I'm posting in this circle because the "No Fap" (I know, the name is so cringey) movement is directly related to pornography consumption, and also because I want to address this question specifically to the radical feminists here. I know that radical feminism is concerned with women's liberation and our focus is on the ways that patriarchy oppresses women, rather than any negative impacts it may have on men. As such, I am not trying to ruffle any feathers here by bringing up a male-centered movement, I am just making this post because I do feel this movement is adjacent to many of the things we fight for and aligns with many of our goals. I would like to hear if anyone here has any opinions regarding it. I have never seen it discussed, perhaps there is a reason for that? Or it just hasn't come up?
Thanks to the user who posted that Gail Dines video yesterday I have been on a big Gail Dines binge on youtube. (She's amazing and I want to be her when I grow up). That led me to finding the channel for the "Fight the New Drug" organization, which is also quite excellent - it's full of expert testimonials on how porn impacts the brain, the rise of pornography in the internet age, as well as stories of trafficked women. In addition to this, they feature stories of young men who have given up pornography consumption. Going down that rabbit hole led me to the "No Fap" subreddit and I'm just really not sure what to make of it.
In the best light, I see a huge number of men who see how vile, dangerous and often pernicious pornography is, exactly the thing we want to get people to realize. Could these men be .... allies? They are the target demographic of porn, and they're shunning it. Of course, they are doing it for reasons of personal benefit (e.g. they're trying to regain the ability to have an erection without having to watch something violent and disgusting, they see how it personally impacts their ability to function and have normal relationships), rather than necessarily realizing how harmful the porn industry is toward women. I guess an analogy would be someone who becomes a vegan to lower their cholesterol rather than for animal welfare reasons. Either way, they aren't eating meat.
A reduction in consumption is a reduction in consumption. The porn industry serves a demand, and it seems that lowering demand by any means is good, right?
One post on there was like "I gave up porn because I lost my ability to see women as anything but objects". Objectification of women underlies every struggle we fight as radical feminists. The porn industry is massive and its reach is so huge, and it's hammering the idea into the heads of virtually all young men that women are subhuman objects. Gail Dines rightly calls it a "public health crisis". So I guess it's heartening(?) to see that some young men are realizing this and quitting porn, and encouraging each other to quit it, too.