Garance Franke-Ruta's proposal to forbid women (and men, she adds as an afterthought) under 21 from doing softcore or hardcore porn for money has received a respectful hearing. The usual suspects chime in with support. I just can't take it anymore, and wrote this:
Enough of this. The truth is that the proposal is stupid and insulting. To begin with, it’s fatuous to argue that expressive conduct by people who - whatever you say - are adults can be simply stripped of First Amendment protection. (You might as well say, “You can write what you want, but you can’t sell it to TAP until you’re 21.”) If it had been a conservative who had made it, she would have been rightly mocked for her Justice Kennedy-esque parternalistic attitude towards women, as Jon Swift does. It is premised on the notion that young straight women are just fluffy-headed fools when it comes to sex and money. It completely, cluelessly ignores the fact that difficult, low-status jobs such as waiting tables, the military, construction and sex work (a) are the ones at which people with a high school education or less can make a living and (b) they can be pretty degrading and dangerous. (Not to equate them in those regards, just pointing out that being a senior editor at TAP is cushier.) An appalling percentage of women in the Army get sexually assaulted, sometimes after drinking alcohol. They might be more intellectually and emotionally prepared to protect themselves when they’re older. Would it be better if women were forbidden from joining up until they were 21? Or ever? No, because such a proposal is obviously anti-woman and blames the victim. As if Franke-Ruta’s.
But it's not just American liberals who find (certain kinds of)
if porn icky even enough to regulate. Consider Iran's much more straightforward approach:
Tehran, 30 April (AKI) - The culture committee of the Iranian parliament approved on Monday a bill sentencing to death producers of ‘pornography’, videos and films deemed vulgar by the country’s censorship. The draft law will now go to parliament where it is expected to be approved by an ample majority. Amateur porn films have a properous market in Iran and can fetch up to 30 euros each.
The market, tolerated for a long time, became a nationwide issue earlier this year after a porn film of popular television actress, Zohre Mir Ebrahimi, having sex with her partner, was released.
Of course, Franke-Ruta's proposal is the gentle kind of Big Sister, because her intent is for it to "not result in any kind of massive prosecutorial crackdown per se." (Per se!) But she and the mullahs have something in common: They both seem to exempt the actual women actors from punishment, just the nasty men who pay them to act.
Update 12:15 p.m.: Edited grossly garbled sentence before second quote.