Representations of graphic violence that are coupled with sexual imagery are produced with the explicit intention of sexual arousal are banned, but representations of graphic violence in mainstream film and TV aren’t. First that there’s something about sexual violence which is uniquely bad, and specifically more likely to cause copycats than just plain violence.This premise, that sexual violence is uniquely bad, highlights the Victorian attitude that our society still holds towards sex and sexuality.Nor would they attend the Feminist Fightback conference on 21 October (There’s a sense that we shouldn’t talk about things that might politically divide the feminist movement. Whilst we may want and need maximum unity in action, we also need honest discussion of our differences.Even non-socialist feminists are being at best short-sighted when they call for censorship.It is possible to imagine a situation, as long as the state has powers of censorship over us, when feminist advocacy of abortion rights is made illegal — on the basis that it could potentially lead to harm of a foetus.In feminist circles today talking about pornography, except in the exclusively negative sense, can get you into trouble. Addressing the subject in online discussion forums and elsewhere, I’ve encountered Stalinist-style shutting down of debate, with lots of personal abuse.
The suppression of communists, real communists as well as Stalinists, in 1950s America was at least partially justified using that kind of reasoning.
How many of us watched or know someone who watched the video of Nick Berg being beheaded by Islamists online? The other argument is that violent porn, and indeed all porn, contributes to a general culture of sexism that in turn leads to violence against women.
It’s reasonable to suggest that sexism in society is fuelled by sexist media.
But these are political ideas and calling for state censorship or regulation of adult porn (as opposed to child pornography which is a special categroy) is calling for state control of ideas we disagree with.
It’s shockingly naive to entrust the state, which isn’t democratic and serves the interests of the ruling class, with the power to decide which ideas ought to be allowed.