Glaring Shortcomings in Porn Legislation (25 March 2008)

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We would agree with Zama Mvulane ("Child Porn Bill: media's criticism is well wide of the mark" Cape Times 24/03) that there are serious loopholes in the current legislation dealing with porn, but would add that there are not just loopholes but glaring shortcomings in all the legislation dealing with porn.
 
Imagine a picture of a naked Black man in a dogcollar, on a leash, on all fours. The image is appalling. It would be regarded as racist by most South Africans. Yet this is a very common way women are depicted in porn.Surely women are entitled to the same respect? In 1996, a mere three years after the first issues of Hustler became available in South Africa, SA Hustler
publisher Joe Theron was arrested in England for importing 470 porn videotapes, some South African-made. At his London trial in March 1997, one of these videos, Leather Looks, was described as having a scene in which a woman is lashed while she is tethered to a wall by a cord pierced through her tongue. Many such materials are sold from sex shops or at the least are allowed to be possesed by individuals.
 
In the Christian Action Network's submission to the National Assembly on the Film and Publications Amendment Bill, we supported the proposal that all sexually explicit material should be submitted for classification prior to distribution. We are obviously against blanket censorship of the media. Many sexually explicit magazines (containing images similar to those described above) are being sold freely from mainstream shops, when they should only be
allowed to be sold from sex shops (in our opinion, all porn should be totally banned). Despite a "tightening up" of the X18 and XX classifications in the various amendments to the Principal Act, The Film and Publications Board has not yet created a separate set of guidelines for magazines and e-TV continues to braodcast porn, despite reports of children raping other
children as a result of watching these films.

Taryn Hodgson

Africa Christian Action

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa [email protected] - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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