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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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:36PM (#43106203)

    Up next: EU proposes new law that says all sex is rape.

    • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@NOsPAM.gmail.com> on Thursday March 07, 2013 @06:24PM (#43110223) Journal

      Ya know, I USED to argue against that "feminists are all man haters" stereotypes...until I saw the widely praised Vagina Monologues. Anybody else notice that the plays says quite clearly pedophilia is okay as long as its a woman doing the raping? And yet at the time all I saw from feminists was praise for the play. I mean how fucked up in the head do you got to be to say being a pedo is okay as long as its woman on girl? For those that don't know what I'm talking about look up the original play and the dialog for "little coochie snorcher" which I swear to God even has the line "If it was rape it was a good rape"". I mean can you imagine how crucified an author would be if they came out with a play where a woman praised her male rapist for "giving it to her good"? Feminism got hijacked by the nutbags and passed the exit for sanity a few miles back.

      As for TFA this is another trend I've noticed from the militant feminists, that all non lesbian sex is rape. Its kinda funny how much they actually sound like the old Victorians, how women couldn't possibly WANT to have sex or ENJOY sex in any way, the only real spin they put on it is that lesbians are the exception to the rule since there are no dirty rapist men involved. Kinda ironic that they refuse to acknowledge that one of the most profitable genres in porn these days is so called "chick porn" where they use exotic locations and hunky guys to appeal to a mostly female audience.

      But of course just like how the founder of MADD don't want anything to do with them anymore and PETA went from treating animals ethically to actually arguing that antibiotics were murder because you are killing germs and fish should be called "sea kittens" so people wouldn't eat them (I swear, look it up) the feminist movement got hijacked by the nutballs awhile back and have gone so militant I doubt the original feminsts, who from what I saw simply wanted equal pay and to be treated equally in the workplace, would scarcely recognize it anymore.

      • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:39PM (#43106245)

    then gay male porn is all good, yeah?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:53PM (#43106427)

      No, they discriminate against women by excluding girls...

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:19PM (#43106829)
      Anyone know of any of those "pray away the gay" camps that will allow me to take the treatment in reverse order?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:35PM (#43107069)

      As I recall, Canada tried this maneuver, with Dworkin advising on the law.

      Of course the issue of lesbian porn came up, with the same people, in a truly awe inspiring display of mental gymnastics, explaining how lesbians couldn't possibly be exploitive when their porn was banned.

      The law was quietly withdrawn.

      I expect the same the same level of hypocrisy with yet another attempt at the same, forgetting exactly who is exploiting whom with porn.

    • Doesn't gay male pr0n discriminate against straight people?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:42PM (#43106277)

    has to do with topless women peddling orange juice in adverts on television.. not "porn" in general.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:43PM (#43106297)

    Why is it that so few leaders are willing to ignore violence against men, one form of which is the forced circumcision and genital mutilation of boys which remains legal in many countries that protect girls from similar. Can't violence just be opposed in all it's forms without regard to sex?

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:44PM (#43106299)
    Next on the lawmakers' agenda: requiring all politicians to be honest, and banning all people from eating junk food.
    • by sycodon (149926) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:07PM (#43106655)

      Back in 1993, the European governments got together and said, "we don't have enough politicians making up useless, feel good, and inane laws. So let's create a ginormous bureaucracy that can do it for us." And then they created the European Union.

      • by BasilBrush (643681) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:23PM (#43106879)

        Same as the USA did two hundred and odd years ago.

        And if the USA hadn't done that. If they'd been independent states, they'd never have become a world superpower. So much as it's very fashionable theses days to be libertarian and hate the federal government, you Americans wouldn't have had the success you have had without it.

        • by cayenne8 (626475) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @03:05PM (#43107489) Homepage Journal

          And if the USA hadn't done that. If they'd been independent states, they'd never have become a world superpower. So much as it's very fashionable theses days to be libertarian and hate the federal government, you Americans wouldn't have had the success you have had without it.

          We don't so much hate it, as we want to contain and control and limit it better, so that it is more answerable to the people, and that states have MORE of a say in things, much like it was originally designed, and allowed for such rapid growth and power.

          Growing beyond its constitutional bounds is a major contribution to our decline currently

  • by jmsp (1987118) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:45PM (#43106329)
    I'm quickly downloading the Internet before it becomes contraband here.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:45PM (#43106333)

    Porn is a release, not an inspiration.

