Project Blitz is only mentioned in passing in this draft article that was submitted to us, but with some workshopping, it could be a more thorough account of the legislative campaign by Christian groups to pass a raft of laws to limit sexual freedom. If you would like to collaborate with this author to make a more thorough and journalistic piece, this is a great starting point.
I’m going to come out and say it right out of the gate: I love BDSM, which is a set of erotic practices involving bondage, discipline, dominance and submission and sadomasochism. Over the years, I have saved hundreds of artworks from websites like Deviant Art and Fur Affinity, has had thousands of roleplays with my boyfriend, both in real life and online, and I even commissioned several BDSM pieces involving my character that I use in the furry fandom. BDSM is a central part of my adult life and my relationship with my boyfriend.
But, sadly, there are legions of concerned parents and devout Christians out there that want to put an end to this cherished lifestyle of mine. Following the fiasco that was Article 13 in the EU, I have become a much more diligent individual, occasionally doing some gumshoeing around the internet to find things that you won’t see trending on Twitter or discussed in the mainstream media. And, I have found there are certain organizations out there that are pretty transparent about how what they think you should and shouldn’t be allowed to look at on the internet.
Let’s start with Morality in Media. Yes, I know that they rebranded themselves with a more benign and charitable-sounding name of “National Center on Sexual Exploitation” back in 2015, but I refuse to call them that, because it obfuscates their past behavior and their real goals of completely censoring and sanitizing the media. Want to know just how insane these folks are? Well, according to Wikipedia, they put EBSCO Information Services, a library database, on their “Dirty Dozen” list just because school-age children could look up anatomy and physiology articles that their parents would rather not have them know about.
You heard me right. Morality in Media picked a fight with EBSCO and the American Library Association just because they didn’t like the fact that teenagers could look up scientific articles on the reproduction system. As a matter of fact, the director director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom at the time, James LaRue, said that NCOSE’s goal seems to be to get rid of any content “that will offend any parent in America.” and that the NCOSE’s efforts to make the internet more “family friendly” would be called “censorship” by LaRue’s organization.
But, I will have to say that these organizations are helpful in announcing every single move that they make, since the mainstream media sure as heck won’t talk about this. It was through them that I found out that 15 states in the US, including Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Virginia, have all passed resolutions denouncing pornography as a “health crisis”, using pseudoscience and a general “Protect the Children!” narrative. Not only that, but Ohio is considering doing this too, Tennessee is working on a more strongly-worded resolution, and the governor of South Carolina, Henry McMaster, passed his own resolution denouncing porn and demanding stricter enforcement of obscenity laws.
Yes, obscenity laws. You know, the criminalization of material that Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Potter Stewart, could only define as “I know it when I see it”? Yes, these busybodies want to throw people into the slammer once again for making or sharing material that can only be defined by a vague, subjective test known as the “Miller Test”. Enforcing laws like that totally couldn’t be open to abuse, right? Enforcing laws like that wouldn’t cause a race to the bottom, forcing all media to cater to the most socially conservative pockets of the US, right? Of course, that’s the whole point; to weaponize law enforcement and the judiciary to get rid of anything that “God-fearing” churchgoers and “concerned” parents don’t like and to get the internet to “self-censor” and promote “healthy families”.
So, going back to the states’ resolutions, I had a look at several of them, and for the most part, they just seem to be filled to the brim with weak boilerplate fluff that merely announced that “something” ought to be doe. But, there were a few ones that were of concern. Primarily, Kentucky’s promised to start enforcing these obscenity laws again, as well as McMaster’s pledge and the pending resolution in Ohio’s state legislature. But the most worrisome to me was the more strongly-worded one working its way through Tennessee’s legislature, which explicitly asks Attorney General William Barr to weaponize the DOJ against those who create kink content. And, if more states start following what Tennessee did (or if more governors pass resolutions similar to McMaster’s), we could see a serious problem in the US. And, in addition to Morality in Media, there are also two lobbying groups who’ve been helping craft these resolutions.
The first one being “Enough is Enough”, a “Think of the Children” in a type organization in a full-blown moral panic over pornography on the internet, run by a woman named Donna Rice Hughes. The other is an organization called the National Decency Coalition, which is basically exactly the same as Morality in Media. According to the sites’ own blogs, these two organizations openly admitted that they worked with a congresswoman from Ohio, Jena Powell, to draft her state’s anti-pornography resolution. And, as I said before, Ohio’s resolution, unlike most of the other “Health Crisis” resolutions, is begging for enforcement on obscenity laws to begin again, after laying dormant for quite awhile.
A recurring series that I have been seeing from the American news media, called “Copy, Paste, Legislate” talks about how in many cases, lobbyist groups, such as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and Project Blitz, write “model legislation” and hand it off to friendly or apathetic lawmakers to be passed, thus easily advancing their agendas. And now that we have anti-pornography lobbyists utilizing our lawmakers to advance their G-rated puritanical agenda, we could have a serious problem on our hands.
We could be returning to the days where the media wasn’t allowed to push the envelope in any way, shape or form, which would be a sad development in a country that values free speech as much as the US does. Not only that, it’d be rather asinine to live in a country where expressing your adoration towards Adolf Hitler is vigorously protected while producing BDSM content could land you in prison. Hate speech is no less “toxic” towards children than sexual content, and to say that one aspect of freedom of expression has to be protected at all costs while the other is allowed to be classified as criminal behavior is self-serving and hypocritical.
In the end, we have to be on the lookout. As the old expression goes, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. If those who value freedom of sexual expression for adults are quiet while those seeking to outlaw it are the loud ones, guess who’s going to win?