February 25, 2010

I was sat in the bath the other day with Rachel. We do this a lot. She is used to seeing me naked. Sitting in the bath with a curious three year old can raise some very interesting questions. For instance, she was quite interested to know whether I was aware that her dad, brothers AND my boyfriend, had willies. She knew this, because her dad had told her that he had a willy because he was a boy. She was quite surprised that I knew this before she told me.

She thinks its very funny that I have boobies, while she has pimples. She thinks its even more amusing that daddy is a boy and has bigger boobies than I do.

She is quite curious. She has figured out that there are differences between a her body and mine- and the differences between boys bodies and hers, amuse her no end. She has tried to peeing standing up, like her friend Sam, and got very upset when she couldn’t make the wee wee land anywhere but the puddle on the floor. She is getting quite confused over why willies, and marys(I did not invent this word-I blame my sister) have hair on them.

I am ok with this-there have been no awkward questions that I can’t answer. Her dad has been slightly perturbed when she has tried to grab his penis and take it to the other end of the bath…..I have nothing so grabbable. Occasionally one has to remove oneself from the room to laugh, but I had no worries about this aspect of parenting.

I figured, bring her up in a house where nakedness not an issue. Dont talk about food in terms of weight loss. End result-relatively well adjusted child, few body issues. Great.

I wasn’t prepared for how to deal with porn. Not at 3.

Rachel likes a magazine every now and again. Cbeebies helpfully market magazines aimed at 2 year olds- they stick a load of their favourite characters on teh cover, include some stickers, and a plastic toy- charge you 2.99 for privelege. I object to this a bit. I cant really afford it all the time, and its a bit ridiculous that magazines are cynically targeted at children in this way-but am not bothered enough not to buy them. Its a nice treat. She gets excited when she gets one. I like it when she is happy.

I dont quite like it so much when 3 feet away from the magazines marketed at her- there is porn. Images of over inflated, waxed to oblivion women, – in all variety of tacky soft porn type ‘costume'(or in one notable example recently- bent over waiting to be penetrated with a black box barely photoshopped over her genitals). On newspapers, in relatively mainstream magazines. This is not nakedness. I have no problem with nakedness. The male fantasy of girl on girl action, not just alluded to, but on the cover of Nuts magazine-with two celeb wannabe girls, feeling each others artifially augmented breasts, not for their own pleasure-but for the titillation of their adolescent(in mind, at the very least) readership is not nakedness. Someone tell me how to explain the difference between these images and nakedness to a 3 year old.

‘Mummy-why is that woman bent over, mummy that lady has a witch costume like mine, but why are her boobies sticking out?(followed later by Rachel trying to pull down her halloween dress, so her ‘boobies’ would show).

If someone could also explain why porn being so far into the mainstream, that I have to explain it to a 3 year old, and that it will form part of her image of women- is ok, I would like that. I would quite like it if any objection to this on my part, wasn’t dismissed as me being uptight about nakedness, or as this blogger found, evidence of a lack of ‘c*ck’. And could somebody please put the porn on the top shelf, or at least on a different shelf to Balamory bloody magazine.

I dont expect the world to stop because I have a child. I dont advocate censorship of music lyrics, just cos I dont want to have to explain stuff.  But porn? Surely there is a line somewhere? Surely, its not ok that porn is part of the landscape for a bloody 3 year old. I want her to know about the human body, about sex. But porn isnt about either of those things, is it?



  1. Great post – think there’s a piece related to this very subject – is the UK becoming over-sexualised – coming up in a minute on Newsnight tonight (25/10).

  2. Not sure I see this one your way. Having a healthy attitude to nudity sort of means total acceptance of porn.

    Anyone who has ever been to Berlin may have been surprised to see the nude sunbathers, swimmers, showerers and cyclists in the TierGarten, which is as close to the Reichstag as Trafalgar Square is to Parliament. I was surprised, and may I say I learnt a few things about middle-aged ball-bag that startling afternoon.

    The unabashed attitude to public nudity in Germany goes hand in hand with public acknowledgement of sleazy press,what we could consider hardcore porn on sale at news stands and an attitude of ‘if you don’t like it, don’t look’.

