The EU is trying to take your porn. Kind of.

In honour of International Women’s Day the European Parliament is preparing to vote next Tuesday on a motion aimed at “eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU”. The title alone sounds good, and I very much doubt that many people would have a problem with it. however the Swedish Pirate Party has pointed out that some of the wording in the small print could potentially lead to an EU wide ban on porn. Rick Falkvinge, founder of the Pirate Party, wrote on his website that Article 17 of the motion calls for “a ban on all forms of pornography in the media”, along Article 14 which “Points out that a policy to eliminate stereotypes in the media will of necessity involve action in the digital field; considers that this requires the launching of initiatives coordinated at EU level with a view to developing a genuine culture of equality on the internet” could be used together to justify a ban.

Of course the actual vote next week is wholly non binding and no new law will actually be created if it passes (which it probably will, no one wants to vote against eliminating stereotypes. ). However if could potentially be used as the basis for actual proposed legislation by the European Commission, although European Digital Rights believe that the wording is almost too absurd to ever be taken seriously. But if you are genuinely worried, Rick Falkvinge helpfully provides a way to contact Europe’s MEPs (although in all likelihood your email will just end up in their spam filter).

Some of the other articles included with the motion call for:

“12. Stresses the need to run special courses on gender stereotypes in the media for national advertising standards committees and self-regulatory and regulatory bodies so as to raise awareness of the negative influence of gender-discriminatory images on television, the internet and in marketing and advertising campaigns;

13. Calls on the EU to develop awareness campaigns on zero-tolerance across the EU for sexist insults or degrading images of women and girls in the media;

14. Points out that a policy to eliminate stereotypes in the media will of necessity involve action in the digital field; considers that this requires the launching of initiatives coordinated at EU level with a view to developing a genuine culture of equality on the internet; calls on the Commission to draw up in partnership with the parties concerned a charter to which all internet operators will be invited to adhere;

15. Calls on the EU and its Member States to conduct training and awareness training actions with media professionals on the harmful effects of gender stereotypes and good practices in this area;

16. Stresses the importance of promoting the representation of the female image in a way that respects women’s dignity, and of combating persistent gender stereotypes, in particular the prevalence of degrading images, whilst fully respecting freedom of expression and freedom of the press;”

And all of this is supposed to be provided by the same organization that attempted to encourage more women to pursue careers in science with this advert:

It just fills you with confidence, doesn’t it?

Advertisements

Posted on 09/03/2013, in News. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: