The EU Parliament calls it an end to gender stereotyping, but in reality it is a call to ban pornography in the European Union and one of the strictest calls for censorship in decades. The vote would also include access to pornography via the Internet across the EU.
Next week the European body will be voting on whether it is legal to have pornography available freely. Late last year a resolution titled, “Eliminating gender stereotypes in the EU" was presented to the EU Parliament. This resolution cites numerous examples of laws set in place throughout Europe from 1979 onward that prohibits discrimination based on sex.
In particular this recent resolution focuses on “all forms of racial discrimination against women”. The resolution then cites examples in the media place where such discrimination, or more precisely how the degradation of women continues throughout the EU in the media.
Whereas gender discrimination in the media, communication and advertising is still frequent and facilitates the reproduction of gender stereotypes, especially by portraying women as sex objects in order to promote sales; whereas, for example, in advertising women account for 27% of the employees or professionals shown, but 60% of those portrayed doing housework or looking after children; whereas advertising and the media can, nevertheless, also be a powerful catalyst in combating stereotypes and gender-based prejudices;
In a nutshell, the 27-member state bloc members of the EU Parliament will be voting on whether to ban pornography in Europe. This total ban would affect all 500 million inhabitants unless some clarification is made on parts of the resolution.
What the proposal is calling for precisely is not controversial. Simply put it is saying that all women in the EU need to have their rightful place in the workforce or daily life without being presented as inferior or a sex object. The controversy over the resolution would be its blatant censorship on any media source on a scale never before imagined.
Many lawmakers in the EU feel that because of the media Pornography has become too commonplace in the real world or that it is has somehow woven itself into the cultural fabric of Europe. Precisely it says that pornography in Europe is "slipping into our everyday lives as an evermore universally accepted, often idealized, cultural element."
Under item number 17 of the resolution, it cites a 1997 resolution, which called for the banning of discrimination of women in advertising and asks that a final ‘concrete action’ on that resolution be decided upon. The Dutch MEP for the Socialist Party, Kartika Tamara Liotard, has called for the EU to enforce this very broad 1997 resolution on pornography in all of the media in all of the 27 member states – of course this decision would include the Internet as well.
While it is apparent that many in the EU Parliament see pornography as a problem in the 'media',what do they consider the media? The real question should be, is the internet the media or is the Internet simply an access point where media can be found?