with her previously that she doesn’t work with cattle prods. But she recalled he brandished a cattle prod at her, and she panicked. “I started screaming, ‘It’s on my no list,’” LaBeau said…Some time after he put the cattle prod down, LaBeau said Deen “grabs my no list, and he goes down from the first thing, and he starts doing everything I didn’t mark ‘no’ on, one by one,” she continued…

When reached by email, a publicist for Kink noted the company was still collecting information, but wrote, “… According to the accounts, [Deen] did review LeBeau’s no list, then decided to use it against her, going as far as he could without actually violating a ‘no.’

Yes, you read that right. Kink, the supposedly “ethical” porn company, is quite comfortable with the grey area of consent.

Cosmo lists “Try to find the performer consent policy” as one way to ensure you are watching “ethical” porn. But what use is a policy when, in reality, performers can be coerced or pressured by a multitude of factors on set?

Cosmopolitan is blatantly encouraging pornography use, and it is attempting to normalize pornography without any attempt to verify whether the material or production process is harmful or not.

One thing is for sure, both pornography and Cosmopolitan magazine are far from “ethical.”

Haley McNamara (Halverson)

Vice President and Director of the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation

Haley McNamara (formerly Halverson) is the Director of the International Centre on Sexual Exploitation in the UK, and a Vice President at the U.S. based National Center on Sexual Exploitation. She leads international efforts and joint campaigns to improve policies and education among global governing bodies, citizenry, and corporations regarding the full web of sexual exploitation issues. Her advocacy work has contributed to policy improvements in social media, online advertising, retail, and hotel industries. She has advocated at the United Nations, led international coalition campaigns, presented to Danish, Croatian, Colombian and Rwandan government officials, and more

She is a former member of the Washington DC Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. This Committee advises DC Mayor Muriel Bowser on the multi-faceted continuum of the District of Columbia’s child welfare services, including prevention, early intervention, treatment, and sources of permanency.

Haley regularly speaks and writes on topics including child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, prostitution, sexual objectification, the exploitation of males, and more. She has presented before officials at the United Nations, as well as at several national symposia before influencers from the Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Croatian government officials. She has provided training to Arlington County Child & Family Services on the social media grooming, recruitment, and advertising for sex trafficking. She has a Master of Arts in Government from Johns Hopkins University where she received honors for her thesis regarding the online commercial sexual exploitation marketplace.

Previously, Haley served for two years as Director of Communications for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation where she oversaw strategic messaging development, press outreach, email marketing, and social media marketing.

Prior to working at NCOSE, Haley wrote for a cultural media outlet. Haley graduated from Hillsdale College (summa cum laude) with a double major, and conducted a senior thesis on the abolitionist argument regarding prostitution. During her studies, she studied abroad at Oxford University and established a background in policy research through several internships in the DC area.

Haley has appeared on, or been quoted in, several outlets including the New York Times, NBC’s The Today Show, BBC News, New York Post, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Fox News, San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Yahoo News, Voice of America, Dr. Drew Midday Live, The DeMaio Report, the New York Daily News, the Washington Examiner, USA Radio Network, the Washington Times, CBC News, The Rod Arquette Show, The Detroit News, Lifezette, The Christian Post, Lifeline with Neil Boron, EWTN News Nightly, KCBS San Francisco Radio, LifeSiteNews, The Drew Mariano Show on Relevant Radio, News Talk KGVO, and American Family News.

She has written op-eds for the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, FoxNews.com, Washington Examiner, Townhall.com, Darling Magazine, the Daytona-Beach News Journal, and has been published in the Journal of Internet Law and the journal Dignity: A Journal on Sexual Exploitation and ViolenceShe has also contributed to a digital middle school curriculum regarding the links between sex trafficking and pornography as well as the public health impacts of sex trafficking.

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