Banning simulated rape porn, AIBU to be...

(126 Posts)
ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 14:10:26

Uneasy ? Unpleasent -yes. Distasteful -yes. But, outwith arguments re trafficking and drug dependency, where participants consent is given, is this something government should be involved in ?

It feels a little bit like state limiting the boundaries of sexuality. What next ? Who decides ? Will rape in literature, films etc be next?

And what about murder ? What would Hollywood have to say about a ban on images of simulated murder?

Dunno what I think about it, really. Just, as I said, uneasy. confused

Sirzy Mon 22-Jul-13 14:14:06

The difference is that generally speaking (I can't think of any exceptions but I am sure there are some) rape in literature and films is dealt with as a serious subject looking at the effect it has and not glamorising/making it look acceptable.

Although I have obviously never seen any simulated rape porn it is obvious that this is going to glamorise it, make it look like something which is fun/acceptable - so yes i would happily see it banned along with anything else which aimed to make rape seem a good thing.

TylerHopkins Mon 22-Jul-13 14:15:50

Agree with Sirzy

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 14:16:43

We limit the boundaries of sexuality already. We say it is not acceptable to get turned on by sex with children or animals or involving murder.

flatpackhamster Mon 22-Jul-13 14:17:11

Sirzy

The difference is that generally speaking (I can't think of any exceptions but I am sure there are some) rape in literature and films is dealt with as a serious subject looking at the effect it has and not glamorising/making it look acceptable.

You write this - and then you write:

Although I have obviously never seen any simulated rape porn it is obvious that this is going to glamorise it

How is it obvious? How do you know? You haven't seen it. You aren't in a position to make an informed opinion.

Sirzy Mon 22-Jul-13 14:19:40

So what else is it going to be if not to entertain sick bastards people with the actual rape itself? if they wanted to watch people having sex they would watch ordinary porn, therefore having the rape as they draw to watch it means they are using that as the entertainment

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 14:20:37

I agree with Sirzy.

Flatpackhamster, I think Sirzy has enough information in the abstract to give a reasonable opinion without having to watch the glamourised degradation of women.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 14:22:22

"We limit the boundaries of sexuality already. We say it is not acceptable to get turned on by sex with children or animals or involving murder."

But that predicates on lack of consent, surely?

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 14:23:57

'But that predicates on lack of consent, surely?'

Yes, as does rape.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 14:25:48

But this is not about rape. It's about simulated rape.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 14:27:11

And we don't allow simulated child porn.

TylerHopkins Mon 22-Jul-13 14:27:28

How do we know it's simulated? Just as we don't know if the participants in normal porn are doing it wilingly or being forced.

flatpackhamster Mon 22-Jul-13 14:29:45

Sirzy

So what else is it going to be if not to entertain sick bastards people with the actual rape itself? if they wanted to watch people having sex they would watch ordinary porn, therefore having the rape as they draw to watch it means they are using that as the entertainment

But you don't know. You only think you know based upon your existing prejudices. That really isn't a safe place to be making a judgement from.

TylerHopkins

How do we know it's simulated? Just as we don't know if the participants in normal porn are doing it wilingly or being forced.

We do, because they can report a crime to the police.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 14:29:46

If the paticipants in "normal" porn are doing it unwillingly, or being coerced, then it is, surely, rape?

MrsKeithRichards Mon 22-Jul-13 14:30:26

You can get turned on by whatever you want, as difficult as it is to hear, it's the acting upon it where legalities kick in.

Sirzy Mon 22-Jul-13 14:31:45

Flat pack - I have never seen child porn but I know that is wrong.

You don't really need to be an expert on a topic to think it is wrong!

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 14:35:16

Flatpack, I want to live on the planet you're on.
Most rape isn't reported. Most victims know that without corroborative evidence reporting just means they will go through intrusive and traumatic questioning that forces them to relive the crime again and the case is likely to be dropped for lack of evidence, even if they are believed by the police.
And seriously, how likely to do you think it is that a porn actress who shows up at the police and says 'They told me this shoot was with one man and wouldn't involve full penetration and when I got there they told me I had to do more stuff and I wouldn't get paid unless I did, and yes I have done full sex on camera before....' is going to get the case taken to court?

flatpackhamster Mon 22-Jul-13 14:41:17

Sirzy

Flat pack - I have never seen child porn but I know that is wrong.

You don't really need to be an expert on a topic to think it is wrong!

No indeed. We've seen very clear evidence over the last few threads on this subject that ignorance is no barrier to having an opinion.

TunipTheVegedude

Your argument seems to be "It's hard to prosecute rape so we should ban simulated rape just in case", which IMO is the justification of the tyrant. 'Ban it, now, just in case'.

Boomba Mon 22-Jul-13 14:41:31

this is ridiculous angry

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 14:43:09

Nope, I'm taking issue with your claim that we know the participants in porn haven't been forced because they can report crime to the police. It's an awfully naive thing to say. Are you a porn user?

