What this story is about is the apparent intent by the Church of England to threaten Internet Service Providers to withdraw its multi million pound investment in the industry unless they clamp down on internet pornography. Now, aside from the fact that it seems odd for an organisation to be planning to end multi million pound (out of over £4 billion od assests) investments while at the same time moaning because of protesters outside St Paul's costing it £20,00 a day from it's gift shop, this is a very dangerous story.
It is dangerous for a multitude of reasons. First of all, the Church of England has now business attempting to force its own version of morality on the population. We have a secular state and the Church has no right to try and force 60 million people, most of whom aren't Anglicans, to conform to the narrow views of morality held by a few old bishops.
That alone would be enough to make me outraged at this.
But beyond that, what's also outrageous is what's said in the third paragraph of the article:
Well let me just tell you a few things about "sexual violence, bondage and strangulation" porn. Pornography of this sort is mainly related to the Bondage Domination and Sado-Masochism (BDSM) community.
"Concern over the easy availability of vile images which demean women and corrupt the young has intensified following the disclosure that Jo Yeates’s killer Vincent Tabak was obsessed with websites showing sexual violence, bondage and strangulation."
And, far from "demeaning women and corrupting the young", BDSM porn is probably about as sexually healthy as is possible to get.
You see, some people enjoy receiving sexual violence, or bondage, or mild strangulation, or some or all of them. And some people enjoy dispensing the same. In short, it's something that happens between consenting adults.
And, because BDSM often involves one person having control over the other, the BDSM community focuses incredibly strongly on what is referred to as "safe, sane and consensual". That means that before people engage in BDSM activities there is an inordinate amount of time spent on making sure that the activites do not cause any harm beyond what all parties are comfortable with and that they will not put anyone's life at risk, on making sure that what's happening is "sane", meaning that nothing will occur which has the potential to go too far, and that everyone involved consents fully. As part of this, a safe word is often used, meaning that the recipient can end the scene at any time that they become uncomfortable.
There's also a big focus on "after-care" to make sure that those receiving the sexual violence are okay afterwards.
This same approach extends to BDSM porn. I'm not going to ask you to go and watch it, but if you did you would find that BDSM porn usually involves the "actors" talking to each other before hand to establish boundaries and invariably has a section after the sexual activities after the actors have got cleaned up where they discuss what has happened and make sure that the recipient was happy with it.
Now, compare this to what BDSM people refer to as "vanilla" (e.g. non-BDSM sexual activity). A lot of vanilla porn will show women (or men) being tricked or blackmailed into sex. This might be an act but there's nothing to let the audience know that it's staged. Or compare it to two random strangers meeting in a club, getting plastered on alcohol and then going somewhere to have drink-fuelled sex when neither of them are really in a position to consent properly and where both might regret it in the morning.
In my opinion, it's the latter activities that are more likely to cause harm and lead to the demeaning of women. BDSM is about activities enjoyed by all parties involved and which all parties involved have fully consented to. That's far more healthy and responsible than the kind of vanilla activities and regular porn that the Daily Mail presumably has no problem with.
But, aside from that, there are two other things to bear in mind. First of all, lots of people watch porn as part of a healthy sex life and don't go out and rape or murder people. Video games don't make people violent, listening to Marilyn Manson doesn't turn people into murderers and porn doesn't make people like Tabak commit murder. Nutter kill people, porn doesn't.
The other thing is that gay people spent decades fighting not to be descriminated against because of their sexuality. The fight is mostly won now (though problems still abound) but what does it say about our society of we allow one of our national institutions and a major newspaper to call for discrimination against other people because of their sexuality?
It's fucking simple. What happens between consenting adults is their own business. If you want to interfere simply because you disapprove then you belong back in the medieval era with the Spanish Inquisition. That the Church of England is taking this attitude just proves that it's still a medieval organisation with medieval values and has no relevance to modern Britain. I now sincerely hope it hurries up and dies out so that people can finally be free from it's meddling. Priests may have the right to tell people how they should live their lives but they will NEVER have the right to force people to do as they want.
If they procede with this idiotic idea then they are effectively declaring war on the liberal, tolerant society we have become. This is the 21st century. Mary Whitehouse clones have no place here. And, if they insist on proceding with this, then they will have a fight on their hands. Too many people suffered to stop the Church controlling our lives and I at least refuse to let their struggle be in vain.