    Whilst I wouldn’t want my infant looking at the cover of THE STAR or NUTS I don’t really believe that there is palpable harm in them seeing the landscape and asking questions. I was probably five years old when I first encountered porn, and whilst it raised questions for me- there were other equally important questions about snow and dogs and sweets. I wasn’t scarred by the experience, my development wasn’t stunted and I wasn’t led to believe that women ought to be submissive sex objects. Coincidentally I wasn’t inspired to be a military insurgent by the A team and I never hit anyone with a frying pan after watching Tom and Jerry.

    Kids are smart and kids are observative, but even little little kids know what is real and what is fake. Imitation may lead to curious behaviour, but I really don’t think it’s harmful.

    But then i’m not a parent, and parenthood does tend to make people a little, hmm, conservative?

    • Porn is nothing to do with a healthy attitude to nudity, and it certainly isn’t about a healthy attitude to sex. Any moron can see that. It is a criminal offence to physically show a young person, or child pornography, and that was the case before I got …conservative. If I bought Nuts magazine and took it home and showed it to Rachel, I would be investigated by both the police and social services, so no, it is not acceptable that it is on the shelf next to magazines aimed at her. You do have some very strange attitudes.

      • I may have strange attitudes, or perhaps I am expressing them badly.

        I haven’t even remotely suggested that you buy a copy of razzle and go through it with your child, I’m saying quite the opposite. That you should simply accept the presence of pornography in our society, since it is sort of inevitable that it is going to escape the top shelf and creep further and further into our lives because we have rejected a puritanical society and the restrictions on our behaviour and art that we used to embrace.

        Porn is a by-product of a healthy attitude to nudity and we can’t have one without the other.

        That children are exposed to porn or become aware of it’s existence is, as I have stated, an inevitability.

        Children are not becoming sexualised any more than they are being politicised by the presence of the daily mail headlines in eyeshot of balamory magazine. Children are simply curious about everything, who are you to say which of those curiosities are unhealthy?

      • Porn is nothing to do with a healthy attitude to nudity or sex. And the point I was making, is that it is harmful to show children porn, and as such is a criminal offence. Which is why it is so ludicrous that it is sat next to children’s magazines.

      • Well, yes it does have something to do with a healthy attitude to nudity and sex. If we wish to live in a society that is open minded about nudity and sex then part of that freedom is being able to make sexual expressions in public. I am no more happy than you to see smut in the shops (some newsagents don’t even bother selling the other magazines and papers, they only sell smut, sweets and cigs) but when a chain like WHS makes a stand against explicit magazine covers it not only risks making an ailing press market hedge it’s bets in terms of content but it also effectively restricts our freedom of publication.

        I’ll say it again because I just don’t think you’re hearing me- there’s no sexual freedom without porn happening. There’s no acceptance of nudity or generally healthy attitude to sex without porn happening.

        And whilst porn might not be your bag or mine, for some people it’s a perfectly normal, everyday thing- and isn’t it their right to expect to be able to buy it?

      • Porn happening, and being a by products of societies sexuality is fine- that does not mean it is harmless, and that is why it is a criminal offence to show it to children. And why it should not be on the bottom shelf of a newsagent, next to magazines aimed at chidlren.

        Porn may be a by product of our sexuality as a society, but the porn industry is one that has no relation to an attitude to sex that is healthy. Perhaps it is your porn watching that led to a belief that it is possible to accidentally rape someone?

      • Well, you’re misrepresenting what I said again regarding ‘accidental’ rape. You’re also misrepresenting what I only just said regarding porn and a healthy attitude to sex.

        Frankly if you feel a line ought to be drawn regarding accessibility of pornography and degrading images of women then perhaps you ought to suggest a place for the line to be drawn.

        Would it be appropriate to remove all pornography from shops that sell children’s products, or remove all degrading images of women from anywhere they might be viewed by children?

        Whilst you aren’t campaigning for the censorship of music lyrics, am I right to suppose you would prefer not to see Christina Aguilera and the cast of Glee throwing their bodies into sexually submissive poses while they dance in lingerie and ripped clothing in their pop-videos? Is it ludicrous to presume that children may see these images and raise the same questions about sexual behaviour? Are we going to have to put Britney in a Burka? Should teachers prevent the little girls from standing in a circle and practicing their dance routines in the playground?

