Huffpost San Francisco
Dawn Hawkins Headshot

Groupon's Latest "Deal?" Torture Porn

Posted: Updated:

Groupon has stooped to an all-time low and is in danger of losing its customer base unless it changes course. For the second time this year, it is teaming up with torture pornography producer, Kink, selling tours of Kink's San Francisco building and production studio. Because of this, Porn Harms and Morality in Media have announced a nationwide boycott of Groupon.

Pornography's purpose is primarily the sexual exploitation of women and children for pleasure of men. Numerous scientific studies now demonstrate that pornography consumption contributes to many societal ills, such as violence against women and misogyny, addiction for adults and children, sexual trafficking and so much more. The website PornHarmsResearch.com substantiates these claims by offering a wealth of peer-reviewed scientific studies on porn's harm. Kink's pornography though takes sexual exploitation and harm to a new, lower level.

Kink sells the sickest of hardcore videos and live online performances of "young, sexy teens who are overwhelmed and outnumbered...who need to learn a lesson by multiple men." The teens and women, according to Kink, are, "bound, whipped, objectified and humiliated ... suspended and tied in rope bondage...tormented beyond all reason ...pulled in and out of cages, their tongues clamped, their bodies pinned."

Kink also brags on its site that, "contraptions used in countries such as China for torture" as well as machines, metal, wood, electrodes, hooks, needles and urination are its objects of female torture. Kink claims the women they abuse actually enjoy being tortured and it prides itself on the fact that it works with female directors. The fact is that the these women directors have completely accepted the male pornographers' views of women and shoot the same misogynistic and abusive content as men, failing to make the industry any more female friendly.

Groupon's response? What's not to like!?

Well, close to that. When confronted with concerns about Kink, Groupon defended the company, saying in response to the boycott: "We thoroughly vet the businesses we feature... Fortunately, this business has proven to be a responsible member of their community... We feel that because the business is an active good community citizen..."

Thoroughly vetted? This raises the obvious question: Does Groupon have any women in senior management? If so, its time to speak up at the staff meetings, or, if they are too timid do defend womanhood, move out of the boys-will-be-boys culture of Groupon.

The company is worthy of a national boycott and, until it announces a change of policy (and maybe a change in senior management,) our boycott will succeed in costing the company money and customers.

Where is Groupon's sense of corporate responsibility? Could it possibly believe its considerable fan base supports Kink's treatment of women? Instead of defending Kink, Groupon should be thinking of its wider commercial audience, most of whom, unlike Groupon, would not support the torture and humiliation of women and girls for the sexual enjoyment of disturbed men.

I understand that the company is experiencing financial difficulty, with its stock price nearly cut in half since its public offering last November. But I say, let it fall to $0 if that's what it takes to learn this simple lesson. The sexual humiliation of women is not a successful financial strategy.