Sex-positive feminists held that feminist campaigns against pornography were misdirected and ultimately threatened sexual freedoms and free speech rights in a way that would be detrimental toward women and sexual minorities.
The diversity in perspectives within the group was the source of considerable debate and some acrimony.
WAP originally did not take a stance on the issue of prostitution, for example, since there was a division between members who opposed prostitution as a form of male domination and those who wanted to bring prostitutes into the movement.
After the conference, Susan Brownmiller approached WAVPM organizers Laura Lederer and Lynn Campbell, and encouraged them to come to New York City to help with anti-pornography organizing there.
Lederer decided to stay in San Francisco to edit an anthology based on the conference presentations, but Campbell took up the offer.
After previous failed attempts to start a broad feminist anti-pornography group in New York City, WAP was finally established in 1978.
WAP quickly drew widespread support for its anti-pornography campaign, and in late 1979 held a March on Times Square that included over 5000 supporters.(WAP later came to strongly oppose prostitution as a form of exploitation of women, and critiqued pornography as a "system of prostitution".) WAP's decision to focus attention on pornography and prostitution in Times Square drew unexpected support from Broadway theater owners and city development agencies despairing at the increasing crime and urban blight in the neighborhood of Times Square. Women Against Pornography also organized a March on Times Square, held October 20, 1979.Carl Weisbrod, the head of the Mayor's Midtown Enforcement Project, helped them secure rent-free office space from the 42nd Street Redevelopment Corporation, in an empty bar and restaurant storefront that they were able to use until a buyer could be found (they occupied the storefront for more than two years, until two adjacent buildings collapsed during a renovation). Malachy's, a Midtown actors' chapel, contributed surplus desks. The march drew between five and seven thousand demonstrators, who marched behind a huge stitched banner reading "Women Against Pornography / Stop Violence Against Women," including Brownmiller, Alexander, Campbell, Mehrhof, Bella Abzug, Gloria Steinem, Robin Morgan, Andrea Dworkin, Charlotte Bunch, Judy Sullivan, and Amina Abdur-Rahman.When Bob Guccione tried to buy the storefront space (in order to open an establishment to be named the Meat Rack), WAP alerted neighborhood residents, who protested and defeated the proposed deal. The march drew extensive coverage of the CBS evening news and in the morning papers.The League of New York Theater Owners wrote us a check for ten thousand dollars, although Gerry Schoenfeld of the Shubert Organization, the czar behind the generous gift, threw a fit when he saw that our mission was somewhat broader than "clean up Times Square." "Playboy? After the March on Times Square, Lynn Campbell resigned her position as an organizer (due to her failing health) and Brownmiller resigned to finish work on her book Femininity, while Dorchen Leidholdt took on a new leadership role in the organization.Women Against Pornography (WAP) was a radical feminist activist group based out of New York City that had an influential force in the anti-pornography movement of the late 1970s and the 1980s.