        Did the spice girls not, in fact, stand for the empowerment of women but the debasement?

        I haven’t even suggested that porn is harmless, I said that if you appreciate the benefits of a free society then you must accept the conflicts with ‘decency’ aswell.

        Perhaps it is your support for the subjugation of women beneath coverings and veils that has led to your belief that human beings are so easily corrupted?

      • A woman bent over, naked, apart from a slim black line, covering her genitalia, in a position that suggests she is about to be penetrated- is not a sexually provocative, or liberating image. It is pornography, and I would be prosecuted for showing it to my daughter. The idea that its presence on the bottom shelf, next to childrens magazines, is a sign of a ‘free’ society= is ludicrous. As is the idea that restricting those images, to those who choose to see them being comparable to ‘putting Britney in a Burka’.

        As for your comments about how easy it was to see yourself as an accidental rapist, along with the several posts you made to illustrate this-I don’t need to misrepresent your comments-they are right there for everyone to read.

      • Quite right they are and I hope a reader would find your interpretation of them to be plainly misleading.

        I agree that it is inappropriate to show explicit pornography to children. It’s easy to talk in extremes. We shouldn’t let children play with knives. We shouldn’t permit children to become drunk. We shouldn’t show children violent imagery. But it wouldn’t be inappropriate to give a boyscout a penknife, or allow a child a taste of wine, or explain to a child what a soldier does, and what war means.

        Far from defending the exposure from pornography to children I am fully against it, but as you state in your article that a line must be drawn somewhere I wonder if you have considered precisely where, and where else that line would continue.

        I don’t wish to see topless women on billboards advertising mobile phones as you may in other countries. Neither do I wish for the prudes to control what is artistically permissable as is evident in the USA where network television is heavily censored in the name, inevitably, of good, god-fearing people who assert their right to defend the innocence of their children.

        If you propose to draw a line then where, please? And what freedoms are you prepared to forego to keep Loaded magazine from doing a shoot in the night garden?

      • What on earth are you on about?

      • a shoot in the night garden? I dunno, Tinky winky bent over a motorbike or something.

        nah, you know what i’m on about. nobody would argue that your kid doesn’t need to see some wag getting out of a limo when you go to buy the beano. That’s easily remedied, sure, but how? Do we put the red top papers in a little room at the back of ‘Smiths with a bead-curtain covering it and an arrow saying ‘you must be over this height to buy smut’?

        It’s fine to complain, but you haven’t offered a solution for me to pick holes in.

        If the status quo is unacceptable, then what would you accept?

      • I think the images I discussed, fall far enough into the definition of pornography- that they don’t merit discussion. A woman, bent over, in a position where she is indicating she is ready for penetration, with a black box pasted over the very small area of her genitals- pretty much isn’t up for diiscussion. THat’s porn.

        I love that you have let yourself think that what you do is pick holes in things. I have to say, on each thread every point you make is roundly shown to be false, and then you back away from it. This ultimately means debating with you is pointless. as unless you are bound by the logic and reason- you are only bound by your imagination. Which means I spend a lot of time, arguing round in circles- when there is no hope of you understanding what is being said. Sorry. Arguing with cranks, has to be put aside for this evening, as I have things to do.

        MAybe another day?

      • …just to crank it up once again, we’re expressing opinions here, and whilst you are quite succesful at roundly accusing me of making false claims, whether I am correct or not is a matter of opinion, not fact.

        The images you discussed fall squarely into the definition of pornography, certainly, but are you prepared to analyse which images are more difficult to define?

        It’s fine to complain, but without offering the details of your alternative your position is reduced to a banner that says “Less of this sort of thing”.

        Your personal attacks, incidentally, are most welcome, because they are so transparently subterfuge. Feel free to insult me if you really can’t address the questions I am raising in light of your thoroughly enjoyable, but hastily written, opinion pieces.

