Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

web labeling

April 30, 2006

   I agree with parts of the web labeling proposal but I also do not agree with one part of it.  I think that a mandatory rating system that will "prevent people from inadvertently stumbling across pornographic images on the Internet," is a great idea.  I am sure that there is some software out there for computers that will be able to recognize that rating if someone is trying to access a particular site when they are not suppose to.  This is excellent for homes, libraries and schools, where young children may be using computers often and may be overly curious or may just happen to do a search and get results that were not really wanted by these young children.  This rating would show before you open up the site that you better be aware that material may be graphic in nature.  Also I think that its a good idea that there cannot be explicit material on a page as soon as you enter the site.  Again if a child is opening a site, say with a parent, but the parent reached the site through a search, atleast now the parent can recognize from the first page of the site that it is an "adult" site and can get out of it before the child sees anything.

   The part that I do not agree with is when Gonzales stated "that Internet service providers must begin to retain records of their customers' activities to aid in future criminal prosecutions and indicated that legislation might be necessary there as well."  I think that this is a total invasion of privacy and goes back to the Google privacy issue from back in the beginning of the semester.  The US government wanted records from Google of who searched for "adult sites".  This is totally unconstitutional.  Nothing is unnatural about looking at "adult sites" (excluding anything having to do with children, of course) and people should not be scared that the government is watching them and may do something to them because they are looking at adult entertainment.

Nudists/Naturists: A cover for pedophiles?

April 24, 2006

     After researching some sites about pedophiles I came across two(1, 2) different articles by Nikki Craft.  Nikki Craft is a feminist protester who is involved with exposing sex offenders, helping women who are in violent situation, as well as fighting against institutions that oppress women.  Most interesting to me was what Ms. Craft calls her Nudist/Naturist Hall of Shame.  Craft has a statement on her website that I found extremely remarkable, the following is part of her statement:

 

  

  “Early in my involvement in the upper echelons of the naturist movement it became apparent I was running into a large number of pedophiles, child molesters, child pornographers and their apologists; disturbingly disproportionate for such a small, fringe group. I had never run into such a consortium of men, in various ways, abusing children; and never have since, either. Unfortunately too many of these men I've met or come in contact with at naturist or nudist/naturist gatherings and events all over the U.S. move quite freely because too many, if not most, nudists and naturists, have their heads in the sand about the problem, for one reason or another. There are many who are swingers, who go by aliases or first name only, so criminals move freely in the midst. Many have no problems with nude photographs of children; therefore they have a hard time distinguishing when the children become objectified commodities. This is a very dangerous dynamic that I found with the nudist/naturists.” (Nikki Craft)

 

   Craft got offered a job b/c of her "civil disobedience" and through that job found an abundance of information concering nudists/naturists and their infatuations with children and sex.  Many of these men were using their nudist lifestyles as covers for molesting, raping, photographing and videotaping young children as sexual objects.  Craft was actually responsible for tipping of police to a sort of child sex ring that was being controlled by a Joe Wanner, who was a memeber of the Naturist Society.  Wanner was sentenced to 10-30 years for his involvement in child pornography.

Question for Mr. Lucas

April 21, 2006

In your blog you talk your thoughts on gay men marrying women.  You say that while at Moscow University, you date your high school sweetheart Marina.  When you broke up with her did you tell her that you were gay or did she already know?  Did she take it personally? And were you with her to appease everyone else b/c no one knew that you were gay yet?

If I needed the $$, I too would become a stripper…

April 21, 2006

  As looking over some "outside" blogs I found one that I really agreed with. "Strippersversusdvds" actually has, what I consider, a well written, nicely thought out blog, that people have also responded to. 

  "Strippersversusdvds" responds to a recent article in the NY Post about a new movie coming out. "Stripper" talks about how pin-up girls were not in the business to control men back in the early war days and neither are "true" strippers today. Strippers and pin-up girls of the past did not choose these careers as "feminist movement", they choose this career b/c they need to pay for their rent, pay for school and support themselves and their families.

  I agree with "stripper" b/c honestly, if I needed money bad enough and I wanted a better life for myself and my family, I would become a stipper in the blink of an eye.  I know most people would say, "get a respectable job and work your way up, the American way", but working at McDonalds for minimum wage and spending everything I make to support everyone, not having any left to save, may be respectable, but its not the smartest decision to me.  Just b/c I say that I would be a stripper does not mean that I would sleep with every Tom, Dick and Harry that came into the club.  I am simply saying that dancing on a stage and letting someone simply LOOK at my body is not degrading to me.  Its the fastest way a lot of women can find to help themselves out of dire situations.

