I have been a card-carrying member of the ACLU...well, forever. I GET the 1st Amendment argument on pornography.

However, I am always disappointed with the ACLU when they adopt libertarian positions with regard to business. I see those positions as narrow-minded, though for the ACLU it’s just a matter of focus—what they have decided is their area of interest, that is, to narrowly focus on protecting citizens against government infractions of our civil rights, while ignoring corporate violations of such. Corporate and business violations of the rights of citizens are simply not the ACLU’s bailiwick.

What naturally results, it seems, is a laissez-faire position on internet porn by the ACLU.

What naturally results is the ACLU’s abandonment of the right of children to the innocence of childhood. (Those don't know what that means for a child and want to dismiss such concerns as "prudishness," make me shudder with fear for their children.)

Internet porn sites are businesses. Even if such is not the ACLU’s bailiwick, could not an ACLU spokesperson at least informally see that businesses and corporations should be regulated, on behalf of the notion that We the People have a right to a set of rules that support happiness and impede damage to the most vulnerable members of society?

Thom’s ACLU guest said it was up to parents to protect their children from the damage pornography might do to them. In forming his opinion, has he considered that many families provide little protection for children from all sorts of things, let alone pornography. What percentage of parents, realistically speaking, are the responsible parents he’s alluding to, parents who care what their children are exposed to?

The ACLU should not be treated as the last word on the subject of internet porn.

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mythomaccount's picture
mythomaccount 9 years 9 weeks ago
#1

I agree, for issues you mention and also for issues you didn't. This is my one major "traditionally-liberal" sticking point where I do not agree that free speech reigns as king as most liberals do. As a liberal I am far more conservative on this issue than ANY of my right-wing friends. As a parent of four kids this issue has been eating me alive the past couple years. We go through hoops to try and lessen access in our house to this smut which is pervasive and so available. I grew up in a generation where little boys might have magazines hidden under their beds - non-moving pictures that were much harder to get. Now you just press a button and all sorts of deviant behaviors are available in living color. I get so tired of hearing so many like the guy from the ACLU - parents... parents... parents. Bullshit. Do parents decide if they want their kids to wear seatbelts? Enough already with that argument. If there are already laws on the books, enforce them. In our house we have a router-based parental control system that is the best out there. Yet - it is a black or white thing. Block all youtube or let all youtube in, etc. Although youtube is not hard core, there is plenty of smutty things on there which are teased/advertised in a way to get kids to click into them. Yet my daughter learned to play the piano from youtube, so it also has great stuff. The only thing we found which would allow a page such as youtube, but then also be able to scan the page for crap is called Dan's Guardian. However you have to be a computer programmer in order to use it, which, luckly, my husband is. But what about everyone else? My exasperation has come after we have tried so hard to protect things in our home, but then knowing that any other household they go to is not protected well, and in many cases, not at all, with totally open access. I am tired of talking to everyone else's parents about it, educating them because it is sooooooooooo much easier just to live in ignorance. In fact sometimes that is the only way I can get my mind off it - just "pretend" it isn't really happening. Some sleepless nights I just have to pretend in order to let it go. We are really doing a disservice to our next generation. I hope to god my kids can have normal lives growing up with a generation who has been fed violence and deviance. We have done our best to raise our boys during their developmental stage w/ some degree of childhood innocence, but I worry about my girls and the boys they will be having relationships with, knowing that they have most likely been raised w/ this smut teaching them how to treat women and have relationships with them. Then there's the cell phones... legitimate carriers advertising on their websites phone apps that get you hotter than any still picture can. right next to the game apps. hello? Why is this ok on a verizon website? Because it makes money and if no one stops them, the envelope will get pushed further and further w/ no end in site. I just purchased a cell for my third child and was told we couldn't pick any of the nicer phones w/out a $10/month internet charge. I told them I didn't want internet. Too bad. I had to get her a dorky phone because I didn't want to pay $10/month for something I didn't want to get. It won't be long before we have no choice and you won't be able to get a phone w/out internet. And just because a kid turns 18, I'm sorry, I still don't think is is ok to view this illegal smut. That is precisely when they are forming their opinions about relationships. So off to college they will go, laptops in tow, and at that point there is no way for a parent to guide them other than "talking" to them. It is crazy to think talking to them about it will keep them from browsing this smut and possibly becoming addicted. I experimented with drugs and alcohol in college. Why? Not because my parents didn't "talk" to me about it and explain the dangers, because I COULD! This is an issue that reallys tempts me to give up my liberal status.

Zenzoe 9 years 9 weeks ago
#2

Me too, on this and also on the use of drugs (though I think most of them should be de-criminalized, except for the ones big pharma puts out that kill people.). However, I would say "liberal" does not mean irresponsible, and it does not mean lacking family values. I refuse to grant ownership of values we all share to the right-wingers.

Then there's the caution against yelling "FIRE!" in a crowded theater—there have to be limits to "free speech," where injury to others may occur.

I think your care and concern about your children, and your wish for them to grow up as non-misogynists, or self-respecting women and men, is BEAUTIFUL. You have a right to be very proud. But I'll tell you, you CAN influence them, even if they are exposed to crap—it's difficult, but they'll get your message, even if you're only noticing the lesser misogynistic messages in commercials, etc., and use that as an opportunity to have a discussion at the dinner table. That way, when they see something really hideous and wrong, they'll be able to identify it for what it is. They'll grow up as critical thinkers, just like you! Or, they may rebel, but they'll come back. (I can say these things, because I've been there and know how it feels to have such a massive responsibility.)

reed9's picture
reed9 9 years 9 weeks ago
#3

You don't have to be a programmer to use Dan's Guardian, you just have not be enslaved my Microsoft. It's not difficult to set up, though you do need to be able to configure a proxy server.

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