      • Dan, arguing with you, is pointless. Your arguments have no coherency, no logic, and your points often contradict each other.

        I don’t need to ‘define’ pornography. Images with a sole purpose, of sexually titillating a male readership, by showing degrading images of women, in some weird misogynistic view of sex- not evidence of a healthy view of sexuality, and not acceptable next to childrens magazines. It really is that simple.

        As for the rest of your comments- it’s so hard to follow your posts, and to try and link together the flawed premises of your argument, that debating with you is something that takes a great deal fo time- when am just repeating myself over and over.

        I am not trying to attack you, but seriously, debating with you is absolutely pointless, and I haven’t got the time right now, to go round in circles answering questions that have no relevance0- In the ‘debate’ about rape- every single point you made, was shown to be rubbish. Absolute rubbish- and then when that becomes clear, you say you are just making provocative statements for the sake of argument. Well this isn’t for the sake of argument. It’s real life. And so many of your statements show a downright disturbing attitude to sex, to women- that to respond to each and every one, would take a long long time.

        I am not sure whether you are a troll, or whether you do consider yourself to be arguing sense. I am sorry if it is the latter, and you feel insulted. But I don’t have time to ‘debate’ bizarre statements, with someone I don’t know.

        Am sure someone else on here, will oblige you, but I can’t right now. I am not saying don’t comment- but your comments are so long, and illogical- that I personally cannot continue to respond to each and every one.

      • I don’t wish to waste your time, but only to illustrate that whilst your points appear coherent, they are often quite polar, and take the form of complaint, rather than a more productive proposition for effective change.

        As I have stated,to analyse a problem and complain is a relatively simple exercise but to analyse a problem and propose a solution is a more difficult and ultimately productive pursuit.

        Whilst you find my points to be nonsensical, and I am glad that you say so, my intent is not to troll but to point out the inconsistencies in your own points, which are inspired and admirable but remain vague to a fault.

        To state that I have a disturbing attitude towards women is an unfair and quite unprovoked attack. You are quite welcome to your opinion and I have only sought to represent another, however ineffectively, and demonstrate why some might not agree with you, or feel compromised by your assertions. I may hold my tongue in the future rather than be called names.

        on another note. You may be interested to learn that an archaic law in England forbids any boy under ten from beholding a naked mannequin. If you were interested to try to develop an amendment to this existing law for the protection of children you might begin to appreciate the point I have tried to make about the difficulty in legislating the appropriate.

        best regards.

      • Dan- to say you have a disturbing attitude to women and sex- would be to sum up the views you have expressed on a number of posts. Am sorry- but it is. THe idea that porn, that degrades women, and objectifies in the way that it does- is a sign of a healthy attitude to sex, that you can identify with the idea of accidentally raping someone, even the breastfeeding post-seriously what is someone supposed to do. Am sorry if that is not what you mean- but that is what is coming across.
        Usually three or four very lengthy, contradictory posts later- say you backtrack after being shown how ludicrous what you are saying is.
        I haven’t made assertions that I have not, over and over, repeatedly justified-demonstrating the logic and evidence-over and over again. You just go off at a tangent with the most ludicrous things. I don’t have the time to keep repeating, and re=explaining. I have never made a comment for the sake of being provocative, only an assessment of fact.
        Seriously- do you not have something better to do? I am telling you that I won’t ‘debate’ with you any more.
        I have stated why. I won’t be responding to your comments again, am sorry. To repeat the same action, and expect a different result- pointless.

      • very well, and to say that you are a sexist would be one interpretation of your views and posts, but that doesn’t make it correct.

        You are quite competent at assessing fact, but on the posts we have disagreed on you simpy haven’t been dealing in facts, but opinions. Opinions are typically provocative in nature.

        If you do not wish to have your views challenged, then you ought to say so.

        If you had produced any facts then they would be beyond dispute.

        Since participating in a debate on your blog results in personal attacks and unprovoked accusations from you I will certainly not attempt to engage you again either. So problem solved.

        enjoy your rant.

      • Dan I don’t mind having my views challenged. Debate is a logical process, where points are made, and rebutted- with equally valid points, or explored for flaws. End result- both parties are better informed, even if they can’t agree.

