This may be a crass example but is this what Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus will look like once the EU has it’s way?
Firstly I would like to say before anyone gets on their high horse that I am not a misogynist, a sexist, a patriarch or anything else disgusting like that. I fully recognise there are issues in the porn industry and that both women and men are exploited. I would also like to point out that I am not an EU sceptic. SO…
Today news broke that the EU are planning to ban porn. All forms. Gone. Of course it is currently a ‘recommendation’ and it won’t have a legal binding to it necessarily, but the very fact that is it is to be discussed is worrying. This is another example of the state interfering with the private sphere. Now I realise that there are many issues with the world of porn and I also realise that there are good arguments for why it shouldn’t be readily available on the internet, but there are also many counter-arguments too.
Porn. Good or bad? Both, if we are being honest. Yes, it promotes negative messages about sexuality and human worth in some cases, but at the same time porn is, in a way, also relatively equal. The ministers suggesting this ban seem to believe that porn means a woman is exploited sexually and then this is posted online for the pleasure of some reclusive pervert. For some strange reason, the wealth of porn on the internet seems to have escaped their tunnel vision. Shock horror, men are in porn too. Sometimes there are even two, sometimes 20. Porn does not just exploit young women but also young men too. Men who go gay-for-pay because the wage is better than in straight porn, for example. Like everything in life there is more than one argument and more than one perspective and I certainly don’t believe that any of the ministers suggesting this ban have never seen porn in their lives. Just because some women are exploited by the porn industry (and they are, this is a fact), does not mean a blanket ban should be enforced. That is like saying some people use scissors as a weapon, so they should be banned. In fact, I got id’d for scissors today. I am 22. Tackling an issue with a piece of legislation is not the answer. This does not tackle the root of the issue. The state should be focussing on issues like child pornography, sexual abuse and sex trafficking. Not porn in general.
My main issue here is that the state wants to interfere with people’s private lives. What people do in their bedrooms, in front of their TVs, their laptops and their partners is not the business of the state unless something illegal is actually occurring. The argument that this is for the good of gender equality is laughable. How about the state looks at the woeful gender gap in the world of work? Not just in the divide in pay, but the lack of women in positions of power. How about the state, particularly here in the UK, looks at the woeful lack of women in politics? How about the state considers the inequality in parental leave, and marriage rights? Do you mean to tell me I can’t marry the man I love, nor can I watch porn and my best friends can’t have a job that equals mine in terms of pay and power because they have vaginas? I think the porn industry is the least of the issues here.
This would be a fundamental breech of the freedom of speech and expression, and would, if anything, only lead to an underground porn industry, which would be much more dangerous. Banning things only gives people incentive to find a way around it. Control and heavy handedness never did any world power any good in the end.
(I do not own this image)