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The porn debate

In the Korea Herald, John Power ventures into the debate on porn:

To some, it’s a harmless pleasure. To others, it’s a societal ill. Pornography, for better or worse, is a prevalent reality in Korea. Yet, unusually for a developed democracy, it remains largely illegal here. While possessing or viewing porn is not a crime, the production, selling or displaying of materials deemed obscene is a jailable offense.

The Constitutional Court has ruled that the Constitution protects “indecent” sexual expression that does not reach the level of “obscenity,” holding that the former contains “social value.” On a day-to-day basis, however, a complex regulatory framework decides what is and is not fit for public consumption. Multiple government or semi-governmental agencies are involved in the process, including various ministries, the Korea Communications Commission, Korea Communication Standards Commission and Korea Media Rating Board. The government-run KCC regulates the overall television, radio and Internet environments, with the president-appointed, nine-member KCSC tasked with removing specific online content.

Frankly, I think it’s ridiculous the government is treating its people like children, especially for the reasons cited. It’s authoritarian, patronizing and just plain lazy.

PS: That Jae Gi-sung fellow is quite the character.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • SomeguyinKorea
  • http://www.globalasianculture.com Liz

    Maybe the Korean government is treating its population like children, but when it comes to online pornography, it’s not such a bad idea.

    In fact, governments in general treating populations like children don’t sound like a bad idea at all in light of the Newtown massacre. Kids shouldn’t have access to guns, and when they do get hold of several we realize less government doesn’t mean more freedom. It just means more shit to deal with by private citizens who cannot bear the social cost of deregulation on their own.

    The social cost of laxed regulations on pornography is not easily measured, but I’d feel safer as a woman knowing that porn is restricted and curbed in the country where I live.

  • madar

    Many studies have shown that giving access via safe outlets for strong human urges, like porn or violent video games, actually drops the rate of crimes in those spheres of human activites. But as it goes against the folksy wisdom that states these activies are giving people “bad ideas” that they never would have had otherwise, they don’t get much press. 

  • One for all

    Some people like porn, some people don’t. What I don’t understand is when people try to justify their like/dislike for it……Porn either gets you off or puts you off!

    Which leads to my next point…..I cannot fathom for the life of me why and how someone can say watching porn made them commit sexual crimes, or how and why someone would want to suggest that porn makes people want to commit these crimes. Humans have been committing crimes (sexual and otherwise) since the beginning of our existence……without the help of porn! I just wish people would stop bullshitting themselves about whether or not they like the stuff, and the reasons why!

    All this nonsense we’re seeing now is the result of the battle society is having with itself (kinda like the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other shoulder both trying to get their point across). Porn does not make a woman/man/child any more unsafe than alcohol, or walking alone at night in certain areas.

  • Django

    Guns and porn?  Okay then YES to beer but NO to marijuana, sheeesh!

  • SomeguyinKorea

     Gee, from porn to gun control…Slipper slope argument, eh?

  • http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal ZenKimchi

    There is something wrong with a society who believes its greatest sin is between its legs.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    There is something wrong with a society where people believe that government
    holds the keys to the secrets of life. So Liz, you live in a democracy
    where the children elect the leaders. You trust the children to make
    that choice, and in fact the children elect these people from their own
    ranks, and now you are telling me these elected children are not
    childish to the extent that they can run the lives of the other
    children. And to me it seem that you would find it comforting to have
    every aspect of your life controlled.

    This may be the
    misanthrope in me talking, but fuck “social costs.” I am not living for
    society, or for you. If you’re incapable of handling life, then look to
    fix yourself first before moving in to restrict my choices and my
    freedoms. Because I KNOW this does not end at on-line porn and that you would find it much safer AS A WOMAN if many other freedoms were curbed.

  • keyinjpop

    I will not be denied porn.

  • imememememe

    Liz,
    you need to watch some porn and get over yourself.  Jeez…

  • YangachiBastardo

     In fact, governments in general treating populations like children don’t sound like a bad idea at all in light of the Newtown massacre

    Yes cos Government knows best when it comes to the moral high ground (just ask your local friendly Ayatollah) and of course porn is as dangerous as assault rifles…great logic there Liz

     The social cost of laxed regulations on pornography is not easily measured, but I’d feel safer as a woman knowing that porn is restricted and curbed in the country where I live

    Aye that is absolutely the case with such meccas of women rights and liberalism as Saudi Arabia…as opposed to that vile, dastardly rape central of the world also known as Japan with their hentai perversions.

