Tuesday, 2 December 2014

On the UK's absurd sexual ethics

Keith Bristow, the head of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre that is part of the UK's National Crime Agency, recently stated that his organisation did not have adequate resources from the government to bring over fifty thousand paedophiles to justice for downloading images of the sexual abuse of children. Among them was Myles Bradbury, the doctor who has been convicted for abusing dozens of boys in his care. One would assume that protecting children from abuse and exploitation would be one of the utmost priorities of a supposedly civilised society, but evidently not.

In contrast to this apathy, a group of lawyers acting on behalf of the UK government have decided behind closed doors to criminalise the pornographic portrayal of legal sexual acts between consenting adults. And this is supported by a government which claims to defend civil liberties. Adhering to Victorian levels of backwards prudishness, this includes portrayals of BDSM, watersports (urination), spanking, facesitting, and female ejaculation.

Of course, the concept of stuffy judges pontificating on the merits of allowing the portrayal of fetishised spanking and urination may be amusing and titillating to some due to its inherent ridiculousness, but it sets dangerous and destructive precedents in the puritanical and authoritarian values it represents. 

It reminds one of Orwell's Nineteen-Eighty Four, in which Agent O'Brien, the torturer of dissident Winston Smith, informs Winston of the ruling Party's agenda to abolish human sexuality and the orgasm following his illegal affair with Julia, a member of the regime-supported Anti-Sex League. There is a reason why the fundamentalists and fascists of the past and present are so neurotically fixated on human sexuality, represented by its perception of "deviancy", a literal example of the Orwellian thoughtcrime, and resulting in anti-sexual barbarism such as corrective rape and female genital mutilation. The bodily repression of sexuality encapsulates and facilitates tyranny over our minds and identities by authoritarian ideologues and their stone age mentalities.

A particularly repulsive detail of these laws are their bizarre fixation on female ejaculation, which is seemingly included because it could be constructed as or resemble urine fetishism, which is in itself a completely harmless sexual act involving consenting adults in the first place. This naive teenage boy-like presumption of female ejaculate being urine also contradicts established medical science on the subject. The same standard does not apply to male ejaculation, so presumably indicates a belief that part of female sexuality is inherently unacceptable and obscene. Will girls be indoctrinated in school in the style of the homophobic Section 47 that their bodies and sexuality are innately shameful, abnormal and disgusting because they could ejaculate on orgasm? That is the psychologically harmful anti-women logic of this criminalisation.

Another point, presumably identified by others, is that these laws are formulated on the basis of a one-dimensional gender binary that essentially ignores the existence of transgender and intersex people, further emphasising how inapplicable and far removed they are from encompassing 21st century values and legal standards.

These dinosaur laws should therefore be opposed by anyone concerned with the erosion of civil liberties and bigoted assaults on sexuality and womanhood. Perhaps the establishment should devote its draconian attention to those involved in the sexual abuse of children instead, including those in its midst.

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