CDA, just a “smokescreen”?

April 13, 2006

The Communications Decency Act (S.314) was passed by the United States Senate in June 1995 by a large majority.  It seems to me that the
U.S. senators who voted for the CDA failed in their responsibility to protect the constitutional rights of the people.  The intent of the Communications Decency Act is not primarily to stop the posting of erotic images, four-letter words or sexually explicit discourse to the Internet.  The CDA criminalizes uploading to the Internet or viewing anything "indecent".  But the term "indecent" is not defined in the law, so who decides what is "indecent"? The
U.S. government?  The individual?

            You may be comfortable with some internet sites and uncomfortable with others. That is precisely the point. For those internet sites which you would allow into your home may not be the sites your neighbors would allow into theirs. You should be the one choosing what you do and do not want to see, you should be the one controlling your children's access to mature discussions, on the Internet, on television, or in the city library.

            On 1997-06-26 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Communications Decency Act, arguing that some provisions of the federal law amounted to illegal government censorship. The CDA wasn’t about porn or children. That seems to me like a  “smokescreen” of sorts. The CDA was really about prying into the lives of all citizens, child or adult, to enforce a particularly narrow "moral" agenda. Why else would the CDA have included, for example, a clause specifically banning from the Internet any discussion of abortion? Why else would educational, artistic, and other sites be affected?

Fortunately, the court went much further than simply striking down the CDA. It made clear that the Internet deserves to be afforded the highest protections of the first amendment. It is a perfect refuge for individual and democratic freedom, with minimal potential for causing harm by inflicting one's speech on those who don't wish to be subjected to it.

Its Miller time

April 8, 2006

    I read the post from Professor Halavais saying that we should really have a firm handle on the Miller Test, so I did some further research on it, to hopefully help myself better understand it and maybe help some fellow classmates.  Some of the basics of the Miller Test as seen on this website, are as follows; (a) whether "the average person, applying contemporary community standards" would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.  A state statute may regulate the law more by setting up additional rules/regulations is something is patently offensive representations or descriptions of ultimate sexual acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated; patently offensive representations or descriptions of masturbation, excretory functions, and lewd exhibition of the genitals.  Sex and nudity may not be exploited without limit by films or pictures exhibited or sold in places of public accommodation any more than live sex and nudity can be exhibited or sold without limit in such public places. At a minimum, prurient, patently offensive depiction or description of sexual conduct must have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value to be given First Amendment protection. 

Kristol’s “Porn, obscenity and the case for censorship”

April 6, 2006

 

 

            I was intrigued during the lecture when Professor Halavais was talking about Irving Kristol, who states that when people involve themselves in pornography, they are degrading themselves.  Since we live in a democracy, Kristol states that a democracy will only work if there is a virtuous society.  Pornography brings us, as a society down, given this, why not censor, for the good of the democracy? 

            I didn’t know how I exactly felt about all of this so I found one of Kristol’s pieces of writing to learn more.  This website has Kristol’s article, “PORNOGRAPHY, OBSCENITY, AND THE CASE FOR CENSORSHIP”.  As I read this article I found myself not agreeing with Kristol’s ideas as much as I thought I would.  He talks about how one reason that porn should be censored is for psychological reasons.  Kristol compares it to masturbation and says “In other words, like all infantile sexuality, it can quite easily become a permanent self-reinforcing neurosis. And such a neurosis, on a mass scale, is a threat to our civilization and humanity, nothing less.”  I don’t know that I necessarily agree with this.  I don’t see masturbation or porn, even on a mass scale, as a threat to our society and our beings.  I guess that each could become a very addictive behavior but really even if you’re doing it often, who is it really hurting?

            Kristol then ends the piece talking about how he “therefore sees no reason why we should not be able to distinguish repressive censorship from liberal censorship of the written and spoken word.”  But the problem is who gets to decide what needs to be censored or is “worthy” of being censored?  One person may thing that 2 women kissing is in need of censorship, while another person may think that is perfectly ok to watch 2 women having sex.  How do we judge each situation fairly?  Kristol says “It is a distressing fact that any system of censorship is bound, upon occasion, to treat unjustly a particular work of art, to find pornography where there is only gentle eroticism, to find obscenity where none really exists, or to find both where the work's existence ought to be tolerated because it serves a larger moral purpose.”