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 14:44:13

flat pack - We all have to make sensible judgements with imperfect information all the time. Nothing in practical terms is completely knowable, particularly what is going on in other people's minds. The fact that the world isn't black and white and there aren't certainties isn't an excuse for doing nothing.
Ultimately, there will be unfair exceptions in any rule you make. For me personally, protecting the vulnerable, whether they are marginalised young women being exploited on film, or young teenagers watching the films and having their sexuality potentially warped, is the most important thing. It is far more important to protect the young and the vulnerable from harm than it is to make sure that a grown consenting, sophisticated adult can indulge in their erotic interests unencumbered. The grown adult has a lot of options. They can read a book, they can play act with a like minded partner, they can use their imagination. Their right to life and liberty is hardly at stake here.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Mon 22-Jul-13 14:48:09

I remember reading - I think it was on the dating thread - that one of the regular male contributors had started seeing a woman who was very heavily into being constrained and had put his hand around her throat to simulate her being held and forced to have sex. He was very uncomfortable about this, refused to be drawn into that side of sex, and decided not to see her again. That woman obviously got kicks from that type of fantasy. Each to their own, I suppose. She might enjoy watching that type of porn.

flatpackhamster Mon 22-Jul-13 14:59:48

missinglalaland

flat pack - We all have to make sensible judgements with imperfect information all the time. Nothing in practical terms is completely knowable, particularly what is going on in other people's minds. The fact that the world isn't black and white and there aren't certainties isn't an excuse for doing nothing.

But banning a legal act on the basis of zero evidence that it is harmful is ridiculous.

Ultimately, there will be unfair exceptions in any rule you make. For me personally, protecting the vulnerable, whether they are marginalised young women being exploited on film, or young teenagers watching the films and having their sexuality potentially warped, is the most important thing. It is far more important to protect the young and the vulnerable from harm than it is to make sure that a grown consenting, sophisticated adult can indulge in their erotic interests unencumbered.

I wonder if all these people you're protecting realise how 'vulnerable' they are? Perhaps you should stop seeing them as 'vulnerable' and start treating them as intelligent, functional human beings making decisions for themselves. Then you might be less prone to patronising them.

The grown adult has a lot of options. They can read a book, they can play act with a like minded partner, they can use their imagination. Their right to life and liberty is hardly at stake here.

Who are you to decide what consenting adults should be allowed to get up to?

This is, of course, ignoring the stupid idea that it's possible to 'ban' chunks of the internet that MN disapproves of.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 15:02:29

missinglalaland, thanks for a very considered post. I would take issue when you say that liberty is not at stake here. One thing which has been emphasised on the news today is that peer to peer sharing, where these predators share images privately, via email, or on the darknet, is one area incredibly difficult to target. I can certainly see a situation where an argument very much like yours is used to justify vastly increased government intrusion into our emails etc.

meditrina Mon 22-Jul-13 15:04:00

What is missing from this (utterly lacking in substance) announcement, is how such pornography will be defined. Until this is made public, we have no idea what might be included. Would a film such as Accused be banned?

If the rationale is the banning of portrayal of acts which would be a RL crime, then what about gory 'torture porn' movies?

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 15:08:57

Very much one of the things I am wondering about, meditrina.

Apparently has been law in Scotland for some time, with either zero or one prosecution.....

YoniMontanasLittleFriend Mon 22-Jul-13 15:09:19

Im on the fence on this as i agree i think its disgusting but surely if its banned then bd sm should also be banned as in it glamourises control and torture .

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 15:10:26

Have you seen The Accused Meditrina?
Of course it won't be banned. It's not pornography. While there's some scope of variations between different definitions, a film that is neither explicit nor for the purpose of sexual gratification is not going to come under the heading of pornography.
There will no doubt be cases at the boundaries for lawyers to argue over but it's fairly clear what this law is intended to catch.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 15:12:09

"it's fairly clear what this law is intended to catch."

I don't think fairly clear laws are ever a good idea...........

I really struggle with where I sit on this. I am fundamentally a libertarian and get very frustrated with the slow erosion of our civil liberties. The problem with, for example, rape porn being banned is where is the line drawn and by whom.
I abhor this type of porn myself but in most cases it is performed by consenting adults for the entertainment of adults and no laws are broken.
By allowing that to be banned we give the gov't yet more power to tell us what to do, what to watch, what to think. Orwellian dystopia starts on this slippery slope...

I'd rather see the investment being made to improve education and awareness for sex industry workers of all types and education within the justice system to remove some of the obstacles to them reporting sex crimes as listed by a previous poster. Prostitutes are raped and ignored by the police or given short shrift in the courts too.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 15:18:27

Flat pack -

Making laws and regulations is the process of making things illegal today that weren't yesterday based on our judgements. There isn't zero evidence of harm. There is growing academic evidence of a great deal of harm.

It seems to be me that the "patronising" argument is always called out as a final attempt to make us feel ashamed for caring about and protecting other people. Ultimately it comes down to my sense of responsibility as a participant in this society. Deep in my gut, I don't think these young women are leading wonderful, exciting, self actualised lives. I think they are being used. I wouldn't want it for the little girls I know and care about. Any amount of pseudo-intellectual hooey about it being a "choice" wouldn't sway me.

Who am I to have an opinion? Why I am an educated, informed, member of this society participating in the debate about how we should be governed, just like yourself!

I might be misunderstanding you, but your argument seems to be that consent is the magic ingredient that makes everything tickety boo. I agree with you that consent is an absolute necessity; I just don't agree that consent magically makes everything and anything ok.

happygirl87 Mon 22-Jul-13 15:18:39

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm I am also on the fence about this- because the issue is that participants in porn depicting consensual acts could be in fact drugged, exploited, trafficked or coerced, whilst those in porn depicting rape may in fact be consenting and happy. I know it's somehting some people find odd, but some women get aroused by the idea of being a victim in a rape fantasy, and therefore may be happy to be in one of those videos (assuming that in reality they are consenting to be in the video and being properly paid, etc) I assume your average porn downloaded is not able to tell (and may not care?) whether the large-breasted, well-oiled, scantily clad woman on their screen is pretending to consent, or pretending not to.....

