Moving forward to freedom in the bedroom

Several years back, I wrote about the UK’s plan to block all pornography by default and, before that, mentioned their past treatment of BDSM activities. I can now say something positive about the UK as they have recently declared that several sexual acts, particularly BDSM related, are no longer classed as obscenity. This is a great step forward which resolves some oddities in UK law where certain sexual acts were fully legal to perform but illegal to show in pornography. It’s especially good as we should not be classing activities as illegal if they have no victim. It’s absurd to suggest that a legal activity becomes illegal once on film. Continue reading

India recognises dolphins as non-human persons

Dolphins (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Dolphins are one of a number of particularly special animals that are widely recognised to be highly intelligent. This makes them an ideal starting point to assign moral rights and personhood to non-humans. Rather than individuals with inherent value, most animals are currently seen as property and the effort to elevate their status has a lot of hard work ahead of it. That’s not to say that no one is trying, people are, although not always successfully. Continue reading

One step backwards for rights in SA

South Africa is certainly a country with contradictions. Most obviously, there is the fact that part of the population lives in a first world situation while another part lives in a third world situation but, beneath that, there is also the sharp contrast between people’s views. For example when I spoke about the good parts of my home city, I mentioned that South Africa was the fifth country in the world, and first in Africa, to legalise gay marriage. In fact such a tolerant legal attitude was in stark contrast to many other African countries. Continue reading

International Fetish Day essay

BDSM SymbolThis year, the 20th of January was the fourth International Fetish Day, building off the 2008 National Fetish Day in the UK. The purpose is both to raise awareness and support for the BDSM community and create opposition to laws concerning extreme pornography. I’m mostly going to focus on the laws as it shows what I’d consider governments going to far, i.e. attempting to regulate people’s private lives. Continue reading

There She Is!!

This was supposed to have been posted on Tuesday but then it got postponed to Wednesday. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the links I needed with some sites down in protest over SOPA/PIPA. It can finally be posted today though.

In the previous post we touched on homosexual relationships which still lack acceptance in some parts of the world. In the US I only a few states recognise gay marriage while in Africa there are some countries have tried to criminalise homosexuality and others have succeeded, often with the anti-gay movements led by the religious, and even in South Africa, where gay marriages have been recognised for a few years, there are attacks directed at homosexuals termed “corrective rape.” Some in the Vatican even think the UN has a secret agenda to increase the number of homosexuals in the world.

There is the suggestion that perhaps further equality would be better pursued by making a separation between religious marriage, where the church can deny gay marriages if it so wishes, and secular civil unions which are available for all members of society and are recognised by the state. It’s actually a decent idea because it doesn’t require forcing religions to do something but it still opens up the full-spectrum of relationships for everyone. Churches will be able to make decisions on church policies and the state will make secular decisions. The complication is then tied to how religious the institution of marriage actually is and whether the gay movement is more interested in a real change or the symbolism of marriage. Continue reading