If you have Showtime, I urge you to watch this week's episode of Bullshit with Penn & Teller. This has been a consistently good series, adding a much needed voice of reason and a cold splash of reality on many subjects. This week, they take on the war on porn.
While their show centered on visual porn, much of the arguments have been used for and against written erotic works. The US Government has long tried to censor or ban works that offended the sensibilities of a few. They continue to this day by prosecuting text only websites that contain stories local and Federal government officials have deemed to be pornography. While I found the stories on that site offensive - and I'm not easily offended - the fact that the government silences the
discussion of ideas by using the threat of legal action to bludgeon citizens into submission angers me.
Unfortunately, the show wasn't long enough for Penn & Teller to explore all the
ramification of what the anti-porn people said, but one of the most offensive ideas I took away from their arguments was that men are incapable of distinguishing fantasy from reality. One woman claimed watching it led to rape and child pornography. She couldn't prove it, of course, but we were supposed to just take her word for it, because she believed it. My bullshit detector went of big time on that. I'm sure most of the men I know use porn. I'm equally sure none of them are rapist. Why?
Because they are decent human beings. They use their brains. They candistinguished
between right and wrong. They aren't violent. They may have sexual urges, but that doesn't mean that they act on them. Watching sexual acts doesn't suddenly rip away those fundamentalcharacter traits and make men into sociopaths. Come on. Men don't need to have their libidos repressed any more than women do. And this is what it comes down to. Repression of libido as the ultimate government/church method of
controlling people. It's more subtle on men than it is on women, but it exists. And frankly, I'm sick of men being treated like knuckle-draggers who are only kept in line by laws. They deserve more credit than that.