Routledge's 'Porn Studies' Journal Under Attack

May 13, 2013 2:00 PM PST

BOSTON — The feminist antiporn group Stop Porn Culture has sponsored a petition on iPetitions.com in an attempt to change the editorial board and title of Routledge’s forthcoming white-paper publication, “Porn Studies.”

The petition has received 641 signatures thus far, many of them on public display on the website. Stop Porn Culture's goal is to receive 800.    

Constance Penley, professor of film and media studies at UCSB and co-editor of “The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure,” criticized Stop Porn Culture for their decision to rally antagonism against the journal.

“[The petition] reveals a total lack of understanding about academic freedom, academic integrity and the nature of scholarship,” Penley told XBIZ. “The petition and the comments by the signers reveal how desperate the antiporn people are to prevent any research being done that might not support their ideological position.”

The online petition outlines its grievances, essentially critiquing the journal for privileging a pro-porn perspective and ignoring dissenting opinions.

“Routledge is in a position of authority, and framing the editorial experts on porn as pro-porn under the auspices of neutrality (which is what the journal title does) further fosters the normalization of porn and misrepresents the academic, political and ideological debates about the issue,” the petition reads.

It concludes by asking “Porn Studies” to include editorial voices from divergent academic schools or change its name to reflect its alleged bias, suggesting the title “Pro Porn Studies” as a viable alternative.

The petition bears no legal impetus regardless of the number of signatures it receives.

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