Europe Almost Banned All Of Your Wonderful Porn, Still Might

Because nothing preserves women's dignity quite like continent-wide censorship.

by kate hakala

Porn-loving Europeans everywhere today will be relieved to hear that their precious pornography isn’t going anywhere, not yet, anyway. The European Parliament has rejected  the proposal to ban all forms of pornography in the EU. Yesterday, the EU passed a report to "eliminate gender stereotypes" in media, education, and employment 368-159, but removed the fine print in the proposal that banned smut. A Dutch Member of the European Parliament, Kartika Tamara Liotard, introduced the measure, but basically buried it in a lot of jargon, hoping it would slink by. 

The newly amended ban on gender stereotyping does still, however, include a reference to a blanket ban on porn still around from 1997, which calls for, "statutory measures to prevent any form of pornography in the media and in advertising." When constituents sent in emails to complain about it, they were blocked by the legislator’s email server. What’s this mean? Internet privacy is waning en masse and the whole anti-porn thing will still be kicking around Parliament, and could actually become basis for legislation. Because the government should totally have control over whatever wonderful or troubling things are in our spank banks, which apparently, in Europe are mainly MILFs, according to this breakdown.

If this is all in the name of protecting against gender stereotypes and prevent the sexualization of women in the media, what stereotypes would a ban on porn actually be shattering? According to the wording of the proposal, it would involve, "the importance of promoting the representation of the female image in a way that respects women's dignity … while fully respecting freedom of expression". That’s assuming that women’s dignity cannot be maintained in porn. The proposal is not only reductive, but it ignores the issue of gay porn entirely. 

This is a major movement towards censorship, but it also completely plays into the whole, "gasp, let’s not ruin women’s innocence and propriety" thing that we’ve been trying to shake for centuries. Shouldn’t it be obvious that, at least in straight porn, women make about half of the willing participants in the production? If we're talking about strides against stereotyping here, let’s not pretend women don’t gladly take part in this very, very bad sex thing I’ve been hearing so much about.

Here in the US, we catch a lot on the wind from Europe, repackage it, and then call it our own original American progressiveness--cough, the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, gay marriage--cough. So, I wonder when this ban against gender stereotyping will hit us. Remember our good friends SOPA and PIPA? But, think of an America without Mr. Skin or an imminently leaking Kris Jenner sex tape. Like, what would we do without our tasteful, gender-trope-defying Carl’s Jr. commercials that somehow correlate eating highly caloric fried food with Heidi Klum’s flawless body in a bikini? Here’s the solution, folks: don’t take away what we beat off to, if you have a problem with the way we treat women's bodies globally (and you should), the change isn't going to happen in Parliament, it'll happen between the sheets. So, let’s just make our porn that much better.

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