Porn debate moves to ABC religion/ethics; end of Catalonian bull fights; go the f***k to sleep

26 Sep

And while we’re on the subject, for some reason articles on pornography seem to have been removed to the Religion and Ethics section of ABC’s The Drum from the main Drum Opinion pages, where they always drew a great deal of very varied commentary. My  first article there, Pornify This, resulted in some 472 comments before the thread was closed.

Why the ABC no longer appears to consider the pornography debate a mainstream issue is a mystery. Apparently it only concerns those who come to it from a religious and ethical perspective, and those are the terms in which the debate has now been framed on the public broadcaster.

Pornography is a mainstream issue, as those who rail against it are forever reminding us. It’s everywhere we look, they claim, from Bill Henson’s photographs, to women’s magazines, to outdoor advertising, to the cosmetic industry, to fashion houses, to Barbie dolls. So how come the ABC has marginalized the topic to Religion and Ethics?

On the positive side, at least the extremists aren’t getting the coverage they used to enjoy when their articles were front page. That’s not all good, though, because the debates their convictions inspired were lively and full of engaged energy, ample proof, I would have thought, that the topic is of great interest to a lot of people.

Three years ago in a Barcelona square on a hot July afternoon, I signed a petition to end bullfighting in Catalonia. I’d just given a conference paper titled: The Experience of Being Injured: an Otherwise Perspective at the Myth, History, and Memory Conference at Barcelona University.  Today, bullfighting is finally ended, in Catalonia at least.

This is just a small example of how anybody can help make a change, even at the other side of the world.

I’m away for the next few days attending the birth of a grandchild, up there on the list of my life’s very bestest experiences. Seeing my children with their children almost makes motherhood worthwhile.

I’m taking Mr Rabbit and Jemima Puddleduck with me in the form of cereal bowls and cups, as well as Go the F**ck to Sleep, made (in)famous by Noni Hazlehurst‘s reading here on YouTube, a gift for the first-time parents who have told me a million times that the baby isn’t going to make any difference to their routines. A wise woman, I say nothing.

See you in a few days.

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6 Responses to “Porn debate moves to ABC religion/ethics; end of Catalonian bull fights; go the f***k to sleep”

  1. paul walter September 26, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    Is there NOT such a creature, Jennifer?
    No, there is a little grab bag of social issues just in the background, held back by common consent by the big parties and p*rn, identity issues often involving gender, ethnicity etc, that are often situational in the real sense also.
    My paradigm would be that sad rud 486 nonsense in QLD, where the young people were hounded up hill and down dale because they had chosen not to continue a certain course in their lives ’til they were older and better able to cope with full-on adult demands involving family planning in, well, a meaningful sense. Both Labor and the Conservatives silenced Anna Bligh and prevented adequate legal relief for these young people through parliament. Euthenasia emerges from time to time without ever receiving the legal resolution petaining to a fine current legal balance. The likes of Conroy and the other Lyons Forum types in FedParliament would give the vile internet feed censorship a chance of getting up, both useful for reinforcing our dumbed down zeitgeist and mentality and monitoring political and philosophical infeeds.

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  2. Sam Jandwich September 27, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    “…almost makes motherhood worthwhile.”

    Well that’s not very encouraging for people still nervously contemplating the children question, Jennifer! And especially for someone whose partner receives daily invitations to join convents in Papua New Guinea… comments like that might just tip her over the edge!

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  3. Sam Jandwich September 27, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Haha! Best wishes for the birth of your grandchild though. Having a new addition to the family is always a very significant experience – so I hope all goes well.

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    • Jennifer Wilson October 1, 2011 at 3:41 pm #

      Well, we have another boy – Archie Baz, 6lbs 3ozs, (sorry can’t do babies in metric) totally gorgeous, totally scrumptious and I could hardly bear to say goodbye for a while. Sorry,Sam, don’t be discouraged by my cynical comments! It’s a journey (!!!! aaaargh!!!) and one with no destination, as far as I can see!

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  4. Beste September 28, 2011 at 5:43 pm #

    apparently the article from Nina Funnell is just an extract from Big Porn Inc. Someone at ABC Religion help MTR promote her book.

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    • Matthew September 29, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

      If you include Dines piece, there’s been five articles on the book since 6 September; “Nothing radical about mass-market masturbation” by Tankard Reist and Bray, “The Porn Report: A studied indifference to harm” by Helen Pringle, “Time to start telling the truth about the porn industry” by Dines, “Rescuing sex from porn” by Hamilton and “Just kids being kids? Sexting and peer-to-peer porn” by Funnell. There has been just one rebuttal to all of this; “Let the facts about porn speak for themselves” by Alan McKee, who co-authored “The Porn Report” and was responding to Pringle’s criticism of his book.

      Yeah, most of the pro Melinda stuff is just extracts of the books. Having read the first 25 pages of the eBook version, plus all the other extracts published elsewhere, it’s a really poor piece of work. For evidence to say that porn is bad, they mostly use anecdotes from unnamed women who tell how they affected by porn. Much like her anti-abortion book “Giving Sorrow Words: Women’s Stories of Grief after Abortion”, the stories are about their reaction to the subject, not actual effects of it. Also what comes across is what they seem to view as their entitlement to their partner’s sexuality. In other words they seems horrified that their partner might look at another woman (none of the stories suggest that their partners had an affair) and that masturbation is actually cheating on a partner.

      Secondly some of the latter essays conflate illegal activities such as child porn, bestiality and animal death porn, and the trafficking of women with the commercial porn industry. Sure if you go back to the late 1960’s, some European porn companies like Color Climax did produce some child porn and bestiality films, and some bestiality videos are produced in Japan today, however the book’s main target is the modern commercial industry. It has nothing to do with the illegal activities mentioned. I want to read a couple more of the latter chapters, but can’t find the book in any bookstore I’ve been to. The local library hasn’t got a copy either. I’m not paying Spinifex or Bray or Tankard Reist a single cent for this crap.

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