The law as it currently stands (from Wikipedia):

Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 is a law in the United Kingdom criminalising possession of what it refers to as "extreme pornographic images".[1] The law was enacted from 26 January 2009.[2][3] It refers to pornography (defined as an image "of such a nature that it must reasonably be assumed to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal") which is "grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character" and portrays "in an explicit and realistic way" any of the following:

- An act threatening a person's life
- An act which results (or is likely to result) in serious injury to a person's anus, breasts or genitals
- An act which involves (or appears to involve) sexual interference with a human corpse
- A person performing (or appearing to perform) an act of intercourse (or oral sex) with an animal (whether dead or alive)

-------
So currently, the depiction of quite a range of BDSM practices is already illegal. Also, note that the human corpse and animal clauses don't actually have to involve intercourse with a corpse or an animal, they only have to appear to.

I have absolutely no problem with simulated rape porn being added to that list.

Policing it is of course another issue altogether.

happygirl87 Mon 22-Jul-13 15:20:11

Obviously there are also issues of liberty, nanny state etc- but I meant specifically just in terms of the laws (presumed) aim of preventing exploitation and titilation via victims of crime

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 15:21:46

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmm -

I agree with you. I wouldn't want to see an intrusion into people's private emails. That would clearly be disproportionate.

happygirl87 Mon 22-Jul-13 15:22:23

Plenty, I'd be interested to see cas elaw on what constitutes "serious" in context opf that law.... (in terms of S&M). However, at law school many years ago I was taught that you can't technically consent to GBH, only ABH, so many activities that go on in S&M relationships are technically criminal- this is clearly not policed.

meditrina Mon 22-Jul-13 15:23:46

Yes, I've seen The Accused. It includes the rape scene. Would that scene have to be removed for the rest of the film to be shown? This is exactly why definitions are crucial.

A rape in film A is just as much a rape as that in film B.

if you start bringing in concepts of "acceptable depictions of rape" then the task of building a clear definition that would stand up in court is unlikely to be productive.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Mon 22-Jul-13 15:27:33

meditrina - and I have no doubt there are people out there who have masturbated to that scene. As you say, what becomes "acceptable depictions"?

Dahlen Mon 22-Jul-13 15:28:11

It's all about the issue of consent isn't it? Which is why children/animals/corpses are banned - because they cannot consent.

Rape denies consent. Whether in practise or simulation is surely irrelevant because the act depicted on screen for titillation purposes is non-consensual.

There is a wider debate to be had on the depiction of rape/murder etc in mainstream Hollywood type films as these could be argued to be just as titillating, but those scenes tend to form part of a bigger plot rather than being the point of the film IYSWIM.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 15:30:01

Firstly the rape scene in The Accused is nothing like as explicit as rape scenes in porn.
Secondly there is no way the purpose of the scene is for the sexual gratification of the viewer.

If Cameron was talking about banning all depictions of rape ever you'd have a point, but he's not, he's talking about porn.

FobblyWoof Mon 22-Jul-13 15:30:58

Porn, especially more of the hardcore variety, normalises things. Things that would/could potentially evolve into something consenting between two loving parties. Unfortunately the other side of that is that because these things are so very readily available it normalises things to an extent where you have people first experiencing real life sex and thinking things like asking to cum on a girls face is normal and acceptable when first starting out. And when the girl disagrees there's then the pressure (be it being called a prude, or something more jokey etc, etc).

That effect will bleed over in far more serious categories such as rape etc if it's not only normalised in this way but also depicted how it is. "oh, she's up for it, look at the way she's dressed." "you'll enjoy it once I get started." etc etc.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 15:30:59

meditrina -
I think an attempt could be made at drawing a line between rape in art or literature, where it is part of a larger story that encourages thought, debate, or a greater understanding of the human condition, and pornography where it really nothing more complex than masturbation material.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 15:31:44

Dahlen - Well put!

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 15:34:23

FobblyWoof - Yes! This is the concern; and where I think teenagers are vulnerable. It's not just the young women being used in the filming, it's the adolescents who watch it as well who might be harmed.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 15:57:50

missinglalaland , yy, but then , surely, we are back to " a tendency to deprave or currupt, the Oz trial, and all that brings with it.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 16:01:55

Things -
You are right, the line is hard to draw. The people drawing it look silly. Sometimes it is drawn in the wrong place.

For me, it is better to keep struggling to draw the line and having the ongoing debate then to have no line at all and just let everything rip.

ThreeTroikas Mon 22-Jul-13 16:08:19

But access to porn has always been restricted. Its just the internet that's opened it up lately. And you can build an argument for that opening up of internet porn for bringing down moral barriers.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 16:08:19

'missinglalaland , yy, but then , surely, we are back to " a tendency to deprave or currupt, the Oz trial, and all that brings with it.'

Yes, I think we are, Things, but I think the kneejerk libertarian preference for free expression in every possible way that our generation tends to start off with is harder to justify than it used to be, given the nature and spread of porn now.

In the 60s it will have seemed ridiculous that people were talking about viewers being corrupted by the mere sight of naked bodies, or by a film of two people having a mutually enjoyable shag. But what we've ended up with is kids getting their sex education from rape porn. If it was easier to stop children and teenagers accessing it I'd be more tolerant of its existence (though still pretty dubious about the motives of those who get off on images of women being raped). Teaching kids that sex is about hurting women probably could reasonably be called depraving or corrupting them.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 16:13:11

What does "yy" stand for?

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 16:13:45

TunipTheVegedude -
Thank you. That is just what I would like to say if I were more articulate!

