The reasons behind the Indonesian Pornography Bill (with comments)

Often people wonder why many political parties in Indonesia try to force the pornography bill. Also, do Indonesians need such a law?

There are several reasons why the proponents believe this bill. I add my comment on each of them.

1. Many pornographic materials are illegal, which make the control difficult. Unlike in the developed countries, porn movies and magazines are sold in the special shops only for adults. In Indonesia, many teenagers or children can have an access to this kind of material. The proponents such as the Islamic party of Partai Keadilan Sejahtera (PKS) argue that the bill is to protect children and the morality in the society. 

Comment:

Having a law does not really help if the people attitude does not change. There is no law that can fix people morality. It is one of the big errors from the proponent, which is from the religious radicals. It is actually similar to the Legalism idea during the reign of the First Emperor of China Shi Huangdi that stated that all humans are born bad, so stricts laws were needed. In my opinion, the only things that law can do are make people think twice when want to commit any crime and improve civil order. Moreover, humans are born good (based on Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Mencius). To protect morality, you need a good education. People with a good education will be able to control their brain activities. If ony few customers are available, many porn shops will be out of business anyway. Also, it is true that the pornography among children has become a big problem. In this case, a good sex education since early ages is essential.

2. The proponents said the bill is the application of the religion (Indonesian version: http://www.detiknews.com/read/2008/09/18/141448/1008501/10/pks-5-kekeliruan-berpikir-bagi-penolak-ruu-pornografi).

Comment:

The question is what kind of religion that put women as the criminal objects so they must be contained or covered in order to protect civil (men) morality? Also, what religion that is so bigotry and only see others as evils? To think positively, I think this kind of religion never exists.

3. The proponents (mostly Arabic influenced radicals) believe that the pornography is a Western value and all Western values are bad.

Comments:

Pornography is not only from the West. It was originally from both the East and West, as we can see from the Indian Kamasutra texts, Chinese old literatures and books, ancient Javanese scripts, Greek and Roman artworks, Japanese paintings, and many others (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_erotic_depictions). The point is the pornography can be found in any society in this planet.

Also, blindly saying all Western values are bad is the same like putting a dark red glasses before the eyes. These people can not see the beauty of the colors, only dark red evil. The philosophy is that all things will have their own good and bad sides and only wisdom that allow us the choose the better ones.

4. The proponents argue that the pornography is not an art.

Comment:

It depends on each person interpretation. One could see the naked Venus de Milo as an beautiful art, but another could see it as an porn. An Aussie bloke sees cleavage as a normal, however an Arabic guy is incited sexually after see a covered girl. The point is arts are not in the exact domain such as science and technology. You can not force others to believe.

5. The porn has to be eradicated completely

Comment:

I agree to some extend. Porn is one of the human natures. It is impossible to erase it. The more you press it, the stronger it resists. One thing that can be done is to contain and control it. What Indonesia needs is the strict laws to control the pornography. Indonesia already have a Child Protection Law, Criminal Law, and Broadcasting Law. There are more than enough.

6. The bill is to reduce the rape cases and to protect women.

Comment:

Laughing out loud! Rape is common in the Middle East, just like in many parts of this globe. Many Indonesian female workers suffers from sexual attacks by their Arabic bosses, but the proponents of the law are just turn a blind eye to them. If this is intended to protect women, the best way is to teach the men to behave. Not to discriminate against women.

Hence, the proponents’ arguments are all bias, self-interpreted, sometime bigotry. Their believes actually have demonstrated their low intellegences and lack of understanding of their own religion. The movement to pass the law is more politics than a genuine spirit. Hopefully, the opponents will win the game, at least a draw.

5 Responses

  1. There is an interesting article in http://www.detiknews.com/read/2008/09/20/132020/1009506/10/materi-ruu-pornografi-belum-fokus-lindungi-anak-anak. The scientist from the Law Assistance Office (LBH) argues that the law is only focusing on adult privacy and not really protecting children. It also againsts the Government Law no.12/2005 about the citizen political and civil rights by treating adults as idiots.

  2. […] The reasons behind of the Indonesian Pornography Law (with comments) […]

  3. 1. Children need to be protected in terms of not having easy access to porn and they need to be protected from becoming the subject of porn.

    Women need to be protected in the sense of not being exploited or forced into porn.

    It is difficult to regulate morality everywhere and not just in Indonesia. However, I am interested with the idea that it is the “radicals” that are driving this push to regulate porn.

    My view is that most people would agree that there needs to be regulation of porn and the manner in which it becomes available.

    The problem with the bill is the definition. The definition is too broad and will almost certainly be subject to abuse.

    2. The bill does not only criminalize women who are models or participants in activities deemed pornographic. The bill also criminalizes the conduct of those who facilitate the production, distribution, and use of porn.

    Once again, blaming it on the religious radicals seems to be an easy way of dismissing the proposed law without giving serious consideration to who supports the law.

    It is worth noting that many places are reporting that the PDI-P does not support the bill or its passage through the House of Representatives. This is not entirely true.

    The truth is that there are parts of most parties for the bill and there are also parts of parties opposed.

    The assumption that women only cover themselves because they are forced to by a bigoted and sexist religion is based on what?

    I would agree that women who do not want to wear the jilbab or hijab should not be considered immoral and subject to prosecution. Similarly, those women who voluntarily do so should also be respected.

    3. Porn as a western value? This is based on what? It is not an Eastern and Western value or morality thing here. It is more to do with whether or not it is an Islam thing, right?

    4. Pornography and art…this is a never-ending debate because the terms mean different things for different people as you point out. Yet, if you’re offended by something then the question is where does the responsibility lie? Should the government prohibit all things so that you cannot see it or as a citizen are you required to make that choice for yourself. If you do not like whats on the TV you can always turn it off.

    5. Not going to happen. Just like corruption, it can never be completely eradicated.

    6. Rape and porn…always an easy way to heat up the debate.

  4. Thanks Rob,
    1. Agree. I mentioned it in my previous post.
    2. Agree. The reason: religious radicals are the main supporters of the law or bill. It will give them extra ammo to reach their objectives. Also, I agree that women have right to choose their appearances, as long as they understand the reason logically. Remember that some women do it voluntarily just because they can only submit to their imam or husband.
    3. Yup, you’re correct
    4. True. Unfortunately, many people in Indonesia do not think like this.
    5 and 6. Yes, mate ^_^

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    С меня пыво)
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