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Porn Panic!: Sex and Censorship in the UK Kindle Edition
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If you’re looking for a book with up-to-date research and information about current times and how porn and censorship are within modern UK society, then this book is the one for you. Jerry discusses how movements such as Page 3 have been used as a form of sex censorship and how many of these movements have been misused to censor sexual expression. He takes a look into internet censorship and even has written a piece about Twitter and other social media outlets, and how these are becoming more and more censored over time. Politics plays a large role with in the book, and even mentions the likes of Corby. It’s an excellent look into how feminism has evolved and how there are various forms of feminism and how these can be pro-censorship and others anti-censorship.
The book feels very relevant right now, particularly with current events such as Frances burqa ban, where recently a woman was forced to remove clothing in public due to wearing one in the beach (censorship is about telling people what they can and cannot do, whilst normally censorship tells women to cover up, telling them to remove clothing for whatever reason is just as bad). What Jerry Barnett writes within his book feels particularly relevant right now with the news of Keith Vaz, where he was willing to admit that he had slept with sex workers (a completely legal act), yet he came under fire and was made to step-down from his position. Barnett sites many sources and cases where similar events have happened throughout history and how they have been used as a tool of censorship for sexual expression.
As a sex educator within the UK I have personally seen how censorship of sex has affected people. Working with 18+ I have witnessed many people who are ashamed of their sexualities and bodies due to censorship not only from their homes but from social norms and expectations put onto them through society. I have seen how the media has been used to scare people from perfectly normal sexual acts making them taboo. It is sad today that many of these outlets purely wish to cause moral panic rather than helping people feel happy within themselves, whether that be sexual or non-sexual. Having experienced firsthand what the media will do to sell papers is unsettling. I was personally asked regarding sex addiction and whether too much sex was bad, as a trained educator I believe no as I have seen and studied that there is no evidence for such an addiction, if anything it can become a compulsion but not a dangerous addiction. Sadly the day of print, the newspaper itself warped all my views, censored my evidence and beliefs and used it regrettably as a way to cause panic and make people believe that sex addiction is real and it is bad. Reading through the Porn Panic, I was able to read about other people’s experiences regarding the media and how generally many are more willing to cause moral panic, rather than stating the truth.
I’d recommend the book to anyone interested in current affairs, sociology, sex, feminism, and censorship. You don’t have to be within the industry to find this book an insightful and good read. Heck, I’d even recommend reading it if you are pro-censorship as Jerry addresses both sides rather well. The book reads incredibly well. It is outstandingly intelligent yet keeps a lovely flow throughout, which makes it particularly easy to take in in-depth information without being mentally daunting.
Within its pages for example. You'll discover that the current moralist purge/crusade against pornography and prostitution is really no different to the crusades the likes of Mary Whitehouse had against "Video Nasties" in the 1980's, and that this current wave of moralism is dressed up in the language of "Liberalism" and "Left-Wing" rhetoric where in reality, is anything but that.
You'll also come across some surprising intolerant undercurrents to these moralists be it against Race, Sexuality, Gender or Immigration status and this book brilliantly demonstrates that these "Crusades" are nothing more than blatant attacks against these characteristics (again in so-called "Left-Wing" rhetoric).
And lastly, the book thankfully covers the more shocking current phenomenon of attacks against Free-Speech and public discourse via SocialJustice Warriors particularly against those who passionately defend it whatever the circumstances. (and yes, even I had my fair share of "Blockings" on social media for doing that) :)
I be honest here, I was pleased as anything when this book was first announced because the group Sex and Censorship is an excellent website and that Mr Barnett is someone who reminds me what the political Left's values should really be all about. Free Speech, Free Expression, Sexual Libertation and Bodily Autonomy without judgement. It must be galling for someone like him (and myself) to see it has become the opposite. And kudos to him and others to put his points across in a book that does reassure me that being Left-Wing is the "Right" (pardon the expression) course to ensure we carry on this tradition, regardless of those who say otherwise.
A worthy and hard-earned 5/5 stars from me...
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