Posts Tagged ‘cenosrs’

censorjpeg
 

This is an uncomfortable discussion.

 
Apparently Icelandic ministers are trying to ban pornography in the nation — an almost impossible task that opens up another can of worms, concerning how?

Gail Dines has been on a feminist Jihad to ban pornography for quite some time. She writes:

“Here was a politician who was unapologetically opposed to porn because it undermines women’s equality, and equally bold in his willingness to create legislation that limits Icelandic men and boy’s access to hard-core, cruel porn. He said this at dinner, repeated it two days later at a public conference on pornography and the law, and is saying it again in his efforts to draft a law that will be the first of its type anywhere in the world. Never before has a country tried to limit porn because it is seen as a violation of women and children’s civil rights.”

Slippery slope here we come. The American ACLU has long defended the rights of consenting adults to produce and choose to view sexual material. We should be clear that adult material is exactly what this law is seeking to ban, and it is unfortunately couched in the words “women and children’s civil rights” which may be completely irrelevant to the discussion.

The law described is not about child pornography, which is already banned pretty much worldwide — and not enough law enforcement is brought to bear on it, particularly in countries where it is most rampant. No, this is about adult material, which the internet is brimming with. Her argument is to try and qualify her target better with the words, “hard-core, cruel porn.” That is certain to scare off opposition, as no one wants to be seen as publicly endorsing such material.

Thus, governments would need to begin employing people to scrutinize what is “hard-core, cruel porn,” and what is not. Entire bureaucracies of censors would need to begin policing a near infinite amount of materials, which flow freely around the world in volumes unimaginable. The idea of creating bureaucracies to censor the internet is a terrible one in itself. It’s a monumental waste of resources, and the criteria for determining the banned vs. non-banned material would be a matter of opinion. This would legislate that people have opinions on what sorts of graphic materials should be permitted vs. which should not.

Frank Zappa once debated several pro-censorship establishment talking heads, concerning proposed government censorship, and he made some great points:


 

The government should not be in the business of censoring internet traffic, art or speech. This is for the public to decide.

If the practices of a small number of pornographers is the real concern, then those should be investigated for violations of the law. Is the “cruel” pornography consensual? Was an assault committed? These are matters for local law enforcement to police. If women are victimized, they are not on the other side of the world, and initiating censorship half a world away is not going to affect their lives in any way, shape or form.

Gail Dines continues:

Ministers and senior staff I met there understood their role in honoring the integrity of their culture and saw porn as a form of cultural imperialism, since the porn Icelandic men consume is churned out by a small group of producers in Los Angeles. So the question is this: If the government does not protect us from global corporations, then who will, since as individual citizens we are powerless in the face of their enormous economic, cultural, and political power?

This claim goes way beyond a straw man fallacy and into straight out lying. Pornography is not a giant corporation in Los Angeles. That is so absurd to be laughable. There is very little barrier to entry in the business. Anyone with a phone and the will to participate can start filming each another. Porn is produced globally, and by every strata and every type of person imaginable. There is no evil corporate oligarchy. This is a political maneuver by Dines to try and capitalize on the anti-corporate sentiment out there, when her target is simply not appropriate.

Numerous women produce their own material, quite voluntarily. Would Dines ban them too? Even if they need the revenue to survive? Would Dines decide for the whole world what is permitted and what isn’t?

I hope Iceland’s government doesn’t make this error and insert itself into people’s bedrooms, its internet viewing and its sexual preferences. Censorship may seem like a good idea at first, but it brings with it increased government power, surveillance and arbitrariness. It thus disempowers the people and creates a chilling climate where art, speech and ideas are no longer freely offered. This is the exact wrong way to go, despite some real problems with the pornography industry. The idea of censoring one’s way to a solution, however, ignores the reality of it and presents a false panacea, as well as an unworkable solution.

the-people-vs-larry-flynt-144526