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Not work-safe: Ashcroft vs. the Porn

So Ashcroft wants to crack down on porn, huh? (not work-safe)

Via vidicon


If you don't want porn in your household, that's your own business. Amazingly enough, there are people on my friends list who do not want porn in their households, and that's their decision to make, and I can almost understand where they're coming from. (They don't grok my position very well either, so we can at least agree on that.) But, you see, there's no problem with consenting adults getting their hands on adult materials, as long as all the adults are adult and consenting. (This is leaving, for the minute, the problem of what you do when the person is under the legal age, over the physical/hormonal maturity level to appreciate same, and getting to insane tension levels, completely out of it.)

I want my porn, and I want my porn, and I want my porn. I suspect that this sentiment is echoed by many other people. I would like it to be that people would never get unwanted porn. Do I like porn spam in my inbox? Of course not. Do I like porn pop-up ads when I'm just trying to read a goddamn website? No! Especially because unsolicited/free porn and adware/spyware/malware go hand-in-...um...hand.

It would be so easy if all people who wanted porn could say that they were open to the possibility of porn, but only when they sought it out, or seek their own level of control, and people who wanted to avoid it could choose their own level of exposure.

The problems, of course, start coming in when you have different members of a household who have different wishes on porn. Household Member A may find it revolting and disgusting and degrading; Household Member B may actually enjoy it. Household Member A may put their foot down, or assume that Household Member B will agree, because no self-respecting person could/should like porn. When Household Member B does not agree, perhaps there is a bad communications misfire, and Household Member A will blame it on the corrupting influence of the porn.

It is at this time that I'd like to say that I think that the US in general has a huge problem with its attitudes toward sex and relationships. It is my firm belief that couples who do get in relationship-damaging fights about porn would, and probably do, get in fights just as bad about other things if there is a basic disagreement on the underlying principle of the thing and the thing was also one of those unquestioned bone-deep assumptions. Religion, for example. Who should get married. How to raise a child. Every time you've got a close relationship and an unchecked assumption that goes "All right-thinking people X", you've got the start of a very lovely potential time bomb that has more or less explosive power based on how very wrong you think that the (obviously) wrong-thinking people who don't think the same way you do on the topic are. The more wrong you are certain they are, the worse the explosion's going to be when you find out that your partner is actually secretly wrong-thinking.

And Person A will have innumerable proofs that Person B's way of thinking is really wrong-thinking. And Person B won't be amused.

I really do hate the way that sex is treated in this country with the madonna/whore stereotype, or the madonna/whore/marriage thing. No sex is the only good sex. All sex is equally good for everyone. All sex is acceptable, but only when the only parties participating in any way are in a long-term committed relationship to each other. Kids should be exposed to everything from infancy so they learn. Kids should not learn about sex other than not having it until they are old enough to be married. Sheesh.

How did I learn about sex? I got the basic "where babies come from" lecture when I was around two, because I was having a baby sister, and I was aware that my parents had mixed their genetic material, and now there was a baby growing inside Mama, and I would have a red, wrinkly, crying baby in the household to deal with. (My father believes in truth in advertising. And sure enough, it was a red, wrinkly, crying baby.) When we got chickens, we learned about mating and courtship. The rooster trips over his wing to court the hen, who hunches down so he can hop on top, and if she sits on her eggs, there could be baby chicks! But there aren't baby chicks every time the rooster hops on top. Grown-ups sleep in the same bed together all snuggly. I wanted a husband so that I wouldn't be sleeping by myself, and I could sleep together all snuggly with him. Roosters keep their testicles inside their bodies. The bigger and meaner the rooster and the bigger and redder his comb, the more likely that when we butcher him, that his testicles are larger than the testicles of the more-pecked roosters. (We did have a few powerful but diplomatic roosters, like Xiao Ji.) I learned about human biological details more in depth in school, that this was how the insides of the anatomy looked. Due to the casual household dress code in private as well as anatomically correct babydolls we'd had when younger, THIS IS WHAT A PENIS LOOKS LIKE, AND THOSE FUNKY THINGS ARE TESTICLES, AND THAT'S THE SCROTUM HOLDING THE TESTES THERE was not news to me.

So, when my mind finally put together "This is the anatomy, and oh! it is fun to do things with the reproductive equipment!" it was not a shocker. I wasn't traumatically introduced to it by someone who was far more experienced. I was a little amazed at the ... creative variety ... but on the whole I was intrigued rather than repulsed.

I seriously think that any household-internal disagreements about the proper place of pornography (accepted or not in that household) would be best carried out in an individual household counseling/mediation situation, where a solution uniquely suited to the beliefs, needs, and individual backgrounds of all concerned could be worked out. (If it couldn't be in that sort of situation, then there are probably other underlying problems between the individuals, or the mediator is not doing their job properly.) I do not think that pornography rulings are something that can be carried out on a level more broad than by household, or perhaps even by neighborhood or city (can any of these stores open up business based here, for neighborhood or city rulings). I think that having national law restricting the ability of a consenting adult to obtain pornography for personal use is insane. I think that money spent on enforcing anti-pornography laws would be far better spent on supporting counseling for those who have a household/relationship difference of opinion on pornography, and those who have suffered sexual abuse.
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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