Says David Cameron, the Prime Minister:
Children can’t go into the shops or the cinema and buy things meant for adults or have adult experiences – we rightly regulate to protect them.
But when it comes to the internet in the balance between freedom and responsibility, we have neglected our responsibility to our children.
My argument is that the internet is not a side-line to ‘real life’ or an escape from ‘real life’; it is real life.
It has an impact: on the children who view things that harm them on the vile images of abuse that pollute minds and cause crime on the very values that underpin our society.
He is introducing a number of measures to make it harder for people to look at child porn and depictions of rape. And pornographic images will automatically be filtered out by default, unless you deliberately opt out of the filter.
But what about free speech? I’ve been around and around that mulberry bush more times than I can count, so I’m no longer surprised when people imagine that a free society entitles them to shit all over the whole world — and that it’s parents’ job to shovel a little path through the shit for their kids, if they’re going to be super uptight about it.
This law doesn’t outlaw pooping. It just acknowledges that shit is shit, and it should be treated accordingly.
It should be hard to find porn. It should be embarrassing. Using it should make you feel nervous and guilty, because it is bad for you, bad for your family, and bad for society. And if you are enslaved to it, you should be grateful that the public and private sectors are working together to make it less accessible and normalized.
How I wish we could see laws like this in the United States. It’s still a parents’ job to protect children, and it’s still up to the individual to fight back against the flood of porn. But making it a little less normal, a little less accessible, is a wonderful thing.
For help in breaking an addiction to porn, or for dealing with it if your spouse is addicted, see these resources:
Matt Fradd’s The Porn Effect
Fight the New Drug
Porn No More
Marcel Lejeune’s list of strategies.
Feel free to add your own recommendations in the comment box. Porn is powerful and corrosive, but the fight against it is by no means hopeless!