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A Porn-Free Europe? The EU Is Considering It

March 8, 2013 by  

A Porn-Free Europe? The EU Is Considering It
PHOTOS.COM

A Swedish member of the European Parliament blogged Wednesday that he’d be voting against a resolution that would call on 27 countries to legislate a ban on pornography across all media in the European Union.

The proposed resolution, the “Report on Eliminating Gender Stereotypes in the EU,” notes the pervasiveness of pornography throughout much of European commercial culture and “[c]alls on the EU and its Member States to take concrete action” to begin enforcing a 1997 resolution that would place a “ban on all forms of pornography in the media and on the advertising of sex tourism.”

According to the proposal, the ban is necessary to protect both men and women from comfortably associating European women with social roles that are defined primarily by sex. It makes several presumptions about the extent to which that’s happening in its long laundry list of qualifiers:

…[w]hereas young women and men are most affected by pornography’s new cultural status; whereas the ‘mainstreaming of pornography’, i.e. the current cultural process whereby pornography is slipping into our everyday lives as an evermore universally accepted, often idealised, cultural element, manifests itself particularly clearly within youth culture: from teenage television and lifestyle magazines to music videos and commercials targeted at the young…

And so on.

Christian Engstrom, the Swedish delegate who’s among a handful opposed to the resolution, expects that it will pass when voted on next week. Even if it does, the resolution is a first-step “own initiative report” and won’t automatically become law across the EU. Rather, it paves the way for the parliament to develop a more technical, crafted piece of legislation at a later date — or, perhaps, to do nothing.

Engstrom explains:

[T]he purpose of these own initiative reports are [sic] to serve as the basis for the Commission when it decides to present legislative proposals to the parliament. If this own initiative report is adopted by the parliament, it will strengthen the Commission’s position if and when it wants to propose various ”self-regulation” schemes in the future.

Although I completely agree that eliminating outdated gender stereotypes in the EU is a worthwhile goal, I will be voting against this resolution next week.

We see the threat our current gun-grabbing President and Congressional leaders are mounting to the 2nd Amendment. The next time 1st Amendment issues flare up into a National controversy, whether porn or some other so-called gray area of “free speech” is at issue, will our elected leaders in Congress and the White House use the moment as an opportunity to further legislate the Bill of Rights into irrelevance?

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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