Unfiction: Porn as a silent weapon

censored1

We’re mostly conditioned to avoid discussing sex. Even sex education at school, where you’re supposed to be given a full and proper understanding about sex, is questionably delivered and taken in and then that’s it, you’re on your own (insert masturbation joke here). Sure it might come up in conversation every so often, but it’s not something you aim your conversation towards. This is despite the fact that not only do the birds do it and, I’m reliably informed, the bees do it too, but humans do it quite a lot. All the statistics are there, it proves that yes, humans do good at good doing. And then there’s porn.

Porn is a substantial business that has been really quite important in the expansion of the internet. Quality video streaming has been required and that know-how trickles down, whilst recently virtual reality headsets have benefited from the experience VR porn supposedly provides. Porn doesn’t get this big without being consumed, but as an extension of sex it too isn’t talked about. Until it is, but not really.

Within the last few years, the UK government banned certain types of pornography that was allowed to be produced in the UK and somehow managing to be misogynistic in some of the types too, proving once and for all that the government is pretty good at screwing people. (Incidentally, this also happened to be the forms must searched for by Brits.) It’d be all too easy to overlook this as a case of “Ew, porn, avoid discussion at all costs!” but quite a few things that are banned tend to force people to go to greater odds to get said things; low-level recreational drugs springs to mind, but even if we put aside this aspect, there’s something quite insidious here.

See the thing is, the ultimate question here, is who’ll stand up for spanking? The answer is simple: no-one. We don’t talk about sex and porn, so why on earth would we speak out openly in defiance of the government of all things about it? You’d be seen as foolish, but more than that as someone bad and shameful. This is a little ridiculous though because even if we don’t talk about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen! So no-one stands up for it and like that, forms of pornography are banned. Simple stuff, no-one openly cares because oh god you’re talking about it and this is incredibly awkward make it stop. But hey, these types of porn weren’t banned from being viewed so it’s not a tragic loss…until we get to this week.

censored2

The upcoming plans are that some forms of pornography can only be accessed by age verification (which totally won’t be completely useless) and that some forms can be out-right banned from access if they’re deemed ‘harmful’ because children might see this and why the hell are children given unsupervised access allowing them to access porn in the first place? But that’s another discussion. So this new law could potentially have websites banned from access in the UK because of hosting certain sexual material. The thing is, the BBFC are given the task of deciding what’s appropriate or not for these matters and who are they to decide what consenting adults do, both in the production of and consumption of porn? Emphasis on consenting adults here as it goes to reason that anything else isn’t legal anyhow.

One of the problems above this here isn’t that a group are being charged to decide this it’s how it will be implemented, but that many websites don’t just contain singular material; it’s not for nothing that Vine partly became what it was/will continue to be because of porn, but look on it now and there’s an incredibly wide variety of material. The question then becomes, do you ban Vine? It’s not all porn, but it is on there. How would you be able to differentiate that material? How much and of what type of porn has to be on a website before the whole thing is prohibited from being accessed? Naturally that becomes significantly unfair when a relatively small part of a website or web service makes the whole thing prohibited, especially if the reason you are looking or using it isn’t for the porn.

These are all quite reasonable questions, but that doesn’t even address the half of it. Why only these forms of pornography being restricted? What’s so specific about them above everything else? What about the people with desires/fetishes that harms no-one who are unable to access content for no reason other than it has been decided that what they consume makes them indecent, undignified or gross? How else are you supposed to interpret that? You’re being declared as those things, but it’s sex and porn, so you just don’t talk about or argue it…you just go looking for it elsewhere, but you already looked at it so you’re probably on a list of people who are into Other sex acts.

It all starts to sound a bit conspiracy theory territory, but nothing I’ve written here is false and critically it’s actually happening right now. Like that, porn has become a way to divide people. Sure, this ridiculous restriction won’t really work, “So what’s the problem really then, Joel? I mean if people can get around it, what’s the big deal?” Well I still think it’s a pretty big deal anyhow if for nothing else it shows government intention and can be extended in the future to include more “questionable” materials, but when you start partnering it up with the ‘Snooper’s Charter’, which is terrifying all by itself, it gets into some seriously dark territory; not only is it decided that his material is supposedly wrong, but it’s also been recorded who has viewed it and various agencies can access this information…

censored3

Hopefully it doesn’t need to be said, but nothing good has ever come from a government being able to divide and highlight parts of the citizens it represents, with information to back it up, saying that “These people are wrong” simply because it has been decided that they are. The threat of this is, again, conspiratorial in tone, but we already know agencies were gathering this information, it was simply illegal before and even then they were not simply pushing the boundary, but leaping past it too. Now you have the scenario where this stuff is legal and if nature is consistent, they’ll be pushing this new boundary too, but even if they didn’t that’s a considerable capability to obtain so much data on private activity and let’s be super clear here, not using the internet when it has become so ingrained in society, culture and just about everything else is a completely idiotic consideration as a means of avoiding this.

These are simple measures of an authority wanting to maintain power and said authority, but even if you accept that with a deft touch these wouldn’t be completely terrible and merely only tragically bad, the foundation has been laid for where this stuff can get really insidious, where it goes beyond pornography. Hey, what of a simple suggestion and anything to do with [pick a religion here] is prohibited? It might seem like it’s really easy to pull out examples that seem simultaneously stark and ridiculous because of the implication, but it’s there. It’s right there. When you make The Other different only because you say so and then imply that they’re Other for things that have been deemed indecent, undignified and gross, nothing good can possibly come from that and history is keen to show us this time and time again.

So how does this change? How can these things be reversed? Well, a change of government would do that or at least any opposition to these things would be welcome, but in lieu of that my sincere hope is that since these have such vivid breaches of privacy, the EU courts would get involved and…oh. Dammit. And like that, porn becomes a battleground for political censorship where one side fields artillery and the other side hasn’t even turned up to fight because no-one wanted to take lead and say “I want to watch spanking!” So it’s not really about porn, it’s about what porn is about.

censored4

Advertisements

About thejgman

I am a person and do persony things! Favourite things include Mars bars, video games and, surprisingly, writing. I'm a graduate in Cultural Studies, with a focus towards all things digital and technological.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s