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 16:18:38

missinglalaland , yy= yes. (I know....)

TumbleWeeds Mon 22-Jul-13 16:19:02

YY = yes yes

Tee2072 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:20:37

"And we don't allow simulated child porn."

Yes. We do. Ever seen any porn marked "barely legal" or similar? Supposedly 18 year olds dressed as school girls?

That would be simulated child porn.

This is a horrible plan BTW. I will opt in in anyway necessary in order to not have my Internet censored.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 16:23:12

Thanks blush

GummyLopes Mon 22-Jul-13 16:26:00

I think they should. I think the people getting off on it probably haven't experienced it.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 16:29:13

Yes, we do allow 'barely legal' (I've read Gail Dines on this and know exactly what you're referring to) but my point here, which I think was fairly clear, is that there is a category of material that would already not be allowed due to its content regardless of whether or not actual children were harmed in its making. If it were simulating actual younger children, rather than porn fantasy big breasted girls sucking lollipops with their hair in bunches (yuck) the makers would not get away with it as they do.

flatpackhamster Mon 22-Jul-13 16:29:51

TunipTheVegedude

Yes, I think we are, Things, but I think the kneejerk libertarian preference for free expression in every possible way that our generation tends to start off with is harder to justify than it used to be, given the nature and spread of porn now.

The jerking of knees is taking place entirely on the side of the bansturbators.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 16:31:51

'Bansturbator' is a silly word.
Are you a porn user, Flatpack?

TumbleWeeds Mon 22-Jul-13 16:31:54

The problem is, how can you say it was 'simulated' rape?
In case of a murder in Hollywood films, you might really see the crime, you might have lots and lots of special effects that you will be able to see if you look at the film image after image.
In the case of 'simulated' rape, how do you know?
1- you need to see there is PIV for sure so it needs to be about porn.
2- And then how will you know it's a simulated rape rather than a real one? Apart from having an 'actor' who will be happy to play the victim and have PIV, can you have any special effect that will protect the actor (like actors are protected in a crime scene) but will give the feel that a rape has happened?
And then most importantly, in a 'crime scene' in Hollywood films, everyone knows it's about special effects. Not about doing things for real. What about all the porn films? Is the idea not exactly the opposite? That the actors ARE doing the stuff for real and that's why you can get all these 'arousing' images?

And what if we actually put a legislation on what is allowed re our sexuality? I would be very uneasy with a situation that would normalise behaviours that are 'extreme' (eg being turned with the idea of being raped) so much so that people who are not that way inclined will feel they have to do it anyway 'because it's normal to do so'.
Note that I am not talking about a legislation on what happens in the bedroom. That IS up to individual taste.

Tee2072 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:37:11

Tunip it matters not if someone is a porn user. I am a porn user. So what?

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 16:38:14

What I find incredible, and rather disgusting, is how ready porn users are to take the risk that what they are jerking off to is non-consensual. Even if a large number of the women performing are free from addiction, economically in a position to pick and choose, and totally cool about it, how does the porn user know that those are the ones s/he is watching?
Porn in which the actress was manipulated into doing acts she wasn't comfortable was doesn't come with a sticker warning you, so every time you pay money to watch something like that you are risking paying money to someone for raping women.

I find it absolutely gobsmacking that most porn users think that risk is fine. Some are probably naive about the reality of the porn industry but I think many know but choose to ignore it.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 16:41:00

x-posted there, Tee. That's why I think it matters.

Obviously there are some people who have enough nous and awareness of the industry to be in a better position to seek out genuinely non-exploitative porn than others, but from Flatpack's post earlier about how we know porn must be consensual because otherwise the victims would go to the police, I suspect s/he is not in that group.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 16:41:21

Tunip,

Re Gail Dines, you may enligten me yet ! Not heard of her before , will be looking at her blog etc with interest.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 16:42:56

Gail Dines

Pornland is an excellent book, though one you will wish you hadn't read.

The porn industry aren't too keen on her.

ICBINEG Mon 22-Jul-13 16:51:30

The major problem for me is that you can't tell whether material is viewed with a view to sexual gratification or not.

There is rape depicted in a Buffy episode I watched recently....I could have been jerking off to it...or I could be viewing it as intended as a powerful message on how affecting such a thing can be.

So did I break this future law or not?

Tee2072 Mon 22-Jul-13 16:53:48

I am a porn user in terms of reading more than video but, yes, I do think there is a disconnect between the reality of the porn industry and people who use it.

And it's not porn that's bad. It's the porn industry.

However, when there was a movement to make porn more female friendly, it failed.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 16:55:45

Ultimately, it is hard to defend rape porn. I don't see anybody doing that. It's unattractive and unworthy. So, instead, people defend liberty and free speech, instead.

Of course, your liberties end where my liberties begin. We are all constrained by each other. If we weren't, the strong would take everything and the weak would be crushed.

Freedom of speech is a relatively new idea. I don't think it is a good in and of itself. It is good because it allows us to challenge authority, debate, think through challenges together and avoid tyranny. It is most important, when it is political speech. Free speech in regards to pornography is fairly selfish and frivolous. No harm in being selfish and frivolous, if you are having fun and aren't hurting anyone else, but I think it is hard to argue that internet rape pornography is doing us a great good that outweighs it's harms.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 17:04:48

I am basically a libertarian. And distrustful of government.

When ANPR cameras were introduced, they were going to be used to combat organised crime, and terrorists. Now, they are in car parks, and the government sells our data to cowboy clampers.

When the government says it will be banning something, I reach for my (metaphorical) revolver.

