Saturday, November 04, 2006

Pole Dancing Kit

What should I make of this 'toy'?. I was initially under the assumption that it was a doll, having recalled seeing a pole dancing doll elsewhere, and got called a 'sectarian moron' and an illiterate (sob) for my error! A careless mistake maybe but not one that warranted that kind of hostility. Anyway, enough for that for the time being.

I would tend to view the sexualisation of childhood as being wrong, and that Tesco were wrong to market the product as a toy. An item of such a description probably belongs in Anne Summers or a similiar shop.

All the same though, is it any different from the constant promotion of sex that children see all the time, in teen magazines and elsewhere? I think not, so it is not something I'd make a big deal over. But I'm sure on this particular issue Scottish Socialist Voice would be in one voice with the Daily Mail.

It is also baffling as to how a group which give condoms (and information on how to obtain abortions) to schoolchildren reconcile this. Perhaps they don't mind children having sex, it's just the association of pole dancing with sex workers that they can't abide. Never mind the fact that this sex toy is not designed for commercial gain, but appears to be designed as an erotic plaything. If you don't mind children having sex then why object to them using toys with it? Say what you will about the commodification of sex etc, but there was a strong sense of moral outrage in the passage quoted on that blog. I am sure that the images children see on television of pop stars and in advertising have more of an impact on them than does any pole dancing toy. Sexualised clothing aimed at children seems to be purely a reflection of a culture they already are subjected to. It is the market finding its niche. The hyper sexualised culture in the West after the commodified sexual revolution is problematic in many ways, but save for jumping on the moral majority bandwagon and asking the State to censor media or ban the sale of items there is little one can do. The State has no right to censor material nor curb sexuality.

Capitalism makes a commodity out of everything. Sex especially perhaps because it is a primal instinct that obviously sells very well. The market works very well in this regard. Ask anyone who works in advertising. It does strike me as being more of a problem when children are targetted - but then I am not of the opinion that children under the age of 16 (or 18-19 in some cases) are really old enough to be having sex anyway. Sex ideally should not be a commodity sold to them. But it is even slightly unrealistic for me to say this, as sex is everywhere in advertising anyway. The only way you could possible keep kids away from it would be to teach them at home and never let them watch tv or read magazines. While parents will do what they can it is probably inevitable that some children will have sex, so if they do it is better they be given access to protection than not. Removing a daft toy from a supermarket will make no difference.

Most objectionable to me is the blanket assertion by the Scottish Socialist Party that all strippers have been or are being sexually abused. But with their latest resolution which advocates the continuation of criminalisation of the sex industry (on the Swedish model, albeit, targetting the 'demand' rather than the 'supply') such nonsense becomes explicable. The text of that resolution and my comments are in the next post down.

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