        ‘Accidental rape’, and porn as evidence of a society having a healthy attitude to sex- isn’t challenging anything, or debating it. It demonstrates very clearly, what I am saying, and actually they are not differing ‘points’ or ‘perspectives’-they are just myths, that exist in the minds of those who wish to justify what are very disturbing attitudes to sex, women, and sexuality.
        I am not personally attacking you, people can read through the rape post, the post about breastfeeding, and here- I welcome debate, you haven’t offered any.

        Treating your comments as debatable, really gives them credence they don’t warrant.
        I don’t have to pretend your views are anything but what they are, just because I have ‘debated’ them.
        As for sexism- given your beliefs about men and women, again, your posts, not mine.

      • outrageous.

        I haven’t asserted any beliefs about men and women. I hold none.

        I haven’t insinuated that ‘accidental rape’ is evidence of society having a healthy attitude to sex. I reasoned that men are not solely responsible for what happens during sex, and that it is unreasonable to name drunken sex between two people an act of rape. But that since the law dictates that it is, I could imagine finding myself in that situation.

        I am insensed by your remarks. You are so resistent to any challenge made to your views that you have no prohibition about putting words in my mouth to discredit me, because it is far simpler to invent than face the inconsistency of your own statements.

        To call me unreasonable and illogical given that you have invented statements on my part is more than a little rich.

        To announce that I have a disturbing attitude to women and should refrain from sex, to imply that I wish to rape someone because I watch porn (which I categorically do not, by the way) are most certainly qualifiable personal attacks. Quite unprovoked and actually quite dangerous accusations. I have written from a position of relative ignorance but sincerely and quoting personal experience. I have never sought to justify immoral behaviour nor would I, yet your replies to my comments have consistently attempted to paint me as such.

        You may not find my arguments logical or compelling, I accept that, I am not a professional writer and I am not brave or practiced at blogging. I would, however, have expected to be treated with the respect I have shown you.

        I applaud your efforts on this page and will continue to read them with interest, but I think your attitude to being challenged is transparently defensive, and woe betides anyone who disagrees with you.

      • What inconsistency? Seriously. GO and read, what you have written.

        Seriously, if you are going to argue that your view of women, sex, and sexuality isn’t distorted-probably best not to illustrate it with an rape apologist argument.

      • There you go again.

        I say- In the context of a discussion regarding rape, that two people can get drunk and have sex- that makes the man a rapist- and I worry about the definition of rape in this highly probable circumstance because it is based in archaic gender-stereotypes that dictate if a woman and a man drink together then the man may become drunk, but the woman will be MADE drunk by the man????

        You say I am making a rape apologist argument?

        I wasn’t making any kind of argument, I was correcting your misquote of a previous comment which I made in a different discussion. You have mixed this comment with an unrelated comment I made in the present discussion regarding porn.

        To be a rape apologist I would need to defend the act of rape, which I simply haven’t done. I have questioned the definition by law of a rapist, and raised the point that a man who is not a rapist could very easily be convicted of rape.

        I see how you have become confused, but you are incorrect to suppose that anyone who questions the legal definition of a crime is an apologist for it.

        Please don’t waste any more of your valuable time incorrectly interpreting my comments.

      • THe myth of women getting pissed and regretting it, so therefore going to trouble of reporting it to police, subjecting herself to humiliation, physical examination, then waiting for months, to go to court, waiting for CPS to question it, then to go to court and be the one that is effectively tried, and to get an unsuccessful prosecution- in this climate-standard rape apologist fare. Bollocks.
        NOt borne out by evidence, no chance of ever getting a prosecution in those circumstances, and chances of it getting past police remote. Yet another rape apologist myth, courtesy of you. Rape is not consensual sex between two people, and the idea that women are doing this, AND succeeding, in the climate we are in-hilarious.
        Any more rape apologists arguments? We have had accidental rape. We have had the myth of women consenting and changing minds and it being treated as rape….. any more? I think if you google, you can find a list of the basic rape apologist arguments- with the evidence to show their flaws- maybe you could pick another? Seriously- you could save us both a lot of time- and just go look for a whole list.
        And as for your ‘point’ about two people getting drunk together-then the man being blamed for the womans alcohol consumption- what planet are you on? Rape is when a man has sex with a woman, who either CANNOT consent- or hasn’t consented. Not talking about consensual sex. Not talking about the buying of drinks.

