Off the Board, Opinion

OFF THE BOARD: Trouble down under

Viewers of x-rated films should be able to appreciate the pornographic prowess of men and women of all shapes and sizes as they please, free from fear of censorship. It seems, to me at least, that this is the objective of porn. But members of the Australian Classification Board, however, disagree. Much to the indignation of the porn industry, quite a few feminists, and a whole lot of angry Aussies on Internet forums, the Board has allegedly imposed a ban on depictions of female ejaculation and small-breasted women in all adult films and publications.

According to the Australian Sex Party – the political faction that promotes tolerance of freedom of sexual speech and expression – formerly x-rated depictions of female ejaculation are now being censored. A recent ASP press release alleges that the Australian Classification Board is beginning to “refuse classification” of films featuring female orgasms accompanied by ejaculatory fluid, and such films will be confiscated by customs officials.

The depictions are allegedly being “refused classification” based on one of two premises. The first is that female ejaculate is a “form of urination,” which is banned in the Classification Guidelines under the label of golden showers. The even less valid – and more offensive – second premise is that female ejaculation is simply “abhorrent.”

First of all, classifying female ejaculate as urine is just plain misinformed. Numerous scientific studies have shown that yes, women can and do ejaculate when they orgasm, and no, the ejaculatory fluid is not the same thing as urine. Female ejaculation – a topic of historical controversy and speculation – is, in 2010, no longer a matter of debate. Second, the claim that images of womanly fluids should be banned simply because they’re “disgusting” is archaic and silly for obvious reasons, and doesn’t deserve to be justified with much of any response. I’ll instead turn my attention instead to the second, even more laughable restriction.

The ASP also claims that the Board will be assigning refused classification to all pornographic depictions of small-breasted women. According to the ASP, the logic behind this decision is that small-breasted women look like children, and therefore that pornography featuring women with smaller-than-typical porn star breast proportions promotes pedophilia because these women appear underage. That’s right – A-cup porn stars may soon find themselves banished from pornographic films in Australia because they resemble children a little too closely for comfort. This is clearly problematic for individuals of either gender who appreciate a small rack – the logical extension of the argument is that those who fantasize about hot flat-chested women like Kiera Knightly and Kate Hudson are creepy and pedophilic, and that the boyfriends, lovers, and husbands of smaller women are comparable to child molesters. What the alleged ban refuses to acknowledge is that A-cups – and, for that matter, breasts of all sizes – are sexy in their own right, and not because they may incidentally have a Lolita-esque appeal. Not to mention that if looking underage is what the Board is so concerned about, perhaps a ban on Brazilian waxes is also in order.

Women with small boobs are discriminated against enough already – A-cups make less money as bartenders and have little chance of ever getting hired at Hooters – and they deserve the right to be porn stars if they choose. Australia’s inane censorship guidelines are a throwback to the Victorian era, when women who enjoyed sex were considered responsible for the moral degeneration of society. Arbitrary discrimination against small boobs and female fluids deprives both men and women of pleasure for no good reason. I thought Australia was a nation of deported outlaws and criminals, not prudes.

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