There is an extremely unpleasant movement rolling through our fair isle. It appears to move in the shape of something altogether good and wholesome, something which aims to protect people from an unscrupulous and morally degenerative few. But looks beneath the surface, and you will see that it is not that, it is, in fact, something quite the opposite.
I am talking of a new law that the Government is intending to pass, one pushed by a grieving mother who’s daughter was murdered, that will decriminalize the possession of ‘violent or extreme pornography’. Possession of images deemed to be ‘sexually violent’ will incur up to three years in prison. The law was pushed by Liz Longhurst, whose daughter, Jane, was murdered by a man who claimed to be addicted to violent pornography.
One’s heart, of course, goes out to anyone that loses a loved one under such horrific circumstances, but one’s head has to triumph over one’s heart in such an instance, when the consensual, adult, private lives of at least hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people in this country are under threat by a vaguely worded and emotionally driven law.
To understand my outrage at the potential passing of this law, one must understand what is meant by ‘violent’ or ‘extreme’ pornography. We against it, we who may find ourselves accused of criminal behaviour should the law come to pass, willingly accept that things such as necrophilia or bestiality are aspects of the sexual makeup that should remain illegal; for simple reason, they are non-consensual (and yes, I don’t care if a horsey has a hardon, that doesn’t mean the horse is in anyway consenting to being bothered by one of us (to say a physical stimulation is an indicator of consent is to justify rape should the victim’s nipples be erect)).
However, beyond this initial boundary, I’m afraid it has to be said to this grieving woman, Liz Longhurst, that neither she, nor the Government that rules the land in which I live, has any business deeming any act between consenting adults to be illegal. If I choose to consume material that depicts something as mundane as simple BDSM, or something as heavy as simulated rape, provided that material is produced by two consenting adults, who have decided to enact these scenarios under their own free will and share the images with others, neither I or anyone else has done anything wrong. If I acquire images of genuine rape, then I understand the problem. But should I consume images of simulated rape, or consensual violence (again, something like simple S&M play could fall into this category), that has taken place between people who chose to do so, how can I be called wrong?
You see, what this law is moving to do, is to criminalize human emotion, human desire, and – most alarmingly – human thought. The Government, or anyone else, has no place trying to regulate what goes on inside the privacy of my bedroom. I’m sorry, you have no business there.
The disturbingly vague language of this law also leave it open to a horrific level of manipulation. Just wait for some overzealous moral crusader to start calling sodomy a violent sexual act. Just wait for those that enjoy dictating how others should live their lives to begin dictating that all pornography is, in its essence, unnecessary and untoward.
Initially, I was willing to give the woman who pushed this law, Liz Longhurst, a decree of leniency, given the trauma she has been through. But then I came across this disturbing quote:
‘Sometimes the freedoms of like-minded, decent people have to be curtailed because of a few others.’
I am sorry, Mrs Longhurst, but the words you spoke here are anathema to any free society. Let me ask you this, had the man that murdered your daughter been a heavy drinker, would you have sought to criminalize everyone that ever chose to get drunk? If the man had stabbed your daughter to death, would you have sought to criminalize anyone who ever chose to purchase a hunting knife? No one’s freedoms, NO ONE’S, should ever be put up for a vote, or ever put up to a committee to choose if they may exercise them. For such a thing to happen means that I no longer enjoy ‘freedoms’ I enjoy ‘privileges’. What you are saying, Mrs Longhurst, is that I am not free to choose the sexual stimulation that arouses me, rather, that I am permitted, for the time being, to do so.
Just as the Government has no place inside my bedroom, neither does anyone else. You are entitled to your opinion, just as it is your opinion that your daughter would still be alive if the man that murdered her had not been ‘addicted’ to violent pornography. But that is an opinion, Mrs Longhurst, not a fact. And even if it were, then should you not be seeking to deal with the obvious mental illness of this man, rather than potentially criminalizing the thousands, probable millions of us across the country that choose to indulge in pornography that revolves around power exchange, pain or violence?
Someone took away the right that Mrs Longhurst’s daughter had to life. In turn, Mrs Longhurst has pushed this Government to take away the right of others to enjoy consensual sexual lifestyles. Benjamin Franklin said,
‘Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lost both.’
To think that making any kind of violent pornography illegal would help in combat the very serious issue of sex crime is ridiculous. Those that are a genuine danger will merely disappear deeper into the psychosis of their own minds, while those of us that know where to draw the line between fantasy and reality, those of us that understand what is real and what is not, those of us that choose to indulge in such pursuits have to face up to the risk of being called criminals. The freedom of few should never be put at risk to ease the minds of the blinded many.