However, some of the contributions here have definitely given me food for thought.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 17:05:06

'There is rape depicted in a Buffy episode I watched recently....I could have been jerking off to it...or I could be viewing it as intended as a powerful message on how affecting such a thing can be.

So did I break this future law or not?'

Even if you were jerking off to Buffy, you won't have been breaking the law, because unless Buffy is a lot more explicit and less interesting than I remember it, it's not porn.
Legal definitions of porn vary but AFAIK they tend to involve 2 things: it has to be explicit, and it has to be material made primarily for the purpose of sexual gratification.

Someone getting off on something doesn't turn it into porn.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 17:09:56

Missinglalaland - I absolutely agree. You put that really well.

Things - I do see where you are coming from re distrusting governments.

Fillyjonk75 Mon 22-Jul-13 17:13:16

Free speech in regards to pornography is fairly selfish and frivolous. No harm in being selfish and frivolous, if you are having fun and aren't hurting anyone else, but I think it is hard to argue that internet rape pornography is doing us a great good that outweighs it's harms.

I agree. In fact I think an awful lot of porn is degrading and harmful to women and the good of internet porn generally is outweighed by the harm it causes.

Tee2072 Mon 22-Jul-13 17:21:25

Free speech has to be complete and total, or it's not free speech.

As soon as you start restricting it, it's no longer free speech.

Who decides what should go on the censorship list?

And, yes, I disagree with hate speech laws as well.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 17:28:07

So you're cool with libel, threats and child porn (as long as no children were harmed in the making) as well?

Can we shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre?

Fillyjonk75 Mon 22-Jul-13 17:33:09

Wrong, free speech has to be restricted to the extent it impinges on someone else's freedom. I.e. the freedom to walk down a street without being subjected to threatening language.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 17:39:37

TunipTheVegedude -

^So you're cool with libel, threats and child porn (as long as no children were harmed in the making) as well?

Can we shout 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre?^

You said it before I had the chance!

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 17:42:50

Things - I think you are right to be cautious about any new restrictions or additional government control over us. This just seems to me like applying the existing standards that we had over porn to a new medium, the internet.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 17:43:54

I had resisted..........

It's all got a bit Rumpole at the Old Bailey.... wink

flatpackhamster Mon 22-Jul-13 17:45:59

TunipTheVegedude

Obviously there are some people who have enough nous and awareness of the industry to be in a better position to seek out genuinely non-exploitative porn than others, but from Flatpack's post earlier about how we know porn must be consensual because otherwise the victims would go to the police, I suspect s/he is not in that group.

That wasn't what I wrote, of course, but it pleases you to imagine that it was.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 22-Jul-13 17:47:25

But did things like rape porn exist before the internet ? Dont think it's just the medium which has changed, it seems to be the message.

Given that generally, peoples sexual preferences are fixed(ish), why should this be?

You wrote this, flatpack ...

How do we know it's simulated? Just as we don't know if the participants in normal porn are doing it wilingly or being forced.

We do, because they can report a crime to the police.

(your bit in bold) What did you mean by this? I interpreted it in the same way as Tunip. confused

babybarrister Mon 22-Jul-13 17:59:22

Yanbu - if people want t watch simulated adult rape then good luck to them. I wouldn't and I think it rots the soul but I have to say that I feel much more strongly about the violence in many "mainstream' films - what about the torture scene at the beginning of the new Bond film as an example? Time, money and energy should be redirected into dealing with the child porn industry IMO ...

HardlyMotherTheresa Mon 22-Jul-13 18:05:59

I agree with babybarrister about some of the other violence that is shown on mainstream films being beyond the pale too. It is however so hard to think of any drafting of legislation that would catch rape porn that excites men to go and commit such an offence from dramatic scenes in films/ plays that are possibly more acceptable in context.

Perhaps a distinction could be whether or not the main purpose of the rape/ violent sequence is sexual titillation (= unacceptable) or not (= ok, just). "Main purpose" is a legal test used in other areas of law so has some precedent for being workable - judges tend to know it when they see it.

interdasting Mon 22-Jul-13 18:11:38

Let me prefix this post with a warning that I may offend people.
Let me also preempt the "Am I porn user" question with the answer of yes, I am a regular consumer of porn.
I have manifold issues with these new laws and the arguments of those that support them, so bear with me, please.

For one, I have an issue with criminalizing sexual interests that run no risk to other human beings. You may argue that simulated rape could lead to actual rape, but I would argue that not all rapists watch rape porn, and not all watchers of rape porn are rapists. The two categories do, of course, overlap somewhere, but similarly, many rapists eat food. Correlation does not imply causation.

Yes, you may have a personal issue with the concept of rape porn, but as long as it isn't hurting anyone, as long as the producers of the material take steps to protect and safeguard the participants from harm, and it is clearly marked as being fictional etc, along with warnings about harming others, then your emotions are your business and should be kept as such. Unfortunately, by criminalizing the production of such material, it's now not possible to regulate its production in the UK, and it will be produced, because there will always be a subset of people who have those kinds of fetishes. I hesitate to draw parallels, and I think this one in particular will get me crucified because it is not a good metaphor, but the "war on drugs" which criminalizes certain things has not been effective because there are always people who will want to purchase drugs, and the producers consist now of people who create said drugs in sheds with rat poison etc, among others. Outlawing something does not control it; outlawing something puts it beyond control.