Happy Opposite Week: Pro-Morgan

March 30, 2006

            The effect that pornography has on men’s attitudes toward women remains an issue of contention. The availability of pornography and the effects it may have on the public, men in particular, continues to be controversial. Anti-pornography researchers argue that pornography teaches men to despise women. Through pornography, these researchers believe, men learn that women are to be loathed, seen as less human than themselves, and used. Robin Morgan asserted that "pornography is the theory; rape is the practice." Others believe that pornography trivializes rape and makes men increasingly callous to cruelty, to infliction of pain, to violence against women and to abuse of women. Pornography and men's attitudes about violence and women are clearly linked, according to anti-pornography researchers.

            Critics of pornography do not argue that pornography is ever the sole direct causal agent in sexual violence. No one argues that if pornography disappeared that rape would disappear. Instead, the discussion should be about the ways in which pornography might be implicated in sexual violence in this culture. We understand that pornography alone doesn't make men do it, but that pornography is part of a world in which men do it, and therefore the production, content, and use of pornography are important to understand in the quest to eliminate sexual violence/rape.

             The 3 blogs that I find the most interesting is CyberChelle's blog, Durk Diggler's blog, and Nicole's blog (Nicole19).  Please excuse the lack of links but for some reason when I am trying to link them the lack of the actual "link" button is making it next to impossible.  I like all three of these blogs because they all analyze the class material but also back the material up with research and opinions on the topic/subject.  This makes for a much more solid, reliable, enjoyable read.

God Loves Porn Stars

March 25, 2006

I am definitely not a religious person so I had to check out the XXXchurch website to see what these pastors were really trying to accomplish concerning Christians and porn.  I first looked at what their main goals were.  This is the exact mission statement from XXXchurch: “XXXchurch exists to bring awareness, openness, accountability and recovery to the church, society and individuals in the issues of pornography and to begin to provide solutions through non-judgmental and creative means. XXXchurch is here to make you think, react and help you decide where you stand on the issues of porn. We’re not here to sling mud, but to shove the envelope and try and do some good”.

 

I actually really like what this organization has to say.  They’re trying to reach people who are into porn by actually talking about porn with them.  These pastors are not trying to keep porn all hush hush; instead they are actually talking about “boobs, sex, porn and hot chicks”.  I think that to perhaps a teenager who doesn’t know how porn is accepted by their religion or for a person who likes porn but is not sure if its exactly what God would want them to be doing with it, that xxxchurch might actually be a good place to try to talk things out with someone who is non-judgmental.  The guys specifically state that although they are not pro-porn that they “do not judge, condemn or point our fingers at those in the porn industry or those who struggle with this issue.”

How do you respond to erotic cues?

March 23, 2006

If a person chooses to use pornography or Internet sexually explicit material it may have a lot to do how they were conditioned in the past to respond to sexual stimuli.  This socialization may consist of informational feedback regarding the contexts in which various sexual experiences are acceptable or there may be certain erotic cues, conditioned or unconditioned, that make a person respond in either a positive or negative way (Byrne, p.124). According to the sexual behavior sequence, if a person has had mostly positive experiences sexually then they will respond to sexual cues more positively.  This may evoke that person to use the Internet’s sexually explicit materials as a positive source that may make their sexual behaviors more enjoyable.  On the other side, a person who has had negative sexual experiences in the past may not enjoy these materials.  The sexual explicitness of the Internet sources may make them uncomfortable and the person may not even want to lay eyes on the materials.  They have a negative conditioned response to the Internet sexually explicit materials because of past erotic cues. 
            I do think that people who have had positive sexual experiences throughout their lives are more apt to be involved in Internet sexually explicit materials.  I think that those people may have more of an open view about sex as an enjoyable activity that is not shameful in any way and may be able to be enhanced by some Internet sexually explicit materials.  I think that people who have had negative experiences in sex may almost be “afraid” of sex, therefore shunning anything to do with it, especially public sites dedicated to it.  Sex in general makes this group of people uncomfortable because they associated negative feelings/memories with it, so it may not just be the porn itself that is bad to them, but the whole sexual experience.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
 


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