chapter  8
22 Pages

Censorship and moral regulation

The question of censorship is an extremely deceptive one and a good deal more complex than is usually appreciated. According to much conventional wisdom, censorship is a bad thing. Even official bodies that are responsible for censorship and, also, censorious public campaigns avoid using the term. For instance, the British Board of Film Censors now calls itself the British Board of Film Classification: so it is not really censoring movies; it is only classifying them.1 Another example is the British wing of the radical femin­ ist campaign against pornography calling itself the Campaign Against Por­ nography and Censorship (Itzin, 1992). The argument put forward for so doing is that pornographic combinations of sexuality and violence are a proven threat to womens freedom, dignity and safety.2 Campaigning against pornography is said, therefore, to promote citizenship rather than censorship.