Tuesday 16 January 2018

Shabby visions of our online futures

Pornography now soils the future for a generation expected to perform and conform, writes Julia Molony

Online pornography is to have its own domain. In an attempt to clean up the mainstream web, channels with adult content will soon be annexed by a new suffix. Instead of .com, users of pornography will have to type in .XXX.

The aim of this move is the protection of children and accidental viewers. It's become all too easy to google, for example, a recipe for a French chicken and wine stew only to find oneself face-to-face with something rather less wholesome. Both suppliers and lobbies against pornography have expressed concerns about the move. Lobby groups are worried that the designation of an entire domain lends legitimacy to the pornography industry. While representatives from the sex industry have protested that the loss of passing traffic will deal a huge blow to its already struggling revenue streams.

In 2005 I wrote in defence of pornography, arguing against the feminist view that the sole purpose of sex on film was to subjugate and objectify women. Porn is not, I said then, simply the propaganda wing of an animalistic and women-hating patriarchy forced into latency since women won suffrage and stopped being classified as chattels. Women could enjoy porn too!

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