I was interested to learn that new legislation came into effect this week in Britain. This legislation (nicely described here) changes the way the Video on Demand services (actually classified as TV-like services) are regulated. Previously VoD services were regulated by an advisory list from the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) on what would be classified as Illegal if broadcast. The new legislation changes all of that and now dictates that TV-Like services come under the regulatory powers of the BBFC (British Board of Film Certification), the most important part of this is that the BBFC already has an R18 classification which describes what can and can’t be shown in a film suitable for 18 year olds. There are plenty of blogs out there which give many reasons on why this in itself is a bad thing, and given they’ve spent a lot more time on it than I have this evening so I shall point you in their direction later. I want to look at something bigger.
What’s worrying about this new legislation is not specifically it’s impact on the UK porn industry (although it will definitely have one) it’s the increasing trend that the government thinks it should control what we can and can’t do, what we can and can’t enjoy. Currently “two consenting adults” means you can get away with most things within the privacy of their own bedroom however there is an increasing focus on what that consent means worry that people are over stretching the given consent and people increasingly worrying about how to retrospectively prove that consent was had when confronted with a court of law.
If we aren’t careful there is a real chance that we will see an increasing pressure to conform to society “norms”. It intrigues me that we live in one of the most liberal societies of recent times (the LGBT movement in particular is a great example of the successes on this front) and society as a whole is becoming more and more accepting of the kink community we find that it is our governments that seem unable to cope with the change. It is they who find the need to clamp down and introduce new laws to cover the revelations of the kink community and often with very little real understanding about how our world operates. This is a knee jerk reaction by a set of people suddenly finding themselves completely out of control.
There are lots of groups out there who are advocating that we, the community, need to fight this change; that we need to campaign for our rights and I completely agree but we need to go further. We need to educate those who are afraid of us, those who don’t understand that enjoyment can be had in all forms and that although the law should keep us safe from others, it cannot do that at the expense of our enjoyment.
Taking away the freedom for enjoyment is a very slippery slope…
- Obscenity Lawyers explantion
- Girl on the net – We are all fucked
- Pandora Blake – Canary Coalmine
- Stavvers – How the new porn regulations adversely affect women
- Backlash – Defending freedom of sexual expression