Cultural Comment: The Legacy of a Pornographer

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Al Goldstein, the pioneer publisher of hardcore pornographic magazine, Screw, died on December 19, 2013 in Brooklyn, NY. Goldstein’s life was very much like pornography – crude, exploitive, and ultimately unsatisfying. He led a sad life filled with upheaval that ended in brokenness and loneliness, as seen in his NY Times obituary.

His brand of porn prefigured Internet pornography and gives us a clue as to where Internet porn is leading us. “There is a pattern to American life that what is avant-garde becomes commonplace,” Mr. Goldstein said in 1981. “The mass market eventually assimilates that which is innovative or revolutionary.”  Debasing, caustic, hardcore porn now dominates the Internet – it has become commonplace.

Pornography can no longer be thought of as a victimless crime between two consenting adults.  Sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse, and addiction are just a few of the harms this industry creates. This is Mr. Goldstein’s legacy.

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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