        Oh god, here we go again, on another magical mystery tour of your fucked up attitudes about men, women, rape, and sex, via the route of the most bizarre logic I have ever seen. Not debating with you, because you have offered NOTHING to debate. Not one single thing. Not one point has made any sense, or been guided by any logic, or any basis in reality.

        I am glad taht your attitudes are restricted to rape apologists, and not all men think like this. Men are not rapists. They don’t accidentally rape. The idea that women are having sex, and are so ashamed that they would put themselves through that- has been shown up for what it is, since the first person uttered it. A long long time ago. Do you have an original one? Would be great to hear a new one for a change.

        Seriously, don’t want to start deleting comments, or refusing to let them through- but I have tried to be polite about this.

      • ‘polite’

        i’ve offered plenty to debate. you choose to ignore it.

        Delete whatever you like, it serves only to demonstrate that you are perfectly unwilling to see both sides of a something. You’re like the opposite of a neo-cubist.

        Far from propagating the myths about rape, which are uniformly apologist, and totally insupportable, I have asked you to consider the position of men who were literally warned in a recent government initiative supported by an expensive nationwide advertising campaign that having sex with intoxicated women constitutes rape.

        If taking that warning at face value makes me a rape apologist then presumably complaining that I may not take naked photos of my children would make me a child-abuse apologist. Apparently asking where the line should be drawn regarding published nudity makes me someone who wants children to be exposed to pornography..?

        please feel free to delete anything i have written or whichever parts you care to read the least. you clearly are not reading them anyway.

      • Asking me to consider the men who are about to be implicated, because of the completely imagined scenario in your head, because someone dared to point out that for consent to be given for sexual intercourse, the person giving the consent should be able to do so? You are right. Consider the men….

        Like I say. Standard rape apologist fare. You get at least one, every time you mention the ‘R’ word. Blah blah, accidental rapists, blah blah, porn is evidence of a healthy attitude to sex, blah blah…heard it before. Over and over. The least you could do, is find a new tack-maybe you could google?

        Noone is prosecuting men for buying drinks. Noone is holding men responsible for women who get drunk. Noone is having sex then putting themselves through humiliating year long ordeals, because they regret having sex-and even if they did-wouldn’t be successful-demonstrable. All fallacies, perpetuated by rape apologists, who come out, every single time- the R word is mentioned. Like you.

        Daren’t say that actually men have to take responsibility for ensuring the very basic thing, taht before they have sex-they have consent, and that the person giving that consent is able. Daren’t accept that the only men who do not do this are rapists. Because to a reasonable man- this is not a big ask-in fact-you wouldn’t have to point this out to a reasonable man. And not all men are rapists, neither are men vulnerable to being unfairly treated because somehow the law has gone too far.

        Do you really have nothing else? Maybe something original?

      • As a man and as someone who has sex and drinks and sometimes both, I’m going to add my 10p worth.

        There is no such thing as “accidental” rape. Everyone knows what the law says – if she says no and you do it’s rape. This isn’t an opinion, or a moral value. It’s a fact. It’s clear to everyone. If it is not they have no business being out on their own.

        Once upon a time I was in bed with someone. We had had a lot to drink. We were actively, during the act, having penetrative intercourse when she said: “I don’t want to do this.”

        I am not going to lie. I am not going to say I did not think for a micro-second: “Too late baby, we’re doing it.” There was something like the realisation that frankly, given the difference in our size and strength and position, there wasn’t much she could do about it apart from say so. I was enjoying myself and I had thought she was. I felt this was all very unfair.

        And at the same time I knew this was totally irrelevant.

        She’d said no and unfair or not, that was that. I didn’t want to stop having sex with her. I did, because everyone knows the rules. No means no means no and no-one doesn’t know this.

        If I had carried-on I would not have been “accidentally” raping her, I would have been raping her full stop.

