Feminism v Libertarianism

(18 Posts)
skylerwhite Sat 24-Aug-13 21:54:06

I've lurked for a long time on these boards, and finally plucked up the courage to post.

Today I signed a petition to ask Tesco not to stock lads mags. Felt really good about doing so. Came home and told my DH. We had a discussion, which developed into an argument about this: he pushed me until I said that I wanted those magazines banned, that they were grotesque and contributed to the objectification of women etc etc. He countered with the free speech and freedom of the press argument. Then we moved onto pornography, he again argued for keeping things 'above ground', said he was uncomfortable with banning anything in a free society, and said that if it was 'regulated' then it was safer for the actors and actresses. confused.

I ended up feeling stupid and conflicted.

So I have two questions:

1. What can I tell my DH to read to educated himself about the damage done by the porn industry?

2. How to balance feminist beliefs with a free society? I argued along the lines of making lads mags etc socially unacceptable, but he claimed this was too simplistic and that banning anything was wrong.

FreyaSnow Sat 24-Aug-13 22:01:08

If you ban lads mags, you are not actually banning the content you are simply restricting the way that content is distributed. People could still view that content on adult internet sites.

I don't see what the support is for the argument that adult material should be sold or viewed in general society, because general society includes children. Do libertarians really argue that it is acceptable for children to be exposed to adult material?

Does your husband not think anything should be restricted from the lives of children?

skylerwhite Sat 24-Aug-13 22:12:30

His answer is 'what about car magazines' that have scantily clad women in them?

Also that he is uncomfortable with that sort of censorship.

FreyaSnow Sat 24-Aug-13 22:19:28

There are two different issues. One is where you draw the line over what material should and should not be restricted to adult only environments.

The other is about whether or not it okay to restrict any material to adult only environments.

If he is generally in agreement that certain films should be restricted in cinemas so that only people over 15 or 18, then his argument isn't about libertarianism. There is no libertarian argument as far as I can see that would support the restriction of moving images but not still ones.

skylerwhite Sat 24-Aug-13 22:34:19

I have the rage now. Dh said lads mags aren't any worse than women's trashie magazines.

NiceTabard Sat 24-Aug-13 22:36:27

Plenty of things are banned in our society. it is illegal to distribute certain types of images already. Some films are banned. In porn certain things are not legal. Think it's called the obscene publications act. does he want to remove all of those laws ?

skylerwhite Sat 24-Aug-13 22:37:25

Now he's told me he's had enough of me and stormed off because I pointed out that lads mags and magazines like Playboy were on a spectrum. sad

FreyaSnow Sat 24-Aug-13 22:38:43

Does he read them himself? Do you have kids? How would he feel about his child, or a child, being sat at a table where the adult next to them was reading a lads' mag and the cover was visible compared to the cover of a woman's magazine?

skylerwhite Sat 24-Aug-13 22:40:49

No children. And no, he doesn't read them as far as I'm aware.

NiceTabard Sat 24-Aug-13 22:45:45

And within "lads mags" themselves there are rules about what may and may not be shown. Does he want them changed?

For example it is illegal to show an erect penis in a normal sort of magazine. Does he want that rule changed? Would he feel happy with going into the newsagent and being confronted with images of hot young men with big erections feeling themselves up? If not why not.

Sorry he has stormed off.

Enb76 Sat 24-Aug-13 22:49:42

I am partly on your DH's side. I don't agree with a ban and I do think mags like Heat etc... are equally as bad however, I do believe in restriction. It is not ok that children are subjected to objectification of either women or men while perusing the comic stack, it's not ok that they are basically programmed by the images they view to have unrealistic expectations on what constitutes health, beauty, the perfect woman, the perfect man etc... and it is not ok for children to be exposed to sexual images before they are of an age where they decide to explore their sexuality for themselves. I don't believe these things should be banned as I have no qualms with adults or older teens having access to this stuff but I do wish it was on a shelf that the kids can't see or given covers that do not shout about what is on the inside.

FreyaSnow Sat 24-Aug-13 22:54:38

In terms of the argument, that other types of magazine are equivalent, the best way to dispute that is to show images of men posed in exactly the same way. There is somewhere a set of lads' mags covers where somebody has photographed men doing the same poses with the same degree of nudity, but I cannot find the link. Perhaps somebody else on here has it.

Somebody in Sweden did an image like this following and American Apparel ad. It is here:

www.policymic.com/articles/42717/think-american-apparel-isn-t-sexist-maybe-this-will-convince-you

My DD recently brought a 'sexy' boy Hollister bag into the house, and DS immediately started talking about his body, if he needed to change his diet etc, and that was after viewing one image which was vaguely similar to the very mild end of the range of images that girls see on the cover of lads' mags all the time. So how lads' mags are not problematic I do not know.

CoalDustWoman Sat 24-Aug-13 23:01:05

Libertarians tend to be cunts, feminists tend to have them.

skylerwhite Sat 24-Aug-13 23:26:30

Sorry, got a bit upset there for a while.

Sometimes I think my DH just likes being argumentative - if I say black, he will say white. I don't think he cares about lads mags one way or the other, he just likes arguing the opposite to whatever I say. And if I point out x, y, z, I get told I am being patronising.

YouMakeMeWannaLaLa Sat 24-Aug-13 23:40:25

Would he mind soft porn being part of CBeebies programming? If so, then why would soft porn lads mags next to kids mags be ok?

Restricting distribution isn't censorship.

Sausageeggbacon Sun 25-Aug-13 13:24:16

The issue is that the mags in Tescos are going to get covered so the kids can't see the covers. Fine kids can't see them and people can buy them as they are legal. The banning issue is where the problem is. And anyone saying we don't want a ban we just want them off the shelves even if there are modesty covers are not being realistic. To stop shops stocking and selling them is a ban.

BTW anyone else think it is strange that the celeb promoting the ban went topless on TV and posed frequently for magazines until she made her name. A very two faced attitude if you ask me,

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 25-Aug-13 16:25:31

It sounds like you won your argument there, Skyler, if he stormed off and said he's had enough of you. You don't tend to do that if you have a winning argument... wink

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Sun 25-Aug-13 16:25:53

Sorry you were upset, btw.

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