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EU To Vote On Proposal That Could Ban All Online Pornography 853

Posted by timothy
from the easy-enough dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The European Union is voting on a proposal next week that could lead to a blanket ban on porn in member states, and it seems the measure may well be approved. The proposal, called 'Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU,' mentions issues such as women carrying a 'disproportionate share of the burden' when raising a family, violence against women as 'an infringement of human rights,' and gender stereotypes that develop early in life. From the proposal: "Calls on the EU and its Member States to take concrete action on its resolution of 16 September 1997 on discrimination against women in advertising, which called for a ban on all forms of pornography in the media and on the advertising of sex tourism." Update: 03/07 19:05 GMT by T : Pirate MEP Christian Engström writes on his blog that citizens writing to the European Parliament about the proposal are not necessarily being heard: "Before noon, some 350 emails [on this topic] had arrived in my office. But around noon, these mails suddenly stopped arriving. When we started investigating why this happened so suddenly, we soon found out: The IT department of the European Parliament is blocking the delivery of the emails on this issue, after some members of the parliament complained about getting emails from citizens."
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EU To Vote On Proposal That Could Ban All Online Pornography

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  • by SgtChaireBourne (457691) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:59PM (#43106519) Homepage

    Rick Falkvinge of the Swedish Pirate Party has a good summary of the attempt to ban porn [falkvinge.net] as well as a call to action. Apparently getting e-mail through to the parliamentarians is not as straight forward as one might wish. Christian EngstrÃm, MEP, also of the Swedish Pirate Party has a good analysis of the attempted ban [wordpress.com]. Basically it's a grab at control and censorship under another guise.

  • by magic maverick (2615475) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:04PM (#43106593) Homepage Journal

    Two words only are needed to show why any attempt to ban anything on the Internet is doomed to fail. Both words are proper nouns. The first is "Tor", an onion routing system that means it can be virtually impossible to connect an end user with a particular server. Moreover, there are "hidden" services that do not even show on the main web. The second is "Freenet", the distributed peer-to-peer encrypted network (with built in darknet for those who want or need it). A third word, "Bitcoin", allows a thriving marketplace, and when proper laundries are in place, an effectively anonymous marketplace.

    The mere fact of countries like the USA, where pornography cannot be banned, means that any attempt to ban it in another freeish place will be quite difficult.

    But that's technical stuff.

    While I can understand the desire to eliminate gender stereotypes, and it is something I fully support, I don't see how banning pornography in the media can help. I also think that it's a wrong-headed move from a free speech point of view.

    Pornography is not just men fucking women for the pleasure of other men. Human sexuality is so broad and varied, and porn is, as a consequence, broad and varied. Personally, I see porn as a positive thing in society, allowing people to experience their sexuality in the privacy of their own bedroom. A young teenage boy wondering whether it is really wrong, as his class mates, teachers, parents, and community say, for boys to like other boys, can find solace in the Internet. And jack-off to gay porn. And that's a good thing. Maybe a young teenage girl is wondering if her feelings towards some of her friends are normal. She can find lesbian, bisexual, and varied other porn on the Internet to help her confront her feelings. And that's a good thing. And the stories can be much broader than those as well.

    I do object to a lot of porn out there. The degrading humiliating porn. The stuff where it looks like the female actor is actually not enjoying herself at all. But that does not mean the answer is to ban all porn.

  • RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:05PM (#43106619) Homepage

    The proposal is not calling for porn to be banned. It is saying that mainstream newspapers should not contain porn, like the Sun in the UK does. For those that don't know the Sun, Britain's most popular newspaper, has a picture of a topless women on page 3 of every edition.

    Porn is also used extensively in marketing, even of children's products and during daytime TV viewing hours. Banning ads for sex tourism should be a no-brainier I would hope.

    Internet porn will not be banned. That is absolutely not what this is about. It is merely trying to remove negative stereotypes from everyday media. The media has been given countless opportunities to clean up, to stop using stick figure models and heavy photoshopping, to stop using porn to sell things, but it has largely failed to do so. If anything it has become more mainstream now.

    It isn't about being puritanical, it is about protecting people from well understood psychological harm.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:15PM (#43106779) Journal
    It's not about 'think of the children.' Read the article. It's about protecting women's rights. It comes from the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality. Some feminist groups oppose porn, for various reasons. The Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality is one of those.

    Among other things, if you read the article, they feel pornography encourages the culture that allows women to make less money than men.
  • by thomasw_lrd (1203850) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @03:19PM (#43107691)

    True freedom of speech.

    There are things I can't say, that minorities can say.

    If I was caught sacrificing animals to a god, I would be arrested. There have been cases where certain minorities could.

    If I was a teacher, I couldn't take a group of school children to a Catholic church, but I bet I could take them to a Mosque.

    I'm sure if I thought real hard, I could come up with more examples.

    Note: I didn't say that some of these don't make sense, just that they are rights I can't get away with, while others can.

  • by thomasw_lrd (1203850) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @03:57PM (#43108189)

    They are not asking for equal rights in the case I stated, they are asking for the first amendment to be suspended for Christians. In the specific case I am referencing, they were given the opportunity to place their own display on the courthouse lawn, but they didn't want to do that.

    Therefore a right was suspended for the Christian, this equates to more rights for the atheists.

  • by Requiem18th (742389) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @11:20PM (#43112687)

    I reccomend you pay a visit to GirlWritesWhat [youtube.com]'s channel. What her old videos basically explaining feminism from a evo-psych point of view.

    Thi gist of it is that humans have a natural drive to pamper cute things like women and babies, just like we have a drive to seek sugars and fat. And just like uncheked appetite drives us to obessity, unchecked protectionsim for females drives humanity to feminism and misandry.

Whenever people agree with me, I always think I must be wrong. - Oscar Wilde

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