Brownmiller soon took an unpaid position as the fourth organizer.The original organizers of Women Against Pornography came primarily from the New York radical feminist groups that had developed during the 1970s, but once their organization began they found unexpected sources of membership and support from across New York.
Through their march as well as other means of activism, WAP was able to bring in unexpected financial support from the Mayor's office, theater owners, and other parties with an interest in the gentrification of Times Square.
WAP became known because of their anti-pornography informational tours of sex shops and pornographic theaters held in Times Square.
It was part of a larger wave of radical feminist organizing around the issue of pornography, which included protests by the Los Angeles group Women Against Violence Against Women against The Rolling Stones' sadomasochistic advertisements for their album Black and Blue (see below).
Founding members of the New York group included Adrienne Rich, Grace Paley, Gloria Steinem, Shere Hite, Lois Gould, and Robin Morgan.
In the 1980s, WAP began to focus more on lobbying and legislative efforts against pornography, particularly in support of civil-rights-oriented antipornography legislation.
They were also active in testifying before the Meese Commission and some of their advocacy of a civil-rights based anti-pornography model found its way into the final recommendations of the commission.
As a result of this conference, Leidholdt felt it would be more productive to focus on combatting the international sex industry, and founded the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) for that purpose.
She also soon stepped down as leader of Women Against Pornography in order to focus her efforts on this new campaign.
According to Susan Brownmiller, The group that became Women Against Pornography was livelier and more diverse than any I'd ever worked with in the movement.
Maggie Smith's bar, with "I Will Survive" blaring on the jukebox, was a pit stop for the neighborhood prostitutes she was trying to keep off junk.
(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.