On July 21st, the New York Times
ran an article entitled, "He's Watching That, in Public? Pornography Takes Next Seat."This article talked about how some people have used the rise of portable personal electronics as a way to view explicit content in public areas
, like cafes and airplanes. Some people are even looking at porn on shared computers at public libraries. Upon reading this, my first reaction was, "This has to be illegal." But apparently, it's not.
Well, it sort of is. According to the Times
, laws against the public viewing of obscene material have passed in Tennessee, Louisiana, and Virginia and is pending in New Jersey. But a similar law failed in Pennsylvania.
The fact is, given Americans' firm belief in our right to watch what we want when we want, the issue is a thorny one. Companies are reluctant to censor the content of what their patrons are watching.Illegal or not, I find this extremely distasteful
. I don't have anything against porn itself. If you'd like to watch it alone or with your partner, please, be my guest. But do so in private, where others don't have to see it.
I would be weirded out if someone watched porn in front of me. I don't think I would be viscerally offended. But I'm 21, and it's nothing I haven't seen before. Sure, I would feel a little disgusted and very awkward, but I would deal. However, I don't think that porn is appropriate for children. Neither does the US government and, I would imagine, most adults, since it's illegal to buy porn until you're 18.
Yes, it's easy to find free porn on the Internet. And I know most teenagers don't wait till they're 18, which I don't think is a huge problem if they're at least somewhat mature and curious. For me, that cutoff is around 14-16, but it depends on the person.But small children are an entirely different story.
Under no circumstances should a 7-year-old be watching pornography. That kid isn't emotionally or sexually mature, and frankly it's just wrong.
That's my problem with watching porn in public. The viewer doesn't have any idea who else could be watching porn. If that audience is solely adults, it's still kind of rude but whatever. When that audience includes small children... well, to choose a super-cheesy movie quote, "Houston, we have a problem."
I may not be alone in this, but I also know I'll have a lot of detractors. There are just too many variables here. The biggest being - what, exactly, is porn or 'explicit content'? What isn't appropriate for kids? If porn isn't allowed then shouldn't violent content also be censored? How violent is too violent?What do you think? Would you watch pornography in public? What would you do if someone started watching it in front of you or your kids?Image Source