On Censorship and Hypocrisy: Think of the Children, Ao3 and GoT
There’s been a post floating on Tumblr about how people accusing Ao3 of being “evil”. Because… Why should people be allowed to write about rape and pedophilia? I’m so miffed at it that I had to write my own post.
Some posters have argued that it’s obscene to support something that allows content like rape and pedophilia.
To these people I say:
Oh… You’re right. Rape and pedophilia are crimes.
Tell you what… How about you start by boycotting Game of Thrones before you come at fanfiction? You know GoT? The wildly popular show that has so much questionable content it’s unreal?
I’m already hearing the outcry. It’s different! It’s Game of Thrones *insert explanation of why GoT is awesome.
If you’re a GoT fan, more power to you. Don’t get me wrong - I get that it’s not just gore and nudity etc. I’m probably among the few people in civilization that DON’T watch it, but my friends enjoy it very much, so to each their own.
But if that’s the case, if you do enjoy watching it, you are in NO POSITION to criticize anything anyone writes on Archive of Our Own.
I will never NOT be disgusted by the hypocrisy of today’s society. We have shows like Game of Thrones running on TV. Nobody has a problem with those. Stephen King wrote a scene that basically underage gang rape. Granted that was years ago, but the book is still there and it’s being printed as is. (In case you’re wondering, the book in question is It.)
We have media like 50 Shades of Gray - wildly popular, both in books and movies. It’s all over the place. You know what else is a crime? Murder. Enter the wildly popular Dexter, the show about the sociopath vigilante. Also something nobody has a problem with.
We have Deadpool - with its exceedingly gory scenes - also very popular, and something nobody tried to remove from the cinemas. But they tried to remove Beauty and the Beast, because of Le Fou was gay. (It was actually removed in some countries - I believe Malaysia and Russia, although I could be wrong.)
“Think of the children”. You fucking with me right now? If you’re thinking of the children and worried about their innocent little minds, you should cancel your cable subscription and put your Internet on safe search. Better yet, remove your Internet altogether. And move out into the wild. I hear Amish communities are nice. Archive of our Own is hardly the fucking problem.
I wonder, how many of the advocates of Ao3′s evil enjoy the sight of Daenerys’s amazing rack on a regular basis? Pretty sure you didn’t have a problem with Deadpool and Dexter slaughtering people.
“Think of the children” is the go-to excuse for oppression. In my country - and probably not only mine - it’s what people use to justify the anti-LGBT movement. Oh, woe is me. How will the children ever be able to understand seeing two men holding hands on the street?
And they say this with a straight face, while perfectly comfortable with kids seeing murder and violence on-screen. Cos let’s face it - half the children people try to protect so avidly are already watching these shows. Innocent minds… Not.
Censorship is a very slippery slope. A few years ago, there was a purge of a lot of books with more dubious content from Amazon or other such platforms. Books like… Loving Her Teenage Raptor. Or Milked by the Yeti. Stuff like that.
At the time, a lot of people had no problem with it, because like these Archive readers, they deemed the content a bit too extreme. But shortly after that, Amazon - and other websites - started cracking down on other content.
Now, “erotic romance” as a genre doesn’t even exist anymore. It’s all erotica. (And yes, there’s a difference). Some websites don’t publish erotic content of any kind. Even those that do are very strict about it or have all sorts of idiotic ToS about it.
The nonsense I’ve seen about it is identical to the backlash at Ao3.
I blame a lot of this specifically on the 50 Shades effect. The moment 50 Shades became popular, the nanny brigade came out and started policing. They couldn’t stop 50 Shades - but they could attack everything else. And now they’re coming at the Archive.
The Archive is important especially because everything else curtails freedom of expression, with a few glaring exceptions that everybody overlooks because it’s convenient. Having a place where people can write what they wish and express themselves the way that they wish is an incredible gift.
If you’re talking about those writers advocating rape and pedophilia, perhaps your zeal would be put to better use arguing against George R.R. Martin’s series that is… you know, all over the place. If you’re so afraid for a child’s mental state, you should show disgust for every item of media that displays excessive violence. If you hate the archive, you should not even be on freaking Tumblr - that doesn’t have the nice warning system the Archive does.
Stop it with the double standards already.
And know this. When somebody burns a book you don’t like and you’re fine with it, you encourage a trend. The next book that is burned may be something that is important to you.
In the meantime, keep your paws of the Archive. You have a problem with it, nobody wants you there.