        Getting consent though – I never heard anyone actually ask for a receipt and if you’ve both been drinking – as we had – I’m not sure either of us would have qualified as “able.”

        Which is totally irrelevant. There is no crime you can get away with by saying “Ah yes, but I was drunk so it doesn’t count.” Or “Sure I did, but she was drunk so when she said no I knew she meant yes.” It’s bullshit. No means no. It isn’t about whether the other person likes it or not. It’s about the right to decide what is done to your body, by whom and when.

        I don’t accept that porn causes rape. I use porn. Many women I know use porn. Sometimes we use it together.

        But that has nothing to do with showing porn to children. And whatever publishing guidelines there are, Jordan’s fake lesbian gropings in her pregnancy photos (Hello magazine)and the Naked-little-girl-lost-but-golly-what-big-tits-she’s-got simpering of Chantelle and her mates on the covers of Nuts and Loaded is not a sign of a free and open society but one obsessed with the idea that all women want is shagging and that going around saying “I want shagging” is somehow empowering. The most pathetic thing, apart from buying these magazines in the first place, is the age-old “I was only ‘avin’ a larf” excuse, updated to: “I was being post-modernist ironic.”

      • I agree. Porn definitely doesn’t cause rape- I don’t even have a problem with the principle of porn- it’s whatever floats your boat really. The way that soft porn has crossed over to the mainstream, with so little objection, really horrifies me though. I think I was blind to it, until I had Rachel. As for rape, I wholeheartedly agree=. When you are having sex with someone- its intimate- and its two people responding to the smallest signals from each other. It just isn’t possible to have sex with someone against their will, and not know. I cannot think of a single situation where that is possible, and like the girl you were with- there have been times when I have stopped, or changed my mind(or paused to vomit-after food poisoning kicked in, during-classy), and any man I have ever been with, has either known I wanted to stop without me saying, or has stopped the second I have said. Not a problem. The idea that men can’t do this- is grossly insulting to pretty much every man I have ever known.

  3. The idea that the Spice Girls (invented by men, songs written by men, ad placed in music magazines by men, managed by men, costumed by men. promoted by men) in some way empowered women is the biggest joke out. They were empowered to pretend to sing sexually suggestive lyrics to children so that their managers – and as a by-product themselves – could make lots of money. How that empowered anyone else is utterly beyond me.

    Anything that would cover Britney (a woman so out-of-it ludicrously pseudo-gamine she explained the increase of her breast size from nothing special to mega in a month by saying “they just grew”) would be a great thing. Nuts and Loaded porn is porn. It’s the in-your-face put-up-with-it-or-your-frigid 16 year-old virgin fantasy bullshit Beavis and Butthead lampooned which has now gone mainstream because hardly anyone has the balls to say it’s juvenile and pathetic. Hardly anyone with the exception of the author of this blog.

    And just for the record, for the last 25 years US TV has had sex and nudity scenes that you could only buy on DVD here until a very few years ago. Apparently. If the thinks-they’re-liberal commentator wants lines drawn they can pick holes in this – no-one under 10 should have to see half-naked women acting as if they’re half-way through getting fucked (and no, I didn’t mean having sex) while singing a song about it. If anyone thinks differently I could come round to their house and sing “zig-a-zigaa” in any voice I choose, with motions, to their 10-year-old daughter and see if they’re so comfortable about it all then.

    Sorry about the language vicar, but let’s not mince words about it.

    • Interesting perspective Carl. Allow me to roll over and agree with your points from the get-go. The Liberal that I think I am takes issue, predictably, with the line you’ve drawn.

      Whilst I totally agree that ten-year-olds and those younger will most likely lead happier lives if they aren’t confronted by hypersexual imagery in their everyday business, and would wish very much for it to be the case, I can’t begin to imagine how such protection could be sensibly implemented.

      To prevent children’s exposure to sexual nudity first we would have to define what constitutes it. The same goes for sexual behaviour.

      As I mentioned in another response in this topic it is far too easy to make examples of what is unacceptable, but practically impossible to define what is only just acceptable.

