Judging by the comments in response to Gail Dines’ article in the National Times today, there is still a long way to go before Australians are convinced of the destructive force of highly addictive and easily accessible internet pornography.

Gail Dines is a professor of sociology and women's studies at Wheelock College in Boston. She has been cited in a number of recent articles in the Australian media explaining the contents of her latest book, Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality.

In the National Times article, Professor Dines summarises the findings and discussion of Pornland, arguing that the vast majority of pornography available today is not the soft core images of naked women in Playboy, but “cruel and brutal sex acts designed to dehumanise women”.

Professor Dines argues that because of emotions associated with contemporary porn have become “those we normally associate with hate – fear, disgust, anger, loathing, and contempt”, women and men are suffering in their intimate relationships – woman unwilling to sexually perform in the same way as the porn stars; men unable.

She expresses grave concern for this generation, which is the first to have grown up with internet pornography. “Unlike previous generations, these boys and men have unlimited access to hard-core images 24 hours a day”.

It is perhaps Professor Dines’ recommended response to a society saturated with pornography that most riles its defenders, who comment with labels such as, ‘wowsers’, ‘sensationalism’, ‘prudish feminism’, ‘fundamentalism in academic dress’, and ‘extreme’, to list just a few.

Her political message is controversial but necessary: “a movement against porn . . . needs to offer an enticing, positive vision of sexuality based on equality and respect. And this sexual equality is closely linked to economic equality, because the whole sex industry rests on women with few choices.

“As long as we have porn, women will never be seen as full human beings deserving of all the rights that men have. This is why we need to build a vibrant movement that fights for a world in which women have power in and over their lives because there is no room for porn in a just society.”

With Professor Dines message becoming more commonly heard (related articles are available here, here, here and here), let’s hope that Australians, both men and women, take up her challenge for a movement against porn, globally and nationally.