Why is Sex such a Threat?

Lets talk about porn. The thing everyone loves to watch, but not talk. The publicly condemned thing that Russell’s Good Men don’t do.

Yet the Internet revolution’s most visible byproduct. The business which alone prevents www boom from going bust.

However starting June 23, there will be a lot of rethinking around the issue. As the recordkeeping and labeling law, 18 U.S.C. §2257 is being worked on by the current administration, certainty is that it will interfere with quite a few issues.

Well so far, the law stated that websites dealing with adult materials (or whatever is that) must explicitly state that the performers are above 18 years of age, and the custodians needed to have that record. No one had any problem with that. For years, this never interfered with either the audience or the industry.

The upcoming stipulation, against which the Free Speech Coalition has moved, will more likely to be another act. Akin to the draconic act of Patriotism, this one will be one of Moralism.

Lets’ see (or at least I see it this way) what does the new act have in store for all of us (hey, porn stars are one of us, and we are the gleeful audience of course, and wait, wait, wait, the law will affect even the puritans too!):

1. No Sharing: All the thieves will be punished. That is, if one stole a picture from a website, then one had it. So no steal-what-you-want freedom. It may well be a matter of questioning the right to “share”. Music, files and now images. In addition, who decides what is porn? What’s important to remember here is that people who believe in sharing things, even extremely harmless and often aesthetic pieces of nudity, will be under scrutiny.

2. Technology control: Web designers beware. Not just producers, actors, viewers, but the web designers too come under this now on. This old tactic is always helpful when one wants to scare the shit of anyone depending on the tech-geeks. Visit any adult site and one can guess why web designers are so crucial. Streaming video, interactive menus and even posting of the legal clauses, are all done by these simply adorable creative professionals.

3. Ignorant victims: How many of us really want to read the porn laws? The AVN award stories? So naturally enough, not many of us would want to know what happens to “those” people. If the State does something about porn industry, it must be for good. Well, not quite. Remember Michael Jackson was charged with abnormal behavior because he kept adult materials in his room. For all of us who are not connected with the AVN, but still go through the adult (what the hell else are we?) materials, will come under purview. Reading between the lines is crucial. Previously we respected a law forbidding children. Now we shall respect a law forbidding adults. From doing what? Watching dicks and tits. Next, they will take the biology texts out of school and teach that God created children and adults with sex organs, but not a platform to express the feelings unless they adhere to God’s way of heterosexual adult monogamous unions where the man will dominate and rename the woman’s surname and end up in a selfish unit called normal family.

4. No ‘Adult’ Community: Sharing is bad, according to our administration. Is caring too? Well, lets look at Yahoo public chatrooms. There used to be more than thousands of “user-created chatrooms” where chatters themselves created the room names and invite people to join in conversation. It could range from “Atheists at Atlanta” to “Feet-fetish Couples Cam to Cam”. The groups used to have their self-regulations and of course, yahoo groups used to be some of the most democratic forums ever managed in the world history. You don’t belong there if you don’t prove that you had the eligibility to adhere to the group norm. So, no wonder people crowded user-created rooms in much larger numbers than the yahoo’s default rooms. Because unlike Yahoo’s assigned mechanical group names, people preferred chatrooms which cared about their interests and organized similar others. Well, I hate to break the news, if you have not been a visitor much. Last week, Yahoo considered closing all the user-created rooms. Excuse: they violated the terms of service. (All of them?)

5. Atomized behaved humans: What else is gonna happen two days from now? Most of it is already happening. Thousands of bloggers who shared their stories, pictures (and yes even the new sexual positions they tried and wanted to let the world know from them first-hand than from excavating temples in northern India) and experiences, have started closing their sites. The new clauses want people to behave, you see. How else do you control people until you teach them how to behave in the classicist manner?

6. Who wants porn: The bigger concern however, is psychological. Whereas Michael Moore went ahead and read out the Patriot Act and made millions on a movie, how many of us will go out on the street and yell, hey folks, this law sucks because it does not allow us to see porn materials and we as adult have inalienable rights to witness erotic materials, without being probed into! Of course we are good people and we wont do such a thing. Let the law be passed, even the government be changed. With a Democratic Party coming back, despite Kennedy’s legacy, how many will go to repeal the bill proclaiming that Americans love adult materials? Just look at the issue surrounding Janet’s breasts. You know what I mean. The politically incorrect stands are often more difficult to take. In this situation of holy cow, almost impossible.

7. The bleak future: The most damaging evidence is not what surfaces. It is what will follow. Only fools go by the precise language of the laws. What we need to look for is the jurisprudence of the law. What are the scope of it? How come suddenly we are asked to prove patriotism by conforming to racial norms? How come suddenly the media owners are given freedom to buy and sell democratically so that the independent ones are swallowed away? How come some conservatives keep ranting about their moral views and condemn everyone else to hell in mainstream television channels? How come our Privacy is a matter subjected to forcible administrative intrusions, but when one voluntarily decides to share with the world as not an individual but a community member, it becomes an issue?

8. Irrational proposition: The administration wants every personal detail (including identification details) of everyone involved in online adult community (remember so long it was a movie industry, there was no problem. Only when people voluntarily without having to pay tax for showing their bodies came together online, did it become such an issue). The truth of the matter is that majority of people want to remain anonymous anyway. Plus, how does it feel when for every book you want to buy you furnish your details at the bookstore (not that it does not happen these days at the public libraries)? What if people just want to be there, but not be identified? What the heck? Why is the administration so bothered? Why is this so fucking an issue?

9. Why is sex such a threat?

You may add, why is bombing civilians not? Because consensual sex is the most peaceful activity that anyone can indulge in. When it is not used for sole purpose of procreation (the conservatives argue that it is… as an act for reproduction), sex is a political activity of subversion. It is one which vehemently sings the song of union, in unison, with love, with caring, with giving, with compassion and understanding.

That is why sex is so powerfully threatening to reactionaries. Hence it must be indoors, in private and no one wants a conversation on .

Talking about the porn, it is two fold: One, in its grotesque form of capitalistic exploitation of body images for furthering commercial gains, it is as normal as cigarettes. The administration has no problem with it as long as it earns some additional taxes. After all how many have bought a porn video at the price of a Hollywood flick? Its always priced higher. Without questions, the audience pay up. To fill up the administration pockets.

In its second avatar, it is threatening. When porn starts started blogging and joined ranks with millions of housewives, teenage girls and boys, and gays and lesbians and some of those heterosexual non conformists, the government felt alarmed. First, pro-choice in case of abortion, and now these people want to discuss sex in public!

How can we forget we live under the rule of the good people: Who don’t apologize for having lynched thousands, bombed millions and kept billions under forced debt and poverty. But they have a god to answer to, only when it comes to sexless moralities.

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Author: Saswat Pattanayak

Journalist, Generalist, Atheist, Poet, Lover, Photographer, Communist, Third wave Feminist, LGBT ally, Black power comrade, Peacenik, Anti-capitalist, Critical media theorist, Radical film critic, Academic non-elite…

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