      To restate the blogger’s example- A woman in a sexually submissive pose with a thin black line covering her bits is clearly unacceptable- but it falls within the indecent publication legislation by not exposing the genitals. Hilariously there are diagrams which demonstrate to publishers which parts of a woman’s bikini line may be printed on the front of a ‘newspaper’ and which parts may not.

      Inevitably these rules and guidelines are exploited to their very limit, and so it would seem to make sense to redraw the lines- but the existing laws only talk about covering genitals for a very good reason- and that reason- as I hope the blogger will appreciate, is that it would be beyond the responsibilities of the law to tell women how long their skirt may be.

      The very same difficulties may be applied to demonstrably sexual behaviour. Naturally it would not be possible for MTV in the UK to screen pop videos containing simulated sex before a certain time of night, but it really isn’t possible to say whether Elvis’ pelvic thrusts are unsuitable for children to view (and ultimately imitate) or Michael Jackson’s crotch grabbing.

      I won’t approach the lyrical context of pop videos since it would come too far away from the original post regarding pornography- but wee ought to remain aware that pornography is not restricted by definition to images.

      To roll over once again, I totally agree that children ought best not be exposed to adult materials, but I don’t see any sensible way to prevent it from happening without legislating exactly which poses and body postures, which levels of undress, which facial expressions and which dance moves are permissable in universal view, and which are forbidden.

      If anyone can explain how this is practicable, using specificsm I’m all ears.

      On another note, any level of nudity and sex may be broadcast on UK television (separate laws exist for entertainment which is specifically porn) but these images are restricted to certain watersheds- so no tits before 8pm- no sex til ten PM, or you can imply sex before 8pm. I can’t say with any authority exactly how it works in the US but have read reports of restrictions to the network channels. So HBO can screen things that Fox may not.. but I’d love to be enlightened about it.

      • and yes, i was of course joking about the spice girls. My little sister was crazy about them. All the little girls were, and they were lauded as role-models by the majority, were they not.

  4. Thanks for this post. When I was little I knew the difference between seeing a naked lady on the telly giving birth to a baby (freaky as that seemed at the time) or my mum in the bath and the women in bikinis on my dad’s beer tin or the women in bikinis (and less) on my uncle’s garage calender. The difference was that the women on beer tins and calenders made me feel uncomfortable. I knew there was some kind of distance between the woman having a baby and my mum and those women. I knew I was a girl and that there was some kind of difference between the woman I would be and those women on the beer tins. Kids aren’t stupid. Even if fully grown adults can’t tell the difference between people sunbathing and pornography, kids can tell. Interestingly having a child has made me FAR less conservative and far less prudish. Would it really be such a big deal to put lad mags on the top shelf so that my 5 yr old doesn’t have to view them when she goes to pick up her Cbeebies mag? Surely not such a big ask…

  5. Hmm posting this again as the last time it appeared way up there in the middle of the discussion. Apologies…

    Thanks for this post. When I was little I knew the difference between seeing a naked lady on the telly giving birth to a baby (freaky as that seemed at the time) or my mum in the bath and the women in bikinis on my dad’s beer tin or the women in bikinis (and less) on my uncle’s garage calender. The difference was that the women on beer tins and calenders made me feel uncomfortable. I knew there was some kind of distance between the woman having a baby and my mum and those women. I knew I was a girl and that there was some kind of difference between the woman I would be and those women on the beer tins. Kids aren’t stupid. Even if fully grown adults can’t tell the difference between people sunbathing and pornography, kids can tell. Interestingly having a child has made me FAR less conservative and far less prudish. Would it really be such a big deal to put lad mags on the top shelf so that my 5 yr old doesn’t have to view them when she goes to pick up her Cbeebies mag? Surely not such a big ask…

  6. I’ve read something similar to this post somewhere recently and totally agree, it’s absolutely disgusting that shops and supermarkets are finding it acceptable to put porn near children’s magazines. Excellent post.

    CJ xx

  7. I’ve only just discovered your blog and what a great post to arrive to!!!
    I’m yet to experience the un-touched views, with our son only being 19 months but I’m going to be ready for this one, it’s a toughie!!!
    I can’t believe they allow those types of mags to be so close to comics!!!

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