Feeds

Sex Party proposes new classification system for Oz

Non-violent erotica category

Build a business case: developing custom apps

The Australian Sex Party (ASP) today issued a direct challenge to what it sees as Australia’s narrow, repressive and intolerant regulations governing the censorship of erotic material. In the process, it may find it has set the ball rolling on a debate with global ramifications.

The Sex Party proposals are wide-ranging and comprehensive, tackling a number of issues specific to Australia as well as issues that go wider.

They argue for a national classification scheme that "includes uniform ratings for explicit adult material across all jurisdictions and through all media (including computer games, magazines and films)".

This is a direct response to the fact that, the ASP claims, the current classification system for adult materials is riddled with inconsistencies across a number of jurisdictions and a range of media. The effect of this inconsistency is a de facto supposition that "Australians living in different areas of the continent have different moralities".

The ASP wants the state to legalise the sale and making of X-rated films nationally. The party is also calling for censors to move away from "privileging narrow moulds of sexual taste, acts and cultures". Instead, it demands that the authorities "expressly include depictions of fetish, which is currently excluded from Australia’s X rating, in a new rating category called Non Violent Erotica (NVE)".

The argument is one that will be familiar to students of film-making the world over. Directors as diverse as John Waters in the US and Nigel Wingrove in the UK have railed against the hypocrisy of the "sex-plus" rule endorsed at the highest level within society and by censorship bodies. This is the view that ordinary everyday acts are made dangerous by the addition of sex, while criminal acts are instantly converted into something far more deserving of punishment.

Several surveys have pointed out the inconsistency of a censorship system – such as that operated in the UK, which claims to censor material in part to prevent copy-catting, but then permits ultra-violent gore such as Saw and Hostel – while banning soft core erotica such as Story of O.

This view is endorsed by Jennie Kermode, editor of UK-based magazine Eye for Film. According to Jennie, "Violence is common in film and television, as it has been in oral tales throughout human history, to the point where mild acts are often seen as cartoonish and not taken very seriously. This is the stuff of Saturday afternoon TV.

“Add a sexual element, however, and suddenly there is moral outrage. This is not a proportionate or rational way to approach classification."

The ASP expresses its opposition to violence in all its forms, and cites a 2005 Eros summary of all recent research studies into the effects of violent media on children. The summary found that by the age of 18 the average American had seen 200,000 dramatised acts of violence and 40,000 dramatised murders, and the average Australian wasn't far behind.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.