As for the porn block, it will be laughably ineffective. ISPs have attempted to block things before, most notably being the website "the Pirate Bay", which is one website, which does not go out of its way to avoid being blocked or hiding what it is. That block has failed, with multiple reverse-proxy servers (websites you can go to that deliver the same content) springing up, and it can also be traversed with proxies, VPNs, anonymity tools, and any kind of traffic tunneling. It'll be extremely costly to implement, it may affect your internet experience (the way this will be implemented is a list of terms that will get a website banned, and if it's automated, there will be false positives and harmless websites could get blocked from casual browsing), and, frankly, it's stupid. Child pornography, for example, is not easily accessible on the normal internet; as someone brought up earlier, it's mostly transferred via p2p, steganography, darknets, and so on.
Instead of wasting my money on "blocking" porn in general (as well as child pornography), I would much prefer if the government actually did something about the producers of child pornography. I'm not going to join in self-promoting back-slapping and congratulatory rubbish when children are still being harmed, but instead of doing anything about that, we've decided to throw a rug over child pornography and say how great it is we're protecting kids.

Basically, I don't agree with criminalizing what people enjoy if it doesn't harm anyone (even if I or others find it unpleasant), I don't agree with outlawing something that needs to be regulated and controlled, and I know that the blocking is not only ineffective, but is just an excuse to say that "something is being done".

Tee2072 Mon 22-Jul-13 18:12:14

Yes. I do think people should be able to yell Fire! in a theatre and I believe they should be allowed to say whatever they want. That's free speech. We don't actually have free speech.

And, yes, there has been rape porn for as long as there has been porn. Written, drawn, at XXX theatres, on DVD and video tape.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 18:21:57

Welcome to Mumsnet, Interdasting.

Your post doesn't offend me, but I have a question for you as a porn user.

You say,
'as long as it isn't hurting anyone, as long as the producers of the material take steps to protect and safeguard the participants from harm, and it is clearly marked as being fictional etc, along with warnings about harming others'

As you probably know, those things aren't guaranteed for the output of the vast majority of the porn industry. As a porn user, how do you ensure you only use material that falls into those categories?

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 18:24:37

(It goes without saying that I strongly disagree with your contention that as long as the performers are ok it isn't hurting anyone.
Promulgating the idea that violence against women is normal is misogynistic and deeply harmful to women.)

I think this one hinges on the definition, and it's going to be hard definition to work out.

Rape is absolutely 100% disgusting, wrong and criminal. Obviously. It shouldn't need saying.

The problem I have with this is that we aren't necessarily talking about rape videos. Because if it's a rape fantasy video featuring two consenting adults then it's not actually rape. I've had so many arguments with idiots who claim women "enjoy" rape as some have rape fantasies where they've completely missed the point about rape being sex without consent.

Emotionally I'd ban it on those grounds alone, as it seems to encourage certain fuckers to think they have a free pass and is an awful way to encourage victim blaming.

However at the same time is it right to ban something that's a consensual act between adults?

Personally I think consent in porn is a bit of a grey area, but legally it isn't.

You get the same issue with BDSM, it's pretending to not consent rather than actually not consenting.

I do personally feel they are both unhealthy fantasies, and I know I'm not alone, but equally I know other people will find that viewpoint offensive.

And all of the above ignores the issue of rape scenes within films/TV, and whether they should be banned.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 18:28:37

There isn't an issue about whether rape scenes in films and tv should be banned. No-one is suggesting they should. It is a straw man.

interdasting Mon 22-Jul-13 18:28:54

TunipTheVegedude, generally I don't consume "mainstream" porn produced by the porn industry. I find it not to my personal tastes. I, of course, cannot ironclad guarantee that anything I watch ensures that nobody is being harmed and that people are safe and being unexploited, but the porn I watch is generally amateur porn of couples that I try and ensure has been uploaded by the actual couple themselves.
It's certainly true that one cannot guarantee that the porn we watch is done safely, but from what I am aware of the American porn industry is under a relatively tough amount of regulation, although perhaps that may not coincide with British regulation (feel free to correct me on that).

Tunip Is that covered in this then? That's good.

Tee2072 Mon 22-Jul-13 18:31:35

Murder, your last point is what's really got me going hmm on that piece of this.

Rape is depicted in all sorts if fictitious medium, film, TV, music. Are they all illegal now? Can Sherlock or Luther no longer solve a case where there was sexual assault?

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 18:33:15

Good to hear you avoid the mainstream porn industry, Interdasting, but if you think amateur means consensual you need to look into it more carefully.
There have been cases of women in abusive relationships being forced to take part in amateur porn and many others where a woman willingly lets herself be filmed having sex but the video is then uploaded without her consent.
If you watch amateur porn there is a risk you will have effectively participated in abuse. Please think again about whether you really want to do this.

I haven't read too much about this, been too busy ranting about people who don't understand technology trying to legislate it. Would be interesting to know exactly what their plans are?

Ok, from BBC News
"We are closing the loophole - making it a criminal offence to possess internet pornography that depicts rape."

Hmm.. depends how they define pornography I guess. If they are defining it as something that causes arousal then that's iffy as that's could shut down film/TV depictions on the basis that someone may find them arousing.

BoneyBackJefferson Mon 22-Jul-13 18:36:24

The thing is Murder that some (as have replied to you) have no interest in understanding the technical issues that this causes.

