FOR WOMEN: Does Filtering Pornography Censor Freedom or Protect Women and Children?

censoredThis week, in a landmark ruling, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the UK will begin a new pornography filtering system, whereby household cable subscribers will have to opt-in if they want to see naked bodies, sex, and rape in their living rooms. I mean, if they want to see digital versions. Cameron’s rationale is that unfiltered, easy access to porn is “corroding childhood.”

But it was only minutes after his speech that US media, including The Washington Post, began their tired chant about the dangers of censorship and regulation, as if freedom to consume something that could have an addictive quality is actually freedom. They also worry that a bid to make any village safer for children would suddenly become a slippery slope toward censorship of political speech and online surveillance of the populace — as if we don’t have that already.

The truth is that online pornography, an increasingly amount of which includes depictions of rape and the usage of “actresses” that resemble children, isn’t good for most. It’s not good for children in households where a mere click on a remote will bring them from fun with “Dora the Explorer” to “Dora’s Tight Anal Fun.” Yes, I Googled that and found it easily. And it’s not good for adolescent boys coming of age in a high supply sexual economy where the reigning definition of male sexuality is that of player. In that realm women have become opponents rather than partners.

Who is porn good for? Couples who want to add spice to their lives. Men without partners in the room who want a little eye candy. And women who may be more visually attuned than most. While these consenting adults might do well to learn about the addictive nature of porn and use as much self-control as they do with salt, sugar, and fat, all of these groups can still obtain pornography easily in the UK. They simply click an opt-in button, a button that parents with small children in the home may choose to not click. That’s all. No censorship. No regulations. No sneaky Russian-style monitoring citizens online.

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