I take a back seat to nobody when it comes to prudishness. I don't know anybody who's as up-tight or as easily embarrassed as I am.
The proliferation of pornography in Ireland over the past few years makes me wistful for the past when Playboy was banned, never mind the harder core offerings. I know there's not going to be any reversal of this trend, but I wish when the ban was (rightfully) lifted that it hadn't led to such a deluge.
Today our taxpayer funded television stations show things that none of the main networks in the US would dare show. The Sunday papers are full of photographs of topless women and articles that often seem to have their origins in the scribblings on the walls of a school's boys' restroom.
All of this is to set up my 'poke' at those who see themselves as prudier than thou (or even me!). According to the Irish Examiner, the Equality Authority, joined by a number of women's groups, is going to lead the Freedom from Pornography Campaign, which is "aimed at increasing awareness of the harm that pornography does to society and to challenge its widespread availability".
In the Examiner's article Rachel Mullins of Women's Aid is quoted as saying that pornography has become part of the "arsenal of domestic violence. It's become another tactic to use in the emotional and physical abuse of women".
Just because something can be used in the "arsenal of domestic violence" doesn't mean that it's time to campaign against it.
If a man holds up a picture of a cake from a food magazine in order to ridicule his wife's culinary skills, does that mean that these groups are going to start a campaign for Freedom from Gourmet Media? Surely a woman can be just as easily ridiculed for her bad cakes as her looks? What if a man compares his wife's cooking/housekeeping/whatever to his mother's? Are we going to campaign against mothers-in-law? (Don't answer that.)
These women's groups trivialize the sufferings of those who are genuine victims when they employ the language of violence and victims in this type of campaign.
As for the Equality Authority - UGH.
The Equality Authority is one of the greatest tragedies of our activist government. The Equality Authority is clearly over-staffed and over-resourced as they continually expand their remit by inventing more and more causes they can espouse, like this one. The sooner this monstrosity is brought low the better.