Tuesday, February 25, 2014

GETTING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE ANTI-PORN LAW



This conversation happened recently at a place near you between people you probably know.
Tom: Kampala will never been the same again, what with this anti-pornography law
Dick: Ridiculous! Now we are going to have police measure skirt lengths … I should join the police
Harry: You are taking a rather narrow view of the law. The intention – and a noble one at that, was to restrict the publication of sexual explicit material, curtail sexual exhibitionism and in so doing prevent such crimes as human trafficking, prostitution and other related organised crimes.
Tom: Huh?
Dick: The classic case of trying to kill a fly with a hammer, machine gunning chicken or using a tent to safeguard ones decency …
Harry: Maybe but the issues of organised crime and illicit trade are not the proverbial fly and yes we need machine gun fire to stop it in its tracks and if we have to protect our children using tarpaulins so be it.
Tom: Huh?
Dick: That’s all very nice my complaint is with banning mini skirts .... so by banning mini skirts who is the law protecting? The women wearing the mini-skirts or the people – men and women watching the women in their mini skirts? Who is the victim?
Harry: As I said that’s a narrow view of the bill. But yes maybe the women need to be saved from themselves and the viewers – especially men need to be delivered from temptation.
Tom: Huh?
Dick: Are you listening to yourself. So the women know not what they are doing and the men are such brainless Neanderthals, with no control over their baser instincts that a show of flesh by the odd woman will set them off on a lustful rampage?
Harry: Well I wouldn’t put in such colourful terms but Yes, something like that …
Dick: You are speaking for yourself assume?
Harry: (Pause) First of all there is no explicit mention of miniskirts. People have their knickers in knots over the interpretation of pornography … means any representation through publication, exhibition, cinematography, indecent show, information technology or by whatever means, of a person engaged in real or stimulated (sic) explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a person for primarily sexual  excitement ….
Tom: Huh?
Dick: That is even worse than hunting mini-skirters … so now the full force of the law is going to bear on judging what is sexually titillating and whether the offender is doing it primarily to cause sexual excitement (shakes his head). So if for example I walk around in a vest and shorts flashing my biceps and calves – some women I hear swoon at the sight of these, I am in danger of breaking the law?
Harry: (with a straight face) Yes!
Tom: Huh?
Dick: This is incorrigible …
Tom: Huh?
Harry: Look it is important for public decency and order to be maintained beyond the precincts of the churches and mosques. Who is better suited to do this than the government?
Dick: You are in danger of me unfriending you, you might lower my IQ … So on a practical level you will have to find people who were sexually aroused to testify and then do we have to determine the extent of that sexual arousal?
Harry: As I said you are taking a narrow view of the law. The law also has provisions prohibiting child pornography and the transmission of porn on the internet, it actually strengthened an existing law …
Dick: Aha! So you are refining an existing law that was not being applied or enforced isn’t that the height or depth of redundancy?
Harry: No, this law has also created a committee which will police these issues …
Dick: Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? Is this a national priority that we should spend tax payers’ money legislating against, having our honourable members debate etc
Harry: Think what you may, at least the law is there and we can act against such transgressions.
Dick: Not to weep more than bereaved I started out thinking this was a law made by male chauvinists to keep women in their place but now I see it is worse than that, it is not even a law to safeguard public morality – after all it is unenforceable …
Harry: So are you saying because a law is unenforceable we should not have it?
Dick: That should be obvious …
Tom: Can I say something?
Harry: You arguing as if you are unaware of the great threat to the moral fiber of our society …
Dick: Women – and men dressed in sexy wear, mostly after dark, is threatening our moral fiber? More than the thieves who walk among us denying, babies of drugs, children of a future and the rest of us a chance to better ourselves… if the ministry of ethics really wanted to make an impact shouldn’t it focus there?
Harry: Now you are being melodramatic…
Tom: Me thinks this flurry of controversial bills before Christmas and presidential nominations is to divert our attention from more serious issues like what is going on in South Sudan!


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