They are happy to remain ignorant.

interdasting Mon 22-Jul-13 18:36:53

TurnipTheVegedude, you are absolutely correct that promoting violence against women is a terrible thing. Which is why simulated rape porn should be controlled by regulation, and should come with warnings. To promote something is to encourage the idea that it is somehow okay to do.
This is my opinion and feel free to disregard it, but I do not think, though, that rape porn actually does this. In order to depict an actual rape, there would need to be depictions of force, violence, pain, etc, right?
I can't think of a situation in the world in which a normal, healthy human being will see harming another human being and think "Yes, this is okay to do.". I am fairly certain that I could consume dozens of simulated rape videos and still be aware that it is wrong to hurt another human being.
Again, that is my opinion. It is entirely possible that consuming porn of some kind would twist my moral compass and empathy absolutely, to the point where I view harming another person as okay, but I do not think that is the case.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 18:37:15

Interdasting -

I am not offended. I understand your argument. I just disagree. I do think that rape pornography is harmful.

The fact that outlawing it won't solve everything doesn't bother me. I am just pleased that it sends the signal that raping women is repugnant and not mainstream. I also think it will make it less likely that kids will stumble upon it accidentally.

GiddyStars Mon 22-Jul-13 18:37:39

I don't know if this has already been mentioned but often (not all of the time, but it is a known link) it is women who have been victims of abuse and rape who say they enjoy 'rape role playing' or watching 'simulated rape porn'. It doesn't mean that they are actually enjoying it, or being genuinely turned on. Just that they are trying to process what has happened by re enacting it.

I hate that 'but lots of women like it' that is trotted out. It's such a get out clause and just a shrug of the shoulders of any responsibility by the porn industry / men who are that way inclined.

angry

Bit more here, seems it's not too badly thought out in terms of how they define it (context etc).

Does still leave the question of should we ban something even if it's consensual?

Mia4 Mon 22-Jul-13 18:39:18

Rape fantasy isn't that uncommon a kink to be honest. From dubious consent-aka bodice ripping- all the way to forced orgasm and rape fantasy which is at the other end of the scale. One of my friend's used to be into the porn online; we discussed how we both played a few games involving safe words and she showed me the porn she liked for her kink because it was a bit of a surprise to hear her confession.

I'd always told her I enjoyed a bit of domination , throw on the bed and rough sex sometimes so she felt she could open up to me though it's a real taboo subject because people often confuse fantasy with wanting to give or receive the reality.

The websites she looked at involved a video at the end with the actresses and actors chatting and laughing, saying what they enjoyed and didn't so you had a reassurance it was part acting, pat enjoying the fantasy acted out.

But it's hard with any kind of porn to know whether consent is given or not, I've seen even some amateur porn where one party has been really wankered so I'd say that could possibly have consent issues. One of the BDSM websites I loved, which involved no sex as shut down due to consent issues- complaints were made against the person running the company and involving himself in the films, whether he was hurting the guys or not wasn't ever known or disclosed but due to the complaints the site was shut down.

I don't think you should censor things but I think more companies making porn should have some regulation in order to make consent issues clear. Ones which show the actor/actress are completely consenting and enjoying.

The only thing is most non-con porn making companies won't give a damn to be transparent and show there's consent for obvious reasons. But at least there might be a differentiation between companies showing their people want to do porn, and those who are being forced.

Giddy It really is used as a get out clause. I hate it. Does worry me how many idiots believe it too.

Mia4 Mon 22-Jul-13 18:40:23

GiddyStars You're right, some also write fic and fanfic involving rape and rape fantasy for the same reason too.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 18:41:03

This proposal is about pornography.

Even a cursory glance at the BBC news item here makes it perfectly clear this is what Cameron is talking about.

There is no suggestion of banning every depiction of rape in film and literature. So unless you are trying to tell me that Sherlock is explicit material produced for the purpose of sexual gratification then yes, he can continue to solve cases involving sexual assault.

This is about rape porn, people! Not about banning any and every reference to rape.

If people want to wank to rape fantasies in their heads or RP rape fantasies with consenting partners that's one thing. Making a simulated rape porn video and releasing it on the internet is something else - it's then out there as part of the culture within which women have to live their lives. It now has a wider impact than just on the people immediately involved in its production. Same with BDSM.

I know it would be impossible to police in any case but there's a principle here - currently, a corpse, which by definition has no feelings or interests of its own, has greater protection in law than a living breathing woman.

interdasting Mon 22-Jul-13 18:41:40

TunipTheVegedude, "If you watch amateur porn there is a risk you will have effectively participated in abuse."
This is not the case at all. Participation is not the same as witnessing something. If you see a rape and cannot stop it immediately due to being, say, on the other side of a river (terrible example, I know), you have not participated in the rape.
If I was to feel that something I had watched was a depiction of abuse, I would absolutely report it to the police, for example.

Tunip After reading the actual legislation I agree with you. It is quite definitely porn rather than just any depiction of rape. Which is good.

Still feel odd about banning something which is consensual between adults.

My gut instinct is ban it ban it and then ban it some more. But I know that's an emotional response more than anything else.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 18:45:18

That was in answer to Tee's post of 18.31 and MurderofGoths.

Why are people assuming that the govt would not use a fairly standard legal definition of pornography?

interdasting Mon 22-Jul-13 18:48:37

MurderOfGoths I don't agree with emotional responses when it comes to controlling what consenting adults are interested in. For decades emotional responses were responsible for homosexuality being illegal.

If you wank to it you're participating interdastic. People wouldn't upload it if people like you didn't seek it out. Tunip's right, you have no idea whether what you are watching is truly consensual, however you might 'feel' about it. You could quite easily be tossing one off to a rape.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 18:50:04

Interdasting, if a man is putting a woman through ongoing abuse by putting a video of her out there to be watched by other men, then the men doing the watching are helping him abuse her.
To take up your river analogy, he has chosen that place by the river because he knows he'll have an audience there and you aren't watching in horror, you're wanking over it.

