Posts Tagged ‘Pornography’

To all the people to whom I have said today “Yes, I am a feminist, but I really don’t care” I would like to offer this longer explanation…

I care a great deal about how politicians behave in the roles, and how they spend public money – what they do with their credit cards and their appropriations. I also care a great deal about the exploitation of women, men and children. But I don’t care that Shane Jones watched porn, I really don’t.

There are many terrible things about so much of the porn industry, about the ways it exploits the women and men on film, the way it perpetuates damaging stereotypes about sex and gender.

Before you judge Shane Jones for viewing the products of that exploitation, however, look down at yourself for a moment – where were those clothes made? Any sweatshop labour in there? Any women, men and children exploited for your convenience?

The media and commentator focus on the porn films are because it’s “naughty” or “dirty”; after all it’s about sex and that is something we must never admit wanting or enjoying, and that we must never ever talk about.

And you know what? That there, that exact taboo – strengthened today in all the prurient chatter – does far more damage to New Zealand women than all the porn watching put together. That taboo is responsible for many teen pregnancies, for much sexual abuse being hidden, and for a lot of STD transmission. It also results in (and this matters too) many people having a far less joy from sex than they could.

So, when you express outrage about Shane Jones watching porn and expect me to back you up because I’m a feminist you can expect me to check your clothing labels, and make sure that you know it’s ok to talk about sex, and even to want and enjoy it.

Doing filtering right

datePosted on 09:20, July 17th, 2009 by Anita

Once upon a time quite a long time ago I was involved in the implementation of a porn filter at a public institution. At the time part of my role included “inappropriate use” investigations. I’ve spent far too many hours sifting through web and other access logs, writing up material for handover to the authorities, seizing equipment and seeing the flow on effect of a search warrant executed on someone’s home. I’ve sat across a table from someone I knew and made eye contact while I explained how I had discovered evidence he had repeatedly accessed a bestiality porn site. I wish I wasn’t so aware of just how bad porn has to be before it becomes illegal.

I strongly support voluntary at the border filtering for child porn, if I ran an ISP I would implement it and I would be grateful for any help the government provided. But… the government’s support and actions must be scoped, controlled and open to public scrutiny.

DIA should be doing this, but they should also be doing it right:

  1. The process should be public
  2. The scope should be public
  3. Both should be open to public scrutiny and comment (including a without prejudice process for challenging the filtering of a site).

Releasing the list of sites would be counterproductive but we do have a right to know what they’re up to. Is their mandate only child porn (2(a) of the definition of objectionable) or the other criteria as well? Who will make the decision? What is the review process? Will any monitoring be undertaken? Could that trigger an investigation? Will they guarantee it is only objectionable material? Is there scope for political interference? What does “voluntary” mean? Will there be negative consequences for ISPs that don’t opt in?

I totally support DIA’s stated intention, but the way they are approaching it is just plain wrong.