For those people who follow the inspirational Pandora Blake (among others), will know that December 1st marked a new low in the UK Government’s attempts to act as moral arbiters and decide what we can and can’t consume. ATVOD is a “regulatory agency” for “video on demand” services and have been enjoying scope creep onto the Internet for the past few years; their latest wheeze is to ban all UK video-on-demand sites on the ‘net from selling any content that would not pass a BBFC classification.
And there are fucking loads of fun things that the BBFC can’t abide.
This includes urinating onto another person, consuming urine, female ejaculation, fisting, positively filmed emetophilia, exhibitionist intercourse, age play, full bondage, heavier impact play, facesitting and numerous other kinky games.
Yes, that’s full-on impact play being censored by the country most associated with it! It’s not called “The English vice” and the “British disease” for nothing; BDSM play in Victorian England was fucking rampant! Sexual diversity is part of our DNA, it’s in our culture and it’s our history. And we should be proud of it.
And just to labour the point, PornHub have responded to the Orwellian-named Audiovisual Media Service Regulations of 2014 with a chart that shows that these rules criminalise the pornography that the Brits love. (http://www.pornhub.com/insights/uk-bans-porn-brits-love/)
Yes, caning is three times more popular in the UK than the global average and our Government has decided to ban it. That’s mind-numbingly ridiculous but is a side issue.
The real point is: censorship doesn’t work.
It just doesn’t.
It harms society, restricting freedoms and shackles expression. It provides a barrier to legitimate forms of entertainment and suppresses free speech. It’s a cancer, a scourge of intelligence and ultimately ineffectual. It’s the last refuge of the desperate, the first refuge of the hysterical moron.
But here’s a quick couple of examples of some fantastic successes from our censors:
In 1922, Ulysses by James Joyce was banned. This obviously stopped so many people from reading it, it’s definitely not considered to be one of the best English-language books from the 20th Century and … oh. Whoops.
By 1970, the United Kingdom was the only liberal democracy not to have legalised hardcore pornography; obviously the British are too delicate to watch filth. By the way, around two-thirds of the population now enjoy such material on a monthly basis.
In the 1977, the Sex Pistol’s God Saved the Queen was banned and … went to Number One.
A couple of years later, Monty Python’s Life of Brian was banned by many councils and it … is one of the most popular films ever made.
In 1995, Prince Charles obtained an injunction to prevent a former housekeeper from writing a book about his break-up with Lady Diana. She fled to the US, wrote her book and you can buy it here in the UK.
In 2008, Wikipedia was blacklisted because of an album cover; millions of articles blocked because the censors objected to one. WordPress, Radio Times and Archive.org have also suffered from such silliness.
In 2013, the Government made Internet filters the default option for all new Internet connections; take-up is less than 8% as society whole-heartedly rejected the censorship.
And so on …
In the crosshairs of the Government filters include sites on sexual health, gay and lesbian forums and websites that tackle eating disorders. And of course, pornography.
And contrary to what the febrile hysterical screams of the Daily Mail, millions of children are not having their brains rotten by endless gigabytes of smut pouring through their eyeballs. Even Ofcom have stated that “…no country found conclusive evidence that [society’s availability of] sexually explicit material harms minors.” This isn’t about protecting children, this is about seizing and grabbing control of a medium the Government has no control over.
If the Government really wanted to protect our kids then they’d reject censorship for the illegitimate moral aberration that it is. What are they trying to teach future generations? If you don’t like something, then it’s OK to try and suppress it. How morally bankrupt is that?
But the crowning turd comes not from ATVOD’s presentation stating, “we need to treat horny adults as kids.” Not from ATVOD outlawing female ejaculation because it might be confused with urine (seriously, is working out how bodies work beyond you?) Nor is the new regulations coming into force on December 1st but the guidance not being issued until April 2015 with no transitional arrangements.
The steaming pile of rhetoric-driven stupidity, is this ludicrous statement from ATVOD:
“We have worked with the U.K. payments industry to design a process which could be used to prevent payments to foreign websites which allow U.K. children to access hardcore porn.”
I’ll say it again – “foreign websites which allow UK children to access hardcore porn.” Whoa! I don’t know of any foreign website that provides UK children with a device, an unfiltered Internet connection and a window of opportunity. I do know plenty of parents that do that though!
How many times do we have to go through this? Children are the parents’ responsibility. It’s up to parents to set boundaries and guidelines, monitor access and ensure the content their children consume is age appropriate and child appropriate.
Full stop. End of story. That’s it. As a parent I detest the idea that I am able to devolve my parenting responsibilities to anyone else; it’s an offensive assertion to any half-decent parent. My children, my responsibility. No ifs, no buts. And the sooner the censors, the right-wingers and the do-gooders realise this, the better society will be. And while there are many evil, twisted, dangerous people on the Internet, the threats children face on the web are not independent porn producers running their own websites, solely for adults.
ATVOD should not have a remit to harass anyone, and especially not those who are attracted by the kinkier things in life. And some of the acts on that list, I quite enjoy; to buy and consume the art would make me fearful of condemnation.
I’m an adult who doesn’t need to be treated as a child. I’m happy to make my own choices in life. So sorry, ATVOD, I’m off to watch some good old-fashioned spanking porn because there’s nothing wrong with that. And it’s not “transient and trifling,” because that’ll be like having a wank and faking my own orgasm. I want to see a reddened rear with bruised buttocks. I want to see pleasure and pain, and I want to see something full bloodied, I want to feel the passion and kinkiness through the screen as the actors live out a fantastic scene of lust that they enjoy acting and I enjoy watching.
Basically, I want to see something illegal.
But I’m not in the wrong here, ATVOD.
It’s not me, it’s you.
And please, please, please sign the petition if you agree.