Would you watch porn if there was a 75% chance the woman in it was being forced? Probably not. What about 50%? 10%? 1%? Where would you draw the line?

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 18:53:16

Interdasting, you don't strike me as someone who doesn't give a shit. I think there are a lot of men out there who have convinced themselves their porn habit is ok but if they look more honestly into it they will see why it is problematic.
I would really recommend that you read the Gail Dines book linked below.

Tunip Because I'm watching the shambles of the ISP porn filter plan. It's not exactly inspired trust.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 18:55:22

Plenty -

yy!

It's not just the people immediately involved. We are all affected by this stuff because it is our culture. The people who produce this stuff are bit like environmental poluters. They take a profit, and we all collectively bear the costs.

And women, Tunip. I used to be a porn user until I learnt more about the industry, including the 'amateur' market hmm. It just kinda stopped hitting the spot after that.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 19:00:16

That's true, Plenty - women too.

babybarrister Mon 22-Jul-13 19:04:13

I really don't understand why we should seek to control people's sexual fantasies though when it comes to consenting adults ...if someone is getting off on watching a simulated adult rape scene, why should this be prohibited but torture allowed?

Also there seems to be an assumption that it is only man on woman rape fantasies that are being considered - what about other combinations? a gay man has just been prosecuted to engaging in gay sex acts and then videoing HIMSELF at a gay sex party - thank god the jury saw sense and refused to convict him ....(cannot find link but was on Radio 4 this morning ...)

interdasting Mon 22-Jul-13 19:07:39

TunipTheVegedude By that argument, every time you take an action that may have, not even has, implicit, not directly as a response of your actions, harmful consequences for another human being, you bear responsibility for it. When you buy clothing, if it is made in a sweatshop, you are complicit in this, aiding the production of human suffering. If you buy Apple or Microsoft products, you're not supporting companies like FoxConn, which have such incredibly poor environments for workers they have regular suicides in their factories.
While it is noble to feel so responsible the suffering of other people, ultimately, something you do somewhere will indirectly harm someone. Probably kill them. The best thing you can do is not harm people directly, stop someone being hurt during the event if it is within your power, and if it's not, then do your best to ensure the perpetrator can't repeat the act, all within the legal framework we have for these things.
If I have watched porn that was actually abuse, that's unfortunate. Do I feel bad? Yes, I feel terrible for the person who was abused. Do I feel guilty for watching the video? No. I did the best I could by trying to ensure it was consensual, and non-exploitative by ensuring that it was the couple who uploaded it, that there was no violence, that there appeared to be consent during interactions/dialogue they had, etc.
The river analogy only goes so far before it falls down, also.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 19:10:42

We're not talking about controlling fantasies. Or what consenting adults do together.

This is about controlling the distribution of a particular type of image.

Violent porn, made and distributed for profit, is colonising people's sexual imaginations and teaching them sex is about violence.

missinglalaland Mon 22-Jul-13 19:15:39

interdasting -

You seem to be putting pornography in the same category as food, clothing and medicine. This is necessary stuff we all buy routinely and repetitively, despite the fact that the supply chains may have exploitive links.

TunipTheVegedude Mon 22-Jul-13 19:15:44

If you have done it without being in a position to know that not all apparently consensual videos are consensual, you shouldn't feel guilty.

If you continue to do it whilst knowing that you could be enabling someone to commit abuse by doing that, then you need to take moral responsibility for that.

Porn is easy to give up.

MmeLindor Mon 22-Jul-13 19:16:43

Important to note that the porn filter proposal is separate from the rape porn legislation.

This is about porn, not about films on TV

Just blogged about it, and chatted to some well informed people on Twitter -

... the plan to make images depicting rape illegal, which is explained in detail here. This has been slightly lost and muddled up with the filtering proposals which are causing controversy, which is a shame. Rape Crisis South London clarified on Twitter that this change is not about filtering of images of rape. It is bringing the possession of images which depict rape into the same category as necrophilia, bestiality and life-threatening injury.

Gosh, the sweatshop argument. That's new.

We all know that just about everything we buy is tainted in one way or another by exploitation unless we have the money and time to shop around for every last thing (and do fair trade electronics even exist?)

Those of us who care do what we can to minimise the impact.

knowingly sitting there wanking to the abuse that is happening right in front of your eyes is, IMO, a whole nother level of wrong.

I can believe that you didn't know but now it's been suggested, please look into it and then see if you're still happy to use porn.

Yes, Mme, there are at least three things being discussed on various threads -

1) ISP level filtering

2) banning rape porn

3) extra measures to catch and deter child sex abusers sharing stuff online

It's getting quite confusing. I'm against ISP filters but for the other proposals.

Mme and Plenty True. I think they were stupid to announce it all at once, it's muddied the issues quite a lot.

TumbleWeeds Mon 22-Jul-13 20:33:15

Rape Crisis South London clarified on Twitter that this change is not about filtering of images of rape. It is bringing the possession of images which depict rape into the same category as necrophilia, bestiality and life-threatening injury.

I have to say, I thought this was already treated with that sort of severity.
How can anyone say this should be the wrong thing to do? Because you know your 'personal freedom' should allow you to watch stuff that might just be about actors that enjoy rough sex.... hmm

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 24-Jul-13 10:26:58

Interesting article here from a young woman's perspective:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/porn-is-about-fantasy-sex--and-the-truth-is-that-some-women-have-rape-fantasies-but-this-is-very-different-from-the-real-thing-8727971.html

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