The House of Commons – the branch of the Canadian Government that creates laws and governs the country – has approved a motion to study the health effects of violent pornography. After the previous government ignored experts and brought in regressive laws on sex work (specifically prostitution and other in-person services), I am very worried about my continued ability to produce BDSM and fetish content which technically could be considered porn. I’m also worried about restricting the access of adults to consensual images that they enjoy. I’m concerned for the actors and producers who choose to engage in what some may consider ‘violent pornography’ and which is really just consensual depictions of BDSM activity.
What is Violent Pornography?
That right there is part of the problem. How do we define violent pornography? Rough sex? BDSM activities like spanking, flogging, etc? Only the more ‘extreme’ kinky activities like ball busting or sounding? Snuff films? Kidnap fantasies? Does a video only become violent pornography when traditional sexual activities are involved? Or does the intent of the video matter? If a video, whose intent is to titillate, contains consensual BDSM activity while all participants are fully clothed, is it violent? Or pornography? Both? Neither?
For me, violence is a non-consensual activity. While I’m sure there are videos out there depicting non-consensual activities, they are also evidence of crimes. Crimes which we already have laws against.
Why the Focus on Porn?
I’ve never understood why we can have unbelievably violent movies, television shows, pictures and other media readily accessible to anyone who wants it, but the moment there is any nudity or hint of sexuality, it becomes a problem. Kids have access to all sorts of violent imagery, from the internet to Sunday morning cartoons.
While I don’t think that children should have access to hardcore porn, I don’t think that exposing them to violence is a good idea either.
It seems that the Government of Canada hasn’t looked at the health effects of porn since 1985. The explosion of the internet in the 1990’s has made all forms of porn, not just violent pornography, available to anyone with an internet connection.
Our societal values have also changed since then. Women are more equal now than they ever have been before in Canadian Society. Gay rights are enshrined in law. Trans people are gaining recognition and acceptance.
Of course, for all of our positive steps, the previous Conservative Government passed a terrible prostitution law that the experts (both academic and actual sex workers) said would cause harm to marginalized people. The Harper Government seemed to revel in the idea that the law would harm the most marginalized (POC, trans people, disabled) to the greatest extent.
This motion was put forward by Conservative MP Arnold Viersen, who represents the riding of Peace River – Westlock in Alberta. I guess Albertans don’t have any more pressing issues to deal with and can spend their time worrying about the sexual/masturbatory habits of others. I mean, it’s not as if their economy is a mess. There aren’t any environmental issues caused by the tar sands to worry about…
Doom & Gloom?
You will have to excuse my assumption that this study will not bode well for people like me. I was forced to stop offering professional domination services when the Protection of Communities and Exploited Persons Act became law. It not only criminalized my clients but would have considered my roommates – people who had nothing to do with my business – pimps.
While I was starting to shift my focus more towards the educational side of things anyway, the sudden loss of my main source of income was devastating. I’m still trying to recover from it (and it will take years to be making a similar income)…
My one saving grace is that I am still able to film fetish and BDSM content to sell. It was a small part of my income before and now it plays a much greater role. It is part of why I’m able to spend time building the educational side of my business.
If new legislation is in the future, I am very concerned. Take a look at the laws the UK recently adopted concerning ‘violent pornography’. Try to tell me that it isn’t targeted at the marginalized. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not but that doesn’t really matter when already marginalized people get screwed over even more.
One middle finger for the PCEPA, and one for Conservatives who can’t mind their own business
I hope I’m just paranoid
I really do hope that I’m just being paranoid. As I said I’m still stinging from the PCEPA. A little annoyed that sex workers are experiencing huge amounts of violence while Trudeau and his government sit on their hands instead of fixing the law.
I just don’t trust the government when it comes to my ability to earn a living. At least any changes will be years in the making – giving me lots of time to figure out a contingency plan.