    I’ll tell you what is the social cost of porn: a few divorces and  a few fucked up drugged up Boogie Nights type of idiots around town…much less than an average oil refinery

  • http://www.globalasianculture.com Liz

    Hahahahaa…you funny.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Was in Amsterdam last weekend.
     
    Been there many times before, but this time really felt the scuzz. Why have ugly women in the window in dark alleyway next to Chinese restaurants where you can see people eating their wanton soup? In fact why is the brothel area right next to Chinatown?
    The window ladies liked my dog though and all made “awwww” gesture when we went by (this happened in Berlin too)
     
    To top it all I near-witnessed a man jumping off a 3 floor of a buildings on one of the main canal streets. Saw the bloody blanket and the afttermath(broken window). Very morbid, on a December afternoon.
    http://www.rtvnh.nl/nieuws/93591/Toerist+springt+uit+raam+en+raakt+zwaar+gewond
    Turns out he was a Scottish (23 year old) tourist high on a cocktail of drugs including magic mushrooms. Apparently quite a few tourists come and think they can fly after consuming mushrooms.
     
    I am not against porn, but I do draw the line at ugliness and bad taste. I found Korean porn on cable midnight channel very ugly, whereas Japanese porn is just better produced and in better taste. Kind of like their soap operas.
     
    Also snuff, child porn and bestiality all should be banned. Japanese manga hentai porn is dangerous because manga is such a child-accessible thing. I was completely shocked to come across some gay manga on youtube when I was searching for a christmas cake recipe the other day.
     

  • YangachiBastardo

    I beg to differ about the quality of Japanese filmed entertainment, adult-oriented or otherwise: scrawny actors/actresses with bad teeth and some hallucinatory sense of fashion, ridiculous editing and filming located in what looks like real estate straight out of my gramps 1950′s North East Italy world all conjure to make Japanese productions almost enough to make me feel better about tv in my own country

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Beggary accepted.

    Though, so I might have been speaking in comparison – I really don’t like the Korean porn I saw in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep in some people’s places (where they have cable and those channels).

    And somehow I cannot even compare Western/Western produced porn, though my father had a secret stash of Playboy and Hustler magazines in his briefcase with a combination lock. (Once he got very angry at not being able to get fully angry because he forgot the combination and my brother who’d figured it out and had full access to it told him !)
    It’s like how it was at school. Western porn – the standard is, let’s just say, everybody could draw in a Korean class, some kids even had trouble drawing a circle in a Western class.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Tell you what I do like, though. Those spreads in GQ type men’s magazines. I’m not sure if they are considered porn.

    I also remember reading a normal women’s magazine like Cosmo etc. (not Vogue type) and all the boys who saw some pictures saying to me ”Hey it’s better than porn”.

  • RElgin

    . . . I was completely shocked to come across some gay anime on youtube when I
    was searching for a Christmas cake recipe the other day.

    That is funny.  I wonder what else is hiding on youtube.

  • yuna_at_marmotshole

    Playboy and Penthouse magazines, not Hustler. I would like to be as faithful as possible to my memory, and do justice to my father’s taste when making an expose claim without his knowledge. 

  • que337

    American Psychgeological Association would not concit with your thought:http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2003/10/anderson.aspx

  • gbnhj

    ‘Once he got very angry at not being able to get fully angry…’

    Just an aside, but that’s a lovely turn of phrase.

  • Wedge1

    I’ve had more than one Japanese fella tell me the reason the rape rate is so low there is because porn is so prevalent… that and the fact they have drinking places where you can lick certain lady bits.

  • que337
  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6KFMIOLXZTCWEEJ3GF3YIAZIJ4 mightymouse

    madar, what study would that be? Porn with ignorance is the problem. Not the porn itself. 

  • Jason Kim

    This may upset a lot of people here…but the root of all this institutional ethics/morality?: Religion

  • RElgin

    Religion is the new Porn.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Any system of though co-opted by the State is mutated into a system of control and emerges as something antithetical to its original intent. Such is Christianity which is basically a mindnumbing instrument designed to churn out complient, scared people who submit to earthly authority.

  • SalarymaninSeoul

    Nah, religion is the ORIGINAL porn.