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The Internet is for....

Prime Minister David Cameron today is to announce controls on internet pornography. Plenty of news coverage you can read for yourself but here is the Guardain

And the BBC story

I made this post just because I can't succinctly put my concerns in social media platform. This does concern me.

Let's get something out of the way: obviously child pornography is wrong, it's child abuse and disgusting and of course should be stopped. That's a given. Let's not also forget the kind of porn that depicts disgusting and violent acts towards grown women-I'm talking violent material, rape and anything else on the spectrum of 'illegal' and 'immoral'

I'm also against the general misogyny of pornography, the using of women as objects and the general demeaning nature of most mainstream pornography.

I am not however against pornography. I also believe that some of what Cameron's minions may deem 'wrong' is actually in the eye of the beholder. In my mind what goes on between consenting adults is between consenting adults and if it gets you off and it's not hurting anyone (or if it is hurting you it's what gets you off...) then carry on. And if you feel ok with filming that and sharing it for others who share that then carry on. Hell if you just want to have regular vanilla sex and put it on the internet I don't care if you're Jenna Jameson or Betty from down the road, if you're happy to share then carry on. I'm about 99% certain there's someone out there who'll want to watch it.

Because not all porn is bad. There's been a big boom in women friendly porn, couple friendly porn. And the average man's definition of porn (man in a trench-coat with a brown paper bag) no longer represents the spectrum of pornography on the internet. Again I'll repeat that includes some bad stuff, that should be stopped, but also a variety of really positive things that promote healthy sex lives. Because when it says block 'porn' it's not just the 'bad' stuff or  a girl doing a things with THAT in THERE on a video it's ALL so-called 'pornographic' material.

This came to light in the corners of internet fandom over the weekend when Tumblr badly implicated some new controls that would make so called 'not suitable for work' blogs difficult to find. Now a great deal of Tumblr would come under that banner, and while I don't personally make or seek out 'pornographic' fan art, I'd be lying if I said I'd never seen any. I'd also be lying if I didn't think some of it was rather good.

And if we stop Tumblr's pictures do we then soon stop Fanfiction, which again contains a good deal of porn. Again I'd be lying if I said I hadn't read any fanfiction that didn't contain so called 'porn' and you know what I've bloody well enjoyed some of that. So there. We let book shops sell 'Erotic literature' hell so called classic books contain what we're calling pornography, people write about sex. Not because it sells, as online writers are doing it for pleasure (ahem). It's also a little thing called freedom of speech.

Why do I care? well no, this isn't a confession about being a porn star to support my studies. It's a cry for freedom of speech and expression. Because what Cameron is proposing looks to me like a slippery slope. The internet has some very dark corners that's for sure, but it also houses a cornucopia of marvelous things.

Child pornography needs to stop. And it needs to be stopped at the source. These people who want it will find a way no matter what you need to stop them doing it. Other forms of 'bad' pornography need to be stopped but again at the source.

Of course the Mother Brigade will be crying at me 'Think of the Children' and yes you think of YOUR children. There are no children in my house, it's not my responsibility or the government's to police what your children watch/read/see it's your job as a parent. Don't expect the government to do it for you. Pornographic material should be labelled online (something fan cultures do really well actually) and parents should be able to control what their children see. The government should not be controlling what I choose to see.


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