Beg to differ
Hmmmm. At risk of condemning myself to a week of grammatical hell...I shall have to take slight issue with our esteemed moderatrix.
A lot of feminists are against this legislation. That is true. Organisations like "Feminists Against Censorship" - the clue is in the title - have taken a valuable stance on behalf of the liberties lobby.
But I think its too easy to distance feminism entirely. Just as christianity contains within it the seeds for, on the one hand, pacifism and total acceptance, as well as the Inquisition...so feminism contains all manner of viewpoints that are described as "feminist" and in some respected quarters accepted as such.
I don't mean the facile argument "God told me to do it" ergo the Yorkshire Ripper is a bad argument for christianity: more the buying-in to a particular point of view (whether anti-gay or anti-porn) by a recognised set of what are, in both cases, quite broad churches.
I've written elsewhere about the roots to New Labour's anti-sex agenda. In part it has to do with the way they switched questions in 1997. Prior to New Labour, a serious debate was taking place in the legal establishment about consent. The question under discussion was the limits of consent: that is, where was it right for the state to draw a line. Tattoing. Religious flagellation. bdsm. Rugby.
On New Labour's arrival, the question shifted to one about where it was ok for an individual to withdraw consent. They shifted the ground from positive consent (when was it OK to say yes) to negative (when to say no). Both are valid questions: but the emphasis was significant.
The shift in emphasis co-incided with the creation of the Sexual Offences Review Team at the Home Office... a group widely regarded as radical feminist in its inspiration.
Of course, it would be unfair just to pick on the feminist elements. Blunkett also made a crack about how nice it was to work with so many of the same religious bent. I think he meant catholics, but not entirely sure.
So the shift in attitude under New Labour, like all such shifts, has complex roots. Some feminist. Some religious. Some - I'd get back to another time - in the Police and in the somewhat puritan ranks of New Labour. Never under-estimate the degree to which New Labour just find sex and related topics "icky".
To blame all that on feminism is wrong.
To seek to exonerate feminsim entirely is just as wrong.
Its what comes of being a broad church.
Paris, cause she's secretly a card-carrying radical feminist. No. Honestly.