Earlier this month, UK anti-porn advocates won a monumental and far-reaching victory when the UK government passed the Audiovisual Media Services Regulations 2014, in which a whole host of sexual acts are now banned from British porn, based on what the board deems as “content that is not acceptable.” I will get into the list of taboo acts in a moment, but first I think it is important to take a look at what this ruling means. In my opinion, it sets an extremely dangerous precedent, in which some third party or government body can effectively censor anything that they may subjectively object to, even if the material is consensual and harms no one.
Avant-garde Yugoslav film director Dusan Makavejev created films in the 1970s focusing on the intersection between government, society, and sexuality. In his work, he raised a critical eye towards authority and its desire, or more like incessant drive, to eradicate and suppress all freedom and dissent. For his efforts, he was persecuted and eventually blacklisted. As Makavejev so deftly shows in his films, the first line of suppression for any authoritarian government is one of the key sources of our human creativity, inspiration, and personal sense of freedom– our sexuality. History shows that as soon as an authoritarian government rises to power, one of the first things to go is human sexual rights.
Take a look around at the world, and you can see for yourself the crackdown of human sexuality imposed by authoritarian and dictatorial regimes– Egypt’s gay community targeted by government crackdown http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/17/egypt-gay-community-fears-government-crackdown , Russia’s institutional violence and discrimination towards gays http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/religious-right-leader-backs-russian-cra , Uganda’s anti-homosexuality legislation http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29994678 , […]