  • by It doesn't come easy (695416) * on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:50PM (#43106397) Journal
    I travel in Europe occasionally and some of the commercial billboards I have seen in airports would be considered pornography in the US...
    • Just to be safe, ban anything that offends anybody. Unless the ban or banners are offensive - then it doesn't count.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > I travel in Europe occasionally and some of the commercial billboards I have seen in airports would be considered pornography in the US...

      I don't believe you. Please post examples.

    • by Quila (201335)

      And here I considered Europe more enlightened with their attitudes towards this, and now they're sliding down to the US's level. The only difference is motive: instead of puritanical Christians it's liberal political correctness run amok.

      This is why these days I don't think the political axis of liberal and conservative is as important as authoritarian and libertarian. A lot of liberals are getting quite authoritarian, and it's just as scary as when the conservatives do it.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:50PM (#43106405)

    And speaking of women's rights, are they going to ban Berlesconi too? I mean, I'm in favor of banning him, but not for that reason.

  • by neiras (723124) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:51PM (#43106413)

    I'm getting tired of "Violence against women" being portrayed as a special case worthy of special laws at the expense of everyone else.

    Violence in general is the problem. All violence has victims. Violence typically occurs where society needs new rules and new norms. Right now there is lots of violence against against women, more in some cultures than others. It's ugly.

    Still, when we start getting laws designed to combat violence against group X that end up doing violence to the rights and freedoms of people outsideof group X, we're doing it wrong.

    By all means, let's make rules that discourage violence against everyone - childredn, the elderly, women, men, pets, gingers, neckbeards. Short of widespread deployment of G-23 Paxilon Hydrochlorate [wikia.com], though, humans will keep bashing each other. There's a limit to prevention.

  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:52PM (#43106421)
    Xena reruns only go so far.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:54PM (#43106437)

    This is exactly why consolidation and centralization of power is so dangerous: it leverages the injustice that inevitably results from coercive authority. Whatever flavor of injustice is currently in fashion will be extended and compounded by orders of magnitude. Instead of the isolated cases of injustice that result from small independent states, what you get with consolidation of political power is a nuclear explosion of injustice.

    Of course, for the elite few at the top of the pyramid, consolidation of power is the road to riches.

  • From the article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @01:57PM (#43106481) Journal
    The propsal to ban pornography already passed in 1997, according to the first link in the summary. This one merely calls on the states of the EU to actually take concrete action towards that goal. Also, it's not clear that this proposal is binding at all, even if it passes; it seems more like a 'call to action', encouragement, than anything else. Someone who has deeper knowledge of the EU than I do can clarify. Here is the quote from the proposal:

    17. 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

    I'm not sure anything at all will change even if this passes.

  • 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.

  • by FrankDrebin (238464) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:04PM (#43106609) Homepage
    No need to monitor the internet, just monitor the users. Apparently Kinect can now detect a clenched fist.
  • RTFA (Score:5, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) * <(mojo) (at) (world3.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.

    • Re:RTFA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:47PM (#43107215) Journal

      Banning ads for sex tourism should be a no-brainier I would hope.

      Not at all. The no-brainer is that sex tourism should be legal and regulated, just like any other industry. Tax them and use that money to enforcefair working conditions. Problem solved.

      It is merely trying to remove negative stereotypes from everyday media

      Negative according to who? And why do they get to decide what is negative?

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

      Exactly what sort of harm are you talking about? How is sending the message that sex is positive and desirable more harmful than sending the message that sex is dirty and should be hidden?

  • As usual (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vinegar Joe (998110) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:14PM (#43106761)

    "the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe." - Tom Wolfe

  • The Big Picture (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SirGarlon (845873) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:23PM (#43106881)

    Just from TFS, the headline of the proposal is "Eliminating Gender Stereotypes in the EU." I am not sure that is even a goal that is worthy of support. Are they trying to say that the gender roles that developed over the last 2500 years of European history are without value and need to be expunged from 21st century civilization?

    I'm all in favor of correcting historical inequities like giving women equal pay and practical equality before the law. I also will go so far as to admit it's possible that women as a population might benefit from certain changes in workplace culture or other aspects of society.

    What I don't accept is that everyone is supposed to pretend women are indistinguishable from men. I embrace my role as the bug-squasher and fix-it man, and my wife embraces her role as the cook. Social equality is not the same as mathematical equality. The language of "eliminating stereotypes" is worrisome for that reason. What we need is not a world without differences, but a world where the norms are inclusive of differences.

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:25PM (#43106919)

    Those silly Americans and their prudish- wait, wat?

