OBSESSION WITH PORN

Indonesias Obsession with Porn, bigtime Taylor Rain fans!!!!

By Franz Magnis-Suseno

 
Generate AI Porn
 
The Jakarta Post

Many Indonesian parents are rightly worried about the amount of pornographic material easily accessible to their children. But the pornography bill, now under deliberation by the House of Representatives, has nothing to do with this worry. There are already sufficient legal instruments available to take all necessary action. What is needed is not a new law, but action.

The pornography draft is about something else. Should it become law, not only would the Balinese and Papuans have to change their way of life, but, for instance, traditional women’s clothes of the Javanese, and many other Indonesian cultures, would be declared pornographic. This draft is a blatant attempt by narrow-minded and culturally dumb ideologists to impose upon Indonesian society an alien way of life.

This way of life may fit some societies a few thousand kilometres to the west, but it would violate centuries-old Indonesian traditions. It would be the first step in doing what all sorts of colonialists and aggressors never had achieved up to now: To suppress the essentially pluralistic culture from Sabang to Merauke. It would forbid people from continuing to dress, bathe, walk around, play and enjoy themselves as they have since they were children. It is an attack upon the cultural identity of the Indonesian people.

A look at some of the details of the draft shows the gross incompetence of its composers. It criminalises the "exploitation of the attractiveness of," among other things, "certain sensual parts of the body," "nakedness," "erotic dancing" and "erotic gyrating" (yes, this is lex Inul). And what are "certain sensual parts of the body"? They are "genitals, thighs, midriff, bottom, navel and the female breast, visible partly or in the whole" (many traditional Indonesian clothes — informal dress, working attire, official attire, costumes for ceremonial dancing — reveal, of course, parts of the female breast).

The draft makes no difference between being at home, on a public road, hiking or on the beach (it does exempt artwork in specially designed places and sports at sporting facilities).

Technically the most fatal thing is that no distinction is made between porn, indecency and erotic attractiveness. But this difference is crucial.

If pornography is to be made a criminal offence, than it must be something that is pornographic under all circumstances if done in public. And it must be operationally defined. For instance: The showing of genitals, probably the bottom, the whole female breast (and only with the necessary exceptions). Having sex in public or for commercial purposes and its presentation is certainly pornographic.

Some might regard showing the midriff (in combination with Western dress — it pertains to the normal attire of Indian women) as indecent or vulgar, but to label it as porn is absolutely ridiculous.

Decency depends on the situation, porn does not. What is completely decent at the beach would be penalised on a street even in St. Tropez. Regulations regarding decency can be made, but they have to be location or situation specific, and thus to be made by the pertinent authorities.

Erotic attractiveness has nothing to do with porn. Whether something is erotic lies in the eyes of the beholder. For people frequenting swimming pools a women in a swimsuit may have no erotic attraction at all, while a women in an elegant evening gown showing the slightest suggestion of her lower leg can be highly erotic (and in Koran Tempo daily I read that even a women in a bourqa can radiate attractiveness).

Being capable of appreciating erotic attraction in no way exploits the attractive person. It is, on the contrary, an expression of the natural correlation between the sexes that creates an atmosphere of cultural sophistication that enhances the human quality of the tension-rich network of intersexual relations.

But indeed, it needs a certain degree of emotional culturedness to be able to grasp its specific flair. Eduard Spranger reminded us 80 years ago that erotic attraction is person specific, while sexual attraction is not.

Should erotic dancing be criminalised? But is there any dancing that is not erotic? Most cultures have developed forms of dancing where the essence is the raising of sexual relations into a sphere of human dignity and decency.

At the end, a remark. The state may, of course, criminalise the production and sale of pornography. But private morality is not the business of the state. When I privately look at pornographic pictures, this may be a sign of my moral depravity, but as long as I do it in private, it should be my business. What should, indeed, be heavily criminalised is involving children in any kind of pornographic or indecent situation.

I suspect that the present pornography bill says more about problems in the mind-set of its writers than about problems regarding morality, decency and human dignity.

The writer, a Jesuit priest, is a professor at the Driyarkara School of Philosophy in Jakarta

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