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Blupete's Weekly Commentary


May 24th, 1998.

"The Politics of Pornography."

On June 11th of 1933, the Reichsschundkampfstelle (Central Defence League Against Smut), with the assistance and cooperation of the police, cleansed, in one day, ten Berlin libraries. They loaded 1212 books onto two trucks and drove them to a central part of the city, and, there, the books were thrown into a huge public fire: the Nazi holocaust started with the burning of books, and within the span of ten short years, it ended with the burning of people.

"The frequency with which a man experiences lust depends upon his own physical conditions, whereas the occasions which rouse such feelings in him depend upon the social conventions to which he is accustomed. To an early Victorian man a woman's ankles were sufficient stimulus, whereas a modern man remains unmoved by anything up to the thigh. This is merely a question of fashion in clothing. If nakedness were the fashion, it would cease to excite us, and women would be forced, as they are in certain savage tribes, to adopt clothing as a means of making themselves sexually attractive. Exactly similar considerations apply to literature and pictures: what was exciting in the Victorian Age would leave the men of a franker epoch quite unmoved. The more prudes restrict the permissible degree of sexual appeal, the less is required to make such an appeal effective. Nine-tenths of the appeal of pornography is due to the indecent feelings concerning sex which moralists inculcate in the young; the other tenth is physiological, and will occur in one way or another whatever the state of the law may be. On these grounds, although I fear that few will agree with me, I am firmly persuaded that there ought to be no law whatsoever on the subject of obscene publications."1 (See Bertrand Russell.)

As to nudity, Russell writes:

"The proper place for nudity is out-of-doors in the sunshine and in the water. If our conventions allowed of this, it would soon cease to make any sexual appeal; we should all hold ourselves better, we should be healthier from the contact of air and sun with the skin, and our standards of beauty would more nearly coincide with standards of health, since they would concern themselves with the body and its carriage, not only with the face. In this respect the practice of the Greeks was to be commended."2

There is no more of a relationship between pornography and deviant behaviour then there is eating and deviant behaviour. People are sexually abused by criminals, not by dirty movies. No respectable study or evidence has shown any causal link between pornography and actual violence. In countries where pornography is legalized, the crime rates for rape and sex offences have actually decreased.3

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NOTES:

1 Marriage and Morals.

2 Ibid.

3 See Wendy Melillo, "Can Pornography Lead to Violence?" Washington Post, Health section, July 21, 1992, p. 12. See also the 1967 (American) Commission on Obscenity and Pornography, where it was found that there is no significant relationship between Pornography and deviant behaviour. And further see, Charles P. Sohner and Helen P. Martin, "American Government and Politics Today," Scott, Foresman & Co., 4th Ed., p. 124.

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Peter Landry

May, 1998 (2011)