  • by dittbub (2425592) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:27PM (#43106945)
    I guess all the other problems facing EU have been solved?
  • by kheldan (1460303) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:31PM (#43107021) Journal
    1. Define 'pornography' in a non-vague way. Just sex acts? What about nudity? Suggestive clothing? Suggestive language? Numerous countries have been down this road at one point or another and have failed. The line between what is 'art' and what is 'pornography' will always be 100% subjective.

    2. You can't legislate what people want. There will always be people who want pornography in one form or another, and where there is a demand there will be someone supplying it.

    3. You can't legislate morality, either, which is in essense what this will do.

    4. And how do they think this will be enforced? Existing profitable porn sites will just switch their hosting to a non-EU member country. Are they going to try blocking access in EU member countries (aka censorship)? Good luck with that. See #2, above to cover how that subject will be handled.

    Really, this sounds like just another case of politicians being woefully ignorant when it comes to matters of science and technology.

    Finally, this one last blast:
    So, EU, you've stabilized the economies of all your member states, unemployment is 100% under control, crime and terrorism is 100% under control, etc etc etc therefore you can spend time, money, and energy on something like this? And here I thought that only politicians here in the U.S. acted retarded.
  • by coinreturn (617535) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:32PM (#43107037)
    Yeah, women having sex is such a stereotype. Actually, I think women not wanting sex is the stereotype; therefore everyone must view porn at every opportunity.
  • by elucido (870205) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:45PM (#43107189)

    Then let's build enough prisons (concentration camps?) to put those scumbags in.

  • by clam666 (1178429) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:47PM (#43107225)

    "Calls on the Member States to establish independent regulation bodies with the aim of controlling the media and advertising industry and a mandate to impose effective sanctions on companies and individuals promoting the sexualisation of girls;"

    Thank God. I was worried because we hadn't had a strong government control over the media since the 1930s in Europe. I look at this as positive signs of a strengthening EU, and the champion of this should be Germany, what with them having the only sound economic basis.

    I wasted time reading the whole "proposal". I'm not sure why they couldn't have just used the word "citizens" or "people" instead of micromanaging it to "girls" and "women". Next you'll need every other damn subgroup there is. Why the hell can't they just say "We seek to limit discrimination and sterotyping of citizens based on religion , national original, gender, whatever"...why do they always have to divide and conquer? Other than the obvious reasons.

    This proposal sucks. Not the least of which they keep spelling it "Labour". They sound like a bunch of damn Canadians.

  • Drat (Score:5, Funny)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @02:51PM (#43107285) Journal

    Scanned the report. No pictures.

  • by dunkelfalke (91624) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @03:19PM (#43107687)

    Excuse me? Hello!? How they bloody dare to complain about getting emails from their employers?

  • ROFL-worthy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by argStyopa (232550) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @03:32PM (#43107857) Journal

    The story just gets funnier as you read it:

    "...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."

    EU Parliament is a triumph of democracy, clearly.

    Really, the moment I start to think that nothing could be more ridiculous than the US Congress, there I go, proved wrong again.

    • Re:ROFL-worthy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Somebody Is Using My (985418) on Thursday March 07, 2013 @04:50PM (#43108935) Homepage

      What's not so funny is that you have to do 95% into this discussion before anyone even mentions this important point.

      Yes, talking about sex is popular but these attempts at restricting pornography come and go. They are usually thrown down because it is difficult to define and as difficult to enforce.

      Blocking messages because "members of the parliament complained about getting emails from citizens" is something I find altogether more interesting - and abhorrent. It is a behavior of a professional ruling caste that no longer feels obligated to its citizenry; in fact, they consider those citizens a nuisance or threat to their profession.

      Dear EU members of parliament (or any politician in a representative democracy): you are supposed to REPRESENT us, assholes! That means you need to listen to what your electorate says, which in turn means reading any messages sent to you. If you get a lot of messages because of a particular issue, that's probably because it is an important issue to them. Your job - the reason you were put into power, and the reason you get a salary at the taxpayer's expense - is to read those damn messages,

      None of this is news, of course. Politicians have always screwed over the common man. What /is/ new is how, increasingly, the politician caste is blatantly, /obviously/ open about ignoring its responsibilities. They make no attempt to hide their own corruption, that they are either serving only themselves or some other master than the citizenry they swore to represent. /This/ is a topic that needs far more discussion than the titillating sexual mores that have inspired this proposal and so far otherwise dominated the conversation.

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